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Shen Build Guide by LeatherfaceTom

Top Shen - The Ultimate Top lane King

Top Shen - The Ultimate Top lane King

Updated on July 3, 2018
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League of Legends Build Guide Author LeatherfaceTom Build Guide By LeatherfaceTom 8,007 Views 1 Comments
8,007 Views 1 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author LeatherfaceTom Shen Build Guide By LeatherfaceTom Updated on July 3, 2018
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Bone Plating

Magical Footwear
Cosmic Insight


LoL Summoner Spell: Teleport


LoL Summoner Spell: Flash


Threats & Synergies

Threats Synergies
Extreme Major Even Minor Tiny
Show All
None Low Ok Strong Ideal
Extreme Threats
Ideal Synergies
Ideal Strong Ok Low None


Hello all, my name is LeatherfaceTom. This account is new, but I have been playing League of Legends for over 5 years now (My Previous account was Zatoichi23). I do not claim to be an expert, but having played literally thousands of games over the years, more than half of those are on Shen, I believe I can offer some pretty good advice for new players and those who perhaps dont understand where the Eye of Twilight fits in on the Rift.

Shen is a great champion but a lot of people dont understand his role. They see him do really well in LCS, but then in solo queue he struggles. This doesn't have to be the case. Whilst Shen primarily is a team champion with his role being to let his team do well, he can carry hard when he needs to if you play him right. In this guide I will show you how you can carry games in SoloQ by getting kills and protecting your team.
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Resolve - Aftershock
Many people often take Grasp of the Undying on the Shen, I used to be one of those people. But I have found that Aftershock compliments Shen's kit much better. This is because with Warmog's Armor, you dont need the extra healing that Grasp gives. Aftershock triggers after the taunt, and because of its timer, it is guaranteed to hit just after the taunt duration ends. Meaning if you land the taunt, it is free damage.
A) Bone plating - This is great for the all in, especially onto melee champs as it protects you from a bunch of damage.
B) Conditioning - Free Armor and Magic Resist, plus it boosts what you've already bought.
C) Revitalize - A Must have on Shen. Doesn't seem like much, but on low level allies combined with your Stand United, this saves lives.

A) Magical Boots - Again, a must have for Shen. Allows you to save money for Tiamat early. Also the extra 10% movement speed will give you an advantage in lane when looking for the Taunt.
B) Cosmic Insight - Starting 5% cooldown is a big deal for your Q. Also the extra cooldown on your Summoner Spells really helps with the Teleport split push.
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Summoner Spells

Flash - This Summoner Spell needs to explanation. Take flash, no matter what lane or champ you play.

Teleport - Primarily this will be used to get yourself back into lane to farm up. It can be used when your ultimate Stand United is down to lend support and to allow the split push, something Shen is quite literally made for.

Ignite - I usually dont take the ignite unless I know my other lanes will win, or if I plan on taking Blade of The Ruined King from the get go. It gives Shen much more lane pressure, but I find Teleport to still be much more useful.
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Skill Sequence

Twilight Assault
Always start out with Q first. This will allow you farm much faster and also gives decent damage early in trades. It is also used to protect yourself as it gives you the shield from your passive quickly. Try and get the Spirit Blade to pash through the enemy first to maximise damage.

Spirits Refuge
Choose this third after Q and E. Dont underestimate its usefulness though. The sheild can be the difference between life and death if it saves you from a Darius stacking his passive. Its not worth maxing it out until last though as each upgrade only lowers its cooldown.

Shadow Dash
Pick this up second after Q. The taunt speaks for itself, but the dash has pretty good scaling damage with your Health. It can also save your life allowing you to traverse walls quickly. I usually max this out after Q, but depending on the situation, you may need to lower cooldown, so dont be afraid to pop a few points into E during levels 4 and 5.

Stand United
Goes without saying you need to pick this up at every chance you get. The shield and map presence it gives you is unrivaled. Just remember to ping when it's off cooldown so your team know you can give them a hand. There is nothing worse than an ADC diving a turret to get a kill, only to die because they didnt know your Ultimate was on cooldown.
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No Sunfire Cape?
Okay, so with item's, most people say Sunfire Cape is a core item for Shen. However, since its recent nerf, it is actually not useful anymore. Sure the HP and Armor help and the burn helps clear waves, but it is far too costly for what it gives Shen. Below is what I recommend and find works best on Shen as of the most recent patch, 8.12.

Starting Items
A) Doran's shield
i) The only starting item for Shen. The extra damage against minions helps you keep up in farm, whilst the health increase and regen, whilst only slight, gives you the ability to stay in lane that little bit longer.
B) Health Potion
i) An early potion helps you recover after early trades.

