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Shyvana Build Guide by Khazem

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Khazem

Solo top Shyvana - Lane and Jungle Terror

Khazem Last updated on March 18, 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: 21

Honor Guard

Defense: 9

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 0

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BEFORE YOU READ: The item build in the cheat sheet is only what I believe to be the absolute core of Shyvana's build. For complete item builds, as well as good alternatives, please read the Items section of this guide.

Hello and welcome to yet another solo top guide by me. This time I'm going to be talking about Shyvana, one of my favorite champions since the day she was released. Shyvana was long very underrated and rarely ever used as a solo top champion, untill the Russian team M5 made an amazing display with her in IEM Kiev.

While she is without a doubt an amazing jungler, she is definitely also a great solo top laner. Much like in the jungle, her strengths lie in her ability to farm and push really quickly, allowing for a lot of time to do other stuff, such as very agressive counter jungling, making use of Teleport to help out other lanes or even stop jungle invasions when needed.

Due to her early game damage being so high and being both magic and physical damage, she is also a very strong duelist and incredibly hard to trade with for a lot of champions.
She does not, however, have any form of sustainability, which is the only thing keeping her from being one of the best solo top champions in the game. But due to her agressive nature, when picked in the right circumstances, she can be an absolute terror to the entire enemy team.

Listen to this while reading for full effect.

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Pros / Cons


+ Very tanky without any items due to the passive stats on her ultimate.
+ Amazing lane pusher, having an AoE clearing ability and an ability that works on towers.
+ Very mobile with the movement speed buff on Burnout.
+ Her Dragon's Descent makes for a great escaping ability.
+ Her high early game damage, both magic and physical, make her an amazing duelist.
+ No recourses. Can spam her abilities as much as she wants.

- No sustainability. She won't be as dominant as she can be before she has a Wriggle's Lantern.
- No built in CC, slowing abilities. Makes it hard to chase people sometimes and net kills in lane, untill you get Frozen Mallet.
- Relies on pushing her lane very agressively for full potential and as such is vulnerable to ganks.
- Vulnerable to being kited as she relies heavily on her movement speed and has no real gap closers (besides her ultimate) or CC.

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Summoner Spells

Great summoner spell for Shyvana that allows for more agression on the map. Can be used for lane ganks, dragon control or just for getting back in lane after an early buy to get that small advantage over your lane opponent.
Probably still the best summoner spell in the game. Can be used for both offensive and defensive purposes.
Good if you want to focus on being more dominant in lane, rather than help your team out. Gives you more killing potential and makes you a bigger threat in the enemy jungle.

Other viable choices include:

Exhaust: If noone else on your team is getting this and the enemy team has some big threatening AoE ultimates (such as Kennen, Fiddlesticks. Though try and make sure if that is the case, someone else picks up Exhaust.
Heal: Can be paired with Ignite for ultimate lane dominance. Makes you one tough dragon in the lane, able to absolutely wreck a lot of champions.
Ghost: Increase your chasing abilities, but doesn't really help against her kiting vulnerability. Can be used if the enemy team doesn't have a lot of slows/hard CC.

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What I show in the cheat sheet is my main runepage for the avarage game, there are a lot of alternatives though and I'll try to list them all.


Greater Mark of Armor

Greater Mark of Magic Resist

Greater Mark of Attack Speed

Greater Mark of Lethality

Greater Mark of Attack Damage

Greater Seal of Armor

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist

Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist

Greater Quintessence of Health Regeneration

Greater Quintessence of Armor

Greater Quintessence of Magic Resist

Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage

Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed

  • Greater Seal of Armor: The only seals you'll ever want for top lane nowadays. 99 games out of 100 you'll need the armor.


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Again, what I listed in the cheat sheet is just an example. There are a number of different setups that work well in different situations.

My main choice on Shyvana for most games will be 21/9/0. The 21 points in offense will make your lane game a lot more dominant (which is usually your goal), while still having some good masteries in there for a better late game.

Offense Tree

Tier 1 - 3 points in Brute Force are pretty self explanatory. A point in either buthcer for easier last hitting or Summoner's Wrath if you're picking up Exhaust

Tier 2 - 4 points in Alacrity for its synergy with her passive/attack speed runes. 4 points in Sorcery to get to the magic penetration

Tier 3 - Weapon Expertise and Arcane Knowledge . Neither Havoc or Deadliness is worth picking up for Shyvana.

Tier 4 - 3 points Vampirism for some much needed lane sustainability.

Tier 5 - 3 points in Sunder , self explanatory.

Tier 6 - Executioner to help you finish people off and increases your chance of getting kills in general.

Defense tree

Tier 1 - Depending on who you're laning against, 3 points in Hardiness 1 point in Resistance against AD, the other way around against AP. If you're getting heal, put a point in Summoner's Resolve .

