Shen Build Guide by linky317

League of Legends Build Guide Author linky317

Yummy Rice's Top Lane Shen - The Reworked Flippin Ninja

linky317 Last updated on November 23, 2016
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Ninja Start against AP or rush for Bami's Cinder

Ninja Core Items

Ability Sequence

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


Natural Talent
Battering Blows
Piercing Thoughts

Offense: 12


Defense: 0

Runic Armor
Veteran's Scars
Legendary Guardian

Utility: 18

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Important News

Welcome to the preseason everyon!

I'll be planning on a new update sometime next week for upgrading the whole entire masteries section as well as reupdate a few things. Also praying that a buff is coming soon.

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Why should we play Shen?

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Introduction Of Our Flippin Ninja

"With balanced steps." Shen

Greetings! This is Linky317 (Yummy Rice) and today I am going to show off my first guide about my favourite champion, Shen the Eye of Twilight. Shen is a tanky/bruiser/DPS/fighter/pusher/caster/ninja/superhero. This guide however will focus on his top lane as well as go into detail about his various items he can use to become different roles based on what the team needs. I decided to start a guide about Shen because after playing over 1500+ games on him (it's gotten to the point of me being called Shenpai by my friends), I wanted to share my opinions about his various build styles as well as playing him.

This guide will showcase a variety of builds and strategies you can use depending on team compositions and pace of the game. Also if you are looking to improve on map awareness, item builds, and adaptability Shen is a great way to improve. This guide is ideal if you are looking for a fun way to play Shen in normals and medium/low elo.

The rework of Shen is here and honestly, it's a big change. While the new Shen can be intimidating with his flying sword, with this guide, I will teach you the ways of our lord and saviour Shenpai.

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Ninja Match History

One tricked my way back into gold lol. Don't mind the Shen support and jungle games (maybe I'll make a guide for them?) If you have nice long win streaks with Shen, send them to me!

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Ninja News

(This is where I post my planned updates and other news regarding to this guide)

Planned Updates:

New Items


Old News

Just fixed a few things regarding W interactions. No longer blocks Talon Q, Rengar Q :p

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Ninja Pros / Cons


+ Energy Based gives good sustain in lane (400 Energy)
+ Even tankier with a scaling shield Ki Barrier
+ % Damage with Twilight Assault
+ This unit is a Flippin Ninja!
+ Super Hero
+ Shadow Dash is an AOE taunt that does quite a bit of damage!
+ Global Presence with Stand United and able to change team fights and skirmishes
+ Get praise with a good Stand United
+ Can protect self and others from Auto Attacks/Skills that count as Autos with Spirit's Refuge


+ Energy Based, running out in a fight can be detrimental
+ Weak early game against some ranged top laners
+ Stand United somewhat weak at level one and has a very long cooldown
+ Risk of losing tower after teleporting away
+ Missing his taunt breaks his legs basically and you can get punished more compared to before
+ Long cooldowns
+ Weak sustain compared to before
+ No poke/Ranged Harass
+ Requires a decent amount of gold to be at full efficiency

Shen overall is still a great top laner with, tankiness, protective abilities, global presence, and a built in escape! He has strong dueling potential due to his Shadow Dash locking down enemies, Ki Barrier absorbing damage, Spirit's Refuge avoiding Auto's/Abilities that count as autos, and Twilight Assault dueling % damage. He also has team utility with his Stand United which is essential to winning games and can split push with ease thanks to it.

Even though Shen is a Flippin Ninja, there are cons about him. Shen is not the best carry where he can 1v5 and carry. He can duel people easily but can not fight off a whole team on his own. He can however, set up plays which can lead other players on his team to carry. Shen's Shadow Dash can also be his downfall. If costs a hefty 180 energy to use, and restores some energy on every enemy champion hit. If he misses the dash it weakens Shen's presence in a fight and leaves him with no energy.

As well, keeping track of his Spirit Blade can be trouble and make sure to know the position of it.

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Ninja Masteries

(This is outdated, follow the one at the top of the guide, this section will be reworked soon)

So season 6 masteries are here and after quite a few games and testing, I've decided 6/6/18 is right for me and my set of runes. Shen is a tank and the defensive masteries scale awesomely well including the keystone Bond of Stone. As regards to the rest of the points, some people might avoid the cunning page and throw points into Natural Talent which is fine but it is simply habit for me to have the extra punch on my autos to kill minions. As a result 12/0/18 is also good if you're comfortable farming without Savagery .

Starting with the Ferocity Tree:
  • Fury - This 4% Attack speed boost is welcome on Shen
  • Double Edged Sword - I find this a very good trade off as a Melee, and it is better than the alternative in my opinion

    If Going 12/0/18:
  • Natural Talent - AD and AP helps Shen on his abilities and damage. An alternative to this is Vampirism with even more annoying sustain.
  • Either Bounty Hunter or Oppressor- While Oppressor has immediate increase in damage after a Shadow Dash and other CC, Bounty Hunter allows you to dish out better consistent damage without the need of CC once you have at least 2-3 unique kills. My preference is Bounty Hunter but some people like Oppressor.

