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Shaco Build Guide by Silkysmooth420

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Silkysmooth420

[7.12] Shaco Jungle: Pick Your Poison - Bruiser or Burst?

Silkysmooth420 Last updated on July 3, 2017
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Welcome to my Shaco guide! I started playing Shaco in S6 and he quickly became my favourite champion due to his uniqueness and outplay potential. I just remember going against him in the past and thinking "what the **** do i do against this guy?". So, i decided to try him out and have never looked back. I have almost 900k champion mastery and i'm almost diamond.

I remember what it was like when i first picked up Shaco and having no idea how to gank properly & regularly whilst still maintaining decent farm. As this struggle is still fairly recent to me, I'll hopefully be able to offer relevant advice to any new Shaco players and maybe something for the veterans out there.

Just a small note before i get into the guide: Shaco doesn't scale that well with AD anymore. It's pretty sad as it's much harder to one-shot people until you have like 4 items. So, this is why Bruiser Shaco is more commonly played at the moment. You can still build full damage if you're snowballing, but there are diminishing returns and you will quickly become irrelevant if you can't transition your lead.

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Summoner Spells

Smite: Must have as a jungler.

Ignite: The standard summoner for kill pressure and to deal with champs with annoying healing like Darius and Warwick.

Exhaust: Not seen as often, but the current meta has a lot of mobile champs with high damage (Olaf, Cassi, Talon, Rengar, Khazix etc). Due to the assassin rework and the new OP mastery (Courage of the Colossus) you'll be encountering either fast & bursty champs or high engage champs (Vi, Zac, Sejauni etc). In both instances, exhaust will deny the damage or ruin someone's engage (and potential escape).

Flash: I almost never take flash, but it can be useful if you think you need a another gap closer. If you're new to Shaco it might help to take flash, but if you really want to learn the champ properly I wouldn't reccomend it.

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Runes are pretty straightforward on Shaco and you can get away with running only a couple of pages. However, there is scope to be a little creative if you want really situationally specific rune pages. Overall I like to run a standard page with AD reds, Armour yellows, AP blues and AS quints. The AP blues can be changed with flat MR blues (or scaling MR), but i value the slightly faster clear and better early damage AP blues provide.

Scaling runes?
I used to really like scaling runes on Shaco, but the early game is too important making it imperative to have flat runes to survive important early skirmishes. However, there are certain matchups that don't allow for early ganking, which is when scaling runes might give an advantage when you do decide to fight.

I personally run 5 different rune pages on Shaco to cater for different situations.

Page 1 - Most Used. AP Blues: AD reds, armor yellows, AP blues, AS quints. If you want a faster clear and some extra damage to secure early kills, this is the way to go.

Page 2 - Scaling Tank: AD reds, armor yellows, scaling MR blues, AS quints. This is for when you're team is lacking tanks and the enemy team isn't too AP heavy.

Page 3 - Anti-Mage: AD reds, scaling health yellows, scaling MR blues, AS quints. When the enemy team is AP heavy (at least 3 AP champs) then scaling health is much better than armor. Additionally, with the current meta of APCs being preferred to ADCs, there's even less need for armor.

Page 4 - CDR: AD reds, scaling armor yellows, 6 Flat CDR blues & 3 Scaling CDR blues, AS quints. You get 10% CDR by level 18 with this page, which provides utility. Another option is to take 9 Scaling CDR blues and 5% in Masteries, which gives 20% CDR in total. Once you finish Tri Force you'll have 40% CDR.

Page 5 - Early Game Damage AD reds, AD yellows, AP blues and Movement Speed quints. This is the best page for early game pressure! It does make you very squishy but means your first gank has extra power behind it, so first blood can be secured with more ease!

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Ferocity Tree
Fury vs Sorcery : Attack speed or ability damage. I prefer Fury for faster early clear and more DPS.

