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Shaco Build Guide by Karberus

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Karberus


Karberus Last updated on February 1, 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: 0


Utility: 9

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Hey guys, this is a guide on how I play Shaco mid. There may be a few things along this guide that may differ from what you've seen but like I said: This is a guide on how I play Shaco mid and it should serve to help those who want to try out Shaco mid for the first time to have an Idea on how to begin. As you play more, I'm sure you'll find other different ways to build him and more close to your style of playing. This is my first time making a guide, but after playing games with AP Shaco I felt like I should share this with you guys :D

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Why don't you play some music while you read this guide? This way you can definitely get into the mood, you are not just playing Shaco, you are Shaco!

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: I know Shaco already has Deceive which works as a perfect and useful Flash, but wouldn't it be annoying to the enemy if you had double Flash?! Is it just me that likes to annoy the enemy when using Shaco? okay...

: Now this is something that can't be replaced when using Shaco. What? I'm being too commanding? Well, I bet Shaco would appreciate it if you took Ignite. Shaco is amazing at picking up kills, Ignite just makes it that much easier.

: I don't often take Teleport, but it is certainly a good choice. You can teleport to a ward and gank bot or mid. You can teleport back to your turret, or to an allies in order to protect. You can teleport to a box in the bushes and surprise the enemy. I think i'll be taking Teleport on my next game with Shaco.... xD

: While I much rather take Flash or Teleport, I believe Ghost is also a pretty nice summoner spell while playing Shaco. Whether you use it to escape while in stealth, to pick up a running opponent, to race to save or gank, it works just fine.

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Shaco is a very unique champion in the league, given his instant stealth and the fact that he will murder you if you turn your back to him. He also has ways to slow and fear, Shaco can kill even from across the map and he can definitely confuse the heck out of an enemy with hallucinations.

Shaco deals 20% bonus damage when striking a unit from behind with his autoattacks or abilities.

Backstab: This passive will make opponents think twice before trying to flee from combat. When enemies are running away, you will find it extremely easy to pick up kills by hitting them while they have their back turned to you.

ACTIVE: Shaco instantly blinks to a target nearby location and enters stealth for up to 3.5 seconds. His next auto-attack within 6 seconds is guaranteed to critically strike for modified base critical damage. Bonus critical damage from items, runes and mastery is applied for the full amount.
RANGE: 500 COOLDOWN: 11 seconds after exiting stealth COST: 90 / 80 / 70 / 60 / 50 mana
CRITICAL STRIKE DAMAGE: 140% / 160% / 180% / 200% / 220%

Deceive: Probably the most amazing ability Shaco has, but I guess that is debateable. With this, not only can you escape battle safely or enter it silently, you can also confuse the enemy and annoy the heck out of them. Isn't that great?! Combined with his passive Backstab, you can take full advantage of this ability by blinking to their back and "backstabbing" them. You will deal a great amount of critical damage plus you will slow the target.

ACTIVE: Shaco creates a Jack in the Box at the target location with 150 health. It will stealth after 2 seconds and lasts a maximum of 60 seconds. When an enemy comes near the box activates and comes out of stealth, fearing nearby enemies briefly and attacking them for 5 seconds, dealing magic damage with its attacks. Casting Jack In The Box breaks stealth.
RANGE: 425 COOLDOWN: 16 COST: 50 / 55 / 60 / 65 / 70 mana
FEAR DURATION: 0.5 / 0.75 / 1 / 1.25 / 1.5
MAGIC DAMAGE: 35 / 50 / 65 / 80 / 95 (+ 20% AP)
TOTAL MAGIC DAMAGE *ESTIMATE*: 315 / 450 / 585 / 720 / 855 (+ 180% AP)
SIGHT RANGE: 700 (estimate)
JACK IN THE BOX ATTACK SPEED: 1.6 (Attacks 9 times in 5 seconds)

Jack In The Box: It seems as I continue writing about the abilities I keep changing my mind about which one is the most amazing ability Shaco possesses! But there is no way anyone can argue that this ability is incredible, especially AP Shaco. By placing several boxes at on spot or carefully placing them in different positions around, you can fool the enemy and make them walk into their Death-In-The-Box(I did it! I used he guide's title! xD)

PASSIVE: Shaco's attacks poison his targets, reducing their movement speed for 2 seconds. It also gives affected non-champion units a chance to miss their attacks.

