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Shaco Build Guide by Aseafy

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Aseafy

Clouds of Smoke - A Guide to Deceiving the Eye

Aseafy Last updated on May 8, 2013
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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: 21

Honor Guard

Defense: 9


Utility: 0

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Hello community!! This is Aseafy with a quick guide for the building of Shaco. While this guide will only explain my build and set-up choices, as well as exploring Shaco's abilities, you can find my Twisted Treeline guide right here:


Make sure you read the guide above with this guide, which is embedded in the picture, as this guide is only complete when combined. As I said earlier, this guide will explain my choices only. It will not go in-depth. So without any more waiting, let's start the guide! Now why would I want to play Shaco? Shaco is a very strong assassin who can also be built tanky. While shaco is usually seen in summoner’s rift as a risky pick who eventually falls off to become useless, this is not the case in the twisted treeline. (:

Shaco’s has sustained single target and area of effect damage, and his initial attack from stealth hurts a lot. When built correctly, he does not fall off as hard as he should. Shaco is very item dependent late game, so the increased gold in the twisted treeline solves this problem. Finally, he can backdoor like a maniac, and the opponent will surely be surprised when they suddenly lose 2 turrets after killing your team.

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Greater Mark of Attack Damage: These are the best runes for your early game ganking and jungle clears. Shacos early game ganks are very scary, so these make them a bit better. Also, attack damage is good throughout the game.

Greater Seal of Armor: There aren’t many better options considering we will be taking damage from AD bruisers or ranged attackers anyways, and from jungle camps. There is no argument for the seals on shaco. Because he is a melee, shaco will be taking quite some damage from auto attacks.

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist: We want flat magic resistance for early game power. This ensures that we will be all-around tanky, so that we won’t die if we gank the enemy lane / we get caught.

Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage: Pretty much the same reason as the marks, these can be replaced by armor penetration runes, but my preferences are these. Shaco’s early ganks are more important than a bit more late game damage, because our team will have a bigger advantage.

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The 21 points in the offensive tree are pretty much a necessity for an ad assassin like champion. These points give him the most damage throughout the game, and allow us to do our job much better. Putting 21 points in defense would do nothing for us, because we are not intending to get focused anyways, with all of our evasive abilities.

The 9 points in the defensive tree are the best choices for our remaining 9 points. Mana regeneration is not as good because we already have increased passive regeneration in the twisted treeline, and it is a very short walk from our base.

The health and armor is important for just surviving when the enemy does catch you, and overall tankiness. Never take the 9 points in utility over the 9 points in defense, because the fountain is so short of a distance away, even if you find yourself out of mana often, you can just run recall back and get to lane quickly.

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Summoner Spells

The 2 summoner spells I use for Shaco are exhaust and smite for obvious reasons. While you may want to take ignite if your team needs you to, exhaust is better for peeling since you are building relatively squishy. The enemy team will want to kill you whenever you appear. By positioning wisely and not overestimating your abilities, you will be able to stay alive and run away. Exhaust is used to help you with that, or secure a kill by slowing the enemy down. It will also be used to mitigate damage.

While smite may not be necessary to jungle, it helps us clear our jungle unpredictably fast, and gank right away. Smite also allows you to keep your jungle cleared all the time for maximum gold. Throughout the game, it will deal most of any jungle creeps health (1 or 2 auto attacks away from killing it), which really helps. (In comparison to the jungle in summoner’s rift, where smite does around half a wolf’s health around mid game.)

Flash is not necessary while we have Deceive, the best flash ability in the game. However, we need to play more safely because we do not have flash. Deceive has a relatively long cooldown, so we need to maneuver around the map carefully. If we feel like we need Ghost, yoomu’s ghostblade is good enough for the speed boost.

While we could run Ignite, Ghost, Flash, or Barrier, Exhaust and Smite gives you the best overall kit. You will have strong ganks and keep up your farm in the jungle. It is ridiculously important that you farm your jungle whenever it is available so that you have your items for mid/late game.

