Hello all! This is another one of my guides for one of the more recently released champions to the League of Legends roster. Lee Sin, the Blind Monk is a physical damage melee champion. Lee Sin is capable of both laning solo or duo(with a partner) and jungling. This guide will revolve around the tactics of laning with Lee Sin as I am not too familiar or fond of Lee Sin as a jungler. In my opinion there are better junglers that can fit the role better then Lee Sin can and are much better at ganking then he is. Essentially the fact that he isn’t the best ganker makes his role as a jungler a bit more lack luster and therefore useless in that role. He can however as a jungler help your team by giving you another solo lane and the possibility to counter-jungle and give free golemn(blue) buffs to teammates. Lee Sin uses energy as his ability resource so like any other energy champion you need to play him with discretion so you don’t go OOE(out of energy). However, his passive compliments his kit nicely so you don’t have to worry about energy depletion. Now let’s show what abilities he has and his passive.
After Lee Sin uses an ability, his next 2 basic attacks gain 50% Attack Speed and return 10 Energy each.
|Sonic Wave / Resonating Strike
Sonic Wave: Lee Sin projects a discordant wave of sound to locate his enemies, dealing physical damage to the first enemy it encounters. If Sonic Wave hits, Lee Sin can cast Resonating Strike for the next 3 seconds.
Resonating Strike: Lee Sin dashes to the enemy hit by Sonic Wave, dealing physical damage plus 10% of their missing health.
|Safeguard / Iron Will
Safeguard: Lee Sin rushes towards a target ally, shielding them both from damage. If a shield is broken, half the Energy cost is returned. After using Safeguard, Lee Sin can cast Iron Will for the next 3 seconds.
Iron Will: Lee Sin’s intense training allows him to thrive in battle. For 5 seconds, Lee Sin gains Lifesteal, Spell Vamp, and Armor.
|Tempest / Cripple
Tempest: Lee Sin smashes the ground sending out a shockwave that deals magic damage and reveals enemy units hit. If Tempest hits an enemy, Lee Sin can cast cripple for the next 3 seconds.
Cripple: Lee Sin cripples nearby enemies revealed by Tempest, reducing their Movement and Attack Speed for 4 seconds. Movement and Attack Speed recover gradually over the duration.
Lee Sin performs a powerful roundhouse kick launching his target back, dealing physical damage to the target and any enemies they collide with. Enemies the target collides with are knocked into the air for a short duration. This technique was taught to him by Jesse Perring, although Lee Sin does not kick players off the map.
Lee Sin is a pretty squishy, low health champion so the armor and magic resist helps in the laning and late game phase to allow him to get closer to the enemy. This effective health helps any melee champion that needs time to DPS champions down while being in range of their damage abilities. The armor penetration is used for both early game and late game damage. This helps him deal out more damage by ignoring the armor mitigation that most champions have at that early level whether by runes or by masteries. I also go one more armor penetration quintessence over just the marks because it gives you the old armor penetration damage values before the runes were nerfed. The armor penetration not only helps your auto attacks but your abilities since they all deal physical damage. Some alternative runes one can try are physical damage quintessences or dodge or health per level seals. I prefer building for the late game and since per level runes outshine flat by level 9 I prefer the per level magic resist for glyphs over the flat. If you prefer flat magic resist you can always swap them out, but this is how I play so always rune according to your play style as well. I play a bit offensively so getting more health quintessences at the start doesn’t suit my play style but if you like to play safe health is the way to go.
Masteries are a standard offensive build of 21/0/9 for laning. Lee Sin has one ability that scales off AP so there is no point in putting any points into Archmage’s Savvy unless your grab Ignite for your summoner spell. But I grab Exhaust so I put a point in Cripple to improve it for its armor and magic resist reduction. In my build you end up grabbing Trinity Force so having Deadliness for an extra 2% chance to crit isn’t a bad idea to put your 3 points into to start. His abilities are on a fairly short cooldown so 3 points in Sorcery helps lowers the cooldowns even further along with your ultimate. Alacrity couples well with his flurry passive and more armor penetration from Sunder to give you 24 armor penetration at the start. Brutality helps by giving you a little more damage at the start and Lethality for extra damage when you crit. Havoc bring about more damage as well so all of these in the offensive tree offer something to aid in the agressive approach of laning. Utility has the standard 9 points in it except for some people preferring reduced death timer over health and mana regeneration. Haste because I usually grab ghost as my distance closing summoner ability on Lee Sin since his Q is a dash already for a distance closer. Also you need ghost to be able to continually be in melee range since his hit box is small in order to make use of his passive. Perseverance is nice to have because of the health regeneration on it just for lane sustainability. Others prefer getting Good Hands to reduce their death timers, so here it’s a matter of preference. Awareness so you can level up quickly and Utility Mastery because having increased buff durations is just nice to have if you decide in say a normal game to jungle at a later level due to your team not having a jungler.
