Lee Sin Build Guide

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Lee Sin, the Diamond Soul of Shojin

written by Ashatmos

Lee Sin Build

Table of Contents

  • Introduction


    -Sonic Wave
    •Base damage reduced to 50/80/110/140/170 from 60/90/120/150/180
    •Improved the general missile usability
    •Resonating Strike base damage reduced to 50/80/110/140/170 from 60/90/120/150/180

    •range increased by 50
    •Iron Will lifesteal and spell vamp percent reduced to 5/10/15/20/25 from 10/15/20/25/30

    Changes deployed in the April 5th hotfix
    •Sonic Wave bonus attack damage scaling increased to 1.0 from 0.8
    •Resonating Strike bonus attack damage scaling inceased to 1.0 from 0.8
    •Tempest bonus attack damage scaling inceased to 1.0 from 0.6
    •Dragon's Rage bonus attack damage scaling inceased to 2.0 from 1.5
    •Flurry passive energy gain increased to 15 from 10 per hit

    Lee Sin is a fighter champion, whose job is to jump into the fray and fight with his bare fists until his adversaries can take no more punishment. After playing him for a decent amount of matches, I have found out that going straight damage is not the best way to build him, and that with addition of damage reduction he can become much more of a threat to anyone on the opposing team. It seems almost natural for Lee Sin to be able to withstand some punishment, while pummeling Carries on the other side. This is the way of the Diamond Monk, and I have taken my time to publish this guide in hope of enlightenment of many Summoners out there who are willing to take a few suggestions in order to master this exquisite and exotic addition to the League.

    Here are my recent endeavors I had taken with him:

    External Image

    So, without further ado, I present you with the following...

  • Pros / Cons


    - Great jungler
    - Disruptor in team fights
    - Can dish out a good amount of punishment
    - Fleet on foot


    - a tad squishy early on
    - heavily dependent of his team
    - requires training to land his Q perfectly every time

  • Abilities

    Great passive, lets you chain blows at your enemies, while allowing the spam of your deadly combos without stopping to catch your breath. Give your foe no time to react, as he will sure make use of such a favor.

    Sonic Wave / Resonating Strike
    Excellent chasing ability, can work as a tool to substitute facechecking bushes, and deals a hefty amount of damage. Those who are more empty from the inside will receive the greater punishment, as the Resonating Strike will shake their foundations.

    Safeguard / Iron Will
    All about defense ability, shields ally or yourself, and strengthens your body after that for more perseverance in the heat of battle. Those who are in control over their body and mind can overcome the most difficult challenges.

    Tempest / Cripple
    You eyes basically, this ability makes you a walking Oracle! If that Twitch or Evelyn vanished in front of your nose, just quickly ghost/blink (or use Sonic Wave on that enemy in front/ safeguard on that ally in front) and smash the ground. After revealing them to your piercing mind-gaze, you may slow their movement and attack speed. Knowing where to strike makes the half of battle finished in your favor.

    Dragon's Rage
    Ultimate disruptor of all kinds of channeling spells AND packs quite a punch. With good positioning in team fights, and knowing when to strike with it, you will be deemed as a bane of your adversaries. Unleash the Dragon within, but do so with care.

  • Masteries + Runes

    I like to play Lee as a jungler, using these masteries 21/0/9

    I find Sorcery as a good way to help reduce those cooldowns a little bit, and prefer Brute Force to [mastery=Lethality].

    As for runes I use:

    9x Greater Mark of Desolation
    9x Greater Seal of Resilience
    9x Greater Glyph of Shielding OR Greater Glyph of Celerity
    3x Greater Quintessence of Fortitude

    Marks help with damage dealing, Seals keep Lee healthy in the jungle, Glyphs makes him that much more resistant to arcana (other set gives him lower cooldowns), and Quintessences raise his survivability early on by a decent amount.

  • Skilling Order

    I take Safeguard / Iron Will on level 1, because it helps jungling alot; and then prioritize Tempest / Cripple for quick farming (also makes that Shaco/Evelynn in the other team less willing to jump on you). After that I level Sonic Wave / Resonating Strike, as closing the gap is what enables Lee to assassinate, and gank. Of course, I take Dragon's Rage whenever it is available.

  • Summoner Abilities

    Summoner abilities that I use are Smite and Ghost; you could eventually substitute Ghost for Flash, enabling better positioning and execution of Dragon's Rage.

    Other options are far more inferior than these, because we are going to jungle.

    EDIT: Found out you could easily substitute Smite for any other of the following spells:


    Reason behind such a bold decision is that you could easily clear up the 1st path using only Cloth Armor and 2X Health Potion. More on this below...

