Shen Build Guide by Lerziee

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Lerziee

Shen, The superior.

Lerziee Last updated on April 8, 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


Defense: 21

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 9

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This is my first build I've published so if you have any doubts, questions, ... feel free to leave a comment. I will try to answer and update my build as soon as I know better ways to build my Shen.

Shen is my favorite tank in the whole game. He has very useful skills that can help you in every phase of the game. At first, Shen wasn't my favorite champion because he isn't that powerful, his damage output is quite low.

This build is made on my personal likings and my play style. There are many other ways to build and use Shen so you're always free to try out my build and if it suits your play style, I would be very happy to know that I've helped someone out.

Credits to jhoijhoi for the template, which you can find here.

So sit back and enjoy the build.

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Pros / Cons

Pros / Cons

+ Very good in ganking
+ Has very usefull skills to support allies
+ Fully master taunt = Victory
+ Amazing survivability
+ Can pop up everywhere on the map fast and easy

- Low damage output
- The shield doesn't absorb as much damage as the AP Shen
- You will die a lot (you're the tank)
- Try to avoid killstealing

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Greater Mark of Insight
Greater Seal of Resilience
Greater Glyph of Shielding
Greater Quintessence of Fortitude
Greater Mark of Insight - You need to do some damage to help you out early in game and to hold your lane.
Greater Seal of Resilience - You are a tank/support so you want to have quite a lot armor to take less physical damage.
Greater Glyph of Shielding - Since you're a tank/support, you want to have some magic resistance to take less magic damage.
Greater Quintessence of Fortitude - You're still a tank so health is needed.

Optional runes:
Greater Mark of Strenght - Giving you that extra AD will make you more painfull
Greater Seal of Fortitude - What can I say? You're a tank, you need health.
Greater Glyph of Celerity - CDR can come quite in handy to be able to use your ulti more often, taunt your targets faster and pop up your shield faster.
Greater Quintessence of Regeneration - Some more hp regen can help you out very nicely since you will be jumping from one battle to another to help out your allies so you will harass or get harassed constantly. Getting health back faster can be handy at times like that.

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Skill Sequence

Skill Sequence

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

> > >
Stand United This skill is really awesome for helping out your fellow champions and for teleporting fast to champions that need your help.
Vorpal Blade This is your only attack and this will help you also with some regaining health.
Shadow Dash This skill is one off your best skills. Helps you with escaping but also helps out other people since it takes the aggro of the enemy champion to you.
So you want to take this skill as fast as possible (at lvl 2) because it has a 1.5s taunt over all 5 lvls so you have a strong taunt early game. You want to max out this as last since it will only increase your damage with it and you still are a tank.
Feint This skill is useful but doesn't have so much health since you don't have much AP. Thanks to the reworks, this skill will be maxed out before shadow dash.

Early game discussion

One of the biggest discussion points for Shen is whether to take Feint or Shadow Dash at lvl 2.
The answer is actually quite simple, if you're up against pokers you have to take your Feint as fast as possible to make sure they don't lower you too much.
If you have a fast jungler that can gank before lvl 4 (Example: Shaco, ...) or you have to lane somehow with a carry that can easy get a kill before lvl 4.

And then we have a second discussion: Taking Shadow Dash at lvl 1. I only recommend this if you're going to invade their jungle or when you go for first blood (example with Ashe). Try to wait as long as possible with choosing your first skill so you don't lvl the wrong skill. (example: Invading their jungle while they invade your jungle (waste of taking Shadow Dash as first skill)).

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I suggest using 0/21/9. This mastery tree is based on tank and some survivability. The main needs of a good tank.

Defensive tree

(1 point): The extra 15% will make Heal a powerfull summoner spell, use it wisely.

(3 points): The magic resist is a must for a tank.

(3 points): You're a tank and you need armor.

(4 points): The extra health will come very in handy to be that unkillable tank in teamfights.

(1 point): You need health as a tank.

(2 points): You need to be able to take hits and this will help you take more hits from enemy's.

(3 points): Reducing the CD on your ulti is very handy to be able to shield your allies more in the game.

(3 points): You're a tank, you need the damage reduction.

(1 point): Health and anti-CC, must-have for every tank.

Utility tree

(1 point): Gives you a CD on your Flash, since you will be able to use it in a lot of situations, you need to lower its CD.

(3 points): Lower the time you're dead is critical in a game, your team needs you to tank and initiate teamfights, so being dead for a long time is no option.

(3 points): Giving you that extra 10 energy, this mastery will make it you even easier to spam your abilities.

(1 point): This will save you some extra precious time to help out your allies or to get back in lane.

