Shyvana Build Guide by Amokiir
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Not Updated For Current Season
The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.
Hello! My name is Amokiir. I've been playing League of Legends for 3 years. During that time I've learned that Shyvana is very best champion in League ;) I've spent a lot of time playing Shyvana in the jungle and even more time thinking about how to play her better. After testing different builds and play styles, I've concluded that Shyvana is best played as an aggressive AD Offtank (more on that below). I hope this short guide will be of use to some of my Shyvana fanatic friends. Good luck and always remember to be a good teammate!
Goals of this GuideThis guide has two main goals: 1) To demonstrate that AD Offtank is Shyvana's most effective playstyle 2) To defend the item build featured in this guide as AD Offtank Shyvana's most effective item set.
Although Shyvana can play as a Tank, there are better Tanks out there. Her stats (2209 natural health at lvl 18) and passive (20 extra armor and magic resist after lvl 16) allow her to play as a Tank, but by examining the remainder of her abilities (which have an emphasis on damage) and her damage per second (dps) potential, it becomes clear that she was created to do incredible damage (note, her natural tankiness is the very thing that enables her to deal that damage)! For these reasons, this guide's number one priority is dealing damage. The items, runes, and masteries discussed below will be employed to make this happen.
AD OfftankBy "AD Offtank" I mean a champion who has some tanky items (usually two or three), but utilizes the rest of their items to do the most physical damage possible. Our little secret is that Shyvana does comparable magic damage by the time you hit level 18 (with this build) and so effectively puts some AP in her AD :P
ItemsItems will be the most prominent feature in this guide for two reasons. First, there are already many other Shyvana guides out there that are very(!) helpful regarding abilities, matchups, gameplay, warding, jungling, etc. Second, I feel that I have something significant to contribute to Shyvana's game regarding items.
AcknowledgmentsThanks to SpikeThePike and LyteChai for helping me learn how to play Shyvana in my early days with their excellent guides (The Dragon Nears - CDR Shyvana Guide and Shyvana jungle total guide - THE MOST IN DEPTH; respectively) and for both inspiring me to use math to figure out how to play champions most efficiently. Finally, many thanks to one of my very best friends THENEMO for helping me with the math featured in this guide!
Now to business!
Three Greater Quintessence of Attack Speed are an excellent choice for Shyvana (especially with this build), since attack speed (AS) is her most important stat (i.e., the more basic attacks Shyvana lands, the more damage her W and E do). They're not only an efficient use of rune space, the +13.5% AS (+28.5% AS total with Marks) play an important role throughout her entire game. Early-game, this AS helps Shyvana clear jungle quicker (adding AD in place of AS makes virtually no difference in Shyvana's damage early game). Late-game, as will be demonstrated below in Damage Math, this AS will contribute to very amounts of damage output, effectively making Shyvana into a melee AD carry. Finally, since the last item in this build is Black Cleaver and not an AS item like Phantom Dancer or Wit's End, the extra AS from runes is a must.
The Marks of Attack Speed add +15% AS to Shyvana and (as mentioned above) contribute to Shyvana's damage output throughout an entire match.
Since Shyvana's passive gives only 5 armor from level 1 to 6, the extra 9 armor afforded by these seals benefits her early game when it comes to jungle sustain and those early ganks.
Most Shyvana guides suggest Greater Glyphs of Scaling Magic Resist since magic resistance is more important late-game than early-game. Additionally, the extra 27 magic resistance at level 18 gives Shyvana extra sustain late-game to deal her damage for as long as possible against those magic users.
Fury: The extra 4% AS from Fury is important for Shyvana for reasons mentioned above (i.e., increases damage output).
Double Edged Sword: 3% additional damage adds up with every hit! The increased 1.5% damage taken is worth it.
Natural Talent: This +10 AD and +15 AP (at lvl 18) adds significant damage for a mastery.
Bounty Hunter: As a jungler, this is a great mastery! Since you will roam more than any other player on your team, you have the best odds of killing every other enemy champion and acquiring the additional 5% damage given by Bounty Hunter.
Battering Blows: Sadly, this mastery slot is utterly lost, since no armor penetration is given to Shyvana in this build. However, the Keystone Mastery it leads to is worth it!
KEY STONEFervor of Battle: Shyvana's high AS and damaging abilities provide 8 stacks in less than 1.5 seconds with this build, adding an extra 112 damage per hit (that's at least an extra 224 damage per second)! Although Thunder Lord's Decree does more damage on strike, Fervor of Battle will already have done more damage by your fourth hit and will continue to do that extra damage for the remainder of the fight, where Thunder Lord's Decree only strikes once every 15 seconds.
Unyielding: With this build, this mastery increases Shyvana's armor from 193.6 at lvl 18 to 203.28 and her magic resistance from 170.4 at lvl 18 to 178.92. The 10 extra armor and 8 extra magic resistance is significant for one mastery slot. The extra armor and magic resistance will give Shyvana more sustain to deal her damage.
