Shen Build Guide by Phil Collins

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Phil Collins

Shen, Eye of OP Top Lane

Phil Collins Last updated on April 13, 2012
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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: 0

Honor Guard

Defense: 21

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 9

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Hello and welcome to my Shen guide. Shen is a Top lane Tank who has great harass and sustain early game, and able to disable entire teams late game with his taunt. Shen is a great support/tank because of Stand United and Vorpal Blade, which is why he is banned often in ranked. In this guide I will show you how I play the ninja.

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Pros / Cons

Very tanky
Great in all stages of the game
Amazing harass
Uses energy, not mana
Global ultimate
High damage for a tank
Almost no counters at Top lane

Only one disable (other tanks have a lot more)
Stand United has a low shield and a high cooldown at rank 1
Ultimate can be cancelled by other champions

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9x Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
9x Greater Seal of Armor
9x Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
3x Greater Quintessence of Ability Power

I take Greater Mark of Magic Penetration so I can deal more damage early game.
Greater Seal of Armor for the extra durability.
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist for the extra durability. The reason why I don't take Greater Glyph of Magic Resist is because mages don't hurt that much early game, and flat MR only helps early game, not late game.
Greater Quintessence of Ability Power for the extra damage.

This rune setup gives me a high damage output early game to force enemies out of lane, and I will be very durable throughout the game.

Alternative runes:
Greater Quintessence of Health These quints give you exceptional durability. Take it if you want.
Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed If you think you're going to roam, or you want the extra mobility.
greater seal of vitality If they have little AD champs, and you want more sustain.

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I take 0/21/9. This is because I am a tank, and the more defense, the better. You can also take 9/21/0 if you are planning to build Tanky AP Shen.

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Summoner Spells

I take Ghost and Exhaust

Ghost is because I already have a blink from Shadow Dash, and Ghost helps you get to skirmishes faster if you don't have your ultimate. It can also be used to close gaps.

Exhaust for a better killing potential. Late game save your Exhaust for when the enemy bruiser/assassin dives your carry, it will reduce their damage and you and your carry can take him out.

Some other choices:
Flash if you prefer it over Ghost. They both function similarly, just that I prefer Ghost since I already have a blink.

Ignite if you want to have a better killing potential early game, as opposed to exhaust. Also take it if they have a Dr. Mundo or Volibear.

Teleport Meh, you CAN take it, it's just that you have so much sustain and damage, you won't be needing this. If you need it for teleporting to lanes use your ultimate. Feel free to take it though.

Heal Take this if you like to heal bait, or you want to support your team by healing everyone in fights.

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A great passive that makes up a lot of Shen's damage output. It makes stacking health on him very beneficial. When the enemy goes in to last hit, hit them with this. Always hit this on the enemy after using Shadow Dash on them, as Shadow Dash will lower your energy. This will help recover that.

The best non-ultimate skill on Shen. You can essentially spam this in lane to harass/sustain. We max this first so that we can make the most out of those benefits. Always find an opportunity to harass with this, it will hurt a lot. The base damage is low early game, but being able to spam this makes up for that. The heal is also why building health is mandatory on Shen.

This skill is very nice, it is a spammable shield and will aid you in laning against ranged champs. Max this second for increased shield power and lower cooldown.

This is what makes Shen a very good tank. It is an AoE Taunt! Pulling this off right can land you an ace. However, I max this last because the taunt duration, cooldown and damage reduction do not lower/increase on each level, and the taunt/damage reduction is more important than the damage.

A very versatile ultimate that can assist your team greatly. When you've reached level 6, always watch out for skirmishes in other lanes. Teleport to your allies and save them! Put points in this skill whenever possible. Mastering this ultimate will make you a great Shen player.

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Items are pretty straightforward for Shen. You have to prioritize health over resistances though, health benefits you more.

Start If you are against a laner that can go either way. Basic starting item for Shen.
If they have a skillshot top lane or you are against an AP top.
For OP laners like Garen
For easy lanes.

This is the standard boots for Shen. Being CC'd as a melee champ will leave you unable to do actions, this will solve those problems.

Get these boots if you don't need Mercury's Treads or you want to have a synergy between these boots and the damage reduction on Shadow Dash.

Shen can get either of these boots, they are both the same. One is not better than the other.

I build this early on because I would want the early damage increase on Ki Strike, and for extra gold income. I build this over resistances because Shen is already tanky enough, so more health will help you more than resistances.

This item is great for Shen. It helps a single person a lot, and you also help your teammates. All support tanks should get this item. However, if your jungle and support has this item, you can skip this and build a Guardian Angel as a last item. Ths reason why I get this on Shen is because when he ults in, his aura assists the team as well. So morale of the story: Aegis of the Legion = more supporting.

Some say this item is bad. While it may be true, it is good on Shen. It helps clear minion waves easily, since Shen should be split pushing, and ulting in if help is needed. Don't get this if you aren't planning on split pushing.

By now, the mages are starting to get extremely powerful, so building this will help you survive against them.

It's late game, and the last fight will decide the game. This item is a game breaker. One active alone will cause you to snowball on five targets if used correctly, especially on AD carries.

Last item really is a personal choice, but I prefer to build:

This is because Shen only has one CC, and the slow will greatly help you when assisting teammates, both in killing and saving. The health also helps damagewise, so this item is a great item for Shen.

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Other items

An okay item, take this if you want more damage output.

Sometimes if the enemy has weak AD champs, I build this instead of Randuins. Rare occasion though.

Good item if you can't afford to die, replace dorans with this if needed.

This is a below average item for Shen. Since Shen scales with health, this item will not help at all. Your taunt also reduces autoattack damage, which means reduced thornmail damage. If you need all the armor you can get though, you CAN take this item. This is very rare however.

Good item for AP Shen. Take it if needed.

Take this only if you don't need to extra CC from Frozen Mallet.

zeke's herald
If your team lacks a support, and your AD carry can benefit from this, build it.

Can be an alternative to Frozen Mallet, however it does not do as much as Frozen Mallet does. Mandatory on AP Shen.

BAD item for Shen. Mana is wasted, and the bubble is guaranteed to pop once you dash in.

Synergizes with Ki Strike very well. I take this sometimes if I need some early damage.

Only AP item I'd consider on Tank Shen. Take this if the extra damage is needed, or you want to shred MR to help your carries.

If they have a deadly CC/Ult, like Children of the Grave, Idol of Durand, Impale, build this item.

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Team Work

In teamfights, you have to be the first one to go in. Pick the right moment to dash in, Vorpal Blade the squishies and focus them. Feint when being focused, and protect your own squishies with Shadow Dash. Stand United dying teammates.

In some scenarios however, you may need to stay near your squishies often so you can protect them from divers. This is only when you are losing the game, and you are depending on the carry to salvage to game. Remember, you are the tank, you must assist your teammates more than disabling the enemy. I'm not saying it's a bad idea to do so, but your teammates are a higher priority than your enemies.

Remember to Vorpal Blade the target your team is focusing.

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Thank you for reading my Shen guide. Feedback/comments are very much appreciated. Be sure to check out my Xin Zhao guide as well.

Coming Soon:
Early/Mid/Late game
Lane matchups