ACTIVE: Shaco throws a dagger at a target enemy dealing magic damage and applying his slowing poison to them for 3 seconds. The passive is deactivated during the cooldown.
RANGE: 625 COOLDOWN: 8 COST: 50 / 55 / 60 / 65 / 70 mana
SLOW: 20% / 22.5% / 25% / 27.5% / 30%
MISS CHANCE TO NON-CHAMPION UNITS: 20% / 22.5% / 25% / 27.5% / 30%
MAGIC DAMAGE: 50 / 90 / 130 / 170 / 210 (+ 100% AP) (+ 100% Bonus AD)
MAGIC DAMAGE WITH BACKSTAB BONUS: 60 / 108 / 156 / 204 / 252 (+ 120% AP) (+ 120% Bonus AD)

Two-Shiv Poison: Alright, who wouldn't love this ability? Your basic auto attacks slow the target, and can make minions miss their attacks. You can shoot at the enemy and slow them. Also, you get the bonus from your passive Backstab, making it and extremely useful ability when chasing down opponents. I believe this ability has made it into the amazing list as well!

ACTIVE: Shaco becomes stealthed and untargetable for 0.5 seconds, then creates a clone of himself that will last for up to 18 seconds. The clone deals 75% of Shaco's damage and receives 50% extra damage. This clone deals 50% damage to towers and inhibitors. At the end of its duration or when dying the clone will explode, dealing magic damage to nearby enemies.
COOLDOWN: 100 / 90 / 80 COST: 100 mana
MAGIC DAMAGE: 300 / 450 / 600 (+ 100% AP)

Hallucinate: Yet another skill that makes AP Shaco incredible. With this, you can change the outcome of a battle instantly. The magic damage his clone deals once it dies it's amazing and using the clone to trick your opponents into wasting their abilities on it is a plus! Also, it can be used to tank turrets.

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Skill Sequence

Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

When playing mid, I like to start off by picking Two-Shiv Poison, it allows me to harass a bit by shooting my dagger at the enemy from far away. Since its the first level, enemies won't have their killing combos ready, so you'll be able to get closer than usual. Next I grab Jack In The Box and that's when the fun begins.

With Jack In The Box I can place boxes in the bushes by the river to prevent ganks. I can place boxes in different positions to fool the enemy and also they can help you finish off minion waves faster. Since Jack In The Box has a fear, you can even use it while escaping battle. I don't worry about using the boxes a lot since Meditation and Expanded Mind help out quite a bit.

And then, in third level I can begin different combinations by choosing Deceive. With Deceive, you can instantly escape from an incoming gank (this makes Shaco so much more hard to gank successfully). Also, You can make the enemy think that you are leaving lane and then come back with Deceive while they are not expecting you. The tricks are endless.

This is the order of priority in which I get my abilities.>>>>>>>>>

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Pros / Cons

+ Very easy to escape alive using Deceive
+ Extremely good at ganking because of Two-Shiv Poison's slow and great damage
+ Stronger when enemies attempt to flee thanks to Backstab
+ Hallucinate Deals a massive amount of damage when the clone dies
+ Jack In The Box can kill on their own if many are placed at one spot
+ Dangerously fun to play xD

- Very Squishy, depends a lot on movement and placement
- Because Shaco is melee, long ranged Mid Champions can be a problem
- Fairly hard to master
- People may often argue that Shaco is not a good choice for mid
- Might have trouble getting last hit on minions early game

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Greater Seal of Armor

Greater Mark of Magic Penetration

Greater Glyph of Ability Power

Greater Quintessence of Scaling Ability Power

Greater Seal of Armor: I definitely recommend these runes. I think every guide should have these, since they give you a pretty good boost in armor at the beginning of the game. Squishy champs like [Shaco]] won't seem as squishy early game thanks to this. And since this build will be mostly concentrating on AP items, this will help you sustain a bit more of damage.


Greater Mark of Magic Penetration: This is very effective on AP Shaco. People often disregard magic resist; this gives your magic penetration a chance to completely penetrate their magic resist and if they do catch on and build magic resist, you can still deal tons of damage.

Greater Mark of Ability Power: Although I prefer to go with Magic penetration , I believe some people might prefer the ability power granted by these runes early game. I haven't tried using this method but I'm sure it could work just as good depending on your style of playing.

Greater Glyph of Ability Power: This is a must have with AP Shaco. Not only does it grant a fair amount of ability power early game, but it does contribute with the percentage of ability power late game thanks to Rabadon's Deathcap.

Greater Quintessence of Scaling Ability Power: Another essential rune on AP Shaco. With this, you can be sure that your Shaco will be getting more powerful as he levels up. Maybe, you fell behind on farm and don't have enough gold to buy your next item? Don't worry, these runes got your back.

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Sorcery: This mastery grants 4% cooldown reduction, which is really good with any ability power champion. In addition with Ionian Boots of Lucidity and Nashor's Tooth, you can be extremely close to the max capacity of 40% cooldown reduction.

Blast : 1 ability power per level, this may not seem like a lot but combined with Greater Quintessence of Scaling Ability Power it would equal to 2.29 ability power per level, plus Mental Force add 6 ability power to the total and then Archmage add the 5% of that. Instead of 18 ability power at level 18, it would be around 49 ability power at level 18. Sounds better now, huh?

