Lee Sin is one of League’s most infamous champions and certainly one of the most high skill. Whether you are in solo queue or a pro player, breaking out Lee Sin is a decision not made lightly. While he has tools to impact almost every aspect of the game, nothing is more noticeable than an under-practiced Lee Sin.
If you are sick of being killed by Lee or want to add him to your own champion pool, here is what he does and how he builds.
- Hunter’s Machete
- Refillable Potion
- Ninja Tabi
For Lee, we want to build some damage early and then go tank for the rest of the way. This will help us take advantage of our early game damage without making us completely useless late game. Our staple item here is going to be Tracker’s Knife, as it allows us to get a free Sightstone to ward-hop with.
- Tracker’s Knife - Warrior
- Dead Man’s Plate
- Spirit’s Visage
- Black Cleaver
- Dragon’s Rage (R)
- Sonic Wave/Resonating Strike (Q)
- Safeguard/Iron Will (W)
- Tempest/Cripple (E)
Runes and Masteries
For Runes, we want to take nine AD Marks, nine MR Glyphs, nine armor Seals and three attack speed Quints.
On the mastery side, we want to pick up Thunderlord’s Decree down the Cunning isle. This will make our correctly executed combo deal far more damage. For our remaining points, go 12 down Ferocity.
Passive - Flurry
After using an ability, Lee Sin’ next two basic attacks will gain increased attack speed and refund a small amount of energy.
Flurry is an ability that should remain in the back of your mind at all times. However, it is most noticeable when clearing jungle camps. Use an ability, strike twice, use another ability, repeat. This will help make your early clear more efficient and leave you with plenty of energy to quickly hop into combat.
Q - Sonic Wave/Resonating Strike
Lee Sin launches a Sonic Wave at his target, a long-range skillshot that deals damage on impact and marks a target. If Sonic Wave marked a target, Lee Sin can use Resonating Strike, which will bring him to the marked target, dealing damage.
Lee Sin’ Q is his most infamous ability and certainly his most important. Learning to nail your Q is key to finding success on Lee, but learning when to use this ability is what will separate a good Lee Sin from a great one.
Opening a gank with a Q is a poor idea, as you eliminate your ability to get close to the enemy if they flash or run. Instead, use one of your other abilities to get in close and then mark the target with Sonic Wave. Not only will it be easier to hit at close range, but you will then be able to follow the enemy wherever they go. Using Q to follow up on plays rather than initiate them is your best way to take targets down, so get used to the order quick.
W - Safeguard/Iron Will
Lee Sin dashes to an allied target. For champions, this will grant both Lee Sin and his target a shield as well as reduce Safeguard’s cooldown. After using Safeguard, Lee Sin will be able to activate Iron Will, which will grant his next few basic attacks and abilities spell vamp and life steal.
The ever popular “ward hop.” Safeguard exists to keep Lee Sin mobile and can be used for a ton of different scenarios. The most common use is placing a ward down and simultaneously dashing to it, essentially creating your own ally wherever you want it. However, Safeguard is also a powerful protection ability and can be used to keep allies safe or just bring yourself closer to them, threatening an engage.
Iron Will is potent and certainly worth using to sustain yourself. However, there isn’t much to say about it beyond “life steal is good because it keeps you alive longer,” so use it at your own discretion while being careful not to spend too much energy.
E - Tempest/Cripple
Lee Sin smashes his hand into the ground, creating a shockwave that reveals enemies and deals damage. Any enemies damaged by Tempest can then be slowed by activating Cripple.
Thankfully, Tempest is Lee’s most simple ability. Use it to damage enemies and help clear camps faster. However, with all things Lee Sin there is a bonus level to the strategy. The slow of Cripple, even at early levels, is enough for Lee Sin to outrun his opponents, so using W to get into Tempest range and then Crippling the enemies is a common set up for ...
R - Dragon’s Rage
Lee Sin kicks a Champion away from him, stunning them briefly and doing a large amount of damage. Enemies hit by your ulti’s target mid-flight will take additional damage and be knocked up.
This is where Lee gets to teach you a lesson in geometry. How can you get into a location to kick the enemy where you want them. If you get in front of a fleeing enemy, you can kick them back into your allies. If you get in front of a squishy ally, you can kick an engaging enemy away. If you get in front of a pack of enemies and kick one of them, you could knock up all of them.
Dragon’s Rage is versatile and the ability that helps round out such a ridiculous kit. There are plenty of combos to use with it and find out, but it all takes a lot of practice to get used to, which brings us to our final point.
Lee Sin is a complicated champion. Simple as that. If you are new to the game and a friend tells you to check him out, don’t. If you aren’t OK with losing a few games or getting hard carried by your allies, don’t play Lee. If you want to learn one of the most rewarding and fun champions in the game, you have to put in the time. You will look bad and silly and terrible a lot of times before you ever pull of anything cool, but Lee is worth it.
Even when he is OP or too weak, he is never a champion that I have regretted learning. If you take your time, you will feel the same way. Happy hoping.