Shyvana Build Guide by tehAsian
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Shyvana is a jungler who excels at power clearing and bullying the enemy jungler. She has incredible raw damage at almost all stages of the game which allow her to completely decimate weaker junglers or even some of the best. However, she brings very little utility to a team, and as a result she falls off if she gets put too far behind.
Although with Season 3 indirectly nerfing Shyvana with itemization (Attack Speed and Health nerfs), a jungle focused more on single target clearing (Shyvana is primarily AoE), and meta shifts of what makes a jungler good (Ganking and teamfighting as opposed to annihilating carries), Shyvana still remains a strong but niche pick in my opinion.
Pros and Cons
+Best base stats in the game (OP)
+Incredible damage output
+Very fast clear
+Strong late game
+Is a freaking DRAGON
-No real gap closer until 6
-ZERO CC (Ult shouldn't be used for CC)
-Probably easiest champion to kite
-Bad at ganking
-Falls behind if not farmed
When Should You Pick Shyvana?
As a counterpick to weak early junglers. As a jungler, Shyvana helps her team by relieving enemy jungle presence through constant pressure.
Shyvana can absolutely decimate any weak early jungler because of her raw damage output in the early levels. Champions who cannot duel at all, such as Nautilus or Maokai, are more or less free food for you.
However, if you have weak early laners who will most likely rely on you to gank for them, then Shyvana might not be the best choice because of her awful ganks. This can be fixed if your teammates have hard CC though.
Lastly, don't pick Shyvana against teams with strong disengages, such as Janna or Jayce. Your only initiate is Dragon's Descent, and because you won't constantly be hitting anything late game (Baron/Tower standoffs OP) it's on a relatively long cooldown. Chances are if you fight without it, you won't be able to sit on enemy carries or pump out as much damage that well.
Orianna's ultimate combined with your ultimate is a very nasty combo. You're able to initiate into the enemy team, while Command: Shockwave pulls everyone closer into your AoE. Then, while everyone is clumped up, your AoE just destroys them. Additionally, she can speed you up with Command: Dissonance, which gives a lot of added mobility to close the gap or to escape. Lastly, her constant shield will keep you alive in the thick of battle.
Almost the same as Orianna, Lulu can speed you up, CC the other team while you initiate, and shield you to keep you alive.
Greater Mark of Attack Speed
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage
I use Attack Speed Marks, Flat Armor Seals, Mr/Level Glyphs, and Flat AD Quintessences.
Shyvana scales very well off Attack Speed, and Flat AD Quints will slightly bump up your jungle time. You can exchange any of these with some Armor Penetration for a stronger late game if you'd like.
Greater Seal of Armor are mandatory in the jungle, without them you would be too squishy and the jungle camps will tear you apart especially since you have no natural sustain.
I take MR/Level Blues because you won't be dealing with a lot of early magic damage as all jungle creeps deal physical damage.
I take Armor Penetration masteries in the Offensive Tree because with the recent buffs to Blade of the Ruined King, Shyvana's primary damage output is physical as you will no longer stack AD to deal magic damage from Burnout. Remember to put a point in Summoner's Wrath if you like taking Exhaust.
I put 21 points in the Defensive Tree because Shyvana is a bruiser, so she benefits from the slight tankiness provided from the Defense Tree.
You're a jungler. No exceptions. If you don't have Smite, you aren't jungling. Against half decent players, you will get EVERY DRAGON, BARON, and BUFF stolen, as well as jungling a lot slower because you're missing out a nuke that does up to 1000 damage.
Flash is better in most circumstances, as it's generally safer when you have an additional escape. However, Shyvana does have a free dash with Dragon's Descent, and a speed boost from Burnout. With all that mobility, it's viable to forgo Flash and run Exhaust to duel better instead.
Flash for normal circumstances, Exhaust if you want to be a better duelist OR if you want to gank better.
How well you gank with either Flash or Exhaust is debatable.
Auto-attacking gives your abilities bonus effects.
