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Shen Build Guide by linky317

Top Yummy Rice's In-Depth Preseason Top Lane Shen

Top Yummy Rice's In-Depth Preseason Top Lane Shen

Updated on May 6, 2020
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League of Legends Build Guide Author linky317 Build Guide By linky317 656 23 7,329,464 Views 178 Comments
656 23 7,329,464 Views 178 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author linky317 Shen Build Guide By linky317 Updated on May 6, 2020
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Runes: Strong Sustain Page

1 2 3
Grasp of the Undying
Shield Bash
Second Wind

Ravenous Hunter
Taste of Blood

+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+6 Armor


Ninja Start against AP or rush for Bami's Cinder
Ninja Core Items

Part 1

Hey everyone just an update, with the new preseason coming and season 10, I have decided to go back to supporting the guide more. I'm sorry for the lack of support over the two recent season, some thought I stopped playing League, but actually I've still been playing, just haven't been updating the guide as much anymore due to other commitments (I got on my school's esports team as top laner and hit Diamond this season :D). I want my focus to be on making more Shen montage/edited videos rather than more guide/matchup related however.

In the end I really appreciate the support I've gotten over the years and I could not have done it without the help of everyone over the years I've had this guide. I will try my best to maintain the guide hopefully for the future.

"With balanced steps." Shen

Greetings! This is Linky317 (Yummy Rice) and today I am going to show off my first guide about my favourite champion, Shen the Eye of Twilight. Shen is a tanky/bruiser/DPS/fighter/pusher/caster/ninja/superhero. This guide however will focus on his top lane as well as go into detail about his various items he can use to become different roles based on what the team needs. I decided to start a guide about Shen because after playing over 2500+ games on him (it's gotten to the point of me being called Shenpai by my friends), I wanted to share my opinions about his various build styles as well as playing him. I am a proud One Trick Pony (1200k+ points) Shen and I hit Diamond in about 100 games. I am dedicated in spreading the word of our lord and saviour Shenpai.

This guide will showcase a variety of builds and strategies you can use depending on team compositions and pace of the game. Also if you are looking to improve on map awareness, item builds, and adaptability Shen is a great way to improve. This guide is ideal if you are looking for a fun way to learn Shen.

The rework of Shen is here and honestly, it's a big change. While the new Shen can be intimidating with his flying sword, with this guide, I will teach you the ways of our lord and saviour Shenpai.

Now sit back, play some Ninja music, and learn Shen!

(This is me as Shen!)


Old News

Holy **** it's been 3 years since I've updated this section. Some thought I stopped playing League, but actually I've still been playing, just haven't been updating the guide as much anymore due to other commitments (I got on my school's esports team as top laner :D). I'll still be trying to update occasionally and remove non-relevant things such as when items get removed or champions get reworked. Be sure to check out my youtube for my occasional Shen montage videos and follow me on twitter for updates too!

I really appreciate the support I've gotten over the years and I could not have done it without the help of everyone over the years I've had this guide.


+ Energy Based gives good sustain in lane (400 Energy)
+ Tanky with a scaling shield Ki Barrier and % Damage with Twilight Assault
+ This unit is a Flippin Ninja!
+ Shadow Dash is an AOE taunt that does quite a bit of damage!
+ Global Presence with Stand United and able to change team fights and skirmishes
+ Can protect self and others from Auto Attacks/Skills that count as Autos with Spirit's Refuge


+ Energy Based, running out in a fight can be detrimental
+ Weak early game against ranged top laners
+ Risk of losing tower after teleporting away
+ Tricky to learn Spirit Blade at first
+ Requires a decent amount of gold to be at full efficiency
+ Requires player to multitask (farm, trade, watch map)
+ Low base and scaling stats
+ Requires more effort to do well

Shen overall is still a great top laner with, tankiness, protective abilities, global presence, and a built in escape! He has strong dueling potential due to his Shadow Dash locking down enemies, Ki Barrier absorbing damage, Spirit's Refuge avoiding Auto's/Abilities that count as autos, and Twilight Assault dueling % damage. He also has team utility with his Stand United which is essential to winning games and can split push with ease thanks to it.

Even though Shen is a Flippin Ninja, there are cons about him. Shen is not the best carry where he can 1v5 and carry. He can duel people easily but can not fight off a whole team on his own. He can however, set up plays which can lead other players on his team to carry. Shen's Shadow Dash can also be his downfall. If costs a hefty 180 energy to use, and restores some energy on every enemy champion hit. If he misses the dash it weakens Shen's presence in a fight and leaves him with no energy.

As well, keeping track of his Spirit Blade can be trouble and make sure to know the position of it.

Shen is extremely versatile when it comes down to rune selection. I personally go for the Resolve / Inspiration Page for safety in lane. I’ll be updating this section soon with different rune page styles.

Note: These are runes that I take for myself, feel free to change them up into your own combination

Resolve Tree Runes

  • Grasp of the Undying: Back again in season 8 but even stronger since it gives HP on each stack! This is very strong on Shen as he scales well off HP.
  • Demolish: Paired with HP items, this rune greatly improves Shen’s pushing power! It also synergizes with Grasp.

  • Shield Bash: This new rune should give Shen a bit more dueling power/slight durability. I swear this rune was built for Shen! I am very excited for this rune but unfortunately it removes the power of Demolish which Shen enjoys.
  • Second Wind: With the loss of HP Regen runes, these can greatly help when facing against heavy poke matchups such as Teemo.
  • Overgrowth: This mastery synergizes well with Grasp as well as Demolish. With more HP Grasp, deals more damage/heals more and Demolish does more damage. Since you are in lane near minions, you will constantly be able to get free HP which Shen desperately needs.

Inspiration Tree Runes

  • Approach Velocity: This rune I personally find very strong with Shen. Any enemy you CC with Taunt or a pull-through Q will speed you up greatly (up to about 55 Movement Speed!). This rune also works with your own CCd allies. By pairing this rune and Frozen Mallet, you basically have an infinite MS boost during combat. You will literally always have Empowered Q and have superb positioning in fights.
  • Biscuit Delivery With the many laners that can bully out Shen, these cookies give amazing sustain when you are at critical health. Try to save these when you are dueling to the death or when you need to recover after a bad trade/gank. These cookies can also be used along with potions which can quickly replenish your health. Also the longer you hold these cookies, the more effective they become mid-game during teamfights

  • Magical Footwear A decent choice as it gives you more MS and free boots of speed, though you lose the option to pick up boots early.

