Shaco Build Guide by Impossible2Gank
[10.19] SHACO AP & HYBRID OFF-META GUIDE FOR MID LANEBy Impossible2Gank | Updated on September 22, 2020
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Runes: Currently Used
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+8 Magic Resist
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+8 Magic Resist
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+8 Magic Resist
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
Ability Order Standard Box
Threats & Synergies
Her abilities allow her to consistently damage you and shield herself. This is one of the hardest matchups if you're going against anyone who has any clue. Magic resist is recommended early.
His Q grants him a small AP shield but it's enough to negate your E so it can be a pretty hard matchup especially since he has little to no mana issues and If you find yourself winning early game careful later on as you can imagine Kassadin scales very good and you'll stand virtually no chance fighting him if he grabs a lead as well.
She can be quite hard to handle especially if they understand the matchup even a little but if you play around your boxes well enough it should be easy.
If they know what they're doing it'll be a hard time. If you get even a little behind say bye-bye to lane phase and welcome to pain city. Hexdrinker can help mitigate the pain and help you setup plays but if they see through your plans it's no dice. Play to bait her in around boxes and make sure to avoid ult as well as don't move too forward where she can throw down her poison to stock you from using your Q.
Can be very annoying to lane against but luckily if you can read his patterns you can avoid his guards and trade well enough to setup for a kill. Your ult can counter his very easily once you get the timing down.
You need to work your way to defensive items such as Tabis or Zhyonas Hourglass to stand a chance and try not falling behind while doing so. Stay away from walls and always play around boxes. Armor is recommended early.
Even though his turrets can easily take out your boxes, if you lend a few points into E you should be able to poke him down enough to go in for a play with your R. You can also try to bait him closer near your turret to make a play or wait for jungle pressure.
Ryze puts up a lot pressure in lane and you're helpless until you can get items to help with wave push but until then consider the lane one-sided so just look for jungle to help and try to play around your boxes.
Her ability make her hard to catch and therefore becomes a hard matchup. She also has better roam potential so she can be hard on your team. Try to avoid her snare and you'll be ok.
Same deal as Orianna, can dish out consistent poke and shield same time. He doesn't have much mana issue so prepared to get taken for a ride until you have the items needed.
She can be annoying to deal with ever since the update gives her a dash prior to 6 now so just feel them out to see how they make plays before making one yourself.
Your ult negates his ult completely but be careful getting to low health as they can easily finish the rest.
This one can go either way depending on how well they know their champ in the matchup but if you know it just as well you should be able to come out on top. As for your team though, maybe not so much.
Pretty even matchup as you can just stack MR and use your R to dodge hers.
She can grab your boxes and get rid of them and her ult can't be entirely dodged. It's a pretty tough matchup so just stick the boxes on the sides letting her push in while you wait for ganks. You can also put some points into E if they just hate your boxes.
Good Irelias will always be tough but the nature of both kits allows you to keep up whoever is on her. If she procs you and goes in you can position yourself near your boxes to punish it as well as use R to escape any bad situation. If she's aggressive you can abuse this but be careful as they could get out of control later if they know how to play her.
A good Vlad will be able to bully you out of lane with ease while you are unable to properly farm as well as outscale you. Stay back and box up, only going in if you manage to wittle him down low enough otherwise just wait for ganks.
Depending how they play her it can be a pretty hard matchup. In that case you just play back, setting up boxes on the sides and waiting for her to all-in or jungle to help. Magic Resist is recommended early.
Can be a hard champ to handle but if you keep moving in lane and get boots asap you'll be fine just try not to get hit 3 times by his abilities as to avoid the true damage proc.
Once you get 2 doran's rings and put in an extra point or 2 in E you can take him out easily once you dodge his engage and Q in to auto for the slow and finish with E.
Depending on how he's played it can be annoying to lane against. He can just stun and combo you over and over, slapping in a blue card every now and then to get back mana. You can fight him well if you box properly but it's better to just place them around and in his paths for bot just as you would a Galio to give some time for your bot to finish any fights or to potentially catch him off guard for a kill.
If he grabs a lead it'll be substantially hard in lane to do anything. He has the kit to engage and disengage and you can only hope he moves to your box zones but he isn't hard once you learn his patterns and limits.
He can keep spamming out the waves and prevent you from planting boxes in meaningful places nearby however if he doesn't have a clue on the matchup it'll be much easier.
Really depends on how well they know the champ but if you manage to play smart and bait his R when you Q back onto boxes it should be an easy matchup. Armor is recommended early.
This is a considerably hard matchup due to his kit where he can poke you down and eat an orange whenever you try to do anything. Try to stay back and wait for ganks or hope they're bad the champ.
You're able to bait him with your Q onto boxes when he tries to Q in just make sure he doesn't get you low enough to give him a chance at a kill. Armor is recommended early.
The RNG aspect on her W can make the lane tough but if you be mindful of her Q's and don't get hit with any E's you should be ok. Magic resist is recommended early.
If they're good at landing skill shots then it'll come down to how good you are at dodging them. Magic resist is recommended early.
Try to avoid getting bombed and jumped on or else the lane will be quite tough. If she knows the matchup she'll just avoid any box plays and react accordingly.
Any good panth will be able to control the lane well. Just be careful of his combo while near low health while waiting for your jungle to help. Armor is recommended early.
Pretty even matchup just avoid his passive proc or he'll run circles around you. You're able to lure him back onto boxes with your Q when he E's you but it's a short window and can be hard to pull off.
Should be an easy matchup depending on how well you dodge his Q's. Your ult can be used to dodge his as well making your engage all that more effective.
He can just sit behind minion waves and burn away everything. You'll need to have some sort of lead to be able to kill him but you should just bait him in for your jungle to gank. Magic resist is recommended early.
If he grabs any kind of lead the lane will be pretty hard to handle depending on how well they know the champ in the matchup there will be little to no chance for you to keep up.
