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Shaco Build Guide by Silkysmooth420

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Silkysmooth420

[7.3] Shaco S7: Pick Your Poison - Lethality > Bruiser &g

Silkysmooth420 Last updated on February 13, 2017
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Team 1

Ability Sequence

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

Masteries

Fury
 
 
5/
Sorcery
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Battering Blows
 
 
Piercing Thoughts
 
 
 
 

Ferocity: 12

5/
Wanderer
 
 
Savagery
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
5/
Merciless
 
 
Meditation
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
5/
Precision
 
 
Intelligence
 
 
 
 

Cunning: 18

Recovery
 
 
Unyielding
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Runic Armor
 
 
Veteran's Scars
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Swiftness
 
 
Legendary Guardian
 
 
 
 

Resolve: 0


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Introduction

Welcome to my Shaco guide! I started playing Shaco about a year ago and he quickly became my favourite champion due to his uniqueness and outplay potential. I just remember going against him in the past and thinking "what the **** do i do against this guy?". So, i decided to try him out and have never looked back. I have over 400K mastery and got to platinum by mostly playing him. I only started playing ranked last year (start of S6), so i guess i've come a long way, but still have a long way to go.

I remember what it was like when i first picked Shaco up and having no idea how to gank properly & regularly whilst still maintaining decent farm. As this struggle is still fairly recent to me, I'll hopefully be able to offer relevant advice to any new Shaco players and maybe something for the veterans out there.


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Summoner Spells

Smite: Must have as a jungler.

Ignite: The standard summoner for kill pressure and to deal with champs with annoying sustain.

Exhaust: Not seen as often, but the current meta has a lot of mobile champs with high damage (Olaf, Cassi, Talon, Rengar, Khazix etc). Due to the assassin rework and the new OP mastery (Courage of the Colossus) you'll be encountering either fast & bursty champs or high engage champs (Vi, Zac, Sejauni etc). In both instances, exhaust will deny the damage or ruin someone's engage (and potential escape).

Flash: I almost never take flash, but it can be useful if you think you need a another gap closer. If you're new to Shaco it might help to take flash, but if you really want to learn the champ properly I wouldn't reccomend it.


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Runes

I've explained most of my reasoning at the top, but here's some more detail:

Greater Glyph of Ability Power or Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
I take AP glyphs for increased early box damage, which serves two purposes: faster jungle clear & more damage in skirmishes. Due to Shaco's early damage being weakened, placing boxes is even more important than before and really help secure kills (especially if your team lacks CC).
You can opt for scaling MR glyphs (reasoning for scaling runes explained below) instead especially against AP heavy teams. I've been favouring this option more and more as the extra AP is less useful now as I never really build AP Shaco anymore. Furthermore, in games where I don't feel like i'll be able to pull off early ganks, I like to go scaling MR because by the time i gank (level 5 or 6) i'm tankier than people expect.

Greater Seal of Scaling Armor or Greater Seal of Scaling Health
At level 6, scaling armor gives the same armor as flat armor seals. After this point you essentially get free armor without needing to itemise for it (unless they have a lot of AD).
Scaling health seals are better against AP heavy teams.

Greater Mark of Attack Damage & Greater Quintessence of Attack Speed
Pretty standard, gives you early damage and clear speed. You can experiment with different combinations of each if you want.
I've seen people go for hybrid penetration (or precision), which would add damage late game. However, you'll never have enough AP for the magic penetration component to be efficient and you lose early damage, making your ganks even weaker.

Overall
I personally run 3 runes pages on Shaco to cater for different situations.

    Page 1 - Standard Scaling Tank:
AD reds, scaling armor yellows, scaling MR blues, AS quints. This is for when you're team is lacking tanks and the enemy team isn't too AP heavy. I've been running this more and more recently as I'm favouring the bruiser build atm.