Domination Tree Runes

  • Taste of Blood A great choice for short trades and paired with grasp for improved sustain.

  • Cheap Shot A more damage option when you drag through Q or land a taunt.
  • Ravenous Hunter This rune while at first may not seem impressive, however once you get full stacks, your Q onhit will heal you a decent amount! The effect also works on other sources such as Grasp Damage, Wits End damage, Sunfire Cape damage, and even thornmail damage! Once you pick up 2-3 stacks, you no longer lose HP when standing in a minion wave! It gives Shen much needed sustain and justifies Spirit Visage buy alot more. If you are new to Shen, I highly recommend this rune, it is my strongest win rate page so far.

  • Ultimate Hunter This rune is also a strong choice as it provides CDR on Shen's lengthy ultimate. I tend to pick this up more when jungling or supporting.

    Rune Bonuses

    For the first stat bonus: I personally find the scaling CDR is the most valuable for Shen. Shen generally doesn't pick up too much CDR is you go a traditional tank build. Going adaptive AD or AS is also a very strong choice, it will come down to preference.

    Second stat bonus: This will come down to preference/matchup however I will be taking the adaptive damage just so last hitting under tower is much easier.

    Third stat bonus: I will be taking the scaling HP as it will scale per level with Shen into the late game. The other bonuses are not bad either, taking the resists may help in a tough lane.

    I’ll be sure to talk about the optional runes/other pages in a future update as I test them more!

Shen is very versatile in terms of what summoner spells he can use. Here I will list summoner spells that can be used:

I take this spell 99% of the time with all champions. It is so versatile and useful! Flash can be used for positioning with your taunt to get kills and assists, to last hit an enemy champion, and a get out of jail free card.

Teleport can be used to port into a fight, gank from anywhere, or just return back to lane. I've been using it more often and I find it pretty good when your ultimate is on cooldown and you still want to splitpush. It is often thought as great on Shen however it is quite a waste when used improperly. I have seen many Shen players use their ultimate and then Teleport back right away to lane. I find this a bit wasteful where the teleport could be used for when Stand United is unavailable.

I take this spell due to the potential to get kills. Ignite can help get you more fed than what a tank usually gets. With the dupstep Ignite, you can safely secure kills while you walk away like a boss. This is also effective against top laners such as Vladimir, Volibear, and super effective against Teemo.

You do not know how many first bloods, extra kills, and pissed off enemies I got from using Ignite. It truly is an element of surprise!

Ghost or Flash? Well Ghost does cover greater distances, last longer, and has a shorter cooldown. However! Does ghost let you do a fancy Flash Taunt? Can you run through a wall when needing an escape? I am not saying Ghost is a bad spell, just depends on your play style!

Ki Barrier:With ninja instincts, after using an ability, Shen shields himself from 50 - 101 (based on level) (+ 14% bonus health) damage for 2.5 seconds. Abilities that successfully affect champions reduce Ki Barrier's cooldown by 4 - 7.5 (based on level) seconds.

Shen's power manifests as a Spirit Blade that he can control with abilities.

Tips and Tricks

  • Every time you hit something including yourself with an ability, it decreases its cool down, at level 1 it is 4 seconds and at level 18 it is 7.5
  • This passive scales with health, buying early health increases your shielding
  • Combine with Twilight Assault, Shadow Dash, Spirit's Refuge for an easy trade.
  • The shield lasts for 2.5 seconds
  • Try to space out your abilities and wait for the CD to maximize the use of the passive
  • The shields apply at the end of the animation, when the Spirit Blade reaches Shen, end of Spirit's Refuge, at the end of Shadow Dash, and upon arrival with Stand United

Twilight Assault: With ninja instincts, Shen recalls his Spirit Blade to his location and deals bonus magic damage on his next 3 basic attacks within 8 seconds. Enemies the blade collides with are slowed by 35% when moving away from Shen for the next 2 seconds.

If the Spirit Blade collides with an enemy champion, those attacks each deal additional 2% (+ 0.5% per 100 AP) of target's maximum health bonus damage and gain 50% bonus attack speed.

Empowered attacks against non-champions deal additional damage, but their damage is capped.

Tips and Tricks

  • Triple enhanced autos
  • Position yourself to ensure the Spirit Blade collides with an enemy and trade with it
  • The shield only activates if the cooldown of Ki Barrier is 0 and after it reaches you
  • You obtain 200 Attack Range, use this to your advantage against enemies with shorter AA range
  • Use it to farm very easily under tower
  • Use the hits to restore energy quickly
  • Use Shadow Dash to ensure the Spirit Blade collides with an enemy

Spirit's Refuge: With ninja instincts, Shen primes his Spirit Blade for 2 seconds, causing it to project a protective zone around it for 1.75 seconds if he or an allied champion move nearby, granting allies in the zone 100% dodge chance.

Tips and Tricks

  • Use this in trades for minimal damage
  • Remember to keep track where your Spirit Blade is as the shield is only in that area
  • Time it to bait enemies, it can also avoid CC built into auto attacks, auto attack abilities, or abilities that empower auto attacks
  • Yourself and your allies can activate it
  • The cooldown will be reduced if affected by an ally, it will not reduce the cooldown if it affects Shen
  • Check the chapter below regarding Spirit’s Refuge and You
Quite Accurate Depiction of Spirit's Refuge

Shadow Dash: With ninja instincts, Shen dashes in the target direction, dealing physical damage to all enemy champions he hits and taunting them for 1.5 seconds.

Shadow Dash's and Twilight Assault's damage recovers 30 / 35 / 40 energy.

Tips and Tricks

Stand United: With ninja instincts, target allied champion gains a shield that absorbs a certain amount of damage. The shield dissipates after 5 seconds if not already destroyed. After 3 seconds of channeling, Shen teleports to the allied champion.

Upon completing the channel, Shen and his Spirit Blade blink to the ally's location.

