Shaco Build Guide by Tol Eressea
Not Updated For Current Season
Not Updated For Current Season
The intention of this guide is to enable the Shaco player to compete in more than pubstomp normal games. It has been my all-too-frequent experience that building Shaco as a straight AD/Assassin does not pan out well in the late game, unless you do extremely well early and are too fed for it to matter. It is true that there are champions that do Tanky DPS better, and if you like them - by all means, play those champions. For those who enjoy the mechanics that Shaco employs, and would like to get competitive: This is for you.
There are aspects of Shaco that I do not cover, though I may add them to the guide at a later time. My primary concern is covering the foundation of this different way to play him - There are already dozens of excellent and insightful Shaco guides in existence. Here are three:
Why Sow Serious
Shaco - Ahueahueahue
01/06 - Modified description of Two-Shiv Poison and its uses
11/18 - Updated the following to account for Fizz Patch:
* Runes (added ArPen Quint to replace Flat AD Quint)
* Item Breakdown - included changes to base health and hp/lvl, as well as new runes/mastery
* Added more update-to-date Jungling Videos
* Added "Proof of Concept" Section
* Moved Ghost up into Favorites, from Solid Choices
* Moved Exhaust down into Solid Choices, from Favorites
08/31 - Made slight formatting changes to Rune section, to account for Mobafire tagging changes
08/25 - Added section, "A Word About Twisted Treeline (3v3)"
08/25 - Added a section to Common Concerns, "Talon = Shaco 2.0?!"
08/22 - Modified masteries to eliminate attack speed Alacrity and replace it with +dmg to minions and AD ( Brute Force ) as my favorite setup.
08/22 - Made note of two undocumented release changes, with regard to Shaco's speed and the way Jack In The Box relates to neutral minions in the Item and Jungling sections, respectively.
08/22 - Made slight changes to the item progression, suggesting that Mercury's Treads should be finished earlier in the build.
08/22 - Added in Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage as a viable option in the runes section.
08/02 - Moved mercury tread's further ahead in the item progression at the top of the build. This should still be a flexible decision though. Reformatted some more text and added some more icons.
08/01 - Reformatted some sections as per JhoiJhoi's suggestions, as well as changed the primary summoner spells to Smite / Flash
07/29 - Updated section, "Summoner Spells" to concern itself more directly with ranked play.
07/29 - Added section, "Response to Common Concerns"
07/28 - Added section, "Laning Shaco - Discovering your inner Philosopher's Stone".
07/28 - Added section, "Skills: Specific/General".
07/28 - Reformatted large portions to increase ease of reading.
Pros / Cons
- Solid Jungle
- Good early damage for ganks
- Strong 1v1
- Unpeelable DPS late game
- Very mobile
- Excellent carry of Oracle for the team
- Wards Safely
- Works in Twisted Treeline (3v3)
- Effective Ganking requires an aware team and meticulous use of Sheen/TriForce
- Item Dependency for Tankiness
- Squishy Early Game
This is one of the most underestimated abilities that Shaco possesses. It is one of the few positional requirement abilities in the game, and requires constant micromanaging of Shaco to ensure you always have it. It should be noted, that while the Mobafire tooltip suggests 25% increased damage, in-game it is actually 20%.
Average Mid-Game AD: 150
Crit Damage: 300
Now lets add in our little positional requirement:
Add Backstab: 180
Crit Damage: 360
This is MID-game. Late-game, where we'll be running 250-300 AD (depending on finished build, see above), where 20% is going to be one to two extra B. F. Swords. Striking your opponent from behind is a big deal, from the very beginning to the end.
This is our free flash, our primary ganking tool, our easy escape, our map mobility tool. Learning to use it will take a lot of time, but it is well spent.
I have actually changed my thought on leveling priority on this. Leveling Deceive actually reduces its mana cost, which is incredibly valuable in the mid-game. Additionally, the extra damage on the opening crit has been extremely valuable, so I level this 2nd, after Two-Shiv Poison.
- Check your opponents summoner spells. If they have Flash and haven't used it yet, don't deceive in on them. Wait until they overextend just slightly, charge in with Two-Shiv Poison, and Deceive after them when they flash. It'll really ruin their day I guarantee it.
