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Shen Build Guide by Smudey

Top [12.22] The Ultimate All Roles Shen Guide (wip)

Top [12.22] The Ultimate All Roles Shen Guide (wip)

Updated on November 25, 2022
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League of Legends Build Guide Author Smudey Build Guide By Smudey 5,345 Views 2 Comments
5,345 Views 2 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author Smudey Shen Build Guide By Smudey Updated on November 25, 2022
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Choose Champion Build:

  • LoL Champion: Shen
    Top + Mid
  • LoL Champion: Shen
    Jungle
  • LoL Champion: Shen
    Support

Runes: Grasp (Early)

1 2
Resolve
Grasp of the Undying
Shield Bash
Second Wind
Revitalize

Domination
Cheap Shot
Ultimate Hunter
Bonus:

+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+15-140 HP (lvls 1-18)

Spells:

1 2
Flash + Ignite
LoL Summoner Spell: Flash

Flash

LoL Summoner Spell: Ignite

Ignite

Threats & Synergies

Threats Synergies
Extreme Major Even Minor Tiny
Show All
None Low Ok Strong Ideal
Extreme Threats
Ideal Synergies
Synergies
Ideal Strong Ok Low None
IMPORTANT
This guide isn't finished yet, some general info and tips on how to play Shen in the Top, Support and Jungle role will be coming soon. I might add a bio of myself and my history with Shen once I'm done with everything else.
I plan on covering mid lane too after more experience. I really like this role.
Patch Updates
This section will cover future patches and how they will affect Shen (will not reference patches that aren't important)

Patch 12.22: PRESEASON PATCH! New Top Lane tank mythics are out, guide will be updated a lot over time, but right now, Jak'Sho and Heartsteel are the best imo, Radiant Virtue felt kinda lackluster to me and a bit too support focused. IBC feels weird because no MR and it lost synergy with Demonic, probably wont build this item ever again. You should still take bamis cinder and build it into sunfire, pretty good item on Shen (or build tiamat into titanic if they literally have no AD). You don't need a damage item anymore and can go straight into tank items. Randuins and Frozen Heart are both viable now in the right circumstances. Turbo Chemtank is super situational and is basically Dead Mans, but against AP. Abyssal Mask got changed and is no longer viable in my opinion. Gargoyle might be super strong combined with the new tank items. We'll see how this turns out over the preseason.

Patch 12.20: Demonic Embrace got changed, but it's a nerf for Shen since they nerfed the Health for more AP and nerfed the max health ratio on the burn effect. Demonfire might be strong still but the -100 health and -0.2% max health ratio nerf hurt a bit. Sterak's Gage got buffed, might be worth building again in some very rare cases (probably in combination with titanic hydra).
Table of Contents
Introduction
x Who am I?
x Who is Shen?
x Shen Ability Rundown
Practice
x Early Game
x Mid Game
x Late Game
Theory
x Runes
x Items
x Tips & Tricks
Extras
x Conclusion
x Skin Tier List
x Changelog
Shen Ability Rundown
Ki Barrier Self-shield upon casting an ability. After casting an ability, Shen gains a shield for 2.5 seconds as soon as the ability's effect is finished. Successfully affecting another champion with an ability (dragging Q through an enemy, protecting an ally with your W, hitting an enemy champion with your E or successfully finishing your R teleport) will reduce your passive cooldown depending on your level.
Twilight Assault Reposition your blade to your location, empowering your AAs. Shen calls his Spirit Blade to his current position and empowers his next 3 auto attacks upon blade arrival, granting your AAs extra max health magic damage and more range. Dragging your blade through an opponent increases your AA damage, your attack speed and slows the opponent if they walk away from you. We devide non-dragthrough and dragthrough Qs into normal Qs and Empowered Qs.
Spirit's Refuge Shield around your blade that blocks auto attacks. Shen's Spirit Blade creates a protective area that blocks auto attacks as well as some auto attack based abilities (Udyr stun, Leona Stun etc.). Casting the ability without you or an ally standing inside it makes your blade wait for 2 seconds before activating the shield or until you or an ally walk into the area. This ability has a very long cooldown, but can turn the tides of many teamfights, skirmishes and even some trades in the laning phase if used at the perfect time.
Shadow Dash Taunting and damaging Dash + Energy recovery. Passively, Shen gains energy by damaging any attackable unit with his Q or E. When activated, Shen dashes, depending on cursor location, taunting enemies hit in the way for 1.5 seconds and dealing physical damage. Can be used to engage a fight or disengage even through some walls. This is Shen's only form of mobility so use it wisely.
Stand United Global Teleport and Shield for an ally. Casting Stand United on an enemy instantly gives them a shield based on your bonus HP, your AP and your allies current health (max value at 40% or below) and lasting for 5 seconds (assuming you don't die). After channeling for 3 seconds, teleport to you ally. This is Shen's most important ability since it can be casted from anywhere and can save teammates at any time, turning around a lot of teamfights and skirmishes or can be used as an engage tool if you ult an ally with decent engage (Malphite Ult, Hecarim's existance etc.). Using it correctly will come with a lot of time and practice.
Runes
Top Lane Runes

