Shen Build Guide by Haelstrom
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.
You walk into a small cottage, made of wood, full of disgusting things such as shrunken heads and miniature dead donkeys, and other oddities. A shrieking old hag in the back squeals with glee at a visitor, motioning you in beneath a brown shroud with aged, wrinkly old & bony hands. "Yessss.. come in my precsssssssssiousss.. I do ssssso rarely have vissssitorsshhhh.."
Confused why you were called here to a witch hut with some chick who has a speech impediment, seeing as you now work at Pizza Hut, you shrug and start to take her stuffed crust pizza towards her-- when, a shadowy figure knocks the wooden door down you had just finished closing. Deafening loud, you turn around with hesitation-- eyes widening.
"*****!" A man dressed in a yellow ninja suit roars, hurling a ninja sword at the old hag. It flew like a boomerang, and stang like a bee-- or an exploding sword, which turned out to be the case, seeing as it hit her blade first and blew up on impact. You crumble to the floor from the awe inspiring magical power that exploded from the weapon, pizza dropping out of the garbage cardboard boxes Pizza Hut makes you deliver food in.
"..ah. A pizza junkie. Sorry I just jipped you out of your $1.25 tip, but I'm afraid that was an ACOLYTE OF MORELLO -- an evil order who nerfed our lord and savior Magewick into slumber, and even now tries to draw power from the noble werewolf while he rests in the NINJA COVEN where totally cool guys hang out, and recover from gross over-nerfs. Even now, Evelynn and Twitch rest there, awaiting a better tomorrow. Poor Mordekaiser is on life support, though Vladimir meanwhile.. that guy seems to be coming and going every other Tuesday.."
You get off your knees, frowning at the splashed pizza on the floor, when you watch the hat wearing, bearded ninja (why does he have a beard on a ninja mask?) begin to walk away dramatically.
"Oh, by the way.. my name? Mage Shen. I am tasked with dunking mad b-balls, until my mentor, Magewick, returns to viability." Looking over his shoulder, Mage Shen added: "...We'll meet again."
As he walked away, some totally cool Japanese-Engrish music starts playing, knocking you right back on your sweet ***.
Meanwhile, in the NINJA COVEN for totally cool guys and over-nerfed champions..
F.A.Q. (Frequently Asked Questions)
Morello, with his nerf wand and cute princess tiara, decided champions being versatile was BAD. Therefore, in early 2011, he cornered Magewick in a forest nearby Runeterra. He had Summoner Ignite.
Summoner Ignite, as his Q, W, E, R, passive, every summoner spell slot, and every item active. They stacked.
Magewick was found burned into near oblivion, just around the time his derp cousin, Solo Top Lanewick, was beginning to stop ****ping his diapers. Since, he's been recovering in the COVEN, awaiting.. the inevitable moment Riot unintentionally super buffs him. Until then, he sleeps.
You're a dumbass. I don't see Trundle anywhere on this guide. Moron, I'm surprised you could even navigate to this guide, did someone help you turn on your computer?
.."Jungle" Shen, HAW HAW HAW HAW!! HAW HAW HAW HAW!! A ninja in the jungle.. [Wipes a tear away.] Oh..my. That is a funny one, summoner.
Anyway, Mage Shen brings a unique mixture of attrition damage, burst, and CC to the mix that creates an EXTREMELY attractive target to focus, who can due to hilarious game mechanics, often get away with the trade even though he's hardly building as a tank. Especially with the recent Shen buffs, Mage Shen is a tricky ninja bastard mage with all sorts of cool basketball dribbling techniques, who has insane late game scaling due to his absurdly high AP ratio on his ult.
He also looks super cool with a Lich Bane.
Look Jimmy -- can I call you Jimmy? I'm gonna call you Jimmy -- Jimmy, sometimes champions get reworked, or Morello gets a ******* for nerfing them and then forgets about them for a year and a half, and THINGS CHANGE, OKAY.
