Shyvana Build Guide by Soulvomit
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 guys and gals. I'l start off by saying this is my first guide. I hope to give an all-around look into Shyvana: The Half-Dragon. I really enjoy the game and I've bought my share of RP, supporting Riot because I think they made a good game; its certainly kept me entertained. I recommend trying out the builds in a couple of games before you vote. The first build is for laning (assumes you are playing ranked). Second build is for jungling. Third build is for Dominion. This is going to be very in-depth so be ready for some text.
I plan on adding scaling ratio's, some vids and a deeper look into her skills in the near future.
Shyvana : The Half-Dragon Lore
There are those few dragons in Runeterra who have mastered the intense magical energies that course through their unique anatomies, evolving into an elusive Celestial Dragon. These powerful and enigmatic creatures spend most of their time hidden away from the lands of men. However, there are those who find themselves drawn to civilization and who take on human forms to immerse themselves in the world of humans. Occasionally, one finds itself drawn to the spirit of a human and they have relations. Sometimes, in the slimmest of odds, the union will bear fruit and that offspring will be one of the few half-dragons to have graced Runeterra. Shyvana is one such creature, born to a simple Demacian farm-girl and her Celestial Dragon father. Left to be raised by her mother, her oddities were something that couldn't be hidden from her community, though she was protected by her family. Once her family had perished in disaster, she was left alone for the first time - truly alone. Shyvana quickly became an outsider and it wasn't long before the community's fear began to put her in danger. Facing mortal danger at the business end of an angry mob, she was rescued by the traveling noble, Jarvan Lightshield. The noble was a man who strangely knew exactly what she was and took her under his wing. It wasn't long before she was offered a chance to use her natural skills in the service of Demacia, as Jarvan initiated her as one of the elite guard. Following Jarvan into the League of Legends was only natural.
Shyvana is a fierce warrior, with the blood of one of the most powerful magical predators in all creation flowing through her veins. Unlike some of her fellows, she is a subdued personality - somber, cool, and collected. However, when the moment strikes, her draconian heritage manifests and there are few that can stare her in the eyes and not feel the primal urge to flee.
''By the blood of my father, I will end you!''
Pros and Cons
-Can do great damage without great damage dealing items, has a strong early and mid game.
-Good harasser; can move in and out of combat easy.
-Can initiate and soak damage in team fights with her ult active.
-Can use a wide variety of runes, masteries and item builds.
-Has the potential to pentakill.
-Short cooldowns, ult is easy to recharge up with some minion farm and jungle creeps.
-Doesn't have any self sustaining abilities, can be pushed out of lane easy if not careful.
-Easily controlled with some CC.
-Doesn't have many counters, but if laning against one of the few, she can be zoned.
-Unless you build AS/AD glass cannon, her damage starts to fall off late game like Garen or Renekton.
Skills Overview and General Idea of How They Work
Shyvana strikes twice on her next attack.
Dragon Form: Twin Bitecleaves all units in front of Shyvana.
This skill hits very hard at higher ranks, it also applies on-hit effects. For this guide, we focus The Black Cleaver to benefit this. Its great in team fights while in dragon form if you have the right positioning.
Shyvana surrounds herself in fire, dealing magic damage per second to nearby enemies and moving faster for 3 seconds. The movement reduces over the duration of the spell.
Dragon Form: Burnout scorches the ground beneath it, enemies on the scorched earth continue to take damage.
Great spell that can deal devestating damage to a group of enemies. It could be called your bread and butter skill allowing you to go in and out of combat, farm lanes and scatter enemy champs in team fights. In dragon form it becomes even more devastating in team fights and you can pretend you are Singed if you need to run and have chasers.
Shyvana unleashes a fireball that deal damage to the first enemy it encounters and leaves cinders on the target reducing thier armor for 4 seconds.
Dragon Form: Flame Breathengulfs all units in a cone in front of her.
