Shyvana Build Guide by Anvium
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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.
First thing's first, I wrote this guide with the arranged five mentality. That's not to say that this won't work in solo queue, you just need to coordinate much more or just do things that are less team reliant like invading red buff instead of blue.
So... after picking up Shyvana in January of this year, I think I've reached the point where I can teach others how to play her effectively. She's pretty much my main champion that I go to for scrims/events/ranked fives, and it seems to be working pretty well.
Pros and Cons
Great fighting capabilities
Not mana dependent
Needs a team built around her
Lacking in crowd control
All melee ranged damage
Because of those cons is the reason why Shyvana needs a team built around her. She can't just be thrown in any team and expect it to work like Cho'Gath. If Shyvana is your team's jungler, then you need lanes to fit around her like a puzzle to make it all work. Mid lane needs to be very strong and be able to fight off the enemy when they try regain buff control, and have a stun to make ganks work. Xerath, Cassiopeia, Annie, Ahri, Kennen and so on all work. Top lane needs cc, and can have any style they want (passive or aggressive). Irelia, Cho'Gath, Warwick etc. all work. As for bottom lane, the same thing applies. Any sort of crowd control will make Shyvana's ganks work. Alistar, Taric, Blitzcrank, Vayne, and so on all work.
Basically, just make sure every lane has a form of crowd control and one of them have to work with getting a stun of some sort at level 1 like Taric, Alistar, Cho'Gath, etc. for your level 1 team fights. That means don't expect Xerath to do this job for you.
Smite: You ALWAYS bring Smite with you, even if you don't need it to complete your jungle. Not carrying Smite will only allow the enemy jungler to salvage their jungle and not being able to pull off successful dragon or baron steals/secures. No questions asked. Take it.
Exhaust: I almost always run Smite and Exhaust on Shyvana since she already has a natural flash, even if it's only once every minute or two. The main reason you should pick this over Flash though is to bully the enemy AD Carry in team fights. Basically, you use Dragon's Descent into the enemy team as the initiator and immediately Exhaust their AD Carry. You want to shut down their AD carry, and make sure that they don't focus your squishy friends since they are usually the most influential factor in a team fight.
No-matter what you do with this page, you ALWAYS have atleast 6 Armor Pen, or you won't be functioning at your optimal level. If for some reason you don't take the
mastery, then you need to make up for it by having 12 Armor Pen in your rune page. For this to happen, replace a Greater Mark of Attack Speed for a greater mark of desolation, and having 3 greater quintessence of desolations.
Make sure you try to stay within these runes. My personal rune page is noted above on the top of the page. Personally, I think that's about as good as it's going to get.
The best ones in my opinion are listed in order from left to right. Glyphs are completely optional.
Standard Shyvana Rune Page:
Marks: Attack Speed Greater Mark of Desolation Armor Pen
Seals: Flat Armor
Glyphs: Scaling Magic Resistance Flat Magic Resist
Quintessences: Greater Quintessence of Desolation Armor Penetration Health Movement Speed Armor Magic Resist
If you are willing to experiment with other rune pages, then try looking into this guide which helped me with my own rune page for this.
As far as masteries go, you have a bit more freedom. I've seen lots of pages used for this, but from personal experience 21/9/0 works best. From testing different mastery pages, you actually take less damage in the end of a jungle rotation with offensive masteries over a defensive setup (tested with Nocturne so it might not be completely true for Shyvana). Not only that, but if you're going to be the aggressive counter jungling machine you should be playing as, then being stronger than your opponent in terms of damage is absolutely necessary.
Offensive Tree: Investing 21 points into the offensive tree works best in my experience. A more DPS start with Shyvana is good so you have a base for controlling the enemy jungle since they can't fight you off. The masteries I have listed on the top of the page are what I would recommend.
Defensive Tree: 9 points in the defensive tree. Make sure you take these specific masteries when investing 9 points in this tree, no exceptions since your goal is Veteran's Scars . Also, make sure you NEVER take Bladed Armor . Your AP Carry is going to rage at you when you steal their blue buff because of this mastery. It's going to happen. Besides, Veteran's Scars is too good of a mastery to pass up.
