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Shyvana Build Guide by Veralion

Middle Thanos Shyvana Mid: Perfectly Balanced

Middle Thanos Shyvana Mid: Perfectly Balanced

Updated on May 17, 2024
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League of Legends Build Guide Author Veralion Build Guide By Veralion 308 38 1,135,545 Views 32 Comments
308 38 1,135,545 Views 32 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author Veralion Shyvana Build Guide By Veralion Updated on May 17, 2024
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Veralion's Featured Video
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Runes: Standard

Precision
Conqueror
Triumph
Legend: Haste
Last Stand

Resolve
Second Wind
Overgrowth
Bonus:

+8 Ability Haste
+10-180 Bonus Health
+10-180 Bonus Health

Spells:

Mandatory
LoL Summoner Spell: Flash

Flash

LoL Summoner Spell: Ghost

Ghost

Threats & Synergies

Threats Synergies
Extreme Major Even Minor Tiny
Show All
None Low Ok Strong Ideal
Extreme Threats
Ideal Synergies
Synergies
Ideal Strong Ok Low None

Champion Build Guide

Thanos Shyvana Mid: Perfectly Balanced

By Veralion
Overview

Drem Yol Lok. Greetings.


I go by Veralion and I’ve played Shyvana obsessively since she was released back in Season 2. I’ve played many thousands of games on her over the years and currently have over 6 million mastery points on her between my two accounts (Veralion and RAWRARAWRAWRRAWR). I pioneered Shyvana mid using Runic Echoes and Smite back in seasons 9 and 10, eventually peaking in Diamond 1, ladder rank ~4000. Not bad for a bit of off-meta homebrew. It worked, and it worked well, and so I first wrote this guide to spread the word.

Since then, it's been through quite a few renovations. After funnel nerfs killed Smite mid, I was forced to jungle until the AP ratio buffs in Season 12 put mid back on the menu with First Strike and Night Harvester. Things remained mostly stable throughout Season 13, and I reached Master in both seasons, but now I'm forced to shake things up... a lot.

Full AP crutched super hard on Night Harvester. With Mythics gone and the spooky axe sent to join DFG and Gunblade, AP Shyvana lost its primary source of proc damage and abliity haste. Now, she has to choose between either power or frequency, and both options feel pretty bad by themselves. In my opinion, full AP is COMPLETELY DEAD.

But in its place, we have something better. Enter Sundered Sky, one of the most broken items ever created. I cooked up this build, dubbed Thanos Shyvana, to abuse it while keeping a perfectly balanced mix of early and lategame, burst and sustain, short and longrange, damage and durability. It's an extremely versatile, flexible, and all-around powerful setup that feels like cheating once it really gets going. I've only been playing it for a single split and have scored 11 pentakills, more than the last few years combined.

The video guide linked above is still a nice watch, but I've since realized exactly how broken Spear of Shojin really is and that there is no point in trying to be tanky in a game with this much damage. It's 2024, and this is League of Oneshots. Thanos 2.0 as described in this guide is MUCH more effective. I'll update it soon, right after I assess the new Atma's Impaler being added in 14.10. It probably won't beat out Sterak's Gage, but I should test it first!

I've also made my own Shyvana focused Discord server! The existing one, uhh, ain't great, to say the least, so fine, I'll do it myself. I'm gonna reach out to high rated players in every role and make the best resource for climbing on our half-dragon, you mark my words. If you're the kind of person that would make the place better and not worse, we'd love to have you!

So click the vid, fellow dragon, and learn how to turn half a life bar to dust with a snap of your talons!

Strengths
+ Can stat check several melee midlaners starting at level 3
+ Manaless, can stay on the map indefinitely
+ High base health regen, can simply outlast several early mana pools
+ Early skirmish strength is well above the average midlaner
+ Great objective control, can shove mid and solo grubs/dragon very fast
+ Very strong roams, converts winning lanes into kills risk-free
+ Spikes nice and early, has insane synergy with Spear of Shojin
+ 3 item powerspike is capable of INSTANTLY deleting carries
+ Extremely threatening on full build, pentakills are relatively common
+ Snowballs LUDICROUSLY hard and is downright unfair if significantly ahead
+ Dark horse effect (Particularly regarding roams)
+ Is a kickass sexy dragon
Weaknesses
- Pathetic levels 1-2, easily abused and zoned, cannot gap close until level 6
- Will not have early priority, farming under tower is a fact of life
- Lack of CC makes it very difficult to solo bolo and create her own advantages
- JG gap is VITAL for the above reason
- VERY reliant on Dragon's Descent availability to contribute to fights
- Almost useless if behind, feast or famine, ZERO utility
- Expensive build, every item is 3100-3300G
- Cannot initiate a teamfight alone, will get exploded, needs a dive buddy
- Off-meta pick gives psychotic teammates an easy scapegoat and excuse to give up
When to pick Shyvana Mid
Unless you are as obsessed with dragons as I am, you're probably not going to want to pull out the Shyvana mid in every single game. You're looking for 5 main things in the draft to set you up to burn villages and kidnap princes. If you check 3 or more of these boxes, I'd say you've got the green light.


1. Your composition: strong front line, reliable initiation, AoE CC, reset mechanics


Since your cleaves would knock out the Incredible Hulk, you really love anything on your team that can reliably initiate and lockdown priority targets to give you a strong setup. Stuff like Malphite, Sion, Amumu, Rakan, that sort of thing. The holy grail is a suction ultimate from Rell, Diana, or Nilah; Twin Bite will reset and instantly delete stacked targets. Later on, you'll be doing so much damage to so many enemies at once that you can set up a teammate with a reset like Tristana, Kha'Zix, Pyke, and Darius to go to town and clean house before they know what hit them.

