Mar 10, 2016

Weird Picks #43: Support Shaco

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Are you tired of playing passive supports? Need something with a little more oomph to it, but aren't sure what to select? Give Shaco Support a try! With great ratios, strong level 1 invade potential or leash potential, and more than a little mischief in his eye, Shaco support performs surprisingly well in a variety of situations.

Introduction

Are you tired of playing passive supports? Need something with a little more oomph to it, but aren't sure what to select? Give Shaco Support a try! With great ratios, strong level 1 invade potential or leash potential, and more than a little mischief in his eye, Shaco support performs surprisingly well in a variety of situations.

How to Play
Runes: Ability Power Quints, Magic Penetration Reds, Flat Armor Yellows, Flat Ability Power Blues
Masteries: 18-12-0, Deathfire Touch Masteries
Abilities: W, E, Q, E then prioritize R > E > W > Q
Core Items: 2x Doran Ring, Luden's Echo, Morellonomicon, Sorcerer's Shoes, Sightstone, Void Staff

Doran's RingLuden's EchoMorellonomiconSightstoneSorcerer's ShoesVoid Staff

Starting Guide

Since Shaco support does require a bit of extra finesse to execute, here's a quick guide on how to start:

Refillable PotionSpellthief's EdgeWarding Totem
  • Start out with Spellthief's Edge, Refillable Poton, and a Yellow Trinket. The first two may be sold when you need gold or space)
    • Decide whether to invade or to help leash
      • To help leash: One box at first camp, 2 boxes at second camp, and one box around the corner for scouting. Make sure not to put the second group of boxes too close to aggro the camp.
      • To invade: Drop one box at their second buff, then try and get one between the path from the first to the second buff. 
        • Don't put too many at their second buff or you're just leashing for them.
        • You can also stack boxes at their opposite buff to try and steal it, but generally this is a waste of time as a result of the way XP works. 
    • Rush two Doran's Rings, Sorc Shoes, and Luden's Echo
      • Sightstone can be built around the same time as Morello depending on how many towers your team has lost.

Why It Works

High AP Ratios
Sporting a perfect 100% bonus AP ratio on his Two-Shiv Poison (E) and Hallucinate (R), Shaco does an insane amount of burst damage once he gets some AP going. Despite having low base damage on his spells, he quickly scales up with an item or two. Shaco's level 1 Jack-In-The-Box (W) does a ton more damage than his E as long as it gets at least two attacks in.

Box Vision and CC
Early game, his vision control via his boxes is extremely powerful, and allows him to delay sightstone by a good amount of time without being a massive detriment to the team. His box is also excellent for cutting off ramps and other choke points to Dragon, which allows your team to safely take out the objective with minimum danger.

Long Range Harass + Free Escape
A problem most melee harass champions have is that they tend to stand very far up in lane in order to be in range to hit enemy champions. As a result, this leaves them vulnerable to lane ganks and ganks in general. However, with Shaco's deceive, he can quickly get out of otherwise dangerous locations. Good box setup also gives him additional time for a quick getaway.

Surprisingly High Burst Damage
As a champion with an invisible gap closer and a targeted nuke, Shaco can deal extremely safe and unavoidable damage from a position that maximizes his 20% damage boost on his passive. Effectively, with a 100% AP ratio, Shaco's passive multiplies each point of AP he has by 1.2x if the enemy tries to walk backwards.

Potential Pitfalls

Squishy Champion
As a glass cannon melee support, Shaco only has his boxes available to peel for his marksman, which requires some setup time. As a result, constantly repositioning in teamfights reduces his effectiveness as a peeler. He's also not much of a front line, excluding his 100% AP ratio ultimate clone. However, proper use of this clone still makes him able to soak quite a bit of damage on tower dives.

Low Sustained Damage
Shaco relies primarily on his two-shiv poison for damage. Although it has a short cooldown, after using it he's relatively useless except for placing boxes in locations that cause enemies to move to prevent being feared.

Low Crowd Control
Outside of a meager slow and his boxes, Shaco needs to effectively predict champion approach points and escape paths in order to optimize the fears they provide. This makes him a champion that requires ample experience before memorizing all the commons spots in addition to which locations are not as effective.

Conclusions

Support Shaco is an extremely effective assassin, but requires quite a bit of box placement experience to fully utilize the AOE fear that they provide. At a 100% AP ratio, he quickly scales up to deal massive damage, but needs to delay his sightstone as a result of his abysmal base damage.

As a support champion AP Shaco does not quite fit the bill in terms of what a classic support provides, but he definitely makes due in his own way and is very capable of cheesing out a lot of players that aren't ready for his damage output.

Note however, that it's very possible to tilt your team from the get-go, which may not be optimal in ranked queues.

Suggested Rating: Tier 3

What do you think about Support Shaco? Comment below!


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