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SHEN BUILD GUIDE: Basics to Top lane Shen by Verikukko

by Verikukko (last updated 8 months ago)

Featured4,375,331 Views 29 Comments
9
Greater Mark of Attack Damage(+8.55 attack damage)
9
Greater Seal of Armor( +12.69 armor)
9
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist( +1.35 magic resist per level (24.3 at champion level 18))
3
Greater Quintessence of Health(+78 health)
View Rune Details
Summoner Spells
View Summoner Details
9
21
0
mastery 1 mastery 1 1/1
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/4
mastery 3 mastery 3 1/4
mastery 4 mastery 4 2/2
mastery 2 mastery 2 4/4
mastery 3 mastery 3 0/4
mastery 4 mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 mastery 1 0/3
mastery 2 mastery 2 1/1
mastery 3 mastery 3 0/1
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mastery 3 mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/3
mastery 3 mastery 3 0/4
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/1
9 Offense
mastery 1 mastery 1 0/1
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mastery 3 mastery 3 4/4
mastery 4 mastery 4 0/2
mastery 1 mastery 1 3/3
mastery 2 mastery 2 1/3
mastery 4 mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 mastery 1 2/2
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/2
mastery 3 mastery 3 1/1
mastery 4 mastery 4 1/1
mastery 1 mastery 1 1/1
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/3
mastery 3 mastery 3 3/3
mastery 1 mastery 1 1/1
mastery 2 mastery 2 1/3
mastery 3 mastery 3 1/1
mastery 4 mastery 4 1/1
mastery 2 mastery 2 1/1
21 Defense
mastery 1 mastery 1 0/1
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mastery 1 mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/3
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/1
0 Utility
View Mastery Details
Player Level 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Ki Strike
QVorpal Blade
WFeint
EShadow Dash
RStand United
View Skill Order Details

Runes

Masteries

mastery 1 mastery 1 1/1
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/4
mastery 3 mastery 3 1/4
mastery 4 mastery 4 2/2
mastery 2 mastery 2 4/4
mastery 3 mastery 3 0/4
mastery 4 mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 mastery 1 0/3
mastery 2 mastery 2 1/1
mastery 3 mastery 3 0/1
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mastery 2 mastery 2 0/2
mastery 3 mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/3
mastery 3 mastery 3 0/4
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/1
9 Offense
mastery 1 mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/3
mastery 3 mastery 3 4/4
mastery 4 mastery 4 0/2
mastery 1 mastery 1 3/3
mastery 2 mastery 2 1/3
mastery 4 mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 mastery 1 2/2
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/2
mastery 3 mastery 3 1/1
mastery 4 mastery 4 1/1
mastery 1 mastery 1 1/1
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/3
mastery 3 mastery 3 3/3
mastery 1 mastery 1 1/1
mastery 2 mastery 2 1/3
mastery 3 mastery 3 1/1
mastery 4 mastery 4 1/1
mastery 2 mastery 2 1/1
21 Defense
mastery 1 mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/3
mastery 3 mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/3
mastery 3 mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 mastery 4 0/2
mastery 1 mastery 1 0/4
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/1
mastery 3 mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 mastery 1 0/2
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/4
mastery 3 mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/3
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/1
0 Utility

Skill Order

Player Level 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Ki Strike
QVorpal Blade
WFeint
EShadow Dash
RStand United

Champion Matchups

Introduction

[http://riot-web-static.s3.amazonaws.com/images/news/Skins/Shen_Bloodmoon_SS.jpg]


Hello and thank you for taking the time to have a look on this guide. Let me start off by saying that as the name of the guide states, this guide is aimed for people who are looking to add Shen as a champion to their roster or who want to learn what kind of a champion Shen is and how is he played - it's not an in-depth guide what teaches you the ins and outs of the champion and is aimed for the veteran Shen players. I wanted to write this guide because of the lack of an up-to-date Featured Shen guide here in Solomid. Because of the nature of the guide I aimed to keep it as brief, light to read and easy to understand as possible.

