Shaco Humor Guide by purcellus

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 purcellus

shaco, tanko, critco, DIO BRANDO?!...maybe a hobo.

purcellus Last updated on March 25, 2012
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jun., tank, crit, mps, stacko


alternates for shaco

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: 8

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 0

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Introduction/shaco OP?

blah blah first time building, blah blah the guide is here to show what can be done with shaco, blah blah enjoy. This guide will focus on his many builds, and how to counter them, cause that is what I do.
Shaco is generally a character that many people have difficulty countering...and I find it hilarious. For instance, many people don't know that Shaco's deceive smoke is seen through the fog of war, giving him away where he will gank. However, because most people don't know this, WOOP, and a free kill it becomes for the clown from hell. He is also very variable in...just about everything, from his jungle route to his item build, to just how he plays. Some Shacos enjoy taking the enemy red first, others feel that their blue is more useful. Hopefully this guide can shed light on the many routes shaco can take, and hopefully make one less person insta gibbed.

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General stuff(Pro/con, timeline and item guide for/to counter shaco)

Ok, so:
Here are some general pros/cons with shaco:

  • His deceive not only stealths him, but it instantly blinks him to another location.
  • sometimes, you can just blink at your own spot, and people run right past you...good for giggles
  • His gap closing is insane. Deceive is deceiving: you can blink farther than it tells you. he also has two shiv in case deceive is not enough.
  • Again, very variable in his way of thinking. Can do just about anything.
  • Ultimate dodges multiple particle shots(eg. ez's ult)
  • Jitb fear cancels channels(don't rely on it)
  • pisses off anyone.
  • backdoors and then forces some team mates to go to him.

  • Deceive is mana intensive early game. Later game, however, mana costs Decrease.
  • If people see the orange puff of smoke in the Fog of War, they will know where you were, and can act accordingly.
  • pisses off Everyone.
  • you mean he's SQUISHY?! Yes, even in a tank build, he will drop his health faster than your pants.
  • jack in the boxes are ineffective to many players.
  • Is not a team player most of the time. Probably couldn't even team fight for a significant amount of time.
  • early game cs is poo.
  • hell, his early game in general, if it gets messed up, is very difficult to rebound.

General for building/skill
Note: Make sure Shaco is in a non squishy team composition: he relies on other people to take a hit for him. Plus, shaco is very squishy, and is designed to carry early game, then let the team return the favor late game.
End Note.
I've noticed some sort of triumvirate of item countering: health beats dmg reduction, dmg reduction beats damage, and damage beats health. though not always true, Shaco can easily counter the enemy team's build if fed properly. Generally though, start working your way to a madreds: you will need some cs to maintain yourself with your team. always build and play conditionally: make sure that you aren't building a bloodrazer on a squishy team. Later game, pray to god you got fed, or you will greatly harm your team(farm is an inf. edge, tri force, w/ boots and madreds at around a certain point. this is to back door). IF you didn't, just ward the map, get an oracle's and communicate with the team: hey, at least you're helping. And, for the love of god, please ward dragon and baron as much as possible after the 14 lvl. mark. IF you go into team fights, focus either the carries or those that are trying to run away.

0:00 to 3:00
Shaco is a character that doesn't f*** around, and if you do while going against him, you will suffer greatly. For starters, his early game, although variable, is also very limited: if you can predict where he moves and counter it, Shaco will have a very hard time rebounding. So always have someone check red AND blue, even if simply to find him. Usually he will start leveling with jack in the boxes, so if you can trap him, its almost a guaranteed kill. Even if shaco isn't jungling, he can attempt to take red, although this leaves him even more vulnerable due to a lack of Smite. The teams can expect a gank at level three, hell even at two if lucky, so keep your toes up. No need for a vision ward yet, assuming that its only Shaco that can stealth.

3:00 to 20:00 ish(laning phase)
at this point Shaco should either have a madreds, or in the case of AP, some sort of ap item. always keep aware of your jungle(focus on warding red/blue), and bring another team mate to take him down by having one of you at his post deceive location. Bring an oracle's if you really plan to killing him: Even though his deceive is somewhat far, someone with an oracle's elixir can shut him down, especially if slowed. Be aware of clones, and for the love of an atheist god, don't chase the guy: if you chase for longer 10 seconds, get ready to get killed by the enemy team, or worse, his boxes and him. In general, don't chase, ward the jungle, and get oracle's if you want to kill him.

