Shaco Build Guide by Nintinkingcyborg
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.
Hello, my name is Nintinkingcyborg. I have put many hours into this champion and here is my guide to Shaco in Season 3. This is my first guide, but I am a skilled Shaco jungler and everything in this guide will help you get skilled faster and maximize your effectiveness with this champion.
The runes I have selected for this champion are extremely vital to the survivability and effectiveness of Shaco. Magic resist glyphs and armour seals will help you survive in a wide variety of situations. They are pretty standard for a champion like Shaco with low health. However, deciding to have 3 quintessences of attack damage instead of having 2 with another focused on your survivability has been of more use in the situations I have encountered as Shaco. Lastly, the Marks of Armour Penetration are for dealing the maximum possible damage you can. Tanks can be a nuisance to Shaco.
You will notice nothing special about this set-up. It's organized around Shacos class, the assassin. You'll notice that the Offense page is categorized into 4 columns. The two left columns are suited for attack damage champions. The two right columns are suited for ability power champions. Shaco falls into the former two columns. Everything here benefits Shaco in some way. Deciding to leave out Havoc is based on the crit damage gained from taking Lethality and Frenzy ends up being more than the 2% gained from Havoc. Taking two points in Butcher instead of Sorcery helps with jungling(not much) but 2% cooldown reduction on Shacos abilities is hardly noticeable. The difference is really small and difficult to tell.
This build is designed to get the maximum jungling and eventually damage dealing potential out of Shaco. You might notice that my items are not solely attack damage items. There are other classes more suited to being glass cannons, the assassin is not. They are required to get the bulk of their damage in crits applied as much as possible in the shortest amount of time. Now to item choice and purchase order.
Statikk Shiv: This is also a core item for my build. This should be built second IMO to help clear mobs and by extension your jungle as fast as possible. This adds attack speed, critical chance, and even a movement speed multiplier of 6. It's passive is where this item lays down the hurt. Upon releasing the items charge, Statikk Shiv deals 100 magic damage. This damage can crit.
Infinity Edge: Building an IE third will provide Shaco with some much needed attack damage. IE also adds more critical chance, so you'll be throwing haymakers more often. However, the additional damage gained from hitting critically with the IE is the cherry on top.
Boots of Swiftness: Shaco has some insane base speed without buying boots early. You can hold off buying boots until after your Statikk Shiv is done. Even more if you want to. Howvever, T1 boots will help with those early ganks and help you get back into the fight faster after recalling. Getting Boots of Swiftness fourth will increase the effectiveness of your chasing and ambushing abilities. Having a reduction on slows will help you stave off certain types of kiting and cc in team fights.
Enchantment - Furor: This enchantmant will make you a terror when chasing down low health enemies. It is applied on every single target attack or spell, so whenver you land an auto-attack on a fleeing enemy it is applied. Coupled with the B.o.S, you should never have the speed boost run out until that champion is dead. (gets most benefit when your team is doing good.)
Zephyr: So the Zephyr is a great fifth item for Shaco. It provides him with a little more attack damage, attack speed, movement speed and cooldown reduction. It also has tenacity. It like having Mercury's socks, some movement speed with all the tenacity of the boots.
Last Whisper: If you get to the point in the game where you need a solid sixth item for your Shaco build, take a Last Whisper. It provides even more attack damage and 35% armour penetration. You will become a nightmare for champion pushing lanes solo. This will help you win fights against tanks, or do enough damage to force a disengage.
Pros / Cons
Pros: High mobility champion with an uncanny ability to stay alive when focused or burst down(with quick reflexes). Able to take objectives by himself(or with a clone). Shaco can Deceive away from a fight to push a tower by himself, only to be back in that same fight to get clean up kills. Able to pass on most of his damage to boxes(or to his clone) when jungling, doesn't even have to be in the fight to do damage. Able to take dragon for team gold early. Has a passive to do 20% more damage when backstabbing, if you are following my build that should be applied in more scenarios. Can hold lanes against multiple enemy champions solo without much fear of taking lethal damage. Can counter-jungle quite easily, and steal buffs away. Can get his clone to pull aggro if you mimic the clone. Upon clone death, clone deals AoE damage to champions near it.
Cons: Situational to a fault. Needs to be backstabbing to even gain use of his passive. Low health, armour and magic resistance(can be offset by runes and careful positioning). Can be a burden to a team if the team(friendly or enemy) is constantly stealing jungle cs. Easy to have a bad game with constant harassment for ganks, thereby leading to falling behind in cs. It is hard to get cs when in formation with friendly team, you can go for 5-10 mins with little to no cs if harassed to stay with team. Always seem to get blamed when game isn't going your teams way. Always more ganks, ganks are the question and the answer(apparently).
