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Shen - The Urban Ninja!

Last updated on July 15, 2010
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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: 0

Strength of Spirit

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, 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. In otherwords, you have to be active and have some map awereness.

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

1. Difficult to master
2. Restricted by energy
3. Constantly being nerfed

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

Shen's Abilities: Click here
Shen is the first champion in the League of Legends to use energy to cast his abilities, rather than mana or health like most other champions. This system caps the maximum amount of energy Shen can have at 200 energy, and regenerates Shen's energy very rapidly (10 energy per second). This regeneration can be increased by getting an ancient golem buff (+1.5%).
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, avoid getting harassed, and get away with so little health. 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 to 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 Absolute Zero.

Summoner Spells: Click here
I mostly recommend defensive summoner spells, but if you like to be a little more aggressive then you could always use Ignite + Exhaust. But for Shen that's not really a priority at all, however you could always consider other spells such as Teleport and Exhaust as long as you get to upgrade them in your masteries.
Your Champion ignores unit collision and moves 32% faster for 14 seconds. Cooldown: 210

Ghost 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. Whenever things turn out bad you should try to get away but as the tank you have to make sure everyone else makes it as well. You are only suppose to buy them time, if you know that your ally will only make it if you distract them then it'll be worth it.
Removes all debuffs from your champion and reduces the duration of subsequent stuns, slows, taunts, fears, snares, sleeps, and immobilizes by 50% for the next 3 seconds. Cooldown: 120

Cleanse is getting very popular, especially at level 30, mainly because people got tired of Ignite + Exhaust. The use of Cleanse has to be adapted to what champion you're playing, Shen, and what you can cleanse on your enemies team. Finally, we got what sort of situation you are in. For Shen it's mostly Ignite and Exhaust in the laning phase, Stun and Silence in Teamfights, and anything that can get you killed while fleeing. Then we have Blind if you're about to kill someone, but it's not always necessary if you only need a Vorpal Blade to kill your target.
Heal heals oneself for 140 + 20x level and every allied unit for half the amount. Cooldown: 270

Heal 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, this is because it allows players to make up for mistakes and not die too easily. It's not all that scrubish, but it's not all that pro either. This goes for the old saying:"What's up with heal on tanks?" 500 out of 3000 health is not that much, I mean you have better options.
Grants invulnerability to all Allied Turrets and causes them to attack 100% faster for 7 seconds. While Fortify is ready to cast, you deal 9 bonus damage to minions. Cooldown: 300

If you are doing a pre-made and your team likes to have Fortify at their disposal then you should take it. Keep in mind that you have to push, to win! Not everyone knows this so in the lower ELO Fortify is by no means necessary, but 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.

Core Item build:Ruby Crystal will give you a lot of early-game health and since Vorpal Blade will fix regeneration you can stick with that. Frozen Mallet will allow you to more initiate ganks more effectively and keep enemies busy. The Aegis of the Legion will help out the rest of your team and fix a few weak spots, while Guardian Angel will make it seem hopeless to try and kill you. After that you can get Randuin's Omen for an AoE slow and attackspeed nerf, and it's also a lot easier to get away with the passive slow. Finally we got Banshee's Veil for late-game, it's really just to annoy but I doubt normal games will last that long.

Optional Items:At some point you will begin to rely less on a structured build, and more on your opponents, and what their builds are. But most of all your own preference and your own team. Like starting with a Doran's Shield to get a good start, and getting Spirit Visage for its increased healing effect which is nice if you got a healer on your team. The most common choice you have to make which depends on the enemy team are what shoes to buy: If you are up against a lot of physical dps champions 4/5 then I recommend taking Ninja Tabi. If your opponents got a hell of a lot of CC then I recommend taking Mercury's Treads because you can't cleanse everything. For late-game we got items like thornmail vs. physical dps and force of nature vs. magic dps.

Team Composition:
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 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 everyone or someone you might get you killed if you're not careful, then you should avoid taking unnecessary chances.

Ganks and Teamfights:
When you reach level 6 you should keep an eye on your allies health and make sure youre 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 in your lane you can leave the lane for good but you can always get back to it 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.

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)