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[guide] Shaco: Pennywise eat your heart out

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Chuckles the clown: HA HA, **** joke.

I: Introduction

Ladies, gentlemen, gentleladies, and ladymen. There are of course two main ways to play my main clown, the man in the hammer pants: Shaco. There is the "Lol I stab U" methodology, herein reffered to as "knify" and the "pew pew pew pew pew shiv BOLT" methodology, known to myself and a few strange beings as "spoony."

Now, in case you missed the memo, there is no right way to play any character. There is, however, MY way. My way is unassailable, and you are wrong if you oppose me. That being said, if one of you little mother****ers posts in this thread about how you like knify Shaco better. I will have to assume you are not in any way hooked on phonics and have the reading/comprehension skills of a wounded mastiff. Please go play on the highway. Any tips or critacism regarding AP Shaco is welcome, although I'm still right. *******.

It is important to note that this build relies heavily on a platform created by one Fabnapkin, who plays a mean Shaco himself, although slightly differently than yours truly. You should say hi to him if you see him in game. He would hate it.

II: The Pre-Game

"Oh look, another vague 'Do what you want cause a pirate is free' rants about not controlling runes and masteries from Condon. How drole."

Guess what whitey, this time I do have something more specific to say. There are a couple skills that will boost you from creepy and annoying yet mediochre clown to Pennywise level fear monger who gets called OP every time they get a double.

You will need to go 9 - 0 - 21. I'll let you figure out how to do so, because if you cant figure that out, there is something terribly wrong with you. Just follow the advice below.

As for runes, red: Magic Piercing. yellow: CDR, possibly dodge or mana. Whatever you feel you're low on. Blue: CDR. Quints: Speed.

You want to be, in order: Magic piercy, flooded with mana, fast, and CDR...y... You will be ripping up and down the field like a bouncy ball in the supermarket, you know, the one your mom always tried to stop you from bringing but you smuggled it in your pocket and you felt like a ninja until it hit that old lady then you felt bad.

Summoner spells to love:
Teleport: You can port to boxes. Keke.
Ignite: For those pesky Mundos and Sorakas.
Exhaust: Slow + fear + boxes = lulz

Summoner spells that are bad and should feel bad:
Heal: Baiting is important, although it's not without merit.
Smite: You don't need this to mess up the rune mobs.
Rally: You move around way too much to benefit, unless your team is really hurting for it.

III: Party favors

"But Condon, what about sheeeeen! You looooove sheeeeeen! And it gives you liek, super ubr damage with all the abilities u use!"

Go die in a fire, pickle ****er. Early on you don't need to oomph in melee. Your oomph comes from being a sneaky little ******* and tossing shivs like you were a prison juggler.

This is a pretty air tight order, so pay attention:

First things first: You buy yourself a regrowth pendant. You will use this to not die. Not dying is key, as living makes it easier to skull**** people.

When you amass 990 gold, and you find an opportune moment, go back and get yourself a philosopher stone and a pair of level 1 boots.

Then, when you get yourself the scratch, you run back and buy yourself a soulstealer. Now you are in business. Now you are the wreckanator. If you have an extra 650, perhaps due to a good kill or two, grab yourself your boots of mobility.

Next on the docket, you get a void staff, and then either build a banshees veil, or a zhonyas depending on your living vs. killing needs. Whenever you find the time, sell your philosopher stone and buy a haunting guise.

If you chose banshees, get the ring now. If you chose ring, go for a lich bane. The lich bane is mostly for the speed and the tower humping ability, mind you.

By now you should have approximately a billion AP, and more kills than you can shake a stick at, so either they surrendered, or the game was over 20 minutes ago and you are in a drug induced stupor clicking the mouse around a blank screen while you froth at the mouth. We've all been there.

IV: Skillz yo.

Most of the time, you will be doing the same thing. More on the other portion later.


Then prioritize JitB and shiv, filling out decieve last.

More on the alternate method later.

A brief overview of the skillz that pay the proverbial billz.

