Hi guys! My name is Atlas Flame, Diamond V in solo queue and a Challenger level 3v3 player on EU West with 3 teams currently in challenger, the highest being ranked #7, and this is my Lee-Sin guide! I have mained Lee since Season 1, and since then have had a consistent 75%+ winrate with him in ranked. Now in Season 3, I am over 80% with over 150 games played. In this guide I will take you in-depth on Lee’s mechanics as well as when you should use your skills, and also the variety of plays you can make with him. So let’s get started.
Lee Sin is a very high skill cap champion – while it doesn’t take much to do medium-good plays, in order to be a very strong Lee Sin player, you have to learn a lot about him. You will need to play around 60-100 games with him to understand how to properly utilise all of his skills, so let’s start with those shall we?
You should usually start off by taking a point in Tempest / Cripple, for the early damage on golems in addition to good wave clear and pretty much free harrassment against any melee champion. Take Sonic Wave / Resonating Strike as your second skill, for early fighting/first blood and for pushing the lane even more. After this, you’ll want to take Safeguard / Iron Will, because taking a second point in Sonic Wave or Tempest doesn’t add enough damage to be a good idea, and Safeguard gives you extra utility.
When playing 3v3 you cannot have the same mindset as when you are playing 5v5. Sonic Wave is merely a utility and small execute skill here, not something you would want to max first. Your most reliable damage both in lane and in teamfights is Tempest / Cripple, which also provides rather strong cc, especially against autoattacking champions and is therefore the skill you should max first. Second you should max your Safeguard / Iron Will, because the shield helps a lot against burst damage, the decreased cooldown on it makes you a lot more mobile and the Spell Vamp/ Lifesteal bonus from it is close to insane. Maxing Sonic Wave / Resonating Strike would merely give you an extra 80 damage per level, making it weak when you are constantly fighting and rely on hitting it every single time but more about this a little later.
After Lee-Sin uses an ability, his next 2 basic attacks gain 40% attack speed and return 15 Energy each. This passive is probably what makes me love Lee Sin the most. If you utilise this, you will never, and I mean NEVER run out of energy. It takes a few games to get used to it, but once you master it, it will help you so much with both gameplay and maximising your damage output.
Q – Sonic Wave / Resonating_Strike
This is Lee Sin’s hardest skill to use, and also the “only” skillshot he has, not including his ultimate. Many players will max this skill first, not knowing how weak it really is. At level 1, Sonic Wave will do 50 damage and 90% of Lee Sin’s bonus attack damage. When you cast Resonating Strike, you once again do 50 damage and 90% bonus attack damage, but additionally you deal 8% of the target’s missing health. For example, say the enemy has 100hp out of a possible 600 that he starts with, he is missing 500 health so resonating strike will deal 8% of 500 in bonus damage, which is 40 extra damage. This damage is a high risk high reward gamble that rarely pays off
W – Safeguard / Iron Will
This is Lee’s most reliable initiation as well as escape skill, and you will need to have great awareness if you are going to use this for harrassing, and either be sure that you can kill the enemy before/while the jungler/support is coming, or that Safeguard will be back up by the time the jungler arrives. Iron Will is not that great at early levels, though when you have it at lvl 5 your aoe healing because of the Ravenous Hydra and Tempest / Cripple, you will heal up 2/3 of your max health on only one creepwave. Combining Sonic Wave with Safeguard you can cover great distances in a very short amount of time, and combine flash with that and you will be uncatchable. It is also amazing for baiting ignites on either you or teammates, since it will shield the true damage on ignite as well.
E – Tempest / Cripple
This skill along with your autoattacks will be your bread and butter, your main source of damage. Many people question the choice of maxing E before Q, so let me tell you about the benefits this brings. First of all, your Tempest is not a skillshot, making it pretty much impossible to miss. Second, it deals aoe damage, making it much stronger than Sonic Wave in terms of teamfights and when you need to clear fast (which you will want when playing Lee on 3v3). Third, when dueling in toplane on Twisted Treeline, you are most likely always up against a bruiser, in most cases AD. The attackspeed slow that Cripple brings, coupled with your passive gives you 2 autoattacks while the enemy only gets 1, making you exceptional at early duels (lvl 2 and higher, dont try a 1v1 at lvl 1).
R – Dragon’s Rage
This combined with Sonic Wave / Resonating strike will be your assassination skill when fighting 1v1, which most players are really good at utilising. What people mostly ignore though is the fact that if you use Dragon’s Rage to kick an enemy into their ally, the ally takes the same amount of damage and is cc’d (knocked up) for a short while, making this skill vital to learn how to use when playing on higher elo in 3v3. If you have the chance to knock 3 enemies up with a single kick, don’t hesistate to do it, just make sure you are in fact not saving the enemy you kick away and can’t follow up on him, this is really what distinguishes a good Lee Sin from a bad one.
Start off with a Doran’s Blade, Rejuvenation Bead and 5 health pots, you will only have enough for 4 to start with, so you’ll want to wait for the last one before leaving the fountain. Rush an early Tiamat/Ravenous Hydra in addition to picking up Tier 1 boots, and start working towards your other items. Depending on who you are against and how far ahead you are, these will differ quite a lot, but the usual items you will want to aim for are Last Whisper, Maw of Malmortius, Randuin’s Omen, Mercury’s Treads and one last optional item, depending entirely on what you want. If the enemy have a lot of cc, a Mercurial Scimitar is a great choice, if you need to be more tanky, either Sunfire Cape, Frozen Mallet or Black Cleaver fit nicely depending whether you want sustain, armor or damage. Also Spirit Visage is a great item for Lee, both in sustain as a combination with his Lifesteal / Spell Vamp on Safeguard / Iron Will and for its high amounts of magic resist.
For runes we take standard sustain jungle runes, making Lee sustain both jungle and lane decently well. Nothing special here, just early dominance.
So for Masteries we go standard attack damage with a little bit of sustain. You are not meant to tank, but a little extra bit early wont hurt your late game. 3 points in Perseverance keeps your potting early really well with hp regeneration, since you need to pot up after golems. Otherwise it is just basic damage masteries.
Ignite – Great for assassination and to get that extra edge in toplane, can be replaced with barrier on rare occasions.
Flash – Best spell in the game, provides Lee with even more amazing utility.
Quick walkthrough on gameplay
Lee Sin in the Twisted Treeline benefits greatly from laning, especially in the top lane. Lee Sin is very gold and level dependent, and can easily get behind if (1) the enemy team gets kills or (2) the enemy team stalls in the early game. In general, try to clear your lane as fast as possible, all while harassing your opponent with Tempest/Cripple and later with Sonic Wave/Resonating Strike.
Try to keep your lane pushed to be able to help both the jungler and bot lane with ganks and roaming without losing too much XP and farm top. THis will also force your opponent to stay in lane top so that they don’t lose lots of experience and gold, which is really needed in the early and mid games. You can scout full bushes with Sonic Wave without making yourself a target. Combined with map awareness and a decently quick jungler, you will be a very strong and very viable pick for the top lane.
With Ravenous Hydra, your pushing power will be out of this world ; clearing a full minion wave is possible in 2-3 seconds with one Tempest, the active of Ravenous Hydra, and two autoattacks. Later, you should try to catch enemies out by waiting in bushes or go as a team of 3 with your lanes pushed, creating easy ganks and easy kills…even if you have to tower dive.
Good luck in the Twisted Treeline!