Shyvana Build Guide by Dri Fit
Not Updated For Current Season
This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.
Your votes and comments encourage our guide authors to continue
creating helpful guides for the League of Legends community.
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.
Shyvana is a very interesting champion who excels in jungling. She traditionally fits the 'Tanky AD' group of champions, I find she is somewhat comparable to Phoenix Udyr in team fights, and similar to Master Yi in jungling.
Please note that the item sequence shown above is merely a template, and there is much detail shown in the Items chaper.
Below is an extensive guide which accommodates for many different aspects of playing a champion in the jungle specifically.
I hope you enjoy and learn something from your read,
any feedback would be greatly appreciated :)
Pros / Cons
- Dragons are cool.
- Fast - extra Wriggle's Lantern procs from Twin Bite.
- Not an overly difficult champion to learn.
- Adapts to being counter-jungled well.
- Counter jungles well.
- Strong bot lane gank with Dragon's Descent.
- Does not require Blue Buff
- You're only a dragon when your Ultimate is active :(
- Weak ganks before Dragon's Descent.
- Relies on Red Buff to gank well.
- Outshined by natural Jungle champions like Lee Sin and Nocturne during jungle phase.
- Limited CC
Shyvana is a champion who can fit some team compositions beautifully, and others quite dreadfully. After assessing her pros and cons, it would appear that she is ideal in the following situations:
- Versing weak enemy jungler, or one starting at Blue buff (More information further on)
- Team has sufficient CC
- Not versing enemy hard kiter (Notably Ashe)
- Not a significant amount of magic damage on your team
Ideal team composition for Shyvana
In early game she will pick up very easy kills from pre-6 ganks with good positioning by Alistar and Ashe and have flawless post-6 ganks with Impale and Command: Shockwave
The following team composition has very solid AOE CC and particularly good AOE chasing ability with Command: Dissonance, volley shot and Crystal Slash. Shyvana will have the ability to wipe up the helpless enemy team as they feebly weep to the Tenacity gods to save them.
Bad team composition for Shyvana
Shyvana will struggle immensely in coordinating ganks, pre-6 and post-6 with this team. They possess virtually no hard CC and are therefore limited to the single target slow from Wither and silence from Infuse
While this team composition has great damage and a good balance in tanky and squishy, Shyvana would be much more appropriately replaced by a jungler that has hard CC like Amumu or Rammus.
Champions that counter Shyvana:
Champions that Shyvana counters:
As you can see through the lack of champions that Shyvana counters, she works on many teams, provided that they have sufficient CC to support her lack thereof.
9x Greater Mark of Attack Speed - Natural synergy with AS
9x Greater Seal of Armor - Compulsory for almost every jungler.
9x Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist - Survivability in combat, most suitable choice for blues.
3x Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage
My reasons for the Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage are that it is rare for you to be staying in one spot for an extended period of time during a fight. There will be many times in a fight when you will be required to run, and while doing so you will not be utilising that AS to its full potential, unlike AD which will benefit on every shot.
Not recommended, but work:
9x Greater Mark of Desolation
9x Greater Quintessence of Health
There are no exceptions - you run this EVERY time you jungle as ANY champion. It is more than just increased jungling speed, it's securing buffs, dragon and baron!
Exhaust will allow for pre-level 6 ganks without red buff. It also provides Shyvana with a form of CC (Other than Dragon's Descent). Extremely strong, do not underestimate.
The nerf hit it hard, but if you really feel it's necessary, then go ahead. This will help with position ultis and catching up to enemy flashes with haste.
Ghost will also assist with earlier ganks, however as the game progresses Ghost will provide a much less significant MS boost, due to the diminishing returns from the already significant MS buffs of Burnout and Youmuu's Ghostblade
Teleport is a spell which should be taken by your top solo. It does, however, makes for surprising ganks, particularly when you were only just recently seen at another side of the map.
