Maokai Build Guide by Nekolike

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.

League of Legends Build Guide Author Nekolike

Maokai Jungle Guide - The Tree belongs to the Jungle

Nekolike Last updated on October 15, 2012
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Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
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.



Offense: 0

Honor Guard

Defense: 21

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 9

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Hey guys and welcome to my Maokai Jungle Guide.
This won't be an in-depth guide, i just wanna show you the important facts.
So you'll be able to play Maokai well in jungle without reading a wall of text.
So let's start now. (:

First point : Why jungle Maokai instead of laning Maokai
Well, with his passiv Sap Magic he can hold his lane forever if he don't waste his mana.
But in my opinion Maokai belongs to the jungle because of his gankabilities. 3 cc's are just to much for wasting them on a lane. Maybe you can easily bring down your enemy on lane but why just one? If your mates do a good job & a gank is possible, you can bring down 3 lanes.;)
I also think that Maokais role in a match is as good in jungle as on a lane.

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Pros / Cons

Pros / Cons


+Fast jungling
+Good ganking
+Stun, slow, AoE damage reducer
+A tree in the jungle? ;)

-Can be hard to master
-Maybe you'll get manaproblems
-Naa...that's all. :P

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0 points inOffense - You don't need extra ap, or magic penetration.
21 points in Defense - Normal stats for every tanky jungler.
9 points in Utility - Flash-Cd-Reduction + Mana.

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Greater Mark of Attack Speed

Greater Seal of Armor

Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist

Greater Quintessence of Ability Power
- Well, this runes looks really weird on Mao but i found out that these are the best for him. The reason is his passiv Sap Magic. In teamfights, there will be more then just 5 spells. And if you hit to slow, u'll loose lots of life with this passiv. You also could use Greater Mark of Magic Penetration but as i said in Masteries selection, you don't need any MPen because you are there to tank.Just try it guys. (:

- In my opinion every jungler use this runes. Just armor for less damage in jungle & more sustain in teamfights, so you'll be able to get more stacks on Sap Magic. :D

- Also normal for every tank. Don't think I need to say anything about them.

- So this is the only Part for Ap. The reason is the part with starting at wraiths. If you don't have the 15 Ap at start you won't be able to get down wraiths with 3 Sapling Toss. And the 15 Ap will improve your jungle speed anyways.

Optional Runes

If you don't have the Greater Mark of Attack Speed, you can also use Greater Mark of Magic Penetration or Greater Mark of Health for getting more life in early-game-jungling.

In my opinion every tanky jungler should have the Greater Seal of Armor. So no need to show you any other Seal there. But if you really don't have them : Buy them.

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist is also really viable if you don't have Greater Glyph or Shielding. Also Greater Glyph of Attack Speed can be used there or Greater Glyph of Ability Power if you wanna deal a bit more damage.

In the Quintessence part you can really chose your own favorite runes.I took Greater Quintessence of Ability Power because the ap are just working to perfect at the start. But if you have troubles while jungling with these, you can also go Greater Quintessence of Health. If you can get through the jungle without the additional Ap, Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed are also great. More movement speed, better ganks + better chasing + better escaping.

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Summoner Spells

Smite: No need to say anything. You are a jungler.
Flash: The second spell depends on what you prefer.But it should be someone whith escaping/chasing-ability. Flash is alwys good to get over walls for escaping or chasing an enemy. You can also use it to get in a teamfight much more easy or to make your ganks harder. Flash + Twisted Advance will bring you over the whole lane! :D
Ghost: This is my second choice instead of Flash. It makes you way to fast with Shurelya's Reverie + Force of Nature and in general no enemy should be able to escape this sh*t! It can even be used to shut down the psychological part of the enemies because no one likes an enemy with nearly 600 movement speed.

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Ability Explanation

  • Sap Magic: This is the reason why you never can get down a Maokai in teamfights. In generall there are +25 Skills in a teamfights, based on how many champs die in the start. And with the Greater Mark of Aclarity you'll be able to use 3 or more hits with the heal effect. In the end you should have 3000 Hp. So 7 % of them are 210 life with one hit. So with a bit of luck you'll get 830 Life with just autohits. Op?
  • Arcane Smash (Q): It knocks up which are close to Maokai and slow'em down for 48 % at lvl 5. So the enemy won't be able to get away with just running.
  • Twisted Advance (W): This skill is just wow. You "fly" to the enemy and stun him when you get him. The funniest part is, when the enemy try to get away with Flash or any other escaping skill like Graves Quickdraw but your Twisted Advance still works & you fly for him for the whole way.
    And i don't know if it just was a bug but you can also dodge Jannas Howling Gale :D
  • Sapling Toss (E): This is your butter & bread in the start. With 1 autohit & 3 of them you just shut down wraiths in 1 sec. Later on this skill isn't the strongest one. But it is a free ward for 35 sec & if you throw it into a "dark" place you can easily use your Twisted Advance to get on an enemy if he hides there and if your range is enough.
  • Vengeful Maelstrom (R): Well, this is maybe one of the best ult in teamfights on a tank. You reduce the damage done to allied champions in the area by 20% and i promise you - 20% are just amazing. But this isn't enough ; if you end this ult with pressing R again you can deal 500 damage to every enemy in the who's still alive & and in the area. It's also good for fearing the enemies. If they see that you use it at any place before the enemies are the, they won't get on you that fast.

