Shen Build Guide by Arides
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.
Not so long ago, shen got changed in a patch. Many people got annoyed, because in the new version, resist stacking shen kinda sucks.
I was always playing shen as a high hp character and since the last patch, i'm having a lot more success with it, especially compared to other shens in the opposite team.
There are some disadvantages born from high-hp stacking and i will cover those later; but generally, i think it's a good idea to get a bunch of hp with shen after the patch.
Runes focus on the new important feature shen has - bonus hp. I get HP per level quints and seals, resulting in cca 340 hp at lvl 18. It also helps during the lane, since 20 extra hp every level is quite handy.
On glyphs, i get MRes, which makes shen very hard to harras by stupid stuff like zileans bombs etc. Champions with doran's ring will often find out, that they run out of mana way sooner than i'm out of hp.
And finally, marks. If you can suggest what i should get here i would be glad. I got damage per level and it's handy. I was also thinking about armor pen. Originally, i got spellpen, but it's weak (7 or so), so i got the 22 damage on lev 18 instead. But im not really sure what marks to get, so feel free to comment on this.
Here it becomes fun. Shen with doran's shield can live quite long on a lane. 2v2, 1v2, all viable. Rush for giants belt, which gives you lot more burst with ki, and a lot of survivability too.
Then you really have a choise. You gotta build merc threads and warmogs. The item order is really game-dependant. Getting harrased? Get regrowth pendant and null magic mantle. Having fun and no problems? Get straight up warmogs with just boots of speed. It's up to you. Also feel free to sell the dorans shield if you have giants belt and regrowth pendant, should you need the 220 extra gold.
After warmogs and mercs, aegis is really almost a must. It makes you very scary, and it helps allies, a lot. I tryed other items instead (like sunfire cape), but my presence in the battle was not enough. My allies were kinda dying, enemies running away with low hp.. that armor/MRes aura is all that makes a difference in early team battles.
Now it really depends on the situation.
Does the enemy have a lot of runners, but little damage? Get a bunch of zeals, it works wonders.
Enemy got a lot of magic damage (veigar, vlad, karth..); Get force of nature, passive is really great.
Enemy has lots of attack damage (xin, mf, corki, yi, gp ...); Get a thornmail and atma's impaler.
Enemy team is well-balanced and they have all kinds of sick damage? Get guardian's and hope your allies won't let you die alone when you engage :)
In short, the items you can get are:
Get vorpal. Then taunt, with one level in shield to reduce overtime damage if needed.
Whenever you get in a engagement, don't waste your energy on shield (feint), you got hp for this reason. Save it for damage and healing (vorpal), and taunting enemies or running away (shadow dash). Shield only when out of battle with some overtime damage on you or as a last resort.
Hell yeah, exhaust and smite!
These summoner's will get you called a "noob", you will hear people saying you should get a teleport, clairvoyance, other people will just leave the queue.. and some of them will ask WHY YOU HAVE SMITE IF YOU DON'T JUNGLE?!!
Well, for the cash of course. Besides from getting 5 gold each time you smite (which really isn't all that usefull), you get a extra minion kill every 75 seconds. Surprised, complaining? Lemme explain: Yes, shen is a great farmer, yes, he got Ki and Vorpal, BUT: He has to come close to minions to farm them. In a 1v2, that might be a little problem without getting seriously hit. And even if you do, you DO NOT FARM THE ENTIRE WAVE. Which means, that smite gives you one more minion kill every time it comes off cooldown.
Rudimentary math says that after 15 mins of the game, you get 300 more gold. Still not that strong, but this alone is a free cloth armor. Plus smite allows you to do some cool things like:
Killing the golems or wolves before going to lane. If your lane partner helps you, you get almost no damage and you both got an xp / gold edge.
Smiting expensive units like catapults
Better farm when you are pinned to your tower - it helps to keep your minion kills comparable to other players even when you are standing right next to the tower, not able to do much.
Gameplay - lane
The basic concept is to outfarm your opponent, and, if he gets too agressive, kill him or make him **** his pants every time he sees you, and then outfarm him. Now how do you do that?
1v1 - basics
You are bulky, right from the start. You have doran's shield, and if you hit minions with vorpal on them, you regen even faster. Use it. Farm if the enemy lets you, shen is awesome last hitter. If the enemy harras you too much, punch back. Now harrasing with shen is a bit tricky. You wait for ki to restore, taunt to him, vorpal and attack once. Then you run back. If you manage to hit the enemy with your taunt, he will get extra damage from your minions, which is always cool, but not a must. The thing is, this combo HURTS. And who cares that you will get hurt too, as long as you keep the enemy low. Shen has plenty of ways to get his health back.
