Shaco Build Guide by StepShrouder
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.
Alright guys, my name is StepShrouder, and I used to play a lot of Shaco. I'm not exactly great at introductions, and I haven't really done much ranked play (In fear of getting placed into what most call 'Elo Hell'), but what I can tell you, is how in spite of the recent nerf/buff Two-Shiv Poison horse**** thing Riot gave to the poor old Demon Jester, how to build Shaco and how to make him a very viable pick in normals and maybe even ranked play where the enemy team doesn't ban him. Another reason Im making this guide, is that the mobafire guides on this site have helped me so much in the past, more so than any other site, and got me into this game hardcore. To all the people that have spent so much time writing their detailed guides on champions and gameplay, this is my tribute to you all!
Thank you so much!
You are the main reasons Im writing this guide, in hopes that I can give back what little I can to such a great community of people.
Back to Shaco. This build is going to tell you two main ways to build him, and why I prefer to build him in these ways. My playstyle differs from most, and I don't engage a fight unless I know there is a 90% outcome that I will come out victorious. One build will focus more on the DPS'y fed Shaco, which is when he just snowballs out of ****ing control because you got fed early, or a bruiserish Shaco, which when you're less fed, is more viable because it most likely means the game is being pushed into late, where even with this Two-Shiv Poison nerf/buff, Shaco still falls off very hard. Throughout this guide I will explain the best I can about his skills, and how to use them correctly, and the order in which to level them to make Shaco the old beasty combatant that he used to be.
Now that the introduction phase is over, Im also going to tell you that this guide
isn't the answer to life, and playing Shaco. Shaco gets shut down extremely hard by CC, and ranged carries if you aren't playing cautiously. He is a very, very situational character and it is your fault for losing with him if you choose him against a CC heavy team, or to play very carelessly. Be sure to use your best judgment when choosing Shaco in draft games, as again, a CC heavy team will shut you down, with no hopes of seeing the light of tomorrow. Blind picks, well. Counter picking items, and doing what you can to cut everyone up is also up to you guys. I will give you my gist on this further in the guide. So now that Shaco's intro is over, it is onto an intro of me.
As I've said, Im StepShrouder, um, yeah lolol. This is going to be a little about
me, so that I can tell you where Im coming from in terms of playing Shaco, amongst other people, namely junglers. This part is SKIPPABLE, Im merely stating my experiences to help assure you that Im not some NOOB making a guide. Moving on. I started the game playing AP mids, and that moved to playing AD carries, and as I got to higher levels I began noticing that people were doing this wonderful thing called jungling.
Upon reading the term "Jungling" I google searched something along the lines of "Who's the most annoying to deal with jungler, who will **** on your day, all day" and because Im cheap (Partly cause Im half chinese) I was like, well, I want a cheapy jungler, and I have 3150 spare. So I looked at the list, and decided I didn't like Warwick, and I saw this weird, lanky knife throwing, cloaking, cloning, fearing, teleporting, clown thing and I was like... I WANT THAT. So I bought him, and he is my first, and still one of my favorite junglers though his shine isn't as bright as it used to be. To all you Shaco vets out there who used to do the ghost between red and blue and get the double buff right off the bat, you know exactly, what Im talking about :). In addition to Shaco, I jungle the likes of Lee Sin, Akali, Ezreal, Riven, Garen, Malphite, Nunu, Fiddlesticks, Nasus, Nocturne, (list goes on) and a couple of other strange jungles for fun, so Im hoping that with this guide you all can kick some major behind, and find the same love I found for Shaco when I was still so new to this game. And maybe
if I don't getinstadownvoted, I can donate what other little knowledge I have to this community in terms of guides :) .
The Royal Jester's Masteries
The masteries for Shaco can be fairly versatile depending on what you're doing. In this case, I find the 21-0-9 masteries fit Shaco the best. Most of you are probably gawking at this page, and wondering, Stepshrouder you nubcake, why didn't you focus on
??? My retort to that is, true, your damage scaling is great at level 18, and 10 percent extra crit strike damage is fantastic! Slight problem, you SHOULDN'T be going into late game playing Shaco. That's like... I don't know what it's like, but it's bad. It's ****ing bad. IT IS ****ING BAD. Don't do it, seriously, late game Shaco is just a play toy for the enemy team. He's squishy as hell if you build him DPS, and he just can't stand up to massive punishment. Sure, you can have someone else initiate, but once the enemy team sees the orange smoke, and your clowny face in the middle of them, or wherever you might be, rest assured, once they're off cooldown, you're in the ground.
