A handful of League champions have the potential to draw the enemy team crazy through their sometimes disgusting mechanics and outplays, and perhaps the greatest tilting tool to come out of the Jungle role is none other than Shaco, the Demon Jester.
Equipped with a low-cooldown blink, point-and-click ranged execution tool and those obnoxious traps, a strong Shaco can delete the enemy carries in an instant, disappearing right after. Shaco can also be played as an AP damage dealer, relying heavily on the power of the Jack in the Box (W) ability.
From the wide range of Assassin Junglers, the Demon Jester is considered to be the most ludicrous one-shot tool, capable of going in and out without giving the enemy team a chance to stop him. Given the mental warfare Shaco players are fighting during the game, the Demon Jester’s plays are quite satisfying to pull off, adding an extra element of fun for the player, which was taken from the enemy team.
In fact, the successful streamer Pink Ward is also a huge Shaco player, showcasing insane plays which you can later learn from! For now, stick around as we walk you through the best Jungle routes and clears for Shaco, kicking things off with the most effective Runes, Summoner Spells and Items!
Ignite + Smite
Although most of the time when players opt for something else rather than Flash, it boils down to personal preference, but in Shaco’s case, Ignite is without a doubt the best Summoner Spell to pick along-side Smite.
Given the low cooldown on Shaco’s Deceive (Q) ability, players won’t need another blink-style ability. Ignite on the other hand, adds an early damage boost, allowing Shaco to invade the enemy Jungler and potentially defeat him or her.
The one-shot AD build is most effectively played with the Hail of Blades keystone, followed by Sudden Impact, Eyeball Collection and your preference between Relentless Hunter and Ultimate Hunter.
For the secondary Runes, in the Inspiration path, go with Future’s Market and Approach Velocity, as both provide a good amount of utility for this gold hungry playstyle.
However, if you choose to go with the DPS-oriented AP Shaco, the Runes will barely change. For the keystone, go over to the Domination path and pick Dark Harvest, following it up with Sudden Impact, Eyeball Collection, and your choice between Relentless Hunter and Ultimate Hunter.
For secondary Runes, Transcendence and Gathering Storm or Waterwalking will be providing you with some scaling and ability haste, which further boost Shaco’s damage output over time.
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Starting Items: Hailblade + Refillable Potion
Mythic Item: Duskblade of Draktharr
Core Items: Ionian Boots of Lucidity, Essence Reaver, The Collector, Infinity Edge
Finishing Options: Edge of Night, Lord Dominik’s Regards, Serpent’s Fang
AD Shaco is a true Assassin, meant to one-shot enemy carries with a Deceive (Q) cast, and Duskblade of Draktharr acts to extend the invisibility, allowing Deceive to come off cooldown, in order to facilitate a potential escape.
Essence Reaver is simply too powerful right now on champions such as Shaco, as it grants plenty of useful stats, whilst empowering the damage dealt by Deceive (Q).
Infinity Edge and The Collector are core damage boosters, with the last item slot being reserved for situational picks. Some games players will be able to go with more offensive items, while in others, Guardian Angel or Death’s Dance will become an absolute must.
Starting Items: Hailblade + Refillable Potion
Mythic Item: Liandry’s Anguish
Core Items: Ionian Boots of Lucidity, Demonic Embrace, Zhonya’s Hourglass, Mejai’s Soulstealer
Finishing Options: Cosmic Drive, Rabadon’s Deathcap, Morellonomicon
AP Shaco deals most of its damage through the DPS from Jack in the Box (W), which can be further increased with Liandry’s Anguish and Demonic Embrace, allowing the Demon Jester to cut through the tankiest enemies.
Zhonya’s Hourglass is an essential playmaking tool, allowing Deceive (Q) to reset in order to escape, while Mejai’s Soulstealer aims to be a more cost-efficient stats item, while you complete the rest of the build.
The finishing options are once again flexible, with Morellonomicon being the most commonly encountered pick when fighting against healing-oriented team comps.
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The Best Skill Order for Shaco Jungle
Q > W > E > R
W > E > Q > R
In both instances, Jack in the Box (W) should always be taken at LVL 1, since it is a notoriously effective Jungle clearing tool.
When maxing your abilities, do not simply go all in, instead trying to invest in your core abilities simultaneously.
