Welcome to “Trash Tier? No Fear!”
My name is MinnitMann, and this will be a series regarding certain champions that I (and others) feel are misunderstood when it comes to “viability” and tier-listing in the public eye.
I will be talking with high elo players that have dedicated time and energy to play these champions at a high level in solo queue, and try to let their voices be heard regarding how and why they succeed using them.
I feel that Shaco is a champion that is very unique in that his utility is very selfish. What I mean by that is his kit has nuances that make him very good when he is roaming and only fighting champions in 1v1 and 2v2 scenarios. This lends itself to his role as a Jungler, and has been exploited by many a player in solo queue that loves a nice early mid lane gank to snowball their laners.
The question as to why he is underplayed is most likely regarding the fact that Shaco is extremely hard to really pick up and play. He suffers from a similar problem that fellow stealth champions run into (such as Twitch). Which is the placement of pink wards and aggressive cc shutting down his offense since he relies on the element of surprise to really get things done during the early to mid game. Shaco takes game knowledge, and that barrier of entry has deterred many people who give him a shot.
Regarding his place in the meta, I think Shaco is prime for a resurgence in the new jungle since he still has the ability to secure buffs and objectives very well with his fantastic blink/stealth Q spell, Deceive. Despite the fact that jungle monsters are much more powerful, Shaco still has the power to secure every buff on the map and get away scot-free if he plays well. This can help him snowball mid game extremely hard since he is so great at punishing any laners that are out of position as well as any junglers that can’t chase him down. Not to mention that old caveat of solo-queue, the dreaded “team that forgets to upgrade/use their trinkets”.
That’s not to say Shaco doesn’t have issues. As a casual observer, many high tier jungle picks are custom made to counter him. They have mobility on the whole (Vi, Lee, Jarvan), and are not afraid to bully Shaco late game when he reveals himself with their bruiser builds and strong base damage. Not to mention that a team with proper map awareness and vision control will put him very far behind. On top of all that, he simply does not scale as well as many other champions (base damage or tankiness wise), and therefore requires expensive items to remain relevant in the late game.
What the average player thinks about Shaco…
- Shaco Syndrome: “On my team? He’ll probably feed and suck… On the enemy team? His knives will be permanently sheathed in my back the second he hits level 3”
- “Cheese early game, awful later”
- “STEALTH IS SO ANNOYING D:”
- “Meh, he’s a split push champ. Shaco couldn’t teamfight a class of kindergarteners.”
With these things said, here is an interview I conducted with YOUMATTER, a Masters/Challenger level Shaco main who has been playing since late Season 2. We talk about details regarding Shaco’s status in the meta, how people play with and against him, and more!