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.
There are a lot of different Shaco builds out there, with a lot of debate as to what build is best and what items to buy and when to buy them. After a bunch of experimentation, some very bad games, some very good games, I've finally settled on the best "Attack Damage" build.
#1 - Attack Damage. If you like going Ability Power Shaco feel free, but this guide obviously won't help you. Attack damage is the key. Not attack speed, not ability power. Damage. Always focus on your damage. You want HUGE crits, with people saying "WTF" and start running away from you as soon as they see half their health gone.
#2 - A successful game with Shaco is all about getting kills and racking up money to buy the appropiate weapons. I can't stress this enough, if you are starved in the early game, you're screwed. You MUST be able to constantly farm gold in the early game to have a good game. A good game does not center around how many kills YOU get, it's about your team winning. With high damage and your clone, when the enemy team is knocking on your door you CAN backdoor a turret and force the enemy team to come after you. You can jump in the middle of a fight, hallucinate, backstab, shiv, leave your clone to fight, explode and soften them up, flash out, wait for cooldown and deceive back in to finish people off. Of course, you have to do this fast and not get stunned, so you have to make sure you do it AFTER your team engages. This is especially important for champs like Pantheon. Let him stun your clone, then go in for the huge crit. It takes a while to learn the timing.
#3 - The order in which you buy your weapons makes an insane difference. I never thought it was a big deal, boy, was I wrong. Get them in the right order, and it'll help you immensely. The reason why is because as your levelling up, you're doing damage appropiate for your level, and more importantly, proportional to your enemies level. In other words, you'll be doing "good" damage the whole game. 100 damage in the early game is very close to doing 300 damage in the middle/late game. You always want to be a force to be reckoned with.
So, that being said, what is my item order? Note : this is the build that works absolutely best for me at level 30. Not sure how this scales down, but I would guess it is still effective at lower levels, you just won't have a huge rune bonus to crit damage.
1) Long sword (+10 damage)
2) Health Potion
Kill golem for buff, stay in lane as long as possible, without dying. Dying is a major factor. Don't die. Shaco has escapes, use them. If you don't know how to play early without dieing, you really need to learn, it IS doable. The rest of the build order relies on when you have the money to buy what you need. Sometimes you need to restock health potions, sometimes you don't. It all depends on the game.
3) Movement Boots
4) long sword
5) Brutalizer, combining the long swords.
6) Boots of movement. Not berserkers greaves. Repeat, NOT BERSERKERS GREAVES.
7) Sapphire crystal, upgraded to Sheen directly after.
9) BF Sword
10) Infinity Edge, combining Pickaxe and BF Sword.
11) BF sword
12) BF sword (Yes, really)
Now its time to upgrade when possible, whatever you prefer:
13) Black Cleaver
14) Blood Thirster
The Boots of Mobility made a huge difference in gameplay. Like I said,I used to think Berserker Greaves were the way to go to help farm, or the Ninja boots for armor, but then I realized that if the enemy team stun locks you it doesn't matter what boots you have, you're dead anyway. Get the Mobility boots.
Note : it is possible to swap out for a last whisperer, sometimes I'll sell my brutalizer and go whisperer if Mordekaiser or Chogath are getting on my nerves. I usually don't. Also notice I don't recommend Phantom Dancer. Like I said, forget speed, and forget Crit chance. You get a guaranteed Crit, make it hurt bad.
Note : sometimes after my 1st BF sword, before Infinity Edge, I'll buy a vampiric scepter to help with my farming abilities, to be able to get some health back if needed off minions, and turn the scepter into Bloodthirster later.
Now, this is what made me realize I was buying weapons in the wrong order. You need to be able to scale up your damage. I was saving too much money to buy weapons that weren't helping me *when I needed it*. Get damage early, so that you can drop an enemy or two (maybe more). Get movement boots to be able to fly across the map. I used to think the attack speed was a big deal from Berserker's Greaves. It's not. Forget attack speed, you want to be able to take 1/2 a person's health from a backstab. That's your bread and butter, that's what racks up your kills, that's what helps you make you money. Forget attack speed.
