Shaco Build Guide

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SLPYHD's AP Shaco. Ahead of the curve.

written by SLPYHD

Shaco Build

Table of Contents

  • Guide Updates/Changes.

    9/14/11 Release notes Riven Patch. Changes were made in this color.
    -JitB bug fixes
    -Hallucinate tweaks
    -Added my personal rune preference to rune section
    11/1/11 Shyvana Release notes Changes were made in this color.
    -JitB changes-Hallucinate fixed when interacting with Shiv passive.
    -Deceive changes.
    -Added section to discuss JitB changes for this patch called; "Patch .128 JitB Math".
    -Still need to stop being lazy and change the Lichbane procs to AD damage in my mathcrafting. Real.
    11/8/11 - Added a section about my current views of AD VS AP Shaco. Please refer to it because I have not edited the rest of my guide to reflect this perspective.

  • AP VS. AD Shaco as of November. My current opinion.

    November 8th 2011
    So Shaco got a significant buff recently on his Deceive in the Shyvana Patch. I noted it in the skill descriptions in the
     corresponding color of that patch.

    I do not wish to re-write my guide so I am adding this here instead.
    With the new Q  as AD Shaco you can immediately do Red, and gank middle by Q'ing in and then placing a box farther back than Flash will reach, land the crit (which you couldn't do before this Shyv patch) and then proceed to perma slow and get FB with your pal in Middle Lane. Or Top Lane. Or Bottom. This significantly buffs AD Shaco's gank potential and options during a hectic teamfight. It is probably the largest buff Shaco has ever gotten.
    At face-value it didn't seem like a large buff. But it was, and with the other subtle Shaco buffs to his base stats a few weeks/months ago I personally believe AD Shaco now outshines AP Shaco in everything except for end-game Anti-Carrying.

    AP Shaco still has superior burst power, and due to his damage items inherently giving him some Defense, CDR, MP5 etc AP Shaco is easier to manage (not necessarily play). But now that AD Shaco is over-all more reliable when played properly I believe AD Shaco is now a larger, more dependable and consistent asset to your team.
    AP Shaco is still dear to my heart and I will still be updating this guide.

  • This is a thread I made concerning this topic. Read it.

    LeagueCraft doesn't like the format of that forum post. You will have to click the link. Sorry.

  • Abilities

    The most underrated thing in Shaco's arsenal. One of the most important to AP Shaco. Not using this passive at every possible moment is not being a good Shaco.

    Your escape, your initiation and your positioning ability. Many uses, but the difficult part is choosing the right one and maximizing your potential.

    You no longer lose the guaranteed crit if you come out of stealth by using another skill. ITT; you can Q, use a JitB and still get the crit AFTER you use your box. Very useful for AD Shaco's.

    Jack In The Box
    Amazing damage with AP. Spammable wards, that can kill a squishy with only 2-3 of them. Can kill HP/MR tanks with a full stack (late game they will survive the trap without you there to help). Can preemptive Dragon/Baron before it (re)spawns. Prevents the enemy from being mobile under the threat of instant death. Most effective in intersections; NOT in bushes.

    Bug fixes have begun on this ability as of 9/14/11. The ~8 Guinsoo has done so far make a significant difference. It almost makes me want to cry out in joy.
    Refer to the section I wrote about this patch's changes to this skill..

    Two-Shiv Poison
    Your main nuke. Your bread and your butter.

    The second of two reasons you can't die. You can dodge just about anything in the game with good timing. I can reliably dodge Sona stuns and Eve stuns from stealth just based off of timing. Not to mention Lux/Karthas/Caitlyn/Ashe/Taric/Sion etcetcetc Easy to dodge abilities.

    Clone has been updated to show items AND have an icon on the mini-map. It is now SUBSTANTIALLY more useful as a tool of deceit.

    Clone is also one of your many tools used for Backdooring. More on this later.

    Now procs the Two-Shiv passive, like you do. Passive is cancelled for you AND the clone once you USE Two-Shiv. Returns for both of you when it comes off CD..

  • Intro/Background.

    Edit; Also if you're going to -1. At least post a comment saying why. If you disagree with something I said don't just -1, let me know what it is. Maybe I'm wrong about something.

    Note; This is already turning out lengthy. This guide will include replays, it will include screenshots, it will include detailed reasoning and maybe even mathcrafting if I feel like bothering. Don't skim and don't skip to item builds. There is so much more to this guide than that.

