What Is Shaco Syndrome? – Explained

You log in to League of Legends, trying to grind to that coveted rank you’ve always wanted. You queue up in Ranked Solo-Duo, completely oblivious that everything has started going downhill from here. In champion select, your jungler picked up Shaco. You then remember the last time you saw a Shaco jungle from the enemy where they hard-carried their team. You think, nice. I hope this Shaco is as good as that one.

25 minutes later, you began cursing the Shaco jungle that has never ganked any lane during the laning phase, lost all objectives, including the scuttle, and managed to get 0-10 without even doing anything. Once you see the Defeated screen, you realize your jungler has been inflicted by the Shaco syndrome.

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What is the Shaco syndrome?

The Shaco syndrome is defined by the community as “a law that states that any mechanically complex champion on your team will be completely useless and feed, while on the enemy team they will be gods and carry their team.” The term can also refer to any champion who satisfies the condition regardless of their mechanical complexity and is also alternatively called Yasuo complex or Draven effect, among other names.

Even if you might not have heard of the term before, you surely must have come across this archetype of champions. Nowadays, you can mostly see it in the Yasuos, Master Yis, Rivens, Zeds, and sometimes in the Dravens and Vaynes.

The high mechanical ceiling of most of these champions creates a large variance among its users, ranging from players who seem to be playing with their left hand in a trackpad to challenger players that can outplay 1v5s left and right like it’s nothing. It might seem that most people would get the shorter end of the stick every time these champions are picked in their games, resulting in everyone’s frustration with them.

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Prominent Examples of the Shaco Syndrome (in Every Role)

For the top lane, the most prominent one would be Yasuo. His incredible mobility can either serve as a maneuver to dodge skillshots or a minion closer to every single harass skill from the enemy. Riven is another major member of this group, boasting highly mechanical plays that your teammate can’t nail even once, but your enemy can consistently do so for some godforsaken reason. Other champions would be Nasus, Teemo, Camille, and sometimes ranged champions in the top lane, like Quinn and Vayne.

For the midlane, most assassins would fall into this group, the original “feast-or-famine” champions including Zed, Talon, Katarina, and Kassadin. For the other classes, Azir tops the list for the Shaco syndrome.

For the jungle, of course, Shaco would be on the list, with his ungodly boxes that seem to catch everyone in your team but would be worth less than a ward if it’s an ally box. Some other prominent junglers in the list would also be Master Yi, with his Q press timing defining his usefulness for the entirety of the game, and Nidalee, who can land every Javelin Toss only if she’s not in your team.

For the botlaners, the ADC list tops off with Vayne, who fares similarly even in the top lane. She can be a dodge god who can Tumble every skillshot away or simply get picked out by harass or any form of crowd control. Draven, who boasts a high mechanical ceiling with the ricochet of his Spinning Axes, is also a prominent member of this list with Tristana.

So far, the only prominent member of the group from the supports would be Blitzcrank, who can only hook the fed enemy Nasus if the robot is your ally or hook your sad ADC if he’s in the enemy team. However, other hooker and engage champions, like Thresh, Leona, and Nautilus, are honorable mentions who can only land hooks with the specific condition that they need to be not on your team.

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No matter how well you play your game, the nature of League of Legends as a team game requires that not only you play well, but also your teammates. Champions who exhibit the Shaco syndrome are often a coin flip of whether you’re getting a god or a mortal who can define your chances of winning the game more than it should. So if you do see someone locking in these champions, you might want to start praying to your lucky stars.

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