I don't play currently, so I don't feel comfortable updating a guide for her now, even if that WAS a complete troll guide, because I have no idea how she actually plays besides the fact she's more effective building an Atmogs these days. Meanwhile, the guide I built for , many of its practices are no longer rare -- they're common stuff these days, especially after his initial rework.
As cool as Shankplank is, I just felt uninspired with the guide portion of that. NO VOODOO IN MY BRAIN.
Good! One of the most important things to learn is: anyone who blindly follows guides, even ones made by High Elo / "pro" players, is doing it wrong. Guides are just references, you use them and adapt them to your own play style. If something else works better for you, you'd be insane not to do it until it stops working better.
Hey, the other guide sites are either too anal, badly designed in layout, or better for custom skins than guides IMO. Mobafire may have a bunch of terrible guides advising you to rush three Phantom Dancers on Mordekaiser, but the core of the site is the best for building guides by far.
Again, my opinion though.
Pros / Cons
- Da best.
- Cannot be beaten ever.
- Super good sustain.
- Surprising decent burst.
- Powerful late game scaling.
- Can tank turrets for your team like a boss.
- Little room for eHP early on.
- Requires good timing to make SUPER FEINT and his SUPER ULT useful.
- Over-extending with high base cost on Shadow Dash may be your death.
- Silence is hella bad.
- May make your team angry, since you're so much cooler than them.
Magic Penetration Reds, to compliment your absurd amount of M. Pen you're gaining/building so you have these true damage Ki Strikes, Vorpal Blades, and Shadow Dashes. It's good.
Flat Armor Yellows, to help make your Feint even cooler and to hang against auto-attack harass. It's good.
Flat OR Scaling Ability Power Blues, to make your everything cooler. You get better shields, stronger Q (and therefore better heal off spell vamp), better AoE. It's good.
Finally, either Flat AP Quintessences, for awesome -- or Spell Vamp quintessences, to make your lane sustain even more absurd. You're a ********ed mage, you'll get Drain powers when you desire.
People will tell you there's other options, like magic resist or cooldown reduction blues and other stuff, but frankly: all other options are UNFASHIONABLE.
First, we dive balls deep into Offense.
We take 1 point in Summoner's Wrath, because we take Ignite and some bonus AD/AP doesn't kill us. We take the 3 bonus AP in Mental Force. Then we grab some delicious cooldown reduction and percentile magic penetration in Sorcery and Arcane Knowledge, respectively.
Some people may be skeptical of Havoc, but 3% bonus damage onto every Ki Strike and every Vorpal Blade adds up pretty quickly over time. Blast ends up netting us 18 AP, gotta get it. Finally, 4 points in Archmage round us out for an additional 5% AP, because it's part of the unique passive on Deathcap for ****'s sakes. You gotta get it.
Executioner is THE FINISHER. People forget about this mastery all the time. They look at your current damage output and don't account for Executioner as they get lower, often resulting in them getting demolished by a sudden SUPER AP FEINT + Ki Strike gib. Most people at the 40% area will either back off realizing they're losing the fight, or are locked in by your SUPER COOL SHEN TECHNIQUES -- when this happens and Executioner comes into play, they are already dead.
It's da best.
Then we got the utility tree. Lots of cool **** I wish we could get (oh how I wish we could, especially Transmutation for its delicious spell vamp..), but still some nifty stuff for us.
We put 1 point into Summoner's Insight, for 15 seconds off Flash's CD. Flash is hella good. You gotta get it. We take 3 points in Good Hands, since 10% time off your death timer late game is the difference between getting to ult your carry that crucial moment and turn the game into a win, or sitting with your thumbs under your *** watching the game be lost while your screen's gray.
Improved Recall -- 1 second off Recall cast time. The sooner you can do a Recall > Stand United combo, the better in not just a few situations, very crucial for Shen. 2 ranks in Swiftness help offset your slow *** until you get that super sick Lich Bane, because seriously, who ever heard of a slow ninja?
Scout is debatable to a lot of people - they just don't see the difference. But every little iota extra range you can squeeze out of a ward is a gank that much more pre-empted and avoided, and as the super badass ninja Mage Shen, you need that awesome. (Plus, it's allowed my Vision-ward clearing to pick up oddly placed sight wards I wouldnt've otherwise.)
