Shyvana Build Guide by TheFanciestBard
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Not Updated For Current Season
Introduction and about the author
Greetings fellow summoners and welcome to my Shyvana guide! This is my first guide on Mobafire but I hope it can help you become better with my favorite champion! This guide will talk about Shyvana in the jungle first then move on to talking about her in the solo-top lane. Any comments, critique, and suggestions on how to make this guide the best it can be are greatly welcomed!
Disclaimer! I, TheFanciestBard, am not a 2k elo jungler or solo-top player. I am in no ways a master of League of Legends, but I try my best every game and hope to improve with each match. I play on the NA servers and I'm a pretty friendly guy! With that being said let's get into the good stuff!
Shyvana is a tanky, melee dps fighter who scales exceptionally well with items that grant durability and attack speed due to her passive Fury of the Dragonborn. Because of this, items that grant her sticking power, survivability, attack damage, and attack speed increase her effectiveness tremendously.
While Shyvana can easily melt a target down with her combination of physical and magical damage she lacks any forms of CC or gapcloser on her own outside of the movement speed bonus from Burnout and the activation of Dragon's Descent. Thankfully this is very easy to remedy through items and teammates helping her prove why she is possibly one of the highest, sustained damage champions in League of Legends! Shyvana is very easily classified as a champion who is easy to learn but hard to master because of her reliance of cooldowns to deal damage and a lack of CC to help her stick to her targets. Knowing what to use when, what to buy, and when to play her are key to becoming a great Shyvana player!
Masteries - Jungle
Shyvana is a champion with absolutely no sustain in the jungle unless you use lifesteal runes which I do not recommend as she is an extremely quick clearer and your starting potions can easily keep you alive and healthy through your jungle route. Shyvana has extremely good base stats which is what allows her to build tanky and still deal tons of damage! Taking masteries that make her more durable help her much more than trying to improve her already impressive offensive abilities. Each point is designed to either help her survive the jungle camps, dueling an enemy jungler, or help lessen the ability for enemy champions to kite her around before she gains the items she needs to help that or her ultimate.
Greater Mark of Attack Speed
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage
I use the same runes for both Jungling and Solo-Top because I feel they're the most effective way to play at her strengths.
Greater Mark of Attack Speed Attack speed helps her clear speed, dueling ability, and extended trading ability. These are mandatory for Shyvana and I wouldn't use any other mark for her.
Greater Seal of Armor Armor lessens the damage of jungle camps and what AD champions can deal to you. It's a must for jungling but for solo-top you could swap it for Greater Seal of Health or greater seal of attack speed depending on preference.
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist These are mostly personal preference to help with AP champions mid to late game. Greater Glyph of Health, Greater Glyph of Attack Speed, or Greater Glyph of Magic Resist if you're facing an AP top are all fine options for alternatives.
Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage Upping the attack damage of any AD champion is never a bad idea. I feel they compliment the Greater Mark of Attack Speed better than anything else but Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed Greater Quintessence of Attack Speed and Greater Quintessence of Health are good alternatives.
Burnout is your bread and butter. It's your best ability as Shyvana and there is no reason to max anything first. It makes you an insanely fast jungler, a great duelist, and have good escape as well!
Twin Bite I max this ability second if jungling to increase single target damage to easily kill the 'boss' creep of each camp while your Burnout easily takes down the other creeps in the camp. It is maxed last in the top lane as it only serves as an auto-attack reset in trades and small fights.
Flame Breath This is a last max as jungle but a second as top for two reasons. In the jungle it doesn't help your clearing as much as a maxed Twin Bite but the armor shred is amazing for top laning. If your opponent engages you or tries to initiate a trade give them a E>Q combo and a few swipes for good measure and they'll think twice about trying to trade with you as with that combo you should come out ahead on almost every trade!
Dragon's Descent Oh boy, where to start on this one? This is honestly the best reason to play Shyvana! First, it gives you passive armor and magic resist, making you tankier naturally! Next, it serves as a great gapclosers and chasing tool. The initial burst of damage can sometimes finish someone off and it is also great for teamfights as it makes all of your abilities AoE! A cleaving Twin Bite? A cone of fire from Flame Breath? Geeze.. If this ability could be any more awesome I have no idea how, plus it turns you into a dragon! How cool is that?!
