League of Legends

Why balancing Shen is an incredibly difficult job for Riot

LeagueofLegends12 - Why balancing Shen is an incredibly difficult job for Riot

Shen, The eye of the twilight, is champion that has been with League of nearly 9 years, released at March 24, 2010

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And for the duration of his existence, He has gathered a loyal dedicated fan base that absolutely love this champion. Being one of the best tanks in the game, and one of the most fun and satisfying champions Riot have ever released, It made his popularity increase over the years.

Ever since his release, Shen has been buffed and nerfed several times, At the beginning, Shen was bombarded with nerf after nerf after nerf to his entire kit.

Increased cool downs.

Reduced base stats.

More energy costs.

Less shielding.

More channel time on Ult.

Less damage.

Now Fast forward to patch 4.13 where he got a fix that changed everything, and ultimately (in my opinion) what was the downfall of Shen.

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Now, Shen is a reliable pick at pro play, And reliable is an underestimation to what Shen meant to pro play. His pick rate started going up and up and around 2015, Shen reached his peak

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Even though, throughout that period, He only received nerf after nerf, people started realizing how powerful Shen is.

His pick rate in the LCK went up, and therefore it led to it going up in NA and EUW as well.

After that, His pick rate in Solo Q also witnessed an improvement. Not to mention that he got a buff on his ult patch 5.7 so he was seen more and more top lane as the time went by.

Fast forward a few patches later. Patch 6.4

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Shen was being picked way too much in pro and solo Q top, so Riot's way to address this was to try and make him a viable jungler, Since people were complaining about shen in pro play being "too boring"

But that, Only led to more and more nerfs to his dmg outputs and health regen, that only affected his top lane performance. It's almost like Riot was trying to push Shen away from top lane at this point. And after that, Shen Almost disappeared from patch notes until he made a come back.

And guess what ? It wasn't a buff, I'll tell you that.

After nerfing his damage, They decided to halve his MINION damage and gave him a bit more dmg to champions (after completely gutting his dmg) this was what I like to call a "Ghost buff".

It's only there to distract the players from what's going on. The nerfs to his minion damage.

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At this point, Riot has made it CLEAR that they do not want to see Shen in top lane, In pro play especially. For those who don't know, The nerf to him minion damage made in impossible to CS ranged minions without taking damage runes and a long sword for a start and by doing that, you lose on a lot of your tank stats which makes your laning phase vs most match ups hard.

after that he got some armor buffs that were barely noticeable (+9 base armor)

And then, Patch 7.24 came………..


This is where you go to your Youtube and start some funeral music. The final bullet to Shen's heart.

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The "ghost buff" I mentioned earlier, Has been revoked, Which makes it a double nerf and not just what it seems like. And most people don't catch on that nerf since barely anyone reads patch notes. You see, NOW, It's Legit impossible to CS with Shen. His dmg against minions was nerfed ONCE again, without any compensation buffs.

Not sure if Riot forgot about the initial nerf to his minion damage or if they're simply just sick of seeing Shen going top and having 50%+ win rate top in pro play but it's getting really fishy at this point.

This is where Riot, As a balance team, Failed their job.

They overlapped nerfs to a degree where they can no longer track what's wrong with the champion.

and on patch 8.14 Shen got another nerf. His Q slows Less until you max it.

In addition to riot's HUGE messup with patch 7.8 and 7.24 there is also this issue,

Shen's strength.

Why Shen is so strong, you may ask yourself and why over the past 9 years, He's been getting nerf after nerf is going to be summarized in the following few minutes.

Shen's ultimate enables him to split push freely while being able to join a team fight at any given time and making it a 5 v 4 and with TP he has less room to be pushed for doing so.

A professional team is able to capitalize off that and make the game a constant 5 v 4 all the time. And if Shen has combat power, His split push would be too strong so that had to be nerfed.

Now, since the nerf to TP, it because even harder for Shen to execute this strategy, And Riot Indirectly nerfed Shen again.

So, how does Riot make Shen Viable without making him good at split pushing, or Good at team fighting and Macro play at the same time. Because if he get's EITHER of these powers, It will naturally compensate the other.

If he's good at spliting then they will have to match him with more than 1 person and that means baron for the enemy team.

If he's good at teamfighting then his team will try to force a 4 v 4 and Shen will join and make it a 5 v 4 if the enemy TP is down which is an instant lose unless they enemy team is way too far ahead.

It's a dilemma, Honestly.

Unless they rework him to be less of a a whole team by himself, Shen, is going to be in his coffin for the rest of his life. And if they do end up reworking him, They sure don't wanna kill his identity.

It's a hard job i'm not gonna lie, And in order to identify the issue, Riot needs to to back to patch 7.4 and see how the messed up.

Share your thoughts on how to possibly get shen back in the game so maybe riot can see this and give my boy some love 🙁

Have a nice day and peace out.

Idk why I did this thread. I'm off to play twitch jungle.

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