Before I carry on with article, I want to say that I was shocked to see that League of Legends did not initially have a dragon-based champion. But finally, all that changes today. Riot Games has brought forth a new champion into the fields of justice, a fierce fighter with the blood of the mythic beasts. Shyvana, The Half-Dragon has the joined the ranks as a melee fighter and she packs one hell of a fiery punch, literally.
I was able to see what this beast of a champion can do first hand and though it can be argued that many champions are rewarded for hyper-aggression, Shyvana in particular is designed for it. With 2 close range abilities and a bar that is filled with each hit, allowing her the right to transform into a full-fledged dragon, you want to be up in the frontlines dealing tons of damage.
Fury of the Dragonborn (passive) - This is a pretty neat passive because it does something for all your abilities with each melee attack performed. This passive alone allows for more aggression then most other champions because it’s beneficial. I’ll explain what this does to each ability as followed.
[Q] Twin Bite (offensive) - This move allows your next hit to attack twice. Doesn’t seem like much but late-game where she starts to hit like a truck, getting hit twice could be the end of you.
- Passive: Every time you hit something, the cooldown on this ability is reduced by 0.5 seconds.
-Ultimate: Instead of your attack hitting one target, it cleaves everything infront of her, meaning you’ll do effective AOE damage.
[W] Burnout (offensive) - This move surrounds you in flames, dealing damage to surrounding enemies and allows you to move faster for a short time. It’s very similar to Dr. Mundo’s flame circle. This’ll be a good move to deny the opponents farm in lane. It also makes chasing opponents easier and a little more necessary.
- Passive: Every hit increases the duration of this spell by 1 second to a maximum of 6 seconds. This allows you to keep the spell going for just a tad bit longer in-combat.
- Ultimate: The circle also leaves behind a trail of fire, dealing damage to opponents in it. Think of it like Singed’s poison, don’t be in the fire.
[E] Flame Breath (offensive) – This is Shyvana’s harassment spell. Basically, it shoots a fireball. Think of it like Kennen’s Shurikens; it has good range, it’s a skill-shot, but it’s denied by minions, so you need to have a clear opening. The benefit to this move is it marks the target it hits and reduces their armor for 4 seconds which is lovely.
- Passive: If the target has debuff inflicted on them (slow, stun, etc.) you do 15% additional bonus damage with this spell. Don’t rely on the bonus damage, if it happens, it happens.
- Ultimate: Instead of just shooting one fireball, you shoot several in a cone-shape blast in the forward direction.
[R] Dragon’s Descent (ultimate) – The move that defines Shyvana. This ability allows her to transform from human to dragon! Once activated, she can lunge at an area knocking back enemies. All her moves gain significant buffs as well, primarily turning them AoE which give you a huge advantage. This move can be activated anytime your “Fury Bar” is at 100. Passively, Shyvana gains back 1 Fury/second in human form but every time she does a melee attack, she returns 2 Fury so the faster you strike, the faster you can get back into dragon form or prolong the duration. This ability also passively gives you more armor and magic resistance, which is basically free survivability. The bonuses are doubled in dragon form.
Playing as Shyvana
Shyvana is for the overly-aggressive player. However, with anything that requires hyper-aggression, comes the need for timing and positioning. She’s heavily rewarded for being in the opponents face, but doing it incorrectly can mean death over and over again. Trying to play her passively means you won’t be playing her to her fullest potential, so you’re going to need to find a balance somewhere.
Even though her abilties all do magic damage, I noticed she does not scale well with more ability power so it’s not the most beneficial thing to stack additional AP. Perhaps, hybrid items such as the “Hextech Gunblade” will do wonders for her. The one thing she benefits from in-terms of stats is attack speed. Being able to hit faster means you’ll be able to sustain your abilities and go into dragon form more often. SO attack speed gear with shred capabilities are not bad items to get especially early on, such as the “Witsend” or “Malady” which both grant bonus magic damage, but that’s up to you.
An interesting combo for you to try on her is “Frozen Mallet” + “Rylai’s Scepter” which both grant on-hit slow effects and HP. And I say that because you’re a melee character, additional health is “godlike” and the ability to slow targets down is invaluable, especially in a team fight. Shyvana has AoE abilities so landing multi-hit slow will benefit your team as whole greatly.
As a side note, her cooldown is fair but timing them to their max effectiveness is a must. With cooldowns at roughly 10 seconds for a full cycle, it’s difficult to repeatedly spam all your abilities. This is due to the fact that she was designed for melee combat, not AP nuking.
Going Against Shyvana
This section will be simple. When you go against her, you want to use range, and like any champion, try your best to deny her farm. It’s not just denying her farm that’s important, but the more you can prevent her from hitting things, the less she will be able to harass you and recharge her dragon-ability. You have to note that she does not use mana or energy so her lane sustain is incredible. The only way to get at her is by physically poking away at her health, but be cautious, as she can destroy you at close-range if given the opportunity.
In a team fight, you don’t want to be in front of her. All her AoE damage is done from the front of her character so being clumped up can mean “gg” for your team. Also watch her abilities; if she spams all her abilities at once to initiate and fails to connect, you know she’s relatively defenseless in terms of being able to dish out enough damage to stop you.
Once again, Riot has released another champion with a rather easy learning curve so anyone wanting to try this champion should do a good job. What will separate the good ones from the great ones is positioning, a skill acquired from simply playing the game enough. It’s not a lie that Shyvana does TONS of damage up close AND in front of her especially in dragon form, so fighting her from a far or behind her can shut her down pretty easily.
The one issue with Shyvana in-terms of balance is she’s a tanky DPS WITH AoE, meaning she has decent sustain and can dish out good damage to everyone. So going against her will require gear to be built on the situation at hand or else she will cleave her way through your entire team in a team fight.
If you’re interested in a champion that’s rewarded for smacking around your opponents, this dragonborn is for you. Honestly, the fact that she transforms into a dragon is already enough for me.
-Rewarded for aggression
-Can deny opposing farm quite easily.
-Her ultimate converts all her spells into area-of-effect
-Did I mention she can turn into a dragon?
-No real escape abilities to rely on