I want to preface this by saying I have no animosity towards Riot and their balance team. I simply want to try and understand the reason why Rioters/Riot Employees openly hate this champion and I want to explain how weird that is to me. I will be making a case for why he should be reworked, suggest that this champion just be removed from the game, and make comparisons to other champions.
**Why not rework Shaco?**
I've been around since Season 5. I've read posts made on the topic of champion development and priorities when it comes to a rework. I understand that it isn't easy to just make up a new kit and ship it to live. I know cases like Kog'Maw, LB, and Rengar exist. I know that if Riot wants to they could revert Shaco to his previous state, but as a Shaco player I know that'd make him ridiculously strong; therefore, I don't think that'd be a good option. So why not put him in queue for a rework? Because you know that the champion's identity might be hard to maintain? Well I think it is safe to say that often champions that get reworked don't maintain their prior state in the game. Even when their kits are similar champions often change their core gameplay and the roles they play in the game.
Primarily I'll use Aatrox as an example. When his reworked kit was released I got extremely hyped. I've been playing him since near the start of the season and seeing him actually come into the meta was a really happy moment for me since I always considered the champion to be garbage. Aatrox's current gameplay centers around his ability to deal heavy dps with auto attack and sustain in fights. He could be ran a lot of different ways. Usually either a carry focused build with a lot of ad and attack speed or a more bruiser oriented build with some damage, health, and perhaps a resist item. There is even a way to prioritize poking enemies in lane with e and looking for chances to all in from there (similar to Camille's w lane poke). With the rework his kit is now centered around spells, specifically his q. He's a spellcaster now. While his passive does give him an empowered auto with utility, most of the time that auto is just in the way in my opinion. Both the way his passive is regulated and the power of the rest of his kit suggests that Aatrox's most important ability is his q and players should play around this ability. That is the complete opposite of the current diver who wants to get into a fight and start swinging his sword around. Is that necessarily a bad thing? No, but it does change his identity. Without dragging this on to much I want to touch on the reworked Aatrox's differences a bit more.
The live Aatrox usually will opt for one of three runes. Conquerer, Lethal Tempo, and Grasp of the Undying. The reworked Aatrox has the potential to use Conquerer, but with his kit usually requiring you to chain spellcasts to deal damage he doesn't really get to use it as well as the live Aatrox does and still utilize the damage. Lethal Tempo just seems like a silly idea on him now, and Grasp might be alright. Doesn't really seem to make a difference (I'd compare his passive proc to Garen's q in this case). The reworked Aatrox might also pick similar items like Black Cleaver and Death's Dance, but this Aatrox also now has stronger abilities to utilize lethality with his core gameplay centering around spellcasts. In short, the live and reworked Aatrox's will never be similar enough where it counts. His new kit is a bit more skill intensive, and as clunky as it is it won't feel like Aatrox in that regard.
So back to my question. Why not just give Shaco a rework in the future focusing on making a kit Riot's balancing team will be okay with and salty people can agree is balanced? When a champion is rework it is changed. Period. It won't always feel like the same champion and in this case that might be a good thing. Us Shaco players may not be happy with it, but do you really care? If you decide a champion needs a rework than that's what is best for the game. The game doesn't belong to the players and there is always something to complain about, but that's when you should care. Once you decide to go with a decision it should be with the intent to accommodate with the players (Speaking of accommodation please make reworked Aatrox less clunky pls <3). I think that'd be much better than leaving a champion in a terrible state out of an unrealistic phobia of what the champion you created is capable of when in the right hands. Speaking of capabilities my next point.
**Other Champions and Shaco**
Shaco's current and previous kit relied on stealthy assassinations by utilizing Deceive. To help him set up ganks he has the option to use his Jack in the Box or even his Two-Shiv poison's passive slow. He has a lot of outplay potential using his kit effectively and decent enough damage in the mid to late game. For starters other champions do this much better. Rengar and Kha'Zix being the biggest examples of this.
