Shaco Build Guide by Capn_Evan
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.
Shaco - The Demon Jester
Welcome to "Pushing with Shaco". This extensive guide is aimed at giving you expert info on what a pusher is, and how Shaco is easily one of the best pushers in the game.
Now, I might understand if you say this guide seems overwhelming and too big, but luckily Mobafire has a really nice Table of Contents, located directly below the masteries at the top of the guide. Use it to find the information you require.
You can still push with Shaco in the jungle, sometimes more effectively than a laner, but the reason laning Shaco is my first build, is because 1st: Jungle creeps doesn't get weaker by lack of masteries or runes. For the new Shaco players, laning is therefore primary. 2nd: There isn't as much gold in the jungle as in the lane. If you get an easy lane, where you can lower your enemy so they have to go back all the time, use that advantage to become stronger than you would have been from jungling.
I have experimented with two other builds as well, the off-tank build, and the well-known AP build. These aren't the optimal way to play Shaco, but if you want a different gaming experience, you could be quite successful using them (note that those builds are for experienced players only! AD pusher Shaco is always primary).
Upcoming additions to this guide:
- Different jungle routes
- A dominion guide
- Even more coding to make it easier to read
...And anything you guys throw at me, keep it coming!
And don't worry, I haven't forgotten a single one who contributed to making this guide successful. Among them were:
- jhoijhoi: She learned me how to use coding in my guides, I'm so thankful!
- My friends: They supported me and kept giving me awesome tips! Thank you!
- And many others, which I have credited beneath their work. Thank you very much!
While you wait for additions:
My guide is not entirely finished yet, as I still have some additions to add to this guide.
While you wait for them, check out some other sources of information I found here:
Different jungle routes: Dante rebellions red buff route: Chapter 6
You can find information about that here.
A 3 vs 3 guide section: RunningWontHelps 3 vs 3 guide
You can find information about that here
Unfortunately, I haven't found commentary on any patches yet. I will be the first!
I do not take responsibility for anything written in those guides. They are simply pieces of information I find useful.
A General Introduction To Pushing
Kudos to jouste on blogspot for the funniest rendition of Shaco ever created!
Pushing, ladies and gentlemen, is a way to express your anger towards not being able to 1 vs 5 like a Tryndamere, and have to take it out on their minions. No, in all seriousness, pushing consists of three factors;
- 1 - Killing minions rapidly
- 2 - Bringing your minions to a turret so you can safely destroy it
- 3 - Escaping like a boss when they try to gank you
I like to refer to three kinds of pushing:
- Aggressive pushing
- Hold the line
- Defensive pushing
Aggressive pushing is the most common way to push. Basically, you just find a lane that is empty of champions, place some wards in the bush to see if they're hiding or coming to gank you, and then start pushing the lane towards an enemy tower. When you're there, you get as much damage as possible done to the tower before you have to run.
One good strategy while aggressively pushing is called "MIA Wave Pushing", or MIAWP for short. Easy enough.
This form of pushing is called what it's called because after every wave, you're going to cool off their alarm by running into a bush and wait. They will think you left, and react to other things happening in their field of vision. If you co-ordinate well enough with your team, you can get a distraction long enough for you to then push their tower all the way down.
Hold the line is very easy, but requires you to run from lane to lane almost constantly. What you do is kill the tank minion wave in every wave you see them. This method will not be as dangerous as aggressive pushing, and you can safely assume that your enemies will use more time if they decide to push a lane, enough time for your team to react.
Defensive Pushing is kind of a drag, especially if there are several champions coming in for a quick tower kill; they often bring minions too. Luckily, you're an expert at minion clearing. Use your Two-Shiv Poison and Hallucinate to attack the minions, and use Jack In The Box and Deceive to protect yourself from a diver. When you have cleared the enemy minion wave, they are forced to back off until they get more minions. This is what Shaco is worst at, but he can still do it quite beautifully. Just remember, the turret counts as one and a half champion damage-wise. 2,5 vs 5 are very bad odds, so be careful.
More in-depth information on pushing can be found on LoLPro's Website by clicking this link.
General Information About Metagaming
I like to call everything you do with Shaco before the game "metagaming", basically everything you do outside of the game to prepare for the real thing.
Meta in LoL terminology is the same as team roles and setup, for instance the placement of AD carry + support bot, and that's not too far from the truth, but metagaming is much more than that. It also involves everything you do to mentally and physically prepare before you play Shaco.
