League of Legends: DelightfulLee Sinple
Patch v220.127.116.11/5, More Tower Reworks, Champion Changes
by Jason Harper, OnRPG Journalist
Greetings fellow summoners! This is the patch v18.104.22.168/5 article for League of Legends, the game in which the handicapped can kick your ass. This patch includes yet more changes to how towers function, some champion changes, and Lee Sin, The Blind Monk.
Lee Sin is a… Okay, I’m going to admit it here. I’ve spent a few days of solid play with this guy and I really can’t put my finger on what role he’s meant to fill. In theory he’s a burly damage dealing support character that assists the team’s tank while screwing with the enemy team’s positioning. In practise he suffers from having no overall focus, and while he can be built a number of different ways, is rather lacklustre at all of of them. His overall playstyle feels a bit like Udyr, given the way he has to be played to a certain rhythm in order to be effective.
A listing of Lee Sin’s stats and abilities can be found in detail here. For an introduction to the character and how he plays, I would recommend checking out the Champion Spotlight (Okay, okay! For those of you who actually want to watch the real spotlight, it can be found here).
Lee Sin can be played as a burst damage dealer, but he will be an awful, awful burst damage dealer. The character you’re looking for is Akali for those sorts of shenanigans I’m afraid. He’s at his best when you pace him in accordance with his passive, Flurry. Trigger an ability, hit the enemy twice, trigger another ability, two more hits, and so on and so forth. This allows for his sustained damage to be rather impressive, provided the enemy will stick around long enough for you to pummel them to death.
As for what abilities he should be using, that’s a bit situational. In an ideal situation where the enemy champion is most likely trying to get themselves killed, you would hit them with a Sonic Wave [Q], jump into their face with a Resonating Strike [Q], hit them twice, Tempest [E], two hits, Cripple [W] to slow them as they try to run, two hits… and just keep using abilities until they die. This will never happen, and you’re going to need to use Safeguard [W] to protect yourself and allies from damage, and use its follow up, Iron Will [W], to recover all the health he’s going to be losing as enemies hurl every pointy object they can find in his direction. Iron Will is possibly his best ability, as when combined with his shield from Safeguard, it gives him incredible endurance, allowing him to use minions or monster camps as free health vending machines once it’s at a high enough level.
His ultimate, Dragon’s Rage [R] is a slightly altered version of Alistar’s headbutt. You don’t rush forward, but when targets are knocked back, they knock others up into the air. There is also a trick that the tooltip doesn’t tell you – If the target is knocked into something solid (walls work, but towers have not) they will also be knocked airborne as well as knocked back. Jarvan’s walls are an exception, as Riot must have found the irony of kicking Mr. Damacia out of his own Cataclysm. This air knock effect only works if they are not standing right next to the wall, and the enemy champion is pushed into it, rather than being there already and getting hit by Lee Sin’s ultimate. While this ability is meant to be used during team fights, kicking a tank into their own squishies, I’ve been mostly using it as an escape tool or as a last ditch effort for finishing off targets when just barely out of melee range (remember to calculate your damage after its modified by defenses before you hit that R key or your team is going to get very angry with you, very fast).
Best thing about Tempest – It reveals anything in stealth. Anything. That Akali threw down her smoke bomb? Boom! Smack her in the head. Think that Teemo’s been planting ‘shrooms in your back garden? Boom! Mushroom bashin’ time. Wards? Boo- Yeah, I think you get the idea. Having such an easy way of detecting stealth right at the start of the game really is a great tool Lee Sin has at his disposal, and should be abused at every opportunity.
If he’s laning, solo or duo, you need to ask yourself this question – How dumb is the person I’m laning against? If the answer is ‘Very’, then level your Sonic Wave/Resonating Strike first. Dumb people won’t realise that it moves slower than a fat guy on a unicycle, and that the hit box is… huh, about the size of a fat guy on a unicycle too, and will collide with any minion within a half mile of it. These people will get hit a lot, and take a lot of damage from flying boots to the head. Your leveling order is going to be Dragon’s Rage > Sonic Wave > Safeguard > Tempest.
When laning against non-stupid people who will actually dodge the slow moving Sonic Waves, or hide behind minion waves, you’re going to be using Safeguard to stop burst, and Iron Will to get your health back from the damage you’re going to be eating for dinner. Get one level of Sonic Wave, and then leave it there. Tempest is going to be your new farming tool. It does less damage, but it’s an area of effect attack for clearing waves, and slows enough for you to get hits in on enemy champions. Your order becomes Dragon’s Rage > Safeguard > Tempest > Sonic Wave. This second leveling order is also the jungling levelling order for him. Overall, it does less damage, but is more reliably damaging, and has more utility and survivability.
Start out with a Vampiric Sceptre if you’re jungling; His natural health regeneration from Iron Will supplemented by the sceptre allows him to be a very sustained, reliable jungler. If you’re laning, I tend to start with a Rejuvenation Bead and health potions to help survivability in the lane, but a Long Sword and a health potion would help him more with his build options.
Build a Sheen early, since it synergizes well with the number of abilities he’s spitting out in a fight, and start heading towards the Trinity Force. Boots are a tradeoff between Mercury Treads and Berzerker’s Greaves (The latter is more likely if you’re jungling). Wriggles Lantern is, as with most jungle viable characters, a good choice on him if you’re moving about the map a lot. Outside of that, I’m tending more and more towards tanky purchases with him rather than focusing on damage. His scaling with attack damage is pretty terrible, he gets plenty of attack speed from his passive when used correctly, and he has no real need for cooldown reduction or mana regeneration. This really only leaves building him for defense.
His Runes and Masteries are a complete tossup. While he has absolutely no need for mana regeneration (he has no mana) and cooldown reduction (short enough already), he can benefit from just about any rune and mastery set up. I’ve tried both a damaging set up and a defensive set up, and either seems to work out about as well as each other. The only thing to make sure you have is if you’re jungling, you should remember to grab the increased experience gain and neutral buff duration masteries.
In summary, if a good deal of this is sounding negative, that’s because I really can’t see a use for him in a game. If Garen is meant to be the Ashe of melee, then Lee Sin is the Cassiopeia. He doesn’t have a clear role in a team, he does a rather underwhelming amount of damage and his crowd control is pathetic. On the upside, he can take a good beating… provided it’s not against any form of burst or any dedicated damaging champion. I honestly don’t even know if buffing him would help, given his mish mash of abilities that don’t seem to have a clear focus. There just really isn’t any reason I can conceive that you would rather have him on a team over someone else.
Other than Lee Sin, the additions and changes are rather slim this week. The new towers will be able to better fend for themselves when champions aren’t around, hopefully meaning minion waves can get near a tower without it giving up and exploding.
I honestly never thought we’d see a day when Urgot was in need of nerfs, but the way things have been going with that character, I suppose it was inevitable. Caitlyn has been receiving a steady stream of buffs, and is now looking quite viable. Garen also has been getting some love, regaining his movement speed and a bit of added durability.
To discuss some of the changes yourselves, visit the League of Legends section of our forums, or post in the massive League of Legends thread in the free to play MMOs section. If you haven’t tried League of Legends yet. Now is the perfect time.