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Shen Build Guide by Turtality

Shen - Wall of Pain 1.5

Shen - Wall of Pain 1.5

Updated on May 18, 2012
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League of Legends Build Guide Author Turtality Build Guide By Turtality 25 6 71,885 Views 36 Comments
25 6 71,885 Views 36 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author Turtality Shen Build Guide By Turtality Updated on May 18, 2012
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Wall of Pain

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Hello everyone, my name is Turtality and welcome to my first League of Legends guide on MOBAFIRE. Although I enjoy most champions I have been known to play mostly tank and support characters. My most used tank characters are Shen and Malphite, as well as Amumu for jungling. Feel free to add me as I am always looking for people to play with :)

Also please leave a comment if you are wondering about anything or have any suggestions to make the guide better!
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Thank You!

When I first made this guide I did it more as a learning tool for my friends who asked how I did so good with Shen. Now this guide has reached over 20,000 views and has reached #2 of ALL [Shen]] Guides! This has all been thanks to the people who have supported this guide and submitted ideas and changes to make things better. Thank you to all the people who have viewed, voted, and left feedback, because you are the ones that have made this possible!
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Guide Updates and Changes

Thank you to all the people that left feedback and I have taken a lot of it into consideration in hopes of making this guide better!

1.5 Update
  • Changed wording on certain parts of the guide.
  • Fixed minor grammar issues.
  • Changed formatting so the guide flows better.
  • Switched Ruby Crystal for Boots.
1.4 Update
  • Included the "Surprise Ganks" section into the guide.
  • Fixed some coloring issues within the guide.
  • Changed the photo hosting website because of bandwidth issues.
1.3 Update
  • Added pictures to the "Runes and Masteries" section.
  • Included Leviathan to the "Situational Items" section.
  • Fixed minor formatting issues.
1.2 Update
  • Included a "Runes and Masteries" section into the guide.
  • Fixed more grammatical issues.
  • Fixed pictures that were misleading.
  • Included Wit's End into the "Situational Items" section.
  • Added an introduction video.
1.1 Update
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Part 1: Seriousness

This is the core of the guide and will cover everything you need to know to succeed in playing a strong tank/damage dealer. A lot of this information is how I play and I would recommend using it as more of a guideline to how you should actually play.

This part of the guide will cover:
  • I. "Shen" from viable to OP
  • II. Pros/Contras
  • III. Abilities
  • IV. Items
  • V. Situational Items
  • VI. Summoner Spells
  • VII. Runes and Masteries
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I. "Shen" from viable to OP

'Eye of Twilight'

I have been playing Shen even before the patch which gave him a massive buff and even back then I still found him to be powerful, so when the patch came out I immediately found it easier to compete with other tanks such as Malphite or Amumu.

There are many ways to take advantage of the new buffs he has and in this Part I am going to explain how!
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II. Pros/Contras


  • Strong ganks because of Shadow Dash and Stand United
  • Very good at initiating team fights
  • Shadow Dash is extremely powerful if used right
  • Great survivability
  • Stand United to save teammates
  • Game changing during late game
  • Great at split pushing!
  • Large threat in team fights


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III. Abilities

Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

All of Shen's abilities can be very basic if you want them to be but can also be very complex if you learn where and when to use them.

Ki Strike is Shen's passive ability that does damage on hit and has a 8 second cooldown. Ki Strike also scales off of his level and 10% of his bonus health which makes building health extremely good on Shen. The cool down of Ki Strike is also reduced by 1.5 seconds on each hit which can be increased to 3 seconds when using Feint.
This ability is the bread and butter of Shen's damage output and can be combo'd well with Vorpal Blade and Shadow Dash. Since this ability scales off of health very well, building pure health can be very affective.
The key to this ability is knowing when to have it off cool down and when to use it which can make or break a kill.