Page 2 - Early Game Damage: AD reds, scaling armor yellows, AP blues, AS quints. If you want a faster clear and some extra damage to secure early kills, this is the way to go. You might think the AP doesn't make a difference, but when the enemy escapes with no health denying you first blood, you'll understand ;)

Page 3 - Anti-Mage: AD reds, scaling health yellows, scaling MR blues, AS quints. When the enemy team is AP heavy (at least 3 AP champs) then scaling health is much better than armor. Additionally, with the current meta of APCs being preferred to ADCs, there's even less need for armor.


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Masteries

Ferocity Tree
Fury vs Sorcery : Attack speed or ability damage. Both are viable, but sorcery adds damage to all of your abilities, whilst Fury just gives attack speed (which you will get anyway).

Double Edged Sword vs Bounty Hunter : This is a tough choice. Double-edge sword makes your early ganks more powerful, but makes you easily killable (especially if the enemy jungler counter ganks). Bounty hunter let's you maintain your lead by adding damage the more kills you get, which is also lets you snowball. I take bounty hunter because Shaco is already pretty squishy, so adding to that does a lot of harm.

Cunning Tree
Assassin vs Runic Affinity : Whilst assassin is helpful, runic affinity is so powerful in the early game (which is when you'll be doing most work).

Greenfather's Gift vs Dangerous Game : Greenfather's adds damage (and will normally proc as most of the time you'll go through brush to get to a target, or use brush to buy time for CDs). Dangerous gain has always been very powerful and will consistently save your life, however, I prefer the extra damage as this is what Shaco lacks early on.

Thunderlord's Decree vs Stormraider's Surge : Another difficult decision. I've always taken thunderlord's for extra damage, which really helps in early ganks (even more so now due to the early nerfs). However, Stormraider's lets you jump into a team, unload your burst, and escape before they can properly react. Couple this with Edge of Night and the enemy team will have a tough time killing you when you appear on top of their carries.
I think your choice will heavily depend on the enemy team. If they have a lot of CC or high burst (e.g. veigar ult) that will be tough to avoid, it's better to go Thunderlord's to maximise your chance of one shotting their highest priority target whilst using up a lot of their abilities (making it easier for your team to win a fight). Also, if you have GA ,it doesn't even matter if they kill you. On the other hand, if you feel you can outrun their CC and damage (whilst still being able to one shot a carry), Stormraider's is the way to go.


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Skill Sequence

Again, i've explained this above, but i'll elaborate a bit more now.

Deceive Max Pre-level 6, Two-Shiv Poison afterwards
I know what you're thinking, but trust me, this is the optimal way right now. Q got the biggest nerf out of all of Shaco's abilites, so you desperately need early points in it to make it effective. By level 6 I have 3 points in Deceive, giving you 3 seconds of invisibility, which makes your ganks strong again.
E's early damage isn't great, and basically gets exponentially stronger as the game goes on, so putting points into it later makes more sense. You HAVE to use E as an execute now if you're AD, whereas before you could actually use it in the initial burst as it would be off CD quick enough to use it again to finish the enemy off. Now it only really makes sense to use it as late as possible (like Volibear's bite) to maximise damage. After level 6 I normally max E before i finish maxing Q, but sometimes i'll put an extra point in Q earlier if I feel the extra invis time is necessary (e.g. if they have wards everywhere and you need to Q from further away). The only exception to the E Execute rule is if you're running AP Shaco, where E is actually a part of your initial burst.


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Item Builds: Bruiser Vs. Burst

I've explained the item choices in quite a detailed way in the item builds above, but i'll write a bit down here to give a better idea. Just remember that you always build Shaco the same way at the start, but can change it depending on what your team needs. I almost NEVER finish my jungle item first (unless i know i want to go warrior).

Start
Hunter's Machete, Refillable Potion and Warding Totem.

