Shyvana Build Guide by Mr. Nyahr
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The Dragon's Den
+9% attack speed and +10 ability power or +6 attack damage, adaptive
Threats to Shyvana with this build
|Dr. Mundo||Since you'll be building on-hit and % damage, you will absolutely melt Mundo if he tries to fight you directly. Abuse his poor early game and your better late game scaling to bully him out of the game.|
|Fiddlesticks||Poor Fiddlesticks. Try not to get feared, and you can burst him down instantly. Not a challenge.|
|Master Yi||High damage, but not a lot else. He's a worse version of you that dies faster. Punish him for picking Yi against you.|
|Tryndamere||Bait out his ultimate and spam your laugh emote. Keep in mind if he is ready to heal, and remember that he has a slow. Not a big deal, he's just a split-pusher for 80% of the game.|
Hello, my name is Mr. Nyahr, and I'm a long time player on the North American server. I've been playing League of Legends since just before the start of Season 3, and I've played my fair share of every role, and of most champions in the game. This is my 3rd Mobafire guide, with my others being on Nunu and Kai'Sa. As my main, Shyvana is the champion that I've always been drawn to the most, for several reasons. First of all, she's badass, and you feel like a badass when you play her. I mean come on, you're literally a dragon, and you trample over people like the peasants they are while you go 19/0/4. Her playstyle is fairly aggressive, with exceptionally fast jungle clears and surprising damage for a tanky bruiser, so she can make for a very fun pick in nearly any matchup. She can provide a lot to a team with her presence alone, and is a wrecking ball when used properly, being capable of easily 1v2ing enemies. I'll explain my reasoning behind the items, spells, runes, etc. as the guide goes on, so let's get started!
Pros / Cons
+Fairly simple, easy to learn.
+Exceptionally fast jungle clears and movement with Burnout.
+Very good duelist due to her on-hit damage from Flame Breath.
+Nearly unmatched Drake kill potential.
+Deceptive amounts of burst from Flame Breath and Twin Bite.
+ Fury of the Dragonborn makes you passively more tanky as you secure Drakes.
+Amazing engage and escape tool with Dragon's Descent.
+Superb sustained damage and tower killing potential.
+ Dragon's Descent can be used to peel for your carries.
+You're a F****** dragon.
-No CC before completing Frozen Mallet.
-Slightly weak against duelist champions very early.
-Inability to tower dive before level 6.
-Requires a proper tank and CC on her team to work to her fullest potential.
-Requires practice to understand your limits.
Good Synergy Picks
Shyvana has a very big weakness that you need to address in champ select, and that is her lack of cc, and the fact that she's not the best primary tank for a team. I've made a list of which champions I think are the most compatible due to their tankiness or CC:
+ Alistar has great engage, and is tanky enough to take quite a beating while you do your thing. He also carries some pretty solid CC in his kit.
+ Leona is also another excellent tank with amazing CC potential. She can lock down a huge area with her Solar Flare.
+ Galio can be very handy. With his Hero's Entrance and Shield of Durand, he can engage from a decent distance and CC the majority, if not all of the enemy team.
+ Maokai has beautiful single-target lockdown potential with his Twisted Advance, and Nature's Grasp is arguably the best CC ability in the game.
+ Nautilus is literally all CC. Everything he does in some form or another screws with the enemy. Pretty solid pick, but very immobile when his anchor is on CD.
+ Malphite's Unstoppable Force can single-handedly win fights for your team.
+ Ornn, similar to Nautilus, is a mountain of CC. Very, very good to pick with.
+ Janna's Howling Gale can be massive if landed, and her shield is beautiful for engages.
+ Nami can divide, push back, or lock down the enemy team with her Tidal Wave and Aqua Prison, as well as keep your team alive with her strong heals from Ebb and Flow.
+ Annie. If she lands her Summon: Tibbers on a few people or even just 1 good target, the fight usually ends shortly after.
+ Lissandra is a decent mid pick, as her Ring of Frost and Frozen Tomb can be absolutely devastating.
+ Orianna can group the enemy team very nicely with her Command: Shockwave and set you up for a clean fight in combination with her Command: Dissonance. Her Command: Protect is also a useful shield for you when you go in.