After you get your damage up you have some leeway as to what to buy. With the BF swords you can upgrade and get the Black Cleaver, or the Bloodthirster, which is what I usually do. With the Brutalizer you can upgrade to Ghostblade. That's all fine, but get the base weapons first, the BF swords, in every case except for Infinity Edge (the +% crit damage helps a lot).
I can't stress this enough. Do NOT buy the recipes for Bloodthirster and Cleaver until last. Buy the BF swords, THEN upgrade. Brutalizer, Boots, Sheen, Pickaxe, BF sword, Infinity Edge, BF sword, BF sword, then upgrade as you see fit. I used to go Sheen, Boots, Infinity Edge, Bloodthirster, Black Cleaver. I just wasn't getting enough kills, or I was starved early game and couldn't do anything, or I was always thinking "as soon as I get my Infinity edge I'll be able to kill someone". That kind of game sucks. You don't want to be a non-factor early, and depend on being a monster at the end game, beacuse you may never GET to the end game.
With this build order I could always be "in the game" and always be able to drop someone. I've even gotten to games that have gone so long I've sold Ghostblade and gotten 2 Infinity Edges, doing 480 damage. At that point in the game it's more about team execution than 1 particular player destroying people.
Some people may question the use of Flash, as Shaco already has deceive with a built in flash. I don't. Flash enables you to be able to do something very very effective, and that's able to deceive within range of a tower where an enemy is trying to stay protected, backstab, shiv, and flash out. I can't tell you how many kills I've gotten this way, when an enemy has 1/4 health left and is hugging a tower, I go in with full health, gank, and get out. As frustrating it is to your enemies, it's that much fun to do. :) Exhaust is just exhaust, it's a great skill to ensure a death, just make sure you use it at the right time.
Another thing to note : when there are no minions to kill in the mid/late game, run through the forest and rip through the Jungle Mobs, then go back and forth into lanes to help gank/kill minions. You want to be able to farm as much as possible to get the weapons you need. Farming is critical to be able to keep up. You'll rack up money from enemy kills also, but always keep in mind don't just stand around trying to lay a trap, drop a mob camp whenever possible. Shaco doesn't have to worry about getting ganked in the forest while jungling due to his deceive (unless the whole team stumbles on you and stuns you, but bad luck just happens sometimes) Keep that money flowing. Like all chars really, you are item dependent, and Shaco needs VERY expensive items. Just keep that in mind at all times : You need money.
Shaco is not a tank. He can't just game go in and take damage like some characters are designed to do. He also gets focus fired a lot, so make sure you do not initiate. You're there to chase down and finish people, or to take out enemies that are hurt. Shaco is built to do a massive damaging open, a fear, and a finishing move. If a fight lasts very long, you can deceive again behind and backstab for the kill. If a teammate is fighting and you are low on health, you're initial reaction is to run away and heal up, you can stay very far out of range and still deceive somewhat close and throw a shiv to help out, slowing your enemy and helping your teammate. Just make sure your back is clear if you're hanging around with low health.
When running away from someone and they are close to you, try deceiving in the other direction, towards your opponent and running behind them, they will keep going in the direction they last saw you and you'll be moving the other way. Also, deceive over walls to ensure a clean getaway, I can't tell you how many times I've been slowed/exhausted and run towards a wall and then deceived over it to get away with a sliver of health. Use it. Drop a box while running in case they chase. Remember : the only reason you die as Shaco (barring some really bad luck like running into their team) is because you made a mistake somewhere. Learn from your mistakes, dont' do it again.
Deceive, drop a Jack In The Box behind the enemy, Hallucinate, exhaust, backstab, shiv, chase down. All squishy chars (Ashe, Teemo, Kennen) drop fast. I've 2 shotted chars at points. You'll be surprised how fast non-armor chars drop. Forget health, forget armor, forget attack speed. You're a damage doer. Do your damage - and with this build order, you will.
Hope this helps you.