I've been playing Lee Sin ever since he came out and I absolutely love the champion's mechanics. Unfortunately, he was, well, bad during his release. But that's quickly changing! The last hotfix made his damage more viable and we'll soon see what the Q fixes will bring.
I am delighted to say that Lee Sin is actually quite viable now. I highly recommend trying out this fun monk champion. He has a high skill curve, but with enough practice you'll amaze everyone with how powerful he can actually be. Here's the games I played with him today just as an example.
* Sonic Wave
o Base damage reduced to 50/80/110/140/170 from 60/90/120/150/180
o Improved the general missile usability
* Resonating Strike base damage reducedto 50/80/110/140/170 from 60/90/120/150/180
* Safeguard 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
o Sonic Wave bonus attack damage scaling increased to 1.0 from 0.8
o Resonating Strike bonus attack damage scaling inceased to 1.0 from 0.8
o Tempest bonus attack damage scaling inceased to 1.0 from 0.6
o Dragon's Rage bonus attack damage scaling inceased to 2.0 from 1.5
o Flurry passive energy gain increased to 15 from 10 per hit
A nerf to his early game harass and jungling efficiency. Annoying, but not crippling. HOORAY FOR DASH BUFFS!
* Combine cost increased to 150 from 75
* Life Steal increased to 18% from 14%
* Changed proc to magic damage from physical damage
* Attack damage reduced to 45 from 50
* Gold Cost decreased by 200
Cloak Of Agility gold cost decreased by 50
* Attack Damage increased to 80 from 75
* Critical Strike increased to 25% from 20%
Big nerf to Wriggle's Lantern. Though it sucks for us, the nerf was long overdue and you should still buy this awesome item. On the other hand, big overall buff to Infinity Edge, it's much cheaper to make and even got buffed in stats.
Lee Sin's description labels him as "Assassin" and "Melee." Half of that is true. While Lee Sin is as squishy as an assassin, he isn't designed to fulfill that role. The base damage on his "burst" is far too low and while he's very mobile, he can't enter combat to deal significant damage and then just leave without getting torn apart.
Lee Sin is actually a Fighter. He's a melee character that needs to stay in the middle of a fight in order to be most effective. Because of the obvious dangers of sitting around in range of all of your opponents, a good Lee Sin player must carefully balance damage with survivability in order to be effective. Now, don't freak out on me here, "OMG BUT I WANT DAMAGE FUUUUU!!!" You absolutely can do great damage with him. But, as every melee champion has to acknowledge, is that you need survivability if you want to accomplish anything in a fight. It doesn't matter if you can do +9000 damage if you die before you can do anything.
Finally, Lee Sin is an excellent jungler and I'd highly recommend him for this role. He clears fast, clears safe, and has the BEST ganking potential as early as level 3 with two dashes and a slow. That's not to say Lee Sin can't or shouldn't lane. He lanes just fine and is very sustainable if played correctly. I just think he's a better jungler than a laner.
When gearing Lee Sin, remember a couple things:
1) Gets +50% attack speed from his Passive
2) Easily reaches targets with two dashes
3) Scales tremendously well with bonus AD: +100% with his Q and E, +200% with R
4) Even with Cripple, sometimes has trouble keeping people in range to make best use of his passive
5) He's really squishy and because he's melee, he's an easy target.
So basically when building him, you want 1) Survivability 2) A reliable slow 3) Bonus AD.
When Should You Pick Lee Sin?
Since Lee Sin is a melee physical DPS/support jungling champ, obviously it's best to pick him when your group makeup is lacking those attributes. But when should you pick him over other champions that fulfill the same role as him, like the almighty Olaf? Here are a few reasons:
1) When your team relies on blue buff.
Lee Sin doesn't need the blue buff to effectively jungle. While I highly recommend taking it for the first jungle clear as it will speed you up to gank mode, afterwards you can hand that buff over to someone who can make the most use of it. Great blue buff candidates are champions like Anivia, Kassadin, and Amumu.
2) When the opponents pick Akali.
Lee Sin counters all stealthers to an extent, but none so reliably as Akali. Her stealth is centered in a small bubble. Your Tempest reveals all stealth in an AOE. Simply waltz into her bubble, pop Tempest, and pick up your free kill. It's that easy! This saves you the 400g you'd need for an Oracle's Elixir.
