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Shen Build Guide by C9Balls

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League of Legends Build Guide Author C9Balls

Top Lane Shen by C9 Balls

C9Balls Last updated on February 12, 2015
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Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
Ability Key R

Threats to Shen with this build

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Threat Champion Notes
Riven This is another hard matchup for Shen in the early game, but the idea is pretty much the same as with the Renekton matchup. Use armor quintessences and focus on surviving the early game. Wait for either Riven to mess up or for your jungler to help you before going aggressive. Riven is not very tanky, so if she can't sustain against you, you should be able to slowly whittle down her HP. Once you get a Sunfire Cape without dying in lane, you will win the matchup if you aren't playing carelessly. Be careful when she uses her ultimate, because it'll allow Riven to deal a lot of damage with her full combo while your ultimate can only be used to help your team.
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Shen is one of the only champions in the game that does not really win or lose lane. He is pretty much able to survive any lane and is able to scale into a major tank in the later stages of the game. He is picked mostly because of the global pressure from his ultimate, Stand United.

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+ Very Tanky
+ Has AoE crowd control (Taunt)
+ High Global Pressure
+ Doesn't use mana
+ Good follow up during ganks

- Low kill pressure in lane
- Low damage
- Misusing ultimate is extremely punishable

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(Attack Speed Marks)
These runes help Shen last hit if he gets pushed back under his tower. They also help him push out a little bit faster and allow him to get extra auto attacks in against a target marked by Vorpal Blades.
(Scaling Health Seals)
Health is a really good stat on Shen. Not only does it make him tankier, but it also makes his passive deal more damage and it allows him to heal more from targets marked by Vorpal Blade.
(Magic Resist Glyphs)
Good against magic damage dealers, because it allows Shen to take less damage from them. This is the standard choice for glyphs, because there is almost always a champion on the other team that primarily deals magic damage.
(Alternative - Cooldown Reduction Glyphs)
These are good on Shen because his skills don't cost mana and these allow him to spam skills more frequently (which is especially useful for his ultimate). Use these when you are against physical damage dealers only.
(Health Quintessences)
I take these quintessences for the same reason I take scaling health in seals. It is just a great stat on Shen.

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For masteries, I put 9 points in the Offense tree to get the attack speed (which scales well with Shen) and the AP which all of his skills benefit from. Then I put the standard 21 points in Defense so that Shen can soak up all the damage from enemies in the frontline. I switch up the points in Hardiness or Resistance in the Defense tree depending on whether the enemy laner (mostly) deals physical or magic damage.

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(Starting Item)
This start gives Shen all the defensive stats he needs to farm early game. I would take Cloth Armor and 5 Health Potions against a heavy AD champion that deals a lot of physical damage with abilities (like Riven).
(Core / Rush vs AD)
Against laners who primarily deal physical damage, you want to rush Sunfire Cape. It's better for Shen to rush Sunfire because that item will help him to be able to start split pushing earlier while also making him tankier.
(Core / Rush vs AP)
Against laners who primarily deal magic damage, you want to rush Spirit Visage, not only because of the tanky stats, but also because the passive will increase his healing from Vorpal Blade and the CDR will greatly reduce the wait on his ultimate.

//NOTE// Regardless of which item you go for first, you want to have both items at the end of the game.

After you finish the two core items, you want to continue to build more tanky items. If you need more magic resistance, a good option to go for is Banshee's Veil as the spell shield will make it harder for enemies to stop you from taunting them if they have an ability which can interrupt it.
Typically, you would want to get a Randuin's Omen and a Thornmail after your core items to be tanky enough for a late game AD carry, since Shen's job is to go deep into a teamfight and soak up as much damage as he can.
(Final Item)
This item provides insane health and health regen, which increases the effectiveness of the resistances which the other items in the build provide.

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Early Game and Mid Game

During the early game, you want to farm up with your Vorpal Blade and try to get as much cs as possible. If you are safe to cs with your auto attacks, you should use your Vorpal Blade on the enemy instead, because skills don't aggro creeps. If you are against a weak early game laner like Vladimir, you want to push the lane and get level 2 first to gain an advantage which allows you to take control in the lane. If you are against a tough opponent like Renekton or Riven, just farm and last hit at your turret until you see an opening.

At level 6, you want to look at your other lanes and see if they need ults that can turn around a fight, or just coordinate with your teammates to go aggressive so that you can ult in and back them up. During the mid game (when the laning phase ends and turrets are down), you are probably going to split push when your ult is up and wait for someone to come to your lane so that you can use your ult to ensure that your team has the number advantage, which will allow your team to make plays.

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Late Game

Late game is pretty much the same as mid game, except for the fact that your team might sometimes need you (being one of the tanks for the team) to be with them to force objectives even when your ult is up. If your team has another tank who is with them, you can split push another lane and force someone to protect or farm the lane and that allows your team to go aggressive because your ult is up.

You always want to have wards in your inventory when you are split pushing, because the enemy team can sometimes ambush you when you are alone and take objectives after you are dead. With the vision you have late game, you will stay safe while forcing the enemy team to decide whether to try and stop you or force an objective on your team.

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Your goal in teamfights is to either ult your carries and taunt the front line so that your team can kill them, or to ult an initiator on your team so that you can taunt the carries and instantly kill them. If you are the initiator for your team, your taunts will be crucial for the fight and you'll have to make sure to at least hit one of the enemy carries with your taunt so that your teammates can kill them. You don't always have to split push and then ult in for teamfights, but it is ideal to split push and ult in for fights if you can get an advantage from it. The only time you don't want to split push is if there is an open inhibitor and your team needs your presence so that you can take it down.

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Tips and Tricks

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Thanks for reading my guide and I hope you guys can learn the ninja ways!

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