Shen Build Guide by AWierdShoe
Mastering the Eye of Twilight - A Guide to Playing Shen TopBy AWierdShoe | Updated on October 26, 2020
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Runes: Main Runes
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
Threats & Synergies
Aatrox can bully you out if you let him snowball. Try stutter-stepping to bait out his Q's as they are on a long cooldown early (Lvl 1-5 without CDR). Once he uses them, you can hit him with an extended trade and block his passive auto with your W. Once he gets CDR he will almost be impossible to fight unless he's behind. Beware of him running you down with his ultimate, and look to impact other lanes around the map.
This is a very horrific matchup. Even though he's a melee champion you have to treat it as if this is a ranged matchup. Avoid his Q range as much as possible unless you have to walk up to last-hit. You can block it with your W but it's on such a low cooldown that he will just keep poking you out of lane with it and shoving you in with barrels. Worse yet, he can just use his W to get out of your taunt. Try to get help from your jungler and look to impact the other lanes on the map.
It’s possible to win trades if you bait out her E without getting hit, but once you get even a bit low trading vs her becomes risky since her hitting 1 E can mean you get pushed out of lane. If you hide behind your minions it’s also possible to do short 1-grasp-auto trades when you got your shield up, since your shield will eat up her W (but you have to dodge her Q’s). Do NOT fight her if she's level 6, unless you're very ahead.
Just try to stay healthy during the early levels. He will try to poke you out with ranged autos and his Q, so just stay back as far as possible unless there are minions to last-hit. If there are, use your passive effectively. Don't engage unless under tower as he has better disengage than you and can stun you up as well. If you get jungle help, instantly taunt-flash him to set your jungler up so that this small rat won't get away with his E.
Try to push on him level 1 (though this is very hard). If you do push him in, you can look for trades if he uses his W or E. W has a very long cooldown early so try to abuse that, and if he uses it you can taunt behind him to cancel it to avoid the damage and cancel it. His passive is really strong if the trade gets extended for too long, so make sure you either have a way to disengage or to be in a position to kill him at all times when going for trades. If he correctly hard pushes you in there’s nothing you can do except farm under tower and hope for a gank or a good ultimate later.
Utilize your passive shield to block some of her Q poke and only go in for trades once she's used up most of her energy for poke/push. Her shroud has a 2-second longer cooldown than your level 1 E, so use that 2 second window if she walks close when your taunt gets up after her W if it's up. Try to look for extended trades pre-6, because after 6 she will just hunt you down unless you’re MUCH healthier than her at the start of the trade.
Try to go forward baiting for his Q and backing off without getting hit whenever you can. If Q is on cooldown, then you can go for short trades, blocking his W with your W and getting out of there ASAP. Never do extended trades in this match-up except if he's already low and you KNOW you can kill him before he kills you. If you’re in the middle of a trade that looks good for you HP-wise, then once he starts his Q, E inside the middle of it to deny most of the damage and all of the healing.
Be wary of her vitals, but do small grasp trades whenever you have passive up and she goes for a last-hit. If you don't like the vital spot you can just back out and wait for a new one to come up in a better spot. You should almost never use your taunt in this match-up except to disengage or to go in on her if she wastes her W for some reason. But you should be able to out-trade her level 2-5. It’s fine to rush Bramble Vest in this match-up.
Stand behind minions/dodge his long range Q’s. Stay back most of the time except the time you walk up to last hit. Deny his poke with your shield and your W, never let him proc his W and it should be survivable. If you’re getting pushed in, then look for/threaten taunts while he’s under your tower. If you’re gonna all-in any time that’s not under tower, do it either when his bar is low or optimally right when he turns from big to small.