Summoner's Wrath is a must for Shaco whether you carry around Ignite or Exhaust. The reason being, if you have Ignite, you have an extra five attack damage and ability power when ignite is on cooldown, a single point in this section gives you quite the bang for your buck. For [exhaust], it makes killing the person exhausted way easier due to the target having ten less magic resistance and armor.
Arcane Knowledge and Weapon Expertise should be quite self explanatory. Anything with penetration (lol) is Shaco's best friend.
Vampirism helps make up for the lifesteal nerf of the Vampiric Scepter which happened just a few patches ago.
Sunder should again be self explanatory. More armor penetration, for anal penetration vs everyone.
The CDR from [Sorcery] is meant mainly for your Q ( Deceive ), and for your ganks, so you can maybe fit in that extra Two-Shiv Poison toss, or if the gank has gone awry, get the hell out with your Deceive. Magic Pen for the extra two shiv damage, and Jack In The Box JiTBs. The utility should be self explanatory, but if it isn't, Shaco is mana hungry as balls, so the mana per level helps when you don't have a handy blue layin' around. The extra movement speed helps your ganks indefinitely, and your late game (Should it, god forbid get there) speed gets pretty high too considering you should have a Zeal/ Trinity Force along with your Ionian Boots of Lucidity. The speed allows you to run quickly to and from teamfights, use your speed and built in flash Deceive WISELY.
Runic affinity is the -main reason- I went into utility, for the longer you have your buffs, the more you can go gank their lanes, and counter jungle with particular ease. Be sure to exercise the sheer terror a good Shaco strikes into the hearts of laners.
These runes Ive provided actually make Shaco a dangerous, dangerous mother****er and here is why. The added health from the quints make his ganks scarier than they already are. I know at one point or another, all you seasoned junglers have had the person you're ganking turn on you, and really try to kill you or the person(s) you're ganking for, and sometimes succeed. These health quints, help prevent that, and make that person look and feel pretty stupid. Now, the 54 bonus health right off the bat, make Shaco's jungling routine last longer too (though just ever so slightly slower), and some people that try to gank your jungle at level 1 will wonder why you're running health close to your tank's HP. Also, the HP quints benefit your lifesteal from your Wriggle's Lantern, and perhaps when you have that 10 hp left, you can thank the HP quints for the lifesaver.
Arpen reds are pretty standard, and I threw in an Arpen quint to make jungling that much faster, and your early ganks that much stronger.
Mr per level blues to help insure that your mid ganks are powerful, and nasty. Due to the current meta being AP's going to mid, the ganks during mid game (where IMO Shaco shines the brightest) will be successful because of your MR, and your damage output.
The yellows I run make sure that my jungling is both safe, and my late game scaling isn't too bad. The armor per levels make your mid game jungling easy, and your flat armor yellows make sure you have just enough sustain to jungle hardcore early game levels 1-3/before your Wriggle's Lantern.
All flat armor yellows, flat magic resist blues, all arpen quints all also work for Shaco. If you don't like this rune setup, feel free to take the other standard AD setups for AD junglers. I haven't experimented with this setup yet, but I can see even Magic Pen reds or magic pen quints synergizing perfectly well with your Malady/ Wit's End HELL COMBO.
Other weird runes that work nicely are 6 health per level yellows, 3 flat armors.
6 flat hp blues (synergizes well with the hp quints), and 3 scaling mr blues.
Triple Lifesteal Quintessences aren’t a bad choice either, though I find that Shaco’s jungle sustain is already quite good.
Now, I've provided two item templates. In my opinion Wit's End is one of the best items in the game per cost. Even with it's recent cost nerf, 2150 g's for an item that provides 5 stacking magic resist for 5 seconds, 30 flat magic resist, 42 magic damage, and 40% attack speed is pretty ****ing
GODLY. This item is GODLY, it provides damage and attack speed which are both CRITICAL on our best jester friend, and the magic resist is great for ganking any AP or magic damage dealing characters.
I consider the Wit's End, Cooldown Bootskies , and the Wriggles Lantern all core items, and build them religiously on Shaco every single game I play with him. The extra armor, damage, ability to ward, magic resistance, movement speed and a spammable Two-Shiv Poison with a fast Deceive in and out of an engagement, and a safehouse Jack In The Box you can retreat to, and plant on the run make Shaco a FORCE to be reckoned with.
