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Shaco Build Guide by AMDphreak

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.


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League of Legends Build Guide Author AMDphreak

Shacolate milk YUM!

AMDphreak Last updated on March 16, 2014
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Ability Sequence

2
8
10
12
13
Ability Key Q
1
14
15
17
18
Ability Key W
3
4
5
7
9
Ability Key E
6
11
16
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.



Masteries

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
1/
Havoc
 
 

Offense: 21

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Legendary Guardian
 
 

Defense: 0

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Bandit
Intelligence
 
 
 
 
 
 
Wanderer
 
 

Utility: 9


Guide Top

Introduction

Welcome to the burst AD Shaco guide by AMDphreak.

This is how Shaco was meant to be played. Ignore every other build you've seen that rushes Statikk Shiv or Blade of the Ruined King. This build outperforms all of them.

I used to think Shaco was underpowered, until I figured out that all the other builds I've seen out there are terrible. Now, I find him overpowered. He is one of the top tier assassins for solo-queue, in my opinion, because of the changes to pink wards and the removal of Oracle's Elixir in season 4.

Before I started using this build, I had a win rate of almost 0% with Shaco. The only game I won with Shaco was a 5 v 4. Then, one day, I had an epiphany, and I realized that Shaco is a burst mage, like Riven and Talon, not an AD carry. After inventing this build, my win rate with Shaco went up to ~90% (Normals + Ranked).


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Pros / Cons

Pros

  • Scary ganks
  • Early game invisibility
  • Some Crowd Control (CC): Fear and Slow
  • Built-in scouting tools (boxes)
  • Strong Burst Damage
  • Strong Split Pushing
  • A unique ultimate that can be used for a million creative things.
  • Every spell is a disengage, so he is extremely good at staying safe.
  • Very good at baiting enemies
  • Early game dominance
  • Mid game dominance
  • Late game dominance (but not extreme late game)

Cons

  • This build has some issues with extreme late game, if the enemy team has been allowed to catch up.
  • Weak against teams that stick together and focus their CC on him (but then again, what carry isn't weak to that?)
  • Zhonya's Hourglass can be used to deny Shaco's assassination attempt. These can become very problematic, if you enter a fight, but your team refuses to back you up.
  • Weak against life steal and spell vamp champs that have high defenses and/or strong CC in mid- to late-game, such as Olaf, Ryze, Skarner, Warwick, Dr. Mundo, and Riven. Basically, he's weak to all the popular champions at the moment. :(
  • Very weak against fed hyper-carries, like Vayne and Draven.


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Runes

Runes

Greater Quintessence of Lethality
3

Greater Mark of Lethality
9

Greater Seal of Armor
9

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
9

For runes, I settle for nothing less than the best. That means ARMOR PENETRATION.

Most people complain about Shaco falling off late game, but this isn't true with the right runes and items. Most people get distracted by trying to make Shaco a monster early game, but he already is a monster early game, because of his invisibility, his slow, his box's fear, his burst damage, and his Red buff.

This will give you 19 Armor Penetration. With Youmuu's Ghostblade, you will have 39 Armor Penetration at mid-game, which is a massive amount of flat penetration. Enemy AD carries typically have about 50 Armor in mid game. When you finish Last Whisper, you will be dealing true damage to the enemy carries, unless they build defensive items.

Why armor penetration?


Shaco benefits from armor penetration runes, because he needs to deal burst damage, and this build path covers all the other things he needs.
  • He doesn't need attack damage, because his natural build path includes alot of early attack damage.
  • He doesn't need much attack speed, because he is a burst mage, and his jungle speed does not increase with attack speed. Shacos that built attack speed in season 3 did so, because it would proc the randomized magic damage on Wriggle's Lantern. Wriggle's Lantern has been reworked so that it deals consistent damage, so there is no reason to build attack speed on Shaco.
  • He doesn't need Life Steal, because his build path includes alot of Life Steal.
  • Lastly, he doesn't get to build Last Whisper until late game.


