Shyvana Build Guide by Raksi
Not Updated For Current Season
This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.
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.
Let me just start by saying...
Shyvana is the best champion in the entire game. And Ironscale is the best skin in the game.
*Best champion in the entire game meaning the most awesome character. Not #1 hyper carry. I apologize for any confusion.
You'll have to ignore the stats - there are several rune types I have in here that are screwing with the main stats, and the other builds don't have runes (It's not necessary to put them all so many times.)
Forgive my incomplete builds for now. I am editing as I go and have little time.
Minor tips and tricks I picked up.
Burnout only has a maximum duration of six seconds, which resets upon attack. If you turn it on to catch someone and it fades before you hit them, you should probably step back, since it's a major source of damage.
Flame Breath lowers armor and deals minor magic damage, but it also has a bonus effect for Shyvana's autoattacks - she deals a portion of the ability's damage again on autoattack.
Twin Bite resets your autoattack animation so you can get in two hits in a half second.
Dragon's Descent is a fairly long range dive, but it also carries enemy champions. It doesn't carry enemy champions towards the end of the charge, however, so aim it past them if you're using it and not actually on them.
If you're fighting someone when they're taking damage (Doing dragon and you caught them, get towerdived, 2v1) and you're dying, you can kite them to a limited extent using Burnout. Turning around to hit them every 2 seconds or so will keep Burnout active and in range, and even pros have tunnel vision problems when the person they're trying to kill is actually in melee range. This obviously won't work against ranged, but you should definitely stomp any ranged you're in range of anyway, short of that harassment phase.
Ranking Burnout and Flame Breath increases your speed and DPS, but ranking Twin Bite increases your burst. Keep that in mind when you're stuck on what to pick.
My Rune Build
Marks/Quints: Greater Mark of Desolation and Greater Quintessence of Desolation - ArPen. Heavy damage, especially to people who don't build armor at all. Usually makes you deal full or 95%+ damage all game coupled with Sunder.
Seals: Greater Seal of Armor is my preferred, but Greater Seal of Defense would be better for late game. I usually average 197 armor on Resilience.
Glyphs: Greater Glyph of Magic Resist is my preferred. but Greater Seal of Scaling Magic Resist would be better for late game. My MR fluctuates between games, but it's usually 187 on Warding.
Picking up points to increase the effectiveness of my autoattack. Cliche by now, but that 4% crit chance OP. Hits disturbingly often.
The six points in armor/MR so that you're passively getting +35 or so Armor/MR throughout the game. It's kinda nice to add up, imo.
If it weren't for Sunder I would say variation is acceptable. If it weren't for the MR/Armor I would say the Defense Tree is only worth going a good number of points into. If it weren't for these, I'd have the Utility tree decked. Out.
My preferred spells, and then what I've seen, followed by what I think won't work.
Exhaust - For a champion who does well without, CC goes very well on Shyvana. When it's a heavy duty slow and debuff, it works so much better. Defensive value against mages is nil, though.
Smite - Obviously for jungling purposes. Don't need it, but it's nice to not die on wraiths on my first jungle clear.
Ignite - If I'm laning. Helps me kill people faster.
Flash - I see it, I don't really want it. Shyvana is fairly fast with Burnout and the items I end up building, so I can change position with impunity (Or at least have a minor Singed effect) and I'm generally tanky enough to avoid being focused in a teamfight anyway unless I initiate. It's good if you're the initiator because it gets you out of the fight and their team is temporarily chasing you past your team. Don't recommend on team of squishies - pisses them off a little.
I do get it sometimes over Ignite if they're extremely mobile and are packing on hit stuns or ones that are difficult to avoid, however.
Ghost - Shyvana is fast. Ghost is fast. Shyvana + Ghost = Kinda faster.
Surge - Useless... I like AS, but there's always something better. And the AP is mostly wasted. Animorte, I tried to keep an open mind about this in particular, buuut...
Promote - Similarly useless. A strong minion just pushes the lane early, and later, Shyvana does that just fine.
Revive - Since I am not good enough to go an entire game to necessitate a spell with a what, seven minute cooldown? I've only ever seen one person using this effectively; Rammus on powerball who only died twice. Crossed the map in ten seconds.
Here's where I get really specific.
I split this into sections. I went with jungling first, laning second, and afterwards (Which in itself is a few sections)
Jungling - Items
If I'm jungling, I start with a Cloth Armor and three Health Potions. Questioning the pots? Grab five if you want, but I only ever NEED three to clear it the first time safely and quickly, and then after that, I can have the option to spend that gold getting the two pots I should debate-ably picked up anyway OR I can get a Sight Ward / Vision Ward.
