Shen Build Guide

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FINALLY! An AP Guide to Shen!

written by Knollds

Shen Build

Table of Contents

  • Introduction

    This is, simply put, a guide that will show you a way to dish out tons of damage with Shen, while being able to live through most fights and support your team via Taunt and Stand United. Keep in mind this is a playing around guide. You should not thing of this as a "let's go 5 man premade and stomp face with this" guide. You can do that at your leisure, but it is designed to be a guide for those looking for a fun way to surprise your pug-mates with. Let's get started...

    P.S. Updated with some info requested by feedback!! Thanks for the feedback so far! Keep it up.
    EDIT: MORE UPDATES. Keep it coming folks.
    EDIT: Changed feint description. In case you read it before it was quite lengthy explaining the new mechanic behind it, but it has been long enough to remove such an explanation.
    EDIT: Changed a bit of the build order.

  • Abilities

    Ki Strike
    This is one great passive. Does bonus damage on next attack once every 8 seconds, any time an enemy champion hits you, the cool down is reduced by 2 seconds. This is why Shen does not use dodge...ever.

    Vorpal Blade
    This move is great for AP Shen, and will become your main nuke/harass move. Use this to heal up if you are getting low and to hit enemies who get to close. You'd be surprised how much damage this will do once you get yourself some AP(BTW, the heal is based on the attackers AP as well, giving you fantastic staying power during lane phase). Keep in mind that the heal can work for your allies also. If they are about to hit a tough minion and have some HP to make up...don't be greedy, give them a bit of health too. Spreading it around will hep you score that kill later when it comes down to one attack between victory and defeat.

    A good trick to this move is to hit the Cannon Minions with it and just keep hitting them if it's safe to do so, they will take a while to kill and will function as a Health Pot this way. One of my favorite moves on AP Shen as you can tell. :)

    Feint is a one hit wonder for the lane phase in my opinion. You will get a bit of benefit from this spell early, and it wanes off quickly in usefulness quickly. Can help resist early game damage however and shrug off a tower shot.

    Shadow Dash
    This is your taunt. Taunting is arguably the best type of CC in the game because it stops all spells while allowing you to also control their movement which allows you to make a tower wail on them (and if you have Thornmail or like Ramus his ball curl, they hurt themselves while controlled). Only two champions have taunt; Shen and Ramus. Use this on strongest enemy in team fights, or to CC their best stunner.

    Stand United
    This move has a ton of ways to use it.

    1) Teleport back into the action.
    2) Save an ally from certain DOOM! =D
    3) Help with a gank. (Great cause they can't see you coming if you use it on a stealth champ).
    4) To get the best ultimate combo ever with Pantheon. What? You've never heard of this? Let's get into it then...

    The "Pantheon/Shen Combo" requires you to be coordinated with him to use it. great for lane phase once you both hit lvl 6. Both pill back (better after taking a beating to make it seem more real) and let them think they have free range on that tower of yours. Once they start wailing on it, have your Pantheon jump in BEHIND them to force them to run through it. About half way through his charge up, use your ultimate on Pantheon. The second his circle of fear pops up, you will appear right there to taunt them...right in place. Pantheon comes in right after with great damage and a slow, ready with his "Kick Punch" combo.

    Be ready for a double kill and an open lane to farm and push, as these are known side effects of this tactic.

    NEW: This spell now does not give Shen a shield and only applies it to allies, making it a little tougher to use as an escape if you're low.

  • Masteries + Runes

    This is a section that I normally skip over when I read guides, so I had neglected to write it. However due to feedback requesting this (from PM's and comment board) I will give it a shot.

    Like summoner spells (you'll notice I didn't have a section for that either), Runes are very dependent on play style.
    My favorite way to build my AP Shen is
    Straight HP quints;
    Cool down reduction Glyphs;
    Magic Pen Marks;
    and your choice of your favorite Seal. (I take energy regen).

    As far as Masteries are concerned, I opt for the 9/21/0 build. I avoid the dodge whenever possible and focus on Health and mitigation throughout the tree. I get enough into the offence tree to get the cool down reduction and either the Magic Pen talent.

    I recommend you use these talent trees with AP Shen because the Utility tree doesn't offer enough of anything for Shen and Offence doesn't offer enough in line of Magic damage; and staying alive is the only way you're going to deal damage anyway.

