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SHEN BUILD GUIDE: [S4 Top Lane] Very High Shen by KingJanwar

by KingJanwar (last updated Today)

263,340 Views 5 Comments
9
Greater Seal of Armor(+12.69 armor)
9
Greater Mark of Hybrid Penetration(8.1 Armor Penetration and 5.58 Magic Penetration)
9
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist(+12.06 magic resist)
3
Greater Quintessence of Health(+78 health)
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Summoner Spells
View Summoner Details

Starting

Full Item Build

View Item Details
9
21
0
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 4/4
mastery 3 0/4
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 1/1
mastery 2 0/3
mastery 3 3/3
mastery 3 0/1
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/1
mastery 3 1/1
mastery 3 0/3
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/3
mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/3
mastery 3 0/1
mastery 2 0/1
9 Offense
mastery 1 2/2
mastery 2 2/2
mastery 3 1/2
mastery 4 0/2
mastery 1 1/1
mastery 2 3/3
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 1/1
mastery 3 3/3
mastery 4 0/3
mastery 1 3/3
mastery 2 0/1
mastery 3 0/1
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 1/1
mastery 2 3/4
mastery 3 0/1
mastery 2 1/1
21 Defense
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/3
mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 2 0/3
mastery 3 0/1
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 0/3
mastery 2 0/1
mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/1
mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 0/2
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/3
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

Introduction

Hey, I am KingJanwar, a high elo player than has several hundred games played on Shen and I will show you how I play him.


This guide will show you how to use Shen as a tank. I prefer him in the top lane as he requires quite a bit of farm to get his build working-which he requires to win trades. He has great sustain (with his Q and health regen) and is also a good disruptive tank. His ultimate is game-changing and was the one of the reasons he was banned so often in Seasons 2-3, along with his split-pushing capabilities.

Pros:
Great Sustain
One of the best late game tanks
Able to split push well
Able to trade well in lane
Hard to turret dive
Mixed damage-hard to itemize against
Full team taunts
Some burst

Cons:
No MR per level
Low base armor
Needs items to be tanky
Not much damage
Only 1 form of CC-can be difficult to land and cripples you if you miss it

Runes

Marks
-Hybrd marks to counter MR runes and since most top laners get armor. You deal mixed damage between your Q and passive as well as even the little damage your taunt does and your autoattacks. And in top lane, you will most likely trade autos as well.
-Attack speed marks are also good since Shen goes well with attack speed because of his passive. More AS will help you proc your Q and lower your passive's cooldown. Last hitting under turret and trading autos will also be aided as well. The reason I don't pick these up is because all marks of AS only give 1.7% per mark and will total, at level 1, only give Shen .1 more AS.
Seals
-I run armor seals since Shen actually has lower armor than other tanks. These are pretty much the only option you have because autos are so important in top lane and every champion can auto. Not to mention Shen's rather lower base armor and armor seals are a must.
Glyphs
-Flat MR glyphs because Shen does not receive MR per level.
-Scaling MR glyphs are also ok but flat MR helps more early on and only outmatch the flat MR runes at level 9, when you will have enough money to buy MR yourself.
Quints
-Health quints because it will increase your early game tankiness and increase your Ki Strike damage because it scales with your max health. With Doran's Shield you will have about 700+ health, making your passive a good trading tool.
-Percent health quints are also strong right now because Shen scales very well into late game. Early game the quints will give you about 25 health versus the 78 health you get from flat quints. Even late game, with 4000 health, you will receive about 180 health which late game, is not too much. Personally, I would take the early game power of flat quints.

Masteries

mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 4/4
mastery 3 0/4
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 1/1
mastery 2 0/3
mastery 3 3/3
mastery 3 0/1
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/1
mastery 3 1/1
mastery 3 0/3
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/3
mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/3
mastery 3 0/1
mastery 2 0/1
9 Offense
mastery 1 2/2
mastery 2 2/2
mastery 3 1/2
mastery 4 0/2
mastery 1 1/1
mastery 2 3/3
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 1/1
mastery 3 3/3
mastery 4 0/3
mastery 1 3/3
mastery 2 0/1
mastery 3 0/1
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 1/1
mastery 2 3/4
mastery 3 0/1
mastery 2 1/1
21 Defense
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/3
mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 2 0/3
mastery 3 0/1
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 0/3
mastery 2 0/1
mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/1
mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 0/2
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/3
mastery 2 0/1
0 Utility
A rather standard mastery page for an AP defensive tank. Put points into Mental Force and Arcane Mastery to make use of Shen's AP scaling to trade early game with Vorpal Blade (Q) and autoattack to proc your passive (Ki Strike) and Expose Weakness. The defense tree helps Shen with low defensive stats early game while making use of his health scaling. Specifically, the Veteran Scars points helps your early game alot with 36 health. I would like to stress the importance of not taking the Runic Blessing point due to its lack of usefulness with a non-regening, 50 health shield. One of the main goals of a disruptive tank is to be in the enemy team, being the main focus for them. In order to do this, you need to not be CC'ed so we take the final point in the tree, Legendary Guardian which reduces CC by 15% which will add on to your Mercury Treads for a good 50% CC reduction.

