Champ of the Week: Lee Sin wrapup

Lee Sin Splash

After playing Lee Sin for a week I finally started having some real fun with him last night. I’m not sure if that’s just what it took for me to start to utilize all his mobility effectively, or if I wasn’t trying hard enough. Whatever the case, I played three games with Lee last night and had a blast, even in a game that I lost.

I’ve always been drawn to high mobility champions and Lee Sin is sort of the highest of the high mobility, provided you can land Sonic Wave and manage your energy. One of the hardest things to adjust to with Lee Sin, at least in the jungle, is to forget about buffs. He doesn’t need them to gank well and they do too much damage to him. I save buffs until I have a Razor because at that point they’re very easy to take and increase his already excellent ganking skill by quite a lot.

Lee Sin will be in a very interesting place if Guinsoo’s proposed jungle remake goes through. The new jungle is supposed to respawn smaller creeps faster, reduce the reliance on buffs a bit and nerf lizard so that it no longer slows. Lee Sin already burns through jungle creeps much faster than they can respawn. Improved respawn timers could put him in a class all his own, even if the experience in the jungle gets a significant nerf.

Though I like the mobility offered by Sonic Wave/Resonant Strike, I can’t help feeling that the 10% missing health component is a little bit broken in the lane. This is a tough one to reason out because it’s really hard to tell how much damage it does. I know this – when I see a character under 50 percent health, I’m positive I can get a kill if they don’t have Flash or some other escape ability. That’s true for a lot of characters in the game, but not for quite as many melee champions. I think the real issue is the mobility of Sonic Wave. Lee’s mobility is unique in that it works based on two ever-shifting points of control: his position and his opponent’s. By maneuvering a bit in lane, it’s pretty easy to guarantee Sonic Wave strikes, making that 50 percent kill simple enough to land.

For all of his 1v1/ganking power, Lee doesn’t shine in teamfights, which is probably a good thing. As I mentioned in my last post, he really has to wait for the right moment to engage. I often find myself using Resonating Strike to bait the enemy’s attack, dash out with his W to a teammate, and then dive back in when I see an enemy get low. I really started to fall in love with Brutalizer for the extra cooldown reduction, and with 25 armor pen on the runepage, 6 from masteries, and 15 from that item, Lee Sin can push players into that 50 percent range really fast.

I’m really starting to understand why Lee Sin players are such fanatics. He’s an extremely aggressive champion in a game that is becoming increasingly passive. It’s a nice change, and though can be tough to get used to I think he’s definitely a champion worth learning.

  

Champ of the Week: Fun with Flying Kicks

Acolyte Lee Sin.

When Lee Sin first launched I was totally underwhelmed. He just didn’t seem to have that special something that makes a champion fun. He had all the right stuff – decent damage, excellent mobility, cult status with the community – but it was still missing. He was just too…boring.

Things have since improved. He caught a little buff here and there and I’ve found him a bit more enjoyable, but I’m still having trouble really getting into his playstyle. There are a couple of basic problems. First, I don’t have a clue how to build him. So much of his damage comes from steady, consistent attacks that it seems like just about everything works (except maybe attack speed). Wriggles? Sure. Sheen? Yeah, why not. Bloodthirster? Some of my best games so far. But I’ve also worked with Ghostblade and Frozen Mallet and Sunfire and the list goes on. Lee Sin doesn’t feel particularly good at any one thing, and for me that’s just not very enjoyable.

It’s not that I’m doing poorly, either. I’ve had some bad games, but I’ve also had some pretty incredible games. I went 12-1 today with a Wriggles -> Bloodthirster build. It was a decent game, but thinking back on it I realize part of what makes Lee Sin a bit less enjoyable than other champions. He seems to best on the outskirts of a fight, waiting for that one moment to dive into the fray and land his AoE slow. From there, it’s pretty much just praying that the enemy splits up enough that your Resonant Strike can land on your desired target.

I’ll have more thoughts later in the week I’m sure. Keep checking back, and if you have some other build ideas, let me know. I’m still not sure what’s best.

