Shen Build Guide by Gott der 7 Meere
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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.
While I still stick to the idea of junlge shen, a nerf to his passive and the changes on CDR runes made me re***es this build quite drastically, I will publish a better one soon.
About this Build
The build is different form standard Shen builds wich max Vorpal Blade first. That doesn't make it better or worse, it is just used in another way and very effective at that.
It turns Shen into the ultimate tank in the League, uniting the most map presence out of any champion with the the top Crowd Control and the best tanking capabilities of any champion.
Map presence from a freely roaming jungler, and a short CD (120 sec) . Crowd Control from a 4.8 sec CD - thats the second shortest CD out of all CC in game - second only to Shield of Daybreak - but since its duration is longer and its multi-target combined with a dash, there is just nothing to rival it. Tanking capabilities to take infinite dragon, baron and tower damage, soak up the burst of all-out enemy focus fire or endure aggro from Jax or Olaf with minimal item build - Shen's incredible shield offers so much free HP that it enables him to just ignore towers and enemies alike to screw around with them as he sees fit.
The price you pay for this: you will sacrifice Vorpal Blade! You do this in order to save enery for a constant high energy level of 120. It will take away some jungle speed if you get no help at your start and you will need 3 more health pots.
I consider this a very decent tradeof, especially because you do not give away all your damage since more Ki Strikes will even out the missing q. Consider this and decide if this build will help your team win or not.
Shen needs Armor, Magic Resistance (MR), Health (HP) and Tenacity for tanking since his initiation will force enemies to attack him more than others. To consistently use his abilities, he also needs Cooldown Reduction (CDR) and Movement Speed (MS) to get the right positioning and timing. Because we don't forget that most teamfights are not resolved with just basic stats, he should carry some Ninja-tailored utility from active and passive item effects. Lastly he desperately needs jungle clearing speed or Attack Speed (AS) and AOE damage for split pushing (from items).
Looking at Summoner Spells only Smite and Exhaust/ Teleport/ Flash/ Barrier make sense.
When considering Masteries and Runes distribute your points how you feel it suits your team compostion and playstyle. I run a 4/2x/x-ish mastery setup, runes are Resistances, AS, CDR and sometimes MS.
These give you 15% CDR early game so you can give your blue away and still get the 40% CDR cap asap. I know the runes are expensive, but they are working exceptionally well.
Some AS is mandatory for quicker jungling and these work best.
and full defense masteries
Are very usefull for the big monsters, tower dives and scale best with him overall.
How to proceed
Because shen's jungle speed relies on his auto attack damage, Madred's Razors is absolutely required. Obviously you buy boots asap and try to get a ward to either keep track of your enemy to countergank, counterjungle or to babysit a lane with troubles.
You can upgrade your Razors to a Wriggle's Lantern, as this item is very cost effective, the wards you get throughout the game add up to a nice amount of money and the improved monster damage makes for easy jungling. This is not mandatory, however, and if you are struggling, you should rather invest money into Resistances ( Cloth Armor/ Null-Magic Mantle) and HP ( Ruby Crystal). While doing that, you may also want to get the remaining CDR ( Kindlegem) you need to get to the cap. Sometimes you will also try to get an early oracle up now else Vision Wards work really well. Sooner or later, your build will look like this:
A really important item early game is Locket of the Iron Solari its cost-effective and really cheap. Get it together with another Kindlegem to bring your CDR to 35%. It will cap with the upgrade to either Spirit Visage or Zeke's Herald. Your boot choice should obviously be between Ninja Tabi and Mercury's Treads. Depending on your enemies and allies the enchantment type will vary between Enchantment: Captain for quick follow up chases, Enchantment: Distortion for more Teleport presence and Enchantment: Alacrity if you feel you are too slow.
Afther the core build you have some options:
- Split push items like Tiamat or Sunfire Cape allow you to clear very quickly.
- Pure Tank items like Randuin's Omen and Runic Bulwark when your team has none.