    I have been playing League since Sept.'09. Around the time Shaco was released. I am not a pro player but I have sought advice from pro players, specifically Vman7 who is notorious for carrying 2K Elo with AP Shaco; and similar underrated champs/builds. I am a good player, I do not simply mimic what other people do or say. I figure things out for myself. When Shaco was OP because of double auras and soloing Baron I was already doing that and even had a guide on the LoL Guides section on how to do it( Yes, I changed my name.). I had lost multiple games due to AFKers on account that I started at double-golem + Redbuff before Reginald made it popular to do so, before anyone started streaming games. etc I was always against IE on Shaco.(New players won't understand the reference to this huge debate in the Shaco community) I was one of the first to bring up Shaco clone not critting, even though it says it does on your screen. I am dedicated to this champion, it is by far the most complicated and fun champion there is and in my opinion ever will be. There is an enormous threshold you as player can develope in with this champion. And in a coordinated 5V5 this champion can become mind-blowing when you have a team to back you up.

    Unfortunately Shaco is amidst some rough times. Hopefully Papa Guinsoo will gives us the bones he's been waving in-front of our noses. Because Shaco is in dire straights.

    AD Shaco, in his long run of glory and infamy has been reduced to an AFK push bot similar to Nidalee or Teemo.

    His jungling has been indirectly nerfed by the following...

    Creep aggro changes
    Creep MR
    Dragon no longer CC-able
    Wriggles nerfs (plural)
    Massive Baron buff

    Not counting direct nerfs to Shaco as a champion.

    Shaco already had a shaky jungle path, even when aggroing boxes perfectly and not missing an HP pot you still had relatively low HP and commonly had to gank before getting Blue Buff otherwise you had to BluePill afterwards in order to gank.

    Here is why Shaco is not the jungler the community thinks he is, and a few points as to why he isn't a great AD Carry. I know the community is notorious for not knowing shit about jungling. It's even a cliche that you get raged at as the jungler in solo games. But please pay attention to this next wall of text.

    You have no defense from invaders.
    It takes you time to set up your own invasion, as you have to rely on boxes; this wastes time as you can't guarantee anyone will show up and you can't guarantee you aren't just sitting on a ward. Wherein the opposing jungler can see you and just go into your jungle as he knows you're in his doing nothing.
    You are no longer the gank machine you once were. League players of old will tell stories of Shaco's ganking prowess to their children, and their children's children. But new players will never know how absolutely dominant you were, and they fruitlessly try and compare your current state to your previous one that they will never get to experience.
    Not being able to fear dragon HUGELY cripples your dragon control. You used to be able to dragon at level 4. Now you need Razor + life steal + your ult and even then it takes forever, which leaves you vulnerable.
    You have no steroids beyond your passive which is ineffective in a 1V1 situation.
    You have no reliable CC; in comparison to champs like XZ, who can lock you down at any time.
    If you're AD you cannot teamfight. Period. You are too squishy and due to your lack of steroids or high damage abilities you rely on autoattacks and items to heighten the damage of those autoattacks so any item that does not boost your damage significantly cripples your damage output. But you can't forgo defense because you will be destroyed immediately just by the base damage of the AoE attacks that are not even aimed at you. You simply cannot survive long enough to get in more than ~5 autoattacks and maybe a box and a shiv.
    If you can teamfight against your opponents, I'm sorry to say but it is only because they are letting you. I am not trying to be an asshole or a troll but it is simply true.
    You are a glorified escapist, and everyone remembers your better days and holds them against you.

    Once upon a time you could get a Fortification Pot, gank until it ran out and than return to base 7/0. You never had to kill a minion; literally. Or jungle. Or do anything but kill champions until the other team surrendered. This is no longer the case! We as Shaco players have to adapt.

    And adapt we shall, this is a guide from a player who has used AD Shaco for what feels like years. I also used to spit on the idea of AP Shaco. I would even go as far to as to say that I shit all over it; I even ridiculed AP Shaco players. If you searched enough of my posts on the forums you will see my old vehement hate for the stupid idea that I used to think AP Shaco was. Even in the guide I mentioned earlier I state how AP Shaco is a one-trick useless pony.

    I was wrong. It took me ~21 months to figure it out. But AP Shaco has a place in this world, and it's a better place than you would first think. Far better than I first thought.

    AP Shaco is a different beast from AD Shaco. Not entirely different but not necessarily similar. Some of you play AD Shaco like you're suppose to play AP and don't even know it. Hopefully this guide can be of use or help to at least one person. And my bigger goal is simply to spread awareness.

  • Masteries + Runes.

    External Image

    I would leave the 9 in Offense as is unless you're taking exhaust. Utility can be arranged at will however.

