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League of Legends Build Guide Author Alahric

Shen - The True Shinobi

Alahric Last updated on December 16, 2010
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Top Lane
Ranked #43 in
Top Lane
Win 49%
Get More Stats

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: 0

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 22

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

Utility: 8

Shen - The Eye of Twilight
"Tanking guide to Shen,*yawn*, nothing special"

Know that above all else Shen is a support unit, the game is about teamwork and accomplishing tasks by using your teammates strength. So when you're playing Shen you have to remember that you are the tank! You are suppose to protect your allies and work together as a team to win the game. You have to help ganking, pushing, and saving your teammates. This guide will focus on keeping you alive, teaching you have to farm, gank, and tank. Before you start playing Shen you have to know that you're not suppose to strive for godhood, your job is to initiate and keep teammates out of harms way. Not to finish of enemy champions and get kills. This means that you sometimes die for your team, and never really get the chance to kill unless you are ganking. But the purpose of Shen is still to flip' out and kill people, so never let anyone get away.

1. Very good tank
2. Great survivability
3. Never runs out of steam

1. Responsability
2. Restricted by energy
3. Constantly being nerfed

Acceptable Runes:
Greater Quintessence: Fortitude, Swiftness
Greater Glyph: Shielding, Warding, Focus
Greater Seals: Evasion, Vitality, Regeneration
Greater Marks: Desolation, Insight, Vitality

Summoner Spell: Ghost
This is currently one of the best summoner spells in League of Legends, since you are one of those more durable champions flash becomes rather dull in comparison. This allows you to charge in for the squishes, flee from a gank or whenever you're low in a teamfight, and catch up with someone fleeing. Just know when to use it, and when not to waste it.

Summoner Spell: Teleport
The use of Teleport mostly comes down to versatility and map awereness, a good Shen is always there. This is also your backup for protecting turrets once Fortify has been used, just don't teleport into 5 enemy champions and you are good.

Summoner Spell: Heal
This should only be taken if you're all new to League of Legends and if you have somewhat moderate or poor skills. Don't worry you'll get better, I promise. But first you should focus on learning all that you can and try to adapt to your current situation. In the lower levels of LoL you will see almost everyone using Heal.

Summoner Spell: Fortify
If you are doing a pre-made and your team likes to have Fortify at their disposal then you should take it. If your enemies tend to backdoor or gather up for a push then Fortify can help delay them until everyone, or someone, gets there in time. You can also use this if your opponents towerdive to punish and possibly kill them before they get away.

Skill Discussion:
Ki Strike
(Innate): Every 8 seconds, Shen's next attack deals bonus damage gained from 3.5% health. If a champion is hit there is a cooldown reduction of 2 second for all the abilities.

Ki Strike is one of your main damage output abilities, by focusing on health you will be able to harass and farm minions by combining it with Vorpal Blade and Shadow Dash if they are hard to catch. If you want to master Ki Strike you have to know it by heart, in other words you need to count those 8 seconds yourself, then use it to your advantage when you hit your enemy. Since this scales with 3.5% of your total health it is extremely beneficial to have a lot of early-game health for Shen, later on you can get up to 3000hp and if used right you can do some decent DPS, but you're not a DPS! Is, but is not? Something, a ****** would say.

Vorpal Blade
(Active): Shen deals magic damage to target unit. That unit becomes life tapped for 5 seconds, healing any champions who attack it over 3 seconds.
*Cooldown: 3 seconds
*Range: 475
*Cost: 70 / 65 / 60 / 55 / 50 Energy
*Damage: 50 / 95 / 140 / 185 / 230 (+0.65 per ability power)
*Life Tap: 10 / 20 / 30 / 40 / 50 health (+0.1 per ability power)

This will keep you in the lane for as long as you want, a good Shen can get back up from low health to medium health and from there on you can get back up to full if you can avoid getting harassed with proper use of Feint. Don't forget that you place this buff on some minion, which means that your lane-partner can hit it as well. This works well if he is ranged, otherwise it's tricky to pull off. Next up you have Vorpal Blade used as a farming tool combined with Ki strike, at level one you will need your minions to be 150hp, and at some point you can get a minion at full health by opening with Vorpal Blade and then hit it with Ki Strike. The same method can be used to harass enemy champions, this is not meant to kill them, it is meant to intimidate, annoy, and give you some space. Lastly, you can use it to finish of enemy champion that are running away with an obscenely long range.