Guide Top

Masteries

For masteries, I run 21/0/9, because Shaco can benefit more from the 9 points in the utility tree than from 9 points in the defense tree.

Masteries
1/5
4/1
1/1
3/5
1/1
3/5
3/1
1/
3/
1/
3/5
2/1
3/1
1/1


Offense Tree:

Fury

vs

Sorcery

In the offense tree, you have the option of getting Fury (5% attack speed) or Sorcery (5% cooldown reduction). The choice makes little to no difference in game; however, from a cost and resource standpoint, the 5% CDR is more valuable, since the CDR cap (40% CDR) is lower than the attack speed cap in the game (2.5 attack speed).

When comparing items in the game, a typical fully-built attack speed item provides 40% to 50% attack speed, with the exception of Runaan's Hurricane, which gives 70%, whereas a typical fully-built CDR item gives 10% CDR, with a few items providing 15% and 20% CDR. Therefore, the 5% CDR from Sorcery is far more cost-efficient.

! Please note that Runaan's Hurricane's UNIQUE passive will not work with Shaco, because he is melee, not ranged. The 70% attack speed will still work with Shaco, though.

According to this article on the League of Legends Wikia, The 5% attack speed bonus gives you 5% of your champion's base attack speed, which is nearly nothing. The same article says that Shaco requires 209% bonus attack speed at level 18 to reach the maximum attack speed. Doing the math, we see that 5/209 = ~ 0.0239. You are spending 4 mastery points on 2.39% of the maximum attack speed that Shaco can have.
Butcher

This mastery is deceptively good on Shaco, because his boxes count as single-target spell damage, and they attack 9 times. Doing the math, we see that each of his boxes deals 18 more damage to monsters. This helps alot at level 1.

Utility Tree:

  • Fleet of Foot - Shaco's early ganks are limited by his move-speed, because his invisibility may not last long enough to get to the enemy, so taking 3 points in Fleet of Foot gives him a solid advantage when ganking. Move speed is also good for running away and chasing enemies.
  • Meditation - This is a small boost in Shaco's mana sustain issue. This mastery is less useful while Shaco has Blue buff, as Blue Buff gives him much more mana regen than this does.
  • Summoner's Insight - This mastery goes hand in hand with jungling AND playing a carry role. Shaco has some pretty bad clear times in the jungle before he gets Ravenous Hydra, so getting his Smite off cooldown faster gives him some much-needed farming ability. This also improves his jungle sustain, as he takes less damage in the jungle. Not only does it reduce Smite's cooldown, but also Ignite, which gives Shaco more kill potential.
  • Runic Affinity - This mastery is a godsend to junglers all over the world. But not all junglers can spend 9 points in the utility tree to get it. With this mastery and Blue buff, Shaco can farm longer and stay around the map ready to gank or counter-gank. With this mastery and Red buff, Shaco can duel enemy junglers and gank more times with the slow and true damage from Red buff.

These masteries are optimal for jungle Shaco, however, as mentioned in other guides, going 9 points in the defensive tree is another possibility, and they should be used when playing Shaco in a solo or duo lane, so that you can survive your weak levels 1 and 2.


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Items

I believe that Shaco works best as an AD burst assassin. Sustained damage is not what he was built for. My results with this build have been stellar. With this build, you will deal about 70% of an enemy squishy's health bar with a single Deceive, then your Two-Shiv Poison deals another 20%, and your next auto-attack should finish the kill. Shaco has trouble dueling carries and bruisers that pack alot of life-steal and attack speed, like Aatrox, Nasus, Yasuo, and Rengar. To overpower their life-steal, I use two life-steal items as well as Youmuu's Ghostblade, which has an active ability that gives him a bunch of attack speed for a short time, so that I don't have to buy much attack speed, and can focus on buying damage and critical strike chance. Another item possibility for dueling life-steal heavy champs is Executioner's Calling.