The ABDOMINALS of his Items (Core Items)
Honestly, the next items are situational, and should be built depending on your game and how it is going. A rushed Trinity Force starting with a Sheen makes Shaco's initial hit after deceiving into an enemy just terrifying. It is the most demoralizing thing for a carry OR tank to see their health drop a MASSIVE amount in one hit. This plants the seed of our Jester Best Buddy ol' PAL being OP and this makes people run. Run, and run and run with the thought of "I gotta stay and fight" not even CROSS their feeble minds.
Powerful Items on Shacomeister
If you do rush a Triforce (This does have its benefits), start off by rushing the [Sheen] portion. The thing is, the Sheen makes Shaco's [Deceive] much more powerful, its proc will make it a scary first hit, and scare most people into running. Should they run, Shaco's [backstab] becomes procced, thus ensuring that easy early kill. The extra ability power from the [sheen] will make your [Two-Shiv Poison] do an extra 25 damage, in addition to boosting the damage of your boxes.
[Zeal] is generally my next choice, the extra movement speed makes this item worth its cost, let alone the critical strike chance, and the attack speed. All of these things combined, give you the escapability and more damage output that you REQUIRE to flourish on the fields of justice.
[Phage] is generally my last choice. It's basic, it gives you health and damage, no big deal. However, it is interchangeable with the [Zeal]. The reason being, if you need the extra health for more survivability, be sure you change up the item priorities. Again, it does ALSO give you damage.
Should you not rush the triforce, I would rush a Bilgewater Cutlass to help ready your build for a Hextech Gunblade. The Cutlass damage combined with your Wit's End makes Shaco's damage an interesting thing to counter. Although you don't have tons of damage from your Wriggle's Lantern the Bilgewater Cutlass makes up for this with its active and lifesteal, and small amount of damage. The slow off of the Bilgewater’s enables chasing to be much easier (50% slow is nasty) enabling you to really ensure a kill every 60 seconds. This adds to your CC map, and for an item as cheap as 1450, really makes up for its cost in addition to setting you up with one of the best items in the game. This item in addition to the Wriggles Lantern will give you an inordinate amount of lifesteal to deal with, and allow you to trade blows easier with the enemy carries.
Either of the Items you choose will increase your Ability Power and Attack Damage, making them useful and all of the stats from both Hextech Gunblade and Trinity Force work and synergize with the Shaco playstyle. Now a lot of you are thinking, “Damn, that’s a pretty expensive build, NOT VIABLE, THIS GUY IS A TARD” and that’s fine. But with Shaco, you’re going to be picking up kills left and right, and if not kills, you will be getting assists. I made extra builds for the lower scoring games, so if you can’t pick up as many kills as I’d expect you to, the other builds have the same core items, but go down different paths to help compensate for lack of kills/gold, and a different role. Whatever the case may be, Shaco has ultimate survivability and DPS with these builds while maintaining good board control because of his Jack in the Boxes .
The Infinity Edge in my opinion isn't really synergistic with this build. Im not building a critical Shaco build. Im building a deadly on hit Shaco build, because I hate relying on chance for damage. Sure, 70%-90% critical strike chance is great, but I'll stick with on-hit Shaco, because building him on hit allows you to build some sort of resistance to enemies for extra survivability (something that I am extremely fond of). This doesn't mean that this item is BAD on Shaco, in fact, it is a great item on him, however I feel that the above two are just better choices.
The The Bloodthirster is again, -in my opinion- a late game item. You will have a total of 30% lifesteal with masteries and items, and buying this will boost it to a whopping 42%. This means that you do tons of damage, and have tons of lifesteal. Getting it early makes you nuke for sure, however the above two items scale better into late game in terms of surviving and the utilities that they provide.
Oracle’s Elixir is a must have for Shaco. I generally build it after my Wriggle’s Lantern but if your opponent for whatever reason isn’t warding, you can get it after your Wit’s End but NO LATER . You have to blind your opponent, and not only does this help to give your team an advantage in map control, but you yourself become much scarier. Not knowing when a gank is coming forces the enemy to forfeit pushing turrets or chasing past the halfway point of the field.
If your team is mentally challenged and doesn't sight ward, be sure to take matters into your own hands. Wards win games however, buying them can and will set your build back. Just buy a couple throughout the game, and ward different parts of the map. This will help your team, and make jungle invasions easy to counter.
NOTE You should be utilizing your Wriggle’s Lantern active WHENEVER possible. You need map control to win games, and even just a single ward can make all the difference in the game.
The Jester's Abilities.