Vorpal Blade is Shen's 'Q' ability that scales off of 60% of your ability power and heals anyone who attacks the target which increases from 1.5% of your health. Although this ability scales off of ability power, it scales very poorly and its utility is hindered if you just build ability power. On the other hand, building some ability power late game can really boost the damage output of this ability.
The healing from this ability scales off of health which is one of the reasons why building health on Shen is extremely useful. Using Vorpal Blade on neutral targets such as Baron or Dragon can heal you and your team for a good amount of health.
Vorpal Blade is also the ability that you will use to harass and farm creeps but make sure to use it before last hitting so you can still obtain the health it gives.

Feint is Shen's 'W' ability that scales off of 60% of your ability power and shields you for 3 seconds. Feint also reduces Ki Strike's cooldown by 3 seconds every time you attack with it active.
This can be a great ability for shielding abilities and tower hits that would otherwise hurt you. It can also be spammed to keep you alive a lot longer and if you have Force of Nature, you will be healed underneath your shield which can make enemies think you have less health than you actually do.
In addition, the reduced Ki Strike cooldown can be very useful for farming because you can get melee hits off while shielded and spam Ki Strike easier.

Shadow Dash is Shen's 'E' ability that scales off of 50% of your ability power and taunts the target for 1.5 seconds. In addition enemies hitting Shen while taunted do 50% reduced damage and every target Shen hits with taunt, he restores 40 energy. Getting energy back from hitting targets gives another incentive to hit as many enemies as possible with it! Because Shadow Dash has a cool down of 8-10 seconds, you will usually only get one chance to use it in ganks or in team fights so make it worth it.
This can also be used to escape over walls and cliffs because of its long range. This ability makes Shen useful while ganking and being a jungle and combined with Ki Strike can cause a large amount of damage while Feint will keep you shielded through it.
Since the latest patch Shadow Dash can no longer be used on creeps which you should keep in mind. If you get hit mid way through Shadow Dash with a stun you will continue to your destination and still taunt all targets you collide with.
Lastly, using Shadow Dash beside your tower is not as useful as Rammus' taunt because of the short duration and can easily get you killed.

Stand United is your god tool that makes your teammates either love you or hate you. Stand United teleports you to an allied position after 3 seconds and shields them for 5 seconds from the second you cast the ability.
Stand United requires a lot of map awareness and can only be useful if you know when too use it. Its 120-180 second cooldown makes it only viable at certain moments.
Using Stand United on allies you know will die is wasteful and you will not be teleported to their location either.
Also be aware that your teleport can be broken from stuns and taunts which makes it less viable for escaping. If used correctly this ability can win games and make you seem like a hero.
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IV. Items

'Cheat Sheet Build'

A good starting item in almost all situations. Boots allows you to get back to your lane faster as well as extra mobility in the lane. This will also allow you to get Health Potionx3 so you can stay in the lane longer.
Allows for you to stay in lane longer and have an easier job trading with other champions. The extra health will also allow you to do more damage with Ki Strike and heal more with Vorpal Blade.
Against strong AD champions this item can help you shut them down early on so they don't become fed. You will be able to purchase Health Potionx5 for even more sustain.

v v v v v

Building Heart of Gold now will give you an increase in health for your abilities and increase your income. Shen is usually very gold dependent so a Heart of Gold helps during early game and can be built into a Randuin's Omen later on.

v v v v v

Because you are not building armor until late game in this build, having the extra armor and damage reduction will make a huge difference. I would recommend these boots in most situations.
Against a team with a lot of crowd control or magic damage, these boots will help you stay alive longer and as a tanky damage dealer this is great. I would choose Ninja Tabi in most situations but it comes down to personal preference.
Being able to use you abilities faster as Shen can make or break key moments of a game. They can be extremely useful if you aren't concerned about not having the other 2 options.

v v v v v

Warmog's Armor is Shen's first big item and it is good to buy it as early as possible because of its passive. Once you get your Warmog's Armor, you will notice a huge increase in damage output and sustainability.

v v v v v

Force of Nature is your second big item and because you already purchased a Negatron Cloak, it will be really cheap. The passive of Force of Nature works extremely well with Feint and will heal you for large amounts of health.