Tips and Tricks

  • Has a long cooldown, do not waste it on unnecessary saves
  • Save all the carries! Use Stand United on them to provide them a nice shield during a fight
  • You can splitpush with Stand United, then use Stand United to join a fight
  • Map Awareness is ever so important with Stand United. Use Stand United when deemed necessary such as when an enemy jungler fully commits to a tower dive
    Map Awareness
  • Find a safe location to use Stand United, it can still be interrupted by hard CC
  • If your Stand United is cancelled, the shield still applies to an ally
  • When you teleport away, your Spirit Blade appears next to you
  • Did You Know: Shen's Stand United used to shield himself too (wtf!??) (well I guess kinda true now since you enter the fight with Ki Barrier)

Wielding his spirit blade – the symbol of his duty, as well as his connection to the spirit realm - Shen roams both worlds, unerringly drawn to any place where one side threatens to overwhelm the other.

While the Spirit Blade may be intimidating at first, it is quite simple to learn and utilize on Shen.

When you spawn on Summoner's Rift, Shen arrives with his Spirit Blade. The Spirit Blade follows Shen throughout the map and will teleport closer to him as he moves further away.

(The max distance is roughly 1 and 1/2 tower length)

To move the Spirit Blade you use Twilight Assault to move it to you. The blade will then fly and move towards you (keep note it still needs time to travel). Upon reaching you, you will activate Ki Barrier, reduce the CD on it if it is pulled through an enemy, 3 empowered autos, or if it hits an enemy, you will obtain 3 empowered Q autos.

At level 1, it is best to try to hide your Spirit Blade in the bush so they do not know where it is. Your goal is to get as many empowered Q's in laning phase. Try your best to line the blade up to use it properly. The enemy will be unable to see the line but will be able to see the Blade.

As you can see here, I am unable to see the opposing Shen's line, but able to see a small arrow direction and the flying blade.

This is the effect when the Spirit Blade collides.

As well Spirit's Refuge interacts with your Spirit Blade and the protective circle appears around the Spirit Blade. It will activate when either you or your ally walks into the circle or after 2 seconds.

When Stand United is used, the Spirit Blade will instantly teleport next to you. Here, you can use Spirit's Refuge to immediately block AA.

I hope this helped you out and to get better it just takes time practice!

While the above chapter talks more about the Spirit Blade and Twilight Assault, this chapter will talk about Spirit's Refuge.

Shen primes his Spirit Blade for 2 seconds, causing it to project a protective zone around it for 1.75 seconds if he or an allied champion move nearby causing allies in the zone to dodge attacks.

Spirit's Refuge will not activate for 2 seconds until you or an ally enters the zone to activate it. Some important notes regarding Spirit's Refuge include:
  • the protective zone will move and follow where the Spirit Blade moves to
  • Spirit's Refuge will not reduce the cooldown on Ki Barrier if it affects yourself, but will reduce the cooldown if it affects an ally
  • Ki Barrier will not activate until the end of skill animation, meaning when the zone disappears

Spirit's Refuge is a powerfully utility tool as it can be used in great effectiveness to peel, to protect, as well as to negate damage and prolong your tanking when paired with Ki Barrier. Here are some ways to use Spirit's Refuge as Shen in a game.

Ways to use Spirit's Refuge in lane include baiting out skills such as Volibear Thundering Smash, and Garen Decisive Strike. It can also be used as a way to safely farm against ranged auto based champions. As well, it is also an ability to help activate Ki Barrier.

In teamfights you can either use it to prolong your tanking skills in a fight by taunting into the enemy team, pulling Twilight Assault, then activating Spirit's Refuge. By using Ki Barrier to block the damage from abilities not affected by Spirit's Refuge, Spirit's Refuge can block the remaining auto attacks thrown out by the enemy team, especially effective against auto based enemies.

Another way to use Spirit's Refuge in team fights is as a peeling tool. Rather than taunting into the enemy backline, you can taunt towards your allies to peel their frontliners off them and then pull Twilight Assault as well as Spirit's Refuge to activate the protective zone to help minimize damage.

Finally a way you can use Spirit's Refuge would be immediately after Stand United. If you know the enemy has burned most of their abilities trying to punch through your shield, instead of an immediate Shadow Dash, you can use Spirit's Refuge to block autos instead and then follow up with a taunt. This tactic is especially effective against an auto based champion.

While everyone knows that Spirit's Refuge can block auto attacks, it is also essential to understand and realize that Spirit’s Refuge can block certain abilities and passives. This is key to outplaying your opponent and your ability to win in fights. In this list below, I will constantly update what you can block but for now here are some notable ones. Keep in mind Shen’s W will prevent abilities activate auto attacks from not working. Also keep in mind I don’t list every single one as some are pretty self explanatory such as Ziggs passive and Orianna passive.

Prevent’s Akali Mark of the Assassin activating (Poor Bae)

Blocks Ashe Ranger’s Focus

Blocks Damage and slow from Bard Meeps

Blocks Blitzcrank Power Fist (no knockup or damage)

Blocks damage and stacking of Braum Concussive Blows

Blocks Miss Caitlyn Headshot

Blocks Miss Camille Precision Protocol (better to block true damage) and blocks Hextech Ultimatum true damage (very important!)

Blocks Darius Crippling Strike (important to win trades)

Blocks Draven Spinning Axe

Blocks Ezreal Mystic Shot

Does not proc Fiora Duelist's Dance (Meaning she does not deal damage or pop the Vitals), and blocks Lunge

Blocks both Fizz Urchin Strike and Seastone Trident

Blocks Gangplank Parrrley and Trial By Fire

Blocks Garen Decisive Strike (blocks silence and damage)

Blocks Gnar Hyper stacks and activation

Blocks Gragas Drunken Rage (helpful as it blocks his % max HP damage)

Blocks Hecarim Devastating Charge damage but does not block knockback

Blocks Heimerdinger basic turrets attacks

Blocks Illaoi Harsh Lesson

Blocks both Jax Empower, Master-At-Arms

Does not block Jayce To The Skies!, does block damage from Thundering Blow but not knockback, can block his various auto attack enhancers such as triple shot, and form changes

Kha'Zix, does not block his Q!