Twin Bite: Reduces cooldown by 0.5 seconds
Burnout: Increases the duration
Flame Breath: Magic damage equal to 15% of damage dealt
Dragon's Descent: Increases duration and decreases cooldown
This passive isn't bad. It's constantly in use as you'll be repeatedly auto-attacking jungle creeps which would constantly empower your abilities in the jungle.
Next attack hits twice
Dragon Form: Cleaves surrounding units as well
Take this at level 2, and max it second.
Twin Bite is part of the reason why Shyvana is an amazing duelist, as the more you fight the faster this comes off cooldown.
It's important to know that this ability counts as TWO auto-attacks, meaning on-hit items such as Wit's End will proc TWICE. This also means it's possible that your Madred's Razors/ Wriggle's Lantern will proc twice, resulting in very high damage to jungle camps.
In Dragon Form, Twin Bite will cleave enemies in a cone, and every enemy will be dealt the same on-hit effects.
AoE Magic damage and speed buff
Dragon Form: Leaves a trail that damages enemies
Take this at level 1, and max it immediately.
Burnout is Shyvana's main source of clearing jungle camps. The fact that it scales off Attack Damage but deals magical damage makes itemizing against Shyvana very difficult as well.
Burnout is also your mediocre ganking tool, and does almost nothing for you unless you hit something within 3 seconds of activation. That being said, make sure you're actually close enough to hit something before using it to get the extra duration off.
In Dragon Form, Burnout will leave behind a trail of fire that will deal the same amount of damage to enemies standing in it. If you activate Dragon's Descent while Burnout is activated, you will make a trail of fire while flying forward as well.
Skill shot nuke that reduces % armor
Dragon Form: Breaths fire in a cone
Take this at level 4, and max it last.
Flame Breath is great in lane, but absolutely useless in the jungle. The on-hit damage is less than what you would get from Burnout, and Twin Bite has chances to proc life steal and on-hit effects, so leveling up Flame Breath does next to nothing in comparison. However, unlike Skarner's Fracture, this is still useful in ganks so we don't completely ignore it.
In Dragon Form, Flame Breath deals damage in an AoE cone, and applies the debuff to everyone hit. The armor debuff is GREAT and shouldn't be overlooked.
Passive: Bonus Armor and Mres.
Active: Flies forward, deals damage and groups together enemies
Take this at 6, 11, and 16 because it is your ultimate and is essentially free resistances.
Dragon's Descent is your only gap closer, and it is on a somewhat random cooldown. Early game, since you will be in the jungle a lot and hitting things to get your fury bar up, use it liberally as it'll be up in the next minute or so. Late game, however is where all the standoffs at Baron/Towers happen, so you should save it so it doesn't go to waste.
When ganking, this should be saved for AFTER they Flash or Ghost away, so you have a chance to finish them off at low health. DON'T use it just to get closer to them, that's what Burnout is for.
Max Burnout first as it is your main source of clearing the jungle, and the extra mobility is great for getting around.
Max Twin Bite second as Shyvana's most optimal build is now to rush a Blade of the Ruined King. Having a lower cooldown on Twin Bite will deal significantly more damage than a flat amount from Flame Breath because of the prevalence of health stacking.
Take your ultimate whenever it is available. It's free armor and mr, which is better than nothing.
Hunter's Machete is THE starting item for junglers, no exceptions. It ramps up your clear time SO MUCH compared to any other start, allowing you to steal take camps even faster that other starts. The five Health Potions are also good at sustaining your health.
Upgrade your Hunter's Machete into Madred's Razors ASAP. The extra damage from the proc combined with Twin Bite will dramatically speed up your jungle clear so you will free up more time to gank or counterjungle. Also, it's a very cost effective item for Armor, which indirectly increases your sustain because you'll be taking less damage overall.
This is a pretty cheap item that will make up for your lack of sustain, but it also greatly improves your ganks with the active. Later, it builds into Blade of the Ruined King, which synergizes very well with Shyvana's kit.
