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Shyvana Build Guide by TurtleFail

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League of Legends Build Guide Author TurtleFail

Shyvana - Attack Speed Offtank

TurtleFail Last updated on February 8, 2012
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Jungle Role
Ranked #5 in
Jungle Role
Win 53%
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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: 9

Honor Guard

Defense: 21

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 0

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Hi, my name's TurtleFail - welcome to my Shyvana guide. This is my first guide so be nice! :)


Shyvana is a very strong champion capable of both taking and dishing out a lot of damage. She especially excels in teamfights where her huge AOE can have it's full effect. Her mobility allows her to pick off weak targets and her high-scaling damage with attack-speed items enables the quick destruction of stronger ones. Is that Alistar still here? Not for longer.

Shyvana generally requires a solo top lane to do well - the extra levels and gold will make her a mid/late game powerhouse. So be prepared to face Nasus a lot!

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An On-Hit Build... Why?

People often say 'Why would you choose an on-hit build with a character like Shyvana (or indeed any character at all)? It reduces the damage you get from crits and the heal from lifesteal!'

On-hit builds are very underrated. They are incredibly cost-efficient for the damage they produce, especially when stacked with an innate on-hit effect such as Toxic Shot, Bio-Arcane Barrage, or in Shyvana's case, Flame Breath. They also give some great resistances and as a result, you end up with a huge damage output and hefty durability for an affordable price.

Why is this?

The core of a tanky on-hit build is Wit's End, an item costing 2000 gold. Let's look at it a little closer.

  • 40% attack speed, needed for activating your on-hit effects more frequently. This is worth 1050 gold ( Recurve Bow).
  • 30 magic resist, increasing to 50 after 4 attacks in quick succession. This is worth slightly more than a Negatron Cloak at max stacks, roughly 740 gold.
  • 42 damage bonus magic damage upon EVERY ATTACK. This is worth slightly less than a B. F. Sword roughly 1650 gold! It also makes your attacks deal both magic and physical damage, making you a hard champion to counter.

So overall we have an item worth 3440 gold for a much cheaper price! Wit's End is basically amazing.

So what added benefits does Shyvana get out of having an on-hit build? Along with cost-efficiency, her Twin Bite will now deal two procs of any on-hits she has. Her Flame Breath passive from Fury of the Dragonborn can be activated more. And, for Shyvana, a bruiser champion with no innate attack speed skills such as Xin Zhao's Battle Cry, Jarvan IV's Demacian Standard etc. she desperately needs attack speed through items. What better way than to stack items like Wit's End and Madred's Bloodrazor?

That is why I build Shyvana like I do. On with the guide.

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Pros / Cons


  • High damage output
  • Great durability
  • Huge AOE during Dragon's Descent
  • Very mobile
  • Manaless
  • Huge scaling - late game carry, think Trundle


  • Little crowd control
  • Vulnerable to stuns
  • Needs Level 6 for a boost in stats
  • Farm dependant - requires a solo lane for levels and items
  • No built-in sustain

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Greater Mark of Lethality

Greater Seal of Armor

Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist

Greater Quintessence of Attack Speed

This is the Rune Setup I use. It gives a mixture of damage and survivability for the early game and late game.


Greater Mark of Desolation - These runes make an autoattacking champion do more damage throughout the game. 100 armor goes down to 85. 30 goes down to 15. I'd recommend them, especially as a lot of Shyvana's damage is physical.


Greater Mark of Attack Speed - A good alternative, providing attack speed which Shyvana thrives on.


Greater Seal of Defense - A lot of solo top opponents deal a lot of physical damage - Renekton, Irelia and Garen to name a few. This bonus armor will help you negate a portion of the damage. Base armor per level is also higher than magic resist per level in almost every case so flat armor is better suited here.


Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist - These will give you a little boost in defense throughout the game - they are equal to a free Null-Magic Mantle at Level 18, helping you live through caster mid-games and powerful AOE ultimates.


Greater Glyph of Magic Resist - If you are facing a strong early game caster in your lane such as Ryze or Cassiopeia, these can help you survive their onslaught. They are bettered by Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist at Level 10, however.


Greater Quintessence of Attack Speed - These are the quints I am currently using for junglers, carries and characters that generally need attack speed. They provide a nice boost and allow you to proc Dragon's Breath more in early game ganks.


