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Shyvana Build Guide by Therolyk

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Therolyk

Hybrid DPS Shyvana - Stare into the belly of the beast!

Therolyk Last updated on November 9, 2011
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Team 1

LeagueSpy Logo
Jungle Role
Ranked #14 in
Jungle Role
Win 53%
Get More Stats

Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
Ability Key R

Not Updated For Current Season

The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.


Brute Force
Improved Rally

Offense: 9

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 21

Expanded Mind
Blink of an Eye
Mystical Vision
Presence of the Master

Utility: 0

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Hey guys, this is my first build on Mobafire, so please be gentle on me! If anyone has any questions, comments, or suggestions, I would LOVE to hear them, so please post away!


This is the build I made on the first day of the Shyvana patch day, immediately, I noticed great results, becoming a very durable and high damage champion early, mid, and late game. The build focuses on both her ability to chase enemies down with Burnout and get those constant, quick hits in to extend the AoE's duration, along with some very powerful late game damage from Dragon's Descent and her passive Fury of the Dragonborn combined with Flame Breath, that a plain AD build just wont give you.

The first build in this guide is a pure hybrid dps build. it does provide some very tanky play late game.

The second build was inspired by suggestions made from Apathy, for a tanky hybrid. This build will still give great damage output, but will be less vulnerable to ganks and being focused first in teamfights.

Both builds take the defensive mastery and runeset to provide great sustain early on while not taking a hit to the damage you'll do late game.

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Pros / Cons

-Great early game sustain and burst
-Very durable
-Naturally tanky at level 6 with Dragon's Descent passive
-Great harass early game
-Relatively low cooldowns
-Great AoE
-Very good at chasing/ escaping with Dragon's Descent and Burnout.
-Relatively easy to get kills with Burnout.
-Good range and speed for a Melee.
-Is a dragon!

-Has no CC of her own.
-Very susceptible to CC
-Can be easily shut down if the enemy can stay out of your range for more than a few seconds
-Cannot be a dragon all the time.

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My rune setup is really based on how I like to play Shyvana, allowing me to be very aggressive early game with minimal consequences. I use offensive marks, with defensive glyphs, seals, and quints. I also provided some viable other choices for players that prefer more burst damage, with less sustain.

Greater Mark of Magic Penetration x9 - This gives great early game damage, and will increase the damage done by all of your abilities early, and late game.

Greater Seal of Armor x9


Greater Glyph of Magic Resist x9

These two runes will shut down most early game harass and make you a lane tank early game. While the smaller amounts don't help as much late game, they're still very useful.

Greater Quintessence of Health

Similar purpose to the Defensive runes, this all around will make you very tough early game and help secure a kill target that hoped a turret would save them from a dragon.

Other viable runes:

Greater Seal of Attack Speed - Shyvana really benefits from attack speed throughout all phases of the game, allowing her to have a higher uptime on Burnout. That being said, AS seals are definitely a nice choice. Another bonus to attack speed, is a quicker fury recharge rate for your Ultimate, Dragon's Descent.

Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction - With champions like Riven, Garen and our girl Shyvana, you have no resource to regenerate in order to use your abilities. Cooldown reduction will just help you get in that many more abilities in a fight. The cooldown reduction will also allow you to use Twin Bite more often, with the reset on your swing timer, you will be able to recharge fury for Dragon's Descent even faster.

greater mark of desolation - if you modify the build and go for a more ad based playstyle, this is a very nice choice.

Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage - good damage early game, loss of some tankyness early game.

Greater Seal of Evasion/ Greater Quintessence of Evasion - these combined with the Nimbleness mastery really are a great combo, if you find yourself against an AD heavy team, give these a try.

There are many other runes that will help this versatile champion, but to maximize her, i would suggest using the runes I listed above.

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Summoner Spells


The reasons I chose these spells as my main summoner spells are for simply because they really provide a few great utilities to Shyvana.

Flash is a great tool for initiating on a target, chasing someone who manages to out-range your melee attacks and forces your Burnout to fall off, escaping a gank attempt, or getting away from a turret after the dive. A few ways I use flash:

-A target is out of your range and can easily escape you chasing them with burnout... If your opponent is extended enough, pop Burnout and flash ontop of them, start mauling them with Twin Bite and if you can find the time, hit them with a Flame Breath to get the extra damage ticking. Later in the game, you can use a Hextech Gunblade to accomplish a similar goal.

-A target is low to mid health near a turret... You can easily pop Burnout and dive in on them with Dragon's Descent, finishing them off quickly with the AoE damage from Burnout and the burst of Twin Bite, along with the extra damage added on from Sheen. If you're low HP and can't run away after the kill, Flash is a quick way to hop over a wall and away from the turret or another enemy champion that came to assist your original target.

