How to ACTUALLY Climb to Challenger in 2 Hours with Shen
I'm Petu and this "How to actually climb to Challenger with Shen". This video presents game theory that I had to learn through trial and error over the course of 8 years of playing League of Legends. A significant fraction of the advice I will give is naturally focused on Shen but there are no prerequisite knowledge restrictions here. You don't even have to be top laner in order to learn new concepts from this video. I recommend two alternative viewing methods for this guide: Option number 1 is that you watch the whole video and try to retain as much knowledge as possible.
Taking notes would help immensely. Option number 2 is that you segment your learning process by bookmarking this video and returning to it periodically over the course of a week or a month. The guide features four educational live gameplay commentaries in different matchmaking rating intervals, ranging from Diamond to Challenger.
It took over two months to make this video because I had to actually climb all the way to Challenger on an account in order to record all of these games. So please, enjoy the video and if you feel like it, take some notes. This first game is played in Diamond One MMR on Europe West. I checked that almost every single player, I think I'm actually the lowest rated player in this game since this account is Diamond Two but everyone else is Diamond One.
So this will provide a good starting point for our climb to Challenger. We're facing Tryndamere which can be considered a very aggressive top laner. I actually cancelled one auto attack here and I just get the First Blood.
He used Ghost and Flash, I think I said it too earlier that I got First Blood actually. I didn't even need to use Flash, that's perfect for me! Now, what happened there is that Tryndamere made the mistake of fighting level one versus level two. Now, levels in the early game are the most important resource. So, inadvertently, also experience is considered the most important resource. A level up in the early game is worth hundreds of gold, we're talking like six hundred gold, a single level up, so the difference between, just in terms of stats, I believe.
And the difference between level one and level two is so huge because you have access to another ability. Uhh, right now I think I will build a Ruby Crystal. And actually, I will go for hmm... I'm thinking about... Will I do it? Will I do it? I mean, ok I will do it, I will go Long Sword. I spent too much time there but I had kind of a consideration between going for Cloth Armor or Long Sword but I will go for Long Sword simply to kind of escalate this early game lead that I built up with that First Blood, even further.
It looks like Lee Sin is getting caught here by the enemy Diana and the Diana is running Ignite so she's actually very strong in the early game. Alistar went for a roam onto mid lane and actually Diana has a huge lead in terms of camps done or experience compared to our Lee Sin. Nice, I just got that minion and I think I will get this too. I will miss that minion but the next one will be gotten. Uhh! I got that one as well.
Yy! Ok this one I will get and this one as well. Nice! So we're up two CS and a kill on Tryndamere and Tryndamere's strong suit or like where he shines, is umm when he has full Fury. Right now, he has no Fury so I can fight him whenever. He actually had a good sidestep like if you saw: he put, he inputted one click backwards and that's why he dodged my taunt.
If he continued on the same path, he would get hit by my taunt but he had a good dodge. But it doesn't matter because he was zero Fury and fighting in my minion wave so I will always win that fight. Uhh and if you just look at this situation, I can force him to play completely passively because he has no business walking up right now. And when Tryndameres are forced to play passively, that's where you win.
If you let Tryndamere get on the wave, stack up his fury, that's when you will lose lane. Looks like bot lane is getting dove, and by bot lane I mean enemy bot lane and that is quite okay for me, I don't mind it at all and we build up a nice early game advantage here. Tryndamere stepped up too far and I will just punish him with a quick E - Q. Here, I won't
give him a free last hit on the cannon, 'cause I know he will for that last hit, right? It's obvious he will do that and now look at my movement here, I'm going behind him in order to get empowered Q and then I will E backwards, auto attack once and I think he's just dead. Uuuu! Aa! You don't understand how close that was. Ahh that was so close, I think I could have used my Q but I used my W too late so I used my W over here in order to activate Ki Barrier but Ki Barrier only activates after the triggering ability cast is finished. So since W, uhh, creates a zone that is not primed until a champion walks into it, it took two seconds for it to start, right? So if you use W normally when it's on top of you, uhh, the passive shield will be triggered after 1.75 seconds but now, it got triggered after 3.75 seconds and that actually cost me the ability to tank that last tower shot and I died. I'm rushing Divine Sunderer just to play more aggressively for lane and you can see, like, versus these heavy auto attacking AD champions, uhh, utilizing Shen's W properly is just the key to winning these trades.
I actually cancelled one auto attack there which is very bad by me. In general, I- you should not be looking for trades, uhh, when the opponent has a big minion wave. But here, I actually don't care since I'm, uhh, pretty far ahead and I have Sheen as well. I think I will lose this minion, ok nice. If you noticed what I did is I walked in front of the minion, uhh, yeah, I had to be patient there.