2. Enemy composition: Squishy, low CC, low mobility


Though this build sustains just fine through beefier targets, it would much rather just delete squishies. Meatballs typically have a lot of CC and peel, which is the real concern here. Thanos overbuilds health and doesn't pick up any resistances, and with no real defensive steroid on her kit Shyvana will get exploded if locked down for any length of time.

If you see Jinx, Kog'Maw, Aphelios, Jhin, or similar immobile carries, it's go time. You'll easily catch them and cut them in half with a single sweep of your talons. Avoid Nilah, who can simply become immune to Twin Bite for several seconds.

3. A good lane matchup


For mid, your matchup is even more important than team comp. Burst mages are exceptionally good matchups. These champions were dumpstered on by the durability patch and you will have little difficulty outlasting their mana pools. Veigar, LeBlanc, and Syndra are free lanes. All-in opportunities are plentiful.

Certain control mages that have spells jukeable with Burnout are also good. Lux, Anivia, and especially Malzahar are examples of these. They will also be easy to roast up.

Many popular fighters and assassins can be farmed into, but are too dangerous to challenge without help. They'll need to play badly to give you an opening. Yasuo, Yone, Akali, and Zed come to mind. You may consider these neutral matchups. Look to shove and roam, or ult in place and poke to keep them too low to risk a fight.

Don’t pick her into famously abusive champions. The very worst lanes include Ziggs, Neeko, Rumble, Fizz, and Ahri. These champions cannot easily be caught, do a stupid amount of harass, and will deny you more than you can afford to lose. Some of them are so obnoxious that the only winning move is not to play. Remember that dodging is an extremely powerful tool in your kit. Thankfully, many of these are not common.

I've got pages and pages of notes on how to handle every common matchup under the threats section above!

4. An aggressive, unfair jungler


You also really want a strong early-game ganker in the jungle. I’d advise duoing with one if possible. The more aggressive and unfair, the better. Stealth champions as well as those who move too fast to react to are great, like Nunu & Willump, Evelynn, Shaco, and Rammus. Many opponents will be baited deep trying to poke you down, leaving them wide open. Even if you can’t get a Flash or kill, just being able to coordinate a strong presence mid and strike paranoia into the heart of your lane opponent will force respect your way and give you some much needed breathing room to scale up.

Alternatively, powerful early game bruisers like Xin Zhao and Udyr, who can fend for themselves while you're weak will allow your team to hit the midgame on even footing, where you can start pulling your weight and deleting people.

Post 6, your gank assist with Dragon's Descent + Flame Breath is EXTREMELY powerful, and being able to set up ganks on demand with CC to guarantee your full combo will net you some free gold.

You do NOT want a powerfarmer like Karthus or Master Yi. A single invade while you're weak will ruin them and they'll blame you. They'll probably Smite your cannons over it. Kayn is also not great since he's not a champion until he transforms. Red ends up being great to play with, if he can get there, but they're all going blue again and inting nowadays.

5. A strong, winning bottom lane


Lastly, you want a winning bot lane to enable roam opportunities. High pressure poke lanes like Caitlyn Lux and Ashe Zyra that keep enemies perma-stuck at 200 hp under their own turret are ideal, as are early bullies such as Draven. Empowered Flame Breath will one hit a low health target stuck farming under their turret from well outside of its range. Carries and supports like to huddle together even more than usual while on low health, so there is a very real chance of killing them both with one shot if you arrive at the right moment. A well-timed bot roam converts into multiple turret plates and the drake for good measure. This is the absolute fastest and most efficient way to take over the whole game.

Roaming engage supports like Alistar and Blitzcrank are fantastic since they'll return the favor and scratch your back in the mid lane when they get the chance. You'll find no shortage of setup in teamfights later on, especially with Rell. Rell is the queen. Don't forget it.

Scaling ADC/enchanter pairings make these opportunities few and far between. Vayne or Zeri aren't going to be doing much of anything for a while.


Again, you only need 3 of the above in order to make the build work. If you've got all 5, Shyvana mid basically becomes Exodia.

You'll bait their weak, immobile mid too deep while trying to deny you, get fed and farmed by spam ganking them repeatedly, get all 5 plates in 2 pushes, roam down to slaughter their crippled bot lane under their own turret with no possible escape, and turn all of that gold into pressing Twin Bite and killing 3 or 4 squishy enemies instantaneously after your front line locks them down and sets them up.

Off-meta, indeed.
Abilities

Passive: Dragonborn


Terrible passive in all honesty. While it does make solo drake from the midlane possible if you have bot push and there's a party in top lane, her Flame Breath proc is the majority of her damage and is hard capped to 150 per hit anyway. 5 Armor and MR per drake is nice, but negligible. If you have a bunch of drakes, chances are you're far enough ahead that you don't really need it. Silly win-more nonsense. I seriously wish Riot would make her passive double while in dragon form like it used to; then I might actually care about stacking it. That being said, it's your only source of resists aside from levels until last item, so it's better than nothing.


Q: Twin Bite


Auto reset which hits twice and synergizes with the on-hit damage from her Flame Breath mark and Burnout. Every attack reduces it's cooldown by 0.5 seconds, including itself. Recently, it's been modernized to give a substantial amount of attack speed for two hits, unshackling Shyvana from being forced to build squishy AS items and greatly increasing her viability.

While in dragon form it cleaves every target in a full semicircle in front of you and generates fury for each target hit, which can add up to quite a bit. Proper positioning to cleave groups of creeps (and especially Raptor camps) extends dragon form far beyond its base duration. Note that the cleave works on towers and reaches further than her max auto range; if your target is just out of range but there's something between you, hit it instead.

