Lee Sin: A Lengthly Criticism

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NobleAmberDragon

Senior Member

04-18-2011

Read the "changes I'd like to see" section if you don't care to read it all.

Theory and Rhetoric
Lee Sin's problem is he doesn't contribute anything. His mobility and placement is his greatest asset (two separate abilities on separate cooldowns which are used like a blink), yet his passive punishes him for being mobile. It forces him to stay still and auto-attack, which just means he will get harassed back, and harder.

Lee Sin has many similarities as the Dungeons and Dragons's Monk class. So similar, I'd say this is where Riot directly pulled their inspiration. In 3.5 edition, the Monk class had two major advantages; he had the fastest land speed of any other class, and he had a powerful move called Flurry of Blows. In one attack, Flurry of Blows would attack once or twice more in 1 turn than a normal fighter, but at a lower accuracy. It also required the Monk to make no move actions during this attack. Sounds familiar?

The Monk class was crippled because of this discrepancy; he could either chose between great mobility or dealing more damage. Damage usually won out, and the Monk would ignore his great mobility and be a stationary attack machine, and usually die because of his lower armor/survivability compared to fighters. Sounds familiar?

Lee Sin suffers from the same schizophrenia. His passive, although a nice nod to D&D, is only useful when attacking minions or towers. Against champions, his skill combos aren't near enough, especially seeing how he is labeled as an "assassin". Currently he is almost a melee-support character, with very few support abilities.

Lee Sin can be fixed in many different ways, which should be apparent with the amount of discrepancy in ideas everyone has. He could be an assassin if his abilities built off each other, and his damage output increased. He could be a melee-support if he had another buffing ability. He could be a tank if he had more CC. He could be an AD-dps if he had more survivability to make use of his Flurry, and his damage was buffed slightly. Currently, he is an underpowered Jack of all Trades, master of none.

Here are my ideas of how to fix him, more in the direction of a highly-mobile sustained-dps assassin (the exact role he was meant to play).

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Changes I'd like to see:

Passive (Flurry) - No change.
Possible suggestions for a new passive: Cassiopeia's passive for energy, a Sheen-like proc, master-yi's passive, etc.

Q1 (Sonic Wave) - Lee Sin does not stand still while throwing out the sonic blast.
Q2 (Resonating Strike) - Lee Sin stuns the target for 1 second in addition to the kick damage. The damage bonus based off their missing health scales: 7/10/13/16/20%.

W1 (Safeguard) - Shield scales with a non-AP stat.
W2 (Iron Will) - No change.

E1/E2 (Tempest/Cripple) - Switch these two effects; Tempest now slows enemies, and cripple deals damage to those that are slowed.

Ult (Dragon's Rage) - Reduce the cooldown to 60 at all levels. Or, change it to 45 seconds and have it cost some energy.

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Explanation for Changes
First off, if all of these changes were applied, Lee Sin might be overpowered (but not broken). I am suggesting a variety of changes to try to address Lee Sin's problems, seeing if any of them stick. Although the final product would be greater than the sum of its parts, each individual change would be quite valuable and address general problems found while playing Lee Sin.

Passive - Either his passive should be only balanced for farming, or it should synergize well with how most people play him. Cassiopeia's passive, which reduces casting cost of abilities the more she casts, would allow Lee Sin to actually unleash his entire fury of blows before he went OOE. Personally, I don't think the energy costs of abilities are the problem with Lee Sin; I think people get frustrated with how little Lee Sin does, so they mash abilities hoping something happens. That doesn't solve the problem.
Master Yi's passive would also synergize well: after X attacks, Lee Sin unleashes a flurry of blows, hitting a few times. This would cause Lee Sins to excel at harass, which is the one thing he can do very well (after you get the hang of it). Wait for the proc, Q-Q, hit, E, W.

Q1 - Lee Sin's greatest strength is mobility, correct? Well, when he has to stand still to throw out his Q before he can engage, it broadcasts his next move too easily. If Lee Sin didn't stop, his Q would be much more unexpected, even if it is the same order. Very few abilities (Heimer's rockets, Sona, etc.) can be cast without pausing, and none of them are skillshots. This I understand, but I think Lee Sin is the perfect candidate to get this benefit, seeing how he is truly about mobility.

