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Shyvana Build Guide by fortheviolence

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League of Legends Build Guide Author fortheviolence

The Mixtape That Set Top Lane Ablaze (Top Smite Guide)

fortheviolence Last updated on July 11, 2015
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Jungle Role
Ranked #6 in
Jungle Role
Win 53%
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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

Legendary Guardian

Defense: 21


Utility: 0

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1. Challenging Smite down 4>6 seconds
2. Burnout Now grands Bonus damage for every auto attack equal to 25%

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This guide is not meant for people still learning how to play league of legends, This is an intermediate guide meant for people who have a decent understanding of the game. Crawl before you walk. You will get there eventually! Just grind the game out. Also many players in lower elo are generally ignorant, they will dodge and give you a hard time for going top smite sometimes.

Also Shout outs to DomCena for the guide name idea

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Introduction to Top Smite

In this current meta, Jungle tanks reign supreme and Cinderhulk holds sole responsibility. But what if I told you that some top laners can get away with running the item as well? In fact Top laners running Cinderhulk get tanky faster due to the steady and consistent gold and experience from lane minions. Not only that but your smite will always deal more damage than the jungler's, allowing you to contest neutral objectives with great potency and actually having a decent advantage in that regard. But Cinderhulk isn't the only thing that should seduce and convince you to live the top smite life. Skirmishers Sabre also gives you an advantage over jungle tanks, because they need Trail blazer to clear efficiently and survive the early game. 20% damage reduction for 4 seconds on whoever you smite? That's huge, and you just went from a big tank, to a HUGE tank.


Champions with great wave clear, strong scaling, and a reliable escape at least at level 6.

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Pros / Cons


+ One of the best duelist in game
+ Great Split Pusher
+ Strong Wave clear
+ Scales incredibly well
+ Decent laning phase
+ Illusive and hard to gank at level 6
+ Can zone and dive the back line
+ Mixed damage dealer
+ % Damage dealer
+ AOE damage
+ Top tier counter Jungling
+ Incredibly powerful when ahead


- Melee champion
- No escape pre level 6
- easily kited without items
- Has a really hard time when behind due to her dueling nature
- Enemies can see when your ultimate is up

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Dragon Born

Simply gives you bonus Armor and MR starting at 5 and increasing by 5 every 5 levels. That's a lot of 5s, I got 5 on it.... The current bonus is doubled when in Dragon form. Pretty easy to understand and makes Shyvana one of the best tanks in the game.

Twin Bite (Q)

is a great ability, it's an auto attack enhancer that register's two auto attacks when used, but at reduced damage 80% at level 1, which isn't a huge deal. The reason it's not a huge deal is because it procs on hit effects making items such as Blade of the Ruin King such a great item on her. In Dragon form it turns into an AOE cleave similar to Diana Passive or Tiamat . Auto attacking reduces it's cooldown, so attack speed synergies very well with her. Putting 1 point into it is enough to reap it's benefits. Max last.

Burn Out (W)

This is your bread and butter ability, it allows you to push waves, clear camps, escape collapses and ganks, and do a pretty surprising amount of AOE DPS during duels and fights. The fact that it does magic damage makes tanking and dueling Shyvana pretty difficult because she does mixed damage. This ability also synergizes very well with Cinderhulk since it functions in a very similar matter. You also can get up too a 4 second duration increase by auto attacking, so once again attack speed > Raw AD. Max first

Flame Breath (E)

This ability is what makes Shyvana such a scary Duelist, the bonus % damage to the Enemies maximum health is huge, considering it procs with every auto attack and procs twice with twinbite . Stack this on top of the % damage per Auto on Blade of the Ruined King and you have a scary duelist, couple this with Challenging smite and no one would be comfortable fighting you 1v1. This ability also does a nice amount of flat magic damage, too bad it scales with ap..