I myself am Solotop, a top lane main from the Europe Nordic & East server. You might recognize me as the author of this in-depth Top lane Jarvan IV guide http://www.solomid.net/guides.php?g=45617-verikukko-jarvaniv-build-guide

[http://pove.arkku.net/upload/uploads/timantti1-86ptsmuokattu_1.png]

I haven't had the chance to play Shen a lot in rankeds yet in this season, but here are my Shen ranked stats from Season 2. I have played during this Season a ton of Shen in normals and Ranked teams though so that I can always pick him in a Diamond level Solo-queue game when there's a need for it.

[http://pove.arkku.net/upload/uploads/shens218-4.png]



Pros of Shen

- Very safe top laner; self-sustained, no hard counters and he is very hard to gank.

- Can build very tanky late game and still be a threat in teamfights.

- His ultimate Stand United is a very uniqueue ability which has multiple different uses that are covered in the Early-, Mid- and Late game chapters.

- Excellent sustained damage once you finish your Sunfire Cape - you should win almost anyone in long trades and duels.

- AOE Taunt on a 4.8 seconds Cooldown with rank 5 Shadow Dash and capped Cooldown reduction


Weaknesses of Shen

- Low burst damage which results in relatively small killing potential

- Shen's base Armor of 15 + 4 per level is among the lowest in the game for a melee champion, especially in the early levels. This is compensated by getting Armor Runes and Masteries.

- Having a strong late game duelist in the opposing team, like Jax for example, is the best counter and the biggest weakness of Shen, because if someone from the enemy team can be sent to duel him then Shen can't effectively splitpush.

- Having a Nocturne on the opposing team is a counter for Shen, because Nocturne's ultimate Paranoia prevents Shen from using his Stand United for the duration of it.

Updates

14. March 2013
- Guide released!

16. March 2013
- Added further explanations regarding the Mastery choices as requested

15. April 2013
- Fixed a few minor requested details

16. April 2013
- Added explanation on how to cancel Stand United (R) to the Skills-chapter

13. May 2013
- Changed Rune + Mastery recommendations
- Updated to Introductions section that I play at EU West nowadays under the name "WÖRTTI MÄÄLYT"

Runes

[http://pove.arkku.net/upload/uploads/shenguiderunet2.png]


Hybrid penetration Marks

Hybrid pen Marks boost your harras damage and trading potential in lane the most. Shen's Ki Strike (passive), Vorpal Blade and Shadow Dash deal magic damage as well as Sunfire Cape, Wits end and Statikk Shiv. Auto attacks on the other hand deal Physical damage and you will be Auto attacking a lot.

The con side of Hybrid pen Marks is that they don't increase your late game pushing capabilities at all. That's why many Shen players like using Attack Speed Marks. They are an excellent option, but I personally prefer the laning boost the Hybrid pen Marks give.

Third option is Attack Damage Marks. They improve your trading potential in lane, especially versus melee champions because you will be Auto attacking each other constantly, while also increasing your damage to minions making it easier for you to last hit under turret and slightly improve your splitpushing strength because they increase your damage to turrets and minions.

Update: I personally use Attack Damage Marks every game on Shen nowadays, but Hybrid pens are still good.


Flat Armor Seals

Flat Armor Seals are the best Runes for the slot, they mitigate the damage from minions, neutral monsters, champions Auto attacks & Physical damage dealing abilities and turrets. Pretty much every top laner should always take these.


Magic Resistance per level Glyphs

Magic Resistance per level Glyphs grant 24 Magic Resistance at level 18, which is slightly more than a Null-Magic Mantle which gives 20 Magic Resistance. With short math, their shop gold value is about 450 gold making them one of the most cost efficient set of Runes. At level 9 and onward they give more Magic Resistance than Flat MR Glyphs. I always get these over the Flat ones on Shen because with your sustain, shield and defensive Runes and Masteries, Magic damage dealers like Vladimir or Rumble, or even Elise, shouldn't be able to harras you too significantly.


HP Quintessences

Hp Quints give 81 HP at level 1 with the +4% HP Mastery, Juggernaut. They are very strong on Shen. They allow you to come out on top in most all in trades in the early levels and make you very hard to gank for the enemy jungler because you are so damn tanky.

