Lee Sin Build Guide

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Lee Sin, The Blind Assassin

written by CCBeara

Lee Sin Build

Table of Contents

  • Introduction

    External Image

    Hello, I am RoopdeeRoo and I'm here to present my way of playing Lee Sin, The Blind Monk. I like Lee Sin. I like him a lot. In his current status, many feel he is UP or just a plain trash champ. I'm here to argue that he isn't a bad champ, and in fact a pretty powerful champ in the right hands.

    To start off, this guide is for the Assassin way of playing Lee Sin. This is not a tanky dps guide. This is not a tank guide. This isn't even a straight up dps guide. This is a burst AD guide, similar to Pantheon; Pantheon is a much different champion though.

    Note: I do not claim this to be the best way to play him. I do not claim this is the "high-elo pro pro" way to play him. This is my way of playing him.

  • Change Log

    May 10, 2011
    -Lee Sin of v1.0.0.116

    Quoted Text:
    •Energy costs on all spells reduced to 50/30 from 60/40

    •Shield no longer restores energy when the shield is destroyed

    •Range increased to 450 from 400

    Obby. Sexy buffs.

    April 26, 2011
    -Lee Sin of v1.0.0.116
    Quoted Text:
    Fixed a bug where Resonating Strike could follow the target over indefinite distance


    April 12, 2011
    -Lee Sin of v1.0.0.115
    Quoted Text:
    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 increased to 1.0 from 0.8
    •Tempest bonus attack damage scaling increased to 1.0 from 0.6
    •Dragon's Rage bonus attack damage scaling increased to 2.0 from 1.5
    •Flurry passive energy gain increased to 15 from 10 per hit

    The two main things that you should take away from this patch are the missile usability and Safeguard buff. They both add A LOT to his mobility. After some testing, I can now say that his Q missile is pretty good now. Not faceroll easy, but it now has a higher range and is less likely to be retarded.

    April 9, 2011
    -Added Videos
    -Added Alistar to Working in the Team

    April 9, 2011
    -Posted guide!

  • Abilities

    After Lee Sin uses an ability, his next 2 basic attacks gain 50% Attack Speed and return 10 Energy each.

    This is an odd passive. At first, it sounds like a great dps passive, yet it is very hard to master. In order to really to make it effective, you have to time your abilities very well. Once you get the timing down, it becomes an incredible asset to playing effectively.

    -Mastering the timing is the most important thing about this skill. Spamming your skills will make this passive useless.

    -This has excellent synergy with Lee Sin's Safeguard / Iron Will

    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.

    This is Lee Sin's bread and butter ability. The Sonic Wave > Resonating Strike can be devastating, especially at earlier levels. However, making the most use of it can be a tricky task. For starters, the range on the initial missile is pretty short. It also has a relatively small hitbox. Trying to hit with this thing can be a pain in the tuckus. Second, the second part of the ability, Resonating Strike, can put you in some HORRIBLE situations if used poorly. For example, You Sonic Wave Cassiopeia and immediately Resonating Strike. On the way to Cass, her team pops out of the bushes. lolurded. If used effectively, this ability obliterates.

    -Again, timing in between the abilities can help you not just burn your energy right away. Use the ability, wait a bit, then use the second effect. You'll do more damage and be able to use more of your abilities.

    -Resonating Strike does damage based on 10% of the missing HP of the target. Use this to your advantage.

    -Resonating Strike's range is much larger than the Sonic Wave counterpart, remember this.

    -Note: As of patch v1.0.0.115, his Sonic Wave missile was improved a lot.

    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.

    This is a very unique ability that can be used for a multitude of things, all of which are extremely helpful. The shield is a bit meh (200 at max level. Obviously OP), it can still be a life saver to both you or a teammate. Iron Will is also incredibly handy for regaining HP. At max level, you gain a whopping 30% additional life steal. That's a lot. You can also alter your position drastically with it, whether to escape or get in better position for Sonic Wave.

    -Iron Will can keep you in the lane, team fight, or jungle for quite some time, especially with Flurry active.

    -Don't be afraid to Safeguard an ally to help prevent them from dying.

    -Use it to alter your position to flee, initiate, or just get in a better position.

    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.

    More often than not, this is more used for utility rather than damage. Tempest does magic damage. You will have 0 magic penetration. To anyone with a modicum of MR, it will be pretty ineffective. However, this does not mean this ability is useless. It can marks invisible champs, it can be an incredible farming tool (1:1 AD Ratio and AoE), and it's second effect can be one of the most handy things for chasing/escaping. Cripple is the second effect of the ability and is an incredible ability for 1v1's, escaping, and chasing.

