Shen Build Guide by Hanjaro
Hanjaro's Shen Supporting your way to Challenger.By Hanjaro | Updated on April 29, 2021
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++8 ability haste
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!
If you enjoy playing, or want to learn more about Shen, you can read and discuss more over at /r/Shen.
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
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%.
Plated Steelcaps > ARMOR
If the enemy team has a lot of physical damage threats, and you're the primary front line, or need some extra survivability, Plated Steelcaps's are the way to go, offering 20 armor, and reducing incoming basic attacks by 12%.
Redemption > CDR/HP+MANA REGEN/SUSTAIN
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 30 magic resist, increasing your overall tankiness, while providing a shield to your allies upon use - and you also provide nearby allies 5 bonus armor and magic resist. It also empowers other legendary items to increase passive bonus resistances by 2.
Mikael's Crucible > SURVIVABILITY/CDR/UTILITY
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 your ally a small heal. Increases your HP regeneration, while granting you 40 magic resist, and 20% shielding power - good synergy with Stand United and Ki Barrier.
Sunfire Cape > SURVIVABILITY/DAMAGE
You gain +425 health and +30 armor/magic resist with Sunfire Aegis, 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, getting you up to full stacks extremely fast, increasing your damage substantially, while offering good tank stats. A different choice to Locket of the Iron Solari, but both have their merits
Turbo Chemtank > SURVIVABILITY/CDR/SUSTAIN/UTILITY
Turbo Chemtank 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.
Randuin's Omen > SURVIVABILITY/UTILITY
Extra armor, and a massive amount of health are the staple stats Shen wants as a tank vs physical champions. You reduce incoming damage from all attacks by 5 per 1k health, capped at 40% of the attacks damage, and you can activate the item to slow enemies for 99% and reduce their attack and critical strike damage by 10&20% for 4 seconds, making this a great item vs heavy AD reliant teams.
Ki Barrier (Passive)
STATIC COOLDOWN: 10 seconds
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 (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 (W)
EFFECT RADIUS: 300
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 (E)
COST: 150 ENERGY
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.
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.|
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!
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.
- 11/22/2020 - Updated for preseason.
- 01/22/2021 - Updated for 11.2.