Shyvana Build Guide by nifflo

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.

League of Legends Build Guide Author nifflo

Mowing down the Twisted Treeline with Shyvana

nifflo Last updated on July 2, 2012
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I: Jungle II: 3vs3

Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
Ability Key R

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.



Offense: 9

Honor Guard

Defense: 21

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 0

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Welcome to my Shyvana Guide!
I have played a lot of Shyvana games solo top in Twisted Treeline and want to share my strategy which is almost always a good one. I hope you will enjoy reading it.
Polite and constructive comments are very much welcome.

There are two builds in this guide. The first is for 5vs5 jungling. But the main build and what this guide currently covers in-depth is the 2nd build: 3vs3 solo top.

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+ No resource costs
+ Quite low cooldowns
+ Defensive self steroid in dragon form
+ Very high mobility
+ Great control jungler
+ Good ability "package"
+ Fun to play
+ Amazing skins! Even the default one is awesome!
space space
- No built in health sustain
- No CC and no gap closers => poor ganks
- Only escape is the ult (or run with Burnout)
- Not the strongest in 1vs1 (on equal terms: gold/xp/health wise)
- Not much utility in her abilities except an armor shred - which doesn't synergize with her Burnout magic damage

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Itemization for Shyvana

In ascending order of priority:

  1. Attack Speed
  2. Health
  3. Attack Damage
  4. Armor
  5. Magic Resist

Attack Speed is super important. But it doesn't mean it should be stacked. However I still feel that somehow this is her core offensive attribute. Tankiness in form of Health, Armor and Magic Resist is very important too but Shyvana is an off tank so Attack Damage should be prioritized to increase jungle speed and damage output in duels.

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Greater Mark of Armor Penetration

Greater Seal of Armor

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist

Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed

Defensive flat MR Glyphs and flat Armor Seals. Scaling MR is also viable. I take Movement Speed Quints for extra mobility which I think is huge on Shyvana. For Marks you should go offensive. When it comes to offense however, it doesn't really affect your jungle speed/DPS that much if you go with Attack Speed, Attack Damage or Armor Penetration. So lets have a look at the choices:

This is the order of DPS advantage, highest advantage first.
  • Greater Mark of Desolation Armor penetration means most jungle monsters have 0 armor (even though we run defensive masteries). It is also good for harass when laning top in 3vs3 for laying down a E+Q combo. Shyvana is a huge non-crit autoattacker type champ with high attack speed. This means she will benefit greatly the whole game ArPen. On the other hand, this only affects autoattacks and Twin Bite (Q) damage - which is levelled last... The bulk of the damage when clearing camps comes from Burnout (W) which is unaffected by Armor Pen. This makes AD marks slightly better early game. Verdict: Best in Slot [lvl 6-18].
  • Attack Damage increases your melee damage and burnout damage. This means higher AoE magic damage and faster camp clears. It is also almost as good as ArPen when it comes to harassing in lane: What you loose in physical damage mitigation for AA's on the enemy champ you make up for in magic damage from W which is levelled first. Basically these runes pwn early levels but then of course they fall quite quickly. And imo Shyvana is a late game hero who need to get her core before coming a threat. She is not the early game advantage type champ like Riven (see my other guide). Verdict: Best in Slot [lvl 1-5].
  • Attack Speed makes you hit faster and it synergizes with the passive (cooldown on Q). It is worse than both the above when it comes to early game DPS and harass, but at least it scales. It will be better im the jungle than AD after a few levels - and Shyvana's Q and camp clearance benefits greatly from AS. Verdict: Good choice [lvl1-18].

For 3vs3 where you start in the lane and soon have to dodge in and out between lane and jungle I roll with Greater Mark of Desolation to harass better and to lower most jungle monster armor to 0 even though I run defensive masteries.

In the 5vs5 jungle I take Greater Mark of Attack Damage for early game aggression and invasions and to boost Burnout as much as possible.

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Fact: Shyvana ALWAYS need to be tanky. It is no use going in the offensive tree and having to buy defensive items later, as it will have poor synergy. Similarly of course, going defensive tree and finishing off with offensive items late game is also poor synergy. But one major difference is that offensive items on Shyv are to be considered an added bonus. Tankiness is always mandatory, especially for (counter)jungling. You also want to make sure to grab all movement speed bonuses and that more or less demands a 0/21/9 build.



