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Shyvana Build Guide by Veralion

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AP Shyvana Mid: The Lizard Wizard

By Veralion | Updated on September 15, 2020
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Sailor MOwOn | September 11, 2020 4:41pm
So I played against a Shyvana mid in ranked the other day and while we won, she did VERY well. So I was morbidly curious and looked up guides and tried her yesterday using yours. WOW, I am addicted! This is the most fun I've had in the mid lane in a long time!! Thanks for this!
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Veralion (1) | September 15, 2020 3:39pm
Rawr!
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Vincentt | March 14, 2020 9:46am
Hey man great work! I have an different idea on the Keystone selection. Can you check it out and give me some feedback? https://loldata.info/champion-guide/ap-shyvana/ Thanks!
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franz liszt | September 6, 2019 6:14am
@ Veralion , Is the R->Flash combo possible? Does it help landing the ult by almost supressing the enemy's reaction time (like lee sin's or annie's R->flash combos) ? I'm asking because when I tried it in the practice tool, it seemed bugged.
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Veralion (1) | September 6, 2019 4:36pm
You gain no extra distance and... maybe you get to the endpoint a little faster? If so, it's negligible and still allows for time to react. Might catch people off guard? Big commitment for not much benefit IMO. I'd rather flash and then ult in all cases.
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looselybaked | June 28, 2019 6:40pm
Hi! I'm adoring this guide and absolutely destroying using your guide, Shyvana mid is criminally underrated. However, I'm not really enjoying the stalker's blade/smite deal. Do you have any recommendations for replacing those? Thank you so much! <3
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Infitar (1) | June 12, 2019 8:06pm
I've noticed some people going liandry and rylais. I am currently rocking the AP Shyv mid/jg. Usually goes runic echoes, sorc boots, nashor, morellos, raba cap, zhonya if necessary or it will be a void staff. Basically I got into AP Shyv following your guide and I've been having so much fun with her, with the exception of not having ults at crucial moments. I am considering Rylai/SpearShojin/Liandry. Though, not sure which one to change and when to use. What are your thoughts on these items?
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Veralion (1) | June 13, 2019 4:58am
Glad to hear! Yeah, my response to people who say hur dur press E no skill is that the skill lies in having that ult available when you need it and getting it back as quickly as possible, which takes foresight and planning before you have your level 16 fury generation.

I don't think Rylai and Liandry's is ever worth it since you need both to get full value out of the items since you have no CC on your kit. They're tuned for champions with periodic damage which keeps the debuff ticking over a long period of time (go to hell, Malzahar). Plus even with them, AP just absolutely sucks at tank shredding. You'd be much more effective with PTA bloodrazor to amplify their damage taken by your team while getting a much stronger source of percent damage than Liandry. I don't think Shojin has a place on an AP build. You're too squishy to get much reset value by auto attacking in a big fight. Good shojin users are strong Conquereor stackers with innate tankyness or sustain on their kits like Jax, Riven, and Renekton. G2 Wunder was trying out a build in toplane that went Conqueror, spear, twin shadows, Rylais, but it seems to have been a failed experiment. I think he moved on from it. G2 is a crazy creative team and their players are the best in the world, so it's tough to say if something they test in solo queue is widely applicable or useful for the rest of us.
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Infitar (1) | June 13, 2019 7:04am
I am gonna quote a discussion on reddit. I want to see what you think.

" its pretty legit if you're sieging/being sieged in a lane and theres minions to proc it on. to expand on what the other guy said, you're not supposed to be using the shojin passive to duel in melee. You're just supposed to proc it on minions/jg and throw out more E's.