The damage that Ignite deals and reduced healing it inflicts is far from bad, but on a jungler it's really just silly (Unless your name is Shaco). Exhaust is a much better offensive choice for a summoner spell - It significantly lowers their damage output, slows and lowers their defensive stats.
Absolute minimal early game advantage, and can be replaced by quicksilver sashe
These are really open to your own decision, the new pages suit player preference significantly so don't feel obliged at all to use the ones I've chosen above.
The ones I have chosen do however give a good balance in defensive and offensive stats, which is exactly what one should seek in Shyvana.
First, allow me to briefly outline your priorities as a jungler (During early laning phase). When realistically possible, you should not hesitate to:
- Defend a turret - cover lane for ally.
- Gank overextended enemies.
- Secure sigil buffs
- Farm jungle.
The following is merely the foundation of what to do in the jungle, if the situation calls for it, then make suitable adjustments to satisfy the priorities of a jungler, as written above.
If you suspect the enemy jungler will counter jungle, it would be wise to request that your support places a ward near the entrance to your wraith camp. This can possibly secure you first blood or at the very least significantly slow down the enemy jungler's progress, as you sieze the opportunity to maim his route.
Counter Jungling 1
Counter Jungling 2
*This gank is NOT with the intent of killing, but rather of burning the enemy flash to make them an easy target in the following gank.
**It is advised that you give this to your solo mid or top, assuming they are mana hungry (Or just good harassers) champions like Ezreal, Galio, Urgot, Morgana, etc.
***When taking an Enemy Red Buff, it is important to not only fight in the brush, but carry all three of the monsters into the brush with you. This is achieved by attacking the Lizard, then walking around the side of the camp (just before you reach the brush BEHIND the camp). Make your way back into the brush next to the camp, and continue fighting the Lizard, leaving behind little monster to ensure the respawn timer does not activate.
In addition, taking the enemy red buff is an option. If the enemy Jungler is still doing well regardless of your countering (or you are unaware and fearful of their location), it is advised that you take your own Red Buff instead.
Extensive Standard Route
The following assumes you are doing the standard jungle route. Should you choose an alternative route, you may find yourself purchasing items in different orders.
Starting with Vampiric Scepter is typically something that every Jungler should do if possible, as it abolishes unnecessarily paying for Health Potions.
Start at the wolf camp, activating Burnout at 1:40 and focusing the big wolf.
Move to the wraith camp, simultaneously activating Burnout and Smiteing the large wraith, learing Twin Bite and using it immediately.
Moving onto the twin golems, focus one, ensuring that you use Twin Bite immediately after an auto attack, as it resets the attack timer.
Upon first return to base, buy Cloth Armor and a Health Potion. Make your way to the Red Buff, activating the potion upon getting attacked.
After completing another round of the jungle and/or ganking, recall to purchase Boots of Speed and another Health Potion. You should now assist in killing Blue Buff, offering it to an appropriate ally (Optional, but recommended) and swiftly gank again.
Continuing from the Extensive Standard Route...
1. Wriggle's Lantern
You now purchase Wriggle's Lantern and ward in an appropriate spot, refer to this guide for more detail - Warding helper - More than your eyes can see (Credit goes to Panglot for the brilliant guide). The jungle is from this point on a lot less significant, and you will find a lot more time being spent ganking other lanes.
From this point, there are different paths that can be taken. Boots of Speed must be upgraded, but to what?
Dat tenacity. With the exception of ranged carries, I get these boots with almost everyone (and if not, then either Moonflair Spellblade or Eleisa's Miracle are purchased after). Against a good team composition, this is almost indisputable.
Situations where Tabi can be ideal include:
[*] Weak CC / Magic damage on enemy team
[*] You expect to duel with the enemy jungler (Will give a fairly significant advantage over their Mercury's Treads)
[*] You need the cheapest means of increased movement speed.
Berserker's Greaves are without doubt good boots for Shyvana due to her amazing synergy with AS. These boots are the most significant in increasing her damage output, however the lack of tenacity and magic resistance certainly does impact her survivability.
