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Shen Build Guide by Dumbas

Tank SHEN the underastimated Top lane Ninja (Vs. Champs) 5.8

Tank SHEN the underastimated Top lane Ninja (Vs. Champs) 5.8

Updated on May 8, 2015
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League of Legends Build Guide Author Dumbas Build Guide By Dumbas 76,241 Views 15 Comments
76,241 Views 15 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author Dumbas Shen Build Guide By Dumbas Updated on May 8, 2015
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Choose Champion Build:

  • LoL Champion: Shen
    Tank Ninja
  • LoL Champion: Shen
    Shen with smite ? (in Toplane)
  • LoL Champion: Shen
    Spliting Ninja


LoL Summoner Spell: Flash


LoL Summoner Spell: Teleport


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


AS AS Hello and welcome to my first guide to how to be an unstoppable NINJA with Shen.
Shen is a very tanky champ by alone from his abilitis and base stats. Shen doesn't rely on the items such as Tryndamere or other toplaners, if you have beaten in laning face later you can still be that unstoppable unkillable tank frontliner with a suprise amount of Dmg what your team needs. Most of the players how don't know the real power off Shen underastimate his Dmg output from his passive. If you that person how like to be in the battle and suck up a lot of Dmg then walk out Shen is your champion.
Curently he isn't a meta champ like Hecarim or Maokai. You can't carry a game orsnowball it cause you need to survive the laning face but like with Dr. Mundo if you got even with your enemy you unkillable and could be as anoying like Nunu & Willump. So you probably relyon your team but you can help them to be fed with your ult and tp.
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Pros / Cons

  • High durability
  • AoE CC (Taunt)
  • Save your a** with his ult
  • Good sustain(Q+W)
  • Energy based
  • Losing lane doesn't mean anything still be a good tank
  • Underastimated ( in late you can 1/2 a carry with your combo)
  • Good scaling into late
  • Weak laning face
  • Low cc from his taunt
  • Low Dmg output
  • Long ult CD
  • Lack of waveclear
  • Runs out of energy easily
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Fleet Footwork
Phase Rush


Nothing special just some armor to help you survive better in lane. Helps you reduce minion and champs AA.

This is obvious i think more Hp more tankiness and more Dmg from your passive Ki Strike.

With scaling Mr you can scale to the late better and aslo the mages or the magic dealers deal less dmg in the early and you can get 27 instead of 12,06 9x Greater Glyph of Magic Resist witch is more than double so in late you get more use of it.

This AS bonus can give you a better trading potential so you can trigger your passive more.

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
If you against a tough magic dealer champ like Ryze or Cho'Gath... Cause in the early/mid phase of the game you will get a better use of it.

Greater Mark of Attack Damage
If you having problem with CSing or just want that your AA do a bit more dmg pick this. But i guess you don't need this big of an AD boost due to farming with Shen isn't big of a deal.
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Skilling Order
> > >
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Vorpal Blade
Shadow Dash
Stand United

Skilling explanation
spaceKi Strike (Passive)

Shen's passive gives him a supriseable big Dmg output. As i sad in the introduction, most of the people doesn't count Dmg from you.The more tanky you be the more Dmg you will do. This passive makes your AA way stronger for 7sec CD witch is decreasable. It gives you a flat 3+(3xlvl) Dmg + 10%of your maximum Hp. So stack Hp to do more Dmg isn't OP ?


spaceVorpal Blade (Q)

Shen's Q, this is the only ranged skill witch Shen has so use it wisely. Normaly start with this and max it first to help youCS or even poke your enemy. Vorpal Blade also have a realy cool build in sustane part it marks the damaged enemy and anyone how AA this Champ or even minion heals a flat amount and a percentage of Shen's max Hp. So an another reason to build a lot of Hp, you can sustaine your Carry in team fights or yourselfe inlaning face. If Vorpal Blade do the killing blow it heals Shen by 30% of the normal amount.


spaceFeint (W)
Shen's W is a shield ability. Usually pick it and max it second. I pick it for avoiding poke Dmg because its a free shield witch can realyhelps you out in laning face and late this makes you pretty much one of the biggest tank in the game. Max first if the enemy poke you out of the lane and max it lastif you doesn't need the extra shield witch Feint provide.


