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Lee Sin Build Guide by dominguezgz

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League of Legends Build Guide Author dominguezgz

CDR Lee Sin, the blind rusher [An In-Depth Lee Guide / 4.11]

dominguezgz Last updated on July 11, 2014
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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.



Offense: 21

Legendary Guardian

Defense: 9


Utility: 0

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Puedes encontras la versión en español de esta guía aquí

About me

Hi guys! I'm dominguezgz, and after so much time playing Lee Sin i have decided to make a guide about him. I've been playing League a little over two years, and currently I am Gold II. This is my first Mobafire guide. But let's stop talking about me, and let's start with the monk, here we go!.

(Sorry about the language mistakes, i'm not enligsh!)

About Lee Sin

Lee Sin is, for me, the best jungler at the moment. He has a lot of mobility, which gives him the advantage of been able to make more ganks than the other jungler; he has so much burst damage, which gives him the advantage of make effective ganks; he also has cc, an slow and the kick, so he's so useful in teamfights too; and of course he has sustain and area damage; which gives him a comfortable jungling.
But, like all the things in this life, he has also his dark side. He decays in the late game since he has not enough damage to kill anyone alone (bad scales) and you can't tank as a Nautilus or a Cho'Gath. We deduce of that the next: if you don't have a good early, you're fuc***. Also, is hard to learn how to play him and his ganks usually depend of the Sonic Wave skillshot.
Let's recapitulate and summarize all the concepts:


- Best movility
- Nice damage (area damage with Tempest for the jungle and burst for the ganks)
- He also has CC ( Cripple's slow and Dragon's Rage).
- Sustain in jungle (with Iron Will).


- Decays in late game.
- If you don't have a good early, it's too difficult to come back to the game.
- His ganks depend of Sonic Wave skillshot.
- Hard to learn how to play him.

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With the build we're gonna buy we will run 21/9/0 because it will be good for our early.

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Greater Mark of Attack Damage

Greater Seal of Armor

Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction

Greater Quintessence of Cooldown Reduction

Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage
  • Greater Mark of Attack Damage (x9): We need damage with Lee Sin. We're an offensive jungler, we need to do effective ganks and try to get some kills in early game, so we're gonna choose these marks to make our base damage. They give us a total of 8,55 of physical damage.
  • Greater Seal of Armor (x9): We need some defense as well. We're gonna be receiving the most of the time physical damage from the jungles (and in most of ganks), so we choose that armor runes, which will give us more sustain and will make our game less risky. They give us a total of 9 of armor.
  • Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction (x9): Here is where our build starts! As Lee Sin, we base our damage in our abilities, so, let's have that abilities more times in a fight!. That CDR will give us a more dynamic game, which is explained below. They give us a total of 7,5% CDR.
  • Greater Quintessence of Cooldown Reduction (x1): We add more cooldown reduction to our build, so , as i have said in the glyphs, we will deal more damage, knowing that Lee's abilities destroys your enemies!. It gives us 2,5% CDR.
  • Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage (x2): Finally, we also add more damage to our build, to have a powerful early and be able to get some kills to accelerate our snowball and lane's one. They give us a total of 5 attack damage.

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Flash and Smite

  • Flash: I think it's the only option with Lee. It gives you more mobility, so you can escape, secure kills, initiate without wards ( Sonic Wave into Resonating Strike into Flash into Dragon's Rage). It's a offensive/deffensive spell which will make so much unfavorable situations better for us. Always remember to flash after death; I mean, don't be scared about waste your flash, it has a cooldown but it doesn't make you lose the game. Use always preventive flash if you think you're going to be in a bad situation.
  • Smite: If you're going jungle it's a must option. You will need it to secure baron nashor or dragon , to clear faster the jungle and keep more hp for ganks. Also, remember you can kill "champion pets" with smite , like Annie's Summon: Tibbers or Malzahar's voidling of his passive Summon Voidling. A very useful tip with smite: If you activate Iron Will you gain spell vamp, and it's applied to smite, so if you need to restore hp quickly try to smite something with Iron Will activated.