If she plays safe you'll eventually be unable to deal with her so try to get early ganks to shut and slow her down from reaching late.
Can be annoying to deal with since he can shove out waves reliably. Bait him to your side so your jungle can gank before he gets out of control. Also it helps to put boxes all over so you can lure him to them before coming out of his ult and don't forget you can still give commands to your clone from the inside. Magic resist is recommend early.
Due to the nature of his kit and not needing mana he can be troublesome early game but still easy to bait for your jungler though so look out for those plays.
She can easily zone you out or catch you easily with her kit. Depending how good she is and how well you are at adapting to how they play it can be a rough time. Magic resist is recommended early.
Once she hits 6 she'll be able to combo you out of lane pretty easily. Safer to box the sides and let her push in for jungle ganks. Magic resist is recommend early.
Pretty even matchup, You can negate his ult by placing a box down right when he uses it making sure he has no shield. His lane push can be annoying but that will just set your jungle up for easy ganks. Magic resist recommended early or just rush Quicksilver Sash.
Once he gets sheen he'll bully you out of lane easily. All you can do is let him push up for your jungle to come help gank.
I still don't know what the heck he does but all I know is when my clone pops off, so does he.
For the same reason as Shen but a little more deadlier. His kit contains very good CC that can be used to chain with yours to close out fights easily.
One of the strongest champions to synergize with Shaco. Once you mark for Jhin's passive he can follow up with his snare ability and ult. His flowers also help provide vision alongside your boxes and can combo with them well.
Her capabilities synergize well with Shaco and can make for terrifying teamfights later on.
If you have a good Rengar on your team it should be an easy win as all you'll need to do is link up in teamfights where you distract part of the enemy and he snags the squishies.
Similar to Rengar but can excell in some other areas better.
Better if you're playing mid and you both come together later on to wreck havoc.
Turrets and boxes, what's not to love?
His ult can be deadly when taken to the back of an enemy line during your Q but unless they know how to E properly it won't do much.
She helps a lot in almost every aspect and good enough to make Shaco Bot work.
Depending on how she's played, the synergy can be quite good.
Since Shaco is great at distracting teams, Twitch becomes a very good choice to pair with.
His ult basically combos well with any shenanigans you pull in team fights.
Pretty much the same deal as Jhin but not as effective overall.
The high damage combo goes well with full AP Shaco and can make for a brutal time for the enemy.
His ult combo synergizes well with your fears and box AOE and he can compliment AP Shaco nicely if he goes more AD-oriented.
You can trip up teams with your fears while he cleans them with his ult reset plus his kit overall synergizes good with Shacos.
Takes 1 of the enemy out of the fight making it easier to focus down the other targets and if he doesn't end up killing whoever he uses ult on you can position boxes under them.
Anyone who has DoT (damage over time) abilities do well with Shaco!
Champion Build Guide
+ Good bait setup with Jack In The Box and Hallucinate
+ Doesn't need an exp or cs lead to be useful to the team
+ Versatile with builds and playstyles (can do almost anything)
+ Can tank monster objectives or harass enemies under turret with Hallucinate
+ High AP damage output
+ Extremely fun once you get the hang of it!
- Some tough matchups (becomes harder the higher you climb)
- Can be hard to master
- Can be hard to come back if far behind
- Can struggle with mana early game
- High chance team will hate you or ignore helping you :^)
Keeping communication open for your team is always good but if you find yourself typing back a lot at toxic teammates or the enemy muting chat entirely can be equally as good. Pings can supplement it very effectively but be careful as pinging for situations to happen across the map is a risky gamble unless you know their limits but it's almost always better to use your pings sincerely and to encourage low risk fights and objective control. Pinging MIA is another thing you'll want to do if you aren't following your enemy laner when they roam you'll want to use it for your team right away in those cases and it wouldn't hurt to use the other pings if they don't respond to the first one as some people react more to caution than MIA.
Besides all that. You can also ping on timers for Rift Herald , Baron Nashor , Dragons , gold stash, player items, shop items to show team how much gold you need left on an upgrade, ultimates and summoner spells, etc.. as sometimes it's a good way to let your team know what's on cooldown. Careful not to give false info though as a lot of people take it seriously when they are deciding how they'll approach a situation. There's also a recent one Riot put in not too long ago that'll allow you to show anywhere of suspected enemy wards and speaking of wards , it's always a good idea to have a Vision Ward placed some where down to feed all kinds of information back to your team and don't worry about using them throughout the game. It's small costs are nothing compared to the value you get out of the vision.
That's pretty much it about teamwork and the tools we're provided with to help it. Now let's move on to one of the most important aspects when it comes to gaming anyone should understand if they're looking to climb regardless of what champ or style of play they use. Remember, you didn't join a game to start debates you came to learn so you can win and climb the ranks, nothing else. Keep that always in mind.
If you're unable to find yourself to shake any frustration you got from the last game I have a few tips to help you.
1. This one is the most obvious but many don't understand how helpful it can be, take a break between every game. Back when I struggled a lot more than I do today I took 15-20min breaks between games doing whatever to break the cycle of players I've had and to basically refresh my senses and it's always helped me immensely. I don't do it as much anymore because I rarely tilt now but I fully recommend anyone even if they don't tilt to take them as it can help in a lot of ways.
2. Find the prime time. What I mean is there are times of day different groups of people play, here in North America. Playing late will match you with players who are more serious at winning than the day crowds. That's not to say you can't get the same kind of players during the day, simply that the chances of getting them are increased at later times. If you can't play late at night then try to get up as early as possible in the morning as they typically play until the morning times. I can't say every region has it the same but I'm sure there are some.
