fsolo League of Legends Weird Picks #125: River Shen Strategy Runes & Build Path Guide | NERFPLZ.LOL





Nov 11, 2019

Weird Picks #125: River Shen Strategy Runes & Build Path Guide

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River Shen Strategy

Guide to Playing River Shen (Support Replacement)

Below is a guide on how to play River Shen. We'll talk about how to play him, the rune set up, the item build, how River Shen works, the drawbacks of River Shen and how to counter it.

I was first turned onto River Shen from a friend who saw it in one of his ranked games. He thought he was getting hard trolled when this Shen walked into River with Exhaust + Ignite and stood there at the beginning of the game doing nothing. Resigned to a defeat, he suddenly realized that this Shen was actually getting of gank after gank, snowballing his team to victory.

Naturally, this could have also gone excitingly poorly...fascinated, I took a look into it and discovered that this is a tactic originating from all the way back in 2015 with Pianta recently releasing a 2019 video as well.

Obviously, after a number of rune and champion reworks the whole concept needs a refresher, but I tried it out in a few normal games and surprisingly...it works and we won a decent amount of games running this comp.

Check out the details on runes and builds below!


River Shen Guide

Guide to Playing River Shen (Support Replacement)

I was first turned onto River Shen from a friend who saw it in one of his ranked games. He thought he was getting hard trolled when this Shen walked into River with Exhaust + Ignite and stood there at the beginning of the game doing nothing. Resigned to a defeat, he suddenly realized that this Shen was actually getting of gank after gank, snowballing his team to victory.

Naturally, this could have also gone excitingly poorly...fascinated, I took a look into it and discovered that this is a tactic originating from all the way back in 2015 with Pianta recently releasing a 2019 video as well.

Obviously, after a number of rune and champion reworks the whole concept needs a refresher, but I tried it out in a few normal games and surprisingly...it works and we won a decent amount of games running this comp.

Check out the details on runes and builds below!

How to Play
Abilities: E, Q, W then prioritize R > E > Q > W

Summoner Spells: Exhaust + Ignite

Starting Items: Boots of Speed + 2 Control Wards + Sweeper

Strategy: Stay in river and control scuttle crabs + vision. Wait until an enemy laner engages on your ally, then jump in and taunt them to death. Bot lane will be 1v2, but gankable if your jungle comes or the enemy team tower dives. Bot lane needs to play passive and pick up someone like Caitlyn or Ezreal to stay safe.

Core Items: Boots of Mobility, Eye of the Aspect, Knight's Vow, Redemption, Locket of the Iron Solari, Thornmail


Rune Setup

Primary: Predator, Cheap Shot, Ghost Poro, Relentless Hunter
Secondary: Celerity, Waterwalking


How It Works

High Gank Assistance
This version of Shen packs three ward clearing techniques, allowing River Shen to ensure enemy laners are left completely in the dark when it comes to vision. He also provides a solid 1.5 second crowd-control + gap closer combo at level one. When you combine this with two offensive summoners, getting kills and summoners is a breeze in any 2v1 situation.

Infinite Gank Patience

Most junglers are forced to go back to farming in order to avoid falling behind in farm. River Shen on the other hand, only needs to be level one to be effective. When you combine this with his early game vision control, this means enemy lanes are forced to play passive until Shen shows up on the map. This gives the team an extremely high amount of pressure and makes it difficult for them to go on the offensive.

Catch-Up EXP
As River Shen, your sole source of XP is scuttle crabs unless you get a successful gank off and help push (preferably with Relic Shield). However, the built-in EXP catch-up in the game means that as soon as you get a successful assist you quickly bounce up in levels. Most games, you end up fairly close to everyone in levels without even being in lane most of the game.

Potential Pitfalls

Prone to Jungle Camping
River Shen starts with boots and speed runes, which makes it difficult for most early game jungle champions to catch-up to him successfully. Even if they try, they'll likely spend a lot of time chasing him around while your allied jungle is farming and ganking other lanes. That being said, certain jungle champions can potentially catch-up to and kill River Shen. Additionally, if he's blind ganking a lane enemy junglers can counter-gank and win 2v2's.

No Support Bot Lane
Having no support bot lane is rough against highly aggressive push lanes with champions like Sivir or Tristana coupled with a kill lane support like Nautilus or Leona. This means your bot laner will likely be zoned off from his wave for the duration of the game and will result in early tower platings and potentially an early tower. However, against a passive lane this allows your marksman to get solo EXP as long as they can freeze it close to the turret or farm safely from long-range.

Weak Without Ganks
If the enemy lanes are playing especially safe and refuse to cross over the river line, ganking is extremely difficult. As a result, River Shen will have significant trouble gaining experience and will need to rely on your jungler to assist in invading the enemy jungle.

Countering River Shen

Countering River Shen involves having an aggressive bot lane combo and early game jungle that can dive successfully, like Elise. Additionally, controlling scuttle crabs as they spawn will deny River Shen a significant amount of gold and experience.

Conclusions

River Shen is a pick that performs exceptionally well if you have an enemy team that is aggressive and your team is comprised of champions with good kill potential. Nobody expects to be camped by a level one Shen for five minutes straight and can frustrate them into making poor decisions.

However, think about your poor marksman bot lane, if they're not keen to the idea, have mercy River Shen, have mercy.


Suggested Tier: Tier 3

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