IntroductionShen is one of the most coveted and hated tanks in the game. Being banned in all ranges of ELO because of his versatility in supporting his team, harassment throughout the laning phase, a relatively strong pusher, and lastly being just incredibly hard to kill / hold down.
This is a tank that is relatively easy to start with, but difficult to truly master. No matter if you're just starting out with League of Legends, or trying to increase your ELO by broadening your champion selection, Shen is a great pick for you.
Standard tanking masteries, with the two points in offense / utility to enhance your summoner spells, and then getting more hp regen and exp for that laning phase early on in your utility tree.
Armor reds : Give you a decent bonus of armor throughout the beginning of the game to deal with the harassment early game, and is just a nice boost overall.
HP per level yellows : While leveling gaining that increased amount of hp with these runes will enhance your passive's damage, and of course the obvious bonuses of being able to take more damage overall.
MR per level blues : Hefty bonus of MR throughout your laning / leveling experience, allowing for you to simply just laugh at the feeble harassment enemy champions are throwing your way.
flat HP quints : Giving that huge bonus early game to make you extremely formidable via your passive, and running around with 700+ health like it's nobodies business.
My standard take with tanks is that Ghost is a must, and Exhaust has such incredible utility as a tank that I will always use it for almost any tank. Giving that amazing chasing potential, team fight utility via exhaust, and even two good spells for you to help teammates or yourself escape from a bad situation.
This spell could also be used as a filler for exhaust, but I still feel that Ghost Exhaust are the optimal summoner spells to be used.
Then finally Summoner Spell Teleport, a very well liked spell among many Shen players. I personally dislike the use of this spell, but it is a decent addition to your arsenal so you can constantly be pushing a lane, and just an overall gain of map presence in addition with your ultimate could really be of good use to you.
Passive: Ki Strike
Every 8 seconds, Shen's next attack deals bonus damage.
Fantastic passive, at level 1 it deals an extra 15 damage (Plus 3.5% of your total health) in extra magic damage. Great for harassing, and last hitting minions.
Q: Vorpal Blade
Deals 50 / 95 / 140 / 185 / 230 (+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.
Cost 70 / 65 / 60 / 55 / 50 energy
Amazing harassing ability, easily spammable, and hits extremely hard very early, and also amazing for last hitting those minions. Also, it gives a decent heal during the laning phase, couple with your HP regen from Doran's or your Regrowth Pendant, you will have even greater staying power in the lane (and be able to let your lane mate stay in longer assuming you duo).
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
Great ability for negating most to all damage from many nukes, tower shots, and pretty much anything you can think of. This shield also is effected by your resistances via armor and magic resistance, so it's really like adding 250 HP to yourself
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
Amazing ability, good for running away, and chasing. You can hit multiple targets with a 2 second taunt,
just overall a very strong ability to be accessed by such a champion.
R: Stand United
Places a shield on both a target allied champion and Shen, absorbing 300 / 525 / 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
One of the strongest ulti's for a tank in the game. Giving you that Global presence allowing you to stop ganks early game once you hit level 6, allowing you to save teammates with a 750 shield and you can turn skirmishes around by throwing yourself into the mix from across the map.
Note: One of the ways I use this ability to its fullest potential is by me pushing solo in one lane, and the rest of my team pushing across the map, so whomever the enemy team decides to deal with, I can either get out of there with minimal damage if you're being ganked, OR be able to jump in with my teammates nearly instantly.
This skill order is not one to be memorized, it's mostly a situational skill order.
If youre laning phase is going well, with a decent amount of kills / ganks, level up that taunt (E) quick to lock down those enemies as much as possible.
If your laning phase is not going so well, you're getting harassed quite a bit, and just cant seem to stay at a high amount of hp, level your feint (W)
Unable to secure kills, but you're also not doing that badly in terms of staying high in hp, and it's just a constant fight back and forth at your lane? Level your vorpal blade (Q) ASAP.
Pretty standard tanking item build, giving a good amount of resistances to everything, and high HP
Starting with OR +
High armor, high MR, and a great amount of HP.
I won't be telling you in what order to buy these items in, because every game will be different, you will be fixing your build accordingly against your opponents, who is getting a majority of kills, who is farming well, so on so forth.
Other items to consider when building would be :
/ and lastly
Side Note:With and if you even ever build these items, are based off personal preference to which you would actually purchase. I do not advise buying these items in any game, but these are those items you can just easily consider when pubstomping in normals. Frozen mallet gives a 40% slow with auto attacks, while Rylai's gives a 35% slow with your Q, but also gives AP to help all of your abilities out, whilst giving less health than the frozen mallet.