3. If you find yourself in a slump and absolutely no way to climb and becoming too frustrated getting to where the point your MMR is so bad (lose a lot of LP when you lose and gain very little when winning) it's virtually impossible to inch your way up in the ranks then the best solution is to play on a new account. There are cases where your luck in combination with bad MMR will prevent you from ever climbing or at the very least, need to put in a lot of effort but even then a small loss streak can put you back down to where you started so I recommend starting fresh.
That's about it, there's not much else to cover. If you are just unable to control emotions then the game may not be for you or perhaps you're playing too much so if you love playing League try taking some time away from it and come back when you're feeling more ready. Now we move on to what we all came here for. How to mid lane as Shaco AP and/or Hybrid.
Key Bindings & Settings
There's some matchups where you need to keep a high BPM ( Jack In The Box per minute) and Two-Shiv Poison poke to make sure they don't control the lane entirely to the point where you are unable to help your team but it can be costly during the early stages of the game. Some items and runes will help with certain situations and mana issues such as Doran's Ring, Tear of the Goddess, Manaflow Band in Sorcery, Time Warp Tonic and Biscuit Delivery from Inspiration which is usually what I tend to go in most matchups when it comes to mid lane and for support I like to go Domination taking Dark Harvest as well as Ingenious Hunter with the secondary tree being the same I go for mid but for now let's focus on solo lane Shaco where I'll explain how I make it work and try to help you guys climb with him or at the very least come out with new understandings to better your game. Now, before I move on to explain a little about itemization I'll be going over what runes I take and why.
★ Arcane Comet
This is the main damage rune you'll be taking as it nicely synergizes with the slow on Two-Shiv Poison allowing you to reliably land it. In the very early levels you'll want to play around the cooldown alongside Manaflow Band, only using mana when they're available.
★ Manaflow Band
A valuable rune to help deal with mana issues early game so you can keep up against most matchups. You could change it for Nullifying Orb against heavy AP comps but more often than not you'll want to keep Manaflow Band to make everything easier.
★ Nullifying Orb
Alternative rune in place of Manaflow Band. Helps to sustain against most AP matchups better.
The extra CDR this rune provides at level 10 is nice especially when you don't need to worry about capping CDR knowing any extra will be converted to adaptive damages.
Alternative rune in place of Transcendence. Provides extra MS that can be vital in many matchups early to mid-game and since most games are determined in the first 10 minutes it can be a strong replacement.
This rune provides a little extra damage based on level but it also can trigger Arcane Comet for a delayed surprise. I prefer taking this over Waterwalking and Gathering Storm as I'm not always in the river and most games don't end nearly as late to make the other rune worth it.
★ Biscuit Delivery
Provides a Total Biscuit of Everlasting Will every 2 minutes until 6 that restores health & mana as well as permanently increasing your mana cap by up to 150. Goes well with items and runes like Dark Seal and Time Warp Tonic. Very useful to have overall as any kind of extra mana early is strong in most matchups and if you're stuck with it on the back for other items you can sell for 30g while still getting the permanent mana increase.
★ Time Warp Tonic
Grants half of the health and mana you get from potions and Total Biscuit of Everlasting Will immediately while simultaneously granting 5% movement speed on the side for its duration. This allows you to set up interesting baits/plays and run circles around the enemy early game by allowing you to join and exit fights with ease.
|★ Adaptive Damage|
|★ Adaptive Damage|
★ Armor Rune
The Art of Itemization
Let's talk about itemization first. Basically what you should build for certain matchups, comps or specific situations. Many people are inclined to go look up online what the top players use and never give a thought as to why they bought what they did. For Shaco, he's in an interesting spot in that he can use pretty much anything. He's an extremely versatile champ in my opinion and that mostly lends itself to the fact that he has tricks in his kit, combined with the many possible item combinations and you can really find yourself a build for practically any situation.
I'm going to keep it short and offer some ideas that can help you choose what you feel is right in your games. One of the main components to figuring out what you should begin to build is to analyze both teams and this happens as soon as you find a game. What you're looking for is the strengths and weaknesses for each side while both teams pick out their champs. Try to figure out which team is more squishy, tanky, how many AP or AD champs as well as what kind comp they're building overall and such. It helps even more to know how each champion operates to know exactly what you're dealing with for example against comps with high true damage, AP items that offer health will help to manage it.
If you were facing a comp that's mostly AD you could lean towards items like Zhonya's Hourglass and even Guardian Angel if you were looking to throw in some hybrid gameplay (which lets you double Stopwatch bait once). Hextech GLP-800 helps you sustain and control fights and is good into invisible and fast-moving comps. Sometimes if your comp lacks a tank or any frontline and/or crowd control. You could build Bramble Vest, Ninja Tabi, etc. as a first buy and open yourself to tank-oriented builds, you'll be surprised they're more effective than you think if your team needs it. These kind of builds can also double as an excellent way to come back in to the game if you lost to AD champs like Zed, Talon, Irelia, etc. There are situations where support items come in handy but they're rare. Shurelya's Reverie can be good as your 5th or 6th item as well as Knight's Vow and Zeke's Convergence as Shaco really only needs a few items to be useful without a lead and you could build those items to empower your team or other carries on the team. Whatever you choose to build, try to always keep in consideration both team comps and items they build throughout the game so you can build accordingly, anyway that's all for now when it comes to itemization.
Not too long ago I use to run Tear of the Goddess in most of my games mainly because I needed mana to keep up against certain mid lane matchups who poke and spam abilities a lot or if I feel it'll go late-game and now I usually just get 2 Doran's Ring but in the games I do go Tear of the Goddess I'll try to fast back as soon as I have enough to buy it or buy Faerie Charm along with other laning items like an extra Doran's Ring and/or Boots of Speed then working towards building it and if I don't I'll simply sell the charm for a different item but from there many of the mana issues Shaco has are essentially solved. Keep in mind though that I do not consider this item a necessity especially with recent nerfs to Hallucinate. It does still help a lot with mana and offer more efficiency in mana-based builds giving you plenty of damage later on once its fully upgraded but it does put you behind early in damage. This can obviously be solved with maintaining a lead or just knowing the nature of the game and the matchups but be warned there is a little risk involved if you didn't already grab a lead before buying it.
