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Shaco Build Guide by Sempitern

Not Updated For Current Season

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Sempitern

3s Shaco - Master of the Gank

Sempitern Last updated on August 28, 2012
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3s shaco


5s shaco

Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
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.



Offense: 24

Honor Guard

Defense: 6

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 0

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Ok, so this is my first guide. Criticism is most welcome, but do everyone a favor and don't just down vote a guide for no reason or to keep your guide on top. Seriously it just isn't cool.

Anyway, I have been maining Shaco for a LONG time now, and even though he is a great jungler for a 5s match, he just SHINES on 3s. With deceive, he is a supreme ganker and can get almost anywhere on the map in seconds. With his twin, you can turn any even fight into a 2 v 1, 3 v 2 or 4 v 3. And with two shiv poison, well, good luck running! Also let me say, this is an AD build. I have great respect for AP Shaco, but I don't play him, so look elsewhere if that's what you want.

Lastly, let me just say Shaco is an amazing character who is VERY rewarding to play. People will love you and hate you, and if you play him right you will lead your team in kills, and will probably be the one who pushed so quickly to the nexus.

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Pros / Cons


    Best 3s gank artist I can think of
    Twin turns even battles into mismatches
    Hard to kill when decieve is used the right way
    Excellent damage output
    Controls the map
    Great turret pusher especially with a twin
    Dragon at lvl 6 with twin, lvl 7 without twin
    can easily clear the jungle

    Squishy, especially early game
    Not the best farmer (not the worst either)
    Wards are his worst enemy
    Is not easy to play late game or against AOE teams (it is quite do-able though)

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Summoner Spells

Okay by now your question is probably, where is Flash ? Why no Ghost ?
The reasons for this are thus:
On 3s, the map is small enough that you can usually deceive through a wall and escape most any one. Exhaust will save your life against those pesky life steal/attack speed characters Yi/Trynd/Nocturne for example. Ignite will help you get kills and also keeps life steal characters and healers at bay. And the build gives you plenty of speed with the Trinity Force so you shouldn't need Ghost .

That being said the summoners on Shaco are completely up to your playstyle as far as I am concerned. Taking any of the following will be just as good though being as aggresive as I am I like my choices the best. The following are in the order in which i would take them.
Good Alernates

Flash, Deceive and you are gone from anyone. Definitely a good backup.
Ghost is great with your two-shiv slow to chase that kill down and then escape from their backup. Deceive, Ghost also equals uncatchable.
Always a good choice on an assassin if you like it.

The rest of the summoner's spells I would never take for one reason or the other. Feel free to experiment though.

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Shaco's Abilities and My General Theory on How to Use Them and Him

Such a great passive. Makes Shaco a superb chase down artist. Whenever you Deceive , position yourself behind the enemy for your strike.

This is the skill that makes Shaco who he is. It's a great escape mechanism, initiator, and all around bait skill. It is best used for ganking bottom and top lanes by running through the jungle and then using Deceive to pop through one of the walls behind the enemy.

Generally, when using Deceive in an offensive manner, after I run behind the enemy and strike them, I will immediate drop a JITB and throw a shiv their way. With anyone but a tank/bruiser this will usually get them running away with a significant amount of health loss (early game lane phase). Deceive can also be used to re-enter your lane from spawn by running in until you are just inside fog or war still then deceiving towards them and initiating or running to gank bush (note don't do this against two full hp enemies unless you are up in lvls and pwning). Deceive can be used in the same way to flash into your lane from the jungle.

Deceive is also an excellent escape mechanism. Most of the time you will want to Deceive in the exact opposite direction from where the chase would normally head. For instance when you are in the middle of your lane, being chased hard, and low on hp, instead of deceiving back towards your turret, deceive past the enemy towards their turret and run into the jungle. Also, in longer chases hitting them with a two-shiv to slow them, running into the nearest bush and waiting till they get close, then deceiving out of the bush the way they ran in, is a GREAT escape tactic. Also just like Flash decive can be used to escape or initiate through walls. Here is a picture of all the wall spots you can Deceive through from another guide written by RunningWontHelp called Shaco - 3v3 Map domination. He has a great guide and an excellent take on Shaco as well. If you find you just don't quite like the way I build Shaco, or you don't like my theory on how Shaco should be used, give his guide a try.