- It is often better to deceive towards your opponents when trying to juke. You get 4 seconds in stealth, which - if they're running one way and you're running the other - you're getting even more distance between. Just be careful of vision wards and oracles.
- You have a free Backstab with this ability. Don't waste it.
- Do not use when jungling. This is your Ace-in-hole "nope you didn't get me" in the jungle trick. If you waste it doing damage to say, red buff, and then Udyr shows up and politely informs you he'd like to take the buff and your life - you need to be able to leave in a hurry.
- In a 1v1 situation, save this for the killing blow. It can give them a false sense of security if its a close fight.
Our only real "Crowd-Control". It is easily negated by late-game AoE and aware single-target AD champions. There are two truly effective ways of using them:
Spread them out:
Put them far enough apart throughout a lane or the river, such that a champion can run into one without activating the rest. This can significantly slow down the movement of a champion through an area. This is especially useful when preparing to solo/team dragon, as you can grant yourself or your team the time you need to bring it down (see also: Baron).
Underestimated damage, even as AD Shaco. I don't often opt for this, as its like putting all your eggs in one basket...
That extra little bit of damage, that "whoops I got you" as you ran away under tower, that "I'm kiting you until I can Deceive again". It has many uses.
- The slow is applied with a regular auto-attack. The active allows you apply it from range.
- Cast this in between auto-attacks. It sounds like common sense, but a lot of people forget.
- Always aim for the back. Backstab affects this damaging ability, as any other, and you don't want to ignore it.
- Consider this as an alternative to Deceive for initiating a gank. Yes, they will see you coming, but with Deceive in your back pocket - can they possibly get away?
- Deceive + Two-Shiv Poison = A Slowing CC/Kill from even further away.
- IMPORTANT: When this ability is on cooldown, the passive slow will not be applied with auto-attacks.
This is a truly amazing ability with dozens of uses. If you'd like to watch a number of them, I'd recommend Reginald's 30min YouTube Tutorial.
If you don't feel like watching that right now...
- Is affected by item actives (see: Ghostblade)
- Great for pushing towers and soloing dragon (always have him first take aggro from dragon)
- Can ignore a tick of ignite, a CC, a damaging ability if timed correctly
- Does not have buffs, whereas you do. Opponents can use this to tell which is which
- Send in first for a gank, while you wait further back for them to flash. This is particularly amazing for taking Ezreal, as he will almost always teleport the moment he sees you (or your decoy) come out of the bush.
Effective Use of Sheen/ TriForce:
You have four abilities (assuming they are not on cooldown). That is 4 procs for the Sheen/Triforce passive over 8 seconds. If you do not make use of this when taking down towers, you are sacrificing 30% additional damage on the tower for no reason. This is also extremely valuable if you end up in a 1v1 situation. How does it work?
You run up to the tower with a wave of minions. = Sheen #1. Auto-attack for two seconds. = #2. Two more seconds to go... one of their creep = #3, and two seconds later you can Deceive for the 4th proc of Sheen/Triforce
Be Mindful of your Teammates:
- If you know you can get a kill without popping the decoy, don't pop it just to get those extra attacks and thereby taking the kill. Save it for a rainy day.
- Don't save Two-Shiv for a KS when you know that slowing them now means a guaranteed kill for your team.
These are the runes that I generally run with:
Greater Mark of Desolation 9x - Armor Pen (flat)
These are a must have for any jungle champion, and 9 will allow you to ignore the armor on most of the small camps. You'll be using smite for the buffs/dragon so stacking anymore just isn't necessary.
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist 9x - MR/Lvl
This really allows you to focus on the HP items necessary for an earlier Warmog's Armor, and takes a little of the AP damage edge off when you jump into a lane.
Greater Seal of Armor 9x - Armor (flat)
Greatly aids your early jungle, which is by far the most vulnerable part of the game for Shaco.
Greater Quintessence of Health 3x - HP (flat)
For solo queue or ranked play in general, I will almost always recommend survivability.
