An explanation of the “Shaco Syndrome” scale

League of Legends. Photo Courtesy of Riot Games.
League of Legends. Photo Courtesy of Riot Games. /
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Orianna. League of Legends.
League of Legends. Photo Courtesy of Riot Games. /

Level 3: the Orianna ordinance

Now we get into that middle ground. These are champions with some game-changing abilities that can still be effective even when behind. Unfortunately, if the player operating the champion is bad, it will massively impact your team’s ability to win.

The first two levels featured either safe picks that are hard to fall completely behind on or champions that will undoubtedly be useful regardless of how far behind they are. The Level 3 champions on the Shaco Syndrome scale can easily fall behind or snowball massively in lane.

However, there is still the chance for these champions to have some utility despite whatever happened in the laning phase. But this is a double-edged sword because these champions also have a lot of room to mess up, misuse abilities, and throw games even if they’re even or ahead. They can’t necessarily 1v9 like a fed Riven – or feed like a bad Riven – but their abilities can certainly decide a lot of key team fights.

On the enemy team, Orianna’s ball placement is impeccable, zoning your key engagers/divers from the fight with the threat of massive chunk damage. If she gets a Q>E combo on your team, the squishier members take massive damage. When her Nocturne or Malphite engages, Orianna shields and ults them to perfectly layer the CC, giving her team an easy team fight win.

On your team, Orianna puts the ball on your engager but doesn’t press the ult until just after her ally is out of range, giving us the classic sombrero. Worse, she’ll try to flash+ult onto the other team, not have the ball with her, and get easily taken out.

Other examples of Level 3 champions: Lulu, Kai’Sa, Warwick, Illaoi, Urgot, Twisted Fate

Level 4: the Bard burden

These champions are not quite the terrors that the Level 5s are, but there is a key distinction between the Level 4 champions and all others on the Shaco Syndrome scale. Level 4 champions can wreck their own team’s chances to win the game if played by an incompetent player or carry the game in the hands of a pro. Every time that Bard on your team ults, it’s either going to be a godly play, putting the tower and tanks in stasis, giving your team a full second to dive onto and kill those exposed carries, or he’ll freeze their whole team juuuuuust as that massive Ziggs ult is going to fall on them.

Having a bad Bard isn’t a “feelsbad” moment in the same way having a bad Yasuo is, because with a bad Bard there is always the hope that those costly mistakes are just a fluke. There’s always the possibility that the next time he will hit his skill shots and the fight can be won, but it still hurts.

He’s not feeding the enemy team kills, allowing his lane opponent to just run the game over, which is good. However, unlike a Level 3 champion he can actually undo some of the good work his allies did, or put them in a worse position through no fault of their own. It’s frustrating to have a champion on your team actively working against you, even when they don’t feed.

On the enemy team, Bard ults your entire team while doing baron, allowing his jungler to easily slip in, steal it, and his team to wipe yours. He also hits every single Q onto two members.

On your team, Bard ults his whole team while running away from an Ezreal ult that may have killed one person, but allows the enemy team to easily line up a devastating Orianna ult that kills everyone. Ever Magical Journey he sets up takes his team straight into the pit, and he maxes W for some reason.

Other examples of Level 4 champions: Poppy, Lissandra, Gragas, Tahm Kench, Ryze

Level 5: the Shaco Syndrome

Here it is, no real explanation needed. Those champions that are somehow both overpowered and utterly useless, depending on the skill of the player.

The Riven who is either BoxBox or a kid playing on a Macbook tracker pad, cancelling every single auto. The Yasuo who either dashes through every single minion off cool down, allowing him to be harassed throughout lane, or the 1v9 who flash+tornados onto the whole team and wipes everyone. The Shaco who either one-shots everyone on the other team or can’t even 1v1 a Kog’Maw before dying.

On the enemy team, Shaco is one of PinkWard’s smurfs, sitting in one lane ruining their life, getting kills every time the laner even touches the creep wave, invading your jungler, escaping without being caught, ruling every neutral objective, and running the game over to victory.

On your team, he AFK farms till level 6, builds full tank, fails his Q over walls, and generally is massively ineffective, dragging your team to a loss.

Other examples of Level 5 champions: Vayne, Lee Sin, Camille, Blitzcrank, Nidalee, Azir

Next. Five favorite allied champions to have on your team. dark

Where does your favorite champion fall on the Shaco Syndrome scale? Let us know in the comments below!