Shaco Build Guide by sabreaxe

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.

League of Legends Build Guide Author sabreaxe

Shaco - King of the Jungle

sabreaxe Last updated on October 23, 2012
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Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
Ability Key R

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.



Offense: 22

Honor Guard

Defense: 0

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 8

Table of Contents
Guide Top

Well Hello There! I am IGN: sabreaxe from Singapore (GARENA Server).

Shaco is an amazing champion for jungling. He has a ton of tricks up his sleeve and he has amazing damage when built properly. All you need is a little guts, quick reflexes and good observation skills to snatch the game in the early stages and bring your team to victory!

I basically created this guide because some people have been asking me to teach them how to play Shaco and I realised that very few people know how to jungle or even play jungle roles so hopefully this guide will encourage people to explore the possibilities that jungling has to offer.

This guide is all about not only how to master Shaco but it talks about gang approaches,getting in and out of engages, escaping, jungling without smite(For Shaco) and many more.
(Note that this guide is only for AD Shaco so if you wish to play AP Shaco, i'm terribly sorry but I can't help you there.)

This guide focuses more on Gameplay because in the end that's the most important thing and that's what's going to determine whether you win or lose.

-However, this is just my own opinion, so feel free to have your own :D

Guide Top

Before we go into the details about how you play Shaco, obviously, you'll first have to know how to fulfill your role as a Jungler.

So let's cover the basics and some rules you should follow to ensure that you get the most out of jungling.

1. First Gang
Make sure your first gang is before 3:30, it is most likely that your teammates should be suffering quite badly any longer after that and they're most definitely going to blame you if they die and you haven't ganged at all yet.
Of course, if you do gang after 3 minutes you should have both Red and Blue buff which makes the gang have a higher chance of success.
Won't be a problem for you if you started with Red buff and went for the gang immediately after that.

2. Your Role and Duty as a Jungler
While killing is definitely the best outcome of a gang, as far as possible, try to make sure your teammate survives or else he isn't really going to like you.
This is because while you get the kill and he dies to the opponent, in actual fact, the opponent now has 1 kill above him and when you leave the lane, your teammate is going to have a tougher time than before.

If you don't think you can kill the opponent,showing your face at the lane also helps your teammate as opponents become more wary of your presence and they will think twice before committing to an engage. It will most likely cause them to spend money on wards as well.
However, you won't want to be doing this too often as it will take up precious time and you may fall behind in levels and in money. Thus, always keep a look out for opponents who are weakened or can be killed easily.

Ultimately, what you want to accomplish is to disrupt the opponent and his control of the lane, giving him a harder time farming as well as harassing your teammate.

3. Cooperation and Compensation
Well this isn't exactly exclusive for Junglers but it's especially important for junglers and I'll tell you why.

This is simply because if your teammate hates your guts, he isn't going to risk his life for you and fight alongside you. And if that happens, you're going to get your *** kicked by the opponent while he stands by and watches or does something stupid to get you killed.

This is a vicious cycle because you're undoubtedly going to get angry and stop ganging for him all together, causing him to have no chance of winning the lane(if he was already losing).
So as far as possible, avoid arguments and conflicts with your teammates so that they respect you and will give you an easier time ganking lanes.
Chances are, they're going to be more patient when waiting for you to gang their lane.

Of course, you're going to come across some teammates who just won't keep their mouth shut. So what should you do when you do encounter these people?
Simple, have minimal interaction with them but this doesn't mean you just ignore them and don't gang their lane at all.
All you have to do is observe the opponent's health bar. When the opponent's health is low, THAT is the time to strike.

Lastly, no one is perfect, at times you will make mistakes as well and cause your opponent to die. What you should do is calm the storm in his raging heart and apologise. After which, provide more gangs and attention to the lane so as to ensure that your teammate regains the lead and does not get bullied by the opponent.

4. Dragon and Baron
There technically isn't much to say for this aspect, but people generally have the idea that it's a Jungler's duty to ensure the team gets both.
So yea, get it first before the opponent's jungler does.
If you're not confident of getting it first, ward it and share the responsibility with the whole team so they can't pin the blame on you.

Another way to accomplish getting dragon efficiently and effectively is by requesting your teammates to help you once you have ganked bottom lane successfully. This means you will have an ad carry and a support to help you take dragon faster. If your ad carry is Vayne, needless to say the job is alot easier.

I don't particularly encourage stealing unless your whole team is present because chances are, your teammate is going to try to help you and this will get both of you, or more, killed and you might not even have successfully stolen dragon or baron.

5. Wriggle's Lantern
This is basically the core item for most, if not ALL, Junglers.
If you didn't already know what it does, let's talk about it.