Double Edged Sword vs Bounty Hunter : This is a tough choice. Double-edge sword makes your early ganks more powerful and makes early clearing better, but leaves you easily killable (especially if the enemy jungler counter ganks). Bounty hunter let's you maintain your lead by adding damage the more kills you get, which is also lets you snowball.

Cunning Tree
Assassin vs Runic Affinity : Runic affinity really helps in the early game as having buffs for longer increases map presence & kill pressure.

Greenfather's Gift vs Dangerous Game : Greenfather's adds damage whilst Dangerous Game provides survivability. The extra damage is more useful early on.

Precision vs Intelligence : Precision gives more damage whilst intelligence offers extra CDR & utiity. If you're running the CDR rune page then take intelligence. I prefer precision because you get more damage early, which is can be the difference between an early kill and snowball or not.

Thunderlord's Decree vs Stormraider's Surge : Another difficult decision. I've always taken thunderlord's for extra damage, which really helps in early ganks (even more so now due to the early nerfs). However, Stormraider's lets you jump into a team, unload your burst, and escape before they can properly react. Couple this with Edge of Night and the enemy team will have a tough time killing you when you appear on top of their carries.
I think your choice will heavily depend on the enemy team. If they have a lot of CC or high burst (e.g. veigar ult) that will be tough to avoid, it's better to go Thunderlord's to maximise your chance of one shotting their highest priority target whilst using up a lot of their abilities (making it easier for your team to win a fight). Also, if you have GA ,it doesn't even matter if they kill you. On the other hand, if you feel you can outrun their CC and damage (whilst still being able to one shot a carry), Stormraider's is the way to go.

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Skill Sequence

Two-Shiv Poison Max then Deceive
Instead of getting early points in Q, it's now better to straight up max E first (like in the old days) before maxing Q. You can still get an extra point in Q earlier if you really think you need the extra invisibility time, but you'll be missing out on damage.

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Bruiser Build

I've explained the item choices in quite a detailed way in the item builds above, but i'll write a bit down here to give a better idea. Just remember that you always build Shaco the same way at the start, but can change it depending on what you and your team needs.

Hunter's Machete, Rejuvenation Bead and Warding Totem.
Bead is better than Refillable because it lets you get Tiamat faster.

First Back
Tiamat is the best item you can get early. Then prioritise Tier 2 boots. Berserker's Greaves boost clear speeds and overall DPS, but I like Boots of Mobility for greater map pressure. The tankier options are better later in the game when you need the resistances, but in certain situations you'll need them earlier on ( Ninja Tabi when lot's of AA-heavy champs or Mercury's Treads against tons of CC.

Jungle Item
Most games I get Skirmisher's Sabre due to how efficient it is. Essentially, you get a mini-exhaust and deal extra true damage (all for 650g). Warrior is what i'm building these days for the AD & CDR. The other options are better late game. Cinderhulk grants more health if you already have a lot of health and Bloodrazor does %max health damage - more damage if the enemy has more health.

Mid Game
In the majority of games by around 15mins you should have Tiamat, Tier 2 boots and Caulfield's Warhammer (or longswords). You want to prioritise Skirmisher's Sabre - Warrior before building Trinity Force. Prioritise Stinger and Sheen before building Phage for more CDR & Damage.

Another option against teams with a lot of magic damage is Hexdrinker. The passive has saved me countless numbers of times. I almost always rush it after Tiamat if the enemy Mid & Jungle are strong AP champs.

Core Items
Tier 2 Boots, Tiamat, Skirmisher's Sabre - Warrior, Trinity Force. This the best combination of items for high burst and sustained damage. Due to Shaco's decreased AD ratios, more attack speed is better for higher overall damage output.

Late Game
After the Core I like to get [Titanic Hydra]] and then either finish Maw of Malmortius if I got Hexdrinker earlier or start building a tankier item. Guardian Angel or Dead Man's Plate are common choices. Sterak's Gage is a good choice if you didn't build Hexdrinker and Randuin's Omen for AA-heavy/Crit champs.

