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Shen Build Guide by Lathesis

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Lathesis

Twisted Treeline Shen - He's in the Trees

Lathesis Last updated on December 15, 2011
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Top Lane
Ranked #22 in
Top Lane
Win 49%
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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: 0

Honor Guard

Defense: 21

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 9

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Hello everyone! I'm Lathesis, and this is my first attempt ever at writing a guide. I play Twisted Treeline very often, and often feel that many guides don't apply specifically to this map. Personally, I feel that Shen is a very unappreciated tank (with many people calling for a buff lately... not that I'm arguing, but I think he's a very viable champ the way he is.) Especially on this small map, Shen has the ability to quickly disrupt teamfights that are crucial to the outcome of the game. Vorpal Blade is a great harassment tool from beginning to end, and is your melee DPS buddy's best friend, with its built-in lifetap. Feint can almost completely negate the damage output of an ability or even summoner spells like Ignite, and will save your sexy ninja *** more than a few times. Shadow Dash is what your enemies will hate you for. While your opponents pull back from a foolish teamfight, pick off whoever is unfortunate enough to be caught in it. If your team is still nearby, those few seconds being caught in your taunt will leave them to your teammates's mercy. (SHOW NONE!) Your ultimate, Stand United, is my favorite in the whole game. Use it to save teammates, to make a sudden appearance in teamfights, or to give that top-laner an edge when going against a pesky Tryndamere or Master Yi.

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Pros / Cons

+ Great Harassment with Vorpal Blade
+ Strong Shielding ability (Feint)
+ One of the most annoying forms of CC ever (Whoo, taunt!)
+ Strong Ultimate that can turn the tide of a game easily.

- Item dependent
- Can be easily killed early game if you're not careful
- Takes a bit of practice
- Expensive to build items

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Pretty standard runes here.

Greater Mark of Insight makes your Vorpal Blade hurt. A lot. You'll need it until you can build some tanky AP items like Rylai's Crystal Scepter.

Greater Seal of Resilience makes you tanky! Shen is a great tank, but sadly, is very item-reliant until he can get some ranks in Feint. These runes make you a bit more sturdy while you work on items that help your defensive capabilities.

Greater Glyph of Shielding will allow you to get in close to those pesky champs like Annie or Ryze, who otherwise would wreck you. Really helps per-level, while you build feint and shadow dash ranks.

And of course, the ever-popular Greater Quintessence of Fortitude. There are a lot of viable runes on Shen, but personally I prefer the health for early-game resilience.

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I can't really think of anything to say here, except maybe explaining the buff duration.

In the Twisted Treeline, Shen really benefits from the White Buff and Dragon Buff. Everyone who plays Twisted Treeline often knows that the outcome of many tight games rely on the Dragon Buff for an edge. If you've already bought your Atma's Impaler, you'll be cranking out some pretty decent damage for a straight tank character.

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Your main focus is to build tanky items. Many people would argue to go as an AP/Tank Hybrid, but I prefer tanky items that maximize damage from doing what you do naturally as a tank - taking the brunt of an assault for your team.

I start with a Ruby Crystal, and immediately build it into a Heart of Gold and leave it there (until I max my other item slots.) If your team ganks early (as many do) try your best to get in a few hits with Vorpal Blade while your damage dealers do their part. If they start to run, try to land ignite to secure a kill or damage them further for your team to finish them off. If they get away, don't fret - You can still build your Heart of Gold early on.

I take the Heart of Gold for the gold gain, but the HP allows you to be very sustainable early on.

Next, I go for Mercury's Treads. This isn't for the magic resist as many would expect, but rather the tenacity. That little bit of time you save from CC like Tryndamere's Mocking Shout can give you the time you need to Shadow Dash away and live.

The way I build from here is pretty situational. You're obviously not going to get Thornmail if no one on the enemy team is a high AD threat. If this is the case, I usually go for a Giant's Belt and build my Sunfire cape first. But, those who play Twisted Treeline also know the overused champions - Tryndamere, Ashe, Master Yi, Xin Zhao, etc. Chances are, you'll need the thornmail to counter them. Your high HP over the course of the game will allow them to take tons of damage.

Sunfire Cape is an amazing item specifically on Shen. Your Shadow Dash requires you to get in close, obviously. The time you spend around them while they're taunted can hurt them pretty significantly, especially if they're an AD champ taking hits from your thornmail.

Rylai's crystal scepter. Hooray, more HP. And AP! You'll be dishing out more damage with Vorpal Blade and getting a stronger shield with Feint and Stand United.

Atmog's is a fairly common choice on tanky champs. Who can blame them? You're going to have tons upon tons of HP late game, especially with a full stack of Warmog's. Atma's Impaler will allow you to dish out significant damage, especially with the Dragon Buff.

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Skill Sequence

You're going to want to max Vorpal Blade first. The short cooldown and the damage it does at max rank will drive squishies back home faster than Master Yi with ghost. (Unless your opponent is actually Master Yi with ghost.)

I max Feint Second, because I start playing more aggressively and getting in people's faces after I max Vorpal Blade. I take a point at level 2 to reduce turret damage or to make abilities hurt a little less.

I max Shadow Dash last, because of the CC it causes. Taunting is nice and fun, making your enemies attack you. But you're not gonna want a heavy hitter like Tryndamere to be wailing on you for 2 seconds if you don't have the items to live through it. You'll want some survivability items before you max this. You can however, taunt your enemies near turrets at a low rank to make them regret pushing so close.
As with any champion, you'll want to take Stand United whenever you can.

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Summoner Spells

I take ignite and heal for my summoner spells. Why?

I think Ignite is what really determines who has the upper hand at the beginning of the game. People will have their guard up more than ever when the game first begins, so igniting them as they run may or may not give you that much sought after first blood. It's also great when laning when you know they'll run before you can land enough Vorpal Blades to finish them off.

Heal is a great support spell. I like to mainly use it after Stand United to heal a teammate that would otherwise die (that extra HP means precious extra seconds they can spend retaliating against their attacker while the shield from Stand United is up, and while you shadow dash them.) But Heal can also be used early game to keep an ally in lane, or save yourself from an unsuccessful gank.

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As I said, this is my first guide, and I understand that my playstyle may differ from others. This is merely the way I choose to play one of my favorite tanks, and I'm very successful using this build. I would however, love to hear what you would do differently, as well as take suggestions or tips. Feel free to add me in game, and show me how you play! Thank you for reading!