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Shaco Build Guide by SirMount

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League of Legends Build Guide Author SirMount

[6.9] Comprehensive Bruiser Shaco Guide

SirMount Last updated on May 15, 2016
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Ability Sequence

2
8
10
12
13
Ability Key Q
1
14
15
17
18
Ability Key W
3
4
5
7
9
Ability Key E
6
11
16
Ability Key R





Not Updated For Current Season

The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.



Masteries

5/
Fury
 
 
Sorcery
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
5/
Vampirism
 
 
Natural Talent
 
 
 
 
 
Bounty Hunter
1/
Oppressor
 
 
 
 
 
Battering Blows
 
 
Piercing Thoughts
 
 
 
 

Ferocity: 12

Wanderer
 
 
Savagery
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Merciless
 
 
Meditation
 
 
 
 
 
Bandit
Dangerous Game
 
 
 
 
 
Precision
 
 
Intelligence
 
 
 
 

Cunning: 0

5/
Recovery
 
 
Unyielding
 
 
 
 
 
1/
Explorer
Tough Skin
 
 
 
 
 
5/
Runic Armor
 
 
Veteran's Scars
 
 
 
 
 
1/
Insight
Perseverance
 
 
 
 
 
Swiftness
 
 
5/
Legendary Guardian
 
 
 
 

Resolve: 18



Threats to Shaco with this build

Threat
Low
High
Show all
Threat Champion Notes
7
Rek'Sai Her passive on Burrow lets her see where you are walking while stealthed. Annoying, and can usually out-trade you when playing smart.
Guide Top

The Author

TAB Hi! I'm SYSTEM BLOWER, a fairly accomplished Diamond Shaco main on the NA server. I do play Shaco across all roles, but this guide will focus specifically on how to play him optimally in the jungle role. I come from humble beginnings, having been low Bronze at the end of Season 3, low gold at the end of Season 4, and have now reached my highest rating in Diamond in Season 5. I've played hundreds and hundreds of games on Shaco specifically, with over 300 in ranked in Season 5 alone on my main. I'm creating this guide for two reasons: to compound the knowledge I've acquired while maining Shaco for my own reference, and to help new people learn more about Shaco if they decide they want to try him out.

LORE


Guide Top

Why play Shaco?

Pros


  • Insanely strong ganks
  • Clears camps quickly and without taking much damage
  • He is the best counter-jungler in the game
  • High burst damage
  • Has 2 abilities that can let him jump walls, hilarity ensues
  • Can effectively duel any champion when played correctly
  • High-risk high-reward playstyle
  • One of the most versatile champions in the game
  • Very fun to play, with a unique play style unlike any other champion
  • High potential to outplay the opponent
  • Is a clown

Cons


  • Very high skill cap
  • Terrible when caught out without Deceive
  • Has a steep learning curve
  • Low mana pool
  • Base defense stats are very low
  • Pink wards you don't know about can easily get you killed
  • Very unusual and difficult-to-pull-off playstyle
  • Is a clown
  • Becoming a juggalo

SPACE


TAB Shaco is a very fun champion to play that has an extremely aggressive high-risk high-reward playstyle. When you pull off a play with Shaco, it is very rewarding and it will put your enemies on tilt. Shaco has the ability to affect the entire pace of the game, and his global presence is to be respected or your enemies will start dying. He forces the opponents to waste money buying wards, and is a general nuisance to the enemy team throughout the game when played correctly.



Guide Top

Runes, Masteries, Abilities, and Skill Order






Mastery Option 1 [Recomended]




TAB This mastery page may seem odd at first glance, but so is Shaco, so it's fitting. Shaco has a very low base health, and Strength of the Ages supplements this very well, and I feel that it is the best keystone for him. It gives a whole 800 gold in stats and provides sustain throughout the game. Other mastery choices are oriented towards aggressive counter-jungling ( Explorer , Insight ) and sustain. This page helps keep Shaco alive and aggressive, while maximizing his damage output at the same time.