First Back
Tiamat is the best item you can get early. Then prioritise Tier 2 boots. Boots of Mobility are what I build most of the time as they help so much in the early game. Boots of Swiftness are also viable, but personally i go for Mobis. The tankier options are better later in the game when you need the resistances.

Jungle Item
This is what dictates the rest of the build after Titanic Hydra to be honest. Since the start of season 7 I've changed my main build at least 3 times now. I started going AP, then I went for AD + Crit and now I'm going more Bruiser (due to the versatility).

Skirmisher's Sabre - Warrior is better if you are snowballing and need damage (already have tanks/front line). This used to be my main jungle item for Shaco, but i've been building it less and less recently. Whilst it's a great early option, it starts to fall off quite quickly as people get more health and resistances.

Skirmisher's Sabre - Cinderhulk is superior if you are behind or just need a front line (and survivability, i.e. the fights are lasting some time). I normally buy a Bami's Cinder shortly after Tiamat and decide what to do with it later (whether to upgrade to Skirmisher's Sabre - Cinderhulk or Sunfire Cape).

Skirmisher's Sabre - Bloodrazor has a very particular use: if they have more than one tank and you need higher DPS (helps for objectives too). Essentially, if they have a front line that isn't invincible (e.g. a Zac that has built runic echoes, or maybe a Hecarim that is rushing Tri Force) then you can look to shred them with the Skirmisher's Sabre - Bloodrazor + The Black Cleaver combo.

Whilst it's 100% situational, overall i'd have to rank them Skirmisher's Sabre - Cinderhulk > Skirmisher's Sabre - Bloodrazor > Skirmisher's Sabre - Warrior


No matter what jungle item you eventually go for you can still adapt the build according to what you need most at the time. In the majority of games by around 15mins (or maybe earlier) you should have Tiamat, Boots of Mobility and Skirmisher's Sabre. You then either pick up a Bami's Cinder for better farming or finish off Titanic Hydra as soon as you can.

It's at this point when the major decisions occur that dictate how your build will go. You can finish Skirmisher's Sabre - Cinderhulk or maybe pick up a Recurve Bow for Skirmisher's Sabre - Bloodrazor. Alternatively you can start building for another item ( Phage and Giant's Belt are always good buys) if you're still unsure. Be as flexible as possible and try to think about whether you'll be fighting in the near future. Is a major objective coming up soon? Basically if you'll be fighting imminently then prioritise the items that will help most in combat.

The Main Builds
Skirmisher's Sabre - Warrior + Titanic Hydra + Trinity Force is a great combo that makes you very strong (and gives some survivability). If you add a Sterak's Gage you get even more health and damage, but could also go Maw of Malmortius for MR and some CDR. On the other hand, if you want more health you can go for The Black Cleaver instead, which is especially good if you went for Skirmisher's Sabre - Bloodrazor earlier on (faster armor shred).

Skirmisher's Sabre - Cinderhulk + Titanic Hydra + Phage + Giant's Belt gives you plenty of health with decent damage. You can then opt to go more offensive and buy either Trinity Force or The Black Cleaver or maybe build the Giant's Belt into a Dead Man's Plate or Randuin's Omen beforehand. From this point there are always quite a few options, such as Spirit Visage or Banshee's Veil, but you can never really go wrong with a Guardian Angel. It all depends on what your team needs.

One thing I've noticed recently is that I don't really build Ravenous Hydra. Don't get me wrong, it's still a great item, especially if you're ahead, however, I find that Titanic just offers much more overall. The 450 health compensates for the reduced damage output because it keeps you alive long enough for extra autos. This also helps because the longer the enemy spends killing you, the more time your team has to to re-position and kill the enemy. Titanic Hydra also scales so well into the late game as you build more health. The issue I was finding with Ravenous Hydra (and more damage/burst heavy builds overall) was that later into the game I wasn't really able to one-shot carries as players start to group together. Higher health is much more valuable in extended team fights compared to greater burst.

