Shen Build Guide by Rageuhhh
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.
1/26/2012 - Added pictures and more detail to the main build and so on.
-Jungle build coming soon once I find a set up that works well.
1/27/2012 - Organized my guide further making it easier on the eyes and less sporadic searching due to a helpfull comment.
2/16/2012 - Updated the guide to Shens recent buff. Added the new affects to each of his abilities. also considering replacing the guardian angel with warmogs. Also considering adding an AP Shen build.
2/24/2012 - Moved some items around, making warmogs purchase early for early vorpal blade damage bonus, and to get stacks, removed guardian angel from main build.
4/22/2012 - Works kept me busy but i've found a jungle build that seems to work well with me for Shen so I added it, also updated my masteries findind 0/22/8 to be more beneficial. Overall added a Solo top guide, and a Jungle guide. If you use this guide don't forget to Vote up and thanks for the support.
7/30/2012 - Lost my job so HELLO free time, for now. Changed the support build around a little bit replacing Sunfire cape with Thornmail as amazing as of a beast thornmail turns you into it's really not always needed. Also replaced the Rylais with Frozen mallet, after trying it a few games I noticed that my shield and ult was absorbing slightly less damage but the mallet was allowing me to stick to them with ease. Stay tuned for futrue updates =D
10/11/2012 - Changed some stuff up, cleaned it a little, planning on redoing the guide very shortly. Added my experimental Ap mid Shen build, still working on it.
Hello there I'm Rageuhhh and this is my first attempt at a guide, hopefully it works as well for you as it does myself. First off I'd like to say after trying every tank in this game I kinda sucked *** with a majority of them. And like most things in life, the last thing you try is the one that works, and that tank is Shen. Shen sets himself apart from other tanks with two abilities. First off his Shadow dash which is an area taunt allowing you to taunt multiple creeps or champs, also it works like a flash allowing you to dash through obstacles. And His Ult Stand United allowing you to save a teammate and teleport to their location. And what most people are not aware of his ult is an assist farmer. For instance, a team fight breaks out in laning phase, you're all the way at bot if you ult your carry, to protect him/her and she kills two or three people before you even get there, you just got yourself two or three assists while saving your carries life. Pretty Ninja right? And since he's a ninja he doesn't have mana he has energy which allows you to harass as much as you want with your Vorpal Blade as your energy will be back by the time it's off cool down.
Greater mark of Insights are a nice mark, giving your Vorpal Blade more damage.
Greater Seal of LucidityGreater Seal of Lucidity are used for extra energy regen, Faster your energy recovers the more you can spam your attacks. Extremely important on Shen. Shadow Dash is pretty expensive if you don't hit a champion, so missing this taunt can almost cripple your escape, and ability to taunt again. More energy, more options.
Greater Glyph of Celerity gives you a great increased cool down redution as you level. The faster your abilities are off cool down the more you will be able to use them, more importantly your Ultimate has quite a large cool down so anything helps.
Greater Quint of Potency are great for Shen, giving letting your ultimate Stand United and your Feint ability shield more damage. Also gives your Vorpal Blade a little more damage early game.
- Your passive. After the recent buff your passive just got a decent amount better, Damage increase, being hit reduces it by 1.5 seconds, and it also grants energy when used which is soooo helpfull I can barely put it into words so I wont =p
- [Q] Your main harassment tool. this is the only ability you have that does damage, but it's a damn good one. Decent range, low cool down, nice dmg, and it allows your carries to heal a little bit when they target the champion or creep you hit it with. Know those pesky tank creeps? hit them with this and let your carry heal a bit off of them when champions are out of range. After buff the flat damage has increased, lowering it's boost from ability power slightly, also gave it a flat 60 energy per cast which is nice. If it grants the killing blow with it you heal the 33% of the health instantly, and also abilities now trigger the affect, not just regular attacks.
- [W] Your shield allowing you to take a little extra damage. I know this skill isn't the best but it's also not bad in the laning phase. It takes a lot of the hurt off those turrets. While active your passives cooldown is decreased by 3 seconds instead of the normal 1.5 on hit. Much like the vorpal blade, it's base amount is increased but it scales slightly less off of ability power, and it was also given a flat 40 energy amount.