3. Trinity Force
Now that boots are out of the way, it is time to start going for your first major item: Trinity Force
All three componenets of Trinity Force, Zeal, Sheen and Phage compliment Shyvana quite greatly. I recommend that Phage be purchased first the fact that everything about it is fantastic for early game Shyvana. Unlike Zeal and Sheen, it doesn't contain unnecessary stats such as critical strike chance or mana. Phage's slow has great synergy with Twin Bite, allowing you to finally have a chance at successfully ganking without Red Buff
It must be noted that Trinity Force is a very expensive item, and while it is certainly amazing on Shyvana, it is not the be all end all of items. If the situation calls for it, picking up Banshee's Veil, Randuin's Omen or Sunfire Cape may be necessary before you continue.
Sheen is then taken immediately after. While Zeal is good, the movement speed bonus is not as significant as you think. What is 8% + MS when you have 50% + MS from Burnout?
The unique on hit effect from Sheen will also make your Twin Bite hit like a truck. Carry on and complete Trinity Force when you can afford it.
4. Defensive Item
If you didn't before, you now must pick up your defensive item. The three that are recommended are Banshee's Veil, Randuin's Omen and Sunfire Cape.
Which one, you ask?
Banshee's Veil is the most common defensive item you will pick up on Shyvana. You already have a decent armor bonus from your Wriggle's Lantern and if you picked it up, Ninja Tabi, making it ideal to balance that with some magic resist. It is good to note that the shield effect on Banshee's Veil is also effective against some AD casters such as Urgot, Lee Sin and Ezreal.
Randuin's Omen may be necessary to pick up if an enemy AD carry is going exceptionally well. The AS debuff is ideal for countering fast auto attackers. The active of Randuin's Omen also provides a good slow which is likely to assist with positioning Twin Bite and Flame Breath in Dragon form. It is important to note this item does not work well with Ninja Tabi, and if the latter is taken, the former should not be taken.
Sunfire Cape is ideal for countering exceptionally fed enemy AD casters such as Urgot, Lee Sin and Ezreal. The bonus HP that Sunfire Cape provides over Randuin's Omen makes it more beneficial also against enemy AP. In team fights, the AOE damage from Sunfire Cape will work in synergy with the rest of the AOE damage that is present during Dragon's Descent.
5. Attack Speed
And now for your final core item, Youmuu's Ghostblade, Wit's End, Malady, Guinsoo's Rageblade or Madred's Bloodrazor.
This is quite important in balancing out Shyvana's damage output with her survivability. Each item is just as good as the other and is completely situational.
Youmuu's Ghostblade is to be taken in most situations: you have Banshee's Veil, the enemy team isn't explicitly building armor and you are taking care of yourself pretty well. Unique active has great synergy with Fury of the Dragonborn
Malady is to be taken in situations similar to that of when you would take Youmuu's Ghostblade, but only if they are building an uncomfortable amount of armor. Malady is particularly useful for milking additional magic damage out of Flame Breath, Burnout and Sunfire Cape
Wit's End is to be taken if you picked up Randuin's Omen or Sunfire Cape. Late game the lack of MR without it is unbearable.
Guinsoo's Rageblade is not one of my favorite items, however I do see it is a viable option on Shyvana. The only issue with this item is the lack of penetration or resistance that the other alternatives provide. Definitely not a bad option.
This is a good item for Shyvana, however I would only get it if I noticed an enemy champion HP stacking.
6. Final Item
You now have your final item slot to fill.
There is really no wrong choice here, however the following are some items that I would recommend:
Depending on what you picked up as your 5th item, getting another* of these five items is certainly a viable option.
*(Note the use of the term 'another' refers to one of the two remaining items you did not buy as your 5th)
Once again, it may be ideal to purchase another item from the 4th slot range. This is completely dependent on how the enemy team is going. Refer to the previous section on items for 4th slot to judge whether one of these would be appropriate.