Next up the Cunning Tree if running 6/6/18:
  • Savagery - With this mastery, I could mimic having about 75 AD at lvl 1 for an easier time last-hitting. Also this might be nice if you're not running flat AD.
  • Runic Affinity - Having longer timers on buffs such as Baron and Rift Herald are nice.

Finally the Resolve Tree:
  • Unyielding - 5% bonus Armour and MR will make up for me not taking Legendary Guardian
  • Tough Skin - 2 less damage? Nice!
  • Runic Armor - This eventually outscales the flat HP from Veteran Scars and helps with your passive shield, regen, LS, etc.
  • Veteran Scars - The other choice if not using Runic Armor. This flat HP is good if you really need it early.
  • Insight - Now I like this, 15% reduction on summoner spells is great! More Ignite, more Flash, more everything!
  • Swiftness - I feel Tenacity as a much more valuable stat than resists. With resists, you can always use scaling runes and buy items but with Tenacity, very few things offer it and they are often unique. This makes running Tabi much more viable without giving up much tenacity. Sure 15 more MR and Armour is nice, but I find this tenacity more valuable when you're trying to escape a gank. Reducing time on CC from a two man gank is more valuable than 6 Armour and MR.
  • Bond of Stone - This is a powerful mastery for Shen but at this current moment, Grasp of the Undying is alot stronger.
  • Grasp of the Undying - This mastery is very powerful in terms of in-lane trading and sustain, and long-term fighting. It is crazy when you're tanky and live for extended periods of time simply by standing and procing the mastery.

    It is up to you to decide which keystone you want.

    In conclusion, this what I think will work best for Shen. However, there are various options within the other keystones and masteries, so mix and match and try them out! For example, you might take the health regen instead in the masteries to deal with poke up top.

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Ninja Runes



Greater Mark of Attack Speed

Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed

Greater Glyph of Scaling Cooldown Reduction

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist

Greater Seal of Scaling Armor
Note: These are runes that I take for myself, feel free to change them up into your own combination

  • Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed: With Season 6, I find that movement is very important. With the dangers of ADCs that can kite you, movement speed is needed to avoid skillshots and generate enough speed for you to land the taunt. Since ADCs will build MS item, these can help you catch up. These runes also synegize very well with Alacrity boots, Trinity Force, and Dead man's Plate.
  • Greater Mark of Attack Speed: Attack speed scales well with Shen as more hits to get off Q attacks.
  • Greater Seal of Scaling Armor: These are really good to bulk up your late game armour. If you are against a really mean AD top laner, flat might be better to start with.
  • Greater Glyph of Scaling Cooldown Reduction: These can help reduce the cool-downs on the long run on lengthier spells. Do not take these if you are against a mean AP laner.
  • Greater Glyph of Magic Resist: Not really many choices for Glyphs. Use Flat Magic Resist Glyphs if you feel like you don't need the late game magic resist.

  • Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage: Leaves a huge punch to Shen's trading and last hitting. If you feel comfortable enough to farm without these, you can swap them out for other Quints such as Attack Speed or any others below.
  • Greater Quintessence of Attack Speed I grab two of these to compensate the lack of attack speed marks and masteries. Almost 10% more attack speed can allow you to drop more auto attacks. You can take three of these instead of two if you feel like you can last hit without the AD quint.
  • Greater Quintessence of Health: Use these bad boys against a strong AP top laner. They give you health and more damage as well.
  • Greater Mark of Attack Damage: Flat AD Marks aid greatly in trading and last hitting. Even more important for myself since the removal of free early AD in the Offense Tree.
  • greater mark of hybrid penetration: These are also very strong as Shen deals quite a bit of hybrid damage through his auto attacks and all his offensive abilities.
  • Greater Mark of Attack Damage: Flat AD Marks aid greatly in trading and last hitting. Even more important for myself since the removal of free early AD in the Offense Tree.
  • Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction: These can help reduce the cool-downs on his lengthier spells. Do not take these if you are against a mean AP laner.
  • Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist: These runes are awesome as late game they will give Shen the much needed magic resist. If you are dealing with an AP top laner, you might want to take flat MR instead. But to be honest, rush some MR items and you'll be fine.
  • Greater Seal of Scaling Health: These will be viable against a AP Top as well as bulking your late game tankiness.
  • Greater Seal of Armor: Flat Armour Seals can help you out in the top lane fighting off AD top laners, AA poke, and minions

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Ninja Summoner Spells

Shen is very versatile in terms of what summoner spells he can use. Here I will list summoner spells that can be used:

I take this spell 99% of the time with all champions. It is so versatile and useful! Flash can be used for positioning with your taunt to get kills and assists, to last hit an enemy champion, and a get out of jail free card.

