Shaco Build Guide by EZYoDa
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.
- Easy escapes
- Very strong counterjungling
- Great ganks
- Can take ignite
- Extreme map control
- Must understand counterjungling
- Weak CC
- Recovers poorly if behind
- Low initial teamfight damage
|...|| Greater Mark of Attack Damage
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage
Standard runes for any jungler. You don't need lifesteal since your boxes let you clear the jungle so quickly you don't even lose much health. I don't recommend scaling runes on shaco as you are very dependent on the early game.
21/9/0 is a must on Shaco. You can even get the crit masteries even though you don't buy any crit items until way late since your Deceive gives a 100% crit! And you're building all offensive items until waaaaaay late so get the matching masteries (duh!)
Machete/5 is the standard jungle start. Especially necessary on Shaco to get the full amount out of your Jack In The Box
You will want Wriggle's Lantern for sure because you are dependent on lifesteal to be able to constantly stay in the enemy jungle without going to heal. This is extremely important for Shaco as if you just farm your own jungle you will get outscaled. Being able to scrap with the enemy jungler and then lifesteal off the camps is extremely important. Also the ward helps you map control.
Berserker's Greaves is also key on Shaco. You're not getting any defensive items until later, so mercury treads and tabi won't help you if you get caught in a bad spot, and you don't need them if you don't. Also you're buying damage items, so the extra AS scales you better.
Ravenous Hydra is where my shaco branches off from most other shacos. However I will defend this item choice to the death. Late game, you MUST be able to clear waves quickly as split pushing is how Shaco stays relevant - you can take almost anyone 1v1, but in teamfights it's hard to contribute as a melee DPS without HP items. You are also pretty dependent on burst to pick off singleton targets, and the extra proc from hydra helps a lot in that department. On top of all that, it lets you do what Shaco does best - clear enemy jungle FAST and get full hp after skirmishes.
Crystalline Flask is another item I get almost every game on Shaco. Like I said, your early game is based around out-sustaining the enemy jungler and this helps a lot with that. I try to fit it into my build if I have to back and don't have enough for a big item (ex: you have Madred's Razors and back with 700. You can't afford wriggle's lantern so get crystalline flask + Boots of Speed)
Trinity Force could almost be considered core on Shaco as well. This turns you from basically an assassin into a God in any 3v3 or less battle. Gives you extreme burst, the move speed you need to kite, and the slow/ms you need to finish off low targets. This was the core buy before season 3 introduced ravenous hydra, and is still extremely good on Shaco.
Warmog's Armor is pretty much your only tanky item. The item is just so OP right now that every champion should be getting one by 5th or 6th item. Once this gets nerfed consider Guardian Angel instead. But don't buy it until then, since warmog's armor is pretty much guardian angel except up every fight, and you don't have to wait to "respawn."
Infinity Edge is a nice 6th item to finish it off. Just the most efficient damage item in the game once you're 6-item, and you've already got trinity force for crit synergy.
You don't need flash on Shaco since your Q gives all the escape you would ever need. Take ignite to complement your insane burst, as well as help you pick up solokills on weak enemy junglers early. I have seen exhaust as well but dislike it as you already have a slow.
I max Two-Shiv Poison first every game, since it gives the most burst. I have seen maxing Jack In The Box first for higher clear speed, but you're not clearing early - you're battling. Deceive second for more burst. Get Jack In The Box at level one to kill buffs easily.
A lot of how the game goes comes off of what you do in the first 2 levels of the game, so it gets its own section. Make sure you and your team don't mess it up, or you can get set really far back, and we don't want that. Face check the wrong brush and you have 0 chance since you don't have flash.
Where to start
Usually junglers start at red buff from blue side, and blue buff from purple side. This is because they can get smiteless leash. As Shaco, this doesn't matter to you since your Jack In The Box are giving you a smiteless leash anyway. BUT keep in mind that the enemy will think you are starting there. So, if they have strong level one, start at the other buff.
Where to put your boxes
A lot of Shacos don't know what to do with boxes, so here's the guide. Get out of base fast, and put your first box at 00:25 (it's ok if you're late and put it before 00:35). Place this box as a defensive box that watches invade paths (it will expire before wolves/wraiths). Put your next box at 00:41 at wolf or wraith, depending where you start. Then put your next boxes all at the big buff (red or blue). Four boxes is enough for a smiteless leash (3 before you do wolf/wraith, one planted just after the buff spawns).
Where to go after you kill your first buff
This is where you look at the enemy team. You need two pieces of information: Did they start at blue or red? And, are they prone to invade?
Blue or red
This one's easy, just look at where their mid laner comes from after he leashes. If you don't have this information, it becomes extremely risky to invade.
Basically, any champ except Lee Sin, Shyvana, Nunu, Warwick will be prone to invade.
How to invade?
Once you've finished your first buff, if they are prone to invade and you know where they are, you can invade! If they aren't, just do your other buff and look for extended lanes. But this is about invading so here we go:
Once you see where they started, run to the opposite buff (the one they haven't done). If you have to run across the map (ex: if you started red and they started blue or vice versa), you better hurry because you don't want to be late (don't run through mid lane though). Get there and immediately place a box in the brush next to the buff (but don't proc the buff). If they are already engaging the buff then go for a smite steal, then chase them down. If they aren't, just put your Jack In The Box and wait. If your box CD comes up and they still aren't there, then start the buff, and box it again. 2 Jack In The Box + smite should finish it quickly.
