IntroductionBased off many hours of trial and error, I have figured out a more than decent way of effectively using the sexy monk that is Lee Sin so that he can jungle competitively against those such as Warwick, Olaf, and Nunu. His jungle presence early game allows for him to easily go toe to toe with any other jungler in a 1v1 fight (Assuming you get the jump on them of course) and with your passive and W you maintain a hefty bit of HP throughout the early stages of jungling/roaming which is a major issue with many sub-par junglers such as Jarvan. I personally believe that out of all the current meta game jungling champs, his gank powers surpass them all being able to deal significant damage, slow, and shield himself as soon as level 3 where as others are more so effective around level 5-6+ (Excluding Shaco and his level 2 red buff gank).
MasteriesThe masteries I use follow the 21/0/9 taking both improved exhaust and smite and leaving lethality at 2 so that you are able to get the mastery for offense and still get the one point in Utility mastery so that you can walk around with red buff a bit longer. I wouldn't advise anything other than this because he doesn't need any of the defensive tree to survive in the jungle and there is too much mana reliant parts on the utility tree to even make it worth getting decreased cool downs which actually doesn't help you anyway.
Recently though, I have fallen in love with the 15/0/15 setup which offers more movement speed and increased buff duration at the cost of 5% damage increase. You can take this if you are going to have to play a more roam intensive jungler which is usually more so than not. All in all, either one is viable.
RunesWhen it comes to the somewhat awkward rune setup I have, this is the final stats when put together:
15% Attack Speed
15 Armor Penetration
+11.6 Energy at level 18
+13 Magic Resistance at level 18
Isn't that bad once you really look at it. Lee Sin has pitiful attack speed due to him having a constant 50% attack speed buff when using skills. When it comes to the earlier stages of jungling though, you cannot rely on this until you are level 3 and levels 1-2 are crucial to jungling due to warding, protection, invading, countering, etc. and you need to be at as high HP as possible when trying to finish off your camps meaning the extra 1.500 attack speed you gain puts you from around 6 to 7.3 or something around those lines. That is how you stay in the jungle.
The energy per level comes into play once you start getting into fights (Mainly 1v1 confrontations). You will always find yourself lacking around 10 or so energy when trying to systematically use your skills in a combo allowing for the enemy to escape your burst or to make it to the safety of their team RIGHT before you could of ended them. This makes it to where you are able to finish off your combo even if you screw up your passive bonus here and there which you will do. You can ignore this and get more magic resistance, but I feel the buff to energy is too much to just ignore.
The defensive runes are just there to fill in the gaps. You can easily turn the armor into dodge (Without the mastery though you are kind of wasting slots anyway) and the magic resistance can be swapped for more attack speed as you see fit. I do advise keeping the magic resistance as it will allow for you to go longer without having to buy large amounts of MR for high AP teams.
You can opt for more armor penetration at the cost of attack speed which gives you a bit less HP through the early parts of jungling and lowers your DPS while increasing your short term burst damage. Neither is wrong, but I advise just following my setup.
The reason why I do not use ghost on Lee Sin is because when it comes down to early game ganks you are able to easily close distance by using to an ally or minion and then use to get on them and to also get in range for your exhaust. Also, if you were to encounter the enemy jungle champ, you having exhaust means an auto win for you unless they use their escape spell to run away. Exhaust just works better for Lee Sin than ghost since he has a very viable distance closer for escaping and positioning.
Smite is smite. Nuff said.
This is also viable instead of taking exhaust which is just a choice of personal preference. By taking this, you are unable to fight a 1v1 against the enemy jungler (Assuming it is someone like ), but when it comes to jungling/counter jungling it isn't always about killing the other guy. You lose a cripple and gain a distance closer and reliable escape spell. Up to you, just make sure to take the mastery if you do take it.
After Lee Sin uses an ability, his next 2 basic attacks gain 50% Attack Speed and return 10 energy each.
Anyway, this is what makes timing important with Lee Sin. If you spam your skills without putting a breather in-between you WILL run out of energy after 2 skills and your DPS will be SIGNIFICANTLY dropped.
BTW, all of the ratios are based off bonus damage.
Q: Sonic Wave / Resonating Strike
Sonic Wave: Lee Sin projects a discordant wave of sound to locate his enemies, dealing 60 / 90 / 120 / 150 / 180 (+0.8 per 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 60 / 90 / 120 / 150 / 180 (+0.8 per bonus Attack Damage) physical damage plus 10% of their missing health.
Cost 60 / 40 energy
Cooldown 10 / 9 / 8 / 7 / 6 seconds
This is now a 1.0 ratio (YAY!). This is your execution move and only that which is why you leave it at level 1 (If you are a lane Lee Sin then you would max this, BUT THIS AIN'T NO LANE SIN GUIDE NEGRO). How you would effectively use this is you throw it on your target, beat on them with your other skills, ultimate them, and press Q again allowing for maximum damage output and keeps you in range of your soon to be dead target. You can also use this to escape in the jungle or in a lane by throwing it at an enemy minion or neutral creep and dashing to it.