Dragons Descent (R)

This ability is what makes Teleport Smite Shyvana safe. Pre level 6 you are somewhat vulnerable but post 6 you are very illusive and hard to gank. Assuming you are in lane post level 6 you should only use this ability if certain conditions are met.

1. The Jungler shows himself on the bottom side of the map and there's no chance for a Teleport gank
2. You know where the mid laner is or recently re spawned.
3. You are confident that you can kill your lane opponent.

During team fights you want to use this To dive the back line and murder or zone out the enemy ADC, it does a ton of magic damage also. So if the enemy team ever bunches up in a tight corridor don't be afraid to initiate if your team can follow up.

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Besides your jungle item, this is arguably the most important item for this build.

1. The active makes it very hard for you to be kited out, because you STEAL movement speed
2. Attack speed is great because every auto attack gives you a .5 second cool down on your
Q (Twin Bite) and every auto attack when marked by E (Flame breath) does 2.5 % damage based on their maximum health.
3. You get 10% flat damage from the enemies maximum health from the active, and 8% bonus damage to the enemies current health from auto attacks, which procs two times with Q (Twin Bite) that's a lot of % damage in your kit.
4. You split push well due to the attack speed bonus
5. You clear camps very fast.

A no brainer item

Besides it's excellent stats it's passive and active ability really work well with your kit and your main objective in team fights which will vary depending on the situation. You can use it to peel, you can use it to disrupt a team during an initiation, or you can use it when dueling or zoning to avoid being kited. This works well with BORK because the adc cannot really escape your pressure, and in the case of a Corki or Tristana they will have to jump away from the fight effectively zoning themselves out a the fight. The cold steal passive also will slow down their attack speed when they attack you.

The better option for MR after the Bork Changes

During patch 5.7 I felt like Banshees Veil was the better option as far as MR Items go. But due to the recent buff to Bork you now gain a significant extra amount of health back, so naturally the 20% bonus on your current life steal would be utilized more effectively. Before the life steal only applied to the flat damage from your auto attacks, now the bonus damage from the passive (8% per auto attack to current health) also procs life steal. I know it's hard to grasp and fully understand that down to the nitty gritty numbers. So to put it simply, you get more health back now. Take advantage of it. Also the 10% CDR is a nice little bonus, not as useful as it would be on other champions but hey, it's included. You should be building this item 3rd or 4th depending how many ap champions the enemy team is running and how fed they are. Use your better judgment.

The icing on the "Kill The ADC" Cake

A significant amount of armor, and one of the best passive abilities in the game. Not only will the carries lose attack speed when attacking you due to Randuins , but they will also take 30% return damage per auto attack. This is just the icing on the cake to make sure that AD carry either dies or never joins the fight. 6th or 5th item depending on how fed their ap damage dealers are, if any.

A great Situational Alternative to Spirit Visage

This item is very useful, and should be considered every game. There's times where it's just better to build this item. If you need to avoid nasty initiation AOE ultimate's from champions like Malphite or Amumu . This is important not just for yourself, but your team as well. Your ultimate is great counter engage. Typically a good AOE CC ultimate can win a fight by itself, the spell shield used in conjunction with your ultimate will push back the enemy team and buy your team time to recover and join the fight.


Only build this over Thornmail against double AP comps with a lot of poke, and if you went the Spirit Visage route. The health regeneration is great, especially since in season 5 baron no longer grants health regeneration. If your team has poor seige, and or if the enemy team has strong poke and wave clear it will take a while to dwindle them down and force them to leave the tower. The health regeneration is great, because you can quickly regain all the health you lost and out sustain their poke if you already have resistances built up. Spirit Visage makes this even stronger, so run these two items together in those situations. Be aware though, without Thornmail your ability to kill and zone the ADC will be hampered in a way.


As great as Bork is on Shyvana especially for killing the ADC. Trinity force provides a great alternative for that. For one you get the phage passive which helps your sticking problem in place of the Bork active. You get a ton of burst damage from Sheen procs, and you get more damage on your Dragon's descent Dragon's and Flame Breath flame. The only problem, Bork is so much better in this meta as a sole damage item due to the % damage. The only time you should consider the substitution is when the enemy team has no tanks.