Shen also has two abilities in his kit which scale from his HP. Most notable his Ki Strike (passive) converts 10% of Shen's bonus Health to extra damage. Meaning that your passive will be doing 8.1 additional Magic damage on every passive proc which is nothing to frown upon. It's more than how much AD Quints increase your damage for a single Auto attack for example.

The other one is Vorpal Blade, 1,5% of Shen's maximum Health is added to the base value of the Heal. It means that you will be healing 1 more HP for every healing proc, but since you will be refreshing the Healing-over-time effect multiple times it does help a bit more than what it sounds like. But yeah, it's almost ignorable, just a bonus effect you get from the HP Quints.

A popular alternative option to HP Quints are Movement Speed Quintessences. They help you get in range for Vorpal Blade harrasing, catch more people with your Taunt and escape from sticky situations. Movement Speed Quints are a very solid option if you feel like they fit your playstyle better, keep in mind though that they significantly reduce your trading potential in lane.


If your Rune situation is similar to how I assume it's for most of the League of Legends players and you only have a basic AD Runepage and an AP Runepage, then use the AD one. Even though Magic penetration is a strong stat for Shen, Ability power is not, especially when compared to Attack damage which helps you more in trades and pushing minions and turrets as well as last hitting.

Masteries

[http://pove.arkku.net/upload/uploads/shenmasteryt.PNG]

The optimal playstyle for Shen is to be a tank for your team. You need to be able to form a meatshield for your carries, disrupt enemy carries, initiate and counter initiate-teamfights. When your team has to facecheck bushes they rely on you being able to go in first and not get bursted down in an ambush. That's why the Defense tree suits Shen the best. The Defense tree doesn't make anyone a tank, but it's made for tanks. It gives Damage reduction which boost's the effect of the Health items you buy, and Health which boost's the effect of the Resistance items you buy.

I would recommend against putting points into the Utility-tree because the Defense-tree is so strong for Shen as explained above, and the tier 1 movement speed points in the Utility tree only give you Movement speed outside of combat which isn't as strong as the extra damage you get from putting 9 points into the Offense tree for the damage as Shen's roaming without ulti isn't very strong.

If you aren't using AD Runes in the top lane like I don't use it's pretty important to have the 4 extra minion damage to be able to last hit caster minions under turret. The Ignite Mastery is also extremely strong because it gives 5 AD and 5 AP when your Ignite is on Cooldown making it one of the strongest single point masteries in the game. Choosing between 1% CDR and 1% Attack speed for the last Mastery point in the Offense tree is quite meaningless because neither one of them do much at all, but the 1% CDR removes about a second from the Stand United Cooldown so it might have a bigger potential impact than the 1% Attack speed point.

Some Shen players like putting more than 21 points to the Defense tree, it's a very valid option, but I personally prefer grabbing the 8% Armor pen and the AD points preceeding it from the Offense tree. 8% Magic pen vs 8% Armor pen from offence? The Magic pen is OK because it does always increase your damage to champions more, at least if you get magic damage dealing items like Sunfire Cape, Wits End or Statikk Shiv, as you can see from the end game statistics at the end of matches (Shen's Magic damage dealt to Champions is considerably higher than Physical damage). The biggest reason to get the 8% Armor pen though is that you get to put 4 points into Deadliness (12 AD at level 18) over Blast (18 AP at level 18) which is a lot better because AD is no doubt a lot better stat for Shen than AP, especially when splitpushing as it increases the damage you deal to Turrets and minions. So I prefer the combination of 8% Armor pen + 12 AD at level 18 over 8% Magic pen + 18 AP at level 18. But they are both viable options.

Summoner Spells



Explanation:



Flash is an exceptionally strong Summoner spell throughout the game, especially because it can be used both offensively and defensively. Early game it can save you from ganks or invades, and perhaps most importantly it can net you a lot of kills because you can flash in to the range of a low HP enemy to Taunt them and kill them. The ability to make plays in the mid-late game by Flash+Taunting lone enemies to catch people off and create 4v5 situations for your team is also very nice.