As you can see it's all quite flexible, which is how you should always build any champion. Look at how the game is going: are you ahead or behind? Does your team need tanks/ a front line? What kind of damage is the enemy team doing and what kind of resistances is the enemy getting? These are all very important questions that should dictate how you build. Some of the builds resemble what you build on champs like Vi and Hecarim, which shouldn't come as a surprise: they are very strong champs at the moment.

My main piece of advice is that health is the most important stat in the game (obviously). Whilst doing lot's of damage is fun and is better for snowballing, eventually your damage won't be able to keep up with their resistances. This is the main way Shaco has changed this season. He doesn't scale as well with raw AD and Crit like he used to, which is why a more bruiser orientated build works better right now. This is particularly evident against comps with many shields, good disengage etc. The longer you're alive, the more you can do (for yourself and the team).


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Item Builds: AP Hybrid

Since the rework everyone (including myself) has wondered if AP Shaco is viable. After trying it out a few times i can conclude that it's pretty strong and lot's of fun! The biggest selling point is the crazy mobility you get from Skirmisher's Sabre - Runic Echoes, Boots of Mobility and Lich Bane. Not to mention it's high single burst and surprising team fight damage when your clone explodes in the middle of 3 of them doing loads of damage and leaving 3 boxes that do plenty of dps.

The Runes & Masteries are the same as the AD build (but you can take Greater Quintessence of Ability Power if you want). The item build can be found at the top, but it's pretty straightforward:
- Tiamat, Boots of Mobility, Skirmisher's Sabre - Runic Echoes, Hextech Gunblade, Lich Bane. This is the core of the build and gives you the most early game burst possible (and good clear).
-Then you have a number of choices for the last two slots (you will eventually sell tiamat for more AP). Rabadon's Deathcap, Zhonya's Hourglass, Abyssal Scepter, Void Staff and even Infinity Edge are all good options.
-Out of all of the final items Zhonya's Hourglass is particularly helpful to buy time for your team to come in. The extra CDR & armor don't hurt either.
-It's all very situational. I think a big reason i'm enjoying AP shaco is because AP items are simply more fun than AD items and allow for more interesting builds. You could try out Rylai's Crystal Scepter to stick to carries with more ease or even opt for Titanic Hydra for even more survivability and mixed damage.
-What's even more interesting is getting Infinity Edge & Statikk Shiv to make the build fully hybrid, with good wave clear and dps. I don't do this as much because by late game your job is to try and one shot someone, which is most possible with full AP, however, sometimes it's just not possible to pull off a one-shot against certain team comps so having sustained damage is better.

This build is definitely lot's of fun, but falls off late game as you have have no sustained damage. If you aren't able to one-shot a carry, you become totally useless after you unload your burst (and essentially a free kill). Additionally, it's harder taking objectives and pushing lanes.


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Jungle Clear Routes + General Advice

Shaco can perform a variety of first clears depending on how you want to play the early game. You can start at either buff, invade the enenmy buffs and either kill the jungler or gank. Alternatively, you can quickly take your buffs and a small camp to get a fast level 3 and gank early. Finally, you can simply do a full clear if your lanes are difficult to gank. Bear in mind that you want to try and gank either top or mid early on as they are more guaranteed kills. The problem with bot lane is that there are too many summoners to fight through and a higher chance of the enemy simply focusing you for an easy kill. That isn't to say you shouldn't ever gank bot lane first - like i mentioned earlier if its your bot lane that is likely get pushed in the most compared to your other lanes, then you can try and gank. However, from experience i've always had more success ganking solo lanes early on. Before i go through the various clears, here's a few points to always consider at the start of every game: enemy jungler, vision, your lanes and leash.

    1. Where is the enemy jungler starting?
    This is the most valuable piece of information you can find out early for 2 reasons: It allows you to safely invade the buff they aren't starting on and also means you're able to have an idea as to where the enemy jungler might be (which helps your teammates decide whether to be aggressive or not). Make sure to watch out for missing enemy laners as they could know you're invading.