Jayce is one of the few champions you’ll never be able to take good trades with early few levels (1-3) even if you get onto them with several empowered Q’s, just because he’s got too many abilities early on with his 2 forms. So your goal here is to just survive early on and get as much farm as you can while staying healthy using your passive shield. Most Jayces push you into towers, and a little later on around level 7 you’ll have kill potential on him if you manage to land a taunt while he’s under tower if you’re still healthy. You’ll likely need to use Teleport to lane in this match-up, but that’s fine if you stay close to the farm since he scales poorly. If he walks up to poke you inside of your creep wave it’s possible to punish him even at level 4+ by taunting in.
Level 1-2 is hard. If he lets you have the push early, then push, but he can stop you from doing that if he knows how to punish you correctly. If he knows, then just let him push and try to survive level 1-2. Try to force trades extended trades level 3+ if his passive isn’t stacked up, since his empowered Q is very scary poke. When doing this, remember not to taunt before he uses E, so you can taunt behind him to do damage (if you use taunt and he still has E after you’re screwed). He’s easy to gank if your jungler comes. Your R is also better and more reliable than his for roaming.
Do a lot of short grasp trades, while trying to block his Q poke with your passive shield. Position your blade up a lot. If he ever dashes onto you level 3+, then press W and keep trading with empowered Q’s and be ready to instantly taunt out when your W ends (through him if you can). Try to exploit your slightly superior range with empowered Q’s while he goes for last hits.
It’s hard to position the blade up in this match-up since he’ll burn you for it, but try best you can if he gives you chances. The only times you can trade are level 2+ when he’s just used his Q to farm or poke. If you’re not already lower than him at that point you can taunt in and go for a 3 quick empowered Q’s and then backing out. He’s one of the best champions at trading back while you’re running out though, so you need to make sure you do enough damage to him initially for it to be worth taking the damage while disengaging. The best way to kill him is honestly to ask for a gank, rumble has a really hard time surviving them, since he perma-pushes and has no movement ability.
Try to survive and stay healthy best you can level 1-3, using your shield to farm. Level 4+ you can look to all in her if she uses her E wastefully to poke you, but this lane is mostly about surviving and saving your Teleport so you can R away and help others. She scales poorly unless she manages to snowball herself. Remember to ping your midlaner if she’s level 6+ and goes missing. She’s fast AF.
Just survive the first 2 levels. If he ever uses his blind to poke you, you can win the all-in by taunting onto him and using 3 empowered Q’s. If you manage to not die or fall too much behind in CS early on, you’ll have more impact on the game than him just by R’s. Save Teleport if you can early on so you can R freely and get back, since he will be pushing you in constantly.
Try to stay healthy early 3 levels while still walking up to CS when you have your passive up. You can’t stop her from pushing you in, so just let her push you to tower and farm best you can the early couple of waves. If she gives you a chance to taunt her under tower, great. If not, then you can start winning trades level 4-5 anyway if she ever tumbles in to poke you just instantly taunt her and pummel her with empowered Q’s. Try to never make it obvious when you’re gonna taunt her, or she can just deny you with her E.
Contest the push with Q level 1 while trying to shield her poke. Level 2-5 you should be looking for extended trades with 6 empowered Q’s whenever you can and push her out of lane or kill her. Try to get the blade up the lane while farming and when she walks up to get the Q on you drag the blade through her to shield the damage and taunt onto her while she’s slowed and walk with her to Q again.
His Q windows are kind of telegraphed, so make sure not to get hit by it too many times. Either shield it or juke it. Try to force extended trades with 6 empowered Q's. And if he misses /his E-grab at any point you can force trades even harder. He’s also one of the easiest champs to gank, so if you call your jungler up there he’s got no way out. The match-up can get tricky if he ends up ahead of you, but until then you should be winning trades if played correctly.
Shield or avoid her passive auto’s. Trade when her passive shield is on CD. Bait out her Q’s by walking up and back again so they don’t hit you. Don’t stand near walls. Do short grasp trades and basically never use your E except if her W is cooldown or you’re winning a trade and you’re already inside her model so she doesn’t have time to react. If played cleanly you should be winning trades in this match-up.