also, one of the side benefits of this build is that you're not entirely squishy. If you have shojin + rylai + morello thats +800 hp. with ult you're looking at +950-1150 hp. The real question is what does nashor's offer you that shojin doesn't. nashor's gives 80 ap 50% IAS and onhit dmg. Shojin gives 60 AD 250 hp and the cdr passive that also gives 50% ias. both give 20% cdr. Base E has 0.6ad and 0.7ap ratio. the explosion has 0.3ad and 0.3 ap ratio. the dot has 0.1 and 0.2 ap ratio. Effectively you're looking at a combined 1.0ad and 1.2ap ratio guaranteed. thats 96 or 60 more dmg on E for nashors or shojin, respectively. with 6 or 16 dmg more per tick. The thing is that if played right shojin could give ~3 E's during the duration of the passive. nashors cant give you that. you're stuck to the 4.4s (45% cdr) cd. you could argue that nashors has the base ias allowing you to stack rage up faster and subsequently ult more, but I don't its as impactful as being able to get out 3 e's in a few seconds."
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Infitar (1) | June 10, 2019 7:49pm
Really love the guide. Pretty detailed. Would love to hear more of your thoughts during games. When do you opt for ignite? I watched some vids where you went ignite instead of smite. I also saw a montage with you going statik + IE. Why did you opt for AD instead of AP for that round?
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Veralion (1) | June 11, 2019 7:00am
Hai! I don't go Ignite ever anymore, those clips are old. I swapped back in like March sometime. Maybe I should, I've been thinking about running it into some of the easier and less harassy matchups recently, think I'm being too passive and need to smash someone immediately at 6, but Runic is just so damn good now that it's hard to not make the early sacrifice...

And the crit stuff is trolling from about a year ago, lol. Crit is a lot like AP, except you have to be in melee range instead of in the next area code over so it's much worse. I've been going AD into certain matchups recently though, I'm not that good at it yet and am still figuring out when it's a good idea and what to build. Experimenting with Red smite bloodrazor into spear of shojin right now. Depends on matchup and team comps. AD mulches Irelia, makes Yasuo much easier, makes Kassadin bearable for instance. Doesn't work too well into Pyke or anything ranged, obviously. If we have a good source of AP on the team like Zyra or Rumble, I can go AD. Most teams only have the midlaner for magic damage nowadays, so usually I'm stuck going AP. Also if the enemy has a ****ton of bruisers/tanks that AP would do poorly into, AD's better. Gotta weigh it all against eachother. Still going AP 90% of the time right now.

I also try to narrate my decision making in game if I'm not tilted and depressed AF. Flip through a few VODs till you find a good game and I'll probably be doing so.
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techBoss | April 29, 2019 4:33pm
I started playing shyvana for the most random reason: I saw it being played by pros on a competition and marvelled at how fast she cleared camps including dragons, second time I tried her in the jungle I did a penta. I kept researching about shyvana ap and found your guide. I dedicate this other penta to you:
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Veralion (1) | May 2, 2019 4:55am
Pros, really? I haven't heard of her even being touched since the season 4 TP/Smite top meta. Dyrus killed it on her for a while. Must be a minor region, right?

Took me a lot longer to finally penta, it's tough when all your damage is on a 5s CD, good job and thanks!
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techBoss | May 10, 2019 2:18pm
Yes, I think I was watching an old tournament, it wasn't live, but on youtube. I hope shyvana sees play again some day again in competitions, possibly when it's buffed on some patch. Also, since with shyvana ap mid your aim is to gain a lead by roaming bot and doing dragons, why not just run it bot? I find it tough to farm with her against many matchups in mid so I've been trying shyvana heal/smite in bot as an APC, works very well against squishy enemies because you can turn it into a solo killer lane or make them back as soon as you hit 6 by chunking them allowing safer dragons, plates and tower. When I know it's safe to do it, I try to hit as many people with my ult then reposition with flash+w if i'm being focused and low on hp, the ult hits for a lot and has some CC, combined with the E+W+Q after I hit with the ult, I almost always kill a squishy carry/jungler instantly, then, when I reposition I hit another E or 2 to help my team, I find it harder to burst when I ult near the team fight and then just E because the team fights can go very wrong in between Es if I haven't killed someone yet or if I fail an E. High sustain supps like soraka let me get close and combo E+Q on them, even on tanky supps you can chunk them heavily if you are healed while EQing and usually get a kill even though you were being focused by both bot laners, assassins like pyke also go well when the enemy laners are squishy an E or 2 can also setup their health to be in range of pyke's ult, going with an assassin support is riskier, but when it works it snowballs hard. The hardest part is having a support that understands how shyvana trades and her power spykes, some supports I've found get very confused and just die trying to all-in at the wrong times, in hard to farm lanes I take smite and sometimes ult to farm+chunk, I do nashor's tooth as first item if I'm not running smite to reset R quickly. Have you tried her APC bot? It feels like it is a high skill pick because it is a little hard specially to farm, and I would probably need a support that wants to practice it too, but so far seems very viable. I'm starting to believe it may be her best position, both APC and jungle, and honestly I prefer to play her APC rather than jungle.
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NicknameMy (155) | February 26, 2019 1:52am
For me, the only viable AP Shyvana build is Luden's Echo, Sorcerer's Shoes, Nashor's Tooth, Oblivion Orb, Void Staff, Rabadon's Deathcap, Morellonomicon with Dark Harvest, Taste of Blood, Eyeball Collection, Ravenous Hunter, Cosmic Insight, Biscuit Delivery.