If you decide to take 21 points in the defensive tree for some reason, then it's basically just personal preference past the first 9 points. The majority of masteries in this tree are pretty good, but not for an aggressive counter jungler. It's not like you should be building Shyvana as a tank though so I don't see the point of investing so many points into this tree. She has no cc so you shouldn't try to act like a tank. Even if you did have to build full-out tank, at least take the offensive mastery approach for early game just so you can control the enemy jungler.
Utility Tree: You shouldn't really be taking any utility masteries with an aggressive counter jungler like Shyvana, Nocturne, Lee Sin and others. Aggressive counter junglers don't benefit as much from these masteries as much as say, Taric or Soraka. Maybe investing points into Good Hands for really long games, but that's really the only thing worth noting for Shyvana in this tree. And by taking Good Hands , you will be missing out on Veteran's Scars which is such a strong mastery early game. 30 bonus health might not sound big, but it makes a difference at level one.
Another one that people would usually consider is Runic Affinity . The problem with this is though that (if following my guide properly), then you should have buff control of at least 3 of the 4 on the map. Very rarely would you get all 4 buffs controlled without some hardcore coordination, but that's besides the point. If you're spreading out the time the enemy buff lasts with your own, then there should be a very small gap of time where you are without a buff. Also, Shyvana would only really benefit from the red buff with this mastery since she doesn't use mana. Blue buff would have a very insignificant effect on her to make it worth spending 9 points just for this mastery. The only real positive effect of this mastery would be the time you have baron buff for, but then again, your early game would be hurt just because of an extended amount of time with baron. Shyvana needs to exploit her natural early game strength to be at her optimal level.
Dragon's Descent: This ultimate is the only reason why Shyvana has any team fight presence at all. Use this to initiate a fight for your team, and immediately Exhausting the enemy AD Carry.
Burnout: Burnout is Shyvana's "bread and butter". When ganking, use this when the person getting ganked starts running away so you can use it as a source of damage, and to catch up to them. Don't activate immediately when running, wait for them to notice you.
Dragon Form: Activate Burnout right before you jump with Dragon's Descent to leave a trail behind you.
Flame Breath: You focus Flame Breath Second because it deals more damage than Twin Bite, but less than Burnout. Try to use this as your first attack when committing to a fight since it gives an armor debuff.
Dragon Form: Now an aoe, and isn't blocked by units so it will hit everything in the cone. Use this first in fights as usual to give the armor debuff.
Twin Bite: You take a point in this at level 2 just to have the extra autoattack, but don't focus it until it's last because it doesn't deal as much damage as Flamebreath would. Use Twin Bite immediately after an autoattack to make the most out of the ability.
Dragon Form: Instead of single target, it is now an aoe. The same rule applies to this skill in team fights about using it after an autoattack.
Ok so, with Shyvana, your core is absolute. It never changes, but the order you get those items does. Well first of all, you get Cloth Armor of course for jungling purposes. I've tried starting with Boots of Speed, but Cloth Armor works best by far. The decision between boots should be self explanatory, but I'll explain anyway. Mercury's Treads are for a CC heavy team, and Ninja Tabi for an AD heavy team. If you manage to come across both a CC heavy team that focuses on AD, then get Mercury's Treads. The main controversy with the core though, is the order of Wit's End and Frozen Mallet.
If I'm destroying everything in my way and have a score of 3/0/2 or something of the sort during laning, then I build the Wit's End first to amplify the damage, and THEN get a Frozen Mallet. If I'm doing average, or just flat out badly, then it's instead best to get a Heart of Gold and then Frozen Mallet to beef up a bit so you can last longer. Afterwards, you would get a Wit's End as normal.
Offensive Choices: , , , , ,
Defensive Choices: , , , , , , ,
I'll rage if you get Warmog's Armor without an Atma's Impaler.
Versus Heavy AD:
Versus Fed AD Carry(s?):
Versus Heavy AP:
Versus Balanced Team:
Tanky Bonus-Magic Damage:
If you play a really long game, then you should probably swap Wriggle's Lantern for a defensive item like a Frozen Heart or something to fill in your last slot.
By the way, the metagolem outline is probably my favorite.