Contest the push level 1. Take short grasp trades, and if you’re very close to him and he starts charging his Q past level 2, then just instantly taunt him to interrupt it and take a good trade.You should win extended trades using 6 empowered Q’s as long as you don’t get hit by a long-charged Q. Only start going for the extended trades after you hit level 3 though, do short trades before then. Be mindful to not die to his passive if you kill him.
If he ever misses his Q while trying to poke you while you’re level 2+, you can taunt in and win trades and then back out. Your W is very effective in blocking his machine gun W, but if you stay for too long he’ll eventually out-trade you, so do medium sized trades and back out and repeat. Try to contest the push early on if he lets you, since if you get level 2/3 before him you get free trade windows. But if he pushes you in you’ll have to sit under tower trying to survive early.
The biggest risk in this match-up is to get 100 to 0’d (or close to it) if you ever taunt in for a trade and then get boxed in when you try to back out. So never use the taunt aggressively unless he’s already in kill range OR you’re getting a gank. If he ever uses his E to poke you and misses, that’s when you can walk up to him and trade with short grasp Q’s (and keeping taunt for disengage if needed). He’s an easy gank if your jungler comes.
Force use of your slightly longer attack range when she’s last hitting. Whenever she uses E to jump you, instantly press both Q and W to deny her, and trade back for a second before backing out. IMPORTANT: Always stay far enough away from the walls so you can always react with the Q+W presses in time when she E’s.
Contest the push level 1 with Q and try to hit level 2 before him. if you do, just taunt him and hard trade level 2, preferably with the 6-Emp auto trade if you can position the blade correctly before you hit level 2. Avoid getting into long trades where he gets to E-auto you 3 times (if you’re equal levels), and don’t get hit by Q’s and you should win this lane every time early on. Punish your lead hard, don’t let him free farm once you got one.
If he walks up to creeps to last hit you should be able to force winning trades early on and push the advantage. If he constantly stays back and farms with Q, then be an evil mastermind and body-block the cannons and some melee minions with your passive shield whenever it’s up until he grows angry and walks up to last hit after all (and you force trades again).
Position the blade up constantly, try to force short trades where you W (or passive shield) his Q damage and auto him a few times with your empowered Q’s. Repeat until he gets low and force him out of lane.
As long as you don’t get into very extended trades where he gets to use his stacked up Q over and over you should win all trades in this match-up. Do either very short or decently short trades until he’s around half HP, then you can all in him with an extended trade if you’re still healthy. Just be careful early on if he’s running Ignite/Teleport.
The single most important thing versus her early on is to trade before she gets to stack up her passive. With the passive stacked up she can just chop you down and kill you, but without it you’re free to take short but really efficient trades whenever she goes for a last hit (starting level 1). And with every good early trade her opportunities to contest for the lane gets less and less. If you play the first 2 levels correctly it then shouldn’t matter if you fail to dodge one of her stuns, since she won’t be able to all in you from it anyway.
Contest the push level 1. The whole early laning phase you wanna try to bait out his Q (mounted) and dodge it. If you do you’ll have a window where you can freely win trades with your empowered Q’s. If you get hit, you just walk backwards to deny the second activation and it’s not too bad. You’ll win short trades with your Q’s and W’s while saving your taunt for disengage if he dashes at you. But NEVER go for an all-in vs him unless you’ve already dismounted him twice or he’s low enough that you’re 100% sure you can kill him before he remounts.
Contest the push early on while soaking some of his damage with your shield. Avoid getting close to him every time his double-shot is available. He’ll only have really scary damage if he uses his E to chase after you, but that’s also when you have your chance to go back at him. If he dashes forward while you have both W and E up you can taunt him and use W to deny him while pummeling him with empowered Q’s and you should win the trades. And if he doesn’t E onto you, then just farm. He’s the one that wants to punish you early on and if he’s not able to do that you’ll have more impact later on.
