If Shaco is doing well early-game, it is worth the investment to buy Vision Wards.
If Shaco uses Deceive to enter a fight he won't be able to quickly use it again to get away. Work with your team to quickly focus him down.
Backstab is most effective after using Deceive. A guaranteed critical strike with a bonus 20% damage (not a true critical), then quickly followed by a 120% damage Two-Shiv Poison will deal a reasonable amount of damage to any champion's health.
Deceive can be used to go through walls in a similar way to the summoner spell Flash, so it can help you make a clean escape.
When playing Shaco and you just want to Deceive to get from A to B, it is a good idea to get out of stealth as soon as possible since Deceive cooldown timer only starts when out of stealth. You do this by using Deceive to get over, for example, a wall, and the press recall to get out of stealth.
With some practice you can Recall while being stealthed, by first using Deceive and then use Recall 1/10th of a second afterwards. By doing this you will be stealthed 3.5 seconds out of the 8 seconds Recall spends channeling. You can use this to juke your enemies and Recall faster back to base, however is a risky move to do since you will still be exposed for remaining channel time.
The same procedure also applies to Teleport and safer still, since its channel time is half of Recall's.
Shaco is best played tactically. Start off with a point in Jack In The Box. If you can, sneak into your lane (Presuming you're a strange support) without being seen by enemies and get to your bush. When in your bush have your lane partner keep the enemies away from the bush. Once you've placed a lot of Jack In The Box walk out of the bush and bait your enemies into a bush. Between levels 1-4 this should be an easy kill.
Keep in mind that experienced players will be wary of Jack In The Box in bushes, so this will probably not work. A better tactic may be to plant them in an enemy's jungle or just strictly as wards, or to place them near your turret to make defending easier.
Though over all Shaco is best played in the jungle due to his squishiness and his ganking and his objective control.
Be aware that both Jack in the Boxes and Deceive generate a puff of orange smoke when used, which is visible to the enemy even if used in a bush or in the fog of war.
Having at least 1 rank of Jack In The Box is important for team fights as it can be used to disable many enemies.
Stacking multiple Jack in the Boxes in one spot can rack up significant damage with an AP build.
Warding the jungle and surrounding area with Jack In The Box can allow Shaco to see a gank coming and escape before the other team initiates. Placing them in the brush will prevent enemies from hiding there.
Multiple Jack in the Boxes strategically placed can easily lead to a kill, or at least to a bruned Flash.
Jack In The Box can be used as an anti-initiation tool against champions like Evelynn. If you fear that they may initiate on you, stand on top of a Jack In The Box and wait for them to. The moment they do, they will be feared, allowing you to avoid most initial damage and possibly turn the fight around.
When laning, having a teammate with Teleport can be very useful. Placing a Jack In The Box in a bush and having a teammate teleport to it can provide a fantastic surprise attack that the other team wouldn't be able to call MIA quickly enough. Having a midlaner do this can be even more advantageous due to the level difference.
The Hallucinate clone can be, like most secondary units, controlled by pressing Alt + doing the order with right-click. It does not use any abilities or activated items, however. Use it to push turrets or farm minion waves once the duel/teamfight is over.
Hallucinate can also be used to turret dive on low health enemy targets hiding under their turret.
Shaco has a number of differences from his clone that reduce its effectiveness against observant players. He can be distinguished from his clone in the following ways: pinging Shaco before he uses Hallucinate will cause the ping to follow the real Shaco, and the clone won’t have any items so if you click him you'll know if it’s the real one or not, at last if he Hallucinate with Trinity Force, Lich Bane or Sheen you are able to tell which one is the real according to purple/red glow.
Shaco is often a prime target in teamfights. You should be using this to your advantage. Coming in behind the enemies and posing yourself as a threat will cause them to attack you. When they start to turn to you, use your Jack In The Box to fear or provide another target. You can Deceive once they start to pursue you, and while you deceive send in your clone for additional distraction. All this will allow your team to attack with less counterattack since enemies will be focusing on you.
A Banshee's Veil will help you do this by resisting a stun or silence and allow you to Deceive out safely.