At level 1, you should probably stick with Hunter's Machete and 5 Health Potions. Hunter's Machete gives you some sustain (5 health heal on hit, just like Doran's Blade), 10% damage increase to monsters, which works very well with your boxes, and your autoattacks deal 10 extra damage to monsters. If this 10 extra damage works with Shaco's boxes, this would be amazing. I don't think it does.

For my items, I focus on Attack Damage, Life Steal, Armor Penetration, Critical Strike modifiers, and Critical Strike chance.

Item Sequence

Infinity Edge
3600

Ravenous Hydra
3500

The Bloodthirster
3700

Last Whisper
1300

Youmuu's Ghostblade
2900

Berserker's Greaves
1100

  • Tiamat and Vampiric Scepter - Buying these two items almost immediately fixes your jungle sustain issues. It fixes not only your health issues but your mana issues, as well. Why is this? Because Shaco will not need to use his spells to farm jungle camps. However, i still recommend taking Health Potions with you, in case a gank goes wrong or you fight the enemy jungler and lose alot of health.
  • Ravenous Hydra - With this item, I believe all of Shaco's sustain and jungle speed issues are gone. The item will let you heal up in the jungle or while pushing a lane. The active effect on Tiamat and Ravenous Hydra increases your burst damage during a gank, and the active on Ravenous Hydra even activates your life-steal, giving you a burst heal.
  • Tiamat and Ravenous Hydra - This item path is the best solution for wave clear on Shaco. With this item, Shaco gains burst damage as well as Wave clear, so he can split push quickly and effectively, without spending mana.
  • Avarice Blade - This item is underrated. The Avarice passive gold per 10 is terrible, but Greed is a really good passive. When you're farming small jungle camps, this passive increases the gold you receive from small monsters by approximately 100%. This item is also a really good item to buy, if you are able to split push with Shaco, because you will earn between 6 * 3 = 18 and 7 * 3 = 21 extra gold per minion wave, which is almost as much as you get from killing a ranged creep and a melee creep, respectively. The other reason to use this item is that it gives critical strike chance. Critical strikes make your life steal work alot better, and they hurt like hell, if you crit an enemy champion.
  • Berserker's Greaves - This is your only true Attack Speed item. This is the pair of boots I would recommend on Shaco 99% of the time. Other boots are less valuable, because a good Shaco has the element of surprise, and his Hallucinate (ult) lets him dodge one spell, so you don't usually need to buy defensive items, until end-game.
  • The Bloodthirster - Good solid AD. gives your Deceive crits a nice punch, and increases your survivability in a duel.
  • Youmuu's Ghostblade - An amazing item for Shaco. It gives him so many valuable stats, and its active effect can be used to run away, to chase enemies, to assassinate beefy targets, and to scare the **** out of enemies. When they hear that Youmuu's pop, they will **** their pants, before and after you kill them. The cooldown reduction is very nice, because Shaco's chasing, damage, and survivability improve. There are many ganks where you secure the kill only by using Two-Shiv Poison twice: once when you burst them down, and later, after it comes off cooldown. Combining the 5% CDR from masteries with the 10% from Youmuu's and the 10% from Blue buff, you are sitting on 25% CDR!
  • Infinity Edge - This is the icing on the cake. Shaco's kit is all about damage modifiers. His Deceive is a damage modifier, and his passive, Backstab is a damage modifier, his ult, Hallucinate, is essentially another damage modifier. What could he possibly need another damage modifier for? Oh yeah, to kill people even faster! This is the crux of Assassin Shaco! Damage modifiers!
  • Last Whisper - This item isn't super necessary, but it lets you deal true damage to carries, and it lets you help your team out with killing tanks. If people are building armor, this will make sure you stay relevant in late game.

