Shen Build Guide by Lab_Maniac
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.
Why Shen? Because he's a ninja, and that makes your argument invalid.
Why me? Because this is my first build and that makes perfect sense.
Why not a tank? Shen is not a tank, you have obviously fallen for his ninja disguise.
Why you? Can't play Shen? Learn to play Shen, my guide is not the best qualifier for new guys.
This is my version on Shen Solotop, i respect all other lanes, i believe Shen has a knack for dominating each lane, which is a clear sign that this guy is someone you wanna learn how to play.
It's a short build with details on items, summoners etc. and not so much gameplay, to find such short but vivid detailed guides on gameplay look under this Shen guide.
Pros / Cons
There are obvious weaknesses in the grand plan of dismemberment, fear not! There are strengths too.
+ High Sustain Damage
+ High Lane Sustain
+ High Moveability
+ Great Ganker
+ Great Supportive Abilities
+ Moderate Farming (Farms better than your average Tank Shen)
- Moderate beefyness (Lower beefyness than your average Tank Shen)
- Hard to play (Such factors as hitting with Shadow Dash can mean everything from winning to loosing)
For special summoner soup i recommend something nasty and hasty, but really on Shen its a personal preference.
I love moveability so i chose Teleport and Ghost
: is simply just a beauty on Shen, i never leave home (top) without it and makes Shen dreaded across the map with his Stand United.
: now as i said before i love moveability, and this makes Shen just a mean chaser, and hard to pursue. This Shen is not as beefy as Tank Shen so i like the idea that i can get out of trouble as quickly as i got into it.
: Another great spell for Shen though it's not my favourite, i can still easily spot its usefullness. It helps Shen positioning his Shadow Dash, and for a tank Shen the taunt is in many cases the most important thing. But since this isn't Tank Shen i rely on doing damage more than taunting.
: This summoner spell just makes Shen beasty in 1v1 and in teamfights to take out the main damage, if you're allready used to play Teleport/ Exhaust setup as Shen, then this should be a piece of cake.
Runes and Masteries
Runes and masteries are selected to make up for some weak points while still benifit the strengths of the build.
A great Rune early game, and perhaps what i find the most usable Rune in the game. You're going to love the extra health, and on Shen it's just 'perfect'.
I find that Shen has a strong early game with this build and so i want to improve his late game, and i generally find his lack in MR rather dangerous.
With the Celerity Runes, Spirit Visage, Zeke's Herald, and the Sorcery and Enlightenment masteries gives at lvl 18 roughly 39.9% CDR.
Greater Seal of Vitality As i said before i want a stronger late game for Shen, and this seems to be such a viable choice to follow.
Most damage dealt by Shen is magic damage: Vorpal Blade, Ki Strike and Ionic Spark. So i find it most common to be able to make this damage stronger.
This is really just a rune that means you're out for blood. It's a mean rune, and once i have tried it out i will decide if it is better than Greater Quintessence of Health.
- 3 x A steady start with moveability against ganks, and pots for increased lane sustain.
- Ninja Tabi is great on Shen, it overalls gives him reduced damage taken and then it comes in cheap prices, making him having a better early game.
- An increased attack speed means more Ki Strike, an increased health bonus means a stronger Ki Strike and a stronger heal from Vorpal Blade. It also has a nice damage bonus + aoe attack every 4 hit means an increased farm and overall damage output.
- This item gives you incredible survivability for the gold it cost, and in it makes you a unstoppable tanky mid game. It boosts your lifesteal and your Vorpal Blade, and makes the heal of a Support much more effectuve. It also gives more MR against them Burst AP's, and the CDR reduction helps on achieving CDR to reach 40%.
- The item that has it all and benifits Shen so incredibly much. Most important stats increased: Health and Attack Speed, which both increase Ki Strike frequency and damage and in turn increases the energy recovery. Secondly it gives a slow on hit effect, and a improved version of Sheen ability trigger. The Increase in AP/AD/Movement Speed/Crit Chance is just overall nice and comfy. It's only at minor drawback of mana gain which doesn't change the fact that the entire item itself is still worth it.
