Shyvana Build Guide by VashTehStampede
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.
Shyvana - The Half Dragon
Shyvana. A somewhat underused champion that's somewhat broken in the area surrounding team battles. I realized there were no guides that went incredibly in depth on this stand-alone champion and the sheer power she brings to game. I've played Shyvana well over 100 games almost in a row unless to fill roles for my team. I have a large amount of experience with her and picked up more than a few tricks with her. My goal with this guide is to see more pro Shyvanas on the top plays list rather than play against the ****ty Shyvanas I see in solo queue. So screw the intro, and into the information that makes you playing at the top of your game with Shyvana - The OP Dragon.
Pros / Cons
Team Fight Champion
All the right tools for her role
Sick as hell Tanking abilities from her natural bulk and Ultimate
Dance is OP (Nerf that *****)
Unstoppable when fed... Seriously.
Lacks CC that lockdown enemies
No other problems in my eyes for her role
Marks - Armor Penetration or Attack Speed. Armor Pen has more impact late game, and that's what Shyvana revolves around. Making it to late game.
Seals - Flat Armor. She needs to be make it to late game, and being a solo top... She'll need a boosted armor straight from the get-go. Scaling armor is OK... But good luck holding out till then. IMO, not worth waiting.
Glyphs - Scaling Magic Resist. Simply can't do better than this. You'll reach 160ish Mres at end game with the full build and Mres gained from your ult. This lets you take full burst of AP carries and shrug it off without even having to try. Scaling is effective in this area as you shouldn't be meeting the AP Carry till later and by then you'll get the same effect from Flat Mres.
Quints - Flat Health or Armor Penetration. Very optional and up to personal preference. Armor Pen will be more useful late game and have good effect on the lane opponents that stack armor (LaneWick in particular) and can sustain through your damage. However... Flat HP in the early game is just so nice. And it will add a tad to your bulky and Fratma's damage.
To be expected from an Off-Tank
9 Offense. She needs no Crit Chance or Damage from the later of the Offensive tree as she isn't built around crits so no need for the 21 in there, but is a prime candidate for the Improved Exhaust and Ghost along with much needed early game AS, AD, and best attribute... Armor Penetration.
21 Defense. Perfect for her role of the unsinkable ship that is the S.S.Rapeface. She doesn't like Crowd Control when she she's in the middle of 5 people. Neither does she approve of dying before taking out the Carry, and leaving the rest of the enemy team at half health. I was just kidding there... Shyvana makes it out alive with at least half health after performing this deed.
0 Utility. She has no need of the utility tree other than maybe Movement Speed so I see no reason to put the other 9 in there.
I've seen a lot of things in my life... But the thing I disapprove of most is putting Trinity Force on Shyvana. Is it a good item? **** yeah. Is it what Shyvana NEEDS though? No. Trinity Force is good on anyone that isn't an AP Carry, doesn't mean it's worth it. 4k for this **********er? Jesus Christ. That's a Phage and Atmas with 400 more to spend along with getting the most useful effect from Trinity Force. The slow. Shyvana has no CC worth mentioning (Also the reason she's only a decent jungler, no secured ganking) and this slow, which is later turned into a Frozen Mallet, is necessary for chasing. And with the Movement Speed steroid that is Burnout, no one's getting away anytime soon. But I can't stop at Trinity Force... I need to diss something that will get me flamed. Warmogs. Item got nerfed. Definitely not unusable by any means. In fact I sometimes replace items at end game with Warmogs. However, in a game where you don't get fed up the *** due to ******ed enemies... Cheaper, more essential items to Shyvana's role must be purchased so that you don't slip off and keep your dominance. So now that I've dissed the core of what most Shyvana players build... Time to give my item choices and significant reasons for doing so.
Boots of Speed and 3 Health Potions
From your Runes and Masteries... You have enough strength (Along with the continuous damage of Burnout) to beat most solo top champions in a 1 on 1 duel. Burnout's Steroid along with Boots so early allow for significant harassing capabilities early game along with so serious ******** escapes. You can Burnout through most slows and although you shouldn't test your luck... Can BS your way out of a red buff gank. Don't test it... Especially against those top tier jungles that have CC meant for ganking.