You need to get tanky asap. Jungling masteries demand a solid investment in the defense tree, and while you are picking up stuff there might as well make it your primary investment and pick up cc-reduction and movement speed. You can always correct for this later by buying an offensive item (hello, Trinity Force).
Go 9 in Util for Runic Affinity andmovement speed. Ignore Mana related masteries on the way.
Go 21 in Defense. Pick jungling masteries and get extra armor, health & movement speed.


No. I do not like the thought of an offensive mastery approach on Shyvana. You miss out on utility movement speed and jungle tankiness. Granted that coupled with ArPen runes she will hit harder but also be more squishy. And I can't stand a squishy Shyvana. It is not her role to be the AD carry or the offensive bruiser. She is the tanky bruiser.

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Getting the Core Build

Item Sequence

Boots of Speed

Madred's Razors

Wriggle's Lantern

Recurve Bow

Mercury's Treads

Open with Cloth Armor and 5x Health Potion grind 1050g in the jungle and recall to get Madred's Bloodrazor and Boots of Speed. Go back to the woods and farm up to Wriggle's Lantern.

Shyvana's ganks are too poor to be attempted with lacking movement speed. I would love to take Recurve Bow asap instead - but it is just "too gud" to be able to run faster and try a gank at this stage while roaming.

Next, I recommend getting a huge bump in Attack Speed for ahuge increase in camp clearing! The best item to get is a Recurve Bow which will be built into a Wit's End later.

At this stage you have finally got the true core build of a counterjungle Shyvana.

Becoming a Bully...

Item Sequence

Giant's Belt

Wit's End

Health and more AD. And a slow that is really in demand on Shyvana who has no other means of a built in CC ability like most other champs.

Need more health? Grab an early Giant's Belt if you like to survive the early game team fights. Remember the passive defensive stats in Dragon Form and capitalize on the huge effective health pool. Or just hold off with this until later.

Wit's End is huge on Shyvana. If Shyvana could pick ONE item to a deserted island then this would probably be it. It has the Magic Resist she needs (in combination with Mercury's Treads), the attack speed she needs and an extra on-hit damage effect as a cherry on top. Yummy!

Unleashing the Dragon

Item Sequence

Frozen Mallet

Aegis of the Legion

This is what makes and breaks all melee bruisers. You need the Atma's Impaler to get that super tankiness and to make up for the lack offensive items. It will cover your basic Armor needs.

I feel Giant's Belt is at home on all champs. And if that champ benefits greatly from Phage then it is only natural to go for a Frozen Mallet eventually. This item can be built earlier if it is urgent.

This is not mandatory, but imo Aegis of the Legion is a strong pick both for yourself and for the team. Maybe it is coming a bit late as a 6th item, and it may look meh but you score a nice big chunk of extra armor, magic resist and health. And a perky teamfight aura advantage. This is never wrong. And if it is, sell it later and get a Trinity Force instead. It wasn't that expensive anyway...

Optional items

You could get Trinity Force, Warmog's Armor or the Guardian Angel instead of Aegis of the Legion. Always be flexible.

For defense...

Don't invest in a super expensive *pure Tank* item like Randuin's Omen or Force of Nature unless you feel you absolutely HAVE to.
  • Armor/Magic Resist => Guardian Angel - If you want to skip Aegis and boost your own defenses even more instead...
  • Armor => Randuin's Omen - Use the active when the teamfight is commited to and make sure the active effect hits their AD carry.
  • Magic Resist => Force of Nature - Nice MS boost as added bonus to a huge Magic Resist item.
  • Health => Warmog's Armor - Imba health pool with this in addition to Frozen Mallet. However there is seldom a reason to have this much health... You aren't Volibear.

For offense...

  • Attack Damage and Attack Speed => Trinity Force - Note that 10% of the gold spent goes down the drain (Mana Crystal) and that is a turn off. But the sheen procs are awesome as the Twin Bite burst will cripple anyone. If I am super fed I sometimes grab this already after the core build. Enjoy the win.
  • Attack Damage and Attack Speed => The Black Cleaver - If you want to go for a B. F. Sword item then I think it stands between this or Bloodthirser. But since Shyvana's primary stat is Attack Speed then I think The Black Cleaver wins. Even more armor shred for the other AD people to capitalize on. Still, Trinity Force is so much better than either since you can only have one...

