Lee Sin build, counter and abilities – League of Legends champion guide

LoL Lee Sin guide

League of Legends’ Lee Sin is a highly-mobile fighter who excels at single target duels and skirmishes. His kit allows him to dash in and out of combat, dealing damage in shorts burst before retreating back to safety. Combining his abilities into quick combos is the key to victory and will devastate your opponents if they’re not careful.

If you’re looking for more general advice, check out the best LoL picks for beginner players.

Despite his strengths Lee Sin requires good mechanical awareness, positioning and target prioritisation, as the Blind Monk’s hand-to-hand martial arts are all highly dependent on player skill. If you whiff your abilities you’ll be missing out on damage and chasing potential, making your ganks ineffective.

If you’re looking to deliver a flurry of punches and outplay your way to victory, Lee Sin is the champion for you. We’ve put together a handy guide that will cover Lee Sin’s build, counters and abilities to help you become an absolute nightmare in the jungle.

Lee Sin abilities

Lee Sin abilities

Passive: Flurry

Flurry is a self-targeted buff with an on-hit effect component. After using an ability, Lee Sin’s next two auto attacks within three seconds gain 40% bonus attack speed, returning 20 energy on the first attack and 10 energy on the second. This makes it ideal to space one or two autoattacks in between your abilities when jungling or fighting to keep up your energy and make use of the added attack speed.

Q: Sonic Wave / Resonating Strike

Lee Sin fires a sonic blast in the target direction, dealing physical damage to the first enemy it hits and granting true sight of them for three seconds. If Sonic Wave hits, Lee Sin can cast Resonating Strike within the next three seconds (Lee Sin dashes to the enemy marked by Sonic Wave, dealing physical damage that is capped against non-champions).

W: Safeguard / Iron Will

Lee Sin dashes towards a target ally or friendly ward. If the ally is a champion, both they and Lee Sin are shielded from incoming damage for two seconds and Safeguard’s cooldown is reduced by 50%. Lee Sin can also cast Safeguard to shield himself should he need to tank a few shots from a turret or negate enemy damage. After using Safeguard, Lee Sin can cast Iron Will for the next four seconds gaining bonus lifesteal and bonus spell vamp.

E: Tempest / Cripple

Lee Sin smashes the ground sending out a shockwave that deals magic damage to nearby enemies and reveals them for four seconds. If Tempest hits an enemy, Lee Sin can cast Cripple within the next three seconds, reducing movement speed of all enemies in range and marked by Tempest for four seconds. This ability is a bit underwhelming after the various nerfs it has received, as it doesn’t slow attack speed any more, but it still delivers a decent AoE slow.

R: Dragon’s Rage

Lee Sin performs a powerful roundhouse kick launching his target back, dealing physical damage to the target and bonus physical damage to any enemies they collide with. Enemies the target collides with are knocked into the air for one second. Lee Sin’s ult can be used a ton of different ways which makes it incredibly versatile. This ability is great in lane, but even better during team fights and can help keep your friends alive before dealing considerable damage against nearby foes.

Lee Sin guide

Lee Sin’s abilities really complement his overall style and he’s easily one of the most fun champions to be released on the Rift. His jungle clear is solid and he has a lot of great tools at his disposal. In the early game focus on taking both your buffs and as soon as you hit level three, you should focus your attention towards ganking top or mid-lane. You can choose go bot-lane if you know the enemy is low and has used their Exhaust, but if Exhaust is still up, the combination of reduced movement speed and poke can have a detrimental effect on your early ganking.

When clearing jungle camps make sure you initiate with Tempest then auto attack before triggering Cripple to reduce the monster’s attack speed. At higher levels you can combo in your Sonic Wave for added physical damage and Safeguard to block incoming attacks, as well as recover any missing health from the added lifesteal. When you gank as Lee Sin you’ll follow a very similar pattern. Land Sonic Wave / Resonating Strike to close the gap, then use Tempest / Cripple to slow their attack speed and combo in a few auto attacks before you use Safeguard / Iron Will to jump behind them and Dragon’s Rage them toward your allies.

It’s important that you remember to always save your Warding Totem so that you can drop it near an enemy and then jump to towards their location with Safeguard. This will allow you to quickly zap onto your unsuspecting prey, as well as give you an excellent escape should you need it. However, you must learn to land your Sonic Wave. This is Lee Sin’s core ability, and mastering this is what separates the good Lee Sin players from the bad.

Being able to land your Q is everything, as it allows you to constantly hound your enemies, steal key buffs and initiate teamfights. It can be hard to land, but if you’re patient and avoid trying to hit your opponent with the ability’s maximum range you’ll be greatly rewarded. It’s often best to simply run at your enemies, as they’ll usually waste time trying to juke out your Q, but Lee Sin’s high base movement speed will allow you to catch up to them, giving you a much easier target to hit. However, make sure you avoid the urge to follow up on every Q that you hit, as this can greatly decrease your overall survivability on the Rift. Only go in when you know you can safely kill your opponent or kick them toward your team with Dragon’s Rage. Going into a 1v5 fight is never going to end well, so just be patient and wait for the best opportunities.

Try to use your W to cancel the second part of your Q. You can use this to dash towards an enemy to make them think you’re in going on them, but instead you actually dash away before the ability connects. This combo may not do any damage, but it can make your enemies waste their abilities and summoner spells, while also allowing you to play mind games that make your moves harder to read. Just be careful when using this trick, as if you press W too late you’ll end up committing and going in, resulting in a frustrating death that could have been avoided.