  • Items

    If you are already comfortable with your ability to lane well, go ahead and grab Amplifying Tome. If you aren't, Doran's Shield gives good HP and Health Regen to keep you in lane longer. (DO NOT get Doran's Ring, I'm sorry, but the AP is only 10 and it has to split up it's stats to include mana don't use mana. The only mana item you will ever get is Sapphire Crystal for your Sheen).

    On first trip back (which should not be before you hit level six if you can help it) you should be able to get Sheen and Boots of Speed usually. Get back to lane as quickly as you can and watch as your Sheen plus Ki Strike eat your enemies (at this point in the game, your Feint almost becomes your best harass move indirectly by allowing you to get in, Ki + Sheen + Vorpal Blade combo, and get out unscathed while they are now 1/3 to 1/2 HP lower).

    After that, wait till you have enough (if you can) to get both Giant's Belt for the survivability (and more damage to Ki Strike) and finish off your boots. Try not to get Ninja Tabi as it makes your passive less effective, but Boots of Swiftness or Mercury's Treads are both great choices. If you feel it is necessary you can grab Sorcerer's Shoes instead. The magic pen is great for early game harassment.

    What would be a good item then; that follows the "I want to survive and KILL STUFF!" mantra? Well, [item=Rylai's Scepter] is of course your best bet! With a good chunk of HP and plenty of AP (Oh, and a nice slow), it is a great way to go for all you need!

    Q: "Hey! Why not Rod of Ages? That gives all that AND it increases over time!!!
    A: Yes, yes it does. And I'm sure you'll get your fill on all that mana you're paying for out of that staff right? Oh, and enjoy the fact that everyone you try to kill is going to get away because you can't stop them long enough. If only Riot made an item or something...maybe a scepter...that could be used to make your Vorpal Blade apply a slow....NEXT!!

    Finish your Sheen into Lich Bane and watch as your enemies melt to it's power.

    Next item after Lich Bane should be working towards [item=Zhonya's Ring]. If you can afford it, go for Needlessly Large Rod, but if not, start with Blasting Wand.

    EDIT: I have recently been doing a bit of changes to my build and have found that Magic PEN is great for a champion like shen trying to go AP. So items like Abyssal Scepter and Void Staff are excellent for this kind of shen. Consider using them before going into Zhonya's.

    If (God forbid) your game is STILL going...grab another Giant's Belt, and if still going (JESUS; REALLY?!) grab another scepter (EW! Not that kind of scepter perv...get a [item=Rylai's Scepter]).

    This build will give you enough HP to be tough and "death resilient" while giving you plenty of damage to blast through the enemy team ALONG with the ability to support them through your very very strong ultimate and taunt. Don't forget to use Feint anytime you have the chance, as (even after nerf) since you have so much AP it will be blocking somewhere close to 550 on it's own with a pretty low cool down. Usually I use it twice per team fight which is really the equivalent of having a bonus 1100 HP!!! That's a lot!

    Keep in mind that this build is very flexible and should be changed based on the enemy team or setup! Do not get into such a routine that you can't adjust. If you are having trouble staying in the fight, grab another Giant's Belt BEFORE you go into [item=Zhonya's Ring]. If they have lots of magic damage incoming; go for [item=Force of Nature] or Banshee's Veil if needed. There is no reason to make yourself do more damage if you can't live long enough to kill anyone in the first place.

    EDIT: BTW: I have been doing a good deal of testing with Mejai's Soulstealer and have found it works very very well in this build. I recommend getting it if you feel you aren't going to die 15 times that game. Reason behind this is...
    1) Tons of AP if you can get some good assists/kills in it.
    2) Not very expensive.
    3) Cost effective at 5 stacks (which should be almost "stupid easy" to keep up) and anything beyond that is really just extra for what you payed for.

    The placement for this item can be different based on the game, but I recommend that you put it either right before or after Sheen. I don't recommend you put it much later then that. Have fun out there!

  • Skilling Order

    I will not go deeply into this and will not give you a set way to level your skills. There are so many different ways to get your skills for different situations that I will simply go over some basic guidelines.