  • Jungle route

    I normally start at Wolf Camp, going to Wraiths and Golems in the end. I repeat this step once more before going for Ancient Golem and Lizard Elder, for Blue and Red buff respectively. After that, go for a gank, as man is measured by his actions, not by his words.

    First route:

    External Image

    The second jungle route is starting from Wraiths -> Wolves -> Twin Golems. The only trick to it is that you may wanna ask your mid-laner to take aggro from Wraiths (it REALLY makes a difference). On your 1st return, buy Vampiric Scepter, and go Wraiths -> Wolves -> two little lizards on Lizard Elder's Camp -> Twin Golems -> Lizard Elder -> Ancient Golem. Provided you are good at using your combos, you will do good.

    Second route:

    External Image

  • Items

    There are three item builds that I have prepared: Anti-Physical, Anti-Magic and Mixed. Now these may sound as Tank builds, but in truth they are not. Your role is to jump into the fray when the Tank initiates, and shut down all those carries, be it magic or physical users, then jump out using your Safeguard / Iron Will.

    First items, in any of these three builds could be Cloth Armor and 2X Health PotionOR Vampiric Scepter. From there on your priority is to build Madred's Razors (not applicable for the Anti-Physical build), and buy Boots of Speed.

    My core build for every match looks like this:

    [builder=Lee Sin/513d95d62d39b97b51c7f85bc8ff2ec1]

    Other items viable in these builds are:

    Frozen Mallet - I like this item more and more with each match. The HP from it makes you more able to sustain heavy punishment, and the slow is simply incredible! Damage it makes is minor, but hey, there are other items that make up for this.

    [item=Madred's Bloodrazor] - This one cuts HP stackers like hot knife through butter, it also gives you Armor, and some Damage; and let's not forget that Attack Speed boost.

    Randuin's Omen - Your Bulwark against physicals, this baby lets you take more punishment, and makes chasing (and eventual retreat) more rewarding.

    Last Whisper - As its name suggests, your breath will be the last thing your enemies will feel after you finish with them. Provides Armor Penetration and Damage, both crucial for Lee Sin.

    Guardian Angel - This item will make you more confident and willing to fight all the time, while passively decreasing enemy morale (" Omg Chuck Norris has arrived -_-' " - reaction of your enemies)

    Hexdrinker - Bane of mages, lets you survive their vile arcana and boosts your damage. Hefty, huh?

    Wit's End - Also very deadly in combination with Attack Speed it provides for any mana user, but mostly to those heavy caster types. It also provides resilience to Magic Damage.

    Wriggle's Lantern - Standard jungler item, good stats, gives you a free ward every 180 seconds.

    The Black Cleaver - I find this an exquisite item for our beloved Monk; Attack Speed, Damage and Armor Reduction! Three stats ideal for bringing down any carry which opposes you up-front.



    Trinity Force - I can see this item working wonders on Lee Sin, but I purposefully neglected it since it costs HELL alot. You would have to deprave yourself of two potential items just to make this one (if you were to finish the game on time, ~ 40 min). Will try to see how it rolls with my current three builds...

    Executioner's Calling - I can see this blade as a cheap alternative to other Life Steal items, if you are going for Trinity Force that is. Critical Chance, passive DoT and active that acts like ignite may help you dealing with anyone who is hp/heal reliant. Testing in progress...

    The Bloodthirster - A great item for Lee, since it gives HUMONGOUS amount of Damage AND Life Steal once it is stacked. However, it has the tendency of having to be finished before some of the bigger clashes start, and that slows down the time for your overall build...

    Sword of the Occult - #1 snowball item for Lee Sin. Anyone who has mastered controlling him, and his playstyle, should definitely take this baby up early on (provided your team knows what they are doing); 110 damage from full stacks (10 base + 100 from 20 stacks) AND 15% more Movement Speed... This is what makes Lee Sin a potential deadly carry.

    Guinsoo's Rageblade - Extraordinary hybrid item that works wonders on our Shojin Acolyte. Attack Speed, Damage, and reward in ADDITIONAL AP when you are aggressive? That's like a GREAT boost to your shield once you decide to pull out from the fight ASAP after dishing out some damage, and it is easy to gain stacks with Lee's gameplay. Highly recommended!