(1 point): You are the assist/tank so warding is mostly your job.

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Ruby Crystal
Boots of Speed
Heart of Gold
Mercury's Treads
Giant's Belt
Sunfire Cape
Force of Nature
Wit's End

Randuin's Omen
Frozen Mallet
First off all you want to buy Ruby Crystal, now you will probably ask me: 'Why not buy Doran's Shield as your first item?'. That's because the extra 10 armor and the little bit extra health regen are not worth buying it, you have quite some armor thanks to your runes and masteries and Vorpal Blade is your own way to get your health regen! With the crystal, you get a more health (+ masteries) at the start and you waste less money so you can buy your Heart of Gold faster what means that you get more money in the game.
You want to buy your Boots of Speed as your second item that have the speed that you need to chase/flee/help.
Now you want to buy a Heart of Gold. Since you're the tank, you don't do that much damage so getting kills will be harder and it's your job to let the carries farm! So this item will make it easier to get that much needed gold!
For your first core item, you want to buy Mercury's Treads. Like most tanks builds you want this item because it gives you a nice speed bonus and will give you the ability to counter CC.
If you don't have a support in your team, you want to buy Aegis of the Legion, it has a nice combo of health, armor and magic resist and does little damage to nearby allies.

Now comes the optional items:

A little reminder: These are the optional items, that means that you can use them because they are items that a tank/support can help to be a better tank/support. If you don't like the item, you just take another item.

You want to buy these items for more survivability:
Force of Nature: Gives you a nice health regen, some magic resist and speed that you want to have to properly use Shen on the map (See map awareness).
Randuin's Omen, Armor, health and health regen. You're still a tank and they need those things and the passive is a nice bonus for tanking. You can build this from your Heart of Gold. An alternative to this is Locket of the Iron Solari.
Locket of the Iron Solari: This is the cheaper version of Randuin's Omen. Buy it when you're in a game where you have some problems helping your teammates and you don't have that much gold. Armor, health and health regen, always nice to have as a tank.
Thornmail: If the enemy team is really heavy on AD, you want to take this item since the armor is always very welcome vs AD teams and the passive will make them kill themselves.
Guardian Angel: Armor and Magic resist are always welcome for tanks and the passive can be quite useful if you die in team fights. You can resurrect to help out your teammates fast. Guardian Angel is mostly used when you're having some trouble with survivability.
Banshee's Veil: It gives you much needed health, magic resist and a passive that will block 1 negative spell every 45 seconds. The passive has quite a long cooldown but it's still worth the buy since every minute, a teamfight will start. The mana is quite useless since you're an energy user but the other stats are good enough to buy.
Warmog's Armor: If you are a health lover, I suggest you buy a warmogs quite early in the game (after your mercs or randuins) so that the warmogs will be fully charged at the endgame. This will make it even harder for you enemy's to kill you with that amount of health.
Important: Since the Shen boost Warmog's Armor became 1 of the best items to get thanks to the buff for Vorpal Blade and your Ki Strike making you tanky and more dangerous at the same time.
Spirit Visage - Gives you health, some extra magic resist and the passive makes your health regen with Vorpal Blade a bit better. I recommend building this item early in game if you really want it since you will be needing the passive more often then.

The next items you want to buy when you're getting ignored by the enemy (Extra damage):
Rylai's Crystal Scepter: You can use the health very well and the AP is very nice to add some more damage to your Vorpal Blade, it also increases your Feint and Stand United. The passive will help you out quite well when your enemy tries to flee when he's losing.
Frozen Mallet: This is the attack-based counterpart of Rylai's Crystal Scepter. Gives you a little bit more health and a little stronger slow. The extra AD will make your auto-attacks a bit stronger so you deal more damage.
I recommend a Frozen Mallet instead of a rylai's because of the Nautilus patch rework for Shen. Giving you a little bit more health and your attack damage will be boosted with this item since you will be more auto-attacking thanks to the rework.
Sunfire Cape: Gives you a nice bonus of health and armor. You're a tank so these stats are always welcome! The passive will be nice to help you out a little to kill enemies.
Wit's End: Gives you some attack speed and some more magical resist. The real reason you should take this item is for the passive. Together with Ki Strike, this item can be really painfull for you enemies.
Abyssal Scepter: The AP and the passive can help you out to get some more damage to kill enemy champions and increases your Feint and Stand United to help out your allies. The magic resist is always welcome since you're a tank.
Atma's Impaler: The extra armor and crit chance can help Shen out quite well but the reason why you should pick this item is the passive. Since you are building quite a lot off health, this item will make your normal attacks quite painful. If you build this item, I recommend getting a Warmog's Armor for the health obviously.