Creeping / Jungling
I recommend starting off on blue buff first, the cooldown reduction and mana regeneration is key to having a good start. It's like breakfast for your body. This will help you to throw out boxes at every jungle mob. Mana regeneration will enable you to use more abilities at each jungle mob. As far as box positioning goes when jungling, place the box in the center of the mob so the fear debuff can affect all of the mob instead of just a few. This applies to every mob not accompanied by buff monster. When dealing with the Ancient Golem and the Elder Lizard, you want to position yourself in the accompanying bush with your box placed in the bush with you as close to the edge of the bush as possible. Use Two-Shiv Poison to pull aggro on the buff monster. Smite can also be used to pull aggro towards yourself and your box until Two-Shiv Poison is available. Late game boxes will be less and less important when your ability to solo mobs increases, however you can still gain the effect of fear by throwing down a box if you have the time to mob. Throwing down a box will help mitigate damage received while jungling.
Ranked Play w/ General Shaco Start
Ask a team member to guard your red buff while you get your blue buff. As soon as you get to the bush by blue buff, start laying boxes near the edge of the bush closest to the blue buff monsters. Position yourself in a spot on the opposite side of the same bush to gain vision against flank ganks, as well as being able to place boxes without moving from this spot. If you are invaded on blue for some unknown reason, you will at least pick up a first blood if not a few kills as the amount of boxes that are in the bush should number around 5. I have gotten first blood this way, and believe it or not you will still be able to resume jungling normally after this. They will not think to invade or steal buffs again. You can lay boxes up until 1:45. Your box will be on cooldown during the start of the blue buff engagement.
When to Gank
Your teammates might not like it, but you should only do your first gank when you have at least 1 point in your q, w, and e abilities. So typically around level 3 or 4, and your next gank should not come until you get your ult. The reason being is that by the time you are level 3 or 4, it will be easier to gank bot or top, but not middle seeing as they are(or should be) more farmed than you. I would not gank mid until I get my ult.
As far as how you should play, it's really more of a mindset than anything. Use bushes to ambush as much as possible. People hardly build Mercury's Threads so you should be able to throw one or two boxes into a bush and then bait them in. Here is where the mindset comes in. While your opponent is feared you want to do the absolute, maximum possible damage you can do. Throw everything you have at them to get that kill. Chase relentlessly when they start running. You want to make the summoner fear you as much as possible. Attack as quickly as possible and leave just as quickly. Vision wards cost a lot. Choke the enemy teams income by forcing them to buy vision wards.
A great way to demoralize an enemy team is to split push while your team has them engaged(preferably under a turret). Have them think you are still around but in a bush; maybe throw down a box then leave. Then push the lane that's closest to a tower. It'll force someone to disengage, and by the time they have cleared it you are back with your team ready to turn the tides under a tower.
Be a Team Player
You would be surprised by how much teams come together when your not a ****. Shaco is like the unofficial backbone and leader of the team. So much depends on him. How well ALL of the lanes do, the ability to be independent while still being productive, high-value target warding, and HVT elimination. It always helps a team when they see you are capable of getting a triple or a quad with little to no help from them. (more moral than co-operation, but whateves)
This is just a few ways to initiate with Shaco. He is a champion that thrives when the summoner is creative. A fairly standard way to initiate is to run up and before you get hit ult, that way the enemy team is just standing there unable to target you. Another way to initiate is to ult safely away from the enemy, then follow your clone in. Be careful when using this way if you have a speed boost or buffs on. The enemy will know which one is you. However, an enemies thinking while your clone is attacking them to to burst it down as quick as possible, aggro pulled to your clone for your team to engage. You also re-engage as effectively, if not more, than any champion in the game. Run flanking routes and deceive into a favourable position. Afterwards, ult and treat their back line to a nice surprise. Alternatively, you can Deceive(with or without Ghost) past the enemy team and do the aforementioned re-engage without the need to flank.
You're going to want to focus the lowest health champion first. If there isn't one then focus the ADC, mage, or support. Always choose to strike down the least skilled enemy champion. Position yourself behind your target and hit. Repeat until dead.
If you find yourself getting focused early(without tenacity) then immediately Deceive away. If you are successful, you will have a few stealthed seconds to work off that CC and get away. Try to break line of sight and get creative as to where you go. If the enemy team persists, just stay alive long enough to get another Deceive and stealth away through walls. Very few champions can keep up with a talented Shaco, and even less players.
No matter how much of an asset to team fights you might be, you need to make it clear that you need to be the guy who stays back to clear waves near your nexus turrets. You have an arsenal and you have been building yourself up to be a mobbing master. The team might lose a lot of damage output by having you out of the team, but if you can keep that nexus alive long enough for them to make a play then you can join the fight later when it is safe to do so.