Shen Build Guide by Pyruz
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The Warlord General
As The General
When The Situation Calls
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.
|This guide focuses on Shen , a ninja warlord, a doctor(life-saver), tanker, fighter and an excellent split pusher.|
The current meta designates Shen as a viable Top Laner and a decent jungler. We'll be covering Solo Top Shen.
This Shen Guide will focus on his laning phase, split-pushing and itemization.
Shen is an excellent laner, his skill set provides a decent life sustain, a shield, a very useful AoE Taunt, and his widely known Global Life Saving Ultimate Skill.
Shen is a bit different from other top laners like Pantheon, Jax, Jayce, Riven and more. Rather than the usual farm and roam, Shen focuses on farming and split pushing and will roam using Stand United if needed.
Pros and Cons
|+ Enery based skills
+ Deceng Life Sustain and Poke with Vorpal Blade
+ Being tanky makes him stronger with his Ki Strike
+ Has an amazing AoE Taunt
+ Global Life Saving Shield Ultimate, nuff said.
+ Is a Flippin' Ninja.
|- Needs good energy management.
- His Global Life Saving Shied Ultimate has high Cooldown.
- Taunt is a bit Narrow making it hard to taunt 4-5 enemies.
- Early Game can be rather hard. Mainly against Ranged or Pokers.
- Has no Father like Batman.
- His Father may have become evil ( Zed) like Luke's father.
The Warlord Uses:
Greater Mark of Attack Damage
Greater Mark of Attack Speed
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
Greater Quintessence of Armor
Greater Mark of Attack Damage - 4 for last hitting minions
Greater Mark of Attack Speed - 5 for easier minion slaying and faster cooldown on his Ki Strike.
Greater Mark of Attack Damage - or Flat Greater Mark of Attack Speed.
Greater Mark of Armor - may also work, depends.
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration - since most of Shen's skills and also his passive is Magic Damage this will help your overall damage.
Greater Seal of Armor - Recommended against most AD, Auto-Attack Based Champions.
Greater Seal of Armor - is best.
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist - for the MR most useful Mid/Late Game
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist - against AP Top laners.
Greater Glyph of Attack Speed - can also be viable yet risky.
Greater Quintessence of Armor - for easier farming against AD and AS Top Laners.
Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed - is also a Top choice but an early Phage could fit its role.
Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage - for easier last hitting.
Greater Quintessence of Attack Speed - for a faster Ki Strike Cooldown.
Sorcery - A little boost for your skills and especially for your Stand United's long CD.
Butcher - An excellent mastery that works very well with your Ki Strike and first skill.
Brute Force - AD boost for fighting, farming and pushing
Martial Mastery - Early AD boost.
Block - Works like armor against basic attacks, Shen as a melee champ is prone to harass.
Enchanted Armor - A bonus Armor and MR boost, scales very well late game.
Unyielding - Works like Block but includes skills.
Veteran Scars - Decent early Health Boost also makes your Ki Strike stronger.
Oppression - Reduces damage taken from enemies hit by your Shadow Dash. Good for fighting.
Juggernaut - A percentage health boost works great with Ki Strike and scales great late game.
Hardiness - Can't say no to extra early armor.
Perseverance - Really helpful in laning especially against heavy poke champs.
Second Wind - Gives many life sustaining benefits when below 25% HP, this will help you get back up after a teamfight or a long trade.
Legendary Guardian - More enemies, more armor and MR why not?. Excellent in teamfights.
Tenacious - Whopping! 15% CC Reduction excellent for charging and finding the squishies.
The Warlord’s usual start for top lane is a Doran's Shield and a Health Potion.
Doran's Shield – provides # HP that will give your passive a boost and help you survive trades, # HP Regeneration that will provide sustain and a passive that will reduce damage from harass.
Health Potion – Basically this item gives HP Regeneration for sustain.
The Warlord’s first core item would likely be a Sunfire Cape or a Giant's Belt with Phage, a Spirit Visage or a Warmog's Armor is debatable depending on the Matchup.