If you got more reasons, please post them and I'll add it here.
(Passive) Flurry: After Lee Sin uses an ability, his next 2 basic attacks gain 50% attack speed and return 15 energy each.
This is the key source of Lee Sin's DPS and it's vital to keep this up constantly for maximum farming efficiency. With a whopping 7 abilities, this shouldn't be a problem. While it's more difficult to make the most out of Flurry during battles, it's very important to make a conscious effort to use Flurry as much as possible when you have the opportunity to as not only will it add greatly to your DPS in fights but will give you the Energy you need to keep going.
(Q) 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.
Cost: 60 energy. *Range: Cooldown: 10 / 9 / 8 / 7 / 6 seconds Physical Damage: 60 / 90 / 120 / 150 / 180 (+1.0 per bonus attack damage)
It's a skillshot that reveals stealth or people in the bushes. Mastering this skillshot is crucial to becoming a good Lee Sin because it's your main way of closing the gap with Resonating Strike. The projectile speed is a little slow so you will need to lead some shots when chasing. Scales very well with AP.
*Anyone know the range?
- check bushes with it
- if a champion like Twitch is entering stealth mode to avoid getting killed, wait until right when he goes invisible and then tag him with it to reveal him
- if you're about to *Ult-gank a target, you can tag him first with Sonic Wave so that you can immediately Resonating Strike him after the punt
*See ultimate description.
(Q) Resonating Strike: Lee Sin dashes to the enemy hit by Sonic Wave, dealing physical damage plus 10% of their missing health.
Cost: 40 energy. Physical Damage: 60 / 90 / 120 / 150 / 180 (+1.0 per bonus attack damage) *Range:
This is one of your two dashes that makes you so good at catching up to targets. Good damage that gets better the lower health the target is at.
- when farming, save time by dashing to the next creep you want to kill
- if you're being chased, you can dash to a neutral creep or minion to help you escape
- very good at "kill-securing"
(W) 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.
Cooldown: 8 seconds. Cost: 60 energy. *Range: Shield Strength: 40 / 80 / 120 / 160 / 200 (+0.8 per ability power)
Your second dash. Great for closing the gap to a target, helping an ally, fleeing, or absorbing a little oncoming damage.
*Dunno the range.
- wards / shrooms count as allies so you can dash to them
- when attacking a tower, shield the minion / ally being targeted by the turret to help it last a little longer
(W) Iron Will: Lee Sin's intense training allows him to thrive in battle. For 5 seconds, Lee Sin gains lifesteal, spell vamp, and armor.
Cost: 40 energy Spell Vamp & Lifesteal Bonus: 10 / 15 / 20 / 25 / 30 % Armor Bonus: 10 / 15 / 20 / 25 / 30
Pretty straightforward. Use this when you're taking damage or when you want to heal up on some minions.
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.
Cooldown: 10 seconds. Cost: 60 energy. *Radius: Magic Damage: 60 / 95 / 130 / 165 / 200 (+1.0 per bonus attack damage)
Good damage though unfortunately magic. An easy way to regain a bunch of health back with Iron Will up.
- Like Sonic Wave, use it when a champion enters stealth mode to ruin their day
- This RUINS Akali! She drops her stealth bubble? Walk in and pop Tempest! WHY HELLO THERE!
- Good way of getting assists in team fights. Just sayin'
(E) 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.
Cost: 40 energy. Slow: 30 / 37.5 / 45 / 52.5 / 60 %
Amazing utility for chasing, fleeing, and team fights. Hurts physical DPS carries the most.
(R) 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.
No cost. *Range: * Knockback distance: Cooldown: 90 / 75 / 60 seconds Physical Damage: 200 / 400 / 600 (+2.0 per bonus attack damage)
... Holy ****. Look at that damage. Look at that scaling. No cost either. Sweet baby jeebus.
This is a highly underrated and poorly used ultimate, which is a shame considering how amazing it really is. With just a Frozen Mallet and Bloodthirster, at level 18 you're smacking the target and anyone he hits with 840 damage. Now imagine a clumped up team fight. Oh yeah, they're gonna feel it.
