League of Legends - Shen Guide

Posted by Jindooo on Dienstag, November 01, 2011

Shen is a strong tank and has many great skills at his disposal, including a powerful skill shot taunt, capable of taunting multiple enemies, a damage absorbing shield and a team fight changing ultimate. Shen is a great side lane tank due to his great laning presence, allowing him to baby-sit weaker champions. It is also possible to jungle with Shen, but it is not optimal and not covered in this guide.

This Shen guide aims to be a basic and simple introduction on basic strategy that should be adopted when playing Shen, it is recommended for people just starting to use Shen.


  • Shen Ki Strike (Passive) Gives Shen some reasonable damage output and makes defensive items that include health a good area to focus on with Shen. This ability is a great lane harassment tool and makes last hitting extremely easy.

  • Shen Vorpal Blade This skill is similar to Shen's passive in that it helps him to grab last hits (ones out of range) and to harass the enemies alittle. Its true strength is that it allows allies in your lane to regenerate health by attacking tagged minions, this is especially useful for ranged champions (casters included, as it procs off auto-attacks).

  • Shen Feint Feint makes Shen incredibly resistance to lane harassment , it is a great damage absorbing shield with a low cooldown and reasonably low energy cost. It is best used to prevent poking and initial damage received after taunting a group of enemies.

  • Shen Shadow Dash Shen's trademark skill allows him to taunt numerous enemies, which is simply amazing for a non-ultimate ability. It is very important to land this ability as it refunds half of the energy cost. This skill is a great initiation tool for enemies that over-extend just that little bit too much, it also doubles as an escape mechanism (and can go through certain walls).

  • Shen Stand United (Ultimate) This is the reason you want Shen on your team. Shen's ultimate can quickly turn 1v1 fights and 2v2 fights through the mid game into your favour, allowing your team to snowball. It also aids your team in tower-diving and also gives your primary damage dealer some extra time in team fights to output some damage (or escape with their life).

Ability Order

All of Shen's skills have different uses and so it is very hard to suggest an exact ordering as it SHOULD vary for each game, below is the skill ordering that you will take most games:
Stand United(Ult) > Shadow Dash > Feint > Vorpal Blade

Shadow Dash First: You are laning against an over-confident lane or your ally has powerful damage if given time (physical dps champions), if you are laning with a burst champion, they will only need level 1 Shadow Dash to unleash their burst.
Feint First: If you are being heavily harassed in lane and need the reduced cooldown and increased shielding.
Vorpal Blade First: If you are in a dominating lane position and need extra harassment capabilities OR you are in an average lane and you would benefit more from the extra health regeneration and ranged harassment compared to your other skills.

Taking the above into account if you do not max Vorpal Strike first then you should take it last, as it is only effective early on (during laning mostly). Taking Shadow Dash at level 1 gives you some CC to save an enemy, win a level 1 fight or escape if required. Vorpal Blade can be taken first to help a weak jungler with their first camp.


Red (Marks) - Magic Penetration
Yellow (Seals) - Dodge // Armor
Blue (Glyphs) - Magic Resist
Purple (Quintessences) - Flat Health

As Shen is a tank his rune setup focuses on boosting his survivability. For Marks Shen is going to get the most benefit through Magic Penetration as it applies to his passive and Vorpal Blade. As these are the only two offensive abilities Shen has, you can easily replace these with Armor or Magic Resistance Marks but you lose a lot of your early game threat. Seals are best run as Dodge to compliment the 21 points in the defensive tree, but will also work as Armor (Dodge runes are expensive!). Magic Resist Glyphs boosts your resistance to caster harassment, poke and nuke damage. Taking Health on Quintessences are by far your best pick, as they give you great starting health and boost your passive's damage slightly.

Summoner Spells

Best Summoner Spells:

Ghost and Teleport are your two best default summoner spells to take on Shen, Ghost is great for chasing people down to land a Shadow Dash and also allows you to get out of danger when you have to. Teleport gives you powerful map control combined with Stand United and allows you to always aid your allies when need, push a tower or defend one.

