Shaco Build Guide by FTwentyTwo
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.
Welcome to my guide to AP Shaco. To begin with, Shaco is a character unlike most others in the game. This meaning that (for this build) eairly game kills as Shaco are dependant on Deception, Tricks, and Enemy Error. I'll get into that in a later chapter. In this guide, I break the game into three categories: Early Game, Mid-Game, and Late Game. I will also cover some sub-categories such as: Deception, Pros and Cons, and Abilities.
Abilities: How they should be used
Shaco has 4 abilities (like all other champions do), How you use these abilities, thats a different story. All of Shaco's abilities can and should be used in multiple different ways, For example: Decieve's obvious use would be to gank unsuspecting foes, some of the less obvious reasons would be Map Control, Escape, Chasing, and Navigation. (I go into detail below)
Decieve: Shaco instantly stealths for 3.5 seconds, blinking to a target nearby location. If he attacks while stealthed, the attack is guaranteed to crit for bonus damage.
Ganking: This ability can obviously be used as a way to sneak up to an unsuspecting foe. (While the guaranteed crit is almost useless for AP Shaco) It can also be used to get closer to a target that you plan to hit with a Two-Shiv
Map Control: I most often find this ability useful in Map Control. Jumping over and around obstacles that would most oftenly take the regular champion time to navigate around is a great plus to this ability
Escape: Almost all Shaco players find this ability easy to use in escaping conflict wether it be just using it for the cloak or to just get an easy flash. I find this ability easy to use as a way to "Juke" the opponents if I was to put it into simple terms. Taking a quick move in one direction and decieveing in the opposite direction can be a fairly easy and effective way to avoid conflict and get out of conflict. Mixing this with Hallucinate and "Alt-Clicking" your Hallucination in the opposite direction you plan to use as an escape root can also be a way to decieve your enemies. (I'll be going more into Deception in another chapter)
Chasing: This can be used in the same way people use Flash, but I find myself using it for also tricking the enemy into thinking they've escaped me untill they get hit with a swift critical.
Navigation: I find Decieve commonly useful in Navigating the forest easily, wether it be for catching those sly foes who flash over obstacles or just to hurry over obstacles to grab an enemy before they recall, decieve is a major navigation tool that I use very often.
Jack in the Box: Shaco creates a Jack in the Box at the target location. It will Stealth after 2 seconds, and pop out when an enemy comes near, fearing nearby enemies for a few seconds and attacking them. It deals magic damage, and lasts 90 seconds stealthed or 5 seconds while firing. Casting Jack In The Box breaks stealth. Cannot be cast across walls.
Ganking: The Jack in the Box can easily be used to set up ganks in all 3 parts of the game(Early, Mid, Late-game). The boxes can be a great way to get an early lead in the early game, I find myself everygame attempting to place 4 boxes, bush checking, and running back to the bush with the boxes if they chase you. Doing this will more than likely trick the opponent (At least once) into thinking they can get an easy kill when in actuality its a reverse effect. 4 Boxes to a level 1 opponent will almost instantly award you a kill (assuming they dont flash or heal). I more times than never get a double-kill within the first 3 minutes of the game using this tactic, While to me it seems to get old eventually it still usually works on unsuspecting foes and its that sucsess rate that brings me to use that tactic over and over again.
Escape: Using the Jack in the Box to escape may be risky but it is usually easy to pull off to Shaco players who are better than average (if decieve is on cooldown). a trick that I use very often when I get low health is placing a box behind the turret, this way you can escape and maybe even get yourself a free kill if your opponent might turret dive. But lets face the facts, unless your lucky and quick in placing your box infront of you while running, boxes are more of a planned escape tactic (meaning you would have to plan out your escape before it actually happens).
Wards: I find myself commonly using the box as a short term ward if I suspect that my opponents are planning to go baron within 2 minutes of placing the box (or any other Mob or forest area)
Farming Eairly-Game: Since your an AP Shaco, Your base attacks wont do much. I suggest dropping boxes infront of enemy minion waves as a way to farm early game and usually the boxes will do more damage than you will against minions
Two-Shiv: (Passive) Shaco's attacks debilitate his targets, reducing their movement speed for 2 seconds. It also causes the minions hit to miss their attacks. (Active) Shaco throws a dagger to a target dealing magic damage, and applying his slowing poison to them for 3 seconds. The passive is deactivated during the cooldown.