Titanic Vs. Ravenous
One thing I've noticed recently is that I don't really build Ravenous Hydra. Don't get me wrong, it's still a great item especially if you're ahead, however, I find that Titanic just offers much more overall. The 450 health compensates for the reduced damage output because it keeps you alive long enough for extra DPS. This also helps because the longer the enemy spends killing you, the more time your team has to to re-position and kill the enemy. Titanic Hydra also scales so well into the late game as you build more health. The issue I was finding with Ravenous Hydra (and more damage/burst heavy builds overall) was that later into the game I wasn't really able to one-shot carries as Shaco's AD scaling has been cut down severely. Higher health is much more valuable in extended team fights compared to greater burst.

Additional Comments
As you can see it's all quite flexible, which is how you should always build any champion. Look at how the game is going: are you ahead or behind? Does your team need tanks/ a front line? What kind of damage is the enemy team doing and what kind of resistances is the enemy getting? These are all very important questions that should dictate how you build.

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Burst Build

With the recent buff to Shaco's E that enhances the AD scaling, the burst build is actually relatively more favourable.

Hunter's Machete, Rejuvenation Bead and Warding Totem. Standard.

First Back
Tiamat and Boots of Speed are the best items to get early, but you may not always have the gold for them. You can settle for longswords, but get Tiamat as soon as possible and then work towards tier 2 boots ASAP. Boots of Mobility are the best option.

Early Items
Skirmisher's Sabre - Warrior and Statikk Shiv are your main priorities in the early/mid game. Then try and get B. F. Sword to work towards Infinity Edge.

Boots of Mobility, Skirmisher's Sabre - Warrior, Statikk Shiv and Infinity Edge.

Late Items
I personally like to get Guardian Angel, but Duskblade of Draktharr is another good option for more damage. Then you either get Ravenous Hydra or Titanic Hydra. Ravenous is more damage and gives you higher DPS & lifesteal, but Titanic gives you slightly more burst and survivability, allowing to output greater damage before you die.

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Jungle Clear Routes + General Advice

Shaco can perform a variety of first clears depending on how you want to play the early game. You can start at either buff, invade the enenmy buffs and either kill the jungler or gank. Alternatively, you can quickly take your buffs and a small camp to get a fast level 3 and gank early. Finally, you can simply do a full clear if your lanes are difficult to gank. Bear in mind that you want to try and gank either top or mid early on as they are more guaranteed kills. The problem with bot lane is that there are too many summoners to fight through and a higher chance of the enemy simply focusing you for an easy kill. That isn't to say you shouldn't ever gank bot lane first - like i mentioned earlier if its your bot lane that is likely get pushed in the most compared to your other lanes, then you can try and gank. However, from experience i've always had more success ganking solo lanes early on. Before i go through the various clears, here's a few points to always consider at the start of every game: enemy jungler, vision, your lanes and leash.

1. Where is the ENEMY JUNGLER starting?
This is the most valuable piece of information you can find out early for 2 reasons: It allows you to safely invade the buff they aren't starting on and also means you're able to have an idea as to where the enemy jungler might be (which helps your teammates decide whether to be aggressive or not). Make sure to watch out for missing enemy laners as they could know you're invading.

Wards in river or at entry points to your jungle can be the difference between you getting first blood or or getting first blooded. You can never be too cautious. Just because you're Shaco and the onus is kind of on you to have early pressure and pester the enemy jungler, it doesn't mean the enemy jungler can't do the same to you. Ideally, you want the buff that you aren't starting on to get warded at 1:30 and if possible a ward on the opposite enemy buff. For example, if you're on blue side starting blue buff, you want bot lane to ward your red and your top lane to ward their red (or at least river to protect against an invade).