Greater Quintessence of Desolation 3x - ArPen (flat)
OPTIONAL: For those who have a very firm grip of Shaco's limitations, I've given this a solid try and I'd say it's fairly viable. With the changes to Shaco's flat hp, and general improvement to masteries with the Fizz patch, we can now put just about any champion at 0 armor until around level 5-6 (31 armor pen + 10% from mastery). It's a squishier level 1, but definitely viable.
The reason for "flat" runes:
Runes most effective use is to aid a champion in any early game vulnerabilities. Shaco struggles most with being relatively squishy, so we focus most of our attention at removing this weakness. Runes that scale per level end up being entirely overshadowed by items on the whole, so I avoid them (exception being MR/lvl)
A Note About Summoner Spells:
The below recommendations are based on my own experience, but you should know that in a ranked match - you can see what you'll be facing and you should choose your summoner's accordingly. This will take practice. Communicate with your team to determine who takes what. Most often everyone will have flash and you'll want a balance of other spells. If you are jungling, make sure someone takes Clairvoyance.
A must have for any jungle, and Shaco is no exception. As a jungle that enjoys a lot of freedom moving about the map, this especially assists in stealing warded enemy buffs from weaker junglers.
Always a solid choice, and most common summoner spell picked in competitive play. If you end up laning (a viable option with this build) either in the top or duo lane this is what I would substitute for flash. If you substitute it for Exhaust you are essentially making yourself unkillable while it is up (especially if you choose for an early Quicksilver Sash). In ranked play, surviving a teamfight, even if just with a sliver of HP cannot be undervalued.
Since the Fizz Patch nerfs to Flash and Exhaust, I have been finding myself using this more and more as my standard. It is particularly useful for back-door, or running down a stray dog or two ;) Play a few games with Ghost and a few with Flash and see which you prefer. It will most likely come down to preference and minor playstyle differences. Remember to press Ghost before Deceive, as the former will knock you out of stealth if you do it the opposite way.
Given that we have a built in flash, this is my weapon of choice for early ganks. Combining Deceive (to counter Flash), Red Buff, and the slow from Two-Shiv Poison and you've got a very good chance at a level 4 kill. Most importantly, it allows you to lock down an enemy AD carry's damage in a teamfight. This can be the difference between a win and a loss right there. Since before the Fizz patch, this has been used by me less and less and is no longer considered a favorite.
Not my favorite, but can be very effective for getting that last sliver of HP off your target. Most often, you're going to want to base the choice whether or not to take it off your opponents picks (ranked). It's really going to depend on your style - try it and see if you like it.
The ability to teleport to your own Jack In The Box makes you a very mobile champion with this spell. Again, it is going to depend on your style. Given Shaco's backdoor tendencies though, it can be extremely valuable. Again - try it and decide.
Maybe, but No Not Really:
When I first jungled Shaco I felt the need to take this, to ensure I'd be topped off for coming out to gank at level 4. While it may be effective sustain for early ganking and jungling, the scaling is very poor late game and thus - not worth it.
Avoid the Rest.
Some General Thoughts:
The next question to grapple with is Defense (21-9-0) vs Utility (21-0-9) for the remaining 9 points. My personal preference thus far is Durability and Veteran's Scars over Runic Affinity . This stems from the fact that Red and Blue buffs will be given to AP and AD carries after the first or second spawn anyway, and our build is not dependent upon them to function. Also, the +6 armor from Hardiness puts us at 51 armor at level 1, making for an even more solid jungle. I don't think Expanded Mind or Swiftness are valuable enough to tempt me, with this build at any rate.
Early Core: (Typically Levels 1-8)
These two items will grant you additional armor for dealing with the jungle, the damage you need to solo dragon at level 6-8 (health pot + decoy), and the speed you need to gank effectively.
Early-Mid Game: (Levels 7-13)
/ / /
We've gained a few levels, farmed a few thousand more gold, hopefully gotten a few kills and it's time to add our most important mid-game damage item and some tankyness.
Mid-Late Game: (Levels 12-17)
/ / / / or
Now we've finished our most important item (triforce) and you'll note we tack on some magic resist before finishing Warmog's armor. Many guides do not emphasize enough the power of buying a Chain Vest or Negatron Cloak mid game, and the way it can shut down a particularly fed carry (AP or AD). This is not an always situation, but we need to be flexible and build according to the damage coming at us.
