Shyvana Build Guide by AlienCowz
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Shyvana: The Half-Dragon.
I fell in love with her the first time I played her on the day of her release into the league. She isn't the best champion in the game but when played right she can be a scary force to be reckoned with on the battlefield, and a ton to fun to play.
This is a run down of how I play this new champ with good results. It's not the only way to player her of course but I hope to give a bit of insight into how she can be played and help some other players out along the way with some tips.
Pros / Cons
Great at early harassment
Good burst damage
Not dependent on resources like mana or energy
Can turn into a frikkin DRAGON
Very squishy in melee combat
Fury of the Dragonborn
Shyvana's passive which enables her melee attacks to enhance her abilities. This is why Shyvana scales so well with Attack Speed. The more auto-attacks she can inflict on targets the more she'll benefit from her passive.
Twin Bite (Q)
It's basically two auto-attacks that hits with increased damage while activating on-hit effects from items. If timed right after and auto-attack, Shyvana can land three hits in the time it takes to attack once. Due to Shy's passive, auto-attacks lower this abilities cooldown with each hit. This is why attack speed is so important. You can combine this attack with Shyvana's E for even more damage.
In Dragon Form the ability adds a cleave, hitting multiple enemies.
This is a great skill for dealing damage and farming. Since Shyvana's skills don't depend on a resource I make sure Burnout is active at all times while attacking or farming minions. It's basically free damage.
Dragon Form causes Burnout to scorch the earth beneath Shyvana. This leave a trail of fire which will hurt enemies.
Flame Breath (E)
A nice spell that works well with Shy's Q. Since it places an armor debuff on the target for a few seconds that can amount to a huge burst of damage, and is how I score my kills most of the time.
In Dragon Form, this skill does a cone of damage along with the armor debuff.
Dragon's Descent (R)
What's not cool about turning into a dragon? This skill is what makes Shyvana so much fun to play, for me at least. It is a great utility, it does some huge damage, it's menacing, and looks damn cool.
The biggest fight changing factor of this ultimate skill is the forward leap as Shyvana changes form. It'll go over most walls which makes it great for surprise attacks or escapes. It also does a pretty huge amount of burst damage. On top of that it enhances all of Shyvana's abilities making them even more deadly. As an added bonus Shy gains armor and magic resist so she can take a few extra hits while charging in.
Like a lot of charge type skills in the game, it'll push enemies back the length of the ability. This can be a good or bad thing. I've used it to save team mates from chasing opponents. I've used it to push enemies toward my team mates and/or our turrets. I've used it to interrupt spell casters and to get enemies away from friendly turrets. Just be careful you don't push enemies into a position that gives them an advantage or away from teammates before they score a kill, I've done this a few times.
I won't go into depth explaining my choices in Masteries.
I go for damage with a little extra survivability, 24/6/0
Shyvana is a hybrid champion with more of a benefit from Attack Damage. Any extra Ability Power is helpful but you don't need to stack it for her to be an effective fighter. So nearly all of the typical choices in the Offensive tree are good.
I get points in Resistance and Hardiness to help with langing and harassment. She's a squishy melee fighter with low base armor, hp, and magic resistance. Those stats need a boost if Shy plans to survive to the end.
I mostly use runes for buffing Shyvana's attack speed. The more melee attacks she can inflict, the more she can take advantage of her passive and enhancing her abilities, in turn pumping out more damage.
With that said Greater Mark of Attack Speed and Greater Seal of Attack Speed are key.
I use Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction to lower the cooldown on all of her abilities since Skyvana's only resource is in essence, time. Lower cooldowns means more burst damage.
Greater Quintessence of Health finish my rune page. She's a half-dragon but she's still squishy. Since Shyvana needs to charge into battle and do melee damage the extra health helps, especially in earlier levels.
At the start of a game I put a point into Flame Breath (E) and leave it there. It's a great skill for harassing enemies and checking bushes. But, because it's a skill shot and hits the first enemies in it's path, it can be a little tough getting it to go where you need it to. Thankfully it's only cost is a cooldown, I try to use the skill when ever it is available.
At level 2 I start putting points into Burnout (W) and max it first. It does a lot of aoe damage which makes farming easier. It's also one of those skills that will make enemy champs second guess trying to attack Shyvana head on. Again, I try to keep this ability active at all times, especially when attack. An added bonus is the increase in movement speed which obviously makes it great for chasing down prey or running away. It also means that you can delay buying boots early game.
Put a point into Twin Bite at level 3, for now. The combination of E and Q early on is what will score Shyvana some early kills. The damage from the two and whatever she can inflict from Burnout makes her very deadly early game.
At level 6 Shy gets her R ability and a full fury bar giving her the ability to change forms right away.