I will break it down into some really easy steps:
Step 1: Cool off
If you're going to play Shaco, you need to be cool as an iceberg. Running around thinking you're Chuck Norris or Jackie Chan won't get you anywhere. In fact, you die easily if you think you can solo a Jax with full hp. The first step you need to take is to relax, and calm your mind. Think about a floating iceberg, and the calm waves that floats around it. Drink some water, and breath slowly 10 times in and out. You are now ready to assume the role as an ice cold assassin.
This is very important, because if you stress before a match, your opponent will be like...
...compared to you, which will lose you the game.
Step 2: Read some Shaco lore
You can actually skip this part if you have already done it, but it really destroys me mentally if I don't read a champions' lore before I decide to play him/her. You need to know what kind of monster you are playing with, and what psycho you're actually messing with, Summoner.
You also need to tell yourself over and over; it's just a game, it's just a game, it's just a game... as many times as necessary to get yourself to realize that it is just a game! What does that mean anyway? It means that the game is supposed to be fun above everything else!
When you're done reading the lore, you can either try to put yourself mentally into the champion, or mentally into the Summoner controlling the champion. For Shaco, I'd recommend the latter (or you might go insane!) This will make it easier for yourself when you're trying to assume the role Shaco has to take in-game.
Step 3: Read several Shaco guides
Yeah, I'm actually saying read several Shaco guides. You don't have to do it all at once, but it's practically impossible to become a professional with him if you only read the top guide. You need to have different views from different Summoners.
For instance, the top voted guide at the moment is Dante Rebellions' jungle guide. He excels at pointing out the importance of jungle monsters and giving detailed information about skills, but spooons jungle guide focuses more on item explanation, warding and easy strategy reading, though a bit outdated.
Dante Rebellions guide can be found here.
spooons guide can be found here.
When you have read many guides, including mine, you are ready to get in-game and start with the runes you have the most faith in, or that you have.
Pusher Build - [Runes]
Runes are stone tablets that has magically enhancing powers. Summoners use them to buff their champion, and there has been long disputes on which runes are the best for each champion. For Shaco, runes are very situational. I'll show you why.
Greater Mark of Lethality
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed
The runes above give you the following stats:
- Armor penetration: +15
- Armor: +13
- Magic Resist: +13
- Movement speed: +4.5%
When I see this, the first question I ask myself is: What exactly is better with these runes?
They allow me to:
Now, if you want to take a look at other runes, here's some that might work:
Tips & Tricks: If you get crit runes, I recommend you get Greater Quintessence of Desolation to compensate. This will make it harder to chase, but in co-ordination with Ghost, Exhaust or Ignite, can almost ensure you a kill if you're lucky with the crits.
Tips & Tricks: I wouldn't recommend any other rune for seals, however, I heard someone was experimenting with health regen seals, and it supposedly worked, but I will look into this and provide you with more information about that later.
Tips & Tricks: Magic resist runes are useless in the jungle, unless the enemy team has a Nunu jungler on their team. If he tries to counter-jungle you, or you want to counter-jungle Nunu, you can win if you use magic resist runes. More on counter-jungling later.
If you need me to look into some runes for you, please tell me via PM or comment. Please +rep me if you found this information useful.
Pusher Build - [Masteries]
These masteries together will give you:
- +3 attack damage
- +4 bonus damage to minions (also applies to abilities and Jack In The Box
- +4% attack speed
- +10 bonus damage to towers
- +4% critical strike chance
- +10% armor penetration
- +10% critical strike damage
- 1% lifesteal
- +6 armor penetration
- +6% damage to targets below 40% health
- Bonus effect on following Summoner Spells: Teleport, Promote, Flash, Clarity and Clairvoyance.
- -7% time spent dead
- Reduces time of Recall by 1 second
- +2% increased movement speed
- +20% increased neutral buff duration
This mastery setup is aimed at utilizing Shacos' mid-game potential to push, and assassinating effectively. As you will be avoiding other champions other than ganking them, you need more offense and less defense. The utility masteries are good for escaping, scouting and generally staying alive.
Hints & Tips with masteries:
The mastery trees generally show every factor you need to think about in builds; offense, defense and utility. I already showed you how I built my runes with Offense in Marks, Defense in Seals and Glyphs, and Utility in Quintessences.
