Build Guide by tinolas

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League of Legends Build Guide Author tinolas

Shen, The Adjustable [Updated v1.0.0.113]

tinolas Last updated on March 26, 2011
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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.


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

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Guide for Shen - Eye of Twilight
Please comment and try the build and strategies before voting. Thank you.
Last Updated: 14.03.2011

Shen is one of the best tanks in the entire game because he has good survivability and because he can save his allies with Shadow Dash and Stand United. These two spells also make him very mobile. While his damage output isn't that high, you shouldn't underestimate it either.

Abbreviated Terms
AA = Auto-attack (Basic Attacks)
CC = Crowd Control (Stun, fear, slow, snare, etc)
FB = First Blood
AP = Ability Power
AD = Attack Damage
MD = Magic Damage
AS = Attack Speed
MS = Movement Speed
MR = Magic Resistance
ArPen = Armor Penetration
MPen = Magic Penetration
LS = Life Steal
SV = Spell Vamp
DPS = Strong Auto-attacker
MDPS = Strong spells; casters
CDR = Cooldown Reduction
OOM = Out of Mana
MP = Mana
HP = Health
MP Regen = Mana Regeneration per 5 seconds
HP Regen = Health Regeneration per 5 seconds

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Welcome to my guide of Shen, Eye of Twilight! Shen is a great tank because he can protect his allies well. He's both a solid jungler and laner, no matter if it's 1v1, 1v2 or 2v2 although I won't recommend Shen to solo a lane. Other champions need their farm more than you do and you want to help your carry in the lane anyway. Don't underestimate his powers 'cause he's quite the ninja.

  • Stand United can be interrupted
  • mediocre damage output - quite good for a tank though
  • requires a lot map awareness

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Skill Explanations

Ki Strike - Last hit minions with it is pretty easy. Scales with your HP but don't get carried away, it's not worth only building it for this passive.

Vorpal Blade - Keep yourself in lane and harass your enemies. But don't overdo it. You always should have some energy left to be able to react with your other abilities.

Feint - Don't underestimate this spell 'cause it scales with your Armor and Magic Resist. The key to success with Feint is timing. You will only block damage up to 2.5 seconds. So don't use it too early, for example Time Bomb detonates after 4 seconds.

Shadow Dash - Multi target taunt, great stuff. Taunting forces your opponents to autoattack you (therefore preventing them to cast spells). Besides, it is a great escaping tool, but has a high cost of energy. Don't use it to harass your opponents.

Stand United - Perfect for saving allies in trouble. A 2 v 1 gank can instantly turn to a 2 v 2 fair fight, as soon as you hit level 6 you must constantly be checking your map for conflicts, if a fight in another lane looks like your allies might lose then drop your ult and turn the tides.
In a team fight if as ally is being focused and low on hp then ult to them to give them an extra 750 hp (at level 3). As soon as you teleport, taunt through the attacker so your ally can either kill them or escape without dying.

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Summoner Spells

Ghost: It will make it easier to catch up to fleeing opponents and to escape out of trouble.

Exhaust: Use it to slow down your opponents (offensively and defensively). Now it also reduces the damage dealt by abilities.

Considerable Summoner Spells

Smite: If you really want to jungle with Shen, replace Ignite with this spell.

Cleanse: Use it to counter heavy CC setups or if you have problems with CC every game. Just remember you can't cleanse Ignite, Infinite Duress, Nether Grasp and Children of the Grave.

Ignite: Use it to reduce healing or regenerating effects and to ensure kills.

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Greater Mark of Magic Penetration provides Shen with MPen to increase Shen's damage output by a lot. You won't get that much damage items so these runes are pretty important.

Greater Seal of Evasion provides Shen with Dodge chance to to make Shen stronger against PDPS.

Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist provides Shen with MR to make Shen stronger against casters. Sometimes you won't even need more than these, Mercury's Treads and Aegis of the Legion against MDPS.

Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed provides Shen with MS to make Shen move/chase/escape faster around the map.