Smite - This ability is a must, if you don't jungle with smite you're asking for a rougher clear, ability to be more easily counter jungled, and lack the ability to smite confirm Baron and Dragon. With masteries it also provides more gold when used.
Flash - This is a strange choice for Shyvana you may ask. "Shyvana has no CC! You should take Exhaust for ganking!" You're correct, I would take Exhaust on her if I planned on ganking. That's the key point of how I play Shyvana I simply don't gank unless it presents itself or someone seriously needs help. Ganking isn't what Shyvana does, she is all about shutting down the enemy jungler and making the game 4v5 while she gets fed off creeps and the shut down jungler trying to recover. It also makes counter-jungling easier as it provides some form of escape if things go wrong.
Exhaust - If you really want to gank this is the spell to have. It also helps dueling and chasing but honestly Shyvana's kit is great at that already and I personally dislike using Exhaust on her. Summoner spells are ultimately personal preference and if no one is bringing it it helps to have this spell on at least one person on the team.
Situational item explaination
No build is set in stone and one should buy items based on the needs at the time to be especially effective! Shyvana's core items consist of only two which is Frozen Mallet and Wit's End. These two items show off everything Shyvana is about. Health, magic resist, staying power, and attack speed, none of these stats are wasted and there is almost no reason to avoid these items as your first two purchases.
Zephyr - When I first saw this item I instantly thought of Shyvana! Not a single stat is wasted and I honestly think this is one of the most effective items for a single slot you can buy for Shyvana but there is one problem.. It's so expensive! If you're jungling this item could honestly gimp you because of the price tag. If you're solo-top, doing great with CS and even up a kill or two this item allows you to get offensive boots while still having tenacity intact.
Youmuu's Ghostblade - This items provides a ton of offensive abilities while the active can help you chase down a target or provide a sudden burst to your attacks if you combine it with the bonus damage of Flame Breath. It's mostly a 'win harder' item.
Ravenous Hydra - This helps make a huge impact in teamfights and shouldn't be overlooked. A touch expensive but as a 4th item if you're ahead or a 5th item in longer games it's great!
Blade of the Ruined King - With a good chunk of attack speed this item can put out some serious numbers! It increases your sustained damage by a considerable margin and is a good replacement for Wriggle's Lantern in longer games. The active is just the icing on the cake!
The Bloodthirster - A safe, consistent replacement for Wriggle's Lantern in longer games. I prefer getting Blade of the Ruined King if I find myself replacing Wriggle's Lantern though.
Maw of Malmortius - While it could be viewed as an offensive item it's really only used if you're facing a lot of AP on the opposite team. AD, a shield, MR, and a good passive make this a great item for AP heavy teams.
Mercurial Scimitar - At times I feel this item is almost mandatory on Shyvana but not quite enough for it to be core. The price tag is a little steep but the active is out of this world vs CC heavy teams. If you find you're having trouble catching someone or you're being kited a lot this item is perfect.
Randuin's Omen - Health, armor, and an active that has good synergy with Dragon's Descent's passive. If you're building tankier this item is amazing to have and every team should have at least one for the amazing active.
Warmog's Armor - The one stop shop for all your health needs. If your team seriously lacks a tank this with your core items and some other defensive items makes you extremely hard to kill. Slap on an Atma's Impaler and you're going to be one hard to stop train of tankiness and damage.
Sunfire Cape - Armor, health, and a good aura that goes with your Burnout. I don't buy it often, but for AD heavy teams it's fantastic!
A Dragon in the jungle! Tips on jungling and ganking.
This is the part you all are waiting for I'm sure. Shyvana is considered by many to be one of if not the best counter-junglers in the entire game. Her blazing fast clear speed and amazing dueling ability make her one lady you do not want to meet in the jungle. This comes with a hefty price to pay. Shyvana's ganking potential is possibly one of the worst of any jungler in the game! With no CC she relies heavily on her team to assist her in making ganks happen if they're having trouble. Do be aware that Shyvana excels in map control and denying map awareness through Oracle's Elixir. She can easily open up easy Dragon secures in the early/mid game which can get your team ahead very quickly. If you know the enemy team is warding heavily do everyone a favor and get an Oracle's Elixir to deny them that gold and awareness.
Shyvana is considered a red buff jungler and as such she generally starts with wraiths > red > little golems > wraiths > wolves > blue buff > gank or continue farming. This is the safest route for her but a traditional wolves > blue > wraiths > golems > red > wraiths > wolves is perfectly fine as well as the reduced CD on her abilities helps her clear.