The cleave will also reset on each and every hit. Fighting someone inside a creep wave will let you spam Q and turn into a weedwhacker, delivering an enormous amount of damage. Shyvana makes champions like Yorick and Naafiri very sad. This is also how you take void grubs faster than every other champion.

Twin Bite is the centerpiece of this build. Sundered Sky treats Twin Bite as one attack, critting on BOTH HITS, practically one-shotting carries. That makes Shyvana the best Sundered Sky user in the game. More on exactly how the interaction works later!


W: Burnout


AoE damage and speed buff. Though nerfed to a shadow of its former self, early on it is indispensable for dodging skillshots and taking quick moments to dart forward, last hit a creep, and retreat. This is also how you prepare caster creeps to last hit under turret. Two ticks of the ability will do enough damage. Three or four ticks is risky. Five ticks is too much and will ruin the entire stack. Move in and out of range as necessary to get as much farm as possible. The first tick is also applied instantly, so this ability is your only option to kill 1 hp creeps before your minions finish them off.

Burnout has an extremely high AP ratio, but on its speed, not its damage. An extra 12% per 100 AP, in fact. You can leave it as a one point wonder and still have plenty of mobility with just a single AP item. If you ask me, every Shyvana build should have an AP item for this reason. She just isn't fast enough to catch anything in the modern game otherwise.

But it does literally nothing special in dragon form.

God forbid it do something useful and exciting like the rest of her kit, like grant slow immunity, or at the very least not decay over the duration.

I miss my fire trail. Give me back my fire trail at least, Rito.


E: Flame Breath


Basic medium speed skillshot which passes through creeps and stops on the first champion hit. Though initially on a long cooldown, it enables Shyvana to farm, poke, and scale up in the mid lane ecosystem. A substantial amount of her early power is tied to the mark it leaves behind; until you have items, NEVER fight if you miss E if you can help it.

Flame Breath while transformed with some AP behind it is one of the most reliable, safe, and lethal basic abilities in the entire game. Not only is it an AoE nuke (and believe me, that IS the right word for it) with an absurd 1.2 ratio and massive range, which is nuts enough, the fire patch it leaves behind is also extremely threatening.

Some key things to remember about dragon form Flame Breath. First, it’s very tricky to hit targets that are on top of you and inside your model (OwO). Since the ability has a short cast time and cannot be aimed directly below you, a moving target is very difficult to hit at point blank range. I say again: you cannot E directly below Shyvana. And since you must place Flame Breath below your snout, a quickly moving target can rotate around you and avoid the hit. Not only that, but if your mouse is too close to Shyvana, your Flame Breath will fire sideways or even backwards, missing even with its huge hitbox and completely screwing you.


Practically speaking, this spaghetti creates a small dead zone. Never try to hit a target that’s directly under you unless you are in a do-or-die moment. Remember this when you go to tackle someone with Dragon's Descent for your full burst combo. In nearly all cases, you should take half a step away from your target after you land to be sure you don't misfire. Patience is key; with the unfair range and area that Flame Breath covers, landing it is entirely in your hands.

Second, do NOT press E at all while you are flying in Dragon's Descent. The ability will buffer based on the first location you cast at and will automatically fire there upon landing no matter what. A lot can happen between when you press R, when you land, and when your Flame Breath cast finishes. Don't do it.


There's a bug that's been in the game since her release in 2011 which will reset the cooldown if you cast it at the very instant Dragon's Descent expires. It's not reliable or very reproducible, though; it used to be, but Riot "fixed" it a while back. They didn't do a very good job (imagine that) and just made it much harder. Details below.

Definitely don't intentionally go for it and risk not getting your empowered Flame Breath at all, but if you do incidentally cast it at the very last second, check the cooldown real quick. You might have gotten lucky.

How it works, apparently



R: Dragon's Descent


Objectively the coolest ult in the game. Unstoppable dash with a 1.3 ratio limited only by fury generation, having an extremely low effective cooldown. You are half a champion without it, so it's a damn good thing it's so accessible. Managing fury to make sure you always have it when you need it is crucial, as is properly extending it through frequent auto attacks and Twin Bite cleaves.

Never use Dragon's Descent if it's not necessary. If a simple human form combo is enough for the job, save the ult. Just because it has a very low "cooldown" doesn't mean you can't wind up needing it before then.

Though it hits like a truck, it is fairly slow and hard to land on someone with a working mouse. Get close before pressing R if you need a hit for lethal.

Dragon's Descent has a minimum range and cannot be cast in place. Take a moment to familiarize yourself with this distance in practice tool. If you are not cognizant of this fact, you can very easily go to land a Flame Breath on stack of targets only to put yourself in range of CC and die before you get the chance. You are much larger while transformed, and your hitbox reflects this, making you very tough to miss. Blitzcrank could hook into the next zip code and still hit you, so be careful. Remember, Flame Breath has a cast time and there is plenty of time for you to get nailed by a stun before getting it off.

DO NOT CAST Dragon's Descent ON A STACKED TEAM HEAD ON WITHOUT ANY SETUP. I don't care how fed you are. You will get KILLED INSTANTLY and contribute absolutely nothing. This champion has no defensive steroid and cannot survive getting 20 buttons pressed on her face.

If you want to dive facefirst into a teamfight, their team MUST be CCed and unable to retaliate, or you MUST ambush their backline from out of vision to kill them instantly before they can react. If these conditions aren't met, don't even think about it. Instead, look to poke with Flame Breath and adopt a crit-and-run playstyle until enough resources have been used and their carries are vulnerable.