Mastery Option 2



TAB When I initially started writing this guide (patch 5.24), Thunderlord's was the only keystone anyone was taking. I always felt that Strength of the Ages was the best keystone for almost all junglers, but it took a long time for the meta to catch up with these feelings. This can still be a good option, but unless you really want to shut down a few champions early, you are better off with the other choice for masteries.


Runes



Recommended



  • Greater Mark of Attack Damage

    TAB Very straightforward, Shaco makes use of these throughout the game and they scale with your abilities along with assisting clear time.
  • greater mark of hybrid penetration

    TAB These are actually very nice on Shaco, and are the only other option you should consider for marks. They will increase your damage overall as you approach the midgame, but your playmaking potential getting towards that point is reduced, along with your clear speed. Consider these if you take the 2nd mastery page option, as you will get loads of hybrid penetration that will lead to #tonsofdamage.
  • Greater Seal of Scaling Health

    TAB This, in tangent with Strength of the Ages , gives Shaco lots of base health that helps him survive in fights, absorbing damage for the team and allowing him to deal more damage. We almost always buy armor to make up for the missing armor here.
  • Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist

    TAB You may begin to notice a theme here. The main priority with this build is to stay alive while being extremely aggressive. These help that goal the most. Don't take these if the enemy team doesn't have any magic damage besides their support. Instead, take Greater Glyph of Scaling Cooldown Reduction.
  • Greater Quintessence of Attack Speed

    TAB When jungling, attack speed is pretty much the most important stat for clear speed. We also do not always buy much attack speed, and this is a huge boost to Shaco's damage overall. The quicker we can kill camps, the more time we can spend being obnoxious in the enemy jungle and helping our teammates in lane.

Not Recommended:



  • greater mark of armor penetration

    TAB These are significantly worse than hybrid penetration marks. Shaco does a lot of magic damage, especially if you buy Statikk Shiv, and if you check your damage dealt to champions at the end of games, you will often find that your magic damage to champions is about even or even more than your physical damage to champions. As such, Greater Mark of Magic Penetration would probably be a better choice than these, and that just sounds ridiculous.
  • Greater Mark of Attack Speed

    TAB Taking AD marks and AS quints provides a more efficient clear than AS marks and AD quints.
  • Greater Mark of Critical Chance

    TAB No. (if you like being cheeky and taking 1 of these, you can if you really want to.)
  • Greater Seal of Scaling Armor

    TAB We prefer taking scaling health as they give Shaco more survivability overall. We supplement the lack of armor by buying Ninja Tabi or Dead Man's Plate, and sometimes both. These are not a bad choice though. If you don't have Greater Seal of Scaling Healths, this is your next best choice. Try to adjust your item build to be more health-centric in that case (think Sterak's Gage).
  • Greater Seal of Armor

    TAB Shaco leaves the jungle very healthy due to the damage that Jack In The Box absorbs. Scaling armor would typically be the better choice.
  • Greater Seal of Health

    TAB These are simply outclassed by scaling health. Shaco is rarely in a position where he is dying because of having low health early. If you die, it's usually because you got caught. Scaling Health seals are equivalent as early as level 6 and better for the rest of the game, when you need the stat the most.
  • Greater Glyph of Magic Resist

    TAB These may be a good option as they are better than the scaling equivalent until level 8, and by then a very critical stage of the game has passed. I typically prefer scaling magic resist though, as the bulk of the magic damage we take happens in the midgame when the scaling version is already superior. Especially consider these if you are up against a team with very high magic damage early, such as a LeBlanc and Evelynn.

Skills






Backstab:
TAB This is used to maximize damage. His clone and Two-Shiv Poison both benefit from this, so use this to your advantage. One of the key differences between a good and a great Shaco player is the utilization of this passive.