First of all, it costs a mere 1600 so getting it before 10 minutes is absolutely crucial. If you can't accomplish that, you're definitely not doing well enough.
So why buy it? Simply because it provides you with EVERYTHING you need for jungling.
It gives you Attack Damage, Armor, Lifesteal, a chance to do a whopping 425 magic damage against minions and last but not least, a FREE ward!

This FREE ward can be used for warding dragon, baron, red or blue buff or even your teammate's lane, giving them more security and an easier time farming.

6. Ganking
Alright, so personally I have no idea why they're called ganks(with a "k") but you know, whatever works.
This is basically the essence of what a Jungler DOES.
If you suck at ganking, you're gonna have a bad time. So here's some simple tips that can help you get successful ganks.

- Monitor lane situations: While it may be tedious to keep checking the 3 lanes continuously, it is absolutely necessary to see which of your teammates needs help as well as who doesn't. It also opens up opportunities for you when you see opponents with low HP. Obviously, ganking an opponent with low HP is a lot easier than one with full HP.
At times, teammates will start to get impatient and want you to gank their lane. As much of a nice guy as you may want to be, it might not always be the smartest thing to go to their aid immediately.

Some examples would include;

-When the opponent has been fed by your teammate several times.
This means that the opponent either has a ton of damage to kill both you and your teammate swiftly or you might not have enough damage to take the opponent down quickly.

-When your teammate has the lane pushed out

-When there are frequent occurrences of the opposing jungler appearing in that lane.
This means that a 2v1 at either mid or top lane becomes a 2v2 and a 3v2 at bot lane becomes a 3v3. For a higher chance of success, always try to make ganks such that you have the advantage in numbers.

- Teamwork: Well, it's not a gank if you go in while your teammate is sleeping.
Gank comes from the root word Gang.
It's not a gank if you go in ALONE.
Unless you've already been fed a lot of kills, it's unlikely you can beat an opponent who has had consistent farm at a lane compared to your lousy farm in jungle, let alone, taking on a 1v2.

Ping your teammate to hell to wake him up if you must.
And don't gank for someone who won't fight with you.
Make sure that both you and your teammate agrees that it is the right time to gank.

-Waiting for the opponent to commit: Before just going in for the gank, sometimes you may want to ping your teammate to force the opponent to commit. This is necessary when the opponent is too near the tower or can escape easily.
Waiting for the opponent to commit will allow you to begin the gank when the opponent has most of his skills on cooldown as well as at a lower HP. This makes it easier for you to finish the engage quickly without being harmed or stunned/slowed/etc.
However, make sure you get in on time so that your teammate doesn't die in the process.

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Without further ado! Let's begin the guide to becoming a King Shaco.

So what are some of Shaco's weaknesses and strengths?

- Stealth + Flash, Fear, Slow, Clone
- Assassinates paper champions
- Effective in split-pushing
- Strong in 1v1
- Mobile and Evasive
- Solo Baron and Dragon
- High AD Burst
- Unaffected by SIGHT wards
- Numerous gank approaches

- Squishy/Paper
- Dies easily to a single stun
- Countered by multiple oracles/vision wards
- Weak against AP Burst and AOE ults

Well, this doesn't really tell you much until you've actually played Shaco first-hand and figured it out for yourself. So let's move on to Skills and Summoner Spells

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For Summoner Spells, take Flash and Ignite

You might think that Flash isn't necessary since Deceive already gives you the in-built Flash along with stealth, truth of the matter is, 80% of the time, you will be using Deceive to engage thus Flash is required in order for you to get out after you're done eating someone.
Flash can also pull off a super-flash-crit trick which I especially love and will talk more about later.

Why Ignite and not SMITE?
I've been challenged for this by millions of people since FOREVER and I still refuse to change my view.
I will always recommend ignite for experienced players simply because Jack-in-the-Box lets you take down Blue or Red buff with EASE at the very beginning.
Ignite increases your gank success from 60% to at LEAST 85%.
It almost guarantees that you can take down champions like Dr. Mundo or Vladimir or AD carries that have Sona or Soraka as support and sometimes you just need that extra damage-over-time to finish the job when opponents Flash away just before they die.
Furthermore, when enemy junglers invade and try to counter jungle, you will NEVER lose a 1v1 match simply because the other jungler has Smite while you have Ignite. Your total damage will reign supreme over his and provide an element of surprise if he expected you to have Smite.

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Here comes the more difficult and detailed part which you will need to master in order to play Shaco. Of course, just reading it won't be enough and applying it on the first try may not work but keep at it and you may get the hang of it!

This is Shaco's MOST important skill and you simply just CAN'T do without it.
It provides you with a 3.5s stealth, an in-built longer distance flash and a critical damage boost. I can't stress enough how good this skill is so I recommend you max this first.
This is the skill you will be using to start every single one of your ganks, giving you the element of surprise and first strike on the enemy. If you're fed, your first critical hit will send them running so all you have to do is finish the job.

