Shaco Build Guide by The Sea Squirrel
Not Updated For Current Season
Not Updated For Current Season
Hello, friends! I am currently a Diamond Mid/ Jungle main who's favorite champion is Shaco. I've been playing the game for over 2 years and feel I've amassed quite a bit of knowledge about Shaco and how he is to be properly played. In this guide I am going to be covering everything from Runes and Masteries to teamfighting and everything in between. Enjoy and be sure to leave feedback!
Note: I am still working on finalizing the guide, so it is not yet completely finished.
Shaco in a Nutshell
Shaco is one of the best gankers in the whole game. His Deceive and early-game damage make him very scary in the early stages of a match. Your opponents absolutely have to respect the fact that there's a Shaco on the field, otherwise you can easily exploit their mistakes (overextending/ lack of wards) and snowball your team to victory. Shaco also has ridiculous 1v1 and split-pushing potential. Overall he is an extremely strong solo queue jungler that when played properly can devastate your opponents and lead to easy victories.
Pros / Cons
-One of the, if not the best ganker in the game
-Extremely strong split-pusher
-High damage potential throughout the entire game
-Q acts as a short CD flash
-Slow jungle clear
-Countered by Pinks/ Oracles
-Very difficult to master and play well
-Weak late game when not used correctly
My favorite rune setup is currently Greater Mark of Attack Damage, Greater Seal of Armor, Greater Glyph of Attack Speed, Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed. I feel that Greater Mark of Attack Damage are necessary on Shaco as the bonus AD makes him a huge threat early in the game. Greater Seal of Armor is pretty self explanatory. The added armor is necessary for any jungler. great glyph of attack speed help make up for Shaco's lackluster clear speed and are a great source of damage overall. The Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed aren't necessary, however I feel the utility they provide makes them a worthwhile investment. If you don't own or don't want to use Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed, Greater Quintessence of Attack Speed or Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage are also good options.
21/9/0 is a pretty standard mastery setup for aggressive junglers. The added damage you get from putting 21 points in the Offense tree can be the difference between you getting FB or the enemy escaping with a sliver of HP. You could opt out of putting 9 points in the Defense tree (although I strongly recommend you do not) and put them in the Utility tree for Runic Affinity . However when you do this you lose the added survivability from the Defense tree which, in my opinion, just isn't worth it.
Backstab (passive)- Backstab deals 20% bonus damage when striking an enemy from behind. This is very important to remember when positioning to deal damage. Try your best to stay behind the target whenever auto attacking to maximize your damage output. This also gives Shaco fantastic damage when chasing!
Deceive (Q)- Deceive is what makes Shaco such a strong ganker. It's essentially a mini- flash the puts you in stealth for 3.5 seconds and gives you a free Crit on an enemy with your first AA out of stealth. Deceive is an extremely versatile ability and the ways you choose to use it is the difference between being a mediocre and a great Shaco player.
Jack In The Box (W)- Just like Deceive, Jack in the Box is a very versatile ability. It's great added damage for jungling/fighting/ganking, provides useful CC, gives limited vision for a short duration of time (essentially a mini- ward), and helps when taking objectives such as towers, dragons, and barons.
Two-Shiv Poison (E)- Two- Shiv Poison is Shaco's main damage- dealing ability at early levels. However not only does it provide damage but also a slow which makes it a great ganking tool.
Hallucinate (R)- Hallucinate is Shaco's most defining ability as it provides great utility and damage at all points in the game. Hallucinate creates a clone of Shaco which can be controlled by the player. It deals a portion of Shaco's damage in auto- attacks and explodes upon death dealing AoE damage to anyone standing directly around it when it dies. However the damage it provides isn't what makes it such a great ability. What makes it so great and unique is the utility it provides. Hallucinate provides bonus damage when taking down objectives (much like Jack in the Box) and can be used to confuse enemies into thinking the clone is you! This gives Shaco awesome juking potential that when paired with Deceive makes Shaco the best escape artist in the game.
Doran's Blade - I LOVE the Doran's start on Shaco. The damage it provides is fantastic for early- game skirmishes and ganks. Since Shaco has a very fast and safe initial clear of the jungle the sustain from Health Potion isn't necessary. And not wasting money on Hunter's Machete + it's upgrades allows you to get in to your core build faster.
Doran's Blade x2 - Doran's are great items because they're very cheap and provide great early- game stats. Picking two up early on Shaco give him solid damage and health which make him deceptively strong in the early levels.
Berserker's Greaves - I prefer Zerker Greaves to any other boot options as the AS is perfect for split pushing/ 1v1ing. However if you feel that you need the tenacity from Mercury's Treads or the mobility from Boots of Mobility than pick them up instead. It really just comes down to preference and the situation.
Statikk Shiv - Finishing Shiv first is always a good idea on Shaco. It's extremely cost- efficient and provides great wave clear/ damage.