If we are playing Shaco as a pusher, it's obvious that we will be avoiding teamfights and confronting other champions generally. We won't need that much defense because Shaco excels at dodging damage through stealth, boxes and mobility.
If you want me to look at other mastery setups, please tell me in a PM or in the comment section below. Also, if you found this information useful, please +rep me so I will be encouraged to work even harder at providing up-to-date guides.
Pusher Build - [Core items]
There are two types of items for each champion; core items, and situational items. In this section I will take you through all of the viable items for Shaco, so hang on tight as we unravel the mystery that makes so many pros good; adaption.
Core items are items who alone can make Shaco a real threat. Every time you get a new core item, you will become that much stronger at what you do. But there are different core items depending on what you want to do.
Example: You are off-tank Shaco, and you want to get focused a lot in teamfights ( Shaco is like a focus magnet in teamfights, trust me). A core item in this case would have to be the Frozen Mallet. Why? Because if Shaco is an off-tank, he needs to soak up damage, and for that he needs to counter burst moves. Health is the best way to survive burst moves (magic resist counters sustainable magic moves like Evelynn's Hate Spike). Besides, you get some AD for it and a great passive that stacks with your Two-Shiv Poison.
Another example: You are pushing with Shaco. In this case it allows you to be more free about your build, but there are some core items that will just outshine everything else. An example is the two only pushing boots I would ever consider; Berserker's Greaves, and Boots of Mobility. Personally I prefer the former, because you can push faster once you're in the line of sight of the enemy anyway, but Boots of Mobility let you run from lane to lane quicker and escape ganks more effectively. They are both core items, so it's all preference, depending on what you need them for.
Shaco's core items:
Berserker's Greaves: You never have to switch these out for Mercury's Treads even if you face a CC heavy team. Reason? You will avoid combat using your skills, a little more CC reduction won't help you at all compared to what these beauties do.
Boots of mobility: I see many Shaco players today using these; maybe they just like the speed. The reason these are so good is because they help you insanely with early ganks, because they allows you to run that much longer in stealth before you have to reveal yourself, and attack speed won't help you in early ganks that much, because you will only get in a couple of hits when they run anyway.
Youmuu's Ghostblade: Even Riot had to realize Shaco needs this item. It will make you insanely powerful when active, and I use the active all the time. Spam it for a minion wave. Spam it for a tower. Spam it in ganks. It's just plain better than any other alternative for 8 seconds every 60 seconds, and I often revolve my gameplay around this item's cooldown.
The Black Cleaver: Compared to Infinity Edge, it is the lower damaging item for sure, but there is a good reason I easily take this over Infinity Edge. The reason is efficiency. It's cheaper, makes you able to proc Wriggle's Lantern more, and the debuff applies to your clone! Again, when you get this, you will notice a huge difference in power.
|Warden's Mail: What, you have never considered this on Shaco? This is the perfect armor for any pusher really. If a Tryndamere comes to gank you, there is a 20% chance that it will slow his movement speed by 35% for 3 seconds, more than enough for you to escape. You will notice a slippery feeling when you get this. Just take note, it will not work on Master Yi!|
Situational items [Learn adaption, be the boss]
Situational items are items you build for your enemy. If you are having trouble with an AD team, you might consider Guardian Angel or Thornmail. If there is a fed mage on their team, consider Banshee's Veil and Force of Nature. The results of countering your opponent is heavily underestimated, and will win you most games.
Situational items are items who supplement your build in such a way that it helps you counter your opponent. However, countering is of such an important task that I would consider it core. Did you ever think Soraka could beat a Tryndamere in lane? She could, if she bought for instance Thornmail and Frozen Heart.
The same rule applies to Shaco. Even though you're avoiding enemies, you want to counter them in such a way that they can't get to you. For instance, Oracle's Elixir and Vision Ward are both potent items if you're pushing against a fed stealth character like Twitch. If you know that Twisted Fate might gank you anytime with his ultimate, and you consider that a threat, buy items to counter him, depending on how he builds. For instance, if he builds full AP, Warden's Mail is useless in this situation. You want to build items like Hexdrinker or Quicksilver Sash instead.
