Guide: Lee Sin jungler
Fri 6th Apr 2012 - 6:30pm
Lee Sin, the Blind Monk
Lee Sin is a really potent jungler. His ability-set is possibly one of the best skill-sets in the entire game of League of Legends – hence the fact that all his main abilities have double effect.
In the next paragraph, you will be able to see that all of his non-Ultimate abilties are double-titled. Lee Sin was introduced to the League long ago, and I for one remember that first few months from his release, he was really really underplayed. Something like Karma in the current metagame. (25-3-2012)
Not many people knew the true power of jungling Lee Sin. He wasn't played at all. Jungle nor Solo Top. He was considered pretty useless – which was the general false perception of Lee Sin. Not everybody could know the truth because almost nobody played him.
When all the sudden, like an extreme boom of sudden solar energy releasure, Lee climbs the top tier of jungling champions. I can remember that as well, as I myself had just bought him 2-3 days before he would hit that all-the-sudden fame. I was amazed by the champion itself, but I was also amazed by the timing of my “discovery“.
I somewhat felt that I was one of the people who started playing it. Since then, he has always been my favorite jungler (along with few others), and probably the jungler I personally play the best.
One thing to note down – Lee Sin is really really good against stealth champions.
(Passive) Flurry: Lee Sin's double-ability mechanism, when used, enhances his next 2 auto-attacks – each gaining bonus 40% attack speed and each returning 15 Energy.
Pretty nice ability which helps Lee in the jungle. The energy restoration is probably the most useful thing here, as Lee can get really spammy with his abilities and the restoration is definitely necessary.
(Q) Sonic Wave / Resonating Strike:
Sonic Wave: Lee Sin shoots a wave which, upon impact on an enemy champion, deals damage and reveals them. If it hits an enemy unit, Lee may then use his second ability – Resonating Strike.
Resonating Strike: Lee dashes towards an enemy marked by Sonic Wave, dealing physical damage.
One of the best ganking, as well as counter jungling tools in the game. When ganking, you should open up with Sonic Wave / Resonating Strike (unless you can approach an enemy without the need of this ability), in order to close down the gap.
Can also be used to check and reveal objectives such as Nashor or Dragon, or to reveal enemy/allied buffs. I max this ability second.
(W) Safeguard / Iron Will:
Safeguard: Lee Sin dashes towards an allied unit / ward, shielding them both. If the shield is broken, Lee restores 40 Energy. Can also be cast on self. Within the 3 seconds of Safeguard, Lee may then use Iron Will. – A great tool for escaping / chasing.
Iron Will: For 5 seconds, Lee sin gains additional armor, spell vamp and life steal. Great steroid to use while jungling. Note: You should always look to use Smite while Iron Will is triggered, as you will heal off the damage dealt by Smite. I max this ability last.
(E) Tempest / Cripple:
Tempest: Lee Sin smashes the ground, dealing AOE Magic damage to all surrounding enemies and revealing them. If an enemy is hit, Lee may then cast Cripple for the next 3 seconds.
Cripple: Slows down the attack speed and movement speed of all nearby enemies tagged by Tempest. Lasts for 4 seconds.
This is Lee Sin's ultimate ganking ability. If you can manage to get close and pull off the Tempest / Cripple combo, you'll really be on the front-foot against the enemy. I max this ability first.
(R) Dragon's Rage: Lee Sin performs a roundhouse kick, kicking the target enemy back, dealing damage – who then knocks up and deals damage to all allied champions struck on the way back.
Great ability. Can be used in multiple ways, such as: Knocking back an enemy to your allies to close his gap, or rather knocking away an enemy to escape / to disrupt his combo during the teamfight.
Lee Sin has its own specific jungling phase. Lee is kind of "deceptively" mobile and fast throughout the entire jungle. Subtlety of his jungling mechanisms is hidden within his (Q) and his (W) skill.
With his (Q), you can easily cut a lot of your normal running route, jump to a monster camp and clear it quickly – same goes with (W) which is used more for escaping critical situations. Simply place a ward to the opposite side of the wall and dash to it. Great for "in & out" plays (rush in with your (Q), grab an opponents buff, escape with (W) easily.)
Very important thing about Lee's jungling phase is how his ganks should be co-ordinated. Lee Sin works co-ordinates the best with champions who posses CC. This mostly applies to AP (Middle lane) champions, but also includes some Bruisers (Solo Top) as well as Supports. You should use your (Q) as a gap closer ability, or if the gap can be closed normally by running to them, or if your ally is CCing them, then the opener ability should be your (E) followed by (Q) to eventually close down the gap.