Uhh, bad Shen players would just ult instantly but you have to take in to account what abilities the opponents have and is the member you're - or the member of your team that you're thinking about ulting - is he actually in danger of dying. Here when the minion falls to low HP, it is obvious that Tryndamere will try to last hit it, so that's why I'm able to just blindly taunt into the bush 'cause I predict his movement and he will go for that last hit. Uhh, now let's see how the bot lane is going: Look Xayah actually rushed Plated Steelcaps because the enemies have three AD champions and they're laning versus Draven. So it kind of makes sense and bot lane has a good lead. Now, ieuh, if you consider the last situation where we traded one for one with Tryndamere. Even though I made a mistake in dying, it is not bad because I prevented Tryndamere from farming the wave under tower.
And now, I didn't even take tower shots there, if you notice, like you can get away with poking people under tower, if you use your E properly. I think this will be very hard for me to win, but I'm kiting and I will use UHHH close close close close. I'm watching bot lane now, I'm gonna ult Lee Sin.
I think it's enough, ohh, no he still died. I don't have any way of catching up to Draven, so I will just instantly recall in this bush. The reason why I instantly recall and don't kind of like shove this wave with Xayah, is that if you consider, like in League of Legends, when champions are sharing, uhh, a minion wave, sharing experience from a minion wave, then there is a 24.73% bonus experience split among the members who are sharing the experience in that wave, and if you consider the total resources gained from a minion wave: On average, if you convert experience to gold, you are gaining 12% increased resources from a wave. This is on average, because you cannot simply convert experience into gold with a static factor or a like constant factor. So on average, it is, uhh, you are gaining 12% of a wave, uhhh, when you share it with one additional member in your team.
So, in that situation, it is not worth for me to gain a 12% kind of fraction of a wave by staying in bot lane and instead, it is much better to instantly recall and comeback top lane where there is a 100% of a wave or a 150% of a wave, because there were multiple waves stacking on my tower. So always, always, when you're in these situations where you ult to bot lane, the constantly or consistently better option is, umm, getting an kind of instant recall off. Because all the time that you are spending in bot lane, if you're just sharing experience, you're not granting anything towards your team, because the 12% increase is only, uhh, when you're considering, uhh like uhh, two situations that A) your ADC is getting the wave alone, or then there's one additional member but if you consider two additional members, then two additional members compared in relation to one additional member, is a 0% increase, because the amount of bonus experience split does not actually increase if you have multiple members in the team. So, if you're wasting time in bot lane at the same time you're losing resources somewhere else and you're losing presence somewhere else. Now we're looking for a dive with Lee Sin on to the Tryndamere here, we force his ultimate and I'm gonna taunt backwards.
And there was a possibility to ignite but he would live based on just the ignite, so I'm not gonna do that. And now, we should take this wave, I feel like. Uhh, I think I have a twenty seconds on ultimate and now we're... and now he should back off.
It's fine. I think Nami is fine there. I think she's fine. Yeah. Ok, Xayah died which is unfortunate, she gave a shutdown I think.
Oh no... Haha! Oh no. Aaa Diana, Nami died as well.
So I'll back off now and I'm not even gonna attempt to push this wave. The reason is that Shen does not have enough wave clear, at these early stages without a wave clear item, and look Tryndamere is already back in lane. If I stayed there, it would just be really int on my part, because uuu I'm looking for an opportunity here. Uhh, I think they will try to commit onto Xayah, maybe.
We win this. NICE! Did you see the way I layered my W and E. I didn't use my E until my W ran out. So what this is doing is, I'm giving Xayah a let's see, this is 1.5 seconds and this 1.75 seconds. So I'm giving Xayah a 3.25 second, uhh, kind of interval of immunity and that can be extended to about 3.5 seconds, when you consider the fact that Draven has to uhh kind of use an
auto attack in order for me to use my E. So I don't need to immediately the E after the W times out, I just have to see when he uses the kind of first click or if you did it otherwise, if you did it E in to W, then then that would be the case. But once again, after the play in bot lane, instantly, get out of there you don't need to waste time in bot lane. Like you could consider ok maybe it's better to push the wave and we get tower platings and stuff like that, but consistently making the right decision is running out.
And this is what I've learned over the course of many, many thousands of games of Shen. Uhh, I have to give credit where credit is due, Phreak has a fantastic video on Experience, Gold and kind of the value of levels through out the course of a League of Legends match and this is where I was inspired to kind of analytically observe the decision in staying in bot lane versus instantly recalling after a Shen ultimate. So, make sure to, if you're interested in that, just search for "phreak levels experience" stuff like that, he has a good video on it. Umm... that's just a mistake on my part, I honestly thought I could beat him but I didn't check his items beforehand. He had Kraken Slayer already, which is a huge power spike, because it dealt 300 true damage, this Kraken Slayer item, and I had 1.5k gold unspent.