Summoner Sets

Flash & Teleport
Flash to engage, catch someone, or escape. (Note: Flash-taunts can turn games around)

Teleport makes up for one major weakness of Shen which is that when he ults around the map, the enemy laner can push out their lane take your tower. This helps prevent that even though you lose kill potential in lane and may have to play more passively. You can also recall, and teleport back to lane to get better items and either force the enemy laner to back or kill them. If you are in a matchup where there is little to no kill potential, I would pick this up to make plays elsewhere.
Flash & Ignite
Flash to engage, catch someone, or escape. (Note: Flash-taunts can turn games around)

Ignite to have kill potential in lane and reduce healing from certain champions (Volibear, Vladmir..)

Ignite
Ignites an enemy champion, dealing 50 + (20 × level) true damage over 5 seconds, reducing their health regeneration and healing received by 50%, and revealing them for the duration.
Level Total DMG Damage over Time
1 70 14
2 90 18
3 110 22
4 130 26
5 150 30
6 170 34
7 190 38
8 210 42
9 230 46
10 250 50
11 270 54
12 290 58
13 310 62
14 330 66
15 350 70
16 370 74
17 390 78
18 410 82
Flash & Heal
Flash to engage, catch someone, or escape. (Note: Flash-taunts can turn games around)

With the changes to Heal, it can help Shen 1v1 people, bait an enemy, and help your carry to kite. If you are in a matchup where you could get dived easily or even in a 1v2, this may not be such a bad pickup.

Heal
Heals the caster and the target nearest to the cursor (prioritizes the most wounded allied champion if no allied champions are near the cursor) for 90-345 health (depending on level), also granting +30% movement speed for 1 second.
Level Heal
1 90
2 105
3 120
4 135
5 150
6 165
7 180
8 195
9 210
10 225
11 240
12 255
13 270
14 285
15 300
16 315
17 330
18 345

Item Builds

Starting Build(s)
Default Starting Build
Starting Items:
- This is pretty much the standard start for most top laners. The health helps your passive and the health regen helps you sustain. Even versus AP champions, they will auto you and the unique passive helps you receive less damage.



Final Build(s)
Standard Final Items
Boots:
mercurys-treads - For CC/AP
ninja-tabi - For AD

Core:
sunfire-cape randuins-omen

Late Game:
thornmail

Situational:
spirit-visagewarmogs-armorthornmail wits-end locket-of-the-iron-solari
Build Order

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
Pretty standard on all Shens. I prefer to Q-E-W at Level 1-3
R>Q>E>W
Take a point in Vorpal Blade (Q) to trade at level 1 and last hit caster minions based on your matchup. Take a point in Shadow Dash (E) to escape an early gank or all-in as well as follow up on your own jungler's gank. Take a point in Feint (W) to trade with your opposing laner and lower Ki Strike's cooldown to aid with last hitting under turret. From then on, max Vorpal Blade (Q) to increase its damage and lower its cooldown. Then max Shadow Dash (E) to do the same and max Feint (W) last as it provides the least utility. Always max Stand United (R) when you can at level 6, 11, and 16.

Skills

Ki Strike
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. Cooldown reduction does not affect Ki Strike, but Shen's basic attacks will reduce the cooldown of Ki Strike by 1 second each.

Explanation:
Helps in last hitting, harassing, and trading evenly. Does decent damage early game so try to keep autoing minions to keep it up. Needed to last hit a minion under tower. A ++ can burst down many champs. (Note that it refunds energy when you proc this)

Cooldown is always 9 seconds
Scales with 10% of Shen's bonus health, not max health
Vorpal Blade
Shen throws a blade at the target enemy, dealing magic damage and marking them for 5 seconds. Shen and allied champions that damage a marked enemy will 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.