- [E] This is your taunt/escape/chase tool. allows you to taunt multiple champions or creeps. lets you dash through obstacles much like flash. And it's a great chase but it is quite the energy burner if you don't hit a champion with it. Little tactic, when your minions are pushing their turret this skill will allow you to harass a little more by tossing a vorpal blade at them, then dashing out of range of the turret, if that's not possible your Feint will absorb most of the damage. Since his buff your dash now deals a decent amount of magic damage, allowing you to be more of a threat. It also got a decent cool down reduction, sadly it got a flat amount of energy cost like the rest of his abilities at 120, instead of being at 100 at level 5, which has it's ups and downs. You also receive 40 energy per champion taunt which makes it nice as hell, taunting groups will now more or less fill your energy up as long as you hit 3 of them. Also, all damage from taunted champions deal 50% less damage to you.
- [R] Can't say enough good things about this Ultimate. Allows you to shield an ally and teleport to their location. absorbs a massive ammount of damage keeping your carry alive to do what they do best, KILL! also nice to gank between lanes if needed but try not to waste this ult as it can be critical in changing the tide of a team fight gone bad. After the Shen buff, I consider this to be a nerf to his ult which is kinda upsetting. It now takes 3 seconds to channel instead of 2.5 seconds, the duration of the shield went to 5 seconds from 7.5 seconds, but out of all of that, the flat amount of the shield has increased slightly almost making up for the nerfs it received.
Pros / Cons
-Great harassment with Vorpal Blade.
-Great area taunt from Shadow Dash.
-Fantastic ult and teleport with your Stand United.
-Has energy instead of mana.
-He's a Ninja.
-Low damage output (he's a tank cmon now.)
-Quite slow until you get your or
-Teleport from can fail if the person you target dies before you get there.
is a great way to let your team know who to target since in solo queues there is a tad bit of chaos going on and typing is quite the annoyance.
is a great way to shut down those champions with their over powered ults. Hit them with your taunt and their ult is wasted.
- Katarina and her Death lotus.
- Malzahar and his Nether grasp.
- Nunu and his Absolute zero.
- Caitlyn and her Ace in the Hole.
Stand United is a great ganking tool, allowing you to jump from one side of the map to the other. As if that's not good enough, you can use your ult to teleport to a stealthed team mate like twitch for a great gank. Also, this will not take your team mate out of stealth.
Why Teleport? Why Exhaust?
Teleport is a great spell, keeping you in the lane longer is great. This also allows you to teleport to wards, teemos shrooms, and shacos box traps. When solo top I recommend this 100% so you can still use your ult to save a team mate and get back to your tower before it gets shut down.
Exhaust is a spell you will rarely see on a tank, why you ask? Exaust lets you slow down the enemy allowing early kills for your carry in the laning phase, paired with your taunt there is no such thing as escape. Mid and late game it can save your carry or yourself. Team fights, exaust will pretty much shut down a carrys damage for a little bit, allowing your team to focus easily. and to add, with the mastery "summoners wrath" it also lowers their def and resist for a short time which only helps more in locking in that kill for your carry. If you choose not to take exhaust I suggest you choose one of the optional summoner spells and move the one point in "summoners wrath" and add it to the swiftness skill in your utility tree.
Optional summoner spells
Clairvoyance is a decent summoner spell with quite a short cooldown, allowing you to check an area for your team if it's safe. Think of it more as a temporary ward.
Heal is a nice choice on any tank or support champ. Heal can easily change the tide of a team fight giving your team mates and yourself more health. This could keep your carry in the fight longer, or even save your team mates from a powerfull attack like Requiem.
Promote is a decent support spell healing one of your tank minions and giving him more attack damage. You also get the gold for any enemy creeps this minion kills. Great for pushing towers, but it loses it's effectiveness late game.
Ghost is a great spell allowing you to ignore unit collision, granting a movement speed bonus, and making it easier to chase and or run away.
Smite is great if you're jungling, if not you do not need it.
Summoner spells may not want
Flash is a great spell on carrys but it's not needed on Shen. He has his shadow dash which works just as well, and it has much less of a cooldown then flash does. If you think you don't have enough escape, I suggest ghost instead.
Revive, in my opinion is a pretty useless spell. Sure it brings you back to life but why do you want a spell that's only usefull when you're dead?
