Build Guide by SaveOurServer
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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.
After the recent patches I've created a new Shaco guide to help people better understand this hero. This is a 3's guide and only a 3's guide.
What you will learn:
Runes and why?
2 different Mastery Trees
How to Level his skills based on your playstyle
Item Combos - The Art of Countering
The Laning phase
Other basic essentials
I use flat armor pen marks, dodge seals, CDR glyphs, and Health Quints.
Armor vs. Crit Strike Dmg
After doing some research (and I'd gladly share the math with anybody that would like to see it), I found that at lower armor values and lower crit chances, Armor pen marks are more effective on shaco. Many builds suggest building crit strike dmg to buff shaco's deceive hits however that is only 1 hit every 9 seconds or so. I choose to build survivability first meaning crit will not be built until MUCH later in the game. This means that armor pen will be the most useful mark for shaco for both the early and mid game. Crit strike damage runes would be better inthe late game. You can use this information as you like but I would suggest at LEAST pickng up an avarice blade if you plan on getting crit strike damage runes. For Crit Strike Damage to really be more ffective than armor pen, a champion must have above a 20-30% crit strike chance (depend on your targets armor value)
With the extra dodge chance combined with the movespeed dodge mastery, it gives shaco the opportunity to catch up to enemies and also offers that extra bit of survivability that he generally lacks. Again, other builds choose other seals that sacrifice his health/armor for damage. You must be careful not to build Shaco like a glass cannon or you will find yourself getting nuked down by accident from enemies.
I prefer these because it makes your deceive and shiv come back faster meaning more dps. However, to go back to our survivability theory, Magic Resist glyphs could also be very beneficial and might be recommended versus magic heavy teams. If you are playing ranked and can see the enemy hero choices, keeping an extra rune set with magic res glyphs would be clutch.
There are two routes that I like to take.
1) 21/9/0 - Standard 21 in offensive and then pick up the dodge masteries in defensive. This is especially useful if you also have the dodge seals. Without the dodge seals (and if you don't plan on getting ninja tabi boots), you shouldn't bother with this spec.
2) 21/0/9 - Again, standard 21 into offensive but this time we go 9 down the utility tree picking up increased health and mana regen, 1 point to less time spent dead, increased experience, and 1 point to longer neutral buff duration. This is great if you plan on constantly ransacking the lizard, dragon, and greater minion buffs. However, if you don't plan on CONSTANTLY hitting those, there is no point to getting the talents in utility.
Smite - Really good if you plan on working on those neutral minions consistently, however it provides little to no benefits in the mid/late game.
Exhaust - Great for shaco because it helps him move down the offensive mastery tree and adds another slow to his aresenal. Combine lizard buff, with 2 poison shiv with exhaust and you have a hero that isn't getting away.
Ignite - Also great for Shaco for those targets that are getting away. Though, with the slows you have you may find this spell lacking in utility.
Ghost - Since slows do not stack perfectly with each other, sometimes boosting your movespeed is better than slowing theirs. Great for both chasing and escaping after a clutch deceive, this spell can really save your life or end somebody else's. Also helps you move down the utility tree if you are specced that way.
Heal - Great for beginner Shaco's but isn't that good at the higher level game play. You will find this spell VERY useful at the beginning but essentially useless late game.
Rally - Never really get this spell but I could see its utility, especially considering his clone and backdooring potential.
Leveling your skills based on your playstyle
The leveling I have on the page is just one way to do it. It is based on a few of the following principles:
1) I plan to take the lizard at level 1
2) I plan to go for first blood at level 2
3) I plan to harass consistently with two poison shiv
Boxes are first to get the lizard as it spawns, if I manage to get it, I will then get deceive to try and hop in for first blood. If not, I will get 2 poison shiv and hang back.
I even leveled two poison shiv for the following reasons. I want to be able to harass a target but I also want to be able to do the damage when it counts. If the team you are against has heavy regeneration and/or high health (making it so that you cannot harass), then it might be better to only have a few points into shiv and focus on deceive.
If you are going to use deceive to get into a fight, you must be ready to fully commit. Deceive is a spell that is only used when a fight is going, it is very difficult to harass with it.
If you find that you are less of a harass player and more of a full commit player, then level deceive first as it will suite you better. If you like picking at enemies first, and then jumping for the kill, use the build above. If you are a little more fearful and don't like jumping into fights unless your tank and healer are next to you, consider leveling shiv all the way and only get 1 point to deceive.
In previous builds I have discussed various different starting items. The two I find the most useful now are Doran's Blades/Shields. I used to prefer the shield but the extra damage from the blade outweighs the extra health/survivability from shield. I also like to get two of these blades for the increased survivability and damage at the early levels. This really helps Shaco since he is a snowball style hero that relies on the effectiveness of his early game to make an impact on the mid/late game. By starting with two blades and boots you will have a great start to any game. Here is when you begin countering:
Against heavy magic dmg teams:
Merc Treads > Hexdrinker > Aegis of the Legion (If still getting owned) > Infinity Edge
the merc treads and hex drinker put you at over 100 Magic Resist making you significantly harder to nuke. Plus, you now have a 300 damage shield that will essentially eat one spell. Not only this, but the hexdrinker will also add to your total damage so you won't lose that much damage from getting it. If the team is VERY heavy in nukes, I also get Aegis for the team. This gives me more health as well as magic resist/armor. The added damage is nice but also almost negligible. After that you should have all the survivability you need and can focus on your damage output (hence the infinity edge).