After reverting to human form, gaining fury is your first, last, and only priority. If action is likely in the near future, go straight to the closest available minion wave or jungle camp and begin hitting it. Do not use Burnout or Flame Breath. Only auto attack and Twin Bite until that bar is full. If you will kill the camp before reaching 100 fury, reset it and keep hitting it for as long as you need to. Ping your team away from your fury batteries and ping them to not pick a fight while you're becoming relevant again. Your ult indicator is broken and is stuck on, since Dragon's Descent technically has no cooldown. People don't play Shyvana and don't know how she works. You can't even ping your R to show "not ready". The best you can do is spam ping your fury and hope people know that fury = ult.

The knockback effect behaves strangely; along most of its path it will knock targets back a short way as intended, but for whatever reason at the very end of her travel path it pulls back and clumps all enemies in front of her. It's basically a vortex effect like Moonfall tied to the end of her ult. This makes landing a multi target Flame Breath rather convenient. Aim to clip targets with your muzzle on ganks whenever possible. This is tough to take advantage of, so will take practice.

Summoners

Mobility is King


Ghost fixes this champion. Shyvana's biggest weakness is a lack of mobility and target access. Burnout is nowhere near enough on its own and has been nerfed to the point where maxing it first is a hard grief for every build. This is how we back up our jungler and dominate early skirmishes. You'll also need it to be able to juke abilities without a dash on your kit.

Flash is mandatory as the best-in-class offensive and defensive tool, and when you have a basic ability that can hit multiple targets for around a thousand damage, not running it is a hard grief.
Runes
Conqueror
I'm back to Conq. Again. The higher damage of Thanos 2.0 gets more value out of the 8% omnivamp on the rune, stacked on the 10% from Riftmaker, and it kind of trucks with Spear of Shojin rush. Press the Attack's recent buff does make it much more attractive, but the two runes give extremely similar damage in a level 3 all in. Conq just gives a little bit of extra healing on top. In teamfights, there's no comparison since you can only proc PtA every so often.

Flash proccing PtA does catch a lot of people off-guard and can solo bolo mages foolish enough to let their guard down. It also makes early dives much easier to pull off. But since the attack speed buffs to Twin Bite, Conqueror suits Shyvana more. She pretty much insta-stacks it.

Triumph
Standard. Triumph frequently makes all the difference in nail-biter skirmishes. 5% missing health on takedown with 5k HP is quite a lot and is too big to pass up. Pentakills, anyone?

Aside from the clutch factor, Triumph will give 300-500 gold in your typical solo queue clown fiesta. Don't ask me why it needs to do that.

Absorb Life gives too little sustain to make sacrificing Triumph worth it in my mind. Matchups that are tough enough to make it attractive will typically deny you tons of CS and thus, rune value.

Legend: haste
Goodbye Tenacity, but I won't miss you! I bet you anything Riot was scared of pairing this rune with Ultimate Hunter, so they made it basic abilities only, and gave it a whopping 15 haste to compensate. Of course, that suits us just fine! Pair this baby up with the stat shard and Spear of Shojin and we're basically playing URF on one item. This is Night Harvester levels of haste, and I'm very happy with it! This extra bump lets us unleash a terrifying Twin Bite - Titanic Hydra - auto - Twin Bite combo smooth as butter. Don't look at Legend: Alacrity twice!

Last Stand
More damage, more healing, harder to finish off. Once you ramp up you'll find yourself camping on full value of 11% for the entire rest of the fight. If the game goes late, Sterak's Gage will keep you safe at full value for a few seconds. I promise you, you won't need the extra damage from Coup de Grace to kill squishies.


Go-to: Second wind/Overgrowth
Second Wind is what truly enables Shyvana mid. 4% of your missing health back per poke combined with Doran's Shield doing something similar combined with her naturally high hp/5 turns you into an immovable object for most popular midlaners. They will quite literally run out of mana before you run out of life. This doesn't mean you can play recklessly and eat auto attacks all day long, but it does let you shrug off spells and maintain farm parity until level 6 against almost everyone.

Take Bone Plating instead for level 3 all-in lanes. Every other early-aggression champ takes it, so you can't not. It's the strongest minor rune in the game in such early exchanges.

Overgrowth with a health stacking build is good value and will feed into Riftmaker and Titanic Hydra a little bit. It's about a free Giant's Belt with a full build, a 900G value. Not bad!


For stat shards, take haste. 8 haste is nearly a second off of your Flame Breath cooldown early on, a big help with safe farming. You can't all in without your E mark either, so it will let you fish for kills more often.

I'm currently back to taking double scaling health in most games. A force shard is very helpful for last hitting, and tenacity is a defensible choice VS heavy CC. Just don't take MS. Diminishing returns on movespeed will ruin its value for you.

Taking double Force and flat health with a Doran's Blade start just about oneshots anyone you can actually hit. If you mess up a trade, things get dire quick though. More risk, more reward. Try it into Diana, Sylas, Yasuo, etc. once you're comfortable.
The Infinity Gems
Every dragon needs their stash of fancy, powerful artifacts. These items will be the wind beneath your wings, carrying you to greatness so that you may carry your team to victory.

Core Build


Start: Doran's Shield + pot
Health regeneration go brr. You're going to be trading health for gold in most matchups, so you're gonna need a lot of it. Doran's Shield gives more regen the lower you are, capping at 25%, so don't use your potions until you cross that threshold. Use them a bit earlier if they've got Ignite.

Doran's Blade and two force runes gives enough power to instantly win many melee lanes at level 3. Nobody knows Shyvana's power curve with an aggressive setup, so they'll always try to fight you and you'll get first blood more often than not. Just make damn sure you dont miss your Flame Breath.