Blocks Kindred Dance of Arrows and Wolf's Frenzy

Blocks Kled Violent Tendencies (Important for reducing alot of his damage)

Leona Shield of Daybreak (no stun or damage)

Blocks the damage from Malzahar Voidlings

Miss Fortune first/2nd part of Double Up

Nasus Doge Siphoning Strike

Nautilus Staggering Blow no stun or damage

Nidalee Takedown (cougar form)

Blocks Nocturne Umbra Blades

Blocks Poppy Poopy Iron Ambassador

Quinn Harrier

Renekton Ruthless Predator (hard timing!)

Blocks Shaco Deceive Crit and Jack In The Box autos

Shen Twilight Assault (stacks are consumed)

Shyvanna Twin Bite

Sivir Ricochet (stops bouncing I think?)

Skarner Ixtal's Impact (stun portion)

Sona Power Chord (poor sona :[ )

Trundle Chomp

Twisted Fate, Pick A Card, Stacked Deck

Udyr Stances

Vayne Silver Bolts

Vi Denting Blows

Viktor Siphon Power, AA part (not the initial skill)

Volibear, Thundering Smash (no flip or damage), Stormbringer

Warwick, Infinite Duress (does not block his suppression, but does block the damage)

Wukong Crushing Blow

Xin Zhao, Three Talon Strike (does knockup but no damage, does consume his skill)

Yasuo Steel Tempest (no knock up damage, but still knocked up)

Yorick various Ghouls, New Yorick Q

Zyra plants (plz never again the 5 Zyra

Thanks to Waysider for helping me test and confirm things! You can't block Azir Soldiers :(

I will be talking about every item mentioned before as well as the situational ones. In a Shen build, you usually want your boots, four tanky items, and one damage item. Remember your role is to be a tank, but you don't want to be completely ignored. I have had games where I scared off several enemies from their inhibitor turret just by being so tanky and having a damage item.

Notice how I have at least a single damage item in all these builds? With the new items out, Shen needs one of these items to be a threat in fights or else he is going to fall short of the Juggernauts.

Warmog's Armour is great by increasing the damage on Shen's shield and taunt, providing plenty of health, and when combined with Spirit Visage massive regeneration! It is a great way to increase your health when you already have plenty of resists and is a good choice against heavy AP teams. However this should not be your first item as resists are needed to complement with health. If rushed, you still will get killed easily from % health items and abilities. Warmog's Armour in my opinion should be your 4th, 5th, or last item depending on your situation. With the recent changes to Warmog's Armour, it has amazing regeneration when paired with Spirit Visage. It will now become a personal preference as it's base health has been lowered which might drive players away from purchasing it in favour for something more superior such as the Randuin's Omen.

With the changes buffs now, this item might be welcomed back into core items. With ADCs running rampart and crit champions all the craze right now, I've been buying this item nearly every game to deal with their nonsense. The anti crit passive works, the AS slow, and the active slow are all awesome. Randuin's is still a situational sometimes when they have absolutely no crit (but that is probably really unlikely) If the ADC is really not a threat and doesn't really even have crit, Dead Man's Plate is much better.

When I first started playing Shen, I never built this item. You might think strange, isn't it a core item? Yes. But I never built it because I thought Sunfire Cape was useless with its tiny bit of magic damage. However after playing Shen more and more, I have noticed that he could not wave clear at all thus resulting in Sunfire Cape coming to the rescue! From then on, Sunfire Cape became my bread and butter item. The AOE magic damage from the Sunfire Cape is nothing to scoff at, it adds in a surprising amount of damage and as Shen, you're sitting right on top of enemies dealing it. This item should be rushed and is a must have on every Shen.

Despite not being as great as before after the rework, this is a strong choice when fighting teams heavy with AP. A pretty inexpensive buy while giving everything Shen wants! CDR, Health, and a nice amount of MR. If you feel the need to block a skill, get Banshee's Veil instead. If the enemy team is devoid of AP, you might not need it unless you just want to buff your healing capabilities when paired with Warmog's or BOTRK.

Transform yourself into a mini Rammus! OK! I would get this item when the enemy team has a very heavy AD team or a very fed ADC. This item should not be rushed first as it provides no HP whatsoever.

This item provides a nice health boost and a nice passive that can be used for peeling or chasing. This item is a tad expensive and does not give any resists. I recommend this as your damage item and also if you feel like your team lacks CC or you need more after your taunt.

GUARDIAN ANGEL *****ESSSS!!!! Provides a chunk of armour, magic resist, and a passive that makes people scared of you. If your GA pops in a long teamfight, keep fighting on! It takes the enemy team a lot of effort to kill a tanky Shen.

This item has been recently changed into an item with armour and MR but no aura or HP. This is a decent item to round out your stats if you have enough HP but not enough MR. Usually the support will pick this item up but if it's necessary, you can pick it up for its amazing shield late game. It can now shield up to 650 at max level which is insane! Even mid game it is really good when team-fights start happening more often. I bought this item in the top lane role along with Frozen mallet when I had to peel Challenger players off my ADC. If you do not really use the active, then the stats on the item are kind of subpar. I will now tend to get this more often if my support does not purchase one.

TONS OF DAMAGE. This statement is quite true, it gives Shen a massive strength boost in dueling and split-pushing. However it provides no tanky stats besides the little HP. Only get this item after your core tank items or extremely fed. Compared with before, Trinity isn't the strongest item. It is still good though.

Oh I love this item. While providing great on-hit damage and increased split-pushing power, Mercury Treads and Wit's End is usually enough when their AP is not as big as a threat. While S6 may have nerfed its cost-efficiency, it has been improved on raw MR stats!

BOTRK a great item now after the rework. Since you no longer have sustaining capabilities, having Lifesteal can greatly benefit you. BOTRK provides a Shen with better 1v1 dueling potential and split-pushing strength. It deals % health damage which always scales well, provides lifesteal, attack speed, and an awesome active that can be used to chase, peel, or escape!

