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Shen Build Guide by Virescon

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Virescon

Shen-Ultimate Protector

Virescon Last updated on January 5, 2012
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Top Lane
Ranked #22 in
Top Lane
Win 49%
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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.



Offense: 0


Defense: 30

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 0

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Introduction: Enter Shen

Hey, this is Virescon and this is my first guide. Shen has got to be my favourite character to play. Not only is he a superb tank that almost any team will never say no to, but the glory you can get from playing him makes him a hero of a character. This guide illustrates how to become a super human that will never be killed, allows you to absorb the damage that your carries can’t, and saving EVERYONE’S life. I go with a armour and health tank Shen over AP Shen because I find it much more viable and helpful. Yes AP Shen will be able to do more damage as well as have more effective skills, but when his sheild is down and is getting focused, it won't be long until he is gone. So without further a due, I present to you Shen: the Ultimate Protector.

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Pros / Cons


+Taunts absolutly win games
+One of the most durable and manoeuvrable champions to tank with
+Can be a hero of the team if played correctly
+Can turn a 1v1 into a 2v1 with the your ulti
+Can support anyone anywhere on the map
+High assist count


-No damage output at all
-Possiblity of dieing more then you kill(Tanking role)
-Low money input
-Nocturn's Ultimate will destroy your chance to use your ultimate if he is an enemy

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Summoner spells: Inner Mage

The summoner spells you choose will greatly set you apart from every other Shen because I believe that everyone will pick a different combo and use them completely different for the most part and give your own style to the game. That’s why I leave the summoner spells completely up to you, but what I will do is give you suggestions.
Cleanse: As a tank you are obligated to tank all the damage, but you don’t necessarily need to start feeding. If your team retreats and your getting stunned and slowed, a cleansed, shadow dash-feint combo might just save your life, and allow you to continue tanking if their team decides to keep pushing.
Ghost/Flash: I prefer Ghost over flash for Shen because after they just killed the flash’s range, it is literally no different to Shen’s shadow dash. And because Shen is so slow, the enemies will just catch up to you anyways. Again, the choice is up to you, but for a slow champion, I always go with ghost. It is a must to have at least one of these in order to escape easily.
Teleport: Extremely effective early game to get back to lane fast and can save your tower for death as well as allows you to support your team mate when your ultimate is in cool down. If I don’t pick cleanse, Teleport is my spell of choice.
Revive: You die in a team fight, and it looks like you lost it too and your defenceless carries are left alone to defend the tower, you pull revive and your right back at it, and you may just save the tower or team.
Heal: Gives you just a little bit more health in a team fight or a dire situation that may come in handy as well as it buffs up the teams health. I find it pretty good myself if you’re the only viable tank on the team.
Exhaust: Not the most viable thing for Shen, but if the team doesn’t have this it will do no wrong to you and might even pick away at the other team’s team mates.

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Runes: Defence

For marks I take health because I find that when your tower diving, taking all the damage and getting focused, I usually come out of battles with only about 10 health left, which would be a result of my marks. It gives you just a bit longer in combat.
For the seals I take flat our armour for early game domination since armour is a lot cheaper and is more powerful early game.
Now for the Glyphs’ I do the exact opposite as armour and go for magic resist that scales to level 18 because magic resist is much more expensive so the extra magic resist by runes will mean more money later on.
Finally for the Quintessence’s I take flat health because it gives you a good health bonus that will help you in staying in a team fight and literally everything longer.

If you really wanted you could get Speed Quintessences to get to helping allies much quicker or Energy regen seals, but not Glyphs’ as the magic resist is much too important. A mixture would be best, as these runes are the core of a tanking Shen.

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Masteries: The beast within

The one thing I would change about the masteries is taking off the damage reduction from monsters and put the point into one of your summoner spell masteries of your choice. But I select the masteries around the idea that I'm not going to be anything but a meat shield.

The first row of the defence tree I max out except the summoner spells because you’re a tank, these buffs will of course help you out and give you some flat armour and magic resist; a staple for Shen.