Now, I will look for the Titanic Hydra here simply because if I don't go for Titanic Hydra I won't have enough wave clear to efficiently deal with Tryndamere's split push. And this is a mistake, this is an honest mistake. But the thing is, that, mistakes are okay to make. You know, let's take a kind of, uhh, anecdote from traditional sports: Everyone knows Michael Jordan, right? One of the greatest basketball players of all time, one of the greatest athletes of all time.
When Jordan was asked, in an interview, ummm, my ultimate was late here. But I think we win. Double Kill, ummm, I still have E Flash ready for Diana. Uhh, maybe it's int to even try it, I mean I can flash the Alistar W, yes nice. We pick up the Diana with my umm, what is it, Divine Sunderer proc there.
But when Jordan was asked, about his greatness, the question when something like this: "People consider you one of the greatest basketball players of all time. How have you succeeded and how are you this good?" And just listen to the, just listen to what I'm gonna say was Jordan's answer. So Jordan answered something like this: "I have missed 9000 shots in NBA games. I have lost over 300 games. And 26 times my team has given me the opportunity - oh no uhh - to make the game-winning shot and I have failed."
And that is exactly why he succeeds. Just think about that. This man, considered one of the greatest athletes, EVER, has failed 9000 times in an act, which he has practiced. How many of you have failed over a thousand times in something? Not many, maybe none of you. But that's exactly what makes someone great, is... repeated failure combined with an attitude of proper improvement, results in greatness.
Because every failure is an opportunity to learn something. You know what I learned on that death top side? I learned that I have to respect Tryndamere's Kraken Slayer's power spike. I haven't played versus Tryndamere that much because he is more like, uhh, like, uhh One Trick Pony champion. People don't just play Tryndamere randomly, so he's not, I don't think he has very high pick rate. But now I know for the future, that I have to check Tryndamere's items, whenever I'm picking a fight against him. And if he has his Mythic completed, I need to respect that and this is not only Tryndamere, this can be generalized to many other champions.
I guess I pick off the kill again, I have to go bot side, I'm pinging my Lee Sin to go for this Ocean drake here, because I feel like, sorry not Ocean Drake, Cloud Drake. Because I feel like that is the way we are going to win this game, through drakes. Then I do the blind taunt onto Tryndamere here, he's trying to, uuu, he ghosts.
And I think he's just out. I did an early ignite there, it was not necessary for me to ignite. I guess, umm, same time team is caught. That's really bad. Man, I wasn't there. I wasn't there guys.
And this is bad but that I have this many kills. Because you don't want kills as Shen, you want assists. Now we can do something cheesy here, if you looked, I waited for the Scrying Orb vision reveal to time out and then what we try to do is, we try to cheese the Drake.
Because they think that we don't have a jungler here, which is true, but we're just gonna kind of cheese this drake, because their thought process is that: "Ok their jungler died, so why would they go for dragon? Because we could just steal it." But instead we just wait for the opportunity where the information disappears and then make the play that they do not expect. Ehh, I actually listened to Art of War on Audible, this is not sponsored by the way, I just really like listening to audio books.
I feel like it's, easier way of, uhh kind of, attaining information than reading books, because you don't have to focus your eyes on the same thing and you can do it while like doing other stuff. Anyways, but Art of War, there's a chapter that focuses on this kind of information and disinformation idea, ok that's not directly the words that they use but information is definitely used and I think concepts from Art of War can be generalized into a kind of uhh competitive game. Uhhh yike. I ult Lee Sin to save him. Alistar uses his Ult.
Uhhh uuuu. Oh no. Oh no. Oh no.
This can be bad. This can be bad, but it's not necessarily bad. But I think it's bad. We lost two members and Tryndamere is split pushing I don't wanna stay here on the wave, because I lose a lot in bot side but oh no. I left Xayah alone.
She just dies instantly. Uhh Xayah actually cancelled Talon's Prowler's Claw there. I'm picking up too many of these kills with my Shen Divine Sunderer damage. Sucks. I'm actually just gonna safeguard Sylas' recall.
And I'm gonna tank this, well ok, we pick those two up but enemies are already ENDING. Or something like that. We have to take this game into our own hands right now. Actually, I'm gonna flank them, I'm not even gonna recall I'm gonna flank them. I'm gonna flank Diana here. Look we're doing double flank here.
Good dodge by Sylas. Wait patiently. Patiently, patiently guys.
Nice we get shutdown onto Xayah which is really good. Lot of gold, how much was it? It was 800 gold that went to Xayah. That's just really good.
Really good guys. It's still winnable. You have to believe that these games are winnable.