If your team is defending a turret from attack, Shaco can push another lane (split-pushing). Shaco's team should be able 4-man defend a turret because of the offensive capability of the turret filling in for Shaco, and an AD Shaco can take turrets down very quickly with his Hallucinate. If the enemy team sends a few champions to defend the turret and chase you down, your team would have an advantage in attacking the others. If the entire team decides to target you, that leaves their other turrets open for attack by your team.
When Recalling (and have enough mana) you can go into a bush, place a Jack In The Box, stand on top of it, then recall. This way, if people are looking for you, they won't interrupt the Recall (unless the bush is warded and they have poke)
Keep tabs on where enemy ward debris is, and destroy Vision Wards if you can. This will help ensure that you will have an easier escape path if you're ever running.
When starting the first jungle camp start stacking Jack In The Box at 00:44. The camps spawn at 01:40 so this will make it so that all the bolts from the first Jack In The Box hit the camp and that it will not die before the camp spawns (Jack In The Box lifespan is 1 minute)
Youmuu's Ghostblade is an ideal early-mid game item for Shaco, affording the highest flat armor penetration in the game (at a point when enemies have yet to stack a lot of armor, particularly the squishies most in need of being shut down) on top of every other offensive stat an autoattack-dependent champion like Shaco could desire when the active is included. Later, it can be swapped out for The Black Cleaver if additional armor penetration is required.
Statikk Shiv has a unique synergy with Shaco, as Deceive allows him to get a guaranteed crit with the lightning passive at the beginning of an engagement, affording him extra magic damage (depending on the rank of Deceive and excluding bonuses from crit damage sources like Infinity Edge) at the beginning of his burst, as well as giving him attack speed and crit chance, which he likes. For these reasons, it is often rushed in some Shaco builds.
Although Berserker's Greaves are probably the best offensive boot choice on Shaco due to his dependence on autoattacks, do not overlook the fact that, as a melee assassin, he is exceptionally vulnerable to crowd control. Mercury's Treads may often prove the more pragmatic choice. Boots of Mobility are also viable for better roaming, though bear in mind that Shaco has better base movement speed than a lot of champions and thus may not need them as much.
Alternatively, an APShaco build is also possible, but relies immensely on placement of Jack In The Box.
Rushing the Warrior enchantment on Shaco is better overall because of the amount of sustain from life steal against monsters it gives.
When playing against a health oriented tank, like Dr. Mundo or Zac, go for Duskblade of Draktharr. The armor pen and burst it gives after getting your opponent low is very high paired with Shaco's natural burst.
Shaco can be a frustrating champion to kill due to the quick and easy escapes with Deceive, bringing him down with a disable or a fast burst will make him a much easier prey.
Be careful when Shaco is nowhere to be seen, he might surprise you with his Deceive.
To counter this, quickly run away when you see his Deceive particle.
Shaco'sDeceive particle can be seen through the fog of war and in bushes. If you think he is nearby for ganking, be on the lookout for it.
If you are unsure about a bush be very careful about face-checking as he might have filled it with Jack In The Box.
Shaco is a champion who stands very strong early game and is known for his deadly ganks, but severely falls off late game, apart from supports almost any champion with a similar total gold will be able to defeat him without suffering too much damage.
Shaco is a jungler without any sustain, as such, hurting him if encountered in the jungle can force him back to base, as well as a bad gank can do the same.
If you see Shaco initiate a fight with his Deceive, quickly focus him down while the spell is still on cooldown.
When fighting Shaco alone, be aware that he might use his Hallucinate to turn the fight to his favor.
Also, be aware that he can dodge any projectile or casting effect when he casts his Hallucinate.
To easily distinguish the clone and Shaco, his clone will not get particles from any item active or passive particles such as Sheen or Youmuu's Ghostblade.
Shaco's clone can not use abilities. Keep this in mind when you are trying to distinguish between the real one and the clone.
When he casts Hallucinate, his clone will always spawn on the right side his original spot and face backwards while the real one spawns on the front-right of his original spot facing forward.
Backstab increases any of his damage to you whenever you turn your back from him. Be careful when running away from him.
Place Vision Wards in bushes very close to where you will be standing a lot of the time. This is so that if a ShacoDeceives into your lane you will be able to see him if he tried to step behind you for an easy Backstab-boosted critical strike and Two-Shiv Poison combo.