Ignite is very important for Shen because it increases your trading and killing potential in lane. Firstly, if you don't have Ignite, say you have Teleport instead of it, then you can't go for aggressive Taunt trades in lane at all because if the opponent turns the trade into an all in he will always win it because you don't have an Ignite and he has. Furthermore, without Ignite, it's very very hard to ever kill anyone in lane as Shen because his burst damage is weak. Being able to get kills in lane is important so you can deny the enemy laner from farming, net some extra gold for yourself and make plays when the enemy is dead if possible, for example getting Dragon or doing Ult-ganks.


Alternatives:




Flash can be replaced by Ghost. Some Shen players even always favor Ghost over Flash. Ghost is a better Summoner spell to have in teamfights or when Splitpushing and you have to escape from a lot of people as it last's for a long time and can be used to cover a lot more distance than Flash. The Cooldown of Ghost is also 90 seconds less than Flash's which is quite a significant difference. Ghost however does not protect you from Ganks as well as the instant blink of Flash and it reduces your killing potential in lane since you can't use aggressive Flash+Taunt-combos to catch your enemy with the element of surprise.

Skills

Passive: Ki Strike

Explanation:

Every 9 seconds, Shen's next basic attack deals bonus magic damage equal to 4 + (4 × Shen's level) + (10% of Shen's bonus health) and restores 10 / 20 / 30 energy to Shen. Cooldown reduction does not affect Ki Strike, but every basic attack reduces the cooldown by 1 second.


Don't underestimate the damage of Ki Strike, it's in fact a quite strong passive in lane. Attack minions to charge it up and then use the Ki Strike proc to harras your enemy laner if possible. Keep in mind that your opposing laner can hear and see the sound and visual effects of Ki Strike coming off of Cooldown just like you can, so usually it's smart to go for the attack just as it's coming off of Cooldown if you have the chance.



Q: Vorpal Blade

Explanation:

Shen throws a blade at the target enemy, dealing magic damage and marking them for 5 seconds. Allied champions that damage a marked enemy heal over 3 seconds, with the duration refreshing upon subsequent damage.

If Vorpal Blade kills the target, Shen heals for 33% of the normal amount instantly.

Cooldown: 6 / 5.5 / 5 / 4.5 / 4
Cost: 60 energy
Magic damage: 60 / 100 / 140 / 180 / 220 (+ 60% AP)
Heal: 6 / 10 / 14 / 18 / 22 (+ 1.5% Shen's maximum health)



[http://pove.arkku.net/upload/uploads/shenblade2.png]


Vorpal Blade is Shen's main harassing tool as well as the source of his moderately strong sustain in lane. It has an AP scaling which we are not gonna largely take advantage from, but the base damage is very strong for a manaless 6-4 second Cooldown ability. Remember to always smart cast this as it is a targeted ability with a low Cooldown so you can spam it fast and it's not a spell that you have to aim.



W: Feint

Explanation:

Shen gains a shield that absorbs a certain amount of damage. The shield dissipates after 3 seconds if not already destroyed. While the shield persists, Shen's basic attacks reduce the cooldown of Ki Strike by 2 seconds.

Cooldown: 9 / 8 / 7 / 6 / 5
Cost: 50 energy



[http://pove.arkku.net/upload/uploads/shenishield2.png]


Feint is a strong ability throughout the game, even rank 1 Feint is better than many other shields in the game as it doesn't cost Mana so it can be spammed to shield even the slightest bit of harrassing. Using Feint effectively to block long ranged poking such as Parrrley's from Gangplank and Spear Shots from Pantheon requires good reflexes and most importantly a lot of practicing to reliably do it.

Feint is exceptionally strong at freezing minion waves in lane, you can tank entire minion waves for a few extra seconds without taking any damage. On the other hand, it also helps you at pushing. Always turn it on when you have to push as fast as possible to lower the Cooldown of your passive, Ki Strike, to get more procs off.



E: Shadow Dash

Explanation:

Shen dashes along target line, dealing magic damage to enemy champions he contacts and taunting them for 1.5 seconds. Enemies deal half damage to Shen while they are taunted. Shen gains 40 energy for each enemy champion he contacts.