1v1 - how do i kill?
Now if you manage to get the enemy low, taunt in, do your combo, exhaust and grab the kill. This thing works against many champs, just to mention nunu, mordekaiser, xin, olaf, nasus... all of those guys die if they try to kill you 1v1 on low levels (lev 1 or 2). And if you are soloing them, you own them pretty much till late game. Nunu cannot eat minions cause you hit him every time he tryes to, morde has his shield, but no damage whatsoever (early game), nasus thinks his q would give him a kill, but.. "what the hell?!" Of course you can lose, but the point here is that shen is strong and can 1v1 most of the champs on solo (1v1 meaning kill them in a fight). And one more time, dont use your shield unless you are out of combat and shadow dash is on cooldown OR you have some overtime damage on you.
How do you kill here? Basically, you get pushed to your tower, try to farm and wait for the overextend. You have to wait for the enemy mistake and then punish them for it. Or just call for a gank. But remember, if you can farm, then the longer the game goes on, the bigger advantage in the 1v2 you have. Do NOT ever try to take on enemies 1v2 on level 1 or 2 if they have a disable.
1v2 - when it sucks
If your enemies have 1 attack damage char and 1 long range char, and they have a disable, you're screwed. Hug tower and possibly call jungler to lane because otherwise it will be really bad. And for the love of god, screw farming and stay alive. Worst nightmare example is Xin & Gragas. If you get those, say your prayers (or call your jungler).
You basically want a ranged ad carry. And you really, REALLY want to babysit properly. Let your carry get kills if possible, don't let it die. Just one thing to keep in mind, if the enemy has stunners / chargers, you cannot use your taunt offensively, or they will charge your carry and kill it. Since you don't get double the XP, you cannot kill them on your own and NEED the damage of the carry. Just do everything you can to make it live as long as possible, no "but-hes-almost-dead" hunting, SAVE YOUR CARRY FIRST.
Gameplay - team fights
Here it is when this shen build excels. You have decent resists, you have huge hp pool. You can get in, tank all the damage for a few seconds and still live if they stop focus. Resist shen cannot do that - he uses one faint and then he's boned. You CAN stay in the heat of the battle, dont have to run away from karthus or kennen AoE, you can take quite some beating and soak up the damage for your team.
Now the taunt; you WAIT with the taunt until there is someone worth taunting (don't initiate with taunt if there are 2 groups of 5 champs staring at each other, you would miss it during the battle). After shen taunts, he is really not that usefull so make it count. Then you can go after the enemy casters, ideally karthus, veigar, etc. Do NOT use the shield, it's a waste of energy that would otherwise be used as a taunt or vorpal.
Vorpals are COOL. You vorpal a focused enemy and all of your guys start healing. Not much, but hey, every bit counts.
Now the ult, either you ult someone in need, or you are dying as the first one - then as your last action, ult someone squishy who you think would need it. Otherwise it's a shield that hasn't been used.
Ultimate's Ultimate Usage
How do you use your ult? To save people, yes. But:
If you are a solo, you will most probably lose the tower if you ult, so make it worth it or send someone else to hold it (if there is a dude availiable nearby).
You can ult your running allies to get a kill - a neat trick is to ult an ally that just ran into a brush - the enemy won't see it comming and wouldn't have enough time to react.
You can also ult guys with full hp, who are trying to gank from behind. Ult a poppy that flanks and after she smashes the enemy into a wall, you taunt him to seal the deal.
If there is a 2v2 battle and one of your guys have really low hp left and no real way of getting away, then unless you have lev 3 ult, use it on the other ally. The sick one will die, but he would have died anyway, and this way, you at least get into the battle and have a chance of getting a kill or helping the second ally get out.
NEVER ult idiots who run into the enemy teritory and get surrounded. It will only result in enemy double kill. And a little flame war in your chat.
Pros / Cons
+ Huge hp pool - can stay in team battles and soak up damage without getting instant killed
+ Huge farming - has really nice items and keeps up with minion kills
- When caught in the open, cannot run from many people. Resist shen s better at this.
- No teleport - solo lane is likely to die if you ult away
I made a build for shen that utilizes huge HP pool, allowing him to soak up quite a bit of damage before having to go back (or dying). His attacks hurt, he can do well in lane and has quite good items due to smite usage. If you think any part of what i said here was wrong or stupid, comment on it. But if you do, always tell me your reason, WHY you think this and this is stupid. That's what makes all the difference between a usefull and an annoying comment.