Haste Gem: Shojin
This item was quite literally made for Shyvana. It even says Dragonforce on it. I underestimated exactly how broken this item is on her for entirely too long. It's a whopping 35 haste behind her basic abilities, which is where the entire power budget of her kit is at, far more than any other item. She stacks it pretty much instantly on anything she can hit, including creeps and monsters, so it basically buffs her damage by 12% at all times. Disgusting item. Rush it as fast as possible, pausing only for Boots and Refillable Potion if you need it. Once completed, you'll oneshot just about anyone from very early in the game.

Tenacity Gem: Mercs Lamont
With Legend: Tenacity gone, Mercs is the only way to gain any appreciable amount of early CC reduction. They're almost required, and highly preferred since we're delaying Sterak's Gage until the end of the build. Rush them into abusive lanes Brand, Hwei) and especially if it's double AP mid/JG.

Plated Steelcaps rush is necessary into especially annoying AD lanes like Yone and Tristana, and you still probably want them into full AD.

Ionian Boots of Lucidity is really, really tempting with the Ghost nerf, but are only an option if your lane is easy, their damage comp isn't slanted one way or the other, and they've got low CC. Pretty unlikely.

Dark Seal
Dark Seal is still busted. In a good game, it's basically a Needlessly Large Rod for the price of an Amplifying Tome. That's called value city, my friends. Every Shyvana build, including full AD, should buy one after their first item. Her ratios are just too insane to not do so.

Try to stack in every game, even when things already look bad. Why not? Games can flip on a dime and it's a small investment for a potentially huge payoff. Stacks only go up. Diamond hands, my friends.

AD Gem: Titanic Hydra
Titanic is still busted. Considering Twin Bite procs it twice and also hits behind your primary target, clumped targets get absolutely obliterated. Retreating carries will frequently get finished off by Titanic waves which were sent from your Q's maximum range. It basically turns Shyvana into a ranged champion.

At full build, the on-hit approaches 70 damage, with the wave doing even more. You can think of this item as being 120 AD with 550 health. Pretty nutty. You can pair the active with your Q for a gigachunk, but unlike Sundered Sky, you don't get twice the benefit. It's best used as an auto reset. When hitting tanks, hit hydra after your 2 follow-up hits from Q for maximum value.

A quick Tiamat drastically increases your pushing speed too, letting you threaten those side turrets that much faster. It also makes taking away jungle camps feasible without the jungle pet. You'd lose too much health and tempo without it.

Crit Gem: Sundered Sky
This item is completely absurd. I have no idea what they were thinking. The crit is good enough, the heal is good enough, but BOTH on a single item is NOT OKAY.

Shyvana abuses it CRAZY hard. Twin Bite crits twice. Twice. Both hits. And in dragon form, the cleave will crit EVERYTHING in range. This includes other champions. But, it won't proc on them. This means if Rell ults 4 or 5 people together, you can crit the stack, reset Q, pick someone else, and crit the entire stack AGAIN. With this item, Q can instantly demolish an entire team.

Phreak has said, however, that he wants to remove bonus damage from the crit, like they just did to Volibear. I swear, every time that man opens his mouth, I like him a little bit less. Abuse this build while you can and pray he forgets about Shyvana like usual!

AP Gem: Riftmaker
As I'm sure you've noticed by now, Riftmaker is now a very serious item. It's no longer bad! In Season 14, omnivamp is no longer nerfed on AoE. Since Shyvana's entire kit in dragon form is AoE, this is a MASSIVE buff for her. 10% extra damage is insane for a champion with high base damages and ratios too. Plus, the statline is absolutely perfect for her. Full build will net you about 50 AP from the health bonus, letting you run very fast and become extremely dangerous at longrange as well.

For Inflection Points


Maximum power: Blue Elixir
If the game hasn't ended already, chances are that it's about to. Elixirs should now be purchased before Baron/Soul/Elder/Nexus fights. This build can use all 3, and you can make an argument for each, but I'm buying blue at the moment. 50 AP adds a lot of value across your entire kit, and it adds 25 true damage on a small per-target cooldown.

Defensive Options


Shield Gem: Sterak's
The best defense is a good offense. Dead carries can't kill you. You see, there's just too much damage in the game to tank it for long no matter what you build. So, we're not going to try. Steraks gives another 59 AD at level 18 behind your Twin Bite, which will now atomize carries. The shield will proc right when you get full Last Stand value, and we've scaled it up to be comparable in durability to a real tank item. Not only that, it gives the actual best tank stat in the game, 20% tenacity.

MR Gem: Kaenic Rookern
Another 200 year special coming straight from Riot Games. At this point in your build, the shield is at about 850 points. And it refreshes itself every 15 seconds. Like, call me crazy, but it should probably have 40 MR, not freaking EIGHTY. There's almost no reason to ever consider any other MR item. It's just too good. Buy it.

This item makes Karthus very sad. Same with artillery mages.

Anti-Crit
The classic F-you to Yasuo and Yone. If one of them's doing well and they've got a fed crit ADC, snap this item up. It will negate over a third of their damage. The active slow is SUBSTANTIAL now, a nice little bonus.

Don't talk to me about Iceborn Gauntlet. This item slows too, and isn't trash. Nobody should build Iceborn that doesn't need it to hit confirm their full combo. Build this instead.