The real beauty of this ultimate is not it's raw numbers though. It's the knockback, which makes it a powerful CC. Let me count the ways:
1) The Ult-Gank. You show up to gank some poor schmuck. You dash towards him as he tries to run to the safety of his tower / friends. But you won't let that happen. Instead, you position yourself in front of him using any combination of slow / speedboost / Flash, and punt him back into your allies for a free kill. You can even tag him with Sonic Wave right before the punt so he's immediately greeted with a face full of foot.
2) Stopping Enemy Ults. What does Katarina, Malzahar, Nunu, Jarvan, Wawrick, Karthus, and Caitlyn all have in common? They're all cursing you when you stop their ult with a swift kick to the face. Denied!
3) Saving An Ally. Enemy Garen is spinning on your Lux. Kick him off.
4) Fleeing. You're getting chased. Kick the chasers in the face and be on your way.
The biggest problem with Dragon's Rage is the positioning is a little finicky. I know that sometimes I end up kicking my target in the totally wrong direction, or try to finish off a target only to inadvertently save him with 10hp left. It happens. You get better at it with practice though.
Quintessences: Armor Penetration
Marks: Armor Penetration
Glyphs: Scaling Magic Resist
Standard stuff. You can get HP / Dodge Seals and Movement Speed / HP Quintessences too if you want. I don't recommend getting Cooldown Reduction Glyphs though, you don't have the energy to spam you skills more.
Standard jungling masteries for maximum speed and efficiency.
I feel this is your best setup for early dominance, making you hit harder with the Offense masteries and surprisingly resilient with key Defensive masteries. With this laning setup, play aggressive.
Most efficient jungling:
W>E>W>E>Q>R, then max Q first, E, second, W last.
For less efficient jungling but earlier gank opportunities, replace the second ranks of W and E with Q.
Q>E>W, then max Q first, E second, W last.
Smite is obvious. Flash is a little less. Basically, Flash you take Flash for the same reason Alistar takes it: positioning for your ultimate. Suddenly you have an almost guaranteed method of having that perfect positioning to kick an enemy into your allies and get a free kill. Even disregarding this frickin' awesome use, Flash in general is great for any champion as it's an amazing escape and chasing ability.
Exhaust lets you flurry away on an opponent, keeps him from fleeing both you and your ally to safety, gives you easy positioning for your ult, and cripples any physical DPS champs. Imp Exhaust even takes down the target's armor another notch, so with masteries and runes you should be hitting the target like a truck. Good stuff.
Jungling and laning gear is the same. Start with:
Cloth Armor + 5x HP Pots
When you have 700 gold, go back and by Madred's Razors.
At this point I can't give you a definitive guide on what you should be buying. The reason is that your gear choices should directly reflect how each individual match is going. Anyone who says otherwise just plain sucks at this game. If a fed enemy Veigar is carrying the game, you better **** make sure you build Banshee's Veil ASAP. If the enemy has tons of physical damage, you get more armor. If you're constantly focused in fights, build more survivability. If you're ignored in fights, build more damage.
What I can give you is what I feel are the best items for Lee Sin depending on what you need at the time. I'm also giving what I feel is a good order for purchasing these items.
*Frozen Mallet - AMAZING, provides survivability + AD + reliable slow, 3250g (825g)
*Trinity Force - great offensive stats, 4070g (300g)
Youmuu's Ghostblade - one of the best melee DPS items in the game, 2687g (600g)
The Bloodthirster - most AD you can get in one item and lifesteal gives strong survivability as long as you can hit things, 3200g (900g)
Last Whisper - a must if the enemy team is stacking armor, 2290g (900g)
The Black Cleaver - huge offensive boost, 3065g (795g)
Madred's Bloodrazors - a must if the opponents are stacking health,3800g (775g)
Infinity Edge - Incredibly expensive but incredibly good, make sure you supplement this with more +crit items like Ghostblade, 4080g
*I suggest buying just one of these items, not both.
If you're dying too fast in team fights, add some more survivability. Here are some good choices.
