Build Guide by magedood
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.
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.
Vats up my people? This is my first guide so let me know what you think.
Welcome to my Maokai build. Before I get in depth, let me just say this, i created this build for games to be a semi carry tank but with enough power to damage people....while at the same time being able to with stand a fair amount of damage. I came up with this build and designed it for early and mid game power. Having the AP of Rod and Rylais will help you wear down the squishies and the added health from both makes you intimidating and durable. Lets Begin!
Pros / Cons
Great Early Game farmer
Great tools for harassment
Good with 2v1 Situations
Passive will save you more than once
Normally you will get a good laugh at the Saplings chacing people :)
Heavy on mana use early and mid game
Item build is on the expensive side
Sap Magic - this passive has the tendancy to allow longer laning periods and saving your life from time to time. If you are against aggressive enemies.....this simply allows you to heal more often.
Arcane Smash - Great ability in battle and when escaping. The small knock back will come in handy when you are escaping. The slow comes in handy when chasing and enemy down or slowing them to stop their escape.
Twisted Advance - This is generally the sell you will use to initiate a fight. Snaring an enemy into a sapling ensures a good portion of damage done to start off a fight and allows you the advantage of surprise when use coming out of grass.
Sapling Toss - This is your best damage spell and often the one that is miss used by alot of people. IN general, this spell is used for harassment, and damage. What most people over look is the capability to see into the Fog of War and Grass before face checking them.
Vengeful Maelstrom - This spell will make or break team fights. It takes practice to know when to use it, where to place it, and most importantly when to break it on enemies for damage. I will go into more detail below on each of those points. Just know, this will sav team mates from incoming damage and allow you to take an advantage early on.
- Magic Pen goes well with the Sappling Toss as well as the other abilities.
- I like having the HP per level glyphs......Early game they mix well once you have catalyst in your inventory.
- AP......seems odd to only have a couple thrown in there. This is where you as the player decide which you like better. Either having the 3 AP runes in there or 3 more HP per level. I like having a little extra AP for early game. This is a personal choice.
- MR comes in handy, especially later in the build....... With the way the item purchases go, having that MR coming in each level does come in handy.
- Pure HP Quints. are a great thing to have......since i start off with Dorans Ring, that added HP allows me to lane longer and farm longer.
- Again The added Ap helps with your damage output and its nice to have Early Game.
Lets move on shall we.
Ahh the masteries. I went this route to maximize the MR and Armor from the tank tree and having the added caster talents from the offense tree. Both trees add to the effectiveness on Maokai within the game.
OK here is a breakdown of each item use in this build.
- Dorans ring is a great starting item for Maokai. The HP, added with runes, gives you a good head start towards a large health pool. The AP allows the saplings to put out more damage on your enemies and creeps. The mana regen gets your mana back inbetween creep waves and fights.
- Catalyst is great to have in the early game. If you get an early kill or two be sure to get get this. The health and mana bonus that you get per level is excellent and starts to build your health pool for later on in the game.
- Mercury Treads....... great overall item to have. Since I normally am the carry tank or I end up being the main tank......CC tends to land on you. The reduction is great to have and is even more handy in 1v1 situations or when you are running for your life to escape 3-4 enemies O.O.
- Rod of Ages is a generic item that is used for tanks that lean towards AP. Having the bonus effect adds nicely with the bonus you recieved from having Catalyst.
- I love this item on almost all of my casters I play. Again, not to sound like a broken record, but having a large Health pool does have advantages. The HP bonus is nice as well as adding more damage to your spells.....but the slow effect is what makes this item great. Everyone will always have that chance to kill an enemy but they seem to just be out of range to grab. Having this added with well thrown sapplings.....Wapa-Chang (for those who know grasshyren from youtube)
- This is the part of the build that gets to the tanky part. Sunfire cape works well with Maokai, or really any tank. HP and Armor plus the AoE effect. All around great item.
- Force of Nature has two positive bonuses. First off the added MR comes in handy, especially against those very heavy magic teams. The Health Regen is great. If you are farming minions after a battle, this heals you up as well as your passive.
