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Shyvana Build Guide by Nirvaesh

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Nirvaesh

Shyvana - Grawr I'm a Dragon!

Nirvaesh Last updated on November 6, 2011
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Team 1

LeagueSpy Logo
Jungle Role
Ranked #14 in
Jungle Role
Win 53%
Get More Stats

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.


Brute Force
Improved Rally

Offense: 21

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 0

Expanded Mind
Blink of an Eye
Mystical Vision
Presence of the Master

Utility: 9

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Hello all you people who have stumbled upon my mess of thoughts about how to build/play/lane/jungle with Shyvana. My name is Nirvaesh and I'm sure you have plenty of questions and I'll tell you a few facts before you get any further.

-This is my first guide.
-Yes, I know I picked a champion I wouldn't have a ton of expirience playing yet, that can be changed within the first few patches to not fit my builds or my playstyle. But thus far this is what has worked for me.
-I'm not a +2k ELO player, so I won't be here to give you an instawin build and guide.
-As I said This is not an instawin guide
-The builds here are partially thoughts on how to build combined with real game testing with partial builds as you can't always have the feed, farm and time to get everything done.
-All the builds use the same runeset, skill sequence and masteries. Only things that change are if you want to use different summoner spells like Ignite, Smite etc.
Now onto the details.

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Pro's and Con's

So why should you play it with my runes and builds? If thats what you find myself asking I guess you'd want to hear some Pro's and Con's, well here they are.


  • Fast, safe jungling
  • Incredible movement speed, good when going for ganks when in the jungle or when leaving your lane
  • Health and resists to play the way of the off-tank/fighter/bruiser that Shyvana is and what she excels at
  • Great burst damage, AoE damage and consistent damage.
  • Capability to chase down pretty much every other hero in-game
  • Hard to gank when you're taking the top lane, Flash/ Ghost, Burnout and Dragon's Descent should give you good tools to get away safely.
  • You're a dragon. Yes I find it a pro.


  • You're still a melee champion. You can be kited and focused down by a skilled team
  • You have little to no CC, so if you're playing with a team that already lacks CC, going Shyvana might be a bad choice.
  • Burnout tends to push lanes if used incorrectly.
  • A tad bit squishy early on. But then again who isn't? (Yeah maybe Garen and Dr. Mundo but thats a different case)

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Runes and Masteries

For Masteries I pick up a pretty offensive set of 21/0/9.


What makes the change depend on your Summoner Spells and the corresponding masteries. Cripple if you have Exhaust, get Plentiful Bounty if you are jungling and if you have a Ghost in your preferred arsenal, get Haste , it's worth it.

You might think that why am I not picking up defensive masteries as I am a beefy melee fighter. Thats because your items make you beefy enough and I play an agressive early game and this helps me deal more damage securing early kills.

As of runes I have a set of:

Greater Mark of Lethality

Greater Seal of Armor

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist

Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed
Movement Speed Quints (I love running around)
Armor Penetration Marks (Who doesn't love these? Even with your E skill it still adds up in early game)
Flat Armor Seals (Survivability, yeah!)
Flat Magic Res Glyphs (What I said above)

Now this is just my preference.. I use this page even in the jungle. Only thing I'd think about changin' is the Glyphs to a set of Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist's but I haven't yet bought 'em so I use my Flats.

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Summoner Spells

: Flash all the way, Flash all the way after nerf? Don't know, I'll update it when I know.

/ : Both of these are killer spells to be used with Flash or Ghost to pick up early game kills. Exhaust can also save you from a gank or a fair 1v1. Later onto the game you can use Exhaust on a rampaging Tryndamere or an Ignite on a Dr. Mundo that thinks he can go where he pleases.

: Can be used with Flash or to replace Flash with. I wouldn't really replace it myself but it's viable and probably after the Flash nerf it might be even more viable.

: If you are jungling, this is what you pick. Can be used with Flash or Ghost.

: If you feel like trolling. Which you shouldn't! You're Shyvana a half-dragon, not a trolling Trundle. (no offense agains Trundle players, he really is a great champion)

: Usually I find that I don't need this is on solo lane as when I feel the need to recall I just push my lane with Burnout and run back before they push it. If you get ganked, you sohuld still be able to run back quite fast.

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The Builds

Yes "builds", I have come up with four builds that I have tried around from jungle and from solo top. Every single one of them can be switched around to solo top and jungle with ease. Instead of Boots of Speed you go with Cloth Armor (since I am an old school jungler and like it more than Vampiric Scepter) and of course smite to the summoner spells, you know the drill.
Occasionally depending on the lane you can also try out a Doran's Shield as a starting item or what not. The complete builds don't change.

