Lee Sin Build Guide

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Lee Sin, The Blind Monkey

written by Discordera

Lee Sin Build

Table of Contents

  • Introduction (v3)

    Greetings fellow sumonners.

    Here we are, once again.
    I've had a break from playing the blind monk, part because of the new champions, part because i fell in love with older ones, and when I tried playing him again, it didn't work out that great. So what? I adapted.

    I don't feel trinity to be so important right now. Why? Because it simply is too much money. Lee is a champion with a very strong early game, but building a costly and long to build item like a Trinity Force reduces greatly that potential. So i sat, and thought, and came up with a simple solution: buying parts, and low costs items.

    Many people have complained that i do not cover jungling. I don't feel comfortable jungling with Lee, as even if he has indeed a good jungling, he's an excellent laner. Preference being to 1v1 solo lane, as Lee's efficacity is proportionnaly going down with the number of opponent involved in a fight.

    If you are interested in jungling with Lee, though, I encourage your to read Arcolyte's Aggressive Power Jungling Lee Sin's guide.

    On a side note, I've been focused far more than I used to be in the old days, and the loss of my skill in playing as the blind monk quickly made me get that I must be tankier. So here we are, v3 of the guide. Hopefully, when I'll master Lee as I used to, I'll be able to write yet another version of the guide, with more blood, guts, and roundhouse kicking.

    -Summoner Discordera.

  • Patchnotes


    25/06/11: removed the ward-W trick, as the v.120 destroyed it. I will miss you.
    09/06/11: Back from the deads, v3 of the guide.
    *quick fix* Added a " Why no Sheen? " in the item section.
    *can't remember the date* Added patchnote, repaired several errors.
    *can't remember the date* v2 of the guide.
    *can't remember the date* Modified runes section.
    *can't remember the date* Guide published.


    * Lee Sin

    Safeguard can now target wards again, but will now reveal wards to enemies when used in this manner

    Phreak yeah.

  • Abilities

    Great passive. And gives you a reason to delay your skills to maximise your damage output, changing you from a skillspammer champ, like most other characters, to a gracefull dancer bringing death with style and tempo.

    Whenever you cast a skill, your next 2 attacks have +50% attack speed and regen 10 energy.

    Sonic Wave / Resonating Strike
    This baby has so many uses... Your bread and butter. Aim it, spam it, smartcast it.
    Like Sasu pointed in the comments, hitting with Sonic wave is THAT important. Learn how to smartcast, and practice. ( shift + A by default )

    Launch a skillshot that reveals the first ennemy it hits. Yes. It DOES reveal stealth chars. This + Tempest make you the living hell of Akalis. Twitchs and Eves will not like you either.

    If Sonic wave hits a ennemy, you can then jump on him, dealing damages + 10% of the ennemy missing health.

    Read again; 10. percent. of the ennemy. missing health. Yeah, early game, or on a full life ennemy, that won't make such a difference. Later on, though... Most people won't understand why you hit them THAT hard. And it catch most opponents off guard.

    Safeguard / Iron Will
    Safeguard can save the lives of allies, and yours. You dash to an ally, and shield him, plus yourself. You can cast it on you if no allie is around, or for not breaking your skill dance. Spam it. SPAM. IT. You have energy. Not mana. Spam. It.

    After launching Safeguard, you can launch Iron Will, wich buffs your lifesteal, vampiric spell, and armor. Great selfbuff overall for survivability and 1v1 possibilities. You got your ass handed over to you but you didn't die? Just wack a couple minions.

    Tempest / Cripple
    Tempest inflicts damages in a short zone around you. Every ennemy it hits is revealed for a short duration. Remember what I said about Akalis? Yeah. Pretty much. After hitting something with Tempest, you can launch

    Cripple, hits every ennemies damaged by Tempest. It doesn't do any damages, but reduce their attack speed and movement speed for 4 seconds. The ennemy recovers over the duration. Think of it as a reversed Nasus's Wither. Where Nasus suffers from Mercury Threads because it cuts off the best part of their slow, for you it just cuts the less effective part. What Else?