Blade of the Ruined King - BotRK is one of the best items on Shaco hands down. The stats it provides paired with chasing/ escape potential it brings is insane. A lot of other Shaco players would think of it more as a situational item, but I personally think it's stats synergize perfectly with SHaco's kit.
Youmuu's Ghostblade- Youmuu's is personally one of my favorite items to buy on Shaco. All of the stats it gives plus it's active are amazing for split pushing and dueling.
The Bloodthirster- Bloodthirster is always a great damage option on any AD champion. The damage and sustain it provides are great in any situation.
Infinity Edge- Just like Bllodthirster, Infinity Edge is also a great damage option on AD champions. Plus the Crit/ Crit damage boost it provides synergize perfectly with Statikk Shiv. The only downside to building IE is how expensive it is to complete. I would really only recommend buying it if you have a large gold income.
Last Whisper- Last Whisper is awesome on Shaco if the enemy team is stacking a lot of armor. It's a pretty core item to counter high armor targets such a Malphite or Jarvan IV.
The Black Cleaver- Black Cleaver has all around fantastic stats for Shaco. The CDR, armor pen, health, and AD are great for any situation.
Ravenous Hydra - Just like with BotRK and Shiv, the stats Hydra gives are perfect on Shaco. However the wave clear it gives synergizes perfectly with Shiv. Hydra + Shiv makes Shaco the perfect split- pusher.
Maw of Malmortius- Maw is a great damage/ defensive option when facing a heavy AP team.
Phantom Dancer- Personally I don't see a need for PD as Statikk Shiv gives pretty much the same stats (and is cheaper!). However it is still a viable option when building glass cannon Shaco as it syngergizes very well with the Statikk Shiv and Infinity Edge combo.
Sword of the Divine- SotD is a pretty lackluster item except for the active which can be great when trying to assassinate high priority carries.
Guardian Angel- GA is my favorite defensive item on Shaco as it fits perfectly with his all-in playstyle. It is really good against bursty teams!
Randuin's Omen- Randuin's is great against heavy AD teams or for dealing with a fed AD carry.
Banshee's Veil- Banshee's is good against heavy AP teams or for blocking annoying abilities such as Blitzcrank grab or Karthus ult!
Smite - You should ALWAYS pick up smite on any jungler. No questions asked.
Ignite- Ignite is great for early game damage/ ganking. Although it's usefulness falls off later in the game, having ignite early makes Shaco nearly impossible to 1v1 and makes him ganks very, very strong.
Exhaust - I think exhaust is a solid option as it provides good utility throughout the entire game. It's really just preference between ingite/ exhaust.
Flash - Flash is an all around excellent summoner spell, but Shaco already has a mini- flash with his Q so there isn't really a need to take it.
Early game is where Shaco truly excels. He provides crazy pressure all around the map because of how easy it is to pull off successful ganks. With this in mind you have three main goals early: Farming, Counter Jungling, and Ganking.
Early Game Farming - Shacos has a pretty fast initial clear time b/c of how quickly he can kill the first buff. Unlike most other junglers, Shaco does not need an early leash to be successful because of how quickly he can down the first buff with Jack In The Box. By stacking your Ws in the back of the buff pit before it spawns (begin stacking your Ws around ~0:56) Shaco is able to kill the first buff quickly, without help, without smite, and most times without even using an HP pot. After downing the first buff make your way over to your second buff and kill it as well. At this point you should be level three and this is where Shaco is his most dangerous. You should be looking for a ganking opportunity, however if you do not see one it's fine to continue farming your jungle until a ganking opportunity presents itself.
An example of an early game farm route for Shaco looks something like this:
This is a fairly standard route for most junglers. You clear blue, make your way over to red, kill wraiths, kill double golems, and finally kill the wolves.
Also don't forget about holding lanes! Holding lanes when one of your teammates dies or goes B is a great way to snag some nice experience and gold early on.
Counter Jungling- Counter jungling is fairly dangerous if you don't have vision of their jungler or lanes when doing it. I strongly recommend against counter jungling before level 3 for the this reason. With this in mind, Shaco is a very good counter jungler because of his great dueling potential (especially with Exhaust or Ignite) and the escape he has with his Deceive. Since smaller camps (ie wolves, wraiths, double golems) give less experience and have a shorter spawn time it may not be worth the risk to counter jungle specifically to steal a small camp. What it comes down to is that counter jungling is purely situational and most times is not worth the risk.
Ganking - Ganking is where Shaco shines. In fact, most of your time early game should be spent either looking for or creating gank opportunities. What makes Shaco such a potent ganker is the utility and damage provided by his abilities early on in the game. Deceive allows Shaco to get in position behind his enemies, Jack In The Box provides nice damage and CC when used correctly, Two-Shiv Poison provides a nice slow and burst of damage, and finally Backstab provides amazing damage when positioned correctly and chasing down enemies.