Situational and Alternate Items

  • The Black Cleaver - This gives you flat penetration and it works really well in team fights with your ult, Hallucinate, and the passive and active effects of Ravenous Hydra. Ravenous Hydra allows you to apply the The Black Cleaver's % Armor Shred really quickly to multiple members of the enemy team. The Black Cleaver gives you flat penetration as well, which helps Deceive hit squishy enemies like a bomb.
  • Sword of the Divine - A questionable item choice, but it can be very effective at killing squishy champions that build armor. The 100% attack speed and 100% Critical Strike chance fit well with Shaco's style of assassination. For example, if an enemy relies on Zhonya's Hourglass to protect them, using Sword of the Divine will make it much harder for the enemy to react, before they are dead.

Preferred Defensive Items

  • Guardian Angel - This is and always will be a strong stand-alone defensive item, but you must make sure you are using it effectively during a team fight. Getting caught away from your team and dying with it means you just wasted a bunch of gold on this item.
  • Zhonya's Hourglass - This item does in fact work as a defensive item, because engaging a fight with Shaco is very high-risk. This item increases Two-Shiv Poison's damage by 120, and it gives you invulnerability, for a few seconds, which can block spell damage, so, if used correctly, it is more effective than Guardian Angel.
  • Randuin's Omen - This is the strongest armor item on its own. It will allow you to duel fed AD champs pretty well.
  • Spirit Visage - The passive effect from this item increases Shaco's survivability by making him harder to burst down and increasing his life steal. This item is particularly strong in this build, because I have a bunch of life steal.
  • Banshee's Veil - This is considered the strongest stand-alone magic-resist item. The shield from Banshee's Veil gives Shaco an extra way to avoid spell damage, so with Hallucinate, Shaco has two chances to become invulnerable to a spell. This item is extremely effective against champions that you know will all-in you with a single spell, such as Annie's Summon: Tibbers and stun, Zed's Death Mark, or Ashe's Enchanted Crystal Arrow.


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Skills

Leveling Your Skills

  1. Always start with Jack In The Box (W). It is the most useful at level 1. You can invade with it, you can leash your own Blue buff by stacking boxes on top of Blue buff, before it spawns, and you can watch the river with your first box.
  2. Deceive (Q) is a good spell to get at level 2 in the Season 4 jungle meta, because you will be at level 2 for quite a long time. Junglers no longer reach level 3 after taking two buffs. Deceive is a low-cooldown free flash with invisibility. How much more unfair can you get? With Deceive, you can invade and start messing with your enemy's minds. It's also Shaco's best disengage tool, so it lets you play aggressively without immediately being punished.
  3. Two-Shiv Poison is Shaco's rape spell. Max it first, because it will greatly increase your ganking potency. It slows enemies so that they can't escape from Shaco and his allies. It is also a very high-damage spell, at max rank, when you build damage items. This spell scales off of AP as well as AD at 100% ratios. It is effectively another autoattack + extra damage, but it deals magic damage, so it bypasses Armor defenses. This makes it more difficult for enemies to itemize defensively against Shaco. If Shaco has 400 AD, like in my build, then Two-Shiv Poison will deal 400 + 250 = 650 magic damage at full rank. Taking magic resistance (MR) into consideration, a typical AD carry with no defensive items will take approximately 3/4 * 650 = 487 magic damage, because most AD carries have about 42 MR (30 base MR + 12 MR from runes).
  4. Hallucinate is a unique skill with all kinds of uses, because it can be used to distract enemies, bait them into engaging your clone with a high-cooldown CC spell, like Taric's Dazzle or Zed's Death Mark. Yes, I did, in fact, do both of these things in ranked games. It was hilarious to see Zed all-in my clone with Death Mark, just to have it blow up in his face. He thought I was face-checking the bush he was in, but I knew he was in there, so I baited his ult with my clone.