    Dragon's Rage
    Yeah. You're Chuck Norris's Son/Uncle/Neffew/whatever. Roundhouse kick that squishy in his team on the front line, for your team to pick him off. If you scored a strike, well, lets just say his own team will only awaken to see his corpse.

    The damages are good, and so are the ratio: 2 of your bonus AD.

    Learn to aim with that, as a wrong move can give the advantage to the ennemy team. Depending weither you come from behind or up front, kick either the high priority targets ( Dat Ashe ) through their team to your, or eject out of the team fight the low priority targets ( Mundo get kicked this way! ).

  • Quick Look Up

    Start Items:

    Core Item:

    , ,

    Extended Core:

    , , ,

    The "If you are getting your ass kicked" Core:

    , , , ,

    DPS items:
    , , , ,

    Survivability items:
    [item_icon=Force of Nature], , , ,

    Situationnal early game items:
    , ,

    Situationnal late game items:
    , [item_icon=Madred's Bloodrazor], , ,

    Summoner spells:




    9x Greater Mark of Desolation
    9x Greater Seal of Evasion
    9x Greater Glyph of Warding
    3x Greater Quintessence of Desolation

  • Pros/Cons

    -Great synergy between the spells;
    -Awesome chasing/escaping capabilities;
    -Para-Stealth abilities;
    -Spammable shield;
    -High ratios;
    -Can be the difference between a win and a loss in teamfights with a well placed ultimate;
    -Passive stops you from needing attack speed.

    -Squishy early on;
    -Scales exclusively off bonus AD;
    - Sonic Wave / Resonating Strike require skill to land;
    - Safeguard / Iron Will is a shield right, but it's terribly weak in its early stages. Don't go way over your head;
    - Dragon's Rage is hard to use effectively -- ennemies won't all be in a straight line most of the time;
    -Can take some time to master the skill dancing;
    -You will often facepalm as you see you had a perfect escape route, but didn't think of using it. See in unique skills section.

  • Summoner's Spells

    My personnal choice:

    It's a pretty usefull combo, that can fit on every chars. They both can be used both offensively and defensively, and shut down a carry in a team fight with Exhaust is just priceless.

    The main reason i took flash over ghost is this: flash over a creep wave/tank/ennemy team. Dragon Rage. ???. Profit.

    Other possible choices:

    Ignite: Smells like BBQ.

    Clairvoyance: Wins the Cesar of the best summoner spell. Period. Your Sonic Wave / Resonating Strike blind will be no more!

    Ghost: I used to say Ghost > Flash, because you already have 2 innate gap closers buuuuut.... Flash is still more reliable than the tricks you can pull off. And it doesn't require aiming or a friendly unit nearby. With the reasons above, I swapped Ghost for Flash.

    Smite: For obvious reasons if you're jungling. If not, don't take it.

  • Skill order

    Pump the Q. This is your chasing/main damage dealing ability, and you need to spam it. I know you're going to say " Why don't you take Tempest/Cripple??? It's really good and it slows! " Yeah, no. Compare Q and E like Malzahar's; E is sure damage, but if you pull off Q, it's far more damaging than E.

    Same logic. You are going to have a MUCH easier time maxing both of your dashes before even putting one point in E. If there's a stealth char in front of you of course... But otherwise you should not take it. Hell, you have Resonating strike, Exhaust, Flash, AND boots as first item. And you still can't chase? Having E is great when teamfights start, as you can slow attack speed of an entire team, but until then it's not much use.

    Why not even taking one point in it? You NEED Safeguard/Ironwill. It will save your ass. It will save you allie's. It will allow you to have a great regeneration from the lifesteal. It gives you the tankiness you need in fights. It makes everything you make better. Period.

  • Runes and Masteries



    Greater Mark of Desolation: The all around choice for physical DPS. Makes you hit harder, laugh at tanks, eat squishies up. You already have great base damages, and armor pen will maximize it.

    Other choices:

    Greater Mark of Strength: Since Lee has such delicious ratios, it may be worth a shot.


    Greater Seal of Evasion: You already got plenty of armor with Safeguard / Iron Will. And evasion is great on every champions.

    Other choices:

    Greater Seal of Resilience: For jungling.

    Greater Seal of Vitality: If you feel you need moar hp. Give you some OOMPH with Atma.