With the recent buffs, Blade of the Ruined King now grants attack speed. This is absolutely amazing on Shyvana, you benefit from literally EVERYTHING from this item, and it makes up for a LOT of your shortcomings. It improves your ganking with the active, lets you sit on carries with the active, and the health shred and attack speed's synergy with Twin Bite allow you to destroy carries very quickly. This should ALWAYS be your first big item, period.
CC reduction is always nice, especially if you're a front line champion who dives for the enemy carry. Reducing the duration of stuns or slows will help a bit in getting to that Ashe or Vayne. Or, if they're particularly fed and you aren't worried about CC, then buy Ninja Tabi.
I usually delay Boots until teamfights start, because you already have enough mobility with Dragon's Descent, Burnout, and the active MS steal from Blade of the Ruined King.
Because it's your job to sit on carries, and this counters their damage in 3 ways: Attack Speed reduction, Armor, and Health. It's also a good counter to Blade of the Ruined King, which a lot of carries rush because of the health stacking meta and how much better their mid games become.
Despite it being 'Core', you should only really start buying this item when team fights start. Buying an early Warden's Mail or Giant's Belt does wonders, though.
Thornmail is a good item if their AD Carry is especially fed and if it's your job to kill them. With this, they either have to ignore you and take a huge beating, or try auto-attacking you and take huge amounts of damage with the reflect.
Very strong on Shyvana. You have high base AD to abuse Spellblade, the Phage proc lets you stick to targets, and it also gives you a bit of everything. Also, all the stats are useful in some way to Shyvana, except for the mana.
If you didn't get Tenacity from Mercury's Treads, then this is a good 4th or 5th item. It gives a load of attack speed and movement speed, and tenacity too.
Until this gets buffed so that it procs twice on Twin Bite (it currently does not), don't buy it. You don't usually stack a lot of AD, so the splash doesn't hurt, and because of that using an item slot for a purely offensive item which doesn't do a lot of damage isn't worth it.
If you absolutely need the 100% chance to slow a target to stick to them, or if you need to peel for your carries. In any other cases, don't buy this item, as there are better options for Health and/or damage.
If you're against a double AP Team composition (AP Mid and AP Top). No other exceptions.
If you need to be more of a 'team player' rather than an assassin (aka "I'm short on gold and can't kill carries"), aura items such as Locket and Aegis are good choices. They aren't that great when you're alone, but in teamfights the value multiplies for each teammate using the aura.
It's a lot of health to synergize with your Ultimate's free resistances, but that's it. Not much to explain, it just straight up makes you tankier than any other item.
Gives a decent amount of both Armor and Health, and the free AoE damage synergizes well with your Burnout. This rewards you well for staying alive and staying close to the enemy team because of the constant burn damage.
Only if you are a huge threat (aka fed) AND if you're the first to die every fight. Otherwise, no. The stats are no longer good enough to make it an every game buy.
Wit's End is a very good item on Shyvana. Twin Bite procs it twice, meaning you will gain MR twice as fast and do twice as much damage. It also gives a decent amount of attack speed, which goes very well with Shyvana.
Alright, the game has started, and you bought your choice of starting item. You place a point into Burnout and...now what?
Because Shyvana has zero dependency on Blue Buff, high mobility, super fast clear speeds, and is capable of very strong invasions, she can go on a large variety of jungle routes. Every game you will be faced with decisions on what YOU want to do.
Do I want to steal the enemy Red?
Do I want to steal the enemy Blue?
Do I want to gank lanes?
Do I want to invade?
There's a right time and place for everything, though. You can't necessarily 'steal' Red Buff 5 minutes in, as it's probably already gone.
In this section I'll teach you about the possible beginnings of routes Shyvana can take, as after you finish your first clear of the jungle, jungling is pretty much free-form.
Normal Clear, Blue Buff Start
The standard route that every jungler knows. It's fairly straightforward.
