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Shaco Build Guide by Verbers

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.

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Verbers

The Comprehensive AP Shaco

Verbers Last updated on September 22, 2011
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Team 1

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: 9

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 21

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

Utility: 0

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*Picture by iamtretre -

This build focuses primarily on being the most annoying AP Shaco to ever have existed.

Now, before you start crying that AP shaco has no Team-fight utility, and is usually a waste to the team in laning phase, i do realise these things concern most people. That is usually because people take AP shaco, sit in the bushes 90% of the game, and the 10% they do involve themselves, its en-massse killsteals from Two-Shiv and failure to assist teammates.

Anyone worthy of calling themselves a true Shaco player will strive to conquer these issues and be of the utmost use to their team. Granted, shaco is NOT the best Team-fighter in the world, however, when your team are initiating and getting the opposing teams tank's attention, their eyes will light up with wonder like a child in a candy-shop when they see you dancing around behind enemy lines, killing anything other than a tank in mere seconds.

This is where Shaco really shines. He can make it so before a teamfight even starts, it is already 4v5 / 3v5. And if they QQ at their tank, which they will (Squishies like to rage), and he goes cruising into the bushes, he will undoubtably be met be 9 boxes of death.

Even a Tank cannot handle this damage. Seriously.

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- Added Build 2 (Stronger Early-Game)
- Moved Teemo up into "OK Laning Partners"
- Added Caitlyn into "Bad Laning Partners"

- Moved Janna up into "OK Laning Partners"
- Moved Gragas down into "OK Laning Partners"
- Moved Jarvan down into "OK Laning Partners"
- Moved Leona down into "OK Laning Partners"
- Added Flash to Summoner Spell List

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There are currently 2 builds in this guide.

Build 1 - My all around favorite, has a weaker early game but by 20 minutes your dominating the map. Takes Ghost for better mobility.

Build 2 - For those who struggle in the first 10 minutes or so, rushing this early sheen instead of Rabadons will help a ton. Due to having to utilize Deceive offensively to proc Sheen, i take Flash with this build.

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Proof It Works

Author Scores:

User Scores:
--> Knobedd

And please, feel free to link me your scores with this build and i will happily post them here!

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- High Damage
- Hard to counter
- Will have the enemy team calling you OP
- Can kill squishies in seconds
- Amazing bush control
- Incredibly fun

- Squishy yourself
- Your team will cry in champion select
- Not an amazing teamfighter
- You evil AD twin can counter your Boxes with ease
- If focused, you will die. QUICK.

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The rune setup i use on my Shaco is fairly straightforward for any AP nuke.

Magic Pen - makes all of your abilities hit harder.

Greater Seal of Replenishment
MP5 - this allows you to stay in lane without ever worrying about your mana.

raw AP - again, makes all your abilities hit harder, giving you a hefty damage boost early-game.

raw AP - see above.

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For my Masteries i take 9/21/0.

Even though you will be playing a purely offensive champion here, you WILL undoubtedly be taking a beating, and everyone likes to throw sh*t at Shaco because they realise how squishy he usually is. Once you have the 15% Magic-Pen, all other points go into Defense. After trying different games with masteries, i found this gives the overall perfect balance of Damage, and Survivability - because believe me, you will be taking some serious damage in those big fights.

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Summoner Spells

Because of Shaco's deceive ability not being utilized as a primary damage dealing part of this build, you can use it as a flash, freeing up a spell slot. Here are just a few you can throw in there.