Tier 2 - Durability for a stronger late game.

Tier 3 - Veteran's Scars for that nice early game health boost.

Alternative Setups

Another common mastery setup that goes for a more defensive approach. Picking up the armor penetration in offense for that little extra threat in lane and putting the rest in defense to go with her natural tankiness and make her even more unstoppable lategame.

A very agressive setup. Can be used against weaker lanes. The points in utility are aimed at more mobility for agressive counter jungling. A point in Runic Affinity in case you steal any buffs. 21 points in offense to allow you to push your lane as fast as possible, giving you more time to roam around the map.

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Fury of the Dragonborn: Shyvana's melee attacks enhance her abilities.

Twin Bite - Reduces the cooldown by 0.5 seconds.
Burnout - Extends the duration by 1 second to a maximum of 6 seconds.
Flame Breath - Deals 15% of the ability's damage to debuffed targets.
Dragon's Descent - Attacks generate 2 Fury and Shyvana gains 1 Fury every 1.5 seconds while in human form.

This passive makes attack speed so good on Shyvana. Buffs EVERY single one of your abilities.

Twin Bite (Q): Shyvana's next autoattack will strike twice in one swift movement. The second attack will deal physical damage equal to 80 / 85 / 90 / 95 / 100 % of her total attack damage. Both attacks will trigger on-hit effects and Fury of the Dragonborn effects.

Dragon form: Twin Bite will damage all units in front of Shyvana when she uses her next autottack instead of just her target. Each unit hit will be dealt on-hit effects and grant fury twice.

Cooldown: 10 / 9 / 8 / 7 / 6 seconds

Nice ability that gives you an extra auto attack that deals more damage. Makes Shyvana very dangerous early in the game.

  • Twin Bite procs on-hit effects.
  • Twin Bite resets her attack timer on activation, allowing her to hit three times in rapid succession if timed correctly.
  • If you crit with Twin Bite every unit hit will be critically struck, and it will still proc on-hit effects.
  • Twin Bite works on towers.
  • Twin Vite also works on wards. Use it to deal 2 damage to a ward instantly.

Burnout (W): During the next 3 seconds, Shyvana will deal 25 / 40 / 55 / 70 / 85 (+20% of bonus attack damage) magic damage each second to nearby enemies and moves 30 / 35 / 40 / 45 / 50 % faster for 3 seconds. Shyvana's movement speed bonus itself will be reduced multiplicatively by 15% for every second that passes.

Dragon form: Shyvana now scorches the earth where she walks, leaving a trail of fire for 5 seconds that will continually deal magic damage to enemies that pass over it.

Cooldown: 12 seconds

Radius of AoE: 325

Shyvana's main damage spell. Makes her really strong in damage trades, allows her to push her lane really fast, allows you to chase people down,... Make sure to auto attack as much as possible when activating this ability to keep it up for as long as possible.

  • When active, landing autoattacks will increase the duration of Burnout for 1 second, to a maximum of 6 extra seconds, allowing it to last for a maximum of 9 seconds.
  • Burnout's duration is increased for each target hit by Twin Bite in dragon form.

Flame Breath (E): Shyvana unleashes a fireball forward in a line that affects the first enemy it hits, dealing 80 / 125 / 170 / 215 / 260 (+60% of ability power) magic damage to it and reducing its armor by 15% for 4 seconds.

Dragon form: Flame Breath engulfs all units in a cone in front of Shyvana.

Additional On-hit Magic Damage: 12 / 18.75 / 25.5 / 32.25 / 39 (+0.09 per ability power)

Cooldown: 12 / 11 / 10 / 9 / 8 seconds

Range: 925

A nice source of armor shred that makes you strong in a 1v1 fight with bruisers. Dealing magic damage, this ability makes you hard to counter build and generally makes your damage output much scarier.

  • In Shyvana's dragon form, Flame Breath hits all targets in the cone, causing all targets hit to have reduced armor and take bonus damage from her autoattacks.
  • Useful to last hit minions you can't get to in time.
  • In a trade, always lead off with this ability to make all your other abiltiies hit for more.

Dragon's Descent (R): (Passive): Shyvana reinforces her scales, increasing her armor and magic resistance by 15 / 20 / 25. These defensive bonuses are doubled while in dragon form.

(Active): Shyvana transforms into a dragon and dashes to a target location. Enemies along her path take 200 / 300 / 400 (+70% of ability power) magic damage and are pushed toward her target location.

Range: 1000

This ability has no cooldown but requires 100 fury to activate. Shyvana generates 1 fury every 1.5 seconds while in human form. While in dragon form, she will lose 6 fury every second. Once the fury bar is empty she will return to her normal state.

Amazing ultimate. Makes all your abilities AoE, gives you a lot of passive resistances and gives you the ability to fly into people, knocking them back and dealing a lot of damage in the process.