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Ability Sequence Order

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

> > >

For the start you skill Sapling Toss to get down the wraiths. But after that you max it last. Your skill which you first max is Arcane Smash because it has the lowest cooldown with the best damage & the amazing slow. After that you max your Twisted Advance because of the stun duration on it. And everytime you can skill your Vengeful Maelstrom, skill it. Just like every ult, you know.;)

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Starting Items : +

Explanation : Healt regen + one pot will bring you in combination with your passiv through the jungle very easy. If you finished your path you should have enough life to gank 1 time.

Follow up with : + Philosopher's Stone +

Explanation : Gp10 items are always good & these allows you to sustain for a long time. Boots are for more mobility in the jungle & better ganks.

Depending on Opposing Team's damage : or

Explanation : Next lvl boots for more mobility again & more armor or magic resist.

Next : Shurelya's Reverie

Explanation : Just the best item on Maokai. More life + regeneration & a free short Ghost if you activate it. This will make the enemy cry if they see that you just activated it. You it to get on an enemy with your Twisted Advance.

Depending on Opposing Team's damage : - or -

Explanation : Spirit Visage - Magic Resist + increasing your heal + life is really good for this low price & will make your passiv better but if enemies have really hard magic damge go Force of Nature because you just get more Magic resist + movement speed which will make you horrible fast with Shurelya's Reverie.

Glacial Shroud - If you have kinda mana problems and want to reduce your ability cooldwons . But if the enemy have hard normal damage go Randuin's Omen first because you can make it out of your Heart of Gold and it has another great active + a good passiv which maybe slows the enemies who hit you.

Finally if you STILL have money : or or

Explanation : Warmog's Armor if enemies stack Penetration , Zeke's Harbinger if both teams can really spam their skills, so you still can increase your healing with your Sap Magic and its also good for your ads , Trinity Force if you are really fed.

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So this is the reason why you chosed this guide.

You only need to watch the first 4 minutes but if you wanna see the whole video; watch it. ;)

Start with 1 Regrowth Pendant + 1 Health Potion and skill Sapling Toss. Go to wraiths and place your first sapling at 1:05 min. If ready, place your second. Get yourself in the middle of wraiths & throw your third sapling at 1:40 when wraiths appear. Hit the big wraith once and then go to blue cause saplings will bring him down. Please your mid or top to pull & maybe to hit blue one or two times. Throw one sapling on blue, autoattack him and smite him down when he has 445 Hp. Skill Arcane Smash and go to wolfes. Throw 1 Sapling smash them, autohit, smash them again & bring'em down. Wraiths should be up again, so go over to them, throw a sapling, smash,autohit the big one down & smash the 3 little down. Now your smite should have ca. 30 seconds colldown. Use your Health Potion and go to red golem. Throw sapling,smash,autohit + bring him down with some smashs & autohits. Now go to little golems, sapling,smash, smite the big one, autohits, smash & finally you've finished your path. Now try to gank on the lane where you finished golems. If your team pushed the lane, go into the brushes on the lane & hide there till enemies get near to you.Throw a Sapling Toss on him stun him with Twisted Advande, run behind him and knock him up with Arcane Smash. Meanwhile your mates should get him down easily. If the enemy got away with around 100 Hp, throw another sapling and get the kill. Now it's your decision what you'll do next. You can port back to get Philosopher's Stone and your Boots of Speed or you gank on other lanes if you see it's possible.
From now on you can do what you want. If you gank, use the e-w-q combo. If not just go in jungle and smash your friends down. So this is how to jungle Maokai very easy. :)

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Teamfights (Engage Rotation)

This isn't my main focus in this guide but I think that not everyone knows how to fight. Some players just use their Twisted Advance on any champ they like. But you won't do it, right?
If you already got your Shurelya's Reverie , activate it if the enemy team is right in front of you & run to the ad or ap carry, depending on who's getable. Knock him up with your Arcane Smash and use Vengeful Maelstrom and Sapling Toss right in the enemy team. Your team will run to you and fight. This is the easiest way to win a teamfight because the enemies won't be able to counter this that hard except they are to fed.

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Summary & Thanks

Maokai is a great & fast jungler with such a sustainability & lots of cc's.If you search for a fun character which can easily support his team while taking lots of damage : Go Maokai ;)

Thanks to jhoijhoi and his guide Making A Guide and for the line dividers/separators in my "Runes" chapter. ;P
Also thanks to TheOddOne from which I learned this path & the items.
Also thanks to Taneren for his feedback making me updating my guide. I still try to make some picture for a "Ganking" part as you said but it seems that WeGame crushs my Lol-client.
Oh and thanks to my english teacher (I'm german) but I think some readers will just think "What the ****, where did he leanred english"? :D

So good luck to you guys with this guide & thanks for reading.
Remeber that i use "Comment2Vote", so just wirte something in the comment seciotn below & vote this guide up if you liked him.