Shaco Build Guide by skelestus
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AD Bruiser Shaco
+11 Attack Damage or +18 Ability Power, Adaptive
Ideal Full Build
vs AD heavy comp.
vs AP heavy comp.
This page is a detailed guide on playing as AD Bruiser Shaco. Shaco is traditionally an AD assassin who uses his stealth, mobility and trickery to pick off enemies who are alone and vulnerable. He is commonly played as a jungler and has many builds which he benefits from. With this guide, you can easily carry games by having insane burst damage, great map coverage and being quite tanky.
Ever since Shaco's changes in the Season-7 assassin rework, I loved playing this champion. As Shaco alone, I had a 60% win rate with a KDA of 4.17 in over 200 ranked games last season. This is how I got from Bronze 1, at the start of the season, and climbing all the way up to Platinum 2. So if I could do well with this guide, I'm sure you can too!
Pros & Cons
Bruiser Shaco Pros:
+ Great map presence and mobility
+ Tanky enough to survive long teamfights
+ Insane early and mid game, snowball leads can be built
+ Very good at taking objectives
Bruiser Shaco Cons:
- Bad positioning in teamfights can be punished
- Can be difficult to redeem yourself from a bad early game
Backstab (P): When attacking enemies from behind, Shaco will do a 'mini-crit' for additional damage.
Deceive (Q): Shaco teleports to a close location and becomes invisible for a short duration.
Jack in the Box (W): Spawns a stealthed box which fears and damages nearby enemies.
Two-Shiv Poison (E): *Passively slows enemies when attacked. Throws a dagger to deal damage.
Hallucinate (R): Spawns a clone which Shaco can control. Upon clone death, leaves behind 3 mini boxes.
- Max Deceive FIRST because it will prolong your stealth duration. Shaco's additional damage on Q was brought back in (patch 8.6), so it is still best to max this spell first because it will make your ganks harder for the enemy team to anticipate.
- Max Two-Shiv Poison SECOND because it will do more damage and will be necessary when trying to kill enemies. The passive will also slow for an increased amount which will be incredibly helpful to bait enemies into your boxes. Other players tend to max E first but I oppose to this because the stealth duration from Deceive is too advantageous.
- Max Jack In The Box THIRD; this ability is a one-point wonder. Putting more points into this ability prolongs the fear duration. Boxes aren't as important as the other 2 basic abilities as we won't be building AP so the damage isn't too much to worry about.
- Max Hallucinate WHENEVER POSSIBLE (levels 6, 11 and 16).
Ignite: This gives Shaco such a huge advantage over other junglers. Shaco doesn't need flash because of his Deceive so he can take ignite instead to add kill pressure. Particularly useful for securing an early first-blood to build a snowball lead.
Smite: Pretty self-explanatory. You'll be jungling so smite is mandatory to have. Smite jungle camps when you need a bit more HP. If you choose to build a full jungle item (not recommended), ensure to make use of the active smite effect.
Flash: (OPTIONAL - Not recommended) Only take this if you're a new Shaco player and replace it with ignite. You may not be comfortable playing without flash so take this so you have a last-resort to count on if your Deceive doesn't work out.
We are well underway in season 8 and all of us have a good idea of the optimal rune setups. Please take this section of the guide with a pinch of salt as a lot of people have different play-styles and preferences as well as runes constantly being changed. I strongly recommend the Domination and Inspiration paths as they will provide great damage sources as well as good utility as a jungler to assert our dominance in the game over the enemy jungler.
Domination Path Overview:
Dark Harvest: Will synergise well as Shaco due to being a jungler. Souls can be collected easily due to Shaco's jungle-clear speed. Scales very well into the mid and late game which will help to burst champions down. Also, the ability to proc Dark Harvest on towers helps tremendously if split-pushing is a necessary strategy.
Sudden Impact: After using Deceive, receive bonus penetration as damage. Obvious choice for Shaco.