spaceShadow Dash (E)
Shen's E. This skill help you to be more mobile ingame. It has a lot of oportunities to use, you can engage with it or even escape for sliding over walls or just getting a bit of a distance or juking skillshots like Blitzcrank's Rocket Grab. It's taunt the enemy so forcing them to attack Shen and while taunted they can't use abilities so it's a great ability to lock somebody down or break something important like a Katarina's Death Lotus. But use it wisely it cost you a lot of energy and has a fearly long CD. But it's refund energy if you taunt an enemy champion.


spaceStand United (R)
Shen's ultimate ability this makes him a life saving Ninja and even a game turning champ. It's a powerfull shielding ability witch is global. when chaneling it the targeted aly gain a big shield and after a short period of time (3 sec) Shen teleport next to the aly. If Shen got cc'd or the aly killed Shen won't teleport to the location.


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Shen with smite ? (explanation)

Idea behind: Get Smite to be able to buy Skirmisher's Sabre - Cinderhulk.

Why is Skirmisher's Sabre - Cinderhulk worth getting Smite instead of Teleport, or Ignite ? In the current meta top laners get tp to help out his team by tping next to them and get some kills or assists. But you are Shen you got global ultimate with can save your alys or get kills. So using tp is not as usefull on Shen, probably if your ult on cd you could use it but in lower elos you won't gona use it anyway. The other choise is getting Ignite, witch can be usefullbut as Shen you didn't got that big of a kill presure so it's also isn't big of a deal.
So why don't pick Smite and getting some mixed deffensive and offensive stats with Skirmisher's Sabre - Cinderhulk
1) Gives you Health also health multipler witch can be brutal in late game,
let's count
so you got a tons of a bonus Hp witch is boosting your survivality and dmg output a lot, but it's a double edged sword! in laning phase Skirmisher's Sabre - Cinderhulk didn't gives you that big of a Health bonus in lvl 7 if you got this item first you get ~320bonus health. So bonus 620Hp without defensive stats is very weak..
2) The passive Immolate like the Sunfire Aegis's passive that's why it won't stack up with Sunfire Aegis !!!!!!.
3) As well as you can smite enemy champs, you lack dueling potential so if the enemy goes all in you just smite him and you didn't gonna lose in that case a normal fight. The true dmg from AA and the reduced dmg taken from him. To sum up this item cost you 2250gold so it' cheaper than a normal item. And it gives you 300flat Hp as well as in normal you can get ~900Hp te worst case as well the Sunfire Aegis's passive. And the smite ability witch can be usefull. But be avare in this bulid you scale better into the game also Shen is scaling well into late and you can be weak in early stages and with this build you be more weaker, cause you spend 2250gold for 300flat Hp and the smite ability you help you but in lack of deffensive stats you can't be able to duel the most of the toplaners.

When use this build ? I'd prefer this route when you playing against a laner how can't strong at the early stages (like Gangplank, Aatrox, Irelia...) or if you are familiar with Shen and you can be able to play safe with him feel free to use this route but you can need to be safe your laneing gona be hard till you got your boots and 2. item.

Itemization Normaly if everything goes well you get your Skirmisher's Sabre - Cinderhulk, then you start to build some real defensives to your health become more efficient.
Against AD laner
Against AP laner
Get Ninja Tabi if you strugle a bit. Then deneding on the lane if it's building deffensive get Ninja Tabi and Warmog's Armor, if needed a bit of an Armor get Randuin's Omen then Warmog's Armor and the boots depending on the enemy team. Get Mercury's Treads if strugle a bit. Then depending on the lane if you can dodge skill shots or doesn't need that big of an Mr get Warmog's Armor then Spirit Visage or Banshee's Veil depending on the enemy skill spaming ability. If the lane is a bit harder switch them.
Then everything depends on the enemy team how is fed how didn't what the most potential dmg source so use the highlited items as helping points.
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Starting items:

spaDoran's Shield

Most of the times start with this item gives better sustain and survivality in early lvls. ~ 2mins with this item heals you as much as a Health Potion so in long run it's worth it also the bonus Hp and passive is good as well.

spaCloth Armor

Start Cloth Armor and 5 Health Potion if laning against heavy ad Dmg dealers suck as Tryndamere, Riven, that +15Armor would help you more in that cases. Also the more potion is providing you more sustain. And you come closer to you Sunfire Aegis as well.