Q2 - Lee Sin also lacks enough CC to really get himself going; he can get next to someone, but until he gets a frozen mallet, he really can't unleash his full combo (especially considering he takes longer to do so than any other melee dps). Giving him a long CC would make him broken without a doubt. Giving him something akin to Renekton's pocket-stun would definitely aid him without letting the enemy have a chance; good balance. The flying kick would make the most sense to add a small CC to. I also think, in order to help his damage scaling, the damage from his kick should scale into end-game. I've found that this ability does too little damage on the engage, and never nets me the final blow even if I'm chasing (even though it seems like it could finish someone outright at low health). That is why I suggest the damage increase.

W1 - People have already stated that they wish his shield was better, or scaled better into late game. I agree, but I don't think it needs to get a big buff; it simply needs to scale with something other than AP. This ability is perfectly fine because it already accomplishes something powerful/under-rated: it gives energy back, and allows Lee Sin to instantly dash out of combat.

E - Building off of what I said in Q2, Lee Sin could combo better if he could keep the attention of whoever he is ganking. After getting a 1-second stun, Lee Sin could auto-attack inbetween for some energy/dps from his passive, then slow the enemy with the first part of the E. After slowing, some more auto-attacks for energy before triggering the 2nd-half of the E for damage and some more energy-restoring auto-attacks.

Ult - His ultimate seems fine to me, but I find it is on such a long cooldown early-game. If it had a lower cooldown, people might find more uses for it. Or, they would use it more often, increasing the overall dps a Lee Sin can put out, as opposed to waiting for that perfect moment to use it. If Lee Sin was AP-oriented, his CD wouldn't be too high, since CDR is always part of an AP built. However, since he is more AD, he will mostly likely not get any CDR, preventing this ult from being completely spammable (unlike Lux's pew-pew lazer).

Personally, I think if his Q and E were changed as detailed above, Lee Sin would become a very viable character.




TLDR: Read the "Changes I would like to see" section, especially the changes to his Q and E.


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Yellow Jester

Senior Member

04-18-2011

Strong debuffs, hard to kill, ridiculous mobility. So what if your damage isn't that great?


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B33TL3

Senior Member

04-18-2011

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yellow Jester View Post
Strong debuffs, hard to kill, ridiculous mobility. So what if your damage isn't that great?
Cause then he's just a tank who can't tank.


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Covenant

Senior Member

04-18-2011

Yeah, you need to do something other than be hard to kill.

The problem with his mobility is that he can't simply bamf anywhere he wants to like some people can, and his offensive dash/teleport requires him to hit a pretty frustrating skillshot first. Someone like Xin or Jax or Kat or Akali can more or less point and click with an ability, whereas Lee has to hit with an interceptable skillshot. Firing that sucker into the back lines is clearly impossible, and firing through minions... sheesh. And since using the Q-Q combo to init will burn about half of your energy...

Lee harasses pretty decently for a melee champ, yes. But that's pretty unexciting as a job description.


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DarkKnightKD

Junior Member

04-18-2011

I agree with some of the changes that NobleAmberDragon stated, that he tries to do too much without having strong damage. I feel that he some changes would be needed in order to base what path Riot wants for this champion. So I will have base my suggestions based on the different styles that he could have.

Tanky / dps: I feel that if he is to be considered tanky dps, he should see a small increase in his base stats. Many tanky / dps characters have solid base stats, so they can often build defensive items without a loss to dps, yet since Lee Sin relies heavily on ad ratios to gain damage, he cannot do the same. While building health and grabbing atma's is often seen as the tanky / dps build, this does not help his low base damage. If he is to be built this way, I feel that an increase in base stats would help. However, based on Riot's recent reaction to Tanky / dps is any indicator, we will most likely not see this change. A suggestion I would also have for him would be to buff the base damage of his abilities, as well as let his shield build off a defense stat, perhaps a scaling from armor and/ or magic resist.

Sustained damage: I feel that this is where Lee Sin should really fall under, yet he has a hard time doing this well as other, such as Olaf. I feel that Olaf can outclass Lee Sin due to his ability to both scale damage with health, and become immune to CC. With the skill dancing that Lee SIn requires, it is very easy to interrupt him, and either attack back, or easily escape. I feel that Noble had a great idea when he suggested that his q should have a stun. While it may not need to scale with the missing health, a stun to his q would allow Lee Sin to get some guaranteed damage without being easily punished. I also feel the change to his e is also a good idea as well, as it would allow Lee Sin some time to chase, as well as further set up additional attacks.