Ninja Tabi - superb synergy with Nimbleness, will be faster than Boots of Swiftness in the right circumstances,850g (200g)
Heart of Gold - builds into one of the best defensive items in the game and helps pay for itself, 975g (200g)
Sunfire Cape - also helps you farm and get assists, 2610g (800g)
Randuin's Omen - one of the best defensive items in the game and easy for Lee Sin to make the most of, dash into a team fight and pop it, 2925g (600g)
Mercury's Treads - great against magic and CC, 1200g (450g)
Hexdrinker - highly underrated items, gives AD and great reliable defense against magic for very cheap, 1800g (570g)
Banshee's Veil - the best counter to big burst magic, 2715g (650g)
Force of Nature - gets better if you're building up health, 2610g (1000g)
Boots of Swiftness - helps a ton for melee characters
Heart of Gold
Aegis of the Legion - amazingly cost-efficient for what it does, possibly the best aura item in the game, 1925g (750g)
Generally, my "core" items are:
Boots of Swiftness
The mallet is just so **** good for Lee Sin. It gives him everything he needs and nothing he doesn't 1) survivability 2) AD 3) a slow so he can keep autoattacking the target that he dashed to. Perfect.
Don't forget to buy Sight Wards, boys and girls. You're the jungler and most of the ward buying is on you. Wards win games.
Safe Route: Double Golems > Wraiths > Wolves > Ancient Golem > Wolves / Wraiths / Golems until you're level 4-5 and then go get Lizard.
Awesome Route: Ancient Golem > Wolves > Wraiths > Double Golems > Lizard
To perform the awesome route I highly recommend kindly asking someone to "leash" it for you -- that is, hit it once first and then going back to his lane so you get a bunch of free hits on it while it chases. You'll clear the jungle so fast that you'll be a level ahead of the double laners and ready to gank with the red buff at level 4! HOLY BALLS AWESOME!
How you jungle is very important when playing Lee Sin. Basically you want to make sure that your Flurry is up 24/7. You do this by using an ability, auto-attacking twice, then using another ability. You can see Flurry up by his crazy glowing hands.
Example: Safeguard (W), aa, aa, Iron Will (W), aa, aa, Tempest (E), aa, aa, Cripple (E), aa, aa... etc.
- For maximum efficiency, activate the ability as SOON as the last Flurry hit connects so every single one of your autoattacks are at +50% speed. You will never have any energy issues whatsoever while jungling.
- Use Q to save time by dashing through walls into the minions. No need to walk around the wall to the double golem. Just jump right through.
- Smite when you have Iron Will up for a sweet heal
Okay, so you're level 4+ and you've got the red buff. You see the enemy champs in top lane overextending. You ping the squishier one to notify your ally and you're all set up. What do you do?
Ideally, you want to close the gap to your target with Safeguard (W), either by dashing to an allied minion or champion beside him. If you can't, get in there with Sonic Wave + Resonating Strike (Q), but don't IMMEDIATELY cast it, wait a second to see what fleeing path the enemy is taking so you can line up a good shot (I've seen Lee Sinss try and "lead" a shot before the enemy even starts moving and fail miserably). Immediately follow up with Tempest + Cripple (E) if they turn to run, which they likely will. Begin wailing away with your Flurry passive. After two auto attacks, tag them again with Sonic Wave (Q), auto-attack twice, and Resonating Strike (Q). At this point the target is either dead or safe by his tower.
Different scenerio: You're above level 6 and you've got Dragon's Rage and Flash up. You spot an enemy champ hanging around dangerously close to your allies or tower. Dash in and Cripple, waltz behind them and roundhouse kick them into your allies. Usually it won't be this easy to get a good position. That's why you have Flash. Flash turns any of these "potential" situations into a "definite" situation. With Flash, you EASILY get a freebie positioning for your ult. Win.
- Use Safeguard over Resonating Strike to dash into committed battles (ones that everyone's involved)
- Don't forget Dragon's Rage is a CC. Use it to knock people away from your squishies like Jarvan in a Cataclysm, tell ult channellers like Nunu and Katarina to sit down and STFU, pick off their squishies by knocking them into your team, and running the hell away by kicking them back and then fleeing
- Dragon's Rage is also amazing AOE damage. It does good base damage and scale 200%(!!!!) with bonus AD. If the enemy team is all bunched up, they WILL feel it
- Don't forget to throw in auto-attacks when you can to get the most out of Flurry
That's all for now. I'll have video examples soon!
This is pretty much what I've been doing when I play him.
Might I suggest Armor Pen Quints, Attack Speed Marks, Choice Blues, and Armor Seals for an alternate (faster) jungling set. Vamp scepter or Cloth Armor + 5 health pots.