Ganking is the act of ambushing a laner in an attempt to secure a kill or push them out of lane for a variety of reasons. It helps your laner become more fed through kills and creep score while hurting the enemy laner by shutting them out of gold and experience. Do keep in mind that a gank does NOT have to end in a kill, but that is the best possible scenario. Pushing them out of lane for a time, getting a summoner spell, or denying CS are all perfectly acceptable gank outcomes as any of them hurt the enemy team and help yours. Shyvana as stated is a weak ganker but she can easily come to an overextended lane and deal a lot of damage quickly and push someone out of lane if not outright kill them. Having laners with CC helps tremendously.
The fine art of Counter-Jungling.
Counter-jungling is an extremely high risk, high reward option that many people do not consider as often as they should. It consists of entering the enemy jungle to steal jungle creeps or ambush the enemy jungler for a kill or to force them out of the jungle for a short time. It is not for new or inexperienced junglers unless you have an extremely good and aware team backing you up.
There are three things to be aware of when attempting to counter-jungle. These are the position of the enemy laners, the location of the the enemy jungler, and the timers of the jungle camps. I would not attempt counter-jungling unless you have both jungle entrances warded and have decent map control through lane warding as well. Always bring a few sight ward when counter-jungling and if you feel the enemy team may be warding their jungle it's very smart to bring an Oracle's Elixir with you.
One of the best ways to start as Shyvana if you're feeling very aggressive is to take your team to the buff opposite the one the enemy jungler should be starting and steal it. If they start blue take their red, otherwise I hand out their blue to my allied mid laner to give them a huge advantage over their opponent.
Let me just say one thing, getting counter-jungled sucks. It's the worst thing you can do to a jungler and it hurts them so much, especially if they're someone like Amumu or Fiddlesticks who rely on farming the jungle to be effective. Even people like Lee Sin or Maokai who are excellent gankers feel the effects of counter-jungling. There are two types of counter-jungling that you can do.
The first type is minor denial which is when you steal most of the creeps from the camp and leave one there so the camp does not respawn until they clear it. The advantage of this is that there is no chance of you clearing the camp only for them to not notice by coming around to the camp when it respawns. The disadvantage is you do not know when the camp is cleared and therefore do not have the timer to take it again.
The second type is complete denial which is when you take a camp, note the timer, and prepare to steal it again as it respawns. Warding is key for complete denial of one or more camps and it also provides you vision and information which could lead to ganking a jungler as he comes to a camp. This is riskier and take more concentration and experience than simply taking some creeps and leaving. Timing camps is the entire reason why I never, ever leave buffs countered as completely denying them is so effective.
I cannot stress enough that counter-jungling is all about control and to have control you need wards. It doesn't hurt a jungler nearly as much if they discover their wolves or wraiths are gone only to wander on over to your jungle and steal yours. This is especially true about buffs. Extended periods of counter-jungling will elect responses from a good team and the more you counter-jungle the risker it becomes. Only attempt it if you're sure it is safe and you have your laners ready to help if things go wrong.
While Shyvana is an extremely good jungler she is also a fantastic solo-top laner! Laning as Shyvana allows you to have a good, consistent gold income and provide your team with a great, high damage, high survivability champion that scales well into every part of the game. Her great dueling abilities are very useful in the top lane but her lack of sustain seriously hurts against champions like Yorick, Cho'Gath, and Vladimir because of their ability to just stay in lane for so much longer and recover from trades quicker than you can.
This does not mean Shyvana is a weak solo-top, she just needs to play cautiously and very smart. Her dueling ability at early levels allows one to play extremely aggressive and force the enemy out of lane and let you free farm for awhile. Because of Burnout she is a fantastic pusher and it's not uncommon for a solo-top Shyvana to win a trade, push her lane, and go roam a bit. Sometimes I even go and steal jungle creeps after pushing my lane, I just can't stop counter-jungling with her!
Phew.. That was a lot of information! I hope you enjoyed reading through the guide and that it helped better your game with Shyvana! This is just v.01 and I hope to make this guide better and better, but I need your help for that! See something that looks off? Perhaps you have some insight of your own to offer, don't hesitate to leave a comment! Next on my to-do list is match-ups for both top and jungle while also prettying up the guide with more pictures and colors. Until then, this is TheFanciestBard signing out. Happy hunting folks, for Demacia!