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Shen Build Guide by CptTeemoOnDuty

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Shenpai, please notice me

By CptTeemoOnDuty | Updated on August 9, 2020
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Runes: Grasp offensive page.

1 2
Resolve
Grasp of the Undying
Shield Bash
Second Wind
Revitalize

Domination
Cheap Shot
Ultimate Hunter
Bonus:

+10% Attack Speed
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+6 Armor

Spells:

1 2
Flash/Ignite
LoL Summoner Spell: Flash

Flash

LoL Summoner Spell: Ignite

Ignite

LeagueSpy Logo
Top Lane
Ranked #22 in
Top Lane
Win 55%
Get More Stats

Ability Order Basic levelup

Threats & Synergies

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

Champion Build Guide

Shenpai, please notice me

By CptTeemoOnDuty
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This guide will show you the strengths and weaknesses of Shen, a swift but sturdy ninja that strives to protect others as in his past he failed to do so. If there is anything missing, or if you have a suggestion, make sure to comment them down below (Thank you).
Traits:
Tank, Bruiser, Fighter, Melee, Support.

Common roles:
Toplane, Support.

Summary:
Shen is a support-like champion that can be played as a toplane split-pusher/frotnliner or a botlane support. Shen's kit relies a lot on his 'CC' potential. On top of this his base stats and kit allow him to become a strong tanky frontliner that helps his allies ensure victory. His kit is pretty straightforward and can be easily picked up. Although he is considered a tank and support, his damage is not shabby, his Twilight Assault cannot be ignored as it will do quite the amount of damage. Further information will be seen below, I hope you stay and enjoy the guide.
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Pros

  • Tanky
  • Kit includes crowd control
  • Versatile playstyle
  • Straight forward kit
  • Good split-pusher
  • High map pressure with ultimate


Cons

  • Relies on allies
  • Dash is stoppable
  • Weak when team is behind
  • No ranged spells
  • Energy easily depleted if taunt failed
  • Only one dash on high cooldown
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FAQ

/// This section still has no questions ///

Updates
  • 07/07/2019 : Created the base guide, added basic sections and did the art for the guide (Gifs as headers).
  • 20/07/2019 : Published Guide and finished later sections. (Props to the Guide to making guides for the help in coding this).
  • 27/07/2019 : Changed section to Tips & Matchups. Added matchup details that might add more champions / details in the future.
  • 09/08/2020 : Updated guide and added Ignite Shen, which is right now better for SoloQ.
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RESOLVE

Grasp of the undying

Shen benefits highly from this tree, as he has the usual tank features (Shields, Tank stats, Crowd control, ...). All three options are viable keystones for Shen, but mostly Grasp of the Undying is used due to it's scaling, the effectiveness in his trades and lane pressure it adds. Although in certain matchups where trading isn't an option Aftershock is a more viable option, since Grasp of the Undying won't be stacked. As support Shen will pick between Aftershock and Guardian as both are viable in that scenario.

Shield Bash

Out of these options, all three are viable but Shield Bash takes the cake as it grants extra damage and defensive stats whenever Shen's passive triggers, which mostly is when Q is used, therefore it synergizes perfectly. Font of Life is alright, but only works with his taunt, it is not optimal. Demolish is good for split pushing, I would still pick Shield Bash either way.

Second wind

These options are also quite useful, Second Wind is quite good against champions that do low amounts of poke damage over time like Teemo, combining it with Doran's Shield will reduce the poke damage quite a bit. Conditioning is alright but won't be useful during the laning phase. Bone Plating is similar to Conditioning but will directly reduce the damage done in the consecutive hits. In smaller trades, which is what shen excels at, Second Wind is the best choice.

Revitalize

Revitalize synergizes well with Shield Bash and Shen's passive shields. Overgrowth is also pretty good to pick up, maybe in certain matchups where Bone Plating is used instead of Second Wind.



Domination

Domination

As far as secondary tree's go, Shen could probabaly use most of them, right now Cheap Shot and Ultimate Hunter are the best to pick up, it grants extra damage when taunting as well as faster ultimate charge. Which will be very useful later in the game.