Core vs AD:

spaSunfire Cape

Gives you a lot of usefull stats Armor and Hp. Better to start with this item because Sunfire Aegis passive helps you to push lane due to Shen miss waveclear it gives you a bit. Unfortunatelly in patch 5.5 it's building from Bami's Cinder witch gives you less Hp and that passive could blow your undertower farm so now in my opinion it's better to start with Chain Vest.

Core vs AP:

spaSpirit Visage

Also gives you a lot of tankiness, Spirit Visage's passive buff your Vorpal Blade's healing ability and gives you a bit of CDR witch also nice on Shen, same as in Sunfire Aegis try to start with Hp if possible.


Try to buy Boots in the firts back if you had enough gold. It would help you to escape faster or dodge skillshots. And even you can get faster back to lane if you don't wanna use your teleport.

spaMercury's Treads

Usually i pick this because most of the time the enemy team has a bigger cc. Such as Veigar's Event Horizon or Ryze's Rune Prison usually the hard CC is the thing why you need that item but if you desperatly need some Mr it's also good.

spaNinja Tabi

And the other ties buy Ninja Tabi. Gives you armor wich is always good.

Core Build (Must have item's):

ALWAYS BUY Spirit Visage and Sunfire Aegis !! Then finish Boots!! Sometimes you had some exception for example if the enemy team is full AD or AP. Due to the new Black Cleaver changes worth more building hp than armor against AA reliant champs.

spaWarmog's Armor

It would be your or item you need more resistances before that much of an HP. Warmog's Armor's passive sinenergize well with Spirit Visage's passive!! And the recent buff in this item will gives it better use. More flat Hp it's awsome and the passive heal also cool so you could have 40-50 health regen in late.

Against Heavy AD:

spaRanduin's Omen

It's a great item againt really AA based shamps like Vayne, Master Yi, Tryndamere... Gives you HP, Armor and AS reduction on hit as well as a cool Active ability to slow the nerbies enemys. 99% of the gaes you will need this item. Sometimes i highly recommend to buy it as first item when your enemys relying on AA and AS.


Also a very usefull item when the enemy relies on AA but you need a lot of HP to be cost effective in this item, so make sure you got this after Warmog's Armor if you can. If the enemy deals a lot of dmg to you they will feel pain especially if you've got 5000+Hp, this means 500 returned Dmg at least. And with your shield on its more usefull.

Against heavy AP:

spaBanshee's Veil

It gives you Hp and Mr so a great item as well as the passive it's soooo OP, in some time can save your life that shield. Get it if you need a bit more Mr usually i get it in my games especially when the enemy apc is fed.And not an ability spaming champ like Ziggs

spaLocket of the Iron Solari

It's not the best item to Shen but if you want to keep live your team mates a bit longer it wolud be the choise but it's way better on Support's so you can buy better resistances.

spaBanner of Command

It's almost the same item than Locket of the Iron Solari, but the passive can helps you more than the AoE shield. Cause with this item you can buff your minions and because of that 1 of your lane is gonna push harder than the enemy. So it can help you a bit in the wave clear front.

Offensive itmes:

spaTrinity Force

I'm personally doesn't prefer this item much but some times can come handy a bit more dmg from this item. The Ap is good for all of your abillity scales with ap, the AS come handy to prock your passive more often as well as the bonus AD, so almost all of the stats are usefull except the crit chanse and mana. The on hit speed boost can help you as well as the Sheen passive. So to sum up it's a good offensive item to Shen

Splitting items:

spaWit's End

This item seems good on Shen, cause boost your AS as well as your Mr. Thats why this is your core build on splitting. And even his passive can help you a lot.

spaNashor's Tooth

Also a good opinoin if you want to split in my opinion. The Ap boost all of your abilities and if you want some more Ap the passive can boost your on hit AA strenght. And the normal AS boost with the CDR to help you spamn your abilities more.


