Build Guide by Chaponator

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 Chaponator

Shen - Effective Tanking and Damage

Chaponator Last updated on August 16, 2010
Like Build on Facebook Tweet This Build Share This Build on Reddit

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.


Brute Force
Improved Rally

Offense: 0

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 21

Expanded Mind
Blink of an Eye
Mystical Vision
Presence of the Master

Utility: 9

Hello all and welcome to my detailed guide on effective and efficient tanking with Shen.

This guide focuses on efficiently tanking for your team while doing large amounts of damage and sometimes even carrying your team at the same time. I have found this build to be very successful and really fun at the same time.

What does a good Shen bring to the team? (Pros)

  • A heavy tank that can take the beating for your team while dishing out large amounts of damage.
  • A taunt that is able to make the entire enemy team focus you and leave them disabled for seconds, giving your team the opportunity to take them down without self harm.
  • Global save. Shens ultimate is capable of saving both you and a friendly player at the same time. Often resulting in the turnaround of a gank, and often multi-kills will result.

Negatives of playing Shen (Cons)
  • Ultimate has a reasonably long cool down.
  • Energy can sometimes be an issue. Spamming Vorpal blade and Shadow Dash can occasionally result in a lack of energy, although it replenishes quick so it's rarely an issue.
  • You're so awesome that often people will be afraid of you and run in the opposite direction, resulting in extra running.

Summoner skills:

Ghost - Ghost is in my opinion, one of the best abilities to have on Shen. Ghost allows you to run after the enemy and taunt them, usually resulting in a kill or a saved teammate. It is also handy for situations such as when you use your ultimate, save a team mate and then chase after the enemy and taunt them, giving your team mates a chance to catch up and score the kill.

Your second summoner ability is up to you really, although I usually take:

Exhaust - Is a great skill for any melee character, or any character in general that likes to get up close and personal or chase their enemies. I like taking Exhaust on Shen because it gives you that extra chance to catch up and taunt your enemies, and gives you an advantage during 1 on 1 or team fights as it renders a melee champion such as Master Yi, Jax or Warwick useless.

Other good abilities that can be used for Shen are:

Teleport - Teleport is a good ability for map control. Teleport can save an ally by teleporting in and Shadow Dashing and disabling the enemy. It is also handy for back-dooring towers which is reasonably easy due to Shens passive, Ki Strike.

Flash - Flash is a great all round skill. It is reasonably handy on Shen as it enables you to Flash, Shadow Dance and taunt your enemies. It can also be used to get you out of those sticky situations.

Skills not to take

Rally - Rally is not needed as Shen due to you being a tank. This summoner ability is not the best anyway. Avoid picking this.

Ignite - Ignite can be used as Shen to give you that extra DPS or to score you the kill, although it is not really needed and other skills can be used that suit his play style better.

Fortify - A good defense skill although there are other skills that can be utilized more effectively.

Revive - Revive is really not needed in general. Other skills are far more handy.

Cleanse - Cleanse is a great skill although others are better suited to Shen. If you are being target then you are doing your job.

Clarity - Shen doesn't use mana.

Smite - Not needed on Shen. He does not need to jungle.

Clairvoyance - Clairvoyance is a great skill and be really handy, although other skills are more important. Also, wards do the same job and don't take up a summoner spell slot.

Heal - You have more than enough health with this build. Heal is not necessary.


I have found a 0 - 21 - 9 build to be the most effective with Shen. The defense benefits you gain from the 21 defense points give you greater survivability.
The points in Utility help you gain that edge, especially with Haste and Perseverance. Greed also is handy for getting your items.


Greater Mark of Desolation
Being Shen, you are massively tanky. Therefore, I feel that using up Rune slots on health or armour runes is not really necessary. I use Greater Marks of Desolation due to lowering your enemies armour is great. It allows you to do that extra damage and helps your team mates out a lot.

Greater Seal of Evasion
I find Dodge seals really handy when playing Shen. The amount of dodges you can get in a row is quite amazing, even with only Dodge Seals. They help give you that extra survivability that you need in team fights.

Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction
Shen has reasonably quick cool downs as standard. These runes make those cool downs all the better. Having the chance to spam Vorpal Blade and Shadow Dance is great as it disables the enemy more frequently and helps you fulfill your role as tank.


Ki Strike - Every 8 seconds, Shen's next attack deals 15 (plus 3.5% of his maximum health) bonus magic damage. Every time an enemy champion attacks Shen with a basic attack, the cooldown is reduced by 2 seconds. The base damage increases by 5 each level.
This is really handing during fights as being hit by an enemy reduces the cool down on the ability. It is also good for pushing towers. When leveled it dishes out serious damage.

Vorpal Blade - Shen deals magic damage to target unit. That unit becomes life tapped for 5 seconds, healing any champions who attack it over 3 seconds.
  • Cost: 70 / 65 / 60 / 55 / 50 Energy.
  • Damage: 50 / 95 / 140 / 185 / 230 (+0.65 per ability power)
  • Heal: 10 / 20 / 30 / 40 / 50 health (+0.1 per ability power)
  • Cooldown: 3 seconds
  • Range: 475

This is your key damage dealing ability. It does reasonable damage to the target and heals the friendly unit that is attacking the market target. This is great when you a low on HP. It gives you that extra boost, while doing damage.