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For Shen's mastery tree, I go a 0/21/9 build. The defense tree makes Shen tanky early game with only a few defensive items. The utility tree increases your experience gain, allowing you to level faster. If you want to use other summoner spells, change up the masteries respectively.


Resistance (3/3) and Hardiness (3/3) are obvious choices. They provide you with 6 MR from and 6 armor. This makes a difference early game.

Evasion (4/4) and Nimbleness (1/1) increase your dodge chance by 2% as well as your movement speed after dodging an attack by 10%. This will increase your survivability against DPS champions.

Harden Skin (3/3) and Defensive Mastery (2/2) block 2 physical damage from each attack and 2 damage from each creep attack. Quite good imo.

Veteran's Scars (4/4) provide Shen with an additional 48 HP.

Tenacity (1/1) decreases damage from all sources by 4%.


Good Hands (3/3) decrease Shen's death timer by 10% and Perseverance (1/3) increases your HP and MP regen. Pretty good even late game.

Awareness (4/4) increases your experience gained by 5%. This sure is nice, I almost always take it with any champion.

Greed (1/1) increases Shen's income. Not that great but not bad either.

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Start off with a Doran's Shield. When you port back to base, you should have roughly 1350 gold. Buy Boots of Speed and Heart of Gold.

Get at least 1 Sight Ward every single time you return to base. Every. Seriously.

Doran's Shield
This item is very important to Shen because it'll help you stay in lane and do your job. You will be able to stay in every lane if you play it smart.

Heart of Gold
It provides you with a very nice amount of armor and a fair amount of health. Keep in mind it gives you money.

Mercury's Treads
Shen wants to and will get focused in teamfights. He needs to be right in the middle of the action, that's why the CC reduction is very helpful. You want to be able to do what you have to and when you want to.

Aegis of the Legion
Cheap and great item. The aura may seem weak, but it isn't because you should stay in the middle of the fight. In fact the less resistances your team has, the more effective this item will get. Get it if your teammates are all squishy or if their team is really balanced.

Situational Items - Defensive

Sunfire Cape
This item gives Shen a magic damage AoE, a lot of HP and quite some armor. Get it, it's great.

Banshee's Veil
It is a great item to counter casters and to block CC/initiation spells. Remember you should and want to be right in the middle of the action.

Randuin's Omen
It gives Shen an amazing defense against physical and it's build out of Heart of Gold. The best part however is the active. Use it after you dashed into a teamfight or to keep opponents from escaping.

Force of Nature
This item gives the most MR of any one item in the game. If you're facing a lot of MDPS, get it after Banshee's Veil.

This item works well against heavy physical damage teams, however you really need some health to make it worth the money. If you want to get it, get it after Randuin's Omen and Sunfire Cape.

Situational Items - Offensive

Rylai's Crystal Scepter
This item works surprisingly well on Shen. The health makes you tankier and helps Ki Strike deal more damage, the AP increases your damage and healing while adding a slow of Vorpal Blade] and makes both [[Feint and Stand United stronger. If you consider that Feint scales passively with your resistances as well makes it noticable.

Abyssal Scepter
This item is actually really good on Shen as a sixth item and you don't worry about damage too much. It will increase Vorpal Blade's and Ki Strike's and makes even Feint and Stand United.

Atma's Impaler
This item is quite good on Shen, however only get it if you want to increase your damage output, never to increase your defense. However if you got fed early, this is a nice item to get.

Frozen Mallet
The slow and the massive amount of HP make it strong, the problem is that it's too expensive and Rylai's Crystal Scepter is just better in my opinion.

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Example Builds

Against an Unthreatening opposing team

Against a Balanced opposing team

Against a heavy Physical opposing team

Against a heavy Magic opposing team

Remember that these builds are just examples, not how to build Shen but rather how you could build Shen. Item order is also entirely up to you.