Zombie Ward: Even though Eyeball Collection isn't a bad choice, I think Zombie Ward is too good to turn down. Vision is one of your top priorities as a jungler and we always want to keep track of the enemy jungler's movements. It basically prolongs your ward duration and places your own wards for wards you kill.
Relentless Hunter: Champion takedowns will provide permanent out-of-combat movement speed. Very beneficial as a jungler because mobility is key to having map presence and makes your impact on the game much greater.
Inspiration Tree Overview:
Perfect Timing: As of patch 8.10, Stopwatch is now available a lot earlier in the game (8 minutes) which is really good for Shaco. Shaco benefits from Stopwatch greatly because not only does it save you from fatal situations, Shaco can also escape after the stasis using Deceive which makes for a clean escape. Also, Guardian Angel is a core item in our build and Perfect Timing reduces its cost and cooldown.
Future's Market: In my opinion, this is a very underrated rune. You don't always have to delay your recalls to farm a quick jungle camp to buy an item. It speeds up the process of buying items which really helps as Shaco as you want to gain advantages as quickly as possible. The debt charge of 50 gold sucks but what I do make the most out of it is always buying a Control Ward when I'm in debt because the 50 gold will be paid anyways.
Maw of Malmortius
Boots of Mobility
This is the build that I feel is optimal as playing bruiser Shaco. It provides a lot of durability to be considered a tanky bruiser with a lot of health and resistances. As well as this, it also has a lot of damage which fulfills your needs as a useful damage source for our team. Overall I think it's an amazing balance and is more reliable than other builds. People may dispute the fact that I don't build a jungle item as Shaco. I really don't think it's necessary because Shaco is a champion who heavily relies on versatile itemisation. Warrior enchantment is the best jungle item for Shaco but all it does basically is provide you with damage which only helps with your scaling and doesn't fulfill the needs of a bruiser.
NOTE: People who viewed my guide in its early stages may remember the build to be quite different. I've altered the build mainly due to the mid-season changes in patch 7.9. Guardian Angel no longer provides magic resistance and gives AD instead which has forced me to tweak the build because you wont be a bruiser if you can't withstand magic damage.
- Phage component gives good bruisiness and nice movement speed to stick onto targets.
- 40% attack speed provides greater duelling potential against enemy champions.
- 20% CDR is extremely beneficial for utilising Deceive and Hallucinate more frequently.
- The Spellblade passive deals INSANE DAMAGE. Huge additional damage on Deceive cast and can be proc'ed again in a full combo after using Two-Shiv Poison.
- Decent amount of Armor and AD.
- Revive is even more valuable to Shaco because whilst other champions could still face certain death immediately after the revive, Shaco can simply Deceive away.
- Very cheap item to build and helps you to complete the build much more quickly.
- Provides a lot of health which makes you more tanky.
- Good base damage provided on this item.
- Turn your basic attacks into an AoE effect in a cone behind your target. Good for quick jungle-clears and split-pushing.
- Active effect deals a lot of burst damage and can be used to animation-cancel.
- Provides lots of magic resistance which helps to survive against teams with high magic damage.
- 10% CDR and gives a decent amount of damage which both synergise well on Shaco.
- Lifeline passive helps to survive intense teamfights by giving a massive magic shield and grants additional combat bonuses. Lifeline: By name and by nature!.
- Provides a lot of HP and Armor which further re-enforces the build's bruisiness.
- Good item to build against ADC's which makes it an ideal final item to build.
- Active effect provides Shaco with more crowd control and the slow will buy you enough time to place your box behind the enemy and bait them towards it.
- Gives insane bonus movement speed out of combat, great for starting ganks.
- Is more valuable to Shaco because the huge movement speed makes you travel further during Deceive which allows you to enter a fight/assassination from afar.
- Cheaper to build compared to most other tier-2 boots.
To Summarise: This is the most optimal build when the enemy team has a balanced team composition. However, you'll have to adapt the build based on the scenario. The The CORE items are Trinity Force, Titanic Hydra and Guardian Angel. Maw of Malmortius and Randuin's Omen can be substituted for more suitable items if necessary. For example, against a team with less magic damage, purchase Sterak's Gage instead of Maw of Malmortius.