Sunfire Cape – provides early HP and Armor, HP gives your passive a decent damage boost and the Armor for trades. Its Unique Passive also gives a nice minion clearing boost.
Phage – provides decent HP and AD; HP for Passive damage boost and AD for more last hitting damage. Its Unique Passive provides MS after hitting that will help chases and trades, this is a good replacement for MS runes assuming you can hit after every boost expires.
Spirit Visage – provides HP, HP Regeneration, Magic Resist, and Cooldown Reduction. This item will give decent passive damage boost, life sustain and defense against AP top Laners like Akali, Vladimir, Rumble and Singed. Its Unique Passive will give even more sustain by boosting your 1st skill. The Cooldown Reduction will help you overall.
Warmog's Armor – provides Huge HP and % HP Regeneration. This item will give huge passive damage boost and life sustain from its Unique Passive. This might be a little dangerous for it is a bit expensive and doesn’t provide any Armor or Magic Resistance.
The Warlord’s later items of choice would be Trinity Force, and Randuin's Omen. A Warmog's Armor. Thornmail, and Locket of the Iron Solari are choices to choose from for your last item depending on the situation and matchup.
Trinity Force – provides Ton of Damage. The most helpful stats that this item provides are Attack Speed, Health, AD, and 2 Unique Passives; Attack Speed for a faster passive cooldown and pushing, Health for passive damage boost, AD for more damage, and Unique passives that give MS for every hit and a damage boosting passive that will boost Shen’s passive, skills, and auto attack.
Randuin's Omen – Provides HP and Armor. This item will make you tankier while boosting your passives damage. Its Unique Passive provides enemy Attack Speed Reduction and its Unique Active will provide an AoE Slow that will help chases, and may turn the tide of a teamfight if used correctly.
Thornmail – Provides Huge Armor. The armor will help you against AD based Team Compositions and its Unique Passive that returns damage will make your enemies regret hitting you.
Locket of the Iron Solari – Provides mix HP, HP regen, Armor, Magic Resist and Cooldown Reduction. This item makes you tankier overall. But the main point of this item is its Unique Active that gives a Shield to the entire team, and its Unique Passive gives an Aura that makes the whole team tankier.
The Warlord can also decide to build other worthy items depending on the situation.
[Currently being brought by Valor's letter carrying eagle cousin]
Early Game Phase
Shen is a farmer. At the early phases of the Game the Warlord will mostly rely on Ki Strike and Vorpal Blade to kill minions faster, harass his opponent and sustain his life. Luckily, for the General his main resource is Energy like other ninjas, it has fast regeneration to compensate for the decently long cooldowns.
Having a good early phase is important and can dictate how your whole game will go. As the General your last hitting must not disappoint. Your Ki Strike is a great boost to your damage and last hitting, Your early levels on Vorpal Blade provides decent poke and life sustain which can also be used as a last hitting tool. Your Feint will provide a decent shield to counter enemy harassment. Your Shadow Dash will provide a decent taunt for early game changing or lane changing ganks and an easy escape tool from enemy ganks. Of course you won’t need to use this much to escape if you manage your trinket and wards decently. Having an early Doran's Shield will provide added damage to your Ki Strike and decent HP regeneration and the Health Potion will give you a fast HP regen if things go wrong. Having a Giant's Belt on your first recall will provide a larger boost to your Ki Strike’s damage.
Vorpal Blade – this provides life sustain. Use this on a full HP minion, hit it multiple times then use this ability again to last hit this tactic provides HP on hit and the last hit will give an instant 33%.
Mid Game Phase
Shen is also a split pusher. At the mid game phases of the Game the Warlord relies mostly on his Ki Strike to push towers quickly. The Warlord will stay and push his lane if his Stand United isn’t need or if an early Baron/Dragon or Clash will be initiated. As a known Split Pusher you will have to push and prevent pushes in your top lane. Your Ki Strike like most Ki Strike works well on most phases of the game. Luckily, for the General his Ki Strike scales good with his Tanky HP build, If you use Feint while attacking minions, monsters and Baron/Dragon his Ki Strike will have 2x shorter cooldown.