Warmog's Armor:I must tell you simply why I feel you should consider this item as your last item (if at all). When you reach a certain point with your physical and magical damage reduction (70%) getting more health is effectively better than getting more resistances. Warmog's isn't a great item by itself, but supplemented by high resistances, the item begins to benefit you so much more (and don't forget your passive will also be hitting that much harder late game because of it!).
Everything you Need to know about Leviathan
You could also look into building but this item is generally not the best choice, being that for a lower cost you could get a for cheaper, and give more health benefit by itself.
Leviathan is one of those situational items in low ELO or pubstomps where you are able to get such an item and be able to benefit from getting those stacks quickly, (Leviathan needs 8 stacks before it grants you more health than the Giant's belt) but at a higher ELO the item is just not as reliable.
Although, through some string of luck, if you are able to hit 20 stacks the passive benefit of 15% reduced damage is a tremendous help to your tanking ability.
-aka the Laning phase-
Starting Item :
Pretty standard against almost anyone you're laning against, starting with Q to harass, last hit, and also for healing if you or your lane partner (assuming you're duo laning) are getting harassed.
Laning against low health champs or are you laning with a teammate that has a snare / knockup type ability? Level that taunt, start racking up kills, or deny them from exp, you can do a ton of damage yourself via harassing with your Q, and your passive to make the enemy truly fear you early on.
Quick tip: Your passive and Q are able to basically 2shot minions a little way into the laning phase, you can use this to your advantage for last hits, and harassing.
Now you've finally hit level 6, I know this bug was present before with the UI, but the health bars of your teammates on the left side of your screen wouldn't normally update unless you actually scrolled over them throughout the game, so be sure to quickly throw your sight to your teammates then back to yourself so you'll be sure to have those health bars update for good ulti timing.
-The beginnings of team pushes, lots of roaming, baron warding, and many many teamfights.-
Mid-game Items : + THEN OR /
One of your lanes has either destroyed the first opposing turret, or lost their first turret. Either way, it's now time for people to be roaming about more frequently, and you'll have to be ready with that ultimate more than ever with the aggression that will be coming out with this phase of play.
You'll also be getting a decent amount of your items by this time, easily having the above items. You are already a force to be reckoned with, with the amount of damage you dish out with your passive and Q, and the annoyance of your well timed taunts.
And remember, the more health you have the harder your passive hits, so you will only be getting stronger as the game goes on.
-Team fights galore, fighting over Baron Nashor, and pushing those lanes out-
Late-game Items :
Your 6th item will fluctuate between many choices, just depending on your opponents' composition. being the three (of quite a few) items you'd be looking into.
Your team is fighting over baron with the opposing force, team fights are breaking out almost everywhere, and you are either pushing, or being pushed to the inhibitor turret.
REMEMBER : If you see 2-3 enemies at the bottom lane, or in their town, GET BARON, baron buff wins games and it really does give you the ability to shift so much in your favor.
In this phase of the game, with all these team fights and tower pushes, is your time to shine. You can make or break victories, assuming the two teams are evenly matched, by being able to taunt properly, using your ultimate at good times, and just overall being very annoying towards the enemy team.
General Rule of thumb for team fights would really just be to taunt as many enemies as you can that are getting near your squishy teammates, throw your Q on burst targets to get that little bit of regen to help your teammates, and the most important thing of all -protect your team-
Team FightsNow, to go more in depth for your most crucial part of the game, you need to be wary of many things during the team fights.
First, you need to keep check on your energy, always having enough energy for a taunt. This means you just can't run in there guns blazing spamming all your abilities because sooner or later you will run of out energy and your teammates are getting blown up you won't be able to taunt anyone off them.
Also during those team fights you need to make sure you are not running after one guy, chasing him to insure that kill, instead stay with the majority of your team fighting as many enemies as possible to be able to get some good taunts off.
-You are a support tank, not an offensive tank, so your true power comes out when with your teammates.-
Final CommentsThis is a very strong tank to play, whether you are just starting to play the game, or if you are a seasoned vet. You have a ton of versatility with being able to back door effectively, giving a huge amount of support to your team via the multi-target taunts, and that very amazing global ultimate. I hope this guide helped anyone that wanted to learn how to play Shen, feel free to leave any comments down below, and I hope you enjoyed the read.