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Build Guide by tinolas
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Shen is one of the best tanks in the entire game because he has good survivability and because he can save his allies with Shadow Dash and Stand United. These two spells also make him very mobile. While his damage output isn't that high, you shouldn't underestimate it either.
AA = Auto-attack (Basic Attacks)
CC = Crowd Control (Stun, fear, slow, snare, etc)
FB = First Blood
AP = Ability Power
AD = Attack Damage
MD = Magic Damage
AS = Attack Speed
MS = Movement Speed
MR = Magic Resistance
ArPen = Armor Penetration
MPen = Magic Penetration
LS = Life Steal
SV = Spell Vamp
DPS = Strong Auto-attacker
MDPS = Strong spells; casters
CDR = Cooldown Reduction
OOM = Out of Mana
MP = Mana
HP = Health
MP Regen = Mana Regeneration per 5 seconds
HP Regen = Health Regeneration per 5 seconds
- able to save his allies with Stand United
- multi target taunt
- really bulky late game
- tanks towers easily
- mobile with Shadow Dash and Stand United
- Stand United can be interrupted
- mediocre damage output - quite good for a tank though
- requires a lot map awareness
Ki Strike - Last hit minions with it is pretty easy. Scales with your HP but don't get carried away, it's not worth only building it for this passive.
Vorpal Blade - Keep yourself in lane and harass your enemies. But don't overdo it. You always should have some energy left to be able to react with your other abilities.
Feint - Don't underestimate this spell 'cause it scales with your Armor and Magic Resist. The key to success with Feint is timing. You will only block damage up to 2.5 seconds. So don't use it too early, for example Time Bomb detonates after 4 seconds.
Shadow Dash - Multi target taunt, great stuff. Taunting forces your opponents to autoattack you (therefore preventing them to cast spells). Besides, it is a great escaping tool, but has a high cost of energy. Don't use it to harass your opponents.
Stand United - Perfect for saving allies in trouble. A 2 v 1 gank can instantly turn to a 2 v 2 fair fight, as soon as you hit level 6 you must constantly be checking your map for conflicts, if a fight in another lane looks like your allies might lose then drop your ult and turn the tides.
In a team fight if as ally is being focused and low on hp then ult to them to give them an extra 750 hp (at level 3). As soon as you teleport, taunt through the attacker so your ally can either kill them or escape without dying.
Exhaust: Use it to slow down your opponents (offensively and defensively). Now it also reduces the damage dealt by abilities.
Smite: If you really want to jungle with Shen, replace Ignite with this spell.
Cleanse: Use it to counter heavy CC setups or if you have problems with CC every game. Just remember you can't cleanse Ignite, Infinite Duress, Nether Grasp and Children of the Grave.
Ignite: Use it to reduce healing or regenerating effects and to ensure kills.
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration provides Shen with MPen to increase Shen's damage output by a lot. You won't get that much damage items so these runes are pretty important.
Greater Seal of Evasion provides Shen with Dodge chance to to make Shen stronger against PDPS.
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist provides Shen with MR to make Shen stronger against casters. Sometimes you won't even need more than these, Mercury's Treads and Aegis of the Legion against MDPS.
Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed provides Shen with MS to make Shen move/chase/escape faster around the map.
Resistance (3/3) and Hardiness (3/3) are obvious choices. They provide you with 6 MR from and 6 armor. This makes a difference early game.
Evasion (4/4) and Nimbleness (1/1) increase your dodge chance by 2% as well as your movement speed after dodging an attack by 10%. This will increase your survivability against DPS champions.
Harden Skin (3/3) and Defensive Mastery (2/2) block 2 physical damage from each attack and 2 damage from each creep attack. Quite good imo.
Veteran's Scars (4/4) provide Shen with an additional 48 HP.
Tenacity (1/1) decreases damage from all sources by 4%.
Good Hands (3/3) decrease Shen's death timer by 10% and Perseverance (1/3) increases your HP and MP regen. Pretty good even late game.
Awareness (4/4) increases your experience gained by 5%. This sure is nice, I almost always take it with any champion.
Greed (1/1) increases Shen's income. Not that great but not bad either.
Start off with a Doran's Shield. When you port back to base, you should have roughly 1350 gold. Buy Boots of Speed and Heart of Gold.
Get at least 1 Sight Ward every single time you return to base. Every. Seriously.
This item is very important to Shen because it'll help you stay in lane and do your job. You will be able to stay in every lane if you play it smart.
Heart of Gold
It provides you with a very nice amount of armor and a fair amount of health. Keep in mind it gives you money.