Stats
9% Attack speed
+9 Adaptive
+6 Armor
As for stats, Shen benefits well from these three, the attack speed is good for his trading with Twilight Assault (Q) and the extra damage helps early on to pose more of a threat to the enemy laner. Swap out the armor for magic resist if you are facing a mage. As support you can swap out the attack speed for extra cooldown reduction.
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Flash:
Flash is probably the best summoner spell on Shen, it not only allows you to get closer to enemies and escape from sticky situations. There is a "trick", which allows you to extend your taunt with your flash. This is done by using Shadow Dash and during the ability flash to a location, by doing so it will carry over the taunt effect and also allow you to taunt multiple people even if not aligned, or catch people further away.
Ignite:
Right now Ignite might be the best suited option as a general go to for solo/duo queue. Usually when playing as a team, you might want to pick up Teleport but if you want to be able to get ahead in lane Ignite will help greatly. Shen has a lot of damage output, one good taunt + Q combo will do a great amount of damage, repeat this until the laner is low enough to do it again and use Ignite to ensure the kill.

Teleport:
With Teleport Shen can easily go back to lane after using Stand United. On top of that, you'll have an extra teleport to join fights, meaning that you'll always be at an advantage when on the sidelane. All in all, its a good summoner spell that will help you help others around the map on top of applying or keeping the pressure on your own lane.

Exhaust:
As a support, Shen will most likely swap out Teleport for Exhaust or Ignite. I myself prefer using Exhaust as it will slow enemies down, making it easier to ensure your taunt, as well as reducing their potential damage. Depending on your ADC you'll have enough damage or not to decide which summoner to use. If they have a Soraka Ignite will of course be better too. Shen will still equip Flash.
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Tips


Don't stop me now
The most useful ability in Shen's kit when it comes to teamfights is his Shadow Dash. This ability is not unstoppable, meaning that it is important to beware those who can interrupt you. There is quite a hefty list of abilities that stun and have the ability to interrupt a dash. The most common ones are abilities of supports.

All lined up
One of the best positive synergies Shen has is with heavy damage dealers or AoE effects. Getting a 5 man Shadow Dash is possible but unlikely. But being able to hit 2 to 3 people is quite doable. If we add a Brand ultimate or Orianna ultimate to that combo, we can be looking at a won teamfight. Even catching out one single person with a Shadow Dash can win you the teamfight. It just depends who is there with you to deal the damage.

Going global
What is the most disgusting thing you can think of doing in league? Perhaps a 5 man botlane dive? Shen enables this easily, of course this is mostly only possible in a well communicating team. But if done correctly, botlane should easily die and you can turn that lead into first turret blood as well. Having allies such as Ryze or Twisted Fate make this feat even easier.

Ignite or TP
As already mentioned above, it is not that one is better than the other. Previously going Ignite on Shen was quite odd, since Teleport gave you the global advantage, as you had access to two global teleports while the enemy usually only has access to one. This is still true when playing as a team. However, Ignite gives Shen so much more kill pressure in lane that it removes the need of Teleport for lane. If you play smart and only use your ults when they will give you or your team a great lead (or if the enemy laner teleported there too). You'll be able to keep snowballing without the need of Teleport. Just keep in mind that this is usually different when playing as 5, since then you'll usually not have to be the damage dealer, so snowballing in lane might not be needed and an added global Teleport will be more useful.

Matchups (Alphanumeric order)

Shen in the following matchups might seem weak or useless, but he is not. His laning phase is not weak nor strong, but he shines more in his ability to help his team and has the tools to engage and potentially carry teamfights. A lot of these also include just farming and looking for openings, this is due to the fact that as Shen you can do a lot of damage, but sometimes this is not enough and all you can do is take smaller trades with his combo and then back away for the next trade.

Aatrox
Difficulty
Advice
Avoid
:
:
:
Hard
Try to win early on.
Don't get hit by The Darkin Blade.
Details


Akali
Difficulty
Advice
Avoid
:
:
:
Hard
Wait for ganks, try all-in.
Getting outpoked.
Details


Camille
Difficulty
Advice
Avoid
:
:
:
Medium
Avoid key abilities, outtrade her.
Getting ganked, interrupted.
Details


Darius
Difficulty
Advice
Avoid
:
:
:
Hard
Farm unless your jungler can camp.
Don't get stacks on you.
Details


Fiora
Difficulty
Advice
Avoid
:
:
:
Hard
Bully her early on.
Don't get ahead of yourself.
Details


Garen
Difficulty
Advice
Avoid
:
:
:
Easy
Bully him early on.
Don't get ahead of yourself.
Details