Explanation:
Your main tool for harassment though you can last hit with this too. Low CD and energy cost so spam this as much as you can. Also the main form of sustain for Shen. Note that the healing you receive from this is more of a buff rather than an instant heal. Last hit with this to heal but experienced Shen players will save this to poke the enemy laner and last hit with just autos. Also use this on the cannon minion and auto once in a while to keep the heal buff up for a few seconds.

Cooldown: 6 / 5.5 / 5 / 4.5 / 4
Damage: 60 / 100 / 140 / 180 / 220
Damage scales at 60% AP Ratio
Heal scales with 1.5% of your max health
Feint
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.

Explanation:
A standard shield that scales with AP. Helps in trading evenly and tanking minion waves. May seem lackluster but it allows him to trade by blocking incoming damage.

Cooldown: 9 / 8 / 7 / 6 / 5
Scales with 60% AP
Shield: 60 / 100 / 140 / 180 / 220
Shadow Dash
Shen dashes along target line, dealing magic damage to enemy champions he contacts and taunting them for 1.5 seconds. While taunted, enemies are forced to attack Shen and their basic attacks deal half damage. Shen gains 40 energy for each enemy champion he contacts.

Explanation:
Your only form of CC and escape. With moderate early game CD, try and save this in lane. Good 2-5 chaamp taunts turn fights around and even helps in dueling people when split-pushing. You take reduced dmg and it also refunds energy per person you taunt. If you miss this skill, it will severally cripple you as at early ranks it has a long cooldown and you will be out of energy. With the nerfs, it is harder to land sadly.The cast time also makes it predictable to flash out of, requiring a Flash+Shadow Dash to really catch anyone.++ makes you take no dmg while dealing dmg simultaneously

Cooldown: 16 / 14 / 12 / 10 / 8
Damage: 50 / 85 / 120 / 155 / 190
Scales with 50% AP
Stand United
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.

Explanation:
Bread and butter skill that makes or breaks a Shen. The most important thing is when you ult. You have to know every champ's abilities, their items(how much dmg they do), and ability cds to make the decision to ult. Sometimes you ult 1 millisecond too late and end up kicking yourself or 1 millisecond too early and ending getting yourself in a bad situation. (Note you can dash away at the last second to cancel your ult without flashing. Also it just gives the shield and will give you the assist.) This is why Shen is a great split-pusher as he can be anywhere in the map and instantly join a team fight. A good habit is to always keep an eye on the minimap and your ally's health on the side. Make sure to look where your ulting before even clicking on someone. If a teammate is fighting a bursty champ, chances are you ult will not help much and will just burn your cd. Sometimes not ulting is better than wasting it as the enemy will always have to keep in mind if you ult.