+ Lulu can be pretty solid with her single-target CC, poke and utility, but mainly for her insane ult. If you get Lulu ulted, your engage is much cleaner and easier.
+ Skarner, Amumu, Jarvan IV, and Sejuani all have game-changing ults, but are all pretty much exclusive to jungle, so you shouldn't have them on your team as jungle Shyvana. But if you happen to have them on your team for one reason or another (as top laners for example), they make for some great engage.
Press the Attack is the most impactful rune you can take for Shyvana, as you'll be prioritizing Attack Speed and on-hit effects for most of your damage. Triumph will provide you with some much-appreciated sustain during teamfights, as you'll likely be taking a large amount of the damage during engagements. Legend: Alacrity is also taken due to the fact that Shyvana runs on Attack Speed, so the more the better. Last Stand is very powerful if you play correctly, as other than your tank, you are the front line for your team. This means that you will be taking more damage, and this rune will help you secure kills as the fight progresses. For the secondary tree, both Celerity and Waterwalking provide a large increase to our movement speed and combat effectiveness, especially while in the river. This is more impactful than you might imagine, since you'll be crossing and standing in river for Baron and Drake, and to set up ganks and counterganks. You could argue that Gathering Storm is a solid replacement for Waterwalking, but I find that when you take it, you pretty much have no rune for the first 20 minutes of the game.
The new rune; Conqueror, is also a very strong pick for Shyvana, as you'll be able to refresh it very easily, resulting in tons of extra true damage.
Flash is the quintessential Summoner Spell, and will be taken by pretty much every champion in every role in every game. There's no reason not to run this, although it is technically an option to run something else due to your Dragon's Descent being a strong escape tool.
If you're jungling, you will absolutely always take Smite as one of your spells. It is used to secure objectives such as Baron and Drakes, and can be used to provide sustain while jungling.
Ghost is one of the most powerful chase tools in the game, and is very effective for both securing a kill on a low health target, or for escaping a dangerous situation. Generally, you will always take Flash instead.
If you're up against a ridiculous amount of CC, Cleanse is technically an option. However, Flash is objectively more useful, and you can buy a Quicksilver Sash later in the game to mitigate the CC in the same way, which is FAR more effective.
As you don't have mana on Shyvana, this will always be your go-to item at the beginning of the game. The bonus Attack Speed, on-hit monster damage, and lifesteal vs. monsters are all perfect for you.
Pretty self-explanitory, these are potions that refill when you return to your team's fountain. Use them to keep your health up during jungle clears.
For the first part of the game, this is your best friend. Use it to keep vision on your own jungle buffs, paths, or to deep ward in the enemy jungle to see where they are so that you can make plays based on their position.
These are generally the boots I go for, as the armor and reduced damage from auto attacks give you a lot more survivability in the jungle, and will help you duel AD champions throughout the match. However if you are against a very CC-heavy team, it is highly recommended to take Mercury's Treads instead. You can also use Boots of Swiftness or Boots of Mobility depending on the situation and your personal taste.
This is your jungle item, and once it is completed, you will do a generous 4% maximum health damage to targets hit by your auto attacks, and your Smite will now slow champions and do a small amount of damage. This is another tool to help glue yourself to your target and secure kills. Alternatively, you can take Skirmisher's Sabre - Bloodrazor if the enemy team has low mobility but strong dueling potential.
This item was practically made for Shyvana. It provides AD, Health, and a strong slow on-hit that allows you to make up for your lack of innate CC and stick to targets. A very, very strong choice, and I build it every game.
Trinity Force is one of the most recognizable items in the game, and its renown comes from its amazing damage output. AD, Attack Speed, huge CDR, Health, and Movement Speed in addition to a Sheen proc and speed boost on-hit make it a tremendously powerful damage item. Highly recommended if you're going for a more bursty build.
Blade of the Ruined King is a huge power spike if you choose to build it. It gives even more % Health damage, in addition to AD, Attack Speed, lifesteal, and a nice active to slow down would-be escapees or pursuers. Very, very powerful due to the nature of Shyvana's kit, which focuses on speed and on-hit damage.