The Plan = Blue Buff (1) ⟶ Gromp (2) ⟶ Wolves (3) ⟶ Red Buff (4) ⟶ GANK (Top Lane)
NOTE: You DON'T need a leash.
- Start at Blue Buff. From 0:29, place 2 boxes on either side of Blue Buff ASAP
- Move to Gromp and place 2 boxes on either side of Gromp ASAP
- Move back to Blue Buff (it spawns a 1:29)
- Keep Backstab'ing Blue Buff, the initial boxes will tank its attacks
- When the initial boxes despawn, place another box behind Blue Buff
- Keep backstabbing while they tank its attacks
- When those boxes die, place another box behind Gromp
After doing the Gromp, head towards Wolves and then clear Red Buff. At this point you'll have skilled up all your basic abilities and be ready to gank with the handiness of the red buff slow. To gank:
- If your lane is pushed OUT: Go through the tri-bush and enter the lane, placing a box just outside the tower range to block the enemy's escape (this saves using your Deceive
- If the lane is in the MIDDLE: Go through the tri-bush and Deceive from the river bush to as far back as you can get and place a box behind the enemy to block their escape
- If the lane is pushed IN: Hug the wall between the tri-push and your tower without giving the enemy vision of yourself. Deceive over the wall and place a box behind the enemy to simply CC them (you won't get far enough to block their escape)
TIP #1: Backstab as much as possible. If its on cooldown, place yourself on top of the jungle monster's body; this allows to quickly get behind it for the next backstab
TIP #2: Tell your top laner to enter the lane a few seconds later than usual. This gives the impression to the enemies that the top laner leashed you on Red Buff (supplemented by the fact that your bot lane entered lane immediately). The enemy jungler will react to this false information and may end up invading your Blue Buff, which isn't there since you already cleared it!
Useful Tricks and Knowledge
How to Gank:
- Use Deceive to enter the lane
- If the lane is pushed, place a box where you think the enemy will escape towards. If the lane is unpushed/even, place a box simply behind the enemy
- Backstab the enemy, keep basic-attacking whilst leading them to your box
- Use Two-Shiv Poison when they are low HP to execute them
TIP #1: Shaco is able to hop over walls by lanes and remain unseen by Deceive'ing over warded areas.
TIP #2: Placing a box or casting Hallucinate during Deceive will not reveal you.
How to do a full combo (Maximum DPS):
- Deceive in behind your target, cast Hallucinate and place a box
- Backstab the enemy ( Trinity Force proc)
- Immediately after the Backstab, use the active on Titanic Hydra
- Basic attack again
- Use Two-Shiv Poison as soon as the basic attack applies, and basic attack again ( Trinity Force proc x2)
TIP #1: Use Ignite prematurely on a healthy target to reduce their healing. Not only will this add damage to kill them quicker but it will give them less of a chance to survive due to a large portion of any heals they may receive being negated.
TIP #2: If you don't think your full combo wont kill your target, hold onto Two-Shiv Poison. Deal as much damage as possible and use Two-Shiv Poison when they are low enough to get executed.
In Summary: this build is extremely potent on Shaco and will give you much success for climbing up the ranked ladder. If you follow my guide, you'd have gained the necessary knowledge needed to exploit how OP this champion truly is. However, Shaco is a difficult champion to learn at first, so please spend time to practice the champion on normal games.
Regarding myself (as the author), this was the first guide I've ever wrote, and have made a few updates along the way. I tried my best to keep everything easy to understand which is particularly helpful for those who are new to playing as Shaco, rather than for those who want to master playing as Shaco.
Thank you very much for reading this guide and I hope you've learned a lot from this. If this guide has helped you or if you simply want to show your support, please give a like rating. If there's anything specific I should include in this guide or if you have any general questions, please leave a comment. I encourage to leave feedback on this guide, all critiques are greatly appreciated.