One last thing that I would like to mention is Lee Sin's ult. While it does have some uses, it is often not used in the way in which Riot described it to be. I very rarely see a Lee Sin kick the an enemy champ into other enemy champs, but more often into his own team. I feel that it should be changed to either have more utility on a single champ without the knock up on other champs, or become something of an aoe, so as not to force the Lee Sin to rely on the enemy team lining up in a straight line. This change to an aoe would of course call for a reduce in damage, as well as probably a reduce in scaling.

Overall, I feel Lee Sin is a decent champ, but could use some buffs to make him more viable compared to other champions.


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NobleAmberDragon

Senior Member

04-18-2011

Quote:
Originally Posted by Covenant View Post
Lee harasses pretty decently for a melee champ, yes. But that's pretty unexciting as a job description.
Agreed. And even if you consider his harass game not that strong compared to many other champions, it is the thing he does best at (hit-and-runs).

Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkKnightKD View Post
One last thing that I would like to mention is Lee Sin's ult. While it does have some uses, it is often not used in the way in which Riot described it to be. I very rarely see a Lee Sin kick the an enemy champ into other enemy champs, but more often into his own team. I feel that it should be changed to either have more utility on a single champ without the knock up on other champs, or become something of an aoe, so as not to force the Lee Sin to rely on the enemy team lining up in a straight line. This change to an aoe would of course call for a reduce in damage, as well as probably a reduce in scaling.
I enjoyed reading your post, but I thought this was the most interesting part of it. You're right about how Lee Sin players rarely use their ult for damage. The most reliably part of the kick is knocking the enemy back, so players use it mostly for playing soccer with enemy champs (passing the enemy to their teammates).

If you're 1v1 or chasing, its a poor choice to Dragon's Rage your opponent. It gives them distance to run away with, especially seeing how slow/unreliable the Q-Q combo is to close the distance again. Even if you could finish them off with it, it might not be worth it; if they have a sliver of health remaining because, say, they have slightly higher armor than you anticipated, then you just gave them a free ticket of escape. A simple ignite would be worlds better

Lee Sin's ultimate encounters many of the same problems that tristana's ultimate has, except she can fire it at range and her Rocket Jump allows her to get in the perfect position/angle half the time. So, most of the time the knock-back effect is used to save a teammate; on Lee Sin this is very dangerous, since you have to get into such a close range. Even with your ability to Safeguard away, you could get instantly stunned, therefore basically feeding.

Even if you used Lee Sin's ultimate exactly how Riot anticipated it being used, to knock enemies into their teammates, this is still a poor choice. If the ultimate did exactly what it is supposed to, you just dealt a large amount of damage to their entire team and knocked them back. Goodluck having your team chase them, now that Lee Sin gave them a head start.

My point after all this? Lee Sin's ultimate is simply unreliable as a combat move.


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B33TL3

Senior Member

04-18-2011

Quote:
Originally Posted by NobleAmberDragon View Post

Even if you used Lee Sin's ultimate exactly how Riot anticipated it being used, to knock enemies into their teammates, this is still a poor choice. If the ultimate did exactly what it is supposed to, you just dealt a large amount of damage to their entire team and knocked them back. Goodluck having your team chase them, now that Lee Sin gave them a head start.

My point after all this? Lee Sin's ultimate is simply unreliable as a combat move.
You only knock back the one you kicked. The others take huge damage and get knocked up.


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NobleAmberDragon

Senior Member

04-18-2011

Quote:
Originally Posted by B33TL3 View Post
You only knock back the one you kicked. The others take huge damage and get knocked up.
Heh, I guess that's a testament to its usefulness, if I've never been in enough situations that I'm able to find out...


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ecopis

Senior Member

04-18-2011

Well, lee has a good early. I play him like a assasin/famer mid, and bruiser late.
Grpwnth pendant> doran B>Merc/swifitnes>doran blade>atmas>warmog/frozenM
If u fed hard u can try Black cleaver first, then just farm and finish enemyes until atmas+health item.
Im not pro with Lee, i just do my job well with him most of time.