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League of Legends - Shen Guide and Build (Jungle and Top)

Updated on January 31, 2015

League of Legends - Shen Guide and Build (Jungle and Top)

Are you looking for a Shen guide or a Shen build? This page covers the basics of playing Shen (Jungle and Top) effectively including skills, runes, masteries, tips and includes custom skins.

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 and build 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.

Don't own Shen? Or want to get a Shen skin from the League of Legends store? Learn how to get free League of Legends points.

Guide current as of: Release Notes v1.0.0.148

This Shen guide is also available in summary format (thanks to

Images on this page are sourced from the official League of Legends website and the game client. They are used for review, commentary and educational purposes.

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Shen Skills

Shen Skills
Shen Skills

Ki Strike (Passive): Gives Shen some good damageoutput and makes defensive items that include health a good area to focus on with Shen. This ability is a great lane harassment tool and speeds up his jungle speed.

Vorpal Blade (Q): This skill helps Shen grab last hits in lane and makes for great lane harassment the enemies. Its true strength is that it allows you (and your allies) to regenerate health by attacking tagged minions. This allows Shen to jungle with ease and gives Top Shen some sustainability.

Feint (W): 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. Also helps Jungle Shen keep his health high during the jungle.

Shadow Dash (E): 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 energy. 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). As Top Shen it can also be used to win exchanges due to the reduced damage that Shen takes from taunted enemies.

Stand United (Ultimate): This is the reason you want Shen on your team. Shen's ultimate can quickly turn 1v1 fights into 2v1 fights, allowing your team to snowball. It also aids your team in tower-diving and allows Jungle Shen to pull off some interesting ganks.

Shen Skill Order - (Jungle Shen & Top Shen)

Shen Skill Order
Shen Skill Order

Shen wants to level his skills the same for lane and jungle:

Stand United(Ult) > Vorpal Blade > Feint > Shadow Dash

Vorpal Blade is maxed first for the health and harassment it offers. While picking up a point in Shadow Dash at level 2 allows you to avoid any early ganks or create early ganks as Jungle Shen. Since Shadow Dash only reduces the energy cost with each level you'll want to max it last. As such you want to max Feint second as it boosts your survivability dramatically

Yellow Jacket Shen

Yellow Jacket Shen
Yellow Jacket Shen

Shen Runes - (Jungle and Top Runes)

Shen Runes
Shen Runes

Red (Marks) - Attack Speed // Magic Penetration

Yellow (Seals) - Armor

Blue (Glyphs) - Magic Resistance Per Level

Purple (Quintessences) - Movement Speed // Health

Shen wants to build a durable rune page but also wants to grab some offensive stats. Marks are best run Attack Speed (Jungle Shen) as it boosts his overall jungle speed. Top Shen will want to consider Magic Penetration to boost his harassment. Armor on Seals is a must have for both top and jungle to reduce incoming damage, similarly Magic Resistance Per Level Glyphs offer great protection from magic attacks.

Movement Speed Quintessences are a great option on Shen as it allows you to stay safe and land those taunts easier.

To learn more about making effective rune choices, visit the Rune Page Guide.

Shen Summoner Spells
Shen Summoner Spells

Shen Summoner Spells

Best Summoner Spells:



Flash and Ignite are your go to summoner spells for Top Shen, Flash gives you a powerful escape (or initiate) while Ignite gives you some extra damage that can allow you to pick up some early game kills.

Other Good Summoner Spells:




Of course Jungle Shen wants to pick up Smite to secure buffs and speed up his jungle speed. Some other options for Shen include Teleport (Top Shen) as it allows him to return to lane quickly, especially after using his ultimate which gives him and his team great map control.

Exhaust is another option available for both Top and Jungle Shen to help him shut down an enemy and aid during ganks.

Shen Masteries - (Jungle Shen Shown)

Shen Masteries
Shen Masteries

A 9/21/0 setup is your best option for Shen masteries (both Jungle and Top Shen).

Your goal in the offense tree is to grab the armor penetration to help give your auto-attacks the extra power they need. Top Shen will want to move a point into Summoner's Wraith for the improved Exhaust/Ignite.

The defense tree offers plenty of benefits including armor, damage reflection, reduced minion damage, movement speed and some cooldown reduction. Cooldown reduction is great on Shen as it dramatically boosts his damage/survivability.

To learn more about masteries and your mastery options, visit the LoL Masteries Guide.

Shen Build
Shen Build

Shen Build

(Top Shen & Jungle Shen)

Final Item Build:

-Mercury's Treads

-Aegis of the Legion

-Randuin's Omen

-Wit's End

-Frozen Mallet

-Sunfire Cape


-Boots of Speed & 3 Health Potions is your best starting option for Shen, giving you some good movement speed and health regeneration.

-Your opening item should always be Heart of Gold as it allows you to generate some extra income and also builds into a core Shen item. Upgrading to Mercury's Treads is also an important goal.

-Your opening item for Shen should be either Wit's End (for extra damage) or Sunfire Cape (defensive option).

-From here you'll want to build up a Frozen Mallet which offers Shen a powerful slow and also boosts his health. Aegis of the Legion is another strong item if nobody else on your team is building one as it offers a great number of stats for both you and your team. If someone is already building an Aegis then look towards the alternative item section below.

-Finishing up the game you want to finish your Randuin's Omen for the health, armor, cooldown and the strong active it offers.


-Force of Nature (If you need some more magic resistance).

-Warmog's Armor (For long games this will make Shen very tanky and give some good damage output as well).

Shen Guide & Gameplay Commentary - By The Rain Man

Shen Tips

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-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 easily 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)

  • Shen's passive makes it very easy to last hit. You can also use it and Vorpal Blade to harass your enemy.
  • As Jungle Shen you want to always use your Vorpal Blade and Feint in the jungle to keep your health high. Since Shen uses the energy system you can spam them endlessly.
  • 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.
  • 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 with Stand United, even changing the result of only 1 or 2 fights during this stage of the game can be game changing. You can also use it to gank or counter gank as Jungle Shen.
  • Consider trying to secure Dragon during this stage of the game for your team.
  • When your ultimate is up do not be afraid to split 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.

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 being 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.

Surgeon Shen

Surgeon Shen
Surgeon Shen

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