Hextech Gunblade is fantastic if you chose to purchase a Malady, as you will deal an even larger amount of damage from your Flame Breath + Twin Bite combo. Not only that, but you'll also score a sweet amount of sustainability with the lifesteal/spellvamp and have a great single target slowing nuke.
Ideal for those who wish to add an element of hybrid AP/ADto Shyvana.
Similar to Hextech Gunblade, however Guinsoo's Rageblade grants a nice AS bonus.
I would recommend Hextech Gunblade over this, as a somewhat small AS bonus is not as significant as additional Lifesteal + Spellvamp and a single target nuke slow.
7. Replacing Wriggle's Lantern
60 minutes have ticked by, and you now find yourself needing to replace Wriggle's Lantern.
Breaking down the stats of the item, we see that it gives us three useful lategame stats:
- 30 Armor
- 23 Attack Damage
- 18% Life Steal
The most important stat on this item is the 18% Life Steal. It is what allows you to sustain yourself and not have to Recall after every encounter. It would only make sense then that it is replaced by an item that grants Life Steal
The following are suitable options:
Pretty standard choice, and a good one. The Bloodthirster should be bought in two situations:
- You're kicking ***.
- You're kicking ***.
Certainly a viable option. I would take this in the situation that it is too risky to take The Bloodthirster, unless I picked it up earlier on.
While it hardly seems like a late game item, Executioner's Calling's Unique active is amazing. This is the item that can shut down that fed Master Yi who laughs in the face of Thornmail with his 3x The Bloodthirster + 3x Phantom Dancer build.
I once played a game as Gangplank versing a Mordekaiser who built 3x Hextech Gunblade and was deemed as undefeatable. That was until I sold my The Bloodthirster and replaced it with Executioner's Calling, which won us the game deciding team fight at baron.
Seriously don't underestimate this item, lol.
Items to avoid
The Black Cleaver shreds the armor of enemy champions. As a result of this, the % based armor reduction from Flame Breath will be less significant. If Youmuu's Ghostblade isn't enough, buy a Last Whisper.
As this build does not incorporate usage of an Atma's Impaler, Warmog's Armor has much better alternatives. Atmog's is certainly a viable build on Shyvana, however this guide focuses on a more Off-tank approach to the champion.
In the event that you do build Atmog's with anyone, be sure to assess the enemy team comp prior to doing so. Against enemies like Malzahar, Kog'Maw and Veigar, their % based damage will destroy you.
Let me begin with the basics, which apply to every Jungler.
There is no specific moment when the gank should be commenced, the following are all relevant:
- Enemy champion(s) you are ganking.
- Allied champion(s) you are ganking with.
- Location of ally and enemy champion(s).
- Cooldowns, health, mana of both enemy and ally champion(s)
You would have noticed that in each of the jungle routes passing through middle to gank is done frequently. For the most part, these ganks are not done with the intent to kill the enemy, but sometimes even achieve as little as burning the enemy champion's Flash or Exhaust. It is important to execute these 'dummy ganks', so that when you gank again in the near future (Before the CD on summoners are back up), they will be much more vulnerable and the chance of success will increase significantly
It must also be mentioned that prior to ganking a lane, notify your ally of your plans, especially in the situation that you are performing a 'dummy gank'. The last thing you want is for your ally to burn their summoners too, when a little bit of awareness of the situation would have otherwise granted you the kill.
Shyvana's ganking potential is often highly overestimated by newbies, however that is not to say that it is weak. It is vital to ensure that upon activating Burnout that you will attack them in the next 3 seconds. The importance of not prematurely activating Burnout can not be stressed enough, it is not to be used to enter the fight, but rather when you are certain that it will not be wasted by not utilising its potential with Fury of the Dragonborn.
- If you aren't going to reach them in time, attack a minion; this will increase the duration by a second, which might be all you need to catch up to them!.
Shyvana's ganks once she learns Dragon's Descent get significantly stronger. Her Ultimate serves as a gap closer, AOE nuke, knockback and also buffs her other spells to increase their multi-target effectiveness. This being said, upon learning Dragon's Descent she is a much larger team fight presence. Much of the success in a gank relies on two things:
- Utilising Burnout to it's full effectiveness with Fury of the Dragonborn.
