Shyvana Build Guide by tehfr0g
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.
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.
Season 3 Changes
The guide has gotten its Season 3 overhaul as well as the patch 3.9 Shyvana skills update so it's all ready for viewing. Happy reading and best of luck!
This build deviates considerably from other guides I've seen for Shyvana. It is tried and true, as I've played Shyvana several hundred games. As a disruptor tank she is somewhat underrated as her damage doesn't scale into late game. As a full DPS, she just doesn't have the survivability she needs to be a key player in team fights. This build gives her some beef without sacrificing the damage she needs to get fed and carry the game. Also, it's worth noting that I only specified 4 (or 5 if you include wriggle's) end game items. Once these four are purchased, Shyvana is very versatile as she has a good deal of survivability built into her character from the combination of the movement speed of Burnout and the armor/magic resist, and jump from Dragon's Descent
It is worth noting that this guide is primarily a solo top guide. If you guys decide you like this guide, I'd be more than happy to provide a jungle guide. Just send me some feedback!
- She's a dragon, of course
- Does good damage early, mid, and late game and can easily bully a lane
- Very fast jungler
- Built in survivability with passive armor and magic resist
- Great ability to pursue
- Turning into a dragon is incredibly fun and you need to try it :)
- No built in crowd control
- Weak ganks if jungling
- Takes some getting used to
Greater Mark of Attack Damage
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed
I don't seem to see Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed very often on champion guides but I feel like they're really underrated. If you have all three of them, the boost totals a 4.5% bonus, which assuming a fighter like Shyvana has approximately 400 movement speed with tier 2 boots, amounts to an almost 20 movement speed bonus. This, coupled with Burnout means that Shyvana has a huge speed boost over her opponent. Speed is Shyvana's weapon early, more so than any other champion I've played. Burnout is her early game damage tool, and since it only affects enemies just outside of melee range, it is pivotal that your enemy not be able to outrun you.
I can't tell you how many kills I've gotten by just letting a level 1 enemy stand in Burnout, thinking they're winning because they have high burst. Then they decide to run away, but you're at almost 500 movement speed if you have Boots of Speed, and 3 Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed.
The other runes, Greater Seal of Armor and Greater Glyph of Magic Resist give her the added tankiness any melee fighter needs. With these runes, she starts the game with 12 addition magic resist and 14 bonus armor which amounts to almost doubling her percent damage reduction.
I put the Greater Mark of Attack Damage in there to give her attacks a little extra oomph at the beginning of the game. I'm a fan of flat runes rather than per level ones because I feel like runes don't help you as much in the end as they do in the beginning. Plus, if you get fed at the beginning, who needs runes, amirite? These attack damage marks can be replaced with Greater Mark of Magic Resist or Greater Mark of Armor. But be cautioned, since they're marks and not glyphs or seals they won't be as effective as those types of runes would be for armor and magic resist.
I feel like most of these choices are pretty standard on a tanky fighter. I also take a point in Destruction , as Shyvana is an excellent pusher and this helps her snag her turrets quicker. It can be reallocated to something else in the offensive tree, such as Sorcery for additional cooldown reduction.
Skill Introduction and Sequence(Q) Your next basic attack will strike twice (W) Shyvana gains movement speed and an small radius area of effect which surrounds her (E) Shyvana projects a ball of fire which does magic damage and reduces the target's armor (R) Shyvana turns into a dragon and leaps to a target location, knocking enemies back and dealing magic damage
As I mentioned earlier, Burnout is your most important ability early. While Flame Breath technically has the best damage scaling of your abilities, it is used more for it's armor penetration and bonus on-hit damage. Twin Bite scales (no pun intended, she is a dragon after all :D) poorly as an ability, only really shining when you have the attack damage and on-hit effects necessary to make it really hurt. That leaves us with Burnout, and I'll never get tired of saying it. It is your bread and butter. It takes Shyvana from an underpowered, beefy fighter to a ball of fire that consumes everything in its path.
Since it was already discussed that the main use of Flame Breath is utility, Twin Bite is the next to max out. This ability allows Shyvana to hit twice on her next attack, which is especially useful because the game treats it like 2 basic attacks. This means that on-hits will proc twice instead of once on the target. If you noticed, this build contains a Blade of the Ruined King, and now you see why it's so powerful. Twin bite also has an interesting gameplay mechanic which will be discussed a little bit later.
As usual, take your ultimate at levels 6, 11, and 16. In addition to doing decent damage, Dragon's Descent has no cooldown and has a great passive. It increases your armor and magic resist while not in the dragon form and gives you double the bonus while in the dragon form, in addition to access to more powerful abilities. This passive, along with Burnout (whodathunkit?) is the key to Shyvana's ability to dominate a teamfight. Tanky and fast with an ult that can crowd control the team, how do you bring her down?
