Hi, I'm Vapora Dark, a veteran player that's been playing since season 1. During that time I've hit Master tier as a mid lane main in season 5, as an ADC main in season 7, and again as a jungle main in season 8. I can play every role to a very high level and have a very good understanding of the general aspects of the game on top of that. I'm also a full time League of Legends streamer and work for Riot Games to write champion guides on the Lolesports site, as well as having accumulated over 100 million views across all my MOBAFire guides, where I've been writing guides since 2011.
My Play Like The Pros guide series is a collaboration between myself and other high Elo experienced guide writers to bring you quality guides for as many different champions as possible. We use the tried and proven best builds used by pro players and elite solo queue players alike to ensure we give you the greatest possible chances of winning your games.
This guide was written by yours truly.
Lee Sin is an early-game powerhouse capable of out-dueling almost any jungler or champion on the map. Your intention with Lee Sin should be to get ahead early and snowball your laners to prevent you from falling off later on.
I hope you enjoy reading the guide as much as I enjoyed writing it, and most importantly, that you take everything you can from it! And if you do enjoy it, upvotes are very much appreciated!
Relentless Hunter: While having no particular synergy with this, it's just nice to have extra movement speed to roam around the map with, and can sometimes be the difference between making a play or not being on time to make a play.
COUP DE GRACE
Triumph: This can be a life saver in close fights, and the 25g per takedown actually adds up to quite a bit in bloody games.
Coup de Grace: Out of all the runes in this branch, this is the one that gives the most damage on average, so it's a simple enough choice.
Flash has been the standard summoner spell to take on almost every single champion since forever. It's always been indisputably the best summoner spell in the game, so there's nothing you can replace it with.
Smite is likewise irreplaceable on junglers, even more so than Flash. It immensely helps your clear speeds and the health of your clears, and more importantly it helps secure camps and objectives like Dragon and Baron Nashor. Even if you were playing a jungler that could healthily clear the jungle without Smite, not taking Smite would still be out of the question. And Lee Sin isn't even one of those junglers to begin with.
Flurry: Your next 2 auto-attacks after casting a spell gain 40% attack speed and return 20/10 energy respectively. This makes it a good idea to space out your skills in fights and auto-attack at least once between them, since the first auto-attack is the one that returns the most energy, but ideally twice to maximize the attack speed benefit.
Tempest/ Cripple: Tempest is a huge help for clearing camps with multiple monsters, and Cripple gives you some CC to aid your ganks. Tempest is also magic damage, so it won't be affected by enemies building armor.
R: Dragon’s Rage
Dragon's Rage: This spell is the key to the famous Insec. It knocks the target back a great distance and deals great damage to the target and any enemies they collide with. By getting behind your target before you cast Dragon's Rage, you'll be able to knock them backwards into your team, which is the purpose of the Insec.
Boots of Mobility: These are the recommended items to build on Lee Sin since it greatly helps you during ganks and Lee Sin is by far strongest during early-game. Late-game they'll also help get in position to land a Sonic Wave in order to create plays.
Maw of Malmortius: This item helps you greatly against high AP threats like Syndra, as it'll prevent you from being taken out of the fight extremely quickly by AP burst. It's also a good general item for Lee Sin against any amounts of magic damage as it gives AD and CDR as well as some tankiness, all great stats for Lee Sin.
Guardian Angel: If you're really ahead, you can use this item to push your lead even further, as it'll make you harder to kill by causing you to revive after your first death, and give you even more damage to work with while also acting as a defensive item. You can also just use it as a 6th item to finish off your build.
It's worth noting that every time you use Dragon's Rage on someone you can then auto-attack them while they're mid-air being pushed away from you; make sure to sneak in this free auto every time you can, since it's free damage.
This is your combo for dueling people when you want to burst them down while starting off in melee range. Start off with a point blank Sonic Wave, auto-attack them twice (or as many times as you can before they run away), then use Dragon's Rage (remember to sneak in the free auto-attack!), and then use Resonating Strike again to close the gap and continue the assault if they still live.
There are many spells in the game where you can Flash mid-cast and the spell will cast from where you Flashed to rather than where you started casting it. Tempest is one of said spells. So basically in any situation where you would want to Flash then tempest, you should use Tempest -> Flash instead as it's slightly more efficient, giving your opponent just slightly less time to react to it and flash away.
Dragon's Rage is another one of those spells mentioned above where the spell will cast from where you Flashed to, and this is even better than the previous interaction since beginning to cast Dragon's Rage will root someone to the spot until your kick is finished casting, making it impossible for them to redirect the direction of the knockback if you execute it properly. This can also replace the ward hop in the Insec if you don't want to risk the enemy Flashing or otherwise using a gap closer to prevent your Dragon's Rage from sending them in the direction you want to.
When you want to finish off a low HP enemy and you don't want to risk missing Resonating Strike (or them dodging it), this is the combo you should use. Get into melee range of your target, whether by walking up to them or using Safeguard or Flash to close the gap. Then use Dragon's Rage and once you have a clear sense of where they're being knocked back, use Sonic Wave while they're still in the knockback and unable to dodge. Sonic Wave should hit them at the end of the knockback and then you're free to follow up with Resonating Strike and minimum one auto-attack. And just like that you'll have landed an auto-attack and all 3 instances of Dragon's Rage, Sonic Wave and Resonating Strike without any form of counterplay available to your target, even if their Flash was up. Just make sure you don't miss Sonic Wave during the knockback or you'll look like an idiot, especially if you used Flash to get into Dragon's Rage range.
