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League of Legends Champion Guide: Shen, the Eye of Twilight (Abilities and Items)

by: Vox ; edited by: Michael Hartman ; updated: 4/17/2012 • Leave a comment

This second page of our Shen guide contains tips and suggestions for the choices you'll make in game while building your ninja: what order to pick your abilities and what items to invest in as the game progresses.

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    Shen - Abilities

    shen4 Ki Strike (Passive) - Every 8 seconds, Shen's next attack will deal (10+5*level) (plus 4% of his maximum Health) bonus magic damage. Each time a champion hits Shen with an attack, Ki Strike activates 3 seconds quicker.

    This is a passive with incredible synergy. Not only does Shen get more powerful with more HP, but he becomes more dangerous the more he is targeted. Even aggressive, damage-dealing Shen players will want to stack at least a little HP.

    Vorpal Blade - Deals 60/100/140/180/220 (+.6 per ability power) 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 (+.2 per ability power) health over 3 seconds.

    Vorpal Blade is a very unique and interesting ability. It is a decent nuke that is cheap and on a low cooldown and anyone who attacks the unit it is used on receives life back. This is excellent for laning, for designating a target for your team to focus (since the attack produces an easily visible floating blade above their head) or simply for nuking. Since the cooldown is so low don't be afraid to use it often. Aggressive and AP Shens may want to level this first.

    Feint - Shen defends the next champion spell or attack, blocking up to 50/115/180/245/310 (+.3 per ability power) damage; lasts for 1 source of damage or 2 seconds.

    Alone or combined with Shadow Dash, Feint allows you to jump into the center of the enemy team and come out alive. Like Vorpal Blade, it is cheap and on a low cooldown - use it when laning to frustrate harassers or when running to stay alive. Learning to anticipate nukes with this skill can mean the difference between survival and defeat. Tank Shens may want to level this over Vorpal Blade.

    Shadow Dash - Shen rapidly dashes to a target location, Taunting enemies he collides with for .8/1.1/1.4/1.7/2 second(s).

    Restores 40 Energy if you hit a champion.

    Shen's most iconic and possibly his most useful skill. No matter how you are building Shen, put at least one point in Shadow Dash early on. It can be used for initiating, escaping or simply traveling. Use it to pull enemies off of your teammates or to disable tough enemies. Leveling this up lowers cooldown and cost, so it is always a good investment.

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    Shen - Ultimate

    standunited Stand United - Places a shield on both a target allied champion and Shen, absorbing 400/600/800 (+1 per ability power) 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.

    Shen's ultimate is the very definition of utility. The uses of Stand United are as varied as they are useful. One of its best uses is to both defend against and defeat ganks. Waiting until the enemy forces are committed and then using Stand United can put them in an extremely precarious situation and completely turn the tides of a battle. It can be used well with other mobile heroes - shielding Pantheon or Twisted Fate as they use their ultimate can put two champions anywhere on the map. Don't be afraid to use it to join your allies in destroying towers, or to run from a dangerous situation - the cooldown is long, but not so long that you should hoard it.

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    Shen Item Builds - Tank

    shen1 One of the strongest item builds for Shen, a HP-based tank build will make him powerful and tough. The HP will help you survive hits and give you excellent burst damage from Ki Strike. Unlike other tanks, like Alistar and Mordekaiser, Shen can have incredible damage potential even when built for defense - this is somewhat unique in League of Legends.

    Start out with either a Ruby Crystal or a Doran's Shield and a health potion. The Ruby Crystal will build into your first item, but if you aren't confident in your ability to mitigate damage with Feint and Vorpal Blade, then the regen on Doran's Shield will be more useful. You should be able to stay in lane long enough to get your first item - if you bought a Ruby Crystal, build a Leviathan, if you think you'll do well enough to get kills and assists, or start working on an Aegis of the Legion. If you're doing well, you can also build a Phage, an important item on Shen. If you can, also buy basic boots, which you will build into Ninja Tabis if the enemy team has more physical champions, or Mercury's Treads if they deal more magic damage.

    After your initial item, you want to be working toward an Aegis of the Legion and a Frozen Mallet - these two items will give Shen the damage and survivability he needs to stay in the fight. After you've finished these, you can focus on pushing and helping your allies, since Shen doesn't need many more items, but you can consider working toward a Warden's Mail, a Sunfire Cloak or a Thornmail. Shen is not item dependent - with just an Aegis or Leviathan and a Frozen Mallet, he can be devastatingly effective.

    Optimal Mid-Game Build

    Aegis of the Legion

    Ninja Tabi


    Optimal End-Game Build

    Aegis of the Legion

    Ninja Tabi

    Frozen Mallet


    Sunfire Cloak or Warden's Mail

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    Shen Item Builds - Ability Power

    shen2 Though this build is a little gimmicky (making it a poor choice for beginners), Shen can still be a decent tank and provide damage and utility with the right items. The fact that he does not have mana - rare until the recent additions of Shen and Mordekaiser - makes choosing items a little tricky, but if played correctly this build can seriously hinder the enemy team.

    Similar to the tank build, you want to start with either a Ruby Crystal or a Doran's Shield - these will help you survive the early game and make you a better at laning and harassing. Stay in lane as long as you can (hitting six before you go back is a good idea so you can use your ultimate to reach the fight quickly) then buy a Haunting Visage (the remake makes this item excellent on Shen) if you bought a crystal first, or simply go for Sorcerer's Shoes if you bought a Doran's Shield. The next item that you want is a Rylai's Scepter - this gives you health, AP and a slow that you can spam with Vorpal Blade. After Rylai's, invest in a Guinsoo's Rageblade or an Abyssal Scepter. By now you should have health, damage and incredible burst potential. If the game is still going on, a Zhonya's Ring works very well on AP Shen.

    Optimal Mid-Game Build

    Haunting Visage

    Sorcerer's Shoes

    Rylai's Scepter

    Optimal End-Game Build

    Haunting Visage

    Sorcerer's Shoes

    Rylai's Scepter

    Guinsoo's Rageblade

    Abyssal Scepter