    Runes are something I've been experimenting with. It's also something that made me excited about making this guide, is hearing what you folks came up with in your own tinkering.

    I use or have used some of the following in various builds to success. My runes are always in flux so test your own builds and let me know the results! I do however have a method to my madness, that I will explain below.

    Greater Quintessence of Fortitude
    Greater Quintessence of Insight
    Greater Quintessence of Potency
    Greater Quintessence of Force

    Greater Mark of Insight
    Greater Mark of Potency
    Greater Mark of Force

    Greater Seal of Replenishment
    Greater Seal of Clarity

    Greater Glyph of Replenishment

    Early mana regen is absolutely necessary. There is no way to be successful in a lane without a lot of MP5. You don't get time to rest, you always have to work, always have to be putting defensive/offensive boxes. Always have to be shiv-ing squishies and you always need mana to Deceive.

    This is why I do not stray with my glyphs and why my seals have not strayed from MP5 either.

    Marks and Quints are more forgiving. You can go for extra HP if you feel you're going to be in a prime harassment/tower dive lane. Or you can go for flat AP to buff your shiv + boxes for that early damage. Or you can go for Magic pen for more consistent damage on all your enemies throughout the game (what I tend to do).

    It's up to you, there is probably an epic rune build I haven't come up with yet. So be the first!

    I have found my ideal rune setup it is as follows.

    Greater Quintessence of Potency X 3
    Greater Mark of Insight X 9
    Greater Seal of Replenishment X 9
    Greater Glyph of Insight X 2
    Greater Glyph of Force X 7

  • Skilling Order.


    R > E > W > Q
    Whether you're starting in a gank bush or you're going to grab blue from the jungle you need boxes. Start W.

    Shiv is your main tool in the lane, so you max that ASAP.

    You don't always need deceive at level 3. Sometimes it's beneficial to take an extra rank in E to do that extra damage to your opponents when they have super low HP and MR.

    Certain instances or lane combos will benefit from maxing boxes a little more. Blitz + AP Shaco for example.


    You can either leave boxes at 3 (advised) and begin leveling Shiv, or you can finish maxing boxes. Up to you. Again I get Q at level 4, if you're bush-camping you're not really in danger.

  • Summoner Abilities.

    I take +

    Other options that may suit you better, or may suit a specific match-up better are the following.

  • Items.

    Items you will frequently get; if not always get.

    Deathfire Grasp (We get this for it's active, and the items it builds from. Stats are a bonus.)
    Sorcerer's Shoes
    Abyssal Scepter (3 or more AoE AP champs; will be most of your games)
    Rabadon's Deathcap
    Void Staff
    Hextech Gunblade (Do NOT forget about active)
    Lich Bane (Have to have this late-game. Basically doubles your DPS, almost triples it in extended fights. Not up for debate, when death timers are 72 seconds long, you need that extra 400-700 damage per ability use.)
    Mejai's Soulstealer (I like it. Some people don't. Up to you. Would not recommend it in a serious game.)

    Other, rarer or more situational items.

    Zhonya's Hourglass
    Quicksilver Sash (My defensive item of choice)
    Rylai's Crystal Scepter
    Guardian Angel
    Banshee's Veil
    Ionian Boots of Lucidity (If you are deadset on sitting in bushes and stacking JitBs as fast as possible)
    Boots of Mobility (Sell boots late-game and buy these for faster Backdooring)

    What? You don't ALWAYS get a Banshee's Veil? No. The goal here is to be a glass cannon. Since you're Shaco you can already live through hell and high water; and the chances of you actually being SAVED by a is slim to none. I would and do take Quicksilver Sash over Banshee's Veil.

    is beyond powerful as a defensive item. I would say it is OP, but I don't want my guide comments to be trolled for it. It's 3:40AM on June 16th 2011. Calling more use of Quicksilver Sash in the next few months. Heard it here first.

    As AP Shaco specifically, getting caught with your Banshee's Veil. You either get away where you'd normally get away anyways, or it's that 1 chance out of a 100 where the popped a ranged stun that was going to be followed up by more stuns; perfectly timed where you couldn't Deceive away or dodge them with your Ult. And if you got caught like that in the first place, it was on account of user (your) error.

    However if you're caught like that with a Quicksilver Sash you can get away as if you weren't even CC'd. And by the time you mess up and get caught again, is off CD again.

    I also take Sorcerer's Shoes over Ionian Boots of Lucidity because the extra penetration is just phenomenal and helps you keep consistent damage so you don't have a weak early-mid game. Extra CDR is nice but keep in mind we're still building Deathfire Grasp and we still have masteries and the option of Blue Buff.