Finally Runic Affinity. Although Riot took out that badass albeit brief time when Red Buff applied to single target abilities (Red buff Vorpal Blade, ahwwww..), lizard and golem are still very potent buffs. Lizard adds even more soft CC into your arsenal, while Golem Buff increases your energy regen rate + gives you massively lowered cooldowns. While you should prioritize red towards your ganking junglers or ranged carry depending on what point in the game you are, and the blue buff towards your jungler or AP carry again depending, big *** cooldown reduction is -never- a waste on you.
Mage Shen's Super Awesome Gear
We start with a Amplifying Tome and Health Potion. You want to abuse your decent poke. Typically, you're in top lane (or in what I dub a KILL LANE bottom, later to be discussed!), so anyone who dares to get in range to just auto-harass you will painfully regret it with Feint > Ki Strike hell.
That Tome gets upped into a Hextech Revolver and Level 1 Boots. The boots are a given, but the Revolver is very nice, as it gives you even more sustain-- whether you last hit with your Vorpal Blade or not (especially thanks to the new changes on it!), you'll be keeping very healthy, and this lets you cheaply upgrade to a Will of the Ancients later to help your team as well.
Next is a Haunting Guise. I know, it's not the most popular item in the world, but hear me out. First off, it's cheap. You're getting a lot of core stats so far-- AP, mobility, spell vamp, now M. Pen and Health, for dirt cheap. With such an awesome farmer as Shen, that's something.
But the big thing is, it's also your first upgrade to Ki Strike, and then once you grab Sorc Shoes, you have a whomping 48.5 flat magic pen. Your Ki Strikes and Vorpal Blades will -hurt- with this, no early lane MR is gonna cut it against you -- a situation you will find favorable.
Rylai's Crystal Scepter is your first big item. Sometimes you'll wanna go straight into components of Rylai before the Sorc Shoes upgrade, sometimes not-- play it by ear. Rylai's is just a killer item on you though. Makes your Vorpal Blade slow, gives you a ton of health making your Ki Strikes significantly hurt harder, good bit of AP, etc.) Sadly, it's useless with your new Shadow Dash AoE damage, since the time they'll be taunted is the time they'll be slowed -- but, for argument's sake, yes, you have a form of AoE slow too with this.
That Will of the Ancients upgrade should be on your mind right around now, followed by a Sheen -- giving you more AP, and abusing your very responsive auto-attack animation + trillions of opportunities to trigger Sheen/Ki Strike barrages. No one's going to like that.
Now, it's time to rush your Rabadon's Deathcap. Fairly self-explanatory, it's a god tier chunk of AP, and you have enough M. Pen one way or another to push it through -- plus, it'll make for absurd Feint and Stand United shields.
Start upgrading towards that Lich Bane - little MR in your diet finally, which coupled with your Burst devouring ULTRA FEINT should be hilarious, but of course, this is all about that awesome passive and the movement speed. At the late late game where you'd get this, you need mobility too -- and with all the AP you have, this thing's gonna hit like a truck. You can now devour towers even more than you already could-- if the game's not ending, you'll make sure it does now.
An Abyssal Scepter is awesome on Shen. Huge team fight utility with that MR reduction, good AP amount, gives a big shot in the arm to his eHP.
Zhonya's Hourglass is a given - armor, AP, Zhonya Active. I'm unsure when the enemy team's stupid enough to want to focus you by the time you have this, maybe after you've given a 1.8k shield to your Gangplank or something, but this'll make them regret it even more.
Deathfire Grasp has some wasted stats, but throwing in another nuke into your arsenal for high health stacking targets may be just what the doctor ordered.
has a flat 1.5 second taunt now, and the 50% damage reduc off who's hitting you doesn't scale either, so it's very clearly the "1 point wonder" skill. Therefore, we grab it at 4, and max it last. (GOHEEHEEHEE, I FEEL LIKE PHREAK RIGHT NOW.)
