Shen Build Guide by Balling like a fool
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Next Back (OpShen 1)
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.
Threats to Shen with this build
|Blitzcrank||Blitz is a pretty simple matchup. You can fairly easily avoid his grab, and if it does hit, your own kit allows you to easily mitigate any damage and even come out ahead with a taunt. Your E also allows you to save your ADC in the event that they get pulled.|
Firstly, it's worth noting that I'm by no means a pro player. I have my good games and my bad, and I've never actually attempted ranked play. With that said, I'm mastery 6, almost 7, with Shen, and I really enjoy playing him - particularly in a support role. There aren't any "good" support guides, in my opinion, post 6.22, so I thought I'd share what I can. Take it with a grain of salt.
Why Support Shen?
Shen isn't particularly good at CS'ing early game, and as a support, that weakness isn't relevant. Shen's ability set is also quite good for a support champion. Shen's Q can easily proc his passive shield, which, in addition to his build, gives him the durability to tank for his ADC. His W shields both himself and his allies within its range against Auto Attacks and on-hit effects, which is a large portion of the damage dealt in bot lane. Finally, Shen's E is an incredibly versatile ability that allows him to engage, disengage, peel, and secure kills. With the addition of the Courage of the Colossus keystone in 6.22, and the minor buffs to his health and armor growth in 6.23, Shen's been given much more durability. Shen doesn't have a ton of exceptional Matchups, but he has few terrible ones as well. Shen's ultimate allows you to not only support for your ADC, but the entire team when appropriate.
Cons to Support Shen
One of the biggest advantages to Support Shen is his ability to engage with his E, Shadow Dash, procing Courage of the Colossus and taunting the enemy. This allows your ADC to unload on them, without risking themselves in the process. By the time your shield(s) dissipate, they should either be dead or low enough that you aren't in much risk yourself. This, however, requires a degree of coordination with your ADC. Ideally, you should queue up with someone you know, and can communicate with verbally, but when that isn't an option be prepared to ping like crazy. If your ADC doesn't engage when you do, especially if they engage just a fraction too late, you've blown all of your CD's for little value, and put the lane as a whole in danger.
Shen will also struggle against ADC's with a huge range, or supports that can shield their ADC.
Toxic, entitled ADC's exist, and while they'll likely blame any support champion for their their troubles, Shen is especially susceptible to this sort of treatment. An ADC that makes a bad judgement call, like engaging after you've ulted to save/gank for mid or top, will use your momentary absence to blame their poor performance on for the whole game.
With that said, using your ult at the wrong time can definitely put your lane in jeopardy. Never leave your ADC in a bad position to help another lane. Always make them aware that you're leaving with a ping.
Shen, with this build, deals very little damage on his own. You sacrifice damage output for durability and the ability to help your fellow champions. If you NEED to be doing damage, this isn't the build for you.
If you do find this guide helpful in any way, please vote accordingly. If you feel it's lacking or if anything should be corrected, please let me know in the comments. If you have any suggestions at all, feel free to share them!
Resolve Tree: (18)
Tier 1:Unyielding > Recovery
5% Armor and Magic Resist will do more for you than the regen will.
Tier 2:Tough Skin > Explorer > Siegemaster
Unless you're consistently pushed under turret, Siegemaster won't benefit you a ton. Explorer is maybe reasonable for returning to lane after using your ult, but I usually use that as an opportunity to back anyway.
Tier 3:Runic Armor > Veteran's Scars
Runic armor increases the effectiveness of Shen's Passive and Courage of the Colossus. This isn't really a question.
Tier 4:Insight > Perseverance > Fearless
Any of these would probably be reasonable, particularly Perseverance, but I usually go with Insight so that I can use Exhaust more often.
Tier 5:Swiftness > Legendary Guardian
Legendary Guardian is probably decent late-game, but at its absolute best it does less than Unyielding . Swiftness, on the other hand, is really good, especially when you need to back out from an engagement.
Tier 6:Courage of the Colossus > Bond of Stone > Grasp of the Undying
If you can manage to taunt the entire enemy team, Courage of the Colossus shields you for 1457.5 damage at level 18 (full build). If you can only snag one of them, it's still shielding you for 435.5. This is pretty nuts. Bond of Stone is also good in laning phase, and Grasp of the Undying gives you a bit more damage (but you'll deal minimal damage with this build anyway, which is fine). CoC easily provides the best effect of these three keystones.
Cunning Tree: (12)
Tier 1:Wanderer > Savagery
You shouldn't be cs'ing anyway, so Savagery doesn't benefit you much. Wanderer, on the other, hand, gets you to lane faster, which is especially useful in conjunction with Shen's Ultimate.
Tier 2:Secret Stash > Runic Affinity > Assassin
Secret Stash improves your potions, which is good early on, while the other two masteries do very little for a support.
Tier 3:Merciless > Meditation
Shen doesn't use mana.
Tier 4:Bandit > Dangerous Game > Greenfather's Gift
Bandit greatly increases your gold income, which is a huge deal. This is really the only reason I put points into Cunning as opposed to Ferocity (I would probably go 6/6/18 were it not for Bandit).
I've prioritized Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist over Greater Glyph of Magic Resist. While there's nearly always some form of Magic Damage bot lane, and, in fact, Shen struggles the most against support champs that deal Magic Damage, the Scaling Magic Resist glyphs provide a better effect late-game, where you're more likely to run into AP champions. Scaling Magic Resist runes will actually become roughly equal to the flat runes around level 8, and exceed them in effectiveness after that point.
Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction would be a good choice as well, as Shen's CD's are fairly long (other than his Q), and using his W (leveled last) more often would be nice. Still, I think the magic resist is probably more beneficial, as the CDR cap can be achieved through items.
I take Greater Seal of Armor over Greater Seal of Health, as most damage you'll take as Support Shen will come from the enemy ADC. Armor will become progressively better than healthas the game goes on, and the break-even point is early on in laning phase.
Flat health seals do marginally increase the strength of your shield (CoC) early on, but that difference is fairly negligible.
Three Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed allow you to avoid important skill-shots, get close enough to Taunt, and return to lane after ulting away. These also make boots less critical in the event that you need to prioritize other items.
Greater Quintessence of Armor would be reasonable as well.
Below are explashens and justificashens for my item choices. Refer to the notes tab on the item section up top for "when do I build what?"
Eye of the Equinox: In a perfect world, I'd always build Face of the Mountain and Ruby Sightstone. Unfortunately, this build path is slow. Face of the Mountain is the same cost as Eye of the Equinox, but doesn't provide any additional wards. In most cases, I find warding to be more beneficial than shielding. Building Sightstone in addition to FotM is as extra 800g, and upgrading it to Ruby Sightstone is an additional 800g. Ruby Sightstones Passive is also really good, but I don't think either of these items are as good as the flexibility of an early 1600g to spend on other items.
Randuin's Omen: Randuin's gives you some pretty insane defensive stats, as well as an active that can help you and your team escape, or ensure that the enemy team doesn't. The best aspect of Randuin's, though, in my opinion, is that it helps to counter Vayne, who's pretty OP atm. Randuin's not only mitigates Crit damage, but also True damage by slowing AA's.
Knight's Vow: I don't always build this, but it provides additional sustain for both champs bot lane, as well as increasing your movement speed toward your ADC (or any allied champion you're paired with), which is especially nice given that Shen's ult pulls him from lane.
Locket of the Iron Solari: Locket has been nerfed recently, as Aegis of the Legion no longer gives a magic resist aura. Still, since I usually don't build FotM, I build Locket for its ability to shield allies. This is more beneficial, I think, in late game, and it provides both Armor and MR.
Redemption: Shen doesn't even use mana... That doesn't matter though. Redemption give a health boost, a CDR boost, 10% Bonus Shield Power, and it's active is game-changing. An enemy Redemption active is fairly easy to dodge, providing no CC is involved, but the main benefit of this is that it provides a substantial heal for (potentially) your whole team, and its ability to rout enemies. The most attractive thing about Redemption? It only costs 2100 in full.
Ionian Boots of Lucidity: I don't always take these. Against a rough matchup like Nami or against a team with a ton of CC, I'll take Mercury's Treads, but in general Ionian Boots of Lucidity are my go-to. They provide 10% CDR, which is a big deal, and 10% CDR on Summoner Spells.
The Black Cleaver: This provides an additional 20% CDR, which is the main reason I build it, but also gives you a bit of damage as Support Shen, and movement speed. This is the most flexible of slots in the build, and oftentimes I build something else as the situation calls for. Zz'Rot Portal often takes its place.
Tips and General Gameplay Informashen
- When you engage, don't use your W until your other shields (
Courage of the Colossus
and Passive) have dissipated. This is true in laning phase, where a good portion of the enemies damage will be from the ADC's AA's, or if you happen to find yourself in single combat (particularly against an AA based champ).
Later on, during teamfights, I use my W as soon as I engage. This prevents my shield(s) from absorbing unnecessary AA damage.
- Be aware of the placement of your Spirit Blade. Oftentimes you'll need to quickly proc your Passive shield, and the simplest way to do that is with your Q. Your Q will call your Spirit Blade to your side, but the shield won't proc until the animation is finished. The closer you are to your Spirit Blade to begin with, the shorter this animation is.
Additionally, place your Spirit Blade in places there's likely to be combat, and move it along as you and your allies do. This allows you to quickly activate your W, shielding your allies. If you aren't conscious of your weapon's placement, you'll have to rush to an ally to shield them, then wait for your spirit blade to follow you.
- Your Flash can extend the range of your E. If you begin a Shadow Dash, then Flash midway through, the dash will be canceled. The Taunt, however, will still affect any enemy champion(s) your flash lands at.
- Flashing can cancel you Ultimate. If you happen to use Stand United on an ally, only to suddenly realize that the fight you're heading into is unwinnable, its sometimes better to waste a flash than it is to die. Always be conscious of where you're ulting to.
- You can target an allied champion with Stand United by clicking their portrait above your mini-map. This will not, however, move your camera to your destination. Be prepared to utilize your spacebar if your camera isn't locked (ew).
- An enemy that dashes through your dash won't be taunted.
- Your W not only negates AA's, but on-hit effects as well.
- Ward as often as possible, and clear enemy wards as often as possible. As soon as you purchase Sightstone, upgrade to Sweeping Lens so that you may clear the enemies wards. Don't forget to upgrade to Oracle Alteration at your first back after level 9.
- Zed murdered your father, but don't forget that maintaining the equilibrium is more important than your personal grudges. Don't let your hatred cloud your judgement. Don't unnecessarily focus an enemy Zed, and don't neglect to save an allied one.