Greater Quintessence of Health - If you feel like you aren't bulky enough in the early game, take these. They give a noticable bonus to your starting health and allow to take that much more punishment. However, they do cost quite a lot compared to other quints.
Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed - A little boost to your movement speed that will come in handy for escaping and chasing. However, I find that maxing Burnout allows you to outpace most champions meaning these aren't necessary.

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I use a 9-21-0 build which is focused on increasing my survivability and damage.

This improves Exhaust, making it reduce the target's armor and magic resist while active. I love this, more damage during ganks and/or teamfights equals more kills!

+3 Attack Damage. This will increase your damage from Twin Bite, Burnout and autoattacks by a slight amount. Overall a decent mastery.

4% Attack Speed stacks with our runes to provide 14% in the early game - a nice chunk of damage!

The most important mastery out of the offense tree - 10% armor pen will come in handy throughtout the game.

This pair will increase both your armor and magic resistance by 6, again good things to stack with Greater Seal of Defense and Greater Glyph of Magic Resist.

These health masteries will increase your bulkiness by a surprising amount.

Lane sustain is something Shyvana needs desperately - she has no built in healing and +3 health regeneration helps out a lot.

Movement speed is necessary for chasing down targets and although it often isn't Shyvana's job to initiate fights, sometimes landing a slow on a fleeing target can seal their demise.

Not the best mastery on the list, only negating a small portion, but it's a place to put points - I'd rather have it than Evasion anyhow. 1.5% negation is better than 3% AOE negation.

An amazing mastery for only a single point, 3% extra health and 10% CC reduction to stack with Mercury's Treads? Yes please!

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Summoner Spells

Flash - Your 'get out of jail free' card. Need one more attack to finish an enemy off? Need to escape over a wall? Away from Unspeakable Horror? Out of Cataclysm? Combined with Dragon's Descent, you can travel an astonishing amount of distance in almost no time at all.

Exhaust - One of the best tools for Shyvana, having very little natural CC, Exhaust is sure to net you a few kills early and also helps against that Tryndamere or Vayne in the late game.


Teleport - If you know your top lane is going to be a tough fight, consider taking this over Exhaust. It means you can go back for free and be back within 20 seconds after healing and buying items.
Cleanse - If you take Mercury's Treads then you often have no need for Cleanse but if the other team happens to be Sion, Taric, Annie, Amumu, Vayne... well cleanse could be an option. Quicksilver Sash can often function as Cleanse making it slightly redundant as a spell.
Ignite - If you need that bit of extra damage then Ignite is a good choice. The extra 5 AP and AD can also be a good bonus.
Ghost - I'm a big fan of this spell for chasing and escaping, though I find with Burnout your mobility is sufficient. Flash can hop you over walls too, making it more of a utility spell.
Smite - If you choose to jungle, this is a must. I'm not focusing on jungle Shyvana, however. Her crowd control is too weak and even with a Blessing of the Lizard Elder buff your targets will still get away all too often leaving you starved of gold and exp.

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This passive defines how Shyvana should build. Essentially, building attack speed means you can Twin Bite more, Burnout's extended duration is quickly achieved, Flame Breath does more damage and Dragon's Descent is available more often. In short, build attack speed.

Your main damage skill. Giving you two autoattacks for the price of one, it's great for harrassment early game and for raw damage late game. Each hit will proc on-hit effects which can lead to some impressive burst damage. In Dragon Form, it provides a good AOE cleave that can hit 2 or 3 champions at once.

I take Twin Bite at Level 2 and max it last. This is because Flame Breath will deal a lot more damage if you max it second whereas Twin Bite will only increase in damage slightly.


This skill gives Shyvana excellent mobility in lane. A 50% buff is enough to chase anyone down and start beating on them. It's also quite useful for escaping ganks from the opposing Shaco. Damn you, Shaco.

I take Burnout at Level 1 and max it immediately. It helps dodge skill shots, position better, farm better and chase people down.

  • It might be better to delay your Burnout until you are sure you can get an autoattack in, otherwise the full duration may be wasted.
  • Burnout is usually more useful for chasing than running due to the increased duration when attacking.
  • During Dragon Form, Burnout will leave a trail behind Shyvana much like Poison Trail. This can deter people from chasing you, especially squishies.

Shyvana's harrassment skill. You can use this to grab a few last hits that would be too dangerous to go for in melee range or alternatively try to line up the opposing champion. The armor reduction and bonus damage upon attacking are also fantastic.