The actual jungling is included later, but the general idea is to have Wriggle's Lantern, Mercury Treads, and either be started on your Warmog's Armor (Giant Belt), Atma's Impaler (Chain Mail), or have Zeal by the time you're done. Wriggle's before Treads, first two before ANYTHING else, you should only ever NEED eight potions maximum.
Laning - Items
Pick up a Cloth Armor and rock as many potions as you like (3/5). Alternately, grab a Long Sword and a potion. I recommend the first one because you deal a moderate amount of damage and are tankier vs the moderate amount of damage and can't take someone on.
When you go back, grab some more potions, Madred's Razor, and boots. Don't go back without that much gold. If you can, get the Null-Magic Mantle too.
On your final recall, make sure you get Wriggle's. You won't need potions after this. You should also finish your Treads, more for the defense than the movement.
The Beginning of the End - Items
*Dramatic title is dramatic.*
This really just means the area of "after laning phase" but before that "OMFGWTFPWNED" endgame.
Negatron Cloak/ Chainmail/ Giant Belt and Cloak of Agility/ Ruby Crystal, or Zeal
If their team is doing well, and we shall always assume they are, I'm going for my Atmog's ridiculousness. But you are tougher than most people, keeping up with their damage because your defense is passive, and you could do well with a Zeal as well. This little interim is over when you get Warmog's Armor / Atma's Impaler.
Checkmate - Items
Items that I like to build:
Wriggle's Lantern - You'll keep this until you need it no longer.
Mercury Treads - You'll keep this no matter how you built.
Warmog's Armor - No good without Atma's Impaler. If for any completely jacked up reason you drop the Impaler, get rid of this, too. Yes, HP is good, but Life Steal is better. If you're dropping these two, it better be for a couple Bloodthirsters.
Atma's Impaler - A ridiculous amount of defense and AD, compared to other items. Also makes use of the Lethality / Deadliness masteries.
Force of Nature - Heavy MR, synergizes with Warmog's for nice regen, and icing on the cake with the MS buff. Do want. Always.
*Almost completely negates Thornmail. Generally you have 200ish AD until The Bloodthirster.
200 * 0.3 = 60 * 0.6 = 25ish damage, and is completely negated by your Wriggle's/Bloodthirster Life Steal
(Your MR negates 60% Magic Damage at this point)
Phantom Dancer - I don't always get this, but when I do, I move faster than anyone else in the game, crit often, and crush puny squishy ranged AD like Tryndamere in a nursery.
Last Whisper - Now I crush tanks and tanky DPS instead of squishies. This is also effective against a team that built Thornmail; they can't get rid of it because they'll die trying to reach Frozen Heart/ Randuin's Omen, but it's useless against you.
The Bloodthirster - When you sell your dear Wriggle's, you will hard buy The Bloodthirster, and become god-like. You'll have a higher Life Steal and AD, but -20 or so armor. The results are extremely amusing and satisfying to watch. (You can reach 300 AD with Bloodthirster, and when you do, you have about 25% Life Steal. 75 HPs per hit not counting Twin Bite which is about 150, and if you do it right, you can autoattack and Twin Bite for 225 HPs and some 900 damage before armor.)
If I could continue to keep Wriggle's, I would, because that ward is awesome, so I usually delay The Bloodthirster as long as possible, because when I get it, nobody can ward anymore. (I'm in Elo Hell - I never rely on anyone, including my support, so the ward is priceless. Actually it's worth 75 * X, where X is the amount of wards I place using Wriggle's, which is probably on a per minute basis)
Other options if you dislike what I've got:
Wit's End - I'm not a big fan of this item. Yes, it adds AS, but that's almost useless by itself. It doesn't actually scale with anything (Indirectly with Twin Bite and Flame Breath, MAYBE) and only adds a minor amount of MR compared to what you need.
Madred's Bloodrazor - I'm of the opinion this is all but worthless. You actually lose AD upon completing it, and the Magic damage it WOULD deal to someone stacking health is immensely mitigated by their MR that they undoubtedly built. Since you don't build Spell Pen to counter that... On top of these two problems, it's expensive, too.
Berserker Greaves - Getting this means you have no Tenacity, and all champions are susceptible to chain stunning and stagger abilities. Also, you would have even less MR. I may get a lot passively, but that's not enough to beat what's coming at me by itself.
Infinity Edge - The AD is massive. +80 is debateably the biggest boost in the game, along with dem crits. That said... this would either come over my Bloodthirster or my Last Whisper. I'm not willing to part with either, the former meaning I'd have no sustain and the latter meaning I'd have less adaptability against tanks. I like the MS from Phantom Dancer more than the Crit Bonus from IE anyway.
