Most people believe Shen is an OP Tank due to his global teleport giving him map dominance and his aoe taunt that also serves as an escape ability. His shield is also deemed "OP", and my goal is to prove to you by the end of this essay that Shen is actually a very balanced hero.
· His ultimate which provides a shield/teleport can be interrupted by breaking his shield. This is vital in the late game, once the heroes have hit level 18. The shield is at its max level, so it has reached a platau, while the attack damage and spell damage of the enemies is still increasing. Because it gets easier and easier in a fight to break through his shield and interupt the teleport, Shens team be harrassed away from the teleport leaving Shen isolated. Using aoe to burst down his sheild and burst down his shield is a good technique.
Shens other spells (vorpal blade which deals 250 damage at max rank 5) are blocked by a very limiting factor. While casters can buy items and potions to scale up their mana pool and increase their mana quickly in the lane, Shen must wait for his energy to be regained in the lane. Shens energy pool never scales upward. He has enough energy to burst three of his abilities and his passive and then he is tapped out.
Shen's three abilities do not scale upward the later the game goes on past level 18. (Unless you're Ap Shen, which I've tried and because Shen has a limited energy pool you cannot have damage output necessary to be able to hold your weight).
Here's a roadmap of what's next: I will explain why having a flat stat is better than regen, which probably a refresher of what you already know, and then I will tie it to Shen and how that affects him. Feel free to skip this next part if you already know why flat health is better than regen.
Regen is less and less helpful the later the game goes on. Becuase the laning phase is a time extending over 10 to 15 mintues, Regen will restore much more damage than flat health will absorb. If a hero has 17.25 health regen per 5 seconds over ten minutes (assuming they never hit full health and are always regenerating) they will heal a total of 2587.5 health over 12.5 mintues. This is a regrowth pendant for 475 gold, and for the same price you can get 225 health.
Wow! Regen gives you 2200 more health! Regen is over powered! Well, not exactly. Because that regen took place over the course of 12.5 mintues, understandably the number is large. However, think back on your experience playing this game, and think about how long a teamfight lasts. Or think how long it takes to take down the Baron at early levels to gain that slight advantage. How long did those fights take? Nowhere near 12.5 minutes. So, lets take a look at how much regen will help you in that period. Because teamfights only last as long as fiddles crowstorm, the time we will use will be 5 seconds. I choose Fiddles ult because one the ACE banner comes up the fight is over.
In 5 seconds, regen will give you a whooping total of 17.25 health. Thats 86.5% worse than getting flat health. And the difference becomes more and more apparent the later the game goes.
Getting back to Shen: All His spells are based upon regen. The regen of his energy pool. So, in the early game when Shen will regen his energy pool and regen 7320 energy, assuming 10 energy regen per 1 second, Shen is the king of his lane, and that extends to late game. Right? Wrong!
If a teamfight lasts 5 seconds, Shen will regen 50 energy. Thats enough for his ultimate and his full spell combo. 250 damage from vorpal blade, and a bit of damage from Ki Strike will net Shen around a 500 damage burst. Once the fight has been over for 8 seconds Shen can burst again. But by then, the fight has been over and his team is dead, with Shen contributed 500 damage compared to the damage in the thousands Ryze and Annie can dish, in Aoe to the whole team as well.
TLDR; Because Shen relies on the regen of his energy pool and the execution of his sheild, Shen cannot be overpowerd becuase Late game his capabilities decrease by 38.3%