I take Flame Breath at Level 4 and max it second - if you can proc the champion unlucky enough to get hit by it multiple times you can deal some serious damage to their health bar.

  • During Dragon's Descent, Flame Breath becomes an conal AOE armor reduction. This can GREATLY increase your team's DPS in a team fight.
  • It has a deceptively long range - use this to your advantage against that Gangplank hiding in the brush.
  • If the projectile doesn't travel the full distance, it's a surefire way of telling someone's hiding in the brush.

Your signature ultimate! It's a great teamfight, escape/chase and burst ability. The passive of Dragon's Descent is a great help, giving you a really nice chunk of armor and magic resist during the early game. Hover over the icon for full info, I'm not going to spoonfeed you.

As an ultimate ability, I take it whenever it's available (6, 11 and 16).

  • Dragon's Descent deals a decent amount of burst damage and can be a great finisher in a duel if the enemy uses Flash to get away.
  • This skill can disrupt channelled abilities, if you see a Nunu charging up Absolute Zero then SMASH HIS FACE IN by flying straight over him.
  • You can drag enemies into your tower, or away from their's.
  • The bonus armor and magic resist during Dragon Form can help survive a lot of damage.
  • Shyvana can fly over most walls in Summoner's Rift with this ability. You can use it to get away from someone who doesn't have Flash or just to force a flash from your opponent.

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Starting Items

I start with Boots of Speed and three Health Potions. These items are aimed at giving me great mobility (coupled with Burnout) to dodge skillshots and staying power in the early phases of the lane. Whenever you find yourself around half health and you would prefer not to go back, pop a health potion to stay in the lane comfortably.

Other Possible Starts

Going up against a really tough opponent like Garen? Try rocking up in lane at Level 1 with nearly 60 armor and watch as his JAW BOTH LITERALLY AND METAPHORICALLY HITS THE GROUND. Also gives amazing sustain with 5 health potions.

This is a standard solo top start. Usually the Regrowth Pendant would be quickly built into a philosopher's stone, however, as Shyvana does not use mana this is a poor choice. The regrowth pendant CAN be kept and built into Warmog's Armor later on but I would prefer to have Boots of Speed as early as possible. And when I say as early as possible, I mean straight away.

Here's a quick flow chart to demonstrate this.

Have you got Boots of Speed?

No - Buy Boots of Speed
Yes - Good job.

Core Items

As soon as I have the money, I port back to base and buy Wriggle's Lantern. This item gives you the sustainability that Shyvana desperately needs, as well as a perma-ward for protecting yourself from ganks.

This map shows where you should place your ward. On Purple Team place at the Purple Circle. This will give you coverage of gank routes from the jungle. On blue team place at the blue circle, but if your team has ward coverage at the lower yellow circle place at the upper yellow circle.

After the armor from Wriggle's Lantern it's best to get some magic resist - buy Mercury's Treads for the tenacity. A CC'd Shyvana is a bad Shyvana. These boots are the best choice out of any in almost all situations, as explained in the next section.

Wit's End is an incredibly cost efficient item for Shyvana, giving her all-important attack speed and magic resist. The 42 bonus proc damage is incredibly good value. This item is too good to miss and I consider it a core item to be bought in virtually every game.

Your Choice of Boots

Mercury's Treads - As stated above I prefer these out of any of the 7 boots in the game. They are useful on any champion, especially someone like Shyvana who has to get into the fight and chase down her enemies even through stun, snares and silences. The magic resist is good synergy with Wriggle's Lantern in order to protect you from a mixture of early game damage.

Berserker's Greaves - These boots are more suited for a maximum DPS build. I wouldn't buy them - you become too squishy as a melee character and will often be focused by the enemy mage.

Ionian Boots of Lucidity - Because she is manaless, Shyvana relies entirely on cooldowns for both escaping and chasing, as well as in an all out brawl. These can be good if you are a big fan of cooldown reduction. Me personally, I'm not.

Sorceror's Shoes - the standard choice for mages, these will make your on-hit effects like Madred's Bloodrazor deal more damage, but they honestly aren't worth it. Avoid.

Ninja Tabi - Viable only when the enemy team is entirely or almost entirely attack damage based, or the enemy carry is fed and the crowd control on the enemy team is weak enough that you can safely skip Mercury's Treads.