Shaco's situational items:
|Ninja Tabi: Although the dodge stat is a goner, this item still never ceases to amaze me. It's not a core item on Shaco, but it helps you in the jungle and against AD characters. If you don't want to sacrifice weapons for armor, sacrifice your boots instead and buy these.||Invisible||Mercury's Treads: Although I have already written in the previous chapter that I wouldn't get these over the core boots, I want to make clear that they might be of help in certain situations. For instance if you're facing a Nasus and his Wither ability, these boots will leave you a chance of escaping with your life. Too many times have I died after coming back from stealth, only to be slowed by Nasus and taken his pogo stick to the head. Not even a well-placed box could save me then. But with these boots, it will soon pass. They are a better choice the longer the duration of the enemy CC is.|
|: This item no longer exists, and has been replaces by Ionic Spark. I will research if this is a good item too, but we now know that Jax is harder to counter, since this item is gone.||Invisible||: This item counters health-based champions, like Volibear and Dr. Mundo. The interesting part of it is that it deals magic damage, so it will leave you even harder to counter for the opposite team.|
Tiamat: This is a rather strong item to counter large amounts of minions. You have seen those waves right? Unfortunately, we only have target skills, no AoE, except when your Hallucinate clone dies. This item will fix that and allow us to farm more easily. It also applies to your Deceive bonus damage!
||Sword of the Occult: Counters the more inexperienced players. If you know you can get fed early game, take advantage of it and snowball yourself!|
|Warmog's Armor: This item is a great defense on any champion, including Shaco. With this, you want to counter high burst characters, like LeBlanc, who has high range and can easily get off a few spells on you after your stealth ends. I find myself getting this over Warden's Mail whenever I face a strong burster like her.||Invisible||Banshee's Veil: I take this item if I face champions like Veigar, who has a huge stun that doesn't need targeting. It will block the stun, and you can easily escape or even net yourself a kill. Just make sure he doesn't burst your bubble before he stuns.|
|Aegis of the legion: This item is way too underestimated on anyone really. It's not core because you're usually staying away from your team, wasting half the aura. I choose this item if I want to countergank and help out my team.|
Jungle Build - [Runes]
Welcome to the jungle section Summoner. I will keep this section shorter than the first, because jungling is really more predictable and has less adaptable options IMO: It's all about faster clearing times and good ganking.
Greater Mark of Attack Speed
Greater Mark of Lethality
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Glyph of Attack Speed
Greater Quintessence of Lethality
Many may have wondered why I take exactly three attack speed marks, and the answer is simple: I tried with full armor penetration, and I found that though I was able to jungle good, I didn't proc the Wriggle's Lantern enough on Dragon, leaving me vulnerable. I then tried full attack speed marks, that was horrible, as I had no damage output. After much trial and error, I found that three alacrity runes actually speed up your jungle considerably. I'm bad with math, so please don't ask me about it :)
The seals should be pretty obvious; to stay alive in the jungle, and the glyphs are for faster clearing times and easier pushing (neither cooldown reduction or magic resist would give me both those things to such a degree, unfortunately, so I went with secondary runes).
The quintessences are chosen for the simple reason that I believe more in mid game pushing than early game ganks. If you're going to gank early game, I find I have a large enough margin to manage that without AD runes. Pushing is all about clearing times, and you need to have an optimal farming for it to be efficient.
The Jungle Section - MasteriesThe jungle masteries are pretty much the same as a laners, except that as a jungler, you need the Arcane Knowledge mastery for your boxes in the beginning, and Runic Affinity instead of Scout for the increased buff duration's importance as a jungler. Click here to read the explanation of the other masteries.
The Jungle Section - Summoner Spells
Since we already discussed the viability of the Summoner Spells previously, I will just briefly go over my reasons for choosing these particular Summoner Spells for jungling.
Smite: This is a pretty obvious choice. It's actually possible for Shaco to jungle without it, but your counter-jungling will be absolutely terrible, and you will have a hard time against Dragon at level 6, when you normally can take it. This is a must for any jungler. Besides, it will help you later in the game when pushing, so it really adds up.
|Invisible||Teleport: This needs a bit more explaining, as other choices like Exhaust, Ghost or Ignite will at once seem more viable for a jungler. The reason this is my primary choice, is because Shaco can easily gank without Summoner Spells at all, and Teleport allows you to do something other junglers can only dream of; counter-ganking. Basically, when someone on your team is getting ganked in a lane, or the opponent team overextends to kill your teammates, teleport to a minion and beat the **** out of them. The best thing about it is that you can do it from anywhere, anytime, just like a global Twisted Fate ultimate, only that it has to be targeted to a minion or a ward.|
Jungle Guide Video
Jungling is mostly a very predictable way to play, hence it is easy to make guides for it. In this video I will not show you how to jungle the fastest way possible, neither will I show you how to counter-jungle. What I will show you is a normal jungle game, how to think and react, and what to do. If you want to know the best way to jungle, I'll put up some videos for that later. I hope you enjoy! (This video is not found on youtube, only through this guide can you watch it)
This video is still useful, but you now have to put boxes only after exactly one minute on blue, since the box duration nerf. I also know of way better ways to jungle, this video is only for new junglers!