Clarity is a good spell, but you don't have mana so it's semi-useless. Sure it can be used to give your lane partner some extra mana but I think you're better off with something else.
Fortify shields your turrets for a short time, and makes them shoot faster. It has it's uses but I find other spells far more usefull.
Garrison allows you to buff your own turret, or debuff an enemy turret. Really not that great of a spell.
Rally increases the attack damage within the range of the aura of your team mates by a little bit. I have never seen anyone actually use this.
Surge is one amazing spell on Jax, not so much on Shen. You don't need the extra attack speed it gives you as you're a tank. And the ap bonus is pretty insignificant on a tank.
Cleanse is a Solid spell that gets rid of Debuffs, but Mercury's treads work well enough on a tank. This isn't a bad spell for a carry, but on a tank it's not really needed.
Will be your first buy for a little extra defence. I know most people like to take a Doran's shild first for hp, defence, and hp regen, but I find it more usefull to start with an item that builds into something on Shen, seeing as the Cloth armor can be turned into either Ninja's Tabi or if you choose to take Mercury's Treads it can be used for your Thornmail later on.
or Mercury's will be your next purchase allowing you extra movement speed to land your taunt. Only get Tabi's if the other team is lacking any realy hard CC.
is an amazing item granting you a nice amount of health, and more gold over time which is always nice since your main income will be coming from assists, and it's also used in your Randuin's omen later on.
Thornmail Can be your next purchase giving you extra Defence and a passive allowing you to return 30% of the damage you receive. If you're taking more damage in the lane from an ap carry you should instead build a Force of Nature.
Force of nature is a great item. Being the best item for magic resist in the game, movement speed bonus, and a decent amount of health regen. This should only be built before thornmail if you're taking heavy ap damage in the lane. If not build your thornmail.
Time to build your rylai's crystal scepter giving you more health, ability power, and a nice passive to boot allowing you to slow champions you hit with your abilities.
Warden's mail can be purchased next as it's needed for your Randuin's omen later on. This is an all around decent item, giving you some extra defence, health regen, and a 20% chance of slowing a champions movement speed and attack speed by 35% if they attack you. If you think you need more magic resist at this point I suggest building an Abyssal Scepter.
Randuin's omen Should be built as soon as possible, giving you the bonuses from the wardens mail, a nice cooldown reduction which is extremely important on Shen, and a nice active allowing you to slow the movement speed and attack speed of surrounding enemy champions by 35% for 2 seconds plus 0.5 seconds per 100 defence and magic resistance you have.
Guardian angel will be your final item you build. Granting you extra defence, magic resist, and a passive that brings you back to life with 750 health. The passives cooldown is 5 minutes. If this item isn't for you, or if you think you may need something else I suggest one of the listed optional items.
After Shen's buff, Warmog's armor now benefits Shen a moderate amount so I would consider building this instead of Guardian Angel if you're doing well. With this item your passives damage will increase by about 130 or so, it will also increase your heal from Vorpal blade by about 20. Paired with your passive this item can make your melee damage a decent threat, also the extra health and health regen is always nice.
The build above is a nice solid build for most occasions but you're the tank and you need to be flexible.
Aegis of the Legion is a nice item early and mid game. It gives you a solid amount of defence, resistance, health, and a little damage. With its aura it gives your team mates some defence, resist, and a little damage. I only get this item when team fights are starting quite early as it's affects are not so great end game.
Atma's Impaler should only be built if you've built Warmog's armor, the results from your Atma's passive is insignificant without the bonus health from the Warmog's armor.
Abyssal Scepter is always a nice choice on Shen. More ap making your Feint, and Stand United shield more damage. More magic Resist, and lowers enemys magic resist. When I do choose to add this to my build I normally replace Guardian Angel.
I can not stress enough how important this is on Shen. If you don't have map awareness you're useless. If a fight breaks out try and keep an eye on it, don't ult in and waste it for no reason. if your team mates look like they may be losing, or your carry or someone else may die then it's your time to shine and ninja yourself right in there. But don't ult in and waste it for instance, I get yelled at constantly for not ulting in when I feel it may be a waste and cause two deaths instead of one. Example, someone on your team goes to dragon by themselves after the laning phase is over, dragon more then likely being warded by the other team. 4 people jump him at dragon, now he's almost dead. One of three things will happen. You ult him and he dies before you even get there, wasting your ult. You ult him and you get there but he dies shortly after and so do you. Or, you ult him and you both get away. Chances are he's gonna die, or you're both going to die, it's up to you to decide.