Who to Ban in Champ Select?
Despite the list I have here, you must remember that every region's elo and ranks are different for the most part. You may see for example more Kayn or Darius players in Diamond, but in Platinum you may see something else entirely. You may use lists online to help figure out what to ban but it's always better to take note of the kind of players you are getting to make that call. Many champions in the current meta are viable bans but they aren't worth banning if people aren't playing them at your ranks so keep an eye for any patterns in champion picks to determine what you should be banning.
This is who I'm currently banning in the latest patch mainly because I'm tired of seeing so many poor performing Ezreal players but I could just be unlucky :(
Very annoying champion to deal with especially when paired with champions like Yuumi or Lulu. Always worth a ban until Riot tweaks him to be less menacing.
Though he's rarely played in solo lane (let alone mid lane), he's an extremely strong threat and his kit allows him to succeed where most other junglers can't.
This is another strong ban. There's plenty of Syndra players and she's ripe for the meta and very easy to play at the moment for soloq and as you can imagine she's a personal threat to Shaco. Feel good when you ban this one.
Both are very annoying to deal with. I myself don't get too frustrated with them as much anymore and almost never ban but they still remain solid ban choices.
Another champion I don't find myself banning as much if at all anymore. I've learned to deal with Kassadin personally and I usually ban Graves or Syndra before thinking about banning anything else but he still remains one of the best late-game champs and can be hard in lane depending on how good they are and such so a very good ban choice here.
What to max first?
In many close-ranged matchups, crowd control and assassin-based enemy comps you'll want to prioritize leveling Jack In The Box as it increases fear duration among other things that help with both engaging and counter-engaging which compliments Shaco and his kit very well when going AP. Against matchups that are more ranged-based and/or players who are more careful around your box placements you'll want to either put a few points into Two-Shiv Poison first before switching back to max your boxes, alternate each ability or just max it first.
In many long-ranged matchups you can benefit more with better Two-Shiv Poison execution damage earlier especially if you're going key AP items first than the fear and damage the boxes give but it comes at a downside as until they are near maxed they'll be a little weak in some situations for example you won't be able to push as fast if you're not building Hextech Protobelt-01 and other items that proc off your boxes or efficiently take advantage of multi-box situations. In my experience both are very strong routes to take but knowing what you should be leveling can make your lane a whole lot easier so just try to keep in mind that regardless of the champion you are facing, whether they're ranged or not their playstyle and behavior towards Shaco ultimately comes down to the player and you'll need to take a few moments to see how they operate to know what you should really be maxing.
To start off the game, grab your Doran's Ring, 2 Health Potion and Warding Totem (you may get Corrupting Potion instead against matchups that like to pressure hard in the first levels or if you feel you'll need the extra healing) then wait in lane before the first minions clash (most times you want to avoid level 1 teamfights but there can be opportunities to flank the enemy if they're leaving from an invade), at around 50 seconds start placing Jack In The Box down in the middle of the lane (should have 2 or 3 ready for the first wave of the game) and once they trigger place another box down to start pushing the minions to their turret and get ready to grab level 2 first on the next wave to potentially line yourself up to poke them down for a kill and/or help your jungler. Your main goal for now is to try to farm safely if possible towards level 6 getting the gold needed for another Doran's Ring and any items like Corrupting Potion, Cloth Armor or Null-Magic Mantle depending on the matchup, Boots of Speed, Vision Ward or a Faerie Charm when building towards Tear of the Goddess if you choose to and selling it later if you don't (which I usually do).
Getting resistance items early such as Cloth Armor or Null-Magic Mantle and sitting on them is always a good idea as it helps so much early game. If I'm going a hex build, I'll try to grab Hextech Revolver right away or before doing so, Sheen if I'm fighting Kassadin or similar champs with magic resisting abilities and passives like Galio or sometimes if the enemy team is going for magic resist items early so try and pay attention to your matchups and what they build. From there on you should just keep farming and focus on upgrading Hextech Revolver making sure to not feed off any kills in the process while looking for potential plays with the jungle and putting a huge focus on securing dragons, heralds and such but careful on some the plays that you try to take with them though as earlier on in the stages of the game if they fail or become a waste of time you could be put behind and make the game more difficult.
A lot of times you can go for the first blood these early levels. This is why I recommend Flash, not only for getaways and such but to also be aggressive in lane and be able to quickly help your jungler if they're nearby. You mostly want to focus on staying alive though so don't do anything too crazy until you get comfortable doing so. Eventually when you learn matchups and how fast a situation can move itself you can begin doing crazier baits and plays. As the game goes on you'll need to spread out your Jack In The Box remembering to put them down in crucial areas as it can drastically dictate fights even when behind and the more AP you stack the longer those boxes stay up and more damage they'll do then you'll get to think less about where you place them and focus more on how often they are placed but against champions like Syndra, Heimerdinger, Zyra etc. or if the enemy likes to pressure your boxes, you'll need to place them carefully out of their sight and in ways where fights can lead to so keep on eye for that.
Remember that a lot of matchups can become harder if you leave lane and miss cs even if you manage to get kills so keep note on how the wave is before you help your team. Most times you'll want to just stay in lane pushing towards the turret before helping your team to prevent mismanaging the wave but if they're close already where it won't matter as much then help go help them especially if it's to secure Dragon or Rift Herald .