Jungle Respawn Timer + Ward Timer!
Give the man who made this program a crunchy cookie. I've been using it for the last matches, and if you're certain to make use of it when you kill those important jungle monsters, or put up a ward, you will know exactly when they will be back any day. Just remember to put down the game volume, or you might miss the automatic voice.
A new update has now made it possible to use a monster's timer more than once in a game.
Just head over to the Jungle Timer webpage and download it!
You can find the link here.
I want to give 100% credit for this great contributing program to KevAlmighty. Hands down people, hands down.
All Builds - [Summoner Spells]
The green-marked Summoner Spells are the ones I think are the ones with most synergy with Shaco's abilities. It is however possible to do great with other Summoner Spells as well, and I'd like to be open-minded, so I'll leave you my standing point on each of the spells, and you can see if your preference agree.
The great choices:
- Used for securing kills or escaping
- Very good for 1 vs 1
- If Summoner's Wrath is chosen as a mastery, it reduces armor and magic resist by 10 while it's active.
- Used for chasing or escaping
- Can be used if you need to defend a tower quickly
- Makes you able to run through minions
- If Summoner's Wrath is chosen as a mastery, it increases the Ghost speed bonus by 8%, for a whopping 35% boost.
- Used for ganking, escaping and backdooring
- Almost instant access to a tower in need of defending.
- Can be used on your Jack In The Boxes.
- If Summoner's Insight is chosen as a mastery, it will reduce the cast time of Teleport by 1 second.
- Used for first-blood and counter-healing.
- Does true damage (it will ignore armor and magic resist)
- The only champion damaging Summoner Spell
- If Summoner's Wrath is chosen as a mastery, whenever Ignite is on cooldown, you gain 5 attack damage and 5 ability power.
- Mainly used to finish off a low-health enemy (by flashing to them) or escape.
- Use Deceive to scout over a wall or in a bush and then use Flash to escape if necessary.
- If Summoner's Insight is chosen as a mastery, the cooldown on Flash is reduces by 15 seconds.
The mediocre choices:
- Mainly used for counter-ganking and firstblood.
- If you Deceive to a friend that is getting ganked, pop Heal on them and you will turn the fight around.
- Also makes for a good jungling spell (together with Smite, not instead!)
- Remember that Ignite counters this ability on the target it is used on.
- If Summoner's Resolve is chosen as a mastery, it will increase the health restored by 15%.
- Can be used on towers or an enemy to kill them faster
- Can be used to power up your Jack In The Box hive before an enemy steps on it
- Will make you big and scary (creates a psychological effect on the enemy)
- If Summoner's Wrath is chosen as a mastery, it will increase the attack speed and ability power gained by 10% for the duration.
- Used for escaping and ganking one-CC champions, like Ryze or Veigar
- If Summoner's Resolve is chosen as a mastery, it increases the duration of the disable reduction by 1 second.
- Used for 5-0-0 pushing (send a promoted minion bot, all go top to distract your enemy)
- Used to keep getting gold when you leave the lane to gank (not very effective)
- If Summoner's Insight is chosen as a mastery, it increases the defensive stats of the promoted minion by 15%.
- Used to check for enemies during a push
- Make you able to rely less on Wriggle's Lantern
- Used when ganking someone close to a bush
- If Summoner's Insight is chosen as a mastery, it increased the duration of Clairvoyance by 2 seconds.
Another reason is because even though Heal and Cleanse might be useful, they require you to waste a point in defensive masteries. Also, Wriggle's Lantern is much more consistent, and more reliable than Clairvoyance during a push. The Promote technique is easily destroyed if the promoted minion gets turret aggro, or if the enemy sends 4 champions top and that's enough to stop you.
The only Summoner Spell that I might consider, though I've never had success with it, is Surge. It does indeed make you able to take down towers faster, which is kind of your job.
Jungling Summoner Spell
- Used to secure jungle monsters for your team, or to help pushing by taking down tank minions.