    Again this comes down to trial and error. Explore the game, try new items, new builds. Don't just listen to the clusterfuck that is the League of Legends forums.

  • Build Example + Mathcraft.

    Start with either;
    Doran's Ring
    [item=Meki Pendant] + 1 Health Potion

    Next build;
    [item=Kage's Lucky Pick] AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.

    Boots of Speed or just straight up buy Sorcerer's Shoes

    Mejai's Soulstealer Get it now or do not get it at all. Your choice.

    Fiendish Codex --> Deathfire Grasp

    Blasting Wand

    This is where your build becomes entirely dependant on how good of a player you are. How well you can forsee the game going, how well you recognize skill levels of opponents/teammates. I.E. Is that AP TF just bad or is he having a rough game, a rough game he can turn around once he gets Lich Bane and Rabadon's? Is that Irelia really that good, or is she just snowballing off of early kills and your teammates fear of her?

    So now you either work on building...

    Abyssal Scepter Will be what you build very, very frequently.
    Rabadon's Deathcap Your second choice. Can be risky forgoing the Abyssal if the enemy has significant AP damage. Be wary.
    Lich Bane Can be beneficial to get early.
    Void Staff Tanky DPS just needs to be countered sometimes. I attribute a handful of wins purely because of an early Void Staff. Do not underestimate this item.

    This is basically your build. You will rarely get farther than this. One team is commonly roflstomping by this point.

    My ideal build is as follows;

    Deathfire Grasp Sorcerer's Shoes Mejai's Soulstealer Void Staff Rabadon's Deathcap Lich Bane

    With my runepage and masteries this build gives you..

    32 Mpen + 40% Mpen
    39% CDR (max MSS)
    24% CDR (Not maxed MSS)

    DFG active does 40.5% with the above AP
    Lich Bane is hitting for 722 extra damage, every TWO seconds (more on this later in the teamfight section of the guide)
    Shaco's passive does 20% extra damage from behind.
    JitB does 115 (+180.635) PER SHOT, PER BOX. That is almost an end-game Shaco's non-crit autoattack.
    Shiv does 200 (+780.04) every 4.8 seconds. + 20% from behind = 1176 damage EVERY 4.8 SECONDS.
    Hallucinate (Ult) does 600 (+722.54) in an AoE. With skill and timing you do not have to save it for survival and can use it offensively for massive damage to an entire team.

    Q to get behind someone.

    -> ->

    40.5% HP + 866 (remember we're behind them) + 1176.

    I threw a random Corki build together for this example. No runes/masteries

    Banshee's Veil
    Infinity Edge
    Mercury's Treads
    The Bloodthirster
    Guardian Angel

    This gives him 2226 HP and 143 MR.

    143 - 32(Mpen) = 111 - 40%(%Mpen) = 66.6. 100/100(+66.6) = .6 = 40% Damage reduction.

    2226(total HP) - 40.5% = 1324 - 40%(damage reduction because of MR)= 794

    1432 (remaining HP) (866 [Lich Bane + 20% bonus from passive] - 40 %) = 519

    913 (remaining HP) - (1176 - 40%) = 705

    208 is Corki's remaining HP.

    This was assuming no runes + masteries + Banshee's Veil was down + Corki has taken NO damage prior + didn't count auto attack damage (only Lich Bane proc) + pretended Corki's actually build that much defense + didn't count possible buffs from nuetrals or potions + didn't count the possibility that you boxed him/he ran into a + didn't count Ignite. etc

    There you have it, on a carry that even builds defense to counter you, you ALMOST kill them instantly. Before they can flash. Before they can escape. Or do anything.

    But this is just mathcrafting. It doesn't really mean anything, it only displays possibility.

    But just look at the numbers, now imagine this kind of burst at different points throughout the game, remembering Shaco has AMAZING AP Ratios, so he scales phenomenally with AP. Imagine this burst under average circumstances. Carry's rushing their damage items. Being reckless and sticking around while missing 1/4-1/3 of their HP. etc

    Give it some thought and you'll come to the same realization I did.

    This shit is bananas.

  • Pros / Cons.

    Pros of AP over AD.

