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Shen Build Guide by Lichskorpion

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Anti-bully Shen Guide (Stop dying to Darius and Sett!)

By Lichskorpion | Updated on December 2, 2020
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Runes: Melee AD Bully

1 2
Fleet Footwork
Legend: Tenacity
Coup de Grace

Nimbus Cloak

+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+6 Armor


1 2
Melee Bully
LoL Summoner Spell: Flash


LoL Summoner Spell: Ghost


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Top Lane
Ranked #22 in
Top Lane
Win 55%
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Threats & Synergies

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Ideal Synergies

Champion Build Guide

Anti-bully Shen Guide (Stop dying to Darius and Sett!)

By Lichskorpion
Intro to guide (check out the videos at the end of the guide!)
This is mostly an anti- Sett/ Darius build! But it also works well against Illaoi, ranged champs, or any champion you don't want to fight with and that you need sustain against during laning phase! Of course, it is mostly relevant to you if you do struggle against these matchups and can't manage to 1v1 them. If you are a mechanical god and can outplay your bully opponents, you do not need this guide! For the rest of us non-xPetus out there, read on!

This build can also be used (with some adaptation) against champions such as Mordekaiser, Teemo, Kennen, Ryze, Gnar, and Gangplank, if you aren't confident enough to fight them directly with Grasp of the Undying or Aftershock!

I heard that climbing is a lot about not dying; even tough it may appear boring for some people, it works. In my case, using this strategy against these bully matchups, I recently climbed to Platinum 4. And so the core of the strategy involves playing passively, making the best use of your movement speed, and staying as healthy as possible while farming as much as you can, without dying. The goal is to SURVIVE THE EARLY GAME without being too much behind. That means ALWAYS avoid fighting your opponent if possible (more details in the strategy section of this guide).

Please, have a look at the videos at the end of the guide, they show a few matchups and the "how-to" for being successful with this strategy.

Pros: Can safely get higher-than-average cs and fewer deaths against bully matchups, can escape ganks and all-ins or chase easily with high mobility, scales well late game with focus on splitpushing and teamfighting utility items.

Cons: Cannot fight the bully directly (obviously), even less than normal, unless you are well ahead or with your team (which should be the goal since you will usually let the bully push).

Runes Back to Top

Primary Tree: Precision

Fleet Footwork

We take Fleet Footwork because it gives you a great movement speed steroid on attacking, so it is extremely useful to grab a cs and run away before Darius can pull you with Apprehend or Sett with Facebreaker. They never expect it (see clip below). It also heals you slightly and can store some HP shield thanks to our next rune: Overheal.

The extra speed can also allow you to grab kills you might not have been able to otherwise.


The reason for Overheal is that it's going to negate some of the poke you might get while going to CS. Typically around 500 to 1500 damage blocked per game. It's not great, but in bully matchups you can't proc Grasp of the Undying anyway, so you take what you can. You're looking for the late game here, so this will help you survive just a little bit more while Triumph wouldn't be so useful early because you won't be fighting or getting kills solo.

Legend: Tenacity

Legend: Tenacity is to reduce the duration of Darius' Crippling Strike and Sett's Facebreaker. Remember, in this matchup your goal is to survive and scale, so you don't need slightly increased attack speed from Legend: Alacrity late game, but increased survivability early will be very useful. However, if you are against a range laner with no CC for example, you can go for the attack speed rune ( Legend: Alacrity).

Coup de grace

Coup de Grace because there's no better runes on this slot.

Secondary Tree: Sorcery


Since this build is based on movement speed and never getting caught, Celerity gives you even more movement speed that synergizes with Fleet Footwork, boots, and our next rune: Nimbus Cloak!

Nimbus Cloak

The reason for this rune is that it allows you to flee extremely fast after flashing if Darius catches up to you with a pull or with Ghost, or if he's going to finish you with Noxian Guillotine, or yet if his jungler ganks you and you would not survive otherwise. It's also very useful to catch people after using Flash (e.g., after ulting) or using Teleport.

Nullifying Orb

I recommend changing Nimbus Cloak for Nullifying Orb when playing against AP bullies, such as Mordekaiser, because it will block some good ability power damage when you get low HP.

Secondary Tree: Resolve (against poke)

Second Wind

Just super useful rune against poke in general (e.g., Teemo, Kennen, Ryze, Gnar, Gangplank, ADC top).


Bigger shields and bigger heals (e.g., from Fleet Footwork)!
Items Back to Top

Boots of Speed

Early boots start and movement speed is absolutely essential to dodge Darius's pull Apprehend and Q spin Noxian Guillotine early, or just to avoid him chasing you to death.

