Shen Build Guide by cyclonike
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.
Hello there fellow LoL players! Call me cyclonike (SEYE-KLON-EYEK) and welcome to my first build ever! I'm doing a guide on my main champion, Shen. Unlike most that play Shen, I play him Support/Tank, and as I have yet to see any builds based on support Shen, I decided to show you mine! Now, I don't presume to be a master of Shen style of martial arts or anything, so if you have any advice on items, masteries, runes, or even just how to play him, it's most appreciated. So, without further ado, let's get started!
Pros / Cons
Here are the pros and cons of Shen as a support:
Natural tankiness makes him a great meat-shield for the ADC
Taunt makes it much more difficult for enemies to aim for ADC
Ultimate means he can support his allies from halfway across the map
Feint makes him even MORE tanky, which is especially useful on turrets
Vorpal Blade allows him to heal his team over time
Taunt makes it very easy to defend turrets
He's a FREAKING NINJA!
He's super slow
Taunt and Ult have extremely long cooldowns, so if you don't time them right, you can hurt your teammates more than help them
Taunt costs a lot of Energy
For spells, I grab Clairvoyance to help save on wards, and Exhaust to help the ADC deal more damage to enemies. However, there are other options as well:
Ignite can help finish off someone who's running away, although if you have an idiot ADC they may count this as a kill stolen.
Flash is kind-of rendered useless as Shen has both a dash and teleport for getting around, but Ghost will help greatly in Shen escaping an opponent or chasing them down. You know what I say, Ghost > Flash!
Cleanse will be a very nice thing to have if your opponents have slows, snares, etc. It may not affect your allies directly, but you being able to move again means you'll be able to taunt again.
Revive will be useful Late-game for when you see your friends about to lose a team-fight but still have 40 seconds left until you respawn. Pop the revive and your ult right after to jump to whichever ally needs the armor most!
Heal will be more helpful early game than late, but if you use it right, you may win the game before you can see it become useless. Note, that's an exaggeration and I would definitely suggest a different spell, I just wanted to point out that heal has its uses.
All in all, most spells will work for support Shen, just don't get Flash, Clarity, Barrier or Smite and I won't have to smack you.
For runes, I get Attack Speed Marks so as not to waste the damage that Ki Strike gives, Armor Seals and Magic Resistance Glyphs because Tank, and Movement Speed Quintessences to help Shen stay light on his feet.
At spawn, I grab 2 rejuvenation beads and 3 health pots, to help me build Warmog's Armor. I continue on the road to Warmog's until I actually have it, unless I didn't pick up Clairvoyance. In which case, I get the Ruby Sightstone first, and then immediately move toward Warmog's Armor, Mercury Treads and the Runic Bulwark, sometimes stopping at Aegis of the Legion for a short time to get more armor and/or magic resist. Afterwards, I look at my enemies' builds and see what they have offense-wise, then build the counter: armor for attack damage, magic resist for ability power. Remember: don't ignore the APC just because everyone else on the team is AD; same goes for the ADC. Always get both MR and Armor or you'll get killed by one guy, which is just downright embarrassing for a tank.
Let's go over Shen's abilities, not just what they are, but how they can be used to support.
Shen's Passive is Ki Strike, a powerful basic attack that hits every 9 seconds, dealing 4 X Shen's current level + 10% of his bonus health in Magic Damage. This also restores from 10 to 30 energy when it hits and its cooldown is reduced by 1 second when Shen hits something during it. Not much of a support power, but good for dealing damage.
Shen's Q - Vorpal Blade makes Shen throw his sword to target enemy entity (champions, minions, monsters, etc.) dealing from 60 damage at lvl 1 to 220 damage at lvl 5. This damage can be increased with Ability Power, but that doesn't matter for a support. What does is that using this ability marks said enemy with a sword above their head, which shows that when an ally champion (or Shen) attacks this enemy they are healed for 6 to 22 health plus Shen's maximum health over 3 seconds. On its own, this ability seems insignificant, but when Shen's super tanky and uses it on every minion you come across, it's a great way for the teammates to heal up after a fight. When playing with support Shen, remember to hit every minion with a sword above its head; when playing as him, make sure there are plenty of those minions to hit. Since this is Shen's best poke/support ability and has the most recognized leveling difference, I get it at lvl 1 and max it first.
Shen's W - Feint gives him straight defense and makes the cooldown reduction on his passive go from 1 second for every hit to 1.5 seconds. At lvl 2, this ability can block a turret blast, so you'll want to max it second. However, remember not to neglect this or Shadow Dash while you're maxing Vorpal Blade, or else you won't be nearly as good a tank or support.
Shen's E - Shadow Dash makes him dash to a target location. Any enemies he hits along the way are dealt 50-190 damage and taunted for 1.5 seconds. All enemies that are taunted deal 50% less damage to Shen while the taunt is in effect. This ability costs 120 Energy to cast and has a cooldown lasting 16-8 seconds based on lvl, but replenishes 40 energy for every champion Shen hits with it. While the shorter cooldown is nice, it's not required for Shen to be good support unless you don't aim it right, so I take a point in it at level 3, max it last and make a mental note to practice hitting champions with it once in a while.
Finally, Shen's Ultimate, Stand United is just about the best support ult in the game. Shen targets an ally champion, no matter where they are on the map. This champion is granted 250-850 armor + 60% of Shen's ability power for 5 seconds. At the same time, Shen channels for 3 seconds and teleports to said ally when he's done. This ability makes it possible for Shen to support his allies from halfway across the map, making Shen a great champion to backdoor with. With all these benefits, you can bet you'll want to take a point in it at every opportunity. Oh yeah, and did I mention it has NO cost?
All in all, Shen is a fantastic Support/Tank that many have mistaken for a Jungler or AP Offtank, which he's very good at, but not exactly designed for. You can have your own opinions about who or what Shen is, all I know is I've always done best as Shen supporting the ADC and everyone else on the team. I hope this guide helped you, almost as much as I hope you can help me with this guide. My name's cyclonike, and I thank you for reading my Support Shen Guide!