Shaco Build Guide by sakespecialbrew
Not Updated For Current Season
This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.
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.
Only a short time ago, I remember my feeling of amusement when witnessing an AP Shaco in solo queue. In short, my respect for AP Shaco was negligible. However, the luck of a friend of mine inspired me to give him a try. I will attempt to build a comprehensive guide with reasoning and input from both his and my experience which will allow you a look into workings and mechanics of AP Shaco. However, a quick note to all those trolls and haters out there: I do not insist that AP Shaco is better or worse than AD Shaco; I simply wanted to try an Alt. build and was surprised at the level of success that I was met with.
Greater Seal of Armor
Pros / Cons
Flash on short cooldown
Can support with remote Jack in the Box fear
Bad at farming
Relies on lucky kills or low experience of opponents to get fed properly
High damage spell difficult to use in teamfights
For AP Shaco, I carry Ghost and Ignite. I believe that ghost is more appropriate on this champion than flash considering that Shaco already has a built in flash. As for ignite, I generally carry it with AP casters. The extra damage is very nice, and it is perfect for use after one of Shaco's Two-Shiv Poison that may not have quite finished the job.
I firmly believe that items are your bread and butter as AP Shaco and will attempt to explain my choices and preferences to not only make this guide more understandable, but also so that you might be able to understand how to change Shaco's item build to better suite your play style. Without Items, AP Shaco becomes much more complex to do well with and much more predictable.
Personally, I do not believe that AP Shaco is a jungler, although many people in solo queue have disagreed with this. Your task is simple early game: lane dominance. This will define your team up until midgame as your lane mate will be getting the majority of the lane's creep score, and maybe picking up some kills... but let's face it; you're here to get kills, not assists! You should always try for first blood as AP Shaco, considering that the majority of people will underestimate your main early game damage, as well as mistake your for the more common AD Shaco. However, AP Shaco can be risky, and I therefore base my early game income off of gold per 10 items. Why, you might ask? No matter how he is played, Shaco is not known for his ability to farm creep in an occupied lane. And to be honest, the two gold per 10 items you will be getting won't exactly hurt your lane dominance.
So, let's work on your early game. You should start off with a Doran's Ring. This will give you early game health, even more AP for your dominance and mana regen that you will need until your gold per 10's. Now you may or may not have picked up first blood; and as usual it will be much better for you if you have, however it is not a necessity. You should just tell your lane mate that you need enough gold for a gold per 10 item before they will get all of the creep. This should be a reasonable enough request for them considering they will get the creep for the rest of laning phase. My first gold per 10 is always, always, a Philosopher's Stone. You will not need to leave lane after this item for anything except a gank or items. You will want to get this item as soon as possible to maximize profit obtained from the gold per 10 passive. Continue to zone and harass your lane as you save up for your next item: Kage's Lucky Pick. This will double your gold output in lane as well as give you additional damage. Return to lane and continue to attempt to get kills.
Now, the next item is a little bit controversial. I favor Ionian Boots of Lucidity over Sorcerer's Shoes for the cool down reduction. However, it is fair to get the magic penetration boots over the cool down reduction boots. When getting cool down reduction boots, I always will get a Haunting Guise for the needed magic penetration. Any more magic penetration that is needed should be received from a Void Staff which is more of a situational item.
Now that you have boots, you can consider leaving lane and setting up traps around the map for map control, as well as picking up a few kills from unsuspecting opponents from other lanes. You can also start building your Morello's Evil Tome with a Fiendish Codex both of which will help with cool down reduction. By endgame you should be finishing up your Rabadon's Deathcap. Lichbane can be replaced with more situational items such as a Voidstaff or perhaps another Rabadon's Deathcap. Note: I attempted to lock my opponents down with Rylai's Crystal Scepter combined with Shaco's Jack In The Box. I have discovered this to not work. Also, Spellvamp does not apply to Shaco's Jack In The Box. However, both apply to his Hallucinate clone's death.
Now I will attempt to explain AP Shaco's mechanic's and game play in depth, while offering advice on situational changes to the game. Earlier in the guide I mentioned First blood as AP Shaco. This is maybe the easiest kill you will get all game. Shaco thrives off of confusion and deception, and AP Shaco is no exception! Your opponents will be expecting to see a run of the mill AD Shaco, and this is your chance to catch them off guard. You can get creative with first blood, but in every case, always, always, always get your Jack In The Box skill first! This is your main damage and can be used very cleverly.
In high level play, your opponents will nearly always have a jungler. Now does this mean that you should gank blue with AP Shaco? In my experience, no. The most nervous part of jungling for the jungler is before blue buff spawns. They are on high alert, with their team around them. This is the perfect chance for you to get caught out stacking your Jack in the Boxes. Chances are, an early gank will not happen with AP Shaco. However, picking on a jungler with blue buff is quite easy for us.
You should attempt to pick up first blood and their blue off of him with your trademark: the Jack in the Box stack. A good place to set this up is the jungle bush between your opponents mid lane and their wraiths/red. Sit in the bush and stack these Jack in the Boxes. When the Jungler comes through after finishing wolves, he will walk straight into your traps and a very happy Shaco who possesses ignite. You have ghost up to get away in a pinch and can return to base to purchase more items.
Unfortunately , however, you will not always have this opportunity. If this is the case, buy a Doran's Ring and race straight for your lane. Set up Jack in the Boxes in YOUR bush. It is important for a number of reasons that you do this.
1. You will have more time to set up your traps, thus more traps
2. There is no chance of your opponents realizing that you are AP until it is too late
3. If they should happen to survive, there is a greater distance for them to travel back to safety and thus more time for you to finish them off
There is a strategy to box placement as well. The bane of your existence in lane will be minion waves coming too close to your boxes and pulling agro from them. Therefore, place your boxes as far from the center of the lane as possible inside your bush.
Other great places for box stacks include:
Bushes that are susceptible to use by unfriendly gankers
High traffic areas such as the bushes surrounding mid lane
Sites of previous team fights
As for your other skills, they have just as much usefulness. Your Decieve allows you amazing mobility on a low cool down. Your Two-Shiv Poison is a great finisher/mobile damage option, but does not nearly match the damage output of your more static Jax in the Box. Your Hallucinate is great for luring and scouting. I have wasted an opponent's ultimate on my clone many times, and the damage output is very nice. It can also remove agro from you and ensure an otherwise impossible escape.
Now, everything is in place. Gold per 10 items allow you to profit from sitting in bushes waiting for an unlucky opponent to stumble into your trap. Cool down reduction allows you to set up traps in new locations relatively quickly. Your clone is a viable for scouting/damage and your low cool down flash allows you to flash in to finish off low health opponents with a quick Two-Shiv Poison and Ignite. This has been my first guide on Mobafire, mostly because I could never get myself to take the time to make an account. However, I do appreciate feedback and comments. Please tell me what you think of my take on AP Shaco!