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THE MAIN BUILD is something that you can follow, but you do not have to build exactly. However, you usually want to get the core items in every game because they give us the maximum damage output. The game does not usually last long enough to buy items past the core items, but if it does, you need to build according to the enemy team.

At the beginning of the game, we have 825 gold to spend. We want to buy boots as well as part of our lantern for early clearing speed. The Proc from the lantern is very necessary so that you can spend more times in the lane. This means we can either start with cloth armor or a long sword. I do not advise buying doran’s items because shaco’s early game is already strong enough. You can buy a doran’s shield, however, if they have 3 bruisers, or very strong bruisers like Xin Zhao.

The whole goal of shaco is to be extremely mobile and much faster than the enemy. It is almost impossible to run away from a shaco that builds this way. Keep this in mind.

Our first goal is Grez's Spectral Lantern. This item will give us our general stats and is one of the best items for a jungler on the twisted treeline. Not only does it give us sustain, clear time, armor and damage, it has an amazing active. You should be using this active whenever it is up so that you do not get caught out of position.

Our build will differ from here on. While there are not that many items to choose from, we will make a choice depending on how the game is going. Our next goal will either be Statikk Shiv or Youmuu's Ghostblade. They both give us a lot of damage, but play different roles for shaco. Both items are usually bought every game, but the buying order will affect your early game.
Statikk Shiv: Gives a good amount of burst damage when ganking, especially when combined with Deceive crit. This item is better for clearing the jungle as well, because you will clear extremely fast and will be able to focus on ganking.
Youmuu's Ghostblade: An item more suitable for carrying. If your lanes are losing you may need to get this over statikk shiv. It allows you to stick to your target, and is built off The Brutalizer which gives shaco the cooldown reduction he needs.

Now we can finish our tier 2 boots. You can finish them earlier if you feel like you cannot catch up to your opponents or you need them. You have 3 choices. The preferred choice is Boots of Mobility because they allow you to literally (okay fine, not literally. But pretty close to.) be anywhere on this tiny map. However, please do not assume you should build these. Decide based on what the enemy builds. Berserker's greaves are not necessary when we build Statikk Shiv and Youmuu's Ghostblade.

Frozen Mallet: The most likely defensive item you will build. This item is insanely scary on shaco as it will stack with your passive slow, giving your auto attacks what seems like an exhaust. It allows you to stick to your target extremely well.

Sunfire Cape: Another choice for health, except it gives you armor and faster pushing instead of a slow. While this can be built to counter bruisers, keep in mind that bruisers can also be kited very well with frozen mallet. Building armor is not the only way to counter a bruiser.

Overlord's Bloodmail: doesn’t really give any utility. While this might be a good buy on a regular bruiser, there is a huge array of defensive items that are much better for shaco. I would only buy this as a counter to true damage if their whole team deals true damage.

Randuin's Omen: This is a good item choice when you need to be more tanky, however it does not give you the damage and kiting ability that frozen mallet does. It does however, have an attack speed debuff active.

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Ability and Sequence

Passive: Backstab
This passive fits in very good for an assassin who can stealth. The time in stealth allows you to position yourself properly for maximum damage. There isn’t much else to this passive except that it deals more damage when positioned properly. Be sure to use this on jungle camps as well.

This is Shaco's gapcloser, nuke, juke, and escape. It can be used in sooo many ways, which is what makes it such a good ability. This is the ability that makes shaco so scary, and is arguably the most fun skill in the game. It blinks to a target location and stealths you for a very long duration.
  • You can use this to get over terrain, or escape. By clicking more than halfway through a wall, you can blink through the whole wall. You can jump over vilemaw’s nest wall with this ability as well.
  • A orange puff of smoke will appear to the enemy once you use this, even if you use it from a bush. Be careful that you do not make it too obvious, and use it from a lengthy distance away. Remember, you also have a huge duration of stealth to work with.
  • There are many different creative ways to use this ability, like getting into the lane brush without the enemy noticing. Shaco can lane gank very effectively.
  • This will give you 10% attack speed after using the crit, from your offensive masteries.
  • If you are running away from a tricky situation that looks inescapable, trying deceiving in the opposite direction you are running. This gives the impression you have deceived in that direction, allowing you to recall somewhere else in safety.