- Wolves (Get help here so you can clear it before you get to Blue)
- Blue (Get a leash)
- Wolves OR Golems
- Go back to base (as Shyvana, you're kind of low on health here if you started with boots.)
And that's it! Just clear the closest thing that spawns to you, and you're set~
And when you start getting low, go back to base so that you don't die to creeps (embarassing, I know :C).
Or, you can go gank lanes. All up to you.
Heavy leash Blue, Steal enemy Red
A route to steal their red, then gank with it. It's kind of ironic that they're getting ganked with their own Red buff :3
- Start Wolves. Get help so you don't take as much damage.
- Take a heavy leash on Blue and SAVE Smite!
- Run directly to their red and take it.
- Run to the most over-extended lane that's close by, and gank it. It doesn't matter if you get a kill here or not, applying pressure is fine.
- Run to your OWN Red Buff and secure it so the enemy jungler doesn't take it in your absence. Or, donate it to your AD Carry!
- Then do whatever you want :3 Preferably invade again, or gank more.
This is a high-risk, high-reward play. A lot of times this works in low elo because the other team doesn't ward their buff camps early on, but in a higher level of play warding it is common and may result in you being killed. Additionally, the other jungler may decide to secure his buffs early, and catch you doing his red at a bad time, probably killing you right there. Proceed with caution!
In this route, you steal their red, but because top/mid lane is difficult to gank, you're going to stay in the jungle and beat the **** out of the other jungler. In short, you're looking to fight.
You don't have to go directly to red, catching them at Wraiths, or doing their golems then catching them at their red is a good choice as well. This is my preferred route as if it goes well you can potentially permanently cripple the enemy jungler.
Again, this is high-risk, high-reward. Caution is advised~
Start Red, Normal Route
Just a normal route for starting at your own Red Buff.
- First, take Wraiths. If your team gives you decent enough help, you can potentially clear the camp without taking too much damage.
- Then, take a leash at red, and clear it.
- Next, take either Golems, or go to Wolves.
- Take Blue if you took wolves, or wolves first then blue if you went golems.
- And you're done!
This is exactly as it is: a normal route starting at your Red Buff. It allows for slightly faster clears because you will have a DoT from Red Buff, and also earlier ganks because of the slow.
Start Red, Steal Blue
This can only be done under certain circumstances.
1. The enemy MUST start at Red ( Lee Sin, Rengar, etc) and sometimes might not have a mana resource.
And 2. They must most likely go for a level 2 gank (again, think Lee Sin). If you see a level 2 gank at top, go to Blue immediately and TAKE IT!
A preferable 3rd circumstance would be that their Mid laner has a heavy reliance on Blue Buff, like Anivia.
Doing this will effectively cripple their mid, as you know when their Blue Buff spawns, allowing you to take it over...and over... and over, but also destroy their jungler as you took a valuable buff worth lots of experience and gold.
- Start at Wraiths, and get help.
- Get a heavy leash on Red, so you can save Smite.
- Steal Blue. From here, you can decide to camp at the Wolf camp and kill the jungler if he comes.
- Go to your OWN Blue buff and give it to your mid laner if they need or want it.
- Free-form the rest of the jungle.
Level 2 Gank
I don't like this. It doesn't really work because Shyvana is a poor ganker :/ But sometimes the situation calls for it.
- Wraiths (get help)
- Red (leash)
- IMMEDIATELY gank and abuse reaching level 2 faster than the laners can.
Spawns at 1:40, respawns every 50 seconds
Spawns at 1:40, respawns every 50 seconds
Spawns at 1:40, respawns every 50 seconds
Normal monster camps all grant gold and experience, as well as a buff that regenerates a small portion of your health and mana. As Shyvana, you would want to focus on stealing these.
Spawns at 1:55, respawns every 5 minutes
Mana regeneration and Cooldown Reduction
Spawns at 1:55, respawns every 5 minutes
On-hit slow and Damage-over-time for 3 seconds
Blue Buff isn't as important for Shyvana, as she's completely cooldown and mana independent. Give it to your Mid or Top as much as possible.
