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Shen Build Guide by Hanjaro

Support diamond

[10.2] Hanjaro's Shen Supporting your way to Challenger.

By Hanjaro | Updated on January 23, 2020
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Hanjaro's Featured Video


Shield Bash
Bone Plating

Magical Footwear
Cosmic Insight

+10% Attack Speed
+6 Armor
+15-90 HP (lvls 1-18)


1 2
LoL Summoner Spell: Flash


LoL Summoner Spell: Ignite


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Top Lane
Ranked #22 in
Top Lane
Win 52%
Get More Stats

Hey guys! Hanjaro here!
A little bit about me

I started playing League in Season 1, towards the end of the season. Since the beginning I was a support main, I enjoyed the 2v2 dynamics much more than 1v1s so I've stuck with it throughout my league career.
I have achieved the rank of challenger at multiple points during seasons 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9, and continue to push for the highest elo I can get.
I love competitive games and have yet to find anything for me that compares to League.
Aside from League, I am a happily married man, father of 2 kids and I am a beloved pet owner. If you guys have any questions about my guides, champions or really anything in general, feel free to stop by my stream!

Why Shen?

Shen is an extremely tanky, engage support with a built in taunt. He has damage reduction in an area, a dash which can be used over terrain and a global teleport shield. He doesn't use mana, meaning he has easier sustain than most supports. He's easy to play, but hard to master due to his ultimate and needing high map awareness.

If you enjoy playing, or want to learn more about Shen, you can read and discuss more over at /r/Shen.

Flash is taken as your primary escape summoner, and can be used alongside Shadow Dash to make a surprise engage and taunt multiple opponents.

The reasoning behind Ignite is that it gives you a lot of extra pressure in lane, and furthermore adds a 40% healing reduction.

Exhaust is used when there are high damage threats on the enemy team, such as Zed, Kayn, Draven etc
It gives you an extra chance at escaping with the damage reduction, as well as the slow it provides. The damage reduction can be used to negate all in damage, from something like a Zed's Death Mark.

Shen is an engage tank, meaning he needs all the defenses he can get and Aftershock offers this after using Shadow Dash successfully. After 2.5s, you explode, dealing damage in an aoe around you, which adds to your burst window. During this window, it increases your magic resist, and your armor - which adds extra tankiness to an already tanky champion - something that is necessary on your engage.

Shield Bash is a staple part of Shen's rune set-up. Shen's passive, Ki Barrier gives him a shield every time he uses an ability. You gain bonus damage on your next attack up to 2s after the shield expires, increasing your burst, working well in conjunction with your Twilight Assault.

Shen as we know, is an engage champion, he wants to be snowballing his ADC by diving into the enemies, making Bone Plating the best choice for him. The longer you survive, the more cc and damage you can output and Bone Plating enables this.

With Shen's passive, he gains a shield every time he casts an ability, Revitalize increases the strength of this shield, increasing further when he is below 40% hp, enabling him to live, and stay in the fight longer. His ultimate Stand United, also creates a shield around the chosen ally as he channels the teleport, and Revitalize helps increase the strength of this shield, enabling him to complete the teleport - as if the ally dies, he will have wasted his ultimate.

You receive free Slightly Magical Boots at minute twelve, decreasing by 45s every takedown you acquire. It saves us 300g - which is a lot on a support! - and they also have an extra +10 movement speed. Very important on a support, and one that is primarily engage.

Cosmic Insight reduces the cooldown of everything in your set-up, and adds an extra 5% CDR to your max CDR, meaning you can have higher up time on your engage tools, items you buy, and summoners.



Boots of Mobility > MOVEMENT SPEED
These are the cheapest boots in the game, but often the most useful - especially on a support, and one that can engage at that. Shen has the ability to roam a lot, and catch people out, so having the bonus movement speed is invaluable.

Mercury's Treads > TENACITY/AP RESIST
If the enemy team has a lot of CC, or a lot of AP damage, you can trade Mobi's out for these. They offer +25 magic resist, along with reducing the effect of stuns, slows, taunts, fears, silences, blinds and immobilizes by 30%.

Ninja Tabi's > ARMOR
If the enemy team has a lot of physical damage threats, and you're the primary front line, or need some extra survivability, Ninja Tabi's are the way to go, offering 20 armor, and reducing incoming basic attacks by 12%.

Zeke's is a siutational pick up on Shen, mostly to use when you're not going to be using your ultimate to teleport globally, and just for the shield. You have to be close to your bound ally, so if you're teleporting to them from across the map, you'll not proc the effect. When you cast Stand United, you ignite an aoe around you that slows enemies by 20% - meaning less chance to escape on your engage, while the ally that you have chosen to attach to, their attacks burns enemies for 30% bonus magic damage, increasing their damage output for quicker kills.

