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Build Guide by Verteros

Not Updated For Current Season

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Verteros

Because I'm Lee Sin and I lane

Verteros Last updated on April 7, 2011
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Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
Ability Key R

Not Updated For Current Season

The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.


Brute Force
Improved Rally

Offense: 11

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 0

Expanded Mind
Blink of an Eye
Mystical Vision
Presence of the Master

Utility: 19

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Lee Sin, Laning

This build is here both for the benefit of anyone who reads it, but also my own to see what other people think of my play style so that I may improve on it.
It is designed to be a solid laning build that will explain laning mechanics, strategies, team fighting, farming and go in depth with my masteries, item choice and runes.
Please note the final stats listed above in the layout do not reflect the actual final stats.

What you can expect:
-A high survivability Lee Sin making him comparable to a Burst Tank / DPS Tank
-Great Early Game damage
-Good scaling
What you shouldn't expect:
-High burst late game
-To be invincible
-An easy champion

I do not mind if you comment on this before playing Lee Sin, it's very possible you may notice a fault straight away with the build and again, that's the reason I have this build, to improve on it and get better at possibly the most badass champion in the game.

This is a laning guide but the item build and masteries can be applied to jungling if you so please with just a slight alteration (change boots and 3 health pots to Cloth Armor and 5 Health Potion)

This build is really difficult to understand before you finish reading it, some parts require looks at other parts and it's a tad confusing but please bare with me.

Terminology -
ArP - Armor Penetration
MR - Magic Resistance
Crit - Critical Strike Chance
AS - Attack Speed
Gank - When people in larger numbers go to kill a lone or vulnerable group of players on the other team
CD - Cooldown
Stat - Statistics
CC - Crowd Control (This means anything that can impair your champion]
Snowball - An item that gains power as criteria is met, such as killing an enemy

I gotta give credit to Phreak's Lee Sin, Champion Spotlight which gave me a lot of ideas on my item build, Shurelia's Zoning Tutorial Video and to the Mobafire Guide Sheen Lee by Iknoweverything who also gave me some great ideas. Thanks :)

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-2 escape mechanics
-great chasing ability
-awesome harass
-awesome dance
-awesome skins
-kick back ult
-6 abilities (two abilities in one)
-runs on energy


-low burst until resonating strike is maxed
-ult if used bad can ruin a fight
-requires a great deal of focus to benefit from the passive most effectively
-energy starvation if passive is not utilized
-glitchy -sometimes gets stuck in walls with resonating strike and safegaurd sometimes won't lanch you-

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This is gonna be a shocker to some people but I feel it really is just far to important to pass up on Lee Sin even if it is very situational.

Quintessence of Desolation
Mark of Desolation
I go with 3 Quintessence and Marks of Desolation -3.33 ArP quints, 1.66 ArP marks-
This part isn't to shocking but I'd like to explain my reasoning regardless. When I was thinking my build over I was very iffy on the benefits and scaling of the items with the masteries and the other runes. Looking at my masteries I wanted to get as close to first blood kills as I could without sacrificing late game components. I knew straight away from experience that I needed more speed and the 4.5% movement speed bonus from Quintessences looked very nice indeed. However I'd be sacrificing up to 10 armor penetration from Quintessences if I did that. This is where my masteries come in - Please refer to the masteries chapter for more details - I gave up going completely into the offense tree to move further into the utility tree to get Quickness so that I didn't have to get movement quintessences to keep up with other classes, this also meant that I didn't have to get Boots of Quickness allowing room for mercury treads.

This is the shocker part. I have chosen x9 Seals and Glyphs of Shielding -1.7 MR/18 seals, 2.7 MR/18 glyphs- I found this to be extremely important late game. You will be focused a lot if you are doing well (which you should be) and the general focus will be magic. Thus you can understand the necessity for more magic resistance. I didn't wanna put a ton of items which could be put towards damage into magic resist so runes were the way to go. This in unison with the item build comes up to as much as 100 magic resist which is awesome :D

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Deadliness - Rank 3/3 Increases your Champions Critical Strike Chance by 2.00%
I choose this one over Archamge's Savvy because it is the only one that scales well with Lee Sin as ability power only benefits his safegaurd / iron will and 15 ability power won't get you far

