Shen Build Guide by Troll_of_LoL

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.

League of Legends Build Guide Author Troll_of_LoL

Top Tank Shen - Detailed Notes Included

Troll_of_LoL Last updated on March 3, 2013
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Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
Ability Key R

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.



Offense: 5

Honor Guard

Defense: 24


Utility: 0

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Important Stuff Comes First + Readers Note

This is a top tank lane Shen guide. You are a tank, if you don't get kills, don't whine about it. Just don't die and be efficient in team fights.

Too much bb coding means you don't have a life.

Be a cool ninja.

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Abilities and Gameplay Notes

Shen's gameplay is very unique and difficult to learn.

Remember! Shen runs on energy, meaning that you don't have to worry about spamming your skills. Just remember to leave enough energy for a Shadow Dash escape.

Ki Strike
This is your primary source of real damage. Use this to secure last hits or deal damage to champions.

Vorpal Blade
Vorpal blade is shens primary source of harass, heal or sustain.
The first thing you should learn to do with Shen is harass. Your Vorpal Blade is your primary source of harass. Playing against champions like Darius, Kayle, Teemo, etc.. requires a massive amount of effort in harass to safely farm. You should always use Vorpal Blade to lower their health slowly until it is safe to gain control over the lane. Otherwise, stay near your tower, farm, and harass until you can hold the lane. You can also use this skill to last hit minions, but if your facing a difficult lane, just harass the enemy champion. Laning with a champion that has low health makes it safer for Shen to go in for the last hits with an auto attack.
Heal or sustain:
This skill can heal you. If you last hit with this skill, you will get a small instant heal of 33% of the heal effect. You can also auto attack enemies marked with Vorpal Blade to benefit a long term heal. This long term heal can let you sustain fights to help you win trade. Ally champions can gain the heal benefit by attacking the marked target.


This skill is used for two ways.
You would want to pull up your shield to sustain in your lane, or to block an incoming ability. Shen being a melee champion makes him vulnerable to harass, and to reduce harass, you should pull up your shield so you can safely farm.
Blocking enemy abilities is also a great way to utilize Feint. Incoming skills like Parrrley, Javelin Toss, and such should be reduced with Feint. Of course the best way however is that whenever you encounter a skill shot, dodge it.

Shadow Dash
This is Shen's primary source of escape, tower defense and engage.
When the enemy tries to close in for a gank, escape with Shadow Dash. If you get closed into a wall, you can jump over the wall with Shadow Dash allowing a safer escape.
Whenever an enemy champion pushes the lane to your tower, use your Shadow Dash to taunt him near the tower. This will make the champion vulnerable to tower attacks.
Shadow Dash has a taunt to any enemy champion that is collided and they deal reduced damage. This skill also lets Shen activate his combo, Shadow Dash --> Feint --> Vorpal Blade.

Stand United
Best used for movement, game changing counters, and saving a champion.
Whenever you go back to base and need a quick lift to a specific location, if your jungler is at a nearby location, use Stand United to reduce travel time.
Literally can force a 3v2 to a 3v3. With your Vorpal Blade, ally champions can heal themselves to get back into the fight. With your Shadow Dash you can force them to engage and lock a kill. Combo it up with Stand United --> Shadow Dash --> Feint --> Vorpal Blade.
When you see the opportunity, take it! You are denying a champion from a kill, which makes their invested resources for the kill a waist. Do not undervalue saving your allies.

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Start Notes

Start 1
2 Rejuvenation Beads 3 Health Potions
I normally like to take this if I am laning against Darius. When you get too much harass, this is the best thing to start with.

Start 2
Doran's Shield
A great way for tanks to open in game. Great item against AD bruisers. This item synergies with Ki Strike and Vorpal Blade. Passive health regen, and a small amount of armor to reduce minion damage.

Start 3
Cloth Armor 5 Health Potions
When you are facing against a top lane AD carry, start with this opening. Great against champions like Jax, Poppy, crit Gangplank, etc...

Start 4
Null-Magic Mantle 2 Health Potions
Take this item if you're against an AP champion. Great items against champions like Teemo, Singed, Vladimir, etc...

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Core Items Notes

Warmog's Armor, Atma's Impaler, and Spirit Visage is tank Shen's core items.

Warmog's Armor is the first thing you should rush for, it gives 1000 health, and a high regeneration that makes it a standard for all tanks. Synergises with Ki Strike and Vorpal Blade.

Atma's Impaler and Spirit Visage is the bread and butter of tank Shen. The benefits of this pair is 45 armor, 50 magic resist, 20% cool down reduction, 15% critical strike, 20% increase healing buff, 200 health, and with Warmog's Armor, 18 attack damage.

The total cost of your core build is 7330 gold. Having your core items gives you all the necessary tools to fit situationally throughout the entire game.