Decieve: Blink, stealth, stab, lolololol. This is your escape mechanism, intiating skill, and a wee little damage boost all in one. The two most important things to remember about this skill are as follows: The cooldown doesn't start till you come out of stealth, and you can use other skills and remain stealthed (as long as you dont use an auto attack)

JitB: So delicious. They stack, they pump out ridiculous damage, you can put them over walls/barriers (just attempt to place it as far as possible while standing against the wall, and it will pop on the other side. More on how to abuse that later.) Spell shields will stop the fear, but the damage will continue to pump out at enemies. They do have a slight luck factor about them, in regards to fear direction. The enemy may be feared right out of the way of the boxes, but thats the chance you take.

Shiv: A little bitty slow, a little bitty blind, a big god **** nuke. When you get decked out you can fold casters in half, literally, with one toss.

Clone: Oh the clone. One of the most abusive/underestimated skills in the game. First and foremost, abuse the nuke! **** hurts! Run the clone into the enemy tower when hes about to die. Get yourself some creep kills, put some damage on people. Hold ALT AND RIGHT CLICK TO CONTROL IT SEPERATELY. Sorry for the caps, but you would be amazed how many little nub nuggets out there don't know this. Seriously. ****ing learn it. Works wonders. Use this little ******* to bait, to put on that extra damage, to chase people where you just don't want to go. He is your short-round, only filled with knives instead of rice.

You should note that having an aura or a debuff on you will give you away, so time your ult accordingly, if you can. The other ways players figure out which is which generally falls to watching for skills (protip, your minion doesn't use any) or watching movements. Generally speaking, the one following the other is the clone. Abuse this. Move your clone in first, and follow it.

There is a leash range on it, I estimate at about 2000 units, though I could be wrong, so make sure you get a feel for it.

V: The wind up

"Ohmigawd is this where you tell me how to get FB and be super awesome amazing?" No Timmy, this is where you learn how to properly take down golem and avoid getting merc'd while doing it.

Why? Because golem rocks. (HAHA, GET IT. BET THAT PUN WAS ONIX-PECTED.)

So basically, pick which golem you want to take. It may not always be best to take the closest, but it usually is. If you suspect the enemy team is onto your bull****, or they have a jungler, be wary. More on that below. You should be in place in about 20-30 seconds. At 32 seconds, put down your first JitB. Placement is important, so do a few practice games first to get the hang of it. You want it far enough away that it doesn't trigger when the mobs spawn, and close enough so that the Golem doesn't bug out and leash, and so the adds still get the fear. It's a pretty big window when you get the hang of it, so don't worry too much.

You should have ~13-13.5 second cooldown on JitB, so place them asap, until 1:48. If your cooldown comes up at 1:47, place one. If it comes up at 1:48 wait. Simple concept. You want to be able to place another one directly under the golem halfway through the fight. This way you get away with 200 damage on you, tops, and a fresh blue buff with which to terrorize the enemy team. I won't go into more detail, because it's friggin easy. Make sure your lane mate doesn't come try to help and **** it all up.

IMPORTANT: Don't enguage right away. Wait till the creeps clash in the lanes. This way, you can A) see if anyone is missing to try and **** you, and B) give your lane mate an experience bonus so you're both about even by the time you show up. Added bonus: If they're half smart, they will think you're in the bushes at mid waiting to gank for a FB. You aren't of course, but it will keep mid on their toes and give your own solo some breathing room.

In rare cases, you will be taking decieve first, and JitB second and third, but this is ONLY if you believe the enemy team is going to try and go for their own golem, whether it's a warwick or another shaco. In this case, you stroll over to their golem spawn, and hide in a nearby bush *not right beside it, you daft ******** using your decieve blink to check on them. If they're hanging around, try to steal the golem and get a FB. If they aren't go to your lane, knowing that they're probably trying to **** you exactly the same way. Better safe than sorry here.

Alright, so you've got golem, maybe even some blood on your hands. You're all hyped up and full of spoony doom. Super. Wicked. Lets do this.

Start placing boxes all up ins. Early on, you will be placing single serving boxes rather than nests. Behind enemy creep, in the various bushes, even a few inches off to the side of the creep pathing, in case of ganks/runarounds. Use your judgement.

Keep in mind, you don't ever want to go so low in mana that you can't decieve, and that you can place JitB while stealthed behind enemy lines and still have time to run to a bush for cover.