Deceive:
TAB This ability is really what defines Shaco. It's what makes him one of the most frustrating champions in the game to play against, and how you use it will define the game. Its uses include:
  • killing the enemy jungler while he's texting his girlfriend
  • killing any enemy champion while they text their girlfriend
  • closing gaps
  • opening gaps
  • juking
  • escaping
  • trolling
  • feeding
TAB If you use it too liberally, you will find yourself dying a lot, so be careful when and where you cast it. It will likely be the cause of all of your kills, and all of your deaths in a game. Remember, with great power comes great responsibility.
BEN PARKER


Jack In The Box:
TAB This ability is very versatile. It can be used while ganking by placing it before attacking the opponent to cut off one of their escape routes. It can also be used as a mini Wind Wall by placing it in the direction of a skillshot you don't think you can dodge in time. Setting the boxes up around objectives can give you great control over the area, especially if you are fed.



Two-Shiv Poison:
TAB This is a straight-forward point and click projectile with a 3 second slow and lots of magic damage that gets amplified by bonus AD, AP (both 1:1), and benefits from Backstab. As such, try to get behind the enemy before using it to increase your total burst damage. It's passive also causes your auto-attacks to slow the attack speed of neutral monsters and minions, and slows enemy champions for 2 seconds as long as the ability is off cooldown.


Hallucinate:
TAB This is like, the ultimate ability. It's applications are numerous and very powerful.
  • Dodging targeted or normal abilities in midair by going untargetable (hello Veigar ult, tower shot, Enchanted Crystal Arrow, etc. :S)
  • Dropping tower aggro
  • Jumping thin walls (read [this] part of the guide to find out more.)
  • Amplifying our DPS by ~75% while the clone lives
  • Absorbing damage
  • Eating skillshots
  • Suiciding for huge splash damage to execute opponents
  • Zoning an enemy out of the fight by sending the clone to chase and attack them


W, Q, E, then E > Q > W

, , , then > >


TAB There is some debate on whether you should max W or Q second. While maxing W second gives stronger CC (fear scales from .5 to 1.5 in duration with points) and amplified damage, it also increases the mana cost, going from 50 to 70 with points.
TAB When maxing Q, you get more single target damage, and a dramatically lower mana cost, going from 90 to 50 with points. Additionally, if you plan on buying Statikk Shiv, Q amplifies its damage with points. It will do 140% damage with one point, and up to 220% with max points. This ends up being a huge amount of damage if you factor it in.
TAB The kicker for why you should max Q second is really in the mana cost. After playing countless games and trying both out, I often find myself dying or missing kills because I don't have enough mana to use Deceive to confirm the kill or escape when I'm maxing Jack In The Box. We max Two-Shiv Poison first because it adds a lot of damage to our burst and increases our sustain in the jungle and chasing potential when going for a kill.
TAB Finally, if you are not invading or ganking at level 2, take Two-Shiv Poison second in order to take less damage while clearing. (Do not max it second. Always max E first as jungle Shaco. In this scenario, you would take W, E, Q, then max E > Q > W.)

Summoner Spells



space space TAB In 99% of your games, you will take Ignite and Smite. If you are high elo and you know what you are doing, you could consider taking Exhaust depending on the game and the enemy team. Otherwise, stick to these. Flash isn't necessary as our Deceive is a better flash on a very low cooldown.


Guide Top

Items







Starting Items:




This is the best choice for the starting jungle item for Shaco due to the on-hit damage. Hunter's Talisman can be a decent choice, but unless you are trying something particularly cheesy, stick to the machete.



Refillable Potion

The best value for your money, effective while invading.



Rejuvenation Bead

Take this instead of Refillable Potion if you want to rush an early Tiamat and you don't think you will be taking too much damage during your start.



This is the only trinket you should consider for level 1. Helpful for obvious reasons while invading. Do I really need to say this?


First Back/Early Core



Stalker's Blade

I used to get this jungle item almost every game. Recently, I've got a soft spot in my heart for Skirmisher's Sabre. This item is great for him though.



