IntroductionHot Fix Note: The sustain nerf is negligible. Proceed as normal.
Prior to this [Nautilus]patch, Shen hid in the shadows not because he was waiting to strike, but because he was too much of a punk bitch to reveal himself. Yet with his recent buffs it's quite the antithesis. He can now attack from the shadows like a true Ninja should. But why should he attack from the jungle shadows and not from Top lane's shadows? In short, he shouldn't. Honestly, if you manage to get a hold of Shen in a ranked/competitive scenario you should most likely go Top lane. However, Shen is still extremely viable in the jungle. With that said, this guide's purpose is to examine Shen's ability in the jungle.
As mentioned before, I haven't been playing jungle Shen in ranked because he should ideally go Top; and because he's always banned. So forgive me for quasi-boasting about victories in normal games with an arguably overpowered champion. Nevertheless, with my setup, jungle Shen possesses decent clear times, ridiculous sustain, solid ganks, and a strong team presence.
- Global Presence
- Godly Sustain
- Great CC
- Solid Ganks
- Good Mobility
- He's a Ninja!
- Slow clear times
- Susceptible to invasion
I've recently updated masteries to increase jungle time. There's very little wiggle room when it comes to masteries. I wouldn't really suggest anything outside of 9/21/0. The points in offense are necessary for clearing the jungle in a reasonable time and they also benefit his ganks. The points in defense not only add to your overall sustain, but the HP gains also increase your damage with and make your heal more. Fortunately, there is wiggle room that pertains to the defense points. The 3 points in Initiator (MS) can be moved to Resistance (MR) or Honor Guard (% Damage Reduction). I personally prefer the MS acquired from Initiator. In general, MS helps your ganks, clear times, and escapes. I think Honor Guard is a weak talent. Say someone deals 3,000 damage to you, with Honor Guard you would instead take 2,955 damage. Not worth it in my opinion. But the MR from Resistance can be useful vs. heavy magic teams.
Okay here's where it gets tricky. There are a lot of viable rune choices for jungle Shen. Obviously, I personally prefer my featured set up:
- Marks: Attack speed to inrease clear times and damage in general. Works well with the on-hit abilites of Shen: Another viable option would be Magic Penetration.
- Seals: Armor is standard for all junglers. However, I could potentially see an argument for HP Seals.
- Glyphs: MR/LvL is needed for sustain in battles
- Quintessences: Due to Shen's innate sustain, you will spend a lot of time scurrying around the map whether it's jungling, ganking, invading, or whatever. Thus, I recommend MS. Although, I foresee a variety of options here. Perhaps more AS, Magic Pen, Energy, or HP.
Summoner SpellsSmite is quintessential for junglers. Don't even need to waste time explaining why.
For the second option there are a few choices:
My personal preference. Makes you an excellent duelist and increases the potency of your ganks. Furthermore, it maintains its usability throughout the entire game. With you completely cripple any opponent.
Ghost will help your mobility during ganks and battles. Not a bad choice.
Flash will help with clutch initiations. You can to catch someone off guard or out of position.
SkillsNote: SoloMid's icons are not yet updated. So in the mean time I've integrated the change log from the patch to reflect his current skills.
Passive: Ki Strike
Damage increased to 10-112 (+10% bonus Health) from 10-95 (+8% bonus Health)
Cooldown is now reduced by 1.5 seconds whenever Shen attacks instead of 2 seconds when being attacked
Now grants Shen 10/20/30 energy when he Ki Strikes
Damage now scales correctly with all sources of bonus Health (% health runes, Juggernaut mastery)
Added a buff timer for Ki Strike's cooldown (like Ziggs' Short Fuse)
The changes to Ki Strike are phenomenal. One of Shen's biggest problems was his poor Energy management, but now that's all a story of the past. Ki Strike is now super useful in the jungle because every hit reduces its cooldown. This means more damage and more Energy to use on whatever. This is why I prioritize attack speed over magic penetration.
Q: Vorpal Blade
Energy cost adjusted to 60 from 70/65/60/55/50
Damage adjusted to 60/105/150/195/240 (+0.6 ability power) from 70/105/140/175/210 (+0.75 ability power)
Heal effect changed to 6/10/14/18/22 (+2% of Shen's maximum Health) from 18/26/34/42/50
If Vorpal Blade deals the killing blow, it will now trigger 33% of the heal effect for Shen
Allied damaging spells can now trigger the heal effect, in addition to attacks (Vorpal Blade cannot trigger itself)
Once again, amazing changes. You can spam this for damage and sustain. Also, with these changes HP is even more valuable on Shen. I max this first for increased clear times, sustain, and stronger ganks.
