Maokai Build Guide by HrfMl LeTRoll

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League of Legends Build Guide Author HrfMl LeTRoll

Maokai - Roots of the pain

HrfMl LeTRoll Last updated on February 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: 5

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 25

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English translation in progress... sorry for this wrong publication...

League of Legends v1.0.0.133


  • The passive ability Sap Magic of Maokai make him really tanky.
  • Maokai can easily dodge ambushes with the ability Sapling Toss.
  • This Template de Maokai let him do solo top lane.
  • With this Template, it will be possible to tank up to 3 AD under a turret at the end of the game.


  • Maokai is a very slow champion to reposition itself.
  • To be effective in teamfight, Maokai must be played with precision and sacrifice inclination.
  • This Template is not adapted to win individual combat.
  • You must have completed the Warmog's Armor before being able to launch you in the teamfigth.

This Maokai Template is translated from Maokai - Les Racines de la Douleur (fr).

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Games Choises

5v5 - Summoner's Rift:
This Template is ideal to hold solo the top lane or the middle lane. If you are two on the lane, your best partner will be a range carry like Caitlyn, Corki and Kog'Maw or a range assassin such as Twisted Fate and Vayne.

3v3 - Twisted Treeline:
This Template doesn't work in 3v3. The gameplay is too fast so that you have time to make your stuff and Maokai redeploy badly from one lane to another.

Dominion - The Crystal Scar:
I didn't test this Template in Dominion.

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Sap Magic

The Maokai's passive ability , it restores you 7% of your maximum of Health if you hit an auto-attack on anything of alive (i.e. all except the turrets). It activated as soon as 5 abilities were launched in your proximity, including yours. Do not hesitate to charge it when you are on your starting zone.


Arcane Smash

This ability is interesting, but in this Template you will only maximize it very late, it's especially useful in several situations.
  • Take last-hits on a huge wave of minions.
  • Disorganize an unfavourable teamfigth with the ability of putting back close champions (be careful, some allies prefer to have the champion facing them as Cassiopeia for its capacity Petrifying Gaze).
  • Temporarily put away from oneself minions.
  • Flee a too pressing enemy, you just need to launch the ability behind you during to push back the adversary and to put it back, that leaves you a short respite, sufficient often to launch one Sapling Toss which will do one snare to him.


Twisted Advance

This spell has many uses. It is essential in all team fights, where he will be your main tool. In lane, you will use it to finish your opponent.
I will list below where and when to use it, from the most simple to most complex objective:
  • [Lane] - Root your opponent under your tower. If an enemy champion comes too close to harass you, rooting him under your tower will kill him or force him to back in the worst case.
  • [Lane & Teamfight] - Root a fleeing opponent to kill it or for your partners to finish it for you.
  • [Teamfight] - Root an opponent chasing one of your teammates. By judging from your teammates life level, you can either choose to flee or to stay in auto-attack range.
  • [Lane & Teamfight] - Escape from an enemy zoning attack. This will not be always possible, but offers two advantages : first, you are invulnerable during the animation. Second, this kind of zoning spells is often used as an escape tool, so you can root the runaway champion leading to it's utter extermination.
  • [Lane & Teamfight] - Ignore a spell aimed at you. Arguably the most difficult to time right, but using the invulnerability can nullify many opposing spells. Obviously, this art requires a good reactivity and a fluid connection.


Sapling Toss

The most crucial capacity of this Template. It allows you to safely harass your opponents in lane and to farm caster minions efficiently as soon as level 7 is reached. To use this spell correctly as a harassing tool, you must learn how to aim your saplings for them to target heroes instead of minions. And always remember to check bushes with saplings ! It greatly helps avoiding unpleasant surprises.
The lifespan of a sapling is 35 seconds once landed. This allows you to help your jungler (you can land 3 saplings before the blue buff appears). You can also trap your bushes to prevent ganks.
Trick: with a precise throw right behind the opposing tower, your sapling becomes hidden and make a devilish trap for your enemy!