- Makes you able to counter-jungle
- If Summoner's Resolve is chosen, you will gain 10 extra gold every time you use Smite
Also, you can use your stealth and your wards to easily counter-jungle. I recommend that you put your Smite on smartcast. To do this, go to Key Bindings in the in-game menu, scroll down to Smartcast Summoner Spell 1 or 2, whichever you have Smite on. It should say "Shift + D" or "Shift + F" on beforehand. Switch them with only the letter. Now you only need to hover your mouse over a target and press the button to cast Smite. Much easier.
The not recommended choices
- Used to get back to lane quickly if you die early, or to get revenge on a lost teamfight close to your base
- More useful the less you die
- Can be game-changing on certain champions lategame
- If Summoner's Resolve is chosen as a mastery, you gain a massive speed boost after using Revive
- Used to stay in lane longer, and throw your enemies off if they think you're out of mana
- Makes you able to spam more abilities
- If Summoner's Insight is chosen as a mastery, the mana restored will be increased by 20%
Clarity is not worth it for Shaco. The throw-off is one of the oldest trick in the book, and they will see you have Clarity and act accordingly. That is just a waste of other surprising moves, IMO.
If you have any questions or suggestions about the Summoner Spells, please send me a PM or post a comment. Please +rep me if you found this information useful.
Champion Selection [Solo/duo queues]
Communication is vital for Shaco, because you need your teammates to be able to distract them enough for you to push strategically. The best, but alas most predictable way to do this, is the well-known split-push.
If you want to split-push, it is almost a requirement to be able to communicate with your team. (Sometimes, people use 4 pings on one tower and 1 ping on another to signal a split-push, but not everybody knows that, and might get annoyed from all the pinging).
The important part in champion selection when you're going solo/duo queue is that you need to break the ice. To do that, there are a couple of techniques:
- You need to greet your fellow Summoners. Say "hello" or "how are you?" and they will see that you are trying to be friendly :)
- Do not lock in! This is very important, because people tend to dislike instant-lockers. Before you lock in, make sure you agree with your teammates that it's okay that you play that champion. If they sense a bad team synergy coming from you choosing Shaco, it might sometime be best to skip him for a round.
- Ask if it's okay that you push. If they don't answer, it's okay, it's not your fault, just keep smiling and go for pushing.
Loading Screen [Strategy]
You've come to the loading screen, and the game is about to start. Many people think they should just relax and wait for the game to start. Wrong. This is the perfect opportunity to see who you're up against.
First search for their jungler. It will be the one with Smite. In this case, Twitch is their jungler.
The next thing you can do, is to try and predict where the other team will go. Do they have a logical team composition? What damage can they do to your jungle route?
I figure that Viktor or Kassadin will most probably be a mid champion, since they are both mages. This will leave it for one of them to go sidelane, which is a disadvantage, because casters aren't very good at sidelanes according to meta.
I also know that Irelia will solo top, because she is known for taking solo lanes. That means Talon will go bot, together with either Kassadin or Viktor.
What does this prediction help me with?
Well, for starters, I know that they have a weak bot lane, since they are required to have a caster there. This means I must keep an extra eye on that lane, since I might get ganking opportunities.
The second thing it helps me with, is knowing who my enemy jungler is. Twitch is generally weak, but has stealth, so if he pops out on me while I jungle, that might be a problem. So I always need to stay alert when on low health.
Any tips & tricks? Tell me in PM or in a comment! +rep if you found this information useful.
Early Game [Laning]
Alright, so the game has started, and you already have a jungler, so you decide to go in lane. Shaco is a very strong laner, compared to what others might think.
I start off with a Long Sword and a Health Potion as starting items. Thanks to your runes and masteries you don't really need Doran's Blade to start off with. Yes, you get an even higher bonus by buying it, but your creeping will suffer from the loss of the early Madred's Razors, so rushing these will be first priority.
I tend to stay in lane until I got at least 935 gold before I return to base for the first time. This will give me the gold I need to buy Madred's Razors and Boots of Speed, which will increase your effectiveness in farming, and challenge the enemy physical carry.
Items you should have before early game ends:
- Wriggle's Lantern
- Berserker's Greaves
This will cost you a total of 2520 gold. You need to kill approx 100 minions to get this much money from minions alone. It does not include the money you get from towers, kills or Twisted Fate's Loaded Dice.
