Shen’s top lane matchups
This matchup guide is generally focusing on how to play the early laning phase in each specific matchup. In most matchups you can get a lead one way or another, and then it’s just about correctly driving your lead home and snowball your lane and then transitioning your personal lead to other lanes while containing it best you can. There’s A LOT of matchups that outscale you in the 1v1 later on if you haven't accumulated enough of an early lead, and this matchup-guide won’t be how to deal with those situations.
Level 1 cheese bush:
For the champions with an “ * “ beside their name you want to do the lvl 1 cheese. To do it properly follow these steps: Walk into the tribush (if you’re blueside) / riverbush (if you’re redside) at 1:27 and press Q. Then Q again at 1:36. That way you’ll likely get 1-2 normal Q auto’s off on the enemy while still getting the Q cd back in time to Q through them, slow them, and get 3 additional Emp. Q autos off.
Try to bait out his Q’s by stutter stepping close to him and backing out, and then do the extended trade* when they’ve run out, and make sure to block his passive-Auto with your W. Be very careful about him running you down in an extended trade with R after lvl 6.
Utilize your passive shield to block some of her Q poke and only go in for trades once she's used up most of her energy for poke/push. Her shroud is 2 seconds longer CD than your lvl 1 E, so use that 2 sec window if she walks close when your taunt gets up after an fW if it’s up. Try to look for extended trades pre 6, because after 6 she will just hunt you down unless you’re MUCH healthier than her at the start of the trade.
Force use of your slightly longer attack range when she’s last hitting. Whenever she uses E to jump you, instantly press both Q and W to deny her, and trade back for a second before backing out. IMPORTANT: Always stay far enough away from the walls so you can always react with the Q+W presses in ime when she E’s.
Most Cassio's use their Q's constantly trying to poke you as soon as you get into their range. Use this fact to bait out Q's and turning around at the last second before you enter her range so you don't risk getting hit. When she misses a Q, look for chances to go for a taunt into 3 emp Q's trade and then back off. If the cassio plays this matchup perfectly it's not much you can do, but almost everyone does a mistake eventually if you look out for it. If your jungler comes it's also a freekill if you just taunt-flash her. She can't get away.
Contest the push lvl 1 with Q and try to hit lvl 2 before him. if you do, just taunt him and hard trade lvl 2, preferably with the 6-Emp auto trade if you can position the blade correctly before you hit lvl 2. Avoid getting into long trades where he gets to E-auto you 3 times (if you’re equal levels), and don’t get hit by Q’s and you should win this lane every time early on. Punish your lead hard, don’t let him free farm once you got one.
Try to go forward baiting for his Q and backing off without getting hit whenever you can. If Q is on CD, then you can go for short trades, blocking his W with your W and getting out of there asap. Never do extended trades in this match-up except if he's already low and you KNOW you can kill him before he kills you. If you’re in the middle of a trade that looks good for you HP-wise, then once he starts Q’ing, E inside the middle of it to deny most of the dmg and all of the healing.
Try to get a slow push early to hit lvl 2/3 spikes first. If she uses Q or W to contest the push you can freely trade, and if she doesn’t you will be able to hit lvl 2 before her and can instantly taunt in (same on lvl 3 spike). Also always look for short trades (or single grasp auto's) once she has used her emp. passive auto on creeps.
If he walks up to creeps to last hit you should be able to force winning trades early on and push the advantage. If he constantly stays back and farms with Q, then be an evil mastermind and bodyblock the cannons and some melee minions with your
passive shield whenever it’s up until he grows angry and walks up to last hit after all (and you force trades again).
Be wary of her vitals, but do small grasp trades whenever you have passive up and she goes for a lasthit. You should almost never use your taunt in this matchup except to disengage or to go in on her if she wastes her W for some reason. But you should be able to outtrade her lvl 2-5. It’s fine to rush Bramble Vest in this matchup.
This is my personal ban, it’s just a terrible matchup. Try to stay out of his Q range for most of the time except when you *have to walk up for a lasthit. Try to utilize your shield as much as possible to stay healthy, and save your TP if possible so you can R away later, because you’re likely never gonna have the chance to push the wave out in this matchup.
Position the blade up constantly, try to force short trades where you W (or passive shield) his Q dmg and auto him a few times with your Emp. Q’s. Repeat until he gets low and force him out of lane.
Stand behind minions / juke his long range Q’s. Stay back most of the time except the time you walk up to last hit. Deny his poke with your shield and your W, never let him proc his W and it should be survivable. If you’re getting pushed in, then look for/threaten taunts while he’s under your tower. If you’re gonna all-in any time that’s not under tower, do it either when his bar is low or optimally right when he turns from big to small.
You should be able to simply force trades in this matchup at every early lvl (1-5). Since he can interrupt your taunt with his E, you want to just trade with Q's until he uses it, or if you're close enough you know he won't be able to react to the taunt. One special thing to keep in mind is that if he E's you past lvl 3, then try to instantly press Q-W, to deny his W auto while you're CC'd, and then keep kiting/trading him.
As long as you don’t get into very extended trades where he gets to use his stacked up Q over and over you should win all trades in this matchup. Do either very short or decently short trades until he’s around half hp, then you can all in him with an extended trade if you’re still healthy. Just be careful early on if he’s running ignite/tp.
This one is rough, he’s constantly pushing you in and poking you under tower, and taunting him is too risky in most situations. The only saving grace is that your W blocks his turret auto’s, which can be helpful to survive. If you survive the lane without dying you will be impacting the game more than heimer soon enough with your R’s.
It’s possible to win trades if you bait out her E without getting hit, but once you get even a bit low trading vs her becomes risky since her hitting 1 E can mean you get pushed out of lane. If you hide behind your minions it’s also possible to do short 1-grasp-auto trades when you got your shield up, since your shield will eat up her W (but you have to dodge her Q’s).
The single most important thing vs irelia early on is to trade before she gets to stack up her passive. With the passive stacked up she can just chop you down and kill you, but without it you’re free to take short but really efficient trades whenever she goes for a last hit (starting lvl 1). And with every good early trade her opportunities to contest for the lane gets less and less. If you play the first 2 levels correctly it then shouldn’t matter if you fail to dodge one of her stuns, since she won’t be able to all in you from it anyway
You need to punish Jax super hard early on to keep him from scaling. Similarly to the irelia.matchup a a key thing is to force trades before he’s fully stacked up his passive. Just drag the Q through him and start going at him, and the moment he presses E you want to stand inside him and taunt backwards so he doesn’t get the stun off on you. That way he gets 0 value out of his E and you can just keep trading. And without his E jax is basically useless early on which is why this is such a free matchup.
Jayce is one of the few champions you’ll never be able to take good trades with early few levels (1-3) even if you get onto them with several empowered Q’s, just because he’s got too many abilities early on with his 2 forms. So your goal here is to just survive early on and get as much farm as you can while staying healthy using your passive shield. Most Jayces push you into towers, and a little later on around lvl 7 you’ll have kill potential on him if you manage to land a taunt while he’s under tower if you’re still healthy. You’ll likely need to use TP to lane in this matchup, but that’s fine if you stay close to the farm since he scales poorly. If the Jayce walks up to poke you inside of your creep wave it’s possible to punish him even at lvl4+ by taunting in.
Contest the push lvl 1 with Q, because you wanna avoid being pushed under tower in this matchup. It’s possible to taunt onto karma for some empowered Autos, but she will trade back heavily onto you when you run away. But it’s worth it to take even trades so you’re both kinda low around the same HP, because then your all-in will be able to take her down before she gets to trade back onto you. If you’re losing early trades, then try to just farm it out until later where you get titanic.