A decent range skillshot you can harass with, last hit with. The damage on it becomes lackluster as it scales with AP, but the armor melt works great in conjunction with all your other abilities. And in dragon form, again with good position and can melt the a lot of the enemy teams armor aloowing you and ur team to eat them alive.
Shyvana transforms into a dragon and takes flight to a target location. Enemies along her path take damage and are knocked toward her target location.
Shyvana passivly gains armor and magic resistance. Defensive bonuses are doubled in dragon form.
This is what makes you unique, like an ult should. Can be used to inturrupt other annoying ults and abilities that are channeled or used as an escape spell. It enhances all your other abilities and allows you to initiate and soak damage.
Shyvana's melee attacks enhance her abilities.
Twin Bite - Reduces the cooldown by 0.5 seconds.
Burnout - Extends the duration by 1 second up to a maximum of 6.
Flame Breath - Deals 15% of the ability's damage to debuffed targets.
Dragon's Descent - Attacks generate 2 fury and Shyvana gains fury over time while in human form.
A great passive, making all your abilities a little better. Twin Bite and Burnout become great with attack speed. You can maintain your ult longer with more attack speed. And you can make greater use of Flame Breath with more attack speed. Everything about this passive is why you begin to build around some attack speed.
Champs that can Counter You
A list of champs that, if picked, you may not want to choose Shyvana to go up against them. Having beat these champs doesn't contradict them being a counter. This is assuming the summoners using these champs know them and are playing a well focused game and you are 1v1 solo top. Jungle exceptions are specified.
Shaco (in jungle)
Nunu (in jungle)
Just about every other champ you have a great shot at being able to handle with ease, even ranged ad and ap.
Rune Explanation for Laning
Greater Mark of Desolation
Shyvanas Twin Bite benefits a lot from these, your harass and last hitting ability is increased greatly.
Shyvana thrives on attack speed, esp once she hits lvl 6 to keep her ult up. Early game, unless your jungling, these don't fill a huge role as you will most likely just be last hitting and hitting minions here and there. But they help fill a hole since the build doesn't get much early attack speed.
Greater Seal of Vitality
Shyvana works really vell with these. Since you will most likely be in the top lane. You will gain levels fast and its very noticable around lvl 4-5+ at the hp gains. Once u get Warmog's Armor your hp will be going through the roof and helps Atmog's Impaler.
Shyvana's Burnout and Twin Bite benefits a lot from these to help with that early harass/get off me situations.
Masteries Explanation for Laning
I feel the masteries are very self explainitory. The one that could be argued over is Archaic Knowledge . I see lots of people not taking Lethality for this, but your Twin Bite is what suffers in exchange for a stronger Burnout. I feel Burnout does fine damage on its own without this and you can get some really good crit damage from your Twin Bite once your build is about half-way done.
Skill Order Explanation for Laning
This kinda comes down to preference. I pick up Flame Breath at level one to help check bushes for the team while we are protecting the jungler. I use to check my own bushes when laning begins. Helps in last hitting a minion or two, and some early ranged harass on your opponet. The real loss of taking this at level 1 is if the enemy decides to invade your jungle, hard and committed to getting first blood, you not not be as useful as say if you picked up Burnout first. I suggest taking a strong look at the enemy comp and if it appears they have strong lvl 1 champs, it could be wise to take Burnout first to help vs. an invasion. Max Flame Breath last, as you will mostly be using to melt armor and the armor melt does not get strong with ranks and it doesn't scale with your attack damage.
As for maxing Burnout first, it does great damage. It can be used to harass and anti-harass and get away with its speed boost. If you get pushed hard to your tower, its still easy to farm even under the tower with. It does initial damage once toggled on. Another tip is wait til the turret starts hitting one of those minion tanks and your Burnout can nearly farm the rest for you, last hit the tank with Twin Bite and you are farming like a real pro with minimal damage to your turret.
Max your Twin Bitesecond. Take a point in it at lvl 3. Another great harass skill after moving in close with Burnout makes you very scary to trade blows with. Mess up on that last hit? Turn this on and get that minion instantly. In mid game once your Burnout is maxed and this starts taking some points, you start becoming a true force to be reckoned with.
