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Shen Build Guide by Samskie

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Samskie

Offensive Tanky Shen || S3 Updated!

Samskie Last updated on December 10, 2012
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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.



Offense: 5

Honor Guard

Defense: 25


Utility: 0

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Shen is probably one of the most versatile champions in LoL. His abilities to free farm while his team pushes, quickly get in and out of fights, and do *massive damage* in fights while still being tanky.

This guide will show you the beginner and advanced tactics for shen.

PLEASE VOTE THIS UP OR DOWN, i want to know what you all think! Please it only takes a second. Also, link your guides in the comments and i will rate them

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Pros / Cons


    Can become tanky and deal quite a bit of damage.
    Has his own flash
    No mana!
    Unlimited sustain with his Q heal
    Able to free farm
    Amazing Ganker
    Great utility abilities to save allies.
    Good 1v1er

    Not much damage output
    Low range
    Usually banned
    Slow energy regen

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Summoner Spells

Ghost and Teleport are what i typically use, but you can be very flexible with shen:

Ignite - another great option instead of teleport for great top lane kills and heal reduc.
Heal - sometimes, when i'm new to a champion i'll take this, especially when the AdC doesn't. It will help in team fights as well as 1v1 situations.
Flash - also a decent choice if you want a quicker gap closer than ghost, but i usually use Shadow Dash as a way to flash.
Exhaust - Another fine choice to replace with ignite, can really stall the enemy team's highest damage output and allow your team to put some good combos.

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The Combination of Attack speed, armor, magic resist, and health gives you the perfect potential to not be ignored in team fights as well as get a lot done.

- I used to use Sunfire Cape for my main HP/Armor item but Rylai's Crystal Scepter is also a more offensive approach item for easier peels on your carries as well as a great gap closer. The slow and AP outweigh the bonus HP/Armor that Sunfire Cape gives in some situations where peeling is difficult.

- Thornmail Obviously a necessary choice if the enemy team has a lot of high attack speed champs (aka Tryndamere top, Xin Zhao jungle, AdC bot, you are gonna need it)

Shen is the greatest ninja of all time, but you have to play your boots by ear. Most of the time, the enemy team has a lot of CC, and this item is great for just that, however, if they don't have much cc go with Ninja Tabi

quick silver sash amazing item for when the other team shuts you down in CC

I left the last item in each build open for you to choose, but if i was doing really well in a game i would typically get something like Guinsoo's Rageblade for S's & G's (make sure you build the Gp10 early though)

Put more item recommendations in the comments

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Skill Summary/Sequence

Ki Strike as a passive allows you to last hit better, get more burst done, and give you more energy. In certain situations, it might seem dumb, but you should turn around, Ki Strike then Shadow Dash over a hypothetical wall to safety.
And Don't Forget that every basic attack reduces the CD by 1.5 seconds, so Wit's End and Guinsoo's Rageblade are great item picks.

Vorpal Blade Combined with Rylai's Crystal Scepter can be the most amazing gap closer for your team. Use this move to harass under turret, heal off siege minions, and harass your lane.
This ability should be cast on the primary target of the team fight no matter what. When you see your ADC with 4 hp left, tell them
"You're Welcome"

Feint Is a small yet extremely useful bubble, as well as a great way to farm. Use this ability when farming alone and when an ability/turret hit is flying towards you to mitigate some of the damage. This will also reduce the CD on Ki Strike by 1.5 more per hit while it is active.

Stand United Even after it's most recent nerf, along with the other global ultimates, it will let you split push a lane while your team pushes another, causing one of the enemy team members to come to your lane and defend, when you can leave at any second... Cool right?!
Here are some tips to keep in mind when using this skill:

    When you free farm, have wards and good map awareness, over extending can be deadly.
    Make sure you keep a close eye when you plan to use it, the health bars on the left side are not reliable.
    When using it, make sure you are using it on someone that is still in danger. Too many times i have used it on someone as they flash away causing me to be out of position.
    Don't use it as an excuse to free lane, teams will need you if they are team pushing a lane, you need to be at the head of the pack to absorb ultimates.
    And finally, when using it in your lane, back up before you use it, or else the enemy might stun you and cause you to stay. When you expect you will need it, hide in the brush or back up prior to use.

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Farming/Laning Phase

Shen is probably the easiest person to farm with under turret, but lets go over some basics then some advanced tactics.

Basics of CS (creep score)
In Laning phase, you are gonna want to go in, only for CS every time it gets low, for some last hits. When you are pushed under turret, there's a method you need to follow.
-Melee minions take 2 hits from the turret and then you auto attack them for the killing blow
-Caster minions require 1 melee hit, then 1 turret hit, then a final last hit by you to get the CS.
-Your passive will do about half a minion's HP.
Advanced CS tactics
If you are laning against someone who isn't usually a top laner or someone who just isn't good at under the turret farm, you should try the method i like to call The Morgana Method.
It is called that because a lot of Mid Lane Morganas do this because most mid lane champions are bad at under the turret farm.