The item of gods. The best part? It's beyond cheap as **** for an item that gives everything you'll ever need. Armor (Perfect for opposing Bruisers), Attack Damage (Needed to actually kill), Life Steal (Provides much needed Sustain as she has no heals), its UNIQUE PASSIVE letting you jungle after your pushed lane as well as last hit easier and lastly and most surely the best part... its UNIQUE ACTIVE. A free ****ing ward. This means no having to buy wards (leave it to the support) and always letting you beware incoming ganks along with the ability to see key areas late game (Baron mainly as it's closer to the Zone you should occupy the majority of the game) Personally I don't sell this item (although you should later) as it gives me too great a boost in all the areas i require.
Best boots in the game. CC reduction that's essential on everyone as well as more Magic Resist for tanking. I don't give a single **** what people say... "They aren't even CC heavy! You can get cheaper and stronger boots instead!" No. Nonononono. No. No. These boots make you unstoppable throughout the game and Mres is hard to come by without buying items specifically to counteract a full AP team. This item is too good. **** it, nerf this item Riot. I'm tired of seeing Off-Tank *****s run through my chained CC and kill me. Anyhow there is one other option I'd accept seeing a Shyvana have... Although I rarely (like 8 games?) use it. Ninja Tabi. It's cheap and it gives Armor which is needed for your top lane rival typically. As well as it giving a nice PASSIVE that reduces damage. Still. Mercury Treads are the way to reached the promised land of Wins.
A superb and underrated item that needs more showtime than characters like Teemo, although not too many characters get the most out of this item. Shyvana is one however. Attack Speed and Mres that is hard to come by. Attack Speed assists Shyvana in her abilities, increasing damage output as well as granting her a UNIQUE PASSIVE that has synergy with Shyvana's Burnout. An optional item that I've grown fond of is Hex Drinker. AD and Mres as well. Similar to Wit's end in a sense. And it's UNIQUE PASSIVE is beautiful if you learn to abuse it correctly. While being an excellent and cheap item... I only buy this in games with Karthus or a FULL team of AP Casters. Wit's End all the way baby.
This takes place over Warmog's in my eyes. 500 less Health for 20 more Attack Damage. Seems bad trade off... But that UNIQUE PASSIVE that Frozen Mallet has is absolutely essential. You'll cry yourself to sleep over how many kills you let get away due to a lack of CC without this item. Anyhow the order of item choice isn't wrong up top. You get Phage first and then proceed to Atma's Impaler skipping Giant's Belt. There is a reason for this which I will list under Atma's item choice.
A staple item of Off-Tanks. The only way Off-Tanks even do significant damage really. It's UNIQUE PASSIVE adds a ton of damage to your accumulated health total along with providing even more Armor to your tanky ***. It even gives Crit Chance which you'll find yourself smiling about when you Crit every now and then. Now the reason i get this over the Giant's Belt which makes her deal added damage with Atma's along with the much needed health is the timing. Now... Your thinking wtf is this ***** talking about. Which is OK cause I have a valid reason for this. Team fights are the frequent right about now, and you need the damage to make yourself a presence to be known. Shyvana gets 200 armor at this point and about 160+ Attack Damage with AoE abilities. She's already tanky as ****. She needs some AD to go through the tougher opponents. Armor Penetration doesn't do **** if you have no damage to penetrate with.
This item's UNIQUE PASSIVE damage is pretty insignificant in all honesty, at least because of the timing where everyone's bulked up. Even though its synergy with Shyvana is beautiful since its her goal to be in the middle of the entire team to dish out that AoE. However the most impressive part is the Health and Armor it gives. Very useful for that extra bulk that makes Turrets do absurdly low damage along with being that much bigger a pain in the *** to the opponent's team.
This is the one item however that is completely replaceable in all aspects. You are already tanky, this isn't necessary. However it is my most PREFERRED icing on the cake. Other options for items include these in order from most useful to "cool items that do work well on her"
Blood Thirster - AD, Lifesteal. Very very good, I switch this with Sunfire Cape primarily when I'm the only one who did any good and everyone else does like no damage.
Trinity Force - I know. I'm a hypocrite. But this is only when your fed up the ***. And i mean... Fed up the ****ing ***.