Healcut
Ideally, you shouldn't have to build this. It's substantially less tanky than our preferred options, and it relies on the enemy applying it to themselves, so it's completely useless against Swain or a Singed with Soraka behind him. Someone else (looking at you, toxic greedy flaming ADC player) really should buy Mortal Reminder or Oblivion Orb. If they refuse and you've got no choice, or you're stuck matching Aatrox, you'll just have to bite the bullet. Every other healcut option is too squishy to get away with.

For Egirls
Sometimes you get a pair of sexy Egirls in your botlane. Any combination of Sona, Soraka, Seraphine, Taric. If they have hands and don't int, this item will make you actually immortal in a teamfight. If you only have one such champion down there, however, Kaenic Rookern is probably still better. That item is just that busted.


With this, the Infinity Gauntlet is complete. Not even the Avengers can stop you now. Lady Death smiles upon you. Go make her proud.

At this point in time I am unsure if boots should be sold for a 6th item. Movespeed is essential in AD carry go zoom meta. It's tempting to pick up Overlord's Bloodmail, but you need a ton of unavoidable lockdown to not just get kited out.
Gameplan

Level 1 fiestas


Invades happen more often than not in solo queue, and they happen because they frequently work. Hook and snare champions in particular love to invade. If you have one, go fishing. If they have one, ping to 5 man stack in a bush and wait.

Shyvana has an incredibly weak level 1, however. Your team may not know this. If you compare comps and don't think you can win the fiesta, say so. If one breaks out, stand in front, hit the focus target as many times as you can, then Flash away before dying. The best contribution you can make to a fiesta is to soak damage for your more useful teammates.

Wait to skill your first ability. You really want Flame Breath for lane, but sometimes you need the MS from Burnout to chase down a kill or get out of a sticky situation. Never pick Twin Bite.

If neither team has a particularly strong invade, keep watch of a jungle entrance that your team doesn't have covered and provide vision until at least 1:10. It seriously triggers me to watch people just AFK at their turret being useless while creeps run to lane. Don't be one of those idiots.

Try to ward the enemy chicken bush at 1:30. Throw Flame Breath into that one bush on the way to make sure you don't get punished for it. This will let your team know which side is their strong side and let you hug the correct half of the lane to be as safe as possible.


Level 1-2: be patient and defensive


Your goal for the first few waves is just to farm up and soak experience. The biggest thing about early laning is learning what farm you can get away with walking up for and when you should concede CS to preserve health. This varies greatly depending on matchup. Here's a good rule of thumb: if you will take more than 100 damage to get that creep, concede it. Your real mission is to hit 6 smoothly, not necessarily to get there with a full purse. Don’t be afraid to go 10, 20, even 30 CS behind if it means you can safely stay in lane. You can always make up a CSD later on in the game once you're more powerful and start scaling into a true dragoness, but if you get chunked for no reason, are forced to back, and miss a big wave, that experience is gone forever and you are now unavoidably behind the curve of the game.

Always prioritize farming with Flame Breath over trying to hit your lane opponent. Its cooldown is simply too long to apply meaningful pressure at this point, so don't even try. Ideally you want to line up high value shots which kill a few creeps and also hit your enemy, but this is not always possible.

Use potions once your health drops under 25% in order to get maximum value from Doran's Shield or in preparation for a gank or skirmish. If the enemy has Ignite, this is risky, so use it earlier. Don't leave any opportunity to die to an all in or mistake.

Skilled players may play extremely aggressively, freezing the wave and moving between you and the wave to hard deny you. If this happens, land Flame Breath, pop Ghost, and do enough damage to force them to back off. You can't allow this to happen and it's worth the cooldown.

In level 3 all in lanes, TAKE ZERO DAMAGE UNTIL LEVEL 3. Without Second Wind and Doran's Shield, any damage you take will stick, and if you're down even 100 life, you'll lose the fight.

Wave management and last hitting


Ideally, you want the wave to push into you just past the river and freeze it there with precise last hitting. Don’t shove at all in the early game and be very careful how you Flame Breath waves. Even if Flame Breath kills 2-3 creeps and smacks Zed for 130, that is NOT worth it if you had to hit the entire wave to do it and everything pushes forward into the danger zone. Alternatively, a misplaced Flame Breath can seriously mess up your last hitting under tower if you're being shoved in. Be precise with Flame Breath and only hit what you need to.

Your opponent will not like being stuck this far forward, however, and will likely shove you in. You're too weak to do anything about it early, so you'll need to get very proficient at last hitting under tower. To last hit full health melee creeps, hit them after 2 tower shots. Caster creeps die in 2 shots, so you’ll need to tickle them a little bit before they get hit. 2 ticks of Burnout will do it. Move Burnout in and out accordingly so as to not over-damage the casters and ruin your farm.

Your tower's damage will naturally make your wave push back into the enemy. This is the most dangerous time of lane phase. You need to get that wave all the way into the enemy tower to ping-pong it back if at all possible. A frozen wave out in Narnia is how you get perma-ganked and die. Ward up and prioritize shoving over CS whenever it's safe, then keep the bouncing wave trimmed so that it settles in the ideal freeze position.

Wave control is an ESSENTIAL skill. People don't start to understand this until Master tier, and I get triggered all the time by supposedly skilled opponents ruining their wave positioning for no reason whatsoever. I promise you that good creep management is the number one thing holding you back as a player. Learn it, love it, live it.

The tower will always target cannons first, then melees, then casters, and go from closest to furthest away. You've got the tools to get nearly everything, so make the effort. Missing a few is unavoidable, especially if you're also taking harass while doing so. Make sure to always last hit cannons with Flame Breath or a follow up Twin Bite to give yourself the best chance of getting them. If feasible, tank the incoming wave for a few seconds in front of your turret while your next wave arrives. This will freeze it in the ideal position and stop the turret from gobbling up your farm, well worth a little bit of life.


