Build Guide by DamnDirtyCat
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.
I am in no way qualified to write this build. I have no ELO, no credentials, nothing that would warrant any extra "oomph" to this guide. Many parts of it are based on the variety of Shaco guides floating around on the internet. I take no full credit for this build, as that would imply that I didn't learn how to jungle as Shaco from the wonderful guides across the internet. However, in my time in solo and party queue, this particular build of Shaco has evolved from my playstyle and so I present it here for you in case you ever catch me in solo queue and need a place to learn how to build Shaco.
When I first started jungling Shaco, I knew that I would need at least 24 armor penetration for the buff creatures in the jungle. This remains unchanged. What I also used to run were attack speed runes. I have switched those out for cooldown reduction and armor runes. The armor runes keep me at full health while jungling; the cooldown reduction runes let me put out boxes faster and give me better cooldowns for those critical early game ganks.
The armor pen quint gets me up to the 24 armor pen I need, while the two movement quints mean that I can catch anyone and slow them with my auto attack permanently.
Some people like to add additional survivability to Shaco. I find that if I'm in a position to take lots of damage, I am dead regardless of how much health or armor I have. I prefer to focus Shaco into a finely edged Glass Blade instead of trying to iron out his weaknesses. If I die, it's my fault for being in that position, not the fault of my HP bar because it was just a little too short.
The meta for Shaco masteries has stagnated. This build sacrifices 2 extra damage on creeps in the jungle for critical strike later in the game. Feel free to tweak the trees as necessary: only the experience gain (to jungle properly) and 15% magic pen (to make the boxes do more damage to creeps) are the essential parts of the masteries.
Cloth armor and 5 pots is the accepted build for Shaco. Sometimes you may want to sacrifice 3 pots for a ward (which is why you take teleport). The razors and boots are your first buy items when coming back to base, followed by a wriggle's because if you don't take it while jungling you probably don't know how to jungle.
Many people like to build Shaco pure AD. This is viable if your enemies choose not to counter you with armor. Personally, I like to throw in on-hit magic damage items which synergize with your clone. Madred's Bloodrazor, Tiamat (yes, Tiamat!), Malady, Wit's Edge (my personal favorite) and Sword of the Divine all fit the bill here. These items also let you solo dragon/baron early, although I caution you to check the items of your enemies. A single magic defense item shuts down most magic damage on-hit effects.
Like Eve and Twitch, you shouldn't be in combat unless you've got the drop on someone, so Mobility boots are invaluable. If you want to play a Rambo-style Shaco with Berzerker greaves, be my guest. Mercury treads are sometimes useful, but if I get hit with any type of CC I am usually already dead anyway.
I like to max Jack in the Box first. Why? It helps me in all situations and the Jack in the Boxes aren't going to scale late game since I'm not doing a troll AP build. With better boxes, I can jungle faster. With better boxes, I can plant a whole bunch in a bush and lure people into their deaths early on. With better boxes, I can sit in an unopposed lane and creep twice as well.
The only thing I use the Shiv for is the slow, and the Deceive is a cheap, reusable flash. Some people like to max Shiv; this is okay for AD builds. Since I like to build on-hit items, however, the Shiv doesn't scale well enough to justify taking it. It is still far better to level Shiv than Deceive. Deceive only works well on Crit Shaco, which in my opinion is hardly viable as a reliable jungler.
If you are jungling TAKE SMITE. There is no negotiating. This cuts minutes off any jungler's speed. It is essential. If you disagree you are bad and should feel bad.
For my other spell, I use teleport. Since I'm jungling, I'm usually the one placing wards all over anyway, and with Jack in the Boxes I have even more free wards. With teleport, I can immediately jump anywhere on the map I want and gank or escape. I use this frequently with Jack in the Boxes to backdoor or split push.
Creeping / Jungling
Early game, if the enemy team is at all conscious, they will try to counter-jungle you immediately. All they need to do to ruin your setup is to poke your boxes and run. Ask your ENTIRE team to protect you. They need to stand near your boxes near the Blue Buff but NOT on top of them. This way, if the enemy team facechecks you get what should basically be a free Ace. After you do wolves, you should be safe to kill blue buff, so tell them to bugger off but make sure none of them leech any XP.
Your order of Jungling and number of boxes/smite necessary should be as follows: Wolves (1 box, Smite), Blue Buff (5 boxes), Wraiths (1 box, Smite), Red Buff (5 boxes), Mini Golems (3 boxes, Smite).
The basic jist of Box placement is that your boxes are far enough away that they don't aggro any of the creeps, but you can attack the creeps once, run behind your boxes, and then let your boxes tank the damage for you. Keep in mind that you should always have a box ready to place just before your other boxes expire (this additional box is included in the number of boxes above)! With good box placement, you might not even need to use a single potion!
Anywhere after Blue Buff you can try for a gank instead of continuing to jungle, but if the gank isn't assured then you may want to keep jungling.
If you are fighting a Warwick, you can use a sneaky tactic for jungling. You ALWAYS will finish jungling Blue Buff before Warwick. Instead of heading to your Wraiths, head to his, smite the Blue Wraith, and you should have time to set up 2 or 3 Jack in the Boxes in the brush nearest to the mid lane. Warwick will inevitably run into this trap, giving you an early gank as well as leaving your jungling virtually undisturbed. Here is where taking Deceive first comes in handy, as the mid laner will usually come to try and kill you after Warwick dies!
Spoilers: Shaco isn't good in team fights. Ganking you can do. Team fights end up with a feeder Shaco. If people yell at you for not being in team fights, ignore them. You should stay at the edge of the fight like a lion, waiting for the stragglers to break off alone or for the enemy team to be weak. Deceive in, hit people, throw the Shiv for a last hit. If you need to, send a clone in first around the side. People will usually freak out and throw lots of stuns at your clone letting you kill enemies with impunity.
If there's not a team fight to pick on, you should be stealing buffs, split pushing, backdooring, and soloing dragon and baron. You're a sneaky and hard to catch hero, use that to your full advantage.
The box bush. My favorite tactic. Use teleport or Deceive early game to get into a side lane bush unnoticed. Stack 3-5 level 2 or 3 boxes in the bush, far enough away so the minions don't aggro the boxes. Lure someone into the bush. Your boxes will do more than 150-250 damage per volley, killing most people before the fear even wears off. You should use this strategy sparingly: a good player will only be fooled once by the bush trick.
The other skill of the Glass Knife Shaco is ganking. If you're not killing things in the jungle, you should be setting up a gank. If you're not ganking or jungling, you should be setting up wards to teleport to for ganks. If none of these are possible, you have either won or lost the game.
As Shaco, ganks and jungle creeps are your preferred farm targets. If you start falling behind in level, ask a solo lane if you can leech xp by staying near the lane for a bit. This is also a perfect opportunity for the box bush or a gank. Tiamat will help you farm like crazy if you find yourself split pushing or holding a lane for a partner a lot. Otherwise, you should never ever be in a lane.
There are dozens of Shaco guides out there. The reason for this is that Shaco is extremely flexible as a champion. While he may seem pigeonholed into jungling, this is actually his greatest strength, as he is one of the faster junglers with additional utility beyond the early game in the form of ganks, buff steals, and soloing dragon/baron.
This guild is exactly that: a guide for Shaco. It is not a holy text written in stone. It is not a set of laws. Look at this guide, take what works from it, and make it your own. If you find it works to the letter, great. If not,