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Lee Sin Build Guide by jj241k12

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League of Legends Build Guide Author jj241k12

Lee sin the best deffense comes with a bit of offense

jj241k12 Last updated on September 25, 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: 21

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 9

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

Utility: 0

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I have been playing lee sin for awhile now and I have read and tried out several lee sin guides and play styles. In my opinion lee sin should be built with some form of defense that's not to say that lee sin need to be built this way it is just how i tend to build him. I tried to make a build that can be used for the jungle, but has the potential for a solo lane or even a co-op lane . However, this build is tended for the jungle or solo lane.

When building a tanky lee sin I don't tend to go for the atma's impaler and warmog's combo. I found this build effective however, I also found it somewhat boring early game because until atma's I found the damage I was doing just wasn't enough to keep me entertained.

So I strayed from the atma's + warmog combo but still felt lee sin needs that defense. Therefore I decided on building a build that maintains a strong enough defense while still allowing for damage output through out early, mid and late game.

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The runes I picked were Armor pen, flat armor , flat mag resistance with armor penetration quintessences.

Armor penetration is excellent for lee sin and helps in taking down squishy enemies.

Flat magic Resistance is more for early-mid game and I found lee sin lacks when it comes to magic resistance.

Flat armor is to buff the tankyness of lee sin a little bit more.

Although these are the runes I recommend with this build I do suggest that the magic resistance runes can be changed for glyph of shielding ( magic resistance per level). This changes from having magic resistance early-mid game to having magic resistance mid-late game.

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As I have said I build lee sin with offense in mind therefore i put 21 points in offense and 9 in defense.

plentiful bounty is great if you want this build to jungle and alacrity is also good to help in early jungling as well as late game. However, sorcery for that 3% cooldown could be switched over if you prefer to lane.

For the rest of the points I put 9 in defense, with 3 in resistance because lee sin needs a little more magic resistance than armor. I then get evasion and nimbleness, these two are very important skills and I recommend getting them because it allows for more versatility . The reason being is that if you need to you can swap mercury treads for ninja tabi. This is a situational thing but having these skills just gives you the option if needed.

If you felt that you needed to tank lee sin even more you could just max hardiness instead of getting nimbleness. However, I like the 10% increase in movement speed after a dodge .

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If you are experienced with Lee sin and know his abilities jump down to combat tips for a summary.

I thought I would discuss the skills of lee sin first because of how much difficulty I had in trying to pick just one path. I DO NOT recommend you always use this skills order in every game this skill order may not even work for you.

Lee sin has 4 main abilities and 3 of those have secondary abilities.

His first skill also known as his Q is Sonic wave/ resonating strike and this is a offensive ability that is made for ganking bush checking and damage output. I strongly recommend this for bush checking because if it does hit a enemy it reveals that enemy and gives a small sight around him also revealing enemies near him.Also this is good for revealing invisible enemies by estimating were they are and skill shooting them.Pressing Q again within 3 seconds of sonic wave activates resonating strike which launches lee sin towards the enemy dealing damage to them.

His second skill or W is Safeguard / Iron will and this is a very defensive skill giving him a shield that absorbs damage. Pressing W again within 3 seconds activates iron will giving lee sin life steal, spell vamp and armor. This skill is great to heal up when fighting in the jungle or just a lane of minions. It is also a good skill used against absorbing 1 or 2 skill shots for your team eg, Mondo's cleaver or Kennen's lighting shuriken. In early game if you are in lane with a partner that can't heal or has low health regen try and take the damage for them because lee sin can heal up while your team mates may only be able to go back to base.

His third skill is tempest / cripple. Tempest is a AOE that damages and REVEALS any nearby enemies. this is a great skill to use if you are trying to gank a shaco , evelyn or twitch. HOWEVER, always remember to wait until they stealth before using it. If you use this before they stealth it will only deal damage to them and when they stealth away they will not be revealed. pressing e again activates cripple, this is a excellent skill against enemies such as vayne, tristana or ashe who have high attack speed and damage out put. This skill not only slows the enemies movement speed but attack speed as well. It is important to remember cripple does NOT reveal.

The final skill is dragons rage a EXCELLENT skill that isn't always seen as very good for lee sin. this skill deals 200/400/600 damage + 2 damage for EVERY point u have in attack damage. for example level 18 with 200 attack damage you would do 600 damage + 400 not taking into account the enemies armor.This skill also knocks back the enemy you kick and knocks up ANYONE who is hit by the enemy.

This skill is somewhat situational however most people focus on situational knocking up a entire team is and how huge of a negative it is but in my opinion this is not the intention of the skill although if u manage to knock up a entire team good for you. The great thing about this skill is its potential for incredibly high damage. Most people forget that who ever is knocked up is not only knocked up but receives 100% of the damage of the person you kicked.

