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Shen Build Guide by Arides

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Arides

Shen all around

Arides Last updated on January 3, 2012
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Team 1

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: 1

Honor Guard

Defense: 29

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 0

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Hello guys,

recently i got back to playing shen and trying to play as full tank - here are 3 setups that i play - please comment on them and help me improve them.

The anti-ap build (number 1) is working wonders.
The anti-physical build (number 2) is decent.
The last, jungle build really sucks. If you have any ideas, please calmly tell me how to improve, without any "you noob", "you suck", "stupid ******" and other usual league of legends chatter.

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I play shen to be bulky - on all builds i take:
Greater Seal of Armor for armor
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist for magic resistance
Greater Mark of Attack Damage for some additional damage for early game. I don't take armor penetration, since most of the damage later on will be magical and by taking flat damage i can hurt more early on.

Now depending on the build i take quints to boost what i need:
Anti-caster: Greater Quintessence of Magic Resist for even more magic resistance
Anti-physical: Greater Quintessence of Armor for even more armor
Jungle: Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage for even more early damage and faster jungle

The seals and glyphs are a must for this style of play, marks and especially quintessences are a subject for experimenting. Earlier i used even Greate seal of avarice for some extra gold, but now i feel like the extra resists / damage is just better. If you think of some other mark or quint that would fit well, tell me.

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I take full defense. It is just so awesome to have all 30 defensive masteries :) I love the masteries remake. As tank shen, i stack up as many resists as i can and all the little things like 2% reduced AoE damage from Evasion will stack up in late to help me out.

I was thinking about changing the mastery tree a bit for my jungling build, but i cannot figure how - help me out if you have any experience with jungle shen.

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The basic theme for lane shen is this:
1. Heavy resists
2. Some HP
3. Some damage
4. Much HP
x. More resists / hp depending on what the enemy team looks like

Note that steps 1-4 apply to your lane. You are up against riven, you get Thornmail and Heart of Gold. Then Mercury's Treads and Warmog's Armor. You don't get damage cause you already have a thornmail and ki strike, that should be enough. But if you feel like it, get the Wit's End after your warmogs.

If you are up against karthus, you get Wit's End. Then Mercury's Treads or Heart of Gold, whichever you want more. Then you get your Warmog's Armor.

If you are in the jungle, this thing doesn't work! And that's why i'm so screwed there.

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Skill Sequence

1. Max Vorpal Blade. It is your ranged damage, last-hitting tool and sustain in one spell.
2. Feint or Shadow Dash. Really, it's your choise.
Feint is good when you are often in combat and need the additional shield, but sucks when you spend most of your time in jungle, where you can get back to life with vorpal blade.
Shadow Dash is good when you are ganking a lot or being agressive and high on hp. It is nice to be able to taunt someone for a lower energy cost.
I would say leveling Feint is more usefull, but every now and then i put a point into Shadow Dash just to reduce the horrible energy price.

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Summoner Spells

Exhaust: Shen is a slow nibbler - some would call him a bruiser. It's good to have some tool that prevents your enemies from running away the moment your taunt fades.
Teleport: You are a shen, and people will expect your ult. Teleport is something that will allow you to keep your tower while saving someone's sorry butt.

Again, in the jungle i pick Ghost
A: For better ganking
B: As a possible excape mechanism

Maybe i should stick with Exhaust there as well.

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Now why does this work and what should you do in lane?

You should farm, and you should farm well. Imagine being a warwick and play just the same. Stick to your minions, if your enemy comes close, throw a Vorpal Blade and keep farming. If he comes even closer, hit him (possibly with Ki Strike). You have full defensive masteries and runes, minion damage is negligible. Punch your enemy until he retreats or until you drop below cca half health.

Healing and damage trading
In order to stay in lane, you must deal enough damage to your opponent to make him unable to deny your minion farm. Because if you farm minions, you heal (remember warwick). Throw a Vorpal Blade on a minion, hit him - and you are healing. Throw a vorpal blade on a champion, hit him and you are healing as well.

