Shaco Build Guide by KmancXC
Not Updated For Current Season
This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.
Not Updated For Current Season
The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.
Hey guys! My name is KmancXC, and I'm a jungle main in solo queue and for my ranked team PoleXC. I've been playing since the Spring of 2012, and Shaco was actually the person I learned to jungle with. At the time I was level 25ish, and have come a long way as a player. Shaco is incredibly difficult to play correctly, but he is one of the most rewarding champs to play because he has no ceiling. What I mean by that is you can pretty much do anything once you understand his kit, you just need practice. I do stream pretty often, in fact all of the video clips below are just footage of me streaming Shaco with friends. You can check out the stream here, I usually find time to get a few games in a day. If you do make sure to say hello! I always interact with viewers when I can, because I feel that hearing reasoning behind an action is the best way to gain a better understanding of the game.
If you like this guide, please let me know by liking it! I'll add to this as my opinions change, and or I get good Shaco demonstrations recorded. If you have questions, leave a comment and I will answer to the best of my ability. I will be updating this with new videos as I continue my road to Diamond, so stay tuned!
Pros and Cons
Pros / Cons
This section serves to give a little rundown on Shaco's abilities, in case you are not too familiar with him.
- Shaco's passive. This passive makes you do 20% extra damage if you are attacking your target from behind. This is mostly useful for jungling, as you can use the boxes to turn the camps around, but you should also try to attack people in the back when you can (its hard though, I know).
- Shaco's Q. So deceive is a really strong ability; its basically a flash with limited stealth. You can get through walls, close gaps on ganks, and escape with it. Also, if you attack, it will reveal you, but the attack is an automatic crit, but can be very helpful for upfront damage in a gank.
- Shaco's W. This ability often takes forethought to use correctly. The cooldown is long, so try not to waste boxes. That said, you want to be placing them all the time. I use them for protection when counter-jungling or split-pushing, setting up traps, and cutting off escape routes for a gank.
- Shaco's E. Two-shiv poison is the ability you will max first as Shaco. It has a passive, which slows enemies after every auto attack (if the active is not on cooldown) and also has an active targeted ability that deals some damage, and slows for a little bit as well. I'll explain how I utilize his kit later in the guide (see Ganking)
- Shaco's R. Hallucinate is a pretty cool ability, that makes a clone of yourself. I use this to get dragon at level 6 or 7 if there is nothing else for me to do (for instance if I don't see gank opportunities), but it is also great for dueling, and escaping. A few important notes: the clone takes a lot more damage than you, and won't have your buffs, so the enemy (if the pay attention) can tell who you are. Also, the clone applies on-hit affects like that of . And one last thing, when you use this, you essentially are "off the map" for a half second or so. I point this out because it can dodge any ability in the game if timed right, from Taric's to Karthus's
Creeping / Jungling
Shaco is not a great farming jungler until he gets both
, so try not to spend too much time your jungle. You should always be looking for ganks, counter ganks, and counter-jungling opportunities. Did their jungler just gank top? Go take his big wraith. Did their jungler just die? Take dragon. You'll find that it is more valuable than farming early on. Later in the game, you'll want to transition to an assassin/split pusher. Use your boxes for protection, save deceive in case someone comes, and use your ult to melt towers/inhibitors. Alternatively, you can roam their jungler looking for their squishier targets, and see if you can pick them off.
Below is an example of how I start off a game, I would explain it in text, but I narrated the video, so that should do (I hope, but feel free to ask me questions)
Another video I would like to share demonstrates how I deal with Shaco being a "weak jungler" in that he doesn't clear well. To pick up my second red buff, I start a box cluster at red, and while I wait on its cooldowns, I take wraiths. This allows me to get some gold and experience, while ensuring I clear red buff without trouble.
Core item Review
Statikk Shiv is great because it gives you movement speed (to cover more ground after deceiving), the ability to clear a wave, and a healthy burst of damage. When combined with the auto-crit from deceieve, you can certainly scare off an adc with your first auto attack of any fight.
Blade of the Ruined King is very important in my opinion for Shaco players. It gives you lifesteal, which helps sustain you in the jungle, gives you a way to stick on someone (the active helps you catch up if they flash), and gives you the opportunity to kill tankier players, as well as dragon and baron. Keep in mind, your clone gets the on-hit too, so you basically get two blade passives.
Warmog's is very powerful on Shaco because it lets you take a hit without blowing up. It can be difficult to duel someone in the mid-late game if you don't have the health to keep up. Thankfully, Warmog's solves that problem, allowing you to duel most adcs and apcs, as well as some of the less duel heavy top laners.
Who is fed on their team, and who is fed on my team?
Have I been split pushing, or teamfighting?
What are the team comps like?
If you ask yourself these questions, and answer them honestly, the item choices I listed above should become more clear, so good luck!
Ok so here is where your creativity comes into play. Deceive allows you to gank from just about any angle, regardless of where walls/terrain are. I think this can be demonstrated best with the use of a few video clips, but I will also explain the "combo" for Shaco. To start the gank, deceive in, so that they don't know you're coming. Position yourself directly behind the person you are trying to gank (as best you can, with the time limit on your stealth) and attack them. Immediately after that use a Jack in the Box in the direction you expect them to run, and use your Two-Shiv Poison. This slows them down, and adds to you damage output. If done correctly, the box fear will buy you more time, for an auto attack, or Blade of the Ruined Kind active. If need be, use your Two-Shiv again to finish the job. Here are some clips of ganks I have pulled off in the last few days.
Shaco isn't a great teamfighter, so avoid this if you can. Try instead to split push and catch people out, but if you have to, this is my general strategy.
-Try to burst someone who is squishy
-Use your ult to try to escape
-Wait for your team to follow up, and only go back in for cleanup duty
This highlights why you need "the right team" to play him in a ranked setting. I usually go with a gut feeling, which only comes with practice. I would suggest playing Shaco as much as you can in normal games, regardless of what your team comp looks like. This will give you a better feel for who Shaco works well with, and when you should avoid playing him. It will also give you an idea of who Shaco does well against (basic rule of thumb is squishy, or little CC) and who can give him trouble (high CC, AoE, or mobility).
Split Pushing and Baron Control
Like I've said Shaco is a great split pusher. His boxes are free wards, with a built in fear, and his deceive is a flash + stealth. You can use your ult to take out towers, or duel people if you need to, so try to force the enemy to send a person or two to stop you. You can also take baron very easily with Shaco. Have two or three people on your team split bot, while you use your ult to take baron; the other team will sacrifice and inhibitor, or baron...sometimes both. Here is a clip of me where I got pretty fed, and taking baron by myself.
As I've done in my Hecarim Guide, I wanted to point out that playing this champion well is FUN. Shaco has no limit to his power, except those imposed by the person playing him. Check out these clips where I make the other team look foolish with either a crazy juke, or a well timed turnaround.