3. Look at YOUR LANES!
This sounds obvious, but make sure you know the matchups and how they are likely to play out. If the enemy team has quite aggressive early champs (e.g. LeBlanc, Yasuo, or a Caitlyn & Zyra bot lane) you can expect that they will push to get level advantage and trade early. If this happens, ganking these lanes as soon as you can will relieve pressure and deny a potential first blood and snowball.

4. Always get a LEASH! This is a more minor thing, but I find that when you play Shaco everyone assumes you don't want a leash. Getting a leash ALWAYS helps. Your laners lose nothing by helping you out, even it's just a few auto's it can save you a few precious seconds (or hit points).

5. Have a PLAN!. This probably sounds very obvious, but you'll be surprised how many people start their clear and then decide what they're going to do. Either path towards the lane that you'll be able to gank (start on the opposite side of the map to that lane) or towards the lane that the enemy jungler will most likely gank first.

I'll now discuss the jungle clears in order of personal preference for each side of the map. I'll do Blue Side first and then Red Side. The clear itself is largely the same no matter which side of the map you're on, but the options after the initial farming are different.

Blue Side Red Invade - Blue, Gromp, Invade Red.
This is my favourite clear if i know the enemy jungler is starting on their blue buff. Get your bot lane to ward your red at around 1:30 and put your first box on blue at around 0:41 seconds and another box as soon as you can. Then put your next two boxes at gromp (far enough away not to aggro it). This means you have 2 boxes on blue and 2 boxes on gromp. Take blue and then gromp (remember to try and backstab as much as possible) without using smite as you should be pretty healthy. Go straight to the enemy red and place a ward by their raptors to see if the enemy jungler comes early. Kite red into brush to deny vision in case anyone comes and smite to get health back. At this point you'll be level 3, pretty healthy and hopefully in a position to gank either top or mid.

The video below shows this jungle clear. I know that Khazix will start blue, so the red invade is risk free. I actually put my box too close to the minions so it triggered early (I should have put it closer to the wall), but it didn't matter in the end:
Blue Side Fast Level 4 - Red, Raptors, Wolves, Blue and Gromp
The is my go to clear when i don't want to invade the enemy red. I put 2 boxes on red and 2 boxes at raptors (again, far enough away not to aggro the camp early) and clear them without smite. I then take wolves, blue buff, gromp and either look to gank top or mid. You get level 4 just after 3 mins this way, making you the highest level in the game. Additionally, you get the valuable 2nd point in Q, which makes your gank stronger. You can also swing back to bot to take kruggs and maybe gank whilst you have still have buffs.

The following video shows this clear. The box placement is a bit more tricky because for raptors you need to put the boxes further away than what you might think (close to the brush). I get to level 4 at 3:12 with full health & mana without the need for any pots and go mid where a fight is going on. I Q into lane, putting a box down to cover Veigar's flash, and basically steal the kill. I'm pretty sure Lux had it with the passive proc on her auto and because Veigar had no cooldowns and was running TP. Nevertheless, it's more team gold this way and first blood is always better on a snowbally jungler like shaco who can use that advantage to help other lanes. Also note how I push the lane as fast as possible to force Veigar's TP. You should try and do that as much as possible, but only if you are 100% sure that the wave will hit tower, thus denying the enemy creeps. It's even better if the enemy doesn't have TP, as you deny even more creeps that way and can keep coming back to that lane to keep the enemy out of the game.
Blue Side Blue Invade - Red and Invade Blue
This was probably the most common clear for Shaco for the first blood potential. However, I very rarely do this clear now for 2 reasons: if the enemy jungler starts blue it will be gone before you get there and even if they don't start blue the enemy bot lane has probably warded it pre-emptively. However, if you know that there are no wards on their blue (if your support warded their blue before they did, which would let you know if they warded it or not) then you can pretty safely take their blue.
Ask your top laner to ward your blue buff at around 1:30. Place 4 boxes on Red (starting at 0:40) and clear it fast (saving smite). Put a point in Q and go to their blue. Ward behind (the best spot if just to the right of wolves) to see if the enemy jungler is coming and keep an eye on bot/mid lane. Once you take blue, you might even be able to take gromp too to get level 3, which will help if you decide to gank mid or bot. The other option is to wait behind the wall next to blue or in the tri brush below gromp and kill the enemy jungler when they come.