If you don't want to think about runes too much, you could go these every game. This runes page enhances one of Shen's strongest aspects: His Laning Phase. It gives you the most power early with some additional scaling options if you want to be a bit stronger later but sacrifice early power.


Grasp of the Undying is the best keystone for Shen and has been for a long time. It not only gives you plenty of sustain and scaling health over time (which Shen definitely needs as a tank with HP scaling), it also grants you damage in form of a single burst auto attack proc, which synergizes perfectly with Shen's trading pattern early on. Would definitely recommend taking this keystone into every game if you play Shen in the Top Lane.
Shield Bash is by far the best out of the 3 because Shen uses a lot of shields so you can proc shield bash at least once in every single trade you take, especially since Shield Bash gives you one empowered Auto Attack, just like Grasp so this strenghthens Shen's trading pattern even more. Additionally, Shield Bash also gives you resistances, which aren't anything substantial, but can help you in some close early trades to give you the edge over your opponent.
Second Wind gives you a lot of sustain in the laning phase through a heal over time after taking damage, which is not only great against ranged matchups where you will heal their poke, it can also be great in melee matchups due to your burst-heavy trading pattern, which lets you disengage really fast after a trade and heal back up if you took damage. It also synergizes extremely well with Doran's Shield, which you will take every game. If you really want to, you can take Boneplating against All-In champs that can't proc bone plating very easily from afar (Wukong, Renekton, Sett etc.) or Conditioning if you want to gain resistances in the mid game, but Second Wind is my personal favourite rune and I might be biased, but I truly belive it is underrated, even after the nerfs.
All of those 3 are great options, but after trying all of them out, I am confident in taking Revitalize every single game since it's the best imo. It enhances your Passive and Ult shields level 1 so you can reliably use it in lane combined with Second Wind, Doran's Shield and Grasp healing since it also increases healing. It synergizes perfectly with your ult since your ult gets the biggest when teammates are at 40% health and revitalize increases shields the most on targets at 40% so it's literally a no-brainer fore me. You can still take overgrowth if you want to infinite health scaling or Unflinching if the enemy has a lot of CC and you want as much tenacity and slow resist as possible, but because Shen has such a powerful early game and kind of bad scaling, I'd much rather enhance my early game since I'll get the most value out of that phase.
With Cheap Shot, you will do true damage on your targets in usually every single trade because you can proc it with your E and your Q drag-through since it slows your enemy and counts as "impaired movement". Makes your early game a tad bit deadlier.
Ultimate Hunter is the biggest reason why we take Domination secondary. Your Ultimate Ability has such a long cooldown and because you can easily get stacks by ulting to your team and helping them, you will decrease a lot from your ultimate, which is your most important ability and can turn the tides of many teamfights. No reason to go anything else in my opinion.
You can either take double adaptive or attack speed adaptive. They are equally good and you can choose based of your preference, but I like having double adaptive because my attacks will pack more punch against enemy champs in the early game and I can oneshot casters after a tower shot with a normal Q, which helps me CS under tower and I don't think I need more attack speed, but as I said, take whatever you want. Don't take double resistances, it weakens your early game for no reason(imo). Now you have 2 options, either scaling health against every matchup or resistances based off of your matchup. I'd always take the resistances because they are stronger early, but if you are unsure of the enemies damage type, you can go scaling health and be good to go.