Laning priority order:
I usually go a DPS route in laning over the support tank like role of a jungler. This allows me to deal out massive damage for those that are at low health with his Q ability and keep myself alive or others with his W. The shield absorbs like 200 damage at max rank which isn’t a lot but it helps and the spell vamp/life steal on the secondary effect coupled with the armor bonus helps a lot for sustainability.
Jungling priority order:
This skill order allows you to jungle efficiently with AOE damage and survivability with your W. The skilling up of E allows the secondary ability of E Cripple to be more effective in slowing the target as well.
For items this is the end build I usually end up with. I’m going to describe why I go for each item and other alternatives that are good to get as well and then the item order I usually go in a game.
Trinity Force is a solid all around good item for Lee Sin. The proc ability of it couples very well with Lee Sin’s abilities. You can hit one ability get your passive to use the proc up on your melee attacks and then use the secondary of each ability to activate the proc of Trinity Force for your next attack with your passive again. This build makes Lee Sin more of a machine gun proccing type of melee champion that takes advantage of the fact he has 3 abilities that have a secondary activation on them. Not to mention the 50% attack speed and energy regenration of his Flurry passive. This make Lee Sin a pretty fast melee attack hero all on his own even without the help of the attack speed on Trinity Force. The added slow helps nicely when you are waiting for your E ability to come off cool down if it still is or your energy starved for accidental ability spamming without melee attacks in between.
Force of Nature is just a nice solid item for Magic Resist, otherwise a nice substitute for this would be a Hexdrinker for more damage or a Banshee’s Veil.
Last Whisper for added armor penetration which you can never have too much of so you can deal with tanks or those pesky armor stacking bruisers.
Mercury Treads are solid all around for the Magic Resist and the Crowd Control Reduction. Lee Sin really doesn’t need Berserker’s Greaves since his passive provides him with plenty of attack speed. Only substitute I can see here would be for Ninja Tabi for some armor and some dodge chance.
Randuin’s Omen is nice to have so you gain a bit more survivability with armor and health from it. The active ability of Randuin’s Omen is nice as well to help keep runners slowed and for team fights for champions that rely on attack speed to deal damage.
Bloodthirster is a good last item to have for survivability from life steal when coupled with your W ability’s secondary effect. The extra damage from buffing up Bloodthirster from killing minions will also increase your damage, both melee and abilities. An alternative to this item would Infinity Edge for the extra critical strike damage bonus and the fact it provided a good chunk of attack damage by itself without the need to constantly kill minions to buff it up when you die.
Alternative Item Build:
This is an alternative build that doesn’t deal as much damage but focuses more on survivability and is in a sense a tank Lee Sin build. This build consists of the following items. Frozen Mallet, Mercury Treads, Atmas Impaler, Last Whisper, Warmogs or Randuin’s Omen, and Force of Nature. This focuses more on health and attack damage coming from the Atmas Impaler damage conversion from health.
I personally do not use this build because I feel it is too weak to make Lee Sin useful but it isn’t bad in games where you need that survivability like against a bruiser line up or for games where you just die way to quickly with my own build. In this build you need to have Heart of Golds in order to get the money needed for these expensive items since you will be essentially getting tank items first and will therefore be lack luster for damage until late game.
Now for item order:
I start off by buying a Doran’s Blade to start for the added damage and health since you are pretty weak on health to start off. Doran’s Shield is another alternative or Cloth Armor and 5x Health Potions.