For the second row I max out again, because the flat health is a bonus 100 health that will save you from death more than once and the regen will help you stay in lane much better early game and get back into another team fight minutes after even the harshest of team fights.

For the next row, I find that AOE spells don’t typically do much damage, maybe like 80 damage total if your just standing there giving you a reduced damage of maximum 3 HP, we could spend those points in better places. All the others are maxed because they more incoming damage resistance is always nice with more flat health and more staples for Tanks.

For the next row, I figure you will be doing a lot of tower diving and taking damage from the tower, so the faster your team can take down the tower, the better. You need more points to continue on the tree so I take speed over cool down reduction because chances are your energy will be the thing stopping you, not the cool downs.

Next row is more damage reduction and assist gold bonus. Think, you’re going to be getting at least 10 assists on a bad game, that’s a bonus 240 gold on the worst of games! It adds up, believe me. And the final mastery is a must and is just everything a tank needs.

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Items: Family hand-me-downs

The hand-me-downs of the family of Shen, these items can vary, but it’s what I typically do if you even make it through the build. I open up with a Regrowth Pendant and a health potion because it will help you stay in lane, as well as the health pot will help restore health if. People might say to use a Doran’s shield, but you’re going to have to get rid of it, and because you typically don’t get kills, you can’t afford to earn back what you lost with the shield in my opinion. Why take the step back?
By building Warmog’s armour, you will have enough health to probably do enough tanking at this point because they just don’t have the sheer power to take you down.

Next I get Mercury’s Treads because to me they have magic resist and the Tenacity passive that just make them a must for most tanks. You might want to get boots of Mobility or Swiftness depending on your preference, but to me it’s just not worth giving up the Tenacity. Ionian boots are a NO because your energy will regen must slower than your skills maxed out at level 18’s cool downs so don’t even try, they would only be good for your vorpal blades, and that’s just not enough for me to use them.

From there I get ThornmailThornmail armor or Force of Nature, depending on whether is the team is AP or AD heavy. AD heavy, you get ThornmailThornmail armor to counter attack the basic attacks. AP you get Force of Nature to block the magic damage with the resist, and quickly gain back what you didn’t block. All and all, it doesn’t matter because you will get them both.

Next is the widely debated Abyssal sceptre,Abyssal Sceptre I find at this point, your tower diving the hell out of towers to destroy them, and this will give your shields just enough power to withstand another blast from the tower before the skill is up again, which is also helpful in team fights if you don’t want your health to drop so low. Because Shen doesn’t have magic, you shouldn’t get banshee’s veil or Frozen mallet because this will be more beneficial for you, you can substitute it, just please no mana items, you get much better use out of other things. I recommend Zhonya’s Hourglass for substitute to get out of team fights when you are dangerously low.

Finally finishing off with a Guardian angel because I feel like an extra life will help, and you’ll also be more provoked to stay there an extra second longer, take a few more hits and get back up again. And you might distract the enemy from killing your carries, as you’re a helpless little Shen who will get back up with little health. Pot your ultimate or shadow dash away and then you’ll show those greedy kids who is boss, or if you have it, Zhonya’s Hourglass away untouched and alive, whatever works.

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Skill combos: Ninja's Skill

The amount you can do with this build if built correctly is unimaginable. If you can master how to use the four skills at the right time and everything, your team will never die while you’re around. Play around with the combos, but I find this combo will make the other team wish you were never there.

Vorpal Blade: Flying sword that does decent damage even without any boosts that is always a hit because it is a dot skill. Sounds sweet huh? Not a skill I use often strangely enough, in a team fight I’d rather use my energy for feint of shadow dash, so in my opinion I wouldn’t use it in a team fight. Hate that moment when someone has like 200 HP and is just going to make it out? Throw that Vorpal blade at him, and devastate them, it may only do 200 damage, but if you can throw it at the right time and poke the enemy, they won’t have time to regen HP. Your carries can kill them much easier if there is no health gain when you’re in lane. During mid game when your armour is still only around par you will want to use it more on minions to quickly gain health back, focus the big minions to gain the most health back. Use it whenever you can is essential except in team fights to just poke the hell out of their team for a nice little bit of damage with a low energy cost. Max this after feint to gain the most health back, and to give the most bang for its buck.