  • Can be used to jump over walls for both offensive and defensive purposes.
  • Can be used to knock enemies into turrets, or to defend your carries by knocking threats back.
  • Remember to try and position yourself so that when you're in dragon form, your abilities will hit more than one enemy.

Here's a little map showing all the walls you can jump over using this ability.

Ability Sequence

This is pretty much the optimal skill order for Shyvana. You get Burnout at level 1 for the extra damage in trades and the mobility in case of an early gank.
Max Burnout first for maximum lane pressure and the ability to clear waves insanely fast, allowing for more time to counter jungle/teleport gank.
Max Twin Bite second for more damage overall.
Put an early point in Flame Breath for the armor shred, then leave it till last.

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This is the item core you'll generally be aiming for most games. It offers you a nice mix of all defensive stats with some strong offense by getting a Wit's End for attack speed, a Frozen Mallet to synergyze with that attack speed and to allow you to stay on your targets, finishing off with an Atma's Impaler to synergize with all the health you just got.

Your final item should be picked according to what you need at that stage of the game and can be anything. If you still have gold after that, you can replace the Wriggle's Lantern for another item.

Starting Items

Cloth Armor
Often the starting item you'll want. The Cloth Armor makes you a little more tanky and the 5 Health Potion's that come with it are great for sustaining your early game, when you don't have anything else for sustain yet.

Boots of Speed
Good for some more early game mobility. Can be used against weaker lanes, or AP carries. When buying this, it's often useful to wait at the base for a 4th Health Potion before you go into lane.

Doran's Shield
Not a very common choice, but it works in certain situations. Goes well with health/5 quintessences and the Vigor mastery.

Offensive Items

Wit's End
Gives Shyvana a great attack speed boost to go with her passive and an on-hit effect that increases her damage quite nicely. I'd say this is a must-have for Shyvana

Frozen Mallet
Item that goes very well with the attack speed from Wit's End. Makes every single one of your auto attacks slow your target, allowing you to stay on them for as long as you wish. Comes with a nice health boost to increase your survivability

Atma's Impaler
Good to get after you've increased your health pool with the Frozen Mallet. Every stat on it is useful for Shyvana.

Wriggle's Lantern
Gives Shyvana the early game sustainability she desperatly needs. Also very useful when counterjungling. A must buy in every game.

The Bloodthirster
Can replace Wriggle's Lantern later in the game for sustainability in fights.

Madred's Bloodrazor
Good item to shred high health targets late game. The attack speed also works very well with Shyvana's passive.

Trinity Force
If the gold is rolling in nicely, you can get this item. Shyvana uses all its components well enough to make this worth the gold.

zeke's herald
Zeke's Herald
Another good item for sustaining yourself later in the game. Is also very useful for your team and can be considered if your team benefits from it.

Defensive Items

Warmog's Armor
Very good item for Shyvana considering the passive defensive stats she gets from her ultimate. Great buy if you want to be more durable.

Force of Nature
Great item against heavy magic damage. Combined with a Warmog's Armor, AP carries will hate you.

Randuin's Omen
Very useful against an AD heavy team. Makes you a lot more durable and gives you a great passive and on-use effect to screw up any physical damage dealers.

Aegis of the Legion
Good and cheap item to get some more defensive stats for you and your team. Very good item overall.

Banshee's Veil
Good to get against very bursty long cooldown AP champions, such as Sion/ Kassadin/ LeBlanc. The health and mana boost is a nice bonus.

Guardian Angel
Good pickup if you're being heavily focused. Goes well with The Bloodthirster to sustain through fights and be very hard to kill.

Sunfire Cape
Decent armor item with a passive that works quite well with Burnout in teamfights.

Good item if there's a lot of auto attackers in the enemy team, but usually subpar to Randuin's Omen (unless they have no/low lifesteal).


Mercury's Treads
Always a good choice for boots. Shyvana is quite vulnerable to CC so these will help a lot.

Ninja Tabi
Against auto attack heavy comps. Good against a lot of bruisers in lane, especially the likes of Riven or Irelia.

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Gameplay - Early / Mid Game (Counter Jungling & Teleport Ganking)

Shyvana's early game starts like any other, with farming. Your goal is to get a Wriggle's Lantern as soon as possible for that lane sustain and more effective counter jungling.
Don't push your lane too hard at the start unless the enemy jungler is no threat to you. You can win early damage trades with a lot of champions if you buy a Cloth Armor and 5 health potions and just auto attack them with Burnout active.
A simple combo you generally want to use in trades is tag your opponent with Flame Breath, run at them while activating Burnout and hit them with a Twin Bite. Proceed auto attacking for as long as possible or untill Burnout runs out. Shyvana's early game damage is very high so you might as well abuse it!

