Shaco Build Guide by Niel1234
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
This is my Shaco guide, which is hoping to cover everything from why to play Shaco, to how to play Shaco in different situations, to the different ways of playing Shaco.
What can you expect from this guide?
A look at the majority of the ways you can play Shaco.
Different ways to build him, and the reasons I build him as I do.
Ways to respond in different situations. This includes when to use your abilities and how to respond to teamfights.
But the ultimate thing is: You will never be able to play Shaco just from reading a guide. You have to play him to get a feel for his abilities, his escapes and also his interaction with his team.
I hope that with this guide, you can come out of being totally new to Shaco and into a phase where you know a fair bit about him and can learn the rest of his abilities without being flamed by your team.
Auto-Attack. A normal right click on the enemy. Happens automatically unless you press S.
Blue buff. A big golem with a blue ring surrounding it. Protected with two smaller minions that do very little damage and have low HP. Killing it grants you the blue ring and with it comes near infinite mana until it runs out.
Red Buff. A big lizard with a red ring surrounding it. Killing it grants you the red ring. This makes your auto-attacks and single target abilities (Abilities that can only hit one person) slow and damage enemies over time.
Smite steal. This is when you use smite on an enemies buff when it is low on HP and take it from them.
Smite late. This is basically smite stealing your own buff. You smite when the smite will kill the buff and take it instantly, stopping anyone else from taking it or stealing it.
Pros / Cons
The runes are setup to maximize your early game and mid game, and try to help your endgame.
Greater Mark of Desolation means you do more damage, especially early game before people start staking armor. Note that this does not effect your Two-Shiv Poison.
Greater Seal of Armor gives you an easier time jungling, especially as I tend to skip cloth armor and head straight for Boots of Speed.
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist helps your ganking, specifically mid, as you don't melt as fast. Your presence in the first teamfights is also a lot stronger. However, these lose their effectiveness lategame. Because of this, Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction may be a good pick for you.
Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed adds onto your build's speed and your masteries to give you a ton of speed. While this has a relativity small effect on your overall movement speed, it can mean the difference between you living or dieing.
If movement speed isn't what you want, Greater Quintessence of Desolation gives you even more damage.
Your masteries aim to:
- Maximize your physical damage output.
- Increase your crit chance and damage for some late game support
- Support your ganking by increasing the duration of your buffs
By doing this you improve all aspects of your game, from start to finish.
Armor Pen helps you throughout the game, making your damage a lot higher.
Crit Chance and Crit Damage supports your late game and provides a small amount of help early game (Mostly luck based). However with 10% extra damage + 250% base crit damage your crits will really hurt. Late game you mostly rely on crits to do damage.
Feel free to get improved recall if you feel you need it. While invading your enemies jungle getting away 1 second quicker could be the difference between life and death.
These items aim to:
- Make you fearsome 1v1
- Sustain you throughout your early game
- Help you do something in teamfights
Boots of speed. These support your early ganking as most players will also gets Boots of Speed. Without these you may end up not as fast as others and they can just kite you.
Mared's Razors. These increase your jungling speed and help with clearing camps fast. Just watch out when giving your mid blue - Razors can deal a ton of damage and you may not realize it.
Wriggle's Lantern. This sustains your jungling with lifesteal and gives you a free ward.
You can use this ward wherever you see fit. If you are dominating, put the ward at there blue so you can attempt a steal. If a lane is being very bad and getting ganked a lot, give them a free ward. In low ELO you will have to do this a lot.
After 15:00 warding baron is a priority (However vision wards are better than your sight ward)
Boots of mobility. These allow you to run around the map ganking and farming. These are some of the best boots for Shaco.
When you get to know Shaco you can drop these boots and go for other boots. Using your ability to backdoor and your boxes, you do not need movement speed as you dictate where people go. If you are in bottom lane pushing the enemy team will have to react to you. Then you can use your extra attack speed or tenancy to improve your fighting power.
When your team is in need of constant ganks to help them you will want to pick mobility boots.
These items aim to give you a bit of everything. Movement speed, cooldown reduction, damage, attack speed, crit chance and armor pen. Every one of these stats improves you and you don't specialize in anything too early, meaning you have very litte flaws. You do have to remember your tiny HP pool and lack of resists.
Next we finish off Ghostblade and Phantoms. I take Phantoms over items like tri-force because it is more aggressive. It allows you to bait enemies in with your low HP pool and then annihilate them with clever use of your abilities and your good attack speed and crit chance.
Tri-Force allows you to be a master of everything; it still gives you movement speed, some combat abilities and some utility and defence. While this is a great item, it doesn't provide the combat prowess you need to beat most bruisers in close combat. It is still a viable pick, however.
