IntroductionShen is a monster in the Top Lane. With his tanky-ness and insane damage output he is considered one of the best damage soaks of all time. He is almost always an insta-win pick and can effectively work with any team composition. He may have a weak early game, but Shen is unrivaled in late game tanking.
- Split Push all day
- Global ult + shield.
- Energy based - You have a cap on the crazy things you can do
- People hate ninjas, so they will try to murder you first.
11/9 - Added lane match-ups and early-late game phases. Added about me and Ward map.
11/11 - Fixed skill order to properly align with description.
11/27 - Added two more Lane Match-ups that I had previously forgotten and updated Masteries for Season Three; Season two is still in the masteries section :).
12/1 - Fixed masteries after more research(Season 3). Also added rest of Summoner Spells and why you shouldn't take them.
12/19 - Fixed a few things in chapters that were bothering me when looking at the guide. Tried to make it cleaner. Added lane swap chapter.
12/20 - Re-organised masteries/runes/summoner spells/game stages and champion match ups.
12/22 - Added more information to a few champions I overlooked in match-ups as well as Team Fights chapter.
2/9 - Updated Skills.
ps. Thanks to Bigbrodeath for Map Shrinking and Azgul for additional mastery information.
After quite a bit of time, I have composed what I feel to be the best masteries for Top Lane Shen in Season 3.
Unless you are intending to take or taking Summoner's Wrath is useless. You want to try not to build deep into this tree; Your goal is to Tank not DPS. Grabbing the 4 points in Sorcery gives Shen 4% cool down reduction, not a lot of CDR but it is better than having none at all.
This is where Shen gets his early tank stats from. Grabbing 4 points in Durability grants 108 additional health at level 18. More health means more tank to try and kill. Take 3 points in Perseverance for Health Regeneration based on health missing. This regenerates harass you take during laning phase. Maximize both Resistance and Hardiness for more Armor and Magic Resistance later in the game. 5% additional to both may not be much in the early game but 5% of 100 armor or mr is 5 additional. Sadly it doesn't stack with itself, that would be a very broken mechanic. Grab the 2 points in Unyielding to withstand some damage taken and also take Veteran's Scars for and Additional 30 health: So far 138 health at level 18. Not too shabby. Capitalize on all of the point available in the next tier down. Block reduces auto attack damage taken, Tenacious makes you less susceptible to Crowd Control and Juggernaut increases your health pool by an addtional 4%: so far 143.6928 or 144 health just from masteries. Take Defender in the next tier down. It is very similar to Wukong's passive in that you gain Armor and MR for each nearby enemy champion. Finally put your last point in this tree into Honor Guard to reduce damage taken from all sources.
Put your final point into Summoner's Insight reducing the cool down on your flash and the cast time on your Teleport.
Marks - 9x Greater Mark of Magic Penetration: Synergies with magical damage abilities(Vorpal Blade and Shadow Dash) and any items you acquire that deal magical damage(Wit's End and Sunfire Cape).
Seals - 9x Greater Seal of Armor - Flat armor seals to withstand auto attacks, turret shots, minion damage. Makes you tanky and harder to kill.
Glyphs - 9x Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist - Magical Damage dealers don't do much damage early, this allows for good magical resistance in the later stages of the game.
Quintessences - 3x Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed - Grants more mobility to avoid champions as well as chase them down to land taunts.
If you feel that you don't need more movement speed, you can swap your Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed for Greater Quintessence of Armor for more armor allowing for more damage mitigation and overall survivability.
Why I run teleport:
Split pushing capability. With you can Teleport from enemies that you pulled away from objectives or to Teleport to your team and secure and objective(Towers/Dragon/Baron Nashor).
Why I run flash:
Flash adds and additional 400 range to your Shadow Dash ability. Is that carry getting away? Flash and Dash to stop him in his tracks. Flash is also extremely useful for escaping with your life if a fight turns sour. Flashing over a wall could mean keeping your spree or giving the enemy up to 500 gold with which to buy items.