45% CDR is key to maximise the damage and Luden's Echo is way more important than Nashor's Tooth as you want to be able to kill the enemy first and then be able to kill him more often. Also, Void Staff first compared to Rabadon's Deathcap is just pure math.

If someone is going any routes for defense, sustain or Stopwatch, I would say that he doesn't understand AP Shyvana's strength at all. She is the best poker in the game with insane range, if you use your range, nobody should be able to damage you. Also Lich Bane is probably the biggest trap item for AP Shyvana in the game.
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Veralion (1) | February 26, 2019 12:24pm
Well, all that is mostly right in my eyes, and I'm sure you can find success with going Luden's first. It ain't crazy. Myself, I could never pass up on faster ult availability and attack speed for plate shredding. Can actually do a bit of damage outside of your Flame Breath too and you get great value with Twin Bite. You'll do a similar if not greater amount of damage through the on-hit proc as the Echo hit in an all-in. Plus the Luden's Echo proc activates on the first thing your Flame Breath hits, so if you're trying to max range poke through a creep wave, you're out of luck. It's better for transformed Flame Breath poke for sure, but you can't sustain Dragon's Descent for long without attack speed and if you can hit enough things to get another E off, there's all the value back you would have missed out on.

I started running AP mid with Cosmic Insight and Stopwatch myself actually, and while the extra CDR is nice and great for early farming in particular, I settled on my Sorcery secondaries. They've become pretty standard picks for AP in the Shyvana mains community. 30-40% CDR is all that you really need to make the build functional. 45 is great for sure, but not worth missing out on 80 AP at 30 minutes and the extra 5% in the midgame plus AP from overcapping (blue buff, Lichbane+Zhonya's, 6th item Luden's) with Transcendence. Biscuits would be great in a bad lane, though, but I just can't see sacrificing my secondaries and still have a respectable mid-late game. Oh, and try laning against a mid Diamond Orianna or other extreme matchup without Fleet Footwork. It's a fun time. The better players you face, the more efficient their harass patterns become, the more necessary Fleet Footwork becomes to even have a chance of scaling up.

So, void staff math. Target is level 18 Vayne with no MR. We're also 18 for simplicity. Starting value of 38.5 MR. After pen is 5.5 without void staff, -9.9 with. Damage reduction values are 5.2% and -11% respectively, rounded for simplicity (formula for DR is (MR/(MR+100)). Let's assume we have 220 AP, going off of your build order. E hits for 600 pre-mitigation. Adding AP values from the items we get 670 damage for Void and (220+120)*1.4 = 476 AP, 856 damage for the hat. Now apply damage reduction. Void ends up at 743.7 damage, deathcap at 808.9. If your priority targets have no MR, and they very rarely do in this meta, go hat. If they have Maw or Banshee's, Void. Deathcap also further increases in value over void staff as you build more AP.

Gonna hard disagree with you about Stopwatch. While you're right that she's very safe in dragon form, sometimes you just can't do anything about things getting on you ( Olaf, Vi, Master Yi, Katarina, etc.), and in those cases being able to deny a reset and stall for your Flame Breath CD is absolutely invaluable. You'd better believe you'll be a priority target once they realize you hit like Fat Man. If you get hit by anything with this much damage in the game, you are probably dead, so it's much needed insurance. You can't play perfectly all the time, especially if your team has lost vision control. Plus if you see a good setup to Dragon's Descent Flame Breath off of a 3 man Malphite ult or something and you don't have that stasis, you're almost certainly dead if you don't 100-0 all of them by the time they land. Even finding a moment to take one carry out of the game who wandered too close to the wrong wall and using stasis while your team catches up, starts the fight, and draws attention is crazy valuable. It just opens up so many options for playmaking; landing RE to try and instagib someone in the lategame is suicide without it unless your setup is insanely good.