v v v v v

Randuin's Omen grants you a large amount of armor, health, and health regeneration as well as gives you an active which slows enemy units which can be very helpful in team fights.
This item is perfect for Shen because you will be in the middle of the fight for the majority of its duration. Randuin's Omen also has a chance to slow enemies attack speed and movement speed when hit and because Shen is a huge threat in fights, this becomes very useful.

v v v v v

Having an Atma's Impaler will make use of all the health you have as well as give you even more armor. Although it was nerfed in the previous patch I still find it very good for giving the extra damage that you need.
The extra attack speed will allow you to Ki Strike more often and getting extra magic resist from hitting enemies will keep you alive in teamfights for longer.
If the enemy team is very "slippery", I would recommend this item so you can stick to them easier. The extra health will also benefit your abilities even more.

v v v v v

Squeezing in a situational item for your sixth item is good because not all teams are ever the same and making adjustments based on the enemy team is key to becoming a good League of Legends player. Having room to purchase a Sight Ward is also good to make sure large objectives have vision and to save yourself from ganks.
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V. Situational Items

A list of some other items that I have found to be very useful on Shen. Depending on the other teams champions, I would recommend different items

Extra health helps Shen with Vorpal Blade, and Ki Strike as well as making you more tanky. Having the slow can be very nice with your abilities because often you will find yourself being kited.

Picking up a Thornmail can save yourself from champions such as Master Yi or other attack damage champions who can shred through your large amount of health. This can make or break team fights because when you Shadow Dash into a fight the attack damage champions are forced to attack you.

Banshee's Veil can be very useful if their team is ability power heavy and can shut down an ability power champion. Although Banshee's Veil is useful, I wouldn't replace your Force of Nature with it because I find the health regeneration and magic resist to be way to important.

After using Leviathan in a couple games I found that it can be very useful. If you can get assists and the occasional kill it can really pay off and with Stand United, getting assists is extremely easy. I would recommend building it right before or after you get your Warmog's Armor since that is when I find that it helps the most. Once you get 20 stacks the additional 15% damage reduction on top of the 10% from Ninja Tabi makes you very unkillable.
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VI. Summoner Spells

  • is very viable because of Summoner's Resolve which increases healing by 10% and because you are in the middle of the fight it is very easy to use on your teammates.
  • has many very useful applications but it has a very high cool down. Part 2 will go into further detail about Revive.
  • Allows you to get across the map quickly as well as get away from enemies. Ghost is very useful in combination with Shadow Dash because you can get in the right position to use it.
  • isn't as useful since the nerf which lowered its range but can still be affective. In combination with Shadow Dash you can land your taunts very easily which can be very useful with ganking and in team fights.
  • is useful when you are soloing top lane because you can Stand United to save teammates and teleport back to your lane afterwards. It has many other applications as well.
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VII. Runes and Masteries

The runes and masteries are focusing around early game because thats when Shen needs the most help keeping up with other champions. The runes and masteries work well with the build order and allows for coverage of armor and magic resist without having to give up health.


  • Greater Mark of Magic Penetration - Because all of your abilities are magic damage, having runes that help increase ability damage is good for harass early game when it is most needed.
  • Greater Seal of Armor - Extra armor will help against heavy attack damage champions earlier on and because you aren't building armor until late game it will really help.
  • Greater Glyph of Magic Resist - Makes a big difference against ability power champions and because you aren't building magic resist either until mid to late game.
  • Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed - Helps because of your low movement speed and allows you to catch up to the enemy team because of your lack of slows.


Defense: 21
  • Summoner's Resolve - Improves your Revive and Heal summoner spells.
  • Resistance - Magic resists because you will not be building any until late game.
  • Hardiness - Armor because you will not be building any until late game.
  • Durability - Increases health per level which all of his abilities scale off of.
  • Veteran's Scars - Increases health by 30 which helps for ability utility.
  • Indomitable - Reduces incoming damage from minions and champions.
  • Enlightenment - Lowers cooldowns which helps with farming and team fights.
  • Honor Guard - Reducing damage taken by a percentage which helps against all champions.
  • Juggernaut - Increases maximum health which benefits your abilities and reduces disables which helps against almost all team compilations.
Utility: 9
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Part 2: Seriousness Gone

So now that we have gotten past the boring part I can move on to what makes Shen an amazingly fun champion to play! This part of the guide will cover some of the more fun and enjoyable parts of Shen and how to play him like a bonjwa!

