LOSERQUEUE.GG  -  League of Legends
AD or AP? The classic question for Shaco. Shaco is an assassin champion who has a few iconic traits. 1. Shaco can turn invisible with a blink 2. Shaco has invisible jack-in-the-boxes that he can lead enemies into and fear them 3. Shaco's Ultimate ability is a Clone he can use to confuse enemies and fool them into attacking the clone and possibly get feared by it as well and as less important to his identity as a champion 4. Shaco can backstab enemies to do more damage 5. Shaco has a point and click projectile that does burst and some poison-over-time However, Shaco has been experiencing a massive issue with his playstyle, the champion has been going through multiple stages of viability. In this most recent iteration, Shaco has been at his most unplayable state in season 11.

Several champions in the jungle were hit with the removal of the jungle starting items, while the items weren't as strong as laner's core items. However, each jungle item filled a synergy that many junglers really benefitted from. Master Yi, Kindred, and Rammus with Enchantment Bloodrazor, Graves, Kindred (again), and Kayn with Enchantment Warrior, Hecarim, Sejuani, and other tanks in general were allowed to jungle, others better than others, with Enchantment Cinderhulk And Lastly Nidalee and Elise with Enchantment Echo.

Some champions needed the items more than others (I.E. Master Yi with Bloodrazor, Graves with Warrior, etc...) but others could just find their replacement items in the core laner items. Cinderhulk users could buy Sunfire Cape (if they wanted the bami's cinder still, now they have other options thankfully but also Sunfire cape gave a huge armor bonus) Echo users could buy Luden's Echo, but it wasn't always needed to be core on them so they could buy other items as well like Liandries Torment, or Nashor's Tooth.

Bloodrazor and Warrior users typically didn't actually have alternate items to go, Sure they had other core items: Graves had Death's Dance, Master Yi had Blade of the Ruined King/Guinsoos Rageblade, but the removal of these items led to them having a short identity crisis while their players tried to figure out what items to go on them. Several had taken to adopting lethality items as the core starting items, while other are now capable of affording and utilizing the new marksman core starting items.

Except Shaco.

Shaco has always had multiple different types of builds (all depending on the enemy team composition of course, but it was possible because of items) AD Assassin Shaco, AD Bruiser Shaco, AD Tank Shaco, AP Assassin Shaco, AP CDR/Haste Trickery Terrorism Shaco, and less viably Attack Speed Shaco with Bloodrazor (too niche to be played often). Shaco's base damage level 1 is laughable but 2-3 was where he was very dangerous due to Shaco's full combo with ignite possibly being lethal to most early game champions, and this allowed him the chance to put pressure down, get ahead and snowball, or fail/misplay and fall miserably behind. However, due to his pitiful base damage Shaco never build Enchantment Warrior, he typically rushed lethality items like Duskblade of Draktharr or Trinity Force.

Enchantment Echo was the best item buy on Shaco out of the jungle economy items, it was a huge powerspike and it didn't cost as much as normal laner items. Enchantment Cinderhulk was also viable, but the tank Shaco build was strictly inferior to the damage-based builds anyways.

As stated before, Enchantment Bloodrazor was barely viable on Shaco, as it's so niche; he'd rarely have the opportunity to utilize it.

At Shaco's current state with the new items, Shaco has the opportunity to do damage (but he's gated to needing anti heal, due to his pitiful damage, so any champion with healing in their kit will out damage him). Shaco's biggest limit to his damage is his hybrid playstyle. He needs his auto attacks and related abilities (P,Q,R) to do damage so he can auto attack champions reliably for his assassin and bruiser builds. He also needs his abilities (Q,W,E,R), to do damage/provide utility so his Trickery Terrorism/AP assassin is viable. However, Shaco needing BOTH builds to be viable leaves both lacking in individual strength, otherwise if one was stronger than the other, it led to him being severely broken. Like any champion, if his abilities did too much damage he could run auto-attack only based builds and deal too much damage combined with his abilities and vice versa. However, due to his kit lacking balance between the abilities it leaves him feeling gutted and like half a champion.

A couple bugs also is severely ruining his gameplay, Shaco's Clone holds most of them for instance: The Clone's movements are clunky and often doesn't respond to move commands, attack commands, and one of the worst is that the clone will never auto-attack inhibitors. In the end Shaco should have some of his abilities raw power nerfed in return for some actual damage. This would remove some of his "outplay" potential with his kit's famous trickery, but currently his ability to even play is declining.

Keep the Passive, Backstab it adds interesting gameplay and counterplay.

Keep the Q's blink but nerf its invisibility so he's invisible for shorter. Alternatively, the damage bonus the q gives can be removed entirely to keep the longer invisibility but one or the other should go so he can have more damage elsewhere.

Keep the W, jack-in-the-boxes are some of the most annoying, yet terrible, "pet" units in the entire game. The fear helps Shaco with a lot possibly outplays and can help "lockdown" enemies to prevent them from escaping him after Shaco already used his Q to engage. Also due to Malzahar Jungle becoming far too powerful several seasons ago, all pet units take 3x more damage from jungle camps, this leaves the W not even capable of doing as much damage as it could be to jungle camps, combine this with the long cooldown and it leads him to apathetic clear time.

Lower the W'd fear duration and buff its damage/durability. Or remove the W's time to arm itself so it will fear immediately if put down near an enemy unit but make the fear very brief, so it just serves as a short interrupt. Shaco's E can go because most point and click abilities, especially projectiles, adds barely any dynamic usage in fights and often can gate Shaco's damage due to its long cast timer preventing Shaco from getting in 1-2 early game auto attacks and 2-3 late game high damaging auto attacks. If this ability stays the poison's pitifully low damage-over-time damage should be removed as it's rarely useful (pretty much only serves to proc Liandries' Anguish/Demonic Embrace damage at this point), keep the bonus damage on hitting enemies back, remove the cast time, and increase the range.

Lastly Shaco's R is a fossil of old league of legends code that barely works and in the original clunkier game was far more useful. It has several obnoxious counters such as: spam pinging Shaco can reveal him to be the real one after he summons the clone, Shaco's clone just stopping still and ignoring commands. and it often doesn't actually mimic Shaco's visual features (doesn't share the same buffs Shaco does, visual buffs like Crest of Cinders or Insight and Hand of Baron).

Old Mordekaiser's ultimate was so hard for Riot to re-add into the game they actually just decided to not update it and give him a new ultimate. Shaco's ultimate stays quite balanced but remains borderline useless (for its original intent, it's still useful to shift neutral camp/objective aggro). Obviously fix the bugs and address some of its glaring weaknesses, keep the brief invisibility, and lastly keep the lower damage and taking more damage than Shaco.

As for when the clone dies, it explodes (dealing huge burst damage, and leaving 3-health-linked-mini-jack-in-the-boxes). This can stay and lower Shaco's damage in other places, or, they could remove this mechanic on this ultimate, and instead make it so his ultimate has a longer cooldown and deals and takes the same-amount of damage as the normal Shaco.

Lastly his clone can only auto attack so if Shaco doesn't open with his Q, W, and E, before casting his ultimate (or casting his w during his Q), his cast animations can be a dead giveaway which one is real and can end the trickery instantly. Ultimately, it feels like a sub-par ability for fights, and an above average one for pulling unit-aggro.

Shaco in the end, needs some rebalancing this season (11), and for the future, otherwise he'll become completely useless and his former identity of having hybrid playstyles will die off and so will his player base.