AP Shaco: A Year in Review

This is about the AP side of Shaco only and how the changes to him, whether it be to better the AP or AD side, have affected him. AP Shaco has been my bread and butter since Season 1. I have clocked in over 7000 games of Shaco, if not more, throughout all of my accounts. Currently, AP Shaco is in one of his weakest states he has ever been in. With my extensive knowledge of the game and the champion, I'm able to make him work well, but I feel, given how high the skill ceiling is, it isn't rewarding enough to be viable. I will be going over the pros and cons a year after the rework to analyze whether the rework was better or worse for AP Shaco. I will then give my personal thoughts on what should be done with the champion. **Old Shaco vs REWORK:** All Examples are Shaco at level 18 with 125.5(126) AD, 100 AP, 40% cdr. 1.00 Attack Speed, everything rounded. * Backstab Pre Rework: Shaco's passive, Backstab, increased the damage the target would take by 20% from Shaco's auto attacks, Hallucinate's autos, or Two-Shiv Poison when hit from behind. These were Shaco's main sources of damage. As Shaco's autos would do 20% increased damage, this meant the guaranteed critical strike he got, through Deceive, would also critically strike. Two-Shiv Poison's AD ratio and AP ratio were also improved by 20%. Current: The rework brought in a completely new passive, taking the Critical Strike off of Deceive and putting it on his passive. His passive now causes attacks from behind to critically strike. This critical strike will hit for 130%AD(+40%AP), increased to 200%AD(+40%AP) with a cooldown of 3 seconds, reduced by cooldown reduction. **Pros/Cons** Pros Guaranteed 130%AD(+40%AP) crit from behind every 3 seconds (reduced by CDR). if Infinity Edge crit changed to 180%AD(+40%AP) Cons Lost 20% damage from Critical strikes Lost 20% damage from Two-Shiv Poison **Examples** Pre-Rework Auto Attack 126 + 25 = 151 Physical Damage In a fight that lasts 10 seconds with Shaco attacking from behind, he will auto 10 times (damage increased by 20%) 126*10 (10 autos) + 20% (passive damage) = 1512, or 151 dps Current Auto Attack 126 * 130% = 164 + 40(AP Ratio) = 204 Physical Damage 204 Physical Damage every 3 seconds (1.8 with full CDR). In a fight that lasts 10 seconds with Shaco attacking from behind, he will auto 10 times, critting 3 times 164*3 = 492 (crit dmg) + 882 (7 auto attacks) + 120 (AP Ratio) = 1494, or 149 dps. (With 1.8 CDR on Passive) 164*5 = 820 (crit dmg) + 630 (5 auto attacks) + 200 (AP Ratio) = 1650, or 165 dps. After going through the examples, with no CDR, the change from 20% increased damage passive to the crit passive was a 2dps decrease. While, at full cdr, it was a 14dps increase. tl;dr Nerf with 0% cdr Buff with 40% cdr PreRework 151dps Current -2dps with 0% CDR +14dps with 40% CDR * Deceive Pre Rework: Blink in target direction and stealth for up to 3.5 seconds. Next basic attack within 6 seconds critically strikes for 220% damage Current: Blink in target direction and stealth for 4.5 seconds. After leaving stealth his next basic attack within 2.5 seconds will reduce Deceives cooldown by 2.5 seconds. **Pros/Cons** Deceive Pros Gained -2.5 Second cooldown reduction on auto Can now place boxes while Invis Duration changed from 3.5 to 4.5 Deceive Cons Lost 220% Crit Now Costs 60 mana at max rank rather than 50 Cooldown changed from 11 to 14 **Examples** Pre Rework Deceive 50 mana cost, 220% damage, 11 second cooldown, 3.5 Stealth Duration 11 - 3.5 (Stealth Duration) = 7.5 seconds 220% * 126 = 277 + 20% = 332 In a 10 second fight, you will get 2 deceives off. 2772 = 554 (Dmg of Crits) = 55dps (without backstab) 3322 = 664 (Dmg of Crits) = 66 dps (with backstab) Current Deceive 60 mana cost, 14 second cooldown, 4.5 Stealth Duration 14 - 4.5 (Stealth Duration) - 2.5 (Auto CD Reduction) = 7 second cooldown After going through the examples, Shaco gains a 1 second stealth duration and lowers the cooldown by .5 seconds, but loses 66 dps and costs 10 more mana. tl;dr Buff to Duration and CD Nerf to DPS and Mana Cost +1s stealth duration -0.5 cooldown -66dps +10 mana cost * Jack in the Box Pre Rework: A trap that lasts 60 seconds. Fears for 1.5 seconds. Attacks 10 times for 95 (+20% AP) Magic Damage. Prioritizes the closest champion in combat with Shaco. This being when Shaco damages a champion or when the champion damages Shaco. Can be Stacked. Pink Wards reveal the trap, but do not activate it. Current: A trap that lasts 60 (+5% AP) seconds. Fears for 1.0 seconds. Attacks 10 times doing 95 (+20% AP) Magic Damage. Prioritizes the closest champion that damages the box. Cannot be stacked. Gains hp per level. Becomes activated by Control wards, Oracle Alteration, Sweeping Lens, and Duskblade. Upon activation, boxes lose their fear and their duration is set to 5 seconds. They are revealed by Clairvoyance Plant and Oracles (through Kleptomancy). 