They WILL see the animation if you cast decieve while in the bushes. They will not see where you land, only where you launch from, but still. They will know.

Usually you can pull a tricky FB using the old standby of Decieve > box behind them > stab > Ignite > Knife.

You WILL need to be super ballsy. You are twiggy, yet deepsy. You are slippery, yet fold like a cheap plastic chair if someone manages to catch you. This is not an easy character to play. Do not assume you will start off being the king of the world. You're probably going to do poorly the first few games while you figure out the difference between "Daring ballsy triple kill" and "What happens when you forget to wear a seatbelt while playing chicken"

While a FB does give you an incredible amount of early game traction, and 8/10 games you can pull it off if you're a smooth criminal, you can balance out a bit of defensive play by going for an early mid gank if your solo is getting reamed.

You lane for a while, dance around, lay some traps but mostly harass and put the fear of god into the opponent. By the time you've got your majais you have one or two kills under your belt, and are ready to move onto phase two: Charlie in the treeline.

You remember playing against twitch when you first started? You remember low ELO? Better yet, remember playing agianst Rikimaru in DotA when you first started? Or Fletch?

That's so sad. I can't believe you've been playing Dota for so long. Did you ever wonder why some humans have long hair and these weird protrusions on their chests?

But I digress: Remember how you never saw them coming? How they seemed like they were everywhere you didn't want them to be? Channel that. Be everywhere. Be behind their lines, between towers, setting up traps, throwing knives, being as much of a ****bag as you can without letting them get their hands on you.

VI: Late Game

At this point, setting up multiple traps in the same set of brush may be a good idea, if you think one of them is dumb enough to wander into it, or if you find a spot that has a lot of foot traffic. Some of my favorites are the bushes just south of the top lane outer tower, and the brush on the north side of the river just south of mid. You'll find your own favorite places. Remember never to use the same spot twice in a row, or even twice in the same game. Also, don't waste too much time planting traps. Once every five ten minutes tops. The rest of the time you should be pulling the basic Shaco ****bag skirmish combo, as follows:

Run to bushes near lane/enemy.
Deceive towards them, getting in behind enemy creep.
Drop JitB behind them, far enough that it will have time to arm and get the fear off.
Ult if you think you'll need it.
Stab some more.
Throw the shiv.
Make sure your clone is chasing, even if you turn away. The AoE damage gets insane late game.

As the towers drop down, and you start racking up a kill count to rival Bond, an appropriate sense of fear should kick in, and they will probably pick up an oracles. Don't panic. This just means that you have to use decieve as a blink. Yep. That's pretty much it. Your JitB will probably still be in bushes, and by the time they get close enough to see them, they're feared/shot anyway.

As you run around late game, you'll have a lot more mana to work with, especially if you keep picking up golem. Use it to drop boxes whenever the cooldown is up. Not only are they a great harass damage source, they can serve as teleport bases for your team and even catch runners/give you some map awareness.

Everything past that is just practice. When to run, when to press the fight. When to mince out, when to join the team fight. Where to put boxes, etc. I will say this once more: You need to have balls the size of a MFing Cho'Gath. You need to operate at fractions of health to bait properly, or get the most out of your clone bomb. You need to control two different characters with perfect accuracy, in active teamfights, and know when to lay traps and when you harass. You need to not suck.

VII: Channeling Mentok.

Yes, the mind taker. You are a force of fear, and of strife. To this end, you may want to perfect a few excellent taunts, a little good ol psychological warfare never hurt anyone who didn't off themselves from shellshock.

Some of my favorites:

When they walk into one of your trap nests:
"Oh hai"
"I do always forget to pick up my toys"

When folding a caster in half with one shiv (Yes, it will happen)
"I guess that's why it's only two shiv poison."
"That will teach you for showing up on the mini map."
"I will **** you like a ham."

When getting a triple kill, alone, in the woods, from a combination of clever boxes and excellent pathing:
"Oh. Man. I... I'm sorry. I didn't know MM was so broken."
"What level are you guys again?"
Or any maniacal laugh. I practice mine in front of a mirror every day.

When they waste all their nukes on your clone in a team fight
"You know the one with the rune buff/sheen proc/casting spells is the real one, right?"

