A Complete Beginner’s Guide to Playing Shyvana


MOBA fans refer to League of Legends as one of the heavyweights in the industry – especially given their impressive roster of 153 champions (and it’s not over yet), as well as their unique mechanics. Interestingly, some of these champions easily become fan favorites due to their engaging mechanics. In particular, the half-dragon Shyvana stands out among his peers as one of the few Champions who has a dynamic shape shift as part of his rotation.

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Interestingly, fans looking to give Shyvana a try might find that this melee / jungle specialist has a ton to offer both on offense, defense, and speed. Additionally, his dragon-specific arsenal allows him to take out and profit from slaying dragons much better than other champions. However, what else can players expect when playing Shyvana?

ten AP, AP-Bruiser, AD specialization

Shyvana and her team - League of Legends Shyvana guide

Considering Shyvana’s kit, newcomers might notice how easily they can mechanically use her. However, players should be careful with his weak game at first, especially against aggressive enemies.

Essentially, Shyvana excels as a Pure AP on a team that is severely lacking in magic damage (0-1 champion). Keep in mind that enemies that can detail to counter magic damage can be a breaking point in a match. Likewise, Shyvana functions as an AP-Bruiser following the same setup, and if the enemy has two tanks – and AP-Bruisers love to kill tanks.

Meanwhile, Shyvana excels as a Pure AD if her team has around two champions who focus on magic damage. Fortunately, AD Shyvana provides a healthy separation between physical and magical damage. Basically, AD Shyvana can distribute her damage evenly among these types.


9 The Kit: Fury of the Dragonborn

Shyvana wearing another of her skins - League of Legends Shyvana guide

Basically, Shyvana devastates the battlefield with her specialization against dragons. His Fury of the Dragonborn (Passive) amplifies his anti-dragon damage. Additionally, Dragon’s Descent (R) transforms Shyvana into a dragon, perfect for turning the tide in team fights.

His Twin Bite (Q) capitalizes on his auto attack to deal massive damage. Meanwhile, Burnout (W) provides the extra movement speed in the early stages, while Flame Breath (E) deals massive damage that level-evolves in both of its forms. With the right attack speed, Shyvana can easily devastate team fights.

8 Domination vs. precision

Shyvana wearing another skin - League of Legends Shyvana Guide

Basically, AP Shyvana needs the damage boost from Domination. Kill enemies with Dark Harvest pump Shyvana with bonus damage. Likewise, Taste of Blood (Slot 1) and Ravenous Hunter (Slot 4) offer decent HP buffs. Shyvana ravages the terrain further with damage buffs from other Keystone slots. With Transcendence (Secondary Rune), Gathering Storm’s AP scaling, and the Ax-Diamond Shard suit, Shyvana can also rack up a decent attack speed.

Likewise, AD Shyvana excels with Precision as Press the Attack allows her to both increase team damage and gank much faster. Triumph (Slot 1) easily becomes his lifeline against tougher opponents. Meanwhile, Precision’s other key locations focus on increasing Shyvana’s attack speed and attack damage, based on her HP levels or damage dealt. Accuracy works great with the Ravenous Hunter (Secondary Rune) for healing. In terms of shards, Ax and Diamond work, again, for decent attack speed increases.

seven Mobility against aggression

Shyvana and one of her skins - League of Legends Shyvana guide

As a speed-driven champion, Shyvana can only decimate her opponents if she’s too fast for them to react. Basically, AP Shyvana makes the most of Flash because it not only works with any playstyle, but also on walls. Shyvana can chase enemies and flee from them, when needed. Shyvana can even prevent enemies from running away with Escape, allowing her to secure the kill.

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Meanwhile, players who want to gank players may want to work with Smites. For example, Chilling Smite serves as an excellent AOE to make up for Shyvana’s lack of CC. Likewise, Challenging Smite works for Shyvana versions focused on single targets.

6 Focus on speed, mobility, aggressiveness

league of legends official torn fight shyvana illustration

In terms of item handling, Shyvana needs to maximize her speed and damage, especially in the middle of combat. For AP Shyvana, players must tap into bonus damage and attack speed from items such as Nashor’s Tooth, Night Harvester, Cosmic Thrust, and Sorcerer’s Shoes. They can finish it off with the correct AP boost from Rabadon’s Deathcap and the extra speed from the Void Staff.

