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League of Legends Build Guide Author Firemill

Shen: The Flippin' Ninja Tank

Firemill Last updated on January 28, 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: 1

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 21

Expanded Mind
Blink of an Eye
Mystical Vision
Presence of the Master

Utility: 8

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Are you looking for a pure, solid tank? Then Shen is probably a good option or you!
Shen is a durable ninja with taunt, personal shield and teleport that shields an ally. However i you are looking for a tanky DPS or carry I suggest you look or other characters.

+ Shen is able to taunt multiple enemies
+ With his ulti he can shield and teleport to anyone in need within seconds
+ He doesn't have mana! Aslong as you have health you are good to go.
+ Shen is a flippin' Ninja!

- No mana, this means that he doesn't get full potential from items like Banshee's Veil or Frozen Heart.
- Easy to CC and low damage output

Shen is a very viable tank, he's durable and a good support with taunt and shield/teleport.

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The items in the list above is my standard outline. Any good player will adjust their build depending on how the enemy team is composed and which characters do really well.

I almost always start with:
Doran's shield, a pot and the small heal from Vorpal blade usually allows you to stay in lane for a very long time. If you face a DPS heavy team you might want to switch to Ninja Tabi instead.

The reason why I prefer to get giants, chain and negatron before upgrading is that you get a good amount o base health, armor and resist from these. All the rest of the items are situational, If you're up against almost only AP users stack on the magic resist and health or if they have a really fed DPS, items such as thornmail and randuins omen are really good.

DPS Heavy:
I love to punish "auto attack" heroes with thornmail. A really nice combo with Shen is to flash/dash into their group and pop randuins to cripple their DPS.

Caster Heavy:
Force of Nature gives a whopping 76 resist which is enough for most games, but if you have real problem with casters or CC a veil can help out a lot. It is a bit unfortunate that it gives mana, but still overall a good item.

As you are a tank and is supposed to be in the middle of every fight sunfire gives a nice damage boost. Guardian angel gives both armor and resist but can deter enemies from focusing on you, which isn't good in teamfights.

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Ki Strike - Passive: Every 8 seconds, Shen's next attack deals bonus damage.
This isn't the best passive in the game but it helps a lot with lasthitting minions and gives a bit extra DPS.

Vorpal Blade - Q: Damages target unit and life taps him, healing allies that attack the target.
Early levels this is an excellent ability for farming minions, harassing champions and a bit of health. Use it all the time as you regenerate energy quite fast. I find that the ability looses a bit o it's edge after the laning phase and the other abilities become much more important.

Feint - W: Shen takes reduced damage for a few seconds.
A good tank ability, whenever you see a skillshot coming or is engaged in combat pop it to reduce the incoming damage. Perfect to use right after a (successful) shadow dash as you are guaranteed to be hit and restore 50 energy.

Shadow Dash - E: Shen dashes rapidly toward a target location, taunting enemy champions he encounters.
Who doesn't love the ability to taunt? Altough it doesn't last as long as Rammus taunt you can hit several opponents with it! As it is a skillshot charge you can use it to chase/escape and even jump through small obstacles.

Stand United - R: Shen shields (himself - not anymore) and a target ally from incoming damage, and soon after teleports to their location.
Shen's Ultimate and what an ability. I you see an ally being ganked or focused in a teamfight you put a shield on them and teleport in. This usually lasts long enough for you to arrive and shadow dash them. I have quite many times turned a gank attempt to them being severely injured or dead.

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Summoner Spells

In most games I go with:

Exhaust is in my opinion the best summoner spell, it slows an enemy allowing the team to kill them or run away. Not only that but it lowers their damage output significantly.

Flash is a good OH MY GOD spell when you need to be somewhere else and fast. Combined with shadow dash you can put a lot o distance between you and the opponents. It can also be used offensively, flash in and shadow dash to allow your teammates to decimate them.

Summoner spells are all about preference, go with whatever spells you are comfortable with.

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Flat health Quintessences together with doran's shield give a bonus of almost 200 health in the beginning which is great for early game survival.

Magic resist is great on tanks, the reason why I don't go or Warding is that Ability power users aren't as dangerous early game in my opinion. Shielding will break even with warding at level 10.

You could go for either health/level (Vitality) or armor (Resilience), I don't know what is the best option here but since you will get a ton or armor and health from items I find dodge the most attractive

Greater Mark of Desolation
I don't find marks that impressive on Shen, go for whatever is your preference here.

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How I play Shen

First of all you are a tank, and a good one at that! Your job is to take as much damage for the team as possible even if it means dying. I don't mean that you should take unnecessary damage from harass or turrets and die needlessly. What I do mean is that if you can give your life for a carry to survive DO IT!

Try to be as annoying to the enemy team as possible, you want them to really hate you and focus your ninja a$$ in teamfights. Harass with vorpal blade and taunt them when you are able to do it relatively safely. I you die during a teamfight you have hopefully soaked up damage that would at least terminate two of your squishies. I see a lot o tanks that are afraid to die for the team to win a battle.

Although you aren't ranged you are surprisingly good at defending turrets. With shadow dash you can taunt the squishy DPS trying to get to hits on the turret forcing them to hit you for 2s and getting the rage of the tower at them.

A last tip is not to be overconfident. You can take a lot of abuse without going down but you aren't a hero. Sacrifice your life if you are sure it will save your carry, but don't ulti in and needlessly die for a lost cause.

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Shen is my favorite tank and one of the better ones. You need map awareness to Stand United at the correct times and a bit o skill to land shadow dash at the correct times. Otherwise Shen is relatively easy to play.

This is how I play Shen and I'm not claiming to be the best player ever. Please give constructive criticism to this guide and tips on how you prefer to play Shen or other tanks. Be it masteries, runes or items, all info is good.

Vote up i you like it, otherwise please comment on what I should improve!