    Greater Glyph of Warding: MY ONE WEAKNESS. Well, let's correct that, shall we?

    Other choices:

    I don't see much else which could take the place of the glyphs of warding... Maybe flat magic resist instead of per level ones, but magic resist remains the best glyphs for Lee.


    Greater Quintessence of Desolation: You know them, you love them, and combined with the runes and masteries, it gives you a whooping 31 armor pen. Most people will take full damages at low levels.

    Other choices:

    Greater Quintessence of Strength: As for the marks.



    Big changes here too. I rolled 1/21/8, but let's look at the facts this way; if you are unkillable, but can't do any damages, you won't be of any use to your team. If you can take at least an ennemy with you, and secure the victory on a teamfight, your sacrifice was not in vain.

    Of course, if you jungle, swap [mastery=Cripple] for [mastery=Plentiful Bounty], and the 9 points in defense to utility.

  • Items

    Before I start, I'd like to have a few words about Sheen/Trinity force...

    I used to think of this item to be core, but Trinity is too much money for what good it gives. You don't have the killing abilities of an Irelia, for instance, who isn't really item dependants early on. Lee, on the other hand, is.

    So I now have a far less costly core, and far more effective. Let's bring some numbers:

    Early on, you have around 75-85 base damage. You'll do that as bonus damages with Sheen, every 2 seconds, after you cast a spell. But that's it. The mana is useless, and the 25 ap only give you 21 more hp on your shield. That's 75-85 damages every 2 seconds. On only one hit.

    Let's take the new core item, The Brutalizer. For just 77 more gold, it gives you 25 damages. That's, in the 2s cooldown of Sheen, 50 damages. Far less, I agree. But, it's also +25 damages on every one of your skills. And +50 on you ulti. It gives armor pen, making those damages worth much more. And it gives you cdr, allowing you to use these damages on your abilities more often.

    So, for 77 more gold, you get SO much more. Worth it? You decide.

    " But hey, why not get Sheen AFTER the Brutalizer? "

    Because then, you will need to start building survivability. Your opponents are going to pack damages, and you will need to keep up with them if you don't want being 2 shoted. How is Sheen helping you to survive? Yeah, I thought so.


    Alright, let's get to the main dish. Items are a big chunk to chew, so I hope you brought salt and have an empty tummy.

    Start the game with Boots of Speed and 3x Health Potion. Lee's main problem is mobility. Picking boots first solves this issue. You can go ahead and try, but taking boots REALLY helps, i've not found a single item that helps more than boots. Well, maybe a Doran Shield if you have to play under your tower. But still, take boots.

    First trip back:

    Grab a The Brutalizer. This item is sexy. Not only is its cost shmexy and l33t, it gives you a +25 damages to your harrasment, a +50 damages for a full Sonic Wave / Resonating Strike, +50 on your ulti, and gives you armor pen to support it. Let's not forget CDR. I think this is Lee's best first item.

    Second trip back:

    Buy a Giant's Belt. And here you go. You can now slaughter pretty much everyone in the early-mid game. You really don't need much more than this. Damages, armor pen, life, dodge and armor ( Iron Will ), magic resist ( Glyphs ). This concludes your core item.

    I know, light? Right. But you REALLY don't need much more. So, what happens next?

    Weither or not the game is going well, finish building your Warmog's Armor, THEN your boots. You need to farm Warmog once it is complete, and the sooner the better. Finish your boots if you have got mobility issues, but finishing Warmog ASAP really is the big issue.


    What boots to chose?

    Most of the games, i take a pair of Mercury's Treads. Gives your magic resist and tenacity, both things which you need. Other good choices would include:

    Boots of Swiftness: If you feel you're too slow, or need to chase fast champs.

    Ninja Tabi: In case of Yinvasion. Or Trynvasion. Or... Ok, you get the picture.

    Boots of Mobility: Strangely enough, these work great on Lee. You need mobility, as said earlier, to be able to place Dragon's Rage. These boots are perfect for that, plus being able to move through the map freely.
    On a side not, jumping over a wall will most likely give you enough time to allow your boots to charge up again if you got ganked.


    Once you finished Warmog, you are pretty unkillable for the early and mid parts of the game. The next items depends directly on what you are up against.

