Shen Build Guide by Split King
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Threats & Synergies
Just farm early and make sure not to fight him if he uses ultimate. The armor penetration will end you. Once you have ninja tabi and sunfire you can start dominating lane.
You should treat tryndamere a bit like you treat yasuo. He is hard to deal with early, but if you make sure not to feed him any kills you will eventually become too tanky for him to handle.
Camille cannot do much to you. Make sure not to get hit by the outer cone. I do not think I have ever lost to a Camille 1v1
Darius is tough. His kit is made to kill anything that comes into melee range. Do not try to fight him unless you know you can outplay him. It is easy to stay alive and farm however. Use q to activate passive when he uses decimate. You will take no damage and he will push lane. Use your taunt to disengage when he uses apprehend on you. Focus on buying early health, His true damage and armor penetration greatly reduces the effectiveness of armor
Trundle is an anti tank. You cannot win 1v1, unless you wait for him to run out of mana. Just farm. He cannot kill you unless you decide to fight him
Farm and play defensively till around level 9, at this point you can start winning trades.
Your entire kit is perfect for turning kled inside out. Just make sure not to do the things I talk about in the Video guide.
There is no easy way to deal with Fiora. You cannot farm safely and you cannot fight her either. She should have been banned. If you are forced to fight her, try to control your vitals, if you get a vital facing her, back off so that a new vital will spawn instead.
Irelia is a tough matchup for many top lane champs. This is not the case with Shen. Just make sure that you are tanky enough to survive an all-in with her ult. Health is worth more than armor early on, as you cannot reduce her true damage. Try trading with her from time to time. If you lose trades then farm for a while and try again. You will become stronger than her eventually.
You should not start with q like usual. He will just dodge it and return all the damage to your face. Start e instead so that when he tries to stun you, you simply dash away.
Nasus will cry in the corner. Shen's kit just screams "Anti-Cane-Wielding-Dog"
Land a taunt on him when he is in mini form. You will outtrade him really badly. Back off when he gets big. Keep engaging till he dies. Gnar has somewhat short AA range so landing taunt on him should be manageable. However if you are not good at landing taunts yet then Gnar can actually be troublesome as he will be able to kite you and you no longer have taunt up for disengage.
There is not much counter play for Shen in this lane. Do not fight him unless he is really bad. Focus on farming and staying alive. Rush Spectre's Cowl and Merc treads.
This lane can go both ways. Shen can abuse Vladimirs shitty early game. But if Vladimir survives early and keeps up in farm Shen can no longer touch him. Try your luck and adapt accordingly
When I first started playing Shen I had a hard time against Riven. But now I kinda like laning against her. Do not engage on her with e if her ultimate is ready. Farm and wait for her to use her abilities to engage. You can then fight her and outtrade her, or dash away if it goes south.
Introduction and Video Guide
WHO is the Split King?
Watch my Channel Teaser to get the idea.
But more importantly, here is the Video Guide:
Resolve should be Shens main rune tree at all times
Grasp of the Undying
This is the keystone I pick on top lane most of the time. It is like it was in season 7 but now it also gives you permanent health that can scale indefinitely, sweet. Against standard melee top laners that aren't too hard to deal with Grasp of the undying is ideal. When deciding if you should take Grasp of the Undying, look at the laner you will be facing. If you think you can walk up to him and auto attack him from time to time without too much of a risk involved Grasp of the Undying is your rune!
Aftershock is great man! Unlike the old Courage of the Colossus this rune actually works wonders even in 1v1. The only question is, When is Aftershock better than Grasp of the Undying? In tough matchups or matchups where your opponent is ranged and good at staying away from you, you should pick Aftershock. Aftershock is more defensive than Grasp of the Undying and it is also more burst oriented. Grasp excels in long fights where Aftershock excels in short engagements.
This is easy. Are you support? if No, don't take Guardian, if Yes, take Guardian. Boom you are welcome. Guardian has INSANE synergy with Shen's ultimate. This rune might actually make Shen viable as a support. More so than usual anyway.
90% of the time Demolish is the best rune you can take in this tier. It seems like it was made for Shen. Shen is a tanky Split pusher with NO way of dealing extra damage to turrets. Demolish scales off health and helps Shen be devastating even for turrets ;-)
Only take Font of Life if you are support, and only take Bone Plating against laners that are hard to survive against (such as Darius) But even in those cases, Demolish is still a solid pick.
