Shen Build Guide by Pelikins
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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.
With the recent Shen buffs, he is now (again) a top tier champion.
If built and played properly, he can be a powerful bruiser, a strong support, and a sturdy tank all in one package.
This build is designed to optimize Shen's tool kit for the most cost effective Shen possible.
Jungling with Shen, I've found, is the most effective position for him. Though he isn't the fastest jungler and can't kill dragon or baron as easily as some others, he does boast awesome sustaining power and is an effect ganker (especially after level 6 is achieved). He is very mobile and can take a beating while providing damage output comparable to most bruisers while paying nearly nothing towards offensive stats.
Build highlights and explainations:
The thing that jumps out at readers first, I'm sure, is the use of the under rated item Stinger. First off, who has ever heard of a ninja without a sword... This item is actually very amazing, but is over looked frequently because it only provides 2 (usually counteracting) stats and can only build into a Nashor's Tooth which isn't a desirable item for most champions.
Stinger is however, an optimal item for Shen. Shen really needs a little bit of AS in his build as his Ki Strike is one of his main damage outputs unless built with AP. Stinger also provides the benefit of 10% CDR another great stat for Shen. The reason I build a Stinger over other AS options like Wit's End is the cost. The humble Stinger only costs a meager 1090 gold. The Recurve Bow costs almost as much 1050 and doesn't not provide the CDR (the same amount of AS). That's 10% CDR for 40g (pretty solid!).
The stinger is the only offensively oriented gear choice we will make on Shen and will greatly improve his DPS while the CDR will also improve his mobility, utility, and defense.
I also start the jungle with a Doran's Shield. This is really an awesome starting item for Shen as he inherently life steals and his damage is boosted by the bonus hp on this item. The armor in the jungle is also a good benefit (especially since I prefer the %hp seals on Shen). The hp regen on the item will keep Shen topped of as he goes- giving him even more sustaining power.
Rushing Warmog's Armor on Shen is also a key concept. Many other builds will build items such as Sunfire Cloak on Shen. This item has both offensive and defensive components on it and the pattern costs 800g and only 20hp and no extra armor. Instead, this build focuses on HP and lots of it early on to get the most out of Ki Strike. We need to be careful of %hp damage because we are doing this, but on the whole it works very nicely. The sooner we get a Warmog's Armor the sooner our %hp runes become an asset and the build comes together.
For Shen, I enjoy 6/21/3 masteries.
The bulk of our points are in the defense tree to make Shen very beefy (and hence effective).
I then get 3 points in utility for the 10 extra energy (very handy).
The remaining points I stick into offense for a little extra AP and AS.
No need to reinvent the wheel on this one.
Get all 3 skills first so you have them for the first gank or if you run into an enemy in the jungle early on.
Vorpal Sword is Shen's spammable ranged damage and it heals him. It's his best jungling tool and damaging ability...level it first.
Next we level feint. Feint appears to be just a shield at first but it also doubles the reset condition on ki strike. This makes it amazing and worth leveling second over shadow dash.
Finally shadow dash. Not that it's bad at all, but it's cd sets it behind the others.
We get the ult at 6,11,16 (obviously).
For marks i take magic penetration since most of shen's damage is magical
For quints and seals I take %hp since hp benefits shen so much and we already are building a ton (% bonus of a ton is substantial).
For glyphs I take shielding as magic damage is your biggest threat (% based) but you won't see much of it except on ganks (hence getting /level will be better by the time you need it.)
I begin the game with a Doran's Shield. This item provides impressive stats that are enough to keep you going through the jungle without issue. Shen can really start anywhere, but I find starting golems or wolves makes your jungle faster. I prefer to get a leash on red after, but the team doesn't always respond well to this request.
I then build tier 1 boots to help you gank and get to camps faster.
Followed by a Heart of Gold. The heart will give you a nice hp and gold boost.
I then get myself Mercury's Treads for the tenacity and mr along with movespeed 2.
I now begin to build the Warmog's Armor. Once completed and fully stacked it proveds 1270 bonus hp which translates to 127 bonus damage on Ki Strike. The item also gives hp regen for extra staying power and to take a beating.
I then build a Stinger. This item gives enough AS to considerably boost Shen's Ki Strike frequency while also giving some CDR at a low price of 1090 gold. Some people will hate on this option because you are building an offensive item on Shen. Don't hate it until you try it...
I next bolster my MR with a Force of Nature this item has extreme MR and has good synergy with high hp champs like Shen.
I next upgrade my Heart of Gold in to a Randuin's Omen to bolster my armor, give a little more CDR and the nice active/passive. This is a great item for Shen as it allows him to disable fighters and AD carries even more than usual.
If the game lasts long enough, I now sell my Doran's Shield to begin building a second Warmog's Armor. This makes Shen fairly invincible and yet able to eat squishies alive.
Once the second armor is completed, I upgrade the humble Stinger into a Nashor's Tooth. This gives Shen even more AS, a substantial amount of AP and a huge CDR bonus. (Don't hate on this...the game will never last long enough for this to happen anyway) Alternatively, you can sell the trusty Stinger and build a Trinity Force.
Shen is all kinds of over powered now...take advantage of him before he gets nerfed into the ground (again) and make use of this guide in doing so.
I hope you enjoyed the read and I've inspired you to try out a Stinger Shen soon.