If you go with Ninja Tabi and seriously need the tenacity, it could work to you. The AD can AS can help you in splitting and TF as well as the CDR. And even the speed multipler can come very handy if you need to retreat but i can't realy recommend you this item. If you need tenacity go for Mercury's Treads and pick an armor item like Randuin's Omen.

spaStatikk Shiv

The passive what come to very handy. The passive can give a huge help in the splitting side. As well if you combine this with the Trinity Force you get 30% crit chanse. And even the AS as i mentioned it a million time.

spaGuinsoo's Rageblade

By alone this isn't a big of an item, but if you can stack it up with 8 AA can realy hurt. 72 Ap 30 AD 32ASand even the low health passive can boost you up. But as i mentioned in Zephyr i can't realy recomend this item as well.

spaZz'rot Portal

This item bring you a good amount of defenses as well as a great pushing active ability. But be aware to use it cause this voidlings has a low range and enemys can easily destroy to portal as well. In this case you wasted 150sec CD.

With smite:


Skirmisher's Sabre - Cinderhulk

The idea behind is the health multipler thing. Shen scales very well with hp and going well without flash so why you shouldn't pickit in this way. Also the immolate effect helps you splitting. And if you goes with this Warmog's Armor is a must have item. Also helps you in trades smite your enemy and get 20%dmg reduction also gives a huge dmg boost so you can fight easier with enemies.
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VS Champs

"Easy" matchups:

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"Medium" matchups:


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"Hard" matchups:


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Xin Zhao

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Team Fights

You has 2 opinions in TF( os course this is not the truth sometimes you need to peel some teammates when your team ahead, or even reverse):

Team ahead:

It's probably the best case when your team ahead if you help your team to get ahead or the fed themselfs doesn't matter. In these cases you will be the first how go in it might have some exception like Sion's Unstoppable Onslaught or Sejuani's Glacial Prison or Arctic Assault ... but elsewhere you need to engage. Try to taunt the more prioritized target or taunt 3-4 enemy to be maximum effecient. And try to combo well with your team such as with Orianna's Command: Shockwave or Leona's Solar Flare ... to get beautifull combo.
Important note!!:
+Never go too deap then you will be split away from your team and end up dead.
+Look your team Hp as Shen you have a pretty big defensive power with your ult so use it if needed in the right target
+Chose target wisely if the priority target is toobehind switch the focus elsewhere you end up dead (tip: get a focusing list in your head)
+Wait your team most of the time you won't have enought power to go in 1v2 or 1v3-4 you just a tank how doesn't have that much of a dmg
+Help your team if your team is in danger fall back and help them you rely on them

Team behind:

This is the worse case but nothing that you can't handle. Now try to avoid big 5v5 fights try to catch smaller 1v2-3 or 2v4-5 fights to get at least even in money. If the enemy team can fight you need to be at your team and deffend the carrys as well as you can to comeback in the game.
Important note!!:
+Use your taunt wisely if the enemy tank engage and you taunt him the enemy assassins (like: LeBlanc, Katarina) can kill your carrys easily
+Try to block skill shots if you see that your aly won't be ably to dodge it suck it for them trust me they gonna be thankfull caus of that, but DODGE !! it's important if you didn't do it you end up dead very fast, so you have to the middle road.