Red Buff on Shyvana turns her absolutely terrible ganks into decent ganks because of the additional damage and the slow. Try not to get it taken from you.
Spawns at 2:30, respawns every 6 minutes
Grants 190 global gold to everyone on the killer's team (roughly 3 kills)
Spawns at 15:00, respawns every 7 minutes
Grants 300 global gold, 900 experience, and Exalted with Baron Nashor Buff
The Buff grants 40 AD, 40 AP, 3% of health regen/5, and 1% of mana regen/5.
The key to winning games is controlling BOTH of these objectives. It is often a good idea to use Wriggle's Lantern to ward these places to spot enemies while they do them, so you can interrupt them.
Pictures from League Wikia
Countering Invasions (Counter Counter Jungle)
When you've played League of Legends for a while, you may have had an encounter with a certain clown that looks like this:
This clown (assuming the player is good) loves going into your jungle and taking your buffs, camps, or just harassing you, and there's not really anything you can do about it if you don't know where he is.
And not just Shaco, but champions like Lee Sin, Darius, and Dr. Mundo. All of them are great invaders like yourself, and if you aren't prepared for them they can probably ruin your whole game.
What can I do against them?
There are a few methods...:3
Ward your camps, ward the entrances of your jungle, and 4 man gank them when you see them.
Against strong invaders that try to steal your buff very early, like Shyvana, it may be helpful to ward the buff you aren't starting at at level 1. This will make it so you see the other team/jungler trying to take your buff, and you can run in and steal it with Smite or punish them by killing them when they get low.
If you suspect the other team has a ward somewhere in your jungle, it may be smart to buy an Oracle's Elixir or Vision Ward to clear it first.
Invade Enemy Jungle
Knowing when someone will come for your buffs takes practice and mostly instinct based on a certain champion's playstyle. Just because you're against a Lee Sin doesn't mean he will start Blue, but many of them will come into your jungle just to bruise and harass you, or kill you.
Depending on whether you're farmed and/or fed, Shyvana has two distinct roles in a teamfight. The first, assuming you're relatively farmed, is to start a fight and annihilate the enemy carries.
Always look for times when both your own team is in position to follow up, and when the enemy's carries are just a bit too close to you. Then, immediately Dragon's Descent in, activate Randuin's Omen and Blade of the Ruined King if necessary, and focus on killing the enemy AD. There isn't much to say here, just focus on the squishies to disorient the enemy team.
Shyvana's second main role is to peel for her own carries. This is assuming that you're behind, and building items such as Locket of the Iron Solari or Frozen Mallet. There isn't much to explain here either, stay with your AD and use the knockback from Dragon's Descent to push people away from them, or use your item actives to slow them down.
Questions not answered?
Ask away! C:
It's possible that I've missed a lot of stuff (even after ~200 view on my own guide :P) so if you have any questions that I haven't answered, ask below in the comments~
I'll answer it as soon as possible (I usually get to them in 1-2 days, unless it's stupid to a certain degree like why don't you stack boots on shyv?), and if I get repeated questions I'll put them here.
Thanks for reading :3
I think this is my second guide here where I've written about a champion I have extensive knowledge on.
Thanks for having the patience to read through this and learn Shyvana PROPERLY :D
As always, I'd like to thank Jhoi for her How to Make a Guide guide.
Also, I'd like to thank Astrolia for reviewing my guide from a high elo standpoint :3 Even though there are some things I disagree on, his in-depth review greatly helped out.
- Changed cheat sheet.
- Changed item section
- Added teamfighting section.
- Added Madred's Bloodrazor
- Changed cheat sheet masteries (credit goes to Vort for pointing these out)
- Changed Runes. Thanks Throatslasher for the suggestions~
- Updated Cheat Sheet for S3
- Cleaned up cheatsheet again
- Finished updating for Season 3. Lots of changes.