Position your blade, make 1-2 empowered Q auto’s and apply your grasp whenever it’s up, and back out, and repeat. You’re simply so much stronger all early levels than he is, abuse it to the max with short trades. The only thing you should be careful about is taking longer trades inside a minion wave, since he can lock you down for a long time with W + Q, while healing himself up with the passive. So keep short trading him down for every CS he goes for until he’s low enough for you to all in him.
Contest the push level 1. If you hit level 2 first all-in him. Otherwise you can go for short trades soaking his burn damage with your passive. But it’s mainly level 3+ you’ll start winning trades hard. Go up with your empowered Q’s and start attacking him, and when he applies his brittle onto you with his burn and prepares to do his empowered auto on you, just deny it last second with W and keep trading for a little bit then back off. Once you start getting a health lead you can start to taunt onto him and force trades while still blocking his empowered auto with your W.
Contest the push level 1. Go for 1 auto Q trades level 1, and then back out. Position your blade up constantly throughout the lane. Never taunt in aggressively unless it’s super clear your gonna win the trade, she’s good at chasing you down. Level 3+ is when you’re gonna start winning the trades while both your W and E are up. Use W early on in the trade, and if she tries to keep trading when it ends just taunt backwards (through her if you can) and wait for them to be up again. You’ll win trades this way, and if she tries to just not trade you, just force her to by hitting her with an empowered Q auto every time she walks up for a last-hit.
As long as you can keep him from proxy farming this is a really good match-up, while it becomes terrible for Shen if he gets to do that. So focus hard on trading the first couple of levels and punish him for his weak early game. If he tries to walk into your wave to apply his Q, punish him with empowered Q’s. Both short and extended trades work versus him, just make sure to be aggressive. You have kill threat on him early.
Look to short trade often with either a couple of empowered Q's or just a single grasp auto. Try to do this while standing behind one of your minions to deny him from using his Q you. If it ever seems like you will get 3 stacks onto you, taunt away before it happens. Only use your taunt aggressively if you have a big HP lead already and know he cant turn on you and kill you with one combo.
Try to push with Q early on so it pushes slowly into him while blocking his Q’s with your passive shield. If you managed to push faster, then walk up to him right before you hit level 2 and instantly taunt in when you hit 2 for a trade. If he picks E level 2 keep punishing him. Once he has his pool it’s all about forcing him to use it by taunting in for a trade, and then using the long pool cooldown of 28 seconds to taunt in again once it is up again. Position the blade up the lane between the taunts, so you can get the initial slow with Q.
He has 2 ways of winning the early levels: 1) To push you in. 2) To hit his W which both chunks you and heals him. So if you focus on getting the push level 1 and you’re careful to not get hit by his W, you should be able to take short trades with him throughout the early lane and slowly chunk him down one trade at a time. Always save your W to block his Q/W and just wait out the E shield before you trade.
You should win trades every single level pretty hard up until level 6. Abuse that to the max. Slow-push level 1. Start doing short trades level 1 with empowered Q’s and your shield, and if you hit level 2 first then taunt in for a trade. If you don’t hit it first, just keep short trading with Q and save E until he commits or uses his W. Level 3 you win even harder if you use your W to block his Q. You have huge kill threat in this lane if you play trades well.
Be careful to not take extended trades level 1-2. Only do short trades when you have a full minion wave he can’t fight inside. Once you hit level 3 though, you can start winning trades using your W and keeping your E for disengaging if he ever tries to all-in you. Once he grows low and you wanna finish him off but he’s dashing around everywhere, a tip to hit your taunt is to look which minion is the obvious “dash-target”, and once he starts that E just instantly taunt the spot he’s gonna arrive at.
Similar to Yasuo, don't trade with him level 1-2, and fight him when you have a wave he can't clear easily. He has less mobility than his brother, so trading will be a bit easier. Watch out for his W shield if he hits you with it, and if he uses E just back away until it wears off. Once it does, you can look to all in him if you have W up. Just be mindful of his ultimate.