Cooldown: 16 / 14 / 12 / 10 / 8
Cost: 120 energy
Magic damage: 50 / 80 / 110 / 140 / 190 (+ 50% AP)



[http://pove.arkku.net/upload/uploads/shentaun3.png]


Shadow Dash is without a doubt one of the strongest non-ultimate abilities in the game. With 40% CDR the Cooldown goes down to 4.8 seconds meaning that you can use it multiple times during a teamfight as well as chase down any fleeing enemies.

An extremely important aspect of this ability is that its energy cost is whopping 120 energy, but it refunds energy for every enemy champion you taunt. If you miss your target(s) you will run out of energy fast.

Shadow Dash also has no effect on minions or neutral monsters; it doesn't apply the magic damage nor does it grant you the 50% damage reduction. I often see Shen's use it when clearing jungle camps or pushing minion waves but yeah, it does nothing.



R: Stand United

Explanation:

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.

Cooldown: 200 / 180 / 160
Cost: No cost
Shield: 250 / 550 / 850 (+ 135% AP



[http://pove.arkku.net/upload/uploads/shenult2.png]


Stand United is a very uniqueue ability with three different main uses: Saving your teammates from dying on the other side of the map, organizing Stand United-ganks with your team to accumulate kills and map objectives for your team and lastly late game splitpushing. I will thoroughly cover all three of these main uses in the Early game-, Mid game- and Late game-chapters.

When using Stand United, you don't have to directly click on the champion you want to use it to. You can click on the picture of the desired champion in the panel in the left hand side of your screen, which looks like this ingame:

[http://pove.arkku.net/upload/uploads/shenultivasen.png]

From the panel you can also see the health bars of your allies at all times without having to check how they are doing from the minimap, which is an extremely useful tool for Shen as during the laning phase you should at all times keep an eye on the health bars so you know if there's a chance for you to ulti someone. You can also quickly take a look on the situation by pressing the f2, f3, f4 or f5 key each of which represent a teammate of yours and then focus your champion again by pressing f1 or space. You can use the champion portaits for any other ally-targeted abilities in the game as well, for example Soraka's heal and Nunu's Bloodboil.

Nocturne's ultimate, Paranoia prevents Shen from using his ultimate for the duration of it, even through the character portraits on the left.

You can cancel your Stand United from teleporting yourself during the channeling time by casting Flash or Teleport (to anywhere) during the channel. Not many people know of this trick, even lolwikia says that the teleport of the Stand United can't be canceled. Canceling your ulti with Flash is often pretty important because if you notice mid-channeling that you are teleporting to your own death then it can save your life. Furthermore you can use this trick to just give the shield to the ally of your chosing but still stay in lane to prevent the enemy from pushing down your turret.

Skill Order

[http://pove.arkku.net/upload/uploads/shenskillorder1.png]

> > >

And

[http://pove.arkku.net/upload/uploads/shenskillorder2.png]

> > >

Are both good choises. Leveling up Stand United always when possible is very important because it's an extremely powerful ability and the shield strength raises by 300 for each point and the Cooldown lowers by 20 seconds per rank.

Q, Vorpal Blade, is your main harassing and sustaining tool in lane and leveling it up before Feint or Shadow Dash massively increases your laning strength.

With the nerfs to the Cooldown of Shadow Dash it now has a 16 second Cooldown at rank 1 and 8 second Cooldown at rank 5 which is a massive difference, so leveling it up second from the basic abilities is often the best choice to be more mobile, aggressive and have a larger impact in skirmishes and teamfights by being able to do more Taunts.

Leveling up W, Feint, before Shadow Dash is a solid option as well, especially if you are playing on a very difficult lane and get harassed a lot.

Early game

Shen is one of the safest top laners in the game even from the early levels because he has more than decent sustain from Vorpal Blades, spammable shield in Feint and an excellent escape tool in Shadow Dash. He is both hard to slowly harass down as well as to burst him to low HP quickly even if he gets ganked. He doesn't have any exceptionally strong counters in lane, nor does he directly counter anyone himself. These are some general guidelines for laning as Shen and they work versus anyone.