This is your cc ability. While it does not fear for that long early game, it helps your jungle (they tank for you) and gives you vision as well. Putting one of these near the enemy entrances gives you vision so your team can play safer. Try to put this behind the enemy, and then slow them so that they have to work their way AROUND your box, or get feared. Also, use this to destroy a turret faster.

This is Shaco's main early damage, but it scales pretty horribly into the late game. The passive effect on jungle camps is decent for taking less damage. Around early game, this does a lot of damage and allows you to catch up to fleeing opponents. Remember, this does more damage if the enemy is facing you.
  • You don’t always have to use this ability right away. If you are in autoattack range, your auto attacks will actually allow you to stick to your target better. If they use an escape ability, you can then use the active to slow them down.
  • Learn the effectiveness of your slow so you can predict your jack in the box placement.

This is Shaco's ultimate, an often perceived useless ability. This is definitely not the case. When built properly, this clone deals a lot of damage, and mitigates huge amounts of damage. This clone will deal on-hit abilities like Statikk Shiv and Tiamat. While it may be difficult when starting to play shaco, controlling your clone can confuse the enemy into wasting damage on it. While it is not the best ultimate, it gives a lot of utility.
  • Upon activation, shaco will become untargetable for a short bit. If you time it properly, you can dodge abilities in this small window. As well, abilities like Fling or volibear’s toss can be dodged, and still be wasted. This leads to volibear flinging nothing, but still using his fling.
  • You can also use your clone to block abilities, like nidalee’s Javelin Toss.
  • If you hold alt, you can control your clone. This can trick the enemies into killing your clone. However, please remember that there is a leash range on your clone. If you sit in a bush and try to bait your enemies, your clone make go too far away from you and immediately teleport beside you.
  • You can use this to take turrets out quicker. Also, the enemy will not know which shaco to target if you are both attacking the turret, allowing you to waste your enemies time killing your clone while you destroy their turret, and deceive away.

Skill sequence is very simple for shaco. Jack in the box at level 1 for a quick camp. Deceive at level 2 for ganking, then continue to put as many points in two-shiv poison for damage. Max your ultimate when possible. Max Deceive second for more crit damage, but take more points in Jack In The Box if you feel you need more fear duration. I usually take 2 levels in jack in the box and then max my deceive.

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Jungle Route

The general jungle route is to stack boxes at the double golems, and then go to wolves. You will want your boxes to tank the damage from double golems. Jack In The Box will kill double golems very fast. Then, go straight to wolves and smite the big wolf, which should bring it 1 auto attack from death. After clearing wolves, you will be level 2 and able to gank. While you do not have your slow, you have a lot of damage and you have Jack In The Box. As well, you have the element of surprise. If you feel you cannot successfully gank, head to the middle of the map to take the ghost relic.

However, if the enemy interferes with your boxes, you can simply start wraiths with 1 box, and then go on to smite wolves .

From here on, you will want to clear your jungle whenever you can. Smite almost one-hits every jungle creep on this map, so take that into account. You may want to save Smite for wolves, instead of using it on wraiths. This is because wraiths actually do less damage and are easier to kill. By smiting wolves, you save time and health, and you do not lose any time.

You can also save Smite if you want to go into the enemy jungle to steal their camps. Because smite will bring a jungle creep 1-2 hits from death, it is extremely easy to walk up to a camp and kill the big creep, or smite steal while the enemy is jungling.

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Team fights

During a teamfight, you want to do as much damage as you can to the carries of their team. However, the most common mistake is to initiate a fight with Deceive, and trying to burst down the enemy carry. Unless they are isolated from their team, this is not wise as it leaves you very vulnerable to enemy burst.

shacos build should not be very tanky, just because you do not need it if you play properly. Deceive should mostly be used defensively to reposition yourself. It wastes the enemies time as they have to retarget someone or wait for your stealth to wear off. While Hallucinate does huge damage if your clone is left to auto attack your enemy, you usually want to use it as a defensive move as well.