You need to punish him super hard early on to keep him from scaling. Similarly to the Irelia match-up a key thing is to force trades before he’s fully stacked up his passive. Just drag the Q through him and start going at him, and the moment he presses E you want to stand inside him and taunt backwards so he doesn’t get the stun off on you. That way he gets 0 value out of his E and you can just keep trading. And without his E, Jax is basically useless early on which is why this is such a free match-up.
His trading patterns are very predictable, and he’s got no way of stopping you from just taking short grasp-Q trades when he’s farming. Try to block his Q’s with your passive shield, and keep poking him down until he’s low enough for you to go for an extended trade. Make sure you don’t go for the all-in too early, because his attack speed reduction + his W damage is strong in those situations.
Nasus is the single a weakest top lane match-up early few levels. Combined with how strong Shen is early on you shouldn’t let him take ANY CS for free. Position your blade up the lane constantly while dragging it through him and trade every time he goes for a last hit. He should be forced to last hit only with his E if you play it correctly. Do your best to get a freeze going if possible, but you'll most likely end up pushing him into his tower anyways. Just be aware of his W, which he can use to set up ganks.
Here you wanna abuse him every time where he’s not stacked up his rage-bar yet, starting level 1. Place your blade up the lane and pummel him with empowered Q’s when he goes for a CS abusing your superior range. He can and will chase you if he gets the chance, so don’t let him. You win short trades level 1-2 if played correctly, but level 3+ it’s impossible to lose the short trades utilizing your W. Just position the blade, walk up and trade with empowered Q’s and W and then walk back when W ends. If he tries to extend the trade by using E into you, then just deny him with a disengage taunt. He’ll lose trades so hard he can’t even close to heal back up. NEVER TAUNT IN FIRST.
Shecarim is currently a force to be reckoned with in ranked, as this horse will simply run into the enemy team with his ult, and you can ult him for some insane follow-up CC.
Galio has as much global presence as you do, and both of your ults go well together if ulting the same person, which can turn the tide of the teamfight.
You can ult Nocturne if he dives onto an enemy with his ult, allowing for you to follow up with more CC to secure the kill.
Champion Build Guide
-Strong early laning phase with good damage and shields
-Strong short trades to poke/push the enemy laner out
-Can impact the entire map with Teleport and R
-Allows aggressive play from your teammates with R
-Very good splitpusher with Teleport and R
-Strong CC with E, good engage but even better peel
-Early waveclear is weak without Tiamat/Bami's Cinder
-Long cooldowns on W and E
-Loses more extended trades in lane
-Falls off later into the game
-Impacting other lanes can cause you to lose waves, plates, and even full towers
-Cannot do well if his team is behind
-A lot of hard lane matchups (but not impossible)
-Low tower damage
Grasp of the UndyingGrasp allows you to hit hard with your empowered Q autos during trades. As you will be trying to trade often in lane, Grasp is perfect for the lane bruiser that Shen is. It gives you extra damage and sustain during fights and slowly increases your max HP for the later game tank you will become.
Shield BashShield Bash is the perfect rune for Shen. It gives you extra resistances and damage when you are shielded. Since you will keep shielding yourself with your passive Ki Barrier, Shen gets the most value out of Shield Bash. This makes him even stronger in laning phase.
Second WindSecond Wind allows Shen to regain some health after trading with an opponent laner, allowing him to keep on doing short trades as long as it is off cooldown.
RevitalizeRevitalize strengthens your heal and shield power, which is perfect for this ninja who keeps shielding himself. It also increases in power the lower HP you are, giving you the potential to turn a close fight around with a well-timed ability. Revitalize also strengthens the shielding on your R, giving you the slight increase that could potentially save your teammate.
