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.
The Shenemy - Vorpal Blade of the Shade
Shen like most Ninja's enjoys to do it from behind, but that won't stop him straight up tanking and spanking on occasion. His poke is obviously one of the more useful of his abilities in terms of getting him kills. While Dash and Stand United also come in handy for grabbing a kill here and there, while saving more than your fair share of teammates.
A key word I often find myself using when playing Shen is "Mobility." Shen is already one of the most mobile characters in the game. His Teleport allows him to jump into combat, jump to a location, help backdoor a base, or preemptively help a teammate turret dive. His dash allows him to dash through walls, which is perfect for quickly moving around maps, and often will save him in 3v3's as you can kite right up to your base wall and jump through.
Note that the item build above is NOT the end all on this build, it is in fact the closest thing I could do to showing what I will state down here in the description.
This guide is broken down into 8 sections, Hope you find it organized and helpful.
I. Section One: Summoner Abilities
Ghost - Makes Shen one of the most mobile characters on the map, this seems to be of more use than teleport because of the potential for ganking, as well as escaping and chasing.
Exhaust - If neccisary this can be combined with ghost to ensure your enemy does not escape, ghost up to them exhaust them and rip into them. But even moreso, this will stop all those disgusting Master Yi and Warwick types from tearing you up in a second, what can't hit you, cant kill you.
Flash - Can replace ghost, if you love the spell, I personally would rather ghost around than flash.
Cleanse - Useful, however one time use, so it is a high cost trade off to choose this over Exhaust or Ghost
Teleport - For the Lulz
II. Section Two: Shen's Abilities
Shen's abilities are a bit tried and true, however I have seen people forgo feint in order to get vorpal blade up one level more quickly. While this is a solid option, feint, even with only one level has saved me from countless deaths to Damage Over Time spells (DOTS) including ignite. Thus I recommend the one point at level 5 or if you are really getting stomped, maybe even earlier at level 3. Aside from that, everything else should just be common sense.
III. Section Three: Masteries Build
As you can see above I choose a 9/21/0 build, which to say the least is a bit odd. however it is quite effective. Archaic Knowledge offers Shen more damage and less resistance against his Vorpal blades, which may seem pointless, but it really blows when your opponent shrugs off your final blow Vorpal just because they had a just a tad of magic resist. Defense makes sense just by looking at it, reduced damage rocks, and increased health is clutch.
IV. Section Four: Runes
Mobafire seems to lack some of the runes that should exist as options to post, thus I am going to state that in the cases of blue and yellow rune slots one should most definately consider the use of energy regen and energy cap increase runes. I would say going as far as to increase your total energy by 6-10 through blue rune slots and get the remaining I believe 4 yellow slots filled with energy runes. Otherwise HP seems to be a solid option for Shen thus my choice in yellow is mainly HP as well as my 3 quintessences are 32 Health each. The way I see red slots is that the meager hp gains make attack speed worth it, simply because the gains are so small that hitting minions faster in order to get gold is valuable.
- It is worth mentioning that yellow is where the most variation seems to take place among players, use of health, dodge or energy are all valid choices. Also, some players do not feel energy runes to be worth it on Shen. That is up to you to decide, I have seen gains from the use of them.
V. Section Five: Items
First we get boots which actually make more sense for Shen starting out than any other character I have played. With fantastic mobility, already high health, and a poke, boots make Shen able to pop out, and vorpal blade and dive back into a bush quickly.
The second item one picks up as Shen mostly has to do with whom his opponents are, The first item I recommend buying for this slot is the Giants belt which will either be built into Sunfire Cape or Rylai's Crystal Scepter.
Here is where you are going say O Rylai? I'm going to say Yes, Rylai. The reason for Rylai's scepter in a Shen build is 3 fold. First is the 500 health which, by the way, is higher than that found on the Sunfire Cape, Second, is the 80 AP, which is an odd choice for Shen as most will point out, but here is why it rocks even more, Shen's poke is not only good for the occasional harass, but in fact does decent damage and can steal kills, or pick up kills before teammates can steal them from you, so you should be saying, why shouldn't it do extra damage. If those two reasons weren't enough to get you on board with Rylai's crystal scepter then this one should, The slow on spell cast, and yes, Shen's
Vorpal Blade is a spell, which means that this, slows the opponent 100% of the time (from my experience) unless they have something like banshee's veil. So ultimately, this will make them slow enough to stay in taunt range while you work up the energy to taunt them.
Third we will pick up the other of the two above mentioned items, that is, if you chose Rylai's get a Sunfire, if you chose a Sunfire, get a Rylai's. I would also like to note that if you have not upgraded your boots by this point, that would be a smart move.
So here is an aside on boots, There are 4 types of boots that one playing Shen would choose between upgrading to. When choosing your boots, one should keep in mind the composition of the enemy team.