And of course, you put points into Dragon's Descent whenever possible.
Item Build Explanation for Laning
I have tried different starting items. Doran's Shield feels really lackluster to start with. The only other option I would recommend is Doran's Blade for the sustain. But since your a melee and only last hitting, your not going to be able to leech enough life to make up for 3 pots. And the boots are crucial for you to be able to trade blows (getting n and out) and for even getting those last hits in. It feels harder to harass with Burnout without Boots of Speed. I put focus on trying to get Warmog's Armor as soon as possible so I can start building the stacks up on it. From there, I polish off my boots with Berserker's Greaves then get Atmog's Impaler. At this point you can deal healthy damage while beging able to survive a healthy bit of damage. But now it can get tricky and siuational. The next 3 items all involve attack speed and you should make that your main focus to make sure Dragon's Descent is going to be up if a team fight should break out and to prolong its duration in a fight. If the enemy team is CC heavy, get Cloak and Dagger first. If the enemy lacks CC and you have a lot of melee on your team, go for Zeke's Harbinger. If they feel super tanky and you can seem to do enough damage to feel your a benefit to your team (this should not be a case really) build the The Black Cleaver.
If you don't go for a full blown Zeke's Harbinger I recommend throwing in a Vampiric Scepter somewhere early in those 3 items. Some lifeleech goes a nice distance with her once you start adding in the attack speed and the "double hit" from Twin Bite.
Should the game last to get the full build (and it won't be hard, she farms lanes like crazy) you will be hard to take down while dealing great damage.
Summoner Spells Explanation for Laning
Can help you get out of a sticky situation or avoid a gank from the enemy jungle. Just be careful after you use it, chances become greater the enemy jungle will try to come with within the next couple of minutes. I personally don't recommend replacing this one.
This can help you shut down your opponet in lane when your jungler comes to help, they will likely Flash, if they have it, once you use it in conjunction with your ally being around. Can also be used to escape a gank when your Flash is down, shutting down one of the two on your butt. It has a variety of uses. The only other summoner spell I can think of to replace it with is Teleport. And Teleport becomes useful for getting back to your tower faster and helping with getting the first or second dragon. Due to top being so far away from dragon you can Teleport to a ward nearby and help in a potential team fight.
If you do decide to take Teleport make sure to change the masteries up. Take the point out of Perseverence and throw it into Spatial Accuracy .
Gameplay and Tips for Laning
Try to last hit as much as possible, buy Sight Ward and Health Potion accordingly to help you stay in lane as long as possible. Don't be afraid to be a little aggressive early. Even if they give you some damage in return you have to make them scared of the gank from your jungler. I see a lot of people say "It's not my fault we are losing, I didn't feed." But I have heard someone make a great counter-argument for this and I can't take the credit for this advice. It could be your fault for not playing aggresive enough, helping weaken an enemy for a gank, keeping an eye on your own jungler and being able to react to help that is givin to you, even if it means you dying and your jungler walking off with the kill can still benefit you. Your team still walks out ahead in that senerio, sure, they got kill gold, but you have kill gold + assist gold AND your jungler may continue to free farm your lane some. Not playing a little aggressive with this champ can be a stepping stone to helping your enemy in the long term.
Try and use your skills wisely. One of the most common mistakes a bad Shyvana will make is blowing all her skills and THEN using her ult in a team fight. So, now you are in your mighty dragon form and all your abilities are on CD. Not good. If you know the team fight is coming, the only skill you should be using before it breaks out is Twin Bite as it can refresh fast. It also depends on the enemy comp as to if you should initiate or not. Often times it is better to let them initiate... for example... they have Nunu or Katarina. You can use your ult to interrupt or break them out of thier ults, turn on Burnout, melt as many enemy champs armor as u can with Flame Breath and full speed ahead to thier carry with a Twin Bite and you have them at a disadvantage. At this point, they will likely try to focus you, which is a good thing. With your ult on, you can soak a lot of damage. If they are running... give them credit for being smart enough to do so. However, if they don't focus you and continue to fight, thats still not a bad thing, you have the potential to pentakill thier team if they are not careful, even under thier own turrets. So overall, try to be opportunistic with your skills.