Priority is > > , or R > Q > W. Whenever you can't rank your ult, rank Q. Whenever you can't rank Q, rank W. It's really, really simple.
Creeping / Jungling
When jungling as Mage Shen, first you want to get a leash at wolves, since you can clear that camp before Blue Golem spaw-
HAW HAW HAW HAW HAW
HAW HAW HAW HAW HAW
YOU are not a jungler! I do not care how "sustained" your route is! I do not care how well your ult has synergy with ganks and anti-ganking! Haelstrom does not care, you are not a jungler, ninjas do not play grabass with rock monsters and dogs, OH YEAH!
, feeders with that new
, and many, many more feel like they're inadequate.
Like, they have Doran's Blades, you have a BF Sword. They have a Blasting Wand, you have a Needlessly Large Rod --
You are the KING of Barriers.
I have seriously won 2v5's due to a very horrible bug that disconnected half our team before as AP Shen, PRE-BUFF, because I gave a 1.5k shield onto a very fed .
Hint: people don't expect your carry to suddenly gain an extra 2k max HP. Ever. Other players will look downright backwards to people once they see how cruise control for cool AP is.
"Haelstrom, I don't know how you can even get to the
on Shen, he just farms so badly! Can't farm at all.."
LISTEN. You spoiled, spoiled little girl you.
Shen is a godly farmer. No, he does not have an AoE wave-devouring clearing device, that is the only way he is a bad farmer. The one.. and only.. way.
His auto-attack animation is godly responsive. I've seen a minion at 5 HP, hit it with Shen before one of my caster minions could hit it. That is how responsive. He also has a low cooldown single target nuke, and a on-hit effect nuke that can trigger with the speed of lightning. If you know how to last hit.. at all, Shen farms marvelously. AP Shen does it even cooler.
"But but Haelstrom.. the.. the scary fires them slow arrows and kills me in two hits and I come out of lane phase with 10 minions!"
...what in the actual hell, Co-Op vs AI must have rotted you children's brains out, I swear.
You're - not just any Shen either, MAGE SHEN. You throw ****ing exploding bomb swords! You have a shield with barely any cooldown that allows you to make your bomb sword LIGHT ON FIRE. Like, constantly. You don't have to take no **** from ANYONE. They attempt to harass you, bend them over one knee, and ram your Bomb Sword - into - their - STOMACH.
"..I don't get you Haelstrom, I'm going back to playing support Shen in bottom lane and building Zeke's Herald 'cos you're mean, this game isn't my life,"
I'm not arguing with you, crazy figment of my imagination created to emulate the various women who insta-lock Teemo I've had to play with in my LoL career. Go back to feeding bot, riggle riggle raggle.
Ninja Grooves and Chill Places to Dig It
*Note: not ideal against a 1v2 lane. Sure, if they're stupid and dive you, you insta-win, but if they're smart and zone you, not even a jungle gank will make up for this.
Ah, top. Typically, in North America, you run into Tanky DPS up here right now -- sometimes you'll get some Europe meta shifts and go against an AP top like Swain or Gragas.
You're well equipped to dunk up here. You can > if things get REALLY hairy for an almost guaranteed escape.
Otherwise, execute your amazing last hitting prowess, and when your jungler comes by to gank, either before the jungler shows up if they have hard CC to follow you up with, or after THEY hard CC.
This is so when THEY , you go "Nope" and stop them before they can get to their turret. With some coordination, this makes for very frightening ganks.
When not dealing with ganking, that mofo, or your minions (sometimes at full health to auto them and sometimes to last hit them depending on who you're facing). If they get ballsy and think "hurr behold my auto-attacks," show them what is up with a > to poke and soak some burst respectively. Try to get on them before you Feint, and before you pop Feint, so that way you get an instant Ki Strike, then significantly lower your Ki Strike cooldown in the next few seconds to pop it again. Not unheard of at all to give 2 Vorpal Blades and around 3 Ki Strikes in these exchanges.
Guarantee they'll be far more hesitant of doing that again.
Not my favorite place to groove but sometimes, this works out super well. Now I'm not gonna discuss you playing some kind of hippy support , because that's clearly not what we're doing here, so I'm instead going to describe a KILL LANE.