Redemption offers an aoe heal in an area, add a sustain for his allies that Shen's kit lacks. It also offers HP regen, meaning you can stay in the fights longer, recall less, and you can help out even while dead. It also offers an extra 10% shielding power, which synergizes with your Ki Barrier and Stand United You make no use of the mana regen, and it offers less tankiness than other items, so take it if your team lacks sustain or the enemies have high aoe burst.

Locket of the Iron Solari > SURVIVABILITY/SUSTAIN
With Locket of the Iron Solari, you gain 30 armor and 60 magic resist, increasing your overall tankiness, while providing a shield to your allies upon use - using +20% of your maximum health, which Redemption and Knight's Vow both increase. Revitalize increases the shield provided, and this item is pretty much core on Shen support.

You gain extra HP, 40 armor and 10% CDR with this item, not including the extra 20 armor and 15% bonus movement speed when your chosen ally is nearby.
If your ally is nearby, you heal for 12% of all the damage they do (increasing your tankiness), and redirecting 12% of the damage they take, to yourself (increasing their survivability]. Usually a core item to take vs physical damage.

A fantastic item if you're up vs a lot of quick hitting, physical damage champions. You gain 100 armor, 20% CDR and you reduce the attack speed of enemies by 15% within 1000 units. It can easily help shut down an ADC such as Vayne, hindering her attack speed, and protecting you longer.

A good pick when facing an enemy team with hard CC that you need to Cleanse on allies, such as Impale, Death Sentence, Cocoon etc and grants bonus movement speed for 2s after successfully cleansing an ability.
Increases your HP regeneration, while granting you 40 magic resist, and 20% shielding power - good synergy with Stand United and Ki Barrier.

You gain +425 health and +60 armor with Sunfire Cape, along with doing continuous AoE damage per second, in an area around you. Your Shadow Dash taunts all nearby enemies in an area around yourself, forcing them to attack you for the duration - meaning they will take all the damage from the AoE, increasing your damage substantially, while offering good tank stats.

Righteous Glory is good for a team with physical damage threats, and also helps your engage on the enemy team, which can be useful if you're the primary engager. You gain 75% movement speed for 4 seconds when moving towards enemies or enemy structures, once reaching them, you slow by 75% for 2 seconds. You also gain 30 armor, extra health, health regeneration and CDR.

A very good item on Shen, offering magic resist and armor, along with increasing those stats by 40 when 3+ enemy champions are near. You also have an active, increasing your health by 40% (or 100% if 3+ enemy champions are near), but reducing your damage output by 60%. This is very good if you're going to be relied on to be the main tank of the team, and to protect your allies while absorbing the enemies damage.

Good item vs physical damage champions, you gain +400 health and +70 armor, along with reducing basic attack critical strikes against you, by 20%, and reducing the attacks attack speed by 15% for 1s. You can also activate the item to slow nearby enemy units by 55% for 2s, enabling you to catch them with Shadow Dash easier.

Ki Barrier

Ki Barrier (Passive)

INNATE: After completing an ability's effects, Shen shields himself from 50 − 101 (based on level) (+ 14% bonus health) damage for 2.5 seconds. If the triggering ability successfully affected at least one champion, Ki Barrier's cooldown is reduced by 4 − 7.5 (based on level) seconds.

Shen's power manifests as a Spirit Blade that he can control with his abilities.
  • The Spirit Blade spawns with Shen, jumps closer to him if he gets too far away, and blinks to him if he uses any global blink.
  • Shadow Dash will give the shield when the dash ends. If the dash is interrupted, the shield will instead be received the moment the crowd control is applied, before damage calculation.

Twilight Assault

Twilight Assault (Q)

COST: 140 / 130 / 120 / 110 / 100 energy
COOLDOWN: 8 / 7.25 / 6.5 / 5.75 / 5
ACTIVE: Shen recalls his Spirit Blade to his location. Enemies the blade collides with are slowed for the next 2 seconds when moving away from Shen.

Once it arrives, Shen empowers his next 3 basic attacks within 8 seconds to gain 75 bonus range and deal bonus magic damage. If the Spirit Blade collides with an enemy champion, the empowerment is enhanced, dealing increased bonus magic damage and gaining 50% bonus attack speed.

Spirit's Refuge

Spirit's Refuge (W)

COST: 40 energy
COOLDOWN: 18 / 16.5 / 15 / 13.5 / 12
ACTIVE: Shen primes his Spirit Blade, creating an area around it. If Shen or an allied champion enter the area, or after 2 seconds, the Spirit Blade creates a protective zone around it for 1.75 seconds, blocking all enemy basic attacks in the area.

