Shen Build Guide by Zoshiro
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.
Shen is a ninja, and a bit of a gank machine. He doesn't use mana, so if you pace yourself he has amazing sustainability. With the heal component of his Q, and even to some extent the shield from W, he can keep himself topped off at full health even in the early laning portion. Throw in a few huge regen items, along with a serious lifetap...give him a Spirit Visage, and if you don't get overwhelmed by literally the whole other team...you can stay alive. With Shen, you have an E that is not only an amazing escape ability, but great for running people down. And R is just an amazing gank ability, especially if you are working with a team that calls it or a teammate you can easily communicate with. Once you upgrade the boots to Homeguard, you will be able to be just about everywhere at once.
If you are in a group fight, and Shen shows up with E or R...usually what happens is people start to panic when the Sunfire starts ticking, and the auto attack AE is doing insane damage along with the active ability on the Ravenous Hydra. Shen can pop up a shield on himself to mitigate damage, and when they start to run you can count on your E to get you right on top of them.
Pros / Cons
*Outstanding AoE damage
*Your team will love you after a few well placed ults
*You are a ninja
*Good CC ability with E
*Some decent support for your lane/team
*Lacks durability over a pure tank build
*No long range CC
*Low burst damage
*Can run low on energy in a big fight
*Lacks attack speed- Any support or team member with attack speed is your friend
Creeping / Jungling
This is a solid character for top lane. After a few levels, you can easily pick up some jungle spawns for extra xp or maybe a buff. By midgame, you can melt any monster or minion. Once you hit 6, let the ganking begin. You can even tell your team to alert you when they need you.
Start with Dorans Shield, or got for a Kindlegem. The latter will let you get starter boots and the next piece of your Sunfire at 925 gold, which is usually easy by level 6. After that finish the Sunfire Cape. Next is the Hydra. Usually I will upgrade boots at that time, and then go right for the Spirit Visage. At this point, you can either go for the extra hit points and health regen of the Warmog...or go right for the Wits End. Once you have that, you will have decent burst damage. Especially useful is that great magic resist drain, along with the boost to attack speed and magic resist on Wits End. The magic resist drain will make your Wits End proc, as well as your Sunfire Cape, hit harder. Also, it raises your magic resist in the process...if you are fighting along a teammate that uses magic, even better. Generally I would also upgrade the boots to homeguard as a last step, or close to it.
**As an option, you can switch the Wits End for a Frozen Mallet if you are not facing a lot of ability damage DPS or mages. The magic resist is nice, but with Frozen Mallet you will get a ton of hitpoints and a very, very useful slow**
You may be a ninja tank, but you are also a bit of a support. With a nice crowd control, that also taunts the targets onto you and reduces the damage taken, you can make some serious friends with E. That is your job as a tank. To panic your enemies, and see them driven before you is a good thing. I say this again, flaming AE attack Shen with a 10 second timer on the active for the Hydra will be able to make people panic. Especially when the hits against Shen are reduced by 50% and his self shield mitigates more. If you don't break them in those first few seconds it may be best to regroup. But mostly you want to play aggressive whenever the odds are reasonable. If they try to run, chances are they will die.
Hiding in the brush, and using your R for optimal ganking efficiency is also recommended! It is insanely easy to ambush, especially if you have a team that *knows how to move once the ult is activated* They should want to stay near enemy so Shen can come in with a quick E and take control. Then, they can jump in as well, while said party is focused on Shen.
The Q ability of Shen is basically an endless source of healing for Shen and company. You will heal anyone beating on the opponent, though only for 5 hits. It adds up quickly with the short re-use on Q.
Shen was the first character I purchased, and I have always had so much fun playing him. I tried a lot of different builds, and I mixed and matched till i reached this. Maybe it is just personal preference, but I tend to do really good against squishy ADC, and tanks alike. Rarely die, help keep team members alive, and get a whole ton of assists. I find a great way to set up for ganks is to have a team member wait a little down the lane, and then charge with Shen and chances are they will start running. Just pace them and let your Cape do the work while you smash them. Expect people to panic, and then they are going to do exactly what you want them to. Use your E, Q, and R to control the situations and just use R to set up some truly exceptional ambush. That is what Ninja do.