Well well well. You hear me using the terms Deceive , "JiTB" Jack In The Box , (I pronounce it Jib for short :D ) and "Two Shiv" Two-Shiv Poison. Fear not! The guide is not yet finished! Im going to go into in depth detail about all of his skills, how to use them, and how to maximize this particular jester's killer instinct, and pulling it all off so you and ol' Shaco can laugh at your victims. (Shift+4)
Deceive is a unique, unique spell. A 100% crit chance, 220% critical strike damage isn't a joking matter. This will SCREW OVER your opponents happy moments like no other. However, given that is a FANTASTIC initiator spell, it is also his most relied upon ESCAPE mechanism.
Knowing when to Deceive WELL is tricky. It is a unique hybrid spell because again, it's an almost guaranteed hit initiator, and also a flash mechanism that goes over walls. The fact that you can hop walls while being invisible, gives Shaco a massive, MASSIVE advantage over other champions and on the Fields of Justice..
Deceive takes lots of practice to use properly, but its uses are damn near infinite. It can be used for gap closing, gap creating, escaping, smacking *****es, and slapping hoes. For instance, you WANT to Deceive into the enemy you're ganking, drop a JiTB BEHIND THEM, hit them, slow them, and auto attack them to death, but knowing when to do so is tricky. I generally like to engage when the opponent is around 75% HP. This is an almost guaranteed kill due to Exhaust, Two-Shiv Poison, with or without the fear from Jack In The Box. This is how Shaco is a prosperous day ruiner, and in my opinion, one of the BEST gankers in the game. He doesn't rely on a skill shot, and doesn't rely on sacrificing too much when he ganks. This means basically, in a short summary,
THAT Shaco WILL **** UP YOUR ENEMIES AND HIS DOG'S DAYS.He is a nightmare. The sheer havoc that Shaco wreaks because of his flash stealth Deceive is almost hilarious, (Shift+4) let alone his excellent CC as a squishy squishy champion. His slow and an AoE fear are
no laughing matterand can change a team fight almost lost, into a team fight won by a
LANDSLIDEYou Deceive with your "Q".
Two Shiv Poison
Two Shiv Poison is the next Shaco ability. In terms of difficulty, it's a straightforward attack. Point and click, and it slows your enemy. Now, this spell was perfect for ganks, it did great amounts of early game damage, but now they NERFED it into the ground for early game, and made it so only bonus attack damage works to buff its damage. This alone made Shaco's early game effectiveness go down leagues. Given that the slow is still badass, the spell isn't all that bad, but now the early game damage it did, translated to late game (Which again, is where you don't want to be). It has 100% Bonus AD ratio, so all in all, with a slow, isn't terrible. But it's not great and CERTAINLY not as good as it used to be. This spell is Shaco's "E" key, and deals MAGIC damage.
Jack in the Box
The Jack in the Box (JiTB) is a versatile little nutjob box. Using it just makes your day better because seriously, what is better than having a maniacal little clown head that shoots lasers at people you don't like? The answer, IS ABSOLUTELY ****ING NOTHING, AND YOU'RE STUPID FOR TRYING TO ANSWER IT. But seriously, this little box is an Area of Effect FEAR. It can FEAR the entire enemy team, and you can stack them right on top of each other. Their damage early game is great (Especially when stacked), but quickly falls off mid-late game if not building AP (By the way, if you haven't read any of the guide up til this point, this guide isn't for AP Shaco ). These boxes domagic damage.
Hallucinate is Shaco's ultimate and in my honest opinion a one point wonder -UNLESS- you are building an ability power Shaco which this guide is again, not geared towards. 150 damage is alright, along with a cooldown reduction of 10 seconds, you'd think that this was a skill you'd be putting points into left and right. WRONG. This skill I merely use as a distraction, a shield, and putting more points into this skill does NOT increase your clone's durability. Sure, you might be able to use it 10 seconds sooner whenever you want to use it, but the uses this ultimate has are much more limited than your Jack In The Boxes and your Deceive.
Using Hallucinate also takes a little bit of practice. I personally use it for tower diving an enemy with low HP and making sure to use tab to ENSURE he does not have the summoner spell Heal. Using this ultimate to grab an early dragon should you have a Wriggle's Lantern is also suggested by me (Jungling section is the next section). When you use Hallucinate be sure to use your alt+click on the map to control your clone. Sending in your clone first to have the enemy expend their skills so you can go in and pick off the carries is generally the best way to go. Hallucinate is Shaco's R. The explosion deals Magic damage