You also can't completely rely on this information, as it is an approximate calculation using a 30 minute game, since minion gold value will rise by +1 every 5 minutes.
Mid game [Pushing]
When you get to mid game, your jungle build will collide with the laning build. What you could achieve early game in each of those roles will decide what you're going to do once in mid game.
Important note: Mid game is not time based. You don't get to mid game just because the timer reaches 10 minutes etc.
Mid game is recognized by the time someone has won their lane, and are leaving their lane to gank other lanes, to the point where MIA and ss become useless, because they constantly switch lanes or gang up.
This is the part where it's most crucial to have warded dragon , and secured some jungle buffs. If the enemy team also has a Kog'Maw (or someone with Madred's Bloodrazor) you need to be aware of Baron Nashor as well.
The most recognizable Shaco-feat during mid game is pushing, the very core of this guide. Destroying a turret gives your whole team 150 gold each, only 40 gold less than Dragon.
Pushing is a hard art to master; you need to know where the enemy is, what your teammates does, and how long time a push takes. A little re-summary of which kinds of pushing there are;
- Aggressive - the art of bringing minions to an enemy tower by quickly slashing your way through enemy minions, then bring the tower down.
- Hold the line - What Shaco also excels at, is keeping enemy minion waves at bay, far from your tower. This can be done simply by killing the enemy tank minion every third wave, before it does damage to your minions.
- Defensive - When your enemies bring down your minions and is preparing to push a tower, Shaco excels at defending towers. Divers will suffer to your boxes, your speed and your stealth move. You can dispose of the threat by quickly killing the minions so they have to pull back. Be careful though, you are bad at defending vs several champions.
Items you should have before mid game ends:
Late game [The top and the turning point]
Late game is often the most exiting part of the match. Champions are strong, and early and mid game have often given one team the advantage over the other. When you're losing a game, there are very few ways to turn the game around, but if someone can do it, it's Shaco.
Much of the strategy behind late game depends on your control over the jungle. An optimal jungler should be able to get dragon at least 4 times during a 30-minute long game. This will give you 760 gold for each champion, or 3800 gold for your whole team, only from dragon. This will in terms give you a great advantage over the opponent.
Another good thing about Shaco is his natural warding ability. Once I was actually thinking about a support Shaco only for this reason -- Scrath that, Shaco is much better as a pusher.
The thing is, his wards are invaluable to your team late game. Even though they break if someone steps on them, they are free, and if placed correctly, might reveal an attack on Baron Nashor or Dragon before it happens, so that you can stop them.
Items you should aim for before the game ends:
- Wriggle's Lantern
- Berserker's Greaves
- Youmuu's Ghostblade
- The Black Cleaver
- Randuin's Omen
This will cost you a total of 13217. The number of minions you have to kill is 529. Don't despair if you never get a full build, because it's quite expensive. The reason I chose this build is because it's effective even if you don't finish it, and if you finish it, you will become really powerful.
Shaco skills - explained! [Prioritize, and surprise!]
All Shaco's abilities work together like a charm, there is no bread and butter skill, but together they supplement each other to such a degree I just have to congratulate Riot on the effort. The sequence of which you level your skills is very important though, since some abilities can be left alone until higher levels, and some can't. Now I will show you what to focus on, based on scaling, damage and utility.
- Backstab: Backstab is what makes you an excellent ganker, but also harasser. When you throw your Two-Shiv Poison, their typical instinct is to turn around and flee from it. Whenever they do so, you deal bonus 20% damage! This ability becomes insane lategame, when you excel at killing fleeing enemies.
Tips & Hints: This ability counts for all your damage, so always try to come at them from behind when you have used Deceive. The bonus damage you get makes for a great burst that will scare them so they start to flee from you, making you able to continue getting bonus damage down by striking them from behind.
- Deceive (Q): Deceive is the built-in Flash I was talking about. This is the escape-skill when it comes to pushing, and the initiator skill when it comes to ganking. The most important aspect of it is the instant stealth that it gives. It makes you vanish into thin air for up to 3.5 seconds instantly, depending on if you hit something or not during that time.
I cannot stress how important the instant bit is, because regardless of how long Evelynn can keep her stealth, fact is, she just can't stealth fast enough, and she will be stunned before she can react. Shaco can disappear immediately, which makes for a very powerful escape technique.
