Shen Build Guide by VariableX
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.
Shen is who I consider my main champion, at first I wasn’t convinced this ninja was who I thought he was. I played him when he was free to play one week not knowing what I was getting myself into and before the end of the first game I absolutely fell in love. Shen is a unique champion and isn’t easy to pick-up-and-play, he requires a certain finesse to play correctly. This guide is to help people new to this amazing ninja and to teach people the way I think he should be played.
This is my first guide on Mobafire and I would like it to not be my last. I will never tell you that I know more about Shen or League of Legends than you so constructive criticism is always welcome. PLEASE tell me if I am incorrect or if you feel there is a better way to do something I am guiding others to do.
Credits to jhoijhoi for the template, which you can find here.
Pros / Cons
+ He’s a flipping ninja!
+ His abilities compliment his tanky build!
+ Is very easy to gank with and very hard to catch!
+ Has a global Ult Stand United that helps the entire team and allows for the Shen Gank!
+ Has an amazing taunt! Shadow Dash
+ Is an amazing support that allows your squishy carries to feed in safety!
- His energy consumption can make him very hard to learn.
- Does not make a good carry if your team is lacking.
- The taunt can and will get you killed.
- It is very easy to kill steal with his Vorpal Bladeand Shadow Dash
- He will never be a great farmer, although he can get the job done.
- He has a very low damage output
This rune page is VERY expensive and should only be committed to if you love Shen or love to play tanks! That being said in my humble opinion these runes will help any champ you play because let’s be honest what champ doesn’t need armor, magic resist, or health?
- greater mark of vitality: Per Mark: 820 IP\Total: 7380 IP This rune is where all that IP is going to go into. It has a hefty price tag of 820 IP per mark! This is no small investment but it is worth it, with these 9 marks your health bar will become bigger and bigger with every level. The +.54 health per level might not seem like much but added up it becomes +4.86 health per level and +87.48 altogether! These are your only investment (besides items) for the late game, and that 87.48 can be enough to help you withstand that pesky autoattack from that AP caster. Now these runes will balance your build and that is the reason I chose these marks. I decided that my rune page focused too much on the early game and it need something to help it through for late game and I believe these marks do just that.
- Greater Seal of Armor:Per Seal: 205 IP\Total: 1845 IP This seal along with Greater Glyph of Magic Resist in my opinion should go onto every rune page. I love these seals, everything about them is great! They are cheap, effective and the help they give is noticeable. They give a flat 1.41 armor each for a total of 13 armor! Face checking a bush for a team mates scare the living day lights out of you? These with Greater Glyph of Magic Resist will make it a breeze! The theme with the rest of the runes is a simple one:
Help your early game!Why? Because it is the weakest point in a tanks game. You rely on your health, armor, and magic resist to be functional as a tank and in the first few levels you lack all three of these key components. So keep that theme in mind for the rest of the runes section.
- Greater Glyph of Magic Resist:Per Glyph: 205 IP\Total: 1845 IP Like I stated in the above section on my seal choice I believe that these glyphs should be on every rune page. They give +1.34 magic resist per glyph for a total of 12 magic resist!This bolsters your defenses against that odd laning opponent Cassiopeia. Getting these glyphs also allows you be able to tailor your starting item towards your opponents more easily because you wont have to make up for an imbalance.
- greater quintessence of vitality: Per Quint: 2050 IP\Total: 6150 IP Shen loves health, two of his abilities use a percentage of his max health Vorpal Blade and Ki Strike. These quints give you a flat +26 health each for a total of +78 health! These are key to your early game as they allow you to stay in lane a lot longer and to take more of a beating.
Total cost of rune page: 17220 IP
Teleport: Teleport is one of my favorite summoner spells in League of Legends.This summoner spell works perfectly along side of Shen's ultimate Stand United. These two spells allow Shen to be multiple lanes just seconds apart which make him an asset to a team composition. Teleport allows you to be in lane longer early game and get a level, some creep kills, and extra gold on your lane enemies.