A good example I can think of is in a team vs team fight a tank will often charge in first and most people should know to never focus a tank always attack the squishy people first. however, those squishy people are behind the tank meaning if lee sin knocks the tank back and manages to hit 1 or even 2 people behind the tank. He may only do a small amount of damage to the tank because of his armor however, he will do 100% of dragon rage damage to anyone else hit by it. This skill is great for initiating or doing insane damage fast. Also its on a somewhat short cooldown of 60 seconds. So I advise that when using this skill don't hold onto it thinking u need to knock up a entire team just use it when u need to even if its for escaping.

Now I said above how much difficulty I had picking lee sin skills. When I first began playing lee sin I wasn't the best and I tried to just continuously build one set path for my skills . However, now i think lee sin has a range of option as he levels . It is all situational but these are the 4 types of skill paths I considered.

If you want to focus on damage and ganking you should tend to max Q. However, I have seen this done by maxing E although I don't consider it as effective.

Focus on tanking and support by maxing W. Keeps you alive in a solo lane or your team mate. this is generally used if you have just made a pub game and no one went tank .

Focus on jungling you can either start with W or E depending on were u start in the jungle.However, you will end up maxing Q because its needed when ganking.

I have recently been trying this and its had varying success it is not perfect . However, I have found equally leveling 2 abilities can be effective but as I said I have only just started experimenting with a hybrid skill build. I have tried Q+W and that has been great for survivability and damage. I have also tried Q+E and I have found it tends to give off good damage but I still prefer the above builds at the moment.

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Now this is generally were I always get someone who wants to complaining about how I am not building lee sin correctly because I haven't gone the warmog + atma's build. I think that build is a decent build and it is very effective I even suggest for new players to Lee sin to try it. However, I kinda found it really boring so I wanted to try something different so I experimented.

these builds are situational and you should get used to the items to know when to pick what items

Starter items :
Doran's blade
good starter
good stats early-mid game
life steal and damage lets you pack a punch early game while keeping a little survivability.
Wont build into anything
useless late game ALWAYS sell this late game

Use this for hit and run attack early on

Doran's shield
Same deal as above just its more for survivability . Good for people starting lee sin but doesn't give u the extra damage of the doran's blade.

Boots of speed + health pots or ward
Great item for starting give u some speed but it allows u to build into your planned build faster. Also those health puts give u survivability. While a ward for lee sin can be used to jump to with use W if needed or just ward.

Mid game items

Remember that my build is designed for damage while keeping up defense. what you are giving up when taking my build is the health a warmog gives you . However, what you gain is a stable amount of defense and damage through out the game.

Mercury treads or ninja tabi
Depending on the situation pick which ever.


Wriggle lantern
if you went boots first you might be able to get this earlier. For lee sin this is a beast of a item. Life steal, armor and damage. Even if you are in lane this is a great item. I focus less on full survivability and go for a bit more damage. Best thing about it only costs 1600.

This will give u that defense against a attack damage champ BUT it isn't to much defense so don't go crazy thinking your the next Malphite or Shen.


For this you can either get a hex drinker or a wits end. I always hate to choose because both are great items. I personally go with the Wits end but it is your choice.

The hex drinker

35 attack damage
30 Magic resist
unique passive: if you take magic damage that would leave you at less than 30% of your max health, you will first gain a shield absorbing 300 magic damage for 4 seconds. this is on a 45 second cooldown.

later on this passive is not that good and in addition it ONLY absorbs magic damage.

Now alot of people don't consider the wit's end for lee sin because they see the 40 attack speed and just dump it. I agree that for lee sin attack speed is not something you should focus on however, this item is just to epic that I can't pass it up.

Wits end:
40 attack speed lets face it more attacks means more damage plain and simple.
30 magic resistance (same as hex drinker)

this passive is well worth the 200 extra gold compared to the hex drinker.

unique passive: Your attacks deal 42 bonus MAGIC (not attack)damage and increases your magic resistance by 5 and this stacks up to 4 times. Let's face it lee sin hits a lot and that means you are going to have 30-50 magic resistance.

Negative: Now this item is also far from perfect and the following reasons are why I also hate the wit's end.

your attacks deal 42 bonus magic damage . This is great and all BUT you don't gain this as attack damage.I think however, this only effects dragons rage really. When you launch a Q and it hits it will deal X amount of damage and it will add the 42 magic damage on . However, when it comes to dragons fury you will kick them dealing X amount of damage and the 42 magic damage. If this was attack damage that 42 would become 84 damage when using dragons rage.

Late game items these are Situational . I am not saying to pick these 3 items in late game and run with them.

Last whisper is a great late game item for lee sin. Armour pen and attack damage are just perfect for extra damage. Good in situations were you feel you don't need any extra defense.

Trinity force is also good however, found it to be more of a mid - late game item. Don't combined this with frozen mallet for most this should be obvious but the slowing effects DO NOT stack. This item is a great all round end game item , However I only get it when I know my team is doing well . The reason for this is that Trinity force is very expensive (4070 gold) and towards end game most of your item slots will be filled so you usually will only get 2 of the 3 starter items trinity force requires. This means u will be stock piling your gold with only two low tier weapons and meanwhile everyone else has brought higher tier weapons. Another huge negative towards a late game trinity force is that it doesn't focus on one specific stat it gives you a average boost towards AP , AD, attack speed etc . However, towards the end of a game you will be wanting to know your role in team fights and know what item to get depending on that. paying 4070 gold for a small boost to a lot of stats is not as good late game as for example. A champion who buys last whisper for 2290 and gains a huge buff towards his damage and Armour penetration which he would be able to buy faster.