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Lane phase


Analyze the Situation

The most important thing to do before the minions spawn to to analyze your opponent's team composition vs your own. Run down the list of questions (BELOW) to ask yourself, depending on how you answer many things should vary. Your build, runes, masteries, and goals should vary.. Do not copy the build item for item, rune for rune. Make sure you understand why and when to build those items. Use your better judgement to optimize your play before, and during the game. I will try to run down as many situations as possible in this guide but remember, sometimes you know best. After cementing this mental checklist into your brain, feel free to set up general goals and devise a game plan.

    1. Do I have a favorable matchup?
    2. When are my and the opponents power spikes?
    3. What phase(s) of the game does my team composition excel over their's?
    4. What area(s) do our compositions excel in? Picks? Siege? Team Fights? Objectives?

Goals in lane

As for any lane matchup you want to come out with more gold from kills and farm, obviously. But that doesn't mean you should risk your neck to go for solo kills and farm all the time. Everything is matchup specific, sometimes you will have to forfeit farm for your well being and sometimes you will have the chance to push your advantage and force them to do the same. It's all about looking at the situation. In reality your goal should always be to get as much farm as possible without dying, solo kills are a luxury. You can either create conditions for them or capitalize off mistakes but that should never be your goal going into lane.

How to win a 1v1 with Shyvana

Before I break down level specific things, it's important for you to be familiar with what makes Shyvana such a strong duelist and that's ability sequence. Super basic, but it's important.

Step 1: position yourself to hit Flame Breath
Auto attack's have cast times, so pay attention to the minions and predict when they will go for cs, this is when they are most vulnerable to skill shots.
Step 2: Activate Burn Out to get into auto attack range.
Step 3:Smite Them!
This is one of the main points of this build, you know why you are smiting them
Step 4: auto attack, Twin Bite , auto attack
Twin Bite functions as an auto reset so enough said
Step 5: If available use your Cutlass or Bork active to slow them down
Step 6: Ult for the kill if possible
Make sure you have vision

levels 1-5

Your goal should be to SAFELY farm up as much as possible, no exceptions because you don't have an escape and chances are that you only have a basic trinket ward (unless you got forced out early). There's a blind-spot for trinket wards in the early game of 60 seconds where you will be left without vision this is where you are most likely to die. At that time, no matter what the match up is, I do not recommend you go too hard for farm, especially the back line caster minions. Use your smite and E (Flame Breath) to get farm you would otherwise miss. Under no circumstance should you be fighting anyone until you have your ultimate up to escape sticky situations.

Level 6 +

You should have your Skirmisher's Saber right now, so you now have more options. The ability for the enemy team to punish you for being aggressive has severely decreased, assuming you are warding and making calculated decisions. You can either counter jungle, (Broken down below) you can farm aggressively, or you can force trades and fights. With your challenging smite up it is extremely difficult for most champions to slug it out and duel with you. You simply have too much dps and the damage reduction will ensure you win trades. Take full advantage of this, fight every chance you can and do not use your ultimate unless you have vision and it's to secure the kill.

Bonus: Counter Jungling

Counter jungling is great for smite top as option to get back into the game or push your advantage further. Sure anyone with smite top can take advantage of this option, but Shyvana does it very well due to how quick her clear is and how great her escape is. The conditions for counter jungling are very simple and if you can meet all or most of them, I encourage you to go for it.
1. Have Smite up
2. Have ultimate up
3. Mid lane is Pressured/Dead/Low/Roaming Bottom and can't collapse
4. You have a ward up

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Currently I just want to get the information out there, not make it look glamorous. When the guide is 100% complete I will go back and touch it up. Hope you are learning! Also excuse the grammar, I will proof read thoroughly when complete.