Counter Jungling 101
Dragon: 6 minutes (attempt first at 7-10 minutes after ganking bottom)
Red Buff: 5 minutes
Blue Buff: 5 minutes
Shyvana has no exact jungle rotation. You basically just take enemy buffs and farm your own camps until Dragon's Descent is up or when a laner asks for one. Force a gank every time Dragon's Descent is ready.
In solo queue, it would be best to take the enemy red buff since solo queue is really just about doing your own thing. Going to red buff is safer than blue since there's a lot of room there for escaping.
Arranged fives are different though. If the enemy jungler or mid lane uses mana, then invade the blue buff every time it spawns. This includes at level 1, meaning you need a team composition to make this work such as a Taric, Sion, Blitzcrank, Janna, Annie, and so on. If the enemy team does not have a jungler or mid lane that uses mana, then invade their red buff and take it as your first objective. These buffs respawn at ~7:15, ~12:30, ~18:40, and ~23:50. Don't get caught out of position for them to spawn. Taking these buffs is reliant on your own actions on solo objectives usually. I would only bring a laner to accompany you if one of the near lanes are missing, or are playing against people that know what they're doing since the enemy jungler usually has an escort after getting counter jungled the first time in those kinds of games.
Another thing to note is that if you see the enemy jungler on the other side of the map, then you have free reign over the other side. If the enemy Lee Sin ganks top, then you have a free dragon (assuming your AD carry, support, and AP carry are alive of course). This also means bottom can play more aggressively, or you can steal their nearest buff. When the jungler shows their self, it's also a good habit to check what buffs they are carrying on them. This holds true for the enemy AP carry as well since junglers usually give their blue buff to the mid lane on the second respawn. If nobody has the buff, then you should probably check. If it isn't there, then it's either timed out and respawning soon, or your teammate got the buff in a kill. Enemy pulling dragon? Then pull baron. They either stop dragon, or give you a free baron. Don't do this the other way around though... The enemy pulling baron does not mean you get a free dragon. That means you haul *** and stop them doing baron.
Counter Jungling 202
Amumu: Always starts blue. Invade blue at level 1 as a team, and then coordinate invasions on the spawns. Amumu will have people escort him on these respawns since he can't defend himself versus Shyvana, so have people back you up as well.
Cho'Gath: A very safe pick. Not mana hungry at all, so just invade red at level 1, and then coordinate invasions on his blue buff every time they spawn (from 7:00 and on) so their mid lane can't have it.
Dr. Mundo: I've seen Dr. Mundos start in either. It's probably in your best interest to invade blue buff at level 1 unless their mid lane doesn't use mana. In that case, just take their red.
Fiddlesticks: Bully him around as much as possible, he's really vulnerable to it. Invade blue buff at level 1 as a team, and then coordinate invasions on blue buff every 5 minutes.
Fiora: Starts blue, and farms to level 4 (according to stonewall008 atleast, I don't see many of these). She doesn't seem very mana hungry so I would just invade red.
Fizz: Invade blue buff. Red afterwards if possible since he's mana hungry, so he can't fight you off.
Gangplank: Gangplank starts on blue, but you should take his red buff because that's the only way he can gank effectively (until level 6 at least). The added slow from red buff has good synergy with his passive Grog Soaked Blade. If he doesn't have red buff, his ganks are useless. Invade blue buff on the respawns instead of red because he will be ganking with Cannon Barrage when he's level 6.
Jarvan IV: I've seen Jarvan IV start on both buffs. From what I hear, he has to start on blue now, but he can gank effectively at level 2 meaning a red buff start. Your best bet would be to take blue buff if he's that reliant on it.
Lee Sin: Lee Sin starts on red buff 90% of the time. If you invade on his red buff, then he won't be ganking in the early levels like he should be. Time the red buff so you hurt his chances of a successful gank.
Malphite: I rarely ever see a jungling Malphite, but theoretically, he should start on blue buff since his mana costs are huge. Take his blue buff and you'll cripple his jungle.
Maokai: Maokai starts on blue buff every time. His jungle path is pretty linear, starting from setting Sapling Toss on the wraiths at the 1:05 mark. You can interrupt this (as a group obviously) and then invade his blue buff which would make him useless if you manage to steal it.
Master Yi: I haven't seen many of these at all recently, but theoretically, you would win a fight versus him so try stealing his red and just fight him off if he contests it. I would invade his blue buff on every respawn though from then on if their mid lane uses mana. If not, then keep taking red.