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. If a shield is broken, half the energy cost is returned. 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 gains 10 / 15 / 20 / 25 / 30 lifesteal, spell vamp, and armor.
Cost 60 / 40 energy
Cooldown 8 seconds
This is your jungling tool and you spam it while farming and use it to position yourself in team fights. It is the escape mechanism you use while poking. It goes, throw your Q, dash at the target if it is safe enough to do so, and W back to your tank or whatever friendly thing you can click to get back. In a fight, Iron Will sets you apart giving you an amazing 25 everything letting you go toe to toe for an extending period of time with anyone. Timing is key with this and you just have to know when to do it.
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 60 / 40 energy
Cooldown 10 seconds
Is now a 1.0 ratio (YAY!). Is your AoE damage skill that hurts like a mofo and reveals them pesky mushrooms, eve/twitch players, and can even net you a sight on a sneaky Shaco here and there. This is mainly used for the insane debuff that super slows whoever you are fighting to give you and your team the edge. Not much else to say about it, the skill speaks for itself.
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
Is a 2.0 Ratio now (DAYUM!) This is your ultimate CC move that can stop an annoying Katarina, a Nunu ult, get big daddy Nasus away from you, tell Rammus to GTFO, and can even send Malphite and his ult back at his team (This has to be a glitch...if not then LOL to you my good sir). Outside of the obvious CC that it is, this is your big ticket move that gives Lee Sin his amazing burst damage. Used properly usually results in a win depending on who the target is.
I could write an entire guide on this skill alone, but if this gets approved ill try to add videos and what not showcasing this skill.
Of course is priority for the damage nuke it gives off. Secondly, you want to max for the slow and AoE damage to speed up jungle time and to make ganks that much easier. Next you can pick between or but I suggest taking the Q over the W just for more burst damage. If you opt for the shield route you lose some power, but gain a bit of a cushion which in some cases may be better for you. This is a decision you must make when playing the enemy team.
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This is your best starting item setup. You are one of the few junglers than can actually utilize the boots which allows for you to invade the enemy jungle easier due to you naturally out speeding anyone you will meet (Base 325 base move speed is one of the highest in game) and allows for easy chase downs in early skirmishes/ganks that may or may not happen. Early game, speed > all...nuff said.
This is your core and with very good reason. With this core you will be boasting nice defenses having over 80 in both (Depending on your runes and what not you can have more or less) and your DPS will be significant due to your Sheen proc, extra 23 damage from Wriggles, and the life-steal/spell vamp actually benefits you greatly due to Wriggle's effect. Also, CC is your worse enemy due to anything hindering your movement can spell your death from the slows to the stun, the silences to the snares. CC isn't your friend.
These items are your only source of DPS that you should even consider building on Lee Sin. The Ghostblade and Bloodthrister are your key sources of damage and you should be looking to make these two items in most games against balanced teams due to the insane damage output the two give out singlehandedly and combined they wreak havoc due to you being primarily burst damage which they both help greatly with.
can be either made first or last depening on what you are looking for. By rushing the Trinity you will gain a large boost to your DPS, but lose burst damage that you would of otherwise had due to the armor penetration and the you could of had. I suggest this first when playing against other champs that can actually go toe to toe with you after your burst since your sustained DPS is nothing to overlook since your passive even gears towards it. Make and champs like them think twice about actually fighting you after you burst 'em.
The other items such as should only be used against teams with four or more champs on the enemy team that actually use mana and at least two sources of AP damage. All of these requirements must be met because you won't get the full use of this item without it making the item slot not even worth it.
and should be purchased together in place of Ghostblade and Bloodthirster when you are the only true source of AD damage on your team and the enemy team is building armor against you. The attack speed from clever makes up for the speed you lose from the activation of Ghostblade in the long run and the effect/damage it gives off does give you weaker burst, but increased DPS. The weaker burst is then counter acted by the Last Whisper which just penetrates more armor to deal more damage with your skills. I do not advise building one of the other because if you needed to build one, the other one is also needed.
should only be used when your damage source on your team isn't really reliant on you in which you can then fall into the utility role of permanently slowing a target so that you and/or your team can finish them off. The HP is also a nice cushion add on which never hurts. Of your damage is needed though, which it normally is, don't build this item because the gold could of been used on something else more important.
For defense the items I listed above are the only ones and do not need explanation. They give defense and don't waste a slot. Nuff said.
Early GameAh, finally the "How to" part of the guide. When starting out, you need to immediately rush over to the enemy red buff depending and place the ward once the announcer says "Minions have spawned". Before doing this, ask for a CV (If you have one) on the enemy Blue Buff, ask for a person to guard your red buff and have a look out for your own blue. This allows for you to have total map control early on letting you know if it is safe to venture into their jungle for the ward or if the enemy is trying to do the same to you. If everything runs smoothly, place the ward, smite their big wraith, and run to your wolf camp and do the basic jungle path of Wolves - Wraiths - Golems (Make sure to smite one of them if possible) and look for a gank on bottom lane. If there isn't an extended lane anywhere, kill one small minion at the red buff camp and port back to base.
