Maokai Build Guide by Archibal
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.
Late-game \ Luxury
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.
Greatings Summoner !
Most of the guides I posted on the site are for Junglers. My main position is Jungler so it naturally comes to me to post more Jungler Guides. All the info you find in the build works fine but keep in mind that there are alternative that works just as well and you have to adapt your item/masteries/runes choices to your game style.
Even some of the guides posted on the website are great, most of them are rather long and it can be difficult to keep up for the total length of it. With me, you'll go straight to the point and won't get any info that you can get either on game and/or the database from this site.
Enough with this, let's get to it !!!
Pro / Cons
- Easy Jungle
- Tanky, able to dive easily
- Great CC (root + slow)
- Ultimate protects the whole team
- Not so much damage
Spells and Abilities order
Sap Magic : Maokai's passive is really usefull for a jungler. It heals you for a percentage of your HP max. It works every time 5 spells (friend or ennemy) have been casted around you.
Arcane Smash : Its the primary source of damage from Maokai. The CD is not too long and it gives a fair slow. That's why I choose to max it first.
Twisted Advance : This is THE gank spell. I prefer to max it second, even if the stun duration increases with the level. I concentrate on giving the max damage possible on the enemy.
Sapling Toss : The only usefulness of this spell is to farm in the jungle. I max it last. I usually use it to give vision in bushes when i gank or even launch and root my enemy to increase damage.
Vengeful Maelstrom : His ultimate is a great way to dive !! It reduces the damage taken by your team. And it can inflict a fair amount of damage if you have the mana !!!
I like to get a mix of Offensive, Defensive and Utility runes for Jungling.
Obviously, I take Greater Seal of Armor for an easy jungle. I like Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist that delay your MR items purchase. Both those runes will increase your defensive potential.
For Quints, I find obvious to choose Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed. Keep in mind that with those quints and maxed Wanderer Mastery, you will get an equal nay higher Movement speed than a Carry with boots.
For marks, I personally prefer Greater Mark of Magic Penetration because I farm my jungle with spells but Greater Mark of Attack Damage are just as good.
Personally, I prefer to prioritize on Defensive Masteries, getting all the resists and health I can get.
Don't forget to take Tough Skin and Bladed Armor that will help you real good in the jungle.
Summoner's Resolve gives you 10 more gold each time you use smite so if you time drake and Nashor properly, you can use it often and get more gold but having it ready for Drakes and Nashors.
The rest of the point will go in Masteries that increase Health, Resists and Crowd Control reduction.
On the Utility tree, I rush Runic Affinity to get longer buffs. Don't forget to get Wanderer which give you more Movement Speed. After that, you are free to get whatever you want, personally I never pass on Meditation because I always let the second blue to my midder.
Nevertheless, rushing Arcane Knowledge is viable but you will have to choose between less utility or less defensive utilities. It's up to you !!
For starter, you will obviously take the Hunter's Machete and 5 Health Potion.
After your first (hopefully successful) gank, you should have enough gold to upgrade it into a Spirit Stone and buy some Boots of Speed. You will have enough health/mana regen to avoid getting your blue buff and health pots, and your boots associated with your runes will keep you faster than your opponents.
Core Items :
Ganking with Maokai is really easy and you should at least get some kills/assists in the first 15 minutes which will allow you to get your Spirit of the Ancient Golem and your Boots of Mobility. The spirit will give resilience in general plus a nice Tenacity buff. So no need for Mercury's Treads !! Just get the fastest boots and your ganks will be difficult to avoid, even if it's warded. Boots of Swiftness are also viable, but my personal choice goes to Boots of Mobility.
After that I go for a banshee's veil :
Need some HP ? Get a Catalyst of Aeons, it will give you health and mana each level up.
Too much Magic damage ? Get Negatron Cloak, it's really useful when you're playing against a double AP team.
After purchasing one or the other, upgrade it to the Banshee's Veil. You should now have around 3000HP, 130 Armor and 75 Magic Resists
After your Banshee's Veil, adapt your purchases to the game :
- Get Glacial Shroud if you need more armor, you can upgrade it to 2 different items : one will give you more damage/CC ( Iceborn Gauntlet), one will make you a lot more tanky ( Frozen Heart). Take one or the other depending on what's missing in your team during teamfights.
- Get Abyssal Scepter to increase more your magic resist and it will also give you more damage.
- Warmog's Armor will give you more HP but don't forget that a lot of HP doesn't make you tanky : HP AND Resists does. Don't rush it !!
- Guardian Angel is a good choice if it seems you don't need more HP.
- Aegis of the Legion and its upgrade Runic Bulwark are viable before or after Banshee's Veil, moreover if your support doesn't do it. You can even told him not to do it, so he can directly go for another support item.
- Regarding the boots enchantment, it really depend on what's you feel is the best. I never pick the same one from game to game. I always choose between three of them though : Enchantment: Alacrity, Enchantment: Captain and Enchantment: Homeguard.
! DON'T FORGET TO ADAPT YOUR PURCHASES TO WHAT YOU NEED ACCORDINGLY TO TEAMFIGHT'S RESULTS !
Two last things :
- If you can't manage to effectively gank, buy a philosopher's stone, it will compensate your income and you can always upgrade it into a shurelya's reverie to improve your ganking ability.
- Buying an early Oracle's Elixir and unwarding allow to keep pressure on your opponents and allows more successful ganks.
Creeping / Jungling
Obviously, you will start by taking your blue buff.
There is a trick when you start the jungle with Maokai. It is really usefull and if your team follows you, you can get a smiteless pull for your blue and still you won't need to use a Health pot :
At 1:06, toss a sapling on the wolves camp. Then go to the Blue Golem camp and start tossing as much sapling you can on it until 1:35. Then go get the wolves. After the wolves, toss another sapling to the Blue Golem camp just before it pops. You should be able to get your blue without using a pot nor Smite.
You are ready to directly get your Red buff, level 3 and Twisted Advance to gank with the root. You can of course get the wraiths first if there is no window for a gank.
After that, its just jungling as usual.
In a nutshell
Picking Maokai as a jungler will make you a great ganker and a mid/late-game tank.
Keep in mind to adapt your build to what's going on in the game. You can quite easily dive but don't blindly dive everybody though, moreover in early game.
If you play safe and take risks only when it's worth it, you will carry your team to victory for sure. In late game, with Iceborn Gauntlet and Abyssal Scepter, you will be able to do some damage and provide AoE CC while sustaining a lot of damage.
You can use your Twisted Advance spell to engage, moreover with a shurelya's reverie activated. Just target somebody that needs to go down in the early stage of a teamfight.
And now it's up to you to show on the rift that Nature can be hard on those that underestimate it.