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Here we are! The items will complete our cooldown reduction Lee Sin. We have three core items in this build, and the others ones are situational items. Let's get a closer look of each item:

Core items

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  • Spirit of the Elder Lizard is an amazing item. As Lee Sin we're gonna use all the stats it gives to us. It gives 30 attack damage, which makes our early more powerful. It also gives us 10% cooldown reduction, which we add to our 15% from runes and masteries; true damage, which make us destroy the enemies with our combos; more gold from the camps, which increases our snowball; and finally more sustain, which allow us to make more ganks. It's a fantastic item, since it gives so much amazing stats, and its cost is so low.
  • Sightstone: I feel like this item is a Lee's core item, because you base your mobility on ward jumps with Safeguard. U can jump walls, make "insecs" (if you don't know what it is, check "Combos/Skills/tips" section below), escape from the death... Is another gap closer which complement Sonic Wave. If u don't know how to ward jump, here is a nice tutorial to learn to do it. I personally learnt to do it playing against bots and repeating it again and again. The only time you should not buy this item is if u're having a terrible early (like they steal your buffs (them both) or something like that) and u need to rush damage fast.
  • The Black Cleaver: It's the item which completes our cooldown reduction build! It give us 35 % cooldown reduction with the Spirit of the Elder Lizard and the runes and masteries. Also, it gives us more physical damage and armor penetration. A very good item, which gives us some hp too and conclude (in the most of the games) the offensive part of our build.


  • Boots of Mobility: I personally prefer these boots, since they give you more mobility and u can make more ganks and have more impact in the game, which is what we're looking for. But their problem is that you're so weak against ap (no magic resist runes) and you don't have any tenacity, so especially the middle lane ganks are risky.
  • Mercury's Treads: And that's the other option, which i think is a very good one. Treads will give you the magic resist that you need (because you don't have it in runes/masteries) and tenacity, for be able to escape from bad situations quickly.
As I have said, I prefer Boots of Mobility, but it depends of the game. If you have a very fed enemy ap carry, you must build Mercury's Treads. Also, in late game, you must sell Boots of Mobility and buy Mercury's Treads, since you don't need anymore to be fast for make more ganks.

Situational items

...... ...... ......

They usually are tank items. We have enough damage with Spirit of the Elder Lizard and The Black Cleaver and, with the late game and the teamfights coming, we need to be able to tank a little bit to be useful.
  • Randuin's Omen: For me, it's the best tank item. It gives you a big amount of hp and armor, and its active is so useful when you jump in with Sonic Wave. You can slow all the enemies, doing a nice initiation, or just for insec someone without ward or flash. You can also choose Sunfire Cape, but this is a more offensive choice, since it gives you less armor and hp, but it gives you its passive, which is very good because you're always near your enemies. If you're fed and you want to be a little bit more assasin, buy Sunfire Cape.
  • Banshee's Veil: I prefer Banshee's Veil to Spirit Visage, because you don't have so much self-healing sources (only which Iron Will gives you) and, if you're going to initiate a fight, they will probably focus you when you jump in for the insec, and Banshee's Veil passive allows you to go away of the enemy team more easily. Also, you don't need the cooldown reduction that Spirit Visage gives, because you already have 35% CDR.
  • Ravenous Hydra: That's a very offensive choice that is so recommendable if you're fed. It gives you so much attack damage, life steal, and its passive, which allows you to reset your autoattack in your all-ins, making more damage to the enemy. With that item, you can rush your team so hard, but it has problems. You're so weak if you buy it as fourth item, because you don't have armor or magic resist. It's too risky to buy this item from min 30, because your enemies will kill you fast, so you can't initiate fights jumping in.
  • Guardian Angel is an useful item if you're more offensive than deffensive (for example: you have built Ravenous Hydra and Sunfire Cape) and you need to initiate the fights. With GA you can jump in, be focused by all the enemy team, and then revive and try to escape of them. Anyway, as i have said, i don't recommend this build if you're not fed, because you will be just an instakill.