Other Viable Summoners:
Exhaust the carries to negate the damage they do, or to chase them down with your team.
Makes chasing extremely easy. You ignore unit collision meaning you can run through minions while Ghost is active. Also good for escaping, run away from a fight turned poor.
Deals true damage meaning it ignores armor and magic resist. Has a healing reduction debuff as well.
This spell is just not useful at all on Shen. It's used for jungle invading early or to spot ganks.
You don't have mana. If this ability restored energy I might consider using it, but even then it would be pretty lackluster.
No need for Cleanse. You want to get Crowd Controlled. Better you than your team.
Other summoners listed above are far better than heal. It recently got buffed, but the summoners listed above are better.
You make a large cannon minion.. This sounds nice, but other summoners outclass this.
The only time I see this is on Phantomlord's Karthus or in Dominion gametype. Don't take revive, you'll get flamed for it.
This isn't a jungle guide. Don't take smite.
Gives attack speed and Ability power, but again don't take it.
Explanation of skills:
Every 8 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 seconds
This passive allows for you to deal more damage during team fights and easier creep farming. Makes taking the Magic Penetration Marks that much more viable on Shen.
Active: Shen throws a sword at an enemy, dealing magic damage. The enemy is life-tapped for 5 seconds; allied champions that damage a life-tapped enemy are healed over 3 seconds, with the duration refreshed upon subsequent damaging. If Vorpal Blade kills a target, Shen is healed for 33% of the normal amount over 1 second.
Cost: 60 energy
Cooldown: 6/5.5/5/4.5/4 seconds
Magic Damage: 60/100/140/180/220 (+0.6 per ability power)
Heal: 6/10/14/18/22 (+1.5% of his maximum health)
Allows Shen AND his allies to regain health while attacking the target that has the Mark on them. Last hitting with this also regains a small amount of health.
Active: Shen is shielded for up to 3 seconds or until it is destroyed. While Feint is active, Ki Strikes cooldown reduction on hit is doubled to 2 seconds.
Cost: 50 energy
Cooldown: 9/8/7/6/5 seconds
Shield Strength: 70/115/160/205/250 (+0.6 per ability power)
Withstand some harass coming from the enemy and survive that ignite that is ticking away on you. Also great for soaking tower shots late game. Great ability. Max last. Useful for tanking damage but doesn't provide a large enough shield.
Active: Shen dashes to a target location, dealing magic damage and taunting enemy champions he collides with. Shen gains 40 energy per enemy champion he collides with while dashing, and has 50% physical damage reduction from taunted targets.
Range: 600 (estimate)
Cost: 120 energy
Taunt Duration: 1.5 seconds
Cooldown: 10/9.5/9/8.5/8 seconds
Magic Damage: 50/85/120/155/190 (+0.5 per ability power)
Want to protect everyone and soak all the damage? Taunt the enemies and tank your way to the record books! Max this second for successful counter-ganks and ganks themselves. Lower CD = More usage.
Active: Shen begins channeling for 3 seconds, immediately shielding an allied champion for up to 5 seconds or until it is destroyed. If the channel completes and the target is still alive, Shen teleports to the targets location.
No Cost :
Cooldown: 200/180/160 seconds
Shield Strength: 250/550/850 (+1.5 per ability power).
This ability is the main reason Shen is banned in competitive play. Having the ability to shield your team from the opposite side of the map is ridiculously overpowered and can be the "make it or break it" team play necessary.
Item Buildsor (around 15 seconds for fourth pot) the boots provide mobility for dodging champion abilities and enemy jungler ganks which are bound to happen against Shen early as this is when he is weakest. Pots for health regen and lane sustain along with your Vorpal Blade.
First buyback: and a few (AT LEAST ONE) . The will enable passive gold generation for the late game Wall of Damage Mitigation that Shen is known for. The ward(s) are to prevent you from getting farmed by the enemy top/mid/jungle.