Jungle Runes

Your Jungle Runes are a lot more variable because you can for example opt into taking Aftershock for a more supportive playstyle or Hail of Blades for more upfront burst in skirmishes, but I figured that Precision with Domination is the most consistent choice for me.


There are only 2 options: You either take PTA for a nice 3 hit proc that increases your and your allies damage in All-Ins against that target or you take Lethal Tempo for more attack speed and attack range in extended fights. I personally prefer PTA because Shen can proc it more easily, faster and consistent and it also provides utility through a damage increase against that specific target while Lethal Tempo is more egoistical and has more solo-carry potential in teamfights and skirmishes, but I always had a hard time procing it and if I do, I usually die or kill the enemy before I can actually utilize it, but this comes down to preference. Try both runes and tell me in the comments which one you liked more.
Triumph is the obvious best choice for me. It gives you health and extra gold for takedowns and can definitely save your life in close call situations (nice synergy with Last Stand). Overheal is just kinda bad on Shen and you don't need extra energy from PoM, assuming you use your abilities correctly and don't throw them around mindlessly without hitting anyone, but that should be very easy to avoid.
It usually depends on the comp, but in general, take Alacrity against low or no enemy CC and Tenacity if the enemy team has at least some form of meaningful CC, but because nearly every single teamcomp has a champ with CC, I usually default to tenacity. Just look at their team comp and adapt.
Last Stand is in my opinion the best out of all of those because not only does it have the best numbers (in my opinion), it's also better in longer fights because in the Jungle you won'e be short trading and then disengage, but instead go for an all in all the time and try to kill the enemy laner or jungler and this runes helps immensely, especially when you are very low on HP against another low HP target but you clutch it out with your Ki Barrier shield while having very low health and dealing a lot more damage. Coup the Grace might be better to finish off an enemy, but in the end, it comes down to your preference (just please, NEVER take Cut Down in your entire life as Shen, thanks).
With Cheap Shot, you will do true damage on your targets in usually every single trade because you can proc it with your E and your Q drag-through since it slows your enemy and counts as "impaired movement". Makes your early game a tad bit deadlier.
Ultimate Hunter is the biggest reason why we take Domination secondary. Your Ultimate Ability has such a long cooldown and because you can easily get stacks by ulting to your team and helping them, you will decrease a lot from your ultimate, which is your most important ability and can turn the tides of many teamfights. No reason to go anything else in my opinion.
Always take Attack Speed + Adaptive for the fastest Jungle clear. Now you have 2 options, either scaling health against every matchup or resistances based off of your matchup. I'd always take the resistances because they are stronger early, but if you are unsure of the enemies damage type, you can go scaling health and be good to go.

Support Runes

The Resolve + Domination tree is in my opinion the stongest, but if this ever changes in the future or you want to play something different, I can recommend the Inspiration tree to you.


