League of Legends 101: How to play Lee Sin
The Blind Monk is one of the most popular junglers in League of Legends. Here’s our tips on how to play him.
Lee Sin has been one of the most popular picks in both soloqueue and professional play ever since his inception. Quite famously, Lee Sin has an incredible carry potential with a very ‘high-risk, high-reward’ play style. Adversely, poor games on Lee Sin and feel incredibly punishing, making execution on the pick integral to taking the enemy nexus. Lee Sin has historically been played in the jungle, however recent patches has seen a transition into solo lanes as well. These tips will primarily be referring to his role as a jungler, but the general philosophy on the champion can apply to both.
Early clears and gank opporunities
Much of Lee Sin’s kit is built around single target damage and dive potential, which makes ganks a vital component of Lee Sin’s early game. You should aim to go for a three-camp clear before looking for an opportunity, taking both red buff, blue buff, and Gromp. Starting with your E (Tempest/Cripple) is best for early clears This ability provides solid area of effect damage and also helps in kiting to complete your clear faster. After getting all three abilities, you should look for a jungle invade or lane gank.
If you catch a laner over extending, your Q (Sonic Wave/Resonating Strike) will be the primary initiation tool. From here, your E and auto attacks should be enough to damage down your target. If you’re looking for a tower dive, Lee Sin’s kit also facilitates this fairly early on. Lee Sin’s W (Safeguard/Iron Will) provides a shield to both himself and nearby allies, making a tower dive relatively easy if targeting a low health opponent, especially if your Q is back up for a re-engage.
Invading your enemy’s jungle should also be a priority in the early game to set them behind. Lee Sin is a very strong early game carry when compared to most other junglers and can often force opposing junglers off their own buffs. Should you get in too deep, Lee Sin’s ‘Ward Hop’ is an easy peel.
Lee Sin’s role around objectives and team fights
Lee Sin’s dive makes him an important champion around neutral objectives and skirmishes. If you fail to get priority over a neutral objective, such as dragon, herald, or baron, Lee Sin is one of the ‘easier’ champions in the game to steal objectives with. His Q provides a long ranged engages, which you can use to close in on a low health dragon with and quickly smite to claim the objective for your side. If played well, a Ward can even be placed outside the baron or dragon pit for a clean escape. Lee Sin’s burst damage and high mobility makes him a constant menace in the back of every team’s mind when clearing any neutral objective.
In team fights, you should look for waves to catch out your opponent’s backline carries. Though Lee Sin has a great deal of engage tools, he is relatively lacking when it comes to health and tanking. This makes engages fairly complicated, as you need to get the right angle on the right target. This is where Lee Sin’s R (Dragon’s Rage) becomes his most valuable asset. This kick ability essentially knocks opponents out of the fight. Look to line up this ultimate to knock the foremost carry out of range and knockup another threat.
Ultimately, your focus should be to dive onto the backline and burst down enemies as quickly as possible. With a relatively low cooldown, your Q will allow for multiple re-engages and to pick off any stragglers.
Itemization and Runes
Lee Sin was one of the many champions that massively benefited from the addition of Goredrinker to the item shop. The item is the perfect rush (and is applicable in lane or jungle) as it provides extra damage and sustain, working well particularly when tower diving. After completing Plated Steelcaps for boots, Sterak’s Gage should be your next focus. Given that Lee Sin is primarily an attack damage type of champion, this will make his burst damage that much better.
From here, Guardian Angel is a solid choice that similarly gives Lee Sin more sustain and confidence when going in for big fights. Black Cleaver and Death’s Dance are two items for the late game that will massively help out Lee Sin.
Conqueror is the best keystone to go with, as it rewards consecutive damage dealt to champions and will aid you when diving backlines. Since you’ll hopefully be executing quite a lot of takedowns, Triumph is another good choice. Legend: Alacrity and Coup de Grace should round out your primary runes. For secondary, Inspiration with Magical Footwear and Cosmic Insight will lessen your time spent in the fountain and allow you to focus more on ganks.
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