Shifu is one of the scariest rushing melees with possibly the highest burst potential. When mastered he is also considered a top-tier duelist when it comes to a 1v1 match up. Shifu’s kit allows him to deal good DPS damage while also having outstanding sustain healing. To top everything off, he is the only champion with four I-frames*, meaning he has the highest outplay potential out of all champions when played perfectly.
I-frame- Invulnerability/invincibility frame is the time when you are completely invulnerable to enemy attacks/spells (i.e. While in the air when you’ve used your jump)
This is his normal auto attack. It deals 10 damage and has average cast time. Spear Slash can be stacked to 4 instead of 3 (as written on the ability) with a battlerite which is 100% mandatory for shifu.
Impale is probably one of the most hated spells when versing a Shifu. It deals insane amount of burs with a really low cast time and also heals when used with the correct battlerites.
However, it is quite easy to dodge so you have to be aware of that when playing Shifu as people can strafe left or right and dodge it. Sometimes, especially vs high ranked people it is better to try and outsmart them sometimes. What I mean by that is to try and stack your auto attacks 2-3 times instead of 4 all the times since the good players either count your attacks or watch the animation of your spear (it lightens up).
This is your favorite spell when it comes up to the point where you know you might get bursted down or crowd controlled (stunned, panicked, incapacitated). It also gives you the ability to chase a target and do a little damage to him while on top of that stacking your auto attacks for “Impale”. You want to be careful how you use it, however, as it has one of the longest cooldowns for an I-frame since it is very powerful when used correctly. (11second cooldown)
This is your counter and it can be used to avoid damage and you can also use it as a gap closer as you teleport behind the enemy when the counter is hit. Not only that but it heals you for 16 HP which is a big deal. This has to be used carefully as counters usually get baited by good people. I suggest using this spell when you are predicting (but almost certain they will hit you) the enemy spell. The harder option for its usage is when you see the projectile/attack’s animation but the reaction time has to be really fast.
This is one of my favorite spells on Shifu as it can be used for gap-closing and also for dodging the enemy’s abilities by casting it on walls and using it as an I-frame. I suggest being careful when using it on enemies at the beginning of the fight when the enemies are still on their mounts as it is quite hard to hit and quite easy to dodge. The optimal solution is either walking with your mount to your enemies and saving the cooldown if you can or waiting for your teammate to get them off mounts if they don’t get off by themselves.
This is his only crowd control spell and it is very powerful when setting up burst damage with your teammate or when used on multiple targets for the crowd control effect. It has a very wide hitbox so it is no hard to hit multiple enemies.
This is Shifu’s ex-space (shift-+space) ability and it is probably the most hated shifu spell. This spell gives you the power to be invulnarable to any damage, giving you the opportunity to deal damage and on top of that, you heal for a very big amount of HP when hitting your auto attacks. However, be aware not to hit any counters during the duration of this spell as it will not heal you nor will it do damage to the enemy. I suggest using this as much as you can instead of using the normal Immaterial.
This is shifu’s second “ex” ability (shift+E) and instead of throwing a harpoon and gap closing to the enemy team, this spell interrupts the enemy’s cast of any spell and pulls them towards you. It also deals more damage than the normal Javelin.
This is shifu’s ultimate. It does insane amount of damage while also giving you a shield. Be very cautious when you use your ult as as powerful as it it, enemies can easily escape from it or use a spell to interrupt it. Make sure they have no cooldowns left in the next 2-3 seconds in order to benefit from the big amount of damage.
3. Battlerite Overview
This is my main build and I use it in 95+% of my games. It is very powerful vs both ranged and melee champions.
Ceremonial Spear – this battlerite gives you the ability to add another heal to your favour. Not only do you have heal from your counter (Q) and your ex-immaterial (shift+space) but now you heal with your main burst spell – your M2(right mouse button).
Thrust – This battlerite gives you the possibilty of doing a lot more burst with your m2 as for every stack you have for your Impale (M2) you get 2 bonus damage which rounds it up to 35 dmg with 4 stacks on Impale when combined with Ferocious Stance
Ferocious Stance – This also benefits your M2 as it gives you another stack and thus increasing the damage potential. On top of that it makes your counter give you a stack when enemies hit it which is also very powerful.
Swift Feet – can be used offensively and defensively. This battlerite gives you the possibility to have that one extra second movement speed where you can escape or chase down a target with low HP. Not only do you have that one second extra but it also increases your Immaterial (space) movement speed from 35% to 50%. It might sound like it is not much but when you get used to Shifu it can save you a lot of trouble.
The last battlerite is Dirty Tricks. It is a very powerful tool to abuse as a lot of your enemies (especially in lower ranks) do the same mistake. When they cannot move they start panicking, thus leading to them using their cooldowns incorrectly (using counter instantly after being rooted by the Javelin or intantly using I-frames even thought they are not close to dying). Try to abuse their mistakes as much as you can. The root is also very powerful as you can easily set up bursts with your teammates if your enemies have no escapes as it is a 1.2second root.
Other variations (advanced experience with Shifu)
There are some games where I change some battlerites but these cases are really rare and it is solely up to my judgment when I do swap them. When there are two or three melees in the enemy team I swap “Dirty Tricks” for “Whirling Blade” (the “R” battlerite). However, most of the times when I use this Battlerite is when I think they will be going for me so I can benefit from it as much as I can. When I do the exception of changing these two Battlerites I also sometimes swap “Swift Feet” for “Poised to strike” as the chance of the enemies hitting my counter is bigger when multiple targets are focusing me (especially melees). Keep in mind that these cases are very rare and in most cases I go with my regular build, even against two melee compositions.
5. General tips
First and foremost, I want to state that panic spamming spells as Shifu or any champion for that matter will lead to an almost certain loss so whatever the situation may be, always try to think outside the box. Shifu is one of the most slippery champions when it comes do dodging spells and surviving for a long time while still putting huge pressure on the enemy. The main goal when playing Shifu is to utilize his kit to its full potential. While a melee champion he also has ranged abilities (Javelins), which are also some of his gap-closers/I-frames. Hitting his javelins might sometimes be crucial for winning the round/match. You will most likely need to make sure you hit your javelins as they are his main gap-closing opportunities. However, especially versus ranged opponents, using his counter as a gap closer (while at the same time neglecting some of their dps cooldowns) is also crucial.