Teleport can be used to port into a fight, gank from anywhere, or just return back to lane. I've been using it more often and I find it pretty good when your ultimate is on cooldown and you still want to splitpush. It is often thought as great on Shen however it is quite a waste when used improperly. I have seen many Shen players use their ultimate and then Teleport back right away to lane. I find this a bit wasteful where the teleport could be used for when Stand United is unavailable.

I take this spell due to the potential to get kills. Ignite can help get you more fed than what a tank usually gets. With the dupstep Ignite, you can safely secure kills while you walk away like a boss. This is also effective against top laners such as Vladimir, Volibear, and super effective against Teemo.

(In case you were wondering what the dupstep ignite was)

You do not know how many first bloods, extra kills, and pissed off enemies I got from using
Ignite. It truly is an element of surprise!

With Exhaust, you can turn what would have been a risky fight, into a very safe one in your team's favour. By using Stand United, followed by Shadow Dash, and then Exhaust, you can completely shut down an enemy.

Ghost or Flash? Well Ghost does cover greater distances, last longer, and has a shorter cooldown. However! Does ghost let you do a fancy Flash Taunt? Can you run through a wall when needing an escape? I am not saying Ghost is a bad spell, just depends on your play style!

Have not experimented with this yet! Feel free to try. What I imagine it to be like is Shen ulting in giving his ally enough of a shield, and then restoring their health to continue the fight while giving a movement speed boost to increase the chance of landing a taunt. That is how I would imagine the concept. Tell me if it works!

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Ninja Skillset

Ki Barrier:With ninja instincts, after using an ability, Shen shields himself from 50 - 101 (based on level) (+ 14% bonus health) damage for 2.5 seconds. Abilities that successfully affect champions reduce Ki Barrier's cooldown by 4 - 7.5 (based on level) seconds.

Shen's power manifests as a Spirit Blade that he can control with abilities.

Ability Demonstration
Tips and Tricks
  • Every time you hit something including yourself with an ability, it decreases its cool down, at level 1 it is 4 seconds and at level 18 it is 7.5
  • This passive scales with health, buying early health increases your shielding
  • Combine with Twilight Assault, Shadow Dash, Spirit's Refuge for an easy trade.
  • The shield lasts for 2.5 seconds
  • Try to space out your abilities and wait for the CD to maximize the use of the passive
  • The shields apply at the end of the animation, when the Spirit Blade reaches Shen, end of Spirit's Refuge, at the end of Shadow Dash, and upon arrival with Stand United

Twilight Assault: With ninja instincts, Shen recalls his Spirit Blade to his location and deals bonus magic damage on his next 3 basic attacks within 8 seconds. Enemies the blade collides with are Slow icon slowed by 35% when moving away from Shen for the next 2 seconds.

If the Spirit Blade collides with an enemy champion, those attacks each deal additional 2% (+ 0.5% per 100 AP) of target's maximum health bonus damage and gain 50% bonus attack speed.

Empowered attacks against non-champions deal additional damage, but their damage is capped.

Ability Demonstration
Tips and Tricks
  • Basically a triple Ki-Strike
  • Position yourself to ensure the Spirit Blade collides with an enemy and trade with it
  • The shield only activates if the cooldown of Ki Barrier is 0 and after it reaches you
  • You obtain 200 Attack Range, use this to your advantage against enemies with shorter AA range
  • Use it to farm very easily under tower
  • Use the hits to restore energy quickly
  • Use Shadow Dash to ensure the Spirit Blade collides with an enemy

Spirit's Refuge: With ninja instincts, Shen primes his Spirit Blade for 2 seconds, causing it to project a protective zone around it for 1.75 seconds if he or an allied champion move nearby, granting allies in the zone 100% dodge chance.

Ability Demonstration
Tips and Tricks
  • Use this in trades for minimal damage
  • Remember to keep track where your Spirit Blade is as the shield is only in that area
  • Time it to bait enemies, it can also avoid CC built into auto attacks, auto attack abilities, or abilities that empower auto attacks
  • Yourself and your allies can activate it
  • The cooldown will be reduced if affected by an ally, it will not reduce the cooldown if it affects Shen
  • Check the chapter below regarding Spirit's Refuge

Quite Accurate Depiction of Spirit's Refuge

Shadow Dash: With ninja instincts, Shen dashes in the target direction, dealing physical damage to all enemy champions he hits and taunting them for 1.5 seconds.

Shadow Dash's and w Twilight Assault's damage recovers 30 / 35 / 40 energy.

Ability Demonstration
Tips and Tricks

Stand United: With ninja instincts, target allied champion gains a shield that absorbs a certain amount of damage. The shield dissipates after 5 seconds if not already destroyed. After 3 seconds of channeling, Shen teleports to the allied champion.

