I've been looking at some of these builds and am currently building:
Boots -> situational
Phage -> Frozen mallet
Recurve bow -> Wit's end
Giant's belt -> Warmogs armor
Chain vest -> Atma's impaler
???? - I honestly can't decide between randuin's omen, force of nature or sunfire cape.
I don't build him for any AP, because I find my energy pool would just be depleted in seconds, and the utility is what most of my skills are for anyway.
But, I'm also wondering: Is whit's end a good item late game? Or should I switch it out for something else, and if so, what?
I feel like you have a different definition of Peeling than I do.
So, I guess I should explain this differently. I separate tanks into 2 categories right now:
Bruisers and Disruptors
Both have the shared goal of minimizing damage to the team.
Disruptors (e.g. Leona, Alistar) focus on dishing out CC and locking people down or displacing them such that they're easily killed.
Bruisers get into the opposing team's face to hurt them and be a credible damage threat in order to draw fire. Most bruisers also have some sort of disruption ability (Irelia, Udyr, Skarner, Shen), but also deal good damage while being tanky to encourage people to focus them, but survive the damage. This generates a "double threat" for the enemy team. Target the AD that's out of range slightly, or hit the bruiser who's in your face and also hitting pretty hard.
I tend to draw the line at the number, frequency, and power of their CC. Champions with 2 or more Hard CC are disruptors. Champions with only 1 Hard CC or less should be Bruisers.
Why? Because abilities have cooldowns, and you need to be contributing to the fight the entire time. Champions with multiple sources of hard CC can chain and time their abilities so that they're consistently harassing.
But champions with only 1 source of hard CC can only pull it off once per cooldown and need to be doing something else to contribute.
The difference here is that Leona can WEQR, then have her basic rotation up again very shortly. CC monster. She should be building CDR, tanky, and some support items.
Shen on the other hand has a single disruption ability. It's a great one don't get me wrong, but it's on a long cooldown. You have to do something else get him to contribute beyond building tank items. AP is certainly a good way to do it, but going Bruiser is perfectly viable as well. All of his abilities contribute to being a bruiser.
But back to Peeling. I define Peeling as the ability to get someone to stop attacking one of your allies. You're peeling them off of your teammate. Mallet does that wonderfully by it's slows. Dash when it's up. The problem with Rylais is that you will end up energy starving yourself using your Q. Building damage is also a definite way of get someone's attention too.
This game is more than just mechanics too. It's also about psychology.
When you're trying to chase down a carry, and a bruiser is perma-slowing you, that's one thing.
But when that bruiser is not just hitting you with perma-slows, but also hurting you pretty significantly, you're much more likely to break off pursuit.
People tend to freak out if they see their HP bar dropping rapidly, so yes, building damage does help peel.
Slow+Damage help peel. CC can be used to peel too, but using it for disruption is a better idea. Does that make more sense as to what I'm defining peeling as?
So when you tell me that building Shen as a bruiser costs him his peeling ability, I just don't see that. His peeling ability is just as strong, if not stronger as a bruiser. He's a much more credible threat with the volume of damage he dishes out and that's more likely to get people to turn around and hit you rather than the carry.
I don't see how building AP improves his peeling.
For built in CC, he has his Dash.
Building AP you get Rylais which gives him a source of slow
Building Bruiser you get Mallet which gives him a source of slow.
both builds have the option of Randuins as well for more slow.
same thing. I'm not seeing the "bruiser at the cost of most of his peeling ability".
also, he does gain peeling ability via attack speed. More AS means that he procs his Mallet more frequently. The slow is more consistent, and a flash is less likely to allow escape. Additionally, more AS means more Ki-strike procs, which means more energy, so you can use an extra Vorpal Blade or two to heal whomever is hitting the target while still having enough energy for the Dash when it comes off cooldown.
On the contrary, building AP doesn't really increase his peeling.
I think you're using a different definition of "peeling" than I am.
An interesting point to be sure. We'll set the record straight and say I count AP Shen as a Bruiser. Abyssal Scepter + Mpen Reds will flatten most mid game magic resistance on carries and allows Ki-strike and Sunfire cape to deal nearly true damage. This is a lot, so I think Shen can deal enough damage to deter most enemy carries and a good amount of bruisers, if he's ingored. While attack speed does give you an extra hit during Feint and therefore allows Ki-Strike to proc essentially every 4th hit, you won't starve yourself if you can land two hits on an enemy at a time with Feint up, and give yourself a second or two to regenerate energy if you can only score one hit with Shadow Dash (I believe Shadow Dash reapplies Crystal Scepter's full slow if you only strike one enemy, so it's not necessary to use Vorpal Blade immediately).
But I'll go ahead and say I respect bruiser Shen for what it is, a decent damage-dealing build with some utility, I say whether you deal damage through Abyssal/Sunfire or Witt's End, its not a big deal.
For Crystal Scepter Vs. Frozen Mallet, I like them both, both give extra health, damage, and a slow. But which one I buy depends, Mallet is better if I'm worried about mulitple targets. However, Mallet can do little to stop certain duelist/assasins such as Jax, who ignore on-hit effects, or champions who can just get past Shen quickly, for those champs Scepter tends to do better as its ranged which allows for quick grabs by Dashing then using Vorpal Blade for increased range into Randuin's Omen, for desperate saves. However I appreciate both builds, I've used them both, but my play style usually calls me toward AP, but both are good. The reason I don't like AD bruiser is simply because it has lackluster killing potential aside from very squishy carries and most other bruisers are better at it anyways. The reason I think AP is the best way to build Shen is because he scales well with AP, health and Mpen, which are naturally good combinations, along with AS. But not so well with attack damage, and since I build Sunfire, the 40 MagDmg/sec is better than Witt's End since I don't prioritize AS with my build. But I think if you need to deal more damage than worry about saving your carries from high burst-damage, I think AD/AS is a very strong way to build, its good on other champs, and it works well enough on Shen.... IV
That's all I have to say for now.
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