Feint: I max this one early to save on health pots. If the enemy is using a skill at you, active feint and a shield will appear and absorb a good chunk of damage for you. Can be great for escaping with low health or to stop your health from dropping lower as you wait for your Shadow dash to get off cool downs. Extremely helpful if you are getting focused in team fights, they focus you, and you just dust off a good solid 200 damage off your shoulder, not to mention it has a fairly low cool down so you can pop it right back in to absorb even more damage your carries can’t.

Shadow dash: MOST FUN SKILL EVER, just going to put that one out there. This skill taunts any enemy champions or minions that you run into and absorbs energy if you hit a champion. The taunt will make the enemy focus you whether they like it or not, making you become the target you’ve always wanted to be. You can use this if your team mate is low health and is getting hunted down by an enemy to make the enemy stop and attack you and saving your team mates. Or in a team fight if they are starting to not focus you, you can shadow dash them and get them off your carries. Always aim for as many champions as you can get and don’t necessarily extend the taunt the full length either. When you master when, how and where to use this, you won’t be stopped. The key is just to make them attack you no matter what, because then your carry can dish out more and more damage as they blindly attack you. The shadow dash can also work as a flash! If you point your arrow over a ledge for example, and the arrow makes it through the whole ledge, you can acually go over the ledge like a flash, which can be just as useful as a flash could be, which is why I always take Ghost because you acually already have a flash.

Stand United: This is the skill every single one of your team mates will be asking for. It is a dot skill that you can use literally anywhere on the map. It has a fairly low cool down and will teleport you to your team mate in a few seconds and gives them a shield while they wait for you to show up. It might save your team mate from death if he got ganked in a horrible position, or just got focused majorly in a team fight. This is the skill that makes Shen my favourite tank in the game. Use it as often as you can and try to save as many team mates as possible.

Skill sequences:

Saving teammates: Teleport in, shielding your ally and surprising your enemy/enemies, shadow dash as many people as possible and feint to absorb initial damage intake. At that point your team has decided to stay and kill or flee and fight another day, repeat the combo until the team has either lost or won or escaped. If you escape try shadow dashing over any natural wall you can to confuse the enemy where you are going and activate ghost if possible. Better you die with no spree then your carry with a spree.

** Vorpal blade them if your winning the fight!

Team fights: Activate any item abilities and shadow dash in with a feint and continue until you have won or lost. If you see a carry being focused, shadow dash at that enemy and try to distract them. If a carry is going down, pop your ult on him and shadow dash the aggressor and hope you carries will either kill him or get out. Be the last person to flee if needed.

**Use Vorpal Blade to deal damage to dying enemies to quicken their death!

Tower diving/Dragon/Baron: If you’re tanking be the first to get into its range. Activate feint as much as possible shadow dashing any enemies that come. Protect your carries with your ultimate if needed.


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Summary: Thanks for reading what I have to say! :D

This is my first build so I would love to personally thank you for taking the time to read my brief but informative build guide. Please leave suggestions below. I understand I was not completely in depth with absolutely everything you could possibly want to know about Shen, but that is why you will do just great with him. If you’re learning to play Shen, it takes practice and quick reactions and talent to play him well. I could pile you with all the advanced ways to use Shen, but you would be overcumbered with all the info and would be worried about using all my techniques. I promise you, using my strategy on using Shen will enlighten you to getting your own style, ideology and opinion on what to do with him, but this guide will get you started. It may also not be the way you play him but this is my fairly conservative way of playing him and I do amazing when i play him this way, I just hope you do too. Hit me up for a game sometime and again, you don’t understand how much I mean to thank you for just giving my build a shot. Oh an by the way, don't steal anyone's farm, your a tank! :D

Yours Truly,