Skirmisher's Sabre

I buy this jungle item all the time now, it really works well with Shaco.



TAB When you first back, you should note how much gold you have while you are backing and be deciding in your head what you want to buy. By memorizing the cost of the 3 main items we will be considering - Long Sword (350), Boots of Speed (300), and Stalker's Blade/ Skirmisher's Sabre (700 combine) - we can quickly do some easy math in our heads to decide what we will buy.
TAB Let's say we are recalling with 1000 gold. We will buy a Stalker's Blade and some boots. If we have 1050, we may consider buying a long sword instead of the boots if we want more damage. At 1075, you might think about buying the boots and picking up a pink ward. By utilizing this time while backing, we will not waste time in the shop and we can get back to counter-jungling or getting in some early ganks without wasting time.
TAB One more thing, if you already have ~1100 gold left over after buying Stalker's Blade, don't fall into the noob trap of buying Holden Caulfield's Warhammer. Instead, you should buy boots, 2 long swords, and a pink ward. If you compare the stats, you will see that for only 5 AD and some CDR that isn't very relevant in the early game, you get 25 move speed and extra vision control, which is clearly superior. However, if you ever have enough gold to finish Stalker's Blade - Warrior/ Skirmisher's Sabre - Warrior, you should definitely do this as this is a huge power spike and is obviously better than buying boots and/or wards instead most of the time.


Warrior

This is a huge early powerspike to our damage, and the CDR is very helpful.



Bloodrazor

For heavy tank comps.



Cinderhulk

Buy if you are vs. triple/quad AD comp.



Tiamat

One of the two early damage items you should be considering. Sometimes you may decide you want both.



Stinger?

This is a really unusual buy, but the item is so stat efficient for our goals that I've started buying it almost every game.



Ninja Tabi

These are the best choice of boots for Shaco in most of our games. If the enemy team does not have a lot of physical damage, consider getting Mercury's Treads instead.

Mid Game/Rounding out the Build


TAB There is something very important to understand about building Shaco. Many new players make the mistake of going full damage in order to completely destroy squishy targets very quickly. While this can certainly be fun, this is not the optimal way to build him. If you build this way, you will find yourself dying a lot and struggling to duel with the enemy jungler. The best way, in my experience, is to buy 1-2 main damage items, and supplement it with powerful off-tanky items.
The following items include the best choices for damage and tank stats.


Statikk Shiv

One of the best damage items for Shaco, but usually not bought if we are going for Stinger.


Ravenous Hydra

Sustain, tons of damage, overall fantastic item for Shaco. Pretty much the only raw damage item you should consider.



Maw of Malmortius

Buy this if you need early MR and you want to continue amassing damage.



Dead Man's Plate

Consider this if you want to be speedy-quick.



Randuin's Omen

If they have a fed champion that has crit, opt for this over Dead Man's Plate.



Sunfire Cape

The least bought of the armor items on Shaco. The damage is nice, but is typically more teamfight oriented. If we are going for that, we will usually just get Cinderhulk instead.



Thornmail

Buy this vs. heavy AD comps with low magic damage.



Sterak's Gage

Very situational item, but still powerful.



Ghostblade

If you want to replace your jungle item with raw damage/pushing power at the end game.



Titanic Hydra

Strong way to round off a tank build.



Black Cleaver

If you are a heavy AD comp/they are stacking armor, this is your best item for armor pen.



Lord Dominik's Regards

Armor pen.



Banshee's Veil

When you need more MR after a Hexdrinker/Maw, this is usually your next best choice.



Spirit Visage

Stronger than Banshee's as far as slot efficiency goes. If you have lifesteal, choose this as an extra MR item.



Zz'Rot Portal

Good for split pushing and applying pressure. With the recent importance added to the dragons, the additional pressure can prove very useful.



Guardian Angel

If you are hyper-fed, this can be a good choice. It's usually overkill though.