  

Champ of the Week: Lee Sin

As promised, this week’s Champ of the Week is someone I’m truly bad with, someone I haven’t been able to master since his release several months back, and someone who consistently dominates me in lane. This week’s Champ of the Week is none other than Lee Sin, the Blind Monk.

Honestly, I’m not sure what my problem is when it comes to Lee Sin. I’m probably running the wrong runes or the wrong skills or some combination of all things above, but I just can’t get him down. I had a somewhat decent game with him the other day but that was owed mostly to a solid performance from the rest of my team and the fact that I was able to kill steal enough to get a decent farm. The rest of the time I’ve felt like a fish that’s been thrown from a 30-story building, flapping my flippers all the way down. It’s not pleasant.

I have seen several Lee Sin players rock, though, and he’s an absolute demon if he can get ahead. I’ll be focusing on build strategies and aggressive early game tactics to maximize his late game potential. It seems to me that consistent early ganks from Lee are hard to stop, thanks to high mobility and an energy system that offers virtually unlimited gank potential.

If you have tips or requests, drop them in the comments. Otherwise, check back later in the week for more impressions or catch a game with me at “The Wiggin Boy.”

  

Lee Sin catches a hotfix buff

blindmonk_splash_1

Lee Sin might be real, *sunglasses*, real mediocre. Okay, I don’t think that’s how that joke works but who can resist a little wordplay. In all seriousness, Lee Sin was one underwhelming dude, to the point that Riot saw fit to hotfix buff him. I haven’t really been a fan of this method in the past, and after seeing the numbers, I’m not a fan of it now.

Check it:

Sonic Wave/Resonating Strike AD ratio increase to 1.0 from 0.8
Tempest/Cripple AD ratio increased to 1.0 from 0.6
Dragon’s Rage AD ratio increased to 2.0 from 1.5
Flurry’s Energy restoration increased to 15 from 10.

Those are serious buffs. Imagine another character in the game picking up those kind of number boosts. I still don’t think it will address all of his problems. Lee Sin suffers from a lack of real crowd control, even if he is fairly mobile.

It’s also hard for me to see this buff and not think, gee, Nocturne hasn’t been changed, and he has one of the absolute strongest kits in the game. How does a buff like this get pushed through when adjustments to a character like Nocturne aren’t even made the patch after his release? I’m confused, but thankfully Lee Sin isn’t the kind of character that can take these buffs and just murder an entire team. In the right hands, though, I think he’ll be very deadly.

  

Lee Sin Impressions

blindmonk_splash_2

I’m still reeling a bit from the fact that Lee Sin is real, but that hasn’t stopped me from playing a few games with him. On the whole, I think he’s a much more balanced release than Nocturne, and that makes him feel a little lackluster.

For the most part, I like Lee Sin’s kit. He has a lot of mobility and his W and E are both strong enough skills that he has some build flexibility. If you’re in a heavy harass lane, level the shield before the slow, and vice versa. I do tend to get one rank of each before level six, just for the utility. Dashing to a minion with his shield has saved my ass more than once. In almost all cases, though, it seems best to rank Sonic Wave first.

One of my biggest problems with Lee Sin is his ultimate. The damage scales really well, but with all of the dashes in the game it can be nearly impossible to send the target where you want. One wrong step and suddenly they’re flying out of range. It’s often best used as a finisher, which kind of negates the kick functionality. I would love to see this get some kind of redesign, even if it was just to make a dead player fly through enemies just as a live player would. That would make the kick slightly more tactical.

The energy system is also a source of frustration for Lee Sin, if only because his cooldowns feel pretty short. I never feel like I’m waiting on abilities, just on the energy to use them. Granted, his passive is supposed to help with that, and it does to an extent. Still, it’s frustrating to look down and see 2 abilities grayed out and just wait for more energy.

I will say, I’ve seen a lot of people who feel the opposite about the character. Some players are in love with him, so my malaise could be related to flavor more than balance. As I write that, it feels more true than the balance issue – I do think there are some changes that would make him more fun/interesting, but at the end of the day I think I’ve seen one too many dashy melee characters. More. Flavor. Please.

  

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