Tips & Hints: Sometimes, during a gank, I run normally into the lane, just like a Warwick would do, and when they run to hide in the bush, I instantly use Deceive to flash into the bush and find them. This makes even the bush my turf to take, because I can see them instantly, but they can't see me for 3.5 more seconds!
I max Deceive first because:
- It gives me amazing burst, which scales with AD, and is physical.
- The mana cost is reduced in further levels, making it more viable early game than late game.
- People expect the main portion of your damage to come from Two-Shiv Poison. Surprise!
- Jack in the box (W): This ability just saw a recent duration nerf, in which they lowered the duration it lasts while being stealthy by 30 seconds. This means a couple of things; it's not as good to stack them anymore, as with a 16 second cooldown at level 1, you can only get out a maximum of 4 boxes before they disappear. This nerfs our jungling possibilities, and makes it so that you have to place them smarter. They're still viable while pushing though, as 60 seconds is more than enough for you to push all the way up to their inhibitor.
Tips & Hints: Here you can see a chart of Jack In The Box placement during a push. This will allow you to see the enemy before they come to gank you, leaving you open to evaluate the situation and run, or turn the fight on them. Remember that you can also use Wriggle's Lantern if your cooldown on Jack In The Box is too high for you to place effectively. Sometimes, a Vision Ward is also a good idea, especially against a Twitch or Evelynn (Evelynn is actually pretty scary when you're pushing, because she can burst you down in seconds. Useless? Pfft!)
- Two-Shiv Poison (E): I max this second for two reasons. It's true that it gives the highest burst, and that it's ranged. But fact is, the cost also scales upwards with this ability, while Deceive scales downwards. The other reason is that the 4 next points after your first point only gives you half the slow amount of the first point. That makes it practically useless to level first compared to what Deceive does.
Tips & hints: Remember that when you throw your dagger, the poison wears off on your basic attacks, so you can't slow them before the ability comes back from cooldown. That means you should only use the active as a last resort, when they're definitely out of your range, and there is no way you can catch up otherwise. Throwing the dagger when you stand right beside them is only a good idea if they have very little health, so that you can burst them down in one combo. Never use this to farm minions. If you play correctly, you should play so aggressively in lane that you can land basic attacks on them instead.
While jungling though, you can use your Two-Shiv Poison to blind the scary lizard or ancient golem, leaving you a chance to not get hit at all. Jungling from level 3 is therefore a cakewalk.
- Hallucinate (R): Your ultimate, and kind of a cornerstone for when you can do dragon. You summon a clone, that takes increased damage and only has a portion of your own damage, but remember; the more powerful you become, the more powerful your clone becomes, and that counts for every stat. The most important feature of Hallucinate is the 0.5 seconds of immunity at the exact moment you activate the ability. This allows you to dodge everything, from Karthus' ultimate, to that last tick of Ignite that would normally kill you.
It will also turn a fight in your favor if used for example to dodge Pantheon's stun when he comes for you, making his combo useless and you the chance to pummel away at him. The timing is important though.
Also, I do not approve of bugusing, but I am really unsure if it's a bug or not. When your clone is about to time out, you can use Zilean's Chronoshift to protect the clone, then suicide it under a tower. When it then returns, you will have it indefinitely, until it dies, no time limit. If you did it correct, it will turn the same color as the original, and it will start doing 100% damage from auto-attacks! Try at your own caution. Again, I do not approve of bugusing.
About Twisted Treeline
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
Greater Seal of Scaling Mana
Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power
Greater Quintessence of Magic Penetration
In Twisted Treeline, AP Shaco is absolutely my favorite. The reason is that jungling in Twisted Treeline is better with non-mana-reliant champions, like Lee Sin, because of the lack of Blue Buff. You want to go AP because it's easier to gank with, and since the map is much smaller, your boxes are less avoidable. You should always go top with Shaco, because you excel at laning against one other champion in particular (as I've said before, avoid teamfights against several champions).
Your playstyle changes a bit when it comes to playing AP. Your autoattacks doesn't deal too much damage, so use them to last hit minions instead of harassing. In the early laning phase, your damage dealer and harasser is Two-Shiv Poison, and your primary assassin tool is Jack In The Box. This allows you to use Deceive as an escaping tool more than a damage dealer. You can of course use it as such if you need to get that last damage done.
Remember that since the last nerf of Jack In The Box, you might want to place the boxes where you think someone will pass through the next minute. I will get some pictures up of good box placement as soon as I can.