Here I pick up Guardian Angel and two other items (Sell Wriggles).
Why do I pick up GA? You are essentially one massive glass cannon. You have very little HP and any good enemy will abuse that. However, with this you have some use in teamfights. You can run in, force the enemy to focus you, plant a box and fear them all, die and revive. It's like a safety net for you.
I recommend getting a lifesteal item to replace wriggles and then any other item for your last slot. It could be a damage item or a survivability item. Here are some possible picks:
This is your juke ability. Your use of Deceive will be the difference between life and death.
Never use this ability to move towards someone unless you are going to kill them and they cant fight back. If they can fight back, you will get nuked. Its extremely hard to know when to use Deceive.
One example of this is when you are jungling against a Nocturne. You go to steal his blue and Deceive over the wall to it. When you get there, you find him already doing it. You suddenly realize you have no mana and your Deceive stealth is about to run out. You promptly die.
If you run around to there blue and find him there, you have many options. Because you haven't wasted mana, you can decide whether to plant and box and fight him, try to smite steal, or just Deceive away and scare him.
On that note, Deceive was recently nerfed. Now, your smoke appears in the brush if you enemy can see the bush, regardless of whether they can see IN the bush. Some people call this a disadvantage, but it can also be an advantage.
I get Deceive at level 3 to gank with and max it last. This is due to it not being as good as the other two abilities when maxed.
Jack In The Box.
Jack In The Box makes you. It allows you to jungle, is a free ward (with limitations), annoys enemies to the extreme and also forces the enemies squishies to not go in the jungle.
Why is that, you say? Two Jack In The Box's at level 5 can take half of a sqishies life away, if not more. This is huge, considering they only take around 120 mana. If you are there as well, they are as good as dead.
Early on Jack In The Box is mostly used to improve your DPS and the fear. They do very little on their own at this point. Saying that, Jack In The Box can be used to do crazy things. With use of its fear, its DPS, Deceive and Two-Shiv Poison, you can come back at an enemy that is following you and kill them (if they are low enough) with 100 hp.
You should place a Jack In The Box if you are being followed to disrupt enemies. The fear and damage will make most enemies think twice about following you further.
This is the simplest of Shaco's abilities. You click, they get a chunk of damage and slowed. Use this to follow enemies, to harass an enemy (beware of its mana costs) and to be a general pain. Early game this can take 1/5th of an enemies life, but later on its mostly used for its slow and kill stealing.
This is an ability that is hard to master yet is easy to use.
On a simple level, this ability provides more DPS to you (although not a huge amount early on). Hallucinate can be used to backdoor as your clone does a fair ton of damage late game and you can easily bring down a turret or two.
However, using Hallucinate removes you from the game for half a second. While this doesn't sound like much, it is huge. It allows you to do a range of things, but most of all it is useful in the middle of a teamfight. You can Deceive into the middle of the fight, drop and Jack In The Box and then pop Hallucinate. Imagine being LeBlanc (Who is horrible to play against). You see Shaco appear and drop a box. Instantly you try to hit him with your Sigil of Silence. The projectile is in flight.
Then he disappears. Your Sigil of Silence doesn't hit. But then he reappears. Or more specifically, two of him do. You don't know which one to attack, then you get feared, and all of a sudden two of him are attacking you. You either instantly Distortion out or die.
The fact that you can do this with Hallucinate plays all sorts of mind games with the enemies. I talk more about mind games later, but they are a potent force to use. As you play you develop plenty of your own minds games you know you can use as well.
You need this to jungle. It allows you to last-hit buffs easier and stop your own buffs from being stolen. Defiantly the best choice at all levels of the game.
I used to take ghost. But then once I took Flash in a game. I didn't really use it. And then an enemy Wukong was running away with 50 hp. He was a turrets distance away, if not slightly less. I used Flash, then Deceive, then Two-Shiv Poison and scored a kill while being miles away from him to begin with. This kind of ground covering is unrivaled between every champion. No one can do this so fast (even Ahri isn't this fast, she has to wait between Spirit Rush's.)
This is a solid choice for you. The extra movement speed means your ganks are a lot more potent all game. The only note with Ghost is that you should Ghost before Deceive, otherwise Ghost will block out your stealth.
Any other choice is self explanatory. However, this guide builds on hyper aggression and you should not need any more damage at all.
While I have seen jungle routes of people who can take red and blue at the same time, this route seems to be the best for new players.
Start with Boots of Speed and three Health Potions. The boots will improve your ganks and the potions will help to sustain your life until Wriggle's Lantern.