- AS items like Wit's End, Statikk Shiv and Zephyr give more passive procs.
- Shield and Damage items include Abyssal Scepter and Twin Shadows.
- Sometimes the utility from Shurelya's Reverie comes in handy.
Obviously you sell Madred's Razors/ Wriggle's Lantern late game for a bigger item, but it will rarely come to that.
I really fancy lifesteal of some sort for Shen late game, since this couppled with his powerfull shield makes him even tankier. While Vorpal Blade allows for quite some regeneration, it never has the same impact. Mostly Zeke's Herald does the trick, somethimes I get to build a Blade of the Ruined King for some additional CC and vs. high HP targets - allthough their armor makes them hard to kill for a shen - or Ravenous Hydra wich despite not having AD ratios helps him dish out some AOE damage in fights and split push reasonably well. This is not set in stone, as the differences in playstyle of Vorpal Blade-standard- Shen and my build tend to diminish in late game. Your full build could look like this:
HHH Ki Strike (Passive): On-Hit passive that gives back a lot of energy and damage if you can manage to keep your shield up. It is good to know that your average tank items HP (~2k) gives you good damage. Despite less AS than other Shen builds you will get more procs due to your better shielding.
HHH Vorpal Blade (Q): This is a pretty good skill overall, but it has one downsides that I want to avoid: Its energy cost is too high to be used in conjunction with spamming his other skills. Simply put, this skill is just not needed to jungle and gank. Your damage output from dash and passive is compareable to its damage, the saved energy is huge and your shield gives you a lot more sustain. However you can manage Shen's energy if you use it instead of Feint late game - e.g. when you take no damage. You will loose some early damage and sustain because you do not take this skill.
HHH Feint (W): The shield absorbs ridiculous amounts of damage and can be refreshed after it expires when shen reaches 40% CDR. This also means that you can pretty much 1v1 anyone that can't nuke you, because while they loose hp, they just tear through your shield again and again. Mind you, if your shield is destroyed and you have no HP, you can be nuked easily, so make sure you have enough tankyness to survive burst damage. An interesting and exploitable fact is the enhanced passive that you get while shielded. This gets you an every 3rd attack passive with nice energy replenishment and damage. Always activate this BEFORE you attack, since the 3 second CD decrease on your passive starts counting with the attack that triggers it. The shield is one reason you can tower dive fairly early without worries. Your shield will be strong when you need it - early and mid game - and not when you already are tanky from items - late game.
HHH Shadow Dash (E): Most people use a one-rank-dash to initiate and get around the map faster. Low levels have a huge CD, that doesn't allow for consecutive dashes. However, when ranked and with CDR you can use this every 4.8 seconds giving your enemy only 3 seconds (!) time between taunts. And something most people dont realize... a 50% damage reduction on AD carries while taunted means you really take no damage. Since you will hit many enemies (if you don't, don't play shen) this thing pays for itself, but it requires you to only use either Vorpal Blade or Feint, as your energy level won't be high enough else. Always use it to get through walls in your jungle. A nice combination is -, but Sight Ward- - works similarly. Other Shen builds need to save their one crucial taunt. In the meantime you will dash through them 4 times. Believe me this is the peak of awesomeness.
HHH Stand United (R): CDR has the biggest impact on this skill, allowing you to gank more lanes and turn around small clashes. Ulting on allies in bushes can be a big surprise. If your ally dies during the channel, get some AP, as this greatly boosts the shield (or tell them to get resistances). End game this ability is a double edged sword in that the channel and teleport can be disrupted with cc, and you remove your powerfull taunts from the game for 3 seconds. So make sure you blow your cd before you ult, or place yourself into the path of cc to disrupt the channel... the shield will be activated always. Your ult will be 40% more available than to the standard build and usable in conjunction with average ult-CD's from your allies and enemies. The difference is between saving any ganked lane and makeing the enemy despair because you counter ALL their moves and leaving it to fall behind because your ult still has 20 sec CD.