Late Game: (Levels 17-18)
/ / / / or /
At this point, we're definitely going to need some magic resist beyond Mercury's Treads, and the choice to pick up Banshee's or FoN is really going to depend on their team. FoN stacks beautifully with Warmog's for HP/5, but the passive with Banshee's is arguably one of the best available. It will depend on your opponent's team composition.
Different Ways to Finish:
I will now outline a variety of options for finishing out, making the assumption that the game has gone long and you have more gold than you can possibly imagine (H. Solo: I don't know, I can imagine quite a bit...). It should be noted that this build is expensive, and it is very common to never get past Wriggle's, Mercury Treads, Warmog's, and Triforce. That said, if and when you do, you become exponentially more deadly or difficult to kill depending on the last choices you make.
It should also be noted that upon finishing Atma's Impaler, Wriggle's Lantern is worth more to sell than it is to keep. It got you through the jungle and the mid-game, and now its time to replace it with something with a little more "oomphf".
Your End Game Choices: (Level 18)
Standard w/ Guardian Angel
/ / / / /
Standard w/ Cleaver
/ / / / /
|This is a defensive choice, though I might go with FoN instead of GA if they're stacking multiple AP heavy-hitters. An unwanted side-effect of GA for an off-tank is that they're less likely to hit you.||xxxx||For going more damage, this is probably my personal favorite. The extra AD and attack speed, mixed with the armor pen (which you'll need at this point in a game) really takes you over the top.|
Now let us compare our Standard w/ Infinity Edge to the current top Shaco guide on Mobafire. I will note that I intend no disrespect to the writer of this guide, and I have tried and been successful with it many a time.
Standard w/ Infinity Edge
/ / / / /
/ / / / /
Further Item Consideration:
This item is often overlooked for AD, but its a greater finishing item that rounds out our armor and synergizes beautifully with the Warmog's we've built already. In fact, with 4k hp, this item gives us 80 additional AD. EIGHTY. That's almost TWO BF Swords again. I haven't even mentioned the crit chance either...
It is important to remember the important passive built into this, and its subordinate Sheen. Every two seconds, you can buff your autoattack to do significantly more damage. What does this mean? You don't want to deceive in and immediately spam JitB and Two-Shiv. If you do so, everything will be on cooldown and you will miss out on a lot of extra damage. Read the tooltip - practice against minions, your friends, etc. until you can perfectly time your abilities to make the most of it.
If you don't have the cash to replace Wriggle's with something like GA, Cleaver, or IE - consider doing a quick swap for this item. It's cost is only a few hundred more than it takes to sell Wriggle's and with it, you become almost completely unkillable. This is an ideal item for heavy CC teams, and allow you to go for something like FoN instead of Banshee's.
Jungling - Three Paths + Tips
Path 1: Golems/Red(my favorite)
- 2 Jack In The Box at Small Golems
- 3 Jack In The Box between flower and bush at Lizard (red) (smite lizard to bring him to boxes)
- Golems > Lizard > Wraiths > Wolves (get someone to leash) > Blue.
- Clear time in the video (perfect run) was 3:40. That's an amazing clear time...
- People are less likely to look for you at Golems at level 1
- Taking red buff first means it will expire after probably the first gank attempt. Though, this is less of an issue because you have a built in slowing mechanic.
Path 2: Golems/Smite Wraith/Red
- Jack In The Box at small Golems
- 3 Jack In The Box at Red Buff (between flower and bush)
- Smite Wraith > Small Golems > Red Buff > Wraiths > Blue (leash) > Wolves > Gank
- See Path 1
- More Difficult
Path 3: Blue/Wolves
- 2 Jack In The Box at Wolves flower
- 3 Jack In The Box behind Golem Spawn
- Blue > Wolves > Red (leash) > Wraiths > Small Golems
- Red Buff acquired closer to ganking time, to be used for longer in lane harass
- They are likely to expect this and you may have to fight for it (not ideal when box setup is so critical to a fast clear)
Jack In The Box is your friend.