Shen wants to and will get focused in teamfights. He needs to be right in the middle of the action, that's why the CC reduction is very helpful. You want to be able to do what you have to and when you want to.
Aegis of the Legion
Cheap and great item. The aura may seem weak, but it isn't because you should stay in the middle of the fight. In fact the less resistances your team has, the more effective this item will get. Get it if your teammates are all squishy or if their team is really balanced.
This item gives Shen a magic damage AoE, a lot of HP and quite some armor. Get it, it's great.
It is a great item to counter casters and to block CC/initiation spells. Remember you should and want to be right in the middle of the action.
It gives Shen an amazing defense against physical and it's build out of Heart of Gold. The best part however is the active. Use it after you dashed into a teamfight or to keep opponents from escaping.
Force of Nature
This item gives the most MR of any one item in the game. If you're facing a lot of MDPS, get it after Banshee's Veil.
This item works well against heavy physical damage teams, however you really need some health to make it worth the money. If you want to get it, get it after Randuin's Omen and Sunfire Cape.
Rylai's Crystal Scepter
This item works surprisingly well on Shen. The health makes you tankier and helps Ki Strike deal more damage, the AP increases your damage and healing while adding a slow of Vorpal Blade] and makes both [[Feint and Stand United stronger. If you consider that Feint scales passively with your resistances as well makes it noticable.
This item is actually really good on Shen as a sixth item and you don't worry about damage too much. It will increase Vorpal Blade's and Ki Strike's and makes even Feint and Stand United.
This item is quite good on Shen, however only get it if you want to increase your damage output, never to increase your defense. However if you got fed early, this is a nice item to get.
The slow and the massive amount of HP make it strong, the problem is that it's too expensive and Rylai's Crystal Scepter is just better in my opinion.
Against a Balanced opposing team
Against a heavy Physical opposing team
Against a heavy Magic opposing team
Remember that these builds are just examples, not how to build Shen but rather how you could build Shen. Item order is also entirely up to you.
Lasthit if possible. If you use your Vorpal Blade and Ki Strike to farm, it should be quite easy. DO NOT push the lane.
Protect you lanemate and help him to harass/kill your opponents. Try to save Shadow Dash until they try to escape.
Watch out for ganks, especially if they have a jungler.
After you've got Stand United, you need to be really careful if your allies need your help.
Most of all, play it safe and careful. Port back if you need to. Know what you're able to do and what not. A good early game phase is essential for having a good late game phase.
Now you'll have to decide what items you want to get with Shen. Do you have problems with magical or physical damage?
Ward the map with your team. You shouldn't have to be the one to buy all the wards. Just make sure to keep at least dragon, baron and the most common teamfights areas warded.
You should be the one to initiate teamfights. Try to disable their carries/casters while protecting your own. Counter the initial burst with Feint, spam Vorpal Blade and protect your allies with Shadow Dash by taunting opponents and Stand United. If they try to escape, taunt them with Shadow Dash.
If a teamfight breaks out and you're not with your team, Stand United on an ally
You should play just like in the mid game phase except there are even more teamfights.
Push whenever the time is right but don't overdo it. You don't want to fight their team at their turret if you're at a disadvantage. Just don't force yourself into bad spots.
Remember you're the tank, so tank for your team. Stay together with your team and wait for the opponents to make a mistake.
You're able to use Shadow Dash to get through thin walls.
Don't be too scared of their turrets. You can tank quite a few shots.
Remember to use Randuin's Omen's active if you got it. You can set any keys you want to activate them in the settings but 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 are default.
Map Control and Map Awareness are very important if you want to win. You have to buy wards and to keep watching at the minimap.
Two simple rules:
1. Get 1 Sight Ward every time you return to base.
2. Look at the minimap every time before you do something.
Red > Blue > Orange + Green
Red spots should always be warded after 5 (Dragon) or 15 (Baron Nashor) minutes. Those are very important to have warded all the time. The teamfights around them can really make or break your game.
Blue spots should be warded to prevent ganks top, bot and mid and to observe enemy movements. The areas around these spots are also common teamfight areas.
Orange spots should be warded to secure your own jungle buffs and/or to watch the opponents' ones. These can be really helpful if the enemy has a jungler or if you can catch someone alone.
Green spots should be warded to gain even more map awareness and control. The areas around these spots are also common teamfight areas.
Q. What is more important, health or resistances to tank damage?
Q. Why do you prefer Rylai's Crystal Scepter over Frozen Mallet?