Maokai Build Guide by TheMcDanee
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.
Early Against AD Heavy
Early Against AP Heavy
Early against mixed
Example late against AD Heavy
Example late against AP Heavy
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.
|Hello, I am TheMcDanee and welcome to my Maokai guide.
In this guide I will teach you how I play Maokai in the jungle. Let's get started with the guide.
// SPECIAL THANKS: Credits to jhoijhoi for the template, which you can find here.
Pros and Cons
Pros / Cons
+ Good clear speed.
+ Natural sustain.
+ A lot of CC.
+ AoE damage reduction.
+ Got decent damage without items.
- Needs first and second blue.
- Prone to invades.
- Easy to get behind with.
- Squishy without items.
Maokai in the jungle is quite strong if you know how to handle him, when to gank and how to gank.
If you get one or two successful ganks in a row you are going to get really tanky really fast. That is why I like playing him, you get tanky fast and you can still do some damage. His Arcane Smash got a nice burst early and the slow added to it is really good, that is one of the reasons why he can ganks lanes so well. Another thing that contributes to Maokai's tankyness is the fact that you can heal with your basic attacks, as long as someone has casted a total of five spells around you, this makes Maokai extremely durable in teamfights where spells are just thrown out all over the place. But if you are playing Maokai and they take away your level one blue buff, you are not going to have a good time, he is really reliant on the mana regeneration from it to clear his early jungle.
Here is an alternate champion spotlight done by Ciderhelm
Greater Mark of Attack Speed
+1.7% Attack Speed
These marks are here for your early game jungling, they increase your jungle speed quite much, and as they increase it they also reduce the damage you take from creeps, by letting you kill them faster.
Greater Seal of Armor
The reason I take these seals are so that you take less damage early from the jungle and so that you can be a bit more tanky for when you gank lanes.
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
+0,15 Magic Resist per Level(2.7 At champion level 18)
These are here because mages doesn't deal that much damage early in the game to force you to go with Greater Glyph of Magic Resist, these are also better than the flat MR glyphs after level 11.
Greater Quintessence of Ability Power
+4,95 Ability Power
These are so that you can take Wraiths instantly at level one then rush to blue buff, these are also the only AP you are likely to get, even though you only have 15 AP with these you still hurt. Don't underestimate Maokai
|The masteries I've chosen for my Maokai are taken so that I get lower CD on both Flash and Smite, I also take general tank masteries in the defense tree and in the utility I take so that you gain some extra movement speed, extended buff duration and Item CD reduction.|
- SAP MAGIC: This is your passive, after five spells have been cast around you, no matter if they are from allies or enemies your next basic will heal you based on a percentage of your maximum health.
- ARCANE SMASH (Q): This is your Q, it is also the spell you are going to max first, it provides a decent CC (knock-back if really close, otherwise a slow) and decent damage. When clearing Wraiths(for example) use Sapling Toss and Arcane Smash just before it lands to kill all the small ones instantly.
- TWISTED ADVANCE (W): Your bread and butter during ganks, it will help you come close to the target and snare him, if you use Arcane Smash at the same time they will be CC'ed for quite a while.
- SAPLING TOSS (E): Your free wards that move, these will help you clear your jungle camps early and late game they will fill the position of temporary wards, giving you vision in bushes so you don't have to face check before going to Baron.
- VENGEFUL MAELSTROM (R): Well, this is kind of the opposite of Vladimir's ultimate, Hemoplague. Instead of increasing the damage dealt to enemies it reduces the damage dealt to allies within your AoE field.
|The reason you want to max Arcane Smash as fast as possible is that you get more out of it when ganking, the slow percentage increases and the cd decreases, in the jungle it gives you more of a clearing speed than if you would max Twisted Advance first. Take points into Vengeful Maelstrom whenever possible.|
Smite: The one summoner spell you can't go without as a jungler. Take it.
Flash: Useful for better initiations or escapes, can save your life or take an enemies life.
Ghost: Almost the same as Flash but it can't move you through walls, instead you get an movement speed boost that lasts for eight seconds.
|This is one of your first big HP items, it gives you HP regen, Mana regen, Armor and Health, great item all in all.|
|These are the boots you are most likely to have late game, usually because of the Tenacity, but if you have Spirit of the Ancient Golem you already have maxed out Tenacity, you can swap these out for Ninja Tabi if you want.|
|shurelya's reverie||This is mostly seen as a support item only, but not everyone realize that it is great on tanky initiators as well, such as Maokai or Malphite.|
|This item has gotten a spike in popularity now in season 3, not many liked to get it back in season 2, but I've always thought that it is a strong item, especially on jungle tanks, such as Maokai, Malphite and Shen.|
|This is a great item against all team compositions really, it gives you and your allies armor and magic resistance, Aegis of the Legion was a great item back in season 2, it still is though, but this is better.|
|This was one of the most popular tank items back in season 2 and it still is, it gives you a good amount of HP and armor as well as a devastating teamfight active.|
Teamfights and fitting supports
When playing Maokai and you get to the point that teamfights start to erupt all over the map it's your objective to CC the other carries whilst protecting your own.
Usually this can be done by starting the fight and then walking back to your carries to make sure that they are safe.
If you are playing in Solo Queue and you are planning on playing Maokai you usually want a support that can act as a disabler in your place, as you will mostly deflecting attacks from the other team aimed at your ADC. Supports that work well with Maokai are:
: Alistar works great with Maokai as he brings almost the same amount of CC to the table, he is better though at CCing the other team in an offensive style rather than Maokai's more defensive style.
: Leona is the definition of an aggressive support, her kit is built around diving into the other team and mess **** up with CC.
- : Thresh can work with Maokai, but that depends on how you play him, either you play him super aggressively or defensively, if you are aggressive you will work well, other wise pick one of the above.
This is where you and your team should Sight Ward.
Yellow: Vital to protect the jungler on your team
Blue: For protection depending on which lane you're on
Red: To guard Dragon and Baron
Orange: In order to Counter-Jungle
Remember: EVERYONE IN THE TEAM SHOULD WARD!
| Maokai is a tanky support character who excels at protecting his team and starting fights, his early ganks are devastating and if done correctly will result in a kill most of the time.
SPECIAL THANKS: Credits to jhoijhoi for the template, which you can find here.