JITB is a great skill for baiting people in bushes. Use it to give the enemy team a good fear in team fights. This is best accomplished by throwing it behind them in the direction they are likely to run or by simply popping it in the center of the battle. I generally use them to keep aware of whats in the bushes around the map. especially those in the jungle and by my teams inner turrets. JITBs are also great if one of your team mates decides to take teleport or for your Jax or Katarina to escape to. To be honest there are a hundred little uses for JITBs, use them wisely.

This is your bread and butter, and what you will use to put out plenty of damage from a distance. Its also your way of reducing the damage you take when you are not using it actively. For this reason you may want to initiate with deceive and strike a few times before you toss your first shiv because the damage reduction at higher levels (skill levels not player levels) is insane against other auto-attackers. Also between Deceive, two-shiv and your passive chasing down squishies couldn't be easier. Basically in the early laning phase this is your best tool for harassing. Two shiv em down to just under half health deceive in hit from behind exhaust, ignite, one more shiv to seal the deal if needed, and you got yourself a kill. It really is that easy.

God what a skill. So obviously you will use this as your great un-equalizer in team fights and 1 v 1's, but there really is just so much more to this skill. For one your twin is what makes you such a superb pusher. When you know you are gonna have a few seconds alone with the turret rush in and twin as soon as your at the turret and proceed to wallop it. Also for a perfect escape against C.C. heavy teams a twin, Deceive combo done right can have the enemy team off chasing your clone while you run to safety. For you noobs out there, and hey no worries I was one myself and hell I still am with a lot of characters, don't forget to hold alt to control your twin. You can bind the twin control to tab is well. I find I end up accidentally laying my finger on the tab key when I do this so I don't personally recommend it, but other people do. Space bar is another good option but can also lead to accidental hittage. Another superb way to use your twin is to escape abilities or turret aggro because when you pop your hallucinate you literally disappear from the map for a second (not sure if its a full second but it is plenty of time). My best example for this is to twin just as Katarina uses her ult as it will allow you to escape some of the damage. Also when employing this trick on a Kat drop your jitb right after you twin. Another good time to use this trick is when turrett aggro has you and you wont make it out by running. Pop your twin. It will switch to the twin, and you will get away. Popping your twin just to do damage with its death explosion is another way to go, and it isn't always a waste of an ult if you use your twin in the same way a Wukong uses his image. This tactic can get the enemy team to waste all their nukes on your twin right before you and your team initiate. It is a great way to start a fight but PLEASE remember to let your tank/bruiser initiate the fight after you blow your twin up.

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Okay so first let me just say, as Shaco, YOU REALLY WANT TOP LANE. It is SOOOO much easier to gank top to bottom rather than bottom to top. For one, there is only one character to call out the MIA on you. Two, you don't have to leave a partner in a 1v2 to pull off the gank. Three, top lane is mostly above your level by 1 or 2 levels all game bottom lane is always below you by a level or 2 (This is what gets you the double kill). So the trick to the perfect gank is to use your creeps the right way, and to pay attention to your DAMN MINIMAP to see where the bottom lane is at. What you want to do is push your creeps towards the enemy turret. As soon as you kill the last minion and dissapear into the fog of war, you rush down through the middle opening and Deceive through whichever jungle creep wall the enemies are closest to. Here is an example of these routes top to bottom and bottom to top. For going top you deceive through the wall and into whatever top gank bush you think the enemy is in or is closest to..

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Skill Sequence

I prioritize Two-shiv Poison 1st
then Deceive 2nd
with 1 point in J.I.T.B. at lvl 4
also put a point in Hallucinate whenever it comes up.

I have no mathematical basis for leveling my skills this way. The only justification I have is that after hundreds of games with Shaco, this set up gives me the best K/D ratio and most game wins.