Ganking: This ability should be your most used final-shot on your enemies, If you sucsessfully feed off your enemies in the early game, this ability should do 1/2 - 3/4 of most squishy enemies health and usually a good portion of damage to tanks and high-health/armor enemies (assuming they arent fed aswell). Most teammates/enemies im with/against (If im well fed) will be shocked at how amazing this ability can be and more than likely claim its "OP".
Chasing: While I dont recommend using Two-Shiv as a way to chase people (as it should be used to get the final-shot in my build) it can be used as a last option (if the enemy is on the verge of escaping your chase) in order to slow them to get the final hit, but most often the high damage will give your teammates an equal chance to take the kill (and we all know your trying to get the kils).
Hallucinate: Shaco creates an illusion of himself nearby, which deals 25% less damage and receives 50% extra damage. This illusion deals half damage to towers and inhibitors. On death, the illusion explodes, dealing damage to nearby enemies. Lasts up to 18 seconds.
Deception: This is the main use of this ability, Deception is key in using this ability. Hallucinate can be used in many ways to decieve your enemies. I use it to engage enemies first (Holding alt and right clicking to move only the hallucination) before I actually commit, this will most likely give me that confidence level needed to actually engage a group of enemies or even a single tanky target after they get hit with the hallucinations explosion. Another good way to trick enemies with it is to weaken the hallicination (Maybe via tower) and using the hallucination to lure the enemy into a bush that your camping out in (Maybe with some boxes inside the bush too). I will go more into detail of Deception later in the guide
Tower Diving: Using the hallucination to tower dive is risky but it can be very effective if you learn how to do it. By sending in your hallucination first (Tanking the turret shots) you will be able to get close enough to your enemy to hit them with a two-shiv or even to chase them out of range of the tower so you can finish your chase. *Attention* This is very risky and I recommend you use caution if you try this!
In my build Early game is critical in sucsess, If you manage to get that boost early game you will be impossible to stop Mid-game. While in early game, make sure you do what you can to make your odds of doing good early game highest. For example: I choose the summoner spell Teleport in order to not have to run all the way to whatever lane I may be in. Why do I do that you may ask? I Teleport to my lane so that I can get a head start in stacking boxes in a bush, The more boxes I get before they bush check, the better the chance I have at getting that crucial early kill.
One of the tricks I use early game is getting my teammate to bait the enemy or enemies into the bush with my boxes because sometimes if you try and bait them into the boxes they will see Shaco and suspect somthing is up (Assuming they have a basic understanding of shaco's abilities). Make sure you try and be careful on when you place your boxes, because your boxes are visible for a split second as you place them (even in the bush) so one careless box plant can ruin your entire plan, and make all that mana and time go to waste.
When the game starts to enter the Mid-game, if you didnt do well at feeding Early game, it can make Mid-Game and even late game a pain. Remember, You doing good early game almost assures you'll do fine Mid-game!
I'm not going to get into detail as to why I upgrade the abilities in the order that I do other than the obvious and important reasons. The reason I get decieve before Two-Shiv eairly game is just incase you need to escape, and trust me you will regret not getting decieve first if you suddenly get attacked and need to get out alive. I do not like taking risks early game, some dumb mistakes can ruin the entire game for you. As to why I keep decieve at level one is because it doesnt do much if you are going AP Shaco because it does Physical Damage and not Magic Damage. Finally, you should obviously go Jack in the Box as your first ability so that you can get an eairly game kill (Like I listed in the "Early Game" chapter).
Im going to quickly covor what summoner spells are a good choice and what summonder spells arent such as good choice. (Any spells I dont covor can be used aswell)
Ghost: Ghost can be a good choice as it gives you even more Map Control, Escape Ability, and Chasing Ability.
Teleport: As I continue to stress, early game is crucial to sucsess. If that means getting to your lane quicker for a better level advantage over your foes at the expense of one Summonder Spell then so be it!
Ignite: Early game this can be the perfect thing to lock in a kill you might be on the verge of losing.
Exaust: This can be just the thing you need to catch someone and actually get the kill isntead of a teammate taking it after you use Two-Shiv to stop the person your pursuing.
Not so Good Spells:
Flash: This can be really really useless as you have Flash as your Q ability already...