About Sightstone and Lizard

...... ......

I think that's one of the big questions that we all make ourself in every game. Should I sell Sightstone and Spirit of the Elder Lizard, or should I keep them?. Well, as Lee Sin, we won't usually reach that point of the game, cause have enough money to do that means you're at min 45-50, and that's so bad for you. But, if it were the case, my opinion is that you should keep Sightstone (and buy its evolution, Ruby Sightstone) and sell Spirit of the Elder Lizard. Selling it, you lose 10 % CDR, but in that point of the game that item is not useful anymore because it doesn't give you so much stats since it's a cheap item. You can replace it with Ravenous Hydra, Maw of Malmortius or Last Whisper if you need more damage, or with Sunfire Cape, Guardian Angel, Thornmail (very very very situational item) if you need to be more tanky.

About Trinkets


I recommend you to start with Greater Stealth Totem to be able to ward-jump in the early ganks. That is so useful since your can ward-jump next to the enemy, slow him with Cripple and then cast Sonic Wave on him, which will allow you to deal him all your damage (dealing more damage with Resonating Strike because he has lower hp) and make a very efficient early gank, which can probably finish in First Blood.
In the moment you get Sightstone you can sell Greater Stealth Totem and buy Oracle's Lens because you have wards in the item, and you will be able to do a safer jungling checking enemy wards in your buffs with the trinket or destroying enemy laners wards.

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As Lee Sin, and more in that build, we base our damage in our skills. So lets analyze them closer:

Passive: Flurry

Lee's passive, Flurry, solves his problem with the energy. After using an ability, his next two autoattacks will restore energy. We quickly waste all the energy in his combos, so we need to autoattack after each skill to restore that energy. One autoattack should be enough to restore the enough energy to keep using abilities in our combo. Remember that we are building CDR and we need to have energy always to be able to spam.
Also, Lee's passive gives attack speed in that autoattacks, so a useful tip when we're in the jungle or attacking towers is: Use ability > autoattack > autoattack > use abilty > autoattack > autoattack >use abilty.... We can use a total of six abilities in the jungle and four attacking towers (if there are not enemy minions), so we will make 14 and 8 faster autoattacks rspectively.
With our CDR build we buff that tip because we can cast more abilities so that we make more faster autoattacks.

Q: Sonic Wave / Resonating strike


This is the skill that characterize Lee Sin. It's our main gap closer, our main source of damage and a nice way to escape. Also, its a good skill for secure baron nashor and dragon .
  • Our main gap closer: Our ganks are based in this skillshot. If we hit it we're gonna make so much damage in the objective, because we'll be able to cast our other abilities. It has a huge range (a little bit more than the indicator shows us) and is the base of our mobility, the most important "stat" of Lee.
  • Our main source of damage: You must always max it. It deals so much damage, in early levels and in late late, and that's because it deals its base damage plus 8% of enemy's missing health. Therefore, it's a "tank-destroyer" ability, because we can make so much damage to a Cho'Gath or a Dr. Mundo when they have less than 50% hp. One tip for max your damage in your combos is to use Resonating Strike when u have dealt all your damage, to maximize the damage you deal with it. It works in the jungle too!
  • A nice way to escape: With Safeguard , it's our other tool to go away of the enemies. If you're getting chased (or if you're chasing someone) through the jungle, you can cast Sonic Wave into Resonating Strike in a jungle camp to jump walls. A little tip about that: always wait like 1 second after cast Sonic Wave and before cast Resonating Strike in a jungle camp to jump a wall, because your enemy could foresee your movements and flash or jump the wall before you activate Resonating Strike, so you would be safe without using it.
  • Good skill for secure Nashor or Dragon: As i have said, Resonating Strike deals attack damage plus 8% of objective's missing health. Therefore, we can Sonic Wave into Resonating Strike when baron nashor has like 1300 hp, and then smite it quickly (supposing you're level 18). You will deal a big amount of damage to him with Resonating Strike, because when it has 1300 hp, it has lost so much hp.

