Lee Sin Build Guide

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Lee Sin- Power In Patience (TT)

written by dekaye

Lee Sin Build

Table of Contents

  • Introduction

    It was very depressing to see that there are not more guides out there for my favorite champion to date. I should not have been upset though considering how often I see people play him, and do it clumsily. I don't believe that my way is the only way, but it is a consistent method.

    I mostly play in 3's, just for the sheer fact that there are less chances of rage-quits since there are 6 and not 10 people. Being a stay at home dad, I also need to be able to get my games finished as soon as possible, and most 3's are done well before a good 5. So my guide will be focused on playing Lee in the Twisted Treeline. I cannot speak to if it works just as well in 5s, so take it with a grain of salt.

  • Masteries + Runes


    Red- Greater Mark of Desolation x9 (Armor Penetration)
    Yellow- Greater Seal of Resilience x9 (Armor)
    Blue- Greater Glyph of Warding (Magic Resist)
    Quint- Greater Quintessence of Fortitude (Health)

    This is my standard build for most of my melee champions. I like to think of runes as what I need to keep me from having to get other items so I can get the ones I want. Flat runes instead of /level because in most 3's, the game can be over before you hit 18. It will also give you a nice boost at the start of match. I am a bully in 3s; I like to push and push hard, so I find I need the extra oomph in durability as I don't usually go for def items. The best defense is a good offense...right? No? Wait, what? No really, my way is better.



    There is really only one mastery option for Lee that doesn't waste too many points, and that is a 21/9/0 build. It does sadden me that energy using champions are so limited by the options they have for masteries. Mana regen is useless to us, so the utility tree is just full of dead weight. Would I love to be able to move faster, flash more often, better xp gain, or make more money, yup. But its not worth putting points into regen that will do me nothing. So we are left with a 21/9/0 option that has 2 dead points for either a summoner ability I don't use (exhaust) or for extra ability power (which I don't need), and another point in defense for another summoner ability I never use (heal) or for magic resist (nice but just not worth the point).

    I played World of Warcraft from release until this year, so stat weighting is important to me. I look at the end of a tree and say, "oh that would be great to have, but is it worth 21 points?" That is where I feel the utility tree lacks. A caster can justify 9 points in either offense or defense and come up with a decent ability (Magic penetration or speed boost after a dodge). But Utility is worth only 1 extra gold/ 10 seconds. That means I would have to play 30 minutes to get 180 gold. Not worth 9 points.

    I have seen successful 9/21/0 builds, and even a few curious 14/16/0 builds. But for my aggressive play style, I stick with the build linked above.

  • Summoner Abilities

    For me there are only 3 options for 3s: Flash, Ghost, or Exhaust. I stick with Flash and Ghost.

    I like mobility, both in the sense of the boots and the actually meaning of the word. Flash and Exhaust are essentially the same as 2 of my abilities, but Flash gives me that little bit extra surprise to help initiate. By all means choose what suits your style, and since we have the point in exhaust anyways, its only that little bit extra evil in me that makes me stick with flash to pop over a wall and surprise the enemy, or Sonic Wave to the enemy over a wall, and Flash back and tell them, "i could have killed you right there, but you weren't worth it."

    Editors Note: I do not actually say this, or condone the use of such harmful and inflaming statements. In reality I DO kill them, and THEN flash away so they can see that not only could I kill them with ease, I could have left any time that I want. :)

    So-So Masteries: Heal, Ignite, Cleanse, Rally. All of these can be used and have points shifted to boost them.

    Don't Ever Use Masteries: Clarity, Clairvoyance, Teleport, Fortify, Revive, Smite. Most of the reasons vary from being useless in a smaller map (Clair, Teleport), to being someone's job other than you (Fortify), to just downright useless (Clarity, Revive, Smite).

    Masteries need to be about helping yourself kill easier, or getting to your team. My 3 choices accomplish that just fine.

  • Abilities

    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.

    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.

  • Skilling Order

    I am a firm believe that you don't level your first point until your team has established if there will be a gank or not. Then you need to look at what summoner abilities you went with. For those that don't know what a gank is, and surprisingly those people do exist, in 3's most matches will start with everyone meeting up at the bottom lane bush in the middle to try and get a First Blood. So make sure you know what you're buying and how quick to get to it so you can get to the bush first if your team is going to gank.

    01 Gank+Exhaust = Q
    01 Gank+Flash = E
    01 No Gank = Q
    02- Q or E (whichever one you didn't get)
    03- W
    04- Q
    05- Q
    06- R

    After Level 6 you will have to evaluate how well your team is doing. I will go more into alternate skilling in the team play section but as a general rule Q>E>W>R is your priority. This promotes my aggressive style by charging in to push your opponent away from the minions your farming or chasing them down.