20:00 to end (the team fights/back doors)
At this phase, shaco will be more of a back door person than a team fight. If he has gotten past the fed phase(inf edge, tri force, GA), he will back door. Try to find large waves of minions on your team, and ward accordingly. assuming he isn't significantly fed, shut him down by bringing a person with silences/heavy cc, and ensure that they buy either oracle's or vision ward. If he isn't too fed, still get an oracle's, but focus more on flushing out their wards, and make sure to put your own in. If he isn't that fed, his output is going to be very insignificant, so countering him will be very easy. Consider getting armor if his damage output is high, and remember: oracle's.(Oracle's also shuts down AP shaco, and very well at that).

In summary:
Madred's Bloodrazor is NOT a good weapon against shaco, but good on him, considering his clone also procs on hit effects(probably works with passive too. man, that would be insane).
Executioner's Calling is pretty good against and on shaco, considering that the grievous wound will give away the real shaco, and they didn't nerf the lifesteal(new meta perhaps?).
Vision Ward these are the bane of his existence, along with oracle's elixir. get these if he is doing good.
Thornmail is viable, but be careful of his clone. If shaco somehow gets this, you WILL get damaged from the clone's thornmail, but probably not by much.
Guardian Angel is very good on shaco. Good enough to get early game. one minute he's down, the next he's poofed. get an oracle's to counter most of this. the clone will not resurrect, however.
Look for buffs. the clone will NOT get any buffs, or have them visible.
Infinity Edge is probably one of the main items shaco gets, simply because it procs w/ deceive.
movement speed items are great for him, but not so great against him. You should NOT be chasing the clown, so don't bother with speed unless it works very well with you. Let him come to you, at a more vulnerable position. If you have to chase, make sure an ally is there to counter his Deceive.
attack speed items are great on him, simply because it effectively doubles when his clone is active. Frozen Heart can counter this.
Shaco has little to no viable crowd control: even though he is slippery, if you can get out of his grasp, he has little to pull you back in, so group up.
Shaco's hilarious. always.

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Skills and their details

Passive: 20% increase damage. pretty nice, although its very overlooked, simply to how the passive is. This damage applies to juat about every type of damage, including spell items( Deathfire Grasp). So, if you can, always target their back and pull their pants down.

Increases critical damage per level AND decreases mana costs(down to 50). this is very nice, simply because the range is longer than stated, the mana costs decrease, and it works well with the passive. when used with Infinity Edge the damage even goes further, so just make sure to maximize damage output. Be aware that it can dodge certain spells, but lock on spells will still hit you. debuffs are also still on, so don't use it if you are ignited thinking you will survive from it.

Jax in the box:
Increases mana costs, damage, and fear duration. Pretty nice, although fear is very finicky when it comes to it doing what you want it to do. place one of these behind the person(where they will run) so that the box hits them when fleeing. very funny stuff. The boxes last one minute, so they are great for temporary wards.

Two shiv poison:
passively increases chance for minions to miss hits, slow, damage, and mana cost per level. level one's damage output is very low, so use it only if the enemy is at very low health(read: less than 100), but at higher levels its takes a fairly good chunk of health out from a carry(around 200+). level this up first if you feel the enemies are turret hugging and at low health. the weapon does magic damage, so magic resist shuts it down well. Oh, and the miss chance on minions generally works even if its on cooldown(though the chance is small so don't go 10 hp vs. a golem.)

Oh ho ho, man, the ace in the hole. The thing that can piss many people off just because of its presence. Hallucinate, as stated before, can dodge particle effects, making one less shot hit you. It can also be used on suppression, meaning if Morgana suppresses you, then you can clone, but you WILL still be suppressed. Control the clone using alt and right click, and make sure you don't follow. This is probably the hardest thing to use, as it can be used at low health for early nuking, high health to just do extra damage, or anywhere in between. Be aware that sometimes if you are next to a wall and you hallucinate, you may actually blink to the other side of the wall. Do NOT rely on this, as I can't consistently do this.

In general:
Deceive behind people/in a location they won't go to if fleeing.
Jack In The Box behind people as well, though earlier than decieve if possible.
Two-Shiv Poison when they are at low health, otherwise keep the passive.
Hallucinate pretty much whenever you want, within reason. Its funny to see low health enemies target a clone even after you die, only to get blown in the face with shards and give a free kill.

Its moves like these that make me think shaco is the subconscious form of Dio Brando from "jojo's bizarre adventure", waiting to be truly released within the league. What, with the knife throwing, personal bodyguard, teleportation(time travel?), etc. all he needs now is a steamroller.