(Active): Shen takes reduced damage for a few seconds.
*Cost: 45 Energy
*Range: 20
*Cooldown: 9 / 8 / 7 / 6 / 5 seconds
*Damage Blocked: 40 / 70 / 100 / 130 / 160 (+0.3 per ability power)

Probably one of the most boring and overlooked skill by all the new Shen players, but don't be fooled! This is what makes Shen able to tower-dive, shield him from getting harassed, and slip away like only Shen is able too. Nullifying damage: Activate Feint to block the damage from projectiles, launches, and enemies teleporting themselves to you. As soon as you see them casting something activate Feint, not a second later. DoT's and CC: If you get hit by a DoT like Ignite, Malefic Visions, Rune Prison, Dark Binding, you should activate Feint to avoid most of the damage. The same goes for whenever you are about to get stunned, activate Feint just before it hits. Don't spam Feint in the middle of a fight, 1v1's or when you are chasing! You should only use it to block CC, spells, and even auto-attacks when you are running away because you won't need more of your energy. The exception is when you are getting full focus and you know something bad is going to hit you.

Shadow Dash
(Active): Shen rapidly dashes to a target location, Taunting enemies he collides. Restores 50 Energy if you hit a champion.
*Cooldown: 10 seconds
*Range: Unknown
*Cost: 120 / 115 / 110 / 105 / 100 Energy
*Taunt Duration: 0.8 / 1.1 / 1.4 / 1.7 / 2 seconds

You dash for a short distance and taunt any nearby champion and minion you hit, this is a great skill but most of the time I see it used poorly. Most players use it as an escape mechanism to make the gap wider between Shen, and a pursuing opponent. Keep in mind that it costs 120/200 Energy! If you're running away you should use Feint, but if you fear getting CC'ed then you should use it to like Flash. The most basic use of Shadow Dash is to save a teammate, just dash into the crowd and keep them busy long enough for your teammate to escape. For starters, the common mistake is to use Shadow Dash to open up a fight, you have to be patient! "Wait for it!" should be your motto, it's best to use it to stun at the right moment. When they get 50-20% you can think about using it if you have teammates nearby. Otherwise you should just let them go, remember that you are the tank.

Stand United
(Active): Places a shield on both a target allied champion and Shen, absorbing damage for 7.5 seconds (Shen's shield absorbs half as much damage). After channeling for 2.5 seconds, Shen teleports to the target's location.
*Cost: 50 Energy
*Range: Global
*Cooldown: 180 / 150 / 120 seconds
*Damage Absorbed: 300 / 525 / 750 (+1 per ability power)

When first introduced this was one of the most ridicules ultimate in the game! I can't remember how many times I didn't get a kill because of a Shen who used his ultimate to save a teammate. Most of the time it's used to teleport, saving a teammate, and changing a 1v1 to a 1v2. This can also be used to get out of sticky situations by using it to teleport to any of your teammates [R + F2-5]. With great powers comes great responsibilities, in other words you have to keep an eye on your teammates all the time. But with Shen farming takes a lot of concentration so this can be difficult, unless you're a girl or just got a talent for multi-tasking. If you have communication it can often be advised that you tell them you can shield them if things turn out bad, or allow them to tower dive when they are going for the kill. Other than that you can always combine it with ultimates such as Crowstorm, Destiny, and Undying Rage.
Core-Item build:
Sight Ward

Wait, I don't get it. What about your Item-build sequence? Well, first of all I want you to take a look at this message, and realize that we can't afford to do this with Shen; "There is no ultimate way of building a champion. How you build your champion should depend on your current game, because the setups will change everytime. All these guides are ****ing pointless imo, (yes, he's a naive ****er), because it might not always fit into the situation you will be put in" Therefore optionals are essential for you to become a better Shen player, besides it's difficult to find a faceroll build for Shen anyway. I'll just take a few items into conside- ration and work something out of that, I recommend you testing everything as well and see what you like in depending on the game. But how exactly do we know what's good for Shen? We need some values, we need some goals, and we need to adapt.