Nautilus: Starts on blue 90% of the time. Taking this from him every time would really hurt his jungle.
Nocturne: Nocturne is a bit more flexible than most other bruisers and DPS. Invading on blue would probably be your best bet since he can gank well even without red buff, but spell reliant. If he doesn't have mana, then he can't gank.
Nunu: Nunu will probably be busy counterjungling you. Have your support ward your two buffs, and just do whatever you want really. You can counterjungle if you want, but it doesn't hurt Nunu as much as other junglers, so it's basically a high risk - low reward situation. Nunu starts anywhere, but at blue more often than not.
Olaf: Probably one of the only champions that can fight Shyvana. Taking his red would probably hurt him the most.
Pantheon: Pantheon is pretty mana hungry, so taking blue buff from him would hurt. That probably force him to then take red buff, recall, and then gank (or just farm which is what I would probably do).
Rammus: Invade on blue buff to make sure his ganks don't happen. The reason you play Rammus is for the ganks, so this is for security purposes.
Riven: She starts on red buff to immediately gank afterwards. You can probably invade red to slow her down. Riven almost always leaves her blue exposed as well, so invading blue right after should work like 75% of the time.
Shaco: Most start at red and gank at level 2, and are known to counter jungle as well. If you steal his blue buff while he takes red, then you will stop him from ganking other lanes since he runs low on mana pretty quickly. Have your support ward your blue buff before going to theirs, and make sure you take your own blue or give it to your mid lane when the ward runs out.
Shen: Shen can start in lots of places, and usually power-levels to level 6. But theoretically, he can start on red and gank immediately after when he's level 2.
Singed: Singed will always start blue. Deprive him of every blue buff and he won't be ganking. I doubt he can even take red without mana so you might want to be on top of that.
Skarner: Almost always starts on blue buff since his mana costs are on the higher side. Stealing blue from him would cripple his jungle rotation, and he probably wouldn't be able to gank afterwards.
Trundle: He almost always starts blue . If you're in solo queue, then take red. If arranged five, then invade blue as a team. Don't fight Trundle in a 1v1 by the way.
Tryndamere: I haven't seen many of these in a long time. I say take his red buff since he's manaless.
Udyr: Very quick jungler, and does a lot of damage at level one. Taking his red buff every time would probably be your best option.
Volibear: Usually starts on blue buff, but he's not that reliant on it if I remember correctly. Most gank at level 4, so taking red buff from him would probably net the most advantage.
Warwick: Very safe jungler. Take his red buff from him every time since his only source of cc is Infinite Duress, which he gets at level 6 anyway. His ganks won't do much good without red buff before then. Be careful of entering his jungle below half health because of Blood Scent, and don't bother fighting him in a 1v1.
Wukong: Wukong usually starts on blue, but taking his red would be equally as effective since he has no source of cc.
Xin Zhao: Usually starts on blue buff, and his ganks can be ugly because of his abilities. Draining him of mana only means he can't gank, which are usually deadly.
1. Counter jungle based on the enemy team composition and jungler.
2. Initiate team fights with Dragon's Descent and immediately Exhausting the enemy AD Carry.
3. 21/9/0 masteries > 9/21/0 > anything else (usually)
4. Core: ( Mercury's Treads/ Ninja Tabi), Wriggle's Lantern, Wit's End, Frozen Mallet.
5. Time the enemy buffs to make sure that they don't get them.
6. Your team needs a stun in every lane to make ganks work. One of them needs to get their stun at level 1 to make level 1 team fights work.
7. Shyvana has no exact jungle rotation. Just taking enemy buffs, and farming your own minor camps. Gank every time dragon is up, or when a laner asks for one.
Leave a comment and vote on this guide after going through it, even if you hate it. Criticism is encouraged, flaming isn't.
March 26, 2012: Guide Released
March 28, 2012: I put more of an explanation behind my choices in the masteries.
May 2, 2012: Focus Flame Breath over Twin Bite now.
To do: Add Akali, Alistar, Blitzcrank, Evelynn, Heimerdinger, Irelia, Jax, Karthus, Renekton, Sejuani, Sion, and Twitch to the "Counter Jungling 202" subsection.