Finally the items section! (I know it's what you all came here to see anyway so don't lie)
Because Shyvana is already fast and tanky, she has a lot of room to play with in her items.
When soloing top, I highly recommend starting with a Doran's Shield. It gives you a little bit more armor, health, and HP regen. This allows you to stay in lane and harass the heck out of your opponent, as well as commit to killing them when the opportunity arises. This is probably your best bet the first time you play Shyvana, because it gives you a little bit of extra sustain and cushion you need if you're not comfortable playing her yet. You can also take Boots of Speed and 3 Health Potion if you think you can get an early kill (and you can, because I mean, you're playing a freaking dragon, after all).
I like to rush boots after I recall for the first time because, like I've said a thousand times, being faster than your enemy is your biggest weapon. Whether you get Mercury's Treads or Ninja Tabi is up to you, but I usually prefer Mercury's Treads just because later in the game you'll get armor from your Wriggle's Lantern anyway and you definitely don't want to be shy on magic resist (Also the crowd control reduction is a life saver).
When you can, I'd recommend taking Furor as your boot enchantment. Since it gives a huge boost to a champion's ability to pursue, it helps Shvyana a great deal when combined with Burnout. This is not urgent, but whenever you're sufficiently far in your build and you have a little extra gold sitting around, pick it up.
Next, it is very important to rush a Phage because Shyvana lacks any built in crowd control. The slow from phage along with the health and damage are critical to her early game performance.
This is where your build will start to be game dependent. If you are getting fed or farmed off of minions I tend to rush the Frozen Mallet along with a Vampiric Scepter. It gives harder crowd control than the phage, and gives you even more health and damage. If you aren't doing so hot, try going for a Wriggle's Lantern first instead. It's cheaper and gives you lifesteal, armor and damage. Usually I am somewhere in between and so my inventory looks like this:
The Frozen Mallet is top priority though, so don't leave your phage unbuilt for too long.
Next you can go with a more Damage Oriented Build, a Tank Build, or a Shredder Build, which is what I've shown top.
It is of note that each build will look roughly like this before it starts to deviate:
We'll start with the Damage Oriented Build:
After the initial build, I would rush a Blade of the Ruined King. The attack speed and lifesteal both make Twin Bite available more often and allow Shyvana to heal more. The Ravenous Hydra grants her additional lifesteal and adds on to her ever growing list of on-hit effects.
At this point, your inventory should look like this:
You now have completed the core build. Other items to consider include:
Warmog's Armor - Gives you a ton of extra health
Personally, I would take the following items:
Summary of build:
- Good damage
- Good survivability because of Warmog's Armor
- Not prone to be bursted down because of Warmog's Armor and Maw of Malmortius
- Loses effectiveness as game goes on, particularly after about 45 minutes or so
- This build is really only effective against carries. Very little counter-tank ability.
Next, the Full Tank Build:
The Frozen Mallet and Bilgewater Cutlass are already a great setup for this build, as they give her the health foundation she needs to be a good tank as well as some sustain. I would recommend going for a Warmog's Armor immediately after you get your Blade of the Ruined King because building health is the easiest way to get tanky quickly. After this, you want to stick with the usual "tank" items. Some good suggestions are as follows:
Thornmail - Tons of armor and allows you to reflect damage Runic Bulwark - With this, you both gain a huge amount of tankiness and serve as a pseudo-support during teamfights Guardian Angel - So that when you're down, you're not out Randuin's Omen - Both the active and passive are great disruption tools
This is what I would typically go with:
Summary of Build:
- Incredibly hard to kill
- Can move in and out of a teamfight with ease and save your teammates with your Frozen Mallet slow
- You function just like a tank but with more damage
- Very little damage except for at the beginning of the game
- Totally reliant on having a carry on your team
- Beyond your disruption, you don't have much else to offer the team
And now, my personal favorite, the Shredder Build
This build is effective on tanks and carries alike, and will allow you to deal massive amounts of damage without giving up much of your durability. You start to do so much damage it just looks more like you're eating the other team than fighting them. The build requires that you build a The Black Cleaver very quickly after the Frozen Mallet to prevent your attacks from losing their sting. This counters the enemy team spamming armor to try to counter you. Next, you need to build a Ravenous Hydra to further increase your damage, lifesteal, and teamfight presence. While Shyvana is a dragon, her Twin Bite does AoE damage, and so procs the Ravenous Hydra's passive, Cleave. Once your build looks like the following:
You will be hard pressed to find an enemy you can't easily kill in a 1v1. This build is almost impossible to counter because all of Shvyana's damage comes from her basic attacks. Even Twin Bite is just 2 basic attacks that hit simultaneously, which means that if you basic attack and then Twin Bite, you will stack the The Black Cleaver passive 3 times in virtually no time at all, lifestealing the whole time. This, combined with the fact that your Flame Breath gives armor penetration, there is very little your opponent can do but hope that his team shows up very soon.