Primary stats: Health, Armor, Magic Resist, Movementspeed, Slowing.
Secondary stats: Cooldown Reduction, Health Regeneration, Spellblock, Auras, AoE DPS.
Optional stats: Attack Damage, Armor Penetration, Attackspeed, Magic Penetration, Gold per/10, Revive, Stack-Items.
Useless stats: Critical hit/damage, Lifesteal, Ability Power, Mana, Mana Regeneration, Spellvamp, Damage Appliers.

Doran's Shield: One of the best starting items in the game, it gives everything you need to get an edge over your opponents. I recommend this to everyone who is in the line from newb - to pro.

Health Potion: They should only be used when you have a max health under 1200, otherwise it's a waste of gold. Normally you would only get one during your starting zone, which should be used when you have 50% so I wouldn't worry about it.

Sight Ward: This is the one item that seperates a greedy newb from a casual / l33t-gamer, map awereness is one of the requirements for Shen and sometimes you won't always get it on a silver plate. Place it in the brushes, you know the one.

Mercury's Treads: Magic resist, and crow controll reduction are two tratis that are very nice to have, even if you get ignored. Often more of a reliable choice than Ninja Tabi, I mean what setup doesn't have CC? If they don't they would lose anyway.

Ninja Tabi: If the enemy team is all about physical damage, you could consider this item for the dodge. However it is overpowered by the requirement for Mercury's Treads to reduce to crowd controll meaning it's rather irrelevant.

Aegis of the Legion: The overall survival item, which aids your team in terms of aura. It's very good if you got a couple of squishies on your team that could use some more armor and magic resist, they also gives each member 8 damage which easily combines it up to 32 with your whole team around you.

Spirit Visage: Health, magic resist, cooldown reduction, and more healing done by Vorpal Blade. There is nothing wrong with this item, yet it doesn't add up to anything. I mean I would focus on items that really makes a difference.

Leviathan: It's a trap, a trap that's full of promises of immortality and godhood. It might come true, but it's too unstabile to be used on a champion like Shen. If you do get 20 stacks, I'm pretty sure you'd win the game without this item.

Randuin's Omen: The AoE slowing item, not only that but it also reduces attack speed. Whenever you are attacked you also have a chance of giving the same effect on to the attacker, meaning it's a vital source of your survival when fleeing. It keeps your enemies together.

Thornmail: If your enemies are all about physical auto-attack then this item might come in handy, it gives you a free pass to do whatever you want with them. If they attack you, they will just get one step closer to their own death.

Force of Nature: Magic resist, health regeneration, and movement speed. If your opponents are magic orientated it might come in handy, it's the counterpart of Randuin's Omen. Just make sure you have enough Heath to benefit greatly from the health regeneration.

Banshee's Veil: Spell block is an interesting passive, although you could do without the mana. It's useful if your opponent depends some from of AoE stun, like Amumu, Annie, Galio etc. It's advisable if your allies get this item just to add up to the problem.

Guardian Angel: Useless, it no longer gives percentage of your health back only 700hp. Meaning despite the armor and magic resist you should already have caped, it's just not as viable as you would think. When you die, you mostly die alone. Guardian Angel is just wasted that fact.

Sunfire Cape: A little expensive, it doesn't add up to any of Shen's abilities, yet it's still a very potent item. Even if they kite you all day, you can still use it to farm. With the nerf on how they set it to a unique passive, don't stack them.