Boots of Swiftness

We RUSH these boots because they are essential to never being caught by Darius or Sett, or to leave quickly if you decide to go in for a quick dip. This is the first item you should get before anything else. Then you can farm way more safely, and therefore build more gold for better items.

Boots of Swiftness reduces the slow from Darius, and also provides the best in-combat movement speed generally. Also remember that Darius will be rushing Phage to try to catch you, so you have to match that speed and these boots will help you.

Titanic Hydra

You should aim to finish Titanic Hydra (or Tiamat) as SOON as your tower or the enemy top tower falls so you can hard push. So it's OK to get as many components ( Jaurim's Fist first) waiting for that moment while also building tanky (Warden's Mail) if no tower's going down and you can afford it.

Dead Man's Plate and Randuin's Omen

Since this build focuses on being useful to your team and outscaling, Randuin's Omen provides great utility, HP, and armor. The AOE slow in particular is extremely good in team fights, but also for chasing or peeling Darius off you if he catches you in a sideline.

Lately though, I I've been swapping Randuin's Omen for Dead Man's Plate if I feel I need even more speed to help splitpush side lanes and not necessarily a slow. ESPECIALLY if Darius or Sett are also building Dead Man's Plate: I have to be able to catch up with their speed or I'll get caught and die.

Other items after that are situational.

Wit's End gives you magic resist, attack speed (for faster clears), and movement speed; Phantom Dancer gives you a shield, attack speed, and more movement speed. Replace Wit's End with Spirit Visage or Adaptive Helm if you need to build tankier against AP. Replace Phantom Dancer with Sterak's Gage or Thornmail if you prefer tankiness/anti-heal to attack/movement speed. Although, these are just suggestions because after your first three essential items, it's extremely situational really. You should adapt to the enemy team, who's fed, and so on.
Early & Post-Laning Strategy Back to Top

Early game Strategy

Simply put, never try to fight Darius or Sett, just take all the farm you can safely take and outscale them, look for good ults. Personally, the first thing I do each game when going against Darius or Sett, is I ask my jungler not to gank top! The reason is that for some reason it always go bad and Darius/ Sett end up with a double kill! It is better to let him "bully" me while I can be sure he'll never get a kill! Here are some more specific tips.

(1) Always stay as far as possible of the enemy bully unless you are going to last hit. Plus, all your movement speed allows you to dodge abilities, so dodge them!

(2) If you are able to last hit without using Q Twilight Assault, it is better to keep Q to activate your passive shield Ki Barrier whenever you go for last hitting and the enemy bully tries to poke or attack you to maximize the blocked damage.

(3) Always keep walking to keep your Fleet Footwork counter up and ready to 100 so that you get that sweet speed boost and heal (and shield with Overheal) whenever you go last hit.

(4) Let the Darius or Sett push so you can farm freely under tower, or freeze just outside your tower. If the wave is past the river on enemy side, it's ok to go last hit there as long as it's safe.

That means either: (1) you have the river warded, (2) you know where the enemy jungler is, (3) you have Flash up, or (4) your wave is bigger than his and ideally going to crash in his tower (if that's the case, try to hard push it so it crashes to his tower then recall to get items). Otherwise, just wait and let the wave push to you. This is especially true if the enemy wave is bigger than yours (don't try to cs then if he zones you). It's ok to miss cs in these matchups.

(5) If Darius or Sett ever pulls you, immediately e Shadow Dash away. You will 100% dodge Darius Q Noxian Guillotine and you will take more minor damage from his w Crippling Strike and one auto-attack. Same if Sett ults you with The Show Stopper, as soon as you Shadow Dash away he can't reach you anymore.

(6) There's no point in trying to trade with Sett because (1) he will regenerate any damage you do to him, and (2) the more damage you do to him, the greater his Grit will be and accordingly the greater his w Haymaker damage to you when you try to leave. You cannot win trades with him generally. But if you don't increase his grit by fighting with him, his w basically does no damage. Beware though that a good Sett will want you to taunt them under tower so they can throw you a huge and nasty w. So if you do taunt him under tower, just make sure to walk out as soon as your taunt is over to dodge his w. Then he will have taken free damage and not you.

(7) Finally, it is important to ping MIA (question mark) to your team and mid laner as soon as your bully goes out of sight because he will roam a lot mid and into your jungle because this build relies on letting him push. Also make sure to stay attentive to ult to counter his roam if necessary.

But really, the most important is to NOT DIE because if they have no kills Darius and Sett will become "useless" late game but YOU will become a splitpushing beast with your items.

To be fair, I think this strategy is much easier against Sett because he's more useless than Darius late game (who, even if behind, can still get 5 Hemorrhage stacks). For example, in the case below, I was overconfident because I was ahead (3/2/4) and Darius was behind (1/3/1), and we were 3v1.