Second basing: Now if you are having the time of your life up in the Top Lane farming and not getting camped you can push your lead even further or or . Aegis you will most likely be buying, unless you have a Tanky jungle on your team. I.E Maokai, Malphite etc. or your support is buying it. Sunfire cape is just so good on Shen. The proc on Phage allows for great chase and peel for skirmishes.
Shen's Core: Ultimately, Shen has NO AoE wave clearing which means he can be pushed up to his turret and quite possibly miss crucial creep farms aka cs aka Minions. To effectively stop this you can build some attack speed i.e . It fits in well with his skill set and helps his choice of Magic Penetration marks that much more viable. is also an excellent choice on Shen. It allows for great peel and fantastic chasing. You could even pick up half of it,, during lane phase to help you secure successful jungle ganks.
General Shen Build: . This build provides great split push capability and great tanking stats to help you withstand damage and be the Tank your team needs you to be, but probably not the tank they deserve. Sunfire cape also synergies with your Marks (yay magic pen).
Really Heavy Mage Team: . I hate fighting magical casters because they have so much burst. It's crazy. Take a Guardian's Angel to give you a second life to murder them more.
Really Heavy AD Team: . With these items you can withstand a fed AD carry and dive into the back line to kill them. Dive then pop the active on Randuin's and effectively shut down the attack speed they have. You could also sub out the Bulwark for just incase they do manage to kill you.
AS A SIDE NOTE: You'll notice in the comment section below someone mentioned . While this is a good item on quite a few champions,, , I found it to be rather expensive. It does give great stats, a few that Shen likes, Attack Speed and CDR, but I find Wit's End to be better. I'm not saying don't ever build Zephyr, it's entirely up to you. Wit's end is just cheaper and synergies with this build's runes much more efficiently.
Early GameThis stage of the game in my opinion, is Shen's weakest point; Where he is most susceptible to fail. Ultimately, try not to be to aggressive. Harass is good, but when facing a fast jungle or a champion that can counter aggress effectively, such as a Darius who can pull you, try to poke with your Q and then take the minion.
At the early stages, ALWAYS be mindful of where everyone is on the map. If you're stomping your lane-mate up top and you don't know where the jungle is, it's a high possibility that you're about to get ganked. As with any lane, always be mindful of the enemy jungler and where they are on the map. If they just ganked bot, you should be fine for 45 seconds - 1 minute. If they failed the gank and died, possibly longer. Have your team place wards in key positions for you to in and gank their lane. It is best to do this when your team's jungle is going to that lane to make the gank more effective. Before doing this, make sure your lane is pushed to the enemy turret so you don't miss out on much Creep score or Minion farm.
Mid GameAt the mid stage of the game is where I feel Shen begins to shine. His ultimate, although on a long cool down, can be a tide turning fight turning a 3 for 0 into something much much better for your team, whether you manage to get one kill, or ace their team (best possible result gets you all the glory).
By this time in the game, Shen's Vorpal should have a 5/5 possible points in it(Champion Level 9), and his taunt (Shadow dash) should have 2 - 3 points. These two skills when combined with can effectively turn around any team fight. Well placed taunts can peel the enemy AD carry off of yours and help kill them much faster. Instead of chunking your team, they're hitting you for minimal damage because of your superior tanking abilities.
As in the early game, make sure your team is warding for ganks, they will be much more effective now that you have some items and levels.
Late GameThis is Shen's bread and butter. The King of split pushing, hands down. Oh you say Yi? No all he does is take a turret and run away. Old Twisted Fate? No because new Shen will kill them both and then move onwards to victory.
By taking teleport, you can successfully teleport away from a gank, or into a team fight, not to mention you still have the best Ultimate in the game. Having two teleports on one champ is extremely overpowered. Simply put, you pick Shen to split push and peel the enemy team away from objectives.