Cooldown: 200 / 180 / 160
Shield: 250 / 550 / 850
Scales with 135% AP

Champion Matchups

Aatrox
Difficulty
Favors You
This matchup is rather easy for Shen. Just keep hitting him with your Q and block his Blade of Torment with your W. With your poke, you will out sustain him and zone him. If he attempts to all-in you, just taunt away-completely stopping his only gap closing ability. Try to keep the wave pushed to your turret to protect yourself from ganks and being all-in'ed as he can't turret dive you. He can last hit under turret easily so there is not much point to pushing out.
Akali
Difficulty
Favors You
This is an easy matchup until level 6 of course when she gets an enormous amount of killing potential. Pre 6, keep hitting with your Qs and blocking her's with your W. If she tries to shroud, immediately dash where she was to negate it. Eventually, you will out sustain her. Post-6, she will probably try to bait out your dash so save it for when she tries to all in. Build MR so you can survive her burst and ask your jungler for a gank pre-6 so you can get ahead.
Chogath
Difficulty
Favors Enemy
This is often an even matchup that is based on skill. Chogath has better waveclear than you and will often push you to your turret and poke you down with all his skills. When he does this, ask for a gank from your jungler to shut him down. Otherwise, simply farm at turret and engage when his cooldowns are up. Poke him down with your Q to negate his passive healing. Play safe to prevent yourself from dying and giving him a stack for his ult. Late game, try to dive onto to him to prevent him from getting his full combo off onto your squishies.
Darius
Difficulty
Favors You
This is a tough matchup due to straight damage Darius can put out. You will have the advantage level 1-2 due to Darius not having all his abilities but after that, a good Darius will win most trades. At level 6, he gains a huge power spike while you do not, adding even more obstacles to this lane. A gank from your jungler at a early level might alleviate some pressure, but even having 1 kill on him doesn't mean you can win this lane. Look to just farm close to your turret, taunt away if he pulls you in, and shield his bleed damage. Late game, just become tanky rather than build damage to soak up the burst from Darius. Try to dive on to him to force him to waste all his spells on you.
Drmundo
Difficulty
Favors You
This is a health regen lane that you might lose, but you have poke on your side. Dr. Mundo has better waveclear but if you keep poking him down with your Q, you will force him to either back or zone him. As long as you stay in your creep wave, he cannot hit you with his Q's yet you can still Q him every time he goes to last hit. Take ignite in this lane for his ult which will regen alot of health.
Fiora
Difficulty
Favors Enemy
Fiora is a high damage, all-in champion -- exactly what Shen is weak against. However, if your jungler ganks a few times or you outplay her and get ahead, you can completely shut her down. However, an experienced Fiora would not let this happen to her so this is why it usually favors her. At level 1, hit her with as many Qs as you can, as she has no way to trade with you yet. Every time she goes to last hit, she should expect a Q to negate her passive healing. Post 6, be very wary of the enemy jungler coming up and turret diving you. Try to taunt her before she ults because she relies on autos into her ult to burst people down regardless of a turret. Your taunt makes you receive 50% less damage from autoattacks and unable to cast her ult, shutting her down. Late game, she will try to assassinate your carries so before she ults, immediately peel for them and taunt her. She is squishy and relies on invincibility and healing to stay alive. If exposed for a few seconds, she will die instantly.
Renekton
Difficulty
Favors You
Shen is one of the few champs that can deal with Renekton. He can keep up with his sustain, out poke him, and just dash away if he tries his combo. Try to start Doran's Shield to out sustain him in lane and win AA trades. At level 1, he has no way of touching you because Vorpal Blade has 475 range while Cull the Meek's is 225. If he tries to all-in you at level 3 or the jungler comes, just dash away or flash if needed because once Renekton gets ahead of you, this lane becomes difficult. He will get more HP and damage than you, rendering you useless. Levels 4-6 try to focus on farming and not being pushed under turret. Shen has a hard time last hitting under turret and Renekton excels at pushing waves. At level 6 he gets a huge power spike over you so try not to all-in and be baited by a low health Renekton. Post 6, if you are ahead or even you will win most trades because your Q comes up faster than his. You will eventually out scale him and have more utility late game. Try to keep him off your squishies during teamfights and he will be taken down quickly.
Shyvana
Difficulty
Favors You
Shyvana is a melee bruiser with no way to deal with your poke except going all-in. At early levels, you are able to Q her freely, and if she tries to trade with you, she will be forced to use her W, Burnout, which will push the lane. Simply call in your jungler to kill the over extended Shyvana. Mid to late game, Shen will scale similarly to Shyvana but may have a hard time dueling her. When Shyvana ults, you can interrupt it with your taunt. In team fights, your main goal should be to keep her off your ADC and back line and focusing you instead.

Item Builds

This is what makes this an interesting build. With this build, we take advantage of Shen's Health scaling and make him an unkillable, dueling tank.

- If the enemy has lots of CC or some AP, its nice to pick these up. More often than not, you'll be getting these

OR
- If the enemy team has lots of AD, you'll get these.

- Standard for all Shens. Gives health, armor, and and AOE wave clear to help in split-pushing. (Note that this does constant passive magic dmg.)

- Gives you armor and health and a unique passive that helps you 1v1 people and helps in teamfights by slowing the enemies and those who dive for your back line and slowing their attack speed.

- Gives you heath and magic resist and prevents you from being bursted down or taking poke damage. Be sure to keep track of the cooldown and try to block important spells. With the recent changes to Banshees, the cost efficiency has been improved for Shen. Depending on the situation, I would take this over Spirit Visage due to the cdr only shaving 16 seconds off on your ultimate.

- A very good item if your enemy team is AD heavy as it helps you 1v1 and hurts the enemy AD carry as well

- Mainly bought to help wave clear late game to help you split push. Not to mention it helps to kill turrets faster and gives you more killing potential.

SITUATIONAL:

- If your carries really more shields, consider picking this item as it gives you a full team shield and not to mention making you tankier as well.

- If the enemy has alot of AP, this isnt a bad pickup since it has CDR as well

- Also standard on all Shens. Lots of health to be tanky and scales that passive and Q healing

-A nice MR/AS item that works well with your AP scalings and helps you split push faster

- Give health and AP, heavily increasing your shield amount which is good for carries that are being focused.