When narrowly escaping a merc squad, for the umpteenth time
"I AM INVINCIBLE!" (Especially good for making them waste gold on oracles)
"You need to zig AND zag."
"Greased up deaf guy can suck my ****."

My personal favorite:
After every kill, just put a small signature. An elipses, a question mark, "U mad?" etc.

In any case, I'm as long winded as I am bad at TF, so I'm done. Happy hunting, and remember: AD Shaco is for suckers. I hold it in the same regard as AP Cho'Gath, and CDR Eve.

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Dr Chan



I've been a fan ever since I read the MF'ing Cho'Gath, changed my perspective on life really.

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just when I thought there couldnt be a guide worst then toggle's AP shaco you make this.

for shame..

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just when I thought there couldnt be a guide worst then toggle's AP shaco you make this.

for shame..

"Just when I thought there couldn't be a guide worse than Toggle's AP Shaco, you make this.

For shame..."

There you go. You know there's a neat little spell check built into the reply screen, you didn't have to come asking for help. I know the grammar is a bit more difficult, but keep posting on forums with such revealing and constructive opinions and I'm sure you'll get there eventually!

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I think that controlling Shaco's clone can be done by clicking on him, that way you'll lose control over your character and if you move too far with the clone, the real one will follow far back... Works with Annie's Tibbers anyways.

Great guide, fun to read although I haven't got Shaco. Keep it up !

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Senior Member


so either they surrendered, or the game was over 20 minutes ago and you are in a drug induced stupor clicking the mouse around a blank screen while you froth at the mouth. We've all been there.

most entertaining writer on this forums. you really understand how to guide us to the kind of fun you have playing.
happy surprise evrytime a new guide is up

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Senior Member


I'm normally a fan of your guides, a lot of the other ones seem right on the money. However, for this.... I see some problems.

Philo Stone first. Why? You say yourself that you should sell it relatively early for a Haunting Guise. Why not just skip getting the Philo Stone and just get the Guise? This also solves the problem of not being able to buy a HPot at the start with a Regrowth Pendant. I never leave home without at least one HPot.
This build also seems very dependent on being able to successfully stack Mejai's. In higher ELOs, you'll find that this is near impossible to do, as players just plain don't die as easily, and if you get ballsy to try and get more kills, you'll likely end up getting killed yourself. This isn't AD Shaco. You can't deceive behind someone and hit them for all of their life ever. Shiv is only a 1:1 Nuke. Yes, there's JitBs and maybe your clone, but smart players will see the deceive (or have the river warded) and run the wrong way for your plan to do anything. Or they'll already be in a 5-man gank squad. Etc.

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dont bother wildfire, people actually think AP shaco is good or something

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I'm so glad all of you at least finished the first paragraph. I know the second one must have been a trek. Really, I am secretly interested in playing boring AD shaco, only I lack the requisite skills. The only way I can ever win is by using the haxxariffic AP shaco build here.

In response to the philo stone vs guise question, the extra regen is really very noticeable, and you make your money back on the philo stone anyway very quickly. The thing is, every time you drop a box behind the enemy, or run up for a backstab, you take minion hits and lose life. You'll hardly ever be at full life. Add this to the fact that completing the philo stone and getting boots one only costs you 900 as opposed to the 1257 to get the guise and boots, and it really showcases the extra traction you get with the stone.

In response to the whole win-more only works if you're winning thing, yes, I agree, some times it is tough, but having 6 stacks already makes it a worthwhile item in terms of gold/AP, any more than that and you're getting free oomph.

Lets not also forget, as if I needed to defend AP shaco, all but one of his abilities scales very well with AP, where as only two work off of AD.

In summary, suck my ****, you may all die in a bee infested fire, and I shant bother responding again.

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I'm just wondering condon. We've all heard of the Infinity Edge Shaco and the AP Shaco and all sorts of little subdivisions of the two. But what about the doublers? There are some items that, when used on Shaco, are technically "doubled". Stuff like Sword of the Divine, Malady (though it uses the same debuff, it helps to apply it quicker) Bloodrazor, Wit's End and Guardian all work for the clone. Basically, doublers (like myself when I play him) just try their best to use the clone to it's full effect without giving up on their own damage capabilities.