    If the ennemy is rolling on you, you're best to start with defensive items. If it's the oposite, keep the pressure up by building offense.

    In both cases, the next item I would grab ASAP is Atma's Impaler. The reasons are pretty obvious. Both offense AND defense on a single item? Yes please. Considering you already have a Warmog ( you DO have a Warmog, right? ), your DPS will make an impressive jump straight to around 200.


    But sometimes, there are cases in which no matter what you do, you WILL have your ass kicked. In those games, it's best to brace yourself and endure. After grabing your Giant's Belt, finish your boots right away, and grab in order of priority, a Chain Vest and a Negatron Cloak. Once you acquired both, start building them into bigger items.

    When you are being denied the right to farm or feed yourself because you get no kill or no assist, it's useless to try to finish big items. Every gold coin counts. Make your purchases worth it. Getting small parts and then upgrading them will help you better than taking big costly items that will upgrade one of your stat, while leaving the other vulnerables. By buying small items, you give yourself tankiness in both armor, magic resist, and health, while leaving a very few windows of opportunity when you are vulnerable.


    Way of the skull breaking monk; Offensive items:

    The Bloodthirster: if you can farm it and keep it farmed, it's the best item in terms of pure damages. And luckily, pure damages is what Lee's spells profit most from. Gives you, once full, +100 to every of your skills, and a whooping +200 to your ult.

    Youmuu's Ghostblade: evolving your The Brutalizer can be a very good idea, given it doesn't cost much, and gives you lots. Critical strikes, more damages, more armor pen, more CDR, and a mini Yi ultimate every 60s.

    Infinity Edge: Atma already gives you 18% critical. That makes 20 with the masteries. Grabing an Infinity Edge will make your critical rate nearly 50%, and make them hit harder, while giving a more than decent amount of damages.

    The Black Cleaver: if you need more armor pen, but not enough that you will take a Last Whisper. Will also give you a nice amount of damages, and a litle attack speed.

    Last Whisper: if you need so much armor pen that you take a Last whisper, sell your Brutalizer. The formula for armor penetration is as follow: effective armor = 40% of ( ennemy armor - flat armor pen ). So as you can guess, taking both negates both.


    Way of the iron willed body monk; defensive items:

    [item=Force of Nature]: the best magic resist item in terms of flat amount, it will also benefit to Lee more than Banshee's Veil, because of the passive of course, but especially because of the bonus movement speed.
    Mobility is key, even in defense.

    Randuin's Omen: health, armor, health regen, cdr. And the active is icing on the cake. Best armor item on Lee, because it's active and Tempest / Cripple have a fantastic synergy.

    Guardian Angel: Great item overall. Gives you good armor and fair magic resist, and the passive will make the ennemy team think twice before focusing you. If they do, you'll just revive. And while they do, you team will kill them.

    Banshee's Veil: considered to be the best magic resist item, due mainly to it's capacity of negating one negative spell used in your general direction.

    Sunfire Cape: as Atma does, this item give you both offense and defense, not only because of the passive, but because the health will give you damages thanks to Atma's.


    Situationals early game items:

    Hexdrinker: Great item, too often ignored. It grants you some damages while giving you the mean to resist execute abilities. Wave goodbye to Requiem, [spell=Expunge], Demacian Justice, and hello to the fact that you're now able, for a few seconds, able to 1v1 that Annie or Morgana or Veigar.

    Wriggle's Lantern: Another great early game item, that i often consider to be the armor equivalent to Hexdrinker. Gives you more damages AND armor to help you fighting back against other physical dps. Plus the lifesteal.

    Sword of the Occult: Weeeell... Most games, you won't be able to stack it. But if, let's say, you start up having 5+ kills early game, it might be interesting to invest some coins in this lil' beauty...


    Situationals late game items:

    Frozen Mallet: A tad too expensive to be cost-effective, but if you're on a game where you need both a chunk of hp and a mean to catch up with cowards, but you can't get your hand on the red buff, this may just be your solution. I wouldn't advice it on most games though. In the middle of a team fight, Warmog helps you far better.