Upon completing the channel, Shen and his Spirit Blade blink to the ally's location.

Ability Demonstration
Tips and Tricks
  • Has a long cooldown, do not waste it on unnecessary saves
  • Save all the carries! Use Stand United on them to provide them a nice shield during a fight
  • You can splitpush with Stand United, then use Stand United to join a fight
  • Map Awareness is ever so important with Stand United. Use Stand United when deemed necessary such as when an enemy jungler fully commits to a tower dive
    Map Awareness
  • Find a safe location to use Stand United, it can still be interrupted by hard CC
  • If your Stand United is cancelled, the shield still applies to an ally
  • When you teleport away, your Spirit Blade appears next to you
  • Did You Know: Shen's Stand United used to shield himself too (wtf!??) (well I guess kinda true now since you enter the fight with Ki Barrier)

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Spirit Blade and You

Wielding his spirit blade – the symbol of his duty, as well as his connection to the spirit realm - Shen roams both worlds, unerringly drawn to any place where one side threatens to overwhelm the other.

While the Spirit Blade may be intimidating at first, it is quite simple to learn and utilize on Shen.

When you spawn on Summoner's Rift, Shen arrives with his Spirit Blade. The Spirit Blade follows Shen throughout the map and will teleport closer to him as he moves further away.

(The max distance is roughly 1 and 1/2 tower length)

To move the Spirit Blade you use Twilight Assault to move it to you. The blade will then fly and move towards you (keep note it still needs time to travel). Upon reaching you, you will activate Ki Barrier, reduce the CD on it if it is not up, the 3 empowered autos, and if it hits an enemy, you will obtain 3 empowered Q autos.

At level 1, it is best to try to hide your Spirit Blade in the bush so they do not know where it is. Your goal is to get as many empowered Q's in laning phase. Try your best to line the blade up to use it properly. The enemy will be unable to see the line but will be able to see the Blade.

As you can see here, I am unable to see the opposing Shen's line, but able to see a small arrow direction and the flying blade.

This is the effect when the Spirit Blade collides.

As well Spirit's Refuge interacts with your Spirit Blade and the protective circle appears around the Spirit Blade. It will activate when either you or your ally walks into the circle or after 2 seconds.

When Stand United is used, the Spirit Blade will instantly teleport next to you. Here, you can use Spirit's Refuge to immediately block AA.

I hope this helped you out and to get better it just takes time practice!

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Spirit's Refuge and You

While the above chapter talks more about the Spirit Blade and Twilight Assault, this chapter will talk about Spirit's Refuge.

Shen primes his Spirit Blade for 2 seconds, causing it to project a protective zone around it for 1.75 seconds if he or an allied champion move nearby causing allies in the zone to dodge attacks.

Spirit's Refuge will not activate for 2 seconds until you or an ally enters the zone to activate it. Some important notes regarding Spirit's Refuge include:

  • the protective zone will move and follow where the Spirit Blade moves to
  • Spirit's Refuge will not reduce the cooldown on Ki Barrier if it affects yourself, but will reduce the cooldown if it affects an ally
  • Ki Barrier will not activate until the end of skill animation, meaning when the zone disappears

Spirit's Refuge is a powerfully utility tool as it can be used in great effectiveness to peel, to protect, as well as to negate damage and prolong your tanking when paired with Ki Barrier. Here are some ways to use Spirit's Refuge as Shen in a game.

Ways to use Spirit's Refuge in lane include baiting out skills such as Volibear Rolling Thunder, and Garen Decisive Strike. It can also be used as a way to safely farm against ranged auto based champions. As well, it is also an ability to help activate Ki Barrier.

In teamfights you can either use it to prolong your tanking skills in a fight by taunting into the enemy team, pulling Twilight Assault, then activating Spirit's Refuge. By using Ki Barrierto block the damage from abilities not affected by Spirit's Refuge, Spirit's Refuge can block the remaining auto attacks thrown out by the enemy team, especially effective against auto based enemies.

Another way to use Spirit's Refuge in team fights is as a peeling tool. Rather than taunting into the enemy backline, you can taunt towards your allies to peel their frontliners off them and then pull Twilight Assault as well as Spirit's Refuge to activate the protective zone to help minimize damage.

Finally a way you can use Spirit's Refuge would be immediately after Stand United. If you know the enemy has burned most of their abilities trying to punch through your shield, instead of an immediate Shadow Dash, you can use Spirit's Refuge to block autos instead and then follow up with a taunt. This tactic is especially effective against an auto based champion.