    2. Get early vision!
    Wards in river or at entry points to your jungle can be the difference between you getting first blood or or getting first blooded. You can never be too cautious. Just because you're Shaco and the onus is kind of on you to have early pressure and pester the enemy jungler, it doesn't mean the enemy jungler can't do the same to you. Ideally, you want the buff that you aren't starting on to get warded at 1:30 and if possible a ward on the opposite enemy buff. For example, if you're on blue side starting blue buff, you want bot lane to ward your red and your top lane to ward their red (or at least river to protect against an invade).

    3. Look at your lanes!
    This sounds obvious, but make sure you know the matchups and how they are likely to play out. If the enemy team has quite aggressive early champs (e.g. LeBlanc, Yasuo, or a Caitlyn & Zyra bot lane) you can expect that they will push to get level advantage and trade early. If this happens, ganking these lanes as soon as you can will relieve pressure and deny a potential first blood and snowball.

    4. Always get a leash! This is a more minor thing, but I find that when you play Shaco everyone assumes you don't want a leash. Getting a leash ALWAYS helps. Your laners lose nothing by helping you out, even it's just a few auto's it can save you a few precious seconds (or hit points).

I'll now discuss the jungle clears in order of personal preference for each side of the map. I'll do Blue Side first and then Red Side. The clear itself is largely the same no matter which side of the map you're on, but the options after the initial farming are different.

BLUE SIDE
Blue Side Red Invade - Blue, Gromp, Invade Red.
This is my favourite clear if i know the enemy jungler is starting on their blue buff. Get your bot lane to ward your red at around 1:30 and put your first box on blue at around 0:41 seconds and another box as soon as you can. Then put your next two boxes at gromp (far enough away not to aggro it). This means you have 2 boxes on blue and 2 boxes on gromp. Take blue and then gromp (remember to try and backstab as much as possible) without using smite as you should be pretty healthy. Go straight to the enemy red and place a ward by their raptors to see if the enemy jungler comes early. Kite red into brush to deny vision in case anyone comes and smite to get health back. At this point you'll be level 3, pretty healthy and hopefully in a position to gank either top or mid.

The video below shows this jungle clear. I know that Khazix will start blue, so the red invade is risk free. I actually put my box too close to the minions so it triggered early (I should have put it closer to the wall), but it didn't matter in the end:
Blue Side Fast Level 4 - Red, Raptors, Wolves, Blue and Gromp
The is my go to clear when i don't want to invade the enemy red. I put 2 boxes on red and 2 boxes at raptors (again, far enough away not to aggro the camp early) and clear them without smite. I then take wolves, blue buff, gromp and either look to gank top or mid. You get level 4 just after 3 mins this way, making you the highest level in the game. Additionally, you get the valuable 2nd point in Q, which makes your gank stronger. You can also swing back to bot to take kruggs and maybe gank whilst you have still have buffs.

The following video shows this clear. The box placement is a bit more tricky because for raptors you need to put the boxes further away than what you might think (close to the brush). I get to level 4 at 3:12 with full health & mana without the need for any pots and go mid where a fight is going on. I Q into lane, putting a box down to cover Veigar's flash, and basically steal the kill. I'm pretty sure Lux had it with the passive proc on her auto and because Veigar had no cooldowns and was running TP. Nevertheless, it's more team gold this way and first blood is always better on a snowbally jungler like shaco who can use that advantage to help other lanes. Also note how I push the lane as fast as possible to force Veigar's TP. You should try and do that as much as possible, but only if you are 100% sure that the wave will hit tower, thus denying the enemy creeps. It's even better if the enemy doesn't have TP, as you deny even more creeps that way and can keep coming back to that lane to keep the enemy out of the game.
Blue Side Blue Invade - Red and Invade Blue
This was probably the most common clear for Shaco for the first blood potential. However, I very rarely do this clear now for 2 reasons: if the enemy jungler starts blue it will be gone before you get there and even if they don't start blue the enemy bot lane has probably warded it pre-emptively. However, if you know that there are no wards on their blue (if your support warded their blue before they did, which would let you know if they warded it or not) then you can pretty safely take their blue.
Ask your top laner to ward your blue buff at around 1:30. Place 4 boxes on Red (starting at 0:40) and clear it fast (saving smite). Put a point in Q and go to their blue. Ward behind (the best spot if just to the right of wolves) to see if the enemy jungler is coming and keep an eye on bot/mid lane. Once you take blue, you might even be able to take gromp too to get level 3, which will help if you decide to gank mid or bot. The other option is to wait behind the wall next to blue or in the tri brush below gromp and kill the enemy jungler when they come.

