Top Lane Shen Baby
Core Standard Build
Why not Titanic Hydra?
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.
Threats to Shen with this build
|Cho'Gath||He has great sustain and nice disruption. However you can block his E passive Damage with your W and can dodge almost all of his Damage except for his Ult. If you play it correctly you should never get to a situation where you are low enough to be executed. Juke him and keep hitting him with your Q. Easy lane.|
Hey Everyone, I'm Archduke of Juke. I am a Shen Main since season 4 and have been using him to climb to Gold 2 where I am now on EUW. He is my most played champion at almost 200k mastery score and I have had a lot of experience with him. In this Guide I want to teach you about Shen and how to play him in the Top lane. He is a great champ with many play making possibilities and if played correctly, you will save your team many times and your team mates will love you for it. I won't go into to much detail because this is my first ever guide but I will provide all the basics so you can start to become a Shen main as well.
Pros / Cons
+ He is very Fun to play with a lot of play making potential
+ He can save team mates and fits perfectly into many team comps
+ He does surprising amounts of Damage and can 1v1 almost anyone
+ Many people underestimate Shen's Damage and utility so you can surprise them
- He has no sustain in his Kit
- He relies on Sunfire for Waveclear and can be pushed very hard under Tower
- His Q can be dodged easily and his E can be predicted
- He is a jack-of-all-traits-master-of-none type of champion and there are better options for each attribute
- Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed: This is vital for Shen. His Base Move Speed isn't amazing but he really benefits from the extra MS in my opinion. His Taunt is only really useful if you are in range for it and the extra MS will help you get in range. Also it helps moving in front of your target to pull your Q through them and keep slowing them.
- Greater Mark of Scaling Health: For reds, Shen doesn't really need much. He doesn't need AD because his Q helps with last hitting, he doesn't need Armor or Magic Pen because that doesn't really help him much. Yes you only get a bit of HP per Level but compared to all other options, this is the easiest. You can also trade them for Attack Speed Reds, but if you keep pulling your Q through the enemy you will get enough Attack Speed anyway.
- Greater Glyph of Scaling Cooldown Reduction: This will give a bit of Cooldown reduction because you rely so much on your spells. You will get 10% CDR at level 18 which is just enough. You don't need to try to go for 40% because spamming your spells will make you run out of energy really fast but it's rather to help you get your spells up just in time when you need them. Coupled with CDR from Spirit Visage you can get some nice CDR to compliment your Build.
- Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist: This gives you an extra bit of resistance against AP and helps you with your scaling. Getting 9x scaling CDR wouldn't be worth it and you need some sort of MR from Runes so this works well, but you can replace them with something else.
- Greater Seal of Armor: This is pretty straightforward. Armor helps you early on against AD champs and also against minion aggro. If you are up against a full AP team you should switch these out for Scaling Health Seals because the Armor won't help you.
- Greater Seal of Scaling Armor: I just add these three extra scaling Armor Seals for the late game scaling. Once you hit level 9 you already get some nice Armor from the scaling Seals.
On Shen you want to run 12/0/18 most of the time. There are a few thing's you might want to change depending on the station.
There isn't much to change here honestly. If you are up against someone like Nasus who has a lot of sustain then you need all the sustain you can get so you would get Feast over anything else. However Expose Weakness is still an option because if you come to help a lane out with your Ult then it will help secure the kill with the bonus damage.
For examples Runic Armor can be switched for Veteran's Scars because Shen doesn't take advantage of the mastery as hard. However the reason I prefer Runic Armor over Veterans Scars is because it scales. The extra HP is good in early but 45 HP becomes useless really fast whereas the 8% increase to ALL healing is great at every stage of the game and it even makes your Ki Barrier passive shield stronger as well.
Grasp of the Undying is super core on Shen and gives you some bonus sustain as well as more Damage. Riot recently changed the mastery a bit making it proc every 4 seconds while in combat rather than every 4th Auto attack, which doesn't affect Shen too much. Early on your attack speed isn't too high anyway so this actually benefits you more.
When it comes to choosing between Bounty Hunter and Oppressor I usually chose Bounty Hunter because after only Three unique Champions killed you will do more Damage and it not just when you CC someone. Besides, your Taunt only lasts about 1.5 seconds so that 2.5% increase in Damage only applies for a very short amount of time and is not worth it in my opinion.
In this segment I will not go over what the spells do as I assume you already know. I will however talk about some interactions and how use them correctly in the top lane.
Shen's passive is very strong. It allows him to trade up with someone just by using his abilities and it scales with his bonus HP. The Cooldown reduction by affecting people with your spells increases over level so late game you can have your shield up every 2-3 seconds in a fight. Remember it is AFFECTING which means shielding an ally with your W and Ult counts as well. Ideally you'd want to fight when your passive is up and block incoming attacks with a quick Q to trigger it.
His Q is easy to understand but it has more uses than that. For one the sword is very visible to the enemy, which means that they will constantly think about your Q. If you place the Sword behind them during lane they might think that you would Q them and then engage. You might, you might not but it will make them be a bit more cautious of it. This can go both ways however, if you have been roaming or counter-jungling your Q can give away your position. After Taunting someone always run in front of them while autoing so you can pull your Q through them again and keep slowing them. This will give you more damage and help you with catching up. Keep in mind that Yasuo's Wind Wall can stop your Q from travelling, and you only get the empowered autos if the Blade actually arrives at your destination. Also the Q gives you extra range up to 200, so it might help when chasing or farming.