Exhaust can be used both offensively and defensively, and is just as potent in end game as it is in early game. Often, it can be used to prevent an opponent from escaping, or shutting down an AD carry by massively reducing their damage output. You'll find many fun uses to the ability, just remember to use it carefully.

Other viable summoner spells:

Ghost - Ghost is definitely a nice spell to use, it really builds on Shyvana's incredible mobility through Burnout, and can be used as a pursue or escape ability. I personally prefer Flash for these purposes.

Ignite - This spell is really useful on just about any champion in my opinion, but some less than others. Shyvana doesn't tend to let enemies get away like other fighters, as she has such great pursuit, so Ignite would be a more situational ability {finishing off someone that flashed away, igniting someone that you turret dove but couldn't safely finish off, etc). I feel like Exhaust will just prevent the target from getting away if need be, rather than having to Ignite when they do.

Teleport - if you're solo que-ing, this spell could save a couple turrets if you have a bad lane opposite of you, but like Ignite, it's very situational.

Any other summoner spells, I recommend staying away from.

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I chose a rather basic defensive build that picks up the Archaic Knowledge in the offensive tree to really cover all of Shyvana's weak points.

I build on my rune setup by further reinforcing Shyvana's defenses with masteries like Hardiness and Resistance . A few other highlights to this build include:

- Evasion and Nimbleness - These two masteries work hand in hand together. With a little luck, the speed boost from Nimbleness can either secure you a kill, or save your life when being chased down.

- Veteran's Scars - 48 hp doesn't seem like much, but early game, I can't tell you how many times I've escaped with ignite ticking on me, only to have the last tick bring me below 20 hp. This mastery WILL save you early game from an aggressive laning opponent.

- Ardor - One of my favorite masteries, that just seems to be built around Shyvana. It increases her attack speed AND ability power, two very potent damaging stats for Shyvana. Late game, the mastery can help you get those last few points of damage needed to kill someone in a teamfight, or someone running back into their base. It really works great with Fury of the Dragonborn's effect on Flame Breath. Increasing the base damage Flame Breath does and the amount of empowered hits you can get before the debuff falls off.

- Tenacity - One point in this mastery for 4% reduced damage? I've seen some guides skip this mastery, but I really think it's a very good one, especially late game.

- Sorcery / Archaic Knowledge - Cooldown reduction is amazing for Shyvana, and piercing through magic resist will only make you that much more of a threat.

- Cripple - With the quick ticks of Burnout and the double attacks of Twin Bite, keeping your target in your range for a little extra time, especially in their weakened state, will secure you a kill 9/10 times.

Optional mastery build (Thanks to Apathy):

1/21/8: Pick up the Cripple talent in the offensive tree to enhance your Exhaust, keep the same 21 points in defense that you see above, and move the remaining 8 points into Utility, picking up three points in Good Hands , one in perserverence (unless you choose to get the Ghost spell, then pick up the Haste mastery. Spending you last 4 points in Awareness . This build will provide quicker returns to the fight if you find yourself dying often, and a nice xp boost for any that are being outlaned an don't get an early first blood to gain the xp advantage over your laning opponent.

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My item choices are really based around Shyvana's abilities. Maximizing both the AD and AP sides of her and really highlighting her strengths.

I start out the build with Boots of Speed and three Health Potions. With my runes and masteries, I really didn't see a need to further boost her defenses with something like Ruby Crystal, and her offensive abilities are already very powerful earlygame, so an item like Long Sword or Amplifying Tome just don't seem as potent as being able to recover from early ganks, and make your harassing that much more potent by keeping you in your enemies faces.

On my first trip back, I aim to finish my to make Shyvana less susceptible to CC while providing a little extra resistance towards any ap based champs I may come across. With extra gold, I will either pick up a few more Health Potions, a sight ward or two to protect my own lane, or start building my Sheen, starting with the Amplifying Tome. I typically don't buy the Sapphire Crystal until I'm ready to build the full item, as I could buy some smaller on-use items that will benefit me and have more than enough gold to grab sheen on the next return.

Sheen, and why I buy it early on.

Sheen is one of the most potent items for Shyvana. You will be using many abilities, and each time you do, you get a nice burst of damage on your next attack. With this and your full combo, you can easily burst a target down early game. My favorite use of Sheen is a combo like so:
Flame Breath > auto attack > Burnout > auto attack > Twin Bite and then use any abilities you can on cooldown as long as the target still stands. Make sure you score that auto attack between ability uses to ensure you get all the extra damage Sheen can provide.