Frozen Mallet: Gives a potent slow, which reminds me of how good Lizard Buffs are. Not to mention the 700 Health that really adds up, the 20 damage is just a bonus but keeping tabs on at least one target is really useful when ganking a target.

Warmog's Armor: Easily one of the most gulable items in League of legends, it would be better to just stack Giant's Belt instead. The regeneration is better on Force of Nature anyway, it's optional if you just have one more thing to buy.

In-Game Strategy:
The Pre-made setup:
Before the game starts you have to make sure that you have a good team composition, it's important to have at least 2 or 3 ranged, 1 tank, 1 support, and a mix of physical dps and magical dps. Setup is the key, you wouldn't be playing Shen without it. Most of the time this is the kind of setup you get, but if you don't recall that in your own experience then you can always fix that in pre-mades. Shen is not the type of champion that goes mid lane, this is because he has a disadvantage when it comes to being ranged and most of all that he's not a carry. Who you are laning with doesn't really matter, but I would rather have a dps/disabler than a support by my side. Mostly because Shen can't kill all by himself so having a little extra dps is more helpful.

The Laning-phase:
Instead of going all into detail I figured it would be better to tell you your goals, what to do, and what not to do. But let's start out with a few techniques like Vorpal Blade + Ki Strike harassing, which is also the basic farming technique. All you need to do is toss a Vorpal blade and move up to your target and auto-attack it once, then retreat and use Feint to block anything if you suspect it. If you have problems reaching your target, like any ranged, then you can always use Shadow Dash and then use Vorpal + Auto-attack and then retreat with Feint. This will create a gap between you and give you some space, if you don't you might not get to last hit anything, so try to be a little aggressive but not so much that it gets you killed. When you reach level 4 there is a possibility you might get ganked from mid or from one of the other two lanes or a jungler perhaps. That is why you always have to keep an eye on the map yourself, you can't always depend on miss calls. If anyone or everyone is missing, you might get yourself killed if you're not careful, so you should avoid taking unnecessary risks when this occours.

Ganks and Teamfights:
When you reach level 6 you should keep an eye on your allies health and make sure you're ready to throw down your ultimate. But don't lose focus, it's important to concentrate instead of mindlessly auto-attacking minions. Once you get a kill or two, and / or manage to bring the tower down you can leave the lane but always come back for pushing. Now there are two very important things about Shen that you have to know, the first one being Shen fights all the time! You've probably heard it before, but it has a different meaning other than a simple fact. The thing is that you can't be all passive when you're playing Shen, hell, not even when you're playing LoL in general. It's important to get out there and gank a little, get kills and support your allies, take some action! The second one is that you can't be all bloodthirsty and try to get a kill all by yourself, one thing that has been annoying me as Shen is that I can't go all over the place and try to get a kill. It just doesn't work like that; you have to keep your allies close, and your enemies closer.

Finishing the Game:
Now it's all about teamplay, don't let anyone walk alone! If they do then you shouldn't bother using Stand United, I mean you don't want to give them a double kill. The exception is if your team is nearby or if they know what they are doing. If you want to win at this stage, you need to accept your situation and try to deal with it rather than complain. It's all about taking it to the next level and helping your allies gank and making sure they survive and that you are able to kill your target. However we still have a few Taboo's, the first one being tunnel vision. If you chase a target you have to take both your team and the enemy team into account. You are responisble if any of your teammates die just to chase some half dead bastard. Sometimes this might even lead to an Ace for the enemy team, just don't go there or chances are you'll get flanked. The second one is about focus, if you focus a target it's most likly that your allies will focus it aswell. Which means, despite your poor DPS, do not focus a tank! This often gives your opponents the upper hand, and it's also exactly what the enemy tank wants meaning you played right into their hands. The third and final taboo is complaining or writing anything irrelevent other than miss in the chat, it'll take it's toll on your focus and often just demoralize your allies.

Thanks for reading, please rate and leave a comment if you like.
(I have yet to master Shen, so like all my other builds I will update it)