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Shaco - This is awkward...

Last updated on October 25, 2010
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Jungle Role
Ranked #2 in
Jungle Role
Win 55%
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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.


Brute Force
Improved Rally

Offense: 21

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 0

Expanded Mind
Blink of an Eye
Mystical Vision
Presence of the Master

Utility: 9


For those of you that are in the loading screen and don't have time for a full build. Read here:
1) Steal Lizard at level 1 with Jack in the box
2) If you use deceive to fight, know that you won't have an escape mechanism for another 12 seconds
3) Adjust items as needed to counter enemies
4) Keep buying elixirs (fortitude early game, agility mid game)


Things to note about this build:
- It is built for 3v3
- Shaco can get several different item combos (I will describe a few). He thrives on countering enemies.
- It is NOT a jungle build even though you do find yourself in the jungle a lot
- This is less of a guide and more a "how to" as no game will go the exact same.
- My goal with this guide is to teach you the pros and cons of various builds so you can make choices for yourself

Summoner Spells:

Exhaust: Yet another slow to add to your collection, this is also perfect against AD heroes
Ignite: A great way to stop people who get heal, as well as secure an early game gank

Other great summoner spells:
Smite: I use this to jungle all the time, though recently I have found that its utility greatly diminishes late game. It is also perfect to steal neutrals from opponents and then deceive away (I do this to dragon and lizard mainly)
Heal: This is great for the ganks that occur between levels 1-10. After that, it is pretty much useless


Here is where I get into troubled water. I focus on Armor Pen because Armor Pen is significantly better for shaco in the early game. A lot of builds use crit strike damage runes because of deceive. Let's get a few facts straight:

Crit strike damage runes DO work with deceive. I have tested this myself.
Crit Strike damage runes DO NOT effect shiv. Why would they? I don't know, but some people think they do.

I have done some theory calculations (and if you ask, I will gladly share the file with you) and it shows that with a 30% Crit chance, Crit strike damage runes would be more beneficial than Armor Pen runes if the opponent has over 75 armor.

The reason I still choose armor pen? The early game is essential for shaco. Opponents do not have over 75 armor at the beginning and shaco does not have 30% crit at the beginning. Thus, Armor pen is SIGNIFICANTLY BETTER AT THE BEGINNING for Shaco. Shaco is a snowball, early game kills will lead to late game victories.

Explanation of Masteries:

Going 21 into the offensive is nothing new. Shaco is all about damage, so buff it.
There are 2 options for your final 9 points and it is built entirely on personal taste:
Option 1:
9 into Utility (getting increased neutral buff duration)
This lets the lizard and dragon buffs stay on you 15% longer which can go a long way.

Option 2:
9 into Defensive (increased movespeed after dodge)
This ideal for those AD heavy teams because you will most likely have approximately 35% dodge (see item combo’s below for AD heavy teams) plus now you will consistently be going 10% faster to keep up with them when they try to get away.

Starting Items:

1x Elixir of Fortitude
3x Health Potion
1x Mana Potion

You will be repurchasing the elixir of fortitude frequently as it runs out.

Why I choose the elixir:

Elixir: Level 1 (300): 230 HP and 11 damage.
Doran's Shield (435): 120 Hp, 8 Armor, 8 hp/5
Doran's Blade (435): 120 Hp, 6 dmg, 4% lifesteal

I find shaco's ability to perform late game a direct result of his performance early game. If he can get early game ganks, kills, and last hits, then it snowballs into a late game destruction. Even though I will probably spend 1200-1500 over the course of the game on elixirs, the benefits of having almost TWICE the amount of Hp and Dmg at level 1 is irreplaceable. Also, since I do not get health items early on, the elixirs help me focus on my damage. Depending on the game, I will switch to Agility Elixir's sometime in the middle.

Let's Discuss Item Choice:

As said above, the items listed are just ONE build. I use different builds depending on what I see.

If you are against high HP, low AD heroes (tanks):
Madred's > Berserker Greaves > Blood Thirster > Phantom Dancer > Infinity Edge

The benefit madred's gives to you AND your clone will eat tanks up. The blood thirster lets you stay in there a little longer. You may have enough time to get a Phantom dancer but most games will not go past that. In this situation, your goal is to pump out as much dps as possible as you will not be taking much damage.

High AD Heroes:
Boots of Ninja Tabi > Phantom Dancer > Infinity Edge > Blood Thirster

Against these heroes, you can expect to be focused as soon as you show up. Thus, having a high dodge chance (12% for boots, 20% from phantom, and ~7% from runes = ~ 35% dodge (dodge has a diminishing returns effect)). Now that you have survival, your goal is to pump out high damage to try and eliminate the opponent.

