Shen Build Guide by
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.
Hey everybody! This is my introduction to my first shen guide for our fabulous clan Crow! Shen is a very stable/clutch character and arguably one of the better tier one champions. He early game tankyness + sustain can lead off to some clutch saves and some clutch team ganks. In this guide I will describe to you how I specifically play him in both the jungle and top lane. Thanks for reading!
So with this section I'm going to break down each individual item and what the benefits are in my view
Cloth Armor + 5 Health Potions: This is a common set up for most junglers. It allows you to have sustain in the jungle till you get to a high enough level to sustain jungle by yourself without potions. It works well with shen because as he get's higher level you get your shield which helps a lot with all around jungling.
Boots -> Wriggles: I usually buy boots when I return to base first mainly because when you gank with shen at lower levels, his taunt doesn't last as long so you have to be able to keep up. With the new meta of most lanes using boots of speed and 3 potions, getting boots of speed early is always a good thing. Now Wriggles Latern is a STANDARD jungling item. The main reason I get it on shen is because of the proc on it. Since shen isn't the strongest bruiser in the game Wriggles proc helps a lot with speeding up jungling. Which means more ganks, faster leveling, and overall better gameplay.
Merc -> Sunfire Cape: Merc once again is a standard pick for most tanky players just because atleast 2 people on the enemy SHOULD have some form of CC. The +35 tenacity on Mercury Treads are very nice to help get yourself out of CC earlier which could be a life or death deal. Now I always get sunfire on shen because of 3 things:
#1 AOE Damage early game = more damage overall for you
#2 Armor + Health Bonuses early game are beneficial in the way that it's a cheap item to buy and still has some good stats on it.
#3 AOE Damage for JUNGLING (kinda falls under #1)
Wits End: This item is always a good early game item to help boost your damage, especially for shen. Since, once again, he's not a bruiser he really needs some what of making up the damage early game. The combination of sunfire cape + wits end really fills in this gap and makes him a lot more useful in team fights besides his ult + taunt. The attack speed bonus + extra damage per hit + magic resist is amazing for tanky champions who are just missing that lack of damage, mainly because it gives you resist's while giving you some damage.
Warmogs/Force of Nature/Guardians Angel: These 3 items are typically seen on tanky champions which is why I won't really explain this ones in depth. On most tanky champions you try to balance out Magic Resist with Physical resist, so the combination of Sunfire/FoN should usually give you enough resist's to sustain till late game. Warmog's fills in that HP gap so you won't have to worry about making yourself any more tankier (HP wise) later in the game. And Guardian's Angel is a late game item just to make yourself double the pain in the ***,
plus it gives you every resist. Always a good item for late game.
Alright so to start off lets go through the runes. For both jungle/top I run the same rune set, MR per lvl glyphs, base armor seal, health quint, and magic pen marks. You may be asking yourself, "why magic penetration marks?" Well this is because his q (which is his main harass + ability for jungle/top) does magic damage to the enemy champion/mob, so the magic pen will help harass those champions or finish off the jungle mobs a bit quicker. Personally I like running base armor seals because in jungle the majority of mobs damage are physical, so it really helps minimize the damage taken while early game jungling. For top lane, MOST, top lane champions you will face will be melee. So armor is always good for being top, but you may run into a case where you go against an hybrid or pure ap, and that's why I run the MR per lvl glyphs! You see a lot of people running MR per lvl now on most tanky toons because it's amazing. It helps reduce the amount of damage from all magical attacks especially when some melee champions abilities deal magic damage! So you can never go wrong with MR glyphs. Finally I use health quintessence on shen because of one main reason. His vorpal blades damage is increased by having more life. So the health quints give you and extra edge in the beginning.
Overall you just want to get your Vorpal Blade + Feint maxed out as fast a possible since they are your main survival/harass abilities. Having taunt at level 2 though is a very good thing, since you can gank earlier as a jungler or help a jungler gank your top lane. After Vorpal Blade and Feint are maxed out (while putting a point into your ultimate whenever you can) put the rest into your taunt, it's as simple as that.
For both jungling or going top I use flash. Why you might ask? Mainly because flash is the most OP #getoutofjailfree ability there is + can guarantee kills if used right with shen. Now smite is common with jungling, but for my top buid I use teleport. The reason being is because shen with a double teleport (ult included) is just downright darius. You can ult + taunt for clutch saves or kills. Or teleport + taunt for clutch saves + kills OR use your ult to teleport to someone to save them or ensure a kill and then use TELEPORT to go back up to top turret. So it was like you never even left. Teleport is a must on shen if you're going top!
So in summary shen is a very STRONG character, one who can be very useful in any situation. Main things you want to look out for constantly are when you need to ult someone. It's very easy to miss this and let a teammate die, but being a good shen means you ensure your teammate lives which denies the enemy team gold putting you ahead. You also want to time your ult with your taunt. It's a very common thing to see a shen ult then instantly taunt because it gets the enemies hit by taunt off your pwned teammate + you can ensure the enemy doesn't escape either. Shen is a very clutch character that if is used right, he can carry certain team compositions.