One of my favorite things to do with [teleport] and Stand United is to teleport after a successful gank to a lane that needs its tower to be pushed. After the tower is pushed down you can almost always expect a counter gank to be headed your way. So, go to your nearest bush and wait for them to pop out into your lane then Stand United one of your teammates in a different lane. With them attempting to find you in the previous lane the lane your in should be free to push. That's just one of the many things you can do with this combination of spells, be creative, understand that to the enemy team you will be all over the map. It will hard for them to predict your movements, and that's what you want, your a flipping ninja!
Flash: Flash is undoubtedly one of the best if not the best summoner spell in the game. It allows you to initiate, retreat, kite, and poke in many situations. For Shen Flash serves all those purposes. I use it many times in conjunction with Shadow Dash to flee from a pursuing enemy/enemies. Your going to annoy people, its kind of your thing and this combination for escape will continue to do just that. I also tend to poke people by Shadow Dashing then Vorpal Bladeing them under a tower then Flashing out. It may not do a lot of damage but it can be enough to kill a basing champion or just to get the point across that your not messing around.
- Ki Strike: Every 8 seconds, Shen's next attack deals 4+6*level+10% of his bonus health as extra magic damage. Whenever Shen hits an enemy champion with a basic attack, the cooldown is reduced by 1.5 seconds. Shen gains 10 / 20 / 30 energy when he Ki Strikes.
This is your extra damage, without it you would be hard pressed for some dps with this build. Yes this is a good passive but in my opinion trying to maximize the potential of this would be a waste on [shen]. This build is for a tank/support Shen not a dps Shen. This passive makes farming easier, time your [vorpal blade] with it and caster minions will disappear. Timing is very important, remembering you have Ki Strike coming up can be the difference between you having to flee or you getting a kill.
- Vorpal Blade (Q): Deals 60 / 100 / 140 / 180 / 220 (+60% of ability power) magic damage to target unit. That unit becomes life tapped for 5 seconds, healing any champions who attack it for 6 / 10 / 14 / 18 / 22 (+ 1.5% of Shen's maximum health) health over 3 seconds. If Vorpal Blade deals the killing blow, it will trigger 33% of the heal effect for Shen.
What to say about Vorpal Blade? I love this ability! It hurts them, heals you and your allies, and marks who you are trying to focus. It's cooldown is low enough that you can use it to farm quite easily and still be ready for a fight. If you are low on health farm with it and recover as much health as you can before helping your teammate. You can also effectively use it help heal a low health teammate, its not a huge heal but it can be enough for them to base in safety.
**Use this on Baron Nashor, The Dragon, and on both the buffs to ensure that you and your team stay as close to full health as you can.**
Vorpal Blade and your passive are your main sources of damage. People tend to underestimate Shen in a 1v1 battle, everyone thinks they can kill you, especially in lower levels. They know you have very low damage and high health just like a tank generally does but they forget that this skill heals you. You can effectively use this every 3 seconds. That mean every 3 seconds you are hitting them for a pretty nice amount of damage and you are continuing to heal yourself while they more often than not are not. I will cover a 1v1 fight in the upcoming section.
- Feint (W): Shen enters a defensive stance, shielding the next 70 / 115 / 160 / 205 / 250 (+60% of ability power) damage. Lasts up to 3 seconds or until it is destroyed.
While Feint is active, Ki Strike’s cooldown reduction on hit is increased to 3 seconds.
Feint is a fantastic defensive skill. This used to keep yourself alive in many situations. It can take the brunt if not all of a tower hit and can take aggro from minions and neutral monsters. Because it uses a fair amount of your energy I normally save it for a serious confrontation.Using this wisely will keep you alive a lot longer.
- Shadow Dash (E): Shen rapidly dashes to a target location, taunting enemies he collides with for 1.5 second(s) and dealing 50 / 85 / 120 / 155 / 190 (+50% of ability power) damage to them. While taunted, enemy champions deal 50% reduced physical damage to Shen.
