IntroductionLee Sin has been consistently a strong force within the jungle since his ratios got a big buff, thanks to that, his ability to build tanky while doing heavy damage has allowed him to be one of the strongest junglers. Due to his ability set and design, he is easily one of my favorite champions to play due to how mobile and fluid his playstyle is. So this guide will show how to jungle Lee Sin as well as gank and counter jungle.
MasteriesI use these masteries as Lee is a energy based champion, he doesn't use the Utility tree that well so I focus on raw damage from the offense tree as I'll be getting defensive items later anyway. Virtually every mastery in the Offense tree is very helpful for Lee Sin as it gives hefty early bonuses to Lee Sin as his skillset contains high AD ratios and base stats.
I get the 9 in defense to be slightly more durable as the 9 points aren't as useful in utility. I find that the health per level and at the start is very useful throughout the game.
RunesThese runes are optimized towards having most of my offensive stats ready from level 1, having the ability to do 70+ damage from level 1 is significant as it allows Lee Sin to perform stronger ganks or duel an opposing jungler with ease due to the fact their AD ratios aren't as good. The mix between 5 armor penetration and 12~ AD is the balance I found that is most useful to me as it allows me to do true damage to most of the small camps while still doing significant damage to the larger camps. I found that going all the way one direction would result in a slower jungle than doing a mix up of the two stats.
Glyphs are choice, personally I like having a ton of magic resist later in the game as thhere aren't many other cost effective runes for the glyph slot for lee sin aside from magic resist.
Exhaust is very useful in terms of ganking and teamfights later as it can slow down enemy threats while making them unable to do sufficient damage to you while you're kicking their face in. However...
You can use if you're thinking of doing more invading the enemy jungle or don't except there to be a good exhaust target later in the game.
After Lee Sin uses an ability, his next 2 basic attacks gain 50% Attack Speed and return 10 energy each.
A reason you don't need attack speed runes, this skill is very strong as it gives a constant attack speed boost in fights as well as replenishing energy. In the jungle time your hits so you can get both procs of this off and then instantly perform another move to constantly be able to have high energy in case you need it. This passive honestly makes or breaks this champion due to the fact unlike Shen, it allows him to regain energy quickly in fights.
Q: Sonic Wave / Resonating Strike
Sonic Wave: Lee Sin projects a discordant wave of sound to locate his enemies, dealing 50/80/110/140/170 (+90% of bonus Attack Damage) physical damage to the first enemy it encounters. If Sonic Wave hits, Lee Sin can cast Resonating Strike for the next 3 seconds.
Resonating Strike: Lee Sin dashes to the enemy hit by Sonic Wave, dealing 50/80/110/140/170 (+90% of bonus Attack Damage) physical damage plus 10% of their missing health.
Cost 50/30 energy
Cooldown 11/10/9/8/7 seconds
One of the highest damaging skills in the entire game, this skill acts as a closer and a very powerful nuke. Due to the fact it's AD ratio is high, landing both ticks of this skill early game will likely do more damage than any other nuke early levels which means it'll allow Lee to beat opponents that aren't well armored with ease. The only downside to this spell is that it's a skillshot and may end up missing or hitting a target that jumped in front of the projectile, be very cautious about jumping in with this skill as if the opponent flashes, you'll be dragged to that location which could mean death unless you can W to escape.
W: Safeguard / Iron Will
Safeguard: Lee Sin rushes towards a target ally, shielding them both from 40 / 80 / 120 / 160 / 200 (+80% per Ability Power) damage. After using Safeguard, Lee Sin can cast Iron Will for the next 3 seconds.
Iron Will: Lee Sin's intense training allows him to thrive in battle. For 5 seconds, Lee Sin gains5/10/15/20/25 lifesteal, spell vamp, and armor.