You should usually always take Aftershock, since you want to taunt your enemies a lot and aftershock compliments that playstyle greatly by making you tankier after imobilizing a target and deal damage afterwards. But if you play against an enemy with very long range that you probably can't taunt into (like Seraphine + Vel'Koz), then feel free to take Guardian to peel for your ADC because you won't be taunting into the enemy anyways unless you get a gank and you have to taunt-flash to reach your enemy. If not, ALWAYS take Afteshock.
Font of Life is criminally underrated and underutilized. It heals your teammates for attacking a target that you taunted, meaning that by playing aggressively with your taunts early, you give your ADC a lot more sustain and by that win more trades and all-ins. This can also be very usefull later in the game because FoL scales with your max HP so it synergizes very well with Overgrowth. While it is good in itself, you usually take it because the other 2 options are kind of bad in the Support role as Shen.
Second Wind gives you a lot of sustain in the laning phase through a heal over time after taking damage. As expected, it is also a great option in the Support role because you will most likely face ranged enemies in the bot lane, except if they play something like Yasuo, Samira or Nilah and an all-in support like Leona, Nautilus or Blitzcrank. In those matchups, you could consider going Bone Plating, but Second Wind is just so much better in my opinion, but feel free to decide based on matchup. If you take Resolve as a secondary rune page, don't take any of these runes. The others give you more value in my opinion.
All of those 3 are great options in the Support role so pick based on the situation at hand. If the enemy team has a lot of hard CC or many slows, consider taking Unflinching to reduce those effects. If that's not the case, you can take either Overgrowth because it will make you a lot more tanky since you won't be buying that many health-based items anyways and it also increases your effectiveness of you Font of Life heal. Or you can take Revitalize, since it increases not only your Ult/Passive shields already in the early game where it's the most important, it also increases your Guardian shield, your Font of Life healing and it synergizes perfectly with my special Bot-Lane Combo: Nilah + Shen (or how I call it: United Joy). They both utilize shields and heals, meaning that revitalize will increase BOTH of your ALREADY INCREASED shields EVEN MORE, making both of you healing and shielding monsters + both of you have a W to dodge auto-attacks. I swear, those 2 champs were made for each other. Try it out for yourself and always take Revitalize if you ADC is a Nilah.
Glacial Augment is the only option in the Inspiration tree. You slow your targets after taunting them, granting you extra slow to your CC for the ultimate utility tech. However, it sacrifices your own tankiness after taunting from Aftershock with more tankiness for you ADC, but since they will be attacking you because of your taunt anyway, it's a bit weaker than Aftershock in my opinion. You could, however, take it over Guardian, not necessarily because of Glacial Augment, but because the Inspiration tree helps you to catch up to certain opponents (like the before mentioned Seraphine + Vel'Koz combo), but it's kind of held back by being a lot harder to use so I would recommend Glacial Augment with the Inspiration tree for more experienced Support players.
Hextech Flashtraption is the only plausible pick here, giving you an extra gap close tool to catch up to opponents much easier. This lets you be more loose with your Flashes and go for more Flash + Taunt plays. A bit hard to use at first, but definitely worth in the long run.
Since you will be low on money as a Supporter, taking Future's Market might not be a bad option, letting you get to your items spikes a lot faster (especially good for a roam-heavy playstyle, which is recommended as Shen sup in most cases), but Minion Dematerializer isn't too bad either, enhancing your very lackluster wave clear as Shen, which is even worse as a Supporter, but Future's Market would be my personal recommendation. If you take Inspiration tree as a secondary, don't take any of these. They all kind of suck compared to the rest.
Cosmic Insight gives you not only more Summoner Spell Haste for more Flashes, it also gives you more Item Haster for Items like Locket, Redemption etc. The easiest option out of those 2. The other one, being Approach Velocity lets you catch up to oponents faster via a speed boost from impairing an enemy, but is limited by either having an ADC that can impair any movement of the enemy (Jhin W, Twitch W etc.) or you being required to place your blade towards your enemies beforehand and pulling it to you, slowing the enemy and giving you movement speed. Very specific and hard to use rune, but definitely more worth if used correctly.
With Cheap Shot, you will do true damage on your targets in usually every single trade because you can proc it with your E and your Q drag-through since it slows your enemy and counts as "impaired movement". Makes your early game a tad bit deadlier.
Ultimate Hunter is the biggest reason why we take Domination secondary. Your Ultimate Ability has such a long cooldown and because you can easily get stacks by ulting to your team and helping them, you will decrease a lot from your ultimate, which is your most important ability and can turn the tides of many teamfights. No reason to go anything else in my opinion.
Always take Ability Haste since Shen has long cooldowns and will use his taunt a lot. Take either one resistence with scaling HP against a certain matchup or double resistances against teams (or everyone except top lane) that uses one single damage type.
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[12.22] The Ultimate All Roles Shen Guide (wip)

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