    -Timing, timing, timing.....

    -Use the ability to farm very quickly.

    -Cripple's slow and attack speed debuff is great for chasing and escaping, abuse it.

    Dragon's Rage
    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.

    Ah. This is Lee Sin's signature move and one of the hardest to land, but one of the most devastating, ultimates in the game. With a whopping 2:1 AD ratio and an incredible knockup, landing this can be a doozy. Unfortunately, it has a pretty short range. Not REALLY short, but you can't wtfpwn from caster range.

    -This can be used both for an initiation or finishing move, depending on the situation.

    -If an enemy is channeling an ult, ULT THEM BEFORE THEY ULT YOU!

    -Be careful with this spell. Don't overestimate your damage!

  • Masteries + Runes

    For Lee Sin, I focus on pure offense, with a bit of CDR thrown in for good measure.

    External Image

    I go 21/0/9 focusing on pure damage output, nabbing improved Ghost and CDR. I don't get higher critical damage because this is not a DPS guide. This is a pure burst AD guide focusing on his abilities. CDR helps you spam all of his abilities and keep a decent sustained damage output.

    I also grab Greed. Lee Sin needs his damage fast and early to really maximize his potential. The extra money helps.

    1x Greater Quintessence of Desolation
    1x Greater Quintessence of Fortitude
    1x Greater Quintessence of Swiftness

    All of these are pretty self explanatory. You need armor penetration. For a build solely focused on burst and his physical damage abilities, you need armor penetration. You need some early HP. You are a melee champ. You need movement speed. You are an assassin.

    9x Greater Mark of Desolation

    Armor penetration is needed. It makes you incredibly deadly, especially early game.

    5x Greater Seal of Fortitude
    4x Greater Seal of Alacrity

    This is all for better survivability and a bit more dps. The attack speed runes are more for my preference. You could easily go all HP or all AS or whatever if you wanted to.

    9x Greater Glyph of Shielding

    This is just for a bit more balanced protection late game. This build doesn't get a whole lot of defense, but needs to get in there to do a lot, so every bit counts

  • Summoner Abilities

    Best Choices
    I go with Ignite and Ghost. Ignite allows for easier early game kills and also a good counter to innate healers. Ghost is for good mobility. While Lee Sin doesn't need the extra mobility, it can make ganks and other things very easy. If you prefer, Flash is also an excellent choice for easier positioning.

    Other Possible Choices
    Exhaust is also a pretty good choice, and be just as helpful as Ignite. However, I prefer the latter.

    This can be pretty helpful... at points. CC can still just wtfpwn you.

    Teleport is okay for laning and doing some ridiculous side pushing if you need to. Not my favorite spell for him though.

    Poor Choices

    Clairvoyance is an incredible spell that has so much utility and is an incredible spell.... for supports.

    It's an iffy spell in general.

    Heal... You have Safeguard / Iron Will. :|


  • Items

    I start off with one of two items.

    Either a Vampiric Scepter or a Doran's Blade.
    Both offer some decent lane sustainability, but also come with some cons.

    From there, I start my usual build of 4 other items.

    Core Build Example

    The Bloodthirster
    I rush a Bloodthirster. Why? You shouldn't be dying often, and you need a lot of AD and you need a lot of AD quick. It also has great synergy with Safeguard / Iron Will. Running low on HP? Selfcast your E and tap it again for wtfregen!

    Mercury's Treads
    These are the best boots for Lee Sin. He really needs to get in the thick of things to be effective. If he's stunned for ages, he can't do jack. Also, MR is nice.

    Trinity Force
    More burst! When you get this, or even Sheen, you will start rolling heads. With this, you get a slow, more movement speed, some attack speed, and some crazy burst. This item is excellent with the monk.

    Guardian Angel
    Lastly, I get a Guardian Angel. This gives him some incredible survivability and another life! Guardian Angel has just all around great stats to balance out Lee Sin's late game squishiness.

    If You Get Fed...
    The Bloodthirster
    Get another Bloodthirster! More flat AD makes your spells nuke for even more! If you get fed enough and no one is being a problem, just stack these.

    Situational Items
    Last Whisper
    This is usually my 5th item, but can be somewhat useless on people with low armor. Know your enemies before you get this.