    [item=Madred's Bloodrazor]: When mass HP are being built, this is the anwser to your problems. Stacking Rod of Ages? Madred. Stacking Warmog? Madred. Stacking armor? Madred. It also has an INCREDIBLE synergy with your passive, making you deal a double madred charged attack with +50% attack speed at each cast when -so let's say always- you're fighting someone.

    Executioner's Calling: So I herd u liek healingz? Too bad. This will shut down chars like Irelia, Xin Zhao, Warwicks, who too often rely on their ability to heal themselves to 1v1 anyone and everyone under their tower. Make them think twice. Plus, its shot cooldown allows you to have it. AT. EVERY. FIGHT. Will also help on support heavy teams.

    Quicksilver Sash: Another great and underused item. Gives you a fair amount of magic resist, but most importantly gives you a cleanse spell able to cancel EVERY debuffs. Wave goodbye to that last Zilean's bomb, to Malz, Kenen, Warwick, and Morde ults.

    Thornmail: Sometime, a master Yi, an Ashe, a Tryndamere, a Caitlyn, a Nocturne... Sometime, these guys will feed themselve like there's no tomorrow. Thornmail is your only hope against them, as you watch them slowly but surely sucide themselves on you.

  • Laning phase

    Laning is comfortable with Lee, as soon as you have a mate that is ready to follow you in the depths of madness and tower diving, and get out of here alive with one or two kills.
    I don't say you can do it, but yes. Be agressive. Be REALLY agressive. Lee Sin is a heavy harasser with his Q, because it has great base damages, and because being hit by hit can mean you're going to die. This will make your ennemies shit in their pants. And this fear is your best weapon. Zoning your ennemies and never missing your Q will keep them at bay while you and your mate wait patiently for the last hits.
    When you have safeguard, it becomes ridiculous. Sonic wave someone. Fly kick in their face. Go back to safety by dashing on an friendly minion or champion. Rince and repeat.

    Depending on your mate, you can either wait some levels before going for a kill, or go for it right from the start. Be it heavy damages or heavy control, this is always going to be a sweet party. Just remember to time your skills in order to maximise Flurry.
    Special thanks to Alistars and Tristanas all over the League. Two bumps in a row? Phreak yeah, your towers never had such a big range before!

  • Working in the team

    In the Early-Mid game, your job is simple: Push your own turret, or go lend a hand to your teammates. Lee is a great ganker, due to his Sonic Wave / Resonating Strike combo. Don't forget to use Safeguard / Iron Will while pushing turrets, on yourself or the siege minion, in order to proc your passive.

    When teamfights lash out, it's time to go after the squishies. Either run past them, or come from behind, Dragon's Rage on the one away from the others, and STRIKE! you bumped all of their team, probably killed the squishy you roundhouse kicked, and the rest of the team is probably between you and your teammates, making it a though situation for them in a 4v5 condition.

    /!\ Learn who to kick! If you come from up front, kick a low priority target, like the tank, behind his team, and preferably make him fly THROUGH his team. If you come from behind, kick the high priority target in your team, while disabling the ennemy team with him.

    Other than that, follow the focus, and always be ready, if there is a Kat/Fiddle/Nunu than no one can stun, to keep Dragon's Rage for them.
    Spam Safeguard / Iron Will, no, really. Either do it on the tank, or the teammate getting focused. It's not much, but it might just be enough to prevent him from dying. Spam it.

    Oh, and Tempest / Cripple that Akali already! ... And that Olaf/Yi/Tryndamere/other carry. Remember? It reduces attack speed as well. So make sure to hit as many people as you can with it. If you have a Randuin's Omen on top of that, don't forget it has an active.


    When running away with a teammate, always try to save him. You are tanky. He probably is not. And you have means to escape. Flash, your Q, your W... If you have no other alternative, roundhouse kick the first ennemy to reach you in his team. Dragon's Rage is on a low enough cooldown that you may use it to save your ass. If it save one or more ally, consider it not as a waste but as well used ulti.

