Shaco Jungling Theory: Is smoking the dragon early worth it?

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TheCowness

Senior Member

12-28-2011

I have discovered that with AP runes (flat AP quints, MPen marks, scaling AP glyphs/seals [there are better runes to use but this is what I have to work with]) and AP masteries (21/0/9) on Shaco, I can kill the dragon at about 3:30 without any help using this dangerous-as-hell method:

Step Zero: Buy an elixir of brilliance, a ward because if someone finds you you've gotta run, and the rest of your gold can go to potions or something.
Step One: Use your elixir and kill blue by stacking boxes.
- If you're on the blue team, drop four(? (As many as you can)) boxes and run toward wraiths so that you get there right when it spawns. Smite the big one so that you don't have to make sure both small golems over at blue die. You need to be level two and this is really dangerous so you want to start stacking boxes at drag ASAP before you're discovered.
- If you're on the purple team, drop two at wolves and then start stacking them on blue until it spawns.
Step Two: Run to dragon. Stack boxes right in front of his camp. You should be able to drop eight of them comfortably with your 34% CDR from blue/EoB/masteries (they start dying after 90 seconds). For maximum saftey (which still isn't much), drop your ward in the small bush between drag and mid after you place the first JitB, and stand in the dragon camp while you place boxes so that whoever does find you can't do anything about it without eating boxes.
Step Three: Kill dragon. Throw a shiv at it or smite it and run away, leading it into the boxes. Then turn around and beat it up but be terribly careful because you're only gonna have like fifty health left when it's gone. You don't want it to turn around and start healing, but you also want to avoid the dragon as much as possible. The boxes make your own autoattack damage insignificant, and you don't want to be killed.
Step Four: Profit! If nobody helped you kill it, you should be level three... albeit with no items. You can either gank while your elixir is still burning, or just go back. You will almost certainly have no health, unless you down a bunch of potions and wait for them to heal you.
Step Five: Continue jungling as normal. You should have your ult next time dragon spawns, so around 9:00 start throwing down boxes, then when it spawns ult and let your clone eat the aggro and pull the dragon into your boxes.

Now, there are a lot of things this does, other than give everyone 190 gold. I'm referring to how badly it screws you up. You have to have AP runes and masteries to do this, so if you're staying AP, I'd say this is definitely worth it. You're a little behind on gold and maybe experience, but so what. You got your teammates 760 gold. However, if you're AD you're going to have to recover from this. When you go back at about 3:30-4:00 you have about 550 gold at level three (two if you had help), but no items and the wrong runes and masteries. What I did when I just tried it in a normal game is, I went ahead and bought BoM and then worked on a Trinity Force. It seemed to work okay, but the other team did pretty bad; the game ended right when I finished the Trinity Force.

But I haven't addressed the most important part of this, which is the danger. If they've got a jungler who will gank bot before going back the first time, they will probably find you. I don't know what happens if the other jungler finds you, but I imagine it involves you either running away, or kiting them into your boxes, killing them, and going somewhere else to jungle. If you do take E instead of Q you can't get out of the dragon camp... but they also can't follow you in there. I'm not sure what would happen if that stalemate occurs... However, if they have no jungler, or if they have a jungler who will recall after clearing the jungle once, you're pretty much safe unless they try to gank you at blue, but your team should be covering you at that point. If that happens, just jungle as normal and don't attack dragon until you get your ult.

I experimented a bit with builds and stuff before actually pulling this off, but it seems like the best way to do it is to just go in with as much AP/CDR as you can. I'm pretty certain you can't kill it when it spawns at 2:30, because seven JitBs (you have no blue for CDR) don't kill it in the five seconds they're active if you're level one. It may help if I use armor seals (which I do own) instead of AP/level seals; Shaco himself doesn't do much damage to the dragon at level two, but neither do those seals. I do not have any flat AP marks/seals/glyphs, but they would obviously help with this particular task more than scaling ones would. You might even be able to knock off the dragon at level one; I've come close before.

Now, my ultimate question here that I wanted to discuss is whether or not it's worth it to do this. My personal opinion is that it's worth it if you're going AP and probably if you go hybrid, too, as long as your team doesn't waste your gift. As all junglers know, you will be blamed for the defeat if the lanes feed early and you killed any jungle creeps at all, because you should've been ganking all three lanes at once somehow instead of farming. Laning players are ungrateful creatures. However, I'm not sure killing the dragon early would be worth it if you're buying Bloodthirsters and Phantom Dancers. The AP simply won't help you at all.


I do also have a couple of quick, relevant questions that I don't feel like making a new thread for: Does Shaco's magic penetration apply to Jack in the Boxes? Is a box's damage based on my AP when I drop the box, or on my AP as it's attacking (Will punching Surge beef my existing boxes, basically)? Do damage-increasing masteries (Executioner, Havoc) apply to JitB and other pets?