Cripple - Rank 1/1 Improves your Exhaust Spell to also reduce the target's armor and magic resistance by 10 for the duration, and increases its duration by 0.5 seconds
This is pretty self explanatory, reducing the enemies resistances and improving the duration can mean the difference between a gank or sulking home upset

Sorcery - Rank 4/4 Reduces the cooldown of your champion's abilities by 3%
I get this mastery over Alacrity because I feel reduced 3% reduced CD vs 4% increased AS wins. In detail, 4% increased attack speed with this build will bring you to 0.9 attacks per second instead of 0.8 and 3% reduced CD will mean 1.3 seconds off your Dragon's Rage and about .12 seconds off my other abilities (generalized) so putting this in perspective, I'm taking off 1.86 seconds off in total from my abilities in exchange for .1 + attack speed. You can see the benefit there :)

Sunder - Rank 3/3 Your physical attacks ignore 6 of the target's armor.
This one is self explanatory, more ArP is very good seeing as your Sonic Wave / Resonating Strike scales off physical damage and you will be auto attacking a lot, Dragon's Rage also scales with physical damage. Though Tempest / Cripple does not, the tooltip clearly says that it does Magic Damage not Physical damage, despite that it benefits from bonus AD (a big plus)

I stop going into the offense tree at this stage because I feel the benefits from the utility tree far outweigh the 15-20 extra damage you will get by going further into the offense tree.

Good Hands - Rank 3/3 Reduces the time spent dead by 10%
This is pretty much a filler on the way to further down the Utility Tree, but the 10% reduced death time is still pretty nice :)

Perseverance - Rank 2/3 Increases your total health and mana regeneration by 3%
This is raised to 2 to fill in spots needed to go further down the tree in the later tiers, unfortunately it scales horribly and does little benefit not to mention half it's effect is void, but it's better then anything else Utility has to offer as a filler.

Haste - Rank 1/1 Your Ghost spell increases your movement speed by an additional 8%, and increases the duration by 1.5 seconds.
This ability is really good, 8% movement speed on the Ghost can mean the difference between out running someone else who Ghosts and being caught and buried.

Awareness - Rank 4/4 Increases the amount of experience your champion gains by 5%
Useful for jungling if you so choose, laning so that you won't be left behind if you go to gank another lane or get killed and it also allows you to get ahead of the enemy team in levels if you choose to stay in your lane. All very good things. I hope I don't need to explain why I chose it over Expanded Mind

Greed - Rank 1/1 Generates 1 gold every 10 seconds.
Aside from giving a pathetic amount of gold this mastery is chosen to fill in for the next tier. It was either this or one more point in Perseverance which need I mention again, scales horribly.

Utility Mastery - Rank 2/2 Increases the duration of neutral monster buffs by 30%
This mastery is the kind of thing we gave up going further into the offense tree for. Instead of the previous 15% increased duration, we get the 30$ increased duration, this is extremely useful seeing as we will be getting Red Buff as much as possible.

At this stage the first point we put in perseverance comes into play to allow us to progress further into the tree

Quickness - Rank 3/3 Increases your base movement speed by 3%
This is the main reason we came into this tree, this helps us to chase, escape and get in front of enemies for our Dragon's Rage.The first thing to notice about this mastery is that the speed bonus benefits from your BASE movement speed. This means that it will only scale with the original 325 movement speed you start with and will not benefit from Boots of Speed Mercury's Treads or Trinity Force. However this still gives 9.75 bonus movement speed which is great, and since this skill scales off base movement speed, any player with less then 325 base movement speed will not be able to outrun/catch you.

The second point in Perseverance comes here and the fillers end.