RED SIDE
Red Side Fast Level 3 - Blue, Gromp and Red
I don't like invading when i'm on red side because the easiest & safest option is to just take your buffs and gank top or mid. Get your bot lane to ward their red if they can and ask your top lane to ward your red. If you can't gank you can try and go to the enemy blue to get a free kill on the enemy jungler, or just clear the rest of your camps.

Red Side Blue Invade - Red, Invade Blue
This isn't a bad option if you know the enemy jungler is starting on their red (which is more likely as they can get a good leash from bot lane). It also means you can gank top or mid early (more ideal early on).

Red Side Red Invade - Blue, Gromp, Invade Red
My least favourite route as the enemy jungler will probably start on their red due to the bot lane leash or their bot lane would have warded it for protection. However, if you're certain the enemy jungler started on their blue then you can attempt this (be wary of protective wards or their bot/mid lane coming).

FULL CLEAR - Red, Raptors, Wolves, Blue, Gromp, Scuttle
If after taking raptors you know that you won't be able gank anyone soon, then just go to wolves, take blue & gromp and then scuttle if its still there. Essentially, this clear is what will happen if you don't gank early. Don't worry, you can't get first blood every game!

NEW: Cowsep Cheese (Modified for Shaco)
This is a variation on the blue side blue invade (start red, invade enemy blue), however, instead of going to the enemy blue you go straight to their wolf camp via blasting plant. I got the idea from Cowsep, who noticed that if you're on blue side you can get a smiteless red start and simply invade the enemy blue side jungle. The odds are in your favour as the enemy has probably used smite, only has blue buff and shouldn't be full health. The video below should make this more clear:
I've modified the cheese slightly to Shaco's taste. I take red and raptors before i invade because it means i'm one camp away from level 3. This is important because the likelihood is that once the enemy jungler sees me he'll run away and i take his wolves to get the level advantage. I also now know that he'll be around his red side jungle for the next couple of minutes. However, what happens in the video is very strange. I jump onto Nocturne's wolves, put a box down and secure a small wolf. At this point I assume Noc will just run away, so I start taking the camp. However, he surprisingly comes back, I kill him and I take the wolves to get level 3. Now I look to go bot, but it's not possible, so i get scuttle before going mid. Unfortunately, our mid lane dies, but I manage to get the enemy mid laner's flash before taking some creeps (and importantly getting level 4). I then exit mid lane on our side (so it looks like i'm going to my jungle) but head straight to Nocturne's Red. Once i get there, I conveniently see Noc's Q go through the Kruggs wall, so I Q into Kruggs (level 2 Q makes this play possible) and kill Noc again (he has no flash so it's free). All of this puts the enemy jungler really far behind. A champion like Nocturne likes to power farm until 6 and then gank, but 2 early deaths delays that severely, which allows me to pressure any lane I want.