Revive: Most would assume that Revive is a no for any champion, because this is only good if you PLAN on dieing, which I dont plan on doing.
Rally: You arent a support champion, So you should stay away from this as you will be ganking more often than laning.
Cleanse: You usually wont need this as Shaco is already the master of escape.
Mid-Game is almost completely dependent on how good you do early game, You shouldnt have much to worry about so long as you do well early game! Ganking can be easy if your fed and harder if you arent fed, So do well early game and dont worry about Mid-Game!
Now, I really hate giving people pre-set builds and hoping that the game goes the way the build was meant to. The Build should be different every game. Here is an example as I cannot go into every single option you could face in a game.
EXAMPLE BUILD: (In order of buys)
Dorans Ring: Dorans ring is almost always my first buy, simply because Its great eairly game for the AP boost and the small health boost.
Kage's Lucky Pick: The quicker you get this the better, Its gold boost can be the small boost you need to buy an item and get back to laning!
Mejai's Soulstealer: Only buy this if you are getting a good ammount of kills or you arent dieing a whole lot. It can get real useless real quick!
Sorcerer's Shoes: You will always need boots, Almost all players buy them so its a must in order to stay away from them when running away.
Fiendish Cortex: Some extra Ability Power
Deathfire Grasp: To combine your Cortex and Pick into one better Item
((At This point the Items are completely depending on the game, Whatever is above is normally how I start most games))
Void Staff: In this case I wasnt dieing as much and didnt need a better health Item
Sell Dorans Ring: To make space for your next health item
Haunting Guise: To replace the Doran's Ring as a better health Item
Rabadon's Deathcap: The final cherry on top, To get a huge AP boost.
There isnt much detail to get into this other than the reason for my rune choice. Now, The reason I stack out Ability Power runes is so that you can be that much better early game instead of buying the "at Level 18" runes because that little ammount of AP can be the difference between a kill and an escaped enemy.
Now, This can be one disadvantage to my build (As I am being completely honest). I seem to have problems late game, for most my teammates usually can do better in long fights than I can. The way around this and what I commonly do is wait behind the enemies push hidden away in a bush, and when an enemy runs back to recall you can decieve over the wall and usually one-shot them. Try and let your teammates do the pushing here because you can be slightly useless late game. (Other than the fact that you are going to be the source of most of the teams kills Early and Mid-Game)
Pros vs Cons
-Early Game Domination
-High K/D due to good escape ability
-Generally the team "Carry"
-Slightly less effective late game
-Highly dependent on early game
The Final subject I want to talk about is deception. Shaco is a very easy champion to trick enemies into making stupid mistakes or even using their own mistakes to avoid conflict and even get out of it. Here are some tricks that I use in order to get a good kill or escape.
Move Nickname: The Juke
Running in one direction, Decieve the other way in order to trick them into either running to nothing or running to a trap.
Move Nickname: The Hallucination Juke
Begin to run, Hallucinate and Decieve directly after. Quickly Alt-Click your Hallucination in the opposite direction you are heading. (Use this if the enemies catch on to your Jukes)
Move Nickname: The Box Escape
This requires good practice: Place a box ahead in the direction your running, Try and slow down slightly to give the box time to ready. Continue to run after its ready and watch your enemies fear as you make a clean escape.
Move Nickname: The Hallucination Engagement
Go into a bush, Hallucinate and send out the hallucination to attack the enemy. The enemy will begin to win the fight and the instant the Hallucination explodes Decieve in and finish him off with a Two-Shiv. (This usually only works once per enemy unless your lucky)
Move Nickname: The Hallucination Turret Dive
*Attention*: Takes practice
Hallucinate, Send the Hallucination in first to take the turret shots. If sucsessful the enemy will most likely run away from the turret, giving you the chance to finish them. The Hallucination exploding on the enemy is an extra plus!
Now, To wrap up this build in a nut-shell, I would have to say to do good early game. Use deception, Tricks, and Manuverability to outsmart your enemies and gain that early game boost in your lane. Do good early game and in turn do good mid game. Make sure you are careful and dont try anything you arent comfortable with, Making your team more fed than their team is very crucial to sucsess. Rely on your teammates late game to do the final pushing and finally make sure you use your abilities for multiple different things! Good luck out there and keep on ganking!!