Up until recently Kha'Zix was allowed to hit 6, evolve his ultimate, and run across the entire map invisible while STILL having access to his ultimate's active. For how many patches did this version of Kha'Zix go on for? And that is just the difference in stealth. AD Shaco's main source of damage isn't spellcasts like every other AD assassin (Yi being possibly the exception and that's still another champ that does it better). Shaco relies on autoattacks for dps alongside bonus damage from items. Kha'Zix plays around isolation to deal instant burst damage. His methods of escape are his Leap and Void Assault. His Leap can even reset when a target dies. So how is Shaco the bane of existence? Is it because he can itemize and one shot someone? Because Rengar does that better. Rengar has had a history of being the One-Shot champion. He stealths in, just like Shaco, but then also gains movement speed, and once he gets close to a target (not right on top of the target like Shaco has to) he LEAPS onto them and proceeds to use his entire kit to hopefully eliminate the champion.
Yes these champions are not the strongest in every meta, but neither was Shaco pre-rework. Even before his rework up until now Shaco is a champion that pools from dedicated players. Even after the rework it was Shaco mains who played the champion the best. I 100% doubt that after Shaco's rework a whole new player base just suddenly flocked to him because he was in a much worse state after the nerfs. I don't know what makes Shaco such a big threat as both a player or the champion and a player of tons of other similar champions. Shaco is in a state where I don't even think about winning games when I pick him. As an AP Top laner it takes every fiber of the player's being to be successful and make it past lane. As a jungler he has a much weaker early game and if the player manages to snowball with it I believe it is earned. Abusing bad players is a universal concept in the game. If someone fails to identify a champion's threats and put themselves in a position in which they can be beaten that is their fault, not the champion that beat them (in the case of it being a balanced champion).
With the recent release of Pyke there is yet another champion that outdoes what Shaco is capable of. Pyke's scaling isn't even that high, but his ability to gank a champion is much stronger, his kit is easier to execute because each ability has a clear purpose to it, and his ultimate is an execute. He can be much more useful in the later stages of the game because he has actual crowd control. Shaco's Jack in the Box is a terrible ability in a sense that the box has an arm time. Even if you place it, if the enemy champion wants to negate the fear they just have to drop a Control Ward or a Sweeper. I'm sure at this point anything said about Shaco's kit is known already so I won't linger on it. You know that this champion isn't all it is cracked up to be.
**Why not just remove Shaco from the game?**
Everyone who plays this game is entitled to their own opinions. I just feel as though if people in Riot don't see Shaco as a champion that they can balance and be satisfied with, if Riot can not think of a way to overcome their concerns with attempting to rework or balance this champion, then why not just give up and remove Shaco from the game. As of today Shaco is my most played champion ever in League of Legends. I used to love playing this champion and expressing the skill that comes with his unique kit, but I can't do that anymore. It is much too hard to deal with knowing that there are better alternatives in all roles. If I woke up one morning and saw Riot release an apology saying they just have to remove or disable Shaco because they are that uncertain about it, then I wouldn't be mad. Because if he is a problem to the point where Riot doesn't want this champion to even breath then it is better than sitting around for months/years wondering when Shaco will feel right again. Shaco is an old champion and old champions at this point should be taken care of until they can be reworked.
**Some last minute things**
I know I butchered the way I addressed Riot in this post. Kept going from a direct approach to an indirect. I am sorry about that. I truly love this game. I don't even consider myself a gamer anymore because League of Legends is one of the few things that excite me. I actually spend most of my time writing as I did here. My biggest grievance with this peace is that someone is going to agree for the wrong reasons or flame me for some reason. Actually I am specifically afraid Phreak will show up out of nowhere and start bashing me because he specifically is the person who I think of when I think of people who hate Shaco, but I doubt he'd be reading board posts (for some reason). I am the kind of player who actually gives a shit about the mastery system. I love it because it is flashy and does give me a sense of achievement. Most my friends really struggle with off roleing (especially in top lane), and I am a top main who understands all the roles and plays champions in each. Sure that isn't uncommon, but that is special to me because it makes me feel like I am slowly progressing every time my Mastery Score goes up. Anyways if someone does read this then thanks, it means a lot. I just hope that the game can keep up with the constant changes and Riot doesn't nosedive into the worst possible decision over enough patches to where it kills the game. The current meta really is a breath of fresh air with marksman actually playing a minimal role in some games. I'm really happy that I can spend some time each day just queueing up or going into customs and polishing skills or testing weird stuff for the sake of fun. The only thing I refuse to do right now is play ranked. I was on track to get to Plat, but a lot happened and now I am at Gold 5. I guess I'm just better at macro than playing snowball heavy metas, but that's alright too. Life goes on. (Please Riot fix reworked Aatrox before live, it'd make me happy <3)