Feint duration increased to 3 seconds from 2.5
Energy cost reduced to 40 from 45
Shield amount adjusted to 70/120/170/220/270 (+0.6 ability power) from 50/100/150/200/250 (+0.75 ability power)
While Feint is active, Ki Strike’s cooldown reduction on hit is increased to 3 seconds from 1.5
Nice buffs here. Spam this in the jungle as well to maximize sustain. Use it during ganks not only to mitigate damage taken but also to enhance damage dealt (i.e., more Ki Strikes because it reduces the cooldown faster). Max this second for the reasons I just mentioned.
E: Shadow Dash
Cooldown reduced to 10/9.5/9/8.5/8 seconds from 10
Energy cost increased to 120 from 120/115/110/105/100
Restores 40 energy per champion affected (rather than a flat 50 energy if you affect one)
Now deals 50/85/120/155/190 damage (+0.5 ability power) to Champions
Taunt duration adjusted to 1.5 seconds from 1/1.25/1.5/1.75/2
Shadow Dash now grants Shen 50% physical damage reduction from taunted targets
Uhhhhh...Sorry, I had to change my pants. The changes here are fantastic. With the energy restoration buff you can potentially gain Energy from using this (assuming you hit more than 3 enemies). The implementation of damage makes your ganks stronger. Also, the physical damage reduction is simply amazing. This move can debilitate entire teams. Great for initiation, peeling, escaping, chasing, and general mobility throughout the map. One point in this works wonders (at lvl 2), so max this last.
Note: It only affects champions, not monsters or minions.
R: Stand United
Channel time increased to 3 seconds from 2.5
Shield duration reduced to 5 seconds from 7.5
Shield amount increased to 250/550/850 from 200/475/750
The changes here are irrelevant for the most part. Nonetheless, this ultimate is miraculous. It allows you to be anywhere within a few seconds. You have to hone your map awareness with this ability. Keep an eye on your mini map and save someone when necessary. Although preventing someone's death is its primary usage, you can also preemptively use it right when your lanes engage in fights to help secure kills. Also, try telling your teammates to use the V ping to bring attention to their lanes when needed.
Note: Against a Nocturne? Can't click on someone because of clutter? Need a quick get away and don't have time to locate a friendly champion? Then simply use it on the champion icons at the top left of your screen and off you go! (You can also use F2-F5)
Item BuildsYour core items should be attained in the order listed. The core items are aimed at remedying Shen's poor clear times and enhancing the strength of his ganks by adding damage, utility, and durability. After the acquisition of the core items you want to start building full tank. Your itemization needs to revolve around the enemy's damage type (Magic or Physical).
Shen already has insane sustain so you can easily begin with boots. Starting boots lets you get from camp to camp faster, which means a quicker clear time. Also, they're great for ganking and navigating around the map in general.
Assuming you will eventually build (which you most likely will), grab this immediately after your initial clear(s) and gank(s) so you can start accruing gold. The HP inreases the damage of your and makes your heal for more.
Shen's biggest flaw in the jungle is his clear time and this is a great remedy for this flaw.
An excellent source of damage and solid MR. Also, attack speed works wonders on Shen because of the new Ki Strike.
While lane Shen may not rely too much on auto attacks, jungle Shen sure does. With your already prevalent attack speed you can actually make good use of this item. It's a frugal way to attain HP, damage, and a slow for ganks.
A solid item for Shen as it contains HP, Armor/MR. Also, it provides your team with a nice little aura. This will make your team presence even higher.
Upgrade your boots accordingly:
vs. Heavy AD
A costly item and by the time you start to build it the game may very well be almost over. Thus, use some discretion to determine the game's momentum to decide whether you'll have enough time to complete it. If not, try going for some of the other items listed.
As previously mentioned, jungle Shen makes great use of his auto attacks. With this item you'll have a great boost of HP (which, as always, also boosts your and ) and a reliable 40% slow. I will generally get this right after my core items because it will come really handy in the upcoming battles.
A perfect item for Shen. This will usually be completed as your 5th item. Its passive works well with and the active is amazing.
A situational item when against a heavy amount of AD. If you're going to get it I suggest getting it right after your core items. The passive also is nice for split pushing, which is something you'll inevitably be finding yourself doing as Shen.
Also a situational item. It's an inexpensive item to attain early MR and HP. If you anticipate needing this item I'd get it right after your core items. The CDR is nice and its passive increases the amount healed from your
You'll rarely make this item as it will be your last one. Get this if they're putting out a lot of magic damage. The MS passive is nice and the HP regeneration passive is good because you have so much HP.