This part of the guide will cover:
  • VIII. "Shen" thinking outside the box
  • IX. Revive is OP
  • X. Surprise Ganks
  • XI. Epic Getaways(Coming Soon)
  • XII. Easy Feed(Coming Soon)
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VIII. "Shen" thinking outside the box

The other half of playing Shen is to play in a way that confuses and annoys the other team. Because of his abilities there are a lot of fun secrets and tricks that can help you dominate.

There are many ways confuse the enemies with Shen and in this part of the guide I will explain how!
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IX. Revive is OP

Revive is a very underused and relatively overpowered summoner spell. Revive is usually only used on champions like Karthus because of his global ultimate and this is also the reason why it is so effective on Shen. In combination with Stand United, Revive can get you back into the fight even after you die acting as a 6th player on your team. I would not often choose Revive over other summoner spells but it can have very game changing affects if used correctly.

The main reason Revive is so useful is because it is so unexpected and will completely throw off the enemy team. Also because you have Shadow Dash you won't need Flash so you can substitute it with another summoner spell such as Teleport.


An example of when this can be used is if you are solo top and you die, you can still cast your Stand United on other lanes without having your death affect everyone else. This can also catch people off guard because they are not expecting you.

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X. Surprise Ganks

Since Shen is a ninja you must act the part so ganking is something that should be happening quite often. Stand United and Teleport allows you to jump out from nowhere and pick up easy kills which wouldn't otherwise be possible. Shadow Dash also allows those ganks to be extremely effective and can allow your team to pull ahead early into the game.

Stand United teleports you onto allied champions and can cause some really good ganks.
  • Baiting can be very easy for Shen because his shield can decieve enemies into thinking there is an easy kill. By making your teammates run out at low health the enemies will try to kill him which allows you too teleport in and turn the fight around.
  • Counter ganks are also very easy because of Stand United since if you see a lane getting ganked you can quickly jump into the middle of the fight and save teammates. Also since you have Teleport, getting back to the lane is very easy allowing you too miss very few minions.
  • Team fights will always have you included because even when you are on the opposite side of the map you can Stand United in and deceive the enemy team. Also with the help of Revive this is even easier!
  • If your team includes a stealthed unit such as Twitch or Evelynn, you can Stand United on them while they are stealthed and catch an enemy completely off guard. Having two enemies appear from nowhere is quite scary!

Teleport can also be useful for ganking and can catch people very off guard.
  • Teleporting onto a Sight Ward inside a bush can be extremely affective and is almost always unexpected. In combination with Shadow Dash, ganking with a Sight Ward can be very devastating. This just goes to show how useful our little ward buddies are!

  • Using Teleport behind the enemies that are pushing in to kill somebody can completely change the tides of battle and can be extremely unexpected! Having a Teemo or any other champions that can drop objects has an even better effect because teleporting onto something invisible is even scarier.
  • After the damage has been done and if Teleport is off cool down, you can use it to get back to your lane and make it seem as if you were never gone.

Overall Shen's ganking potential is almost unmatched because of how unexpected and powerful it is. Since Shen has such an easy time ganking while still being in lane, I find that playing him as a jungle isn't as useful as laning with him.
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Scores Using Build

Please message me the link to your scores using the guide so I can post them on here!

My Scores:
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The End

So now everybody go out and be awesome with Shen because the amount of domination you will get from using this guide is clearly over 9000... But remember kids that dominance is a dish best served like a ninja!

PS. I WILL be continuing the guide if it gets good reviews. Any and all suggestions would greatly be appreciated and thank you for reading my guide!


League of Legends Champions:

Teamfight Tactics Guide