Shadow Dash

Shadow Dash (E)

RANGE: 300/600
COOLDOWN: 18 / 16 / 14 / 12 / 10
PASSIVE: Damage from Shadow Dash and Twilight Assault recovers 30 / 35 / 40 energy.

ACTIVE: Shen dashes in the target direction, dealing physical damage to all enemy champions and monsters he hits and taunting them for 1.5 seconds.
  • Using Flash during the animation of Shadow Dash will stop the dash, but will taunt and damage enemies in contact with him at the destination.

Stand United

Stand United (R)

COOLDOWN: 200 / 180 / 160
ACTIVE: Shen channels for 3 seconds, shielding the target allied champion for up to 5 seconds, increased by 0% − 60% (based on target's missing health). Upon completing the channel, Shen and his Spirit Blade blink to the target ally's location.
  • Invisible or camouflaged allies are not revealed by Stand United.
  • Shen will continue channeling and eventually blink so long as Stand United's target is alive (even if the shield is broken).

Early Game

You want to start your game by taking Shadow Dash, if you can invade then you have the perfect engage with an aoe taunt, and you can utilize it to dash away from enemies. If you spot an invade, you can either counter it if your team is with you, or you can easily Shadow Dash away if you're at risk of being caught.

In lane, you want to be playing it safe and peeling for your ADC in any situation of a hard engage or jungle gank. You can Shadow Dash away, or into the enemies to allow your ADC to escape safely, or Spirit's Refuge to block damage.

If you have a strong ADC such as Draven or Kai'Sa, you can look for easy kills with Shadow Dash Flash Twilight Assault, taunting the opponent and doing significant burst, while reducing damage taken with Spirit's Refuge,
granting your lane a trade in your favour, or best situation - a free kill.

Make sure to ward around your river brushes, tri-brushes incase of a gank from behind, and drake pits. Your jungler may need your help in a Scuttle skirmish, or to come for a surprise gank if you have a Control Ward placed.

At level 6, you want to be keeping an eye on your mini map / champion portraits for a potential turn around using Stand United. If you see an ally toplane being engaged on, you can use your ultimate to protect him with the barrier it provides, then teleport to him and Shadow Dash onto the engaging opponents, turning the fight around in your favour and potentially securing kills. You can use this just for the protection and to scare the enemy off, but you have to remember that your ADC is left alone for the time that you are away - make sure you have wards down!

Mid - Late Game

Mid - Late game your job is generally to disengage, peel, and protect your teams main damage threats. If you're the primary engager, you have to make sure you won't be taking fights that put you in a position to lose the game (such as vs teams with a Baron buff), or if you will be leaving your ADC unprotected.

You want to be utilizing Shadow Dash onto enemies that engage onto your ADC, protecting them, while using Spirit's Refuge to minimize incoming damage onto yourself, potentially giving your ADC time to turn the fight around and kill your opponents. You want to use Twilight Assault to increase the damage you deal, while providing yourself a shield with Ki Barrier. Make sure to keep your Ki Barrier up as often as you can, while keeping in mind there is a static cooldown.

Not always is it in your best interest to die for your teammates, especially if you can recognise that you're going to lose the fight regardless. You will just be giving up free kills, free gold and you will be unable to even try and stop any kind of push. You have to know how much damage you can receive, and unfortunately this comes with experience. Shen is tanky, and his rune choices and items increase his ability to take damage, but he isn't immortal!

Use your Stand United to teleport into a fight from base, or to change outcomes in different lanes. You must have decent map awareness to utilize Shen's Stand United correctly, and not give up a double kill, where the enemy would have only been given one if you hadn't ulted.

The main thing to be aware of, is making sure your teams threats stay alive, while removing, or zoning, the enemy teams threats.

You'll want to be sticking close to your ADC, while roaming efficiently and safely as possible to place deep wards. If your Stand United is up, and you can safely see all enemies, you can move away from your ADC to ward.

Control Ward's are a staple part of any support, both to deny your enemies vision, and to provide your team extra vision. You should make sure to buy one at least every time you back, preferably to have 2 on you at all times.

I hope you enjoyed, and learned enough from my Shen guide, to play her as well as the pro's.

If you enjoyed my guide, you can check out my other guides here, in which I've covered more styles of supports, incase you want to branch out on supports such as enchanters ( Janna, Yuumi etc!).

If you're interested in seeing more of me, please follow my stream! I stream every day but Saturday, from 12:00pm - 11:00pm GMT. I play a wide variety of supports, and I am always engaging with my stream chat.
  • 08/23/2019 - Published Guide.
  • 11/26/2019 - Updated for 9.23.
League of Legends Build Guide Author Hanjaro
Hanjaro Shen Guide
[10.2] Hanjaro's Shen Supporting your way to Challenger.
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