Shen Build Guide by marisi

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League of Legends Build Guide Author marisi

AP/TANK (lane+jungling) post patch

marisi Last updated on September 27, 2011
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Team 1

Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
Ability Key R

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.


Brute Force
Improved Rally

Offense: 9

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 21

Expanded Mind
Blink of an Eye
Mystical Vision
Presence of the Master

Utility: 0

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Hello, welcome to my third build on mobafire featuring Shen, the eye of twillight. This is a AP/tank build. Especially focussed on the tank part. The first build is for laning and the second build is for jungling. Please don't click this away because u see a shen jungling build. Shen has finally received a few minor buffs. Those buffs were mainly focussed on his early game. These buffs made him a somewhat viable jungler. I admit he is one of the slowest. But a lot faster then before the patch. Just keep on reading and I will explain why shen is a good jungler now. Please comment below and don't downrate without trying my build.

I have made a shen build before but after the patch I played shen a few times and noticed my build was a bit outdated. Suddenly other builds were more viable. So I started experimenting and do some maths. This build is what I have come up with. And I wanted to republish it, because I received some troll votes. This guide is based on my other build for shen, with a few changes.

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Riven patch

The reason I republished my shen guide was this quite significant patch. I discovered a new way of playing him.

League of Legends v1.0.0.125


  • General
    Base damage increased to 57.875 from 56.875
    Damage per level increased to 3.375 from 3.075
    Base armor increased to 23 from 22
  • Vorpal Blade
    Base damage increased to 70/115/140/175/210 from 50/90/130/170/210
    Heal increased to 18/26/34/42/50 from 10/20/30/40/50 (over 3 seconds)
    Damage ability power ratio increased to 0.75 from 0.65
    Heal amount no longer increases with ability power
  • Feint
    Ability power ratio increased to 0.75 from 0.6
  • Shadow Dash
    Taunt duration increased to 1/1.25/1.5/1.75/2 seconds from 0.8/1.1/1.4/1.7/2 seconds
  • Stand United
    Ability power ratio increased to 1.5 from 1.0
    Energy cost reduced to 0 from 50

This patch made AP/tank shen a lot more viable. His ratio's were boosted and his general damage and tankiness. This build gives him a lot more laning/jungling power early game.
And a lot more teamfight utility and improved his ability to save teammates.

But this is all at the cost of a small part of his damage and tankiness.
So u can always use this build if you prefer tankyness and damage over team utility.

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Pro's and con's


  • GREAT survivability
  • Can protect carries easily Shadow Dash
  • Good ganker
  • Can tank turrets
  • AoE cc
  • Can save a team mate by using his ult Stand United (better now with all the AP items and better scaling.


  • Somewhat low damage output mid and late game. (Higher then last build and slow on Vorpal Blade
  • Less tanky then full tank build
  • His W Feint is still kinda weak, but can become around 450 late game with all the AP items
  • SLOW jungler (one of the slowest junglers)
  • Almost impossible to gank before reaching lvl 4

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Shen's abilities scale slightly better with AP since the patch. His vorpal bladde hits a lot harder now with all the AP and the better scalings. Some extra magic penetration from Greater Mark of Magic Penetration helps a lot early game. Ofcourse you can also take Greater Mark of Armor instead. This helps a lot with jungling. Take Greater Seal of Armorfor extra armor.

Greater Glyph of Magic ResistIs great for some early magic resist

NO explanation needed for this Greater Quintessence of Health

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The are a few mastery trees suitable for shen. U can use the standard 9/21/0 build taking a point in Archaic Knowledge . For jungling you can take some attack speed. Or u can go for a 0/21/9 build taking Awareness for extra xp and Utility Mastery for extra duration on the neutral monster buffs.

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Summoner spells

Good spells:

Great for some extra mobility.
Tip: Great when u taunt an enemy under the turret and activate it to double the attack speed of the turret.
This enables your team to catch up with someone or u can use it to protect your carry by disabling it's attacker.
Great for avoiding ganks and checking your or the enemy jungle for counter jungling.