RIP ZZ'ROT REMOVED IN PRESEASON 10, Kept text here for legacy.
Apparently this was an item designed for champions like Shen. I really like the voidlings that spawn and help push or hold down waves which scale with tanky stats. Only problem so far I have with it is the lack of health. Lately with my builds, I always rush the first part of it with the turret passive. I strangely really like it since I can dodge skill shots under tower, position easily, and split-push with ease by running through the lane.

RIP Ohmwrecker REMOVED IN PRESEASON 10, Kept text here for legacy.

An item that I pick up rarely but still has uses. It has a tanky stats comparable to Sunfire Cape as well as CDR! This would be a situational item where you would pick it if your team is dive heavy or the enemy team is devoid of AP. Since you know, more armour and hp!

I don't really get this item if I'm playing Top Lane Shen. As a support Shen, this item is pretty decent for protecting the ADC. In a top lane situation, I would probably avoid this item and go for something like Locket or if you're really trying to protect your carry and don't mind giving up an opportunity to build more damage or more stat efficient tank items.

After the rework, this item should be very popular. This item is really amazing on giving Shen some nice juicy wave clear, a punch on a turret, and deadly burst which scales off HP. Providing HP, AD, and an active that scales of max HP, this item with a combination of others (Look at Choo Choo Train Shen) can make squishy's greatly fear you. Near instant 1k burst would scare alot of squishies away and make you a big threat. Its alternative is more used for sustain and wider AOE clears.

This item is really fantastic on Shen. As I have mentioned before, Shen really needs his movement speed in order to catch up to enemies, catch people out, and provide greater positioning. Also the on-hit effect on the item can provide a nice little burst on a tower or a champion. Mix it up with several other items (Look at Choo Choo Train Shen) you can chunk towers and people!

So this item has been changed now. I tried this item on stream and it was alright. Very expensive though as I would rather get BOTRK at a cheaper price. It is however very powerful as a last item. With this item and at full stacks, you can land all 3 Q hits in 2 hits instead. Try this for yourself and let me know what you think. I personally feel it is okay, but only as a last item and as an offensive option.

So this item is back and its pretty damn solid with the %MS, AS, and the split-pushing power on minions. It is a nice buy when you want that movement speed and split-pushing power and when paired with the item below, it makes a deadly combo...

You might think, what the aids Shenpai!? Listen to me first, the item alone isn't that great, but when paired with Statikk Shiv, it forms a deadly combo. Gunblade passive restores health based off 15% of the damage dealt. This means you will heal off both your physical and magical damage dealt (Q damage). When paired with the Shiv to provide AS and its passive, you can burst heal large amounts in a fight (up to 600+!). The Gunblade will restore health off each and very lightning bolt proc from the Shiv and thus results in fast splitpushing and insane sustain. When these two items are paried in a build and add in a , you create the Gun-Shiv Ninja with insanely powerful sustain, splitpushing power, and still pretty durable. As well the item has just enough AP to make your Ult have 108 more shield and Empowered Q have 2% more damage and regular Q 1% more. Try this build out and let me know how it goes, this is a pretty fun build to use.

An interesting change happened recently where Shen Q now applies Liandry's passive (used to not apply, only taunt did). This gives Shen more magic % damage burn per second and increased damage in combat (which is great for Shen!) This item is a bit expensive, however when paired with Frozen Mallet and Wits End, you deal great amounts of damage to high hp targets lacking resists and is great for dueling. Try it out for yourself in a normal game!
Very interesting interaction with Sunfire Cape is that it applies an AOE grevious wound debuff due to its passive. I probably would just opt for something cheaper like bramble vest for grevious wounds, but maybe try this out when you have a Randuin's and want to still have grevious wounds with your Sunfire Cape. Try this in norms for the experience if you want to mess around with a bit of AP. (recommended to be built after Sunfire)

It is necessary for a Flippin Ninja to have some bling. But in all honesty, Shen is energy based and does not need any mana or mana regen. :)

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Part 2

Itemization is the key to Shen's success as well analyzing the game's situation. Since Shen has somewhat poor base and scaling stats, making the most use of your items will be essential. I will be talking about what items should you buy with your gold, how to analyze your team, as well as an enemy team. I feel it is very important for every Shen player to constantly adapt and change his build to fit the needs of his team. How many AP are there? Are they a threat? Do we have another tank? Do we have an initiation tool? Etc Etc. This chapter will be constantly updated with examples of games. I will also try to tie in a video relating to that game.

Example 1 Analysis

Loading Screen

As the game is loading, first thing to analyze is what does my team have. Since I have Spooky Ghost Nocturne, he'll be our main source of engage through his ultimate, which synergizes extremly well into Shenturne. My job this game is to disrupt their backline alongside Nocturne. As well, most of my team is relatively squishy but deal plenty of damage so I should prioritize a tankier build. As well, my team can kite back decently well against their only Melee which is Udyr.

Their team has primarily physical damage and two magical damage but I do need to notice that their Keystone choices, 4/5 deal magical damage. In terms of boot choice Ninja Tabi can be a good choice or Mercury's Treads to deal with their various stuns and snares (you'll have to build accordingly to threat, in this case, none of their AD got fed so I went Mercury's Treads).

As well for Spirit's Refuge use, I can block Lucian passive, Udyr stances (stun), Bard empowered autos, and Lux passive.


Now the game starts, for this game, I was against Oh God, it's Urgot. As a starting item, Doran's Shield can be good, or Cloth+4 pots due to potion sustain. I proceed do the matchup as normal, was getting poked at alot so I built a regen bead but overall it was a (farm lane) and I finished my Sunfire Aegis. I built Mercury's Treads for movement speed and the various stats and MR against their various bits of magic damage. While Spectre's Cowl would be an obvious second item, their Lux was very very weak and I proceeded with a Randuin's Omen since their AD's were not behind.


The game ended after when I finished my 3rd item. We were winning because of global pressure (remember Shenturne) and I got way too tanky for their AD. I would have followed up my items with either Wit's End, or Abyssal Mask, Frozen Mallet, and a Spectre's item or even a Thornmail.

This game I went 2/1/6. I could not kill Urgot but he wasted time trying to kill me so I farmed better than him and applied global pressure more effectively.