Shadow Dash restores 40 Energy to Shen for every enemy champion he collides with.
This is the second most important ability that Shen has. This is also the most difficult skill for new Shen players to understand and use correctly, because of this I am going to devote an entire section to this ability.
- Stand United (R): Places a shield on a target allied champion, absorbing 250 / 550 / 850 (+150% of ability power) damage for 5 seconds. After channeling for 3 seconds, Shen teleports to the target's location.
This is the most important ability Shen has at his disposal. Because it is so important people use this the right way and know when to use it I will also to devoting a section to it use.
The name of the game here is balance! Taking Vorpal Blade first will give you an edge in the dps department, which Shen is in desperate need for. I tend to keep it balanced but with a slight favor on Feint because of its lower energy cost and the fact that it will keep you alive a lot longer.As with every champion take your ultimate every chance you can.
- : People have been asking me why I take a Doran's Shield first and then a Ruby crystal, and why both? Well its very simple really. The Doran's Shield here is first because it will grant you the extra armor and health regen you need to stay in lane longer. It is a rare, and easily spotted sight when you will be on solo top against an AP champion. Most of the time they are going to be an AD bruiser, and this item will pay for itself when your still alive sitting under your turret.
- : Instead of getting this first I try to stay in lane long enough to get my crystal and my Boots of Speed which is 825 gold. These items are key to your build, they build into your Heart of Gold and a boot of your choice, which will give you speed and enough health to become a threat early game. They allow you to move around your lane easier and assist in ganks more quickly and safely. Being able to move to the right spot to Shadow Dash is vital. Get them fast and never look back.
: This is probably the most important item for you early game. When I play Shen I'm always moving around the map trying to help anyone I can while keeping my lane safe. This means you wont be farming as much as everyone else so gold will become a problem. This item takes care of that with its gold per 10. You will notice a difference within a few seconds. It also builds into you Randuin's Omen a key late game item. Not only that but it gives you more health!
: Say hello to the tank item of LoL! You need this item. When you get this in game people will either fear you or think you are so annoying that you need to die. Your a tank, thats what you want. Your game starts to change when you get your Giant's Belt and when you build it into this it just makes you able to take a beating.
The best part about it is not the health, its the confidence you get with it. Shadow Dashing is instantly not a scarey and you can laugh at towers as they pummel you instead of your teammates. This item is so key to this build its what I rush. If I'm having a stupid game and I'm destroying people I've been known to get two. Although two is a lot of health it is also very expensive and keeps you from getting another key item for your build.
: This is another basic and key tank item. MR, armor, health, and an aura to boot. This item screams "I'm a team player!" When you get this your team will smile. It makes you harder to take down and does a little of the same for your team. The mindset behind this item is teamfights. This item makes teamfights easier so once you get it it benefits everyone for you to be with a buddy.
:I love this item! The biggest magic resist boost in the game, so much health regeneration, and movement speed. This item will keep you alive for a ridiculous amount of time. The enemy AP carry will hate you once you get this. Low on health? Sit in a bush for a few seconds, the health regen on this allows you to never have to base unless you are almost dead or you need to buy something.
: What to say about the veil. It gives you health, magic resist and possibly one of the best passives in the game. It also gives you mana which may make it unattractive to some people, but I assure you the spell shield is more than enough for the fact that you don't need mana. This item is generally one you want to get every game but it can be switched out depending on the enemy team composition. The spell shield will save your butt, that's what it is there for. If you are being CC'd all the time then this item can be rushed but I only recommend doing that if they have a heavy CC comp.
:Now it's time to upgrade your Heart of Gold. More armor, more health, and even more health regen. By this time in the game things are wrapping up or the two teams are close and are fighting tooth and nail to keep their Nexus up. This item is for teamfights and the end of the game is full of them. Shadow Dash or Flash in then pop the active on this baby and watch the enemy team squirm and retreat. Save it, and get good at using it when the team needs it the most and this item will win you teamfights and games.