Now, if you choose to go for splits you'll typically want to buy Hextech Protobelt-01 to help clear out the waves fast while stacking Jack In The Box on the sides ( Liandry's Torment works fine as well as Luden's Echo or even Bami's Cinder if you're going tanky first but they'll be slower at pushing). Even if they use Oracle Lens and try to foil any of your setups, your team should be in a position to take a turret and/or other objectives while you distract with the rest of your kit. Keep in mind a lot of what I do for mid can be applied to support role, you can break off from peeling your adc and begin taking charge in other lanes to apply and draw pressure. Eventually you whittle down their turrets but there are times that's hard if the enemy team has good anti-sieging abilities or the enemy has strong splitters. This is when you'll want to stay with the team and look to getting major objectives like Baron and Elder Drake to help close out the game. Just remember to keep a focus on boxing all over and maintaining good vision with them and wards .
Lastly, remember to practice awareness as it becomes more important the higher you climb. Being able to check the map at a glance and grab vital info can make or break situations for you or just knowing when to go in or disengage from a fight is very helpful. You need to be able to enter any kind of scenario and assess several opportunities and outcomes so you can make the best out of anything that goes on. A lot of this comes with time and practice but just remember wards are your friend and the map is free information.
Before we end this chapter I'm going to show some examples of the items to get for up to 2K gold on your first back to base (you can fit in Boots of Speed anywhere if you want otherwise build one of the boots before or after your first completed item).
Remember to pick up Cloth Armor or Null-Magic Mantle if you feel you'll need it for early game
(especially good when you're going against
matchups or heavy AP comps.)
(Note : try to back with a little extra for 2 wards)
Refillable Potion > Dark Seal > Faerie Charm > Vision Ward
Hextech Revolver > Refillable Potion > Vision Ward
Sheen > Refillable Potion > Vision Ward
Tear of the Goddess > Refillable Potion > Dark Seal > Vision Ward
Tear of the Goddess > Corrupting Potion > Vision Ward
Sorcerer's Shoes > Corrupting Potion > Vision Ward
Instead of upgrading Hextech Revolver into Hextech Protobelt-01, you can go Hextech GLP-800 to help increase the damage of Muramana (if you're choosing to build it), give a bigger boost to CDR which is always nice and allowing you to use mana-based items like Abyssal Mask more efficiently especially when some of your teammates are AP as well as the enemy. Hextech GLP-800 can also help control fast moving enemy comps and against invisible or fast-moving champions, acting like a sonar to locate them easier while slowed. This also makes Liandry's Torment a strong choice to pair with it as it makes up for the lack of HP it has and synergizes with the ability itself very well. If I build Hextech GLP-800 it's mainly for the mana and CDR to make more plays but I won't ignore Hextech Protobelt-01 as that's just as good with its lowered cost, better split pushing potential and extra HP allowing me to thrive longer in fights. Keep in mind you do not need Tear of the Goddess if you're building Hextech GLP-800 and vice versa, they compliment eachother but both aren't required at the same time.
I'd like to point out when I do go Tear of the Goddess that I tend to build into Manamune and never Archangel's Staff as I don't see the shield a greater need than the damage Muramana offers and I just feel it's better overall with Shaco and his kit as it helps to enable and flourish hybrid builds and complimenting AP ones by making you and your clone's autos more useful while your spells are on cooldown not to mention giving your Two-Shiv Poison a boost in damage. Whatever you choose to fit your playstyle and needs, there's always going to be something for every situation whether it's going full tank and being an unkillable clown or surrounding yourself in full AP to show the other mages who's the boss or just being a bro in the backline pumping up your carries with support items like Shurelya's Reverie, Knight's Vow, Zeke's Convergence, or Locket of the Iron Solari, there are plenty of possibilities at the end of the day and I feel Shaco can do it all.
Lastly let's not forgot boots. You can check for more information above from the "Boots" item set but generally you want to get them as soon as possible. Getting movement speed first before the enemy is invaluable and it works well with Time Warp Tonic and Celerity. Try to fit in Boots of Speed early game and finish it around a completed item or even before to help a lot with roaming, making plays and dodging abilities!
Main Build Paths and Styles
This is the tried and true hextech inspired build. Your main core item will either be Hextech Protobelt-01, Hextech GLP-800 or Hextech Gunblade. You will be farming safely in lane for the early levels grabbing 2 Doran's Ring, Corrupting Potion and usually either Cloth Armor or Null-Magic Mantle depending on the matchup and completing boots and 1 of the hex items as soon as possible. If you chose to go Hextech Protobelt-01 you have a few options, you can keep asserting pressure mid while helping out junglers and roaming when necessary or trade lanes with the adc and support. If you traded lanes for bot their mid laner should follow as well. In this case keep doing the same and applying pressure on them and the turret to grab enemy jungler focus away from your team so they can focus on Rift Herald and the other turrets. Typically when your bot takes their turret first they'll want to trade lanes but its your call if you feel you need to do it now or wait a little and make sure they don't die before they can establish themselves in mid lane with wards and such. I myself like to wait a little bit (giving the adc the farm) while planting a couple boxes down making sure nothing breaks out before I choose to go bot lane which if I do it's usually to get more farm to complete items or keep pushing a lead I obtained from being in mid while keeping a huge focus on dragon control.
Hextech GLP-800 is the next item. A lot of the gameplay stays the same so there's nothing to go in detail about but you are basically putting more focus on helping your team in fights as well as controlling and securing objectives. The item itself offers more utility overall and synergizes with some items better such as Liandry's Torment but the downside is it costs more and you won't have as much health compared to Hextech Protobelt-01 however the extra CDR, AP damage and mana make up for it in most cases and in the end the health shouldn't matter if you build the items that provide both AP and HP. Even though Hextech Protobelt-01 is cheaper and helps push out waves, a lot of times you'll want to just get Hextech GLP-800 and be well off in many areas.
Hextech Gunblade is the last. With its greater single target focus and healing it provides something a little unique but more in line with Shaco's theme. The biggest downside is of course its cost and that's what holds me back from recommending this item over the others but that isn't to say there isnt a time for it. In the cases you get ahead and the enemy lacks a tanky frontline this item will ensure you keep your lead and quell any attempts made by the enemy if you play your boxes right especially if you're running Muramana but even then the other items would still offer more overall so careful investing in it.