1. No matter where you are or what you are doing, always make sure you have enough mana for at least 1 Deceive.
You might be farming in your jungle and an opponent invades while you have low HP, simply deceive away and you're free to go.

When you're in a head-on engage and both you and your opponent is at low HP, quickly deceive to avoid further damage to yourself and ensure you deal the final strike to secure the kill safely.

2. Use it for effective escaping.
All you need to do is continue running away in the supposed direction and deceive away in the opposite.

This increases your chance of success in escaping, staying out of opponents' blind skill shots and attempts at killing you while you are in stealth. It also increases the distance between you and your enemies as they run in the opposite direction as you escape.

You may also lead an opponent into a bush and deceive exactly on the same spot. The opponent would have expected you to deceive away and out of the bush, thus you can recall on the spot if you have the guts, or simply walk away in the other direction.

These are techniques that your opponents will not expect unless they are familiar with using shaco or have played against many skilled shacos.

3. Super-flash-crit trick.
So just what exactly is this technique which I mentioned earlier? It's basically a combination of using the Deceive skill together with your summoner spell Flash.

This results in an incredible long range leap critical attack which is especially useful when the opponent is at low HP, trying to stay out of your range or simply hugging tower. All you have to do is hit deceive towards him and then flash once more. Gauge the distances such that you can hit the opponent immediately and not have to walk at all, causing the opponent to have no time to react.
In the event that you still aren't close enough to land your attack, simply toss a Two-Shiv Poison attack (stacked with Ignite if needed) to finish the job.

Other Info: I have this skill on smartcast all the time so that I need not waste time clicking the target for where I want to flash to. This also prevents me from screwing up the first critical hit which deceive gives and allowing me to have less delay time betwee the time I deceive and the time I hit the opponent.

From my experience, rushing out an Infinity Edge is the most effective way to play Shaco as it has synergy with Deceive, adding 50% critical damage to your guaranteed critical strike. Needless to say, you also take down opponents alot faster just like any other AD champion with Infinity Edge

Whilst Deceive is the most useful skill, you won't be able to pump it on the first level as you need Jack In The Box in order to take your first Red or Blue Buff.

Jack in the Box
This is your core and main skill for jungling especially when it comes to taking buffs.
What it basically does is spawn a good friend of yours to deal some minor but sufficient magic damage as well as a brief fear effect. DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE the magic damage and fear as it is extremely useful when facing opponents head-on especially in the early-game stages.

1. Jungling
At the 1:00 mark place your first Jack in the Box at Red or Blue bluff (whichever you prefer). Note not to place it any earlier as the Box will either fizzle out before the Buff spawns or it will fizzle out before it has completed its full lifespan and will not carry out its maximum damage potential.

2. Close-Combat
Before you begin any close-combat fighting, simply plant a box on the ground. This will cause the opponent to either try to avoid it (letting you get free hits) or be affected by the fear(letting you get free hits too) and take magic damage.

However, if the opponent does not wish to engage you, skip this step or else you'll just waste time planting the box while he escapes from you.

3. Simple warding/Security
This is generally straightforward but most people lack the diligence to do this. Wherever you are and whenever you have Jack In The Box refreshed, plant boxes in bushes and whichever openings/entrances to have a good sense of security and vision so that you will be well prepared.
Although Jack In The Box only lasts for a minute, it is still viable for warding lanes. 1 minute is better than nothing so DON'T STINGE MAN. Help your teammates out as best you can.

Two-Shiv Poison
This skill basically only serves 2 main purposes. For slowing your opponent and for finishing opponents with low HP, as stated previously.

1. Ganking
Note that while you have Two-Shiv Poison refreshed, it provides you with a 20% passive slow on each hit. This slow also stacks with Red Buff so when ganking, make sure you do not pop Two-Shiv Poison until necessary.

Only activate it when the opponent flashes away so that it slows the opponent and gives you time to catch up again to hit and slow him more once. If the opponent is at extremely low HP, he will just drop dead if you toss it and ignite him before he flashes away.

These measures and procedures will ensure you get the kill with minimal effort.

2. Jungling/Farming/Etc.
When you're sure that you won't be fighting or ganking anytime soon, feel free to use Two-Shiv Poison continuously in between attack animations for killing minions so that you take them down at a faster rate. This goes for Red and Blue buff as well as Dragon and Baron but always keep in mind to save enough mana for Deceive as it is extremely crucial.

When farming at lanes, feel free to use it to deal last hits so that you farm efficiently and don't lose out on minion kills.

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Chapter 6

Item Sequence

Berserker's Greaves

Infinity Edge

Madred's Bloodrazor

Phantom Dancer

The Bloodthirster


Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage

Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed

Greater Mark of Attack Damage

Greater Seal of Attack Damage

Greater Glyph of Attack Speed