This lane will be a fountain of blood..!!
You see, a KILL LANE is a lane where you hang with someone with a potent form of early game dominance, like , , , etc. I've seen this happen in top lane too and cause SHELL SHOCK, but I'm skeptical at whether it's worth sacrificing a jungler, so assume this happens bottom.
Put simply: make sure your jungler knows the plan and have him hover bot when possible. Go in and claim dominance HARD. Zone them. Don't let their ranged carry + support setup get established, their support while your gibber starts breaking their 's stupid goat head clean off their damn neck! Zone, zone, zone-- stand past their minions and just sit there because you got the early game advantage and you know it.
Their jungler comes in? So is yours, and hint: you got that 3v3 advantage. Especially if you land a good , ohhohohohoh if you land a tri-taunt, it's a bad game. Try not to push their lane, you're farming champions this game, best believe.
SMOOTH MOVES NINJA DAWG
You can't be that guy who plays a locked camera, that guy who doesn't watch his mini-map, that guy who doesn't take quick peeks at other lanes -- man, you are MAGE .
You can ult someone by clicking R, then clicking their portrait up here. Also, because A LOT OF PEOPLE SURPRISINGLY DON'T KNOW THIS: those little circles tell you if someone's ultimate is up or not. You're welcome.
I'm serious. Don't be that guy who lets a half minute long fight with pings go by, hears your team mate die, then goes "wtf say something next time."
WALLS? TO HELL WITH YOUR WALLS.
can go through many walls. This, Flash, and (although ill advised unless necessary) can make for some very hilarious escapes.
If any of you end up not ulting a 200 HP with your god-tier 2000 point ultra AP infused shield because you were busy killing Wraiths, I swear I'll disown you.
someone or something your auto-attackers (both ranged and melee) are hitting, like neutrals or enemy champions, to give a significant healing buff they will appreciate.
FEINT & TOWERS.
Your is not the average man's FEINT. Yours will get tons of AP and become an unstoppable wall, tanking an average of 3 turret shots per Feint minimum. Late game, this allows extremely efficient split pushing, since you (and ideally a partner) can ransack turrets, then escape with your ninja skills. Alternatively, you guys clear a team fight, you can make rushing that tower ahead of minion waves a breeze.
About the author.
Hey guys, I'm Haelstrom. Small forward: I started playing in early 2010 on the NA server. I popularized Magewick, experienced much of the growth of League past its release from beta, and have dunked.
For the obligatory "WHAT'S YOUR Elo" question, the answer is: ballsack. I hardly touched Season 1, putting it off and putting it off until it was too late-- and Season 2, I've queue dodged to 200 Elo after a friend of mine decided to screw me by playing "Support Master Yi," that jackass.
I've played scrims against people around 1600-1800 range and did fine (even dunked a pretty stacked premade in a custom once with Gragas, DOHOHO) -- but I've honestly been a lazy *** who's only just now deciding to stop screwing around in ranked and actually play it .. somewhat legitimately. Otherwise, I screw around a lot trying to help better some idiot friends of mine who'd rather grab a Lich Bane on Pantheon and dive Baron than actually improve. I feel like some bizarre mix between an unrepentant troll and an "instructor," as several of the people I've "trained" have gone on to gold/plat ratings.
I'd like to think I'm starting to get in the mentality to truly dunk, though. I've been becoming far more of a team oriented player, and by that, I mean I've stopped going 27/7 in stomp games, then getting mad someone took my golem buff and purposely throwing the game or other stupid things I used to do time to time ages ago.
Often I play with my crazy awesome friend Anna who likes playing Co-Op games because the bots do bizarre **** like this.
She's actually much funner to play with than the people I would've try-harded with in ranked before I decided checking out how 270 elo players roll was funny. She, like more players than you'd think, feel more comfortable playing with AI/Bots than against crazy raging children who talk trash if they go 1/7/0, and while I was skeptical of heavily playing bot games at first (I predate Co-Op vs AI after all), I ended up finding it's very relaxing sitting down with her and dunking the horrible Fiddlesticks bot or the garbage Swain bot, and hope to do so many more times between my escapades trying to murder and disgrace the lot of you!