Against pesky kiting casters
Most casters don't have enough range to farm or to poke you efficiently if you decide to zone them out. That means that with some effort, you might be able to get your Ki Strike ready, then Shadow Dash towards them to taunt them, and land Ki Strike + Vorpal Blade + another autoattack. Then you can calmly retreat while they are trying to hit you with spells. The point of this poking is to keep the enemy at bay (not to kill them) and to be able to heal to full off minion farm. Most casters cannot keep up with the damage trading, but beware of Kennen with Will of the Ancients, that might get really annoying. If you meet him with your mid shen, tell me how it went :)

Against annoying physical damage bruisers
Here it is simple. They come close - Vorpal Blade and farm minions. They come closer and attack - Vorpal Blade and fight. Shen's Ki Strike has a funny passive that reduces it's cooldown by 2s every time you get hit by a champion. In practice it means that you deal insane damage with just tanking items early on. You have high armor - enemy is dealing low damage to you. Sadly for him, he is still charging your Ki Strike, making you deal a lot of damage. Just remember not to drop too low with your hp if you can avoid it - you should be able to heal very fast so don't fight to the death unless forced to.

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Late game items

Because all 3 builds show only the core of each build type, i was asked to add some more items to finish those builds. If this article is too long for you, just read only the parts you want, or just look at the items and comment directly on those without actually reading the whole thing.

After the time you get your core items, it's necesarry to look at the enemy team and decide who will be damagind you the most. There are two (three) general rules:
1) You don't build massive resistances against 1 person - you focus and kill him.
2) Armor is needed more than magic resistance
3) This is not a rule, but rather something i've noticed happening a lot. Generally if you build more than 1 heavy damage item on shen, you melt in late like butter and you can forget tanking. If you get Wit's End and Trinity Force, you will just keep dying even if all of your other items are pure tank. To keep it short - if you play as a tank, build as a tank, or you will die.

Enemy team with 1 ap
That means that if the enemy team has a Graves, Tryndamere, support Alistar, LeBlanc and Nasus, you shall not build magic resistance beyond your Wit's End. You get some hp instead to survive one burst, but generally you are happy if leBlanc decides to shoot you - it means she won't be killing your ad carry.
The items against such team would be something like this: Mercury's Treads + Thornmail + Warmog's Armor + Wit's End + Randuin's Omen + Atma's Impaler.
You can also play around with Sunfire Cape, an awesome item on shen. Switch it for warmog's, randuin's or atma's, whichever you like the least.

Notice that this build is really heavy on armor, while leaving magic resistance really low. The reason for this is that physical damage characters hurt a lot more than magic carries when they have their full build. Your goal should be to build maximum armor & hp while being able to survive one burst from the enemy ap carry.

If the enemy gets Madred's Bloodrazor, then Force of Nature is a must - probably instead of Wit's End or Atma's Impaler.

Enemy team with 1 ad and hard cc
If the enemy relies only on one ad carry to butcher everything, you should try to kill it, not build hard resists against it. Yes, if they have a caitlin that deal 1000+ damage per second, you obviously must get some armor, but don't go nuts with it if she's the only physical damage on their team. Imagine this team composition which i saw in one funny game: Mordekaiser, Amumu, Leona, Alistar Caitlin. The goal of this team was to build bulky and don't let anyone hurt caitlin - now what to build against this? You obviously cannot stack armor - those 4 magic damage guys will kill you if you do. In that case you should probably get something like: Mercury's Treads + Wit's End + Warmog's Armor + Randuin's Omen + Force of Nature + Thornmail. You still end up with a lot of armor, but you also have magic resistance to survive the others. The massive armor is due to massive enemy cc - you will be stuck for a long time if you go in, so armor is a must here.

Enemy team with 1 ad and low cc
Such team is dead. But since you can see lots of stuff going on in normal games, try to build magic resistance / hp and just kill the one unlucky enemy ad carry. Build something like: Mercury's Treads + Sunfire Cape + Warmog's Armor + Force of Nature + Wit's End + Atma's Impaler and you should be just fine.

Tell me what you think about this article guys, point out the weak spots, tell me which parts are wrong.. or good.

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Here it is, 3 builds for shen, 2 decent and 1 sucky - please comment on any/all of those and help me get new ideas and improve.