-Better splitpushing potential
-Can control teamfights better
-Harder to kill
-Great engage and disengage
-Long cooldowns unless going Ingenious Hunter
-Less damage depending on build
-Requires a little more timing and setup for plays
Choosing to go more standard builds that focus on damage than utility wouldn't be a bad choice in most situations. I've tested in the current meta that going raw AP builds can help provide easier and more direct ways to apply yourself to the game. By that I mean you'll have less to worry about when it comes to your build and positioning as well as your items and abilities allowing you to focus on grittier plays and what lends itself to be strong there is mainly Two-Shiv Poison. Boxes still provide a safe net to work your way in or out of plays but when combining stronger AP items earlier and perhaps lending a few or more points in Two-Shiv Poison before can gain you an incredible lead and pretty good amount of damage.
You almost always want to go Liandry's Torment first due to the 2 passives it brings which synergizes with everything Shaco has to offer. There are other items that aren't bad to get as a first item such as Zhonya's Hourglass. Rabadon's Deathcap or even Luden's Echo. You could go any of the protobelt items later if you want as this build focuses on early raw damage so any item after the third is a choice for you to make. Everything else more or less stays the same, there are many builds to choose from for all kinds of situations but for me personally if I'm going these paths first I'll usually go Liandry's Torment first, then either Luden's Echo or Zhonya's Hourglass. This isn't always the case but these items I tend to stick with as my first 3 as they provide what I need (health, resistance and damage). If i'm going against more AP-oriented comps, I'll sit on a Null-Magic Mantle or go for Hexdrinker if I need to as explained in other parts of the guide. Your goal with this build is to stack useful items that are high in AP so not only your boxes thrive better but your E can be deadly as well especially if you put some points into it or choose to max it first against a ranged enemy laner or one who knows better not to approach in without using sweepers and other ways to deal with your boxes.
That's about it for pure AP Shaco paths. I've been testing strictly AP items for a while now ignoring any hextech as well as tear and it offers a lot of advantages but it's better when you take in account team comps and state of the game to decide what you need so don't let any of these paths dictate your item sets entirely. See what's right and works for you then build to adapt and eventually learn to take on any situation.
-More damage upfront
-Less abilities to worry about
-Potentially greater impact overall
-Easier build paths
-Longer to complete core items
-Unable to 1 shot waves instantly without protobelt
Tear builds tend to take the longest to scale but give access to power spikes later in the game and makes mana-based items more efficient. When it comes to Manamune, getting the item could make or break games that lead into late game mainly because it synergizes well with every aspect of Shaco but it also helps to eliminate mana problems and allows you to compete against all kinds of champions and comps with the only true risk is being able to get to those stages of the game safely however you can mitigate some of it by sitting on tear and upgrading when it's almost fully stacked but in some cases it's better to go straight for Manamune in matchups like Yasuo, Zed, Kassadin, etc if you're deciding to go a tear build.
Now I'm going to go over Manamune and even Archangel's Staff to explain a little on the strengths and weaknesses of each and why I prefer Muramana in the end. There's not much to go in detail but you always have to remember that when going for tear you are sacrificing early game damage and pressure. It's not always the case and you could have an enemy that's clueless but for the most part you are weakened the second you purchase Tear of the Goddess as it's a lot of cost for barely any stats and simply helps to get you by in terms of mana and nothing really else until you are able to make use of it when it's stacked. As for Archangel's Staff as I've said before I don't really feel it blends well with Shaco when you go these build routes. First off Muramana synergizes even more by empowering your single-target abilties and autos including your clones and second, it's cheaper and the stats Seraph's Embrace gives is done better with other items like Luden's Echo. It's basically a simple shield and nothing important for stats as I mentioned which I don't find necessary given the kit Shaco has to work with being able to dodge so easily and such.
As with the other paths the gameplay pretty much stays the same so there's nothing else more to say except try to use your abilities even outside of fights while you walk to lanes so you can keep your tear stacking and that's all there is to it! There's not much to further talk about here but check out other parts of the guide if you want to see other information that was left out. On a last note, I don't recommend running tear builds every game with the amount of items out and comps there are it's always good to stay flexible and work your way towards builds that benefit the early game more as they're usually decided in the first 10-20 minutes and from my experience in the current state of the game and recent patches, it's almost always better to go for other items so hopefully in the future they'll either make Archangel's Staff more viable or just make Tear of the Goddess-based builds better for AP/Hybrid Shaco. Alright that's all there is to say for the main 3 build styles and some points to take away while you train to become a trickster!
-Good against almost any comp
-Zero mana issues
-Clearier item goals
-Synergizes well with mana-based items
-Can handle all champions 1v1
-Takes longer time to reach item spikes
-Weaker early game damage
-More vulnerable early game
I'm going to explain some of the matchups you'll come to see and how to deal with them but before I get into that you must understand the best thing you can do is know what each champion is capable of as it helps immensely regardless of which champion you're playing so take the time to learn each champion in normals/aram or the practice tool.
Most of these will be common matchups or strong meta picks in general.
More to come soon!
I'm going to go over a few basic plays and combos for Shaco at each stage of the game then end the guide
with a list of tips/tricks and after a quick recap.
Keep in mind that this works well into melee matchups but anyone can get careless so keep on eye out for it. At these early levels it's usually better to play safe but there are many instances where the enemy gets too confident and moves up ever so slightly around the moment when you grab level 2 first. Since you should always put a point in Two-Shiv Poison second (You only ever want to get Deceive second if they have a Twitch or other jungler you know who will pressure you at the first couple levels but usually you can just play safer until you get all 3 abilities up) you'll get immediate access to its passive which makes your auto's slow if your Two-Shiv Poison isn't on cooldown. So what you do is once they get up close, try to plant a box around them the same time you get level 2 and when they move in begin to auto slow them and they'll think your trades are meaningless as most of the time you'll be pushing them away from the wave and taking aggro from their minions but once you get them around 200-300 health is when you activate Ignite and throw out your Two-Shiv Poison.
