Everything was just nice, then out of a sudden, Shen Jungle became a very hot pick in the last days of LCS and LEC Summer 2020.
Before Worlds 2020, aggressive tanky Junglers were an excellent meta. They provide a more initiative playstyle for their team and the ability to change the flow of the match thanks to the CCs and utilities from their kits. With Jarvan IV, Olaf, Volibear, or Sett, pro players have lately shown us the might of these juggernauts in the jungle.
Why using Shen?
Casual gamers fear these champions, that’s why they always get banned. Other champions in the same category are also good but are very situational. Okay, now what? What to pick now? Which champion has the capability, the stability to compete with the champions listed above? Which champion has the ability to initiate, to provide the utility that your and CC that team craves for? The pro teams from the US / Europe have found out the answer. It’s your shiny eyes ninja guy with his transparent sword – Shen.
Firstly, besides your trustworthy Support, he brings huge impacts to the match by protecting you and your emotional health. Shadow Dash, Spirit’s Refuge, and Stand United are great tools to protect the carries and assure a victory. Furthermore, Shen was buffed quite well in Riot’s attempt to increase the jungle champion pool in the game (Patch 10.6). Specifically, Twilight Assault’s damage cap against monsters was greatly increased.
Now, he can clear the jungle camps quickly and spend more time helping his teammates with his made-for-fighting abilities. But the whole patch received a lot of complaints when it came out so many players may have overlooked this change and the power of jungle Shen hasn’t been noticed until the very last matches of LCS and LEC Summer 2020. It didn’t stop there, he is an awesome pick for the top lane, this gives your team a little advantage: you can pick him early and slowly work on your team’s plan and find the match-ups that work for you.
The build for jungle Shen is quite different from the traditional top lane Shen’s build. There are many valid choices, but G2. Jankos’s Press the attack rune page exceeds the others.
You don’t need Titanic Hydra for this playstyle, Cinderhulk is more than enough to boost your farming speed. Jankos focuses on protecting his allies, Knight’s Oath, Redemption, and Locket of the Iron Solari do just exactly that.
Overall, with the ability to assure ganks in the early minutes, to protect important allies and the durability, Shen in jungle fits perfectly in the professional league and high-ranked games and will be a powerful choice for the pro teams in incoming events. But with enough practice and knowledge, jungle Shen can also be your way to the upper-division.
For more tips on how to play Shen effectively, you can check out the guide from xPetu – a Shen-Only Challenger.