Hi I am the Salty jungler, I am a jungle main currently in Diamond 4 and I enjoy writing short guides. Today I’m going to be talking about what I believe is a pretty big misconception: Shaco is bad at teamfighting and should avoid them in favor of splitting.
Shaco is my most played champion currently and I am sitting at a 70% win rate (50+ games) and have never resorted to split-pushing even once. My favorite way to play Shaco is as an assassinin teamfights; sneaking into a teamfight undetected and oneshotting a carry before wreaking havoc with your ultimate. With a bit of practice and some experience you too can be a true terror in teamfights as Shaco. Below I have listed a few points on what I have learned in my experience so far on how to properly teamfight as the Shacmeister:
- Remain out of sight leading up to the teamfight, preferably on a flank positioned behind a wall that allows easy access to the backline (similar positioning a fiddle would use)
- Use sweepers often, upgrade them early, make sure the enemy doesn’t know your location leading up to a fight (again much like fiddle)
- Don’t ever try to engage a fight yourself, even if you can start a fight by instantly killing the adc you will almost always die for it.
- Ideally you want to attack when the enemy team’s guard is down and their focus is on the current teamfight, it is easy to slip in and find an adc unprotected – especially when counter-engaging and their team’s tanks dove far ahead to initiate. Wait for the teamfight to break out and the frontline to lock each other up before making your move.
- Be wary of pinks hidden in bushes, being seen before you can reach your target means you are most likely going to die before doing anything impactful. Another reason why you shouldn’t be the first one into a teamfight.
- Be extremely wary of high damage AoE that can hit you while you are stealthed or any sort of AoE CC – They can chunk you out or stun you while invisible even if they weren’t aiming for you leaving you too weak to 1v1 the adc or incapable of reaching your target before stealth runs out. Champions like Rumble, Lissandra, Sejuani, Anivia can cause serious problems. This problem is multiplied tenfold when fighting in the jungle or in a choke where you must pass through AoE to reach your target.
- Don’t be afraid to build tanky after your damage core of Hydra+Shiv or even just Hydra. Especially if you feel like enemy AoE is going to be an issue in teamfights, A shaco with 2/3 damage items is still more than capable of solo’ing the ADC on the backline. Adding tank items like Banshee’s and Randuin’s on top of a build will make you and your clone surprisingly tanky allowing you to absorb some upfront damage entering a fight and you won’t be punished nearly as heavily for positioning mistakes.
- Your basic kill combo: [Fight breaks out] -> Deceive [Q] from flank -> Smite -> Auto Attack -> Shiv [E] -> Use Hydra to animation cancel -> Ignite -> Optional: Ultimate -> Finish kill. You use your ultimate after your burst combo to avoid enemy retaliation or increase your follow up DPS to secure the kill, just be aware that using your ult will result in a momentary loss of dps and give the enemy a small window to kite, if they are very close to death after initially jumping them I often just finish them off before ulting. After the adc goes down start mopping up the fight with your clone, if the fight is still a bit dangerous to jump into just send the clone in and follow up with Shiv’s. It is easy to pick off stragglers with Q after the fight is over.
- Split pushing is by no means bad and can be a very useful tool in stalling losing games or punishing bad teamplay. I however much prefer to teamfight and I think knowing how to teamfight well is the easiest way to snowball an early lead into a victory. Split pushing requires a certain degree of co-ordination that you can’t always rely on in SoloQ and nothing is more frustrating than seeing your team wiped in a 4v5 teamfight as you try to set up a splitpush.
- Jack in the box can be a useful tool to cut off enemy escape routes, try to place them between your target and their most likely escape path.
- Both chilling and skirmisher smites are good options with different strengths, learn to chose your preference. Skirmisher offers greater 1v1 duelist strength particularly mid/late but chilling still adds a lot of strength to early game ganks to get rolling.
- TIMING IS EVERYTHING It will take time and practice to learn when to go in and when not to, gotta practice if you want to be good! Don’t be discouraged if you don’t get the hang of it right away.
That is all for my mini-guide thanks for reading and hopefully this encourages people to see that Shaco actually has a useful role in teamfights and doesn’t necessarily have to be relegated to being a useless piece of shit who split pushes all game long to the annoyance of both teams. If you have any suggestions for my next mini-guide leave it in the comments and I might just do it.
TL:DR It is very possible to carry teamfights as Shaco, even when not ahead. Stay out of sight; position like fiddle, secure vision. Wait for fights to break out, isolate and ambush the enemy carries
Bonus Edit: Build path: Hydra, Mobi, Warrior – Skirmisher/Chilling, (optional: ghostblade) Infin edge, Last whisper, Statikk Shiv/Trinity Force