Changes introduced with patch 9.21 made Shaco spike in popularity. The patch didn’t just buff him, it also changed his abilities in a way that opens the jester towards strong new AP builds. Though there have been nerfs to those abilities since, Shaco remains to be a strong pick.
With his standard jungle build revolving around attack damage, AP Shaco found a new place to shine. Players recognized the outplay potential around the new alcove on the bot lane, and AP Shaco quickly became one of the most favored supports in the game.
For those looking to learn how to play AP Shaco in bot, here’s a quick beginner’s guide.
Even though Shaco isn’t typical support, a player can’t be last hitting minions or farming the jungle for consistent gold income. This is why Spellthief’s Edge is the best starting item for support Shaco. It generates gold and grants more of it when damaging champions. Once the item generates 1000 gold, it upgrades to Fronstfang, giving more gold and three charges of the Stealth Ward, which is critical for a support role.
With Shaco’s ability to slow enemies with Two-Shiv Poison and his boxes, Hextech GLP-800 is the way to go to utilize that crowd control, giving the player more slowing options, damage, cooldown reduction, and mana, which is basically everything Shaco needs. Similarly, Twin Shadows is the best next option with its two summoned ghosts. Thes reveal and slow enemies.
Zhonya’s Hourglass is a great choice for tactical outplays in the late game, but Liandry’s Torment and Mejai’s Soulstealer work just as well.
An AP Shaco needs damage, cooldown reduction, and mana. All of this can be gained with the Sorcery rune path. Arcane Comet will keep the in-lane poke on point, with the rest of the runes making sure there’s enough consistent damage to burst enemies down.
The more often damage can be dealt, the better, so getting more CDR from the Inspiration path is a good choice, especially with the Biscuit Delivery rune being one of the possible secondary picks. The biscuit doesn’t only help keep Shaco in the game with restoration, it also saves some gold from buying potions.
If a bot lane Shaco isn’t a frustrating nightmare to an enemy, he’s being played wrong. The jester has a very strong early game, with the availability to stealth his way behind an enemy’s back, stabbing them for extra damage just to escape to a bush where, if the enemy follows, a trap awaits.
With the new alcove next to the lane, there’s even more opportunity for jumping out and luring opponents into traps. Once Hallucinate is available, Shaco’s illusion allows for even greater outplay potential.
The bot lane dominance comes mostly from the boxes, which is why Jack In The Box should be the first ability picked. Besides being a trap for enemies moving through the bot lane, boxes can be used to zone the enemy out early if Shaco makes it to the lane before the enemy does. They’re also a great tool for blocking the jungle pathing for a safer push. Another one of the boxes’ advantages is the possibility of objective control, which is of great importance in Season 10.
Snowballing into the late game, Shaco should be looking to find his way to the enemy back line. This is fairly easy while using Deceive, taking down a carry, and escaping before the rest of the team turns towards him. If they decide to chase Shaco, they’ll likely find themselves in fear of his boxes.