Build Guide by SaveOurServer
Not Updated For Current Season
This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.
Your votes and comments encourage our guide authors to continue
creating helpful guides for the League of Legends community.
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.
For those of you that are in the loading screen and dont 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 wont have an escape mechanism for another 12 seconds
3) Adjust items as needed to counter enemies
Changed starting items due to major elixir nerf.
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
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. Lets 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 dont 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:
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.
9 into Defensive (increased movespeed after dodge)
This ideal for those AD heavy teams because you will most likely have approximately 20% dodge (see item combos 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.
While I use to recommend elixirs as great starting items. The patch released on 12.14.2010 effectively destroys the beginning game elixir market. Now I start with one of the following three starting item combos depending on who I am up against:
1) Doran's Shield + HP Pot
2) Doran's Blade + HP Pot
3) Long Sword + HP Pot
Here are the stat breakdowns for each:
1) +100 HP + 8dmg +3% lifesteal
2) +120 HP +8 Armor +8 HP/5
3) +10 dmg
When are they useful?
If going against heroes that are high hp, able to harass effectively, or you are solo/don't have a hero with you that can harass well... Option 2 is your best bet.
If you are laning with a hero that harasses well and the enemies will not be able to hurt you very much... Option 1 is your best bet.
If you are against heroes that will be essentially non-existent (being zoned by your teammate)... Option 3 is your best bet.
Why the shield over the blade? You're dps bro...
The theory behind it if you are interested...
I look at a few things when determining these starting items.
1) Survivability - Flat Health gains to make you look like less of a target
2) Damage output - an obvious must for shaco
3) Sustainability - the health regen to stay in the lane
4) Progression of items - to work towards his other items effectively
Dorans Shield now gives 20 more HP than dorans blade making it the best in survivability. It also has 8 HP/5 regen constantly which will help Shaco stay in the lane (sustainability).
The 3% lifesteal on the blade will not out regen the shield. Here is the math:
60 dmg (assume you have enough armor pen to do 100% dmg to minions) per hit.
.8 attack speed.
60dmg*.8AS= 48 damage per second (dps)
48dps*5seconds=240damage per 5 seconds
240dp5s*.03 lifesteal= 7.2 life stolen per 5 seconds = 7.2 HP/5
Even if you were literally CONSTANTLY attacking minions without rest (meaning you have complete lane control, aren't last hitting, and there is no break between minion waves (the last one isnt possible)), you would still get less regen than you would with the shield. That said, if you were able to hit minions without rest... chances are you don't need the regen as your enemies are not harassing you.
What IS nice tho, is the increased damage which is why it is still useful if you are going to have lane control.
Lets Discuss Item Choice:
As said above, the items listed are just ONE build. I use different builds depending on what I see.
Before we get into that let's first go into a Core Item Build:
I'm going to define this as a set of items that offer high value for their worth that are easy to get early on. For Shaco, my three favorite core items are:
1) Brutalizer - +25 dmg, +10% CDR, +15 ArPen
2) Hexdrinker - +35 dmg, +30 MR +300 dmg spell shield if dropped below 30% hp by spell
3) Sword of the Occult - +10 dmg, +5dmg/stack max 20 stacks. 10% MS increase at 20 stacks
Why are these items my favorite core items? Notice the similarity between them? All attack damage. Attack damage will buff his clone, his deceive, and his 2-poison shiv.
1) I will essentially always get the brutalizer because no matter who you are up against, they will have armor that needs penetrated
2) Only pick up hexdrinker when against a heavy AoE team or a caster that just has it out for you. The 300 dmg shield has saved my life on many occasions and the extra 30 MR is also clutch.
3) Im not a HUGE fan of Sword of the Occult but I get it when playing against less skilled players, when we have a clear advantage in kills, or our team lacks significant late game heroes and the other team has a lot of late game heroes.
NOTE: You do not need all of these items. Most of the time I will end up getting the brutalizer and hexdrinker only.
Once you have the core items you want it's time to work on your main build:
If you are against high HP, low AD heroes (tanks):
Madreds > Berserker Greaves > Blood Thirster > Last Whisper > Infinity Edge
The benefit madreds 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 Last Whisper 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 > 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, and ~9% from runes and masteries ~ 20% 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.
Berserkers Greaves > Infinity Edge > Phantom Dancer > Blood Thirster
Casters arent 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 Wits End after infinity edge.
Pre-Creep Wave Gaming Phase:
Yes, Shaco is active before the creeps even come out!
I personally dont 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 mana potion.
SCAN THE FIELD
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, theyll 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.
This is probably why most people dont 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 (Garens Spin, Blitz Grab, Amumus 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.