Maokai Build Guide by Guano
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.
Alright well this is my first guide and I chose to do it with a champion I have gotten fairly good with, at least in my opinion, constantly using this build. Well please comment and recommend on things I can change/try! Thank you!
I choose to put my runes like a caster would, giving me early game damage with my combo and/or tree saplings.
ManaRegen per level Seals
Leads to about 40-41 AP with the Dorans ring.
This is my build. I choose to start with a dorans ring because it gives me some more mana regen and ap and health which helps my passive letting me regen more health. Now I only have 5 core items, because I never know what else to get, some games I get a deathcap if I have enough time/money, maybe an aegis of the legion, shyurlies reverie. It is all depends on how you are doing in the game, money, time, and what the other team is beating you with. You may need more armor with a randuins omen. Maybe more magic resist with a force of nature. Or just want to really beef up with a warmogs. Its all up to you! I generally only get the elixirs if we have been level 18 for awhile and I have that other 6th item or am starting to build it, these just give me more stats and a oracles to help pick off wards and other invisible things.
I choose to max my E which is the tree sapling first. This is a great scouting tool for bushes. (Use it!!) Soloing top and don't have a ward in that bush below you? Toss a little guy in there to maybe save you from a gank. I then rotate my W and Q prefering my W first, because it is (in my opinion one of the best and unique stuns in the game) a stun in which you travel to the target location instead of a taric stun that leaves you still far away and it is an EXECELLENT inihiator. Next is his Q. This ability is the follow up to your stun for the slow and knock back. After a team fight chasing one person? W to them Q near them and bam the rest of your ream has caught up for the kill. Now we go to his R (or Ulti) This is a skill that can be very effective if used at the correct time. If they are all bunched up or you stun one of them and they try to take you out, use it but make sure you try to cancel to dish the damage back to them. It isn't smart if everyone is spread out don't even bother to use it. You need good timing and decision making to know when to use this ultmate.
I take Ghost and Clarity for my two spells. Ghost for an escape, and clarity for during the laning phase, can be used to bait someone into a combo/possible kill for you. For example you are last hitting basically whenever you can and are harrasing with your little saplings. You get very low on mana and then deceide to engauge you. You pop clarity which gives you access to all of your abilities with a stun, knock back and a sapling throw that leads your opponent can do quite a bit of damage.
Now in most of my games I have a very high minions killed count. The main reason that happens is because, i try to toss my sapling at the back row of minions making sure to hit all of them, while in early levels it won't kill them all, but it leads to easy last hits, and in late game whipes them all out. Once you get your sunfire cape farming becomes a lot easier.
When laning with a partner you can set up many kills and save lives. You W and Q for some CC and your E for some harras/scouting tool. Also with a passive that is very helpful for staying in lane. Your W can help you and your partner pick up kills. And your E to manage the area around you lane (basically a small vision ward that lasts shorter and deals damage). Now don't think that you shouldn't buy regular wards, the sapling is effective for a while, but rather than wasting mana every time it goes away just buy a few wards.
Okay well this concludes my guide. I hope this helps you play Maokai effectively. Thank you for reading this and vote if you like it, and comment if you think I should try different items or techniques. Thank you once again!