Having good map awareness will make you use his Stand United ability to full extent. As the Warlord you must keep a good eye on the HP bar of your teammates on the left side of the screen. An early Sunfire Cape will provide a boost to your Ki Strike’s damage and it will help clear minions faster. After pushing the turret and gaining control of the Baron Pit or the other team’s Blue Buff will give your team a game changing advantage. Be aware of the attention, the push will attract the enemy jungler or worse it will also attract the enemy mid laner and will ganked if you overextend too much. Adding an early Spectre's Cowl or Spirit Visage will give your Vorpal Blade more life sustain and less cooldown for all of your skills.
Feint – this provides a shield and CD reduction to your Ki Strike. Use Feint while pushing to get your Ki Strike's damage boost faster, for fights and trades use your Vorpal Blade first, a Ki Strike hit then 2nd for a shield and Ki Strike CD reduction. If the enemy tries to run use Shadow Dash then use 1st kill and pierce another Ki Strike hit then turn back.
Late Game Phase
Shen is an initiator. At the late game phases of the Game the Warlord relies on his Shadow Dash to initiate clashes, disengage enemy engages or ganks and to escape through instantly like the ninja you are. As the Tank and the General you will lead the charge and taunt the important and dangerous target if taunting everyone is not possible. Luckily, your taunt has a decent range and is an AoE, well the Cooldown is rather long but decent. But adding Spirit Visage, Frozen Heart or a Locket of the Iron Solari together with your mastery will provide a shorter more desired cooldown.
Having good timing and reactions will make you use Shadow Dash for desired engages. As the Warlord you must start good engages, his Shadow Dash is a double edged sword, one good engage will lead to quick kill or an Ace and a poorly made engage could lead to a sudden death or a wrong position, leaving your carries undefended and prone to instant death. An Omen will provide a decent slow after landing a successful Shadow Dash or a slow to catch up for an easier Shadow Dash. Your Shadow Dash can go through walls, it will provide a vanishing escape like a ninja or a surprise taunt from the fog of war. Shadow Dash will proc Sheen making his Ki Strike or other skills stronger.
Shadow Dash – this provides a narrow AoE/in-line taunt, gap closer and an escape tool. Use Shadow Dash to chase fleeing opponents and escape enemy ganks. It has a decently long cooldown so use it wisely. Using Flash mid- Shadow Dash will extend its range for a surprise taunt, it will probably shock an enemy who thinks he’s safe and might extend taunt just a bit more. This is skill is not only for engages but for saving carries too, a successfully landed taunt can give the carry a few seconds to escape or freely kill the chaser.
Teamfights and Clashes
Shen is a life-saver. At Teamfights the Warlord will rely on proper management of his skill set. The Warlord will Engage, Disengage and Save his teammates. Luckily, Shen uses energy, builds Cooldown reduction and has strong peel while being tanky. To have a favorable teamfight you must manage your skills to full extend and to what is needed while keeping a good watch on your cooldowns.
Having good management will provide you max efficiency and full use of his abilities. Considering you did really well, engages will be easier and ‘meh’ engages can lead to good results. If the game is really tight or you’re losing a bit you might need to be pickier and 5v5 engages is not really a good idea. As a tanker and initiator you must have good communication with the team, mostly other initiators and your carries. A teamfight is one of the few aspects that will produce a big impact in the game, one wrong teamfight will cost you a tower or two and baron or on late game cases an inhibitor or a nexus turret.
Stand United – This provides a friendly shield and a teleport to the ally. Use your Stand United to Shield an ally from damage and save them from ganks. Even if your Casting gets cancelled your teammate will get the shield from the moment you click your ally. This can also be used on other engaging allies to taunt after their engage. You can Shadow Dash right after you arrive. Be aware sometimes you might appear at the back of your ally and farther from your target than you expected.
A long time ago the Warlord was gifted by the gods with unique abilities that help him in battle. The Warlord used this to his advantage in battle and in the field.