Hextech Gunblade - Spellvamp, Hybrid Power. Another "fed up the *** item" It's good but you'll be squishy... Take everything into consideration. And by that I mean look to see if you don't live long enough to heal back up. Nice UNIQUE ACTIVE too.
Force of Nature - Would be higher up, but I only like this item when they're only damage comes from AP. Like that fed Karthus...
Warmog's Armor - It's nice to have 4k Health
The Elixirs are added in the end in order of importance. However, Oracles is top priority if the opponents have ANY stealth characters.
I'm interested in hearing your views on my item choice so leave some comments. But if you want my honest opinion... I don't give a single ****. This item choice leads to me winning well over 70% of my games with Shyvana (Team Game. Can't win em all. And you're a fool to think you can.) along with going positive 95% of the time. I'm serious. My worst games with Shyvana are when I end up even with like 20 assists at least. Though if ya give me a well thought out argument that isn't straight up trolling... I'll be sure to argue with you and acknowledge your idea. Unless it's about Trinity Force.
Passive- Fury of the Dragonborn
Shyvana relies on Auto Attacking to get the most use out of her abilities. Although Attack Speed helps her damage output greatly, your not gonna come close to capping it out for this purpose. You end up with 1.5 AS I believe end game.
Q- Twin Bite (Max Second, taken over Flame Breath for more DPS)
Auto Attack, instantly follow up with q for maximum damage. Double proc's effects. Can use on towers for faster backdooring. Her passive makes it so the already low Cooldown of the ability becomes .5 seconds less with each Auto Attack. It's simple to know how to use it. Just don't **** up.
W- Burnout (Max First)
Movement Speed Steroid. Jacks up the damage you deal early game absurdly. AoE around you that helps farm along with harass. Use Burnout to get somewhere faster, run away too. This ability scales with AD with a .2 Ratio. **** ratio, but if it had any higher ratio she'd get nerfed. Her Auto Attacks increase the duration of Burnout up to like 7 seconds maximum? A useful thing to do is when running away, Auto Attack a minion or monster on the way to refresh Burnout's Movement Speed Steroid.
E- Flame Breath (Maxed 3rd, as the armor reduction stays consistent at 15%)
Skillshot that lowers armor by 15 percent as well as giving a very small DoT that does a lot early game. **** yeah. DON'T WASTE THIS. Don't through it out hoping it hits. MAKE SURE THIS ***** HITS. It's the reason you can 1v1 almost anyone. Another bonus is that when you're getting zoned out, it has enough range to farm minions if your good enough to hit them. It's also got a decent .6 ratio for AP. But you don't get any from my build. A shame. Oh yeah, I still stand by my previous statement. **** Trinity Force.
R- Dragon's Descent
Your Ultimate. It's beautiful. Magnificent and the reason you build the way you do. Its PASSIVE makes you bulky as **** at Lv 6. Every Auto Attack you land lowers the Cooldown by one second. Which is nice with a high Attack Speed. The ability also provides a Knockback to any enemies you encounter along the way with a distance of approximately 2.25 Flash lengths. It has a .7 AP ratio, which is nice (too bad I still don't give a **** about Trinity Force). Meaning even you (yes you) can stop Katarina's and Karthus' Ultimate if you hit them while channeling (Along with every other channeled spell). This has so many uses it hurts. But the amount of times I've seen a Shyvana waste it is simply absurd. The damage it deals early game is considerable. But it is by no means strong. It lasts for approximately 10 seconds, and your Auto Attacks extend it's duration slightly. Duration is never an issue for Shyvana however, as fights end well before her form does. It's made primarily as your God tool if anyone catches the reference. It's what separates the ******ed Shyvanas from the ones you wished you banned. There are always exceptions to everything and by taking my word as law you will be a bad player as everyone needs to judge the situation for themselves to determine what you should do (That's what makes the game fun), but as a general rule of thumb... Listen to these Words of Wisdom. Never. ****ING NEVER. Initiate with dragon form in a team fight. Of course you can, but it's no where near as effective as letting your ACTUAL tank do it. Anyways, try and hit the most enemies possible AND set yourself in position to get the FULL effect of all your AoE abilities that you get in Dragon Form. Another cool fact is that although unable to use abilities during the initial use of your Ultimate, all of your Cooldowns are refreshed. Allowing you to use all of your abilities and then Ultimate and use your new abilities AGAIN. Which is also awesome for one of the most awesome getaways in League's History. Burnout to Dragon's Descent's full range to Burnout again with Ghost. Laugh as those ****ers try and chase you. The most effective use (With the exception of setting up your position to the area of their Carries) is in fact the get away. It's also the reason I don't take Flash, the most effective Summoner Spell in the game. Flash is not needed on Shyvana as long as you are SMART and have **** TONS of experience with her. Which I do. The best part about Shyvana is that she doesn't need her ultimate in order to kill a target 1v1. That's what everyone forgets. And that's the reason she doesn't need flash. Simply dive a target with your Burnout when they're within kill range and the second they die, Dragon away from harm. This refreshes your burnout, allowing you to run away faster. Turrets don't do that much damage to Shyvana anyways. Just don't be stupid. I can't stress that enough. Once again, many uses only the best use it correctly based on the situation. Good luck, it takes practice to know when to go in.