I take this vs laners that don't pose a threat in the early game. This allows me to scale better which is needed for the late game split push. Only take Second Wind if your opponent is a blowgun wielding hamster (it is good against poke champions like Satan) Chrysalis is OK but I rarely use it. None of these 3 runes are bad picks, So it comes down to adapting to the enemy pick or simply going for either early or late game power
Revitalize is INSANE on Shen. It helps his passive greatly but more importantly, it boosts the effectiveness of his ultimate! Revitalize is strongest when people are below 40% health, Shens ultimate is also strongest on targets below 40% health. SYNERGY!
Never take Overgrowth (even in the super late game Revitalize is stronger)
Secondary Tree: Domination
Domination is a split push friendly tree and the Ultimate Hunter rune is very strong.
This rune provides a much safer split push. Vision is key here lads. This is especially true for Shen as he is less about taking people out 1v1 and more about joining his team in clutch moments. With this, you can be sure to not be ********ed by the enemy team.
Shen's ultimate has a very long and unforgiving cooldown. This rune helps greatly in that regard. It is also somewhat easy to stack as you often get kills/assists while using ultimate anyway.
After I mastered Shen I was able to jump several ranked divisions on all of my champions, despite the fact that I was quite highly ranked to begin with.
I have HOWEVER also tried to click on a low health ally to press R, despite not even playing Shen. It becomes a habit. If you play Shen a lot it is ideal to play Soraka while support, as their ultimates works in similar ways. It is the same kind of awareness they need to be successful. I would do the same if it was not for the fact that I have 80% win rate on my Janna.:-)
The Riven example:
Riven has a dps of 100.
My passive can shield 100 every 2 seconds.
This means that riven deals 50 dmg to my actualy health per second.
If I then backed and got twice the effective health either through armor or simply buying health, my passive would also gain double effectiveness. (Passive only scales from bonus health so it actually gains more than twice the effectiveness in most cases, but let us keep it simple)
When I return to lane Riven will no longer be able to deal damage to me because my shield takes all the damage. SO having double the effective health does not mean that I can take twice the damage, but that I can take infinite damage, because Riven will never deal more damage than my shield can take.
A tiny CS lead or kill lead compared to your opponent means A LOT in terms of punishment you are able to take. In other words, if you make sure not to die once to Riven, and still keep up in farm, it won't take long till the Riven will become obsolete against you.
My scaling runes help me get ahead even if I don't get kills or more CS than my enemy.
If you have any questions about the math or anything else for that matter feel free to drop a comment on this site or on my youtube channel.
Make a plan, AND STICK TO IT.
You need to know your matchup and play accordingly. You will either be the aggressor and use your taunt to engage in order to zone your opponent or get kills.
OR you will be on the defense and simply farm as much as you can. In this case, you will save your taunt for disengage. You need to know when to switch between being offensive and defensive.
Vs a Vladimir you will be offensive from the start to try and take him out, but if you do not succeed you will have to switch to defensive later on as Vladimir will heal more than you deal damage.
Vs a Renekton you will be defensive from the start. Then as the game goes on you will try to trade from time to time to test your strength compared to his. When the time is right you go on the offense to turn this crocodile into a fancy handbag.
Some matchups like Darius are simple because you will always use the defensive strategy unless he makes a mistake at some point.
Your Mid Game starts once you get ultimate. It is playmaking time!. Look for opportunities to turn the tide around the map. But be careful as Shen's ultimate has a very long cooldown.
When your ultimate is on cooldown, you should either farm your own lane and try to take the tower, or stay near your own team to take objectives together.
Do not rely heavily on Split push if your ultimate and teleport are on cooldown. It is better to stick to your team and wait for your cooldowns to be back up.
Split Push for days.
Zz'Roth and Trinity Force are your turret destroyers. Sunfire or Titanic Hydra are your wave clear. If you are so behind that you don't have the items necessary to split push successfully, then you are better off sticking to your team.
If the enemy team sends someone to stop you, you should keep an eye on the minimap to be able to join your team so you can 5v4 the enemy team. BUT in most cases, I am ignored. No one ever comes to stop me. Instead, they go 5v4 on my team. In this case, I use attack move (bound to the A key by default) to push the lane I am in, and then I keep my screen on my team so I can be their guardian Ninja.
I often have 40% cooldown reduction and rank 3 ultimate at this point. So my ultimate will be up all the time.
Shen is essentially a very tanky split pushing support. But a support nevertheless. Supports are rarely good for climbing the ladder. Shen's ultimate is FAR better if you throw it on someone with good knowledge of the game.
Honestly It seems like my winrate on Shen only gets better the higher rank I am in.
I recommend using Tryndamere in low elo to climb the ladder. I will make a guide about that in the near future
You can now pick Shield Bash over Demolish if you want to be more agressive in lane. I am not yet sure if I prefer Shield Bash over Demolish. More testing is needed.