- When laning try to wither down your lane opponent with constant Vorpal Blade spam, but if he stays behind his minions then always retreat after throwing the Blade ASAP to take as little as possible damage from his minions. Use the lane-bushes to your advantage as even a fraction of a second of invisibility from minions will de-aggro them.

- If you ever take damage in lane as Shen don't be too eager to use your Health potions as the sustain from the Healing-over-time effect of Vorpal Blade is very strong. If you are low on HP and want to get the highest amount of healing possible from your Q, always use it on the highest HP minions who aren't getting focused. The mark which triggers the Healing-over-time effect last's for 5 seconds on the target and re-triggering it refreshes the duration of the Heal-over-time. On top of that, last hitting a minion with the ability only heals you for 33% of the normal amount.

- Practice blocking abilities and Auto attack harass with your Feint, it's a very important part of your kit because it's such a strong tool in lane. Never hesitate to use it even for the slightest bit of harras because it has an almost meaningless energy cost of 50 and the Cooldown relatively low of 9-5 seconds depending on rank, without taking Cooldown redcution into account.

- Shen is one of, if not the best champion at forcing 1v1 trades with the enemy laner when they are at a disadvantage, with Shadow Dash. This makes Shen such a snowbally laner. If your enemy laner has his Ignite or a powerful Ultimate ability on Cooldown, but you have your Ignite up, you should constantly look for opportunities to Taunt him and stick to him. Because he doesn't have his Ignite or Ulti he will lose any duel to you and thus your enemy is forced to either immediately try to escape from you after the Taunt ends, making him lose a lot of HP for free, or fight back and get killed by you.

- After getting level 6 and when playing Shen you get to decide the fate of your teammates. During the laning phase if someone of your team is about to die on the other side of the map, you have the power to save them from death, but often it will result in your enemy laner gaining the opportunity to push multiple waves of minions, steal buffs from your jungle and possibly even take the turret. That's why most of the time it's not a good idea to use Stand United early in the game to save your teammates if you are already getting pushed under your turret by the enemy laner, or your jungler is not nearby to cover your lane. It also has a fairly long Cooldown of 3 minutes 20 seconds at rank 1.

Mid game

- You can and should use Stand United possibly even in early game, but especially mid game to organize ganks with it. Some champions provide excellent platforms for Stand United ganks, such as Leona, Galio, Twisted Fate and Rengar. But it can be made with any champion. Tell your Leona or whoever you want to Teleport to in advance that you will be ulting her so that she knows to use her dash and CC as soon as she sees the shield pop up. If you do it with Twisted Fate or Rengar and similar champions, you can combo your ultimates in the same time to create devastating 4 man ganks to bottom lane. Always look to create a Stand United gank when you have pushed your lane and it's not on Cooldown. When you manage to do a succesful gank and get a kill or more, always use the advantage to get Dragon or turrets from it.

- By mid game you should have at least the other one of your core item's, Sunfire Cape or Warmog's Armor, and possibly some parts of the second one. This means that you are probably the tankiest person in the map at this time meaning that your team has a big advantage in mid game teamfights for Dragon because you can either tank the Dragon for a long time without taking any significant damage from it or zone multiple members of the enemy team out of the dragon pit just by yourself when the rest of your team is taking dragon.

Late game

- The third and most important use of Stand United is late game splitpushing. This is the main reason why Shen is a highly valued pick in professional level play, he is simply the best splitpusher in the game. He is not the best because he clears minion waves or destroys turrets faster than others, which he does not, but he is the best because it's extremely hard for the enemy team to initiate to the Shen's team because of the 850 HP shield and a guaranteed incoming taunt because he will be getting precisely in the middle of the action with his teleport.

- So late game when Stand United is not on Cooldown, you should most of the time separate from your team and push other lanes alone which either forces the enemy to send someone or even multiple people to defend against you or to give you free turrets. When they send people to deal with you, tell your team to initiate a fight with the other enemies which allows you to teleport in with Stand United and create 5v4 or 5v3 teamfights.