Another important thing about Lee's jungling should be co-ordinating his ultimate correctly. Lee has a great steriod, his ulti, which knocks enemies in the direction you are facing. Some of the tricks I've learned to combine with his ultimate:
- Q to a minion standing behind your opponent – onwards R'ing your opponent backwards;
- Place a ward behind your opponent, W to it, R your opponent backwards;
- Q to your opponent, slow him down with your E, eventually R him backwards;
IV Runes & Masteries
I normally run one main rune-page on Lee Sin, although you can place slight adjustments to the existing one (edit things you think would be helpful);
Marks: 9x Armor Pen (FLAT);
Seals: 9x Armor (FLAT);
Glyphs: 9x Magic Resist (FLAT);
Quints: 3x Attack Damage (FLAT);
This is rather just a standard rune-page I use for some of the junglers. Attack Damage + Armor Pen come in handy when executing ganks, while MR and Armor are aimed at my late game – the phase in which you will, presumably, be very tanky. (You can also use PER LVL)
The mastery page I use is also the most standard one for a tanky jungler like Lee Sin, which is: 21 / 9 / 0
The branches look like this:
Summoner spells of my personal choice are:
SMITE + EXHAUST – The reason behind such a choice is (as previously mentioned) that Lee already has his escape/chase utility hidden behind his (Q) and his (W). Considering that fact, I think Exhaust on Lee Sin is way more useful than a flash and also helps combine your ganks with Lee's (R).
V Item builds
The items for Lee Sin really depend on an opposing team-composition. First 3 items are my standard ones (ones I always build), while the rest are dependant.
Start off with Boots + 3 Potions. I used to run Vamp Scepter as his beginning item, but due to recent Vamp Scepter nerfs (as well as Wriggle's Lantern nerfs), I've changed my build by a tiny bit. Boots are really useful and very nicely combined with Lee Sin's normal utility that he contains.
V.I Core items
Your opener items should always be 1-2 Doran's Blades – depending on how well you are doing until that moment. Apart from those Doran's Blades, his 3 core/necessary items are:
(Mercury Treads) -> Frozen Mallet -> Atma's Impaler -> The Bloodthirster
His penultimate item should be really thought of. Should an enemy have more AP/CC champions, you should probably want to build Wit's End or (the most recent item) Maw of Malmortius.
On the other hand, if enemy consists mostly of AD damage/scaling champions you should go for Randuin's Omen.
These items aim at giving you maximum sustain during the teamfight, as Lee Sin who naturally is a fighter champion aims at staying in the battle as much as possible.
V.II End-game/defensive items
For his last item, I only find Guardian Angel to be reasonable option on Lee Sin's defensive items. Perhaps the reason is because both Banshee's Veil and Quicksilver Sash are, for me, less needed to him.
Also, a reasonable option could also be skipping an End-game item for a Core-defensive one (mentioned above).
There certainly are a few champions you should be on the look-out while playing Lee Sin. Even though he is very mobile and swifty, he can be controlled over by some of the champions (if played correctly), so it's necessary to know who you should be cautious against and how to play against those champions...
SHYVANA - Shyvana is an extremely mobile and agile jungler. A correctly played Shyvana is going to counter-jungle you whenever an opportunity is presented to herself. You should always bare this in mind, always have your entire jungle warded and be prepared for when she enters your jungle. With Lee's skill-set, you can easily catch her off and possibly take her down with the help of your team.
NOCTURNE / SKARNER - When counter-jungling a Nocturne/Skarner you risk getting caught. And when you risk getting caught by any of them, you surely risk a lot. Should you find yourself counter-jungling a Nocturne/Skarner, you should always have your escape options open. Always. In case you get caught by Nocturne/Skarner's ultimate, it'll be hard for you to escape it. So, always ward your exits, and use your (W) to escape!
DR. MUNDO - Apart from being an extremely fast jungler, Mundo also disposes his CC methods - his Cleaver skill which, once it has caught you, it might be hard for you to escape. Therefore, you should really think twice before counter-jungling a Mundo. He is very fast at it and a lot of times you find yourself wanting to counter-jungle him - you might be doing it wrong, and he also has good slow/CC. It needs to be timed perfectly.
Thanks for reading my Lee Sin guide. I hope you guys enjoyed it - leave a comment down below if you feel like it.