However onto the builds.(Note: every build has a Wriggle's Lantern but it will be dropped off in the end in every build.)

Build 1: Tanky, Fast, Hard to keep off your carries and squishies, Deals hard damage and makes the enemy team want to focus you while not wanting to focus you. The movement speed that this build gives the feel that you are a predator hunting your prey. When you find them. Slow 'em down with Hextech Gunblade and let the fun begin. I'm a big fan of that speedy hunter feel.


This is one of the first builds that I thought up when starting to play Shyvana. However now with more expirience I'm starting to be skeptic around the usefulness of Guinsoo's Rageblade. You might be better off taking a Wit's End or Madred's Bloodrazor.

Build 2: A little bit richer on the hp but a small drop in resists, a little bit slower movement speed which shouldn't matter since you'll be having an interesting slow from Rylai's Crystal Scepter combined with your Burnout skill. Still deals damage and makes people wanna focus you down but again they don't want to as you're an off-tank.


I have specially warm feelings towards this build because of the movement speed you have, with the slow provided by the combination of your AoE skills Burnout and Dragon's Descent and the item Rylai's Crystal Scepter will give you the ability to get ahead of your enemy while slowing them down for your team. Which traps them between a dragon and an angry mob. Not a good place to be.

Build 3: This build is the one that I found to have the strongest early game where you can work as an initiator/tank/damage dealer combination with only just Wriggle's Lantern, Mercury's Treads and Aegis of the Legion. Why? Because of the very balanced resists this set of items offer with also a small boost to health. Add up Dragon's Descent passive and you're good to go!

Build 4: This one I haven't tested as it is extremely costy, but then again it's also extremely dangerous. You loose the guardian angel bonus that all the other builds have and other stuff. What you do have is extreme beefity and some top notch damage. On the paper, I'll have to test this build at some point to see exactly how good this build is.


After having a great time laning against a solo-top Nunu & Willump I decided that it's about time to try this less cheap build. The capability to soak damage while dealing damage all over you, whether it's stomping squishies or tearing tanks down notch by notch it worked well. However again it's an extremely pricey build but it's worth it if you get it done.

Now before you complain about not enough testing scroll up to introduction. As I said this is a mess of thoughts turned into a guide. Thoughts don't have to be tested as I have numbers that I can add together and know what effect it has.

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A little bit of brainstorming on the items

Now this is the part where i'd actually want to have it coded to make it look a bit nicer instead just a wall of text. But I guess that'll have to wait.

Onto the point, next up is bit on the thoughts of why I build something on Shyvana and what I think about the item.

Lets start with boots, shall we?

These boots are always great because of the Tenacity and Magic Resist. You won't get CC:ed so hard nor will that crazy Annie instagib you with her Tibberbomb because you got magic resistance.

Now these are an interesting pair for Shyvana, if the enemy team has a lack of CC by all means take these.. they do up your damage.

Same as above.

Really? Really? Well I actually did play with these a few times. It was fun as hell but you should be running fast enough without 'em.

Pretty much the same as above not worth it, if you really want to tho' go ahead and pick 'em up. Personally I wouldn't.

If you do actually think about it 3 out of 4 skills deal magical damage.. so hey! Why not take it. I haven't actually tested them but if you think about it you should be fine with your Archaic Knowledge .

Now to the rest of your arsenal. These aren't in any particular order.

If you're jungling, you will be getting it. If you are laning you still kinda want to get it. Armor as solo top is a big deal, life steal to give you a bit of sustain, a boost to your damage and a life saving ward! The proc might make you push the lane hard if you keep on auto attacking but if you have practised your last hitting this shouldn't be a problem.

I just love this item. Even on champs it shouldn't be bought on, because its Trinity Force. No seriuosly just the Sheen proc and Phage slow combined with the over all yummy stats of the item its a WINNER! It's great on your Twin Bite, It's great on pushing towers, it gives you survivability, damage, chasing potential and even that small crit chance won't hurt you! How ever it costs a ton of money... buzzkill.. NOT. In my opinion its worth every hard earned gold piece.

Resists + the Passive = I love the item. It's one of those items that make the enemy think twice if to focus you or not. If they do, your carries will be safely shooting 'em down and if you end up dying you'll be ready for round 2 soon enough. Have a support/mid Zilean for some yummy reviving, makes people sad when a Shyvana refuses to die 3 times in a team fight.

Ever since doing the math of how much magic resist this item actually gives on full stacks and it's actually quite tasty. Plus it has a nice amount of attack speed. And all for a pretty cheap price of 2000 gold.