Vengeful Maelstrom

Maokai's ultimate has a double purpose. Upon activation, it will mitigate all enemy damage dealt in target zone to you and your allies. On release, it will deal damage to all enemies inside, proportionally to those prevented on all allied living targets inside the zone of effect.
Note: This capacity drains a lot of mana in early game so don't expect to make it last long before level 15.
Is it possible to use Vengeful Maelstrom to:
  • Farm - It's OK to use this spell to farm minions, but only in late game to counter a big crowd of minions.
  • Kill champions - "Death" is not the prime objective of "this" spell, nonetheless, in a teamfight, if a low life opposing champion insists on staying inside your ulti zone, you can kill them, sure...
  • Disorganize a teamfight - This is the most prevalent use for your ulti, along with pushing your team. Champions have a tendency to get the hell out of effects zones, on sight. Often, you will activate your ulti a brief moment, blowing it up just as they reach the boundaries of your spell.
  • Push your team - During big close combats or to protect the advance of your allied toward the enemy's long range carry.
  • Absorb an opposing spell - Some spells can be greatly dampen by Vengeful Maelstrom:
  • Flee from a full team push - There is two possibilities: If you are close to an allied tower, casting your spell will allow you and your allies to reach it alive. If you are too far, this spell will help you stand your ground long enough for your teammates to get to safety. Don't let your allies try to save you... A noble sacrifice will only be useful if not vain.
  • Kill neutral monsters - No, with the only exception being Baron. For Baron, it is primordial to cast Vengeful Maelstrom in order to mitigate his damage AND possible damage coming from opposing team if they decide to contest Baron.
  • Tank towers - If this spell will not prevent damage from the tower, it will from any other sources. So in order to attack towers, it can be useful to cast Vengeful Maelstrom. You shall not change your objective! If an enemy champion attacks you, let your teammates deal with him and keep pummeling the tower. You may just push the fight with Arcane Smash and Sapling Toss.

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Summoner Spells


  • Clarity: I judge this spell mandatory since you will consume a lot of mana in lane. More over, i usually play with a jungler so i don't have access to the blue buff.
    If i have full control over my lane, i won't blue pill before level 10. Obviously, i won't benefit from my gold/sec item, but my opponents have to deal with a constant pressure!
  • Teleport : Avec les nouvelles masteries, les temps pour se téléporter étant réduits, il devient beaucoup plus intéressant d'utiliser Teleport. Ce sort vous permet de vous redéployer rapidement sous votre tourelle ou sur vos sbires, où de vous rendre rapidement sur un lieu de teamfigth.

Sorts Possibles

  • Clairvoyance : [DRAFT] - Ce sort ne me semble utile que lorsque l'on joue en draft et que l'équipe en face contient un ou plusieurs invisibles.
  • Cleanse : [DRAFT] - Il peut se révéler utile si l'équipe adverse possède beaucoup d'immobilisations, même si la mobilité n'est pas le fort de Maokai, si vous pouvez forcer vos adversaires à usez sur vous toutes leurs immobilisations, vos partenaires ne les prendront pas.
  • Exhaust : Ce sort n'est utile que si vous avez un carry corps à corps avec vous en lane. Cela lui permettra en général d'achever vos adversaires.
  • Flash : Ce sort d'invocateur permet une retraite rapide en début de partie sur la lane ou après avoir fixé l'attaque ennemie sur vous lors d'un teamfigth, suite à la diminution de sa portée de fuite, il rend cette dernière moins évidente, et ne vous permet plus de traverser certains obstacles naturels. Il devient bien moins indispensable dorénavant.
  • Ghost : Je n'aime pas ce sort, mais il offre un avantage plus fréquent que celui de Flash surtout depuis la baisse de portée de ce dernier.
  • Ignite : Ce sort n'est utile que si vous avez un soutien avec vous en lane et que vous risquez de ne pas achever vos adversaires.

Sorts Déconseillés

  • Heal : Ce sort n'a pas d’intérêt pour vous, Maokai se soigne suffisamment avec Sap Magic pour ne pas en avoir besoin.
  • Promote :
  • Revive : Vous êtes un Tank, vous ne devriez pas mourir trop souvent, je déconseille ce sort qui est désuet en début de partie et trop souvent inutile en fin de partie, même s'il peut sauver la base d'une poussée finale.
  • Smite : Vous n'êtes pas un jungler, ce sort à peu d'intérêt, il existe des Templates de Maokai en jungle, mais celui-ci n'est pas adapté.
  • Surge : Ce sort augmente la vitesse d'attaque et la puissance durant 12 secondes, étant donné le gameplay de Maokai dans ce template, ce sort est sans autre intérêt que de jouer pendant 12 secondes un Maokai géant.

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bLaxnow for his MAOKAI - The Unstoppable Tank
jhoijhoi for his Making A Guide
MasterYups for his translation work