Being a good Shen and all around Tank
You're the one that starts team fights around here, not the carry, you should be the first one in and the last one out. Use your to set a target for your team, this is mostly important in solo queue as you're using typing to talk. Tell them at the start, target people with the sword on their head, also they get healed over time for attacking that person. Focused attacks are the way to win team fights. If everyone is targeting a different person and they're focusing they will win the team fight, no arguements. Organized is the way to play. If team fights get chaotic you will most likely lose.
Why ap runes? Why no defence or resist runes?
Think of it this way, who are you most likely to target, Caitlyn who's blasting you with crits, or the silly tank poking you with 30's? If you're not a threat you're not a target, sure you have your taunt but you need some damage out put. The magic penn and flat ap quints gives you that Damage early game, and rylai's gives it to you mid and end game, the slow affect is a threat to carrys. Now I won't deny that defence seals and Resist glyphs are not beneficial, they really are good and extremely helpfull. But Energy Regen lets you harass and have your taunt up when you need it. Cooldown reduction is much more effective then that extra defence, sure you can't take as much hits early game as normal, but you can harass a lot more, and have your abilities up more often when needed.
You're not a carry, you don't need minion farm. You stick to harassing champions while your carry farms allowing your carry to farm is a game changer, this also allows you to push your minions to enemy turret depriving them of xp and gold.
makes up for the loss of creep kills, not perfect but it does help a lot. Carry doesn't need champion kills to be fed, remember that, allowing them to over farm can get them what they need. When teaming up with someone go for an ad range carry as they're best paired with Shen.
are great laning partners. Also you're a tank you don't need as much money as carries, keep your carry protected and yourself by warding when possible. Here is a map I found as to help you a little as to where to place what in which place.
I've recently been experimenting with jungle Shen and I have to say he can really take advantage of the jungle. My rune set up for my jungle Shen is based on attack speed and defence utilizing his passive for damage and his natural tankyness to withstand turret dives early. I take straight attack speed Marks and Glyphs with 2 Attack speed quints. Then Flat defence seals and 1 flat defence quint. I've noticed playing Shen as an aggressive jungler works out better then actually farming jungle consistantly, he just lacks the speed to do so, much like Shaco and Twitch who's primary xp and money come from their consistant ganks and not so much on their jungle farm. Starting out with boots and 3 health pots allow you to gank early easily without fear of falling behind. On your first trip back you should purchase your razors speeding up your jungle quite a bit and granting you even more defence. After you razors I suggest getting a heart of gold if you're planning on building a randuins, if not start building your wits end. You next purchase should be a phage, paired with your attack speed and your taunt you should be able to shut down most of the champs you gank or atleast make them waste vital summoner spells like ghost and flash. Just remember, getting them to burn their summoner spells puts them at a disadvantage against your team so I consider that a successfull gank. Building your Warmogs after the phage gives you a nice boost in your damage and tankyness, building early allows you to farm it up sooner. After your mogs I strongly suggest you build frozen mallet, this allows you to absolutely stick to the person you're ganking keeping them in place, even if they flash away, there's nothing a quick taunt can't handle. Once you finish this, the build is up to you. If you decided to get a heart of gold earlier you can either sell it or turn it into a randuins, or, you may decide you need more resist so your choices come down to this. You can sell the heart of gold and purchase a thornmail if they have a lot of ad on their team, or perhaps they have a lot of ap, in which case I suggest a Force of nature or a Maw of Malmortis. At this point you can decide if you need more defence, or more damage. You can choose to either turn your madreds razors into blood razors, or you can sell these off for more survive.
I'd like to thank you for taking the time to reading my guide, hopefully it works as well for you as it does for me. I have not seen a Shen guide like this yet on mobafire which is why I decided to do so. I'll be working on trying to make this guide cleaner and more organized, any constuctive criticism is appreciated. When you vote up or down please leave a comment as why as i'd like to improve this guide any way possible. I will be updating once I get a better handle on placing pictures and such so bear with me. Thanks again for reading my Shen guide =D