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Shyvana Build Guide by Zerksys

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Zerksys

Shyvana: The Rager's Guide

Zerksys Last updated on March 28, 2012
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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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My name is Zerksys. I've been playing League of Legends for a long time now. I don't remember exactly how long, but I started playing right after Cassiopeia came out, so that gives you guys a pretty good guess as to how old my account is. This is my guide about how to jungle as Shyvana. In my opinion, Shyvana is one of the best if not the best jungler in the game. The reason I made this guide was because I was upset at the amount of Shyvana players using horrible builds in normal queue. In this guide we will explore a bit about how Shyvana works as a champion and the strategy behind how she jungles. With this build I've had a lot of success as her. Even though I'm only 1300 ELO, I have a 76 percent win ratio with Shyvana in ranked.

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Champion Mechanics/Skill Sequence

The most important thing about playing LoL is that you need to learn how your champion works. This involves exploring the strengths and weaknesses of each skill. Shyvana's skills can be separated into two categories. These catagories are area of effect (AOE) and single target skills. Finding a good balance between single target and AOE damage is the key to playing Shyvana.

General things about Shyvana
Attack and move speed are probably the most important stats on Shyvana. Not only does it give bonus damage, all of her abilities have some mechanic which benefits from attack speed. Burnout's channel time is longer, Twin Bite's cooldown is lowered, and Dragon's Descent will have a 30 second cooldown if you're consistently autoattacking.

Twin Bite
This is really the skill that allows Shyvana to have good single target damage. Due to the fact that it's not really that great of damage over time, I try to max it second. It is a good skill which gives a fair bit of bonus physical damage. It's also great for focusing down those squishy characters who can't take a lot of punishment.

This skill is going to be your pride and joy. It is what allows Shyvana to be a fast clearing jungler. The key is that it does a ton of damage, but only if enemies stand in the field. This makes it ideal for fighting neutral monsters who will take the full force of her burnout. It also gives a ton of AOE damage during team fights. Keep in mind that this skill actually does magic damage, but scales off of physical damage. It is Shyvana's highest source of damage and should be maxed first. A final note about burnout gives you a passive movespeed buff. This is really great for ganking - explained in the jungling section.

Flame Breath
This skill is honestly not too important to Shyvana's kit. Her kit would honestly be amazing even without this skill. Its main importance is not its damage, but its ability to shred through armor. This will give your autoattacks and twin bite bonus damage. I use this ability early on to get a bit of bonus damage onto neutral monsters and to last hit when I'm against a ranged champion in lane. It doesn't really become that useful until her ultimate is active.

Dragon's Descent
This is Shyvana's defining skill. She is, after all, a dragon. This skill changes all of her abilities to do bonus damage and have AOE. Burnout leaves a trail of flames behind you, twin bite gets a free Tiamat passive , and flame breath becomes penetrating and fires in a cone. How you play in dragon form is completely different than how you play as a human. This skill should be used as an initiation. It must be noted that anyone who is hit in the path of her dash is dealt a fair bit of magic damage. This should not be ignored seeing as if you hit everyone on the opposing team with your dash at level 16. That is 400 magic damage to their entire team. Also a good point to make is that the "push" of Shyvana's dash is not really that powerful. It should not be used as a skill to push enemy champions into your team. It is primarily a gap closer and should be treated as such. As a side note you can use this skill to dash over walls. This becomes important later. In dragon form, you should play like the unstoppable monster that you are. You do a ton of damage, so it's a great idea to jump into the opposing team's backline and wreck havoc on their team organization. They'll be forced make the choice between focusing you or your carries; with either outcome good for you.

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I take these for early game attack speed. Shyvana's spells all benefit some way from having attack speed. Twin bite will come off cooldown faster and burnout will channel longer. Armor penetration may also work well here, but most of Shyvana's damage is magic, so I tend to go toward attack speed.

Not much to say here. Shyvana needs to be tanky. The bonus armor from this early game is huge in terms of taking less damage in the jungle.

Going to be honest here. I chose these glyphs because there was nothing else that really spoke out to me. All the other glyphs either watered down versions of seals and marks or are specific to casters.

Greater Quintessence of Desolation
A bit of armor penetration in the jungle never hurts. Early on, the autoattack damage plus twin bite will scale very well from this giving great single target damage. If you don't like these I've also included another option.

Attack speed always helps. Her skills all benefit from it and it will also help with early ganks (proc red buff).

Another great option that I take against teams with lots of crowd control or escape mechanisms. Very great for Shyvana's counterjungling.

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There's not really that much to say here. I take 9-21-0 masteries on Shyvana. Masteries are completely dependent on how you want to play her. You can do 21-9-0 if you want more damage output. An important thing to note is that you should always get the Summoner's Resolve mastery for the extra 10 gold for smite. It may not seem like a lot of gold, but if you use smite every time it's up (about every minute). In a 30 minute game you've landed yourself an extra 300 gold.

Another important thing is to not spec the utility tree. I know some people like to get the neutral buff mastery, but it's not worth it. You typically want to give buffs away to your lanes anyways. It's more worth it to spec into the defense tree or attack tree.

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This is the section that really bothered me on a lot of other builds. Builds which included things like Trinity Force and Thornmail. The most important thing to remember while building Shyvana is to keep in mind her role on a team. She is tanky/dps. Meaning that building her full tank is never going to be the most effective way to build her seeing as it does not make use of her full damage output. Here are my core items.

Those items are must haves on Shyvana's jungle route. Merc treads are very good because most of the time she has to chase people down for kills. Crowd control hurts her very bad. Wriggles is just plain good for the armor, lifesteal, sustain, and clearspeed. These are items that I would recommend everyone get on her.

