Shyvana Build Guide by Sarkev

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.

League of Legends Build Guide Author Sarkev

Shyvana's Versatility

Sarkev Last updated on November 5, 2011
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Team 1

Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
Ability Key R

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.


Brute Force
Improved Rally

Offense: 14

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 6

Expanded Mind
Blink of an Eye
Mystical Vision
Presence of the Master

Utility: 10

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Greetings! I put a good deal of effort into this guide to help you, my dear readers! Shyvana is an awesome hero, both on the play style and asthetiscally. Being the new champion, she will probably see a few changes, which will be addressed then. This guide has three goals: share my love for this hero, help you play her and help you play against her. Hopefully, by the end of this guide, these goals will be fufilled. So let's get started!

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Why play Shivana?

Why play any champion? I believe that you should play the champions that you find most fun and that attract you the most. So if you believe that transforming into a dragon to kill all who oppose you is both fun and attractive, then Shyvana is right for you!

  • Great synergy between abilities
  • Great movability
  • Very versatile
  • High damage input
  • Better than average survivability
  • Great farmer
  • Transforms into a dragon to eat your faces
  • Squishy early game
  • Hard to farm early game if harassed a lot
  • Your ennemy knows if you have your ultimate or not
  • Has two skillshots
  • Often aimed
  • Needs the support of the team(like almost any champion)

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Paths of the dragon

Earlier I said Shyvana is very versatile, but isn't she just an offtank? For those of you that remember the april's fool video on Lee Sin, if you don't go check it out, they say Lee Sin is a ranged, melee, tanky dps, assassin, mage, tank, support, jungler.
Well they were kidding of course, but then comes Shyvana, who is all of these!.. except ranged.

Melee: no comment

Tanky DPS : Her Q works wonder with trinity and her W gives her more armor and MR. Atmogs anyone?

Assassin : She has suprinsigly good burst. I'll cover more later. Mixed with her speed buff from W and slow from an item, she makes a decent assassin.

Tank/Support : Your ultimate blasts you in the middle of the ennemy team and disables them slightly, giving your team some support. (ok,ok, she' not that great as a support) But with her ultimate's bonuses and the fact that your in their face, put a few more survivability items and you have a rather hard to kill dragon.

Jungler : Shyvana excels at jungling and can clear the jungle very fast.

Mage : Now here's where you go wtf. But it works quite well. Makes your ultimate very scary, your harass with E much more painful and heres the catch : your passive deals 15% of the damage of your E when they are debuffed, which works with spell vamp. Mixed with Q, thats 30% in a shot.

As you can see, she's very versatile. Her builds are :
Offtank (trinity atmogs)
All out DPS
AP fighter
On hit effects

To which you can simply modify a bit to jungle if needed.

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First off, if you can't buy tier 3 runes yet, don't bother and save your IP. Runes are oh so important, so buy them when you can, it's worth it! But how do you choose the right ones? Well first, they need to complement the champion. Second, they need to complement their type. What does that mean? Marks : offense. Glyph : magic. Seals : defense. Quints: anything. Third, you want your runes to be primary or strong secondary. Check Searz guide on primary and secondary runes if you want to know more.

So which runes are good for Shivana?
Those in reds are the best choices, the others are ok choices if you don't have the main ones.
Quints : Armor pen, HP, AP, MS, AD.
Armor pen is hands down the best quint if you need offensive power.
HP is the one to go for early game survivability. AP is only a solid choice if you decide to build Shivana as an AP champion.

Marks : Armor pen, AS, Magic pen, AD
Once again Armor pen is great, and AS is not as great but has good synergy with your passive so they even out. As for magic pen, it's good only if you build her AP.

Seals : Armor, dodge
Armor seals are the best. They outclass all the others. Dodge seals can be good if you take the dodge masteries and ninja tabies and if the ennemy team is majorly AD.