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Critical damage/chance runes, armor pen runes, or attack speed runes are viable. Shaco's base attack speed is relatively high, so increasing this further increases jungle speed and damage output.
Armor if you are jungling, mana regen/lvl otherwise
magic resist if you are jungling, Ability power otherwise.
Armor pen. quintessences, critical damage.

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Jungle shaco(AKA the one thats apparently most viable).


  • Increases the morale of the team, especially if ganks are decent.
  • Can generally expunge an enemy flash just by decieving in.
  • 1 minute box wards can prevent enemy ganks.
  • counter jungle is easy, easy enough to start at their red.
  • Very difficult to predict his overall movement. Even though a lane could be gankable, he could also be right in the enemy jungle waiting for an ambush.
  • offers a variable build: can counter the enemy team's build, and somewhat easily at that.
  • backdooring will be a piece of cake.
  • can solo dragon at 6, if lucky.
  • can get huge map control(two boxes can effectively give him enough wards for one lane to back door on).

very difficult to rebound if something messes up.
early game farm is going to be difficult, if not impossible
very furious map awareness: gotta micro the boxes, enemy movement, and jungle cs.
without kills falls very behind.
easily countered early game, esp. w/ oracle's/wards.
very squishy: if stunned or silenced/cc'd, will pretty much be dead, or close to it.
can technically be kited, esp at low mana(his gap closers will get you if you stay close, though).
very mana intensive without a blue buff. Until you start upgrading deceive.

0:00 to 3:00
at this stage, you can buy the following:
Cloth Armor and 5 health potions.
Vampiric Scepter.
Boots of Speed and 3 health potions.

from here you can do the following:
reach their red AND steal the wraiths(must be placing a box at the :44 second mark at wraiths, then the rest at red).
take your blue and then go to their red.
take your blue and gank a lane early.
take red and stack boxes in a bush nearby.
These are the most viable options with the least amount of risk. Of course you can attempt to take their blue, but be sure to be able to flee if the team is there.

Once you have both buffs, you must either counter jungle or attempt a gank. either works, just make sure one is done, all the while trying to ward the river.

3:00 to 20:00(laming phase)
Items that should be gotten by now, or will be gotten in this time period:
Wriggle's Lantern(for wards, really)
Boots of Mobility(for ganking)
Third item(ranges from Guardian Angel, to Trinity Force, to Infinity Edge, to Youmuu's Ghostblade(if you are good with it). to Wit's End.
From here, things can either get very hectic or very passive: assuming they have wards, you will either have to counter their jungle, or if you are fed enough, get an oracle's and flush out the wards. You must ensure that you keep a ticker at blue and red(both teams), so that you can flawlessly take it again when the time comes. once you reach level 6, check and make sure that everything is going as planned(if lanes are pushed, wards are still there, etc.) If you feel ready, take the dragon(make sure its warded!), and if the enemy is coming, bring your team there too. Control of dragon and your buffs are key: ward the rest of the jungle only to kill them if they try to counter. Other than that, focus on ganks, ganks, ganks. Buy items accordingly. If things go more passive than active in terms of ganks, continute to counter.

20:00 to endgame
At this point, you should have the above and another of the above, or:
Phantom Dancer
Banshee's Veil
Quicksilver Sash
Madred's Bloodrazor
This is a very difficult part of the game, as it will greatly reflect your performance for your team. if you fed them properly, they will return the favor by steamrolling the enemy and winning, with some exceptions. You, however, will have to accomodate by backdooring and continuing to ward the entire map. Hopefully you are fed enough to have at least a zeal, wriggle's and mobile boots. If not, then it will be a hard time but still the strategy is same: there are two holes in each half of the lane that the team must go to. placing boxes at these two holes will prevent many counters, save for enemies that can blink. Even still, it leaves a wide area of time and space to act on: do you continute to farm minions and push, or deceive out of there as soon as possible? Make sure that baron's lanes(mid and top) are pushed, so that when your team is ready, you can easily take it without worry of teleportation(if you took out wards). From here, rely more on your team like they did for you, and make sure to use any active items if available.
In summary of this part:
The same as above: build situational, find the stragglers, kill them, and communicate with the team.