This is the final must have item on Shyvana. It bugs me when people build Phage into a trinity force. The biggest problem with Shyvana as a character is the lack of slows or stuns. This item makes that weakness go away. Frozen mallet + Shyvana's movespeed + Attack Speed is a combination that makes her very good at focusing a target and sticking to it and chasing it down until it is dead. Many people ask me why I don't build Phage into a Trinity Force. My answer is that even though the sheen gives me a lot of damage output, the health from frozen mallet and the 100 percent chance of on hit slow is too much for me to pass up. It must also be noted that the sheen damage is single target when Shyvana specializes in AOE damage in teamfights. It is simply a waste of money to build both seeing as Frozen Mallet and Trinity Force's slow will not stack. Given the choice between the two I always pick Frozen Mallet.

All other items past frozen mallet are situation dependent. You must always keep in mind that builds should never be a concrete thing. Builds should be adapted for the situation that you are in. I usually build Wit's End for the attack speed and magic resist and The Black Cleaver for the damage output - note that attack damage increases her aoe damage on burnout. Some other good items are Sunfire Cape, Force of Nature. It is always important to balance out damage output and survivability. If you're jumping into an enemy team and getting focused too fast, it might be good to build more armor/health/magic resist. If on the other hand they just ignore you as you jump into them, some damage might be nice. Atma's Impaler is also good for armor and a bit of critical strike damage, but again it all depends on the specific situation in your particular game.

One thing I would also recommend doing VERY late in the game is selling that Wriggle's Lantern and getting yourself a Madred's Bloodrazor. The only reason I don't get the bloodrazor earlier is because it is expensive for what it does. Later on in the game, if you have the money, this item's attack speed plus passive percent damage will make you just unstoppable.

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The figure above shows my jungling route. Blue numbers are the areas where I use smite. I take burnout and kill the wraith camp starting with the blue wraith. Then I move to the red buff lizard, have my team leash it, and smite for the kill. Eat the first potion here. I then move onto the double golems and eat a second potion while I'm killing them. Consume your third potion after killing the golems. The wraiths should respawn now. Take them down without smite. Move onto wolves then the ancient golem. Smite the ancient golem and then go gank. A variation on the path is that after you take your mini golems, you can chose to go gank before taking wraiths the second time.

It's important that you use your brain when jungling. I cannot stress this enough. The game of League of Legends is dynamic. As a jungler, it is your duty to respond to what his happening in lanes. If any of your lanes is having trouble, you leave and help them. It is your goal to put as much pressure on the lanes as possible while keeping up your farm.

The goal of ganking is always to get a kill on the enemy player in lane. Keep in mind however that a huge part of ganking is to put pressure on the lanes. Psychological warfare can be a powerful thing. With your movespeed, you can literally make the lanes think that you're everywhere at once. How you gank with Shyvana is a bit more complicated than with other junglers. Due to the fact that she has no slows or stuns, you need to have your teammate in lane drop crowd control on them before you engage. Once they're successfully cced (crowd controlled), use ghost and turn on your burnout. This will give you a ton of movespeed and it becomes just as good as a gap closer. It is important to not to overcommit. Once they burn flash, LEAVE THE LANE AND GO ELSEWHERE. YOU DO NOT WANT TO SAP YOUR LANE'S EXPERIENCE. A successful gank is a used summoner spell and a very successful gank is a kill, always remember that.

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I have a complete section on this because of how important it is to Shyvana's character. You'll actually find that Shyvana clears the jungle so fast that you run out of neutral camps to clear. This is when counterjungling becomes very effective. Early on in the game before level 6, you can very successfully trade with almost every single jungler. Udyr is the one exception. Don't try to trade with hi; you will die.

Many may ask: what exactly is counterjungling? The point of counterjungling is to sap the opposing team's resources; especially buffs by going into the opposing team's jungle and killing their neutral monsters. Here are some tips on how to successfully counterjungle.

1. MAP AWARENESS - It is so important that you stay aware of the position of everyone on the map. The best time to take the opposing jungler's camps are when he is on the map guarding a lane or ganking. If you cannot reach the lane in sufficient time to help out the lane being ganked, it works just as well to take a camp.

2. Ward - ward their jungle, enough said

3. Dragon's Descent Active - Try to keep your ultimate active when counterjungling. This has saved me on multiple occasions. When you get into a situation where you're 2v1 it helps so much to be able to dash over a wall.

4. Priorities - You must keep your priorities straight in counterjungling. Many people, when they counterjungle, will leave one neutral monster remaining to drain the enemy jungler's experience and gold income. This is ok for the wraiths and the wolves camp, but for the neutral buffs, you always want to clear everything. This is important because you want to have a timer on when they respawn.

5. Stay anonymous - never give away your position. If they don't know where you are, how can they stop your counterjungle. Don't be obvious in where you are going.

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Team Fighting

This is where Shyvana really shines. She is an amazing initiator. Here's my skill sequence in teamfights. Dash in with Dragon's Descent. Use Flame Breath over their entire team to shred their team's armor. Then proceed to focus their team's AD carry. Be sure that if they try to ignore you, to attack their initiator in order to prevent their team from initiating on your carries. Your focus should be in this order after initiation.

1. Keep your carries alive
2. Lots of AOE damage
3. Focusing enemy carries

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Shvyana is one of the best junglers is out there. Between her ability to be a beast in teamfights, her ability to counterjungle, her fast clearspeed, and her great AOE damage, Shyvana is a great addition to any team.