- Zeke's Herald This is item does not only benefit Shen in the most obvious way (Health Increase, and AS increase) but also gives CDR (So with runes and masteries and Spirit Visage gives a pretty 40% CDR at lvl 18) and to top it off the item gives a nice AS (as before mentioned) and lifesteal to you and your pals.
The attack speed is allways beautiful to make a more frequent Ki Strike, the MR is good and needed cause this Shen is a powerhouse against AD and MR is never underrated, the extra Magic Damage is just perfect icing on the cake.
These items are different but just as useful, sometimes you wanna use these depending on the enemy and need, some are last items others are replacements as described below.
A solid last item for this build if the enemy is kneedeep in AD, show them whos the boss!
A great tanky item to finish off with, if you feel like missing that last MR, and general tankyness.
Really.. There is no kill like overkill... If your stuck in a hole and your the team carry, then either choose one of the above, or try to cut the enemy into little tiny pieces.
Crazy crazy item, really... But expensive, but thats not gonna stop you! This item is more of a replacement too Trinity Force as it kind of takes it spot, i am firm to the rule of not being Tank Shen, and more damage. But hey, i am not you ;)
As a last game item it makes Shen more beefy, a greater chaser, and most important a stronger damage dealer. Get this if everything seems steady and you prefer raw killing power/chaseability over more Armor/Magic Resistance.
This entire section is already covered brilliantly by SheaDog's guide The Shank under abilities (A link should be floating around in the Introduction). Though i will give some details on the purpose of your abilities as "Bruiser Shen".
This is your late game bread and butter and how fortunate it's your passive. This passive is cruel and just grows steady in power as the game continues and is what makes this build viable. Lets take a quick look at it, it deals damage equal too 112+10% of Shen total bonus health(at lvl 18) and thats every 8 second. The cool thing is that these 8 seconds are reduced by 1.5 sec (3 if Feint is up) for each attack made, and that each Ki Strike returns 10-20-30 energy back.
This is your early game bread and butter ability and yes you allways need to max this first, it's harass tool thats just 'over the edge' annoying against the enemy. The heal is great and it what makes Shen entire lane sustain, i feel like this heal doesn't get enough praise.
This is what you maxes after Vorpal Blade is maxed. This minimizes damage output on you which is really great against harassment champions, and generally great because of the lack of beefyness. Though the true power comes in when it increases the frequency of your Ki Strike, and therefore optimizes your damage output.
This is your best utility ability ever, it's what gives you an uncanny edge in 1v1, it gives your team an uncanny edge in teamfights, it makes chasing Shen uncanny edgy. But if you miss with this ability, it will punish you, the only time Shen is truly weak is when he just failed at using his Shadow Dash. I would recommend this early on just one time, so your able to survive ganks and make ganks with the jungler so much more effective.
After level 6 when you gain this ability, you won't just be able to hold top lane, you will be able to gank across the map at the same time. Once level 6 keep an eye on your allies health, your not a supportive champion, but if the enemy won't get a kill, they will be easier to take down later. This ability makes Shen a semi roamer, he got strong ganks, ton of damage, and all around moveability.
The ability sequence is quite simple, max out your Vorpal Blade, choose Shadow Dash once at level 2 or 4 and then max out Feint for maximum lane sustain and engagement. Take Stand United when possible to change the effect of mid to late game.
It's a short build, i'm not here to tell you how to play, there are plenty of other guides that details that. This is my try at the new Shen rework since 'Nautilus Patch' his abilities now asks for no more tanking, now it is time for a ninja, now it is time for Shen to finally be a NINJA!
hope you would rate and give a comment on improvements on this guide, useful criticism only.
Thanks GoblinWizardry for testing, screenshots will be up soon.