Cost 50/30 energy
Cooldown 8 seconds
A strong escape and defensive spell, this allows him to crush opponents early as they cannot keep up with the extra armor and lifesteal when Iron Will is active. Proper usage of this will allow Lee Sin to stay healthy against Dragon or heal up after being harmed badly in a skirmish. Using smite with Iron Will active will also net a very nice heal bonus so it is recommended that this be active when you're about to smite in order to stay healthy. The escape portion of this spell allows jumping to wards or allies if you manage to find yourself in a spot you don't want to be in. This is also useful for chasing as it's jump is faster than walking which means you'll be able to catch up to someone if you have a ward or ally near the target's location.
E: Tempest / Cripple
Tempest: Lee Sin smashes the ground sending out a shockwave that deals 60 / 95 / 130 / 165 / 200 (+0.6 per bonus Attack Damage) magic damage and reveals enemy units hit. If Tempest hits an enemy, Lee Sin can cast cripple for the next 3 seconds.
Cripple: Lee Sin cripples nearby enemies revealed by Tempest, reducing their Movement and Attack Speed by 30 / 37.5 / 45 / 52.5 / 60 % for 4 seconds. Movement and Attack Speed recover gradually over the duration.
Cost 50/30 energy
Cooldown 10 seconds
The exahust qualities of this spell cannot be underestimated, landing this on a group of opponents can often decide the game as it's basically snowballing each of the targets for 4 seconds. This spell early on when combined with Lee Sin's Q allows for huge ganks due to the high damage of Q and the crippling slow that Cripple provides. Add in vision against invisible targets and this skill allows Lee Sin to gank nearly every lane.
R: Dragon's Rage
Lee Sin performs a powerful roundhouse kick launching his target back, dealing 200 / 400 / 600 (+1.5 per bonus Attack Damage) 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.
Cost 0 energy
Cooldown 90 / 75 / 60 seconds
There are quite a few ways to use this skill, you can push someone back into your team for a quick kill, you can push a initiator back to avoid having your team being engaged on or you can try to line up a kick which will do the most damage possible. Due to the flexibility of the skill and the low cooldown, it is a significant part of Lee Sin's arsenal. A good trick in a 1v1 duel is to Q someone and follow up with this and then perform Q after he has been kicked to do maximum damage and follow the knocked back target.
Skill OrderI only have 1 minor deviation with my skill order depending on what route i'm going and its at level 2/3:
Doing Gank Route:
Doing Farm Early Route:
I find myself not going for ganks as often that early on Route 2 but doing more ganks at route 1 due to me having different items (boots 3 potions).
As for the rest of the skill build, Q simply scales rapidly in damage as it's cooldown and damage go up nicely and because it's cooldown is going down, it allows more casting of it in fights which means more chances to get the 2nd proc of Q which is heavy damage. I like maxing Lee Sin's W spell 2nd due to the fact Lee Sin will likely be tanking at this stage of the game and I find Cripple is already slowing for a good enough amount. But aside from early game where I may or may not level 2 gank with Q and E, I always max Q then W.
Item BuildsMostly self explanatory in the above item section, I'll quickly run through my reasoning behind items at certain spots/routes.
The reason behind these items for this route is to top off your health until level 3 but give more mobility in a gank.
This item is ideal for the less frequent gank route as it saves 175 gold over the other route while not really sacrificing level speed. While you won't be as durable or full health as much as the other route, you'll save a bit of gold if you manage to pull it off which could be big when you're rushing a Wriggle's Lantern.
This item start is for the heavy gank/invade strategy where Lee Sin wants to do multiple ganks on the enemy or expects to invade the enemy jungle and tradeoff with their jungle. This is also useful against that sort of thing (Say a shyvana) as Lee Sin will be able to remain high hp when not fighting camps if he engages the enemy. No other item build will give Lee Sin this much durability over a short time span as potions are extremely strong in trades in the jungle.
Should be obvious what these do on any jungler, thanks to Lee Sin's passive and Q, this allows him to decimate dragon at a quick rate. Out of the junglers currently, a Wriggle's Lee Sin is probably the safest and fastest dragon solo in the game.
