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. /

Runes and Items

Spica actually played a fair amount of River Shen before debuting it in the LCS, but he’s been fairly consistent with his rune choices. He almost always goes Press the Attack as his keystone (he did try Hail of Blades one game but it didn’t seem to be as effective) so that he uses that three-auto bonus from his Twilight Assault to also allow teammates to deal more damage to targets he is hitting.

In the Precision tree, he goes Triumph (standard for almost all champions in that tree), Legend: Tenacity or Alacrity (depending on how much CC the enemy comp has), and Last Stand (since he will likely be a bit lower from his jungle clear or will want to be absorbing a lot of damage in fights).

On his secondary tree, Spica goes Domination every game with Cheap Shot and Ultimate Hunter as his runes. Cheap Shot synergizes well with his taunt, allow himself to do more damage to taunted enemies, while Ultimate Hunter will allow him to warp around the map more with Stand United.

For items, Spica tries to back and get his Bami’s Cinder whenever possible, or else he just completes his Stalker’s Blade (aka blue Smite). While he went Mercury’s Treads against Team Liquid, in solo queue he’s more likely to go Ionian Boots of Lucidity for the extra CDR (probably for his ult to be up quicker).

For his solo queue build, Spica goes Cinderhulk into Deadman’s Plate into Locket of the Iron Solari. This is to maximize Shen’s tankiness and also provide utility for his teammates. In fact, we often see him double-down on this by going items like Knight’s Vow or Redemption after Locket.

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We almost never see him go Tiamat into Titanic Hydra like so many top lane Shens. Although this might be tempting, to help his early clear and dueling, it’s actually too expensive considering how much he needs Cinderhulk.

In general, you seem to favor more supportive items over the pure tank items on this build, but you can certainly go tank items as well. Randuin’s Omen, Spirit Visage, Warmog’s Armor, or Adaptive Helm are all solid options on Shen, depending on what the enemy’s team composition is.