Another item that is seldom gotten. Yes, I know, it has mana, but it also gives nice HP, MR, and a spell block. Consider getting this when against heavy CC teams. If you plan on getting this then don't bother getting
Jungling and GankingRoute 1: Start at wraiths and get your teammates to help attack them so you can get to Red by 1:55. Get a leash on Red, kill it, then start ganking adjacent lanes (with points in obviously). Also, use when necessary so you don't get caught with low HP in the initial clear.
Route 2: Use this route if your Red is invaded/stolen. Simply start at Wolves, and then get a leash on Blue. Then proceed to gank as normal.
Ganking: Be aware of the location of wards when attempting ganks. Also, be knowledgeable about alternate ganking routes to avoid being seen by wards. For example, if their tribrush is warded you can stick to the blue wall in the river to avoid being seen. If they have a river ward you can come from behind through tribrush (assuming the wraith side entrance to their jungle isn't warded). If all those areas are warded then you can attempt an in-lane gank. That is, have your team push up slightly so you can sneak into the brush from your tower. Simply wait and strike once they're out of position: just as a Ninja should. When ganking mid it's generally best to come from behind. In general, when ganking from behind it's wiser to not initiate with when you have red buff. It's better to apply the slow from red first and then should they Flash or get too close to their tower.
Counter Ganking: Throughout jungling keep an eye on your lanes and be prepared to ult. Don't waste it on someone who's clearly going to get away and don't waste it on someone who's clearly going to get murdered. Also, you don't want to wait till your teammate is too low to ult. Because if you get there sooner you can taunt them and deter the damage. In addition, if your teammate is running towards some brush wait to cast your ult and use it as soon as they enter the brush. That way, when the enemy runs in there expecting to finish your teammate off he'll find a nice little surprise waiting for him. Lastly, try to communicate with your teammates to remain in the battle when you're ulting them. If your teammate runs away then you will not be close enough to the enemies to help secure kills.
Counter Jungling: Assailant: Shen is an amazing counter jungler. Some people disagree because his clear times are slow, but that's because he lacks AOE. His single target DPS is actually quite high. Thus, you can just take the important minion of the camp (i.e., the biggest one), which in my opinion is more detrimental to their jungler cause it doesn't reset their camp respawn timers. Therefore, the remaining monsters give minimal experience/gold. Shen has excellent mobility from his , incredible sustain, and is a strong duelist. So, either you steal their camp, catch and kill them, or you get caught. Fortunately, because of your innate tankiness and mobility you should be able to escape with ease.
Victim: Due to Shen's lackluster clear times he is vulnerable to being invaded. As mentioned, you shouldn't be worried about dying in your own jungle as you have high sustain, great dueling powers, and exceptional mobility. However, you should be worried about your camps being stolen. Against an aggressive jungler (e.g., Shyvana, Udyr, Mundo, Lee Sin, etc.), you should be prepared to encounter them in your jungle. I suggest setting up wards at the entrances of your jungle and asking your teammates to be ready to help gank them should they invade.
Team FightsWith your global ult you can split push very well. If your team is pushing a lane keep a very close eye on them. Keep in mind, just because you have a global ult doesn't mean you can arrive there in time to help. A teammate could very well get caught and they will just burn through your ult's shield. With that in mind, it's sometimes wiser to remain with your teammates.
Regardless, your primary role in a team fight is to control the enemy carries with your . Your secondary role is to peel enemies from your carries with your taunt. Throughout the battle, apply to priority targets and spam to mitigate damage while simultaneously increasing your damage because it helps reduce the cooldown of . However, you want to ensure you have enough Energy to cast whenever it's off cool down. So, don't spam your other moves too much or you could inhibit your CC potential. Also, don't forget to amidst the battle on allies that are getting focused.
Final CommentsEnjoy Shen while you can because he will for sure be receiving a nerf in the near future. Hopefully, they won't be too drastic and Shen will remain viable because he's just too fun not to play. I will keep an eye on the upcoming patches and update the guide accordingly. In the mean time, continue to slaughter your foes from the shadows of the jungle.
Comments: If you have any criticism for my guide I genuinely embrace and welcome it. However, I cannot make necessary changes and address your concerns if you don't provide me with reasons for your disapproval. This guide wouldn't be where it is today if I didn't receive any feedback. That said, I am thankful for those of you that share your questions and discuss things in a mature, intellectual manner.
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