Cheap ShotCheap Shot is great on Shen due to the high amounts of CC he has. He can slow the enemy with his pull Q and taunt them with Shadow Dash. Cheap Shot gives more damage to Shen to be on-par with the enemy laner or bully them out. It gives more value than Sudden Impact because your Shadow Dash is on a very long cooldown at the early stages of the game, which Sudden Impact will be relying on. If you want safer laning you could potentially go Taste of Blood for more sustain.
Ultimate HunterAs Shen's ultimate Stand United is on a super-long cooldown and his build does not consist of a lot of CDR, Ultimate Hunter allows you to have your ultimate up MUCH more often, giving you the potential to have it up when needed. If you're looking for a safer laning phase, use Ravenous Hunter (with Taste of Blood) to give you more sustain.
Fleet FootworkFleet Footwork gives you healing and much needed movement speed in lane. Energized auto-attacks allow you to go for last-hits and run away quickly to avoid most of the poke damage, go for short trades and disengage, or run down low-health targets to finish them off. While you lose damage without Grasp, staying alive is much more important when getting bullied in the toplane.
TriumphTriumph will give you more sustain and survivability during successful ganks or 2v2s, and especially during teamfights.
Legend:AlacrityAlacrity gives you more attack speed in order to dish out your Q autos even quicker. This can be substituted with Legend:Tenacity against a team with high amounts of CC.
Coup de GraceCoup de Grace gives you an advantage against weak enemies, giving you the damage to potentially finish them off.
Second WindAgain, Second Wind is great for short trades, but it is also great to regain some HP if you get poked by the enemy laner.
RevitalizeRevitalize is still a must. If you want to survive the laning phase, you have to time your passive shields well. The added strength to them will give you more sustain and/or even a fighting chance.
PASSIVE: Ki BarrierInnate: After completing an ability's effects, Shen shields himself from 60 − 111 (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 shield appears when:
-Shen's blade has been pulled to Shen's current location with Q
-Shen's W area-of-effect has finished and disappears
-Shen has reached the end point of his E animation
-Shen has finished teleporting to an ally with R
Shield timing is very important in order to block enemy damage and stay healthy in lane. Some enemies may not even expect the shield and be surprised that they lose a close fight due to a well-timed Ki Barrier proc. I like to think of it as a weaker Barrier sometimes. Play around your passive to block key enemy abilities, win trades, or turn fights around.
Q: Twilight AssaultActive: 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 at least one enemy champion, the empowerment is enhanced, dealing increased bonus magic damage and granting Shen 50% bonus attack speed while it is active.
Blade positioning with Q is also important in lane. You want to try and push your blade up the lane toward the other side so that when the time comes you can easily pull the blade through the enemy and bash them with your empowered Q autos' maximum damage. Shen's early damage is nothing to underestimate in lane. With good blade positioning you have the potential to win trades and push the enemy out of lane or kill them. Since your waveclear is rather weak early on, you'll want to also use Twilight Assault at times to farm minions, especially under tower where it may seem harder to properly last-hit.
W: Spirit's RefugeShen 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 non-Turret basic attacks that hit Shen or allied champions in the area.
Shen's W can block the following:
-All Champion auto-attacks (including empowered auto-attacks)
-All Minion auto-attacks
-Abilities that proc on-hit effects or act as auto-attacks. This includes:
Ekko's Phase Dive (E)
Evelynn's Whiplash (E)
Ezreal's Mystic Shot (Q)
Fiora's Lunge (Q)
Fizz's Urchin Strike (Q)
Gangplank's Parrrley (Q)
Irelia's Bladesurge (Q)
Kayle's Starfire Spellblade (E, even when upgraded)
Miss Fortune's Double Up (Q)
Senna's Piercing Darkness (Q)
Urgot's Purge (W)
Volibear's Frenzied Maul (W, though it still heals him)
Warwick's Jaws of the Beast (Q) and Infinite Duress (R, the attacks AFTER he pounces on you)
Yasuo's Steel Tempest (Q, only the first target hit does not take damage)
Yone's Mortal Steel (Q, only the first target hit does not take damage)
E: Shadow DashPassive: Damage from Shadow Dash and Twilight Assault recovers 30/35/40 (based on level) energy.