Trinity Force - Makes your Q hit like a (bigger) truck, adds some MS, AD, AS, AP, Health, and Critical Chance. That all listed, all of the benefits are rather small by themselves. The only real reason people get this is the passive, 150% Base AD to your next autoattack, which is triggered and consumed by Twin Bite. And that is truly not worth getting.
Frozen Mallet - Adds CC, health, and a small amount of AD. This would replace Warmog's in Dominion, or would serve on a support build, but I'm just not a fan.
Rylai's Crystal Scepter - Burnout/Flame Breath/Dragon's Descent now slows. Aha.
Jungling - Counter Jungling - Ganking
Get another clear, and then check for a gank. If you can't get one, or at least can't hurt them enough to make them go back (Screw this "Forced Flash" BS, damage or gtfo. If the guy you're helping can't force Flash on his own, he can't score a kill when the enemy doesn't have it, and the new jungle doesn't allow for wasted time), then go counter jungle. Shyvana is strong, stronger and faster than almost any other champion (Never attacked Rammus in his jungle. He's kinda weak at lv.4 without armor, which I've experienced, so I don't believe he could win). You should DEFINITELY attack their jungler if he is leaving after a gank and you're nearby. His SS might be on CD, or he could be hurt. Ambush him on his next camp.
If you are completely unable to appear anywhere for any reason, get the buffs. All of them, any of them. Distribute them if you have spares. Being manaless, you don't get nearly as much benefit from it as your, say, AP mid, bot support, or top (Depending on what side you're on). Hell, give them red too, if you can spare it. A jungler is similar to a support, in my opinion - the only difference is you will carry a lot better with the gold than Sona.
A note; it's okay to counter jungle if they're in the middle of a gank across the map. The distance you need decreases with your level advancements. There's a difference between being able to wtfpwn anyone 1v1 and being able to fight Lizard Elder/Ancient Golem, top, bot, mid, AND their jungler. Although even if they're all after you, you could definitely steal the buff and get the hell out. I don't recommend this, but do it in normals for the lulz.
Farming - Laning
Your ability to farm things is independent of your skill in last hitting. Ranking Burnout will push the lane and kill everything, but most solo tops that I can think of can push just as hard if they want to ( Singed, Sion, AP in general) or will try to fight you when you do it ( Riven, Gangplank, Tryndamere, AD in general). If you intend to push hard, bring Flash - you will be ungankable by almost any jungler (Short of Nocturne with Flash/ Exhaust maxing his fear and Duskbringer... found that out the hard way, although I stole his buffs left and right). If Shaco / Evelynn / Twitch is jungling / roaming, then put a pink ward ( Vision Ward).
If you're bot, make it clear whether or not you're getting the farm. If not, last hit the things they will undoubtedly miss (Waste not, but don't screw them up) and harass the lane enemies, killing them if possible. Your ability to push will again be useful in certain situations because you will never be caught trapped against your tower desperately needing a gank. This will be a case where you rank Flame Breath / Twin Bite over Burnout, though.
If you're the farmer, farm away. Have your support harass (in the case of Soraka, harass in her place. Not very aggressive, but you won't die) and kill everything with impunity. They harass? Jokes on you, I've got 50 armor and 40 MR from lv.1.
You can mid with your ability to capture and kill them, but I wouldn't do it too often, or against anything mobile ( Ahri...).
Enemy Junglers / Players to be wary of
These are enemy champions that I have frequent issues with.
Olaf - Maybe one of the champions that just was made to righteously **** you over. He's tough, and has a slow that you should probably avoid.
Amumu - He's a problem when he's rocking double buffs and you don't have Treads yet. Matches your speed and deals you %HP Magic damage (His AoE is constant and infinite with both buffs, while also slowing. Plus dat stun). Moreover, when he ganks, he generally doesn't lose a ton of health, making a counterattack ineffective.
Rammus - Fairly weak offense, but it takes so long to kill him, his team will usually join in before the deed is done. He's also much faster than you.
Tryndamere - He's a problem no matter where he is... You beat him, however, if you catch him alone, preferably while he's doing something.
Shaco - I wouldn't counterjungle him. If he has wards, you WILL walk into a JITB nest and die. For that matter, ward your own jungle more liberally than you usually would.
Nocturne - He is probably one of the stronger sustained junglers and might be able to continue jungling regardless of the damage you deal to him. He's also one of the ones that you don't want to fight head on.
Shyvana (Normal Blind Pick) - Most Shyvana players get Wit's End and Trinity Force, meaning they have a higher AS, MR, and Q damage, with a chance of CC but my build offers more general defense, Burnout damage, and health. If you stay even with them, you will probably be evenly matched, although in different ways.