W: Safeguard / Iron will


Safeguard is the other pillar of our mobility. It allows us to "ward-jump". Its second activation, Iron Will gives us some extra life steal and spell vamp, which is so useful for the sustain in the jungle. At level five, Iron Will gives us 25% life steal and spell vamp. Also, the Safeguard's shield can save lifes!
  • The other pillar of our mobility: the "ward-jump" is the other most famous lee's mechanics, which allows you to pass through the walls of the map, take position to make an "insec play" or just escape or chase. That's why we buy sightstone and it becomes one of our core items. If you really wanna play Lee Sin good, you must learn that mechanic because you can make beautiful plays with the wards and turn around a situation easily!
  • Sustain in the jungle: Iron Will gives us lifesteal and spellvamp, which is so useful for the sustain in the jungle. At high levels it gives a huge amount of lifesteal and spellvamp, which allows you to not to buy lifesteal.
  • The lifeguard shield that Safeguard gives us is amazing too!. It's not the shield of a Janna or something like that, but if you're in the correct place at the correct moment, you can save someone from an ignite or a poison! You will be the hero of your teammates! Also it gives you more sustain in the jungle.

E: Tempest / Cripple


Its first activation deals area damage, and it's your source of magical damage. Its second activation is the slow, a very op slow which will make your ganks more efficient and your chases and escapes more easy.
  • The area damage: It makes you stronger in the jungle, allowing you to clear faster the camps. The jungle clear time of a jungler is a very important fact of a champion, and Lee Sin is so fast if we consider that he's a "ganker". That's possible thanks to this area damage.
  • The gods slow: The second activation of your E, Cripple, is a strong slow, which slows movement speed and attacks speed. At late game , the slow amounts to 60 %, which is so much. You can just go near to the enemy AD Carry (if he depends of Attack Speed, like Twitch or Vayne ), and make him useless!. Also, the slowdown make your ganks more effective. Your chases are shorter with it, and combinated with Randuin's Omen you're a slow machine.
  • The big heal: In late game, if wanna restore some hp, you can activate Iron Will and then cast Tempest in a camp or in a minions wave. The spellvamp will heal you so much if there are more than 4 enemies near. (This effect, of course, is increased with Spirit Visage, but as i say above, i don't recommend that item in that build).

R: Dragon's Rage

The ultimate ability of Lee Sin. It's a useful knock back that allows you make so much different kinds of plays. Let's discover them all:
  • Engage: You can make beautiful engages with Dragon's Rage doing the "insec play" combo, which can be made with flash or ward, and which is explained below. Also, you can "knock airbone" some enemies, kicking one enemy in the direction of the rest of the enemies.
  • Disengage: It has a very powerful disengage too. If you don't wanna fight your enemies at the moment they want to, you can launch them away of you and your team with a simple kick. Same if someone wants to 1 vs 1 you don't want it.
  • Protection: You can protect your weak allies in a teamfight. When the assasin or the bruiser goes straight on one of your carrys, you can clear the zone kicking them away and giving your allies a safer position.
  • Burst: The ability has so much base damage, like all Lee's skills, so it's an essential part of your combo. Remember to save it for the end of the combo, because your enemies won't expect its real damage.
  • Utility: There's a tip to improve (more) your mobility. If you're in trouble because some enemies are going to kill you , you can make a combo to escape. You have to Sonic Wave someone, use Dragon's Rage to launch him away through a wall (it's possible in the most of walls if you're near them) and then cast Resonating Strike to go to the other side of the wall. That's a good alternative if you don't have jungle camps to use Sonic Wave and escape. Video below.

