Shyvana Build Guide by EpicWeirdoKid
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Hello I'm EpicWeirdoKid, a platinum jungle Shyvana main on NA. I fell in love with this champion shortly after I joined League of Legends in Season 4, and I currently spam her in every game that I can. In Season 5 I played over 500 ranked Shyvana games, and this season I look forward to far more! To me there's nothing more fun in League of Legends than playing a tanky champion that runs really fast. #GottaGoFast. After seeing many players with less experience on her fail to utilize her full potential and after growing tired of the misconception that her early game is so "weak" I've resolved to help by sharing my Shyvana playstyle. If you'd like to see my ideas in action or ask me any questions directly, feel free to follow my stream where I play Shyvana every day and offer free personal coaching.
Greater Mark of Attack Speed
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed
Greater Mark of Attack Speed: Attack Speed synergizes best with Fervor of Battle and devourer while also providing the best jungle clear.
Greater Seal of Armor: Standard Seals. These are the only real option to survive your jungle camps with reasonable HP.
Greater Glyph of Scaling Cooldown Reduction: I prefer these because CDR gives Shyvana extra mobility and damage, yet doesn't significantly exist in any viable build path for her. Her innate tank stats from Dragonborn and frequent use of Mercury's Treads provide enough Magic Resistance to make up for the lack of MR glyphs.
Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed: These are a no-brainer. Shyvana is extremely dependent on them in order to catch, stick-to, and retreat from enemies.
This is my favorite spell. It provides incredible ganking power and is terrifying for your enemies. In most games other spells will be required however.
This spell is extremely helpful against champions that create walls like Anivia Jarvan IV and Azir. It's also great against champions with a lot of dashes or blinks like Ahri and Ezreal.
This spell is a necessity against extremely bursty champions like Rengar Azir Master Yi Katarina Riven Vayne and Fizz.
Take this against Kalista.
I'm going to skip over what these abilities actually do and describe how to use them. For more details you can mouse over their icons.
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:
- Gap Closing & Retreating - Dragon's Descent is one of the longest dashes in this game. You can use it to cross thick walls that most other dashes and even flash can't get through.
- 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 use for Shyvana's ultimate.
- Dueling - Though most frequently applicable for top lane Shyvana, you'll still get some use out of this in the jungle. When dueling a formidable opponent, casting Dragon's Descent for the displacement, damage, and extra tank stats 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.
- Displacement - Have I mentioned enough times that this ability moves enemies? This is extremely important to remember when playing against champions with high-profile channelled abilities. 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.
Itemization is key for Shyvana. Her heavy reliance on items for CC and mobility means your build will have a big impact on how you play each game. The recent changes to the game in preseason further extended shyvana's arsenal of viable builds. Right now she has more itemization options than she's ever had.
Sated devour is the ideal option for Shyvana. The phantom hit synergizes with every one of her abilities. It has extremely high damage potential. If you are your team's only tank and want to focus on snowballing your teammates and getting tanky to peel for them, OR if you fall behind early on and devourer becomes unrealistic, then you can build either Warrior or Cinderhulk. Warrior will provide a devastating power spike early but will fall off VERY hard. So use it to snowball your team. Cinderhulk with a Trinity Force will give you a strong mid game with decent transition to late.
Stalker's Blade is essential against strong kiting teams. It's even more important now that Blade of the Ruined King has been nerfed, and probably won't be part of your build. If I don't need chilling smite then I pick up Tracker's Knife. With green wards removed from the game this item is very strong if you know how to use it. I don't like Skirmisher's Sabre as much as the other two, since Shyvana already has the ability to both deal and soak heavy damage.
Grab boots before your next item. It's fine to get Boots of Speed before finishing your Warrior. Get Mercury's Treads for tenacity or Boots of Swiftness for slow resistance. Ninja Tabi is great against heavy AD teams. In rare games where none of those are very useful, Sorcerer's Shoes are a good way to boost Shyvana's magic damage if you DON'T have a warrior. When you have a Warrior, replace the Sorcerer's Shoes option with Ionian Boots of Lucidity.
|This is the most universally solid damage item for shyvana with any jungle item. Everything about it synergizes with her kit beautifully. The AoE damage passive is an on-hit and utilizes the devourer phantom hit. The active is also a basic attack reset so when Shyvana uses Flame Breath--> Burnout-->AA--> Twin Bite--> Titanic Hydra her combo provides ridiculous burst damage. Here's a video showcasing just how nuts the Titanic Devourer combo is:|
|This item does good damage with devourer but the AP is wasted on Shyvana. Titanic Hydra is more "efficient" for Shyvana, however Guinsoo's Rageblade with devourer is the highest (viable) sustained DPS build for shyvana. This is your primary season 6 tank shredding option if you already have a devourer.|
|This is a good niche item against heavy magic damage teams with little AD. However, same as Guinsoo's Rageblade it's only worth building with devourer.|
|Sadly this item was hit by a pretty hard nerf in 5.22. Theses days it's probably not worth building unless you desperately need the movement speed steal AND you're fighting against multiple bruisers.|
|This becomes viable if you and your whole team are extremely far ahead of the enemy. Built after a devourer and a second damage item, the berserker sustain on this item helps you to abuse a lead and close the game out.|
|This is decent if you build it with warrior against a team with a lot of magic damage. Keep in mind that even supports and mostly AD-based champions will still activate lifegrip if they deal ANY magic damage to you while you're low.|
Regardless which jungle and damage items you build, the rest of your items will come from this list 99% of the time.