Levels 3-5: Stat checking


Shyvana’s abilities strongly synergize together, so until you have access to all of them you're not a champion. Once you do though, you're surprisingly dangerous. Since this is an uncommon setup, everyone will underestimate you.

Common champions that you should look to stat check at level 3 are Diana, Sylas, Irelia, and Katarina. You will easily win, even through Ignite. Akali, Yone, Yasuo, and Zed will require a mistake to become viable all-ins. Mages will typically keep their distance, but be ready to blow summs and all-in after a few successful pokes the next time they waste their CC on the wave. Trading Flashes is extremely beneficial in melee VS ranged matchups, since the lack of an escape will make your opponent play cautiously and allow you to farm.

Some champions with low range might take turret shots while trying to harass you. Twisted Fate is the prime example. Stay aware and be ready to kill him if he takes one too many.

Similarly, champions with dashes will end up behind you. Placing yourself at the edge of your turret's range can sometime bait them into taking a shot. Flame Breath is very slow, so always wait for the dash before pressing it. You can't afford to miss.

When your opponent goes for a back, stay and shove the wave in while they’re not there; you do so pretty quickly. You don't need to match their recall right away with how quickly you shove in and how fast you run back to mid lane with Burnout (if they brought Teleport, however, you must reset with them). The goal is to never miss a creep if you can help it.

Sometimes, using Ghost to get back to lane isn't troll. Faker does it sometimes, as a matter of fact. If there's a stacked wave coming in and it'll get you an extra couple of creeps, especially a cannon, consider it. Getting to level 6 before or with your opponent is just that important to maintain tempo.

Ideally, you want to take your first back at level 5.5 with at least 1200G. If you've had an easy time of it and have been Chovying, grab a Dark Seal too.


Ult Priority


Since you're half a champion without it, frequent and effective usages of your ult are vital. Here's a general priority list to help you quickly identify where to take it:

Pressure/kill lane opponent > Roam bot > Shove and Grubs > Roam Top > Shove and Drake > Cheater Recall

The second you hit 6, look to dive onto your lane opponent and vore them. You should only need to land one or two pokes against most champions to have serious all in potential. Put your wards down and once you have proof that their jungler isn’t waiting around the corner, wait for them to cast on the creep wave and GO RAWR.

If they escape and back off, cleave the wave with your empowered Twin Bite to shove in and extend dragon form. Once pushed in, you can zone them out of experience range under their own turret for as long as Dragon's Descent lasts. If you know that their jungler is not in a position to assist, you force that midlaner back as far as you can.

Don't forget to put all of your wards down first. There’s nothing more tilting than seeing an opportunity only to int because their jungler just happened to be right there and you didn’t check first. If your opponent has been playing passive then suddenly starts to toe into range, you should think to yourself that it's too good to be true. Watch for sudden changes in playstyle; bad players frequently telegraph their jungler's proximity. Don't get baited into a 1v2 situation that you cannot win.

If your jungler is nearby and coming in to gank, wait and go in together. A stunned champ that has to eat a Shyvana combo WILL die. If you went in alone and left them low, ping them to dive.

Once you climb high enough and start facing decent players, opportunities for solo kills become rare. Being a mechanically simple champion, it's very hard for Shyvana to generate her own advantages if her opponent plays properly and respects her damage potential. You may have to get creative to finish kills. A classic trick is to dip back into fog of war after chunking your lane opponent down to near death and shoving in. Thinking you've recalled, they'll walk back up to eat the wave while you're still transformed. From there, it's an easy Flash for the kill. Here's a good example.


Skilled players won't let themselves fall into all-in range and some champions are just a very bad idea to ult into out of the blue (Azir, Zed, etc.). So look at bot lane instead. If you see a pair of 300 life champions stuck farming under turret, hard shove your wave and Ghost over. Drop a ward behind you to watch for their jungler and ult over the wall to cut off their escape. Then just spam Flame Breath and wait for the next crashed wave to dive. This is the fastest way to catapult yourself into an insurmountable lead. ADC in 2024, just play safe!

If that's not on the table, we're thinking about objectives. If grubs are still alive, Dragon's Descent, eat your wave, and go do them yourself. Land Flame Breath on all 3 and drag them out of the pit so that they group up and spawn mites outside of your fire patch so that you can cleave them. Twin Bite will reset like 3 times and you'll straight one shot the first one, with enough AoE to kill the other two shortly afterward. Done properly, murdering grubs only takes about 13 seconds and leaves no time to react. And, the spam cleaves will give you more than enough fury to walk back to mid, evaporate the next wave, and cheater recall. No other champion can do this; this is a unique strength of Shyvana mid.


Roaming top ins't nearly as a good of a use of time as bot. First, top champions take Teleport, so they may not miss much. Second, they usually have some form of shield or sustain to survive Flame Breath poke. Still, it's the most volatile lane by a mile, and putting your top laner ahead can snowball them out of control very easily. If nothing else is available and they're vulnerable, go for it.

Drake can be done in a similar manner thanks to your 20% damage amp, but this is almost never the right call. Supports typically have it warded, it will start a fight, and you run the risk of it being stolen. Only consider this if you have full bot priority, both junglers are confirmed occupied, and you aren't in a position to just run over and help them instead.

If you’re getting destroyed and slow pushed on in lane, don’t be afraid to expend Dragon's Descent to secure a stacked wave or break a freeze from a safe distance. It’s not ideal, but it’s better than getting starved out. In this way, there is only so much you can be denied after 6.