Q - Twin Bite (Dragon Form)
Hits everyone in a Cone in front of her, but has to hit a target to get the Cone effect. Depending on your skill level you can get kills normally beyond your reach if you hit a target in front of you in order to hit some target you couldn't reach. Although it's pretty advanced to find that situation and capitalize on it. Auto Attacks refresh the Cooldown by .5 just like normal form.
W - Burnout (Dragon Form)
Leaves a trail of fire that's huge and does damage to those who walk on it. Cool, you're now an effective Singed. Seriously. This damage is outrageous and people who chase you realize it all too late taking hundreds of damage. The amount of times I've gotten kills from this **** is ridiculous. Duration is extended just like in normal form through the use of Auto Attacks.
E - Flame Breath (Dragon Form)
Hits in a cone just like Twin Bite and has the same range. But this is a Skillshot technically, so no need to hit a target just use it when someone's in range. Damage is absurdly minor. But who cares about damage output on this ability when everyone that gets hit gets a 15% Armor Debuff? I don't.
I won't go over all of them as you know the reason's certain spells aren't picked, but i will talk about her options as she has plenty and rank them from most useful to least from top to bottom.
Ghost - Why? WHY??? She has Burnout, ya know... The Movement Speed Steroid you're so proud of?? True. But there's nothing like using Ghost and Burnout for those long *** pursuits you'll be doing. Shyvana wins 1v1s, it just takes a lot of hits. That's why you need a long chasing mechanism. Not a short burst of range that Flash provides. You keep your Ultimate for Flashing over walls. Also remember... If you don't Auto Attack while burnout is up because you couldn't keep up with them... Your Burnout Movement Speed Steroid is gone. Leaving no kill for you. Also, Flashing while Exhausted can still allow you to be easily chased and hunted down whereas Ghost + Burnout lets you run through Exhaust. Accept it. It's better.
Exhaust - Lock's down certain targets (Carries) which are the only ones who hurt you anyways. Also let's your team focus them down. It's a beautiful spell. And it's ********. So take it.
Flash - Obvious reasons. It's OP.
Ignite - You'll wish you had it most of the time. Too bad you'll regret not having Exhaust more.
Surge - I don't use this Summoner Spell effectively. But it has synergy with Shyvana's AP ratios and need for Attack Speed. Take it if you dare. Just remember no Exhaust to lock down Carries, and no Ghost to catch up to the slippery Carries and use that boosted AP and AS.
Teleport - Meh.
Cleanse - It's good. Especially against the CC you'll face being in the middle of their team. I prefer the others however.
She's good at it. Burnout helps immensely as well as Wriggles. Another deciding factor of separating the bad and the good Shyvanas. Shyvana has great scaling with her stats and abilities as do most bruisers. It's easy to exploit this when you join teamfights overleveled and not fed and end up pulling triple kills out of your ***.
I'll do this part of the guide later after thorough testing against ACTUALLY good opponents you'll fight. I WILL do one for each and every champion you'll encounter putting them in order of biggest threats to easy pickings. But I want to give reliable information based off experience rather than my personal opinion.
Maximum Threat (Play cautiously, they win 1v1)
Decent Threat (Can die due to miscalculations from minion damage, Passives, or Ignite and Ganks)
Free Wins (Self Explanatory, Rapeface them)