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Shen Guide: Optimus Shen the Tank-Carry

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Ionic Breeze

Senior Member


Having played more than 20+ games with Shen, I have some tips and tricks that I would like to share.

For masteries, I go with the standard 9/21/0 build, getting Magic Penetration. The reason being Ki Strike / Vorpal blade does magic damage, and it is good for harrassing early game, as well as getting the finishing blow (when my carries can't finish the job or died somehow). You can also build 0/21/9 but whatever you do, you are a tank, so get 21 in defense mastery

For runes, I get Magic Pen reds, Yellow healths, Blue Magic resists and Health quints

For item builds, I start off with Doran's shield. I always get Mercury's threads even if they have a CC like slow. The magic resist helps because most games will have at least 1 or 2 AP users. Then I will get Aegis of the Legion to help out my laning partner and teamfights later on. The extra armor/MR helps too. At this point, I will decide if I need more Health, Armor or Magic Resist. TIP: Remember that Mercury's threads will decrease the CC duration, for example, Veigar's stun. Don't get stun twice within his circle like I foolishly did before lol.

Health, I would go for Sunfire cape. TIP: Ki Strike does more damage the more health you have!
Armor, I would go for Thornmail. TIP: Get this if they have Tryndamere, Tristana, Caitlyn, Ashe, Master Yi, etc
Magic Resist, I would go for Force of Nature. The health regen is also very nice. Couple with Baron's buff, this will keep you alive! Last night I survived a game where Caitlyn was targeting me with her ult and I had this armor + baron buff. I was so close to dying but survived

You can always mix and match 2 of the above if necessary. Sunfire cape helps farming at later stage, especially since Shen cannot clear out minion waves as fast as some other tanks (ie Malphite or Maokai). The final item is situational, either Warmogs or Guardian angel. Warmogs if they don't have Madred's bloodrazor, Guardian angel if they do.

For skills, I always start with Vorpal Blade. I get taunt at level 2, and then feint at level 3. If the enemy harasses a lot (ie: nunu, vladimir, karthus) I will level up my feint. Otherwise I will alternate Vorpal blade and taunt. TIP: Remember to have your laning partner target the minion you use VB on, so they can heal themselves. I usually lane with my friend who plays Ashe (if she is not in mid), and it keeps her health at a decent level.

For summoner spells, I get Flash and Fortify. Fortify is situational and saves your allied turrets, with its passive doing more damage to minions so you can farm better. TIP: If they turret dive, taunt them and use fortify, hopefully killing them in the process. I get improved fortify, so it does splash damage as well. Feint scales pretty horribly towards the end-game, and I would NOT use it in teamfights. I would use VB and save up the energy for taunt.

Flash is good when you use your ultimate. MOST smart champs will start running away when they see me ulting in, but I will use my Flash + taunt to keep them around, and hopefully finish them up. It is also good for running away.. TIP: if you are 'stuck' at the Dragon and getting ganked, flash OVER the wall on the other side so they cannot catch up to you. Hopefully..