  • Build Example

    -Anti-Physical Build 2.0-

    [builder=Lee Sin/bc25acf644a242636ba7f59384b5907e]

    New and improved build! Dropped Stark's and Bloodrazor, and gave him two better items - Frozen Mallet and Aegis of the Legion! Why, you may ask? Well, recently I have been leaning more towards Tanky DPS role for Lee Sin, as he just ain't cutting it as an assassin with small nerfs he received, and gameplay mechanics. Sure, he got WAY better range on his Q and W, and all scaling off items is way better now, but he simply isn't nearly like Akali for example, who can jump on anyone with her ulti without fearing a minion/enemy teammate would stand between her and her pray. His role is, imho, the role of a fighter initiator; and to fulfill this role he must be ready to take some beating, as well as dish out some. Striking at the Heart of the Tiger is the only true way of defeating the ferocious beast.

    NOTE: This build should be achieved while in lane; as you may wanna let someone more gank-reliable character to jungle (e.g. Udyr-Lee synergy is quite good, Trundle-Lee likewise etc.)

    -Anti-Mage Build 2.0-

    [builder=Lee Sin/0d4c1f0e852613c2d032e0ca5765312e]

    This item combination will most likely earn you the title of "Mage Slayer", and many Veigars and Ryzes will not be pleased with the terror you are about to unleash on their sorry hides. Alot of Magic Resistance will make them cry for their mommy, while the Damage, and most notably the Mana Burn from Wit's End, spells their certain death. Soul of a Monk is as hard as a Diamond, and countless times more pure and refined.

    EDIT: Replaced Guardian Angel with Frozen Mallet, according to the new Fighter role we are embracing.

    -Mixed Build 2.1-

    [builder=Lee Sin/1b9c872d8f9729725e6ac526a0748bb6]

    Bingo! I finally managed to hit it hard with this build: Survivability is top-notch, damage is superb, you got AoE for when you jump into the fray for mega-carnage, got slow, Life Steal... AND IT IS CHEAP! On a side note, you can swap Wriggle's Lantern for some other Life Steal one, most notably The Bloodthirster. Endure the unbearable, control the indomitable, atone for unforgivable... for to be Divine is to purify yourself from flaw, weakness, and sin.

    EDIT: replaced Tiamat with Guinsoo's Rageblade, GOD what an extraordinary item! It will surely found its way to my heart, and seems like great item on Lee Sin. Candidate for "a must" in every match...

  • Trinity force - Why am I against it?

    You see, Trinity Force is the item most of you guys have been using while playing Lee Sin (myself included, while I was playing him in baby steps when he came out}. While everyone agrees that it does him justice with the non-stop proc, we are intentionaly avoiding the fact that, other than that, he has NO USEFUL NEED of the critical chance it provides and mana. The item costs 4070 to build, which is not to be neglected at all. I have no objection on building it when the match lasts for an hour, when you have your full build and a lot of money for some extra boost in damage output, but it should be AVOIDED as a core item, let alone the first one you will build!

    No seriously, stop building Trinity Force as a first item on Sin, that is a huge and major mistake typical for someone who had no guidance on how to play him correctly. Don't make Lee immolate himself once again for feeling useless in the League just because the Summoners controlling him cannot grasp the idea on how should he be built correctly, item-wise.

    External Image

  • Working in the team

    Your role in team is pretty simple - get in, punch your way through to some poor carry/mage/anything squishy, depart him from this world, and survive to fight another day! Easier said than done, it is; but with right coordination and team positioning you may execute this combo with an elegance of mild wind:

    -When ganking, cast your Sonic Wave / Resonating Strike first, fly to your enemy, and then in quick succession use Tempest / Cripple. As much as this implies common sense, many Lee Sins I saw tend to use Tempest on their target first, saving their Q for, what many would call, a "killsteal". Remember, your main role early game is not to grab kills, but to help those side lanes/mid to grab some extra cash so they can outperform their counterparts, as well as break enemy morale.

    - Tell your Tank/Ranged champion willing to come closer to the fighting circle to come in range of your Safeguard / Iron Will for your quick escape if something goes wrong. Motivator would be him receiving the protection in form of a shield as well.

    - Try to keep dancing on your toes, and between your enemies until you see someone getting in position to cast a channeling ulti, then appear behind him and direct your Dragon's Rage towards him, breaking his channel and knocking him into his team mates.

    - If you are against stealth champions, get your Oracle guy (Janna/Zilean/Taric most notably) to cover one half of team fight through constant patrol. This will make your work 50% easier, since you can react fast if you spot invisible champ, revealing him with Tempest / Cripple, slowing him and sealing his fate.

  • Summary

    I hope you learned something new today about Lee Sin. Patience and diligence are two underestimated virtues among Summoners, but with Lee Sin at their command, they will learn to harness their potential to a full extent. Rate, comment and pass on suggestions to further improve this guide; it is up to you if it will flourish like Sakura blossoms of Tranquil Ionian Gardens, or wither like acid-scorched vegetation on the outskirts of Zaun...

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Submitted by Ashatmos

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