    The Brutalizer
    If you really need it early on, feel free to get this. It can slow down the core build a bit, but can be relatively helpful.

    Youmuu's Ghostblade
    If you get a The Brutalizer, build this. It can also be a nice later game item for better tower pushing, better chasing, or better escaping. It also has some nice armor penetration.

    Frozen Mallet
    This is a great finishing item that gives you a bunch of nice stats and an excellent passive.

    Vs. High DPS
    Sunfire Cape
    This item can be helpful if you are just being wtfpwn'd in teamfights and want a bit more damage.

    This is only in extreme cases (e.g. Yi or Tryn fed to oblivion). It can make your life a lot easier.

    Vs. High Burst
    Quicksilver Sash
    Good stats, good active, and the best counter to Nether Grasp

    Banshee's Veil
    Look at that sexy orb of doom for any enemy burst. CAN'T GET ME NOW, CAN YOU AP JERK SION.

    Core Build Result

    [builder=Lee Sin/c3c78707024e6b1365a968c176d5102f]

  • Skilling Order

    For Lee Sin, I focus on leveling Sonic Wave / Resonating Strike and then Safeguard / Iron Will before focusing on getting his last spell. This order allows for great laning sustainability and damage.

    Alternatively, you could also focus on Tempest / Cripple second, allowing for a better slow and damage output, but less lane sustainability.

  • Pros / Cons

    +Excellent Burst
    +Decent Sustained
    +Lots of versatility
    +Great ganker
    +Can solo, jungle, and duo very effectively
    +Excellent lane sustainability
    +Underestimated in his current status

    -Hard to play/learn
    -All of his abilities can get him in horrible situations
    -His Sonic Wave / Resonating Strike has a very small hitbox and is slow
    -Pretty Squishy
    -Not the greatest escape artist

  • Working in the Team

    I prefer to lane with Lee Sin, but jungling is also a very viable route. He can take any jungle path and jungles pretty safely and fast.

    Working in the Lane
    I prefer to take the duo or solo top lane with Lee Sin. Both offer great things.

    Solo Top
    Soloing top is a bit harder than duoing, but you also get a lot easier farm. Play extremely safe and last hit as much as you can.

    If you can get a Sonic Wave / Resonating Strike in, feel free to do so. Be careful though. Be aggressive, but never be over aggressive. Last hit, farm up, get your The Bloodthirster and start dominating.

    Usually, you will lane vs. a tanky dps champ like Renekton or a ranged champion such as Ashe or Malzahar. This is why you need to play it safe. If they charge at you, you have to either fight or bail. Pick your fights wisely.

    Duo Lane Bot
    This is a much more intense lane for many reasons. You have a higher chance of getting a kill and a lot more safety with a partner. In this lane, you can be much more aggressive (but still never hyper aggressive) as you can easily nab a kill with an ally.

    Make sure you make a note of who you lane with. If you lane with a champion that is both melee and has no sort of gap closer, you could be in some serious trouble. I find the best partners to be champs like Blitzcrank/Singed for their displacement abilities or someone like Lux for great support and some nice CC. Another amazing laning partner is Alistar. He can easily babysit you and CC like a boss.


    Here's where things can get interesting.

    You should NEVER EVER EVER initiate. You are pretty darn squishy and rely on others to get CC'd first. Play like you would Evelynn vs. someone with an Oracle. Wait for initiation, rush in, and burst them down quickly and bail. Remember your role. You are an assassin.

    Your regular combo should be something like this:

    > > AA x2 > > AA x2 > >

    If you need some repositioning or need to assist an ally, do this:

    > > AA x2 > > AA x2 > > > AA x2 >

    Also remember to use Dragon's Rage on a channelling enemy or on a in the front to send him to the back and force the others to be knocked up.

  • Tips and Tricks

    Lee Sin has some pretty unique assets to him.

    Most notably, 2 out of the 4 abilities Lee Sin has marks targets, letting you see invisible targets such as Teemo's mushrooms or Evelynn.

    Note: This does not mean he can mark wards and reveal them, he can't.

    Range Tricks
    Lee Sin's initial effects on his abilities have a pretty short ranged. However, once the target is marked, you may use the second effect from a much further range.

  • Summary

    Overall, Lee Sin is a pretty good assassin with some great utility. He's a fun burst assassin that many underestimate.

    Thank you for reading my guide, and please leave a comment with feedback~

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