While everyone knows that Spirit's Refuge can block auto attacks, it is also essential to understand and realize that Spirit’s Refuge can block certain abilities and passives. This is key to outplaying your opponent and your ability to win in fights. In this list below, I will constantly update what you can block but for now here are some notable ones. Keep in mind Shen’s W will prevent abilities activate auto attacks from not working. Also keep in mind I don’t list every single one as some are pretty self explanatory such as Ziggs passive and Orianna passive.

Prevent’s Akali Mark of the Assassin activating (Poor Bae)

Blocks Ashe Ranger’s Focus

Blocks Damage and slow from Bard Meeps

Blocks Blitzcrank Power Fist (no knockup or damage)

Blocks damage and stacking of Braum Concussive Blows

Blocks Miss Caitlyn Headshot

Blocks Darius Crippling Strike (important to win trades)

Blocks Draven Spinning Axe

Blocks Ezreal Mystic Shot

Does not proc Fiora Duelist's Dance (Meaning she does not deal damage or pop the Vitals), and blocks Lunge

Blocks both Fizz Urchin Strike and Seastone Trident

Blocks Gangplank Parrrley and Trial By Fire

Blocks Garen Decisive Strike (blocks silence and damage)

Blocks Gnar Hyper stacks and activation

Blocks Gragas Drunken Rage (helpful as it blocks his % max HP damage)

Blocks Hecarim Devastating Charge damage but does not block knockback

Blocks Heimerdinger basic turrets attacks

Blocks Illaoi Harsh Lesson

Blocks both Jax Empower, Grandmaster's Might

Does not block Jayce To The Skies!, does block damage from Thundering Blow but not knockback, can block his various auto attack enhancers such as triple shot, and form changes

Kha'Zix, does not block his Q!

Blocks Kindred Dance of Arrows and Wolf's Frenzy

Blocks Kled Violent Tendencies (Important for reducing alot of his damage)

Leona Shield of Daybreak (no stun or damage)

Blocks the damage from Malzahar Voidlings

Miss Fortune first/2nd part of Double Up

Mordekaiser Mace of Spades (better to block last 2 hits)

Nasus Doge Siphoning Strike

Nautilus Staggering Blow no stun or damage

Nidalee Takedown (cougar form)

Blocks Nocturne Umbra Blades

Blocks Poppy Poopy Iron Ambassador

Quinn Harrier

Renekton Ruthless Predator (hard timing!)

Blocks Shaco Deceive Crit and Jack In The Box autos

Shen Twilight Assault (stacks are consumed)

Shyvanna Twin Bite

Sivir Ricochet (stops bouncing I think?)

Skarner Fracture (stun portion)

Sona Power Chord (poor sona :[ )

Trundle Chomp

Twisted Fate, Pick A Card, Stacked Deck

Udyr Stances

Vayne Silver Bolts

Vi Denting Blows

Viktor Siphon Power, AA part (not the initial skill)

Volibear, Rolling Thunder (no flip or damage), Thunder Claws

Warwick, Infinite Duress (does not block his suppression, but does block the damage)

Wukong Crushing Blow

Xin Zhao, Three Talon Strike (does knockup but no damage, does consume his skill)

Yasuo Steel Tempest (no knock up damage, but still knocked up)

Yorick various Ghouls, New Yorick Q

Zyra plants (plz never again the 5 Zyra

Thanks to Waysider for helping me test and confirm things! You can't block wiki Azir Soldiers :(

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Items To Become a Unique Ninja

Ninja Items

I will be talking about every item mentioned before as well as the situational ones. In a Shen build, you usually want your boots, four tanky items, and one damage item. Remember your role is to be a tank, but you don't want to be completely ignored. I have had games where I scared off several enemies from their inhibitor turret just by being so tanky and having a damage item.

Notice how I have at least a single damage item in all these builds? With the new items out, Shen needs one of these items to be a threat in fights or else he is going to fall short of the Juggernauts.

Warmog's Armour is great by increasing the damage on Shen's shield and taunt, providing plenty of health, and when combined with Spirit Visage massive regeneration! It is a great way to increase your health when you already have plenty of resists and is a good choice against heavy AP teams. However this should not be your first item as resists are needed to complement with health. If rushed, you still will get killed easily from % health items and abilities. Warmog's Armour in my opinion should be your 4th, 5th, or last item depending on your situation. With the recent changes to Warmog's Armour, it has amazing regeneration when paired with Spirit Visage. It will now become a personal preference as it's base health has been lowered which might drive players away from purchasing it in favour for something more superior such as the Randuin's Omen.

With the changes buffs now, this item might be welcomed back into core items. With ADCs running rampart and crit champions all the craze right now, I've been buying this item nearly every game to deal with their nonsense. The anti crit passive works, the AS slow, and the active slow are all awesome. Randuin's is still a situational sometimes when they have absolutely no crit (but that is probably really unlikely) If the ADC is really not a threat and doesn't really even have crit, Dead Man's Plate is much better.