Easy to explain, Lee Sin needs to be durable to dive in and out for his team and depending on the opposing team's setup, it may have to be armor or magic resistance. The reason for Warmog's is Lee is likely going to get a ton of assists/kills and the game will probably last long enough for you to get enough stacks to make Warmog's a powerhouse defensive item.
Honestly any defensive item you find yourself needing (often the AD/AP carries will be the ones doing the most damage, not you) so you'll need to be able to tank for them. Also if you find yourself leaking money after having full items, a Trinity Force can replace your Wriggle's if you still have 4k leftover after constantly buying elixirs.
JunglingMost Updated Lee Sin Video:
Example Lee Sin Game of Current Jungle:
This video is dated due to the jungle changes but might have some useful information scattered in it:
She'll go even with you if you meet and likely be able to get away but this isn't the real reason she's a threat, her ability to destroy even your buffs without taking much damage or time is the main reason why Shyvana is a strong pick against Lee Sin. Since most Lee Sin's gank, it'll leave one buff open or force the Lee Sin to do a path which involves taking both buffs before doing a gank for fear that Shyvana can easily steal it. Simply put, be ready to guard or take your buffs the moment they spawn or else a smart Shyvana will take them once she sees you appear on the map.
A very brutal opponent, highly advised to avoid him unless he starts a camp himself as he can do heavy damage to Lee unless he gets lane help. Often Mundo will have exhaust and red buff, and even if you think you can instant kill him from a low amount of HP, it's highly likely Mundo's autoattacks will be hitting for over 100+ damage at early levels if his health goes low enough so it's very dangerous to attempt to beat a Mundo early unless you have a significant health advantage.
This is probably the most brutal jungle opponent Lee Sin will ever have, Skarner as of right now due to buffs is way too strong against ADs, especially melee range ADs. Once Skarner gets his Nunu style slow off, it is near impossible to run due to it's huge slow modifier, add in the fact Skarner's durability is immense, it's extremely difficult to kill him with melee AD as he can run whenever he likes and will likely get more hits in than the opponent as they'll be constantly slowed each time they move up to get a hit in. For the most part, staying away from Skarner is a good idea as Lee Sin will lose any duels with this guy.
While devastating to almost every jungler in the game, Lee Sin gets off free due to his raw power which allows him to crush Shaco if he dares enter his jungle as well as see him even if he does go invisible. A way to stop Shaco from ganking your team is to constantly gank the lanes he ganks as Shaco cannot deal with Lee Sin unless his lane partner is significantly ahead of the other. Shaco also has trouble counter jungling Lee Sin if he manages to stop him from boxing the larger camps as a Shaco with low items and no Boxes tends to be unable to deal with Lee Sin.
Counter jungle these guys to death, fiddle in particular has huge trouble farming later when camps become stronger HP wise, and the only time which he can farm reliably is the first few clears. While these two champions can deal significant damage to Lee Sin, they are completely helpless if they're ganked by a Lee Sin when they start a camp as their durability is awful and likely by the time they have removed the camp aggro, they're near death.
These champions each share a common weakness against Lee Sin, they're absolutely worthless against him for the first two to three levels due to the fact Lee Sin has far stronger level 1 skills and has the ability to rapidly regain life while dealing far more to the opponent. For instance, these champions cannot deal with Lee Sin at level 2 due to the fact their skills are weak early on and need levels while Lee Sin's are extremely strong even at level 1. If you're able to cut them off, do so as it'll crush them unless their allies come from lane to kill you.
Don't bother trying to find these guys in their own jungle, they'll easily be able to go toe to toe with you or take forever to kill which will mean their allies will get there before you come close to the killing blow. Trundle's Q and Nunu's E are devastating to Lee Sin's damage output so he is unable to deal sufficient damage that warrants him going after these guys.
Final CommentsIn closing, I hope you've learned something about how to jungle Lee Sin as I've found him to be one of my favorite champions as well as one of my most played due to the fact he is very viable at high level play due to his skillset and playstyle. I hope you've learned something from this guide and I hope to have another guide within the next 10 days (apparently Skarner is really popular so it might just be that). Happy jungling!