Shaco Build Guide by Remain
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 Insane
I write this guide with the intent to properly give you an insight into how to play laning AD Shaco, with some game tactics inbetween.
This build focuses on having the most bang for the bucks, while also giving you that insane backdooring power you need when you just don't feel like teamfighting.
When I first posted this guide Shaco had one of the best backdooring capabilities in the game, but somewhere inbetween then and now he got nerfed, clone, decieve, what not had their dmg reduced, but also alot of bug fixes.
[b}This guide primarily aims at you playing normal for fun, because he just is not strong enough for ranked play up top or middle, whereas his jungle build is viable
Preguide rant from the author (skip this if you are eager to start):
Something I would like to add is that this guide won't make your Shaco unkillable, it wont make him rip a whole team apart just by looking at them, and no, you won't be the BEST CHAMPION IN THE WHOLE WORLD by following this guide, the only thing that can make your champ great, is YOU.
Many guides promise you green fields of joy and love whereas by following their guide you will be the best, unbeatable, by their standards you are supposed to get a champion kill every 3minutes starting from mid game, they also give you item builds that in no degree manage to stick to how their whole guide is built, imagine if 3 others are also reading guides that say YOU WILL KILL ALL AND BE BEST, then we suddenly have a small paradox.
So before we start, expect alot of tricky stuff, alot of easy stuff, and alot of stuff you simply do not see any reason in trying, you might see me write about how easy Soraka is to kill, then don't trust me blindly, don't contionously get raped by the same champion over and due to me saying how easy it was for ME, because a game is not set in stone just by reading a guide, a champion is not OP or UP just by reading a guide, it is what you make it to be, and how much effort you want to put into it to make it that way.
Jitb/Boxes = Jack in the Box, your W ability
FB = First blood
AD = Attack Damage
Shiv = Two-Shive activate
Clone = Hallucinate
Port/TP = Teleport
LoL = League of Legends
-Even dying gives benefits
-Annoying as hell
-Great champ killer
-Effectivly reduce the number of players on the enemy team throughout the game, giving great possibilities for your team to push through.
-Hard to master
-Oracle kills some of the fun
What you SHOULD have:
Exhaust - This spell is such a huge make or break early game that it aint even funny, with both a blind and specced armor reduce this gives you great gank opportunities early game, a spell I never go without.
Teleport - The ultimate pusher spell, use it when you are low, use it when your mobs are at an undefended tower, use it to defend an undefended tower, use it on one of your boxes to go behind enemy lines to tear down that inhibitor, so many uses!
Ignite - This is the spell I love to hate, 50% healing reduce, annoying puny dot, if you REALLY like ****ing with your enemies mind, then choose this
What you CAN have, but not such a big deal early/late game:[/i]
Heal - A spell you might want to use in your first few matches as a Shaco, but its effect will diminish after a while and you will see that there are better things to go for, the heal is great, but with pots early game and lifesteal mid/late this will pretty much be useless.
Clairvoyance - A big deal for any premade, and also a big deal for you as a player, if you are one of those more defensive, layed back types that does not like ganking, choose this to get a headstart at running away.
Ghost - Great for escaping, great for getting quicker back to your lane, great for chasing down enemies, take this if you are more fixated at getting kills.
Ignite - This is the spell I love to hate, 50% healing reduce, annoying puny dot, if you REALLY like ****ing with your enemies mind, then choose this, in my opinion tho, if you can't get those last HP off him or he has something to counter that ignite well then it is wasted
Cleanse - Something to consider aswell if you really are having a hard time vs any stun heroes
What you should NOT have:
Revive - Just no.
Clarity - If you need this during your battle, then you are doing something wrong, consider picking up golem mid/late.
Smite - If you even considered this spell, then go find a jungling guide.
Fortify - Leave this spell to the support/tank.
Flash - A spell used by many, almost everyone has it, but when you have it built into your character it get's pretty useless compared to things you can have instead
Buy Sapphire Crystal and 2 HP pots and run to get the golem buff along with killing the 2 lizards that are with him, by taking the 2 lizards you will level and get a headstart, and possibly a FB.
By lvl 3 you have Shiv and can safely start harassing with great results, if you are up against aggressive opponents, then let them push until they are at your tower, and Decieve/Shiv for huge amount of dmg thanks to the crit runes.
With proper harass during the first few lvls you will show that this lane is YOUR territory, and any attempts at trying to take it will result in death.
IF you on the other hand are getting pushed back, with your lanepartner doing little to nothing, then just stay defensive, nothing can kill you as long as the tower is up, and with Clone you are the perfect defender.
By this time the game is starting to turn into a proper warzone, people group up, trying to get easy kills on unsuspecting enemies and such, but that is not for Shaco, Shaco is better than that....
If the enemy team has started grouping up and pushing a lane, then try swapping to a lane with no friends or foes, and where your minions are starting to bundle up, this is the perfect opportunity to push a tower down with your clone, and if you manage to keep Sheen and Boxes up while doing it, then that is for the better, sooner or later the enemy has to retreat due to your insane pushing ability or watch as you slowly tear down their towers, which means the game is over.