The Good:

9/10 This ability never fails to prove its worth. Not only does it ensure those tight kills, but it also nullifies healers, and makes laning against supports such as Sona or Soraka so much easier.
8/10 As we all know, probably the best summoner spell in-game. This is a very good choice for Shaco, however i do use deceive as a flash, meaning i can replace this with Ghost. Still a solid pick!
7/10 Amazing for chasing down those kills, enabling you to get that last killing Two-shiv or Ignite off on the target, or even running like a little clown-girl if you dun goof.
6.5/10 Great ability, but not so useful on AP shaco. You can exhaust as they go into your boxes, but a well timed flash will completely counter this. I find Ghost outplays this as AP.
6/10 Usually as Shaco, you will have no problem clearing ground with great speed, and because of the nature of the champion, you should have no problem getting to lanes or losing turrets. This said however, this spell can have some serious uses. Also with all the Jack-in-the-Box's laying around, you can have some amazing mobility with this spell.
6/10 This ability is VERY underestimated in the League. This allows you to go into a fight on 10%, and come out victorious. It also allows you to bait those hungry hungry carrys deep into your boxes, and ensure that you live to tell the tale. This also adds to the inbuilt Trollometer that comes with Shaco.

The Bad:

4/10 There are one or two situations in my whole gaming time where i figure Cleanse could have made a difference. If you are getting focused or they are CC heavy and its shutting you down, invest in a Quicksilver Sash - or make sure when that Ashe arrow comes cruising in, your *** isn't anywhere near.
4/10 The only use for this is mainly for your team-mates, to give them a boost, however usually if they are an AP carry or Support then you will have a Clarity in your team setup somewhere. Elsewise, dont OOM yourself before the fights. Simple.
3/10 You should NOT take this on Shaco. If you team has any Support they should be filling this role. ONLY take this if they are Super-Failers and require you to wipe their arses for them.

The Ugly:

1/10 Pointless ability, others fill the slot much better.
-50/10 Im not even going to type anything.
-100/10 This is Revives best friend for a reason.
-10/10 Again, Smite while laning? No thankyou.

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Overview : Skills

Passive: Shaco deals 20% bonus damage when striking a unit from behind
NEVER underestimate this passive. As an AD Shaco, this is what separates you from the rest of the riff-Raff who don't understand how to play him. Now this build isn't AD, but this passive is still HELLAGOOD. Any chance you get, ANY chance, you should be behind your target, getting as much - albeit little melee damage as possible.

Single use - 10s CD: Shaco stealths himself instantly and teleports to the target location. His next attack is guaranteed to critically strike.
This ability is going to be your saving grace as Shaco. Make use of this ability as a flash, allowing you to have a different summoner spell. However, do not be afraid to use this ability to clear ground, allowing for a lethal Two-Shiv Ignite combo at range. This is also going to be used for a serious heavy hit late game, enabling your Lich Bane to proc more.

Single use - 15s CD: Shaco creates an animated Jack-in-the-Box at target location, which will wait, stealthed, to Fear nearby units and attack them when some come near.
Here is your most deceptively strong trick as Shaco. These boxes have an UNLIMITED amount of use. You can stack up to 9 in a bush at once, which spells certain death if ANYTHING walks in - including tanks. You can spread them around key locations, such as Dragon and Baron to allow your team greater utility and less money on wards. You can spread them throughout jungle, allowing a 1 second fear on anyone walking by. The amount of times these things have saved my *** or my teams *** when getting chased in unbelievable.
*The recent buff to these boxes, mainly bug fixes, make them so much better than they used to be, even more reason to use them!

Single use - 6s CD: Shaco's Shivs passively Poison targets on hit, slowing them and applying a miss chance to minions. He can throw his Shivs to deal damage and poison the target.
Two-Shiv is the main focus of this build, as with nearly any AP build. It hits INCREDIBLY hard around level 4-8, and has a 1:1 AP ratio - making it your primary damaging ability. Its ability to slow the target nearly always ensures a kill if someone is caught off-guard. This spells death for every squishy to have entered the League.

Single use - 60s CD: Shaco creates an illusion of himself near him, which can attack nearby enemies. Upon death, it explodes, dealing damage to nearby enemies.
Hallucinate is one of Shaco's signature moves. This makes him the confusing, trolling champion he is. You never know which is which, where is who, or why is what. This ability also has an AMAZING AP ratio, meaning end-game it will be hitting for atleast 1200. This ability again has countless uses - avoiding ults such as Karthus, taking ults such as Caitlins, baiting the enemy team into fights they cannot win etc. etc.

