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TL;DR My first build is a tanky/support build, second build would be a bruiser build. (for extra credit include a straight damage build.) The conflict and question I have is when should I be using these builds for Lee Sin Jungle, as I believe they are both good builds. I just hate going into games thinking I am gonna rock it but for some reason I "fail" and get raged at.


Details

I have been very back and forth with my builds with Lee Sin jungle. My first build for preseason 4 typically started out

(AD quints, armour seals, MR-18 glyphs, AP/AD marks)

(9-11-9 masteries)

  1. madreds
  2. boots
  3. lantern
  4. tanky item (tpyically sightstone/frozen mallet)
  5. mobility (or if behind tabi/treads)
  6. all situational after that

I stopped playing lee sin s3 because this build didn't work very often, with the overhaul of lantern I tried it again. I had 3 very positive games in a row with him right away, as I was able to just farm camps and counter gank very effectively until I hit lvl 9 when I am very tanky and I can be a serious annoyance. But after that it seemed to get worse (possibly because I had a huge win streak and my MMR jumped). After getting raged at 2 games in a row as lee I decided to do a rebuild. the typical complaint being that when I gank I am to low health or not ganking enough because im constantly low health early on, while my opponent is ganking lanes really hard.

Here it is:

(Lifesteal quints x2 (working on a third) 1 AD quint, AD marks, armour seals, MR-18 Glyphs)

(9-21-0) (the 21 with a focus on hp5)

  1. spirit stone
  2. boots
  3. golem
  4. hyrda (typically tatmau, mobility then hydra
  5. LW
  6. tanky item (randuins, sunfire, maw)
  7. situational after that

The difference in ranked was pretty huge, went 12-4 and got my first triple with him. I shredded camps, and was able to stay healthier early on becuz of the extra sustain.

I like the first build because I play more of the support role that I believe the jungler should be, warding and tanking and just being everywhere. My new build allows for a much stronger gank and bigger presence altogether.

The conflict and question I have is when should I be using these builds, as I believe they are both good builds. Only thing I have to go on is Team composition, as how a lane is going to turn out is hard to predict unless going off of counters.

  • 1
    Very interesting question, I'd like to see a good answer :) – Kevin Nov 26 '13 at 17:38
  • 1
    @Kevin Same here, haha. – Paralytic Nov 26 '13 at 17:45
  • 2
    Can you make the question less discussion like, and less localized? The last few lee sin builds i've seen in pro play haven't been either of these. – Brian Nov 26 '13 at 17:47
  • @Brian I can try but I am already walking on thin ice with this question. I wouldn't suggest basing your builds off of pros, as they can get away with a lot sillier things then casual players. – Paralytic Nov 26 '13 at 17:50
  • @Brian Better?? – Paralytic Nov 26 '13 at 17:55
3

As Lee Sin, you'll always want a certain degree is tankiness. Directly answering your question, whether you build tanky or damage depends on three key factors:

  1. Your personal ability to make plays
  2. Team composition
  3. How well you're doing that game

Lee is a fun jungler and quite viable because he fits well into pretty much any team comp. However, many Lee players, especially in solo queue, fall into the trap of trying to carry with damage Lee, while tank Lee would have been much more useful in the situation you are in.

If you are confident in your ability to carry as Lee from the jungle, I would still suggest you build a maximum of two damage items (Hydra and Last Whisper). Get Golem (not sure how good it is now in pre-season 4 because it did get a huge nerf) and Ninja Tabi, Randuins, and it's all situational from there. Sightstone is also pretty much essential. Sunfire is not as cost effective and the passive doesn't really sync with Lee's kit, so I wouldn't recommend it.

Carrying from the Jungle as Lee Sin involves looking for opportunities, great mechanics (kicking an enemy carry back into your team, or Insec as it's known), and good game knowledge of where and when to be. It's certainly not at all easy, and if you try to build damage/carry Lee Sin but make the wrong plays, you'll just end up feeding kill after kill to the enemy team, especially in mid/late game when your damage begins to fall off.

It's generally much safer to play Lee Sin as a purely tanky/defensive peeler for your carries. Of course this is not as much fun, but it ensures that you're at least useful to your team. Stick with your carries and kick the enemy bruisers and assassins away from them. Slow their attack speed with your e. Give them a shield.

It's also important to factor in team composition. If your top and mid are both relatively tanky (let's say you have a Malphite and a Swain) then it's perfectly fine to build a bit more damage on Lee if you have the money for it. What isn't a good idea is building glass cannon Lee Sin when you have two squishies top and mid, and a squishy support.

Obviously, your build path also relies on how much money you have in the game. If you're doing well, don't hesitate to pick up a damage item or two. However, if you're behind, it's never a good idea to build damage on Lee Sin. Defensive items are generally cheaper and help you peel for your carries better.

To sum it up, your build for Lee Sin should depend on your own personal skill (which determines which role you are going to fulfill, a play maker or a peeler), your team comp, and how well you're doing in the game. You can certainly carry as Lee from the jungle, but if you're not that confident in your ability to it's a lot safer to just build tank and peel for your carries.

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