When I first started playing Shen, I never built this item. You might think strange, isn't it a core item? Yes. But I never built it because I thought Sunfire Cape was useless with its tiny bit of magic damage. However after playing Shen more and more, I have noticed that he could not wave clear at all thus resulting in Sunfire Cape coming to the rescue! From then on, Sunfire Cape became my bread and butter item. The AOE magic damage from the Sunfire Cape is nothing to scoff at, it adds in a surprising amount of damage and as Shen, you're sitting right on top of enemies dealing it. This item should be rushed and is a must have on every Shen.

Despite not being as great as before after the rework, this is a strong choice when fighting teams heavy with AP. A pretty inexpensive buy while giving everything Shen wants! CDR, Health, and a nice amount of MR. If you feel the need to block a skill, get Banshee's Veil instead. If the enemy team is devoid of AP, you might not need it unless you just want to buff your healing capabilities when paired with Warmog's or BOTRK.

Transform yourself into a mini Rammus! OK! I would get this item when the enemy team has a very heavy AD team or a very fed ADC. This item should not be rushed first as it provides no HP whatsoever.

This item provides a nice health boost and a nice passive that can be used for peeling or chasing. This item is a tad expensive and does not give any resists. I recommend this as your damage item and also if you feel like your team lacks CC or you need more after your taunt.

GUARDIAN ANGEL *****ESSSS!!!! Provides a chunk of armour, magic resist, and a passive that makes people scared of you. If your GA pops in a long teamfight, keep fighting on! It takes the enemy team a lot of effort to kill a tanky Shen.

This item has been recently changed into an item with armour and MR but no aura or HP. This is a decent item to round out your stats if you have enough HP but not enough MR. Usually the support will pick this item up but if it's necessary, you can pick it up for its amazing shield late game. It can now shield up to 650 at max level which is insane! Even mid game it is really good when team-fights start happening more often. I bought this item in the top lane role along with Frozen mallet when I had to peel Challenger players off my ADC. If you do not really use the active, then the stats on the item are kind of subpar. I will now tend to get this more often if my support does not purchase one.

A more controversial item that I rarely buy. Nice chunk of AP, MR, and a passive that reduces the enemies magic resist. Paired up with a Wit's End, you can shred a team's magic resist! However only get this item if your team is mostly AP and no one has bought it yet.

TONS OF DAMAGE. This statement is quite true, it gives Shen a massive strength boost in dueling and split-pushing. However it provides no tanky stats besides the little HP. Only get this item after your core tank items or extremely fed. Compared with before, Trinity isn't the strongest item. It is still good though.

Oh I love this item. While providing great on-hit damage and increased split-pushing power, Mercury Treads and Wit's End is usually enough when their AP is not as big as a threat. While S6 may have nerfed its cost-efficiency, it has been improved on raw MR stats!

BOTRK a great item now after the rework. Since you no longer have sustaining capabilities, having Lifesteal can greatly benefit you. BOTRK provides a Shen with better 1v1 dueling potential and split-pushing strength. It deals % health damage which always scales well, provides lifesteal, attack speed, and an awesome active that can be used to chase, peel, or escape!

Another great substitute as a splitpushing item. Though it may lack on the attack speed, coupled with Greater Mark of Attack Speed, it will be no problem! Ravenous Hydra and Sunfire Cape makes Shen a splitpushing monster! Also it is good to note that you can swap this freely with Titanic Hydra.

Apparently this was an item designed for champions like Shen. I really like the voidlings that spawn and help push or hold down waves which scale with tanky stats. Only problem so far I have with it is the lack of health. Lately with my builds, I always rush the first part of it with the turret passive. I strangely really like it since I can dodge skill shots under tower, position easily, and split-push with ease by running through the lane.

An item that I am actually starting to pick up more frequently. It has a tanky stats comparable to Sunfire Cape as well as CDR! This would be a situational item where you would pick it if your team is dive heavy or the enemy team is devoid of AP. Since you know, more armour and hp!

When the reworked version came out, I tried it on Shen. Mixed in with some attack speed, it was crazy damage! Provides huge CDR, good health, AD, and nice passives. Only downfall is that it is expensive, you need attack speed to get off the stacks fast, and lack of resists. It would be good with some Attack Speed runes or items, and with Zz'Rot Portal since that provides huge resists.

Even though this item builds into two other items mentioned above earlier, getting this item early after Sunfire could greatly help you. It is a situational buy where you might need to avoid plenty of skill-shots at tower, or need the mobility. The nice chunk of armour, regen, and passive is amazing in my opinion. Even if you do not build into its later items, the passive throughout the game provides you amazing speed running through lanes. This results in better diving, chasing, and positioning. It will be up to you if you want to invest in this item.