This item is only taken if you're are building predominantly tank items in order to better front line for your team. It provides huge amounts of Health and decent AD, with a passive and active that help you clear waves or dish out AoE damage in teamfights. If you're feeling like you need more damage instead, you can replace this with Ravenous Hydra and go for a more damage-oriented build. These can both be used to reset your auto attacks, making them very valuable.
Sterak's Gage is a hilarious item to use on Shyvana. Not only does it improve your auto attack damage by a solid amount, it also makes you pretty damn hard to kill thanks to the bonus Health and potentially massive shield from its passive. A very highly recommended 3rd or 4th item.
I typically don't feel the need to buy this, but it does have its place. If the enemy team is stacking armor, this is probably your best bet. It shreds armor with your auto attacks, and gives you some nice padding, damage, and big CDR.
There's been a build going around with Guinsoo's Rageblade on Shyvana, and I think it has some merit. When you build it, your damage really ramps up throughout extended skirmishes, and this can catch people really off guard. Try and get it to full stacks before a big fight if possible for maximum damage potential.
If you're in need of armor, Dead Man's Plate is likely your first and best option. It gives good armor, good health, and a passive that makes your burst on a target hit like a freight train. A nice balance of offense and defense.
The big boy of armor items, Randuin's Omen shuts down Crit and Attack Speed champions pretty well, and the armor and health give you some nice insulation in fights. The active is incredible, and the slow it provides can allow your team to catch up and demolish the enemy, or enable your allies to escape a sticky situation.
Get this item when the enemy team is mostly or completely AD. Armor and Health will keep you alive while the passive damage from Thorns will slowly grind down their health for you and your team to finish them off.
SFC can be a pretty good item on Shyvana since you generally won't be taking Enchantment: Cinderhulk. This is only recommended if you're going to be spending a lot of time in teamfights in the center of a few enemies, and even then most times more raw damage or pure tank items will win out.
Solid MR, Health, and CDR make this item a pretty good pick when you're up against a lot of AP damage. The health regen and bonus from healing effects are pretty nice, and should keep you at high Health during jungle clears and skirmishes.
The go-to anti-CC item, and one of the best items in the game, Mercurial Scimitar is your best friend against CC-heavy teams with champions such as Sejuani or Veigar. I recommend that you keep Quicksilver Sash, and don't upgrade to this fully until later in the game, as other items are more useful than the bonus damage from this most of the time.
The biggest Health item in the game, and pretty useful despite its simplicity. It gives you HUGE amounts of Health and regen, along with some nice CDR, and the passive is insane. After a few seconds, you'll start to regen Health at an absurd rate, which means you can take a lot of damage, leave, and come back moments later with full health to resume fighting. A pretty good choice in some games.
Consumables & Vision:
If you're already full build, or you don't have enough money for items and need something quick for a major fight happening, you will go with this. It gives you good tenacity and Health, and the Path of Iron buff enables your team to follow up on your engages much more swiftly.
These, in addition to normal Stealth Wards, make or break a game. You may have heard this a thousand times already, but vision wins games. Period. If both teams are equally skilled, and one has complete vision control over all objectives and the river, they are nearly guaranteed a win. Being able to see the position of your enemies and deny them that same advantage is huge, and allows you to do much more on the map without fear of being intercepted by a group of unfriendly people. If you have a free slot, it's a good idea to keep at least 1 of these with you for Baron and Drakes, or other objectives.
The successor to Sweeping Lens, Oracle Lens allows you to see and destroy all enemy wards and other invisible units within a certain range around your character. This is used to clear enemy vision from things such as Baron and Dragon pits, or to get rid of pesky abilities such as Teemo's Noxious Traps. As soon as it becomes available to you, get it.
Shyvana does bonus magic damage to dragons and gains Armor and Magic Resist. As Shyvana and her allies slay more dragons, she gains more bonus Armor and Magic Resist.
This ability gives you a surprising amount of survivability once you've downed a few Drakes, meaning you have to build fewer tank items in order to survive fights. You also take Drakes faster than just about anyone else in the game, so you can sneak early Drakes as early as level 4 or 5 if done correctly.
Shyvana strikes twice on her next attack. Basic attacks reduce the cooldown of Twin Bite by 0.5 seconds.