Against Casters:
Berserkers Greaves > Infinity Edge > Phantom Dancer > Blood Thirster

Casters aren’t a huge issue for shaco because of his clone. It makes most casters think twice before blowing their single-target ulti. For this reason, I suggest getting as much damage as possible to kill your opponent before they figure out which is the real you! If they are easily targeting you (or have a lot of AoE), consider switching out berserkers for mercury treads and getting Wit's End after infinity edge.

Pre-Creep Wave Gaming Phase:

Yes, Shaco is active before the creeps even come out!

I personally don't like to solo with Shaco but he can if the team needs it. Being with another champion allows Shaco to be able to grab the lizard and dragon buffs as well as jump between lanes for ganks without leaving a lane unattended.

If you are in the bottom lane, get your items as fast as possible and head to the bush leading into the lizard area. At the 1:15 minute timer, begin planting jack in the boxes outside of the bushes near the lizard (but not too close or they will set off when he spawns). You should have a minimum of 3; 4 for safety. The lizard will spawn at 2:10 and the creeps will begin fighting each other at 2:00. So be in the bottom lane for the first wave of creeps to get the exp.

Now Aggro the lizard and drag him to your jack in the boxes. After 2 seconds, plant another jack in the box behind the lizard. it will detonate around the same time that your other boxes go away causing the lizard to now turn around and fight that box (giving you more time to do damage). This will kill him no problem (and you havent even used a potion!).

At this point you are level 2, and have the lizard buff. Now is a good time to use your elixir.


If the enemy hero on top is pushed past half way, deceive up (and over the wall) to set up the gank. If not, try and gank bottom. If neither is an option, return to your lane and keep an eye out for anybody that over extends the push.

At level 3 you will have your opponents VERY slow if you can hit them (lizard buff, poison, exhaust). It makes a gank very easy to pull off. Check the opponents summoner spells. Does he have cleanse? Flash? Ghost? Heal? All of these are game changers.

Cleanse: Get yours hits off, they'll probably try and cleanse the slow off, then use exhaust and poison.
Flash: Save deceive for after the flash
Ghost: Space out your slows to keep up with him
Heal: Use Ignite early on rather than late

How well the initial ganks went will determine how under/overpowered you will do late game. Shaco is all about the teamwork early on until he can become a carry.


Always keep boxes planted in the bushes and lizard area. This saves your team money from not buying wards.
The lizard respawn timer is 4 minutes. After 3 minutes, you should begin setting up your boxes for when it returns. (practically, this means if you killed the lizard at 2:20, begin planting again at 5:20 and it will spawn at 6:20).

Shaco is an opportunist. Keep last hitting minions. Harass heroes with auto attacks/shiv (letting the lizard buff apply its dot effect). When an opponent over extends himself, deceive in for the kill. It works even better is shaco is laning with a champion that has a stun/slow.

Team Fights

This is probably why most people don't like Shaco. He is one of those heroes that cannot be the first one in the fight. When 3 on 3 fights occur, stay back and let your 2 friends jump in first. This is when most of the initiation spells will go off (Garen’s Spin, Blitz’ Grab, Amumu's stun/Ulti, etc). After you see these first spells go off, deceive in. I like to focus heroes that are ranged because they are generally AWAY from the AoE spells going on. If there are none, then you do not have a choice other than to get a little dirty.
Using your ultimate at the beginning is a smart call. It will confuse the enemy and get the most damage out of your clone. You most likely will have deceived in (though not always). Once you are in and you have using your ulti, plant a box down where it will hit all enemy heroes. Even if it is only level 1, the interrupt could greatly assist your team.

One mistake most people make is they use 2-poison shiv for damage. 2-poison shiv is a slow, and you lose that slow once you cast it (though the cast does have a slow component, you lose the passive slow). Therefore, it is vital to save the shiv for when the enemy is attempting to get away and out of range of your auto-attacks).

Another mistake is people do not control their clone. It is easy to forget, especially in the heat of a battle. Remember that you can control your clone with alt. Immediately after I use my ulti, I press alt and right click my target. Then I go about setting my box and only then do I tell my actual hero to begin attacking. My basic rule of thumb is that any time I give my hero a non-spell command (basically just move or attack), I repeat that command with Alt held down.

One final note I want to make is Shaco's mobility in the 3v3 map. Shaco can reach the opposing lane before enemies notice he is missing, especially since you will always be ducking into the bushes to plant boxes.

I will post an image shortly detailing all of the different spots that Shaco can jump over in the 3's map.

Please let me know if you have any questions/comments about this "How To" for Shaco. Also, let me know if there is anything you feel should be added.

This is my first guide so feedback is welcomed!