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Skill Sequence

Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

Let's talk about the abilities you have to max to improve your damage and your efficiency. You must follow the sequence above, but here's the order of priority:

  1. Dragon's Rage: Not much to explain, it's your ultimate, you must always maximize it.
  2. Sonic Wave/ Resonating Strike: It's the base of your damage in the ganks and a very useful tool in the jungle. Maximize it reduces its cooldown and increases its base damage.
  3. Tempest/ Cripple: It's a source of damage too, and that's what we're looking for in Lee Sin, for more efficient ganks. We will clear faster the jungles, because we deal more damage casting it. Maximize reduces its cooldown, increases the base damage and the slow, which is important too in our ganks: we improve our CC.
  4. Safeguard/ Iron Will: I don't prioritize that ability because it doesn't deal damage, and what I look for when I'm playing Lee Sin is to destroy in my ganks. For balance that we don't have so much sustain in the jungle if we dont maximize that, we have chosen Tough Skin and Bladed Armor masteries, so we won't suffer so much in the jungle and we won't need the lifesteal and the spellvamp Iron Will give us.

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Here we're! Let's leave behind all the theory and let's see what can we do with Lee Sn in a game! I'm gonna explain some typical combos and how can you use your skills. Some of them have been explained in the other sections of the guide, but here they're explained more closer:

"Ward-jump" and general mobility

We are gonna start seeing the base of Lee's mobility. As is said in "Skills" section, Sonic Wave and Safeguard are our main mobility abilities, and we can use them to move faster through the map with the next mechanics:
  • Ward-jump: Put a ward and jump to it with Safeguard, to be able to avoid walls, escape, chase, take position for make plays... It's the base mechanic. Most of the other ones depend of this one:

    Put a Stealth Ward in the wanted position and use Safeguard on it.

  • Q to camp: Basic, but enough useful to be mentioned. It's useful to escape and chase:

    Cast Sonic Wave to a jungle camp in the other side of a wall and then cast Resonating Strike to go through the wall. Remember to wait wait like 1 second after cast Sonic Wave and before cast Resonating Strike, because your enemy could foresee your movements and flash or jump over the wall before you activate Resonating Strike, so you would be safe without using it.

  • Ward + Flash + Sonic Wave : It's kinda obvious too, but it impresses me every time I do it, because here we see the huge mobility Lee Sin has.

    Put a Stealth Ward and jump to it with Safeguard. Then Flash and cast Sonic Wave. Finish activating Resonating Strike. Of course you can use Flash and then Safeguard.

    Combos video

    "Insec" plays

    That's the most famous Lee's mechanic. Its name refers to a famous OGN player who was the first to make this mechanic in the Competitive. It's an engage mechanic, which allows us to launch the (usually) most weak enemy into our team, allowing our team to instakill him. Also, it's useful in ganks, because you can secure a gank starting with that and launching your enemy into your tower.

    Cast Sonic Wave on the target, activate Resonating Strike and fly to him. When or a little bit before you hit him, place a Stealth Ward behind him and use Safeguard to jump on it. Now you're behind your target, and you can launch him into your team or your tower with Dragon's Rage. You can flash instead of use the ward and safeguard, but it's interesting to have the flash to escape from the enemy team once you have done the Insec.

    Insec video

    Multiple kick

    You can knock into the air for a shot duration multiple enemies instead of one. It's usually difficult to do, but in some situations it can happen. The area CC it gives to you is small if you compare it with Malphite's Unstoppable Force, but is cc though:

    Cast Dragon's Rage on an enemy and launch him in the direction your enemies are. If they're in range, they kill be knocked in the air when the first target hits them.

    Tip video

    Jump to an enemy launched away.

    Useful skill that can save you from bad situations. If you don't have any jungle camp near to cast Sonic Wave on it and jump over the wall, but you have an enemy close to you, you can cast Sonic Wave on him, then launch him to the other side of the wall with Dragon's Rage and then activate Resonating Strike to jump to the place your enemy is now. It's useful too if you want to be alone with one enemy too (because you want to move him away of the teamfight and make sure he doesn't come back or something like that).