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Solo Top 3vs3

I start with Cloth Armor or Boots of Speed and a couple of potions. Max Burnout as much as possible, and then Flame Breath 2nd with an early point in Twin Bite.

Coordinate with your team and decide to go for lvl 1 team fight in lobby. Shyvana can reach most locations (such as bottom brush) faster than most champs in the game with all movement speed masteries/quints and burnout. Securing this point for your team can be really good.

Strategy & Goal

The ultimate goal is to get 2-3 levels ahead of them and then rape their low level champs constantly. The secondary goal is to keep their top underlevelled and starved. How is this achieved?
  • Farming EXP and GOLD
  • Dragon Control
  • Ganking


Farming means getting gold and xp. Push the top lane as much as possible to keep their top busy and then dart in to the jungle and farm all camps. The more camps you get the bigger the gap between you and their solo top. Every time the jungle respawns rinse and repeat.

Expect their solo top to also want to jungle, unless they are noobs. If they are MIA - approach from the brushes and hope to catch them off guard. Don't get caught, you should catch them instead. Easier said than done - you will have to ward!

Dragon Control

Once you have Wriggle's Lantern and Recurve bow you can solo this while yawning. Pick an opportune time and make sure you have recent map vision of their movements. NEVER go for dragon solo if their whole team is MIA. That does not mean they are in their base, be paranoid: They are moving to dragon.

A successful dragon will give a global dmg buff to the whole team. You are helping your duo-bot lane a LOT by controlling dragon. Not to mention the global gold for your team.


The top lane is pushed and you are clearing the bottom jungle. Suddenly a skirmish between the bot lane breaks out, the enemy bot lane has initiated and your ult is ready. It is time to gank. Ultimate in from over the wall with Dragon's Descent and pop Burnout asap. Select a target and Flame Breath to shred their armor, preferably both opponents if necessary. Cleave (possibly both enemies) with Twin Bite and SIT ON THEIR FACES with the burnout. If you are 2-3 levels ahead of them they will SQUEAL like pigs being barbequed alive!

The key is the element of surprise. You don't have to wait for a skirmish to happen, it is just a great situation for you as a few (possibly critical) abilities on their team will be on cooldown. But if the lane is pushed in your favor, ping your teammates, get ready, and pick a target to coordinate on before you ult in.

Lane phase

Do not not loose last hits but look for an opportunities to trade hits in your favor. Easiest way is to throw an occasional Flame Breath from range in their face. Standing in a brush will make it easier to land. Remember that this gives them an armor shred debuff.

The short term goal is to farm up Wriggle's Lantern and Recurve Bow and getting as much points in Burnout as possible. Once this is done, push the wave to the tower and clear the top and bottom jungle).


After doing this ranged harass a while and they think they know your playstyle, it is time to put more pressure: Do the basic Flame Breath and run up to them with Burnout and autoattack them a few times and see how they react. Playing aggressive like this will make some people run away, thus the trade was 100% in your favor.

Once you have Twin Bite you can add that on the harass combo. Sit on their face with Burnout and check if they run or not. If they run: Chase them a bit for some extra DoT ticks and psychological advantage. They will be afraid of your aggression. If they do not run: Gauge the health bars: Once your combo is done your burst is over, and now they will trade back! But don't be a chicken and run back immediately, be patient and show you are a man. Then run back and pop a potion if you have to.

Full Harass Combo

If there are not so many enemy creeps around you can go for the full harass combo: Flame Breath from the brush, pop Burnout and run up to them and punch their face in with Auto-Attack + immediate Twin Bite (reset attack timer) combo. Then either run back or stand in their face with Burnout for a while. Your masteries will make sure the enemy creeps arent doing too much damage on you.

Stand in their face and let Burnout work a bit on them. If they start to run, keep the chase up and let the DoT eat on them.


Are the trades going in your favor? Analyze each trade and see what you can improve. Should you sit on their face longer? Or would it be to your advantage if you trade a quick Q and then use Burnout to run away?

