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[Guide] Tank Shen, The persistent Ninja!

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Joe Of The Pr0n



Good evening fellows, this is my first shot at a guide. Decided to come out of lurking because I feel very strongly that I have a working and very successful Shen strat to share with you all.


Ki Strike - Every 8 seconds, Shen's next attack deals bonus damage.

Vorpal Blade - Damages target unit and life taps him, healing allies that attack the target.
Deals 60/100/140/180/220 (+0.6) magic damage to target unit. That unit becomes life tapped for 5 seconds, healing any champions who attack it for 15/30/45/60/75 +(0.2 Ability Power Ratio) health over 3 seconds.

Feint - Shen blocks damage from the next champion attack or spell.
Shen defends the next champion spell or attack, blocking up to 50/115/180/245/310 (+0.3) damage; lasts for 1 source of damage or 2 seconds.

Shadow Dash - Shen dashes rapidly toward a target location, taunting enemy champions he encounters.
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 40 Energy if you hit a champion.

Stand United - Shen shields himself and a target ally from incoming damage, and soon after teleports to their location.
Places a shield on both a target allied champion and Shen, absorbing 400/600/800 (+1) damage for 8.5 seconds (Shen's shield absorbs half as much damage). After channeling for 2.5 seconds, Shen teleports to the target's location.
These are Shen's abilities, I'm gonna go though a little run down of each one and their possible uses.

Ki strike. Possibly one of the better passive abilities. In the laning phase it is good for harassing. Being able to throw a strong strike on an enemy champion every 8 seconds and then returning to a safe distance will help you and your laning partner push the lane back. It also hits turrets harder to slightly remedy the fact that this guide will not have you doing much along the lines of physical damage.

Vorpal Blade! This is Shen's ranged attack and it sits on a very nice cooldown of just under 3 seconds. It does not pack the damage of most nukes but it costs very little energy and with such a low cooldown it will have you harassing indeffinatly. This abilities uniquness is found in the mark it puts upon your target. Any friendly champion that attacks the target of Vorpal strikes receives a small Heal over time effect. This will keep you and your laning partner healed and allow you to last longer.

Feint! This is the first of three possible defensive abilities that Shen has in his arsenal. It absorbs an amount of damage (scaling with AP) from the next damaging sorce within a 2 second time period. This ability can save your neck or simply keep you unscathed if you can master the art of timing. Some abilities to note when feinting:
See a shacko vanish? Feint and you can shrug off much of his deceive crit.
Zilean Time bomb? Feint just before it exploads and laugh as it does no damage until mid-late game.
These are just two examples because at this point im realising using feint at any point in a fight will save you some health. It is an all around usefull ability for warding off nukes.

Shadow Dash! This is my personal favorite of Shen's abilities. Using this will cause Shen to charge toward the designated area at blinding speed while taunting each target he passes though. Even at rank one the .8 second taunt will stop and enemy from fleeing and can be the difference between a kill and the enemy escaping. You can also use this to close the gap between you and the enemy very effectivly. At later levels and in late game the extended taunt time can serve several purposes. Your a tank first, so there is nothing wrong with Dashing though an entire enemy team and taunting them all. Your Armor, magic resist, and health combined with feint will assure that you are able to take the hits while your team does their work picking off the enemy. You can also use this ability to escape trouble. Putting distance between you and an enemy or disapearing though a treeline is endlessly entertaining.

STAND UNITED! This is Shen's Ult. You place a sheild on an ally reguardless of distance and after a 2.5 second channle you warp to them. The sheild absorbes alot of damage on the ally, and half as much on Shen himself. This could be used to prevent and even reverse ganks. In a team fight after you taunt the enemy team you can use stand united on the team member the enemies are likely going to nuke (Like twitch or another fragile carry). If you are having a good game and haven’t died at all you may want to protect your bounty so another neat trick is if you are going to get ganked or a fight takes a turn for the worse you can use your ult to warp to an ally that is in a safe place. You may get a funny look but who cares… your alive. Another valid use of Stand United is to assist back dooring. I know there are some that frown on the idea of being taken by surprise OH NO! But be that as it may Backdooring is still a valid strategy. If your carry if going to make a move on a turret without minions you can ult them, shielding them againsed turret fire and then once you warp you can help them finish it off.

Skill Priorities

You want your first point in Vorpal Strike so you can harass/heal yourself/ farm.
I spend the second point in Shadow dash to assist in early kills. Quick travel etc.
After that I level up Vorpal strikes first and then feint. You should take Stand united at 6/11/16
Despite how useful the Taunt aspect of Shadow dash is you do not need to level beyond the first point until last. Usually you don’t need to full duration taunt until real team battles.


I go 21 Defense for max damage reduction.
Remaining 9 points in Offense for the 15% magic penetration.


Quintessence: Fortitude- Straight up health really helps in the laning phase.
Red: Insight- Magic pen makes your Vorpal Strike hit harder.
Yellow: Evasion- The dodge is very useful for tanking. Having almost a 10% dodge bonus is really useful early on.
Blue: Health per lvl- More health on a tank is never a bad thing. Can’t really think of anything better honestly.

Summoner Spells

This is something I feel should be left to preference. These spells really define your play style. Personally I use ghost and ignite. Ghost for perusing and escaping enemies. Ignite is very good. Because Shen can be lacking in dps, ignite can be the difference between a kill and… well nothing. Also it is good for killing enemies with healing abilities.


Ok folks this is the section that I will likely get people disagreeing with me. I have tried many build and I have found this one to give the best results.

