IntroductionShen is one of those tanks who can farm in peace but always be there for his team when hes needed (kind of like Singed). Even though Riot nerfed his damage by almost a landslide, his presence on the map will always still be strong. His ultimate will always make any 1v1 into a 1v2 fight in a matter of seconds. He can easily save anyone from a gank, and that is what makes him strong.
Shen runs on Energy, so he can farm a lane without ever having to worry about mana. Shen is also an easy champion to play for most people, because he is a strong split pusher (like singed, nidalee, TF, etc.). He is also very hard to be ganked with the provided summoner spells and abilities (exhaust, ghost, shadowdash, Feint, or even his Ultimate). As long as Stand United is an active ability on Shen, he will always remain strong as a champion.
Standard tanking masteries with one in utility for improved Ghost, magic penetration + improved exhaust in offensive, and then the rest of the talent points in the defensive tree. This mastery set provides strong poking abilities with Q and still be as tough as any tank should be.
I don't get the last point into the defensive tree because improved Ghost is a lot more important and stacking all of the talent points in the defensive tree elsewhere is still good. This also copes for the magic penetration in the offensive tree.
I get magic penetration marks because it helps a lot with his early game harrassing with his Q (significantly stronger starting at lvl 2 Vorpal Blade) and his passive. You could get armor as well if you decide you want to play more defensively.
I get HP/lvl seals because it helps with his passive as well as just having more health. Armor is also an option, but HP/lvl provides more for his passive (Ki Strike). Energy regen/lvl is also an option if you decide you don't want HP/lvl or armor seals. Energy regen is great for Shen mainly because he can get low on energy very soon in battle (as opposed to Akali or Leesin) and having the ability to use moves more often in battle is amazing.
I get MR/lvl glyphs because starting at level 6, you're going to be going into bigger battles soon, and that extra MR from MR/lvl will continue to increase past flat MR. Flat energy (2.2) is also a great option for Shen if the enemy team doesn't have much AP damage.
I can Flat HP and movement speed quints. If you barely taunted an escaping enemy, you can thank the movement speed quints later. But also, HP quints are very helpful as well - for the huge boost early game and for his passive. Both are good, and thats why I would use both.
The problem with energy runes is that it is very very expensive and not many people are looking to dedicate a single rune page just for Shen. But if you love Shen and hes your main tank somehow, consider getting energy runes as it will pay off really well in team fights.
Ghost is a must. You need it everywhere. If you don't have Ghost, you're going to be kited around by the enemy team so easily.
Exhaust is also a crucial summoner spell. You can use it before you taunt so that it is guaranteed to land (the taunt that is). Its also a very good support spell especially with the mastery point in the offensive tree.
Don't get flash, it is useless for Shen. Especially if you miss taunt after flashing, not only will it make you look like an idiot, but you just wasted a very long summoner spell when you could have had Ghost or Exhaust instead. And to run, you have shadow dash to leap over walls. Flash is not necessary.
Ignite is an option. If you feel that the opposing team doesn't have too much AD and you want to do some damage for your team, you could pick up Ignite. Ignite is great, but I still feel like Ghost/Exhaust is good for almost any situation.
Clairvoyance is also an option if your team doesn't already have one. Although Shen is great with exhaust, your teammates can also pick up exhaust for their stronger benefits while you get CV.
Teleport: You mean you don't have a global ultimate? You do. Don't get teleport. Not over exhaust or ghost.
Passive: Ki Strike
Every 8 seconds, Shen's next attack will deal 8% of bonus health point as bonus magic damage (base damage of 10). Each time a champion hits Shen with an attack, Ki Strike activates 2 seconds quicker.
15 extra damage at level 1. Solid passive ability. Also lowers its cooldown when you get hit by any source of damage. You can maximize your damage with this passive up before taunting someone and using Vorpal Blade. Also great for side pushing a lane.
Q: Vorpal Blade
Deals 50/90/130/170/210 (+65% of ability power) magic damage to target unit. That unit becomes life tapped for 5 seconds, healing any champions who attack it for 10 / 20 / 30 / 40 / 50 (+20% of ability power) health over 3 seconds.
/ 65 / 60 / 55 / 50 energy
A great harrassing ability for Shen. Does OK damage with magic penetration starting at level 2, but also spammable at laning phase (so it does consistent damage). When you're missing some health, be sure to Vorpal Blade a minion and auto attacking it while watching the buff above your HUD HP bar (if you don't want to push too much, keep an eye on the Vorpal Blade buff and only hit the creep again once the buff is about to run out). Also great for last hitting minions.
Shen enters a defensive stance, shielding the next 50 / 100 / 150 / 200 / 250 (+60% of ability power) damage. Lasts up to 1.5 seconds.
Cost 45 energy
A strong defensive ability that can be used to negate all types of damage. Is a turret about to shoot you? Just press W. Is Karthus's ultimate about to hit you? Just press W.
You can use this ability to bait people into diving you when you're low.
Energy runes are great for this ability, especially if you're looking forward into spamming this move which is good at most times. It will negate a lot more damage than you think if you keep using this ability with energy runes in battle.
E: Shadow Dash
Shen rapidly dashes to a target location, Taunting enemies he collides with for 0.8 / 1.1 / 1.4 / 1.7 / 2 second(s).