  • Item Build

    I've found that most people just want this section, and that most guide builders push this down as far as possible and make it as complicated as they can in order to force the reader to use the rest of their guide. Me personally, I think each section should be as user friendly as possible. So if someone thinks they know Lee well enough to just need an idea of items, why not let them? So here is my list order, and if you want the explanations you can read below:

    Quick Notes:

    Start Boots of Speed
    1st Trip Boots of Mobility
    2nd Trip Vampiric Scepter
    3rd Trip Sheen
    4th Trip Madred's Razors
    5th Trip Avarice Blade
    6th Trip Trinity Force
    7th Trip The Bloodthirster
    8th Trip [item=Madred's Bloodrazor]
    9th Trip Sword of the Divine
    10th Trip Youmuu's Ghostblade

    Obviously you can combine trips, and some of those trips might be deaths, but you at least get the idea. I have a few alternate options listed in my explanation below for those wanting the theorycraft.

    Explanation and Options:

    At start I buy Boots of Speed or Vampiric Scepter. Again it comes down to gank or no gank.
    boots for gank, and scepter for no gank. If you're feeling itchy and don't think you'll be hurting for gold, you can also go with Doran's Blade.

    I have 2 different directions with my build. Top lane and Bottom lane. I play a bit more defensively with people I don't know if I'm on bottom lane. I still usually get the same items, just in a different order and skill build.

    Top Lane (Preferred)

    Stay until you've gotten your first kill on your opponent or until you have enough to get Boots of Mobility.

    Continue to farm until you can buy Sheen outright. It will save the mockery. Unless you want to throw them off and think you're the idiot buying mana or regen for an energy user. But know this, Sheen wins games, every time. I have forced surrenders with only my boots, scepter, and sheen. Short story explained later, you will increase your dmg by 100% for one attack every 3rd attack...every...3rd...attack.

    Make a Madred's Razors and then finish making your Trinity Force. Once that is done, you have a choice, do you need the extra lifesteal and does your team need a free ward in the middle? If you are slaughtering your opponent, turn the scepter into a The Bloodthirster and the Razors into a [item=Madred's Bloodrazor]. If you're on the defensive, Make a Wriggle's Lantern instead.

    At this point you have:

    Boots of Mobility
    Trinity Force
    The Bloodthirster
    [item=Madred's Bloodrazor]

    Your last 2 items can really be anything and woven in how you see fit. I get a Sword of the Divine if tanks and especially Jax are involved. I also like Last Whisper. You can use these 2 slots if you need defensive items, because honestly, Trinity is all you need. Bloodthirster and Bloodrazor just kind of frost the cake. I really enjoy having proc items (items that I click to use), and have started toying with Youmuu's Ghostblade. I use it a lot with Divine when I play Udyr. The Black Cleaver is also a wonderful choice. If you are going to go for Ghostblade, I would recommend getting your Avarice Blade as soon as possible for the extra gold. Preferably after Sheen and Razors but before Trinity.

  • How To Be A Blind Monk

    In order to play Lee Sin well, you have to not only be a master of your items, terrain, and your team, but a master of yourself. If you ask me, the fact that he is blind is a testament to how he should be played. Anyone as fascinated with him as I am should definitely read his story. It is a story of learning how to be a master of oneself. He was impatient, impulsive, and greedy. Those traits not only cost him his advancement but the lives of many innocent people.

    As such, you have to learn how to play with patience. Focus on your abilities and watching your attacks. A blind man cannot be rushed and hurried by enemies he can't see. He can only rest in the serenity of silence and peace. This allows him to maximize his potential.

    That said, DO NOT WASTE HIS PASSIVE!!!!!!!!! Lee is not a button masher. Wasting his passive to regen energy is a quick way to run out of energy and die. You do not have enough energy to chain all 7 of your abilities. So learn to wait out your 2 hits. Played right, you will only have to return to base if you need to buy items. He can regen in the jungle or on minions, and energy comes back through proper use of his abilities or time out of battle.

    After using an ability, you gain 50% attack speed for your next 2 attacks and regen 10 energy. This is almost a full regen of the energy it cost you to cast. Add that to Sheen/Trinity's extra dmg on ability use, you can see where this is going.

    Lee played properly will consist of using an ability, waiting for the 2 hits to land, then hitting the abilities alternate use. A typical attack to push an enemy would go Sonic Wave, 2 hits, Resonating Strike to get close, 2 hits, Tempest, 2 hits, Cripple to slow, 2 hits, Safeguard, 2 hits, Iron Will for some regen, 2 hits, then repeat. Throw in Dragons Rage for fun or if they are near other champs almost dead for extra damage.

    I will also use Dragon's Rage after a Resonating Strike or Cripple if they are getting close to a tower or another champ. Just make sure that you get between them and the tower/champ so that when you kick, they are kicked AWAY. Dragon's Rage is also a low enough cooldown that if you think the champ may cause trouble, doing enough damage and kicking them away for extra dmg is usually insulting enough to say, "go away and med". This can buy you time to regen with Iron Will on minions or get some extra dmg on a tower.

