Beefy Demigod Setup
Agressive Items (Choose 1-2)
Now Get Beefy
Hi, I'm EpicWeirdoKid, a diamond NA jungler who's a little bit obsessed with spamming Shyvana games in solo queue. I've played over 900 ranked Shyvana games on my main account alone and easily more than 1k across all my accounts. In Season 6 with the removal of Sated Devourer many Shyvana players seemed to have difficulties with her, or drop her entirely. Meanwhile I reached Diamond for the first time with a 55% winrate on Shyvana over 400 games. Now I want to help shed light on how to carry games with this champion, both through this guide, and through my daily twitch stream.
Greater Mark of Attack Speed
Greater Quintessence of Attack Speed
Greater Seal of Scaling Armor
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
The attack speed and attack damage runes are standard and are there to maximize clear speed and damage output. Scaling resistance seals and glyphs are what I use to stack with her passive Dragonborn in order to safely rush HP items like Frozen Mallet and Titanic Hydra.
As for masteries, Courage of the Colossus is the ideal keystone. It's extremely complimentary to Shyvana's optimal playstyle which I'll get into below. The rest of your points need to go into the ferocity tree so you can run Vampirism .
Shyvana has many options for summoner spells, but I find myself using this one the most frequently. It's great into bursty champions. It can help with dueling and give Shyvana a tool for peeling, something she lacks in her kit.
This spell is essential against champions that create terrain like Anivia Jarvan IV and Azir. It's also great against champions with a lot of dashes or blinks like Ahri and Ezreal.
Now we're getting into more "niche" or in other words, highly situational spells. If I take ghost it's generally as an answer to an enemy that will also take it (ie. Hecarim and Olaf) or if the enemy team has very few dashes that can cross terrain.
This is a decent spell into a team with lots of targeted CC. It pretty funny and oppressive when you gank an Annie or Twisted Fate who are totally reliant on a stun to save themselves and you just totally shrug off their only self-peel.
For maximum damage Shyvana is reliant on a fairly intuitive ability sequence. First when nearing your target mark them with Flame Breath. Then activate Burnout to stick to them and deal additional damage. Don't activate Twin Bite yet. First hit them with a basic attack then immediately use Twin Bite after that attack makes contact. Twin Bite will reset Shyvana's attack timer, resulting in higher dps. This combo is your means for damaging everything from Gromp to Baron to enemy champions. It functions the same way in dragon form as human form, and it should look like this:
If an enemy champion is retreating however you'll have to close the gap by activating Burnout first, then performing the rest of the combo in the same Flame Breath-->basic attack--> Twin Bite order. The key in any situation is to mark enemies with Flame Breath immediately before you start hitting them because the mark only lasts 5 seconds.
Dragon's Descent Doesn't fit into Shyvana's combo. It's her most dynamic ability. It's primary uses include:
- Initiation - Dragon's Descent will drag enemies with you. This effect benefits you twofold because it serves both as a displacement spell which is effectively a very brief stun, and clumps enemies together so you can hit more of them with your combo which is now full AoE. This is the deadliest and primary use for Shyvana's ultimate. It's important to actually land the displacement in order to activate Courage of the Colossus and important to avoid casting Flame Breath until AFTER you transform since it does far more damage in dragon form.
- Dueling - In a duel or skirmish this serves pretty much the same purpose as in big teamfight initiations. During a tough duel, 1v2, skirmish, etc. casting Dragon's Descent for the displacement, damage, HP, empowered basic spells, and Courage of the Colossus shield can give you the edge needed to emerge victorious. Just be sure to aim the dash only slightly behind the enemy rather than max range or you'll overshoot and create unwanted space.
- Gap Closing & Retreating - Even after the nerf to its range Dragon's Descent is still one of the longest dashes in this game. You can use it to cross thick walls that most other dashes can't get through.
- Displacement - When playing against champions with high-profile channelled abilities it is extremely important to remember that you have hard CC on your ult. Dragon's Descent is Shyvana's only means to interrupt abilities like Katarina's Death Lotus, Malzahar's Nether Grasp, Shen's Stand United and many more.
- Wall Hopping - Without Flash this is Shyvana's only method of bypassing walls. Even if you have flash, consider using Dragon's Descent instead as it will become available again far more quickly than Flash will.
Ever since Shyvana's introduction to the game there has been a rampant misconception that she's weak in the early game, particularly before level 6. This makes no sense to me. She has one of the fastest jungle clears patch after patch and some of the highest damage of any champion in the game levels 3-5. The security and pressure of her early game is one of the things that keeps me coming back to play her season after season. Most players just don't understand how to jungle. They run around the map killing monsters and sometimes darting into a lane to go for a kill. The strategic skill floor for Shyvana is a bit higher. Her strengths force you to do things a jungler should be doing anyway. If you don't play a nuanced jungle game, then you can't access her strengths in any meaningful way, and her weaknesses, particularly her susceptibility to kiting, will seem painfully overbearing.
So what am I talking about? Well for one thing you need to track the enemy jungler. This is done through a combination of map awareness, warding, and most of all using common sense to infer the enemy jungler's current location, status, and action plan. (This is something you should always do as a jungler, on any champion. FYI) Once you figure this out, everything else is easy. Your main goals in the early game are counter-ganking and counter-jungling. Shyvana excels at both of these. She wins just about any 2v2 or 3v3 that you'll encounter in this game, ESPECIALLY as a counter-engage after the enemy has used their mobility cooldowns. She also has extremely potent ganks IF you are smart about your engage method. Use pings to work with your laners to get them to bait cooldowns and engage fights just as you show up to to turn it in your team's favor. After you get 6, a whole new world of dive potential opens up, especially with Courage of the Colossus .
And of course, you need to place very high emphasis on drakes. On other champions, in some games, it can be fine to prioritize other objectives at the expense of drakes. For Shyvana this is a more costly tradeoff. If you fail to secure drakes, you'll miss out on stats from Dragonborn. A great thing about elemental drakes is that contesting them leads to early skirmishing, and Shyvana is phenomenal in early and mid game skirmishes.
Mid & Late Game
Let's finally talk about the 6.23 Shyvana rework. Essentially this rework was a buff to Shyvana's dragon form, especially for the playstyle I had been using for most of Season 6. In the late game, (in the broadest possible terms, not accounting for a multitude of possible variables), you want to group with your team and look for big ults into the middle of the enemy team to initiate teamfights. Use ult FIRST and aim it through the enemies so you activate
Courage of the Colossus
. Be sure to use Flame Breath AFTER you transform because in dragon form it now deals massive AoE damage. You can really roll over the enemy team like this late-game. Think of Shyvana late game being similar to Irelia or Renekton, jumping on the backline to delete carries while tanking a full team of damage.
It looks something like this:
In this clip, Nasus gets caught in what should be a 1 for 2 in favor of the enemy team, but I show up and ult right into the middle of the chaos, dealing and soaking enough damage that we trade 4 for 4. Moments after this clip we respawn, rush baron and win the game, because Shyvana's raw stats turned what should have been a throw into a path to victory.
As you may expect, this sub-2000 word guide on the internet barely scratches the surface on how to play Shyvana. If you're interested in climbing with her I highly recommend taking a look at my stream on twitch. I'll also be working on a more fleshed out video guide and some self replay analysis to explain my thought process during a game. You can expect those to come sometime in early season 7. Have a great time slinging fireballs on the rift, and please feel free to ask me any further questions you still have!