Intelligence - Rank 3/3 Reduces your champion's cooldowns by 6%.
This mastery in my opinion is a better choice then going for 3 points in one of the other trees. Now to start we can compare it with 6+ armor or magic resistance in the Defense Tree, there is no doubt that Lee Sin is very fragile before Frozen Mallet but this doesn't mean that we should put 3 points into 6 armor, 6 armor which will not scale well unlike our other options. We could put a point into Archaic Mastery 15% Magic Penetration to benefit your Tempest / Cripple and the other two in Intelligence and this is really optional. I prefer the 2% CD reduction instead of 15% magic penetration. But there really is little logic to what I do, I may change my mind down the track

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-Great to help with getting first blood and escaping if need be, helps get to the lane faster if you die and it builds into a later item
The reason I get boots instead of a Dorans or Cloth Armor is because I find that armor is not very effective early game in laning, the speed is far more beneficial at that and because Dorans does not build into any other items, I choose to get Boots of Speed, however if you want a Dorans, go with Doran's Blade, the health, damage and life steal make it the best choice.

-I build this before Madred's Razors simply because I feel that Madred's Razors doesn't benefit well enough without it

-Awesome for farming and healing from a dive

-One of the best items for Lee Sin, the Lantern's active which places a ward on the ground for 3 minutes is great with Safeguard / Iron Will to allow for awesome escape mechanics, as explained before it also makes recovering from a dive much easier thanks to the huge damage on minions which heals you thanks to the life steal. The extra map awareness is great as well and the armor it gives brings you to 100 armor at 18

-The 25 magic resist, as awesome as it is aside, it's true beauty shines through with the 35% CC reduction. You dive a lot and people will probably try to CC you when you do, so it's great for that purpose. If you are dead keen you can get Berserker's Greaves but it doesn't get you that far

-100% damage -based off base damage= on your auto attacks after an ability is used. Need I say more? Ok sure, it also builds into Trinity Force later

-Great for chasing sure but that's not why we get it. The 700 health allows you to survive much better in a team fight which is very important. After all you can't do damage if you are dead. If you are not concerned about damage and chasing or you feel that you don't need it thanks to Tempest / Cripple, go with Warmog's Armor it is slightly cheaper and gives twice the health once the full snowball effect takes place

-Games are getting pretty one sided by this stage and probably won't last much longer, that's why we need more ArP FAST, for only 1337 gold we get +15 ArP 10% CD reduction which is nice and 25+ damage which is also something we have so little of (not that we need it)

-The game is dragging on at this stage, you are now building into end game items to improve your damage and Trinity Force is next on the list. You have a choice between Phage or Zeal and since you don't need health or a slow Zeal is the way to go with it's bonus AS Crit and Movement Speed. If you chose Warmog's Armor you may decide to go with Phage for the slow, but I'd recommend against it seeing as your probable reasoning for getting Warmog's Armor in the first place was because you didn't feel you needed the slow.

-YAY finally! Your passive bonus goes to 150% instead of 100 and the internal CD is GONE :D Not only that but 30+ damage 30% more AS, 250 Health, 12% more movement speed and 15% more crit are all there waiting for you :)

-The game has seriously dragged on, usually more Armor Pen is needed so we trade in The Brutalizer for Last Whisper. However at this stage you may just say "Hey, I want more damage" and decide to trade it in for Infinity Edge or The Bloodthirster, but really, the armor penetration is gonna get you much further and it's a lot cheaper, especially since the game HAS to end soon

Elixirs, all of them
-I can't believe a game can go this long, you must be doing either really well or the enemy team has bogged tanks or something but if the game has gone this long, grab Elixir of Fortitude Elixir of Agility Elixir of Brilliance to boost your already insane damage and it also makes you shiny :D

Please note you may choose to get these Elixirs after your Frozen Mallet / Warmog's Armor or The Brutalizer as most games don't go far past this point

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Skill Sequence

This part of the build is really easy to explain

Max Sonic Wave / Resonating Strike. This is your bread and butter. It does the most damage of any of your abilities, it is your harass, it is your chasing mechanic. It is amazing. Aside from hitting huge damage with it's follow up, it also does 10% of the targets missing damage, this makes it have HUGE scale advantage to finish off tanks or runners extremely well.

It is important to get one point in Safeguard / Iron Will at level 2. The armor, life steal and spell vamp early on can not only save your life but the true beauty of the ability is it's harass potential. Using Sonic Wave / Resonating Strike followed up by Safeguard / Iron Will to safely escape means HUGE damage and the potential to tower dive low health players as early as level 2. It's amazing. It also can be used as an escape mechanic to a hidden ward, minions or ally champion and it's also useful for positioning early on to hit with resonating strike.