Irelia
Difficulty
Advice
Avoid
:
:
:
Medium
Get ahead somehow.
Avoid her resets.
Details


Jax
Difficulty
Advice
Avoid
:
:
:
Medium
He doesn't need a real weapon, you do.
Losing lane and letting his scale earlier.
Details


Mordekaiser
Difficulty
Advice
Avoid
:
:
:
Hard
Stay away if possible.
Getting caught or hit.
Details


Nasus
Difficulty
Advice
Avoid
:
:
:
Medium
Stacks stacks stacks.
Stacks stacks stacks.
Details


Riven
Difficulty
Advice
Avoid
:
:
:
Medium
Go for early game or help your team.
Don't fight her past level 6 unless far ahead.
Details


Singed
Difficulty
Advice
Avoid
:
:
:
Hard
Taunt him when possible.
Chasing him.
Details


Teemo
Difficulty
Advice
Avoid
:
:
:
Medium
Buy some potions.
Getting poked too much.
Details
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Ki Barrier

A very straightforward passive, upon using a spell Shen gets a shield that absorbs damage. Hitting enemies will reduce the cooldown of the shield.

Twilight Assault

Shen calls his spirit blade (The floating blade that stays static in place) towards himself, empowering the next three basic attacks, dealing max health bonus magic damage. This ability also has a secondary effect, if it collides with enemies they will be slowed while moving away from you for the next two seconds and the empowered attacks become more powerful and also grant extra attack speed.


Spirit's Refuge

Probably his most tricky ability to use, Shen's Spirit Blade creates an area around it that once it touches Shen will block all incoming basic attacks for the next few seconds. It blocks these for every ally in the area. Meaning that it can be used to help one of your teammates survive hits from an enemy. Do note that this ability does not call your sword towards you, plus the ability will run out if you do not move inside the area, as it does not activate till you are.

This means that you'll have to make sure your Spirit Blade is in the right place at the right time, the easiest way to achieve this is by using Twilight Assault right before Spirit's Refuge, but it will not always be off cooldown when needed so be aware of this.


Shadow Dash

One of Shen's most iconic abilities. Shen dashes to a target location, taunting champions and monsters in its path. This ability as mentioned previously can synergize well with Flash as the taunting effect follows during the flash. Possibly extending the dash or even changing its course. It also makes the dash quite faster. Something important to take note is that Shen will recover energy once Shadow Dash is leveled by damaging enemies with Twilight Assault or Shadow Dash. Meaning that a failed Shadow Dash can cost the fight because of a lack of Energy.

A great combo to use is to hit enemies with Shadow Dash and once you pass through them call your Twilight Assault, if done correctly your blade will always pass through the enemy and grant you the extra bonuses which enhance your damage a lot. If you have Titanic Hydra make sure to reset your auto attacks with it (Use one auto, then use Titanic to reset).


Stand United

One of the best abilities to apply pressure on a side lane while still having pressure with your team, it can save a teamfight or outmicro the enemy team. Every other toplaner has a single teleport, you'll most likely have two meaning you can join the fight when they can't, your Stand United also provides a shield while you teleport towards the fight and usually puts you in a good position to Shadow Dash on the enemy team. Around level 6 this also allows for some botlane pressure as you'll be able to easily join them in an early fight or even tower dive. Of course this doesn't mean it is a "win every fight" ticket, but if used well it can help a lane snowball or win a specific teamfight that might've been lost otherwise.

Just always think about who you are ulting, even if your team might think you should've used ult on someone, especially themselves when they get caught out alone or something along those lines. Do not waste it, as it has a long cooldown. Sometimes, you'll have to think ahead and predict if you'll make it in time before they die, or if it's even worth it, as a few minutes ahead an actual useful ult chance might occur.

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> > >
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
Q
E
W
Q
Q
R
Q
E
Q
E
R
E
E
W
W
R
W
W


Shen's skills usually get leveled up like this, prioritizing his ultimate, then Q, then E, and finally W. This however is not always the case, as sometimes leveling your Shadow Dash (E) before Twilight Assault (Q) is more effective, especially as a support.
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Doran's Shield
The most common starting item as a toplane tank. Especially good in matchups where you'll get poked often. Probably the best overall choice to go. As a support this is of course not that viable and one of the support items would be a better choice. Especially Relic Shield

Titanic Hydra
The offensive choice a lot of Shen players use, it helps his wave clear, does a lot of damage early and later on as Shen's other items scale well in HP. If ahead it is a very good choice, but it comes down mostly to, it depends on how your lane is going, if you are losing just build a defensive choice. If needed you can pick up Titanic Hydra later in the game.