50% damage done to turrets. **Pros/Cons** Jack in the Box Pros +5% AP increase to Duration Health scaling up to 550hp Jack in the Box Cons Cannot be stacked Is activated by Control Wards, Oracle Alteration, Sweeping Lens, Duskblade Revealed by Clairvoyance plant and Oracles Elixir. Worse Prioritization -0.5 second Fear length 50% damage to turrets * Two-Shiv Poison Pre Rework: Two-Shiv Poison maxed out at 210(+100% AP)(+100% bonus AD) Magic Damage. Two-Shiv Poison received an additional 20% damage from Backstab. 30% Attack Speed Reduction to minions and monsters. 30% slow on hit or on activation. Current: Two-Shiv Poison maxed out at 155(+120% bonus AD)(+75% AP) Physical Damage. Two-Shiv Poison damage increased by 0% - 50% based on target's missing health. **Pros/Cons** Two-Shiv Poison Pros +0% - 50% increased damage based on missing health +20% bonus AD ratio Neutral Changed from Magic Damage to Physical Damage Two-Shiv Poison Cons -97 base damage (-55 base, -42 Passive Nerf) -35% AP ratio (15% base nerf, 20% Passive nerf) -30% attack speed reduction **Examples** Pre Rework 210 base, 100% ap ratio, 20% bonus dmg passive, 70 Mana, 8 sec cd. 210(base) + 100 AP (AP Ratio) = 310 Magic Damage (No Backstab) 310 Magic Damage + 62 (20% passive) = 372 Magic Damage (BackStab) In a 10 second fight you throw Two-Shiv Poison three times. 3103 = 930 Magic Damage = 93 dps (without backstab) 3723 = 1116 Magic Damage = 112 dps (with Backstab) Current 155 base, 75% ap ratio, 0-50% bonus dmg dependent on target's missing hp, 70 Mana, 8 sec cd. 155(base) + 75 AP (AP Ratio) = 230 Physical Damage + 0% (0-50% based on hp) = 230 Physical Damage 155(base) + 75 AP (AP Ratio) = 230 Physical Damage + 25% (0-50% based on hp) = 288 Physical Damage 155(base) + 75 AP (AP Ratio) = 230 Physical Damage + 35% (0-50% based on hp) = 311 Physical Damage 155(base) + 75 AP (AP Ratio) = 230 Physical Damage + 50% (0-50% based on hp) = 345 Physical Damage In a 10 second fight you throw Two-Shiv Poison three times. 1000 hp 1000 - 230(0%) = 770 - 256(230 + 770/1000 50%) = 514 = 25.7%(514/1000 50%) = 289 230 + 256 + 289 = 775 Physical Damage = 78 dps A champion has to be at 30% hp for current shiv to deal the same damage as old shiv without backstab. The current shiv will never do as much damage as old shiv with backstab. * Hallucinate Pre Rework: Shaco Vanishes for 0.5 seconds, creating a clone. On death or expiration explodes, dealing 600(100% AP) Magic damage. Clone deals 75% damage and takes 50% increased damage. Current: Shaco vanishes for 0.5 seconds, creating a clone. On death or expiration explodes dealing 400(100% AP) Magic damage and spawning mini-boxes in a triangle. Mini boxes fear for 0.75 seconds, dealing 75(+15% AP). Clone deals 75% damage and takes 50% increased damage. **Pros/Cons** Hallucinate Pros Mini boxes Hallucinate Cons -200 damage I find Hallucinate is a negligible ability on AP Shaco. There isn't as much damage value in the ability as there is in tricking your opponent into thinking it's you. I find it's unreliable damage and scenarios when it's useful for damage are rare. It can help to add a few autos in a round of burst, but unless you have many hours on Shaco, using the clone effectively is one of the things that gives the playstyle its high skill ceiling. A new player will not be able to control the clone correctly to effectively use the explosion or mini-boxes correctly. Even I rarely use them correctly after the thousands of hours I have on the champion. * Summary **Pros vs Cons** Pros Backstab Guaranteed 130%AD(+40%AP) crit from behind every 3 seconds (reduced with CDR). Deceive Gained -2.5 Second cooldown reduction on auto Can now place boxes while Invs Duration changed from 3.5 to 4.5 Jack in the Box +5% AP increase to Duration Health scaling up to 550hp Two-Shiv Poison +0% - 50% increased