League of Legends Guide: How to Play River Shen like Spica

League of Legends. Photo Courtesy of Riot Games.
League of Legends. Photo Courtesy of Riot Games. /
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League of Legends. Photo Courtesy of Riot Games.
League of Legends. Photo Courtesy of Riot Games. /


River Shen has an extremely linear playstyle in the early game that is very similar to jungle tanks like Volibear or Rammus. He wants to do a very quick three-camp clear and begin to contest the river. There are three reasons for this.

First, Shen struggles mightily to do the multi-monster camps like Wolves, Raptors, and Krugs before he gets Cinderhulk because he has no AoE abilities.

Second, Shen’s Shadow Dance taunts all monsters and deals them percent health damage. This includes Scuttle Crab, meaning it not only does more damage but it also removes the resistances by applying the crowd control effect taunt.

Finally, Shen is an extremely underrated duelist in the early game thanks to his Spirit’s Refuge, which allows him to dodge all basic attacks in the area for two seconds. Because in the first few levels champions spells are on low cooldowns, a lot of those early game duels will be mainly won through auto attacking. He also does a lot of percent max health damage when he hits enemies with his Twilight Assault, making him a dangerous one to fight against if he hits his taunt.

For skill order, you want to start your Q – Twilight Assault for that bonus damage to monsters. At Level 2, take W – Spirit’s Refuge, so that you can dodge the auto attacks from jungle monsters and stay at higher health. However, if you are getting invaded or are forced to fight or gank Level 2, take E – Shadow Dash instead (you ideally want to take it at Level 3).

So, early game, you want to clear the easy camps like Red and Blue Buff, Gromp, and even wolves, then contest every Scuttle Crab you can. Remember your Spirit’s Refuge also blocks monster attacks, so be sure to use it to block autos as you kite the camps. When you can’t farm those camps, you should be looking for a gank.

You have fantastic setup for ganks early once you hit Level 3 with your taunt + flash. Remember, your taunt will hit wherever you end your dash, so you can start the Shadow Dash animation and then flash onto your enemy to extend the distance (or just follow them if they dash or flash). Make sure to head into the Practice Tool and try it out a few times to get the hang of it!

Once you get Cinderhulk (or even just Bami’s Cinder) you can start clearing like an actual jungler. You definitely want to get to Level 6 as quickly as possible, because that’s when your real power as River Shen comes in.

Once you get your ultimate, Stand United, you will be able to counter just about any gank that comes in while it’s off cooldown. Simply ult to the teammate being ganked to grant them a shield and arrive to swing the fight. This ability makes your jungle pathing fairly irrelevant and it makes all the enemy laners have to play a bit more scared, because you can literally teleport anywhere at any time.

In the mid and late game, be sure to abuse that ultimate ability when you can and use it to pressure lanes or counter-jungle ahead of objectives on the other side of the map. You can even split push as a jungler, with the knowledge that you can just ult to one of your teammates.