    Tip video

    1 vs 1 tip (about R)

    When you're having a 1 vs 1, you must use the damage of Dragon's Rage if you want to win it. Some players don't know when to use it, beucase in some cases you can save him from his death if you don't calculate correctly the damage. The best way to secure the kill is to have a Sonic Wave casted on your opponent, then kick him, and then jump to him with Resonating Strike. For Lee Sin pro players that's probably obvious, but it's important to know if you're a beginner!:

    Cast Sonic Wave on you opponent when has has less than 40% hp (remember that sonic wave deals plus damage based on missing health), use Dragon's Rage and then, jump to the position of your target with Resonating Strike to finish the kill.

    Tip video

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Playing with the build

We're reaching the end of the guide! In this last chapter I'm going to explain you why should you choose this build and give you some tips about how to play with it. Let's start:

Build Pros / Cons


- As Lee Sin your damage depends of your abilties. With that build you will have your abilities ready faster (when totally maximized, Sonic Wave's cooldown is 4 seconds!)
- As you have your abilities more often, you clear jungles faster, so you have more time to gank.
- You improve your CC because Cripple's cooldown is lower, so you can use it twice in some fights.
- Well balanced damage - tankiness build.

- As Lee Sin you waste so much energy, so for be able to use so much abilities you must use at least one of the autoattacks of Flurry between each ability you cast for restore some energy.
- Build's early is kinda weak because you don't have magic resist and your first three items are essentially damage.

Cooldown reduction on Lee Sin

Build cooldown reduction on Lee Sin has so much advantages over the typical build. If we compare their runes, the typical build has flat damage in marks and quints, armor seals and magic resist glyphs. You only have 2,5 attack damage less than that build because you have two attack damage quints and one cooldown reduction quint, but you have 15 % CDR since the beginning of the game. You prescind of magic resist too, but you don't need it in the jungle and you can build it in game. 12 magic resist less isn't gonna affect so much your game, you only need to be more careful in middle lane ganks (and in bottom lane ganks if they have an ap support, such as Zyra or Morgana).
Since you buy The Brutalizer you have 35% CDR (15% of runes/masteries, 10% of Spirit of the Elder Lizard and 10% of The Brutalizer)so you will have Dragon's Rage available more often. That means that you're gonna make very effective ganks, because if you use your ultimate correctly, you mostly will kill someone (or force a Flash).
Also, that CDR gives you more opportunities to cast Sonic Wave, one of your biggest sources of damage. In a long fight you will be able to cast it two or three times on various targets (if u need to) or on a unique target if he's too tanky. You literally destroy tanks with Resonating Strike.
To finish that section i will say: don't play that build if you aren't good with skillshots. You will be so frustrated because when it's totally maximized, you can cast Sonic Wave each 4 seconds!

Solo Q

I personally think that Lee Sin is the god of solo Q champions. He has a feature that only a few has: he can rush a game alone. Since you finish your buffs you can start the ganks (the famous Lee's lvl 2 gank!) and make all the lanes snowball so fast because your mobility is insane. You are in top, you kill the enemy top laner, and in one minute you're in bottom lane, and you kill them too (because you have Dragon's Rage again with that fabulous build) and you have enough time to go to enemy red and steal it. Also, you can destroy the enemy jungler early game counterjungling him and making his life a nightmare. If you reach late, no problem sir, you can engage, disengage, tank, murder fast... You have magical damage, physical damage, a shield... Definitely he's one of the most complete champions of the game, and in my opinion one of the most balanced too.

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The end!


So we finally reach the end of the guide!
I hope it has been useful for you.
If you have found some language mistakes, sorry!, I'm not english. For the people who is interested in, here is the spanish version of that guide: Spanish version
If u want to say me something, you can find me in Twitter --> @dominguezgz
Nothing else to say, good luck in the Fields of Justice!