Feint - Shen enters a defensive stance, shielding himself from some damage. Lasts up to 1.5 seconds.
  • Cooldown: 9 / 8 / 7 / 6 / 5 seconds.
  • Damage Blocked: 50 / 100 / 150 / 200 / 250 (+0.6 per ability power)
  • Cooldown: 10 seconds
  • Range: Global

This is a nifty little ability that can really save you. I can recall several times where I have hit Feint in the nick of time and saved myself from a turret, or reduced damage and saved myself from being killed. It is part of what makes him a great tank.

Shadow Dash - Shen rapidly dashes to a target location, Taunting enemies he collides with. Restores 50 Energy if you hit a champion.
  • Cost: 120 / 115 / 110 / 105 / 100 Energy.
  • Taunt Duration: 0.8 / 1.1 / 1.4 / 1.7 / 2 seconds.
  • Cooldown: 10 seconds
  • Range: Global

This skill really makes Shen. Being able to hit a target with Shadow Dash and taunt them makes or breaks a team fight. This is the ability that makes as many enemies as he collides with attack him, disabling them for up to 2 seconds.

Stand United - Places a shield on both a target allied champion and Shen, absorbing damage for 7.5 seconds (Shen's shield absorbs half as much damage). After channeling for 2.5 seconds, Shen teleports to the target's location.
  • Cooldown: 180 / 150 / 120 seconds.
  • Damage Absorbed: 300 / 525 / 750 (+1 per ability power)
  • Cost: 50 Energy
  • Range: Global

Shens ultimate is one of the best in the entire game. This enables you to teleport to any friendly player, placing a shield around both them and you. This, if used correctly will save countless team mates and possibly even destroy the other team.


Your key goal is to soak up as much damage while your team does damage around you. Why not do AoE damage while soaking up the damage as well? That is the main reasoning behind this build.

Core Build

These will reduce Crowd Control (CC) and provide Magic Resistance, which is perfect for a tank.

x3 Give Shen 1350 HP, 135 Armour and 120 Magic damage a second to nearby enemies. This is great for team fights as you are helping damage the enemies at the same time as disable them. Sunfire Capes also gives you lots of assists.

Guardian Angel is a great item. It will give you a second chance at life if you die (once every 5 minutes), provides 68 Armour and 38 Magic Resist.

Thornmail is a great last item as it gives you 100 Armour and reflects 25% of damage dealt by standard attacks. This item rips apart melee champions such as Master Yi.

Early Game

Start the game by buying Boots of Speed and 3x Health Potion.

Analyze who is on your team, and who you would best be suited laning with. Any champion that has a stun, or burst damage is a great lane partner for Shen. Xin Zhao is a great lane partner due to his slow and disable.

Proceed to your lane and last hit minions with your Vorpal Blade. This is a great skill for last hitting as it does reasonable damage and has a really short cool down. Keep up the last hitting until you have enough for your Mercury's Treads and if things are going well a Giant's Belt.

Keep in mind, getting first blood with Shen is reasonably easy. In time with your lane mate, Shadow Dash, Exhaust, Vorpal Blade and Ki Strike the enemy, along with your lane mate until they are finished.

Your core item build should now look like this:

By this time you have speed and health with your Mercury's Treads and Giant's Belt and you now should be a ganking and killing machine. By this time, depending on how the lanes are looking I will either go back to my lane and farm with Vorpal Blade and Ki Strike or move between lanes ganking the enemy.
Remember to always use your Exhaust when ganking to disable the enemy.
Don't forget about your Ultimate Stand United as it will save many team deaths.

Mid Game

Continue to gank and farm minions as your team pushes turrets. Use your combination of:

Shadow Dash, Exhaust, Vorpal Blade and Ki Strike alongside your team mates to dominate in team fights.
Hopefully by now you should have saved up enough gold from farming, jungling and ganking to turn your first Giant's Belt into a Sunfire Cape and have enough left to either outright purchase or start building towards your second Sunfire Cape

Your core item build should now be similar to:


By now your 2x Sunfire Cape will be doing a reasonable amount of AoE damage during team fights, netting you lots of assists and enough gold to continue with the build.

Late Game

By now you have hopefully been involved in many team fights (You should have been in all of them. You're the tank!) and have earned yourself some serious cash.
Start working towards or completing your guardian angle and enjoy never dieing again!
After you have finished your Guardian Angel start working towards the last Sunfire Cape and enjoy doing huge amounts of AoE damage during team fights, with the comfort of knowing that without being stupid, you wont die.

Your build should now look like:

Keep participating and winning team fights to finish off your build with Thornmail.
I would just like to note that the game rarely gets this far, so don't fuss if you don't get [[thornmail]

Thanks for taking the time to read my guide.
I would like to thank DEWO for the basis of the build due to copying the layout.

I hope you enjoy the guide and it helps you. Please rate and comment.