For most summoners, playing the support role, especially in solo queue, is flat out annoying. There are a few support champions who stand out above the rest (Taric, Thresh, Blitzcrank, ect) and who are picked nearly every game. Because of this, supporting your AD carry can become very dull. More than that, it can be downright disheartening. Supports know how it goes. No matter who plays well and who plays poorly, chances are everyone is going to blame either you or the jungler for anything that goes wrong.
In solo queue I’ve started to notice a trend of people wanting to innovate. Players breaking out from the meta game and electing to play comfort champs regardless of position (top/support/jungle). This is what inspired me to start playing Lee Sin, the blind support.
It happened so fast.My choosing the visually impaired holy one was an accident the first time. I meant to pick Lulu, misclicked, and ended up selecting the blind monk. After the initial surprise of my obvious mistake wore off, I found myself kind of glad. At least as Lee I can make plays, and, hell, why not try something out of the norm? What I found was that someone skilled with Lee Sin (not claiming greatness, but I understand how to play Lee and use him often) can break up the monotony of support play and, to my excitement, can control the lane.
Let’s start with the basics, Lee can deal a great amount of damage in the early game and is highly mobile. Mobility was the first one I noticed because the difference between Lee Sin and classic supports in movement is staggering. When you consider Sonic Wave/Resonating Strike and Safeguard, the difference becomes absurd. You will not get caught in ganks and if your AD gets caught you can easily get back in to make a play.
Lee’s kit is really quite nice for supporting. It’s something that I had never thought about before, but it makes perfect sense once you are in the bottom lane playing. Sonic Wave makes for easy poking on both the enemy ADC and support and creates effective harassment. Sonic Wave also causes your lane opponents to have to consciously avoid being in line of skill shots. On top of that, Lee can use his Q to check bushes eliminating the worry of through-lane bush ganks. The fact that you are an energy based champ also means that you can throw it out every time it’s available. Safeguard can be used in a similar manner as the Janna shield. When spells or projectiles are heading towards your AD, simply shield him from the damage. Again, you have no mana, so don’t be afraid to spam your abilities. Lee also can use Tempest/Cripple to slow enemies while chasing for the kill, or to slow an incoming ganker. Also, at level 6 you can displace opponents with Dragon’s Rage, making chasing your AD down nearly impossible.
Now, let’s take a look at itemization. Building “support items” is similar to what most jungle Lee Sins do anyways, but these items give a blind monk more advantages than the average support gains. For example, Sightstone is considered a “must have” item for supports. Lee can use the Sightstone to keep the bottom lane well warded, but also gains the ability to ward hop only using charges. That jump over the wall no longer costs you 75 gold, which is good when you consider that farm is scarce for supports. Zeke’s Herald is an item often forgotten by supports, thrown to the wayside for Aegis. Zeke’s is great for support Lee. The 10% life steal and 20 attack damage aura is great for your team (especially with the AD heavy team comps that have been popular in season 3), and the health and cooldown reduction are both very useful to Lee. Aegis is, of course, a great item, and building it will allow you to be more courageous. As most of you know in season 3, tankiness allows you the ability to make plays.
The best thing about playing Lee Sin support is that it isn’t foreign. You’ve played supports before and you know how the AD/support relationship works. Simply apply your Lee skills to the principles of bottom lane. There is no real learning curve that I ran into (thankfully).
The biggest problem I ran into playing the blind support is the low amount of gold. Your team will expect you to be as strong as you would have been had “xxYolo_Swag_GGxx” not forced you into the support role. This is one message to those few who play with a support Lee on their team: Support Lee Sin is NOT as strong as jungle Lee Sin! He was picked as a support, he’s played the game as a support, and he will be as strong as a support.
If you’re okay with playing that way, then welcome to the club! You won’t be bored in the bot lane farm-fest ever again. And don’t forget to Dragon Kick enemies into their own nexus. You are Lee Sin, the blind monk.
Is support Lee Sin viable, or is our gaming writer out of his mind?