After the rework, this item should be very popular. This item is really amazing on giving Shen some nice juicy wave clear, a punch on a turret, and deadly burst which scales off HP. Providing HP, AD, and an active that scales of max HP, this item with a combination of others (Look at Choo Choo Train Shen) can make squishy's greatly fear you. Near instant 1k burst would scare alot of squishies away and make you a big threat. Its alternative is more used for sustain and wider AOE clears.

This item is really fantastic on Shen. As I have mentioned before, Shen really needs his movement speed in order to catch up to enemies, catch people out, and provide greater positioning. Also the on-hit effect on the item can provide a nice little burst on a tower or a champion. Mix it up with several other items (Look at Choo Choo Train Shen) you can chunk towers and people!

The fact that this item only costs 800G and can save you from frustrations gives this item a potential purchase. I've never gotten the bigger upgrades for this item (you probably shouldn't) but this 800G for 15 AD and that passive will make your life very easy against sustain top laners. I would recommend getting this item after you first completed item such as Sunfire Cape.

So this item has been changed now. I tried this item on stream and it was alright. Very expensive though as I would rather get BOTRK at a cheaper price. It is however very powerful as a last item. With this item and at full stacks, you can land all 3 Q hits in 2 hits instead. Try this for yourself and let me know what you think. I personally feel it is okay, but only as a last item and as an offensive option.

So this item is back and its pretty damn solid with the %MS, AS, and the split-pushing power on minions. It is a nice buy when you want that movement speed and split-pushing power and when paired with the item below, it makes a deadly combo...

You might think, what the aids Shenpai!? Listen to me first, the item alone isn't that great, but when paired with Statikk Shiv, it forms a deadly combo. Gunblade passive restores health based off 15% of the damage dealt. This means you will heal off both your physical and magical damage dealt (Q damage). When paired with the Shiv to provide AS and its passive, you can burst heal large amounts in a fight (up to 600+!). The Gunblade will restore health off each and very lightning bolt proc from the Shiv and thus results in fast splitpushing and insane sustain. When these two items are paried in a build and add in a , you create the Gun-Shiv Ninja with insanely powerful sustain, splitpushing power, and still pretty durable. As well the item has just enough AP to make your Ult have 108 more shield and Empowered Q have 2% more damage and regular Q 1% more. Try this build out and let me know how it goes, this is a pretty fun build to use.

It is necessary for a Flippin Ninja to have some bling. But in all honesty, Shen is energy based and does not need any mana or mana regen. :)

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What Do I Do With My Gold!?!

"Under Construction"

I will be talking about what items should you buy with your gold, how to analyze your team, as well as an enemy team. I feel it is very important for every Shen player to constantly adapt and change his build to fit the needs of his team. How many AP are there? Are they a threat? Do we have another tank? Do we have an initiation tool? Etc Etc.

"Under Construction"

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Ninja Gameplay

Farming and Early Game

With Shen you will constantly use Twilight Assault to farm. Try your best to have your Spirit Blade in front of you or in a position where you can easily pull through an enemy. With a few points in your Twilight Assault, you can last hit ranged minions after a turret shot.

In an easy lane where you are against someone melee, you can use Twilight Assault for strong trades while negating damage with Ki Barrier activated. You should win most level 1 trades, especially if you pulled through your Spirit Blade with Twilight Assault. If done at level 1, you can use all 3 empowered AA's for an amazing trade. No one will be able to outtrade that sort of damage at level 1. By this point, you should be able to zone them and reach level 2 first. When level 2 use Shadow Dash and Twilight Assault along with Ki Barrier as well as Ignite for a first blood.

In a lane against a ranged character, you can potentially go for an early all-in, but I suggest to farm up and just get tanky. Majority of the time you will be pushed to your tower however last-hitting with Twilight Assault is a piece of cake. As mentioned before, with a few points in your Twilight Assault, you can last hit ranged minions after a turret shot. As well if you're going for a last-hit that can be dangerous, you can use Twilight Assault to activate Ki Barrier and go in for the CS.

Overall, if not ahead, your early game can be a bit tough however tank items scale well early on and you'll eventually be able to do well once you pick up Sunfire. To understand on how to last hit with Shen's basic attack, check your AD, and then the minion's HP. If struggling pick up more potions and green beads for regeneration, Shen's base health regen is pretty good.

If you are struggling in lane, try your best to play as defensively as possible. Block or dodge skillshots, farm and negate damage with Spirit’s Refuge and Ki Barrier, freeze your lane, and ask for the jungler to help gank your lane.

Remember, Shen doesn't win lane, he wins the game.

Upon reaching 6, this is my favourite time to play Shen. With an all powerful global ultimate, you can now save allies from dives or assists in fights at a press of a button. Always keep an eye out on who is low health and keep constant watch on the map's current situation. I have had close saves, and praise such as "I love you Shen!" - Ahri or "Have my babies! - Ashe and some creepier moments "<3 Shen! Let us make love" - Urgot.