This item has a high amount of magic resist, a lovely amount of health regeneration and some yummy movement speed. I like this item alot, some may say that Banshee's Veil is a better item because it has the magical bubble and health. I do agree it's a great item but in the end I guess it goes down to preference and I usually pick Force of Nature over it.

/ :
The famed current metagame that works on all champions, most likely even on Teemo. Amazing survivability on both, good damage, armor, some crit etcetc. If you do Warmog's Armor, Frozen Mallet and Atma's Impaler you'll end up beeing super beefy and with good damage thought it might end up being an overkill. Or not. However personally I'm rather sick of it being a "must" so I ended up with only one build that I have up on this guide that has it. It's a very viable choice and it works. It's proven.
Only thing to add is that slow on Frozen Mallet is great but considering your movement speed on the builds I have up here and with Trinity Froce in all of them you'll end up slowing something anyway with a regular Phage proc and if it doesn't you're fast anyway.

You might think I'm crazy, why would I build an AP item for Shyvana? I build it because it gives you health, some boost to your Flame Breath and Dragon's Descent. And now for the big boom! As you ulti over them and run around their team being a super rad dragon you notice one thing, you're dealing magical damage. What happens when you have Rylai's Crystal Scepter on you while doing that. You provide an AoE slow. Boom you have CC now. Now that is sweet!

At full stacks after spamming your abilities and stomping the enemy carries you will end up with a rather nice boost to your attack speed + the AD and AP from this item are also nice.
It's pretty cheap and it seems to work rather nicely.

Yes I buy this item even after the nerf, now it's just less OP money/statwise. On Shyvana I buy it because: It gives you a ranged slow which is pretty sweet, life steal and spell vamp so you won't slowly wither away while pummeling away at their team + AD and AP never hurt, it's always more damage. On the cost side: 3625 gold is quite alot so I usually save it up to be the last item. It might be worth rushing but I haven't tried that out enough to really know if it's worth it. In the end on the paper and on my expirience it's worth it when you start replacing your Wriggle's Lantern.

"Are you MAD? You're not a support!" Now just hang on a minute, do you always have a support in your team? Does he/she always buy this item? The answer to both is no. However if you have it, it WILL boost your tankiness early game quite alot and if you end up in an early teamfight it will also be helping your team! Also if your jungler is ganking your lane or if you're the jungler. It will make you "Hiii~ I'm here to gank while buffing up your survivability, now lets kick some butt!" It's good on paper and it works in real games. I don't do it that often cause alot of the time I have a Janna, Sona, Soraka or etc. support in my team who buys it instead of me. Still keep it in mind.

I sometimes end up buying this, it's a great item. Armor + Health, all good for you + the passive makes you BURN. It looks fancy on you and makes you push insane when you add it up with Burnout. Not always a good thing, but at somepoint of the game you wanna push anyway so in the end at somepoint someone is happy.

/ :
The Brutalizer is a great item as it is and gets even better upgraded up to Youmuu's Ghostblade. If you plan to get this item, an early Avarice Blade will save you some money as it farms some of its costs back. Not many downpoints and quite a core item for many melee champions. I tried it out a couple of times when I bought her. But I ended up leaving it out when I play'd more.

Now these were the items that I use most of the time in different combinations, now for the more situational itemry.

This item I've never gone around to getting yet but on paper it's rather great against those beefy tanky people. Now when you think about it the percentage damage it offers you is great and if you do an Auto Attack + Twin Bite... that should be with my 4th build a burst of 3 hits including a Sheen Proc from your Trinity Force, probably even a slow from Phage + 3x Madred's Bloodrazor hits. In everyway you look at this it's ALOT of damage even some HP crazy Dr. Mundo has to think about twice before messing with. Plus it has some Attack Speed on it, doesn't hurt you at all.


After getting it once I found out that whats above considering the damage of the item and how it synergizes with Shyvana. It's all true. Then again this never was a bad item to begin with.

Alot of AD and lifesteal, add it up with Atmogs + Trinity Force and it might work very well. However these 4 items are extremely pricey. If you get fed why not go for it and dominate the game.

Magic Resist, some damage, cheap and a fancy passive. A worthy buy for early midgame. Can't see anything bad about it except that as an endgame item its lackluster but it also might be worth it.

Not that bad of an item if you add it up to an Atmogs + Trinity Force + The Bloodthirster. It's alot of money but hey if you're getting fed or/and have an insane farm. Try it out.

Always an insane damage boost especially when you crit. I'll probably have to try it out at somepoint because I like to wreck teams.