And if none of that looks good, just hold your ult, keep an eye on your jungler, and be ready to back him up. If no skirmish ends up happening, use it to insta-kill a wave and cheater recall when you need a back, can complete an item, or about 1:00 before the next big objective.

One random note that I don't know where else to put: dragons are natural predators of chickens, and the raptor camp will be your best friend for extending dragon form. Twin Bite the henhouse whenever you get the chance. It will instantly reset, so do it again. And again. This will literally cap your fury.


Punish roams


Sometimes, your opponent may leave lane to roam while your ult is down, or they're a particularly dangerous champion that can turn on and murder you if you follow them into fog. You may have thought that they went back, only to see them walk over a ward running to bot lane, making it too late to follow. Remember that you're useless without an ult, that a turret plate is worth half a kill, and that turrets HATE attack speed steroids like the one found on Twin Bite.

In this situation, spam DANGER ping on the targeted side lane (NOT enemy missing, DANGER is MUCH louder and harder to ignore) and take the chance to obliterate their turret. You can easily take 2 plates per crashed wave. Even if your counterpart got a kill, you'll make it an even trade. You seriously annihilate structures with a good chunk of AP behind Twin Bite; very few champions can kill them faster than you. Two good shoves, and that turret is dead and you've got yourself over a thousand gold for free.

You’ll probably regain Dragon's Descent while you’re hitting it, so just wail away until you pull their jungler mid. You’re pretty safe while you have that unstoppable dash. If they refuse to cover mid, there is a very real chance of you taking two turrets alone before the 15 minute mark.


Splitpushing


When bot resolves one way or the other, they'll go mid and you'll be on sidelane duty. Sidelaning is crucial to gain levels, and as a bruiser Shyvana gains a ton of value from them. Tier 2 turrets give an enormous amount of money and are your sworn enemy.

With room to run, a solo kill becomes more realistic. Shove up, create pressure, ward tribushes and deep jungle. Even though we don't have a jungle mod (WTF Riot), your kit is well-suited to poach away jungle while your wave is crashed. Try to fake a back and ult over a wall to fish for kills. A successful combo onto most midlaners will allow for an easy follow-up dive. Force 2 or more to respond and back off before the jaws snap shut. Wasting the enemy's time is an objective all on its own and will let your team find plays across the map.

Try to catch people facechecking. You're not quite Garen, but you're on the next level down. Sneaking into the side bush next to the tier 2 turret has a pretty high success rate. With the ability to use your ult to follow an escape instead of to initiate, they're probably doomed.

By this point Shyvana does enough turret damage to kill the thing from full in a single wave. Dying for it to accelerate your 3 item powerspike is a defensible choice if you don't have a shutdown and it won't concede an objective. 675=300. If the enemy ignores you and fights 4v5, you should have enough time to knock over an inhib. Ideally, you want to split until 3 items or until an inhib falls over.

Going forward, remember that if you don't have your ult, the best thing you can do for your team is to grab a side wave and shove it up. Do not even think about hovering around grouped teams with low fury. You'll be next to useless and will bait your team to die.


Teamfighting


The first rule of teamfighting is DO NOT JUMP IN ALONE. No matter what you build, this champion cannot survive 20 buttons getting pressed on her. She's got no defensive steroid and no CC. She is NOT a tank. She will die before your team can follow up. If you have to be the initiator in your composition, you shouldn't have picked her to begin with.

After many hundreds of games, I've concluded that the best playstyle is essentially crit-and-run. In a straight-up fight, your job is to first ult into range and poke backline with Flame Breath. In addition to sofening them up (it still hits quite hard with just a single AP item), it will start stacking Riftmaker from a safe distance.

Wait for enough cooldowns to be used (especially CC tools and escapes) and, when the moment is right, Ghost Flash into the backline and Twin Bite Titanic Hydra that carry. It will quite literally EXPLODE, likely dying from full health before it can react in any way. If you managed to cleave a clump, you'll win the fight single-handedly in one fell swoop.

As you might expect, fighting in jungle is terrific. Ulting over a wall or otherwise flanking the backline will let you use your summoners to chase instead of gap close, nearly guaranteeing multiple kills.

If the target survives and blows summoners to escape, you may not be able to follow. You're fast, but you won't catch a Ghosted Twitch who's being speed buffed by Lulu. You'll just die for nothing and throw the fight. Knowiing when to chase for the kill and when to disengage and return to killing frontline isn't easy and takes a lot of experience. I'm still getting the hang of it. It's really easy to feel yourself and overchase; by the time you realize you're actually in danger, it's usually too late. If you aren't sure, err on the side of caution and rejoin your team. Making carries too nervous to step forward and do damage is enough to secure objectives off of.

With good execution, this build farms pentakills like you would not believe. I'm not even that excited for them anymore. It's like I'm a real champion! Almost. Here's a compilation of those most successful moments that demonstrate the above strategy: poke, Flash, cleave.

Conclusion

And I think that about covers it!


I hope you enjoyed the read and learned a thing or two! This guide is my pride and joy and you can bet I'll be keeping it up to date and improving/reiterating upon it constantly. I want to add a lot more clips, teamfight examples, videos of entire lane phases for each common mid laner, all sorts of stuff. It's still a long way from perfect. I'm sure I'll be making improvements for quite a while. If ya liked what I've got so far, throw me a rating and gimme feedback in the comments. Ask questions, let me know what worked well for you vs x champion, point out typos and inconsistencies, critique wording or formatting, just meme, whatever. Pick those nits, man. I really appreciate it all and i'll be reading, promise. Or drop by my stream and do the same (https://www.twitch.tv/veralion/)! Keep checking back every so often; I promise this guide will look better and be more comprehensive every time!

May you be blessed!

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