  • Strategy

    The Gank:

    Make sure that your team is clear that there will be a gank, and only rush in together. I actually prefer to take the time that all 3 are together even if it means the other team is already setup in the bush. Because this means my Cripple will hit everyone. In this scenario you went with Flash, and so have Tempest/Cripple (E). Flash in and Tempest. As with any gank switch to the weakest, easiest kill. Your Tempest will light them all up so your team can target them all. 2 hits, Cripple. If coordinated cripple=dead. Make sure if your teammates have flash or exhaust they wait to use it until after you have flashed in and crippled. The goal is that you have gotten first blood in the bush, and they can use their flash/exhausts for the 2 remaining running away wondering what the heck just happened.

    Early Game:

    Your goal is top lane. This is best done if there are 2 melee and 1 caster. Most melee are limited to speed boosts to reach enemies (udyr, tryndamere, etc) so Lee is well suited for top as he can close range and flash to champs via Resonating Strike. Also add that every ability he uses can work on enemy champs, enemy minions, AND friendly minions, he has multiple movement options to stay alive alone on top.

    If you get team complaints on your taking top (usually if there is a yi, warwick, etc), I make this promise: If I have not killed my top lane champ twice by level 3, they can switch with me. Nearly every time this works.

    After taking first blood or getting an assist, get back to base to fill up before running to top and snag health pots. This also prevents secondary ganks. Sometimes if one dies, the enemy will both go up to the bush just below your top tower and to try and gank the top laner coming straight up from the bottom bush. By going back and waiting for your minions, you can deter them from trying to gank you near a tower at level 1 with minions.

    Your goal is to get level 2 and your Sonic Wave ASAP. Any time your opponent gets close to the first minion wave, pop Tempest. He knows that Cripple is coming, so will most likely back off out of range, costing him xp. If you think you can push it, fight the minions on HIS side of them, making him have to go even further back. Once you hit level 2, find your moment to strike on him fast. Ideally you want to get into the top left bush and as he gets close, Sonic Wave->Resonating Strike->Tempest->Cripple him until dead. He should still either be level 1 or just dinging level 2. If your team failed the gank, this may not work as he will already be level 2 and might be able to escape. DO NOT PUSH IT. Let him get away. Remember patience. He will at least have to back and heal buying you more time to level.

    Most of the time this will get you 2/0/0 or 1/0/1. Get safe and out of sight so you can port back (ideally that same top left bush so he is worried you are still there when he gets back) for your Boots of Mobility and then run all the way up top into the jungle and head for the dragon. DO NOT ENGAGE THE DRAGON. HE WILL EAT YOU! This is the secret for the promised 2nd kill before level 3. Your opponent is still fuzzy from the gank and the quick kill he just suffered, and is hopefully greedy to try and catch up on level and gold, so will be trying to farm minions as much as possible because he thinks that you have either went back, or mia to screw with the bottom lane. You want to be as close to the wall above the top lane by the dragon as possible. Most champs will be right in the middle of the top lane or close to that same wall because they are worried you are in the bush.

    You probably guessed it but: Sonic Wave->Resonating Strike through the wall, Cripple->Exhaust, dead and ding level 3. Your team is now LoLing and your opponent is going "WTF, NOOB!, HACK!", rage quitting, or switching with someone from bottom. Farm until you have an opponent again, but do not push the tower yet. You will most likely have someone from bottom coming up to gank or defend tower as a swap or cover until your opponent comes back. This will get you enough gold to buy your Vampiric Scepter and maybe even a piece of Sheen. Finish your Sheen and by then you will be ready for the next phase.

    Mid Game:

    This is when you start pushing towers and ganking. With your boots, flash, ghost and proper use of Resonating Strike or Safegaurd to port to enemy and friendly minions, you can be anywhere you need to be on the map. Disappear whenever you can to push towers, or gank the bottom. Always ping the champ your going to rush. If you need gold or energy or health, Lee Sin is a great jungler with leveled Safeguard/Iron Will. This phase will continue until your team has caught up to you or can pull of an ace to start pushing base towers.

    Late Game:

    By this point you should have the 4 basic items listed above, can solo dragon buff, and have figured out what final 2 items you need. Put them out of their misery.

    Bottom Lane:

    I don't often play on bottom, but if I am laning with a partner, I tend to focus more on leveling Safeguard and Tempest more than Sonic Wave. This gives me a more balanced teamplay option, focusing more on staying close to my partner instead of jumping into potential deaths. Item-wise I focus more on getting Phage before Zeal when making my Trinity. Make sure that if you are the only melee with 2 casters/ranged, you're gonna need to be the one up front. You don't need to build tank, but Safeguard and Tempest will be your best friends. But by Mid game, you will be free to run around and will be using the same idea as if you had started up top.

    EDIT (7/11/11 for v1.0.0.121) "Safeguard can now target wards again, but will now reveal wards to enemies when used in this manner." I use Sonic to escape bad engagements, mainly by targeting the dragon from the top lane to be able to jump away. Keeping a ward by the dragon can now offer a safer alternative to this in case you are low health to avoid being killed by your hit on the dragon.

Do you have your own
Build Guide?

Submitted by dekaye

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