Boots of Swiftness - Bad. Avoid at all costs. Gives you a whopping 20 movement speed over the other boots (which is reduced anyway by the soft cap) and grants no other stats.

Boots of Mobility - Useful for roamers, supports who don't need CDR, and Dunkmaster Yi. But Shyvana is not Master Yi and cannot stack double swords without looking like a fool.

Further Items

Madred's Bloodrazor does SO MUCH DAMAGE! I cannot stress this enough. It's why it's before Trinity Force on my build - it gives you more armor, attack speed (!!!!!!!!!!!!) and attack damage. Oh, and a proc that does 4% of the target's max health. That's 80 damage against a 2000 health target. It's crazy. This damage will only increase further into the game, when champions like Volibear have 3-4k+ health.

Trinity Force comes next - you can buy Phage earlier if you wish. The slow helps Shyvana a lot. Again, like the above item, the procs from Sheen and crits cause a lot of damage - especially if you're lucky enough for a Twin Bite to crit - a crit plus a bonus attack plus a Sheen proc does a lot of damage.

My last two items are the famous 'Atmog's' combo, replaceing the Wriggle's Lantern from earlier. These give you a ton of health, attack damage, crit and armor. Armor is essential late game against the beastly AD carries like Caitlyn and Soraka (nah. just kidding with the second one).

Situational Items

These will, for the most part, be alternatives for Atmog's at the end of your build. You will rarely find yourself in this situation, as the build up to this point is expensive enough. Atmog's is good on Shyvana, but alternatives are available. Often it is time to focus on tank items, as your damage is already high enough.

The Bloodthirster is a great item to buy if you are having trouble winning duels and/or are dying to a string of damage over time rather than burst. This item would be a decent replacement for Warmog's Armor or Atma's Impaler. Lifesteal is fairly lackluster on an on-hit build as compared to, for instance, a critical strike build, however, so be warned.

Youmuu's Ghostblade and The Black Cleaver have a lot of synergy on an AD-based build (not building on-hit items such as Madred's Bloodrazor that deal magic damage). They are incredibly cost efficient as far as damage goes - but provide no survivability.

If you plan to buy Randuin's Omen it's good to rush a Heart of Gold before or just after your Wriggle's Lantern. Randuin's is the best item in the game for countering AD-heavy teams with it's game-breaking active. Due to Shyvana's naturally high resists she will get good value from the active of this item. The trade-off? It provides no offensive stats, other than a slow.

Malady has great synergy with your Flame Breath, Wit's End and Madred's Bloodrazor. If you find the magic resists of the opposing team are too high for your on-hits to do enough damage, consider this item to lower them slightly.

Force of Nature is your answer to an AP-heavy enemy team. The movement speed makes you a speeding truck of death when coupled with Trinity Force and the magic resist enables you to survive high-burst team compositions. Force of Nature is strictly favourable to Banshee's Veil on Shyvana as she is manaless, rendering the mana from catalyst the protector useless.

Guardian Angel is great for teamfights if you find yourself being focused down every time. It's a common choice among high-resistance champions who can make better use out of the limited health pool granted by the item. For instance, a champion with 200/200 resists will survive longer than a champion that only built Warmog's Armor upon reviving. Shyvana is naturally a high resistance champion and does very well with it.

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Shyvana is generally a good laner, but often cannot come back from dying once or twice. The first kill in top lane is always most important. Some important notes:

  • If you opponent moves towards you, makes a threatening move like activating Death's Caress or anything else out of the ordinary WHEN THEY SHOULDN'T BE ABLE TO WIN A FIGHT, assume that their jungler is there. I can't tell you how frustrating it is when you think that you've finally got your opponent dead, why are they being so stupid and fighting me? I'm going to win... then Udyr shows up and murders you.
  • Often you should focus on farming. Shyvana is very item dependent and level dependent. If you don't think you can harrass your enemy - Vladimir - or they'll just kite if you engage - Vayne - try to put levels into Flame Breath, poke at your opponent regularly and force them away so you can get into melee range for last-hitting.
  • Last-hit. It's so important. You might think it's too much effort, it's difficult or it's just boring but not having the minions pushed means they can't gank you, so you're safer, so you can farm more.
  • If you can get enough levels on the jungler or the bottom lane you will dominate the game. At this stage... it's god mode.
  • The trade-off Shyvana has over someone like Irelia is much higher damage, yet less utility. Irelia has two heals, a gap closer and a stun. Shyvana has a gap closer ultimate that gives her AOE damage, a speed boost which also does damage, projectile for more damage and a pure damage ability. Dragons like damage. In a typical 1v1 scenario you're generally going to win. Post 6, you are one of the most effective 1v2 champions.