Hopefully you guys are understanding what I'm trying to teach you guys. It is very important to first analyze the loading screen, your team and the enemy team as well as their masteries and then itemize in the game effectively. Now lets jump to example 2.

Example 2 Analysis

Loading Screen

As the game loads I notice what I have on my team. I have a mix of kiting back line and another tankier frontliner Udyr when compared with the first example above. I decided to do a mix of frontlining with Udyr engages and Bard enages. As well peeling due to their dangerous champions such as Yasuo and Kha'Zix. As well I honestly would have been kited to death by Vayne due to their two peeling supports. So it is generally a better choice to peel the enemies off, and then reengage.

Keystone wise, nothing too crazy, standard things. They have 3 heavy AD champions, and two magic damage. While they do have magic damage, it does not need to be prioritized. In terms of boot choice Ninja Tabi is an excellent choice or Mercury's Treads. I personally went Mercury's Treads but now that I look back at the game, I should have gone Ninja Tabi. Though Mercury's Treads were not that bad since I was being focused by all their CC.

As well for Spirit's Refuge use, I can block Yasuo Steel Tempest and Vayne Silver Bolts.


Now the game starts I was against Tahm Kench. As a starting item I went Doran's Shield. I proceed do the matchup as normal, he is one of the matchups were even with empowered Q, he outtrades and gets way too tanky. I actually went Cull and it is a possible item if you know the enemy laner is super passive or you cannot kill. I finished my Spectre's Cowl first since alot of his damage is magic based. After I rushed my Sunfire Aegis due to the amount of AD they had on their team. I built Mercury's Treads since I was a target for their CC, for movement speed and the various stats. I rushed a Randuin's Omen since they have Yasuo and Vayne crit build. I finished a spirit's visage for HP, CD, and to synergize with my future BOTRK.


I went from pretty docile in lane but erupted into a 9/5/17 late game. I starting building pieces of a Thornmail and BOTRK going for a variation of my dueling/generic build. We mainly won due to a late game 5v3 where my Udyr caught out and bumrushed the enemy Vayne and I was delivered on top of her to taunt her for an easy Lux snipe.

Example 3 Analysis

Coming soon!

Farming and Early Game
With Shen you will constantly use Twilight Assault to farm. Try your best to have your Spirit Blade in front of you or in a position where you can easily pull through an enemy. With a few points in your Twilight Assault, you can last hit ranged minions after a turret shot.

In an easy lane where you are against someone melee, you can use Twilight Assault for strong trades while negating damage with Ki Barrier activated. You should win most level 1 trades if you pulled through your Spirit Blade with Twilight Assault. If done at level 1, you can use all 3 empowered AA's for an amazing trade. Not many will be able to outtrade that sort of damage at level 1. By this point, you should be able to zone them and reach level 2 first. When level 2 use Shadow Dash and Twilight Assault along with Ki Barrier as well as Ignite for a first blood. You can do pretty solid damage but only with Empowered Q's. An Empowered Q is a pull-through Twilight Assault. The only time to trade is with Empowered Q's and without it, you will be hitting like a wet noodle.

In a lane against a ranged character, you can potentially go for an early all-in, but I suggest to farm up and just get tanky. Majority of the time you will be pushed to your tower however last-hitting with Twilight Assault is a piece of cake. As mentioned before, with a few points in your Twilight Assault, you can last hit ranged minions after a turret shot. As well if you're going for a last-hit that can be dangerous, you can use Twilight Assault to activate Ki Barrier and go in for the CS.

Overall, if not ahead, your early game can be a bit tough however tank items scale well early on and you'll eventually be able to do well once you pick up Sunfire. To understand on how to last hit with Shen's basic attack, check your AD, and then the minion's HP. If struggling pick up more potions and green beads for regeneration, Shen's base health regen is pretty good.

If you are struggling in lane, try your best to play as defensively as possible. Block or dodge skillshots, farm and negate damage with Spirit's Refuge and Ki Barrier, freeze your lane, and ask for the jungler to help gank your lane.

Remember, Shen doesn't win lane, he wins the game.

Upon reaching 6, this is my favourite time to play Shen. With an all powerful global ultimate, you can now save allies from dives or assists in fights at a press of a button. Always keep an eye out on who is low health and keep constant watch on the map's current situation. I have had close saves, and praise such as "I love you Shen!" - Ahri or "Have my babies! - Ashe and some creepier moments "<3 Shen! Let us make love" - Urgot.

Also, timing is the key to Shen's ultimate. Holding Stand United to the last second can allow the enemy to fully commit to a fight. However make sure to react fast enough before they get killed. Practice makes perfect. You will see times where your allies get killed before you ult them or they die during the teleportation.

Why I Love Playing Shen

Mid Game
During mid game if doing well, Shen becomes a strong tank/initiator/dueler. Shen is excellent at peeling enemies off your ADC an AP mid if your team happens to be engaged on.

Meanwhile if you have Stand United available, you will want to split-push safely with wards, and keep an out for possible needs of a superhero. This had its side effects as when the enemies see 4v5, they will most likely engage on your team. Occasionally you will want to stick with your team to prevent them from being jumped on. If they however do send someone to stop you while split-pushing, communicate with your team to engage 4v4 while you teleport in to assist. As well with a couple of items, you might be able to duel many enemies due to Twilight Assault. Upon teleporting onto allies, you can use Spirit's Refuge right away on your ally to protect them and then Shadow Dash towards an enemy. Time it right, your Spirit's Refuge will protect your ally full its full duration and the enemy will still be under the effects of taunt and Twilight Assault.

Late Game

Shen's role barely changes late game. During late game, he continues on the role of split-pushing while maintaining vision on enemies and allies. If once again they do send someone to stop you in your tracts, communicate with your team to engage on the enemies and teleport in. It would be detrimental if the whole enemy team killed you while you were split-pushing. It throws your allies in a unsafe position where they can lose towers, inhibitors, Baron, Dragon, and have no superhero on watch. If the enemy team has hard engages, and your team has no way of pulling back or another front-line, it might be best to stay with the team.

Teamfighting as Shen
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Part 3

While ninjas do work better alone sometimes, it is generally better to work together.