Just a quick explanation of how it works: You place the and 2 seconds later it activates. If there is an enemy in range it will fear, and then immediately start shooting at the nearest enemy. You have two choices when jungling:
2) Drop the box, wait for it to activate, and begin attacking after it does. This is the safer method.
You should ALWAYS try to give aggro to the boxes, as this saves you valuable HP in the jungle.
Discover your inner Philosopher's StonePhilosopher's Stone.
You're going to want to start with a Regrowth Pendant, and we'll be ignoring Wriggle's Lantern entirely. As such the early core is going to look more like this: Faerie Charm to ease the mana even more (you lose 60g total upon selling it later). Why the stone? It takes approximately 26.6 minutes to pay for itself, costing only 365g more than the initial Regrowth Pendant. You can sell it at 16.6 minutes and have broken even. All the while, it's granting you lane sustainability.
This is recommended if you're new to Solo Top, take Teleport. With this spell, you can buy and/or leave if it begins to go ill. Honestly, I don't take this when I solo top unless I know I'm going to be against some very nasty pushers (like a Mord/Katarina lane). Thus, you'd have Flash and Teleport. I still go with Exhaust, personally.
You are no longer the ganker, and it is no longer your job to farm kills for the team. Your job is to last hit under the tower and assist the jungle if he deigns to grace your lane with his/her presence.
The safest method is to place emphasis on leveling JitB over Two-Shiv, and to create a wall of them just in line or just behind your turret. The result is that whenever the wave pushes past your creep and arrives at the turret - your JitB turrets will make quick work of it, keeping your turret safe. Additionally, this makes diving you at the turret a very scary proposition for the other team.
Lastly, when you're not putting boxes under the turret, you're going to want to place them in any bushes you have access to. It makes enemy junglers much more wary of your lane (as if they could effectively gank a Shaco anyway, ha).
Favorite Jungle Support:
Alistar. He can Flash -> Headbutt them into your wall of JitB, followed by Pulverize, basically giving you an instant kill under turret.
See above, SoloTop.
Again, you're going to want to fill the lane and bushes with Boxes, Boxes, and more Boxes. The beauty of Shaco in Duo Lane is that he's very hard to kill and his burst is pretty ridiculous. The best thing you can do is lane with someone who has a 1-2 second stun/root. The reason? Boxes take two seconds to activate. Coordinate with a CC champion to lock someone down next to a box, giving it time to go off and you're almost guaranteed a kill. This also works with Jungle Shaco, but they are less wary of you in Lane. Again, you're going to want to prioritize over .
Favorite Duo Partner:
Blitzcrank. If the enemy team allows themselves to be pulled under turret into 4 , you get a free kill. Other possibilities are Poppy, Janna, Urgot... you get the idea. Blitz is definitely my favorite though.
Lane Shaco = Best Level 1 Leash Around
Communicate with your Jungler:
Find out what route he plans to take. The best scenario is if he's starting blue, but it can work for red as well. Given that you've taken mana regen, you can place 4-5 JitB beside his Red/Blue before it spawns and allow him an almost instant buff gain. Smite will ensure that the boxes don't take the kill, and you will be back in your lane - not taking any of the precious xp.
Don't be afraid to explain how the Boxes work though, you want to ensure your Jungler allows them to take aggro so he or she isn't taking any extra damage.
Take the buff for yourself. With 5 JitB, you actually don't need Smite to finish off a Blue Buff, and it will allow you to place more Boxes than ever before. Most important thing is that you get your items quickly and get to the buff to start laying them down.
A Word About Twisted Treeline (3v3)
Yeah, you're still going to use
Honestly, building for 3v3 is more about team composition and careful play, than what build you go with. As of 8/25/2011, I had played 10 ranked 3v3 matches (all season 1), was ranked in the top 10% of the North American playerbase (I guess) and in 9 of those games were as Shaco (8 wins, 1 loss). My standard team comp is Cho'gath, Blitzcrank, and Shaco. Occasionally we change it up and swap in Alistar for Blitz, but as with any 3v3 team - you need tanky, and you need CC. Cho and Blitz enable Shaco to build tanky and still shine as the AD damage carry. Below I will cover in brief all of the core areas, highlighting differences to Summoner's Rift:
Should I jungle at Level 1?