This is very similar to a Jax's Counter Strike because it is an area where you can dodge autos. Of course this applies to all allies inside the area as well. It is important to time this skill at the right time because it only lasts 1.75 seconds. If you see someone about to attack you with a visible attack such as a Trundle Chomp, a Gangplank Parrrley or a Wukong Crushing Blow you can quickly activate your W zone and dodge a big hit. Of course this is assuming the Q is close to you. Remembering your Q position in a fight is important. Many time's inexperienced Shen's press W rapidly without it being close to them and then have to call it to themselves with Q for it to take effect. Of course by then they already took the hit they wanted to avoid. If you feel the enemy is about to come close to you and attack, stay close to your Q so you don't have to drag it all the way to you to dodge.
The iconic dash. It is a simple yet effective CC tool. It allows you to jump over walls, catch up to people and generally be semi-mobile as a tank. There isn't much to say about this ability. You can Shadow Dash+ Flash for a cool taunt similar to a Gragas Body Slam+ Flash combo. Just keep in mind that you can now taunt jungle camps and deal damage to them which relates more to Jungle Shen. Also after the rework, his E now does Physical damage and scales off bonus health, so it can actually do some decent damage.
This is what makes Shen, Shen. This makes him a great splitpusher and can keep the enemy team on edge with your global presence. This ult solely depends on map awareness and team play. If you are playing with randoms, ping them or type in chat that you have Ult and that you got their back. As soon as your Ult is back off of Cooldown you should check the map. What I like to do is check the character Portraits and see who's low. You also don't need to always use your Ult in the last second to save someone. If the enemy is about to escape and the people chasing them don't have a way to reach him, a Stand United plus Shadow Dash can secure the kill. Practice checking your map constantly knowing when to Ult. Remember, you are not Obligated to Ult every time someone is about to die. You need to assess the situation. If you will waste your Ult because your ally would die during the cast or you would just be ported into a 2v5 then just let him die and try to get other objectives. I have been flamed a lot for deciding to not to Ult when someone makes a mistake and that's ok. Just kindly remind them that it wouldn't have been a good call and that you are saving it for another Fight. You will judge these situation better the more you play.
Freezing the Lane
Laning with Shen is pretty easy. All you really need to do is freeze the wave close to your tower and let them push. In case you don't know what freezing is. Freezing the Lane means that the wave keeps meeting at one specific point, preferably right in front of your Tower so the enemy has to come closer to you and make himself vulnerable to ganks. This is really easy to achieve with Shen.
Basically all you need to do is go between the two waves just before they hit and take aggro from the first two or three melee minions. The reason we do this is because they will bunch up together and then when they begin attacking your wave they will all attack the same minion at the same time meaning it will die much faster. This will make the wave push towards you. Secondly you will pull in your Q. This is so you can tank some of the minion damage with your Ki Barrier but to also make sure your Q is behind the enemy making it easier to pull the blade through them if necessary.
As you can see here the wave is slowly pushing to me as well. Also keep in mind you need to only last hit the minions so the wave pushes a bit further to you. HOWEVER, some champs can push waves well and will push the minions very far into your tower and this will RESET the wave, meaning the waves will begin meeting in the middle of the lane again. To avoid this you need to begin killing them off sort of close to your tower. You need some experience with the champ to guess how much damage you need to deal to the minions for the wave to stay frozen at your tower.
At this point the enemy Maokai is pushing dangerously close to my Tower. I have played this match up many times and have a good feeling for how much Damage I need to deal to the minions to have push enough. I keep dancing around making sure the minion wave doesn't hit the tower right away so my jungler has enough time to come up top and get a kill.
Here the Maokai makes a big mistake and gets taunted by me while he is in the Tower range. He takes three tower shots and flashes out. I begin chasing him and slow him with my Q by flashing in front of him and then my Poppy comes to secure the kill and give our team first blood.
This works almost every time and if you are premade with the Jungler, then you are guaranteed to get a kill or at least a Flash.
As a Shen your main objective is to splitpush and peel and protect your team. Because you have your ult, Stand United and Teleport you can be anywhere at the map multiple times. Always keep an eye out on your mini map and the champion portraits. If someone's is flashing red, that means they are in trouble. Once you get your ZZ'Rot portal you should ideally place on the other side of the map to where you are pushing. Lets say you are pushing top and the rest of your team in regrouping mid and is thinking of doing baron. Before that happens you need to place your Zz'Rot Portal at bot so you can pressure that while the enemy team is dealing with you. You can also place it in the same lane as you are to double your push but then you will guarantee some attention from the enemy team. Always ward the Jungle entrances to see them coming before it's too late otherwise your team will hate you.
Here are some good spots for your Zz'Rot Portal
Late game your main target for ulting should be your ADC. Let's say the enemy has a Zed, you need to recognize just before he is about to engage your ADC and ult him before he can throw his Death Mark on her because she might blow up before you even get there. It is important that you understand the situation and act preemptively. Your Ult is not always used for just the shield but to also scare away the enemy and create a disruption. Don't be upset if you Ally dies while you ulted them, sometimes the enemy needs to blow summoners like Ignite or other precious spells to finish them off which means the rest of your team doesn't need to worry about it for a while. Pick your Ults wisely but don't be to conservative with them, as soon as you got your Ult look around and see if you can use it.
As long as you keep an eye out to where your enemy team is and where your team wants to go you can pressure the map really well. Always think of objectives first and not kills and position yourself in such a way so that even if you get caught splitting, your team can take advantage of it. Remember a good Shen always makes things, worth. And don't be scared to use your Teleport to TP behind enemy lines and take towers while they are fighting, if your Ult is up you can still join them and maybe even force their top laner to follow your push.
Thank you very much for reading my Guide. I hope this Guide helped you a bit with understanding Shen and how you can play him in the top lane. He is a great champ and is a ton of fun as well. Please leave feedback I'd love to see what you guys think.
Peace - Archduke of Juke