Frozen mallet is it gives you a slow and some more health if you need it while still keeping up with damage. This is a good item for survivability and damage while also giving you a slow if you need it.

What I want to finish with is to say that you shouldn't be buying a specific set of items every time. The main reason for this is that you will VERY rarely ever get a enemy team that is the same. Further more if you play pub games you won't get a allied team that is always suited to your play style.

During game I always think of three things when picking items and this is not just for lee sin for any champ I play.

start/ load screen: What items have both my team and the team I am versing started with and are they focusing on Ability points, Attack damage or Armour or magic resistance ( DO NOT FORGET THE TANK).

mid game: Confirm if the enemy team is using AP or AD builds . that way you can build a little defense towards who ever is bothering you the most (IF NEEDED).

Late game: know my role and know how the enemy has been focusing. This is the simplest yet sometimes hardest part for newer players. So towards the end of a fight for example in lee sin case If i notice the enemy hasn't been focusing me because I am fairly tanky, I might get a high damage item such as last whisper.

So don't be afraid to improvise what items you are going to buy , there is always a risk for any set of items.

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Lee sin role

Lee sin he able to fill a lot of roles for example tank, off tank, high damage, jungler / ganker. However, some say that he is a jack of all trades meaning that he can't compete on the same level as a champion designed for that specific role.

I have found that this is true and that is why you shouldn't be building lee sin with the intent to be the best champion at high damage or the toughest tank. Lee sin power is that he can be so adjustable and fills a lot of roles.

For example if you build a tanky lee sin straight up with armour and magic resistance.You are going to be tanky however, you will have say a taunt ability, stun or a constant AOE ability that make a great tank. You will be left with a tanky lee sin that does next to no damage . The enemy then can just ignore you because of this.

The above example is how I feel lee sin shouldn't be built. If you want to build a tanky lee sin know that you will building one that won't be as good as a champ that was designed to tank. However, because you are lee sin you have tones of advantages a regular tank wont have. For example you have a escape ability, a slow to both attack speed and movement as well as a ability that disrupts and separates the enemy team. In addition to this the best part is that you actually can do a strong amount of damage.

What I am trying to say is that Lee sin can be built to suit a lot of situations so take advantage of this and don't just focus on one role.

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combat tips

This is just a summary on skills with a few advanced tips on how to use his skills.

Sonic wave/ Resonating Strike (attack damage)
- get good with this if you can't hit with this it WILL cost you a kill .
- great for ganking
- great for catching runners
- great for bush checking
- great for jumping through walls or trees to a enemy

Safeguard / Iron Will (ability power)
- great shield ( increases with ability power)
- great heal
- great for escaping, ward jumping and jumping to safety

Tempest / Cripple (attack damage)
- great slow
- reduces attack speed
- reveals enemies
- area of effect
- great for minion farming

Dragon's Rage
- huge damage output
- effects anyone hit EQUALLY
- free to cast
- has a knock up and a knock back effect

Good combinations
Sonic wave/ Resonating Strike = Q
Safeguard / Iron Will = W
Tempest / Cripple = E
Dragon's Rage = R

A good starting combination to attack a enemy with is Q + Q then jump to a minion o friendly champ with W.If you feeling like u can dish out a bit more damage just apply the shield and iron will to your self with ALT+W and continue fighting .

A more advanced version of this is Q+Q+E and then leave with W. This just adds the tempest however, you should make sure you know you have enough every to leave otherwise you can be stuck under a tower or between two unfriendly champs.

Towards level 6 a great combo to kill or just force your opponent to return to base is. Q then walk up R then Q again to jump to him finishing with either E for more damage or W to get out of the fight if you need to.

late game you will need to think on your feet and use what ever combo needed but these are just a few.

For newer players I suggest a hit and run approach Q+Q+W to lee sin , until you feel safe that you can take the enemy down.

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What my build is intended for and its pros and cons

good damage through out early mid and late game
decent magic resistance and armor resistance.
Great life steal
free ward
can be used for both jungling and for solo lane.
All the items are fairly cheap so if your good at last hitting you will get them fast

not as much health as you would have with a warmog
A good creep score also known as last hitting minions is somewhat needed.

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I am still fairly new at lee sin so I know this build is far from perfect and that's why I would love to have community input on anything you feel is wrong with my build, or this guide in general.

This guide is not exactly anything fancy but it shows that I am trying to get Lee sin away from the warmog + atmas combo. I found this extremely boring and a bit of a waste of lee sin awesome skills early to mid game.

This is a draft guide and my first published guide on mobafire just wanted to see what people thought of my build . If people like it I will consider adding to this guide and building on it .