In terms of items early game I focus on survivability while slowly building up her damage output. She can put out a huge amount of damage but can't take many hits.
I start off with Cloth Armor and Health Potion x5. The bit of extra armor lets her survive any melee damage she may inflict. The abundance of health pots helps Shy lick her wounds and stay in lane long enough to afford the items she needs to survive.
The first key item I go for is Madred's Razors, the first step to buying Wriggle's Lantern. Madred's increases Shyvana's armor and a little bit of AD. I also find the Life Steal from Wriggle's to be great for recovering in lane from fights while I farm. Because we already stacked some attack speed, even a little bit of life steal will result in Shyvana being back to full hp in no time and staying that way. Later in the game, if I feel I need more life steal to survive, I'll grab a Vampiric Scepter which can be sold later on.
I'll then work on getting Ionian Boots of Lucitiy or Phage, whatever I have gold for. Because of Burnout, the movement speed isn't as important, but the cooldown reduction is nice. Phage adds some added health, damage increase, and an on-hit slow. Since Shyvana has no form of CC herself, the slow is a nice tool to keep prey in melee range. Also Twin Bite will apply the slowing effect. You should eventually build Frozen Mallet for the extra health and damage.
At this point I am comfortable with Shyvana's survivability and I begin working on giving her more attack speed. I like to by a Zeal for a boost to attack speed then by a Pickaxe and Guinsoo's Rageblade. The passive on the Rageblade plus added damage is just awesome.
I'll finish the core of the build with Phandom Dancer and The Black Cleaver increasing Shy's attack speed, reduces a target's armor even more, and a nice boost in damage.
Of course these aren't the only items that work well with Shyvana's skill set. Remember that Twin Bite triggers on-hit effects on items. Some good choices could be:
Trinity Force - The Sheen effect is awesome.
Madred's Bloodrazor - Awesome passive effect for some big hits.
The Bloodthirster - Why not? Huge damage and more Life Steal.
A bit more on Trinity Force.
The effect from Sheen is great for Shyvana. Triggering the effect with Flame Breath, auto-attacking, then using Twin Bite is a huge amount of damage in very little time. I can't see myself adding Sheen into my build because Shyvana isn't going to benefit that much from it. The gold is better spent on an item that'll increase survivability, damage, or provide some utility. I'd also would rather use the piece of TriForce to build items which would provide a bigger benefit, those being Zeal -> Phantom Dancer and Phage -> Frozen Mallet.
The Game Plan
Git in yer lane! If you've spent your first skill point in Flame Breath then start by tossing some fire into the bushes to cause anyone who may be hiding to flee, if they're smart. You don't rely on mana or any resource so every time your E is off cooldown, use it. Don't be afraid to quickly run off to the side and fling a fireball toward the enemy. It's that sort of aggressive behavior that Shyvana was born for. I wouldn't worry too much about last hitting or anything like that. Burnout will take care of the minion farming once Shyvana is level 2. Again, make sure it is active at all times when farming and in fights. Once you put a point into Twin Bite, and if the enemy gets brave then start going for kills. Hit first with Flame Breath to apply the debuff, auto-attack, then hit Q. Rinse, and repeat... don't forget about Burnout. You'll either come out on the top of fights or leave the enemy running in pain. Also don't be afraid to run, Burnout will get you out of some sticky situations even if Shy is slowed.
You can attempt ganks but don't expect too much. Shyvana may seem like a pro at ganking other lanes with her R but the most you'll do is send the enemy running in fear, which may be a good thing. She got some great burst damage but once the surprise is over the enemy can run for their lives due to lack of CC, unless you've scored an early Phage. Dive in with R, once you land trigger Burnout, and do as much carnage as you can with E, auto-attacks, and Q combos.
Shyvana is a blast to play once she's build up a bit. Don't be afraid to initiate team fights with Dragon's Descent if you have 100 fury. Leap into the enemy team and do some burst damage.. scaring the **** out of them in the process. I've scored a few quad kills due to this insane method of fighting. Just be careful of enemy turrets. Hopefully you're team will notice your fiery charge and follow you into battle. Just be careful of enemy turrets. The charge has a pretty huge range. You can easily put Shyvana into a bad position very quickly.
2011/11/03 - First version. I expect a lot of errors. Will get on with the proofreading and corrections later.
Hopefully this guide was somewhat helpful. I bought Shyvana and starting playing her constantly since she was available. I've tried several different building methods and suggestions on the forums and other players. So far the info I've mentioned in this guild has worked very well for me. Follow it word for word or use it to find your own niche to playing this awesome champion.
Feedback on this guide is always welcome not only to improve on the guide but also make myself a better player. I've far from and never claim to be a pro.