- Ahh the Hourglass. The Armor makes up from the lack of it through the build. The added AP only makes you stronger, which is what you want cause if you are in a game that allows you to get this far into the build, chances are that the enemy team is harder to kill than before, or you got fed beyond all reason :).
Alright now we begin the juicy part of this guide.
Maokai is capable of good burst damage early in a game and capable of with standing large amounts of damage late in the game.
Early game is vital to this build. You want to be able to farm gold at a decent rate as well as have the capability to kill enemy champions. I will go over my stratigies for both normal Laning (with a partner) as well as Solo Lane and Mid.
When starting off a game, having sapling can save you from early ganks. I will always toss a sapling into the grass to see inside and determine if I advance or stay by my turret. Once the minons begin spawning you want to focus on farming minions as well as harassing the other champions and keepthem from gold and XP. Sapling allows yu to keep your enemy push back from minons and can keep them both hiding at their turret.
Solo Lane and Mid
Lately I am normally the one who is solo when we have a jungler. And on certain occasions I have been the mid lane. My strategy for both is one in the same. Unlike normal Laning with a partner and being aggressive, Solo you want to focus more on the defensive aspect and let the minions come to you. I generally will take this time, when I am at my turret safety zone, i use my sapling to put damage on to the opposing champion and killing off minions.
I want to be more extensive in my explanation of Sapling toss and how to use it.
First off, This is a great harassment tool. Laning against other champions, this allows you to harass enemies and keep a safe distance. Remeber there is damage on both the landing of the sapling and the explosion. Use that to your advantage. When enemy champions are low and they stay next to their turrets, get the sapling toss near them and get them lower, this will either get them to recall, or if you are good, it will get you a kill. In the early game, the damage output is large compared to most. With the added AP from runes and Dorans Ring, this allows you to keep your enemies at a distance so you can farm easiliy and freely.
Sapling PLacement while laning is key. Generally in the first minute or two of a match i notice if my enemies like to stay in the grass and hope for the opportunity of suprise or if they stay out and farm away. With each option you can still harass. If you are against champions who like to stay in the grass.....toss your saplings into the grass when they aren't in there. Once they enter, the sapling does the work. If you are against farmers, this is normally better. I normally use the ;anding damage as my tool of harassment and the explosion damge to get my minion kills. 99% of all players will instantly run once they see a sapling coming to them. Use it to your advantage. You get the XP and Gold, they get the damage and frustration.
The last important part is the use of Sapling as a pair of eyes. While laning, toss a sapling into the grass in the riverbed, whether you are mid, top or bottom. Its a very simple way to get damage on to a lurking ganker and a great early warning system.
Maokai' s Ultimate is what makes him a very desirable champion for games. Lets Face it, a 20% damage reduction in a team fight for however long you mana pool can last or when you decide to throw a nice bit of damage, this spell will make your team have the upper hand in all the fights that will take place.
As the old saying goes....Location, location location. you cant always determine when your team fights will take place. But yo can make sure you do all you can to prevent your team mates are dying. Make sure before you place your circle that you are sure that is where you want it. Place it down so you get as many champions inside it, both enemy and team mates. This will both prevent damage and do damage to more champions.
Remember, this being the most important part of this section.........This is a great way to damage enemy champions but if you pop it too early, you will allow 20% more damage onto your team. Yes getting kills is nice but this is a team game. In my own personal opinion, I allow this ti stay down till atleast one enemy champion is down. The damage that is dealt after you pop generally scared people back so make sure that you are ready to finish them off.
All in all, Maokai has become one of my favorite champions to play simply for the fun of playing him.
I hope this build guide is helpful to all who read it. Rate it. Let me know your opnion of the build. Give me feed back on what you think needs improving and most importantly of all, let me know your experience after using this build in a game and tell me how it works out.
Side note: Once i remeber to get them i will add in screen shots to the various sections of the guide to help be a little more clear on what i am saying.
Thanks for reading.!