In summary of the whole thing:
on hit items for tanky teams( Madred's Bloodrazor, Wit's End, Infinity Edge, Executioner's Calling),
damage reduction for high damage teams( Guardian Angel, Banshee's Veil, Wit's End)
Quicksilver Sash for those high cc teams.
armor penetration if armor gets above 220 for certain, 180 if more people have that much.
Sheen if you got mana problems. work it into Trinity Force. still got mana problems? Banshee's Veil it up.
If you want to be tankier, Phage is the best bet. if you really want a Frozen Mallet, it can stack with the slow, but has little use otherwise(the health still drops to nothing). Guardian Angel gives excellent armor, and an extra life.
if you need extra damage/life steal, The Bloodthirster and Executioner's Calling are very good sources.

attempt to steal red/blue whenever possible. get deceive so you can flee if in case at lvl 2.
ward the map. granted every lane should get at least one ward. jungler/support/fed should get an oracle's to flush out enemy wards.

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AP shaco guide(AKA stack in the box)

If you're really that good, just get a mejai's soulstealer, you *******.

But seriously, now.

Make sure to place the boxes in a bush that enemies consistently go to. if they have wards, get an oracle's. If they are coming with an oracle's, make sure the team is just out of reach of their vision: the boxes all of a sudden seem to be a less threat than the team, only to get shaco a penta kill. AP shaco is somewhat viable, but you must rely on the boxes survivability as well as the team's ability to bait.
get a zhonya's/GA early for trolling tankiness: seriously, when they focus a low hp shaco over boxes, and a zhonya's is active, WOOP! free kill.
If you're seriously laning with this, place boxes in a linear fashion: place the first near the minion wave, then snake it back to your turret. This guarantees a lack of ganks, so yeah...have fun with that.

In summary:
Soulstealer, tanky, win. If they really fall for these traps, just get ap. no need to work for kills. watch out for oracle's, though.

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Really? build this guy a tank? well, here's some good stuff:
Two tanks: tanko can take large punishment
If built properly, can get into team fights
frozen mallet procs very nicely(stacks w/ two shiv, and on clone)
pisses people off.
Very difficult build: to do this, you must get nearly every assist, and a good amount of cs
even if you're this tanky, you're still going to be squishy somewhere.
Little damage output, but you're going to get bloodrazer to still be a threat.
generally will not get focused if people look properly at the build.
Just not as funny as AP shaco(still funny though).

I'm not even sure that these builds are viable. But, I do know that GA is certainly tanky enough for him, and with a QSS, can evade pretty much anything. But, I digress. The tanko must be capable of initiating a team fight while having them distracted and crowd controlled by his boxes. not that his boxes gain hp based on his health, but it helps somewhere.

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Summoner Spells

Smite for jungling. every fricken time. Simply because you can counter jungle so well with it.

Ignite is a very viable spell. you can use it to assist in killing creeps(not recommended), and you can catch those stragglers rushing back to their turret.

Heal is probably the most hilarious thing to put on him. And it works. simply because it synergizes with the mastery skill point, and it works on your clone. most people don't consider using ignite on shaco until low health, so use it before that. the heal is ridiculous, and you can use it on an ally laner if he needs to be in there for a little longer. also great for ganking if you're about to die.

Teleport is great on shaco, especially with significant wards. the map control increases that much, and you can substitute a lane quicker if needed.

Flash is pretty good, but Deceive is already there for you. you can get it if deceive is misplaced, or if you want a further gap closer.

Clarity well, it is viable. if a laner is low on mana, you can go to their location and use this ability. you can also use it on an AP build, but later game clarity will have little to no use.

Clairvoyance is viable. you can use it to find out where the enemy jungler is, thereby leaving you to your devices. If you know where the jungler is, as a result, you can counter fairly easily: if they are at their red, just steal their blue.

Exhaust can be viable, but has to be used conservatively. Your Two-Shiv Poison already applies a slow, but exhaust has a significant range so that you don't have to risk going right to them. It can also be used if your two shiv is on cooldown.

Promote ok. so this is how you use it: get another spell. If you really want to use it, just use it in a lane that needs to be pushed, then push another lane. it can be used to push every lane, though extensive care must be used: you must be aware that enemy champs will want to take it down, and easily so if they have Smite.

Revive The increase movement speed is great...ah, who am I kidding? IF you feel that you need revive to go back into a fight, grab it, but consider this: he already is fast in lane switch, he doesn't need to be in team fights(probably shouldn't be), and death is somewhat unlikely if played/built properly.

Ghost is good if you want to chase down someone. it doesn't activate Deceive, so you can really chase down someone without them knowing, or just run from a losing fight.

Surge has increased attack speed and ability power. great if you want the last bits of hp to dwindle. the ability power is also pretty nice if you want to ensure a kill with two shiv.

Fortify tower invincibilty when you're not there?!...wait this ones gone, never mind then...