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ExecutionerK

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Senior Member

12-28-2011

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheCowness View Post
I do also have a couple of quick, relevant questions that I don't feel like making a new thread for: Does Shaco's magic penetration apply to Jack in the Boxes? Is a box's damage based on my AP when I drop the box, or on my AP as it's attacking (Will punching Surge beef my existing boxes, basically)? Do damage-increasing masteries (Executioner, Havoc) apply to JitB and other pets?
Shaco's magic penetration apply to Jack in the boxes
I believe it is base on your current AP (need to test that out)
Not sure once again

Back to the thread.

Too high risk - why? As shaco, you want to gank a lane to give out advantage to them by denying the enemy.

Shaco is all about the fear of existence of Shaco in the lane, you want to create that fear so that the enemy will be constantly zoned by your teamate, and deny xp and gold.

Shaco can jungle, but the point of taking dragon is mainly gold advantage for the whole team, while it is nice, the risk that involve with the dragon is too huge, and simply not worth it.


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Easy Slay

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Senior Member

12-28-2011

Sneaking a dragon kill rarely works because good players will have dragon warded. Most junglers don't risk it because a failed dragon ninja usually entails wasting the junglers flash to get away and usually ends up with the enemy taking the dragon kill after you brought it down to low health.

Dragon kills in high elo almost always seems to happen after bot lane is ganked with the ganking team taking dragon during the respawn downtime.

Wasting all that time setting up boxes at dragon only to not get dragon = wasted time you could have used to gank lanes.


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TheCowness

Senior Member

12-28-2011

I was testing some things related to backstab (whether it affects Smite (it doesn't seem to) and what it does for JitBs) and it looks like Surge does power up JitBs, so they're based on your current AP and not your AP when you place them. It also looks like Backstab increases the damage your boxes do if Shaco attacks their target from behind... and it's not related to where Shaco is standing or where the box is. It's hard to test this fully using creeps for test subjects, though.

The risk in getting dragon is certainly a problem, and there are a lot of situations where you wouldn't even consider it because of the risk of getting caught, like if you're on the blue team and they have a jungler who might gank bot or mid early. However, I think Shaco's good enough at ganking early that people will still watch out for the early gank whether you do it or not, so unless they ward dragon right at the start and see that you're doing something else (in which case they'll go kill you), they'll still play a little defensively just in case, and that fear'll still be there. Without the risk, I'd say it's totally worth it for an AP Shaco to set this up and grab the gold for his team, but if you get killed by the enemy jungler or mid you're gonna get raged at by your team. It's not a very good solo-queue plan if you don't like getting raged at. Early ganks can be helpful and can get your team the first blood bonus, but that also is not a certainty. Generally it requires the enemy to be greedy and/or make a mistake or else all you'll do is get one of the enemy champs to recall. Which, of course, still helps.


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juslikejesus

Senior Member

12-28-2011

Quote:
Originally Posted by ExecutionerKen View Post
Shaco's magic penetration apply to Jack in the boxes
I believe it is base on your current AP (need to test that out)
Not sure once again

Back to the thread.

Too high risk - why? As shaco, you want to gank a lane to give out advantage to them by denying the enemy.

Shaco is all about the fear of existence of Shaco in the lane, you want to create that fear so that the enemy will be constantly zoned by your teamate, and deny xp and gold.

Shaco can jungle, but the point of taking dragon is mainly gold advantage for the whole team, while it is nice, the risk that involve with the dragon is too huge, and simply not worth it.
This is not worth it because AP SHACO sucks, you can have full AD Runes and still solo shaco safely at level 6 which is pretty much the lowest dragon time you'll be able to get only really matched by champs like Udyr. It's much better to go around and actually gank for ur team and consistently farm your jungle. There is no need for such a risk when you can get dragon so soon.


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larkhill

Senior Member

12-28-2011

and what happens after u get dragon? ur stuck with a pretty terrible shaco build and ur jungle is probably invaded and gone

congrats...


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Afraa

Senior Member

12-28-2011

only worth it in premades with realy good scaling early champs imo

in solo q never worth it


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thepantsparty

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Senior Member

12-28-2011

"smoking the dragon" sounds like a euphemism for something dirty


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KirbyCake

Senior Member

12-28-2011

This is not going to work, obviously drags going to be warded...


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hexenschuss

Senior Member

12-29-2011

Quote:
Originally Posted by KirbyCake View Post
This is not going to work, obviously drags going to be warded...
Don't know about you, but in my games noone wards dragon at 3:30. It's just a huge waste of gold because aside from that funky shaco stuff no jungler can solo dragon before 8 minutes anymore.