At this point in the game you should be able to withstand damage from ANYONE the enemy team sends your way and make it out with your life. If your team wants to pressure dragon, You should be pushing top lane in as far as possible. If you are pressuring Baron Nashor, it is your job to be pushing in bot lane. By doing this, the enemy team will have a choice to make; send someone to deal with you OR fight the 4v5 and have you onto a team mate and equalize the fight, if not change it altogether.
Team FightsDuring team fights, you're going to want to be out front protecting whoever you can. It is your job as the tank to soak damage and protect your carries. If they get dove, use to protect them. Hitting a perfect is key to winning any engagement. If you botch a taunt it could mean the game is over for you. Use your as much as possible and try to stick to their carries causing them to focus you. BE ANNOYING TO THEM MAKE THEM WANT TO INFLICT HARM TO YOU IN REAL LIFE. If you don't do that as a tank, you aren't doing your job.
When engaging the enemy team, make sure to dive into the back line with Shadow Dash past the enemy front line aimining to successfully taunt the carries. If you have to use Flash to do so then you should. Although it is optimal to taunt multiple targets making sure to stunt their carries' damage is key to winning any engagement. Use your active ability on on the opposing AD carry slowing their attack speed and movement speed makes for less dps in teamfights allowing your front line and carries to decimate the opposing team without the worry of getting bursted down by a champion like .
If your team gets engaged on, be sure to to the LOWEST health friendly target. When you finally port in, Shadow Dash towards the enemy immediately to prevent further harm done to your teammate. Peel as much as possible, meaning use your Frozen Mallet passive and Randuin's Omen active to slow the movement speed of the champions fighting your team. You want to make sure to keep your carries as safe as possible; if that means your death to save their life, so be it. You are the tank not the dps. It is not your job to survive, only to be as annoyingly beefy as possible.
Lane Swapping: A look into tournament play.As I'm sure many of you know, or don't know, recently in the professional League of Legends scene, there has been a shift in the meta game. This shift was brought on by Eastern Teams and many North American and European teams have tried to adopt it into their play. This shift is known as a lane swap, and a shift that Shen can handle rather well.
Essentially what happens is, when you get counter- picked in tournament play, or if your team wants to send your duo bot lane into your lane to try and fast push the top turret of your opponents. Doing this allows for Global gold gain (Alliteration) and less pressure exerted from that lane in particular. What happens to you as the top laner: You get put into a 1 vs. 2 lane and have to farm with an insane amount of pressure. Shen excels at this because of his ability. He can shield damage and becomes very tanky. Granted it doesn't shield much at low levels but any amount of shielding is enough, as long as you can out farm your opponent (original top lane opponent that is) before the tower is pushed.
When the top turret is pushed, or the turret you swapped to is pushed the lane switch reverts and you go about your business farming top lane.
Warding: A look into 75 gold game changers.
Placements both Aggressive and non
Alright, as many of you know, or should know, is that warding is a game changing factor. Now in solo queue people do ward, but not as often as they should. They also don't often keep timers on their wards(They last 3 minutes.) and tend to forget to put more down. Regardless of what role I play, I like to ward as often as possible to give me the best vision.
The map above shows places that you will find wards in the Summoner's Rift map type in League. The red coloured blips are for normal warding purposes, mainly just giving vision of the river for possible ganks and warding wraiths for quick counter jungling. The orange coloured wards, however, are far more aggressive. Warding into the bushes in top lane or in bot lane can allow for lane ganks from your jungler, or prevent them from the enemy jungle. Going deep into the opposing jungle allows for buff timers and the possibility of chasing down and killing low health enemies that use the jungle to run from you. Due to this being a top lane guide, more often you will be warding the enemy red, looking to get a timer and steal it.
Regardless of what role you play, feel free to refer to this guide as a helpful reminder of where to roam with that Oracle's Elixir.