Like in general my kind of mindset or what I have dubbed the Challenger Mindset, is that, umm, you kind of deserve to win the game, until you make one mistake. After you make one mistake in a game, at that point you no longer deserve to win the game. But if you manage to win the game, that's good.
The reason why this mindset, it may seem kind of counter-intuitive after having talked about how making mistakes is okay and even recommended, but this mindset kind of allows me to not let the performance of my teammates tilt me. Because when you adapt the mentality of not deserving to win, then losing will not feel bad. Umm I will continue on this subject, but we'll have to play this fight out first. I ult onto Sylas to catch the Draven here. No.
This is kind of bad, feel like the fight is very split up but I think we actually win this. Now, i-if-here-uhhh okay Lee Sin lives. That's really good, that's really good. No we can do it, we can do it.
Uhh Talon is probably gonna look to backdoor maybe, no he's not. We should, aaah look at that taunt onto Alistar. He didn't, he didn't get his Q because I taunted him.
Did you see my - oh I need to, okay now we recall. We need some magic resist. We only lost one tower, it's not bad. It's not bad. The tower was low anyways. I remember it was low.
Umm, we look for infernal drake right now. We wait for this inhibitor to spawn and then we're in a good situation. Then if we get this next drake, we have soul point and inhibitor respawned and baron buff. So that will be really good way of winning the game.
Now we fight for the drake, definitely. I'm going to use this vision plant to see where they have wards. Ok nice we get two wards cleared.
And now, I think we should just rush the drake, honestly. We have enough damage to do it. Diana might look for a steal. Nice. And now we play a bit passively, I feel like that's the right play.
I'm gonna clear bot side since I have my ultimate up so I can join my team whenever. And now I will return to that subject I was talking about earlier, OK we see Diana here, I need to back. I can't be here. I can't get caught right now.
If I get caught, that's one thousand gold almost going to enemies. So, uhh, in a book by Mark Manson I actually learned about this concept, or not concept it's just an alternative definition of words, but you have to think about the difference between "fault" and "responsibility". So fault, is when something happens, uhh, or something has happened, so fault is in the past.
But responsibility is in the present. So, when my team feeds, it's not my fault that they're feeding, but it is my responsibility that they're feeding. So, because we are a team, and we have to win the game together, I am responsible for dealing with the fact that my teammates are playing bad, right? But it's not my fault. But you have to make that distinction between the past and the present. And then this attitude change will allow you to constantly improve, because you start focusing only on your own performance, because you feel like "Okay I'm responsible for winning this game." or you know "I'm responsible for playing in a manner that grants us the win, even though my team played bad."
I'm gonna go for Aegis here because I wanna finish Gargoyle Stoneplate as my next item. She goes for the bubble, and I think is a taunt, no it's not. If you see Diana is constantly looking for the E onto, uhh, for the E onto Nami there. But we don't let him do that. Uhh I have ultimate here I can join my team. I think I should do that actually, yeah we can probably end.
Ok got the root. I didn't have a ward, I was trying to warding trinket over the wall. It's fine. Uhh, I still don't know, maybe we can try to end but it's probably not the right call. We should back off since we have drake coming up.
We don't need to throw right now. Or we don't need to like flip a coin for the win. We can just back off, wait for our ultimates, play for Infernal drake. Now, we didn't have baron buff so what we need to do, is we need to like really back off to get safe recalls here. Ummm, I think I will sell Doran's shield, buy two control wards and uuuu, ok I'm gonna go for elixir. The reason is that, uuuu that's very good that's very good, I want power spike now.
'Cause these fights are the game deciding factors, right? So I don't have the luxury of waiting for my next item. Right this is 1.8k, you can maybe say: "Ok I will be able to complete that item by the time that Infernal Drake spawns."
I win this by the way. I win this. I think. Is my ignite not enough? No.
Hoo Lee Sin! Uff. We kill. Very good. Hey, hey guys! We kill.
If he gets executed from minions, I swear... Ok huhu, I honestly thought he was going to get executed from minions, I would've been so tilted. I mean actually I wouldn't have been tilted, it would've been kind of funny. Hehe. I don't tilt from stuff like that.
Umm, I'm looking for ultimate onto Sylas. Almost caught Draven. Infernal drake up in one minute. Oh I should have ulted Xayah.
It's ok. I'm legendary. Uhhh, we have GA. Sylas kills. Nice. Very good guys, very good guys. That's a good Divine Shenderer play.
Uhh, they don't have TP or anything, ahh, enemy team surrenders. PUPUPUPU-PU-PUP That's first game done. Thank you.
Thank you very much. Ahhh, the next game will be played in Master tier 200 LP, so stick around for that. (I manually captioned this first game as a test.)
(It took almost two hours. Word total: 4255)