Red Side Fast Level 3 - Blue, Gromp and Red
I don't like invading when i'm on red side because the easiest & safest option is to just take your buffs and gank top or mid. Get your bot lane to ward their red if they can and ask your top lane to ward your red. If you can't gank you can try and go to the enemy blue to get a free kill on the enemy jungler, or just clear the rest of your camps.

Red Side Blue Invade - Red, Invade Blue
This isn't a bad option if you know the enemy jungler is starting on their red (which is more likely as they can get a good leash from bot lane). It also means you can gank top or mid early (more ideal early on).

Red Side Red Invade - Blue, Gromp, Invade Red
My least favourite route as the enemy jungler will probably start on their red due to the bot lane leash or their bot lane would have warded it for protection. However, if you're certain the enemy jungler started on their blue then you can attempt this (be wary of protective wards or their bot/mid lane coming).

FULL CLEAR - Red, Kruggs, Raptors, Wolves, Blue, Gromp, Scuttle
If after taking raptors you know that you won't be able gank anyone soon, then just go to wolves, take blue & gromp and then scuttle if its still there. Essentially, this clear is what will happen if you don't gank early. Don't worry, you can't get first blood every game!

CURRENT FAVOURITE CLEAR: Raptors, Red, (Wolves), Blue, (Gromp)
Due to how the experience is distributed among the camps and when they spawn, these days I like to start raptors. They spawn slightly before red buff and give you level 2 before you even finish the camp. You can then take red quickly and either gank or move onto your blue side jungle. You can take blue then look to gank mid/top, or take wolves + gromp for level 4 and a slightly more powerful gank.

Cowsep Cheese (Modified for Shaco)
This is a variation on the blue side blue invade (start red, invade enemy blue), however, instead of going to the enemy blue you go straight to their wolf camp via blasting plant. I got the idea from Cowsep, who noticed that if you're on blue side you can get a smiteless red start and simply invade the enemy blue side jungle. The odds are in your favour as the enemy has probably used smite, only has blue buff and shouldn't be full health. The video below should make this more clear:
I've modified the cheese slightly to Shaco's taste. I take red and raptors before i invade because it means i'm one camp away from level 3. This is important because the likelihood is that once the enemy jungler sees me he'll run away and i take his wolves to get the level advantage. I also now know that he'll be around his red side jungle for the next couple of minutes. However, what happens in the video is very strange. I jump onto Nocturne's wolves, put a box down and secure a small wolf. At this point I assume Noc will just run away, so I start taking the camp. However, he surprisingly comes back (baiting for his mid laner maybe), I kill him and I take the wolves to get level 3. Now I look to go bot, but it's not possible, so i get scuttle before going mid. Unfortunately, our mid lane dies, but I manage to get the enemy mid laner's flash before taking some creeps (and importantly getting level 4). I then exit mid lane on our side (so it looks like i'm going to my jungle) but head straight to Nocturne's Red. Once i get there, I conveniently see Noc's Q go through the Kruggs wall, so I Q into Kruggs (level 2 Q makes this play possible) and kill Noc again (he has no flash so it's free). All of this puts the enemy jungler really far behind. A champion like Nocturne likes to power farm until 6 and then gank, but 2 early deaths delays that severely, which allows me to pressure any lane I want.