    GUIDELINE #1: Get your ultimate, don't skip it, the second you do is the fight that you will kick yourself for choosing that bonus healing out of Vorpal Blade instead....but only after you or your ally get ganked.
    GUIDELINE #2: If you think that you are going for early gank, you can start with taunt as it may be the difference from last hit or gthem getting away with 10 HP (or even yourself getting away with 10 HP if the gank goes haywire).
    GUIDELINE #3: If you have a heavy harassment enemy lane, get Feint; and level it a bit. The change may have made it worse overall, but made it more effective at resisting harassment.
    GUIDELINE #4: The healing doubles from rank 1 to rank 2 of Vorpal Blade. If you find yourself over harassed or can't time your Feint right, get another rank of this to compensate. Watch as your enemy rages as their plan to push you out of the lane is foiled as your Health climes it's way back to 100%.
    GUIDELINE #5: Vorpal Blade is your #1 harass move, if you find that you are using it to harass often, it is ALWAYS a good idea to increase the damage out of it via rank.

    Choose wisely, use you're head, and know what the enemy can do. Adjust to ever changing situations and know that you will always have times where you wish you had done it the other way around. :)

  • Pros / Cons

    -Very high sustained magic damage output that people don't expect to come out of a Shen.
    -Good survivability for someone with the support/damage that you can do.
    -Feint becomes very strong.
    -Ultimate is incredibly stronger then the tank Shen counterpart (close to double value endgame with the 1:1 ratio).
    - Much better farming and lane pushing ability. Sheen and Lich Bane (and Ki strike) all work against buildings, giving AP Shen a HUGE advantage over tank Shen in tower killing (You'll never take one down as fast as a HIghlander Yi or a Sivir...sorry).

    -Not as invincible as Tank Shen (even though your Feint is much stronger)
    -Subject to ridicule until you prove that you're good with AP Shen. You will get "AP on a Shen? Learn to ****ing play and do your job!"
    -You will be blamed if the team loses really bad, even if you end it 14-2-9 (This is a real number, we lost a match were I had that for final score, and 4 building a "/all If you Shen did what he was supposed to do, we would have had you guys by the balls!!!LOLOLOLOL!" Funny part was the guy ended with a 2-12-5 and no buildings). =D

  • Creep Jungling

    Shen, for the most part, is not good in the Jungle. he has the ability to survive it, but not the early killing power to be effective. You should however, be grabbing the Golem Buff and the Lizard Buff whenever you can.

    Q: But...but...we don't use mana. Why bother getting a buff that is just going ot make us run out of energy faster by giving us lower cool downs?
    A: Silly silly man. Golem Buff now gives bonus energy regen!! This is the ONLY way in game currently to increase energy regen, you need it ANY time you can get your hands on it. Tell those Ryzes and Veiger to blow it out their a** if they give you grief for getting it. NEXT!

  • Farming

    This is one of those ever fought battles that make Shens mad. They have almost no farming potential, and without money comes no items, without items you fail. So, what can be done to improve this? You've already taken your first step on your way there! Just by reading this guide you have already guarenteed that you will make more money in the future with Shen! AP makes last hitting VERY easy for Shen. You still won't be able to go in and kill a whole wave of minions like Pantheon can in one swift strike with his spear, BUT you will be able to last hit throuhout the Lane Phase without a second thought. Combine Sheen and Ki Strike, and you can one shot a mage minion (when used with Vorpal Blade). If a melee minion is at half HP, SAME THING! You can even get more minion kills on a lane then the mid sometimes if you are doing it right (or at least be on par). Until other champions get their big AoE farming moves you will be able to get just about every single last hit you go for.

  • Lich Bane (and useing it well)

    Shaco players, you know just what I'm talking about. There is a right way, and a wrong way, to use Sheen and Lich Bane. Unloading all your moves and then hitting the enemy is the WRONG way to do it. It's a really easy pattern to get used to by the way, I'll go slow for those who need it...

    Spell...attack....spell...attack...spell...attack. Got it yet? No? One more time? Ok... it? Good. If I get into a game with you guys and see you useing Lich Bane and you run in and open with a combo like this...
    Shadow Dash...Feint...vorpal blad....attack(Ki strike)
    I will personally come through the computer screen and eat your first born child.

    Q: should use Feint right after taunt to reduce incoming damage!
    A: You used to do that because of the older mechanic and the ability to reduce all that damage to ALMOST zero from all those auto attacks. The way it is now, those auto attacks will eat through your shield in no time. So, if you're going to get the same protection anyway, why not wait until it gives you a Lich Bane proc for that bonus 300-500 damage on next attack? Oh that's right, now you have no answer. Go back to your corner. NEXT!!!

  • Summary

    This is a great and different way to play Shen, but it works. Have fun with it and post all comments you deem necessary.

    Thanks for reading, see you in game.

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Submitted by Knollds

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