Casting your spells

  1. Deceive (Q) is a gap closer, so you can use it to follow an enemy that flashes, if you can get in melee range before using it. However, for most of your ganks, you will open with your Deceive and walk right behind the enemy while you're invisible. Your invisibility lasts for 3.5 seconds, so don't panic. You have alot of time to get in position, as long as the enemies are not walking away from you. Before your invisibility runs out, autoattack the enemy in their back. This will deal a pretty big chunk of damage.
  2. Immediately put a Jack In The Box wherever the enemy is going to move, after they realize you are ganking. You want to block off an exit path for the enemy. This takes some thinking and practice. Sometimes, you are actually going to get killed by the person you are ganking ( Gragas and Alistar mid, anyone? ugh.), so you might position your boxes so that you can disengage the enemy and save yourself.
  3. Your target will be slowed by your Two-Shiv Poison's passive. If you need to burst them very fast to save an ally, use Two-Shiv Poison's active effect on them. If you can't instagib the enemy, save your Two-Shiv Poison, and wait for allies to catch up with you. If the enemy flashes away, using Two-Shiv Poison will buy you some time to catch up. After a few seconds, Deceive will be off cooldown, then you can maybe Deceive to finish the kill.


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Creeping / Jungling

Typical Jungle Start


For a typical start, you buy your items quickly, then run over to the river in front of your Blue buff. At 0:39 (39 seconds into the game), put a box in the river bush near your mid tower. It is a defensive box, and it watches for enemies who might invade your jungle. To date, I have never had an enemy invade my Blue buff as Shaco. This is probably because they know it's dangerous to invade against a Shaco. At 0:55 place your second box over the wall, on top of where the Ancient Golem (Blue buff) spawns. Every time your boxes come off cooldown, you should place another box on top of the Blue buff. At 1:40 you should walk around to the buff. Your boxes will not completely kill the buff camp, so you have to be there to finish it off. This will give you level 2. After this, you can go to your Red buff, or you can go invade the enemy's Red buff side of the jungle.

Invading


If you invade, then a good way to harass the enemy jungler is to stack Jack In The Boxes in the bush next to the enemy's Wraith camp and wait until they walk through the bush, then you surprise them by doing a bunch of damage to them. If they try to Flash away, you can use Deceive to catch up with them. Against some junglers, usually squishy carry junglers, this secures a kill for you, especially if they didn't use any Health Potions before running over to their Red buff. Against tanks and bruisers, you force them out of their jungle and make them spend health potions. This tactic also gives you control of the red buff side of their jungle. If the enemy laners and jungler try to kill you, you can walk off or use Deceive to escape, or you can bait them into chasing you around, and chip away at their health using Jack In The Boxes. If you are smart, you can get a kill. If your laners are smart and they come over to help you, you can both get kills.

Jungler Match-ups


I have to admit that I don't have as much experience as other players in terms of jungle matchups, but I think jungling with Shaco revolves around more than just fighting the enemy jungler. I feel that jungler matchups frequently do not matter, because junglers have access to laners. Half of jungling is pressuring the enemy jungle or defending your own, while the other half of jungling is giving good ganks to your laners. This means that an unfavorable jungler matchup can still go in your favor, if you know how to gank and countergank.
  • Easy: Offense-tree champions like Evelynn, Rengar, and Kha'Zix. These kinds of champions are easy to out-trade with the help of your Jack In The Boxes and your passive, Backstab. If they are sufficiently low on health, then you can burst them down with Deceive. Otherwise, you can outplay them with Deceive. Tank Evelynn is also easy, because she has no CC and she is not tanky until she gets her items.
  • Medium to Hard: Defense-tree champions like Jarvan IV, tank Rengar, Nunu, tank Gragas, Shyvana, Lee Sin, and Volibear. At level 3, Shaco can harass these junglers with Two-Shiv Poison while saving Deceive for outplaying them or escaping.
  • Skill matchups:
    • Lee Sin. This matchup usually goes to whoever ganks better, or whoever blinks first in a duel. If Lee Sin tries to use Sonic Wave on you, you can use Deceive to dodge the spell, and then fight him while his Sonic Wave is on cooldown. This reduces his damage, so you can out-trade him. Just remember to disengage before 10 seconds, when his Sonic Wave comes off cooldown, unless he's almost dead.
    • More examples to come.
  • Ultra-hard matchups: Stealth Wards and Vision Wards. These items kill Shaco's element of surprise. SURPRISE!