The ONLY other way i would go is to go q 1st then e 2nd. NEVER PRIORITIZE J.I.T.B. 1st , YOU ARE NOT AP SHACO!

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Greater Mark of Desolation
Greater Mark of Desolation x 9
These are non-negotiable on this build. Your items lack armor pen until later in the game and without these you just won't be putting out enough damage early game. Nuff said

Greater Seal of Resilience x 9
These are negotiable. Some people prefer using Greater Seals of Evasion , and I can't disagree with this tactic. If you do like the dodge seals I also suggest going Ninja Tabi over Berserker's Greaves and any other boots for that matter, with the exception of Mercury's Treads when they are necessary.
Also Greater Seal of Alacrity is a choice, but I feel it is more for an attack speed based Shaco which uses Madred's Bloodrazor as a core item instead of Trinity Force . Also if you do use these seals I recommend also using Greater Glyphs of Alacrity as well.

Greater Glyph of Warding x 9
These are also Negotiable. I like my early game survivability, but if you feel you don't need it Greater Glyphs of Focus is another way to go. Also Greater Glyphs of Alacrity is an option when using their complimentary seals as mentioned above.

Greater Quintessence of Fortitude x 2
Greater Quintessence of Desolation Greater Quintessence of Desolation x 1
Just trust me on these. If you dont like the mix and match go 3 fortitude quints or 3 desolation quints depending on your tastes. I find the 2 and 1 combo works the best. Also if I were to consider any other quints it would be 3 x Greater Quintessence of Furor , but I've never found them to make that much of a difference early game which is when runes count the most IMO.

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With the new masteries tree I am going hard into offense because the new ad offensive tree is MADE for a Shaco. 24 6 0 is now my standard., But 21 9 0 hitting the extra hp in the defensive tree is a good way to go too. If you go 21 9 0 I would take all 3 points out of vampirism in the offensive tree I have above.

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Let me start out by saying that ALL items can be situational; however, the Core Items and Likely Finishing Items I have listed below, I end up using in 8 out of 10 matches, in one way or another. There are other great items for Shaco, and if you find you like an item that is similar to one listed below I say use it. This especially goes for trading out other B.F. Sword items for The Infinity Edge , Negatron Cloak items for B.V. , Mercury's Treads Boots of Swiftness or Boots of Mobility for Berserkers Greaves , and Chain Vest items for Frozen Heart . Trade outs like those will allow you to stay within my build design and play style, which is admittedly a little tankier than most Shaco builds.

Core Items

Most Likely Finishing Items

Okay, so here goes nothing.

For the proper sequence to build your core see the cheat sheet at the top. I will say that I occasionally build the Sheen before the Phage when I can afford it first. This rarely happens as sheen is not that much cheaper, but if you B and can't wait for the gold, buying the Sheen before going out is better than going out with all that gold or an un-finished Phage .

First the obvious things.

Yes I know this is 3s and 6 times out of 10 you will barely finish your fourth item before the game is over; however, occasionally you will get a quality, even match, and that's when you will really want the right 6th item. That being said all builds given here will include all 6 recommended items just in case. Also, keeping what I just said in mind, you will only finish 4 items (not including the Doran's Blade) most of the time, so that fourth item is an all important choice.

BOOTS ARE ALWAYS SITUATIONAL NO MATTER WHAT! I like the Berserker's Geaves in most situations for that extra attack speed, but come on people if you are being out CC'd or that dirty little AP carry in your lane is messing your early game up, you go Mercury's Treads . If you need the speed to chase down that little bastard Teemo early game, or if everyone on their team went ghost, or god forbid you get into a bottom lane pissing match with two ranged characters, you opt for Boots of Swiftness or Boots of Mobility provided neither of the ranged champs have good CC. If they are all AD champs, then you want to go Ninja Tabi , and if for whatever reason you don't like using the Frozen Heart , or if you just feel you need more CDR go Ionians . NEVER EVER USE SORCERER'S SHOES ON AN AD CHARACTER ESPECIALLY AD SHACO. I DON'T CARE WHAT CRAZY REASON YOU'VE DREAMED UP THAT YOU SOMEHOW NEED SOME MAGIC PENETRATION, JUST DON'T DO IT!