Dragon Form: Twin Bite cleaves all units in front of Shyvana.
This is one of your primary damage sources, and I like to max it second, following Burnout. Using this ability properly to reset your auto attacks will give you significant damage output during both jungle clears and champion fights.
Shyvana surrounds herself in fire, dealing magic damage per second to nearby enemies and moving faster for 3 seconds. Part of this damage is applied again when Shyvana basic attacks an enemy with Burnout active. The Movement Speed reduces over the duration of the spell. Basic attacks extend the duration of Burnout.
Dragon Form: Burnout grows in size.
This is Shyvana's mobility tool and a massive source of AoE damage, and I max this ability first, in addition to it being the first skill I get. Attacks during this effect will deal bonus damage, so you should always have this active when fighting. Do not waste this if you will need it again extremely shortly, as it is, in combination with Frozen Mallet, the reason people struggle to escape Shyvana's onslaught.
Shyvana unleashes a fireball that deals damage to all enemies it encounters and leaves cinders on the target, marking them for 5 seconds. Shyvana's basic attacks on marked targets deal a percentage of their maximum Health as damage on-hit.
Dragon Form: Flame Breath explodes on impact or at target location, dealing bonus damage and scorching the earth for a short duration.
I take this ability second, but max it last, after I can no longer level up Twin Bite or Burnout. The reason for this is that the damage is fairly weak, but the important aspect lies in the 2.5% maximum Health damage on-hit to targets affected by your cinders. Once you are confident that you won't miss, use this ability to start your attacks. Also useful to pull jungle camps to you more quickly for speedy jungle clears.
Shyvana transforms into a dragon and takes flight to a target location. Enemies along her path take damage and are knocked toward her target location. Shyvana passively gains Fury per second and gains 2 Fury on basic attack.
This is Shyvana's most iconic ability, and for good reason. Just from the cast, enemies take 150/250/350 (+70% AP) damage and are knocked toward your target location. This gives you a massive lead in a fight, and can take a large chunk out of squishier targets. Additionally, You gain 150/250/350 bonus health and your auto attack range is changed to 175/190/205. (You also get progressively bigger with more points in Dragon's Descent). Finally, while in Dragon Form, all of your abilities are empowered and have additional effects. You must have a full Fury bar to activate this ability, and while in Dragon Form you will lose 5 Fury per second. After your Fury reaches 0, you will revert to your Human Form again. This is your Super-Saiyan button, and the difference in and out of this form is tremendous. You become incredibly deadly and slightly harder to kill, and can single-handedly turn fights in your team's favor.
Ability Management & Usage
- When you go to fight someone, you may be tempted to use your Flame Breath from a distance to get early damage. However, this is not the correct way to use it. Wait until you are comfortably in melee range of the target to ensure that you land your Flame Breath, as it is a large and important part of your damage.
- Do not waste your Burnout to get to a fight if it would leave it on cooldown when you begin fighting. You always want to make sure that you have Burnout active during engagements in order to both maximize your damage and reduce the chances of enemies escaping.
- Keep in mind that your Twin Bite is an auto attack reset. This means that you can AA>Q>AA very quickly for a burst of damage. Use this technique in combination with AA-resetting items such as Ravenous Hydra to maximize your damage output. Try to save your first Twin Bite for right after your first auto attack on a target so that it cannot be wasted. (Occasionally it is acceptable to use Twin Bite preemptively, such as when a target is on very low health and you are sprinting to kill them before they can flee).
- Always keep an eye on your Fury meter. You should have your Dragon's Descent before every major fight, and it's a good idea to maintain a full Fury bar as often as possible for surprise skirmishes. You can do this by simply doing your jungle camps or pushing minion waves that are uncontested.
- Your Dragon's Descent should not be used to start a teamfight, as you are (hopefully) NOT the team's tank, and you will die relatively quickly when focused. Try to wait until a tank engages or a large CC such as Sejuani's ultimate is cast before engaging with Dragon's Descent.
- Dragon's Descent knocks enemies in the direction you aim it, so you can use this in a manner similar to Azir's ultimate to displace the enemy and attack the squishies or remove them from the safety of a tower at the start of a fight.