Otherwise you are leveling up Tempest / Cripple when you can't level up Sonic Wave / Resonating Strike and Dragon's Rage at every chance. Why Tempest / Cripple over Safeguard / Iron Will? Well simple, Safeguard / Iron Will will give at it's maximum level, 30 bonus armor, life steal and spell vamp with a 200 health shield. Not gonna get you very far right? Sure the argument has come up that Safeguard / Iron Wills life steal helps to recover after a dive, but that's why we have Wriggle's Lantern. Tempest / Cripple on the other hand has a ton of uses. For one it does Magic Damage which can give people stacking armor a nasty surprise, it reveals nearby enemies who are stealthed (I can't tell you how many times I've made a twitch extremely unhappy with this and Sonic Wave / Resonating Strike) And it also has a global slow.

Some things to note:
Both Sonic Wave / Resonating Strike and Tempest / Cripple benefit from 100% of your bonus attack damage, with this in mind a mere 100 bonus attack damage will add 200 damage in total to the combined effect of Sonic Wave / Resonating Strike and since at the moment Tempest / Cripple whether it be a tooltip error or an in game error, will hit twice instead of once, the same effect applies to it as well. Dragon's Rage on the other hand, benefits from 200% of your bonus attack damage, meaning it will benefit from 200 damage bonus instead of only 100. The abilities do not benefit from your base attack damage.

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Summoner Spells

Some people say "Flash and exhaust" some say " Ghost and Exhaust" others say the same but with Ignite instead of Exhaust. All are good choices but in my opinion. Ghost and Exhaust is the way to go. Ganking will be far easier if you are not as strong with your skill shot, it is useful to help 1v1 other carries (which will be a problem without it) and it also is a useful escape mechanic.

The fight between Ghost and Flash ever rages
" Flash is better because you can use it over walls"
" Ghost is better because it gets you far more distance"
With Lee Sin, Ghost wins a decisive victory every turn. With Wriggle's Lantern you have your Flash ready. Being able to Safeguard / Iron Will over a ledge then Sonic Wave / Resonating Strike to a neutral monster means you will always escape. But it's also useful to have a speed boost for situations you aren't prepared for. Plus it's a point in the masteries to be filled :)

If you want, you can get this instead of Ghost, and I have to emphasis Ghost not Exhaust, Exhaust has far to much use and it will help you far more then Ghost will. That being said, Ghost will help you far more then Cleanse will in the majority of the game but you may choose Cleanse to help you dive the enemy team and kick a squishy out. But I wouldn't recommend it.

You may choose Ignite over Exhaust with the mindset that Tempest / Cripple will make up for Exhaust but you have to remember that Tempest / Cripple has a much shorter range. I choose Exhaust over Ignite because when I go to gank another lane, I Safeguard / Iron Will to the nearest ally minion or champion, follow up with Exhaust on the target champion then use Sonic Wave / Resonating Strike on the Exhausted enemy. Once I am slightly ahead of the enemy champion I may choose to Tempest / Cripple or use my Dragon's Rage ultimate to kick him further back. There is no point in using Ignite if there is no opportunity available.

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Unique Skills

Lee Sin has the potential to be more annoying then Singed or Teemos Noxious Trap when played right.

Here are a few combos that can be used to best reflect how awesome Lee Sin is:

- Sonic Wave / Resonating Strike followed by Dragon's Rage and sonic strike / Resonating Strike Q R Q
Huge damage output and disorients the opponent

- Sonic Wave / Resonating Strike followed by Sonic Wave / Resonating Strike then Safeguard / Iron Will to nearby ally or champion to escape Q Q W
Great harass doing huge damage that scales really well and allows you to tower dive and escape like a boss

- Safeguard / Iron Will to a ward W
Great to escape over a wall, like a low cd Flash :D

- Sonic Wave / Resonating Strike neutral monsters followed by Sonic Wave / Resonating Strike
Makes jungling with stealth really easy

