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Shen Build Guide by LeminLyme

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League of Legends Build Guide Author LeminLyme

Shen, the Eye of SparklyVampires

LeminLyme Last updated on September 14, 2011
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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.


Brute Force
Improved Rally

Offense: 10

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 0

Expanded Mind
Mystical Vision
Presence of the Master

Utility: 20

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Welcome to my guide to Shen, The Eye of Twilight! (Or sparkly vampires)

This is a guide to a very beefy AP based damage shen. It's far more tanky then it is burst, but it allows you to still do damage. Which is important, because a tank that can't do anything will be ignored entirely once his one trick is spent. (Taunt in this case) Your goal as a team player is to take aggro so that your carries can roll over their team. You don't want to die, that's counterproductive, but you sure as hell want to die in the stead of your carries when necessary.

So! Let's get to it :D

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Pros / Cons

Up until this latest patch, it's been going around that Shen is the worst tank because of his low sustained damage output and his lack of utility besides his taunt. This is argueable, noone wants to do the theorycrafting about how or how not he may or may not be the worst or best tank. (And those who do, people won't listen because numbers aside, it's all about strategy and skill!) So here's some Pro's and Con's, please try to keep in mind I'm not comparing him to other champions, as that's not the intended point.

  • Encourages player to build lots of health (Something alot of tank players disregard)
  • Encourages much initiation and "save your ***" tactics in teamplay +teamrelationship
  • The only remaining global teleport ultimate
  • Amazing farmer
  • Strong tower defending power
  • Constant healing
  • Strong close range harass

  • Weak against ranged
  • Rarely capable of doing much on own
  • Missed taunts are a shutdown
  • Encouraged to die (Though at the rescue of allies)
  • Not sure really~ :D

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alrite so. I take the runes I take, which are...

3x Greater Quintessence of Ability Power

9x Greater Glyph of Ability Power

9x Greater Seal of Armor

9x Greater Mark of Magic Penetration

These are the runes that I own, I don't own every runeset yet, so this is just my standard way of going about playing tankyap Shen. Let's go into detail~ :D

Greater Quintessence of Ability Power is like the best caster quints available, in conjunction with some penetration. I'm not into all the theory crafting, I've gone over it all briefly and I know that flat AP is better early, pen later, and only if you build properly in conjunction with the runes, who cares. If you're not aware, this is not an MLG guide :D So yeah, flat AP = +earlygame, end of story ;)

Greater Glyph of Ability Power M'ah standard low CD champion runes, gets that harass and farm up well, especially with champions that don't use mana. (Vlad and Shen are my MVP CDR'ers)

Greater Seal of Armor Because I don't worry about armor early to mid, as it's rarely what hurts the most early (Maybe the most sustained harass form, but not what usually executes you) I take this, because between this and your natural armor, it should be pretty decent as apposed to your MR, which you need to build. Plus I rush health items, which work great with resistance bonuses like armor and MR.

Greater Mark of Magic Penetration I take these as a means of increasing the damage output throughout the game, it's not a huge bonus but it definately helps. You can totally opt out and take flat AP or something the like instead, that's totally up to you. It's just that all of the damage you will do all game will be AP (You shouldn't be autoattacking without Ki Strike proc'd) so MPEN ftw.

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Pretty standard masteries. Got lots of CDR, tried to avoid touching mana in utlity but it's entirely impossible. If you don't like it, you may instead opt to take points into the defense tree. Ardor is great tbh. And Reinforce with Shadow Dash is deadly as hell, especially early game tower divers like junglers or cocky players.

Not much else to say, avoid Mana, get CDR, anything that benefits abilities or defense are great. Spec for what summoner spells you take.

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To ze' items!

Now as a hard farmer player, I try to rush Warmog's Armor as early as possible, so that those assists, kills, and farming benefit it and it maxes out as early as possible. When it's early game, having pure health is completely acceptable for a tank because most of the time 3000 health wins out again 800burst. :) And don't forget that Ki Strike benefits largely from health.

Meaning, that I start with a Regrowth Pendant. Great for sustain early game, combined with your Vorporal blade that you're prioritizing in leveling and you got the sustain of a profarm Cho'Gath. Health pot optional, recommended in solo lane. I try to stay out and farm til I have 1460 gold with which to buy Boots of Speed and a Giant's Belt, then try to gank or save someone with Stand United as you should be around level 6. Be careful not to neglect your lane! People aren't that afraid of Shen, so they will probably be pushing right up until the moment you leave, then going for your tower immediately once you do.

I'll cover more gameplay in a bit, about the rest of the items. After the Warmog's Armor and Boots of Speed, you can go wherever you please much like Dr. Mundo. If you're not doing so well and need to beef up, get Mercury Treads. If you feel confident and you're team is doing well, skip over the boots for a bit and pickup a Sheen asap. Sheen's proc with Ki Strike is quite viscious, and it's up frequently. If you're being autoattacked, it should be up everytime you have Vorporal Blade to proc another Sheen :)

Warmog's Armor, Lich Bane, and Rylai's Crystal Scepter] are my core items to build. [[Lich Bane proc with Ki Strike, Rylai's Crystal Scepter bonus health in conjunction with Warmog's Armor to increase Ki Strike, and they both provide decent AP with which to create shields ( Stand United and Feint) and throw Vorporal Blade's. They basically all synergize well. Insert situational items to increase tankyness or damage output. I recommend Sunfire Cape for it's great armor, passive, and health. Another great one is Force of Nature for the largest MR, huge health regen, and a bit of a movespeed up. Synergizes with Warmog's Armor and Lich Bane.