So you may see me if you're testing a build's numbers in a Co-Op, you may see me in a normal game with some bizarre new build typing random gibberish into all chat, you might see me in an ARAM babbling about gold per ten, or lord help you since I've decided to actually go positive W:L again and stop queue dodging while pretending I'm a lost Dominion player wanting to lock Surge Ignite Heimerdinger going "what the hell, ranked?? when they come out with ranked dominion", you may see me in ranked soon. I play a pretty mean mid Brand, and a pretty versatile selection of bot supports, though of course I can play any role competently enough.
I used to get too angry at this game (or be WAY too absorbed into just blatant trolling, not even witty stuff but just screwing with my team). It's hard to believe League's been out this long, that over the years I as a person have matured/grown up a bit with it. In summary, I hope Warwick gets a bunch of AP ratios for no reason.
Ah, and while we're at it: I do not own the Mortal Kombat Shen skins. I own Surgeon Shen and Blood Moon Shen, alternating between the two at random. Dr. McNinja reference obligated a purchase, and Blood Moon's simply kickass.
MAGE SHEN ARCHIVE
Will have any LeagueReplay, YouTube, screenshots, etc. stuff.
Official MAGE SHEN League of Legends Forums Thread. Huehuehue.
Uhg.. this scumbag.
Morello's responsible for sexually violating our mage persona of , this section here is monitoring status to keep track of when Mage Shen is buffed, and to list Morello's crimes against humanity when Mage Shen is nerfed.
02-21-2012 | Mini-Patch (Post-Nautilus)
Base armor reduced to 19 from 23
Vorpal Blade health scaling lowered to 1.5% from 2%
Energy cost increased to 50 from 40 at all levels
Base shield value reduced to 70/115/160/205/250 from 70/120/170/220/270
Comments: AHW GEEZE. Couldn't even wait until a Tuesday to start throwing nerf spears at Mage Shen, could you Feedello? Our armor yellows and HUGE AP make the base armor nerf relatively minor. The health scaling on Vorpal Blade (that affects his heal, FYI) nerf is a little lame but, we build spell vamp so it's not the kick to the nuts regular Shen just took.
The Feint change is a little more annoying. The base nerf is extremely minor, however, the energy cost increase is the lamest nerf of this "patch." Fortunately, our Ki Strikes still give hella energy regain.
That's about it. Hopefully, this is the extents of the nerfs they have planned (if they nerf Ki Strike again, raggle riggle rah) and the above'll "satisfy" Morello... sexually, that is.
Because if he nerfs anymore, I'm making Mage .
That's not gonna be pretty, for him or me.
03-20-2012 | Lulu Patch
Base damage reduced to 60/100/140/180/220 from 60/105/150/195/240.
Cooldown increased to 6/5.5/5/4.5/4 from 5/4.5/4/3.5/3.
Fixed a bug where last hitting with Vorpal Blade healed for less than intended.
Mage Shen was simply eating at a diner, when suddenly, the disgusting, evil lard of monstrous intent Morello was dove through some glass, wearing his pink leotard.
"SHENNNN" Morello cried out, raising his NERF WAND and taking a swipe at Shen. It lightly grazed Shen, but gave him some irrelevant late game base damage nerfs, a fairly annoying CD increase, and a bug fix that increased his sustain.
Mage Shen 'd backwards, and started laughing his *** off at Morello.
"Dumbass! You didn't even touch my AP ratios, scrub! Didn't nerf anything! GARBAGE."
"I.. I NERFED IRELIA!! SHE'll NEVER BECOME A MAGE!" Morello defiantly nodded his head.
"..You're a sick pervert, Morello." Shaking his head, Mage Shen bounced, ulting his way to Ahri half-way across the world to totally bang, leaving Morello jumping up and down on a magical wand with fury. For now.. Mage Shen had won.
(Up to date as of April 07th, post- patch.)