Shaco can start ganking as soon as he reaches LVL 2, unlocking Deceive (Q), because he will always provide the added Ignite threat. Two-Shiv Poison (E) is primarily used to slow the enemy while running away, but is also effective as an execution tool, as it deals bonus damage against low health enemies.
With champions like Shaco, it is important to start applying early pressure across the board, so do not hesitate to gank.
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Jack in the Box (W) will deal the most damage and can be used to easily slay multi-mob camps, just as effectively as the solo-mobs. By all means though, make sure to try hitting the monsters from behind, activating your Passive’s bonus damage, otherwise the mobs might deal more damage than you’d expect.
We are going to cover the most advantageous starts from each side, but players should keep a few factors in mind when deciding upon where their Jungle pathing should start. These are:
- Which laners are going to provide more help in clearing the first camp?
- Counter-jungle opportunities, based on where the enemy Jungler is likely to start.
- Which lane would you like to gank first, depending on both the allied and enemy champions.
With Shaco, players are going to be taking a slightly different approach, starting their clears from the Raptor camp on all occasion. This is the most effective way to use the Demon Jester’s clear, as it enables him for an early gank or full clear, depending on the pathing you choose.
Red Side, Early Gank Start
We’ll begin our discussion with the Red Side’s early gank start, which often converts Shaco’s Ignite into a takedown, as the gank happens so early into the game.
Start by securing the Raptor camp in order to hit LVL 2. For this, you will be dropping a few Jack in the Box (W) traps on the camp’s spawn location, as you can have 3 Jack in the Boxes set up by the time the camp spawns.
These will very quickly secure the Raptors for you, allowing you to use the newly acquired Deceive (Q) over the Red Buff pit to start securing your first buff.
Make sure to apply the critical hit from Deceive (Q) onto Red, before dropping another Jack in the Box (W) to help you with the clear. Keep hitting the buff from behind with basic attacks and cast Smite onto it once it goes below the 450 Health threshold, in order to secure it swiftly.
Then make your way into the Mid lane brush, if the lane is pushing in, or simply go around the second wall, for a good angle to strike from. Step in the lane with Deceive (Q), dropping a Jack in the Box (W) to seal off the enemy’s escape, before hitting them from behind. Do not hesitate to cast Ignite if you believe it will help secure the kill.
After ganking Mid, make your way to the Blue Buff and start clearing it with the use of you Passive and Jack in the Box (W), repeating the process with the Gromp as well.
Having now secured some extra gold and experience, step into the River and break the Scuttler’s shield with a Jack in the Box (W) in order to secure it. Feel free to use the second Smite charge on it to regenerate some Health and deny any potential contest.
From this position, walk over to the tri-brush and use Deceive (Q) over the wall for another quick gank on the Bot lane, before going for a reset.
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Red Side, Full Clear
For safer players, who are perhaps still getting used to the Assassin play style, start the clear by securing the Raptors with Jack in the Box (W) traps you set before they spawn, heading for the Red Buff afterwards.
Use the first Smite charge on the Red Buff and make your way to the Krug camp after you’re done slaying it. At the Krugs, once again use Jack in the Box (W) to deal most of the damage for you, with the player’s focus being to hit the mobs from behind in order to activate their Passive.
Having cleared the Top side, make you way to the Wolf camp and repeat the previous process, before challenging the Blue Buff. Use Smite to secure it and duel the Gromp before heading into the River to contest the Scuttler, as shown in the image.
After the Scuttler, players are free to look for an angle to gank Mid or Bot from, trying to still leverage what’s left of Shaco’s early power.
Blue Side, Early Gank Start
Now switching over to the Blue Side of the Map, the strategy remains largely unchanged, besides the Map layout being mirrored.
Starting with the Raptor camp which you’ll once again be clearing through Jack in the Box (W) alone, using the early setup. From there, blink over the Red Buff pit and secure it using Smite and well-hit basic attacks, before heading towards the Mid Lane.
Choose a good starting point and drop a Jack in the Box behind the enemy, before using Deceive (Q) to close the gap and deal large amounts of damage. Ignite and the Red buff will also help in taking the enemy down.
After your early gank, jump over the Blue Buff’s pit and clear Blue and the Gromp, using Jack in the Box (W) and Backstab (Passive) to their maximum potential, allowing you to save the Smite for the Scuttler.