- In teamfights your job is not to stick to the enemy carries and disrupt them, but it's to protect your own carries with your ~5 second Cooldown Taunts (depending on how much Cooldown reduction you have) and by forming a frontline for them so that nobody from the enemy team can ignore you.

Items

Starting items

rejuvenation-beadsight-wardhealth-potion5health-potion

As a top laner it's important to include multiple Health potions as well as a Sight Ward to your starting item's to keep you healthy in lane and safe from ganks. Rejuvenation Bead is a part of your Warmog's Armor, but you can replace it with more Health potions or a second Sight Ward as a safer route.


Doran's Shield

Doran's Shield is an amazing item to get on your first back for Shen to shutdown any haras from physical damage dealing top laners. Buying it will delay getting your core item's, but on the other hand it lets you farm more safely and sustain in lane longer making it a worthy purchase most of the time. Don't buy it versus mages like Rumble or Vladimir, start working on your Warmog's Armor when laning against them.



Core items

Sunfire Cape

Sunfire Cape is the perfect item for Shen. It gives damage, tankiness and splitpushing power all in one. Don't underestimate the damage from the burn effect of the cape especially if you buy Sunfire before Warmogs, forcing trades with your Shadow Dash allows you to melt the Health bar of the opposing laner. Sunfire cape is a very snowbally top lane item in general because for any Physical damage dealing bruiser it's extremely hard to trade damage with someone who has a Sunfire Cape. If you are laning versus a magic damage dealing champion such as Rumble or Vladimir, buy Warmogs first and Sunfire after it.


Warmog's Armor

Warmog's Armor makes Shen an immovable object. 1000 Bonus health coupled with the Health regen of the item, sustain from Shen's Vorpal Blade, the spammable shield Feint and defensive Runes and Masteries simply means that once you get it it's hard to die to anything. You can stay in lane forever, dive turrets and tank multiple enemy champions in teamfights and skirmishes.


Ionian Boots, Ninja Tabi or Mercury's Treads

/ /

All three of them are very strong choices. Ninja Tabi's are very strong for laning phase if you are playing versus an Auto attacker like Xin Zhao, Ionian Boots help you reach that 40% CDR cap more easily which is very vital for Shen and Mercury's Treads are expensive, but a good source of Magic Resistance and Tenacity. If Mercs are the boots of your choice, don't rush them but rather leave them as Boots of Speed until you finish your core items.


Late game items

kindlegem => locket-of-the-iron-solari / shurelyas-reverie / spirit-visage /

Cooldown reduction is a very strong stat on Shen to get more Taunts and more shields off in a teamfight as well as having Stand United available as often as possible, leaving you the ability to splitpush. Aim to get around 30-40% Cooldown reduction every game with a combination of items of your choice.


Locket of the Iron Solari

Locket is a strong item to have in teamfights and even without the active it gives a moderate amount of Health and Armor for only 2000 Gold.


Shurelya's Reverie

Shurelya's is an extremely strong mid/late game utility item to have in a team, but it doesn't give great stats for the owner of it, only a moderate amount of Health and very little Regen on top of the 10% CDR which is the main reason why it's a strong item for Shen. Get Shurelya's either if your team is ahead and you want to force engages, or if your team lacks counter-initiation. Remember that there's nothing wrong in having multiple Reveries in a team unlike Aegis for example, the more the better.


Spirit Visage

Spirit Visage is an excellent Magic Resistance/Cooldown reduction item to mitigate the damage you take from mages. It's an excellent item for Shen in most games, but if the enemy team does not have any magic damage dealers, don't buy it. The 20% Healing increasing passive does not work with heals from other sources than Shen himself, such as allied Soraka heals for example.


Randuin's Omen

Randuins is an excellent late game item for Shen as you will be usually getting focused by the enemy AD Carry in teamfights because AD Carries must attack the frontline only to maintain their safe position. The active is also very strong if your team lacks assasination strength to finish the low HP enemies in teamfights since you can use the slow to make sure that nobody escapes from your team.


Statikk Shiv

Statikk is a cheap item which mainly increases your splitpushing speed and Movement speed, but it does slightly increase your damage output in teamfights as well. I recommend including either Statikk Shiv or Wits End in your build most of the games.