- Waiting til the right moment to cast Dragon's Descent.
It is up to your judgement to decide when to cast your ultimate, casting it prematurely could waste your chance at catching up to their flash, however casting it too late could abolish the chance of a successful gank. Remember: your single target damage output does not increase in Dragon form, so save Dragon's Descent for the time where you can achieve maximum utlity with it against solo lanes.
Fury of the Dragonborn
Shyvana's innate. Her auto attacks benefit each of her abilities. This makes for brilliant synergy with AS. Despite this, it is necessary to mention that Shyvana is quite squishy, and therefore it is recommended to compliment her AS with items that also provide defensive bonuses such as Trinity Force and Wit's End.
Despite this synergy, it is extremely important to not over do it. Burnout has a limit on its increase in duration, making stacking AS very unnecessary. Additionally, Dragon's Descent does not have a worthwhile boost from AS. The majority of fury you generate will be from the passive amount you receive over time and even if you decided to stack AS to prolong Dragon's Descent and be able to use it more often, your damage output will suffer.
Twin Bite is very similar in usage to abilities such as Rabid Bite, Power Fist, Ruthless Predator and Crushing Blow. This ability resets the auto attack timer, meaning the most efficient time to activate it is directly after you auto attack. This will allow for three attacks to be completed in extremely quick succession, each of which applying on hit effects.
In Dragon form, using Twin Bite to full efficiency is much more difficult as it requires for not only it to be timed immediately after an auto attack, but also to attack all possible targets with its cleaving damage. Position yourself to strike as many targets as possible.
Burnout is an ability that is easy to misuse. As covered in the Ganking chapter, it is necessary to use Burnout when you are certain you will attack them within three seconds, utilising the extra duration from Fury of the Dragonborn. Don't rush it, time Burnout properly or it will be almost useless.
Burnout is far easier to use in Dragon form, particularly because of the gap closer from Dragon's Descent taking you right next to the enemy ( Valkyrie, anyone?), practically ensuring that you will score the extra duration from Fury of the Dragonborn. You want to ensure that everyone in the fight is effected by the fire. Pretty straightforward.
Flame Breath has great synergy with Twin Bite due to the additional damage it will inflict on every attack due to Fury of the Dragonborn. Ideally, Flame Breath is to be used prior to Twin Bite to grant the extra damage.
Flame Breath can also be used to harass/poke, however such uses are less relevant to Junglers.
FLAME BREATH APPLIES RED BUFF
Very much the same as Twin Bite, inflict as many targets as possible, and follow it up with Twin Bite to deal sweet damage to all who were inflicted.
Dragon's Descent is Shyvana's ultimate. The first thing to note about it is that after the initial activation damage is inflicted it does not increase her damage output to single targets. Dragon's Descent, however, incredibly boosts her damage in team fight situations as it potentially makes all of her abilities effect multiple targets (with the exception of Burnout, which leaves a trail instead). Don't ever expect to win a one-on-one fight on the grounds that your Ultimate will increase your damage output.
Despite the minimal increase to single target damage output, it still holds great utility due to its gap closing and knockback effect. Against targets with channeling Ultimates such as Fiddlesticks and Karthus, Dragon's Descent's knockback can save you and your team from tons of damage.
Like the rest of Shyvana's abilities, time it to ensure maximum utility and damage is achieved.
That concludes my guide for Jungle Shyvana. Any feedback at all would be greatly appreciated and I will answer any questions to the best of my ability.
Special thanks goes to:
- Hahano for his extremely useful guide that has improved my Jungling significantly: Jungling 202: Beyond the Basics
- JhoiJhoi for her extensive guide which taught me how to BBCode effectively: Making A Guide
- Panglot for his guide that I referenced on efficient ward placement: Warding helper - More than your eyes can see
- Auxidity and Sanrek, for their positive feedback and suggestions.
Thank you for reading :)