When you reach this point in a game you will have gotten the tower reaper kit completely, start building Bloodthirster/Infinity/Black Cleaver depending on the team setup
At the end of the match you will have driven your enemies to insanity by constantly pushing in all lanes and being close to unkillable, not only does this brew frustration in the enemy ranks, but it also gives your team great chances to push in two lanes while the enemy is chasing after you.
Thumb rules for premades/Pubs:
Public games (You go solo):
People are idiots, they dont use vent and whine in chat, use it to your advantage.
Your team is decent/good? Keep on making that backdoor
Your team sucks? Up your game, only use port when towers are in trouble, and dont risk anything.
Your team sucks so hard that your wiener stiffens abit? If you can command them to just bundle up in a lane where the enemy is and try to hug the tower for a few minutes you can try backdooring to attract their attention.
Premade games(You go premade vs premade):
This is where you really can shine, people are better on the opposing team but that does not mean they get any smarter than the pubbers.
Sadly there is not much to write about here, the game shifts in many directions and can often lead to surprising things happening, teammates not managing to keep the enemy from pushing, sudden pushes in different lanes means you have to try to push back as fast as possible.
(Not saying that sudden things dont happen in pub games, but it is easier to get control off)
Champ types you want to lane with:
Any champ that can jungle, this gives you such a huge advantage XP and gold wise that it is almost scary. (Warwick/Fiddle/Trynd etc)
Slowers/stunners, Getting the FB after golem will be so much easier. (Ashe/Anivia/Annie etc)
Champs you want to lane against:
Obviously a low HP champ is what you are aiming for, easy kill/harassing object (Ryze/Twitch/Ashe etc)
AP Shaco, you have boxes to counter his boxes, your dmg is superior to him, and with a keen eye you can easily spot who his Clone is, that champ build is so wasted in anything other than 1-27lvl games.
Champs you should try avoid laning with:
Any tank, they usually just end up beeing a useless meatshield against any proper ranged/melee, even though I have had some good games laning with tanks like Singed and Blitz I cannot really advise this unless you have really good communication with you partner.
Any melee without a proper harass against a good ranged, now I know that all heroes have some kind of harass, but the difference with most heroes is that they have to put themself into alot of danger to even get that hit on, or with a insufficient mana pool to be worth it.
(Udyr, Yi, Mordekaiser etc)
Champs you do not want to lane against:
Any tank, just as they are one of your worst to lane with, they are the worst to lane against, a proper tank eats your shivs for breakfast, and decieve harassing is most likely going to get you killed, your Jitbs now only work as litter boxes and clone is easily tanked by most at lvl 6.
I will mark the ones that are the most annoying and hard to counter with bold
(Rammus, Sion, Mundo, Amumu, Cho'Gath, Blitz, Alistar, Singed, Shen)
Note on Rammus: This tough cookie is hard to beat, it is so frustrating to get taunted and having to eat his Ulti and Dmg shield + Thormail if he has it, to counter this buy Last whisper instead of Malady, and then Bloodthirster
AP Shaco, you will facepalm so hard when you see that the other Shaco has bought Mejai's that your hand will be stuck to your face for the rest of the match, meaning you will have a hard time controlling your character.
Any stunners, with fast reflexes you wont have much problem with such heroes, but be aware of what might come flying through the bush, Ashe might of just shot her arrow down your lane, or Sion just waited 7minutes in that bush for you to walk towards it and stun/shieldsplash you.
Do NOT risk your life, the only thing that can kill you as Shaco is your own stupidity!
Do not be ignorant, if you have played more than a 100games you will have gotten used to the tendency of people not bothering to say miss, but as I said above, only your own stupidity can kill you, so be aware at all times, eyes on the map, If someone is missing, pull over in a bush and set some boxes out for defense.
Never go completely oom, keep your eyes on your mana pool so that you have just enough to Decieve.
Placing Jitb in strategic places is vital for surviving as Shaco, during the whole game you shall always plan your escape route ahead, and have boxes planted in bushes for giving you a few extra seconds to escape.
I cannot stress this enough, do not towerdive!
Unless your enemy is on 1 bar and you on full, then you can take the chance, but in all other situations just pull back and wait for them to push back your creeps, dying is not an option early game, and you will get plenty of kills once you have the proper advantage.
The thing with Shaco is that he is incredibly mobile, meaning he can swap back and forth between lanes as necessary, and he is even more awesome at taking down towers.
Once you have acquired Sheen, and think it is safe to tear a tower down, keep pushing with your creeps and once you get to the tower throw out a Jitb (which will either take the towers attention away from your creeps, or it will pop up and start shooting at the tower for added dmg), Sheen pops and you have a 100% more dmg on your next hit!
Pop Clone once you think Sheen is up again and keep that nuking up, Jitb and Shiv when you can to get Sheen up and watch that tower get torn apart.