Sunfire Cape
A pretty common item Shen users take as their first. Good into enemies that deal attack damage and furthermore helps with Shen's waveclear. This however is the defensive armor choice to pick.

Spirit Visage
The magic resist counterpart of Sunfire Aegis, often used by Shen and can be swapped out for Adaptive Helm if the enemy team boasts a lot of magic DoT (Damage over Time). Both can be good in their own right. I would usually pick Spirit Visage for the amplified health regeneration and the bonus health and Adaptive Helm for the reason mentioned before. This makes these the preferred item against enemy Magic damage dealers.

Warmog's Armor
Not the most needed item, but it helps quite a bit in prolonged fights with breaks, pushing down enemy lanes after winning fights and mostly it boasts a nice health pool to scale Titanic Hydra or just grant scale with your Armor and MR items. It could be swapped out for Randuin's Omen if the enemy team has critical hit damage.

Thornmail
This item can be a must or a swap it for something better. If the enemy has more Critical Hit damage but barely any healing then swap this out for Randuin's Omen instead of Swapping Warmog's Armor for it. Therefore this item becomes most useful against those that have a lot of Attack speed/Life steal, since it denies healing and scales well if the attacks are weaker but more often.

Mercury's Treads
As is obvious, depending on your needs, you'll pick between these or Ninja Tabi . In case you don't know, Mercury's Treads are better against mages and more Crowd Control, and its counterpart against Attack Damage dealers.

Wit's End
This item is not in the regular build, and it is also not the best item. But it is worth mentioning as it can be useful and fun to use, especially in lanes against mages. The healing and Attack speed benefit Shen well, and the added bonus damage on his auto attacks can be quite devestating. Give it a go in a few normal games to have fun, but before using it in ranked make sure you know what you are doing and if it is viable in the matchup/team you are playing against/with.











Honorable Mentions
Of course as seen above, there are quite some more items there that I highlighted as possible choices. Here I'll talk a bit over how these items can be helpful.
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Don't worry I got this
So Shen is actually quite a good laner, he boasts some unexpected damage and is very helpful when ganks occur. His Twilight Assault helps in early trades and you will most likely win them in combination with Spirit's Refuge. Therefore early on you can be either aggresive in a lane you can win or stay defensive and wait for ganks in a lane you are oppressed in.

Your goal early on is to not die, and try and get the gold you can without risking yourself too much. Sometimes an all-in approach can be used since Shadow Dash in combination with Twilight Assault can almost completely destroy squishy targets, but don't be too rash. Using this combo and then disengaging is a good way to slowly damage your opponent and outtrade him.
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I'm everywhere and nowhere
Midgame comes around the corner, you have reached level 6 and unlocked your Stand United, this is the time to be proactive but also reactive. Try and make plays around the map with your ultimate or teleport, you could possibly even roam to midlane and help without using your summoners or ultimate too. It is true that your laning phase is still ongoing, you'll still need to farm and deal with the enemy laner. But if an opportunity strikes to engage or help with a gank, you should try your best to get your team ahead. Just make sure you don't hurt your own lane by engaging in useless fights that mean your enemy gets to free farm and you lose your lead, especially when using Ignite

In premade scenarios you can start making strategies to dive the enemy botlane as a 4-5 man, you can tell your jungler to be more aggresive and invade the enemy jungle as you can support him. Just remember to take into account the state of other lanes, if they are losing by a lot you can perhaps not be proactive to help them, but instead have to focus somewhere else and not missuse your Stand United.
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Did you call for a doctor?
Later on in the game, lanes will be less populated and pushed. The main focus will be objectives, countering split pushing and sieging lanes. Shen is great at split pushing as he not only can use Teleport his kit includes an improved Teleport called Stand United. You'll be able to be in side lanes while this ability is available and defend or engage in split pushing, granting your team later the possibility to start fights 4v5.

Usually in these stages of the game, Shen becomes more of a support/engage tool for his team, he still does damage but normally would be the frontliner and engage the team needs or possibly the savior that comes in when the teamfight goes wrong. It is good to note that if Shen wants to be on the sidelane another engage tool in your team's composition is needed. Shen late game becomes very tanky too, even to the point where he can sometimes dive towers easily.
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