- Only get this item if you are really ahead and a considerable damage source for your team. Otherwise, more defensive stats are more useful.

Early Game

The early game depends on your team's plan. Shen provides a strong level 1 with a crowd control ability that affects multiple people. Stay with your team if you plan to invade and catch anyone you see. Look to burn flashes or get kills but I wouldn't recommend burning your own flash unless its a guaranteed kill. If your team isn't invading and you have to leash your jungler, I usually throw 1 Q and AA once to proc my passive as that's the most damage Shen can provide. The Q healing usually helps the jungler clear the camp after you leave. When you enter lane, the biggest concern will be hitting level 2 first which means clearing the entire first wave and the first melee minion of the next wave. At level 1, hit your enemy with as many Qs as you can because this will be the easiest opportunity to do so. Note that spells do not draw minion aggro and only AAs do. Depending on who hits level 2 first, either attempt to engage or back off a bit. If you hit level 2 first but the enemy is in their creep wave, you would not want to taunt into that. If the enemy is attacking your creeps to get a last hit, that is the perfect time to taunt them-drawing minion aggro-Q them and AA them once to get your passive off and walk backwards so they will be pulled deeper into your creep wave and they will take more damage. Try to cast your Q immediately after you taunt lands so your refunded energy will be put to use.

Mid Game

Split-Pushing
After the first few turrets fall, you will most likely have your ult. Now you have to watch other lanes to ult and be able to cs/harass in your own lane which can be difficult. A good tactic is to look at the mini-map for when your teammates and enemies are close together and quickly look at the lane. You can also look at the side portraits for people who are low hp but that can be very unreliable and I try to not to do it based on that. If a team fight is occurring, look to ult an initiator/ a carry who is being focused. One of the tricky things is when to ult as if you ult too early, they enemy team can just back away and waste your ult but if you ult too late, people could die or you put yourself in a bad situation. If your ult is on cooldown, try and stay with your team and soak up damage with your W.
A very important thing for Shen is to keep up in experience purely for his ult because they huge boost for every rank they have. Look to always be split pushing a lane if it is pushed in. However, only overextend when you can confirm 3+ enemy positions on the map and you know for a fact that you can 1v1 anyone they send. Even if you can't 1v1 the enemy top laner, it is okay to push the lane and back off when they appear. This will force the enemy team into a 4v5 situation and creates map pressure.

Late Game

After you have 5 to 6 items, you still need to look for opportunities to split push which requires more communication with your team. Try to keep wards up to know when people are coming for you to prevent from getting caught out. With more items, Shen has a better chance to 1v1 the enemy top laner as he scales very well into late game. Your aim is to put the enemy into a bad place and force them to make bad decisions by either coming to kill you, or not defending whatever objective your team is taking.

Team Fights

With Ult:
If you are ulting into a team fight, you will most likely be ulting a carry to prevent them from being bursted or an initiator to get onto their back line. If you ulted the initiator, be sure to taunt/flash-taunt immediately to get your damage off and force them out of the team fight. If you ulted a carry, wait to taunt to peel for them and soak up cc and damage. Make sure to Q high priority targets to mark them for your team and subtly indicate who to focus while allowing them to heal off of them.

Without Ult:
If you are with your team, the most important thing is to get as many people into your taunt as possible to allow AoE damage to hit all of them and prevent them from hitting your team. Do this by flash-taunting at an angle. You can taunt one person in a straight line, then flash in another direction to get multiple people taunted. After this, just peel for your team and keep your Q's up on the enemies so your team can heal.

Final Comments

While Shen may seem an easy champion to play, to perform at a higher level, he requires an in-depth knowledge of the champion and lots of experience to understand trading, teamfighting, and positioning. At standard level of play, he can be predictable and easy to fight and kill. The more you play Shen, the more you understand what you are capable of doing and when to do it.

Comments

September 24, 2014 - 12:44 PM #1

Wow amazing guide! Helped me master shen, I hope you plan to make more guides in the future.

September 5, 2014 - 07:28 PM #2

I suggest you take a look at other featured guides in our guide lists to get a better insight of what a fatured guide has to have in.

July 12, 2014 - 11:19 AM #3

http://www.solomid.net/guide/view/35596-generic-build-guide-by-slater-von-j-ger - Please refer to this and improve several chapters such as Summoner spells and masteries.

February 11, 2014 - 12:33 AM #4

http://sh.st/cM6P

January 11, 2014 - 01:48 AM #5

Needs adjustment, Your defence tree needs one more point in 4th row before you can put any in 5th. :)

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