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Now, there is usually a set orientation for the item build i use. However, do NOT stick to this build!! This is the number #1 mistake new players make. These builds are designed as Guides - not Rules. Focus your play around them, but switch things in and out, change things to suit your Gameplay Style.

Early Game:
I usually start off my game with a Dorans Ring . This gives much needed MP5 and Ability power - along with some Health to kick it off. I usually follow this up in one of Three ways on my first Base Call.
- If i have to leave the lane early, i return with Boots and a few mana pots and health pots .
- If i was able to stay in the lane longer, i return with a Blasing Wand and Boots .
- If i was able to get KILLS in the lane, i return with a Needlessly Large Rod
After this i carry on as usual in the lane farming until Mid game starts - which can be anything from 15 minutes to 25 minutes.

You will want to have your Rabadons Deathcap and Boots of Mobility at minimum by mid game. If you've had a good game, you will want to have your Lich Bane also partially build, probably the Sheen part of it.

You should have your Deathcap , Boots , Lich Bane built by this point. Everything else is your choice. These are the core items only.


If your taking a beating, but still want to be dealing damage. This item is great. ***RECCOMENDED***
Amazing Item - Grab one of they have alot of AP or if there is an AP Nuker who is shutting you down in fights. ***RECCOMENDED***
If you can slot this in with a spare 250g when your back at base, DO IT. Gives a great AP Boost. ***RECCOMENDED***
You can opt to take these over Boots of Mobility, however i just find Shaco requires alot of mobility to function correctly.
Heavy AP Item. If you are getting alot of money and want to hit like a truck, invest in this baby.
If you are getting an Early positive score, this will do you the world of good - for its price, the AP fully stacked is amazing.
An OK item, can cover the Tenacity side of things if you are against alot of CC.
This + your Two-Shiv has some AMAZING burst damage! Just remember to use it!

If you find yourself going out of mana, grab some MP5 or Mana Items in there. If you find yourself not hitting hard enough, get some more AP in there. If you find yourself dieing or being the focus alot, grab some Health items. Remember, this is only a GUIDE, not an exact science.

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Laning Partners

When you are laning, there are inherently some champions you lane better with. I always find these to be tanky champions, champions with some nice CC and they have to be OFFENSIVE champions. People who can stay out in the lane and Harass while you dance in the shadows. Shaco does NOT benefit from Defensive Play.

Good Laning Partners:

Garen - Keeps enemies back, and has some serious staying power. The silence can save your *** and allow you to harass.
Blitzcrank - Beefy, has a silence, and can pull people into your box stacks. LETHAL.
Lux - The shields allow you to harass, has some nice AOE to boot, and can Snare them in box range.
Cho'Gath - Beefy, Great staying power, can Knock up in your box range.

OK Laning Partners:
Janna - Can work well - depends on the playstyle and ability of support.
Gragas - Great staying power, can knock them into your boxes, and does heavy harass. Can sometimes be alittle too zealous.
Jarvan - Good Harass, Beefy, and can protect your *** with his ult and knockup. Double melee always has its downfalls.
Leona - Can harass, is Beefy, and can Stun and Slow in box range. Again, double melee is always a risky choice.
Teemo - Can do nice harass while you setup, and can hurt like a ***** with poisons after your boxes drop 90% of their health. I still think having Boxes and Mushrooms in one lane is a waste however.

Bad Laning Partners:
Karthus - Why you would lane with a Karthus is beyond me. Would not work.
LeBlanc - Too squishy, requires someone else to get up close and personal.
Anivia - Again, too squishy, not much harass till level 6.
Fiddlesticks - Alittle too incompatible i find, the fear is nice but, he lurks in Bushes too much. Bushes are Shaco's territory.
Caitlyn - Great carry, but requires alot of farm, meaning you will be unable to receive any in her lane. Squishy aswell.