Likewise, AD Shyvana taps into several sources of damage. For example, Blade of the Ruined King, Frostfire Gauntlet, and Titanic Hydra either boost damage based on enemy remaining HP or boost damage based on Shyvana’s attacks. Items for AD Shyvana also leave more room for versatility – for example, plated steel capsules boost her defenses while the wizard’s shoes increase her overall damage. Likewise, Bramble Vest or Executioner’s Calling increases its healing reduction, while Warmog’s Armor increases its protection.

5 Opening gambit: clear the jungle, watch the gank

Shyvana as she appears in Wild Rift - League of Legends Shyvana Guide

As with other damage-focused champions, Shyvana relies heavily on her opening strategy to increase her damage. In short, players must clear all six jungle camps before doing anything else. Essentially, Shyvana can clear the team’s jungle the fastest if she starts with Red Buff. Likewise, Shyvana must avoid champions such as Olaf and Graves nearby, as these tend to invade opposing jungle camps.

Likewise, Shyvana shouldn’t be left on her own when farming as she doesn’t gank well. However, Shyvana has a chance to pull off a decent opening assault with Red Buff. Dragon’s Descent and Chilling Smite work against enemy invaders, as Shyvana doesn’t have a lot of mobility options.

4 Beginning of the game: focus on dragons

Shyvana as a dragon - League of Legends Shyvana guide

Sadly, Shyvana doesn’t have much use in roaming the battlefield if she doesn’t have a few dragon skulls in her person. In short, early in the game Shyvana needs to prioritize cleaning up the jungles and dragons while she ramps up her damage. As such, Shyvana’s early game “spin” must involve slaying dragons, wiping out both jungle camps, and forcing ganks if possible. Additionally, Shyvana should avoid unnecessary conflicts with other aggressive junglers, as it takes time for her to build up her damage.

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Since Shyvana relies heavily on slaughtering dragons, Shyvana should solo the dragons as much as possible. Her teammates should be able to complete their other goals as Shyvana opts for cleaning up the jungle, as she can’t be of help to anything else early in the game.

3 Mid-game: start to diversify

Shyvana fights an enemy - League of Legends Shyvana guide

As mentioned, Shyvana’s simple kit means she remains effective as a Jungle clearer even in mid-game. Essentially, by this point Shyvana should have already purchased about half of her gear. This means that Shyvana can kill dragons much faster and even take on a baron with another teammate. In turn, Shyvana can focus on new goals, such as removing protections and obtaining vision for the rest of the team.

However, this step also means that other teammates could be looking for buffs, thanks to the dragons. To avoid conflict, Shyvana must ping her teammates if she wants to face a dragon on her own in order to avoid interrupting the flow of the team.

2 AP Shyvana: Positioning is key

Shyvana battles various enemies - League of Legends Shyvana guide

In terms of team combat, AP Shyvana is racking up her damage in Dragon’s Descent. This helps her to be in a position where she hits the most targets, especially the ones players want to prioritize. Flame Breath easily becomes his go-to damage dealer here, with Burnout allowing him to regroup whenever needed. When you corner an enemy, Chilling Smite slows the enemy just enough for Twin Bite to deal massive damage.

AP Shyvana becomes a monster, especially when players know that enemies have run out of CDs on her and the team. Descent of the dragon in this situation leaves enemies at a great disadvantage, especially since they tend to line up to kill with no way to escape, even against laners.

1 AD Shyvana: follow-up of engagement

Shyvana chasing an enemy - League of Legends Shyvana guide

Unlike AP Shyvana, AD Shyvana instead follows a teammate’s initial engagement. Again, Dragon’s Descent works well to position Shyvana, but this time towards a priority target. She can control anyone with Dragon’s Breath, with Burnout and Twinbite waiting to hunt down her main opponents.

In turn, AD Shyvana performs best when following up a battle right after her teammates have launched the first assault. This way the enemies have likely squandered their relevant skills on them, leaving them ripe for a terrifying dragon descent. Again, Burnout is great for hunting down enemies, just finishing them off with Twin Bite.

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