Maokai Build Guide by 1Indian

League of Legends Build Guide Author 1Indian

Dendrology 101: How to be the #1 tree

1Indian Last updated on August 9, 2016
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Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
Ability Key R

Not Updated For Current Season

The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.


Natural Talent
Bounty Hunter
Battering Blows
Piercing Thoughts

Ferocity: 12

Dangerous Game

Cunning: 0

Tough Skin
Runic Armor
Veteran's Scars
Legendary Guardian

Resolve: 18

Threats to Maokai with this build

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Threat Champion Notes
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Who are you?????

Hey whats up guys I'm 1indian and I am gold this season in NA. I love tanks and play them often. tanks are great champs which you can fool around with in norms or go crazy with in ranked. They usually never die, and provide alot in a team.

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Why Play Maokai?

Maokai is a fantastic champion and a great tank. He is fairly simple to use and adds alot to a team. Maokai is a fairly strongin lane but once he does a full combo on you he usually has to back off because cds are high early lvls. He is a great source of engage and can has hard cc Twisted Advance, and his whole kit offers alot of cc wich makes him great in teamfights.

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Pros and Cons


-Loads of CC
-gets really tanky
-good source of engage
-great addition to many teams
-can get vision without wards


-weakish laning phase
-fairly low movement speed
-high CD's early lvls

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Passive: Sap magic

Fancy details:

Maokai draws energy from spells cast in his vicinity, gaining a charge whenever a nearby champion, including himself, uses an ability, capping at 5. Upon reaching 5 charges, Maokai's next basic attack consumes all charges to heal him for a % maximum health.

What to do:

Basically this is your lane sustain that helps against opponents who tend to use their abilities alot. Every time that 5 abilities have been used your next auto heals you. Pair this with Spirit Visage and Grasp of the Undying , well lets just say you gonna be healing alot

Q: Arcane smash

Fancy details:

Maokai releases an arcane shockwave that travels forth in a line, dealing magic damage to all enemies it passes through and slowing them for 1.5 seconds. Enemies near Maokai are also knocked back

What to do:

This is a reall cool ability because if you are close enough to your opponent when you use this ability it counts as a knockup. That means that a Yasuo can use his ulti Last Breath off of your Arcane Smash. This ability doesn't stop on the first target hit, meaning it works good as poke/wave clear. You can use Arcane Smash to farm a wave(be careful at early levels because it has a long cd and uses a decent chunk of mana) and if it hits an enemy champion in the process, congrats you just got free poke off.

W: Tisted advance

Fancy Details:

Maokai dashes to the target enemy, becoming untargetable for the duration, deals them magic damage on arrival, capped at 300 against minions and monsters, and briefly roots them.

What to do:

This is your engage or hard cc, plz do not use it on a minion unless it is to outplay an opponent or dodge an ability. When this ability is going through, the underground travelling animation means you are invulnerable to any source of damage. When timed right you can avoid things like Counter Strike

E: Sapling toss

Fancy Details:

Maokai flings a sapling to the target location that deals magic damage on impact and remaining there, granting sight around it.
Upon spotting an enemy, the sapling chases them for up to 2.5 seconds, exploding upon impact or at the end of its duration, dealing magic damage to all nearby enemies upon detonation and slowing them by 50% for 1 second.

What to do:

Get this first and throw it into bushes for vision. This can also be used for that longer range harass under turret.once you get to around lvl 6 with the runes and masteries I use, you can Sapling Toss into the caster minions, then Arcane Smash them and with the second proc of Sapling Toss you will clear the entire caster minion wave.

R: Vengeful maelstrom

Fancy Details:

Maokai creates a magical vortex around himself for up to 10 seconds, reducing non-turret damage dealt to himself and allies in the vortex by 20% for the duration and storing double the amount absorbed, capping at Vengeful Maelstrom's base damage.
At the end of its duration or upon reactivating Vengeful Maelstrom, Maokai detonates the vortex, dealing magic damage to all nearby enemies.

What to do:

basically pop this when you get into a fight so you become tankier and your allies take less damage. If your opponents disengage don't forget that you can re activate Vengeful Maelstrom to end it, otherwise it will drain mana per second and you end up with virtually no mana at the end of the 10 seconds.

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: This is good for Maokai because it give you the early mana regen which is really helpful and it also gives you some health

: I personally like the dorans shield start because of the health regen and it gives you better sustain in lane

: This is a good start for any laner that uses mana. If timed correctly the burn is useful and it restores health and mana.


: gives you better mobility, and helps you go fast

: bonus tenacity, and magic resist are really nice for ap teams or teams with alot of cc


: This gives you health, armor and better waveclear/ split potentail. Also damages opponents that are within a certain radius of you which is good for long duels.