Lich bane is only for heavy melee compositions and bruisers in my book. An Olaf will just shrug off your Flame Breath damage for instance, so you need some form of sustained chunking power to deal with him. Give it a shot sometime. I used to think much like you, that you shouldn't be in range to use it properly, then I gave it a whirl into meatball comps and appreciated its power. ldareyou is a GM AP Shyvana player who swears by it and usually gets it right after pen (https://na.op.gg/summoner/userName=ldareyou). One of the last clips in my guide is against a fed AF Darius, and there's no way that guy ever dies if I hadn's been smacking him for 300 Lich Bane procs every few seconds.

Anyway as I said, lots of schools of thought on AP Shyv, hope that explains mine a bit better. Thanks!
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NicknameMy (155) | March 2, 2019 11:59pm
One thing I have to mention is the price difference of Void Staff vs Rabadon's Deathcap for your math. You can basically calculated Void Staff + Needlessly Large Rod vs Rabadon's Deathcap here. That 60 AP makes the difference. You want to get both anyway in any game as no other item increases your damage more.
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TruMediaMix1 (3) | February 18, 2019 8:35am
I'd like to ask: why pick Adaptive Damage runes instead of Attack Speed and Armor? Maybe even a CDR rune and extra Magic Resistance?
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Veralion (1) | February 18, 2019 2:04pm
Well, there are very few champions into whom you'd be able to make use of the attack speed rune early. Shyvana is a very poor duelist until at least level 3, and at that point you either won't be allowed to close distance or get completely demolished and out-traded. There may be a few champions into which AS is the better option; Ekko comes to mind as a possibility. You trade pretty evenly into him. But it strikes me as a niche thing for sure. I'd be interested to hear anecdotes with running it!

The AP is mainly used to aid early last hitting with E since you'll be zoned off the wave most of the time; the base damage is only 60+20 at rank 1, so the timings would be rough without the extra 18(0.7)= 12.6 damage. Even if your timings are great, the lower damage would still hurt your last hitting since E is on a very long cooldown for a few levels. You need to be able to kill as much as you can per cast. Scaling CDR takes quite a while to get to a value worth caring about, and my build always caps it one way or another by that point. If it were a flat 5%, now that would be worth taking, but as is... meh.

You take defensive shards as needed for the lane; just 1 armor rune is always enough since you'll be building Seeker's. I always take double MR if I need to take Fleet for a bad lane. I take double MR with DH against all-in burst mages like Annie, Syndra, Katarina since there's no AP/MR option in the game.
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TruMediaMix1 (3) | February 21, 2019 4:55am
Veralion wrote:
Well, there are very few champions into whom you'd be able to make use of the attack speed rune early. Shyvana is a very poor duelist until at least level 3, and at that point you either won't be allowed to close distance or get completely demolished and out-traded. There may be a few champions into which AS is the better option; Ekko comes to mind as a possibility. You trade pretty evenly into him. But it strikes me as a niche thing for sure. I'd be interested to hear anecdotes with running it!

The AP is mainly used to aid early last hitting with E since you'll be zoned off the wave most of the time; the base damage is only 60+20 at rank 1, so the timings would be rough without the extra 18(0.7)= 12.6 damage. Even if your timings are great, the lower damage would still hurt your last hitting since E is on a very long cooldown for a few levels. You need to be able to kill as much as you can per cast. Scaling CDR takes quite a while to get to a value worth caring about, and my build always caps it one way or another by that point. If it were a flat 5%, now that would be worth taking, but as is... meh.

You take defensive shards as needed for the lane; just 1 armor rune is always enough since you'll be building Seeker's. I always take double MR if I need to take Fleet for a bad lane. I take double MR with DH against all-in burst mages like Annie, Syndra, Katarina since there's no AP/MR option in the game.

Vi can definitely make use of an Attack Speed rune. It allows her to proc Denting Blows faster.

Try picking her for top lane some day. She can effectively trade with other melee top laners. :)
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