Many of them don't expect the extra damage on your Two-Shiv Poison alongside your Ignite when they are below 30% health and some actually flash in the process lining you up for another play depending on the champ as in certain matchups you can keep staying even if you are low. Katarina, Yasuo, Yone and similar champs that like to constantly go in and pressure can be easily abused if you take the time while they're walking from base to plant boxes in the middle of the lane. In rare situations you can keep staying for a third time, again depends on the champion and then on the player if they try to dare go in for another attempt. Doing any of this is of course risky without vision on the enemy jungle but if yours is near that risk is lowered greatly so be careful and always ensure a way out if things do go south.
Bonus Play - After hitting level 2, you can place a ward in the enemy's Raptors camp to see if it's up. If it is, work your way to level 3 (while keeping on an eye on it) and if the enemy jungler appears you can potentially make a quick play over the wall. Most times they'll be half or less health giving you a chance to pop right in to secure them for a kill but keep in mind it's a risky play if your enemy laner has any idea what you're up to but you can minimize that by moving straight out to the side instead of directly towards the Raptors camp in from of their view first. They'll think you're just doing a quick check or planting a ward. This play works well if you have Ignite on hand to use on them before they smite the camp to lesson how much they heal from it.
A lot of the times you'll just want to be sitting in lane but there's many cases where you'll want to extend your help to the jungler. In my case, my junglers tend to be the losing matchup and that's just how it goes but luckily many times they fight near the sides and sometimes even further in their jungles near the main red or blue buffs. Since you will be pushed up most of the time, you are heavily encouraged to roam when your jungle needs it which could end up being a waste of time but could also help you grab an even further lead. The power of Shaco to enter and leave fights starting at level 3 is a little insane with Flash and being able to Deceive, the distance you can cover in such a short time is greater than most other champions at that level and typically when you leave to enter a jungler's fight they'll both be low health allowing you to easily come in to deal with any situation and leave immediately after to get back to lane without missing any waves.
Once you have Hallucinate you can make a play at bot lane. Due to how experience is shared, solo lanes reach levels faster than lanes with more than 1 so this gives you an opportunity to roam. Depending how bottom lane went, the enemy could be up to 2 levels behind with no summoners up or not much health which makes your clone dive very strong especially at these lower levels when no one has built any resistance. If you started red (top side) then you can make your way down through the water way, then going behind the dragon pit and over the wall below next to where one of the blast cones spawn. You can sit in the small bush in between both enemy turrets and wait for when they are pushed in or if they are already low enough proceed to send the clone in by itself and wait to see what they do in-case you need to use Flash or Ignite if they're up. This almost always secures 2 kills and in such a short play, allowing you to get back to your lane with nothing much else changed other than the extra lead you got from roaming. For the red side, it's a similar path but you'll want to cross over the river to where one of their blast cone spawns near the tri-bush (south of the blue buff) instead and do the same as you would for the other side. You could roam for top lane at any point but it's better to just go bot most times especially if Dragon is up and see what you can do there to help as going top usually leads to nothing at all even if you get a managed to secure anything and Rift Herald should already be taken by you and/or your jungler.
Another basic play that can be used throughout the game is to push up the lane and get out of the vision of your enemy laner then use Hallucinate. Use R to control him (ALT+Right click to target specific buildings later in the game) and move him in alone. There's 2 types of plays you can make here, 1 involving making them think it's you and the other giving up the illusion off the bat and allowing your clone to whittle them down low enough so you can go in to secure a kill if it wasn't able to by itself. Deciding what type of play to make depends on the matchup but also the enemy jungler. Most of the time you'll just want to send in the ol' pal to auto them under turret as it doesn't focus the clone and making sure not to step in or you'll take the aggro unless you need to take a couple hits and grab the focus off the boxes your clone drops once it dies off to help complete the play with you.
The other type of play is simply tricking them in the time you have with the clone until they make a move they shouldn't do and that could be using their summoner spells or ultimate and other major abilities. Champions like Zed, Fizz, Syndra, etc. are usually eager to make a play and they'll go in if you give enough illusion that it isn't you. You can do this by moving the clone towards bushes or taking longer routes as well as even just standing still. Some of the animation is weird when clicking back and forth fast (doing it slow and in long paths is fine) or doing sporadic patterns giving up the illusion completely so you just want to do basic movements for the most part. Once they go in you can follow up easily to secure with Deceive and Two-Shiv Poison or Jack In The Box if it's near.
That's pretty much the gist of what I do and how Jack In The Box is utilized but here are some other tricks & tips before we come to an end.
✦ You can Deceive over any wall no matter how big depending on where you use it from.
✦ If you time it correctly you can negate a skillshot with Jack In The Box and have it take no damage.
✦ You can fit Jack In The Box over any wall no matter how big depending where you place it.
✦ Whichever side your mouse is on when using Hallucinate is where Shaco will appear making wall jumps and team-fight positioning easier.
✦ During the early levels where mana can be crucial you can place down a Jack In The Box before leveling the ability up to save on a little mana while retaining damage level increase.
✦ Featuring AD items in your build (such as double Doran's Ring for its passive, Sheen, Muramana, Hexdrinker, etc...) lets you last hit better.
✦ Always keep in mind your cooldowns before doing anything big.
✦ Most matchups even if considered hard depend mostly on how well they know their champ and the Shaco matchup so don't be afraid to act on them if they don't know it properly. The champs I've listed as threats usually only are at higher elos when you encounter other OTP players.
