Hello Summoners! Today we’re looking at Lee Sin, who has recently been retuned and uploaded to the PBE. The tentative changes can be seen here. Known for his early game strength both in lane and in the jungle, Lee Sin is a fearsome early game champion, but what makes the Blind Monk tick? That’s what we’re looking at today.
Looking from a jungler’s standpoint, Lee Sin has everything to make early ganks happen. Mobility from his W and Q abilities means that even a flash won’t always save you from death. Even if you are able to create distance, the slow from Tempest/Cripple (E) gives Lee the ability to stay on your heels. Aside from amazing mobility and pursuit, Lee Sin deals considerable damage. His Sonic Wave/Resonating Strike (Q) has strong base damage and an execute! Generally being the skill you’d max first in the jungle, hitting it is key. At level six, he receives a fairly large power spike with his ultimate Dragon’s Rage, which has strong base damage, scaling, and utility via displacement. His passive’s attack speed steroid, which shines in early game skirmishes, means Lee Sin can chain off multiple AutoAttacks and restore energy after every single ability. Compared to other junglers, he’s nearly unmatched in early duels, and the diversity and power of his kit makes him powerful even without many core items. Lee Sin’s main flaw during the early levels is that he doesn’t have a hard CC ability, making it a little tougher to secure kills.
What about later into the game? Well, hopefully you don’t reach late game. During the mid game with a strong team composition, a top lane Lee Sin can easily split push utilizing his passive, mobility, and aoe damage. His abilities do both physical AND magic damage, also making him a superb duelist.
As a jungler, your job is to continue to make plays whilst rotating for objectives with your team. Building tanky, jungle Lee Sin still fairs alright throughout the mid game. If you choose to go down the damage path as jungle Lee you’re usually able to assassinate carries before they have a defensive item and enough bodyguards to peel.
Into late stages of the game Lee Sin starts to show more weaknesses. He can be bursted down if he doesn’t snowball both himself and his team during the early game. Whether you’re building to assassinate or tank for the team, he excels at neither by 35-40 minutes. When you get to those larger teamfights, his primary role as a tank is to initiate and peel. It’s not easy to pull an Insec initiation, nor is his peel any good without enough abilities to keep tanks and bruisers off of your carries. However, what choice do you have to build if you fall behind? You have to build tanky to stay alive, yet you won’t be tanky enough to keep anyone else alive, or do enough damage to kill anyone outright! If you do snowball a lead, you’d think you can grab some damage items and focus the other team’s carries, but Lee Sin isn’t good at diving the back line once the enemy champions have 2-3 core items. Yes, he has very high AD scaling, so it’d seem as though he’d do great with a full damage build late into the game,
but his skillshots make him a lackluster assassin. When you land your Q, if you dive right in you’ll die. If you wait for the fight to break out, you’re going to need to go in at a sneaky angle or you won’t get through at all. Compared to someone like Leblanc, who can simply delete whoever she chooses without worry, Lee Sin struggles in this regard. Realistically, you want to snowball the game and end it early. If not, you’re not likely to be as useful as you’d like in late game teamfights.
Lee Sin is a powerful champion, especially in the right hands. He’s very good at controlling the whole early game and getting his team ahead, but without an advantage he’s lackluster in a dragged out game, and may not provide enough to win.