Once you hit mid to late game you should be constantly applying pressure all over the map by warding and repeatedly ganking lanes. Try farm jungle camps whenever your Smite is up, but don’t spend too much time farming, as Lee Sin is easily outscaled by most champions, so prioritise getting your teammates ahead in their lanes and win the game by feeding them kills. It’s important to note that Lee Sin doesn’t require his ultimate to make big plays or launch successful ganks, as he has a lot of gap closer tools. Just make sure you’re constantly utilising your Q with the ward jumping from W, so that when you see an enemy out of position you can instantly punish them for pushing their lane.

Once your ultimate is off cooldown make it your priority to pick off any squishy damage dealers by kicking them towards your team so they can quickly dispatch them. Additionally, you can kick an enemy tank into his team to get a massive knock up and throw him away from the action. This will give your allies enough time to shutdown the various damage dealers, giving you the chance to either secure Baron, Dragon or enemy turrets and inhibitors. Lee Sin can also provide peel for his carries by using his W to shield them from incoming damage, mark enemies with his E to slow any pursuers, while his R can be used to instantly kick away any persistent champions.

Overall, Lee Sin is a great jungler who has the potential to outclass a lot of champions, especially the highly mobile picks that are currently roaming wild around the Rift. Many players may be put off by Lee Sin’s high skill cap, but those who are willing to learn the intricacies of the Blind Monk will be greatly rewarded.

Lee Sin build

Lee Sin build

Lee Sin is quite a flexible champion in terms of item builds, but it really depends on whether you want to build Lee Sin as a tanky frontliner or a fighter / assassin. If you want to build Lee Sin as a tank, you should rush Tracker’s Knife – Warrior and then stack some defensive items according to enemy threats. For example, if you find yourself against an AD heavy team focus on building items with high amounts of health and armour like Randuin’s Omen, Dead Man’s plate, Ninja Tabi and Thornmail. AD heavy items like Ravenous Hydra or Black Cleaver will also give your engages an extra kick in the damage department, while also keeping you healthy. However, it’s usually a good idea to grab tank items to match the main threats since you will be jumping into the enemy team to land your combo on priority targets.

If you find yourself against an AP heavy team you’ll want to prioritise magic resist items like Banshee’s Veil, Locket of the Iron Solari, Maw of Malmortius and Mercury’s Treads. Of course, most teams have a mixture of both AD and AP, so have look at the team you’re up against and purchase any of the above items that will help counter the main threats. Ruby Sightstone is always great item to purchase if you’re opting for a tankier build, as it not only gives you 500 health and 20% cooldown reduction, it also grants vision and gives you access to your ward hoping mechanic with your W.

However, if you’re looking to carry, you may want to tailor Lee Sin towards a fighter/assassin build. The only difference here is that you purchase one or two more damage items after your Warrior enchantment, again this is all dependant on who you face. Lee Sin greatly benefits from the lifesteal, health regeneration and movement speed, so Ravenous Hydra, Youmuu’s Ghostblade, Duskblade of Draktharr and Lord Dominik’s Regards are all great choices. Try to get an armour item and a Maw in order to have enough bulk to skirmish with people, otherwise you could find yourself feeding the enemy in teamfights. I would advise going for the tankier build though, as Lee Sin works best when he’s supporting his team with tanky engages, rather than being squishy and dealing high burst damage.

Lee Sin counter

Lee Sin counter

Lee Sin is a very strong early game champion, but falls off considerably when he enters the late game. A good Lee Sin will always be looking to gank lanes, counter jungle and apply a ton of map pressure. You may not be able to completely avoid his strong early game, but you can greatly decrease his ability to snowball if you position yourself safely in lane. Make sure you’ve warded your jungle and don’t push without the necessary vision, as you’ll make it all too easy for Lee Sin to gank you and pick up an early kill for his team. If you lack any reliable vision it’s best if you freeze your lane near your turret, so Lee Sin will be forced to leave your lane or commit to a risky tower dive.

If you’re jungling against Lee, consider purchasing a Hunter’s Potion to counter a possible invade. This will allow you to quickly regenerate your health and avoid giving away first blood and falling behind within those crucial first minutes. Remember that most of Lee Sin’s damage comes from his Q, as it gives him the most single target damage and a gap-closer. This ability’s effectiveness can be greatly reduced by simply standing behind your minions, so try to always have an obstacle in the way.

Communication is key when facing the Blind Monk. It’s important that you keep track of his flash cooldown and report to your team when he is missing. When Lee Sin ward hops it’s invariably followed by his Dragon’s Rage flash combo. If you know his ultimate is ready and his flash is on cooldown simply flash away towards your teammates. This will throw Lee Sin off-guard and can often lead him straight to your team if he commits to going in.

Lee Sin strong weak

Lee Sin’s weak against:

  • Udyr
  • Trundle
  • Vladimir
  • Garen
  • Riven
  • Poppy
  • Pantheon
  • Renekton

Lee Sin’s strong against:

  • Akali
  • Twitch
  • Aurelion Sol
  • Kha’Zix
  • Talon
  • Jarvan IV
  • Wukong
  • Shaco

Lee Sin goes well with:

  • Yasuo
  • Irelia
  • Teemo
  • Ryze
  • Annie
  • Warwick
  • Orianna
  • Riven

Thoughts on how best to use Lee Sin? Help out your fellow LoL players by scrawling your tips in the comments.