Map of Jungle Routes
I've made a map showing some of the jungle routes i've described above. It's not all of them, but covers most of them. Bear in mind that you can be quite flexible when you start any of the routes as they more or less all join up, and you can decide to alter the route depending on how the game is going. The most important part of your first clear is to keep checking on the lanes to see how they're playing out. I'd recommend trying to get level 4 whenever possible as it really helps in early ganks, but it might delay getting to lane, allowing the enemy jungler to get there first or for your teammate(s) to die before you arrive. Communication is also key here, so make sure to let your team know if you plan on ganking their lane so they know how to play.
Again, i haven't shown every possible route (it would make the diagram even more confusing!), but it's a good starting point. Feel free to make your own routes, it's totally situational. A good understanding of matchups and how the lanes are progressing is key to your early game, so be diligent (and patient!).
Finally, where i've put Kruggs in brackets indicates that it's not essential to do that camp in terms of increasing gank effectiveness, but will help deny the enemy jungler (and get you some gold & exp too).



After First Clear
Buy Tiamat if you have the money, if not grab Skirmisher's (or Stalker's) and a longsword and keep farming, looking to gank any lanes pushing towards you. Make sure you get a 3rd point in Q at level 5 for better ganks. After level 6, you can start putting points into E for more kill potential, or continue levelling Q is you need longer stealth time. Try and get tier 2 boots ASAP before building other items.
Keep an eye on dragon and maintain vision of it and their jungle if you have bot lane pressure. You should always try and clear your jungle as it's guaranteed gold and decide on your ganks whilst you clear. Many junglers go for ganks whilst their camps are up, which is not always a good idea. However, you should obviously be keeping an eye on lanes so that you react in time to skirmishes that you can affect. A good tip is as you recall look at ALL the lanes and figure out where you could go next. Sometimes if you just walk straight into your jungle you can lose valuable time. It's always a bad feeling when you plan on ganking a lane, take a camp prior to ganking, and see the enemy jungler kill your laner. The only situation where taking the camp is viable is if you level up. In this scenario COMMUNICATE with your teammate: tell them to play safe until you are nearby.


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Ganking

The reason you play Shaco! His kit allows for very interesting gank routes, but with the changes to his Q you can't really go for the almost guaranteed level 3 first blood. Instead, it's better to have at least 2 (preferably 3) points in Q before you try to gank. The only exception to this rule is if there is a low target that you know you can kill (or at least burn summoners).

Mental Checklist before EVERY Gank - J.S.M.
-Where is the ENEMY JUNGLER? This is the first thing you need to consider, as a counter gank can turn a simple kill into a double kill for the enemy team.
-What SUMMONERS does everybody have? The worst feeling is to jump onto someone, instantly ignite to maximise kill potential and watch the enemy flash away. If you know they have flash, you're basically trying to burn it without using your summoners (which nets an advantage). If you can kill them through flash, that's great, but if not at least you still have ignite for your next gank.
-MINIONS + MANA! Never fight if there are too many creeps. They do more damage than champs early on and can seriously block you off, making you look very stupid. Mana is something you must consider. Aside from the obvious point of you and your teammate's mana, if the enemy has low mana it makes them more vulnerable.

One thing i didn't put in the list is wards, but you should always think about vision at every moment in the game (not just when ganking). Place wards for your laners and clear enemy vision.

The Gank
Pretty standard: Q in, try and place a box behind the enemy (or where you think your teammate's CC will land), backstab (+tiamat if you have it) and ignite if you feel its necessary. Then keep autoing, dodging any skillshots + CC that you can (using R when appropriate) and use E at the end for the execute (or if you really need the slow use it earlier).
When tower diving, send in your clone to tank tower hits whilst you (and your clone) shred the enemy. Remember that your boxes can tank 1 tower hit, so you can put one down purely for that reason (one tower shot can be the difference between life & death).
If the gank turns into a skirmish that turns sour, move towards brush and place a box to safely escape. This will also proc Greenfather's if it's been 9 seconds, which can add deceptive damage.


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End

I'll keep updating the guide based on game changes and any suggestions! Hope it helps you out and have fun!