Jan 17, 2018

Weird Picks #91: Support Shen

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Shen's one of those champions you rarely see bot lane, but when you do, he works out quite well. Although he's not exactly a rare pick at the moment, to me he's certainly still a "weird" pick that doesn't fit a lot of classical support notions.

When you play this guy you really want to be playing him as an engage support that deals huge burst damage during the early game and snowball hard. Skip the Inspiration/Domination trees, Precision secondary is where it's at.

Introduction

Shen's one of those champions you rarely see bot lane, but when you do, he works out quite well. Although he's not exactly a rare pick at the moment, to me he's certainly still a "weird" pick that doesn't fit a lot of classical support notions.

When you play this guy you really want to be playing him as an engage support that deals huge burst damage during the early game and snowball hard. Skip the Inspiration/Domination trees, Precision secondary is where it's at.

How to Play
Abilities: E, Q, W then prioritize R > E > Q > W
Summoner Spells: Flash + Ignite
Starting Items: Relic Shield + Refillable Potion
Core Items: Eye of the Equinox, Ninja Tabi, Locket of the Iron Solari, Knight's Vow, Redemption, Gargoyle Stoneplate

Rune Setup



Resolve Tree
  • Aftershock does a tremendous amount of damage and synergizes very well with Shen's entire kit. If you hit a taunt level one with this on, expect to chunk the enemy marksman for a good half of his health. Perfect for invades too.
  • Font of Life works quite well on Shen considering he'll be AOE taunting enemy champions on the regular.
  • Conditioning is somewhat negotiable with Iron Skin depending on how aggressive you expect the enemy laner to be, but generally, Conditioning works best to help scale into late game.
  • Second Wind is the obvious choice for any melee laner fighting ranged champions.
Precision Tree
  • Triumph provides an amazing amount of healing, even after the 3% nerf to the heal. It allows tanks to snowball especially hard through team fights, providing for multiple CC's after the initial engagement.
  • Legend:Tenacity provides a maximum of 20% tenacity, making it very difficult to peel Shen off your team.

Why It Works

Powerful All-In
Aftershock on Shen allows for some extremely high early game burst and provides a surprisingly strong offensive punch. The taunt also allows Shen to maximize his empowered Twilight Assault [Q] attacks, which do quite a bit of damage as well.

Spirit's Refuge [W]
Shen's W is incredibly good against marksmen like Lucian or Jhin that rely on their cooldowns and burst damage from auto attacks. With good timing, Shen can completely negate devastating moves like Jhin's fourth attack, swinging the tide of battle.

Good Roam Potential
Similar to Soraka, Shen has the ability to impact other lanes post-6 at any point in time. As a support, he minimizes CS loss and doesn't open up his team to free turret losses simply by using his ultimate while the enemy laner is pushing.

Potential Pitfalls

Ultimate Leaves Marksman Vulnerable
Using his ultimate at optimal times allows him to turn the tides of the game, but if he uses it at a poor time he could leave his own marksman vulnerable. Conversely, he could gank with just his taunt and ult back to his marksman when needed.

Weak Sustain
Shen's ally sustain comes in the form of Font of Life and his Relic Shield procs. Otherwise, he has little in the way of damage mitigation unless you count his Spirit's Refuge [W] as a form of shield. He still has peel capabilities though, and the relic shield meta removes most of this weakness.

Conclusions

Shen support has always been a bit of a questionable pick, but nowadays it's actually not bad. In any case, it's certainly better than Miss Fortune support...

Suggested Tier: Tier 2

What do you think about Support Shen? Comment below!

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