Shaco Build Guide by ZiegfriedX
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.
GOOD MORNING SHACO LOVERS.
I assume you are here because you want to hear about how to play AP Shaco, instead of bothering with silly AD things. Well, I have a few disappointing factors to tell you first and foremost before you get your hopes up.
It is in my opinion that AP Shaco is not effective at higher levels of ranked play. Nor is AD Shaco effective either. Shaco is, in essence, a broken champion that Riot forgot. As a result of this unique status of being forgotten, Shaco has some VERY neat tricks that other champions simply cannot do, but at the same time, he cannot effectively do high level ranked play due to his limitations.
His Pros and his Cons are as follows.
* Unmatched Mobility: With Mob Boots and his Q, he is literally unable to be caught if given enough notice to escape. Stealth + Flash on his Q gives him incredible juking potential.
* Ridiculous Ratios: Shaco gets great ratios (at least 1.0) on all of his offensive abilities.
* Punishes Stupidity: If the enemy makes a mistake against AP Shaco, they will die. It isn't a matter of "eh, they might get away", no, they are dead. Period. You don't walk away from a bush full of boxes. You don't walk away from Shaco's Ult detonating right next to you at low health.
* Great Harrassing Potential: Shaco is fantastic at harrassing and otherwise harrying people trying to get from Point A to Point B. This may not seem like that much of an advantage, but if you want to stop mid from going top or bot, it might save them a death.
* Great Counter-Jungle: Boxes. So many boxes.
* Relies on Stupidity: Shaco thrives on his opponents not being clever enough to figure out that he is about to unleash a horrible beatdown on them.
* Squishy: Shaco is squishy. He will always be squishy. There is no real way to get around this. If he is caught without any mitigating defensive options, he will die.
* Predictable: This is the #1 major con to any Shaco player. You can spend your entire time setting up a Deathbush full of boxes, but if the enemy won't go into it because a teammate of his stumbled into one before, he won't, especially if he saw you go in there before. Shaco relies on surprise and shock value, and with his limited toolkit and enemy champions being on guard, he will get smashed.
* Relies on Stupidity: This is a Pro and a Con at the same time, because if an enemy team is smart, they won't fall for 90% of Shaco's tricks. If they are dumb, they will fall for them every time.
This pro/con covers mostly AP Shaco's deficiencies without covering AD Shaco, because AD Shaco is a one-trick pony relying almost enitrely on backdooring potential once the teamfight phase begins.
An Explanation of Masteries.
So you are looking at my Runes and Masteries and saying, "BUT MAN, THIS SUCKS, I CAN BUILD SO MUCH BETTER". I will tell you you are wrong, laugh at you, and so on and so forth. Here is my explanation, you foul swine.
SORCERY x4: Ever wanted to lay down more boxes? GOOD! Get this.
BUTCHER x1: Ever wanted to do more damage to things in the jungle? GOOD! Get this.
FEAST x1: Ever wanted to get health/mana back for killing things? GOOD! Get this.
MENTAL FORCE x3: Ever wanted to have free scaling AP runes in the form of a Mastery? GOOD! Get this.
EXPOSE WEAKNESS x1: Ever wanted to let your allies do more damage to champions you only hit once with your Two-Shiv Poison? GOOD! Get this.
ARCANE MASTERY x1: I don't have to keep doing this, do I?
SPELL WEAVING x1: Now this might be a controversial pick. Some might argue that AP Shaco shouldn't be attacking. I say he should be attacking because that's what they DON'T EXPECT YOU TO DO. More damaging means more spell power, which means your ult exploding in their face does more damage.
BLADE WEAVING x1: Again, possibly controversial, but you are already getting a massive boost to your damage from your Lichbane, why not add some more?
ARCHMAGE x3: This is a no-brainer. Stop complaining.
DEVASTATING STRIKES x3: Again, no brainer. More Pen = More Damage.
ARCANE BLADE x1: It's like a mini-Lichbane!
HAVOC x1: You know what, I am done.
FLEET OF FOOT x3: The faster you move, the more stuff you can get done.
MEDITATION x3: Mo' Mana, No Problems.
SCOUT x1: Deploy your sight wards farther, prevent them from seeing you.
ALCHEMIST x1: Not entirely necessary, except for the next Mastery.
CULINARY MASTER x1: DING DING DING. WE HAVE A WINNER. This makes your potions infinitely better, which, although not necessarily 100% necessary early game, it will make your life overall easier when you DO need it.
Your jungle route is simple.
Start at your blue buff. Get blue buff. This is most easily accomplished by placing the boxes starting at 0:55 right behind where blue buff starts. That will allow you to clear Blue Buff and its minions rather quickly and without damage to yourself. Get Q at second level.
If anyone offers to give you a leash, tell them no. They are dumb. They don't know how Shaco works. Laugh at them.
Jump across either Dragon or Baron wall to the enemy jungle, and set up in their red buff bush. Lay down a ward so you can see them coming, and start laying down boxes.
Wait for the enemy to get near. If they pop your boxes, they are dead, and you have red buff and a refreshed blue buff. If they don't pop your boxes, you might need to goad them into doing it, and then you kill them and have red buff and a refreshed blue buff. If top or mid come by, Q away, use flash, and let your boxes mop up whoever comes near. Remember: STAY NEAR YOUR BOXES. Your boxes are the only thing keeping you from horrible death in the Jungle at early game, so stay near them so that they can do the damage so that you don't have to.
A note on this must be made about the Wight. With the addition of the Wight, it is tricky to line up where exactly one should put up boxes to take advantage of it. There is a certain sweet spot that must be learned with time, and admittedly, I can't just provide a picture, because it really is rather arbitrary. Figure it out. You're a big boy.
As mid game approaches, you will notice one thing: You are lagging behind the other team. This is normal. I repeat: THIS IS NORMAL. AP Shaco cannot keep up with most junglers in terms of how quickly he can run through the jungle, and his ganks are lackluster at best due to a lack of hard CC. What you need to rely on is baiting enemies into your bushes, and making them fight you on your terms, rather than trying to gank. Set up traps when you are at low health, and bait people into walking into them.
This is truly what separates good Shaco players from piss-poor ones. It's not a matter of simply following instructions, and this is what makes AP Shaco hard. You have to think about how the other team thinks, about how people think, and use that against them. They see a low health champion, you need to be there at that low health champion setting up traps. It's a matter of taking advantage of their mistakes, punishing overextension, and overall being everywhere at once, or, at least making them think you are everywhere at once.
You need to stay mobile. Stay active.
And when teamfights happen? Well....
Teamfights, or, You Suck At This.
You suck at teamfights. Teamfights are big giant murderballs of people all trying to kill each other and looking for the easiest target to kill, and they use a hell of a lot of AoE things to kill them with. As a result, you want to stay the hell out of the way of teamfights whenever possible, or if you cannot avoid them, stay at the outskirts of them. You are not here to be a hero, you are here to be a sneaky, annoying git. Throw your knives at people. At this point, they should do a fair chunk of damage. And if you see a low health champ disengage, chase them. If you see the entire team low, pop your ult, send your clone running on in, and hope they're stupid enough to stand next to it when it goes off.
The point is, you should not be front and center in teamfights. Your role is to poke, support, and provide a giant chunk of AoE with your ult, and that's it.
That's all, folks.
I'd cover more, but realistically, this covers all of the bases. You could very well talk more on the topic, but that'd just be wasting time, and explaining higher concepts is annoying and boring to those players who don't understand them. Have fun, lads.