Not only do all of Shaco's abilities syngergize well with each other and provide a nice mix of damage/ CC, but what really makes Shaco a strong ganker are the many ways you can sneak into a lane using Deceive. Shaco's Q allows him to stealthily get places where most other junglers simply could not. It allows Shaco to bypass wards, jump over walls, sneak into brush areas, etc. It is truly the perfect ganking tool. Below is a map showcasing some of the walls he can jump over and brush areas he can easily sneak into in order to pull of some insane ganks. Keep in mind these are just a few examples! Feel free to mix it up a bit and looks for other creative ways to use your Deceive to keep your enemies on their toes!
Shaco's mid game is also very strong. He provides excellent objective control and pressure throughout the map. Mid game is also the point where you can begin split pushing. Altogether this makes Shaco a very dangerous mid game jungler.
Objective Control- Mid game is around the time teams will begin pressuring Dragon and enemy buffs. Shaco is very good at controlling AND pressuring objectives due to the insane damage he can pump out using both Jack In The Box and Hallucinate. When taking any objective whether it be Dragon, Towers, Buffs, etc. it is very important to maximize your damage output while making sure you aren't vulnerable to an enemy engage/counter attack. Be sure to use every tool at your disposal, whether it be using a well placed Jack In The Box to provide vision, using Hallucinate/ Jack In The Box to provide extra damage/ tank an objective, etc. Shaco has fantastic Buff/ Objective control when used properly.
Mid Game Split Pushing- Shaco is one the best split pushers in the entire game. His combination of damage tools, escapes, and dueling potential make him extremely potent when split pushing. Shaco's only weak point when it comes to split pushing, however, is his lack of wave clear w/o items. items such as Statikk Shiv and Ravenous Hydra easily make up for his lack of wave clear, however you most likely wont have both of those items completed by mid game, meaning you will push substantially slower than you would come late game. When pushing towers be sure to drop a Jack In The Box in such a way that it will not be aggro'd by minions and it focus only the tower. This will increase your tower- killing speed tremendously.
However it is not wise to blindly split push, as this can leave both you and your team vulnerable. There are a few things you need to keep in mind when deciding whether or not to split push: 1- Is your team able to hold off your enemy 4v5? This is very important to think about before deciding to split. If your team is too far behind that they are susceptible to a 4v5 tower dive, it may not be wise to split push. If your team has a lack of wave clear it may also not be wise to split push. 2- Do you have vision of the enemy team? You simply must have vision of most if not all of the enemy team when deciding to split push, as you can easily be caught in a 1v2 or 1v3 situation leaving your team to fend off your enemy 4v5. sight ward, Vision Ward, and Jack In The Box can be used to provide vision of the enemy so you know when it is and isn't safe to split push.
Mid Game Team Fighting- Teamfighting is one of Shaco's biggest issues. This is especially true mid-game when he is at his squishiest. Shaco is extremely susceptible to CC, AoE damage, and single target burst meaning that you need to choose what you do in teamfights very carefully.
I will cover teamfighting more in depth further down in the guide!
Late game is considered by many to be Shaco's weakest point, and if he isn't properly played this is very true. In order to play Shaco well late game you need to be very careful and decisive with what you choose to do.
Late Game Split Pushing- Late game split pushing is Shaco's forte. His kit and items provide everything a good split pusher needs in order to be effective late. His late game damage potential is simply off the charts in both dueling and destroy Tower/ Inhibitors/ Nexus. In order to maximize your split pushing potential you need to be aware of a few things. First, Jack In The Box does NOT hit Inhibitors or The Nexus unless triggered by a minion/ player. So when pushing down an Inhibitor or The Nexus it can be wise to place your Jack In The Box in such a way that it can provide vision or CC an enemy if they try to stop you. Second, as mentioned previously you need to choose when you split push wisely and inform your team about what you are going to be doing. Blindly split pushing, especially late game, could very easily lose you the game.
Late game split pushing can also allow the enemy team to take Baron for free! Even though Shaco is a fantastic split pusher, you have to keep in mind that you have the smite for your team. If you choose to push bottom when Baron is up, it is very possible the enemy team will go for it as soon as they see you bot. You have to be sure they either your team can hold them off of Baron 4v5, or it's worth losing Baron to take towers/ Inhibitors (although it rarely is!).
You need to be 100% sure that split pushing will not end poorly for you or your team in order for it to be successful!
Late Game Teamfighting- As previously mentioned, teamfighting is one of Shaco's biggest weaknesses. Shaco is not a late game teamfighter, however sometimes there is no avoiding it. If there is a situation in which you must teamfight, your goal should either be to assassinate an enemy carry, or peel for one of yours. Shaco has great assassination potential but jumping in at the wrong time could very easily get you killed.
Baron Control- Shaco provides great Baron control due to the utility and damage his abilities provide. For example both Jack In The Box and Hallucinate can be used to give vision or do damage depending on what you feel your team needs. He also is great for stealing baron by using Deceive to hop over the Baron pit wall/into Baron pit w/o being seen (however since you have no flash this almost always means certain suicide).