Lane Match UpsGoing to list a few common(and maybe not so common) match-ups:
: Akali is a champion I haven't faced many times as Shen, but she can be a force to be reckoned with. Her Twilight Shroud ability allows for jukes and it applies a slow to you. She can burst very hard with her Mark of the Assassin and an auto attack combination. Try not to let her out harass you and push on you or you will have a very, very hard time with her.
: Cho is one of if not the strongest top laner. He has great sustain and great damage. He has a knock-up that is also a slow when you land and the range it can be cast at expands when Cho gains more feast stacks. He also has a silence and bites you with his ultimate. Respect Cho'Gath in lane and in the game in general.
: Darius is a weird match-up. He can out harass you with his Decimate ability(Q). Harass him when he uses it to last hit. If the Darius is smart he will save it to harass you when you go to farm. Try to farm with your as much as possible. Also, ask your jungler to camp your lane. It will make the match-up much much easier.
: Fiora is a joke. Shen should never fear her. She doesn't do enough damage to matter. Ignore her harass and poke her with Vorpal Blade as much as possible.
: Another champion I haven't seen much of, Gangplank can be a strong force to deal with. When he tries to harass you with Parley use Feint to absorb the damage. If he stacks critical strike, try to build a .
: Due to his buff, Garen can actually scale into late game well. He has strong damage early and can easily out trade you. Ask for your jungler's help to kill him.
: This comes down to skill. Irelia has more sustain than you and is naturally resistant to Crowd Control. She deals more damage than you late game and is a formidable tank. Try to get jungle pressure and harass her as much as possible.
: Jarvan has poke and damage on you. You can just kill him with jungle help and he won't have a late game. Essentially just push on him and try to deny as much minion farm as possible.
: Kill him Before level 6! When he get's his ultimate, Jax becomes the king of duelists. Have jungle camp your lane to kill him over and over again.
: You lose this match-up unless Jayce misplays frequently. He can smash you around and burst you down hard. Avoid his accelerated Shock Blast. Just stay under your turret and last hit there.
: Katarina should never be in top lane. It doesn't help her roaming capabilities. She won't snowball as hard. Have your jungle gank early to kill her and make sure she doesn't get fed.
: Kayle can easily out trade you. She hits you with her slow and pops her E ability, chasing you and dealing a huge amount of damage forcing you to base. Stay under turret and farm.
: Has stuns and is highly mobile. Possibly one of the most difficult lanes to gank is Kennen top lane. He can just Lightning Rush away. Avoid his stuns as much as possible.
: Kha'zix has alot of burst potential. All you have to do is stand by your creeps and not take free damage from him. Poke him down and deny his farm.
: Has strong early damage. He will max his Shield first to withstand harass and jump around to protect minions making it harder to last hit. Highly mobile champion. Damage falls off later in the game.
: The Rock solid top lane. He has an attack speed slow on his Ground Slam and movement speed slow on his Q. At 6, his ultimate is a great kill secure. Hard to harass against, try your best to push him into turret and make him miss farm.
: Doesn't really do anything but run away. He's pretty easy to manage. Just harass him out of lane and continue with your job as being #1 tank.
: Nasus. Well to put it simply, he's not that great anymore. He can slow you and debuff your armor and mr. If you let him farm his Q he hurts. Kill him repeatedly.
: Another hard champion. She has ranged harass with her spears. And has mobility at 6 and when she's in bushes. Really hard lane to get ganked because she can escape.
: Uses Undertow to slow you and harass you down. Smashes through your Feint with True Damage from Reckless Swing. He will use up most of his mana trying to clear the creep waves quickly and also trying to damage you with Undertow. When his mana pool has been expunged, that is the key time to strike. Harass and throw out as much damage as possible without dying. He attacks faster when he has lower health due to his passive, Berzerker Rage, so be careful. He is deceptively strong even when low.
: Can dive super hard. Has insane early game damage. Really strong. He stuns you and out sustains you. There's not much to be done about the Crocodile. He's extremely strong early and will take advantage of how weak you are in the early game and bully you around. It's rather frustrating, just camp at turret and try your best to farm well.