    Way, way, way more damage.
    Can teamfight.
    Boxes do more damage per tick than AD Shaco does (not critting) until very late-game. Significantly more early/mid game.
    Boxes force the opponent to spend money on wards, while still having to be wary of their jungle; I.E. restricts enemy mobility significantly when used properly.
    Not everyone buys wards, most teams do not buy enough.
    Oracles is useless if you can't see into a bush. Besides AP Shaco's initial burst cannot really be dodged unless they know you're coming before they see you with oracles.
    Best BD champ in late "everyone has everything they could ever want" game. Next to Yi and Udyr.
    Destroys squishies in all phases of the game. Can zone and keep squishies from farming laning phase.
    Laning phase isn't as weak as many people think.
    Can preemptive strike Dragon/Baron before they (re)spawn with a stack of boxes.
    You steal Baron/Dragon like a motherfucking boss. And are at little risk doing so thanks to your ult; and in the event you die you probably killed at least 2 people when your clone exploded in the middle of the enemy team + + + + you got your team Baron.

    Cons of AP over AD.

    GG you can't push for shit.
    You suck at jungling.
    You are limited to being clever as fuck and relying only on abilities, kiting and surprise tactics. Straight up fighting most champions as you would as AD Shaco gets you killed.
    Because of the above AP Shaco is gargantuanly harder to play than AD, the skillcap is out of this world.
    Once you reach a certain plateau of skill, you will require your team to be competent if you want to succeed.
    AP Shaco is not an "I have items therefore I win" carry; like Tryndamere. You are still limited by your team's capabilities.
    Alistar cannot be killed by your traps. Alistar destroys you in a lane. Alistar makes teamfights difficult for you. Alistar supports his lane partner. Alistar can stun your traps. Alistar. ALISTAR FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF
    Jack In The Box Are super buggy. They randomly aggro the wrong target all the time, and enemy stealth champs completely glitch them out and make them aggro at their max shooting range instead of their normal aggro range.

    Guinsoo (Guinbro) has begun his bug fixes on Jack In The Box. SO FAR SO GOOD!

  • Box placement and Back Dooring.[email protected]/sets/72157626850707389/

    There you will find an assortment of images that I have compiled that outline basic spots to place boxes. 1, 2, 3 or 6 boxes; with only a few exceptions it doesn't matter. The exceptions are positions designed to disrupt teamfights while keeping you concealed, check areas of the map while concealed, preemptive Dragon/Baron or draw tower aggro with .

    By preemptive I mean time your box stacking where Dragon or Baron will spawn, so that when it does your boxes immediately begin firing while you (your team) kill it.

    I did not outline every spot. Most spots can be mirrored to the other side of the map. Exact placement can vary on most of them.

    Back Dooring.

    With your Lich Bane and AP;

    Make your way to an enemy tower/inhibitor/nexus. Use your clone . Alt + Rightclick to guide him to the tower BEFORE you go into tower range. This will make the tower aggro your clone. Hit tower with proc. After 2 seconds of autoattacking put down a Jack In The Box. Hit tower again with proc. Keep autoattacking. Two-Shiv Poison an enemy minion -> proc. Repeat from the step.

    Save Deceive for escaping, as you will need it in most cases. You will almost never have to repeat with a second Jack In The Box, as with and a decent amount of AP the tower just melts.

  • Summary and Replays.

    AD Shaco is not bad. AD Shaco is just not fun.

    AD Shaco wins games by pushing. AP Shaco wins games by killing things and actually being an assassin like Shaco is suppose to be.

    AP Shaco has gotten a lot of hate for almost two years. For most of that time he got hate from me as well. It took me forever to appreciate and learn how to use AP Shaco and hopefully this keeps other people from making that same mistake. AP Shaco will eventually undergo the same revival Eve got. That Nunu got. That Teemo got (rofl Rain Man). It's just a matter of time, months and years of repetition drill a concept into the community's mind. X champion is bad. X build is bad. X spell is bad. X item is bad. And months go by. Years go by. New items are released. Dozens of champions get released, nerfed, buffed totally remade into something OP as shit and then nerfed into mediocrity. But no one takes a serious look at what was/is considered "bad"; they just keep assuming it's bad. I finally decided to stop assuming and give AP Shaco a look once I realized how far AD Shaco had fallen.

    AP Shaco is not a troll build. It isn't bad. It's just as viable as any other second-pick caster.

    Give AP Shaco a chance. Stop blindly downvoting everything that mentions AP Shaco on the forums. Give my replays a watch and let me know what you guys think. They're nothing special. Hopefully I can get Vman7 to make some replays of some 2K Elo ranked play. Stay tuned. (Should read "I went mid [no joke] got FB and out CS'd Vayne.)

    More Replays to come.

    Comment and leave feed back, like what other sort of things I can include or improve upon. Thank you!


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