This is a neat little trick to catch enemies under minion cover by surprise. When there's 1 minion standing between you and them, cast Q towards them and while it's mid-air use Smite on the minion to get it out of the way and hopefully Sonic Wave will land onto your target. You could smite before casting Sonic Wave but then your target would have more time to react to the fact that their minion cover is gone, whereas if you do it after you've already cast Q they'll be caught off-guard.
Standard start if you're on red side since you get to have your bot lane help you with it, and if you have a melee support they'll usually tank most of it for you so you can move onto your next camp with almost no damage taken. Move onto wolves before taking your 3rd buff. From there on you can either look to gank, take scuttle, or keep clearing. At levels 1 and 2 make sure to use 2 auto-attacks between spell casts to maximize Flurry uptime, but at level 3 once you have all 3 spells you should just use 1 auto-attack between spell casts so you don't take too long to cast your spells.
Standard start if you're blue side so your bot lane can help you as you do it. You can also start it even if you're red side if you want to let your bot lane get an advantage by being in lane quicker than the enemy bot lane, or if you want to avoid losing your red to an early invade by the enemy jungler, such as Ivern. Again, remember to space out your spells between your auto-attacks properly as explained before.
Farm, farm, farm. You want to get yourself as fed as possible so take as many jungle camps as you can, as well as take lane CS whenever the opportunity arises (explained further down).
As with any jungler you should be ganking, but don't go out of your way to force ganks that seem unlikely to succeed. But on the flip side, go for any ganks that seem likely to succeed, since whether it results in a kill for you or for your laner, you'll still be getting free gold and XP, and then get to tax some gold/XP from the lane CS as you help your laner shove the wave into the tower to make the enemy miss out on CS.
When ganking, try your luck at hitting a long-distance Sonic Wave if you need it to close the gap, but this isn't always the case, and oftentimes it's better to simply walk up to your enemy and slow them with Tempest/ Cripple, auto-attack them a bit and just use a point blank melee range Sonic Wave once you feel is optimal. Trying to use Sonic Wave from a distance at the start of a gank will often result in a miss and a loss in damage, especially if the enemy just Flashes it. If you wait until you can cast it from point blank range, enemies will often not react in time to Flash to dodge it.
Whenever one of your ganks succeeds, look out for an opportunity to get an objective out of it. For example if you double kill the enemy bot lane you can convert that into a dragon since for the enemy mid and jungle to contest that they'd have to 2v4. However, dragon is not always a possibility, especially if your team is low or if you only kill one of the enemy bot lane, and sometimes it's just not even the best objective to take. If you have to choose between taking a dragon or getting the tower first blood, you should pretty much always go for the tower first blood, since it grants a massive gold increase which is more immediately beneficial than that of the buffs given by dragons. And in general I would just always prioritize towers over dragons, since getting more map control by taking down towers makes it easier to take dragons later on, whereas choosing to take a dragon instead is harder to convert into taking towers later.
Additionally make sure to hold lanes whenever possible, e.g. if one of your laners has to recall or dies, the enemy will be shoving that wave into your tower to make your laner miss CS, so you can take advantage of this by taking the wave for yourself since it would die to tower anyway, and thus get yourself ahead since lane CS gives more gold and XP than a jungle camp, and does so without being at the expense of your HP.
Whenever you see the enemy jungler showing up on the opposite side of the map, if there's no plays for you to make on your side then it can be worth going into their jungle to counterjungle them while they're too busy to respond. Whenever you counterjungle, if possible you should take the big monster but leave 1 small monster alive, to delay the camp's spawning as much as possible. When the enemy jungler wants to farm the camp, they won't find it already in the process of respawning soon, but have to kill the last remaining monster for a tiny bit of gold and a tiny bit of XP, and then have to wait the entire 1m40s for it to respawn.
If you find yourself getting significantly ahead of the enemy jungler then you can just start going into their jungle whether you have vision of them or not, provided your lanes are in a position to help you. With a level advantage you have a stronger Smite and can easily steal away camps they're trying to do, and they shouldn't be able to straight up win fights against you. Just don't do this if your nearest laner is getting pushed in since that means they won't be able to come help as they would miss a lot of CS to the tower, but the enemy laner can come help kill you without losing out on anything.
As the game progresses you'll find yourself in many team-fights. During team-fights you generally want to Insec priority targets, but it's not quite as simple as that since enemies will frequently try and protect their carries and with enough CC and burst you may just end up dying uselessly if you try to Insec at a bad time. It's sometimes even more valuable to simply peel for your own carries, and while using Dragon's Rage to peel someone away from your carries, trying to line it up against the enemy team where it'll cause the most damage and disruption to the enemies. You'll have to use your own judgement to determine what's the correct choice, but it's generally best to peel if you have a great late-game ADC like Jinx, Twitch, Kog'Maw, Vayne, etc.
Hopper is Bae
That's it for my Lee Sin guide. I hope you found this helpful and learn to play Lee Sin as well as you want to.
Special thanks to Hopper for banners and coding. (Go check her shop out!)