I sell the Doran's blade between acquiring a finished 4th and a finished 5th item. Generally when a slot is needed or the gold will finish my item.

Also when characters like Jax, Tryndamere, or Rammus come along (and the person playing them exemplifies the reason we all hate to see them in a 3s match) you can throw out everything but the core items and in the case of Rammus even the Trinity Force may go, but more on that later.

Balanced Teams

If the team has a balanced composition for threes, i.e. Tank, AD carry/AD DPS & AP carry/AP AOE, then I will figure out whether or not the AP champion is REALLY hurting me bad. If he/she is, then Banshee's Veil becomes the priority fourth item followed by Frozen Heart . If the AD carry is troublesome then its Frozen Heart, B.V. If the Tank is the bigger Threat than the AD or AP or if you are owning in general then go Infinity Edge 4th and Frozen Heart 5th. Also as a note if at anytime you feel like you are just not putting out enough damage start building your I.E. .

Final Build Example for Balanced Teams

All AD Teams

These team comps include no more than 1 Tank, AD carries, AD Bruisers, and all other AD heavy Champs. Build your core with the exception of using Ninja Tabi for your lvl 2 boots. Then build the Glacial Shroud part of Frozen Heart . After that its Thornmail , followed by any B. F. Sword item of your choice. I still like to go I.E. though.

Final Build Example for All AD Teams

Ap Teams

These team comps are no more than 1 tank and all others AP. Again build your Core with the exception of rushing a B.V. before you finish your trinity force and going Mercury's Treads . Basically after Wriggle's Lantern you go Negatron Cloak , Zeal , B.V. , Trinity Force , and then Wit's End and Force of Nature . I go with Wit's End first unless they are really hammering me to death, then prioritize Force of Nature .

Final Build Example AP Teams

All Tanks and Tanky DPS Bruisers

Basically You'll see like a Garen , Nunu , Rammus , or something of that variety where characters like Garen and Nunu bring the AD and AP damage and a character like Rammus brings his absolute nonsense to the mix. This is the only time you are going to use this build. I know, I know Wriggle's and the Bloodrazor make a double up on Madred's Razor. I don't care. It is worth it to keep your free ward. DEAL WITH IT.

Final Tank Killer Builds

If you get an all AP tank/bruiser line up like Nunu , Maokai , Rumble for example go this way.

And finally a word about OP 3s champions. Luckily you are one of them so dont get too discouraged ;)


God I do so hate a good Trynd who isnt on my team. The best way to counter a Tryndamere is to use your fear to your advantage. It is not easy by any means but dropping a jitb so that it fears him right before he would normally ult can get you the kill and get you around that stupid ultimate of his. For that reason when you face a Trynd i suggest leveling jitb and Deceive evenly or even prioritizing the jitb after two-shiv poison . Other good tactics include deceiving right when he ult s and following him around till it wears off, then using two-shiv to slow him and get the kill, and using your ult when he uses his to confuse him. Note using your twin, and deceiving and then following him so that he blows up your twin and is ready to be killed when you come out of your decieve is the best combo if you fail to time your jitb perfectly (which happens quite often).
Okay so for Trynd you are going to go Thornmail as your fourth item and then either Frozen Heart or Inifity Edge for your fifth. Basically Thornmail is the only really effective item counter to a Trynd for your character. Other than that I hope you have some ranged AP characters with good CC on your team, lol.

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Creeping / Jungling


Okay, first a word about the Dragon. As long as you have completed your Madred's Razor and are level 6 you can solo Dragon. At level 6, YOU MUST POP YOUR ULT TO KILL THE DRAGON (now that they've fixed JITB you can kill dragon without ur ult at level 6 if you have wriggles. However, trying this can get you killed by the enemy). After level 7 you should not need to twin for dragon anymore especially if you finished Wriggle's Lantern . The trick to doing this is popping a jitb right next to him, hitting him with e to initiate, deceiving behind him to get him to focus your jitb for a bit and to make use of your passive along with the crit from Deceiving. After that if you are level 6 you pop your twin, keep hitting with your Two-shiv, pop your jitb whenever you can and Deceieve again as soon as possible if it takes that long to finish him so that he will focus your twin. At lvl 7 you do the same thing except with no twin you wait to deceieve until you pop a jitb so it can take damage for you. Also after lvl 9 or 10 quit using your deceive to dodge dragon aggro and save it in case the enemy comes to check in on dragon. I'd much rather be half health with a deceive ready than full health with all my skills down when 3 enemies roll up to the dragon.