Havoc : This mastery increases damage dealt by 2%. This means that whether you are auto attacking or using abilities, you will be dealing more damage than you normally would.

Arcane Knowledge : With this you'll be ignoring 8% of the enemies magic resist! Remember when we talked about Greater Mark of Magic Penetration? Well let's combine 8% from Arcane Knowledge , plus 7.83% from Greater Mark of Magic Penetration, it would equal 15.83% magic penetration. And that's without counting the 15 flat magic penetration Liandry's Torment grants.

Spellsword : Since we already talked about Mental Force and Archmage while we were talking about Blast , lets skip those and go to Spellsword . Spellsword is downright awesome, each of your basic attacks deal 5% of your ability power! Now, let's combine that with the 10% Malady grants, that's a total of 15%!!!! And, Malady also grants flat 15 bonus magic damage with each basic attack. That's amazing.

Executioner : This is another great mastery for ability power Shaco. When the enemy is 50% low on health, you will deal 5% more damage with all your attacks. Combine that with the 2% from Havoc and you are looking at 7% more damage to finish off your target. Quite the assassin.

Summoner's Insight : This mastery has a ton of useful effects, but lets concentrate on Flash and Teleport. This will reduce your Flash's cooldown by 15 seconds and having in mind your cooldown reduction for Deceive, you will be able to have 2 blinking abilities almost all the time! Now, Teleport you can use it to teleport to one of your boxes. Let's say you placed boxes at one place and an enemy fell into the trap, but the boxes won't finish him off, you can quickly use teleport and thanks to the .5 cast time reduction, you will get there much quicker and pick up the kill.

Meditation and Expanded Mind : These two, although they might feel like they are not good enough they do work. While you are waiting on your boxes cooldown early game, getting last hit on minions and maybe shooting the occasional dagger, your mana will be regenerating faster than usual thanks to Meditation . Also, you will be receiving exp so that means you'll level up and you normally get mana once you level up; Expanded Mind will help you get even more mana and you'll be able to remain in lane a bit longer.

Improved Recall : In synergy with being able to remain in lane a bit longer, having a quicker recall means having a quicker return.It can also be quite helpful if you want to return to lane as quickly as possible having in mind Summoner's Insight and Teleport combined to this.

Runic Affinity : Finally, this one is not actually one of my favorite but I do use it often.If the jungler is nice enough to give you the blue buff at the beginning, this will maintain you at the top of your game. But, I think it can be replaced with other masteries such as Mastermind for a lower cooldown on your Ignite, Flash or Teleport.

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You could either start with a Doran's Ring, with the bonus health, ability power and mana regeneration I think it is the best choice but it is true that then you would have no way of regenerating your health. Or, starting off with Boots of Speed and Health Potionx3 is also a good choice making it easier to dodge skill shots and you'd be able to recover your health in case of an emergency. Regardless, I think you should have both in your build once you have enough gold.

Soon enough you'll be able to buy Ionian Boots of Lucidity and Fiendish Codex, these too are mainly going to boost your cooldown reduction early game giving you a chance to spam your abilities and annoy your opponent. Also, Fiendish Codex grants you a bit of ability power which will give you more power.

Immediately build Nashor's Tooth off of Fiendish Codex. This will give you a major boost in attack speed, cooldown reduction and ability power. This is an amazing item and AP Shaco should definitely carry one around.

Now this is a familiar item, is it not? While building an ability power champion this is one of the most used and most feared. Not only does it grant an amazing amount of 120 ability power, this item increases your total ability power by 25%!! That means that no matter what ability power item you buy from now on, you will have more ability power than expected. Keep in mind that Shaco's Jack In The Box, Two-Shiv Poison and Hallucinate deal magic damage and are affected by how much ability power you have.

What an amazing item this is. Have you ever seen a Teemo with one of these? probably. And you probably were being murdered by his basic attacks too. Well, Shaco can also murder using this. Let's put into play Nashor's Tooth's attack speed and Malady's attack speed; that is a total of +95 attack speed. Now, Malady's UNIQUE passive makes your basic attack's to deal 15 plus 10% of your ability power as bonus magic damage. Rabadon's Deathcap comes into play here as well, knowing that it increases you ability power by 25%, the same ability power from which Malady will take 10% and convert it into bonus magic damage for your basic attacks which are being way faster thanks to the bonus 95 attack speed ( Malady=45 atk spd, Nashor's Tooth=50 atk spd).