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Gank-in-a-box

Ganking with Shaco is fairly straightforward, assuming the enemy has no wards and is not Alistar. Shaco can sometimes pull off a gank, even if they have wards, because of his Deceive's gap closer, and his Two-Shiv Poison's slow. The slow may provide enough utility to give your allies a kill, when the enemy would have otherwise escaped.

Copied from my Skill Sequence section above, this provides a simplistic step-by-step procedure for ganking most champions.

  1. Deceive (Q) is a gap closer, so you can use it to follow an enemy that flashes, if you can get in melee range before using it. However, for most of your ganks, you will open with your Deceive and walk right behind the enemy while you're invisible. Your invisibility lasts for 3.5 seconds, so don't panic. You have alot of time to get in position, as long as the enemies are not walking away from you. Before your invisibility runs out, autoattack the enemy in their back. This will be a pretty big chunk of damage.
  2. Immediately put a Jack In The Box wherever the enemy is going to move, after they realize you are ganking. You want to block off an exit path for the enemy. This takes some thinking and practice. Sometimes, you are actually going to get killed by the person you are ganking ( Gragas and Alistar mid, anyone? ugh.), so you might position your boxes so that you can disengage the enemy and save yourself.
  3. Your target will be slowed by your Two-Shiv Poison's passive. If you need to burst them very fast to save an ally, use Two-Shiv Poison's active effect on them. If you can't instagib the enemy, save your Two-Shiv Poison, and wait for allies to catch up with you. If the enemy flashes away, using Two-Shiv Poison will buy you some time to catch up. After a few seconds, Deceive will be off cooldown, then you can maybe Deceive to finish the kill.

Shaco excels at ganking mid lane, because he can gank from every angle, and he can gank from inside the wraith camps, where people rarely ward during early game. Shaco is also exceptionally good at lane ganks, because he can Deceive while in the fog-of-war, then run down the lane to the enemy while invisible.


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Spells

Ignite = Good

Flash = Bad


When I see a Shaco take Flash in champion select, this is how I know our jungler is incompetent. Flash on Shaco is nearly useless, because Shaco has a built-in flash on a low cooldown. Having an extra Flash is nice but unnecessary, if you are playing Shaco correctly. Having Ignite, on the other hand, gives Shaco an incredible advantage when fighting enemy champions. It gives him much more killing and bullying potential, and this is good, because Shaco's goal is to get fed early.

The reason that other champions take Flash is that they don't have a good way to disengage from a fight. Every one of Shaco's spells can be used as a disengage, making Flash much less useful on Shaco than on other carries and assassins.


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Change Log

  • 2/12/2014 - version 0.2
    • Implemented a few of EdisonKhoo's corrections and suggestions...
    • Fixed the Runes section links from Quintessences to Greater Quintessences
    • Added Jungler Matchups (incomplete)
    • Added section specifically on ganking with Shaco
    • Added a Change Log
    • Added Sword of the Divine to the viable items
    • Added more info to the Items section.
    • Reworked the Pros/Cons section
    • Added a Summary
  • 2/8/2014 - version 0.1


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Summary

Overall, Shaco is a really strong assassin jungler. I will continue to test things out on this champion, as I believe Shaco holds alot of potential for gameplay. It is my goal to see the pros use my Shaco build in solo-queue, and I hope that, some day, they might decide to use Shaco in competitive team play, as a result of my build guide.

I also hope you enjoyed the guide, and please let me know if you have suggestions. I might include them. Good luck, and I hope that my guide doesn't get Shaco nerfed again.