1. Push your lane extremely hard along with a nicely placed ward in the gank brush (brush that is in the river.
2. Once your minions are attacking their turret, back off into the top brush so you can get some CS in case they arn't attacking the turret and so you are safe from ganks.
3. Every once in a while, poke out, and hit the enemy with a Q so they can get even less farm.

This method will not work on veteran players, but rather, have you better placed to get ganked.

Basics of lane sustain
-If you need some HP, use your Q on the siege minion and attack it when the healing buff goes away for the maximum value it can heal you.
-Buy 1-2 wards every time you come back.
-The first time you back, you should have Boots of Speed and Heart of Gold as well as 1-2 Sight wards. Health pots optional.

Advanced Lane Sustain
When you farm CS wait til the absolute last point to hit the minion so the enemy is pushing slightly harder than you, this will allow you to freeze the lane at your turret causing the enemy to back off from your ferocious taunt near turret.

And remember kids Buy A Ward Save A Life (B.A.W.S.A.L.)

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Mid/Late Game

Mid game - Farm up in your lane and try to get tier 1 or 2 down. Buy wards and extend further if you think you can escape. If you down the enemy turret early, roam a bit with caution: Fioras' and Jax' can nuke turrets, so you might need to stay lane a bit longer.

Late game - Follow your team around, stay in the head of the pack. You need to be the first to be seen to act as the tank, Building as a tank is only 10% of the role.

Ward coverage is also nice, especially if you have a rando support that isn't warding.

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Your Role in Team Fights.

A lot of people like Shen for his free farming abilities, but they lack the idea that the tank needs to be the first into combat.
Another thing people forget is that tanks don't just build like a tank, they need to be the first to engage, and make sure the AD carries are being taunted/exhausted.
Finally, watch out for your team mates, ulti on the AD carry when hes got around 50% HP, and still being focused by enemies, don't ulti if you don't need to.

And don't be like me... Don't forget your Randuin's Omen!!!

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Countering Difficult Top Laners

Garen can be tough to counter, but when the stars line up, he can be pressing B before you know it. I suggest buying a Doran's Shield right off the bat to counter with armor and to keep your HP regenerating fast. He has long CDs so when he pops them, escape them then taunt back in for some quick burst damage with your Taunt, Q, and Ki Strike combo. Another good way to gimp him is to call your jungler over early, wait for Garen to finish his speed boost then go in for the kill, Garen can become unkillable when most of them build Warmog's Armor right off the bat. Also, always be aware of his ultimate.

Teemo is another easy kill, however, played incorrectly, you can end up doing no damage. Save your burst for after he uses his blind for maximum potential. Also, when he gets to his Mushrooming phase, he can very mana hungry causing him to not be able to speed out of your taunts.
Buy a Vision Ward instead of sight wards so you can kill the mushrooms, causing your jungler to have an easier gank lane.

Irelia She can be annoying to kill sometimes with her stun in slow, but Shen definitely can nuke her down faster. When she casts her ultimate, circle her, and she probably wont be able to hit you with a single one. And never try the Morgana method on her, she is amazing at under the turret farm.

Shen Easy stuff, whoever can zone the other out of CS while freezing the lane and having ward coverage will win the CS war two-fold.

Olaf is the #1 counter to Shen in every way. Higher burst, more health sustain, and higher mobility. What i like to do against decent Olafs is stand still for a moment, and let him cast his axe. Let him do this a couple times and he will be very low on mana, not allowing him to have the same kind of burst. And always remember his passive. Getting him low only makes him stronger.

Warwick is another difficult one, if you have the health regeneration, let him Q you, it will drain his mana and cause him to back. Also keep wards, his ultimate plus a gank is instant death for you. Try to watch his actions, wait for him to seem like hes gonna ulti you, then taunt towards him, breaking it in that tiny second where he is on you while you jump.

Darius is an enormous counter to shen for good reason. His high burst and utility outweighs shen's tankyness. There are some precautions and notes you need to remember when laning against him.
>If he does not hit you with his Q a lot, or misses it frequently, just Q him as much as possible to slowly run his health and confidence down. Otherwise cast it on higher health minions to maintain the healing buff.
>Darius lane phase is hard to shut down especially if he has wards, get your jungle to make darius pop CDs pre-lvl 6 then gank once again to kill him before they come up.
>Bring enough sustain items to withlast his Q spam.

I will be adding more once i get better acquainted with his other counters

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Let me know what you think; try out the build and comment below!