The Warlord's passive ability is,
- Ki Strike - this skill provides Damage thus increasing his pushing speed, trading damage and damage to minions and monsters. This ability is a great boost to Shen's damage, this ability calculates a percentage of Shen's Health Points and turns it into magic damage meaning a tanky Shen can deal good amount of damage from his passive. This ability is great for last hitting, poking, and trading with the enemy. Its cooldown is lowered by 1 for every basic attack, 2 if Feint is activated.
The Warlord's first ability is,
- Vorpal Blade - this skill provides sustain and poking power thus making Shen stay in his lane longer or provide his enemy a hard time in lane. This ability is a great for sustain and also harass.
You can either use this skill to sustain and kill minions or harass and lower the opponents HP. For minion killing, use this first on a minion and hit it to get HP on every hit or last hit minions with it to get instant HP.
The Warlord's second ability is,
- Feint - this skill provides shield and a CD reduction thus giving him an anti harass and a slight advantage in trades. This ability is great for tanking enemies and trading. This ability will provide decent anti-harass or could even save your life when you're extremely low.
When clearing minions or trading with enemies use this after Vorpal Blade, while this is active your passive will have x2 shorter cooldown meaning you can land those boosted attacks more often.
The Warlord's third ability is,
- Shadow Dash - this skill provides a narrow in-line/AoE Taunt and a gap closer that can also be used as an escape tool. This ability is great for initiating fights, saving allies and escaping immediate danger.
Use this ability to set up ganks, chasing fleeing cowards or for tactical retreats. This ability can also go through walls that can be used to your advantage, a dash through a wall then taunting an enemy can be surprising and also an escape through a wall can be surprising too. Also Flash can be used mid- Shadow Dash to extend the range a surprise an enemy who thought he was safe, well he thought but you taunt.
And of course the Warlord's Ultimate Life Saving Ability is,
- Stand United - this provides a global teleport and shield. This ability is great for saving allies, ganking and when paired with another initiator, assuming you had good communication, will become devastatingly awesome.
When we talked about the Warlord one could not avoid mentioning his Ultimate ability. Use this for saving endangered allies especially carries, roam the map and also initiate. This skill will teleport you to the back of the targeted ally, once you arrive you can use Shadow Dash for an immediate taunt. A well timed Stand United can change the course of a teamfight. Be aware the casting of Stand United needs full concentration and Shen will deny his surroundings thus a CC can cancel this ability, use it wisely.
Thou can hover over both ability icon or name to view thy description, function, damage, cooldown, added passives or energy cost.
The Warlord's skill combos are the following,
The usual trade can be,
- Using Vorpal Blade for an early damage and sustain on hit, then Shadow Dash to disable his ability to skill, Ki Strike, Feint then Auto Attacks.
--- to back away.
The usual initiation or teamfight,
- Vorpal Blade for instant damage and sustain/hit, then Shadow Dash if multiple taunt is not possible focus on the carry, then Feint, the Stand United can be situational and can be cast earlier or later or not at all.
An Auto-Attack after or in-between abilities especially after Feint or after the combo will depend on you.
Thank You for reading my General ShenLord Guide, I hope it helped or atleast added a bit of knowledge to you.
Also Thanks to jhoijhoi's Guide to Making a Guide.
And to the Mobafire Wiki.
I would love to hear your feedback. For me this guide is something people can learn from and for me learn from myself. Leave your feedback, opinions and tips on the Discussion. Also Upvote and/or +Rep me if you like my guide and it helped you on using the General Warlord Shen.
3/4/14 - Unfinished. Accidentally Clicked Published. Sorry bout' that. Will Still Update.
- Finished The basics, Laning phase and Teamfight chapters comiin' soon.
3/11/14 - Added Itemization, laning Phases, fixed a few mistakes, and wrote this log.
3/12/14 - Changed the masteries, corrections done, and wrote this log which is digital not wood, IDK why.
3/13/14 - Addead Ability Explanation and Ability Combos, fixed some corrections and wrote this change log.