Glyphs :MR, MR/lvl, AP/lvl CDR, AP
MR and MR/lvl glyphs complement very well armor seals and boosts your survivability. I like to even my glyphs between the two to get a good early game and good late game MR wise.
Once again, AP/lvl is only for AP Shyvana.

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This section is simple. I'll tell you what NOT to do. And then you can do all you want because it's really up to preference.

Perseverance vs good hands
If you don't know of this yet, think about it. Perseverance increases your hp and mana regain by 4% at lvl 3. Shyvana's health regain at lvl 18 without health regain items is 21.6HP/sec. 4% of that is 0.864health per second. At lvl 18 it's not even a full health per second. And even more, Shyvana has no mana. Bottom line, GET GOOD HANDS INSTEAD. Only get perseverance to go deeper in utility if you don't have ghost of teleport.

Mana oriented masteries
Just... don't. She has no mana and saddly, mana masteries don't affect fury.

1gold/10 sec. After 30 min you have a whooping 180 gold. After 1h, you now have 360 gold... It makes almost not difference, so get something else. If they boosted it a bit, then it might be viable.

Burning embers
It's really not all that good, so even if you get ignite, don't get this.

Offensive mastery
Just a note, this works on neutral monsters too, so it's good for jungling.

Strength of spirit
Depends on your mana, so it doesn't help.

Defensive mastery vs harden skin
Defensive mastery is better for jungling as it applies after armor. Harden skin is better otherwise.

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Summoner Spells

Once again, this is up to preference and this section will soon be changed once Riot changes the spells.

What not to get?
Heal : Good early game, useless late game.
Revive : The spells are to make you perform better alive, this does not help.
CLarity : No mana.
Fortify : I guess that if you REALLy love this you can get it, but there are better choices.

All the other choices are good and have their usefulness. Simply go with what you like.
Ghost : Chase, tactical retreat
Flash : Chase, tactical retreat, positioning
Ignite : more damage, makes heroes that rely on heal cry.
Exhaust : Chase, reduce attack of an ennemy champion.
Cleanse : Removes CC, always good.
Clairvoyance : More visibility is always nice.

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Fury of the dragonborn: Each attack reduces the CD by 0.5 seconds

This ability is great. Wonderful. Dragontastic. Two hits... Wow! Seriously. Gives two more seconds to Burnout. Deals 30% dmg of Flame Breaths ability damage. Generates 4 fury. Deals 8% of their life with Madred's. Deals 84 magic damage with Wit's End. PLUS your normal attack hits twice. Master Yi in better! Note that the second hit can't crit.

In dragon form this does 100% splash, which is nice, especially if your ennemies are all clustered, but that's about it.

Fury of the dragonborn: Each attack increases the duration by 1 second to a maximum of 6 seconds.

A Udyr in Bear stance made love to another Udyr from another dimension in Pheonix stance and it gave us Burnout. Aoe damage with increases move speed in one ability. Chase, tactical retreat, farming, this does it all. The only sad part is that since Shyvana is squishy early game, this is not a great harass in the low levels.

In dragon form, you do a Singed, which is nice to discourage people from chasing you or even in a fight, it increases the damage since it deals the damage of the burn on the ground and of burnout.

Fury of the dragonborn: Each hit on a debuffed target will deal 15% of the abilities damage as magic damage

A skill shot that hits the first thing it hits. It's great for farming early if you're being overly harassed or even to harass the ennemy. The 15% damage is nice and can go up quite fast. This ability at lvl 5 and you should do about 40 bonus damage per hit. The armor reduction is also quite nice.

In dragon form, this becomes a huge AOE. If your ennemies are clustered, use this with Q and they will feel PAIN. If you transform and your ennemies flee, it becomes a good farming tool.

Fury of the dragonborn: Each attack generates 2 Fury

You become a Dragon. Must I say more? Ok, ok. It boosts all your other abilities, deals lots of damage and slightly disables. It also permanently makes you tankier and makes you even more tanky when you transform.