Honestly, I feel that the early game time is better spent helping the duo lane. If they have a jungler, it gives you a lot of extra pressure on their bot lane (2v1), and we often pick up a first blood just there (granted, laning with Blitz really helps this). You're going to be rushing Wriggle's Lantern after you buy your Boots of Speed and Health Potionx3, and then into the jungle with you for sure.
On the whole, no. It is all-the-more important to pay attention to your enemies, since there are only three. Build to beat them, not to finish the build. As mentioned above, I usually start with Boots of Speed and then rush Wriggle's Lantern so I can get into the jungle and start soloing dragon as soon as possible.
Levels 1-3: Deceive --> Jack In The Box --> Two-Shiv Poison
Levels 4-18: Hallucinate > Two-Shiv Poison > Jack In The Box > Deceive
Why? Because Deceive will give you a kill at level 1 - I know stacking boxes is fun, but you don't really need the map control until level 2 anyway. Bring people with CC, and the 180-200 damage from Deceive will easily grant first blood. Everyone jump the same target, and save Deceive to counter Flash and finish the kill. Also, if you save it and the gank doesn't go well - you can be sure to get out.
Since you're probably going to be in the jungle after around level 5-7, Smite is a requirement if you don't have another way to guarantee a Dragon kill. The buff from both Dragon and Lizard are more valuable in 3s, and more common to fight over - you need to be sure you can secure it.
Given that I most often play with a Cho'gath, we have Feast to perform that function, and thus I usually roll Ignite (easy to apply with both Flash and Deceive in the toolkit) and Flash. Do NOT run Ignite/ Exhaust, as this will get you killed in important teamfights later on - we all know a single teamfight much more clearly determines the outcome of Twisted Treeline.
Proof of Concept (Videos)
I will be updating this section with ranked games that exemplify (not perfect games) this style of play. They are replays uploaded using LolReplay, which can be found at LeagueReplays.com. You will need to download and install it to view the following, but will allow for much more control of the replay than YouTube does.
11/05/2011 - 14-3-11 Shaco, Premade Ranked
01/07/2012 - 5-1-12 Shaco, Solo Queue
Response to Common Concerns
Too Expensive, Shouldn't you be Backdooring?
by Jebus McAzn
You are correct - this is an expensive build to be sure. This is the reason that I built out some variations on it and compared them to a popular Mobafire Shaco build. Perhaps I need to indicate this more strongly in the build, but I believe the strength of it is that the core - by itself - is very strong.
Building , , , and gives you the following:
Effective HP: 7085
Attk Sp: 1.271
Ar Pen: 21
Crit Chance: 17%
This is a very moderate price (compared to the majority of guides I have read) for some very strong items. Simply adding the Negatron Cloak a little earlier or at the end and you're covered for AP bursters as well.
Now, as for backdooring/farming - so far in my testing this guide does not in any way hamper either of these things. If anything, the inherent tankyness and survivability allows you to do it easier. He retains all of the tricks that make him so hard to kill, and is running just about 100% more survivability. TriForce + Wriggle's enables him to easily clear minion waves and towers, and he can do it much more safely. There is nothing worse than a backdoor that turns into a 4v5 because you stayed in JUST too long and they got you as a result. Obviously, this is a skill/experience issue, but you get the idea.
He can backdoor, and the 437 speed allows him to be in the teamfight when it's time.
Finishing Zeal before Boots? What gives?
by a Wild NIGHTHAWK
I am not sure whether you're referring to the Tenacity (CC reduction) element, or the speed itself. If the latter, let's do a little speed comparison (numbers from leaguecraft):
+ : 405
+ = 419
As you can see, finishing zeal/triforce before the boots actually a greater speed buff. That said, the tenacity can be critical for getting out at times when they collapse on you. This is where my "caution" message before the item section becomes so important - you need to build for what you're facing. The idea of a guide/build is a rather flawed solution in itself when dealing with live humans who are adapting to you as you are to them. :)
space Banshee's earlier then a finished Triforce would prove you pretty impervious.