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Laning & Play Style

Shen is a strong laner with his ability to taunt opponents with Shadow Dash, to block harassment with Feint and to heal himself and his allies with Vorpal Blade's debuff. While Shen is able to handle a lane on his own, I won't recommend it. Carries rely on their farm much more. If you play well, you should be able to get kills/assists. However it's much more important to farm gold early. Don't overextend. Play it safe and watch the map.

Early Game Phase

Lasthit if possible. If you use your Vorpal Blade and Ki Strike to farm, it should be quite easy. DO NOT push the lane.

Protect you lanemate and help him to harass/kill your opponents. Try to save Shadow Dash until they try to escape.

Watch out for ganks, especially if they have a jungler.

After you've got Stand United, you need to be really careful if your allies need your help.

Most of all, play it safe and careful. Port back if you need to. Know what you're able to do and what not. A good early game phase is essential for having a good late game phase.

(This video was created by k3ndama)

Mid Game Phase

Now you'll have to decide what items you want to get with Shen. Do you have problems with magical or physical damage?

Ward the map with your team. You shouldn't have to be the one to buy all the wards. Just make sure to keep at least dragon, baron and the most common teamfights areas warded.

You should be the one to initiate teamfights. Try to disable their carries/casters while protecting your own. Counter the initial burst with Feint, spam Vorpal Blade and protect your allies with Shadow Dash by taunting opponents and Stand United. If they try to escape, taunt them with Shadow Dash.

If a teamfight breaks out and you're not with your team, Stand United on an ally

Late Game Phase

You should play just like in the mid game phase except there are even more teamfights.

Push whenever the time is right but don't overdo it. You don't want to fight their team at their turret if you're at a disadvantage. Just don't force yourself into bad spots.

Remember you're the tank, so tank for your team. Stay together with your team and wait for the opponents to make a mistake.

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Tricks & Strategies

Last-hitting with Shen is pretty easy. Ki Strike's damage is really nice as well as your Vorpal Blade.

You're able to use Shadow Dash to get through thin walls.

Don't be too scared of their turrets. You can tank quite a few shots.

Remember to use Randuin's Omen's active if you got it. You can set any keys you want to activate them in the settings but 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 are default.

(This video was created by cakeandcereal)

Map Control and Map Awareness are very important if you want to win. You have to buy wards and to keep watching at the minimap.
Two simple rules:
1. Get 1 Sight Ward every time you return to base.
2. Look at the minimap every time before you do something.

Red > Blue > Orange + Green

Red spots should always be warded after 5 (Dragon) or 15 (Baron Nashor) minutes. Those are very important to have warded all the time. The teamfights around them can really make or break your game.

Blue spots should be warded to prevent ganks top, bot and mid and to observe enemy movements. The areas around these spots are also common teamfight areas.

Orange spots should be warded to secure your own jungle buffs and/or to watch the opponents' ones. These can be really helpful if the enemy has a jungler or if you can catch someone alone.

Green spots should be warded to gain even more map awareness and control. The areas around these spots are also common teamfight areas.

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Shen is a great tank and should be played as one. He has nice CC as well as high survivability and is able to help and save his allies out of dangerous situations.

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Q. What about Warmog's Armor? Isn't more health great on Shen?

A. While Warmog's Armor is good on Shen, I think it's just too expensive too get it. I don't recommend getting it as your first item at all since you will lack resistances early.

Q. What is more important, health or resistances to tank damage?
A. Actually you need a combination. The problem is to find the right one. I prefer to not get too much health but also not too much resistances either.

Q. Why do you prefer Rylai's Crystal Scepter over Frozen Mallet?
A. While Rylai's Crystal Scepter improves all of your skills (except Shadow Dash), Frozen Mallet just improves Ki Strike and autoattacks, which aren't great to begin with.

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Special Thanks

First I want to really thank SixSonatas for this great template a lot.

Secondly I want to thank cakeandcereal and k3ndama for their great videos.

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Change Log


- Guide reworked
- Some small changes and Example Builds added
- Changed the videos and builds
- Changed example build and skill order