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Ability Prority

Always level ulti when posible

The first ability you want to level up is Burnout.
Why? More damage, more speed.

The second ability you want to level up is Flame breath.
Why? More damage, more harass.

The third ability you want to level up is Twin bite.
Why? Yes, why Twin Bite last? Isn't it AWESOME? Yes, but it increases the damage of the second hit by 5% and the cd by 1 second each level. It's overall less usefull to level it up early then the two other abilities.

The first 5 levels
At level 5, you want:
[*]3 levels of Burnout
[*]1 level of Twin Bite
[*]1 level of Flame breath

Go with the order that fits you best. Keep your distance? Flame breath. More movability? Burnout. Easier last hitting and melee harass? Twin bite.

AP path
Simply switch the priority for Flame breath and Burnout.
At lvl 5, you want 3 leves on Flame breath instead of burnout.

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Viable Items

So these are the viable items for Shyvana.

These boots are the perfect choice against an AD heavy team.
These boots are your offensive choice.
These are the last viable boots and my prefered. MR is always welcomed and Tenacity is wonderful.

Youmuu's Ghostblade : Gives you all you need. Just don't forget to turn it on.
Phantom Dancer : Strong for all out dps. Doesn't give enough power otherwise.
The Black Cleaver : Once again, it's a strong item that gives AD, AS and lowers defense.
Infinity Edge : Very strong item that works well with Phantom Dancer.
The Bloodthirster : Show your love for life steal and lots of AD!
Hextech Gunblade : Strong item that powers both AD and AP.
Malady : Strong early game, especially if you're going for an AP build.

Aegis of the legion : All around item that is great for it's price. Just make sure no one else is getting it.
Guardian Angel : If you're not building too much HP, this is a very strong choice that will make killing you all that much harder.
Randuin's Omen : My favorite defense item against AD. The armor, the slow and the hp is all useful.
Sunfire cape : If you like this item, be free to get it. It works well with W. I don't particularly like it.
Thornmail : Good to punish heavy AD teams.
Warmog's armor : Lots of hp and hp regain. Works well with Atma's.
Force of nature : Best item when facing a lot of AP. Plus it gives some movement speed.
Quicksilver Sash : Great against a lot of CC.

Offensive and defensive
Wit's end : Attack speed. On hit effect. Magic resist. What's there to not like?
Madred's Bloodrazor : Perfect against people stacking HP and with atmogs ever so popular, this is a great choice.
Trinity Force : Gives you a bit of everything. The slow works well since the chance for slow is doubled with Q. Q also lets you spam the 150% damage. Although do note that it's BASE damage.
Wriggle's Lantern : Life steal, armor and a ward all for a cheap price. Plus it helps farming!
Atma's Impaler : Oh so great item that synergizes well with warmog.
Hexdrinker : Some people like it and there's no reason for it not to be liked, so why not?

Abyssal Scepter : The best choice for MR when going AP.
Zhonya's Hourglass : Gives ok defense and lot's of AP. Not my favorite item for defense, but it's not bad. Just make sure not to use the active while in dragon form or you'll lose Fury.
Rabadon's Deathcap : LOTS OF AP! That's about it.
Rylai's Crystal Scepter : This is your slow and HP item if you're going AP. A must imho.
Lich Bane : Your trinity for AP. Deals crazy amounts of damage with Q.
Void Staff : I believe other items are better, but if their team is all going with MR, then this is the best counter.

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Item Sequence

Start with either boots and 3 potions or doran's shield. Finish your build and then...

Offtank : Build a brutalizer, go for a sheen or Phage, then finish into Trinity. Continue into the items you want. Atmogs, wit's end. What fits the game.

Tank : Build either Aegis of the Legion or Wit's End first. Do the second item and then go for Trinity. Finish with some defensive items.