The lizard buff should be yours always, unless you have a good Xin Zhou, Tryndamere, or Darius on your team. Get it everytime it pops up even if the only reason is to keep the enemy team from getting it.

Try to snag the other buffs too. The damage increase from green is insane on a Shaco and the movement speed from gray is like having Ghost on if you have zeal with it.

Buff Re-Pop Timers

Dragon initially pops at 4min 30sec and re-spawns every 5 min
Lizard initially pops at 2min 10sec and re-spawns every 4 min
Gray and Green Buffs re-spawn every 3 min

General Jungling

With non-jungling characters , I totally agree with the strategy of wait, last hit, wait, last hit. With a jungler/ganker like Shaco, DO NOT DO THIS! You push your creeps up to their turret then right when you disappear off the map into the fog of war, i.e. you kill the last minion out of sight of the turret, you sprint into the jungle and either gank the enemy team or if a gank isn't proper you feed off jungle creeps to level yourself more efficiently. This is how you use the jungle to your advantage with any character that can jungle, but is better off in a lane.

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Controlling the Zone

Zone control brought to you by Shurelya. This is the best zoning tutorial I have found, and Thanks to her for making it. It is in several guides, and quite honestly, no one explains it better than Shurelya. By the way to everyone who complains about the voice, I think it grows on you after a while, lol.

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Wards, Oracle, Potions, Elixirs and Things of that Nature


Ward placement is huge on TT.


Warding at the lizard is probably THE most effective spot on the entire map. I will continuously drop my wriggle's ward here. It helps to prevent and create ganking opportunities and will save you from getting ganked top MANY times.


Dragon is the next best warding spot. I don't use my Wriggle's here because once you've killed Dragon it isn't quite as useful. Try to place wards here a little before Dragon is scheduled to re-pop so you don't let the enemy team get a free crack at it.

Other Good Warding Spots

The bushes in the jungle nearest your turrets and later in the game those same bushes near the enemies' turrets, and the top and bottom lane gank bushes are some other great places.

Potions and Elixirs

I constantly buy health potions early game usually until lvl 7 or 8 , and when I can afford them and can't afford another piece of equipment, I will occasionally buy an Elixir of Fortitude .

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Team Work

SHACO IS A TEAM PLAYER! You are set up to be a ganking machine on 3s, this helps not only to feed yourself but to feed your team. Ping your team when you are on your way down so they know to help you. Come out of the bush or across the wall with the idea of killing them all not getting your self a kill and getting away. Many times if you finish off the two in bottom lane quickly enough and without taking great amounts of damage as a team, the enemy 3rd, realizing he just failed to call MIA at the right time, just might foolishly come though the jungle to see if he can pick off a fleeing teammate. Meet him there as a team and DESTROY HIM. You may just hear the sound of TRIPLE KILL! if you do.

Try not initiate, let the tank or bruiser do that. If you insist on initiating or just can't help your self, USE YOUR TWIN OUT OF A BUSH TO INITIATE SO THEY NUKE HIM NOT YOU, or at the very least be prepared to pop your twin as soon as you come out of your deveive and throw a jitb down the second after you twin. At least then once they blow their wads, you might still be alive with enough health to help in the team fight.

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Well, that's it. Hope it helps some of you out there, or at the very least gets you playing The Demonic Jester. If you like the guide, PLEASE up vote it. If you feel the need to down vote, PLEASE tell me why so I can look into fixing things. If you see some atrocious spelling and grammar errors, feel free to point those out too. I can proof read all I want, and I will still never get it flawless... lol.