Especially with Akali :3

In general Shen works well with everyone especially hard-engage tanks, stealth, and other teleport ultimates and in this chapter, I will list some notable synergies with champions as well as some synergies that aren’t as great. This section is meant to be a bit more funny and not as serious though can give you ideas to do with friends.

Shenanigan Shenergy

Synergies that are generally quirky, funny, and may or may not be suboptimal. Can also fit in Shensational Synergy category.
Shelion Sol ( Shen, Aurelion Sol)

Feels nice when you ride on top of a dragon and travel across walls and stuff, just make sure you don't ult too early and he doesn’t goes too far or else you’re gonna prob glitch out somewhere or end up in an awkward spot. Feels Bard man.

Shenivia ( Shen, Anivia)

Just in case you screwed up with saving her once, you can save her egg at least.

Shenzir ( Shen, Azir)

Really fun to Shurima Shuffle with Azir and then taunt the enemy through the Azir wall. Makes the enemy trip out as they attempts to cross the wall.

Shard( Shen, Bard)

If you ult Bard and then he ults himself and the enemies, you still appear fine and then you are able to line up a taunt.

Shorki ( Shen, Corki)

Follow Corki in as his dive bomber buddy and then taunt the enemy into the fire from his bombs. Was going to make a joke but uh, nevermind.

Shenlise ( Shen, Elise)

When you ult an Spooder Lady in danger, she can hide up top and you can have a safe port in while she is still in the air. Hopefully she doesn't ditch you and you get mauled apart 1v5.

Shevelynn ( Shen, Evelynn)

Whose footprints are these?


While Evelynn is stealthed you can setup a gank with her and she can dive with two shields active.

Shayle ( Shen, Kayle)

The moment when Shen ults and Kayle ults the same target. Shenpai and Angel Senpai are watching.
Shendred ( Shen, ally and enemy Kindred)

Can help a guarantee port in while in Kindred ult.

Master Shen ( Shen, Master Yi)

Master Yi in trouble and meditating? No problem, just ult him and he’ll literally won’t die. As well ult him for a free ride into their backline.

Snu Snu ( Shen, Nunu & Willump)

DEATH BY SNU SNU. Shen ult on top of a Nunu & Willump for a devastating trap. Where's Admiral Akbar? IT'S A TRAP!

Shentheon ( Shen, Pantheon)

SHENTHEON FUSION. FUSION DANCE! Ult him as he is about to jump into the sky.

Shengar ( Shen, Rengar)

Oh its just one wild cat. Nope a wild cat and a ninja.

Shenco ( Shen, Shaco)

Ready to confuse the enemy? Ult the clone instead.

Shen Kench ( Shen, Tahm Kench)

Tahm Kench uses his ult and then you ult the ally inside the mouth or Kench himself.
Shenliyah ( Shen, Taliyah)

Similar to Aurelion Sol but instead of riding on a dragon, you ride with a cutie. Just make sure she doesn’t go too far and you get left behind somewhere.

Shenlon ( Shen, Talon)

You can appear out of stealth due to his ult or jump in from the side as he park-ours over the wall Assassins creed style. While you're still fighting, he'll jump over another wall bailing on you.

Shenric ( Shen, Taric)

When you really want to deny someone, Shen ultimate to deny death and then Taric ultimate to prevent death longer. Outrageous.

Sheemo ( Shen, Teemo)

Search this bush! Teemo's in there! HAMSTER Teemo! HAMSTER BALL! Inb4 Ninja pops out.

Twisted Shen ( Shen, Twisted Fate)

Take a ride with him and teleport straight into the action or into death.

Switch ( Shen, Twitch)

Surprise it's us! Goon squad.

Shenkong ( Shen, Wukong)

You could ult the clone to confuse the hell out of someone (but ult wont go through since clone is too short duration) but you can ult him while he is stealthed.

Zileshen ( Shen, Zilean)

Really akward at times and happens to me way too often. When both Shenpai and Old-man Senpai are watching. When your ult denies death and then Zilean ult gets wasted. And then it gets really awkward.

Shen^2 up to Shen^5 ( Shen + Shen x 4)

You know what’s better than one Shen ult? 4 Shen ults on you.

Shensational Shenergy

Synergies that are pretty clutch, heroic, wombo combo, and good support followup making a unfavourable situation more favourable.

Sahri ( Shen, Ahri)
By ulting Ahri, Ahri can feel more confident in showing off her dance skills and jumping into a fight with her multidash for good positioning for a taunt. "You better run run run run run" (Run Devil Run)

Shenkali ( Shen, Akali)

Protect your bae while she is surrounded and stealthed, then turn the fight around with your arrival. After that you can take her on a date~. You'll live as a hero or die trying. Then again, heroes never die! Wait wrong game?

Alishen ( Shen, Alistar)

Have the crazy cow initiate for you and ult him while he uses ult and his ult absorbs damage from other ults for ultimate absorption.

Shenmumu ( Shen, Amumu)

Ult Amumu while he goes in and ults. This will protect him from retaliatory damage and enables you for an easy follow up CC.

Shiana ( Shen, Diana)

Moon bae goes in with her CC and shield active, you ult her before she takes too much damage or she can use hourglass to buy you time for follow up CC.

Shensticks ( Shen, Fiddlesticks)

KAW KAW! As Fiddlesticks is about to go in, you ult him so he doesn’t need to hour glass asap.

Shenlio ( Shen, Galio)

As he goes in, you can ult him to help him absorb the damage he is taking and then follow up with a second taunt. Damn those taunts OP.

Shengas ( Shen, Gragas)

As with other tanks, he initiates for you and you are follow up CC.

Shecarim ( Shen, Hecarim)

Ride your noble pony into the battle and use him as your initiation and CC tool while helping him absorb damage, then follow up with your CC.

Shen IV ( Shen, Jarvan IV)

I’m Shen, I’m helping.

Kassashen ( Shen, Kassadin)

Teleport in with him as he jumps around into their back line for the easiest taunt.

Shenarina ( Shen, Katarina)

Protect redhead bae while she spins2win and gets you a penta assist.

Shennen ( Shen, Kennen)

Protect your pet hamster while he ults to rack up assists and to delivery yourself into their backline. As well so you can go out and bang 7 gram rocks later.
Shen’Zix ( Shen, Kha’zix)

Ult on top of the bug to protect as well as to deliver yourself into their team. Protect the crazy bug.

