Hello and welcome to the Shaco Discussion thread! I will be outlining many of Shaco's strengths and weakness' and give explanations and insight on the many tweaks and peaks that Riot has done and why myself and many others are sad of what has happened to our lovable Jester.
There are bullet points and a TL;DR in this post. It is a long post and is open for discussion.
I will put out firstly, before anything, that I would personally like to see a more direct vision of Shaco's role as a whole. As it stands now his current role is something created and held together by better players than myself. Its called the, "Grab red as fast as possible and gank the squishiest person possible and jungle until I can't gank anymore" Role. It lasts until mid game at best.
I am by no means asking for large changes, buffs or nerfs. Just some pokes in the right direction.
This post is from my own experience and many of those I play with. You are free to agree or disagree and I freely encourage thoughtful discussion.[/I]
I realize that Shaco represents many misgivings for many players. I have been playing since November or December of last year, and I remember when Shaco was released. He was a powerhouse and in the right hands nigh uncatchable / unkillable while killing at will.
To start, I came from a dota background and was largely experienced at LoL yet when they soon began releasing new champions. However when Shaco released, I found Shaco to be unbearable to play against. Between Deceiving in and placing Jotb's while stealthed WITH Shiv not breaking stealth it was a nightmare. (My kayle cried, this was when she had little synergy and was a one trick pony to give you an idea of the time period.)
Times have changed and new champions arise and champions have been buffed / nerfed. Shaco seems to not have a place outside of his strong early game ganking and some mid game presence causing extreme caution from the enemy team. (I still get the raging beast rearing it's ugly head on occasion when playing against shaco).
Early game he can still be extremely scary netting in some early kills for his team. However, once the nitty gritty comes and it goes into teamfight / push stages of the game, he doesn't have a place and I'll provide a bullet list why (in my experience).
- Strong points
-Strong early game presence.
Shaco single handedly forces defensive play in all lanes and the jungle because no one knows where he will pop out and is god tier until around 7-9'ish giving very high chances of multiple kills.
-Almost guaranteed firstblood with red buff.
Shaco guarantee's early kills with red buff due to it slowing and stacking with 2 shivs slow making it highly frustrating to be on the receiving end of a 2 second gank from 100-0%.
-Excellent ganker / jungler downing dragon / baron early.
There are not many who can be downing dragon / baron as soon as they spawn. Shaco is one of them and is one of the best. Soloing baron at 13-16 is no joke.
-Incredibly difficult to gank / catch
When good decisions are made and thought through due to the nature of how his skills double as damage or escape abilities.
I find this a very defining point in Shaco's skillset. He has the choice of running away or dealing damage. It opens up a lot of opportunity of play and thus can be very fun / unfun on the players / opponents end.
-Very powerful skillset
Shaco's damage potential between Jitb interrupts / nests, Deceive backstab crits and 2shiv nuke / finisher with balanced synergy between either AD or AP is very high.
This allows players to choose any of the following generic Damage builds, AP builds or even hybrid builds opening many personal choices in play.
-Diminishing mid / late game
Shaco tapers off as a threat mid game to late game due to his scaling / nature of easily identifiable clone / decieve locations. Shaco is incredibly squishy and sports one of the most abysmal attack speeds in the game which he desperately needs to be effective.
-Unfixed or ignored bugs / mechanics.
Shaco is too easily identifiable between himself and his clone. This really diminishes the survivability that it offers only magnifying his abysmal team fight presence.
Example: That one has red buff, its him. That one moved first, thats the real one. Teamfight started;begin generic aoe spam, shaco dies / nearly dies needs to run ect. You know most of these and more.
-Jack in the box (Jitb) AoE killable / ignorable (Walk away)
Shaco brings little contribution to a teamfight outside of preset Jitb's that can be AoE'd or walked away from which appears to be a bug more than anything. Teemo's shrooms can't be aoe'd and they don't even give money anymore. Thus why should Shaco suffer when no one else does? Jotb are also directly related to Shaco's ability to jungle early game and it can be thrown off with a quick ghost in and out by his jungle spot effectively crippling him.
-Risk outweighs reward (teamfight)
Shaco must decide to either walk in directly and fight melee saving his deceive for escaping or using it to initiate leaving him in an awkward position upon appearing. The Shaco player doesn't have the choice to be safe in group fights because his skillset screams assassin which would be fine if he could do so. But he cannot down somone quick enough without being bursted to death either accidentally by AoE or because he sticks out like a sore thumb. Thus he is punished because of his skillset leaving it up to the enemy to NOT react, which is absurd.
-Damage skills are his escape skills (con side)
Shaco's ability to bring damage is directly related to his ability to escape causing confusion in how he should be used.
Players thoughts: "Should I decieve in and get a backstab crit for garunteed damage doing my job, or do I run in and hope I don't get focused before being able to attack a squishy and solidify an escape so I don't give up money?" Thus why people are confused by characters pulled in so many directions like Jax / Mordekaiser's design direction and rightly so.
-Absolutely requires red buff to function (see below bullet)
Shaco has to burst the opponent down before they can react, otherwise the shaco player is now punished for doing his job and can be taken out fairly simply due to just generic "q,e,w,r" combos.
-Too many stats to itemize.
Firstly, to optimally gain damage on Shaco, you need lots of attack-speed because Madreds is a core item.
But you need life-steal to offset his squishiness so he can jungle and proceed ganking.
However you need damage to actually be a threat and to utilize your Deceives scalability.
You also need Crit and Crit damage so you can be more reliable than a one - two skill combo for kills (Deceive + shiv)
Therefore you need to capitalize on keeping the enemy in reach with a slow (red buff)
Furthermore you also need large amounts of move-speed so you can stay on your enemy or traverse across the map and participate in ganking / pushing / jungling attempts.
But in order to contribute to a team fight consisiting of more then 5 people total, you need to build enough resistances / health so you can actually participate in the team fight without getting instagibbed.
Thus you need an incredibly large amounts of farm which you realize would be better spent on a more generic assassin / ganker like Ezreal, MF, WW ECT. that don't require over 9000 different stats to be average with and are effective at all stages of the game.
Conclusion: Shaco is pulled in too many different direction's / roles without being able to fill them well enough to be effective. He needs items to function, but he needs farm / ganks to get those items. If he doesn't get fed he is dead weight to his team. If he gets fed early, he must continue to keep getting fed to stay ahead.
The TL;DR is the bullet's. The explanation is below them. I think its easy enough to read.
-Scaling blocks shaco's mid / late game
-Skillset encourages confusion
-Is easily shutdown with coordination (early / late)
-Requires too many different stats (AS, AD, Crit, CritD, MS, CDR, Health, Resistances for just physical damage / AP, MP, CDR, Mana, Mp5, for straight AP)
-Must stay ahead early/mid to be any marginal threat through the course of the game
-Requires enemies to not pay attention react / react poorly to be effective in most situations
Therefore, in closing, I feel that Shaco's Cons outweigh his Pro's as it stands currently. I tried to make my points as unbiased as possible, however there is no way to rid bias completely. Shaco is certainly dangerous, especially when played well. However its my view that Shaco lacks a real role for his team that is leaving him undesirable.
You may agree or disagree at your choosing. This is a feedback thread and Discussion is encouraged. I must digress this is from MY vantage point and experience that I have shared with many both higher and below myself.