: Lion man. He hides in bushes and jumps on you to out trade. Watch for his WW combo. He becomes super tanky from it. Get help pre 6 to kill him.
: Highly mobile champion. Has massive damage and CC. Has a shield to block damage. She's very annoying just kill her quickly with assistance. If she gets fed she becomes a train of destruction.
: Good harass with Flamespitter and His Spikes. Has a shield to withstand harass. Extremely aggravating lane. Try to get as much help as possible to kill him. And do so frequently.
: Run's faster than you, reset's her auto attack, deal magical damage and can chase. She's troublesome but don't feed her and you can outscale the damage she does.
: Singed. Has a slow. Can run for days. Can chase you. Poisons you. Flings you around. He beats virtually any melee champion. You can't really stop him from farming. Just avoid the poison as much as possible.
: Blinds you and poisons you. Runs away to kite you. Puts down mushrooms EVERYWHERE to slow you and your team then giggles about it. Truly the most annoying champion in the game. I HATE TEEMO WITH A PASSION. Get a lot of help to kill him over and over.
: Has a slow if you're not facing him. Out sustains you because of his heal. Presses his ultimate when he's going to die so he can run away. Harass him and kill as much as possible. Build a Thornmail as well against him. It does wonders against Tryndamere.
: Manbearturtletigerphoenix. Has stuns for days. Run's faster than you. Turtle stance allows for passive regeneration. Tiger makes him attack faster and DoT you up. You don't see much of him anymore, but if you run into one be wary of his Tiger stance. He can hurt you.
: Newest addition to the League of Legends roster, this champion does a surprising amount of damage to tanks. Stacking armor against her is pretty useless because of Denting Blows, she'll just chip away at you regardless. Harass her with Vorpal Blade as much as you possibly can while still trying to gain the farm advantage. Ask your jungle to camp top if possible. If not play it safe and try not to trade with her as you will most likely come out on the losing side of the exchange.
: Troll Pool gives him the ability to dodge your taunt then he laughs about it. Out sustains you because he's a vampire(hemomancer whatever). Get's really really tanky. Play passive and farm with Vorpal.
: Is a bear. He bites you. Has a fling and passive regen. If facing him try to kill him quickly and frequently. Keep his passive down as much as possible, if necessary take ignite when fighting him.
: Has great sustain but slow clears. Push him to turret and harass him while he tries to farm. It will do wonders.
: Can clone to run away. A good Wukong can trick you into thinking he hit his clone then smash you with a quick dash and Q combo then clone away when you counter attack. It's very annoying. Just beat him in lane and tank his damage that he deals later on.
: Due to his rework, he has become a strong top laner. He has a knock-up, slow, attack speed buff, health regen and can shove you or your team away with his ultimate. He's pretty annoying and does quite a bit of damage. Get help to kill him in lane and keep him under fed.
: GHUUUUUUULLLLLLLLSSSSSSSSSSSS. Most annoying top laner in the game. Has phenominal sustain. Probably more annoying than Teemo simply because he destroys Teemo. He can slow you and chase you and Steal your health. His teammate is going to die? Well guess what, he ulted them and has them as a ghoul. They get to live and kill you but it's pointless to kill them again. You can't really beat Yorick even if he gets ganked. He can just freeze and farm the lane to get back in the game.
: Another ninja! I haven't really encountered many Zed tops but his burst seems insane. He has a slow from his Clone and deal more damage when you're below half health. Be careful of him and try to kill him early.
Shen is a fantastic tank and excelling late game pusher. A well played Shen can turn the game from a losing situation, into a victory for your team. I highly reccomend anyone who is trying top lane to play him and see if you don't fall in love with the Magical Ninja.
Feel free to post thought and comments below :D
ps This is my first ever guide thanks for the support!! :3 Hope to make many more informative guides for you all.