I know I didn't put a lot of detail on early gaming but I think it is becoming pretty standard. You need money to buy items to make you strong to win the game. So last hit, last hit, last hit and harass when the opportunity arises and try not to die. Some of the more important unsung roles of the top solo is to 1. not die 2. don't lose your turret 3. harass with taking the least amount of damage possible. This can be said for all lanes but top is more important than most give credit for. Losing mid and bot turrets does give away some map control for dragon (the full blooded one, not you). But losing top gives away Baron control. Losing mid and top can be devestating to your late game, even if bottom manages to keep thiers.
Rune Explanation for Jungling
Greater Mark of Desolation
Helps your auto attacks vs. the minions. Also helps when you start ganking enemy champs.
Gives you a nice bit more armor to allow you to stay in the jungle for longer periods of time.
Helps get minions down quicker.
Gives your early jungling phase great strength for getting stuff dead and nice for getting ganks done.
Masteries Explanation for Jungling
I don't take Havoc for jungling. I find that taking Greed and two points in Utility Mastery are a little better. Since you are in the jungle you miss out on some gold, even though you are in a sense getting to free farm. In lane, you can last hit a lot more minions for a lot more gold and exp. Greed can soften that blow some and literally pays for itself with its 1 point granting a Sight Ward every so often. The two points in Utility Mastery helps you maintain your buffs even longer. You see a lot of people taking 1 point, but that extra point can mean you having red/blue up for another, stronger, gank. Just these two facts about these masteries out weighs Havoc and even the little bit of cdr from Sorcery .
Skill Order Explanation for Jungling
Start with Burnout. Theres just no comparison for this, great constant aoe damage - max it first. Take Twin Bite second. Try to use this after an auto attack to maximize your damage - max this second. Take a point in Flame Breath at level 4. You can use it to shoot over walls to start early pulls in your jungle. It helps your ganks become strong due to the armor melt - max it last as the damage is weak compared to your other skills and the armor melt doesn't get any better than it is at rank 1.
Summoner Spell Explanation for Jungling
No jungler should be without this. While many will argue they don't need Smite to clear the jungle, thats not the point. It can protect vs getting counter jungled and making sure you get the last hit for important buffs. Use it to also ensure a last hit on dragon and baron. Getting dragon or baron stolen and be stepping stones to a downhill game giving the enemy team the gold, a game changing buff, moral of juking your team... and even weaken your own teams moral.
But this one can be argued. Ghost can make your ganks very strong. A common argument would be that you get a speed boost from Burnout. True, but its more optimal imo to turn it on when you are already on top of the enemy, and Ghost makes that very possible. Also, if they have Sight Ward down, an early Ghost may get you in even if they notice you coming. Flash has its advantages too, but your job is to gank, and I feel Ghost gets it done better than Flash.
Item Build Explanation for Jungling
Start with Cloth Armor and 5 Health Potion. On your first return to base, buy Boots of Speed to help u start ganking. Shyvana's ganks are very weak without them. Buy Sight Ward and Health Potion accordingly. Try to make Wriggle's Lantern your first major purchase. Once that is complete, build as if you were laning. The only exception here is you can put getting Zeke's Harbinger off a little longer if you want. Possibly save it for your last item to replace Wriggle's Lantern with if you wish.
It is possible to go with Vampiric Scepter as a starting item with the right route. But I think this leaves you open to being counter jungled easier. Should only do it if you know your not going to get invaded.
