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Maokai Build Guide by The Pink Poro

Not Updated For Current Season

This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.


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League of Legends Build Guide Author The Pink Poro

Enter the jungle, leave the wood 5 / Revised for top lane

The Pink Poro Last updated on August 13, 2014
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Jungle Builds

[VS]

AP Bruiser Top Build

Ability Sequence

2
4
5
7
9
Ability Key Q
3
8
10
12
14
Ability Key W
1
13
15
17
18
Ability Key E
6
11
16
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.



Masteries

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Havoc
 
 

Offense: 0

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
1/
Legendary Guardian
 
 

Defense: 21

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Bandit
Intelligence
 
 
 
 
 
 
Wanderer
 
 

Utility: 9


Table of contents:



Introduction
Why Play Maokai?
Runes / Masteries
Abilities
Items
Strategy
Thank You!
Change Log

********

HAI EVERYONE! My name is Alex, but you can call me Poro. I'm a player on the NA server and I recently climbed my way from wood tier to plat. I have a wide champion pool so I'm going to release a series of guides to help players struggling to get out of low elo. This guide is pretty long because it covers how to properly play one of my 3 mains, Maokai with two of the more popular jungle play styles, as well as the increasingly popular top lane build. So... if you don't have a lot of time to read my explanation for runes and such, just use the cheat sheet above, and read the Abilities and Strategy chapters at the bottom. IMPORTANT STUFF LIKE THIS IS IN PINK GUYS!

Anyhow, thanks for looking at my guide on Maokai, The Twisted Treant! If you guys would comment and vote it would be greatly appreciated!

UPDATE: ON THE FRONT PAGE OF MOBAFIRE

<3 THANKS GUYS!!! <3


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********

Maokai is one of those champions that fell off after the start of season 3. And when I say fell off, I mean hard, like off the rift hard, as in Urf-getting-eaten-and-turned-into-a-limited-run-skin-by-Warwick-hard. But with patch 4.10, Maokai got some much needed love from Rito, and here we are.

Since the patch Maokai was gifted 2 major changes to his kit. Firstly, saplings now slow after detonation which is HUGE. Now you can use them to block off enemy escape routes when you gank. Secondly,his ult is now centered around him instead of free moving like Anivia's, which means that you can do a much better job of peeling for your carries and keeping them alive. On top of this, Spirit of the Ancient Golem got reworked and it makes Maokai's life soooooooooo much easier.

Because of all these recent changes, Maokai is able to be the crazy gank happy monster that we all knew and hated in season 2.

As of 4.12 a couple Challenger Tier players have begun playing Maokai at top lane, as a kind of response to the rise of Gragas in NA and Renekton in KR. I've actually started playing him at top lane myself, and I've found him to be very strong. If you're not playing Maokai, or at least learning to, you're wasting a chance to get some freelo.

Pros
+Silly amount of cc output
+Great durability and sustain
+Massive burst for a tank
+Built in camo
Cons
-Few offensive build options
-Lacks an AOE initiation
-No reliable smite combo
-Hasn't gotten to full meta at top lane

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********

In case you can't tell, this section is split up based on the two styles I cover in my guide. You can read one, both, or neither, all you have to do is click on the drop down tab... or don't
(but really please do I worked hard).


Objective Control Build
Runes

Greater Mark of Attack Speed
9

Greater Seal of Armor
9

Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
9

Greater Quintessence of Ability Power
3
Gank Heavy Build
Runes

Greater Mark of Attack Speed
9

Greater Seal of Armor
9

Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
9

Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed
3
AP Bruiser Top Lane Build
Runes

Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
9

Greater Seal of Armor
4

Greater Seal of Health
5

Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power
9

Greater Quintessence of Ability Power
3

Now for some general stuff... The attack speed helps you get more passive procs off in teamfights - you should generate about 1k hp from this per fight - and makes it easier for you to clear your camps. Full armor is still better for junglers even after the nerfs, and the scaling magic resist makes up for how little you get from your build.