If you do make a mistake and die by being overconfident and trying to fight with Darius or Sett, you will pay it greatly. However, if they do mistakes (which they do all the time), you don't win much and they don't lose much because they have so much sustain on top of damage, while you have neither. Even if you do get a kill or two on them, you probably still cannot fight them head-on. So it's just not worth it. Just play it safe and back. A good Darius will try to bait your taunt under tower to pummel you. Don't do this:

Also be careful of Sett's full combo when he has Blade of the Ruined King and ult ready when trying to steal some cs around him:

After Laning Phase Strategy

Look to splitpush fast with Titanic Hydra, and never get caught with all our built-in movement speed + active slow. General splitpushing rules:

(1) Always splitpush on the opposite side of the current objective (dragon, Baron, tower, inhib) to pull enemy members to you so your team can take the objective freely and ult to join them if needed.

(2) Never push if you lack vision of enemy team, because they will most likely collapse on you. Always ward enemy jungle when you are past river unless you can clearly see where the enemy team is. Sometimes, when they go out of vision, you can just hide in side lane bush and start to Recall , and then cancelling it, and then recalling again, until the enemy team comes in sight again.

If you see that they are indeed collapsing on you, it's easy to recall since you had already started it before seeing them. This is particularly useful when you have the Baron buff , where you might not want to fight the team but still stay there to keep the enemy team busy with your empowered minions so your team can apply pressure elsewhere.

(3) Similarly, always keep in mind the principle of "EQUAL PRESSURE". You need your team to pressure elsewhere so you can push past river. If you push alone they will probably 4-man gank you, but if they're busy matching your team push bot, you can take top tower.
Example gameplays Back to Top

Darius Game

Here's a pretty textbook example (KDA: 8/2/5 in a Platinum 4 game), against Darius. It's not a perfect game, far from it, but the spirit of the strategy is there. You will see that I play extremely safe at all times and give up cs as necessary.

Sett Game

And here's an example against Sett (KDA: 7/2/10 in a Platinum 4 game). Again, not a perfect game, but still a good demonstration. Think about it this way: if you play perfectly, you'll have even more success with this build.

Gnar Game

And here's an example against poke— Gnar (KDA: 10/6/22 in a Platinum 4 game). Healed 4152 hp from Fleet Footwork that game, and shielded 2421 from Overheal.

Illaoi Game

Here with Illaoi (KDA: 3/2/21 in a Platinum 3 game). Truly, for me, not dying to Illaoi is a success in itself and this build made this possible for me (I died twice, but after laning phase).

Illaoi is kind of a special case and you need a slightly different strategy with her. First, always stay behind your minions to avoid her pulling you with her e Test of Spirit. Trust me, missing even several minions is better than to get your spirit pulled, lose half your hp, and having to back.

So for this matchup you don't actually want to let her push you into your tower because then she'll be able to threaten you with e whenever you go for a cs. You rather want to freeze the wave mid. Why mid rather than closer to your tower? Because she can start pushing really fast and collapse the wave into your tower, making you fully vulnerable to her. But if the wave is mid, it gives you a bit more time to slow her push and wait for the next wave.

Last hit minions with normal auto-attacks and keep your passive Ki Barrier for when Illaoi uses her Q Tentacle Smash on you so you are always full HP if she decides to go all-in.

If you still get pushed into your tower (which will surely happen as she can push really fast), you'll have to get whatever cs you can while trying to bait her e by faking going for the cs and backing off. You can also taunt to dodge her pull, but you have to be really fast.

If she still manages to pull your spirit, just Shadow Dash out of Test of Spirit range to deactivate it and reduce incoming damage, then focus on dodging the tentacles until it expires (you can still cs during that time if you're careful).

Note: if you stay around the first tentacle when it spawns, another tentacle will not spawn, but the first one will still attack a second time. Some people prefer to do that as the next tentacle slam is more predictable. Just stay put for 2 seconds to mark your position and then immediately walk away to dodge it.

Important note: do NOT taunt her under tower when she has ult if she baits you because if you do she'll be able to ult you under tower, take zero damage, and kill you for sure as you won't have your e escape anymore. ALWAYS keep e to disengage. Just never engage on her unless your team is here to help and she has wasted her ult just before.

Quinn Game

Against Quinn this time, another type poke (KDA: 11/2/14 in a Platinum 4 game).

Most important: Don't forget to use TPA Shen skin when playing against Darius with this build! And leave comments or likes if it helped you ;) <3
League of Legends Build Guide Author Lichskorpion
Lichskorpion Shen Guide
Anti-bully Shen Guide (Stop dying to Darius and Sett!)
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