How well Shyvana does in solo top lane is often a matter of the champion you are against. Some opponents may dominate you with superior harass, range and sustain, but you won't come across them often (hopefully - Swain comes to mind). Common opponents include:

Nasus - His main purpose at top lane is to farm his Siphoning Strike. If you don't let him do this, he's toast. However, his sustain is strong with his lifesteal and his slow is annoying too. Let him push, kill him, deny him. The best way to deny Nasus is to block him out of experience range and only last hit the creeps ONCE in order to maintain the position of the creep fight. Shyvana's early game damage is vastly superior to Nasus'. Take advantage of that fact.

Renekton - He is a tough opponent. His heal will let him stick around for a while, and his Ruthless Predator allows him to deal TONS OF DAMAGE.

Anyway, if he pushes you, get your jungler to gank - you're sure to blow his ult, flash or something else. Try not to let him escape by using Slice and Dice twice through the minions.

Rumble - A big lane bully - Flamespitter is going to devastate you if you aren't careful. Get your Wit's End/ Mercury's Treads combo and you should be okay - ganks aren't always a kill on Rumble due to his shield, slows, aoe damage and speed boosts. It can be very difficult at times. You may have to rely on Rumble's pushing tactics in order to land a successful gank.

Garen - Oh boy. I like to start Cloth Armor and 5x Health Potion against this guy - his damage is obscene and once he reaches level 6 you can't stick around in lane below 50% health or risk dying to his combo. Try to get ganks on him early and don't let him sit in the bush healing - else he will outlast and outdamage you.

Yorick - Your Burnout helps against his ghouls so he should be too much of a problem - outrun the ghouls, don't let him heal and force him to burn mana harrassing you. Strong pre-6 ganks will help too. After 6 his Omen of Death can turn a 2v1 back into a 2v2 and allow him to stall you with his ghost while he escapes.

Cho'Gath - With crazy sustain, heavy AOE farming and a wealth of CC, he won't let you push his tower, or even let you make him recall. An AOE knock-up will protect him from ganks but only so much; if he misses then do your best to DPS him down.

Irelia - Again, another opponent with built in sustain. You can often gank her if she dashes to you or is overly aggresive. Try to dodge Transcendent Blades - it will heal her a great deal as well as cripple your health bar. Lucky we got boots :) Irelia's DPS is crippled when Hiten Style is on cooldown - strike then.

Singed - Singed is one of my favourite champions - he's a lot of fun to play. Generally, singed players will push the minions to your tower, and simply run away when the jungler appears to gank. It can be truly frustrating, but catch him with some hard CC such as Terrify or puncturing taunt and he's yours to kill.

Jax - Like you, Jax is farm dependant. Like you, Jax deals both magic and physical damage (though he does do mostly magic so an early Null-Magic Mantle comes in handy). He's going to be stronger in a duel but if you have some strong CC on your jungler then he's toast. Try not to fight him directly after level 6, which is where he begins to snowball in damage. Also, it's best to save Twin Bite until AFTER Counter Strike has ended in order to not grant him bonus damage, and deal more damage yourself.

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Your job in a team fight is to KILL THE SQUISHIES.

How do you do this? Well, once the fight has started by an initiation from a tank or other offtank, pile in on the other team with Dragon's Descent. Turn on Burnout, try to catch as many of the other team as you can with Flame Breath then find the most vulnerable person near you, like poor little Kog'Maw. After making friends, kill him mercilessly by autoattacking and spamming Twin Bite and Burnout to keep up the chase. When the carry dies, go back into the fight and clean up any survivors.

Alternatively, you can initiate yourself with Dragon's Descent, disrupting the enemy formation heavily. Make sure your team follows you in! Unfortunately, this may lead to you being focused and killed, especially by kite-happy enemies like Ashe and Janna.

Always attack champions in this priority order except in special circumstances (for example, if Gangplank is building pure DPS and is fed)

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Closing Comments

Thanks for reading my guide - if you have any suggestions and/or comments on the build or the content please let me know below and I'll respond as soon as possible. Bye!