Restores 50 Energy if you hit a champion.
Cost 120 / 115 / 110 / 105 / 100 energy
Shen's offensive and defensive ability. Can be used to jump over walls, juke using Fog of War, and to just catch people with sudden surprise. When stacked fully, it can taunt runners for up to 2 seconds! which can be huge when combined with Exhaust. This ability makes Shen very mobile for almost all situations. Try not using this move before a team fight because taunting the enemy is Shen's most threatening move. His presence is huge with this ability up.
R: Stand United
Places a shield on both a target allied champion and Shen, absorbing 200/475/750 (+100% of ability power) damage for 7.5 seconds. After channeling for 2.5 seconds, Shen teleports to the target's location.
Cost 50 energy
And finally, we have another global ultimate. One of the strongest in the game I must also add. When this ability is up, it really creates a stir for the other team as they will think twice before trying to gank one of your teammates (even better if they forget). The recent nerf with this ability makes it significantly weaker so try using this ability sooner than intended.
This is the only reason why Shen is a great split pusher (especially bottom lane because it is further away from Baron). He is always there with his team, just not physically there yet. When a team fight happens, Shen will just stop farming and just ulti to where the battle is. Instant 5v5. The main reason to split push is because it applies pressure to the other team. Should they stop you? If they do, your team could potentially get Baron. If they don't stop you? You get their tower. Its just pressure for their team.
If you're being ganked, you can also use this ability on someone on the map to escape to save yourself. Just run into he nearest bush (especially if the enemy has a disabling ability) and ulti to get away safely.
You can use keys F2-F5 to ulti a teammate a lot easier when your teammate calls it (very effective against Nocturne's ultimate).
Careful when you use this ability though, especially when in laning phase. If you know using this ability will save a teammate... by all means, use your ultimate. But if you use this ability just to "help out", your lane could be pushed in very hard and worse case scenario, you could lose your tower if no ones covering it.
R>Q>E>W Or R>Q>W>E
This is the skill order I generally do. Sometimes I go out of it, but it really depends. I get taunt level 1 if we're doing a level 1 fight (which is often) or I would get Vorpal Blade if I'm going straight to laning phase. I stack Vorpal blade regardless, as it really helps with your presence in lane and also last hitting creeps.
I usually stack E after Q for general occasions. But when you're in lane and you're going against a harass heavy duo, you're going to want to stack W before E. You want to stay in lane as long as possible before level 6 and stacking W after Q will provide that. When you're in lane and when the time comes, you'll know which move to stack (W or E)
Obviously stack R whenever you can, because the extra shielding and the lower cooldown is a huge benefit (like split pushing more often).
Doran's Shield is good for almost all situations. Makes you strong early and also benefits your passive from all that HP.
Regrowth Pendant is so so. Id only get it if I want to focus on getting an item earlier which is rare. I'd prefer Doran's Shield in most cases.
Boots and 3 pots only when I'm solo laning. Not often does Shen get to solo lane, but when he does... get boots 3 pots.
( OR )
Ninja Tabi if they are AD heavy or Mercury Threads if they are AP/Stun heavy. I generally take Mercury Threads over Ninja Tabi as it reduces all disable effects. When the enemy team IS AD heavy and low CC, I love it when I am able to buy Ninja Tabi because it helps with my mastery "nimbleness" and also because it is so freaking cheap.
Heart of Gold is always good. gold per 5 is strong for Shen because he is a strong AFK farmer. Getting one is recommended, but getting 2 is "high risk high reward." Only get 2 if you know the enemy comp is focused on late game dominance.
Sunfire Cape is crucial for Shen's split pushing and farming. Provides a nice amount of armor as well.
Force of Nature is great almost all the time, because cases are extremely rare when the other team has no strong AP dealers. The movement speed is very nice because it helps you get around easier as well as taunting with ease. Also provides sustainability with that HP/5.
Other good Items:
If you're very tough by then, get:
OR for extra damage.
Randuin's Omen is good for late game and Thornmail is good if they are AD heavy.
Rylai's Crystal Scepter provides a nice amount of AP for almost all of Shen's abilities and it also slows running enemies (easier for you to taunt after that). The health bonus - again - very nice and improves your passive.
Madred's Blood Razer is extremely expensive and there are hardly times where you ever get to this point. You may just get the Razers for easier farming however.
Don't get Warmogs. It's way too expensive when you can invest your gold on something with way more worth. Also you can get it early anyways because other items are way too important. And getting it endgame is a waste, because you won't be able to farm that passive enough.
General Gameplay TipsOnce again, Shen should always be played as a split pusher. If your ultimate is down, don't continue split pushing, go babysit your team. You are the tank, and your team needs you when a fight is about to happen.
Always have enough energy when engaging into a team fight. If you're low on energy, tell your team to wait before they start anything. You need that taunt ready for anything. You are a support tank, and if your carry is getting hit hard, you need that taunt to peel the enemy off them. Moral: Have enough energy before any team fight, especially if you don't have energy runes.
Final CommentsShen's recent nerf hit him hard. He no longer does as much damage as he used to and his ultimate shields significantly less. Getting more health then usual will cope a little for his damage loss (more damage on Ki Strike). I believe he is still a viable champion in certain compositions, especially split pushing.