  • Unique skills

    The way Lee Sin's can save your ass or get you improbable kills is GREAT. Let us see them one by one:

    - Sonic Wave / Resonating Strike: Sonic Wave is skillshot. I already told you that it has a great synergy with Clairvoyance. But if you are confident, don't let anything ( except 1 control heavy char ) stop you from blind hitting.If you're lucky enough to hit, even just a minion, and you KNOW the ennemy is here, low on life, go. for. it. Resonating Strike to the target. Either use Safeguard or Tempest if the ennemy is near or away from you. Cripple them. Use your Iron Will, and ignore that punny tower as your regen on your prey. Then when you heard the sweet announcement of your victory, GET THE HELL OUT OF HERE.

    Now for a more defensive way of using this skill. Some poppy players did the trick to you right? Using Clairvoyance on a jungle camp, and then using Heroic Charge to get over the wall. Yeah. You raged pretty hard at that blue midget shinenigan. Well guess what? You can do the same. Without Clairvoyance. Just hit the Golem/Wraith/Wolf/Blu buff/Red Buff through the wall, and jump to it. Good times.

    - Safeguard / Iron Will: First off, you KNOW this. It's pretty obvious isn't it? Safeguard through a wall to an ally. Yep. Not much to say about it.

    Thanks to the v;121 patch, you can once again Safeguard to wards, HUZZAH!
    Be sure to always have a couple wards on you, and if you need an escape route, place it over a wall, and then safeguard to it behind the wall. Makes ennemies rage hard. Be wary though, that it will reveal the ward if you use it on a lane.

    - Tempest / Cripple: Do I have to repeat myself? Tempest that Twilight Shroud already.
    Man I'm really getting senile there. Damn them japanese ninja girl things.
    Also a great escaping/chasing tool. Cripple has a damn good slow, which might, depending on the situation, save your life or grant you a kill. May I remind you it reduces attack speed as well? That and Safeguard/Iron will makes you one of the best 1v1 against physical dps.

    You can't use it to reveal wards, sadly, but you'll reveal Teemo's shrooms, and break them as their owner shread into tears.

    - Dragon's Rage: Just send them flying over a wall. Yeah. Offensive escape. Pretty much.

    This spell is the worst and the best of your arsenal actually.

    The worst, because it is a ***** to use. You'll often end up sending your ennemy flying in the opposite way you aimed for him to go, or misjudge your damages and rage at the ennemy running away with 10 hp.

    The best, because it can earn you a teamfight is you strike'd, and it allows you to mess soooo much with the ennemies's plans...


    Lee Sin combos:

    As in Street Fighter, the right combination of the right techniques at the right time might get you ridiculous damages. Lee Sin has quite a few of them;

    Sonic Wave > 2 hits > Dragon's Rage > Resonating Strike.

    You will first burst your ennemy, then kick him away from you, dealing heavy damages and faking him into a false sensation of security as he moves away from you, only to be brought back to reality by a cold kick to the head. Remember, resonating strike deals 10% of the ennemy missing health as bonus damages. Using Dragon's Rage will maximize that effect. This is the most basic, and yet the most powerfull combo of Lee.

    Against Akali/Shaco/Kassadin/Ezreal/insert blinking champion here:

    Not really a combo, but a use some people tend to forgot ( including myself ). Resonating strike MAKE YOU JUMP to the target, effectively negating their blink.

    Special mention for Shacos:

    Tempest them as soon as you high kick to them, or they will just turn invisible again.

  • Final words

    Here, finished.
    Thanks to everyone who took the time to read this, rate it, and comment it.
    Lee Sin is a very fun champion to play, and there is so much tricks you can do to escape or kill someone in improbable ways, he's a real trickster monkey. Sometime though, you'll get over your head and get killed... Shit happens.

    If you have any comment or criticism to do, please go ahead, i'm always open to suggestions.

    This was my first guide for League of Legend, about a blind monk whose eyes are way more open than most peoples's.
    -Summoner Discordera, out.

    Special thanks to:

    -Aerosfive2, for being the person to make me use Atma on Lee. He is, in my opinion, one of the person who best understands Lee Sin's mechanics and tricks. Sadely, I won't be able to do battle against him, as he's on NA, and me on EU. sadface :(
    -My mates, whom have been afflicted by my starts with Lee, and the lost game which followed;
    -My ennemies, either the worst or the best, who sharpens my skills at every games;
    -Every person enabling me to make this guide better;
    -All the haters out there.

    Thanks to ya'll.

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