Maokai Build Guide by Smiff
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.
The first thing that I would like to say is Maokai IS NOT AN AP CARRY. he IS a tank. If you are looking for an AP build for Maokai this is not the place to find that. I'm sure someone has put a build like that on Mobafire go read that. That being said Maokai is capable of dealing a good deal of damage the way I set him up especially early game.
Thanks to Searz for the awesome guide format! You can find it here.
I will not go through what the abilities do. It can easily be learned by reading the ability tooltips and simply using the spell.
Mouse-over any items or abilities to see their tooltip.
Before I begin talking about the runes I would like to mention that the runes that I use on Maokai are the only ones that I have that are viable on him. There are better runes to use on him but I do not own those runes so don't flame me for the rune choice it is all that I have at the moment.
I take defense because I play very tanky. You could also go down the utility tree or if for some reason you just really want to you could go down the offence tree.
I always take the sapling first and max it because it hurts a lot. Really nice for those ganks and pairs up well with your other two skills which disable.
The issue with builds on Mobafire for tanks is that I cannot see the team you are playing against. So OBVIOUSLY if you are playing against 5 ad carries you can forgo most of the MR items. Of course it wont be that obvious unless the other team is just trolling but if you feel like dropping the FoN for a thornmail because Graves or Tryn are tearing you up feel free to do so.
If it is the other direction and they are AP heavy feel free to drop one of the items that give armor and grab a More MR.
If any of you feel like one of my items should be replaced feel free to let me know in the comments.
Maokai is very good in a group effort. your job is to try to Twisted Advance onto a soft target so that your team can blow them up and try to disable them as much as possible. Also whenever there is a fight drop your ultimate on your team it saves lives and does damage. Just be very careful to not let your ultimate Vengeful Maelstrom eats up all your mana.
Be sure to buy wards and put them in important places such as dragon, baron, red/blue and common pathways in and out of your jungle. Some people like to say that it is the supports job to buy wards so why should I? If the entire team is placing wards you will save countless lives and get way more kills. Especially if you drop some wards in the enemy jungle. It is not hard to kill the enemy jungler during a fight with a buff or just smite steal that buff or both.
Tips and Tricks
There are a few tips that I have for plying Maokai. I may have mentioned some of these earlier but I want to consolidate all of my tips into one spot.
- Adapt your build to the enemy team this build is not set in stone make sure that you change your build according to the opposing team composition.
- Vengeful Maelstrom is very strong and can saves lives. It significantly reduces damage to any friendly in it and can be blown up to do damage based on the damage prevented. HOWEVER it eats at your mana when it is up. It is very easy to forget about this move being up and suddenly be out of mana and very useless to your team.
- Saplings can be used as wards. They do not hang around for long but you can leave them in bushes and stuff to work as wards. This is something that I usually see bad Maokai's forget to do. Map awareness wins games.
-Maokai does not need kills to be a very useful jungler/ganker. When you gank for mid or bottom try your best to give the kill to your AP or AD carry. They will thank you and it will pay off later. your job is to keep the guy around so that your carries can tee off on them. This does not mean no to get kills but try to get your carries fed when you can.
-Shurelya's Reverie and Randuin's Omen are GREAT items. Both of these items however have an activate portion. Be sure to remember to use these items because otherwise you are wasting gold. I recommend that you use Shurelya's when your team is trying to initiate via a surprise or when your team is chasing or when you see that your team is losing a fight and you need to cut your loses and run like hell. Randuin's should be used whenever you initiate into a team fight with twisted advance and are among the enemy team. Like this you will be able to slow both the move speed and attack speed of most if not all of the enemy team.
- Map awareness Map awareness Map awareness. you should be dropping wards whenever possible. I wont point out where you should drop wards and where you should not because there are great guides on Mobafire by people who are probably better then me at this game telling you where you should put your wards at and they go into great detail.