Condemned Items



TAB As far as this build goes, there are many items that you SHOULD NOT consider. If you want to go full glass cannon assassin Shaco, this guide is probably not for you. These items do not meet our goals sufficiently, or are not worth it for the cost.



Trinity Force

I rarely buy this item, but it could be viable. It is a very large investment early though, and is probably best paired with another crit item. You end up too squishy for my liking.



Infinity Edge

This item give ridiculous single target burst damage, but is also very expensive, and is usually not worth the investment.



Mercurial Scimitar

The active on this item was just nerfed, and I rarely bought this item anyway. It's almost always outclassed by Ravenous Hydra.



Essence Reaver

We don't buy this item for much of the same reason that we don't buy Infinity Edge.



Guinsoo's Rageblade

With the new rework, this item is nearly useless on Shaco. It is now way too expensive, and we usually don't have any on-hit damage for it to multiply anyway.



The Bloodthirster

Just no.



Death's Dance

No. No. NO!



Duskblade of Draktharr

Click the spoiler for information on why you should consider this item.



Blade of the Ruined King

Outclassed by Skirmisher's Sabre - Bloodrazor.



Frozen Mallet

Outclassed by Black Cleaver, Sterak's Gage, or Warmog's Armor.



Manamune

We don't need mana.



Iceborn Gauntlet

Outclassed by Randuin's Omen.



Frozen Heart

Leave this for your supports. Outclassed by Iceborne Gauntlet.



Phantom Dancer

Outclassed by Statikk Shiv/Stinger.

Basic Example Build/Flowchart


TAB In an average game, I typically go for a Tiamat and Stinger, then transition into buying off tank items, such as Maw of Malmortius, and if I'm super fed, I'll upgrade to a Ravenous Hydra, otherwise I'll keep the Tiamat for a Titanic Hydra later in the game.


TL;DR

> > > > > >
> > > Sell Buy 1 More
Item

TAB The above build is just a cookie cutter example of how you might build vs. a balanced composition. To truly build correctly, you should always analyze the enemy team composition and your own, and decide what items out of the suggested situational items you want to get to round out your build. Try to avoid selling the Stinger for as long as possible, as it's boost to your DPS is tremendous.


Guide Top

Jungle Routes + Counter-Jungling

Early Game



TAB In the early game, there are 3 main choices I consider for how to start. If you decide you want to apply lots of early pressure to the enemy jungler, you will want to start at the opposite buff that you think they will start at (if they will be starting at Gromp -> Blue, you will start at your own Red), place boxes at the camp, and rush to their Blue and intercept them while they're doing it.

Red -> Enemy Blue



TAB Start at your own Red buff. Place boxes as soon as they come off cooldown starting at 0:40 where the Red Brambleback will spawn. You can place these from the bush across the wall if you want to watch for enemies invading from the river. You don't need a leash, and can quickly clear the camp without using smite. After you finish the camp, run directly to the enemy blue, and Q over the wall. If you see him there, you may decide to run to the bush and even place a box in it if you are undetected. You can get kills this way, but you must be watching to make sure that his teammates aren't coming, and if they are, be prepared to get out.

Video



Blue -> Enemy Red



TAB For this start, you follow nearly the same procedure as the Red -> Enemy Blue invade. Place boxes at your Blue starting at 0:40, and kill it without smiting. Run to the baron pit, and Q over the wall to approach their Red. Again, you may want to wait in the bush if you are undetected, as this allows the camp to get lower so that you can smite it, and the enemy gets lower as well.


Guide Top

Advanced Tactics

Getting down w/ the clown

Q juking
Q baiting
Q turning around
Q tower gank top/bottom
Early Rift Herald solos
Early Dragon solos
Jumping walls with R
Using Move Pet Click
Using Champion Only to reposition the clone or yourself
Q'ing in from just out of vision
Tab to check on who has true vision on enemy team (sweepers, pink wards, frost queens claim)


Listening to Insane Clown Posse