✦ If you absolutely need to keep your sanity you can mute all in-game chat by going to where League is installed, open "Config" folder and then open the file "PersistedSettings.json" finding the "Chat Scale" line and changing it to "-100" so it can sit in negative space. You can also mute the lobby chat by blocking the ip "188.8.131.52" in your firewall but the downside is you can't interact with your friend's chat anymore (unless you enjoy showing offline) and a couple other client features. Note : This IP is meant for the NA server, if you need help finding out the IP used in other regions let me know and I'll get them for you.
✦ If the enemy is focusing your boxes a lot, put them further away and around the sides as they give a lot of gold when killed.
✦ If the enemy is freezing lane try faking a back as most players will push when they notice you're gone.
✦ You can use your Two-Shiv Poison on the enemy to lure minions next to them towards you to safely farm.
✦ If you activate Corrupting Potion before using your ult even though it doesn't get the heal, you'll still get the visual FX which help tricks most enemies into thinking it's you.
✦ If you're low on all resources (no mana, health, fruit or boxes around) then back as you'll just make your team angry if fights they take go south.
✦ Keep in mind you can take crowd control and Deceive away at the same time to stop abilities and waste their effectiveness while invisible.
✦ Use your potion if you're far away from a big team fight for the extra movement speed if you're using Time Warp Tonic and it should be ready by the time you enter the fight.
✦ The more boxes you place down the more likely the enemy will forget the placement of the first ones.
✦ Always box up behind turrets if the enemy is pressuring with Baron Nashor and try not leaving the nexus if the turrets are down to prevent enemy backdoors until each inhibitor is back up.
✦ It's ok to sell 2 Doran's Ring later in the game to complete a single item especially before major fights as it's only really needed for early game.
(Levels 1-3) Push the lane asap with Jack In The Box playing safe while working up to level 3 for Deceive to not worry as much about ganks and helping your jungle accordingly. Start placing Jack In The Box around at the sides to prevent enemy ganks and potentially kill them if they try to go in for you and lastly remember to keep enough mana to ensure a way out of any situation.
(Levels 4-6) Should still be in lane pushing for 6 and after once you do, you can begin to make bigger plays/baits and make more effort to join your team in ganks as you can easily dive with Hallucinate at these lower levels and then again later on once you get more items. Remember to keep boxing around the sides as well, it helps throughout all stages of the game even if it gets no use.
(Levels 6-11) Make sure to help your team at Dragon and Rift Herald while giving your team all the information necessary to prevent your matchup from getting out of hand. If you managed to grab a solid lead you can start splitting for any other outer turrets left up otherwise stay near teammates so you can foil any enemy plans against them.
Levels 12-16+) In my experience games don't last nearly as long to make it to late game and level 18 so your best option is to play depending on how much of a lead you got if you managed to do so. Generally you want to play around team the longer the game goes on boxing all over as any slip up from them could net the enemy major objectives. It can be equally as rewarding or more if you start a split but that's hoping your team will be ok and as you can imagine, that's not always the case so choose what you do carefully.
That's pretty much it! There are of course things I've missed or left out as I wanted to try to cover mostly basic points and not get too critical and complicated with it. If there is anything crucial I missed or anything you wanted to ask you can contact me here, on YouTube or Twitch both @Impossible2Gank where I stream most days of the week.
I do have more tutorials planned in store not only for here but for YouTube as well which is mostly used for my montages and other game-related videos at the moment so make sure you stick around for more!
👌 = Not too bad of a patch ( Shaco is affected in 1 or more ways that limits or changes specific build paths but remains relatively the same everywhere else)
👎 = Bad patch ( Shaco is hit with multiple nerfs that dramatically affects off-meta/solo lane capabilities and potential)
10.3 - 👍 No nerfs or buffs to lane Shaco :)
10.4 - 👌 Minor nerf to Stopwatch builds (cost increase on Stopwatch itself and Perfect Timing no longer having the passive that reduces cooldowns of items that use Stopwatch by 15%) but buff to Shaco player's who take Exhaust
10.5 - 👌 Nerf to solo lane Frostfang users but otherwise remains untouched overall
10.6 - 👌 Nerf to Hallucinate making Muramana and on-hit builds a little less effective
10.7 - 👍 No nerfs or buffs to lane Shaco :D
10.8 - 👍 No nerfs or buffs to lane Shaco :D
10.9 - 👍 No big changes other than a couple bug fixes for Two-Shiv Poison and Hallucinate that don't affect anything
10.10 - 👌 Bug fix for Hallucinate to help ensure nerfs from 10.6 properly takes affect
10.11 - 👍 No nerfs or buffs to lane Shaco but adc buffs make Jhin combo (among other champs) even stronger especially when playing support role.
10.12 - 👍 No nerfs or buffs to lane Shaco. Interesting buff to elemental terrain that makes camping in enemy jungle a little harder but doesn't do much other than that.
10.13 - 👍 Minor buff to Jack In The Box now being able to properly activate Manaflow Band.
10.14 - 👍 Minor buff to Hallucinate now properly giving assist credits in takedowns where only the clone was involved.
10.15 - 👍 Minor buff to Spellthief's Edge and its item path making AP support Shaco even more viable.
10.16 - 👍 No nerfs or buffs to lane Shaco :D
10.17 - 👍 No nerfs or buffs to lane Shaco :D
10.18 - 👍 No nerfs or buffs to lane Shaco :D
10.19 - 👍 No nerfs or buffs to lane Shaco :D
1.0 - (May 25, 2020) - New section added (Who to Ban in Champ Select) and most other sections updated and/or changed to reflect recent updates and current build paths. Note : Any further updates or changes for patch "10.10" will be mentioned here.
2.0 - (July 20th, 2020) - New sections added and others updated and/or changed to reflect recent League patches and current build paths (adjusted/added threats & synergies, ability and build paths, tips/tricks, etc.)