If they DO come while you're waiting for second box, just wait for them to either face check or start the buff. If they start the buff go for smite steal (engage them when buff is ~650 health), and if they face check then give them the right click and chase. An important note here is that if enemy laners come before your allies, DO NOT continue to give chase. Run to the first brush you find and put a box, and wait. Make sure you use deceive well to escape. You can still stay in the jungle, but just don't engage 2v1, and try to get them to face check a brush with Jack In The Box. Don't forget you have to finish them if they make a big mistake.
Often your early game is an extension of level 1-2, not separate things. Mostly just look for overextended, OR low hp lanes. Your Deceive Two-Shiv Poison Ignite combo is good for about 250 damage at level 3 with red buff, so you can pick up a lot of kills even against tower huggers with that.
One key thing to note is that against overextended laners, you can save your Deceive. Walk in from behind and use Two-Shiv Poison, then if they flash use Deceive to catch them. The only reason you should use deceive to start a gank is either they are dead to your burst already, or if you need to get around a ward.
This is where Shaco really shines. You should take the timer on every single one of their buffs, then get there 30 seconds early and set up the area with wards and Jack In The Box. Then just do the buff, you kill it really fast with Jack In The Box and Wriggle's Lantern. If they are watching out, you may have to give it up, but you can still try Smite steal and Deceive away. Contest every buff, and try to steal a dragon if they back at a bad time, or after you win a fight.
Proper use of Hallucinate is also extremely important for Shaco's mid game (and late game). It can also make the difference between GOD of Shaco and just a random noob since it can dodge spells if timed properly. You can use it to kill buffs/dragon faster, tower dive, or win an outright fight. Here's a list of mistakes not to make with it:
1) Use too early. This happens all too often - you get excited when someone facechecks a brush and just pop ur ult, then they run away.
2) Not tank dragon properly. You have to maneuver your clone right in front of the dragon, not just right click it, or dragon will still target you.
3) Not tank tower properly when diving. If your clone damage them and you are in tower range, TOWER WILL TARGET YOU. So send your clone at them while you're not in tower range, then only accept tower aggro when they're about to die anyway.
Look to catch half HP champs trying to farm at tower, those are your PREY.
Late game is shaco's weakest point, but you can still be useful if played properly. Try to maintain map control by split pushing with your
and , using deceive to escape if needed. Unless you're extremely behind, should allow you to 1v1 pretty much anyone, so hopefully you can draw attention to yourself, allowing your team to take objectives.
If you actually do have to teamfight, remember to SAVE . If you to engage, you will get instantly focused and die. Instead, send your clone from in first and then join the fight after people have separated themselves. Can't stress this enough, people say "Shaco is useless lategame" when it's just not true - you're not as good as say, Amumu, but you're not useless. You just have to play your role carefully.
With Shaco, most of what determines your output on the game is going to be decision making - saving Deceive at the right time, picking wise fights, use of Jack In The Box properly, knowing when to contest buffs, etc. However, there are some tricks that can make the difference between a "good" shaco and GOD.
1) Knowing exact range of Deceive
This is really important. You don't want to deceive into a wall instead of over it, could obviously mean the difference between a kill + survive or no kill + death. I suggest going into a custom game for like 5 minutes and just playing with the range until comfortable.
2) Knowing minion vision range
This is also important. Shaco is uniquely positioned to gank from literally ANY position, including straight through the lane. But nothing is worse than having the enemy see you right before you pop deceive, and surviving as a result. Be sure you know minion vision and don't mess this up.
3) Placing Jack In The Box over thick wall
This one is kind of like placing a long range ward over thick wall, but with shorter range. Be sure you know how to do this, as you can extend the range of Jack In The Box by about double with practice.
This actually applies to almost every champion, but is especially important for Shaco since you don't have hard disables or high attack speed - you are dependent on your slow to keep chasing the enemy. One way to help this is to move in between every attack while your attack is on cooldown, allowing you to keep your slow on them for much longer, and probably sneak in ~3 extra attacks in a gank. This is honestly a skill you should just pick up for every champion, makes a world of difference. I am only mentioning it here because it is extremely necessary when playing Shaco.
5) Hallucinate dodge
This can be the most mechanically difficult technique to execute in the game in some situations. For those unaware, Hallucinate dodges ALL abilities while being cast. With minimal practice, you should be able to dodge 100% of target-projectile abilities like Dazzle from Taric and Disintegrate from Annie. Doing this alone will probably make the difference between a lot of ganks. However, what really makes GOD Shaco is when it comes to dodging much harder spells - Curse of the Sad Mummy, Summon: Tibbers, etc. Needless to say, dodging these abilities also almost always makes the difference.
Conclusion/About the Author
I hope you all have enjoyed my Shaco guide! Shaco is by far the easiest champion to singlehandedly win Solo Q games with using his sheer snowballing potential as well as map control. And, he got so much help from the S3 patch that he may even be competitively viable ATM. Here's an embed of my stream! www.twitch.tv/yodatv