1)Swiftness Boots - Do they just keep getting away, even with your use of Rylai's, this may be the choice for you, not to mention the ability to run away more quickly after doing something stupid.
2)Ninja Tabi - Are they all beating on you with melee, do they have Warwick if so, Choose these, also, these should be your standard choice
3)Mercury's Treads - Does your enemy have a composition high in slows, snares and casters? Then grab these.
4)Berserker's Greaves - Ok, so I am not directly recommending these but it is worth noting that if you are doing well against your opponent, that these in fact will help you pick up kills more quickly, and ultimately are a good choice in that regard.
So As for items four and five, this is where I still am a bit shaky, most games I play are won by the point at which I have 3 items. So this is where input could be immensely useful.
I've been testing four ways to take this build from this point:
Frozen Mallet - Slow on melee + slow on dagger = the ultimate annoyance
Atma's impaler - Well, look at that, we have a lot of health, now we do a lot of damage.
Pure Defence/Tank - This obviously has a lot of options, use common sense if building tank
Randuin's Omen - Amazing, 300 hp, Health regen, slow when meleed
Force of Nature - Health regen, Magic resist and movement speed, a prime caster crusher
Spirit Visage - Great Regen bump, 200 Health and cooldown reduction, a fantastic choice
Warmog's Armor - Immense Health and Regen bump, but at a high cost requires minion kills
Thornmail - The middle finger when regarding melee classes
Banshees Veil - The middle finger to Casters
Frozen Heart - Although it sports high mana, it slows enemy attack speed - Annoying
Ability Power Shen (Yes, I know its odd)
Zhonya's Ring - 120 AP and a 3 second self save, can't argue with that
Hextech Gunblade - Vamp of all sorts, + AP and attack power, awesome choice
Trinity Force - fantastic if the money permits, offers health like none of the other AP options, as well as other well rounded stats.
Deathfire Grasp - AP and an interesting 30% of current health as damage ability, worth a shot.
Phantom Dancer - Speed speed speed and boom headshot
Madreds bloodrazor - Speed, damage and no tank is safe
DPS/Tank and Pure Defense/Tank with Randuin's and Spirit Visage, Randuin's, Frozen Mallet and Madreds seem to be solid final picks.
Consumables are another case that we should discuss:
Health potions, there is no need to go overboard with these things, if you play somewhat conservatively, and use vorpal blade/melee attack on minions these shouldn't make too much of a difference either way however I usually buy between 1-3 at the beginning of the game with my boots.
Sight Ward, these are the cheaper of the two wards, and actually are fantastic in 3v3's at the beginning of the game. Grab one of these in place of two of your health potions, and life will be good.
Elixir of Fortitude here is an item that is actually fantastic all throughout the game, if you feel the enemy turning the tides, or want to bump your health and damage fast, grab this, the way to look at this item is simple. If it gets you two kills, or saves your life twice -by merit of extra hp- it is worth the cash.
VI. Section Six: In a 3v3
Starting off with boots, a health potion and a sight ward seems to be most effective. Rush the gank bush at the beginning and throw your ward into it, then back off. Boots + Ward often messes up the initial gank for the other team, and gets Shen or one of his teammates a gank kill right off.
Shen has amazing mobility and by level 8 should be able to solo every Creep on the map which is highly beneficial if your team doesn't want to help with dragon or lizard.
Shen's Vorpal Strikes are a fantastic way to last hit minions to gain gold quickly and thus get items at a good speed. Shen is also capable of taking top lane, however your team will get even more overpowered if a high dps character lanes top. I.e. Annie/Trynd/Garen
If Shen's teammates are good with communication or know what he is thinking he can use his ult as a turret dive bubble, which is a fantastic way to smash a squishy who thought they were safe next to their evil sniper turrets. Aside from that, Shen can dash through most walls on the 3v3 map, including using the base wall to run to and from battles.
VII. Section Seven: In a 5v5
It is worth going with boots and potions to start this game off rather than getting a sight ward. Shen in a 5v5 is a fantastic lane partner, and can really tear people apart when sharing a lane with mundo or another heavy character who hits hard. He can somewhat protect squishies, but is best laned with a character who is somewhat heavy but has high DPS, as Shen won't let the enemy get away with his Dash and his teammate can lay into them. Ryze is also seemingly a solid choice. In large group battles Shen's ult is best used to bring him in mid fight, as it will save a teammate and secure him multiple kills if he is not the only tank on his team.
VIII. Section Eight: Author's Notes
Note that while this is Finished, it is not complete in the perfectionist sense of the word. There will be changes to the game inevitably and thus, this guide will become somewhat outdated from time to time.
As the Author, I have decided to share this build in hope that some of you may try it, and help me, by making it grow. What I mean by this, is please do share your experiences with it in the comments, and tell me what you like, dislike and what you would would add to make the experience with it better.
Thanks for reading!