: Spirit Visage works fantastic with your passive Sap Magic. Spirit Visage increases the healing you do as well as giving you health. This synchronizes so well with your kit, it is a must get item for when your opponents have strong ap champions

Other items

: This item is good on Maokai but you need to get it relatively quickly to get its impact. the movement speed is great, plus your first auto once you hit max stacks slows your opponent. This makes it easier for Maokai to stick to his target

: this item is great especially because it makes you immune to one ability, and it's not a bad buy for Maokai but make sure you have Spirit Visage first because Spirit Visage works better for Maokai

: This is a really good item, and I think it works well on Maokai however the passive auras do not stack and usually your support will pick up this item

: I love to get this item when I am ahead. This paired with Dead Man's Plate makes it virtually impossible to run away from you. weaving your spells in with autos will be so incredibly useful with Maokai as well because you will be able to stick to them and do whatever damage you can.

: This is really good since it reduces attack speed of your enemies usually a support will pick up this item, but you can pick it up as well and it is good against attack speed champions such as Irelia and Yasuo

: The health and health regen given from this item are phenomenal and a great pick up for any Maokai

: This is good on any champion if you are dying to quickly in fights

: This is a good item to get when you are behind because it helps with your split potential and allows you to push waves better. Place this top lane, and then go teamfight somewhere else and you get a free push where you either get a tower or a 4v5

: against a team thats full ad or ad heavy rush this after you get a Bami's Cinder this will make you virtually unkillable and with your ulti. Vengeful Maelstrom you won't die and it'll be hilarious

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Laning and Lane matchups


During the laning phase its important to keep up in farm, and do your best not to die. you have high CD's early game so use your abilities to help with wave clear. Don't get too mana hungry early tho because then you will be a dead tree. Avoiding ganks are usually easy because your opponents won't walk single file, they should try to pince you. When they do this you want to use your Twisted Advance onto the enemy that is closer middle lane the reason for this is so you don't get easily pinned under turret, and its easier to walk away because one opponent will be rooted in place and the other will have to move towards middle lane. You also have greater movement possibilities here rather if you go onto the person closer to the edge of the map then you will a harder time escaping because there are less places to escape to. When running use your Sapling Toss and Arcane Smash to help you kite away from your opponent. When trading use Twisted Advance as an initiation, then put Sapling Toss on them for the first proc of damage. Arcane Smash then start moving into your minion wave, the second proc of Sapling Toss will activate and slow your opponent and if the start autoing you then they will get targetted by minions because you are in the middle of your wave. Winion damage op.


*to be updated with time*
EASY: Generally speaking you should win these matchups

: Why do people pick malphite? because of his ult Unstoppable Force its honestly the biggest factor in a team because its insane engage. In lane a Malphite needs to rely on auto attacks and his E Ground Slam out farm him and make team plays and you will easily win the matchup

: Right now Ekko as a champion is definitely not in meta as a top lane tank, and also Ekko as a champion requires aggressive play mostly because his ulti Chronobreak is his disengage. Don't play aggressive, when he plays aggressive disengage until he uses his Parallel Convergence once he uses this he won't have a stun or a shield and this is his hardest form of cc, so if you can avoid this then you are golde. after that use the Twisted Advance> Sapling Toss> arcane samsh> run away for a quick poke combo. don't engage too hard after he is 6 untill his ulti Chronobreak is down

: IMO you counter Sion. Why you ask? Simple. Your Twisted Advance makes immune during its channel (or the time that you are underground). So when Sion uses abilities such as Decimating Smash or Unstoppable Onslaught you can cast your Twisted Advance to get behind him and avoid those abilities. in team fights just stand infront of your carries when Sion ults in order to prevent them from getting knocked up and stunned for an eternity

: The two abilities that hurt for any Cho'Gath are 1) his Rupture and 2) his Feast stay close to Cho'Gath that way when he uses his Rupture you can quickly Twisted Advance to him avoiding the knock up and the damage. That is a signicficant detriment. Cho'Gath will Feast on minions till he has 6 stacks if he is good, you can't really avoid this but youll notice a little circle around your character signaling that if he uses Feast on you he gets a free dinner. try to avoid that as much as possible. Cho'Gath is ap so rush the spectres cowl for better lane phase.

: Don't let him kill you and you win. Garen can farm yes but so can you, and his only use in teamfights is to be annoying and to be a tank that soaks up damage, runs into a bush and comes back out at full health. Help peel for your adc when you see a Garen in teamfights because he is going to try to jump on them.

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So it mostly depends on the situation and how your team is fairing.

Situation 1: Your team is ahead and you have a mobile adc
-In this scenario you can mostly do then engage and force some chaos in the enemy team. Use Twisted Advance to engage on a target, either someone who is too far up or someone who will die quickly. The enemy team will start to target you, so you pop your ulti Vengeful Maelstrom in order to reduce the damage that you take, and help your teammates live longer. At this point you are just there to soak up damage.

Situation 2: Your team is ahead but you have an immobile adc/your team is behind but your adc is ahead
-Here what you want to do is to let someone else make the engage. You want to save your Twisted Advance to help peel for your adc. when I say immobile im talking about characters like Kog'maw who deal a **** ton of damage , they squish, but they don't have high levels of mobility, meaning if they get jumped then they are dead. Keep assassins and otherss off of the adc as much as possible because in this scenario, if the adc lives, you win the fight. However if the rest of your team is behind then try to avoid fights

Situation 3: Your team is behind
- Do not fight, and try to not get caught out. If your team does get caught out try your best to preserve those with wave clear and the carries. Other than that to not to die.