While team fights are not shaco’s strongest point, he is much better at team fighting then he is in summoner’s rift. This is due to the fact that they cannot instantly burst you down if you play properly. However, this is definitely the case in summoner’s rift. Also, pink wards do not exist, making stealth detection a bit harder to pull off.

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The art of backdooring as Shaco needs to be carefully done if you want to actually achieve something. This is because people who do not know how to do it properly end up either letting their team die, or dying to the enemy themselves. In fact, most players will end up doing this which leads to shaco having a bad reputation as a useless champion once late game comes around.

Please realise that shaco can do other things as well. You are not forced to backdoor and avoid team fights, but you can resort to doing this if you need to. A lot of players end up throwing games they could have won because they split off from the team and give free kills. Backdooring is a situational choice that takes a lot of work to perfect.

1. Make sure that you can escape, or you can at least grab a turret without losing one. If you know where 1 or 2 of the enemies are, you can judge if you can get away if they were to come for you. If all enemies are mia and you are backdooring their turret, chances are that unless you juke them really hard, you are going to die. As well, you can die if you take their turret. This throws your team 450g and an advantage (turret-wise). however, if this 2v3 allows them to take a turret, this will be a bad exchange (they got kill gold).

2. Have an escape plan. This could mean setting up some Jack In The Boxes so you can run away. This could also mean leading the enemy with your clone and then deceiving somewhere else once they realise. Whatever your plan is, you need to have one so that you don’t throw the enemy free gold. Even if you are planning to take the turret, don’t plan on dying.

3. When taking a turret, use Jack In The Box and Hallucinate to simply tear through the turret. With attack speed items, these skills make shaco a great backdoor champion. However, be careful with Hallucinate, and use your Jack In The Box only when you do not need it for escaping. Getting away from your enemies is more important than dealing a bit of damage to the turret.

4. Do not run away from a 1v1 if the enemy only sends one person, except if it is against a very strong dueling champion. You can fight most champions 1 on 1 especially since your clone will deal a lot of damage and maybe soak damage up if you are lucky. In fact, your single target damage is so high most players will not expect it, especially from a shaco.

5. Make sure your team is pushing the lane that you are not. Tell them to play safely, so they do not get initiated on. If your team is somewhere else, the enemy will immediately respond to you, and go to the lane you are pushing. Depending on where they are, you may even allow your team to fight a 2v3, if you take 2 turrets in exchange. Trading kills for turrets is worth it even if both teams get the same amount of gold, because it will bring you closer to victory. You have to judge this properly, however, or they may take your turrets as well.

6. You will give your teammates kills, and you will not assist in helping your teammates get a kill if they do not need your help. Secure kills for sure, but do not take them if you don’t have to. Shaco does not NEED to be fed to backdoor. In fact, the less gold you are worth, the less risk you are taking. You will still be getting your build done, because pushing lanes gives you much more gold then you need. However, if you take kills that your teammates could have got, you will be worth more gold. If you are only worth 80g and you die backdooring, you do not really lose that much.

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Gameplay and Conclusion

Early Game:
From levels 1-5 you want to clear you jungle as fast as possible and gank. Make sure you have enough health to gank, and you don’t just donate kills to the enemy team. Shaco is fairly squishy and is often simply bursted down when he ganks, if his teammate doesn’t follow up properly, or you don’t have enough damage. While shaco does have a strong early game, don’t be too mad if you don’t do that well. Continue to farm up the jungle and attempt to gank. Take the enemies jungle if it is available.

Mid Game:
Keep farming the jungle. By now, you can clear it very fast and you should be in the lanes trying to either get kills or take objectives. You do a lot of damage and you can surprise your enemy with stealth. However, you are still really squishy, and you do not want to be tanking all the damage in the front lines. Knowing when to ulti and deceive will allow you to stay alive and win team fights.

Late Game:
By now, you have a lot of items complete. You can split push like crazy and get away with it almost always. While it is usually better to help your team and not let them die in a 2v3, backdooring is always a legitimate strategy that shaco can abuse.

I hope you can use this build successfully, and that this guide has taught you something. Thank you for reading this, and I wish you good luck in your future games!

Have fun!