Other Good Summoner Spells:

If nobody else on your team takes Clairvoyance then it should be a priority to take, giving your team added map control and important vision (since you wont have 21 in utility, be more careful about when you use it). Cleanse and Exhaust are two other strong options for Shen to take as summoner spells, Cleanse should be taken if the enemy team has extreme amounts of crowd control. While Exhaust should be taken if your team needs to shut down a powerful enemy AD carry, or lacks crowd control.


The offensive tree provides very little to Shen (spell penetration, cooldown reduction, critical chance, ability power) and is best avoided, you should focus your mastery setup primarily around the defense tree and the utility tree second.

This gives you maximum durability by boosting your armor, magic resistance, dodge chance, increases starting health and a 4% damage reduction. The utility tree gives you some death timer reduction, improved Ghost and bonus experience.

Item Build

Final Item Build:
-Mercury's Treads
-Aegis of the Legion
-Sunfire Cape
-Force of Nature
-Randuin's Omen
-Guardian Angel

-Doran's Shield is your best starting option for Shen, giving you some strong regeneration, an armor and health boost.
-On your first trip back you'll want to build your boots which should be Mercury's Treads , as they provides vital crowd control reduction and some early magic resistance. You also want to pick up a Heart of Gold as early as possible.
-From here you'll want to build towards Aegis of the Legion (unless someone else on your team is building one).
-Your first big items should be a Sunfire Cape or Force of Nature, the enemy team setup will determine which item you build first.
-Randuin's Omen is your next best item choice, increasing your armor and health further as well as providing a powerful active and solid passive.
-A strong final item is Guardian Angel, boosting both your defences while allowing you to revive.

-Thornmail (A must have against a physical team).
-Banshee's Veil (A key item to countering AP heavy teams).
-Frozen Mallet (A nice health boost for your passive aswell as a slow, great if your team lacks crowd control and you want a bit more power.)

General Shen Tips

  • Map awareness is very important on Shen, Stand United can easily turn fights to your advantage, always be on the look out.
  • Shen's Shadow Dash has high energy costs, it is very important to land your taunts if you are to remain effective (land a 2nd taunt or Feint) in a fight.
  • Use Feint as an anti-poke skill and an anti-harassment skill during laning phase.
  • When using Shadow Dash try to position yourself so you taunt the enemy either closer to your allies for a kill or away from someone you are trying to save, this can make a big difference.
  • Shen is a great counter-ganker, Stand United can not only save an ally but easy turn the fight around, if your on TeamSpeak, Ventrilo or Skype you can pre-warn your ally so they are ready to turn around and fight.

Early Game (1-6)

  • Use your passive to last hit, you can also use Vorpal Blade if the minion is out of reach.
  • Use Shadow Dash to protect your lane partner from the enemy champions, use it to move away from your ally (while taunting the enemy) for maximum effect.
  • Your passive is a very strong form of harassment especially against weak laners, you can use Shadow Dash to close the gap quickly and land your passive as well as a few auto-attacks.
  • Vorpal Blade is very good at helping you and your ally recover health. You should target cannon minions in particular.
  • You can combine Vorpal Blade and your passive to heal while last-hitting very effectively.

Mid Game (7-12)

  • Now its time to start turning the game into your favour with Stand United, even changing the result of only 1 or 2 fights during this stage of the game can be game changing.
  • Helping your jungler take down Dragon with Vorpal Blade can change a risky move into a safe move.
  • When your ultimate is up do not be afraid to push lanes, Shen is a reasonable pusher especially when he has a Sunfire Cape. If your team needs you can Stand United to get into the fight quickly and also catch the enemy off guard.
  • If you maxed Shadow Dash first Shen is capable of pulling off some extremely deadly ganks, partner up with your carry to secure kills for them.

Late Game (13-18)

  • The game is now largely team fight focused, your objectives as Shen are to disable the enemy carry (with taunt), protect your own carry (with taunt) and shield an ally with your ultimate from focused down (preferably the carry).
  • Try to taunt maximum enemies when possible, while also achieving the objectives above.
  • If the enemy has a strong channelled ability that is really hurting your team, always save your taunt for it (Katarina, Fiddlesticks etc.), at this stage of the game stopping those abilities are game changing.
  • Late Game you have to be picky about when you use your ultimate, if somebody gets caught out of position in a 5v1 your ultimate is not going to save them, you want to save it for the upcoming team fight. 
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