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Gameplay Tips and Tricks

I can only put so much down in this section, because Shaco really is an incredibly high skillcap champion, and no matter how much i write, i will never cover all the tips and tricks that Shaco is capable of.


Here are some points to helps you on your trolling way;

#1 Lure people into your Boxes. This is the #1 way to get kills on AP Shaco. People simple do NOT understand how hard these guys hit. Near End-Game, these beauties will be hitting for around 150+e very hit. You can stack 9 of them. Do the math. These things will kill without Mercy.

#2 Clever play on Shaco is the highest requirement. It requires alot of Finessé and cunning, luring people here, hitting people there, sneaking around here, ganking up there etc. and requires you to be very map aware.

#3 Always be looking for kills. As an assassin - whether it is on your lane, in mid, or up top, never give up the chance to get a gank. Because you will be creeping around in bushes and trying to lure your opposition into them, they will be very weary about calling "SS" on you, so make use of this! Quickly disappear into a bush and it will be atleast 20/30 seconds before they tell their team to watch out.

#4 Do not overstretch. People start hitting for 40% of enemies health with Two-Shiv, get cocky, jump under a tower and get killed. Its a sure-fire way to ensure you look like an idiot. Shaco is Squishy. You CANNOT get silly with him. If you think that theres a chance you will die trying to get a kill, USE COMMON SENSE. If theres an "SS" in mid, or their Jungler hasn't been seen in 5 minutes, DON'T CHASE. If the Jungler just ganked Top, and mid is still, well, in mid, then GO FOR IT! Which leads to my next point...

#6 USE. YOUR. BRAIN. 95% of random people you play with, in ranked and in normal games, do not do this. It's such a simple thing to understand, but they somehow miss it. Use common sense. Think things through. Assess your strength compared to their strengths. How could your gank possibly go wrong? What would you do if it did go wrong? Do you have any friendly ***ests that you can utilize to ensure a kill(boxes, junglers, mid solo etc.)?


This is going to be one of the most important things you do on AP Shaco. It will spell the Death of all Squishies, and make going into Bushes a frightening prospect for the whole enemy team. If you stack more than 5 in one place, you will almost be guarenteed a kill - regardless of who it is, tank or squishy. These boxes really do hit so damn hard.

Placement is also key on these. Put them in places that people will walk. River is always a good spot. Routes from mid to Top/bot through enemy jungle is also a good place. Theres no point stacking them in a defensive position where no-one will ever walk.

Deceive Away:

This is more common sense than it is a Strategy. As AP Shaco, Deceive will be used mostly as a defensive precaution. If you take Flash, you can feel free to decieve around the map as much as you want, but as AP shaco without flash this is your only escape mechanism. When running from someone, try to deceive TOWARDS them. They will always expect you to deceive the way you are fleeing (usually towards your own Nexus), and will follow untill you unstealth for the kill. If you can successfully deceive behind them you can go into their jungle or river and B out safely. Deceive also has its amazing uses in jungle. You can fly over the walls like a majestic clown-condor.


People usually complain that you will be killstealing. Unless its a serious AD carry, ignore them. Tanks Fighters Support Bruises all dont need kills as much as you do. Its also a shame that your Two-Shiv hits for 50% of their Health, so in essence, your pretty much destined to killsteal because of your high damage output. This being said - DO NOT INTENTIONALLY KILLSTEAL! You will find you rack up kills anyway, theres no need to become a bad player while your at it.


Planting boxes behind your target before you go for the gank is an incredibly smart move, and catches most unskilled players off-guard. When you are going for a gank if you Two-Shiv and the slow lands - don't just auto attack, deceive in front of your opponent and plant a box. They will be forced to run over this, triggering more damage and a fear. This is something 90% of Shaco's do not fully utilize.


This video simply illustrates the ability to use Shaco's ultimate to dodge enemy ultimates, and avoid a timely demise. You can experiment with this in countless ways.