damage based on missing health +20% bonus AD ratio Hallucinate Mini boxes Cons Backstab Lost 20% damage from Critical strikes Lost 20% damage from Two-Shiv Poison Jack in the Box Cannot be stacked Is activated by Control Wards, Oracle Alteration, Sweeping Lens, Duskblade Revealed by Clairvoyance plant and Oracles Elixir. Worse Prioritization Two-Shiv Poison -97 base damage (-55 base, -42 Passive Nerf) -35% AP ratio (15% base nerf, 20% Passive nerf) -30% attack speed reduction -0.5 second Fear length 50% damage to turrets Hallucinate -200 damage **Examples** All Examples are Shaco at level 18 with Base 125.5(126) AD, 100 AP, 40% cdr. 1.00 Attack Speed, Everything Rounded. 10 second fight, abilities weaved between autos. Pre Rework Full Example Backstab - 126*10 (10 autos) + 20% (passive damage) = 1512, or 151 dps Decieve - 2772 = 554 (Dmg of Crits) = 55dps (without backstab) 3322 = 664 (Dmg of Crits) = 66 dps (with Backstab) Jack in the Box - (Same damage between, Cancels each other out in end dps) 10*95+20(20% AP) = 1150 Two-Shiv Poison- 3103 = 930 Magic Damage = 93 dps (without backstab) 3723 = 1116 Magic Damage = 112 dps (with Backstab) Hallucinate - (Same damage between, Cancels each other out in end dps) Math: Without Backstab = 1268 + 554 + 930 = 2492 Backstab = 1268 + 20% = 1008 + 664 (Deceive Crits) = 1672 + 1116 = 2788 DPS - 249 dps (without Backstab) 279 dps (with Backstab) **Current Full Example** Backstab - 164*3 = 492 (crit dmg) + 882 (7 auto attacks) + 120 (AP Ratio) = 1494, or 149 dps. (With 1.8 CDR on Passive) 164*5 = 820 (crit dmg) + 630 (5 auto attacks) + 200 (AP Ratio) = 1650, or 165 dps. Deceive - (Deceive no longer has damage on it) Jack in the Box - (Same damage between, Cancels each other out in end dps) 1095+2010(20% AP) = 1150 Two-Shiv Poison- 1000 hp 1000 - 230(0%) = 770 - 256(230 + 770/1000 50%) = 514 = 25.7%(514/1000 50%) = 289 230 + 256 + 289 = 775 Physical Damage = 78 dps Hallucinate - (Same damage between the two, Cancels each other out in the end) Math: 1650 + 775 = 2425 (40% cdr for 1.8sec passive) DPS - Pre Rework 249 dps (without Backstab) (93 dps as Magic Damage, 156 dps as Physical Damage) 279 dps (with Backstab) (116 dps as Magic damage, 163 dps as Physical Damage) Current 243dps Physical Damage **Conclusion** There are a few effective paths that can be taken to help Shaco. One of the least drastic changes would be to revert some abilities back to their previous states. Something along the lines of his Passive and Deceive being reverted might give him the strength to be the one shot assassin AD Shaco players enjoy while also giving him the poke potential AP Shaco prefers. This would allow for Shaco to gain some strength back without fully reverting. Alternatively, testing something new on Shaco might be the key to fixing his problems. About a month ago, I made a post about adaptive abilities and why Shaco should be the first. [I go into detail about why adaptive abilities](https://boards.na.leagueoflegends.com/en/c/gameplay-balance/m8bA97WY-adaptive-champions-and-why-shaco-should-be-the-first) might be something to start thinking about. Shaco's a strong contender for being one of the first to be tested with adaptive abilities. His Two-Shiv is heavily relied on as a damage ability for AP Shaco. Giving Shaco the ability to make his Two-Shiv, and even his passive, do Magic damage or Physical damage based on what he builds, might help to bring him back into viability. A final, more drastic, change would be to go all in on one playstyle. Stop dancing around the champion's abilities, gimping both playstyles, and just make him fully AP or AD. My playstyle for years has been fully AP, but personally I hate seeing the majority of Shaco players, being AD, suffer because of Riot trying to balance around both playstyles. Thank you for reading through this. I hope that my thoughts about Shaco may help provide some guidance toward improving his balance and enjoyability. tl;dr Between the Pre-Rework AP Shaco and Current AP Shaco, there has been a decrease in AP Shaco's dps. Along with this, boxes have become less reliable because many items cancel them out, their new, wonky prioritization and the majority, if not all, of AP Shaco's damage becoming physical damage. Unless you play perfectly, AP Shaco is much less viable than AD Shaco currently.
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