Also, you can gank at level 3 from the jungle using E/W, E/W, Q as the skilling order for your first three levels. If your lanemate has a stun, you won't even need buffs to do so reliably.
I think the Armor Pen Quints suggestion is really good and changed it. I don't think Attack Speed Marks and Armor Seals are worth it though, for marks I feel armor pen will be more helpful than attack speed late game and the big reason why i take dodge over armor for seals is because I take Nimbleness in the defense tree.
Also you're right about ganking at level 3. I haven't tried getting Q that early yet but I bet it's worth it, so I changed it accordingly.
I like this guide, and when I get my PC's power supply replaced, I'll be sure to give it a shot.
A couple things about Lee Sin, which maybe you could add to your guide...
1) Wriggle's and Wards are pretty amazing in general, but what's really great is that you can Safeguard to them. This opens up possibilities of using wards in order to escape (ward over a wall -> safeguard to it) and possibly getting in position for your ult.
2) I'm not sure if I've seen this put to good use yet, but you can potentially use Lee Sin's Q for escaping as well. If you know that a neutral is alive, you can Q over the wall and then Q again to flash to it. This could be potentially amazing if used correctly. The great part about it is, you don't even have to be able to see the neutrals (like you do with Shunpo/Shadow Dance/etc). As long as you hit the neutral, you can jump to it.
*edit* I have a question. When I was playing Lee Sin a couple of times, I've found Safeguard to work a lot more fluidly if set to smart-cast. Do you have any opinion on this?
The learning curve on this champ's pretty intense but I'm enjoying it. If you want to write a guide though on Lee Sin, you've got to seriously dedicate an entire section to Q and how to properly use it, because Lee Sin requires a lot of position awareness.
Some tips I've learned:
Use a minion hit to your advantage. If the opponent is very good at dodging your skill shot, it won't make too much of a difference if you target the minion behind him instead. This is especially handy when trying to position for an Ult Gank. You wait for the minion wave to approach, fire and dash to it, effectively flanking your opponent and putting him into a perfect position to Ult into the waiting arms of your teammate or tower.
Boots of Swiftness. I've fallen in love with these things on Lee Sin. They make positioning easier, lining up his Q easier, and thus, chasing easier.
Q>Q doesn't attract minion aggro. It's your auto attack that does. You can still use the follow up to poke, but remember your limits and beware of auto-attacking him if there's minions. Q>Q>E is a heavy harassment combo, but it does place you in a dangerous position.
Q reveals stealth. You should be king of the bush within you lane. It's a free shot and occasionally reveals an opponent hiding in there.
I totally agree with your core build, "mallet" is a must on him but suggested builds looks a bit silly to me, why would u build tank/off-tank from an assassin if every other "real" tank/off-tank is going to be better then Lee ?
His AD ratios has been buffed so its time to stop fulling around and abuse it.
IMHO 1 max 2 pure defense items on him, rest should be DMG.
some boots merc/swiftness
if needed Hexdinker/Banshees against heavy AP, Atmas against heavy AD(i build it anyway its just so good in combo with mallet)
if more survivability is not needed, I think BC and Madreds are best for him because it will give Lee both AD and AS.
after that whatever is needed
So my build against balanced team would look like this
Boots of Swiftness
Atmas (sell Wriggle's)
Black Cleaver or Madreds
Because his "assassin" tag is a mislabel and he's actually very good as an off-tank when necessary. He has a shield, a CC, an AOE slow, and he can dash to where he needs to be.
I also never made a "suggested build" outside of Wriggle's and generic boots because, as I mentioned, gear choice is fluid and depends entirely on your specific game. Some games you'll be targeted first and quickly die before you can use your abilities. I don't care how well his abilities scale, you'll have to put survivability as your highest priority.
Other games you're not getting blown up in team fights and you can load up on damage. My last game was full of tanks that gave me first dibs on lizard buff so I went Wriggles ---> Boots of Swiftness --> Ghostblade --> Bloodthirster. I was doing sick damage and my double lifegain items + attack speed buff from ghostblade was all the survivability that I needed. It entirely depends on how your match is going.
If people would prefer, I could place my offensive gear suggestions first before defensive gear.
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