Against Heavy AD teams:
Boots of Ninja Tabi > Infinity Edge > Blood Thirster > Phantom Dancer
The added dodge will really help you stay alive versus them. If the team is heavier in melee AD, then a phantom dance before infinity edge might give you the movespeed you need to stay away from them and keep alive. Ultimately, your goal against these teams is to increase your damage and out dps them. With your clone, you want to make sure you have done enough damage to ensure a victory before they realize which is the real Shaco.
Against Tanky Teams (the mundo's and garen's of the world)
Berserker's Greaves > Madred's > Phantom Dancer > last Whisper > Bloodthirster
This is by far my least favorite type of champion to fight. The ultimate goal here is to use madreds and your clone to your advantage. By buffing your attack speed along with madreds you should be able to chop away at the targets health. Then work on countering his armor, and finally your sustainability in the fight with lifesteal. If they aren't building armor, skip the last whisper and go straight for the blood thirster.
If you are starting on the bottom lane, you should be positioned in the brush closest to your side next to the lizard. Boxes should be placed just outside of this tall grass near the lizard. Make sure the boxes are not placed too close to the lizard or else they will aggro it. The boxes should be placed DIRECTLY ON TOP OF EACH OTHER to ensure that they all go off at the same time and the most amount of damage in the shortest amount of time is dealt.
You should begin placing these boxes around the 1:05 minute mark because the lizard will spawn at 2:10 which means you should have enough time to place 3 boxes and a 4th upon fighting it. (or 4 at first and 5 upon fighting if you are willing to miss out on a few minion kills).
If you are on the top lane, the boxes should be placed at the northern entrance to the lizard area. Again, they should be placed JUST out of range of the lizard so he is not aggroed immediately upon spawning.
Delay placng the boxes until the 1:15 minute mark. Hug the wall closest to the minions to keep getting the experience until 2:10 when the lizard spawns. If you do not want to miss out on any minion kills, return to your lane and wait until the first wave dies before attempting lizard (this is why you wait a little longer before placing the boxes).
After the level 1 lizard, ALWAYS place boxes at the entrances to your lane so there will be no surprises when the enemy comes in for a gank. It can also prove useful to place boxes at the edges of lanes so they wont pop for minions but will for champions.
Boxes can be placed strategically at the dragon/lizard areas if you want to scout the enemy out. Place it in a location where it will not be popped by the dragon. Usually this is along the wall of the entrance. If you want to be extra sneaky, place it so that even the heroes will not set it off meaning you can get a gank in (or a smite steal if you are using that summoner spell).
Whenever fighting neutral minions, always place a box directly behind them. This will turn the minions around at first giving you time to get backstab damage in. It will also soak a little bit of the damage.
On Bottom Lane
After getting the lizard at level 1 you should try and set-up for the first blood gank. If this is not an option, return to behind your ranged minions and begin last hitting, harassing with 2-poison shiv, and hopefully getting them low enough for a deceive gank.
On Top Lane
After getting the lizard, remain behind your ranged minions. If the opponent is trying to harass you, do not be afraid to 2 poison shiv them and auto attack them to get the lizard buff on them. Once you feel that they are low enough, go in for the kill with exhaust/ignite(if you have them)/2 poison/and deceive. If they also commit to the fight, drop a box down ontop of the fight to get the .5 second fear as well as the added damage. If you didn't deceive in, remain close to a wall so that you can deceive away if necessary.
Team Fight Dynamics
This is highly dependent on whom you are up against, what your team comp is, and how well your team has been doing. However the basical principle is the same: Let your teammate(s) go in first. Hop in with deceive after the initiating happens and begin attacking the first priority target. When you use deceive you should always attempt to hit your target from behind with it to gain the extra damage from your passive.
If it becomes clear that neither team is trying to retreat and both are committed to the fight, use your clone to increase your damage output. Additionally, drop a box down in the fight to interrupt the enemies. If your team is spread out, use the box on whomever the enemy team is focusing on to help that person out. Note that in a teamfight you should NOT use 2 poison shiv until they are out of range of your auto-attacks and deceive is on cooldown because you want the passive slow that it gives you to keep the enemy from escaping.
Most people forget about their clone, thus it is very important that you always control it in the team fights. The easiest way to do this is to do every command you give to your Shaco twice. However, the 2nd time you give the command, hold the ALT key. This controls your clone (NOTE YOU CANNOT USE SPELLS WITH CLONE) and helps focus fire on the same target as your main Shaco is hitting.
Other Basic Essentials
More to post here including Map layouts, Information about deceive jumping, videos, and pre-minion box set-ups. Stay tuned!