If you cannot trade successfully: Push the lane with Burnout and focus on jungle control starting with the smaller jungle camps. The more xp you get the better.

Gauge how much damage your combos are doing. Getting familiar with how much damage you can do you know when you might get a kill depending on their health and position.

The enemies are also analyzing your damage output. Many people will be scared as hell about an aggressive fearless melee player. They will be hard to gank, but you can use this to your advantage and keep them zoned, underlevelled and scared. That will lead to two things: They will farm under their tower giving you all time you need to gank the other lanes or clear the jungle. A good player from bot lane will try to help out so don't get caught by ganks from them - or you will loose the advantage.

Jungle advice

Keep Dragon warded towards his expected spawn time. Farm the camps and keep the camps on the respawn timer to starve the enemy jungler.


Unless farmed or overlevelled, Shyvana is not the best duelist. There are several common picks that sustain better, and just outduel Shyvana pretty hard. Avoid early game confrontations with Udyr, Lee Sin, Master Yi & Tryndamere for example since they are powerful from lvl 1 and if allowed to farm jungle and get kills will go out of control much too quickly.

However, if the game is going in your favor, and you are getting ahead, you will be able to punch their faces in sooner or later.

Oh no, the enemy jungler is getting ahead!

Is the other top laner constantly MIA? He is probably doing some farming on his own. If this is an Udyr or a Lee Sin this can be hard to stop by yourself. And you will be afraid of wandering alone in the jungle (rightfully so) if you happen to run in to them, or worse, they catch you at a camp with all your abilities on cooldown. Soon you will also notice that the enemy took the 1st Dragon, and shortly after that their solo top punishes your over extended bot with a double kill.

When this is happening the game is clearly NOT in your favor. You have got outplayed, son. When this is happening you need to come with a response! For example, 2-3 repeated ganks on the enemy jungler will make your team catch up, and stop his confidence. You need to make the bot lane understand that the enemy jungler is ahead in levels, the game is snowballing in the enemies favor. If you continue like this then the enemy team will soon start to skull-rape your team repeatedly unless something is done RIGHT NOW.

However, the enemy probably stick together in groups of three. And your team argues about who to focus - the much higher enemy solo top or their squishy equal levelled damage dealer? If your team has no CC then this is quite tricky. Ideally you should CC the equal levelled damage dealer and FOCUS that high levelled solo top. Because if you do not clean house with him and shut him down, he will mop you up. Regardless if you get a kill on that Teemo or not. And whoever you killed will get assists anyway and the enemy team comes out way ahead in that 1 for 3 team fight => Focus the solo top.

If he is so far ahead your whole team cannot bring him down then just surrender. This means your team reacted too late.

Last words on 3vs3

Remember: Shyvana's power is in jungle control. Think of Shyvana as a skilled thief who specialize in stealing camps, and the enemy jungler is a nasty police officer patrolling it. Avoid the police or you he might beat you with a stick and put you in jail. If you are careful and fast enough then you will eventually outlevel everyone else on the enemy team and proceed to bully them.

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Summoner Spells

Summoner's Rift

Smite is mandatory for jungling in 5vs5.

This one is handy to secure ganks, escape unfavorable duels or turn the tide of a 1vs1 situation. It also shuts down enemy burst AoE initiates.

Twisted Treeline

Exhaust is a still a great pick, and I usually also pick up Flash.

Flash over walls to escape ganks or ambushes. Saving your own life means not falling behind, plus with the masteries this one has 15sec less cooldown to synergize slightly better with the build.

Other viable spells

Personally I don't think Ignite feels "right" on Shyvana. She is aggressive, but this is too aggressive. Shyvana don't need to snowball on kills, she only needs to farm a lot. This spell feels more right on champs that want to kill, kill, kill other enemy champs such as Vayne, Xin Zhao or Shaco.

Because running fast is OP! Sometimes you need to catch up to the runner and maintain high speed. Sometimes you have to escape the crime scene. Sometimes you HAVE to get to that huge creep wave first!

I don't run this personally but I can see the value of removing all CC with Cleanse and just running away with Burnout yelling TROLOLO!

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Thank you for reading this guide, I hope you found it useful, insightful and a good read. Please vote and leave a comment!

Thanks to BBCode codex for helping me make this guide look nice.