[MEGATHREAD] Let's Discuss: Shaco

Hi everyone! It’s been a while since a megathread happened, though now is a good a time as any to bring up the topic of Shaco: the champion has divided players’ opinion for years, and instead of fixing this, his rework has continued to divide the playerbase even further. Many players who mained the champion have found themselves losing what made him feel fun, whereas those who play against him still find themselves frustrated. To this day, discussions pop up on the Boards criticizing both his rework and his win rate. Because of this, it might help to focus discussion on Shaco and generate workable feedback for Riot, as once happened with the [Rengar megathread](https://boards.na.leagueoflegends.com/en/c/gameplay-balance/ENUEELfG-megathread-lets-discuss-rengar). Before you post, some ground rules first: * **Constructive discussion above all:** This is the golden rule. We all have different opinions, and some of these opinions are almost certainly going to clash with each other. This is not an excuse to disrespect each other or derail conversation into personal arguments. If you are going to post here, it is going to be with the intent of contributing to the topic of discussion, and by extension the game as a whole. * **Stay concise:** because there’s going to be a lot of discussion, and because others are going to be reading through this, it is important to keep things as brief as possible. This is not the place to post your full 3-page rework concept, even if a link to it or a few key suggestions will help. Be sure to read through the major conversations here, as well as the summary below, to check if something you want to share has been said before. Focus discussion about Shaco on this thread: We’ve all seen Gameplay blow up with half a dozen threads on the front page talking about more or less the same topic. This is a chance to avoid that: if you see this megathread and want to talk about Shaco, post here! You’ll have a higher chance of getting feedback from others, as well as Riot’s attention. * ** If you disagree, respond, don't downvote:** If a player is legitimately being toxic and disrupting conversation, you can downvote them, and are encouraged to report them, but otherwise hold off of that button and instead try to formulate a reply that states why you disagree. **Try to frame your feedback around these three questions (this is more of a guideline):** * **What is your criticism of the current state of Shaco?** * **What do you want Shaco’s gameplay fantasy to be?** * **What changes would you suggest to Shaco?** Good luck, and happy commenting! Be sure to check on this thread in the future, as I’ll be filling out the summary in this OP of this megathread’s current major talking points. Here are some of the major points that have sprung up often in discussion: * **Criticism of Shaco's current state:** * Shaco doesn't feel as fun to play as he could be, mainly because his power comes from abusing on-hit items rather than from exploiting the subtleties of his own kit. * Shaco feels lacking in counterplay, mainly because his damage has become much more front-loaded over time (thanks in part to Duskblade) and his stealth is lacking in clear counters following the removal of Vision Wards. **Most of the players here agree that Shaco needs to be more interactive.** * Shaco feels too strong, but for the wrong reasons. Players feel like his kit damage is too low, and is instead dominated by his synergy with specific items, enough to push him frequently past the 53% win rate mark. **Most of the players here would like a net nerf to Shaco's power if it meant improving his gameplay.** * Shaco feeling weak early and scaling harder late doesn't feel appropriate on him, particularly since the champion feels designed from the start to be a terrifying ganking jungler. * Many players miss building AP Shaco, which is no longer a really viable build relative to his much stronger AD path, once more because he scales harder with item effects, especially on-hit effects, than with his own kit. His E dealing physical damage, rather than magic damage, has also worsened this issue. * Many of the additions to Shaco's kit from his mini-rework are still fairly unwelcome, namely the boxes dropped by his ultimate and execute component on his E. A few players have mentioned that he feels more gimmicky, less focused overall, and more loaded than he needs to be, while still having fewer options in the end. * Some of the updates to Shaco's kit also feel buggy, with his vanish feeling less consistent at dodging shots, and his clone AI being less compliant. * While not directly related to Shaco, a lot of players aren't happy with some of the other Assassin Update changes that accompanied his own, namely the changes to stealth, true sight and Duskblade. Several players feel like a counter to stealth was removed (i.e. pink wards) without anything as useful being implemented instead, and many also feel that Duskblade has made AD assassins, including Shaco, less healthy overall by front-loading their burst. Additionally, a few players have mentioned how the implementation of the shimmer effect makes for inconsistent stealth at times, due to how delayed targeted projectiles can trigger the effect, with particularly negative impact on Shaco's juking potential, especially in lane when surrounded by minions. * **Shaco's gameplay fantasy:** * Emphasis on mind games, stealth juking and general slippery trickster behavior. * Emphasis on Shaco's own kit, and where he decides to funnel his power through AD or AP, rather than on the items or runes he synergizes with. * Strong early game, weaker mid and late game where he transitions from killing/ganking to splitpushing. * Flexible build options: Shaco should be able to build AP or AD and do well with either, without being railroaded into any particular item set. * Shaco should have a lot of counterplay based on anticipating and outsmarting him, i.e. predicting where he'll go, where he placed his boxes, which Shaco's the clone, etc. * **Suggested changes:** * A lot of players have asked for a full revert to Shaco's Assassin Update changes, as they feel like the older iterations of his abilities would be better to work with. * Several players have proposed to change Backstab to work in some manner with his W and E, as the synergy felt natural in his old gameplay. * Many players would like to see an increase to his early Q stealth duration, and are prepared to trade off damage from his innate and Q in exchange for this. * Several players would like to see his box stacking return in some form, as it was a big part of AP Shaco's playstyle, particularly since this kind of gameplay was encouraged on Maokai later on. * Quite a few players would like to see Two-Shiv Poison's active deal either magic or adaptive damage, to help out AP Shaco a bit more. * A few players have also asked to remove the execute component on E, and instead give it consistent and higher baseline damage. * Many players have asked to look into the vanish on his ult to make it more consistent, as there may be some underlying bugs that need fixing. * A few players have also asked to look into the clone AI to make it more responsive to the player's commands. * Many players have asked to remove the boxes dropped by Hallucinate's clone, and instead buff the magic damage on its explosion, in order to put emphasis on him successfully tricking his opponent, and less on him contributing CC in teamfights.
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