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Early Game Notes

Focus on rushing a Warmog's Armor. This will make your laning easier the sooner you have it. If you're facing champions with high harass, do not trade. Focus on getting your lane to a stable position close to the tower. When you are close to the tower, harass the enemy champion with Vorpal Blade and just focus on farming. Play defensive, make sure they don't have enough HP to tower dive at you. Do not push your lane, or else it will make you vulnerable to ganks. Again, just play defensive until you get your core items.

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Mid Game Item Notes

Against AP champions.
Go with Mercury's Treads --> Spirit Visage --> Atma's Impaler

Against AD champions.
Go with Ninja Tabi --> Atma's Impaler --> Spirit Visage

If you are dominating a lane, take Enchantment: Furor.
If you need more travel speed, take Enchantment: Alacrity.
If you are constantly using Flash or Teleport, take Enchantment: Distortion.

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Mid Game Notes

If you can play an aggressive lane, request for ganks or just deny the enemy from CS. You can deny them from approaching the lane with either Shadow Dash or Vorpal Blade. Focus on lane control and if you can see opportunities for counters or saves with your ult, take it. It changes the game, even if you do not come out with kills, at least your making the other positions stable. You do not want the enemy team to gain the upper hand.

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Late Game Notes

Late game is similar to mid game, however there will be a lot of team fights. You have two options during this phase. Split push, or engage team fights. As a tank, you can engage team fights with Shadow Dash.

You can also split push and teleport in for teamfights thanks to Stand United. A useful spell, just stay focused on winning team fights. You are a tank and you need to do your job in absorbing damage.

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Late Game Item Options Notes

Frozen Mallet
Offers a good amount of health, CC, and damage as a tank.

Sunfire Cape
Gives armor and health. The 40 dps is also useful in team fights with a range of 400.

Randuin's Omen
This item synergizes well with your champion. When you use Shadow Dash, if the enemy champion hits you, you automatically activate the passive. Whenever you get hit by a basic attack, you slow the attacker's attack speed by 20% for 1.5 seconds. also when you Shadow Dash into a group of enemies, you can activate its active. The huge burst of cc is great on Shen for team fights.

Locket of the Iron Solari
Offers decent armor, health, 10 cooldown reduction and utility for 2000 gold. One of the most cost effective items shen can buy. This item synergises well with Stand United, being able to shield all allies once teleported into a team fight.

Banshee's Veil
This item is extremely situational on shen. Its not cost effective and the only reason why you would want this item is for those nukes. This item can save your life if used properly. Synergies well with Shadow Dash or Stand United. Make sure if you need this item or not. Picking up this item can be a waist of gold if the situation isn't evaluated properly. Take this item only if the enemy champion is bursting skill shots. Intercepting the shots can change the team fight.

Guardian Angel
Never a bad item on any champion. Offers great armor and magic resistance, with one of the most game changing abilities.

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If You're Planning on Changing Your Boots

Change your boots once you have all of your items. The only reason why you would want boots is because you would want an edge over the enemy team.

If you get a constant spray of slow in teamfights, grab Boots of Swiftness.
If you are a prime target for cc, grab Mercury's Treads.
If your just a big target for DPS, grab Ninja Tabi.

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Boring Stuff For People With Too Much Time

Get a life if you're reading this.

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I run 5-24-1 masteries. 5 offense for the cool down reduction and ignite buff. 24 defense to make Shen a tank. 1 utility too reduce flash cool down.

I honestly think tank Shen cannot perform efficiently at 9-21-0. Getting those extra defensive points builds more of your sustain, while adding points to your offensive gives you a tiny amount of burst. Your goal is to be a tank, not a bruiser. If I was to go bruiser Shen, then I would go 15-15-0. Out of my experience playing Shen, 5-24-1 is the most viable option for only tank Shen.

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Basic armor and magic resistance flats, flat attack damage for farming and quints of movement speed.

I prefer basic armor and magic resistance flats, put the rest in health.

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Summoner Spells


Teleport Great top lane skill

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Core Items Notes

Warmog's Armor
A must on all tanks, gives you health + sustain.

Atma's Impaler
Gives armor and if you don't do damage, its impossible to lane and be efficient in team fights.

Spirit Visage
Gold efficient item. Gives magic resistance, cool down reduction, and increased heal effects. Synergies too well with Warmog's Armor and Vorpal Blade

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Why Should You Play Shen?

He's a ninja.

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Pros and Cons

Works well with teams
Never a bad pick
People are afraid of ninjas
Dude, hes a ninja

Won't die
Too awesome for the world

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Version History

The first digit is version number
The second digit is the LoL update
the third number is any new sections added or removed
the fourth number is for the grammar nazis

1/3.01/2/1 3/03/2013 Added more start options and start option notes. Fixed grammatical errors and added more content to different sections. Also added section, "core item notes". Credit to lFatality for the grammar edits.
1/3.01/1/0 2/23/2013 Changed rune section
1/3.01/0/0 2/22/2013 Happy Birthday