Wits End

Wits End is similar to Statikk Shiv, the differences mainly being that Wits End is slightly cheaper, gives more single target damage and gives a decent chunk of Magic Resistance, while Statikk Shiv is a bit more expensive, clears minion waves faster and gives Movement speed. It's an excellent damage and Magic Resistance item for Shen overall, but if you aren't tanky enough in teamfights then Mercury's Treads, Runic Bulwark and Spirit Visage are better Magic Resistance options than Wits end.


Frozen Mallet

Mallet is a solid pickup when your team lacks Crowd control or when you need to be able to peel for your carries better.


Aegis of the Legion / Runic Bulwark /

Aegis of the Legion is a very cost effective item when you add the stats your teammates get from the Aura. Every team should usually have at least one Aegis or Bulwark, but it's almost always either the jungler or the support who buys it because they don't need to buy big selfish items first, like Shen needs his Sunfire and Warmogs. If late game no one from your team has it, buy it.



Questionable items


Abyssal Sceptre

Never get this item on Shen. Shen has AP ratios left in his kit because years ago he was more of an AP Tank, but he has gone through a lot of changes since then. If the item would give a lot less AP and more Magic Resistance it might be a decent item for Shen, but it's just too AP heavy item for Shen right now.


Trinity Force

TriForce Shen is largely popularized by Darien of Gambit Gaming who has been doing it from his EUNE/Empire days to present. It's a very different build from rushing Warmogs and Sunfire and a uniqueue way of playing Shen. Triforce is very expensive and only gives a little bit of tankiness through the Health the Phage gives. Feel free to give Triforce Shen a try in a normal game and see what you think, but personally I don't like it or wouldn't recommend anyone other than Darien to do it in a more important game.

Final Comments

Thank you for reading my Shen guide fellow Summoners, I hope you managed to get something out of it. If you have any questions or comments, don't hesitate to drop a comment below. I will answer every question and I'll also do my best to constantly update this guide in the future so keep an eye out for updates.

See you on the Fields of Justice Summoners :)!

Comments

August 28, 2013 - 05:32 PM #1

this is actually a pretty good guide. I enjoyed the fact that you explain item by item its ups and downs. overall its pretty nice. Maybe you could improve it now by including the 3.10 patch. Good job

May 30, 2013 - 05:34 AM #2

Now that HP pots are capped at 5, I like to do Cloth+5 vs AD and Rejuv, Ward, HP Pots vs AP top laners. The rejuv helps with warmogs early vs AP and the Cloth armor helps so much vs AD, most of which I see going Long Sword+2HP to start now. The cloth cancels out the long sword for the most part, and you end up with more pots than them.

May 27, 2013 - 02:39 AM #3

Hey! I noticed that you said you can cancel your ult with tele or flash but I have done it in game where right before I tele with my ulti i can use my e to cancel it.

May 18, 2013 - 08:21 AM #4

Why did you change runes and masteries?

May 3, 2013 - 04:35 PM #5

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hUfeB6S3Q6Y

plz watch this vid at 23:55, marknoon's shen can cancel his ultimate by himself and he didn't use flash or teleport

how he can do this ???

April 29, 2013 - 07:41 PM #6

I'd like to see this guide transform into a more detailed guide with lane matchups and all of that. Other than that, good job.

April 29, 2013 - 12:18 PM #7

this guide is really precise and to the point. Its really good because you explained almost every thing you stated :D

if it isn't too troublesome, i would like to see a chapter on splitpushing, when to back, when to push and maybe also areas to ward when you're pushing..

thank you for the guide anyhowz :3

April 27, 2013 - 07:15 AM #8

Awesome guide. For once I loved the simplicity and how it told me exactly what I needed to know.

Oh and excellent English btw :D

April 26, 2013 - 03:12 AM #9

Have you considered Zeke's Herald on Shen? Get some cooldown reduction with a small amount of health and the aura is really nice if you have a lot of AD on your team.

April 24, 2013 - 06:18 AM #10

Short, Sweet, and to the point. Love the guide, thanks for the information man exactly what I needed to hear.