Plausible spells:

This is quite a good spell for tank's and support's. It's also good for FB. But I dont see anyone use it in high elo games.
U can take this but I prefer many spells like exhaust, ghost or fortify above this on shen.

Bad spells:

Shen doesn't use mana...
Never seen before.
U already got ur ulti and many spells are a better choise
NO there are better spells. And shen rarely dies.
Nah not needed. Ur job is to soak up cc

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Skill sequence


Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
First you should max out Vorpal Blade over Shadow Dash because it enables you to harras and stay in lane longer because of the heal on Vorpal Blade. Ofcourse you will place a point in your ultimate Stand United whenever it's possible. But remember that Shadow Dash is Shen's strongest ability. It makes him a tank. And Vorpal Blade isn't really that strong.
you can take an early point in Feint but max it last since it's fairly weak.


Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
The first few level's I level Vorpal Blade up to speed up my jungle speed and sustain myself in the jungle. After you got red buff you can go ganking. You have to gank since your a jungler. You might have noticed that I max out my Shadow Dash first in my jungle build. Well this is because when you gank your job as a tank is to keep your target pinned down, to enable your team mates to wreak havoc on the target.
Rank 3 Vorpal Blade is good enough to sustain you in jungle. After that you should max Shadow Dash to pin people down. It even enables you to drag them into your turret.

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laning build

ruby crystal is a great item to start with. It makes early game harrasing and First Blood a lot easier since your passive will be a lot more potent. Not to mention it's extra survivability. But some people prefer Doran's Shield, but I always take Ruby Crystal because it can be build into Heart of Gold and later into Randuin's Omen. But it's your choice. Doran's Shield is also viable.

+ The boots don't require any explanation.
The Heart of Gold is a great choise since shen isn't considered a great farmer(I disagree with this). This will prevent the enemy to have a gold advantage over u, and it's a step closer to Randuin's Omen.

mercury's treads are great for any tank since it's their job to soak up cc for their team. The MR helps too. But an alternative choice is Ninja Tabi. This is usefull agaisnt a AD heavy team or when you are jungling.

I think it's a great item for shen, but it's also very expensive. The passive and active are just amazing and it gives u a lot of survivability. Every stat benefits shen greatly.

I know this is a weird item for shen. But it's usefull to assist your team getting kills. This items make ur shield from Stand United and Feint a lot stronger. It also makes ur Vorpal Blade hit harder and slow the enemy. And the extra health is also nice. But it's also very expensive.

negatron cloak grants a lot of MR for a low amount of gold. Randuin's Omen provides enough armor. You can build this either into a Force of Nature or a Abyssal Scepter

abyssal scepter synergizes well with shen since Vorpal Blade, Feint and Stand United scale with AP. You can either take this item or Force of Nature

Sunfire cape gives u some damage output and grants armor and health. Great item.

In the small occasions that the game takes very long that u have a huge amount of farm Lich Bane is a great item. It's passive synergizes well with shen. It gives u nice sustained damage. U can Shadow Dash in, auto attack, Feint, auto attack, Vorpal Blade, auto attack. And the magic resist + movement speed help too.

jungling build

Same as above but then start with 5 Health Potion and a Cloth Armor that can be build into a Randuin's Omen. Ninja Tabi is a great choice for jungle shen.

Optional items

Overall a great item. Gives a huge amount of MR and it's passive sustain's u very well since u got a lot of health. DON'T EVEN HESITATE TO BUY THIS.

Personally I love this underrated item. I really don't understand why noone picks this amazing item. It clears ANY debuff. You can clear supresses like Infinite Duress and Nether Grasp, cc and heavy debuffs like Hemoplague. Apart from the amazing active it gives 56 MR for a low price.

thornmail is a great item for an AD heavy team. It grants 100 armor for only 2k gold, and returns 30% of the damage in magic damage.