Map of Jungle Routes
I've made a map showing some of the jungle routes i've described above. It's not all of them, but covers most of them. Bear in mind that you can be quite flexible when you start any of the routes as they more or less all join up, and you can decide to alter the route depending on how the game is going. The most important part of your first clear is to keep checking on the lanes to see how they're playing out. I'd recommend trying to get level 4 whenever possible as it really helps in early ganks, but it might delay getting to lane, allowing the enemy jungler to get there first or for your teammate(s) to die before you arrive. Communication is also key here, so make sure to let your team know if you plan on ganking their lane so they know how to play.
Again, i haven't shown every possible route (it would make the diagram even more confusing!), but it's a good starting point. Feel free to make your own routes, it's totally situational. A good understanding of matchups and how the lanes are progressing is key to your early game, so be diligent (and patient!).
Finally, where i've put Kruggs in brackets indicates that it's not essential to do that camp in terms of increasing gank effectiveness, but will help deny the enemy jungler (and get you some gold & exp too).

After First Clear
Buy Tiamat if you have the money, if not grab double longsword and keep farming, looking to gank any lanes you can. Make sure you get a 3rd point in Q at level 5 for better ganks. After level 6, you start putting points into E for more kill potential. Get Tier 2 boots ASAP, I like Berserker's Greaves.
Keep an eye on dragon and maintain vision of it and their jungle if you have bot lane pressure. You should always try and clear your jungle as it's guaranteed gold and decide on your ganks whilst you clear. Many junglers go for ganks whilst their camps are up, which is not always a good idea. However, you should obviously be keeping an eye on lanes so that you react in time to skirmishes that you can affect. A good tip is as you recall look at ALL the lanes and figure out where you could go next. Sometimes if you just walk straight into your jungle you can lose valuable time. It's always a bad feeling when you plan on ganking a lane, take a camp prior to ganking, and see the enemy jungler kill your laner(s). The only situation where taking the camp is viable is if you level up. In this scenario COMMUNICATE with your teammates: tell them to play safe until you are nearby.

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The reason you play Shaco! His kit allows for very interesting gank routes, but with the changes to his Q you can't really go for the almost guaranteed level 3 first blood. Instead, it's better to have at least 2 (preferably 3) points in Q before you try to gank. The only exception to this rule is if there is a low target that you know you can kill (or at least burn summoners).

Mental Checklist before EVERY Gank - J.S.M.
-Where is the ENEMY JUNGLER? This is the first thing you need to consider, as a counter gank can turn a simple kill into a double kill for the enemy team.
-What SUMMONERS does everybody have? The worst feeling is to jump onto someone, instantly ignite to maximise kill potential and watch the enemy flash away. If you know they have flash, you're basically trying to burn it without using your summoners (which nets an advantage). If you can kill them through flash, that's great, but if not at least you still have ignite for your next gank.
-MINIONS + MANA! Never fight if there are too many creeps. They do more damage than champs early on and can seriously block you off, making you look very stupid. Mana is something you must consider. Aside from the obvious point of you and your teammate's mana, if the enemy has low mana it makes them more vulnerable.

One thing i didn't put in the list is wards, but you should always think about vision at every moment in the game (not just when ganking). Place wards for your laners and clear enemy vision.

The Gank
Pretty standard: Q in, try and place a box behind the enemy (or where you think your teammate's CC will land), backstab (+tiamat if you have it) and ignite if you feel its necessary. Then keep autoing, dodging any skillshots + CC that you can (using R when appropriate) and use E at the end for the execute (or if you really need the slow use it earlier).
When tower diving, you typically want to initiate as you can lose tower aggro by pressing R just before a tower shot is going to hit you. Then you and your clone can shred the enemy whilst your teammate gets out of tower range. You can also start the gank by sending in your clone if the minions aren't there yet (or even send your clone to hold the minion wave whilst you dive, then when your clone is low enough you can bring him back to you in time to explode).
If the gank turns into a skirmish that turns sour, move towards brush and place a box to safely escape. This will also proc Greenfather's if it's been 9 seconds, which can add deceptive damage.

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Shaco Penta!

Recently got my first penta on Shaco and thought i'd put it here! Sorry about the quality, my replays are only being saved in 360p even though it's set to 720.

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I'll keep updating the guide based on game changes and any suggestions! Hope it helps you out and have fun!