Notice: Popping Jitb and or Clone when an enemy Champion is near the tower is not advised since if the Clone gets killed, or the Jitb starts shooting the champion the tower will direct its fire at you, meaning a possible gank opportunity for them
Champ skills and tricks explanation:
[iAnything written inside apostrophes () is my personal notes on these tricks/abilities
What behaviour pattern to have when enemy team has oracle:
As I wrote in my (pros/cons) list, the oracle really kills alot of the fun you can have with this character, making your next moves really easy to read and your behaviour will be more straight forward, keep in mind that even if Shaco does not have a pure stealth move like Twitch and Evelyn, it does affect him to almost the same degree as it does affect them.
I will put up a small list of rules about how you can avoid getting killed when the enemy team has really starting to put an effort into raping you.
Remember to follow the tips I gave in the Tips section, like throwing boxes out in the bushes, and primarily DONT BE STUPID
Rule #1: If you see them, run.
Rule #2: If your boxes start popping before the 90sec, run
Rule #3: If more than 3 players are missing from the map, jungle or help defend
What to do in certain situations:
- If you are a premade, try setting up a trap for them, most arrogant teams get so tunnelvision on you that even with 4 of your players hitting them they still continue chasing you.
- IF you get caught, try waiting for their slow to run out if you can, just pulling numbers out of my ***, but I would say that 70% of the times I die is because of slows that hinder me from escaping while stealthed.
- When you get caught and want to decieve do so in the proper direction (aka: the one that gives you the longest headstart) because decieving through them will make them see you and trying something fancy will msot likely just fail, ofcourse do try to abuse the walls around as much as possible.
- When getting chased through the jungle, ALWAYS try porting to the closest bush, it will most likely confuse them and buy you some time to escape.
Great for getting them low enough for a kill, or simply removing them from the lane, 1 of the first things you should learn as a Shaco player
(Due to changes in the recent patch Shaco cannot use Shiv while stealthed meaning I had to alter this abit)
Decieve harassing is the fine art of simply using your Decieve and then you have 2 options...
Option A = You are unsure if you will survive meleeing him, so just use Box + Shiv if you can afford the mana, otherwise just pull back.
Option B = You are very sure that you can safely harass him with a melee hit either from the back (passive 25% extra dmg) or just from the front and then Shiving while running back.
Cutting the supply line:
This is a little trick I have enjoyed using in the past few games where the enemy team has simply ripped the 2 towers in the middle down and then camped outside the last tower continuously waiting for more and more minions to tank it for them so that they can either attack it abit or just kill my teammates that are trying to defend it.
So, to execute this you have to have atleast Phantom Dancer + Vampiric Scepter, or just Malady, now run up to just outside the enemies middle towers range, and wait there for the mobs to come, and then simply kill them there, completely stopping any reinforcements from helping the enemy team and successfully Cutting the supply line
Better yet, the enemy champs will probably start chasing after you 1 by 1, giving your teammates a chance at scoring a kill off one of the slowpokes that was not paying attention.
What you will get from this is:
 Time to get your teammates to ress
 XP and Gold (obviously)
 Hopefully a kill which is essential to a great team push and for you to backdoor.
This is a very champion specific trick because there are very few champs that can kill - escape - kill - escape, Kassadin can pull off something similar, but with a way bigger risk of dying.
Downing the golem at lvl 1:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yzSYCLMTVS8 Guide to getting golem as Shaco, I take no credit for the video.
Now depending on how early you were in, you might end up with losing one Jitb due to it ticking out, meaning that the golem will survive in most cases, so here are some simple rules to counter any trouble you might have..
Rule 1: Always have Jitb on cooldown before meleeing the golem.
Rule 2: Always melee the golem instead of the lizards
Rule 3: As ive said before, be AWARE, any smart team will check the golem spot before the game starts, meaning they have an excellent opportunity to gank you, or simply steal your buff! So for this, once you've planted a Jitb, run and check nearby places for any lurking enemies.
Reasoning behind Bloodthirster/Infinity/Black Cleaver:
When to buy Bloodthirster = When you know that you can keep yourself up with your phantom and 30% lifesteal against tough champs, the lifesteal helps alot for pushing lanes without needing to leave it for regen, beware though, Stunners and Teemo are especially dangerous when going this route, this is THE weapon to choose for most games because of the great benefits it gives.
When to buy Infinity = When there are are ****loads of CC/Squishies and/or the on the other team, buffing your crit dmg to 250%, with runes you get 300%, and then Decieve will buff it further up to 430% crit dmg, 439% crit dmg with talents, 150% increased base dmg if you have Triforce, and on top of it all 25% more dmg when hitting from behind! INSANE
When to buy Black cleaver = I personally don't use this often, the reason beeing that most non-squishy champs are easy to take down with Infinity or Bloodthirster, but in some cases where the enemy tanks are starting to piss me off I go Black cleaver for alot of extra ArP and with malady you will most likely outheal them.
If you have any questions or feedback on the guide please do leave a comment.