Rally great if you want a team...oh cmon, you're telling me this one is gone too?! what, are they going to nerf life steal and spell vamp next?! Is Evellyn going to get nerfed to the point of no return?! Are they going to even NERF THE JUNGLE?! cmon now, this surely won't...


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Unique Skills/using your skills to the max

Deceiving in place:
Ok, so the whole team is trying to get you, but all the escape routes are closed and warded. so what do you do? Deceive in place. most of the time people assume that you went a certain direction, so they move to that location(had two people Flash over the wall. good flash). DO not do this if they have oracle's, or if they are looking like they will stay there.

make sure to deceive right where they are going: its funny to make them think that you wouldn't go the way they are going and turn around.

make sure to deceive the other way: its funny to see them still go the same direction when you deceived right behind them to go the other way.

make sure to place jack in the boxes in areas people go to a lot, or where they have to go: place a jack in the box at baron when the enemy team is there, and watch them freak out when you use Smite to steal it easily, or watch them hopelessly die from baron.

Ult at very low hp, then frantically move your ult and yourself. even if they know who it is, the frantic motion will keep them thinking, at least for a while.

Ult at high hp so that you can get the clone for a while longer. you can also place it to absorb dragon's/baron's damage for you. as a bonus, you can hide in a bush and see if enemies are coming, then surprise them.

two shiv at low hp for nice kills.

two shiv if they are going out of range, and your team is close enough to do something about it.

If they have an oracle's, stay away from them. no use trying to do some damage, only to get killed instantly.

If you have GA, initiate the fight. Most of the time, the enemy team will stop focusing you(even with oracle's), and the GA will not only give an extra life, but reduces damage early game quite nicely. make sure you have the team with you though.

Wards don't cancel the jack in the boxes: if they place one, the box will not fire at it.

two shiv's miss chance on minions work even on cooldown.

deceive's puff is seen through the fog of war. make sure you're careful where you deceive from, or you can be a dead give away.

shaco's passive does 20% damage in just about every move and item in his inventory.

the clone has on hit effects: Madred's Bloodrazor is quite nice.

If you're feeling lucky, clone next to a wall, and hope to god that you get blinked on the other side of the wall.

The turrets focus jack in the boxes and your clone over minions. keep this in mind while pushing. No, the turrets don't get feared.

Ward bushes close to the lane/between the turrets. this way, you can kill people recalling with low health. can have some jack in the boxes.

Auras do NOT work with the clone, although their animations show(eg. sunfire cape)

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Shaco has a very difficult time farming minions, so madred's razor is quite nice. later game, when high damage output/crit items are bought, back dooring will effectively increase his creep score greatly.

Other than that, just pull out the herp derpasaurus and last hit/kill all the things. use the clone for extra cs/tricking people to think that its just you.

If you want to be a total douche, just head right between the eyes(between enemy top/bottom turrets), and just farm there. your deceive will make it easy to evade enemy champions, but still place boxes in the areas they can come in to. the problem with this, is that you need sufficient life steal, and you will decrease an ally's cs as a result. good if you want people to come to you, only to have other lanes push.

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TL:DR just wanna be 22000 helo

Well, there you have it. the clown that is secretly Dio Brando. So, good things and bad things:

on hits are nice
tanky items can work on clone(on hit and on being hit work)
deceive is deceiving
turrets emphasize focusing clones and boxes unless an enemy has been hit by another champion.
Oracle's and wards shut him down easily, much similar to other stealth champions.
he can mu da da your *** from across the map. with a box. in your face. while dead
smite works on jack in the box, much as other summoner spells.
In super general, upgrade/build
attack speed
tanky(GA, Tri Force, or Banshee is all you need, but others could work under certain conditions)
attack damage
Critical damage/chance
shred items( The Black Cleaver, Malady)

life steal(clone doesn't get it)
ability power(lulz boxes)
cooldown reduction(faster deceive, ability usage)
mana(early game for deceive, late game to sustain in a location)

Big no nos:
Certain aura effects(again, clone doesn't get it)
very tanky items(can't effectively deal enough damage to be tanky)
tenacity items early game.
Ionic Spark early game(the clone procs it, but it isn't enough damage per money. get Wit's End instead).

Hopefully this guide gives a basic input of what shaco can and probably can not do. Best of luck. in other words:
Mu da da!
mu da mu da mu da!
throw those knives, fellas. throw those knives...

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Changes log

-they. nerfed. evelyn.
-they. nerfed. the. jungle.
-they. nerfed. everything.
Made the guide at least...


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