Because you will do a lot of damage, it is inevitable you will start to become the focus. Combat this by building a Quicksilver Sash in your last open item slot. This allows you to break a crowd control lock in a teamfight and stacks on some extra magic resistance. This can be built into a Mercurial Scimitar which retains the active of the Quicksilver Sash which removes all debuffs from your champion. For your last item, replace your Wriggle's Lantern with a Blade of the Ruined King so you don't sacrifice any lifesteal. Also, the Blade of the Ruined King's passive does physical damage equal to a percent of current health and so is a great tool late game to deal with tanks. When you're fully built, it should look something like this:
Summary of Build:
PROS (besides you when you use this build)
- Extremely high damage all game
- Capable of fighting tanks as well as carries
- A great deal of survivability
- This build is very hard to counter (percent HP damage, high armor penetration)
- You are now both a carry and and a beefy off-tank
- Slightly less survivability than the Full Tank Build
- Slightly less burst damage when fighting carries in a 1v1 than the Damage Oriented Build
The SHREDDER BUILD is the one that I recommend that you use.
Summoner SpellsFlash - If you flash and use Dragon's Descent together and the enemy is still able to catch you, you were probably dead anyway.
Other good choices:
Ghost - Speed is your weapon with Shyvana, and so ghost is a great choice. Exhaust - This will allow you to dominate your lane and help you to gank other lanes later in the game.
Choices that are neither here nor there:
Teleport - With the speed boost from Burnout you can get around the map quickly already, so unless you have a strong attachment to it, I wouldn't recommend it. Surge - Kind of the same function as Exhaust but the bonus ability power is wasted on Shyvana
When jungling, I do recommend you take Smite as it speeds up the process a great deal and can help you get/steal Dragon or Baron Nashor later in the game.
Now that you know how to build Shyvana, you need to learn how to play her. Shyvana's damage lies in her ability to not only burst high damage, but sustain that damage output, even in a chase.
Beginning any fight, you should always attempt to hit an enemy with Flame Breath. It gives you 15% additional armor penetration and does some magic damage. Next, activate Burnout and close the distance to your enemy as quickly as possible.
Twin bite is an empowered basic attack which means that when you use it, it resets your attack timer, allowing you to basic attack and then use Twin Bite with no delay. The effect is letting you basic attack something at max attack speed for those two attacks. This means when attacking an enemy, always basic attack them once before using Twin Bite to maximize your damage. These two attacks proc on hit effects a total of 3 times (1 for the first attack and 2 for Twin Bite) meaning that Blade of the Ruined King will hit for approximately 12% of their maximum health in addition to whatever physical damage you did.
This ability is similar to Jax's Empower and Talon's Noxian Diplomacy
When jungling or farming, always trigger burnout and attack the strongest monsters first, so that Burnout will do it's full area of effect damage to all enemies surrounding the strongest one. For example, when going to the wraith camp, attack only the biggest wraith until it's dead and Burnout will likely kill the smaller wraiths while you're standing there. The same thing is true for the Lizard Elder .
Flame Breath almost functions as a utility spell because you're going to use it for armor penetration and checking bushes. Don't be afraid to spam it whenever it's up because Shyvana has no mana.
Dragon's Descent can be used in three ways and they are as follows:
Nothing is more frightening than a dragon flying toward you when you thought you were just peacefully farming. It can really catch an enemy off guard and secure you a kill. I don't find myself doing this very much however because usually Burnout suffices to get close to your target and you can save your ultimate for a better time
During the Fight
One thing that most people forget is that Dragon's Descent does considerable damage. Many times, enemies will forget you have it and you can use it to do that little extra damage to kill them, jump after them, or jump away if you're in over your head.
This is in my opinion the best option
If you get ganked and Burnout doesn't provide the separation you need, you can always find a nearby wall and use your ult to escape. This saves you a Flash, and since Dragon's Descent has no cooldown, what do you care?
I'm new to this and this is a new guide, so feel free to make suggestions!
Also, I will be happy to answer any questions relating to Shyvana or this build (or really LoL in general :D), so feel free to message me anytime.
If this goes well, I'll make a jungle guide for her too! :D
Change Log: (dates given in YY.MM.DD format)
- 12.07.30 Items - changed Warmog's Armor in shredder build to Randuin's Omen
- 12.07.30 Purchase Items - changed Warmog's Armor to Randuin's Omen
- 12.08.13 General reformatting
- 12.12.09 Season 3 changes. Changes to masteries and addition of Blade of the Ruined King
- 12.12.09 Added DPS Offtank, Full DPS, Full Tank, and Jungler item builds
- 12.24.09 Changed Shredder Build to include Ravenous Hydra
- 13.01.03 Added secondary build which includes Ninja Tabi and Zephyr
- 13.07.18 Updated builds for Shvyana's patch 3.9 changes.