Mastery Explanation (JUNGLE)
Masteries
2/5
2/1
1/1
3/5
1/5
1/1
3/1
3/5
1/
3/
1/
1/5
3/5
1/1
3/1
1/1
Mastery Explanation (TOP LANE)
Masteries
3/1
1/1
3/5
1/1
1/1
2/5
2/5
1/1
3/5
1/1
1/1
3/1
3/5
1/
3/
1/
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********

I had originally forgotten to put this section in, but the wonderful Emikadon saw the error of my ways. So here it is Poro-ites, an ability chapter! Thankfully this is the same for both versions of Maokai so this section is going to be nice and short.

innate: SAP MAGIC

Q: Arcane Smash

W: twisted advance

E: sapling toss

R: vengeful maelstrom


Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

Even after the patch 4.11 changes to Maokai's Twisted Advance its still really good for him to go for maxing Arcane Smash first. This is mostly because it is a reliable source of low cd, AOE damage to help with clearing the jungle and making impactful ganks.You level Arcane Smash over Twisted Advance because they both have their place at different points in the game. This leveling pattern accommodates that.

Now I've been having a couple people ask me about tricks of the trade for Maokai, so I'm going to put those in the tabs below. This tab will contain tips related to utilizing his abilities correctly, not the strategy of ganking as Maokai. That kind of advice is in the Strategy Chapter and I highly recommend reading it all.

Tricks for your first clear
tricks for smiting with Maokai

On a closing note, Maokai has a pretty cheap harass combo when playing top lane. You really want to have good vision if you plan on doing this because it does use both your Arcane Smash and your Twisted Advance, leaving you really vulnerable to ganks. The combo is: AA -> E&W -> Q (towards your tower, usually) -> AA. It's important to note that you use your Sapling Toss as you blink to the enemy with Twisted Advance. If you do it right they should get hit with the landing damage and the explosive damage from your sapling. This actually increases your trading power a ton, and makes the skill way more mana efficient.

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********

This section is collapsed completely into tabs because its really long. I mean, it would be really cruel of me to make you guys scroll through all of this crazy in depth explanation just to get to the strategy section. As with Runes & Masteries, I split up the chapter into the two Maokai styles that my guide is here to explain.


Objective Control Build


Gank Heavy Build


AP Bruiser Top Build


The important thing to note about items is that they are completely situational. I've found these build paths to work for me in the majority of games, but if the enemy does something crazy like 3 marksmen, you can probably skip getting a Locket of the Iron Solari and other MR items. Knowing what to build takes practice, so use this guide as a starting point to learn from

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********

I'm going to be talking about a few different things in this section. Planning, ganking properly as Maokai, and Baron/Dragon calls. I will go pretty in depth into all of them so be warned.

A STORY ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF PLANNING


GANKING WITH MAOKAI


BARON AND DRAGON CALLS


CONTROLLING OBJECTIVES


Top-Kai tactics


I will update this section with videos and such later on, at the moment I just don't have the programs to record examples of anything, SORRY!

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********

Thanks for reading my guide in Maokai, The Twisted Treant! If you have any questions you can PM me on either League or Mobafire. Don't forget to comment and vote.

Its been one heck of a ride Mobafire, thanks for all the support. Poro out.


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********

v1.0
I recognize that there is a bug with Mobafire displaying some of the items in the items chapter, I have notified Mobafire's support and am awaiting a fix to the issue.


v1.1
I still haven't been able to fix the issue with the item sets being displayed properly. I updated the skill order to better reflect Maokai's needs as a peeling focused tank jungler.


v1.2
Shoutout to Janitsu for showing me what was wrong with my items section. I altered the code and everything renders properly. Currently testing to see if I like Abyssal Scepter over Iceborn Gauntlet as the default end item in my build. v2.0 UPDATES SOON


v2.0 - 07/10/14
FIRST MAJOR UPDATE TODAY!!! I want to make a big shout out to all of the wonderful people who've read my guide over the past week, and put me on the front page of Mobafire. Next I want to say I hope everyone enjoys the new, more streamlined appearance of the guide, this took about 3 hours to update completely and work it to how I wanted, so I'm pretty proud.


v2.1 - 07/10/14
I reworked the masteries and items sections as per Joxuu's suggestions. Still testing out the different build paths to see if there's anything that I feel needs reworking.


v2.2 - 07/10/14
Added the abilities chapter to the build, adding cutesy pictures on the next build.


v2.3 - 07/11/14
Added tips and tricks to the abilities chapter, reworked some of the tabs (information and placement), and added some graphical whimsy.

v3.0 - 07/12/14
Reworked entire guide into one chapter to use a customs table of contents. I will be updating the table of contents again soon.

v4.0 - 07/12/14
Added the build and discussion for playing Top-Kai in post 4.13. Corrected some minor grammatical errors I located in the item's section.

v4.1 - 08/13/14
Clarified a discrepancy between the cheat sheet Masteries and the actual guide. This is under the "Mastery Explanation (Jungle)" tab.

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