Once you get the Wriggle's Lantern you can start being very agressive, pushing up your lane as fast as possible and start taking the enemy jungler. Always be careful and try and keep track of the enemy jungler. If you're top and the enemy jungler is bot, you're safe to go in the jungle and take their stuff.
Always try and keep track of buff timers as well. Try and make sure you always know where the enemy jungler is starting. Here's a list with some of the more popular junglers and their starting spots:

Most other junglers will almost always start at their wolves into blue buff. ALL of these champions will generally start killing their respective buffs at 1:56 and kill it by around 2:05-2:10, meaning they will spawn again 5 minutes later, around 7:10. Make sure you're ready for this and if possible, try and get your jungler to assist you as well.
Smaller camps respawn much quicker and are often up for grabs, it can be effective to clear all but one mob in those camps to slow the enemy jungler down. (make sure you always get the big one)

^ map showing when you should look out for the enemy buffs for each respective side.

  • If the enemy jungler did not start at the buff closest to top lane, assume they'll have killed it about a minute later (3:30-3:40 making it respawn at 8:30-8:40 for the avarage jungler).
  • When on the purple side (thus aiming for blue buff), know that the enemy jungler will likely be trying to give his blue buff to the enemy mid laner. Take caution when going agressive there.
  • Always make sure your lane is pushed before you head in the enemy jungle so that the enemy top laner will have his/her hands full.

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Gameplay - Teamfighting

Shyvana's role in a teamfight is generally to be disruptive and to try and get people to attack you and well... what better to draw peoples attention than to turn into a dragon, jumping into their faces and spraying fire everywhere? Exactly!
Shyvana has a lot of presence in teamfights and cannot be ignored. While she is usually built very tanky, she still deals a lot of damage so if you get into the enemies face, they will focus you.

Always make sure to position yourself so that your AoE abilities in dragon form hit multiple targets. Not only for the damage, but also for the armor shred on Flame Breath. Protecting your carries is not your job, due to your lack of CC and ways to get the tanky bruisers going for your carries to attack you, so always aim for the people standing in the back.

A good technique for doing this is standing behind a wall and using your Dragon's Descent to catch the enemy team off-guard.

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So what is the Teleport for?

I'm glad you asked! The Teleport allows you to help your team all over the map. Just having it gives you a global presence the enemy team should be aware of. Being Shyvana, she'll always be able to push her lane up to the enemy tower in just seconds, giving her plenty of free time to use Teleport to help out her team anywhere on the map. (provided there's a ward/tower/creep nearby)

Possible uses of Teleport:

  • Getting back in lane faster after an early buy to avoid losing too much gold/experience
  • Securing global objectives, such as Dragon/buffs closer to the bottom lane
  • Helping out your team when the enemy coordinates a gank on your bottom/mid lane.

Teleport Ganking

So since we have Teleport and we don't have to use it to get back into the lane quickly, why not use it for an unexpected gank?
A teleport gank is where you Teleport on top of a sight ward placed by your team (or a friendly creep) somewhere on the map to gank a lane or outnumber your opponents for a dragon or baron fight.

This is most efficiently used in case of a Dragon/Baron fight, where your team will engage Dragon/Baron while you're pushing a lane. When the enemy team sends a person to stop you, you teleport to the dragon/baron fight, effectively creating a 5v4 situation in your favor.

Another way to teleport gank is way earlier in the laning phase, where you gank bottom lane. This is done by asking your bottom lane to place a ward in any of the 2 brushes, depening on how far the lane is pushed up, after which you proceed to Teleport on top of that ward and pick up 2 free kills.
Note however when doing it in the laning phase to make sure your tower is safe and you're not about to miss out on a ton of experience/creep kills. It is best to coordinate it with your bottom lane right after you push your lane out to the enemy turret.

Red: Possible locations for Baron teleport gank wards
Blue: Possible locations for Dragon teleport gank wards
Black: Possible locations for bottom lane teleport gank wards

Now if your team is refusing to buy wards for some reason, it is possible to teleport to nearby friendly turrets or minions, while this works fine it is much less reliable and not recommended.

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Closing Comments

Well that about wraps it up for this Shyvana guide. I've said about all I wanted to say in this guide and hopefully educated some of you on how solo top Shyvana works.
Once you get used to her playstyle, she is extremely fun to play because she just does so much more than the avarage top laner.
Thanks for reading and enjoy tearing teams apart with Shyvana cos' she just does not give a single ****. If you have any feedback or concerns, don't hesitate to leave a comment. Don't forget to vote if you liked the guide!

As for screenshots, I don't really have any at the moment as I always forget to take 'em, but here's a video of me playing Shyvana from a spectator point of view. Not too much counter jungling going on here but it shows pretty nicely what a Shyvana can do to a team, even if hers is losing.

Lastly, as always, thanks to jhoijhoi for her guide to making a guide for all the templates used in this guide~