Shled ( Shen, Kled)

Free delivery system into their backline, don’t get left running behind him though.

Sheona ( Shen, Leona

Ult sun bae as she engages in for a free delivery, unless she misses.

Sheandra ( Shen, Lissandra)

Ult ice bae as she engages into their backline, make sure to ult her before she ults herself. (she might ult enemy instead with your protection)

***** ( Shen, Malphite)

LOL THIS NAME. As again, free delivery for chain CC. Protect the crazy *** rock.

Shenkai ( Shen, Maokai)

This time not a crazy *** cow, bug or a rock, it’s a crazy *** tree.

Shengana ( Shen, Morgana)

Protect shirtless fallen angel bae as she goes in with her ult. Her personal shield will prevent CC while your shield protects her from physical damage. Chain CC right after.

Shautilus ( Shen, Nautilus)

Not a crazy *** cow, bug, rock, or a tree, but this crazy *** giant in a scuba suit with an anchor.

Shenturne ( Shen, Nocturne)

5 man the enemy bot lane. Enemy thinks it's only Nocturne? Nah, Shen was invited too.

Sholaf ( Shen, Olaf)

Lol rip Zyra and other CC champions. I remember this Zyra complained that this combo was busted.

Shinn ( Shen, Quinn)

Protect cute bird loving bae and ride with her right into their backline as a delivery package.

Shenmmus ( Shen, Rammus)

This time not a crazy *** cow, bug, rock, tree, or scuba man, this time its an armadillo. Double taunt OP. Rip enemy ADC if you also have a Thornmail.

Shen’Sai ( Shen, Rek'Sai)

Protect weird burrowing creature bae into their backline.

Shejunai ( Shen, Sejuani)

Protect pig riding bae as she engages onto the enemy team.

Shenged ( Shen, Singed

Shield him as he suicides in to flip someone. Either delivers you to their backline or into their base as he runs to proxy everything.

Shenvana ( Shen, Shyvana)

Protect dragon bae as she jumps into their team. Every female is Shen’s bae.

Shion ( Shen, Sion)


Sharner ( Shen, Skarner)

This time not a crazy *** cow, bug, rock, tree, scuba man, armadillo, but a crazy *** scorpion. He’ll engage with his ult and pull an enemy back while you are shielding him. Follow up CC after the ult ends.

Surgot ( Shen, Urgot)

This time not a crazy *** cow, bug, rock, tree, scuba man, armadillo, nor a scorpion but a weird crab thing. He’ll engage with his ult and your ult will shield him from retaliation making him really tanky.

Shevi ( Shen, Vi)

Protect big fist bae with an attitude and as she dunks a scrub, follow her too to shield her from retaliation as well as chain CC.

Shendimir ( Shen, Vladimir)

Right before he pools, you can ult him for a safe teleport while he is in pool.

Shenbear ( Shen, Volibear)

This time not a crazy *** cow, bug, rock, tree, scuba man, armadillo, scorpion, or weird crab thing, but a crazy *** bear that wants to flip your table. He’ll engage with his ult and your ult will shield him from retaliation making him really tanky.

Shenwick ( Shen, Warwick)

This time not a crazy *** cow, bug, rock, tree, scuba man, armadillo, scorpion, weird crab thing, or a crazy *** bear that wants to flip your table, but a wolf that wants to tickle you to death. He’ll engage with his ult and your ult will shield him from retaliation making him really tanky. Chain CC follow up.

Shensuo ( Shen, Yasuo)

This is a combo I do very often. As Yasuo goes in with his ult, he has his own personal shield as well as your ult to prevent him from getting bursted. Follow up CC after his ult.

Shac ( Shen, Zac)

Crazy… Engage + Shen ult + more CC? You know where this is going.

Not so Shensational Shenergy

While ulting to save lives and giving someone a shield is good on everyone, here are some champions I have had bad experiences with when they panic.

Shekko ( Shen, Ekko)

The moment when I start my ult and he panics ult and he ends up back in base.

Shezreal ( Shen, Ezreal)

The moment when he wants to keep kiting and jumps away which results me in missing my taunt.

Shenna (also name of female Shen, Shen, Janna)

When wind bae panics and pushes all the enemies out of your taunt range.

Holy this took forever to do. I hope you guys enjoyed this and the various interactions! If you guys have better naming or have crazy clips of Shenergy, send it to me at!

Good to Know

Stand United is unusable when Nocturne's Paranoia is present

You will not join your ally/Morde into the shadow realm but you will teleport to the location.
General Tips and Tricks

A powerful tool to utilize. If done correctly can win you fights and even games!

Update of 12/13/2016
This playlist here should have matchup episodes helping you out
I will rewrite matchups eventually but for now, use my videos that I am creating.

Full Livestreams of Shen, look around if you can't find a certain matchup, might be there

I am streaming more often now with friends and uploading a new series of relearning Shen. Come check it out on youtube as well as my twitch! Here you can see my gameplay with Shen and see how I build/play/adapt to situtations or just feed :) This is one episode of many. Make sure to watch the rest of them as they have COMMENTARY! My heavenly and lovely toaster mic voice. The latest one should be the first one in the player. This will be the replacement for the matchup section for now.

Road to Reworked Shen Mastery bonus episodes (they include either extra games, various gamemodes, or various roles such as support)

This is my Shen Short series, I highly recommend this if you want to be entertained by some silly editing and Shen plays.

One of my many Shen montages, be sure to check out my youtube channel for more!

This comes to the end of my first guide. Hope you enjoyed it and learned a thing or two about Shen. If you have any comments, questions, or constructive criticism, post away! Also tell me if you like the videos/references/colourful bits in the guide. It will further improve my future guides.

I will be updating this guide very often and I will particularly focus on gathering data for the match-ups section.

Good luck to all of you and most of all, stay ninja, and save lives.

Credits to the creators of the various images and songs.

Follow me at: (new and will be posting updates/stream/youtube personal life)
add me ingame if you have direct questions
NA: Yummy Rice
Skype: Linky317

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