Enter the River and break the Scuttler’s shield with Jack in the Box (W), hitting away at its Health bar until it goes below the Smite threshold, allowing you to secure it free of contest.
Before going back for a reset, head towards the Top lane for one more gank, hoping to win some pressure for your Laner, and perhaps a kill in the process.
Blue Side, Full Clear
And as for our final starting position, going for a full clear on the Blue Side will be identical to the Red Side’s full clear.
Start by securing the Raptors for virtually free, thanks to Shaco’s Jack in the Box (W) setup.
Go for the Red Buff afterwards, blinking over the wall with Deceive (Q) in order to land one large hit on it, before dropping a Jack in the Box (W) in the pit. Feel free to invest your first Smite charge in order to gain some added tempo, which will be needed.
Do one more blink over to the Krug camp, clearing it using Jack in the Box (W) and as many Backstab (Passive) hits as possible. This will mark the end of our Bottom side clear, with the next objectives being found over in the other side of the Jungle.
Head for the Wolf camp and secure it using Jack in the Box (W) and Backstab, before turning your focus towards the Blue Buff, which you’ll be investing your second Smite charge into. The Gromp is next on the list, as one last camp belonging to your Jungle, before heading into the River to secure the Scuttler.
It is imperative to go for a gank with Shaco before your first reset, so make the most out of the position you’re left in, by finding a good angle to Deceive (Q) onto your enemy with!
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The Best Tips and Tricks for Shaco Jungle
- Shaco’s Deceive (Q) can allow him to jump across nearly all of the walls, making for a great escape tool. The damage dealt with Q’s enhancements paired with Essence River, Infinity Edge and The Collector will delete the enemy carries, while Duskblade’s Passive allows you to simply walk away invisibly. By the time this invisibility fades, Deceive will have come off cooldown. (This applies for AD Shaco)
- Jack in the Box (W) placement is crucial, as probably Shaco’s strongest overall ability. It can set up vision, seal off entries into the Jungle or base, but it also deals an absolutely ridiculous amount of damage with the right items. Always make sure to bait the enemy players into your traps, and set new ones as soon as possible. For a quick trap, set up a Control Ward somewhere you’d usually do and surround it with Jack in the Box (W) traps, only to burn down an enemy champion when they try to clear out your Ward. (AP Shaco is the strongest when it comes to Jack in the Box)
- Two-Shiv Poison (E) is perhaps the least exciting ability in Shaco’s kit, but it does make for a great execution tool once players get a few items in their inventories. It scales well with both AD and AP. The core mechanic to remember is that Two-Shiv Poison deal extra 50% damage against enemies with less than 30% Health, and it also deals even more damage if the enemy is struck from behind.
- Lastly, Hallucinate (R) gets two very different uses depending on the build you’re taking. AP Shaco uses it as a bomb, focusing on dealing as much damage as possible when the clone blows up, buying time to set more Jack in the Boxes with it. AD Shaco on the other will use the clone to deal as much Backstab damage as possible, since the clone also applies the on-hit bonuses of Shaco. One aspect which applies to both play styles hower, surrounds the clone’s movement, as players should focus on pressing R to control the clone, making it move as realistically as possible.
Shaco wants to get the most out of his early mobility and kill pressure, focusing it on invades and ganks as often as possible, allowing players to take a break from the clearing routes in order to secure additional advantages.
Given his many escape tools and surprise damage, Shaco needs to be played with the right mindset, of a maniac clown. Players need to learn the champion’s limits, unlocking the ability to win very close or disadvantageous skirmishes through the sheer mobility provided by Q and the traps from W.
As the game progresses, the Demon Jester wants to find isolated enemies roaming the Map, who he can easily shut down with a quick combo, escaping with ease in most scenarios. Identifying and shutting down the enemy team’s win condition early on into the game is the correct approach to carrying with Shaco, as you are also setting up your lanes for success.
In the late game, the Shaco player’s duty is to set up vision and traps with Jack in the Box (W), and to Assassinate the enemy damage dealers from unseen flanks. This most commonly happens through a good Deceive (Q) over the wall, but players should always remain creative when it comes to playing the Demon Jester.
That being said, we want to thank you for reading our Jungle guide for Shaco, the Demon Jester, urging you to come back to our website for more League of Legends content, which we regularly upload more of!