Now lets say the enemy team is invading you however and it isn't safe to place the ward in their jungle. Keep it. Do your normal path and go back to base. As you are running back into your jungle place the ward at their blue buff and get back to doing what you were doing. Even if the enemy sees you go in, if you place the ward and high tail it out of there, with your shoes, no one will (Should) be able to catch you baring summoner spells. By doing this, you can have an eye on the jungler and maybe even a gank if he isn't cautious.
If everything went horribly wrong, however, and you are unable to get the ward down and you have been counter jungled you need to clear your wolf camp, wraiths, Golems, and place your ward on dragon. This will give vision to your bottom lane and gives you a reason to run around till wolves re spawn. When encountering a counter jungle situation however, it is best to sometimes just leave the jungle and lane on top for a wave or two to generate gold. Yeah, you stole his exp and some gold, but that small set back is better than you running in the jungle getting killed or having to call people from their lanes to protect you. ONLY do this if you are being hunted consistently and unable to finish a full camp without someone messing with you.
Once the complicated first 3 levels are completed you simply just jungle as normal, gank extended lanes, ward dragon and the enemy camps (If you are able to) and just keep farming till something major happens.
Mid GameThis is where you will either make or break yourself because your burst damage isn't supreme as of yet and you are relatively squishy. You should of left the lane phase with at least a kill or an assist and now wards and skirmishes will decide who owns the late game. Constantly keep moving lane to lane buying a if you know the enemy team is big on wards as well. Continually farm safely (You should honestly be 2nd highest CS) and always be prepared to team fight. Communication is key and having map control means you wins.
In the team fights that will happen, your job is to either save your ult for a specific reason such as to counter a Katarina or something around those lines or use it to kick the enemy tank out of position or to even use it to instant kill the enemy carry if they get in a bad position. At this point you are a glass cannon and you want to AT LEAST take someone with you if you do die. If you always enter team fights last, you should always be able to net a kill on a properly initiated team fight. You rely HEAVILY on how well a fight was initiated. Remember this.
Late GameThis is where you shine if you had a decent early and middle game. You are able to take a few hits here and there and you are able to deal massive damage in small spurts. You do as you were doing middle game by farming, warding key locations, and fighting for baron control. Show up last, make an impression, win the game. Your target is the enemy carry and it is your job to see to it that they are either dead or afraid to enter the fight. Constantly apply pressure on them by using your Q and E to hinder them and finish them off if given the chance. No decent team is going to just let you bat on their carry, but no team can stop you from poking their carry unless they blow their hard CC on you in which case your team needs to capitalize and avenge your death (Trust me...if they used their hard CC on you...you are dead).
Team FightsYour role in team fights is to deal quick burst of damage to enemy champs who are out of position and to either create a fight via you ult or come in last and pick off low HP targets and chase down stragglers. You can easily destroy any squishy champ if given the chance and should always be looking for this chance. You are useless dead and you rely HEAVILY, I repeat, HEAVILY on initiations. If a fight went wrong, run away there is nothing you can do but maybe take someone with you. There is very little you can do to turn the tides outside of doing a key ult that could possibly give your team the proper initiation. Other than that, there is nothing else to be done. Let the initiator do his job and you do yours.
Roaming and WardingDISCLAIMER: I couldn't word this any better than what was said on Odd's Nunu Jungling guide. I him full credit to the following and I had nothing, I repeat, nothing to do with what was stated below. I repeat once more, these aren't my words.
"Simply put, if you think there's a chance the enemy is using wards (just check their items from time to time), a oracle is a very nice investment as it could stop the enemy laners from farming as well as they could and could net easy buffs/dragons as they have no clue where you could be. Likewise for wards, it allows your team to make more riskier plays/farm than the enemy because they know they should be safe. This also forces the enemy jungler/roamers to play far more cautious and do far more ganks as they realize they're seen from miles away. For ward spots, often one at dragon, maybe 1 at one of their key buffs (so the cv can be used on the other one) and 1 for the top to prevent ganks should be sufficient. Though sometimes I can afford more wards and double up the ones on the top side to cover both entrances to the top river/enemy jungle which is great for baron control and allies who shove to the enemy tower."
I said this earlier, but this pretty much sums it up perfectly far better than I could of stated it.
Final CommentsI personally feel that Lee Sin is a valuable asset to any team that already has CC covered. He plays the role of assassin quite well and unlike his brethren Shaco and Nocturne, he is easily able to sustain combat in team fight situations after his burst. He isn't the best jungle champ to grace the league, there are others who can do this job just as good, and in some cases, better, but Lee Sin makes a great addition to a team that needs his role specifically and I highly advise trying him out using my build or your own because he is a great champ and is heaps of fun. Hell, if anything his ganks are some of the best, if not, the best when it comes to jungle champs. Hopefully you guys love him as much as I do and remember. Lee Win, the blind funk wishes you much love...and funk.
With that, I leave you with the following...Nuff said