First Recall
A) Tiamat
i) This is a core Shen item. Giving you damage and wave clear early whilst giving you cheeky poke on the enemy champ whilst they farm. This should alawys be the first item you buy as soon as you can. Ideally do not recall until you can affoird it unless you absolutely have to.
B) Refillable Potion
i) Same as the starting health potion. Allows you stay in lane and farm longer. Also saves you gold by not needing to buy any additional potions.

Core Items
A) Titanic Hydra
i) This is a MUST BUY item for Shen. Extra health, damage based on your max health and the wave clear unlike any other. This item should be bought as soon as possible, but I often buy chain vest after Tiamat firstjust to give me that added protection whilst I farm up the gold for Hydra.

B) Boots
i) Most often you will go for Mercury Treads to give that extra tenacity and Magic Resist. However, it is not uncommon to build Ninja Tabi if you are against a heavy Physical Damage team. No other boots work on Shen though, so it should always be one of these two.

C) Deadman's Plate
i) This is another core item for the Shen. The armor and health boost work well in tandem with Hydra. But the passive is why you want this. Extra movement speed makes landing the taunt easier, and the burst damage when you land the taunt really makes this a strong offensive item as well as a defensive pick.

D) Warmog's Armor
i) I buy this every game as the massive health increase just goes so well with Hydra and your E, whilst ensuring you don't die too quickly in trades. Also the regen it gives means you can lane forever. Once you have Warmog's, you should only be recalling to buy items, no more recalling to heal yourself. However, DO NOT BUY before Deadman's and Hydra are finished, otherwise you wont have enough health to trigger the passive.

Example Builds
A Standard build for me usually consists of:
1) Titanic Hydra
2) Mercury Treads
3) Deadman's plate
4) Warmog's Armor
The final two items are situation dependent, but usually I go for Adaptive Helm and Thornmail. However you can build Frozen Mallet to slow enemies so your team can pick up kills. In addition, if you are ahead and fancy your chances in 1v1's, build a Blade of the Ruin King and Spirit Visage to really up your damage output. Beware though that this means you are sacrificing a fair bit of health and protection and really, should only be used when you can win fights without the extra tank stats.
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Playing Shen

As I mentioned in the introduction, Shen is primarily seen as a teamplay champion whose role is to protect carries and split push. This is still true, somewhat.

Shen actually has lower base stats than all other "Tank" champions (I mean Lucian starts with higher armor than Shen). So he inherently doesn't scale great as a pure tank build, as many people seem to think.

Early Game
During the lane, Shen's job is to farm as much as possible to get his Tiamat as you will almost always be on a losing trade in the early game. Once you have this though, the game changes. With your new waveclear power, you can push the lane and then proceed to roam whilst your opponent deals with your minions. The best way to do this is to not roam lanes, but to place vision in the enemy jungle. This protects yourself from ganks, but also allows your team to keep eyes on the movements of the enemy jungler.

Mid Game
After you have your boots, Tiamat and have started to build some protective items, you can start going for the fights. With a few points into your Q, you do a suprising amount of damage, especially if the Spirit Blade has passed through the enemy first. Shen can quite easily solo kill most top champs if you land your abilites correctly. E > Q > W and the aftershock burst damage. Beware though that committing to the all in with your E, makes escaping tricky you if lose the trade. Again, make sure you are roaming to place vision down as much as you can.

I cannot express enough how important your Ultimate use is at this stage. Use it to save your allies whenever you can, but also make sure you use it when the allies are winning trades to get yourself some much needed Gold from Assists. Even if you dont land on the enemy champion, just by ulting to an ally that gets the kill, you earn your assist so it is beneifical to ult between lanes as much as you can.

Late Game
During the late game, when you have your items, you are a force to be reckoned with. Tanky enough to trade safely, but with enough burst damage to get kills when needed, with health regen so high you never need to recall. Unless you die, a 6 item Shen should never need to return to base with Warmog's passive. At worst you should retreat to the jungle whilst you recover.
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Overall, Shen is a great champion if you can use him correctly. His kit is really interesting and his ability to carry games as well as be a tank to protect people during the teamfights, makes him a great champion for any team comp. Furthermore, with his high Q damage and Health Scaling Taunt, he is capable of taking down the squishy targets quickly as well as winning trades against even the most tanky of top laners.
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Thank you!

Thank your reading my quide to Shen. Please like and comment if you enjoyed it, or if you have your own build's and suggestions. I would love to see how the community plays with my favourite champion.
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League of Legends Build Guide Author LeatherfaceTom
LeatherfaceTom Shen Guide
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Shen - The Ultimate Top lane King

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