Explorer: Mobility is vital to jungles, especially early game when you're trying to secure ganks. Additionally, in the late game when Burnout is maxed and active, this +15 movement will increase to +22.5 in brush and the river, assisting in those last fights for Baron and Dragon.
Runic Armor: This 8% bonus to life steal makes a big difference for Shyvana's sustain throughout the game.
Perseverance: The consistent 50% health regeneration and 200% health regeneration when below 25% health, again, contributes to Shyvana's sustain so that she survives long enough to deal her damage.
NOTE: Building your last 12 mastery slots as Resolve over Cunning is significant. Although Cunning will increase your damage, the items, runes, and masteries included in this build already contribute LOTS of damage to Shyvana's game. Resolve will both benefit Shyvana's early-game as well as help her deal damage over a longer period of time late-game. Although of secondary importance, tackiness IS a very important feature aspect to Shyvana's game, since most of her damage is dealt in melee fashion.
Virtually every Shyvana guide agrees on these starting items.
First off, you'll want to rush the Skirmisher's Sabre with Devourer. Shyvana gets enough movement speed early from Burnout (so boots aren't necessary yet) and you'll want as many opportunities to "Sate" your Devourer as possible (TIP: as soon as you get the devourer, you can take the dragon by yourself, granting 5 stacks to Devourer). Skirmisher's Sabre is chosen over Stalker's Blade because of its superior passive (Challenging Smite vs. Chilling Smite). With Chilling Smite (Stalker's Blade), smite does 166 true damage to an opponent and slows them minimally (steals 20% movement speed; more helpful early-game than late-game). With Challenging Smite (Skirmisher's Sabre), smite marks an opponent for 3 seconds so that basic attacks deal 162 true damage every basic attack. Although Shyvana would typically need the extra crowd control granted by Chilling Smite, taking Exhaust (reducing opponent movement speed by 30%), Blade of the Ruined King (steals 25% movement speed, which results in a 50% total difference), and Black Cleaver (+20 movement speed after dealing physical damage and +60 movement speed after an assist or kill) Shyvana will have enough engage and crowd control to make her almost unescapable. Additionally, the extra 648 true damage over 3 seconds granted by Challenging Smite (assuming 4 basic attacks hit) can't be ignored, being more beneficial late-game than Chilling Smite's 166 true damage.
Ninja Tabi are second (only choose Mercury's Treads if it is apparent early that the most dangerous opponents are building AP) and are a great addition to the "Tank" in "Offtank." Ninja Tabi will lend you much needed sustain late game (due to it's passive; 10% decreased damage from basic attacks). I've included the Farsight because you'll be lvl 9 by this point and not enough people I play with use wards well. Spam Farsight in the enemy's jungle for extra vision (TIP: if you plant the ward on the mini-map, the curser turns green if it's on a bush). Vision wins games :)
Your third item is the Blade of the Ruined King (BORK). The 40% AS granted (along with the AS of Devourer) is central to Shyvana's damage output (you'll see what I mean in Damage Math). The life steal will help with late game sustain and the passive will help you tear tank champions to pieces (the passive plays a huge role in dealing damage; also explained below). When building BORK, build Bilgewater Cutlass first since you will already have AS from your Devourer, the life steal helps with sustain, and the unique active helps with engage (which Shyvana lacks). Next, we're picking Sunfire Cape. Although Deadman's Plate is another excellent item (giving engage with the extra movement speed and a nice slow), Sunfire Cape gives is more sustained damage in team fights (up to 43 magic damage per second to nearby enemies) and it's cheaper. Building Chain Vest first will give you better sustain against those AD champs you'll be fighting about now. Then, start Spirit Visage with Spectre's Cowl (you'll really need magic resistance at this point). Spirit Visage is the best Magic Resistance item on Shyvana for two reasons: 1) the cooldown reduction is key to Shyvana dealing damage 2) the passive (20% increased heal and drain effects) will increase your life steal and (again) add sustain.
Your final item is a contested pick. There are a lot of good options available. However, there is definitely a BEST option available (at least if you want to deal damage). The Black Cleaver will give you the most damage output AND extra sustain to continue dealing that damage (300 extra health). You can take my word for it, or see Damage Math below for a detailed explanation. Additionally, remember to upgrade your boots with Alacrity for extra movement speed (because you're a melee champion, getting close to your opponents is absolutely necessary). Finally, grab the Elixir of Wrath (since you have no items slots available, it will simply be applied to your champion), which gives 30 extra attack damage and 15% life steal for incredible sustain. Most people forget to buy elixirs and if you your opponents are also level 18, this will give you that extra edge to carry your team to victory.
Obviously, if none of your opponents do physical damage (although that's unlikely), exchange Sunfire Cape for Banshee's Veil. And if none of your opponents do magic damage (again unlikely), exchange Spirit Visage for Randuin's Omen. The extra armour or magic resistance will be more useful than any of the extra bonuses the normal item will give. I have already discussed situations where you should take Mercury's Treads above.
If you try out this build, please leave a comment and let me know what you thought of it!
Thanks for reading my guide :)