1. Doran’s Shield- Health, armor, HP5. What more can you want from a starting item? Starting with 800 health allows you to last in the laning phase and make you very hard to gank right off the bat.
2. Giant’s belt- Yes I know it sounds strange. But as a tank not getting yourself killed while running interference is a must.
3. Ninja Tabi or Mercury Treads- Depending upon the enemy team’s composition the boots you make will vary.
4. Upgrade your Giants Belt into a Rylai’s scepter! Let’s look at why this item is useful. A good chunk of health. An AP boost to increase the damage your Vorpal strikes do, how much damage your feint blocks, and how much damage your Stand United ability soaks up. The third perk of this item is the slow affect. Making your 3 second cooldown vorpal strike slow your enemy! There is power in being able to Shadow Dash to an enemy throw a vorpal strike and watch as your team helps themselves to a kill.
5. This next Item is my personal favorite! Aegis of the Legion! Wooo! Health- Armor- magic resist- And an amazing aura that give your team all those perks as well as +10 damage! The item is pretty cheap for what you are getting out of it.
6. Banshee Veil. Despite the mana this item gives, and even if the enemy team does not have a great deal of magic damage, the Banshee veil is another Item that gives a good chunk of health. And the 30 second spell shield is also very good.
7. Your sixth item slot (which I don’t find myself often filling.) Can be anything you feel you need for this particular match. I usually like to get a team based item like Frozen heart or Starks Ferver.

Closing Statement

Shen is a very team dependent champion. Using this build you can only accomplish so much while staying alive and being stubborn.

This build supports the following: Running interference, tanking the enemy team with the use of shadow dash, offering support though the use of your ult in really heated team fights, sealing ganks with a good slow or taunt and if the match really calls for it Shen is an amazing compliment to any backdooring operation!

Another Note. I see a lot of Shen players building straight for health. Having a lot of health does not making you a good tank… it just takes the enemy team longer to inevitably kill you. Sure health makes your Ki strike hit harder… but if the damage dealers on your team are doing their jobs then you don’t need to worry about that.

I’v had A LOT of fun and success with this build/spec/play style. So let me know what you think, and inform me of your adventures with the Tank Shen guide!

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the skill order is so wrong imo. Taunt is his best skill and you need the full duration to make it worth it.

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Senior Member


Above poster is right

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If you don't have Dash at max level before any other skill you are doing it wrong IMO.

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Junior Member


First, overall nice guide. But as the above posters has already pointed out the skillorder is pretty messed up.

It's like with Katarina, never pick Bouncing Blade first, the 1 minute of harassing/last hitting is just not worth it, - always pick Shunpo first. It's the same with Shen, pick Dash first prior to Vorpal.
1. Dash is his key skill.
2. Even if the taunt duration is low with only 1 level in Dash it's still better for first blood/early kills.
3. It serves as a great get-away skill if someone outplays you in the grass.

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Joe Of The Pr0n



Ok look at it this way. At rank 1, Shadow dash is almost half the duration of Rank 5. There is no need to lose the survivability from Feint in order to level shadow dash up until mid game. Granted it is his major ability you don't need it to be maxed out to be effective. I have tried both ways and honestly a skilled player can make either distrabution of skills work very well.

Perhaps he can even leave this up to preference and play style anyway. I meerly posted what has led me to continued success. This guide was supposed to be an aid, not so much me telling you what you MUST do. You know?

(Edit and note for poster above.)

Notice I did say that you should always have a point in Shadow dash for fast travel/ escape/ taunt/ engage uses.

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feint is terrible, it uses energy better spent on vorpal blade and dash. If you need feint to survive you're doing something wrong.

Shen has INCREDIBLE hp gain and scaling. You do not need mitigation, you should have enough HP to tank whatever comes your way.

I level vorpal first and dash second and then feint doesn't get points until level 13. Vorpal is a very strong ability and leads to early and mid game domination. It also let's you farm incredibly well. If you dash in, ki strike and vorpal at level 3 almost any non-tank champion will be down to 50% health. If they stay to fight a second vorpal and ki strike will kill them. They HAVE to run. If you use feint at the point you will not be able to chase. It destroys your energy pool.

With ghost shen can get a lot of first bloods just do to how powerful vorpal blade is at early levels.

I also disagree with the AP shen. Rylai's is great when you first get it but if the game lasts any amount of time a warmog's will be much, much better. With the nerf to executioner's calling the regen is very useful to recover between fights. After that (or even before) you should have an aegis. With your ultimate you are the single best aegis carrier there is in the game. You can teleport in for instant defences. Yeah you covered aegis, but hey not enough can be said how great aegis is on Shen.

The rylai's AP shen is great 1v1 but in a teamfight that AP is largely wasted unless you spam feint, which means you have no energy to pull off 2ndary dashes which means you are failing. The slow is great but with the ease at which you can get lizard for yourself or your team-mates I really think the gold is better spent elsewhere.

Straight health works incredibly well on Shen. With the way taunt works if you pull off a good taunt in a teamfight you will get an almost instant 2-3 ki strikes in a row. These are devastating with an HP build. Your primary target will die incredibly fast. Now you should also have some armor or magic resist depending on what you're fighting. Banshee's is also a bit of a waste. You WANT the enemy to use thier CC on you. Banshee's makes them look elsewhere which is the exact opposite of what you want. Merc treads is enough by themselves.

By the time the enemy is targetting you with CC they've already been taunted and most likely massacred by your team. It is pure running away tactics. If you have ghost and haven't wasted energy on feint they are NOT getting away.

Feint is so bad, the only use I have for it is tanking towers. It destroys your energy pool and keeps you from doing useful things.

Survivability from feint is an illusion. Don't use feint and instead have energy to dash away.