After farming for awhile and possibly a kill, I go back and buy boots and if possible Sheen as well. Otherwise I start with boots and a piece of Last Whisper depending on how the game is going and how I am doing in the lane. Then I finish off Last Whisper to get some extra damage and so I don’t have to worry about armor as the bruisers/tanks build their armor items. I also finish off my boots and continue to build Trinity Force getting the two most expensive items out of the three which are Phage and Sheen first. Getting Zeal is only beneficial if you need the movement speed to catch up to those pesky heroes with movement speed abilities.
If the team is extremely magic heavy then I grab a Negatron Cloak for if I’m dying easily from AP burst otherwise I build a Heart of Gold as quickly as possible to add some gold generation passively and as a requisite for Randuin’s Omen later. I finish off Force of Nature and Randuin’s Omen and Trinity Force should already be complete before say the 30-40minute mark. If the game is still ongoing then I start building for more damage by grabbing a BF Sword and later turning that into Bloodthirster.
Alright so for laning, at level 1 you want to start off with your Q ability and harass as much as possible with it while getting last hits. You can do well with this harass more so in a solo lane so if you can solo top and dominate that person hard. Most people are under the impression Lee Sin does no damage, but he can take squishy people and those that just take the hit **** their pants quickly with one Q combo. Now for in a dual lane you want to be careful at level 1 with your harass because you will be taking damage not only from minions and the target you marked with your Q but their lane partner as well. So in a dual lane you have to be more careful with your level 1 harassment but with a solo lane feel free to harass unless you get someone who can hurt you badly at level 1 as well. By level 2 you will have a point in your W and you can freely harass now by using your Q ability and activating the secondary effect then dashing quickly back with your W to a nearby minion or your lane partner. This makes you a great harasser and allows you to take as minimal damage as possible. Lee Sin is more of a poke harass type champion for damage until about level 4 where when you get your first point in your slow can really start going to town and go for the killing blow.
At level 4 with your slow and shield and rank 2 of your Q ability you should be able to pick up first blood or at least a kill on someone. This however also depends on how smart of the opposing player is and if they are smart enough to stay in the lane with low health. The reason for this is because your secondary ability of your Q, Resonating Strike deals more damage the more health they are missing. Also when you go for the kill make sure while in the lane you abuse your W’s secondary ability Iron Will to try to keep your health as close to full as possible if you get harassed. Don’t go to crazy at the early levels for the killing blow if it means you have to get near the tower and have a chance to get hit by it as well. Lee Sin is still a very squishy champion even with the armor and magic resist runes.
At level 6 and beyond with your ultimate use it only for positioning or for knocking people up or in a get away attempt. Your ultimate even with the hot fix to improve the AD ratio on it, still doesn’t do that much damage to be used as a finisher. The ability that you should use as a finisher should always be your Q so try to use your Q to kill your targets unless they are extremely low and you know for sure that it will lead to a killing blow. Otherwise you will end up using your ultimate and it will instead knock the champion to safety and people will think you are a bad player. Many people with knock backs tend to do this which is a big no, no. So don’t be that bad Tristana, Alistar, Janna, or Lee Sin that knocks people away in inopportune moments leading to what should have been a kill to escape.
Late game you should be a force to be reckoned with but also a strong clean up type champion. Never go into the fray early because even with the tank like items for survivability you can die if you get focused hard and early from the AOE damage of certain champions during a team fight. Lee Sin is a great pusher as well in the lane due to his Flurry passive. This allows you to proc Trinity Force or Sheen depending on what phase of the game you are in pushing for more tower siege damage. Even without those items for the procs Lee Sin can take towers down quickly if left unchecked with minions there. So if you are at a tower be sure to spam your abilities and abuse that passive of yours.
Well that’s about all the insight I have for laning as Lee Sin. He is a difficult champion to master in some degree by making sure you abuse your passive so you don’t run out of energy to use. But he still a fun champion to play in certain team compositions and is a great underdog champion that can shine when properly utilized and taken advantage of. Comments and critiques are welcome so feel free and I hope this guide will help those new to Lee Sin out or for those still trying to find a build that works well with this champion. I’d suggest trying this build out, as I’ve had success with this build and I believe it takes advantage of Lee Sin’s abilities and kit. Try this out in a normal game or Co-Op Versus AI game first so as to get a feel for it though before doing this in a ranked game, as well as to get the hang of Lee Sin himself the his passive. Thank you for reading and hope this solves one piece of the puzzle of Lee Sin on your road to mastering him.