This is a tentative rework for Lee Sin, the Blind Monk. Lee's been in a tough design spot for some time: on one hand, his kit is often singlehandedly responsible for limiting champion diversity in the jungle, due to it being overloaded on mechanics, and on the other, he's not actually a bad champion. He's fun to play, has some of the best skill expression in the game, and has a unique niche in the game as a utility assassin/fighter. When Riot proposed to slash his early game power, the community went into an uproar, and generally has been extremely reluctant to accept any changes to him. It's extremely hard to change anything about Lee Sin, because there's so much to him that is iconic: he's one of the best Dragon/Baron stealers in the game, his mobility defines him, and everyone knows about the Insec kick. It's difficult to give him a weakness, since he's good at pretty much everything.
I think a possible solution to this, while often thrown out as a joke, would be to carry his namesake to its full extent, and make the Blind Monk truly blind. Additionally, it might be worth trimming down a bit of his more pervasive power in favor of power directly concentrated on his actives. The result would be a champion who could truly be amazing at a ton of different things, while still having a genuine weakness and a unique interaction with team comps, both ally and enemy, along with a totally unique strategy and playstyle. Furthermore, it would allow Lee Sin to take his current strengths to the next level, and in addition to top-tier damage and tankiness he could also bring his utility to the forefront too, using it even more as a major part of his fighting style and making additional contributions to his team besides well-placed Insec kicks.
Innate:Lee Sin's personal sight range is permanently reduced, but his abilitiesreveal all enemies they damage for 3.5 seconds.
This is by far the most drastic change I want to implement to Lee Sin. Back in 2011, when he was released, if anyone had suggested to make him actually blind, it would only be as a joke (and it was, as seen in his April Fool's champion spotlight). Nowadays, however, both the design and technical teams at Riot have advanced by leaps and bounds, and such an effect could not only be possible, but also potentially really good to have. In this situation, the tradeoff to such a massive disadvantage would be that Lee Sin, in addition to having some unique vision of his own, would be allowed to be massively OP otherwise, and could have some the beefiest stats and most powerful abilities around. Overall, it would cement his place in aggressive, roam- and vision-oriented team comps, where he'd shine the best due to the vision control his team would be able to output (by contrast, he'd have trouble in defensive/turtle/stall comps, as the lack of overall control would render him literally blind in many areas). It would also give him a clear niche against certain team comps: farm and late-game comps would be in trouble due to the huge early game pressure he'd be able to output, and his utility would also allow him to deal very well with all-in comps, but he'd also suffer enormously against poke comps, who'd be able to abuse his blindness to attack him out of his reach.
In general, I gave Lee's base stats massive buffs, as I think he needs enough raw tankiness to soak up at least some damage, which he'd be more vulnerable to due to his blindness, but also more damage, as he should really, really hurt if he does get in reach of his targets. He'd be a great duelist in persistent fights, though the trick to beating him would, again, lie in abusing his lack of persistent vision. Here's the full list of stat changes:
Base health increased to 600 from 570.8.
Health growth increased to 100 from 85.
Base health regeneration increased to 10 from 7.425.
Health regeneration growth increased to 1 from 0.7.
Base attack damage reduced to 81 from 61.176.
Attack damage growth increased to 7 from 3.2.
Base attack speed increased to 0.75 from 0.651.
Attack speed growth increased to 6% from 3%.
Base armor increased to 30 from 24.216.
Armor growth increased to 4 from 3.7.
Base movement speed increased to 355 from 350.
Is now a manaless champion, and no longer consumes energy (I figured the gate to Lee Sin's ability use here would be his blindness, and not his energy. He should be able to use his abilities as much as he'd like, as he'd always have a high chance of missing).
COOLDOWN: 9 / 8 / 7 / 6 / 5
Active:Lee Sin fires a wave of sound in a line, dealing physical damage to the first enemy it hits and dashing to them.
A large overall change to Lee's kit I want to implement is the fusion of both components of his abilities: since he'd have no resource, there would effectively be no real decision-making to following several of his 2-part abilities after each other. Instead, he'd have much shorter cooldowns all around, and should therefore have much more potent persistent utility and mobility as the game would advance.
COOLDOWN: 9 / 8 / 7 / 6 / 5
Active:Lee Sinshields himself for 1.5 seconds and dashes to the target ally or friendly ward.
If the ally is a champion, Lee Sin places himself between them and the nearest visible enemy champion, applying Safeguard's shield. If the selected area has no allies, he automatically places one of his wards to dash to it.
Lee Sin can cast Safeguard on himself to apply his own shield without dashing.
This is the biggest change to Lee's basic abilities I want to implement, as I think Lee Sin shouldn't have much persistent power (it wouldn't make much sense, considering how he'd be spending most of his time looking for his opponents, let alone putting his steroids to use), especially since his sustain doesn't really add any wow factor to his gameplay. Instead, I want to super-improve Lee's shield, allowing him to give either himself or his allies significant protection. Both the base amount and scaling are huge, partly so that both AD and tanky Lee Sin (or tanky damage Lee) would feel good about this no matter what they'd build, but also so that Lee would also make a sizeable contribution to his team via shielding targets as well. I removed the CDR on ally hit, but also massively reduced the cooldown, so that it would be available pretty frequently, especially late-game at maximum CDR.
I made a few small changes to the dash, the first being that Lee would position himself between target champions and nearby enemies a la Shen to intercept possible incoming damage, allowing him to truly safeguard enemies from as much damage as possible. The other is a bit of an optimization, in which clearly targeting an area without allies or wards (as opposed to just to the side of one) would automatically pop down a ward for Lee to jump to. I initially though of getting rid of Lee's ward-hopping, but it's a well-loved and interesting gameplay mechanic, which would be enriched here by the fact that Lee Sin would genuinely make use of the vision when entering combat, and could use wards to scout enemy territory before going in. It would also make wards a precious and unique resource to him, as they'd give him limited free jumps. The auto-ward might be an unnecessary mechanic, and could easily be removed without incurring any problems, but could potentially make ward-hopping easier for newer Lee Sins, who'd already have to face up against the difficulty of playing a champion with a totally new vision paradigm.
COOLDOWN: 9 / 8 / 7 / 6 / 5
Active:Lee Sin smashes the ground, dealing 100% AD physical damage to all nearby enemies and slowing them for 1.5 seconds.
I buffed Tempest and changed its damage type to physical, which would make Lee's damage more consistent overall (he'd deal huge base damage, but could be mitigated better by armor). Additionally, I fused it directly to E2's slow, making it crowd control a lot shorter, but much larger and non-decaying (I want to remove the movement speed caps on the side, which would make a 70% slow almost equivalent to a 99% slow now). As with Lee's other basic abilities, the cooldown here is a lot shorter, so that Lee would be much more at ease to use this for detection, and potentially much more damage.
COOLDOWN: 90 / 70 / 50
Active:Lee Sin launches a powerful roundhouse kick, dealing physical damage to the target enemy champion and knocking them back a fixed distance over 1 second.
Physical Damage: 100 / 200 / 300 (+ 100% AD)
Enemies the target collides with take the same damage and are knocked up for 1 second.
Dragon's Rage is a single targeted area of effect ability.
Dragon's Rage is the ability I changed the least overall. While I reduced the cooldown, I didn't drastically buff its damage either, as I think Lee should use more of his powerful autoattacks to take down his targets. A quirk from the new passive is that this would reveal all targets hit, which would not only allow Lee to bowl over multiple enemies, but also mark them for his team to clean up after too.
What are your thoughts on this? Do you think this would be beneficial for Lee Sin? Do you disagree with the direction I took with the changes?