Many people under estimate this great item. I always get it early(after boots) for survivability against both AD and AP. It contributes to ur Ki Strike's damage and synergizes well with Atma's Impaler's passive.

A great early game item. It gives some of everything. And also helps ur teammates for a small amount of gold.

I know this is a weird item for Shen. But remember that Ki Strike forces u to build a lot of health(many games I have over 4k). So late game it gives around 80 AD for a relatively cheap item that grants armor and a bit of crit rating too! This item will almost double you damage output and make's it hard for the enemies team to ignore u. Together with Ki Strike your auto attack's will be small nukes.

guardian's angelHonestly I cry everytime I see this item on a tank. Some people like this item, but I don't. It's ur job as tank to be focussed. And noone will focus you if they see this big shiny passive around you. But still it gives a lot of resists and that is exactly what u need.

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Jungling route

Blue golem

The route I use most frequently is the blue golem buff. First you kill the blue golem and after that u head for the wolf camp. Another possibility is to first kill the big wolf in the wolf camp and then head for the blue golem. But this leaves u vunerable to counter jungling. When u start at blue ur team mates can defend you and pull it for u.
  • So first you kill blue golem(use smite right away)
  • Go for wolfs,
  • Smite large banshee and kill small ones
  • Go for twin golems.
  • Kill red lizard(smite to finish large lizard).

The blue buff should wear out then and helped u kill red lizard. After this u can go to wolfs again, take over a lane or go to base and gank with your red buff and Shadow Dash.

Red lizard

I recommend blue golem path because it's easier and u have red buff at the end to gank. It's a lot harder to gank with blue buff. Red buff deals dmg and slows. But one advantage of the red path is that it's slightly faster. So you can take over a lane when a team member needs to go b. But often your team mates wont be so stupid.
  • So first you kill red lizard (use smite right away)
  • Go for twin golems,
  • Smite large banshee and kill small ones,
  • Go for wolf camp,
  • Kill blue golem (smite to finish large golem).
And start over your path.

Twin golem

I don't recommend this to a shen jungler. This is a path for quicker(and less sustainable) junglers. As shen you can easily begin at Red or Blue camp. Besides he needs those buff to clear the jungler out quicker since he is slow. But if u want to go along this path here's the instructions.

I Start off at the twin golems (use smite right away one one of them)
II Go for banshees(focus the big one),
III Go for wolf camp(kill big one first),
IV Kill blue golem (smite large golem),
V Go base or go for twin golems,
VI Kill red lizard (smite to finish).

After this you will see that you were way to slow clearing the jungle and all ur teammates got raped. NOES!!!

Nah, just joking :P. After this you should go to ur base, buy items and finally GO GANK.

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Final tips

U need to keep a third eye on ur minimap and ALWAYS check u team mates. Use ur ulti to save an team mate or to gank. Try to tell them u are going to use it on them so it won't be wasted.

U can use ur Shadow Dash as a great escape tool. U can jump through thin and thick walls. It has the same range as tryndamere's Spinning Slash. I use it a lot to escape through walls and steal dragon. BUT REMEMBER it cost's a HUGE amount of energy. So watch ur energy bar while planning such a move.

Feint also procs Lich Bane.

Try not to use ur Shadow Dash to initiate in teamfights. Just walk in and when u are close try to:

  • taunt as many enemies possible
  • taunt the carry
  • taunt the closest enemy for ur team to kill him first.
  • save it for disrupting an ability like Katarina's Death Lotus.

Try not to spam ur Vorpal Blade. I only use it after I used Shadow Dash and after that only to finish people off who are running away. I always have around 130 energy while the team fight continues so I can use Shadow Dash again right away when it's off cd. Let ur carries do the dmg.
Use it to slow people who try to run away and to break banshee veil shields

Plz comment and give feedback.