Gameplay, Routes and Tips for Jungling
You can basicly start anywhere. If you feel you need to start blue buff first, get a leash from your team. I prefer to Smite the blue wraith (so it doesn't get stolen) then head to wolves>then back to wrath>then double golems>recall to base>Red buff>wolves>wraiths>golems>recall to base>give blue buff to your AP mid. During all of this, keep an eye open for overextened lanes. The route keeps a lot of focus on the bottom part of the map (if you are blue team) and top part of the map (if you are purple team. Try to gank lanes often that is close to your route. Mid and bot for blue team, mid and top for purple team. Not saying you should neglect any certain lanes, but be sensible about how you can get around the best on the map. Of course you should try to gank top lane after giving the blue buff to mid. Gank mid after clearing wraiths or red buff. Gank bot after golems (blue team of course). Even if you don't kill anyone in your ganks, making someone blow thier Flash is really just as good. It allows your laning allies to play more aggresivly since they know the enemy has to be careful for a few minutes. this can also set you up for an easy gank if you make it back before thier Flash is up again.
You can be a strong counter-jungler too. Shyvana is strong in early levels (and through the game). Just be careful of Shaco. Hes your number one threat of getting counter-jungled and not being able to counter-jungle. Nunu is also formidable, while Skarner can also be a pain.
Rune Explanation for Dominion
Greater Mark of Desolation
You want this to have your damage through the entire game.
Theres a lot of aggresion in Dominion, this is a very good pick to help get top early or maintain bottom.
The scaling magic resist is great for Dominion as well. I think they come out on top over Greater Glyph of Attack Speed since you will be able to get attack speed much quicker in Dominion.
Getting around in Dominion can be key. Positioning can be key. Considering items come to you faster than in SR, I myself, feel these are top notch for Dominion.
Mastery Explanation for Dominion
Pretty basic setup. Very close to the lane build except picking up improved Ghost. Take one point in Utility Mastery for the buff you get from the middle of the map and keeping the quest buff up longer.
Skill Order Explanation for Dominion
Summoner Spell Explanation for Dominion
If you thought this was useful in SR, it becomes godlike in DOM. Considering that every champ is going to get strong, the ability make them useless for a few seconds can be game changing.
Very useful in nearly every aspect of Dominion. Getting to top fast, getting to a turret to defend it faster, closing the gap on getting a key enemy kill, saving your skin to fight another day.
Item Build Explanation for Dominion
Build her as though you were laning with her. Try to shoot for Warmog's Armor as fast as possible, even taking just basic Boots of Speed first. Don't make teir 2 boots until you have your Warmog's Armor finished.
Gameplay and Tips for Dominion
Shyvana can go bottom or help in the first team fight up top. In my opinion, she excels at going top. Her presence is very strong with allies. Remember that you can use your ult to jump walls. Her defense on a tower is very strong. Try not to idle on a tower for very long though, as the enemy will most likely send a group to kill you or push the lane to you. Keep a mindset that if you aren't moving, your losing. Meaning once you take a tower, you don't have to hug it, push the lane some, group up with a couple of buddies, take the relic in the middle. Theres several things one can do with Shyvana in DOM to benefit your team.
Make good use of Flame Breath for some range to keep bullies from thinking they can take the turret from under your nose. Use it to counter enemies trying to take back one of thier turrets and annoy them.
Dominion has the potential to sway back and forth from one teams favor to another. If your team starts out slow like losing top first, bot is basicly fighting under thier turret - don't lose your cool. You will eventually become so tough it will take more than one or two of them to kill you. The Warmog's Armor will give you a bigger advantage than you think against all the glass cannon picks/builds.
Thank You MOBAFIRE for allowing me to make this guide. I hope this guide was helpful to new players of Shyvana and those who may already be vets. Feel welcome to leave comments at the bottom. Positive and negative critic's are all welcome. I hope to continue to update this and make changes and patches come. If you managed to read the whole thing, then you are ready to "Carry Whole Team on Back of Dragon!"
11/03/11 - Guide created.
11/03/11 - Fixed some typo's in guide and added Pros/Cons section, added skill overview section, added champs that counter Shyvana section.
11/03/11 - Added icons and made the guide simpler to read overall.
11/04/11 - Fixed some more typo's in guide. Edited pros/cons to reflect the builds more. Added some champs that are nasty for you to lane against.