Sejuani - Her slow > Your Burnout. I tried. I really did. But she's like Nega-Shyvana. Slows where you speed up, and CC where you have damage.
If anyone has any advice
I would like to hear it. If you can't tell, Shyvana is my favorite champion, bar none. Most people hate Shyvana as a jungler, but I wouldn't jungle anyone else if I could help it. Most people also seem to think they know so much more than me (They generally tend to go on and build Madred's Bloodrazor against an MR tank) but I give them as much an ear as, say, a Platinum Ranked player.
Jan 23rd 2012
I made this build and played this build before Shyvana was FotM.
Because I couldn't help it.
This is not a serious portion. Skip it if you don't want to read it, but it won't affect the rest of the guide. However, experimenting with this will reveal some interesting traits you don't see otherwise.
Shyvana built as an AP is not desirable. She loses her consistent damage for a fairly weak burst, but she's still tanky champion. Since Burnout also scales for AD, the only real reason to make Shyvana an AP is to be a tank with an AoE armor debuff, and she won't be very good at it. However, since Burnout is magic damage, it makes for some interesting opportunities.
Standard starting build. Cloth Armor and then some potions.
Sorcerer's Shoes - This is standard on AP. CDR doesn't affect your ultimate, so it's not as helpful.
Rod of Ages - Ignoring the part where you get mana, this still gives a respectable amount of health and AP.
Rylai's Crystal Scepter - A goodly portion of health and AP, but more importantly, Burnout / Flame Breath / Dragon's Descent will all slow.
Rabadon's Deathcap - Because it's just sooo good.
Abyssal Scepter - Some helpful MR and AP, but also benefits your team and yourself by adding to your armor debuff; you now debuff MR passively.
Zhonya's Hourglass - This, in addition to it's armor and AP, will allow you to ult in, prolong the hell out of your Burnout, and then lockdown right before you die for some lulz as everyone standing on top of you suddenly stops moving for a sec.
Nashor's Tooth - Fury of the Dragonborn This makes 15% of Flame Breath's damage get dealt again on a physical attack when they're debuffed with it. So don't miss. Otherwise you might as well back up.
I was actually wrong about the number of times Burnout resets - it resets an indefinite number of times, but the max duration is only six seconds.
I tried this once. I think the results were biased because the enemy team sucked, and would have gotten killed regardless of what I built. A side effect of this is since Shyvana uses almost every stat but mana, you can build practically every aura and get a substantial benefit from it.
Also, playing this style pretty much means you can do things that would be stupid otherwise. Like pushing insanely to the tower and getting away anyway.]
Boots of Swiftness - I ended up needing it with all the pushing I was doing. Had to escape a lot.
Zeke's Harbinger - In addition to your 15% debuff, you now -20 all champions in range, and buff your team for +20% AS and some substantial life steal. Since you are a fan of AS, LS, and armor debuffs, it wasn't a bad choice to begin with.
Abyssal Scepter - -20 MR on all nearby enemies, which increases the damage Burnout, Flame Breath, and Descent does to an enemy. Also boosts your MR and AP, further increasing the damage you deal with Flame Breath, Descent, and autoattacks on enemies afflicted with Flame Breath.
Aegis of the Legion - Your entire team is now recieving a slight boost to AD, Armor, and MR. You personally are getting even more health, Armor, and MR than they are.
Randuin's Omen - Whoever this guy was, he has a new fan. Technically this isn't an aura, just an activated ability that happens to be AoE, but pop this with Shurelya's, and suddenly your team is moving almost three times as fast as theirs, while having their AD carries be useless.
Shurelya's Reverie - I was initially doubtful of this, then I tried it with Randuin's Omen. Plus Burnout and Boots of Swiftness, and I liken it to Rammus' Powerball.
Soul Shroud - Only if your team is mana dependent even at the end. The CDR is nice, but minor.
Frozen Heart - An offensive armor choice, ironically. You don't need the mana, but the CDR is nice, and it reduces AS from nearby enemy champions. And the armor is just ridiculous.
At half build you can push indefinitely and not get caught short of a five man gank from all sides, which should not happen on a reduced CV CD and a little warding. And the lane will practically push itself even after you leave, because of the underused Promote. If the lane isn't pushed far enough (Like say to the tower or a wave in range of the tower) they won't stay, resulting in an amusing lane that is autopushing while you are teamfighting.
To everyone who told me about the brackets and Nugga, for posting that link.
And the two guys who said I was being arrogant (Dakirokor/Animorte) because I never notice.