Run straight to blue buff. Let your team know you don't want a pull (you don't) and place four Jack In The Box's in the bush. Place one outside wolf camp (but not so close that it attacks them). On the normal map you should see a sunflower to place it on.
Go back to blue buff. When it is up, auto-attack a minion and stand on your boxes. You want to get the golem in the boxes line of fire without getting a minion in their while also not taking a golem hit. Once it is feared and it starts attacking a box, knife it a few times. Don't use Smite - its very hard to steal with boxes and if you do you wont have smite up for red.
Go to wolves. Two-Shiv Poison the big wolf and run to your box. While doing this, place a box. With these two boxes the wolves will die very quickly. Use Two-Shiv Poison whenever it is up. Pop a potion if you have less than 150 of your max HP.
Run to red. Place a box in the bush near the buff and wait until the cooldown on the boxes is at 6. Two-Shiv Poison the big lizard and let him run into the box. Plant a box behind him when it is up and continue to poison him. Use Smite when it is at 450 hp. This should kill it. Pop as many pots as you need, depending on how fast your life is going down and how slow reds life is. Don't worry about popping all of them if you have to.
Take your point in Deceive. Now you have to look at your lanes. Find one where the minions and enemy champions are pushed up to the turret closest to your team. Ping the enemy champion you are going to gank. To gank, run into the bush nearest the lane, then Deceive behind the enemy and auto-attack them once. After that, throw a Two-Shiv Poison. The enemy is VERY likely to flash away if they have it. Don't follow them if they are under their turret. Instead, just back away and come back again later.
A small note - You are very mana hungry. After you run out of blue, doing the small camps is hard until Wriggle's Lantern. You have to maximize your blue by running about ganking and cleaning out all the camps you can. After you run out of blue, you are mostly a ganker. Cleaning the camps out leaves you weak and unable to help your team. Instead, ganking can move every lane to win, which helps you a lot.
Once you have ganked a lane, leave a Jack In The Box behind in a bush as a free ward. This could save a lane from a devastating gank, inevitably turning the game into your favor.
During teamfights you want to be as annoying as possible while disrupting enemies. Your job is to split up the enemies and use box's and your fear to the extreme. When everyone jumps to mid for the teamfights, use box's as wards and move around the enemies jungle and the other lanes. Be careful of having Deceive on cooldown and you should be fine. Causing three champions to come to bot to kill you, only to run into box's while you kite around can lead to anyone they leave behind getting annihilated at mid and them possibly losing a tower.
During a teamfight you are annoyingly squishy until you get guardians angel. Once you have this, you have a safety net to fall into. With your extreme damage you can surprise enemies who are feared due to them being normally able to nuke you.
When you have low HP as Shaco it can sometimes be better for you to stay. Make sure your enemies know you have low HP and you may force them to do something stupid. Your skillset was made to do amazing things, and using your fear and stealth to the max can net your team more kills than you would at full HP.
As Shaco you have to make decisions that will effect the end of the game. Your overall goals for the game are:
- Get members of your team fed
- Stop members of the enemy team getting fed
- Play mind games with your enemies
Lets start from the top:
Get members of your team fed
This pretty much has to be your call. You have to decide which member of your team has the most skill and the best position to carry you the best. This can be you (With this build you are an essentially an AD carry) or any other member of your team.
Some games it will be an easy call between your 50 cs ad carry bot and your 5-0 LeBlanc mid.
Other games it is less clear cut. In these games you have to just gank as you can and stop your teammates from dieing.
Stop members of the enemy team getting fed
This can mean anything from helping out your top lane that died to a level two gank, to camping mid because the enemy has LeBlanc (I just really like le blanc. She is a perfect example). Denying LeBlanc kills is worth everything to your team. She has very bad farming and without kills does almost nothing to help in teamfights.
Other champions you have to deny a facerolling are Akali and Vayne. These champions are naturally strong and with a good start they can dominate all game. However, with a bad start they do nothing all game and end up being a dead weight. Don't worry about camping lanes with these champions, just denying them facerolling is all you need to do.
You again have to use your judgement to find the worst player on your team and help them any way you can.
Play mind games with your enemies
This mostly includes your boxes and your inability to die. Having a box in every bush in the enemies jungle at all times just affects their heads. Its not nice for them to think that every time they walk into a bush they could be taking a ton of damage.
Doing this leads to frustration and the enemy diving at you just to kill you, putting themselves in a worse and worse situation.
Thank you for reading my guide!
I hope you take the time to comment on it and tell me things you agree with / disagree with.
A shoutout to jhoijhoi for the spacers that she made.