Nice, a new item; not that it is any less popular than the other ones. Well, this is an impressive item on it's own but with AP Shaco it makes a remarkable effect. First of all, it grants ability power and health. The bonus health will allow you to stay in a fight longer. Now, it also grants 15 flat magic penetration, which combined with Greater Mark of Magic Penetration it is a total of 22.83 magic penetration. Now, that's not all, when you deal spell damage to an enemy it will burn 5% of their current health over 3 seconds as magic damage. That means that no matter if you are using Two-Shiv Poison, Jack In The Box or Hallucinate, you will be destroying your target. BUT that's not all! If the enemy's movement is impaired, this item will deal 10% of their current health instead! Let's think about it; just attacking a target will make them be slowed thanks to Two-Shiv Poison's passive, which means that while they are slowed any spell damage that you deal will burn the target for 10% of their current health. Impressive, huh?

Now to finish the items off, Rylai's Crystal Scepter to the rescue! This grants you quite a LOT of ability power and health. Also, your spell damage will slow the target by 35% for 1.5 seconds. Do you have any idea what this means? It means that NO MATTER how you attack your opponent, you will always slow the target! (Considering that your Two-Shiv Poison is not on cooldown which causes your basic attacks to not slow the target until it is available again) And that means that your Liandry's Torment will always burn the target for 10% of their current health instead of 5%! That is AP Shaco for you.

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Death in the Box

You can place a Jack in the box anywhere you want and since you'll be getting cooldown reduction, you don't even have to worry much about saving them for the right occasion. But, I might as well show you were I put my boxes when I'm trying to ward off the place in case of invaders.

Now keep in mind that Jack In The Box only lasts 1 minute, so you should not go crazy putting boxes everywhere like Teemo with his Noxious Trap. But, you can definitely use them when you are farming top to watch for gankers, or when you are taking blue to watch your back.

Jack In The Box Can be useful in so many ways I'm sure i'm going to miss a few. But you can use it's fear at your advantage when ganking someone, or when running away from someone. It can also interrupt a champion's channeling such as Nunu, Fiddlesticksor Twisted Fate's ultimates. It can also interrupt a champion's teleport or even Master Yi's Meditate. Jack In The Box is definitely Death in the box.

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Tricks and Strategies

Shaco Is definitely one of the champions with most tricks in league of legends and I'm afraid I won't be able to name all of them. But, that doesn't mean I won't try, because I'm here to help those who have never played AP Shaco or those who just need a bit of guidance. You too can help me out if you are familiar with AP Shaco by giving feedback.

Q and E Combination

Anyways, let's start off with Deceive + Two-Shiv Poison combinations. Obviously you can use Deceive to blink into your enemy from the bushes, it's stealth allows you to close in if you blink to far from the target. Then instead of immediately shooting your dagger with Two-Shiv Poison, you should attack the opponent with your basic attacks. This will allow you to slow the enemy and save the Two-Shiv Poison for when the enemy attempts to escape. Don't be afraid to use it before then if you are sure you can get the kill.


Now lets talk a bit about ganking, there are countless ways you can achieve a beautiful gank. Starting off with top, you can go around your jungle and use Deceive to blink into the river (where wards are usually placed) this will allow you to enter battle without being noticed. You can do the same with bot. Another way of ganking is kind of stalking your enemy, know when their blue buff will respawn and wait there in the bushes with an arsenal of boxes. Once the opponent face checks the bush before getting their buff, it will be their doom. You can do the same with red buff . Be careful though, a smart enemy will ward their buffs and it will be you who gets ganked.


Being Shaco can be very hard or very easy depending on the situation. If you find yourself cornered at your turret, don't worry about damaging your enemy and concentrate on getting rid of the minion wave as fast as possible. That way you can quickly go top or bot, maybe teleporting to a ward or simply sprinting there and ganking. The gank might completely turn the game around, forcing whoever is mid to feel pressured. Shaco can get to places and leave places almost instantly, take advantage of that. Since you are mid, you have the ability to move top or bot with just about the same speed.

Your Ultimate

Remember that your Hallucinate deals a lot of damage when it dies since you will be building Ability power. Use your ultimate wisely, because it can change the battle. One of its nice tricks is to ult while in the bush and send your clone to attack a champion. The champion will believe that's you so he will most likely waste his abilities on it, that gives you the opportunity to Deceive your way into the battle and destroy your target. The enemy will be left confused and dead. Not only can your Hallucinate be used to deceive the enemy, but you can use it to tank the turret while you either destroy it or dive to finish off a target. The cooldown isn't that long, so don't hesitate on using it to escape from battle if things get pretty rough and your Deceive or Flash were not able to save you.

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Well it was really fun typing this guide for you guys and I'd be really glad if this helps at the very least one of you out there, I hope more than that find this guide helpful though. Typing this was almost as fun as playing AP Shaco mid... That's a lie, playing him is way more fun!

While playing Shaco and building him with ability power, you can destroy your enemy not only with your spells but also with you basic attack thanks to Malady. Your abilities will have such a short cooldown that you'd be able to spam and spam and spam your abilities. Enemies will be furious! They'll be typing

/all ***ing Shaco!

Well in CONCLUSION, AP Shaco is amazing xD