Always usefull TF Tips:

-Your ultimate Stand United is your best and hardest skill. You can save your aly, but it's very hard to use it perfectly. You need to use it in time to save the aly but if you use it too early the enemy can disengage, if you use it too late your aly can die and you can't teleport next to him and won't be able to save his life.
-Your E Shadow Dash is a perfect ability to engage or save lifes, with a very long CD, so use it wisely. You need to consider what the best is your team engage or play def till you can save life with it. A suprising factor is that you can Flash during the chaneling so you can taunt more champs or champs from suprise, keep it mind.
-Be in the frontline to harder the enemy tanks or assassins to get into your carryline
-Walk in orderless to harder the enemy team to shot you with skills, because you will be in the frontline.
-Search good engage moments, when one of the enemy carry on the frontline or something like that
-Look back, if the enemy flanck you, retreat and peel your carrys
-Ward the flanks, to prevent the enemy team to surround you
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Farming with Shen is a very important thing to know. Why ? Cause you pretty weak durin the laning face so you sometimes(or always) have a hard time to CS. And farming is the most important thing to do in League. All consider farming with Shen it's not a big deal okay you a tank but with your manaless Q and passive help you a lot. In lower elo you probably pushed under your tower:

Farming undertower:

it's an easy thing to do with Shen meele minions need 2 tower shot and 1AA to die, ranged minions need 1tower shot and 2AA to die use this knowledge in your favour your buffed AA(from your passive) can easily counted 2AA as well as your Q Vorpal Blade, but try to spare your tower Hp and freeze near your tower where the tower can shot the enemy minion but the enemy minions attacking yours.
In higher elo enemy gonna try to freeze the lane and zone you from farming this is the harder thing to counter if you totally zoned from farming and your Vorpal Blade and Feint aren't enought to farm ask for a gank and push into the enemy tower to refresh it with your jungler help.
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Map tips

There is some good top lane wards depending on your lane and some possible pink ward places.
ALWAYS WARD = vision = win
vision win games for you so try to buy at least 1-2ward/10min and use your trinket as well!
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When pick Shen ??

It's probably teh best question when to pick Shen. Shen is a team orientated champ so you need a team behind you to win games.
The best time to pick if you know one of the carrys for example if you duo with the mid laner cause in this case you have the link for him in the better cases you chatting so it's easier to land a perfect ult on him and you didn't need to pay attention to use your ult.

If your team lack tank when your support is aggresive tipe like Annie and you has an assassin jungler like Rengar then it's time for a good tank toplaner like Shen, in the beginings say to your team to ping if they need ult probably the going to forget it but if not you can get a bit of an advantage. In the current midlane meta where people pick inmobile hight dmg output champs like Cassiopeia or Viktor you got a bigger potential due to your ult and tanunt.

Sum to all Shen can be picked for any matchups like Maokai cause you can farm from distance and very tanky to survive a lot of dmg and you energy based so never run out of mana maximum just need to wait a bit for the energy. And easy to farm with it even under your tower.
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Shen is a very tanky and life saving champion with a good engage ability. If you like playing the unstoppable tank (like me) and love beeing in the frontline and begining the team fights then Shen is your champion. He can easily countered but with his Q Vorpal Blade is easy to farm and his W Feint can suck up a tons of Dmg.

NOTE: I'm still working on the guide so much part is missing. And I'm not an High Elo player just somebody (how played befor then now started again) who love playing with Shen but i can beat skilled players with this build and the power of Shen.

Thanks for reding my guide if you like it pls leave a comment or a +1 i would really appreciate it
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Added "Splitting Ninja" build route
Added Vs. Champs (Akali)
Added Items (Zephyr, Statikk Shiv, Guinsoo's Rageblade, Zz'rot Portal)

Systematization Vs. Champs
Systematization Items
Systematization Skills
Some twerks in masteries
In Patch 5.7 Shen's ultimate CD changed COOLDOWN 200/180/160 -> 180/160/120 Jeee a little buff (hope coming more)
Added Vs. Champs (Trundle)
Some twerks in items
Added "Shen with smite ? (in Toplane)" build route
Added Items (Skirmisher's Sabre - Cinderhulk)
Added Chapter (Shen with smite?)
Systematization Pros/Cons
Systematization Skills
Systematization Runes
Systematization Skills
Rewrite Shen with smite ? (explanation)
Idealized Runes
Systematization Items
Systematization Vs. Champs
In Patch 5.8 Shen's ultimate got a new ability: WHAT A GENTLESHEN Now places Shen between his target and the closest visible enemy champion. Not exactly buff but could be usefull
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SHEN the underastimated Top lane Ninja (Vs. Champs) 5.8

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