- While chasing a target, use your Burnout to maintain speed, and walk slightly ahead of them while constantly auto attacking to ensure that you are consistently damaging them as they try to flee like a coward.
Early Game & Jungling
Having proper knowledge and execution of jungle routes is a major part of jungling, and luckily, Shyvana clears faster than most champions. There are a few starting routes you can take, so I'll list a few of them here:
- Route 1: Start at your side's Blue buff (with or without a leash) and then move on immediately to your Gromp and then to Red buff. (It helps to have your laner ward your Red so you can tell if it has been stolen). After Red buff is down, and if it is still alive, (It likely will be with your clear speed.) kill the Rift Scuttler in the closest river. This route gives you both buffs, the experience from Gromp, and vision of the river for your laners and yourself so that you can detect roams or ganks more easily. This is the route I take most often, and I find it works quite well.
- Route 2: In this route, you will start at your Red buff. After taking Red, clear your Raptors and then directly over to your Blue buff to kill it and your Gromp or the closest Rift Scuttler. This is similar to the first route, but the red buff will improve your clearing speed and keep you at higher health in the process.
- Route 3: The invade route. This route starts at the enemy's buff (preferably Red), after which you will retreat back to your own jungle to take your Blue buff (or Red if you stole their Blue). You then proceed to clear out the rest of your jungle as usual. This route, if done correctly, will put the enemy jungler behind in gold, exp, and a crucial buff. Be sure to have the appropriate laner ward your Buff that you are going to be farthest away from.
As for early game ganks, you're nowhere near as powerful as you are post-level 6, so be careful when you choose to gank a lane. Ping to make sure that your laner is ready, and try and gank a lane when it is pushing toward your team's tower to force the enemy to have to retreat farther back to try and avoid death. If you can get a kill advantage early on as Shyvana, you can snowball pretty hard.
As with every champion, staying ahead in levels and gold is mandatory. Being behind is manageable, but if you get to the point where you're 2 levels and half an item up on the enemy jungler in the early game, there's little to no chance that they can actually do anything to stop you, and you'll cruise into the mid game.
Mid to Late Game & Teamfighting
Mid game is where Shyvana really starts to shine. You've gotten your ultimate, you should have at least 1 or 2 items by now, and you're clearing jungle even more rapidly than before. Utilize your Dragon's Descent to catch enemies out while they are roaming, or to dive someone under tower to secure a kill for yourself or your laner. (If ganking bot lane, I usually try and give the kill to my ADC unless the enemy would escape otherwise. Having a fed ADC will more often than not win you the game on its own). Be aggressive when fighting enemies, and make sure you properly use your abilities as outlined in the "Abilities" section of the guide.
In teamfights, you're going to have a lot of responsibility. Hopefully your team will have a proper tank, and at least a few CC abilities. Allow your tank to engage the fight, and then dive in with Dragon's Descent to scatter apart the enemies and make vulnerable their back line carries. Focus the squishies, especially the ADC, and be sure to catch as many enemies in your abilities as you can to maximize the damage you do in the fight. If your team has no tank and no notable CC, you will have to be the one to engage. As before, you will use Dragon's Descent to engage. However, if you're forced to be the tank, you should have a Randuin's Omen or similar item to help suppress the enemy team and allow your carries to dish out some big damage. Try and burn enemy carries down as much as possible while zoning to keep your own team safe.
You can also, when needed, be an amazing split-pusher. Shyvana melts towers like butter, and her Burnout allows for her to go deeper than most champions and still escape in time to avoid death at the hands of the enemy team. If your team is sieging the middle inhibitor tower, for example, you can go bottom or top lane and shove in the towers, forcing them to either allow you to take objectives and push waves for free, or rotate to stop you and allow your team to do the same or close in for a teamfight in your favor. Either way, it's an advantageous position to be in if you can make it happen.
Shyvana is my favorite champion in the game, and I'm glad to see that she's been in a great spot so far in Season 8. Hopefully for the rest of the season she will maintain the power she has, but I'll still have fun with her regardless. I hope this guide was helpful, and if you enjoyed reading it, consider checking out the other guides on my profile. Thank you for taking the time to check out this guide, any and all questions or constructive criticism are welcome. I'll be working to answer questions and keep the guide updated frequently.