After I have my sheen, I start building my , starting with Phage for extra damage, a nice slow, and a bit of hp which really helps early to mid game. Trinity Force is a very powerful item for a hybrid champ, giving you just about every stat you could want with some very nice passive effects!

As soon as you finish Trinity Force, you'll want to build . I start with Recurve Bow if I don't have enough to build the whole item in one return, as I have extra magic resist from mercury treads and want to start improving my damage output. Wit's end has quite a few great things for Shyvana, mainly the on-hit effect and how with proper use of Dragon's Descent and Twin Bite, you can hit multiple targets with one attack, each of which will take the on-hit damage of wit's end. Shyvana is known for being a champion that stays in range of her target for longer periods of times than most fighters can, meaning you will get a lot of extra damage and defense from the damage and stacking magic resist. all in all, Wit's End is a very potent item on Shyvana.

Ok, now we have the defenses and a bit of extra damage, what next? Let's go for some regenerative power with a ! I love this item on any hybrid champ, as it will allow both your melee attacks and your abilities not only hit harder, but restore your health as you go. All in all, this will provide quite a bit of sustain and make you a much harder target to kill in a teamfight. The other great thing about Hextech Gunblade is the on use effect. It's like a mini Exhaust, and great for initiating on a target that may be too far away for Burnout to close the gap.

For your last offensive item, I go with . This item is another that is very potent on a champion that is very capable of closing the gap with abilities and really staying on your target. Guinsoo's Rageblade will make you start hitting harder and faster the longer you stay on your target, with the lifesteal you have from Hextech Gunblade, it makes you a huge threat in a 1v1 or 1v2 fight, and even more of a threat in teamfights, where you will be able to tank quite a bit of damage while still wrecking the enemy team.

Now, for the sixth item in your build... This one is a bit trickier. I chose Guardian Angel for the build guide, but this slot is really reserved for any defensive item. A few choices you could make include :

: A great all around item, especially in a match where you find yourself the focus of the enemy team, and targeted early in team fights. It gives you a second life, good for escaping or finishing off an enemy. It also provides a nice amount of Armor and MR for general survival.

: If your team has a skilled (or fed) AP carry that's giving you trouble, chances are, this item will shut them down. Many high-burst AP carries ( LeBlanc, Akali, Brand, Anivia) really focus on landing combos. This item is a great way to shut those combos down, or avoid potentially fatal cc ultimates like Ashe's Enchanted Crystal Arrow or Malzahar's Nether Grasp.

: Yes, this item has Mana on it, but it also has massive armor and CDR. This is a great way to counter an AD heavy team and also increase your damage in one item, useless mana or not.

: Again, an AD counter item, great armor to reduce their damage on you, but also returns a heavy amount of damage to the enemy, which can help score you a kill, or deter an enemy from going for you.

: great armor on it, and a killer on-use effect that can shut down more than one AD champion in a team fight, or keep their team together for your massive AoE damage.

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Your Skills and how they work!

Some people find Shyvana to be a more difficult champion to play, largely because of her somewhat complex passive ability. I've heard people say she lacks damage, others say her cooldowns are too long and they find themselves without an ability to use... This passive will separate the good Shyvana's from the bad ones. I will go into the individual spell effects and how they can help you with each spell below.

Burnout is the first ability I get, and also the first I max out.

Burnout is an ability that causes flames to spin around Shyvana, dealing a smaller amount of damage every second for 3 seconds, and increasing Shyvana's movement speed by an increasing amount per rank... On paper it doesn't sound too amazing, but Burnout's duration actually increases by 1 second each time Shyvana lands a melee attack (due to Fury of the Dragonborn, up to a maximum of 3 extra seconds. Simple math means:

rank one (level 1): 25 damage/ second for 6 seconds = 150 damage over 9 seconds.
rank two (level 3): 40 damage/ second for 6 seconds = 240 damage over 9 seconds.
rank three (level 5): 55 damage/ second for 6 seconds = 330 damage over 9 seconds.
rank four (level 7): 70 damage/ second for 6 seconds = 420 damage over 9 seconds.
rank five (level 9): 85 damage/ second for 6 seconds = 510 damage over 6 seconds.

At level EIGHT, that's the ability to do a max of 765 damage over 6 seconds, NOT including all the melee swings you'll get off in-between those ticks, the extra damage from Twin Bite and dragon breath, and your enhanced melee strikes from Sheen. While early on, without the assistance of a laning partners stun/ slow, or use of exhaust, you probably wont get all 6 ticks off, but your other abilities and auto attacks will be enough to score a kill from a full hp target rather easily. There is little chance the enemy will get away, as you have an extreme (50%) speed boost at rank 5, ensuring you stick on your target like glue.

Dragon's Descent also greatly enhances Burnout by causing it to leave a trail of fire behind you, damaging all targets caught in it, much like a wider version of Singed's Poison Trail.