Small parts are a lot better then big parts. (omg did I just say that? rofl)
For this reason I think you should go Wriggle's Lantern > Sheen > Boots Catalyst the ProtectorCataclyst the Protector > Giant's Belt > Chain Vest and THEN finish your main builds.
by a Wild NIGHTHAWK
I feel that Banshee's can be a distracting item in my build at least. The reality is that when dealing with an opponent with a strong AP burst, + will protect you more than a half-finished Banshee's. We also cannot forget that Warmog's needs time to stack. Building it too late will eliminate its usefulness.
Though, there are many games where I opt to do just that, add in some MR before finishing TriForce - or, if I'm dealing with some True Damage, I might place a higher priority on finishing Warmog's before TriForce. The bottom line, as I have mentioned a few times now, is that you need to build for your opponents.
The Problem is Shaco.
by a Wild NIGHTHAWK
These are just the sorts of comments I run into (with much more colorful language usually) early on in ranked games, from my teammates. The very purpose of this guide/build is to fill the holes in Shaco, as a champion, and allow him to compete at a higher level.
I am confident that if people were to give this a try, they would not be disappointed with the results. Are there champions with less holes? Yes. Simply - yes, there are. However, if you can address the issues he has in teamfights, there are few that can backdoor and/or run rampant on the map as well as Shaco. People hate facing him, and that cannot be denied.
Talon is Shaco 2.0
by a LOT of forum posts
Don't believe everything you read (what? something someone wrote in the internet isn't true?!). No seriously, don't. Talon is out, I purchased him yesterday and after putting in a solid 5 games (positive k/d in 4 out of 5 of them), I am confident that he will not replace Shaco. Certainly, he will not replace the Tanky DPS Shaco. Rather than respond to over 9000 forum threads saying Shaco is inferior, I'll type it up here:
- cutthroat is NOT Deceive. In fact, as far as mobility is concerned, you cannot rely on it to save you (without careful placement of enemy minions). It cannot get you over walls. It functions primarily as a damage enhancer and a CC for casters (silence).
- Shadow Assault is NOT Deceive. Again, as far as mobility is concerned, it is essentially vanish from the popular World of Warcraft: Rogue class, with some damage thrown in. It will not get you over walls or away from CC - you're just hidden (ala Twilight Shroud). Any decent team will bring oracles and burn you down the moment you pop it.
- Deceive actually combines both cutthroat and Shadow Assault. You get a free Flash to anywhere of your choosing, and 4 seconds of stealth to run wherever you want after. It allows you to dodge skillshots, avoid and initiate teamfights, etc. etc.
- Talon is a weak early jungler. The first thing I did when I bought him was run into some custom games to try some routes. He a) cannot start at blue without a leash, and b) has to go back after wolves/wraiths/golems. On average, I hit level 4 around 4:40-4:45, which isn't BAD, but it isn't Shaco. Additionally, due to Deceive Shaco retains some very solid counter-jungling. Getting in and doing damage is great - you need to be able to get out, or you didn't do your team any favors. I will say, once Talon has wrigglers, he becomes a real force as a ganker with low mana costs and high damage. Time will tell.
Synergy is important in this game. Shaco's abilities synergize very well together, giving him a complete set of abilities for solid backdoor, jungle, and team-fighting (depending on how you built it...). Talon has a great set of abilities to play a true assassin. I tried him Tanky DPS, and without the escape tools, he is too squishy to pull it off. You're better off pushing full damage and actually getting that kill or two before you die - thus their roles are different. In other words, Shaco will continue to hold that special place in my heart...
In ranked competitive play, with conventional "assassin" wisdom, Shaco is easily destroyed by an able-bodied support who can afford oracles. I hope you have seen another possible path for him. I feel that it is not only viable, but brings a unique aspect to the team that not all Tanky DPS can claim. He can get in, stay in, and survive to the end of a teamfight - putting out legit damage in the process.
I hope you have found this guide interesting and useful. If so, please vote it up. If not, please reply with a comment explaining the aspect you felt was lacking or incorrect. At the least, give it a try before deciding one way or another.
All the best,