Double Stack with Twin Bite, Triple if you hit them first with an autoattack. That's hot. Add it up with 50 AD and some Attack Speed. Now as I'm writing this I think I should try it right away. Good on paper is worthy of a try.

Note on the Black Cleaver:

Tried a full out AD build on Shyvana for fun on a blind pick game with a friend. Rushed a Black Cleaver after boots and when this item macefelted a Rammus in midgame, I laughed.

One of the best items in game, drop your Flame Breath on a fully armored Rammus and follow it up with a Twin Bite while holding this item and I'm sure he will feel it under all that armor. It's a tasty item and worthy of a try in some builds. Again good on paper.

Now this pretty much sums up what I've tried and what I've been thinking about trying on Shyvana. (not including a troll AP build)

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Laning Phase

Now I'm not gonna say that do THIS and THIS and you will win. Just some tips and pointers on how use your skills etc. With your Burnout you will have a great mini-ghost at your disposal, add this up to starting with boots and the movement speed Quints I use you will end up beeing extremely quick on your feet. Which is fun and very efficient. While taking up last hits even at level one you can just fire it up and go give the enemy a good poke. After level two you have Twinbite to add to your poke. Level four Burnout+ Flame Breath+Auto Attack+ Twin Bite = A killer of a burst.

If you're being dominated, Flame Breath to last hit/harrass while under a tower. That way you'll be safe most of the time.

Pre-6 when the enemy jungler runs to you I always want to stay on the safe side up and pop my Burnout+ Flash and just run to my tower. I don't want to give them a kill, some may call it a waste but I like to keep it safe. After level 6 you're a hard bastard to kill. With you're ultimate ready to be used I've lived through a double supress by Skarner and Warwick by popping my Flash and jumping away with Dragon's Descent leaving them hanging thinking about what the hell just happened. This happened more than once in the same game. After a 3rd or 4th try they had an argument in all chat that why Warwick doesn't gank top anymore. Made my day.

Your jungler being gracious enough to gank your lane? Just pop your Burnout and get in there, you're a fighter after all. If you're level 6 and high on health and the enemy is thinking he is safe under the protective shadow of a tower you. Make him think again. With the passive armor doubled from your activated Dragon's Descent and lets say a Wriggle's Lantern at your disposal you're capable of surprisingly strong towerdives due to your high armor. However it's always a risk, however its a fun risk in my opinion.

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I jungle by taking Cloth Armor + health pots. Like alot of people do. Theres nothing much for me to add to this part since I use a generic route. Generic counter jungling tactics. As they work for me and should work for you because statistics are statistics. Your main skill in jungling is Burnout it's fast and reliable. After you get your Wriggle's Lantern it'll be a breeze no matter what you do.

However this guide is here to bring another perspective to the world of playing Shyvana. And if I'm using a generic way to jungle/counter jungle I don't feel the need to repeat it here.

When you gank, inform the lane, get about half way to your enemy, pop Burnout, try to hit with your Flame Breath, autoattack + Twin Bite and if the enemy doesn't Flash, stun/slow you or something other to hinder you chase him off with autoattacks and Burnout hopefully picking up a kill for you/your laner. After level 6 if you can trust the guy you're ganking for don't be afraid of turret diving. It's fun! When you get under the turret Jump over them with Dragon's Descent and finish them off and run/ Flash to safety.

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The End...

Thank you for reading this far and be sure to comment and vote on my mess of thoughts. If I'm missing something, doing something HORRIBLY wrong or maybe you wanna help me pretty up my guide do leave a message and I'll get back to you.

What I and probably you expect to see in this guide in the future:

  • Sections considering situational builds, what to pick up early and what not to.
  • Pro's and Con's section
  • More brainstorming about items and an addition of detail onto the chapter
  • A chapter consisting of a list of items set into slots with reasoning on when and why to take, con's and pro's about the items. Which will act as a crude builder so I don't have to crowd the guide with 20 different builds.
  • Other sections if I'm missing anything I find worth adding, will be added.
  • Pictures and more coding.
  • Videos about laning and jugnling and/or funny tricks on what to perform with Shyvana.
  • A more detailed jungle section taking in account actual details and thoughts about counter jungling and paths
  • A teamwork section.
Credits to jhoijhoi for making her "Making a guide" guide which can be found here which has been great source upon improving my guides looks and which I will use when given the time and patience to further improve this and any other future guides I will end up making.

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7.11.-11 - Just added up some coding all around the guide, clearing up typoes and added some afterthoughts, details and test results considering items and builds. Also added a Pro's and Con's section on what I find good and bad about the champion Shyvanna considering my style of playing.