This item is amazing. It's never a bad choice to pick this up. It's almost always a good idea to get this for both reaching and sticking to enemies.
This item is a good plan B when you can only manage one damage item in your build. Never build it with Cinderhulk of course, as the passives don't stack.
Great item against crit-based champions like Tryndamere and Yasuo. The AoE slow is nice.
This item is MAGNIFICENT. Sterak's Gage is specifically designed to let a champion dive hard into an enemy team and wreak havoc, which is exactly what Shyvana needs to do.
This item is useful against heavy AD teams but you usually shouldn't build it until after your first armor item.
If you're team is snowballing ahead of the enemy and you don't need the burst tankiness of Sterak's Gage then this item is a better option to abuse your lead. The sustain on the passive allows you to win a fight or siege, then immediately take an objective or another fight without going back to heal up.
This item tends to be better than Banshee's Veil. The CDR is helpful to Shyvana, and the passive even better now thanks to Vampirism .
This can be helpful to prevent the enemy team from kiting you if they have any particularly high profile CC spells.
Niche item. It cuts down on movespeed-based kiting.
Pathing?Fortunately preseason pathing seems to be much less rigid than season 5 pathing was. Vampirism allows Shyvana the freedom to take virtually any path and the higher gold cost of colored smite requires her to clear most of her jungle before going back anyway. All I really need to say is utilize the scuttle crab to keep your HP up and use your jungle knowledge to play it by ear each game.
Blue BuffLast season I would often give my first blue buff to my mid laner. This is no longer a viable idea. Early jungle gold and XP is especially important now and you can't afford to fall behind.
and ganks like this one:
As you can see in the first clip, Twisted Fate is nearly full health with plenty of mana, is standing no further up than the middle of the lane, and burns both Flash AND Heal during this gank. Yet with no hard CC on either Shyvana or Vladimir The combination of 21/9/0 masteries, Stalker's Blade, and Ignite is enough to take him down. If he had correctly stunned me with Pick A Card he may have lived, but still burned Flash and would have to either go to base losing a ton of crucial early-game XP as I shove into his tower, or stay and most likely be killed in a tower dive.
In the second video the enemy bot lane is a bit more out of position than TF was, but I make it easy for them when I run straight into lane without flanking. Vayne is just as mobile as Shyvana when pursuing enemies thanks to her passive Night Hunter so there's no need for hard CC here. She easily keeps up with me and secures the kill.
It's important to consider the strengths and weaknesses of the other champions on your team when playing Shyvana. There are two kinds of allies she can most easily gank for. The first is high damage, high mobility champions like herself. Vayne and Zed fit this description. Check out this gank for Zed:
Who needs CC when both of you can easily reach the target and shred them like paper before they have a chance to go anywhere? Even with cautious positioning, over 3/4ths health, half a mana bar and no spells on cooldown, Lux is obliterated by this gank.
The second kind of ally is even easier to gank for. These are champions like Lissandra Thresh and Malphite who provide heavy CC so Shyvana can keep smacking her enemies while they're held in place. This counter-gank demonstrates the synergy between Shyvana and Malphite.
In this counter-gank Rengar shows up with 2/3rds HP. He casts his Q Savagery to gain his 5th stack of Ferocity, meaning he's ready to use an empowered ability. By perfectly chaining the knock up on Unstoppable Force with the knock back on Dragon's Descent and finishing Rengar off with an immediate Twin Bite we manage to kill him before either one of them can do anything about it. With his ally dead, killing Nasus in a tower dive is easy thanks to Ignite.
Let's talk some more about counter-ganks. With this build Shyvana's regular ganks are strong, no doubt. But they're still not top tier. Early-game assassins like Elise or Rengar should be able to have better gank-pressure than you most games. However while Shyvana's ganks may only be good, her counter-ganks are amazing. By tracking the movements of the other team's jungler and paying attention when your lanes overextend it's fairly easy to set up counterganks. In this example Skarner's gank is stopped before it even get's off the ground.
- Note that I was the initiator in none of these examples. To pull off ganks with Shyvana you need to let your teammates engage first or engage at the same time as you. This requires communication, so ping to let your team know when you're ganking, and be sure they're ready before you run in.
- Be creative about your route into the lane. It especially helps to flank from behind your enemies or sneak through lane into a side brush while the minions are pushed up.
- Know when to dive...and when not to. Shyvana is often very reliant on tower diving to secure kills. With no Flash however you won't be able to escape if you miscalculate, so be careful.
The complete nuance of team fighting is too complicated to cover here in a brief guide, but until you get more practice just know that generally if the big fat burning dragon sits on the squishies' faces, they're going to have a bad day.
If you're still reading this then congratulations and a big thank you for making it through the full guide! This is my first and will probably remain my only guide so I'm eager for any feedback on how I can make it as helpful as possible. I'd also love to hear how your dragonborn games work out. Again if you'd like to learn more about Shyvana than the basics I've covered here I happily invite you to my stream. Best of luck on the Rift!