- Exhaust Sonic Wave / Resonating Strike Tempest / Cripple
Lee Sin has abilities which greatly compliment his 1v1 ability versing AD players such as Master Yi and Sivir]. He has [[Safeguard / iron will and Tempest / Cripple which give him increased armor/life regeneration and reduces the enemies attack speed and movement speed respectively. This makes it important to not panic and pop Exhaust and then Tempest / Cripple before the Exhaust effect is up. It's also useful to remember that Exhaust slows the enemy and that makes Sonic Wave / Resonating Strike easier to hit (pay attention to when Exhaust ends or he might get the speed back and your Sonic Wave / Resonating Strike will miss) The attack speed reduction does not help very much when the enemy is under the effects of Exhaust. It is better to spread out their disability rather then focus it all in a 4 second frame.

Pro Tip
When you use Sonic Wave / Resonating Strike to lunge at the enemy, wait until you are sure your Tempest / Cripple will hit, a safe time to do this is when you are slightly ahead of the enemy remembering that you have to cast Tempest / Cripple before you can slow him down with Tempest / Cripple

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Laning with Lee Sin is difficult in the best of circumstances, his skill shot has a nasty ability to hit targets which by it's animation, it shouldn't hit. The full damage puts you at risk and you have to be good with a skill shot and your escape mechanic relies on nearby allies.

You can lane mid but against the powerhouse ranged characters that go there, I wouldn't recommend it. Further more you can't harass from the brush in mid, it's just to far from the combat.

Three things you must remember

1. Squishy first
2. Hide in the brush
3. Let your ally know what you plan to do

First up before you go any further, an understanding of zoning is important so that you know how other players will react to you going in the bush. If you feel you don't fully understand zoning or if you do not even know what zoning means, do not fret this video made by Shurelia will explain everything, she has a bit of a painstaking voice but the video is well worth it.

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Team Work

Once you have Frozen Mallet your ability to survive in a team fight makes the squishy con mentioned void. You cannot ever initiate however but it does mean that you can do probably the most boss combo ever

First, get a clean shot into someone at the rear of the enemy team, preferably someone who can't spell shield as spell shield will make your Sonic Wave / Resonating Strike not proc the Sonic Wave / Resonating Strike effect

Second, Sonic Wave / Resonating Strike to get to him

Third, Dragon's Rage a squishy NOT the tank into your team

Fourth, Safeguard / Iron Will to your team and finish off the unfortunate

This does not always work but it makes Lee Sin extremely useful at the start of a fight. Not only does this do damage to anyone it hits but it knocks one of the enemy team members out of the fight

In a tight team fight, pick someone who isn't in the big brawl in the middle, squishy of course and Sonic Wave / Resonating Strike get in destroy him if you can but don't try to hard. If Dragon's Rage is there, use it to kick him into your allies and Safeguard / Iron Will to escape or finish him off. It is extremely important to realize that you will never be God in the game at any stage, you get in get out as fast as possible. However you can also go in with the bulk of your group and start using your attacks and abilities to dps down the enemy. Remember this Combo

Auto Attack twice

Auto Attack twice

Auto Attack twice

Auto Attack twice
then rinse

NEVER use Safeguard / Iron Will for 2 extra attacks. It is your escape mechanic in a team fight. Nothing more, Nothing less. This rule can vary when you use it to protect an ally from an otherwise fatal hit, but it is again situational, you must be running and you must be sure that you will not die for your trouble.

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Simple. Run into the middle and spank Tempest / Cripple straight away
You may decide to use Safeguard / Iron Will here for the life steal if you please but do it before tempest so that it benefits from your Iron Wills spell vamp

Auto Attack twice

Auto Attack twice

Auto attack twice

Auto Attack twice

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Things to remember
-Allow 2 attacks between abilities to benefit from your passive
-Use Safeguard / Iron Will to escape, not proc your passive
-Don't initiate, just pick off a player
-You are not a tank
-Don't spam abilities
-Don't Dragon's Rage the tank

If you managed to get this far, great job. I really hope you had as much fun reading it as I had making it.
This is my first guide, it is very rough but please leave comments bellow. Anything to improve the guide is greatly appreciated.