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Example Playstyle

Remember, this is only a very basic outline of your playstyle in a game. This is by no means something you should stick to rigidly - adapt to your games situations as they arise.

(medium difficulty):
- I always head to my teams BLUE BUFF. Place as many jack-in-the-boxes as you can where the buff will spawn. If your team has a jungler, make sure to inform them to smite at 500HP (You would be suprised how many smite on the pull -.-), and you can get him a buff while he stays on 100%, ensuring many early ganks.
- If you team does not have a jungler, do the same thing, but stay near blue and attack it. You will get the buff and still be on around 90%. At this point you should head into your lane.
- Once in lane, setup jack in the boxes in your bushes, and in the bush on River. This gives you COMPLETE bush control in your lane, making you a force to be reckoned with. I usually put one in each bush on the lane, and stack around 4/5 in the bush on River. The opposing team usually leaves their jungler in sweet ignorance about the boxes, meaning he will likely kill himself on the boxes at around 3-6 minutes when he comes for the gank, also giving you double buffs.
- Because you will have blue buff, or even if you don't. keep jack in the boxes on cooldown, and use your Two-Shiv to Harass the enemy champions out of EXP range. If you have a ranged carry in your lane, then feel free to use Two-Shiv to last hit minions.
- Jack in the boxes are also great for ensuring minion last hits. They hit hard and fast, so putting them in the middle of a minion wave is a nice farm boost.
- Rinse and Repeat until the team-fights start.

MID-GAME(hard difficulty):
- Now you have to focus. You will be hitting like a truck, but you will also be very squishy. Make sure you are wandering around looking for kills and setting your boxes up.
- HOWEVER, you must remember to call the "SS" on your lane, do NOT let the enemy team get ganks because you are not controlling your lane.
- You must stay on lane for period of time to keep your farm up.
- You have to be good at balancing your time on Shaco. You need to be in different lanes for ganks and to get kills, however you must also make sure you do not fall behind on EXP, as this will certainly be the end of your dominance. You must also keep your farm up to a reasonable level.
- So you have to go B for items, hunt the enemy jungler down, gank mid, set boxes, control the brushes, keep your lane presence on bottom, ensure kills to keep your snowball going and destroy the enemy teams mortal all before the teamfights kick off.
- During teamfights, you will want to wait for your tank to iniaite. Your primary goal in teamfights is to shut down the enemies support and carries. Wait till they have a target, then nuke them. If you find yourself taking damage, pop your ult and carry on.
- CHASE WITH YOUR ULT! when it pops from AoE damage it will deal around 1000 damage to all surrounding enemy champions, which really changes the outcome of fights.

END-GAME(harder difficulty):
- Now you have to play with more subtlety. You can no longer get up in the face of that Annie, or kick that Lee Sins *** so easy. YOu have to use your boxes more, control the whole jungle with them, guard buffs etc.
- Be VERY careful ganking now. The enemy team will usually go around in packs, so picking one or two off will NOT be easy. Instead, just slowly wear them down with boxes, and when the fights kick off, aim for the squishies as usual.
- You have to be ALOT more careful, because the enemy team's carries will, presumably by this point, be looking for you. The support will have complained so you will be their #1 target in teamfights, so remember to keep your Deceieve ready for a quick escape, and send your clone in for a suicide bomb

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Please, TRY THIS BUILD BEFORE YOU VOTE! I don't profess to be a good Shaco player, nor do i claim to be the best, however the scores that i have had as a result of this build have ALWAYS been positive, so i imagine in the hands of a skilled player it would be very

I do realise that AP Shaco falls down in some serious aspects of this game, mostly i would say Teamfights. However, this guide aims to try and tackle those issues and hopefully make him more viable in these aspects.

This is also my first guide on Mobafire! So please comment and leave feedback :) any constructive criticism is happily taken, and i would love input/suggestions on ways to improve this guide! I would like to see this build the focus for all AP Shaco's out there!