Active: Shen Dash dashes in the target direction, dealing physical damage to all enemy champions and monsters in his path and taunting them for 1.5 seconds.
An immensely powerful ability. Shadow Dash can allow you to chase down your enemies and hard-CC them, or it can be used to disengage from a bad situation. As this ability is on a high cooldown early, you should only use it only when you have kill potential in lane or you're currently getting ganked. Shen is vulnerable without E as it is his only disengage tool, and if it is on cooldown you may have to burn Flash in a bad situation (i.e. getting ganked) or you could even end up dead if your opponent knows how to punish you. A cool thing to do is to Flash right at the end of Shadow Dash's range towards an enemy champion to extend the range of the dash and catch enemies off-guard. This is known as a taunt-flash, and requires precise timing to get it down. With practice it is a very useful tool that can secure kills and open up engages with your team.
R: Stand UnitedShen channels for 3 seconds, shielding the target allied champion at the time of cast 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, placing himself and his Spirit Blade between them and the nearest enemy champion. Shen also destroys any Projectile projectiles targeting him at the time of completion.
This isn't your usual toplane level 6 powerspike. When Shen hits level 6, he has no boost to help him in lane with his ultimate, rather he gains the potential to impact his other lanes. Bot thinking of diving? Press R on either the Support or ADC to get a hard engage. Midlane in a close fight? Ult him to gurantee a win. Jungler losing a skirmish? Pull out the UNO reverse card on the enemy jungler. This ult can be used in so many situations in which you can turn the tide of the battle, offensively OR defensively. It can even turn a 4v4 at Dragon Pit into a 5v4, or make it an even fight at Baron if you we're busy split-pushing. Your Stand United channel's faster than the usual Teleport summoner spell, so you'll DEFINITELY get there before the enemy top laner does.
You'll want to be mindful of your initial position when ulting, as hard-CC can cancel it just like how Teleport can be cancelled. A good thing to do is to try and shove your lane out if you're looking to ult a teammate. Even if your ult gets cancelled, the shield will still go through, so it still has the potential to save an ally. Keep in mind that your shield is stronger the lower-HP your teammate is, so sometimes you just want to wait a bit to get the maximum value out of Stand United. Also be mindful of your teammates current position if you're thinking of ulting them, as it could lead to both of your deaths if you're caught in a bad spot post-teleport.
Laning PhaseAs Shen, you'll want to at least stay even with the opposing laner by matching them in farming and good trades. Your goal is to, of course, try to knock down that tier 1 turret before they do (though it's quite hard as Shen's tower damage is very low). You'll also want to keep an eye on your teammates in case they need a quick lifesaver with your ultimate, and make sure to ping that it's up. Just make sure to do your best to shove out the lane before doing so, and NEVER ult when you're at half-HP or lower. Once you've played it right and gotten the top tower, you should look to split-push.
Mid-to-Late-GameWhen split-pushing, you want to be on the side of the map that is opposite of the jungle objective that's currently up. This creates pressure onto the enemy team, as they have to dedicate time and resources and send someone or some people to match your split-push Shen-nanigans (no regrets). If they don't send anyone to stop you, you can look to take down more turrets and open up the enemy Nexus. If your team is fighting a 4v5 on an objective, you can easily rejoin with Stand United, and if all goes well, Teleport back to the lane you were just at and keep applying map pressure. If both your Teleport and ultimate are on cooldown, it's best to group with your team in case a fight breaks out so you can fight back or peel for your team.
While Shen has decent engage with Shadow Dash, most of his kit is suited to be more of a warden than a bruiser in the mid-to-late game, so it's also good to use your abilities to peel for your squishy teammates (ideally the ADC) and punish the enemy.