Also, timing is the key to Shen's ultimate. Holding Stand United to the last second can allow the enemy to fully commit to a fight. However make sure to react fast enough before they get killed. Practice makes perfect. You will see times where your allies get killed before you ult them or they die during the teleportation.

Why I Love Playing Shen

Mid Game
During mid game if doing well, Shen becomes a strong tank/initiator/dueler. Shen is excellent at peeling enemies off your ADC an AP mid if your team happens to be engaged on.

Meanwhile if you have Stand United available, you will want to split-push safely with wards, and keep an out for possible needs of a superhero. This had its side effects as when the enemies see 4v5, they will most likely engage on your team. Occasionally you will want to stick with your team to prevent them from being jumped on. If they however do send someone to stop you while split-pushing, communicate with your team to engage 4v4 while you teleport in to assist. As well with a couple of items, you might be able to duel many enemies due to Twilight Assault. Upon teleporting onto allies, you can use Spirit’s Refugeright away on your ally to protect them and then Shadow Dash towards an enemy. Time it right, your Spirit’s Refuge will protect your ally full its full duration and the enemy will still be under the effects of taunt and Twilight Assault.

Late Game

Shen's role barely changes late game. During late game, he continues on the role of split-pushing while maintaining vision on enemies and allies. If once again they do send someone to stop you in your tracts, communicate with your team to engage on the enemies and teleport in. It would be detrimental if the whole enemy team killed you while you were split-pushing. It throws your allies in a unsafe position where they can lose towers, inhibitors, Baron, Dragon, and have no superhero on watch. If the enemy team has hard engages, and your team has no way of pulling back or another front-line, it might be best to stay with the team.

Teamfighting as Shen

Playing Shen with Friends Gone Wrong

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Shensational Synergy

(Under construction)

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Fancy Ninja Tips and Tricks

Good to Know

- Shen's Shadow Dash can unstealth enemies it hits

-Try to line up your dash along many enemies to increase chances of it hitting

-Prioritize taunting the ADC or AP mid

- Shadow Dash breaks channeled ultimates

-If being tower dived early on, hitting Shadow Dash can save your life as well as get you a kill

- Stand United is unusable when Nocturne's Paranoia is present

-Combine Pantheon's Grand Skyfall and Shen's Stand United to create SHENTHEON FUSION.

General Tips and Tricks

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The Secret Ninja Art of Taunt Flash

Finally finished! Hope you enjoy it, the video should summarize everything you should know with visual examples.

This will still apply after the rework! This trick still works!

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Ninja Match Ups

Update of 8/29/2016
This playlist here should have matchup episodes helping you out
I will rewrite matchups eventually but for now, use my videos that I am creating

Full Livestreams of Shen, look around if you can't find a certain matchup, might be there

This section will feature every single match up I have experienced. It will also contain matchups not seen in top lane but I will however give tips despite the unlikely chance of fighting the certain matchup. with these champions. These match-ups are still all purely skill based but these are all purely experience and opinion based.

Note that this is with Ignite and Flash.

A - G

H - O

P - Z

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Ninja Video Series

I am streaming more often now with friends and uploading a new series of relearning Shen. Come check it out on youtube as well as my twitch! Here you can see my gameplay with Shen and see how I build/play/adapt to situtations or just feed :) This is one episode of many. Make sure to watch the rest of them as they have COMMENTARY! My heavenly and lovely toaster mic voice. The latest one should be the first one in the player. This will be the replacement for the matchup section for now.

Road to Reworked Shen Mastery bonus episodes (they include either extra games, various gamemodes, or various roles such as support)

Also just made recently after playing with the rework for months is my random moments video! Take a look and enjoy all the craziness! This video is just for you if you want a laugh and see highlights of various videos.

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Summary / Conclusion


This comes to the end of my first guide. Hope you enjoyed it and learned a thing or two about Shen. If you have any comments, questions, or constructive criticism, post away! Also tell me if you like the videos/references/colourful bits in the guide. It will further improve my future guides.

I will be updating this guide very often and I will particularly focus on gathering data for the match-ups section.

Good luck to all of you and most of all, stay ninja, and save lives.

Credits to the creators of the various images and songs.

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Shenpai's Question to the Viewers

This is where I post questions for you guys!

Question: Could you guys play test my game demo and help with balancing? I could add you in as NPCS :^].

Question: Do you want a jungle or support Shen guide?

Question: What else would you like to see in the guide? (besides matchups, those are still in progress)

Private message me to let me know. Thanks!

Also it would mean alot to me if you supported my upcoming RPG game Radiant Arc. It won't come out anytime soon, but it's a project that I am working on. :) (Of course there will be a character similar to Shen)

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Ninja Change Log

Old Change Log

Small update to Spirit's Refuge, as well buffs to base stats - 11/23/2016