Flame Breath is the last ability I grab as Shyvana, but the last I max. I grab it second as it's a great way to harass from a distance or score last hits on minions without putting yourself in jeopardy of taking some extra hits. As I don't really like to play aggressively on Shyvana until I hit level 4 and have all three of my abilities, it really helps to stay at high hp until I'm ready to charge in.

Flame Breath is a mid damage nuke skill shot, that deals damage and reduces the armor of the first enemy (Minion or Champion) that it hits for four seconds. The reduced armor is going to be a huge damage increase as you swing away at the opponent, keeping in range of him/ her with the speed boost of Burnout. While the ability may seem underwhelming, it's greatly enhanced by Fury of the Dragonborn, which causes any targets that have the Flame Breath debuff on them to take 20% of the abilities initial damage each time Shyvana lands a melee attack. Late game, with an attack speed of 1.5 attacks/ second, this ability will hit for ~350, with an additional 120% damage added from Fury of the Dragonborn.. That's going to be close to 770-800 damage from landing the one skill shot before engaging on your target!

Flame Breath is a shorter range skill shot that can be very difficult to land on your target sometimes, it becomes increasingly more powerful and almost impossible to miss with Dragon's Descent, which turns the ability into an AoE cone, instead of a skill shot.

Twin Bite is your nuke ability, later in the game, this will demolish your targets hp, while the ticks of Burnout finish them off. I pick this ability up at level 2, and max it second, along side Flame Breath. Twin Bite is a very simple ability to understand; it simply causes your next melee ability to strike twice and for extra damage. like most "on next strike" abilities, it has the hidden bonus of resetting your swing timer. meaning you can use it right after an auto attack lands to instantly reset your auto attack timer and will deal extra damage than using it just before your auto attack would occur. Another great thing about twin bite, is activating the ability will trigger your Sheen/ Trinity Force and instantly nuke the target with the enhanced strike and extra sheen damage!

Another thing to note about Twin Bite is that it will apply on-hit effects from items and from Fury of the Dragonborn. Meaning a target that is afflicted by the Flame Breath debuff will take the additional damage twice. Items such as Wit's End and Guinsoo's Rageblade will also stack twice, providing a nice amount of extra damage.

When enhanced by Dragon's Descent, Twin Bite becomes a frontal aoe cleave ability, much like the cougar version of Nidalee's Primal Surge / Swipe. However, Shyvana's AoE swipe also applies on-hit effects to all targets hit, TWICE! Meaning, you can get up to full stacks of Guinsoo's Rageblade in a matter of seconds, and deal an additional 84 damage from Wit's End to all the targets infront of you.

Last but not least... we can turn into a dragon with Shyvana's ultimate; Dragon's Descent.

Dragon's Descent is a passive and active ability that really makes this champion shine. When you pick up the ability at level 6, you are granted 15 armor and magic resist, going up by 5 per rank. This is a permanent boost that really helps Shyvana's early game sustain, and turns her into a tank when the ability is activated.

When activated, Shyvana turns into a dragon and flies towards the target location, dealing high damage, taking enemies with her in the form of a knockback, and doubling the passive boost on Dragon's Descent. While in dragon form, Shyvana will keep the double passive boost, and all of her abilities will gain new effects (I detailed these new effects with each individual ability above). Shyvana's dragon form can only be activated when her fury bar is at 100, and will automatically deactivate when her fury bar reaches zero. Shyvana naturally generates 1 fury every ~2 seconds while not in dragon form and Shyvana generates an additional two fury each time she hits a target with a melee attack (in both dragon and human form).

Dragon's Descent can be used in many different ways, the main way is using it as an initiating move. You're able to fly into the middle of a fight that's already in progress and knock an opponent further back into your team, dealing great damage in the process. You can also initiate a team fight with this ability and your massive aoe damage.

Another way to utilize Dragon's Descent is to chase an opponent that just flashed over a wall at low HP... Activate Burnout and fly in with Dragon's Descent for a quick kill. It can be used the same way to jump over a wall and escape an enemy pursuit. All in all, Dragon's Descent is a great ability that takes some time to really master, once you do, you'll be a massive threat to any enemy champion.

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Closing remarks/ changelog

Thanks so much to all that took the time to read my guide, I hope it helps some of you out! If you have any questions, comments, corrections, or suggestions for my guide, I would love to hear them! Please upvote if you think I did a good job!


11/4/2011: Added to pros/ cons, fixed typos, added optional summoner spells
11/6/2011: Added a second build (Thanks Apathy!) for a more tanky playstyle with similar damage output. Fixed some typos and changed the skill order. More changes coming tonight.