AP : The first item depends on your gold, if you can afford a Needlessly Large Rod, go for it, otherwise buy either a Blasting wand or a Giant's Belt and build it into a Rylai's Crystal Scepter. Then build Rabadon's Deathcap. Continue with items that will depend on the game. More offense(lich bane), more MR(One of the MR items, preferably Abyssal Scepter) or more defense.

On hit : Build a Wit's end and then go for a phage. Finish into trinity force. Madred is the prefered choice afterwards as the ennemy team should start having more HP. If they are squishy but hurt a lot, consider guardian angel. The last item is up to you.

DPS : Start with a brutalizer and then go with the flow. Finish into Youmuu's, make an Infinity edge or a Phantom dancer or maybe a Bloodthirster. Trinity is also always an option. All you want is to hit hard and fast.

Jungle : Build a Madred's razor and follow with any of the other build(preferably not AP). Upgrade your Madred's razor into either a Madred's bloodrazor or a Wriggle's Lantern.

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As Shyvana, you want either bottom lane or top solo.
In the early levels, focus on last hitting and harass with E when possible.
LAST HIT ONLY. I cannot stress how important that is. Hitting more than last hitting is pushing. You can't farm well near the ennemy tower and you can be ganked.

If most of the ennemy creeps are down and the ennemy champion is near, if you judge it to be wise, aka if you believe you will do more damage than receive damage, you can go in with W, land a E and hit him with Q. The burst from this harass should drop them to around half of their life. Don't get cocky with this and be careful of baits. Also, don't over commit, your goal is to farm.

Another detail to note is to always move, this will make you less predictable and harder to hit with skillshots.

When you go back to base, get items for the amount you farmed. Start by finishing your boots, get more potion if needed, get a ward and with spare gold, start your next item.

Before you go back to your lane, you can go for a gank in another lane if they are pushed. Don't force a gank, but if the opportunity is there, go for it.

Around mid game, you should be more trying to push and take down towers with Q, gank and farm. Put wards in the ennemy jungle and counter jungle(which will be more covered later).

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Instead of explaining the details of Shyvana, I'll let Stonewall do it.
He starts with a Vampiric Scepter and does :
1. Wolves, wraiths(Smite big wraith), golems
2. (buy cloth armor) Blue(smite), Wolves, Wraiths, golems
3. (buy long sword and 1 health potion) Red, wolves, wraith, golems.
It's one of the fastest jungle time.
If you want any other information, there are lots of jungling guides on this site.

Although a detail that always annoys me, when counter jungling, don't kill all their neutral monsters. Why? Because they'll respawn and your ennemies might never know what happened. Leave one. The weakest. Then they won't respawn and they need to kill that one monster to start the respawn timer.

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Laning against...

More details about specific champions to come

Melee DPS :
Farm, harass with either WEQ or E depending of their own burst.

Ranged DPS :
Try to farm and harass with E. When you can, around lvl 4, 5, go in for a WEQ burst.
Be careful of graves and vayne as they can screw up your WEQ. Try to get them in ganks.

Tanks : Farm.

Casters without stun : Farm, be wary of their spells, WEQ harass.

Casters with stun : Like casters with stun, but harass only if they used their stun or that stun has a long cd and you forced them to use it. Try to get gsnks.

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When facing the dragon

The important thing to see is what she seems to be doing and counter it.
Offtank : madred's bloodrazor
Tank : focus her teammates and Black Cleaver.
Caster : You won't see this often, but go for ganks, health and MR.
DPS : Disable.
On hit : Play more with defensive and MR items then with HP. See with the rest of her team as this is a balanced build. If she's tankier, focus the rest of the team. If she deals more damage, focus her.

Harass her hard early game.
Bait her into using her ultimate.
Move a lot so her skillshots are harder to hit.
Disable her before she can turn into a dragon to eat your face.

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Final Notes

Thank you for reading this guide and I hope you will enjoy playing Shyvana and exploiting her versatility!

I welcome constructive criticism, but don't troll.