Maokai Build Guide by Mikius00
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.
So some of you may be looking at the description and going, WTF? Maokai not built AP, or straight tank? Laaaame. However this guide (which by the way is my first) is for those who want to play a TEAM game and don't mind getting a ton of assists and few kills. I do hope that you will read on, maybe try this out and just see what happens.
Personally I choose to roll with Greater Mark Of Insight x9, Greater Seal Of Vitality x9, Greater Glyph Of Shielding x9, and Greater Quintessence Of Celerity x3.
Mark Of Insight:
I use the mark of insight mostly because I don't feel there is anything else that can really help you to ramp up your early game damage to setup those kills with your laning partner. People may say, well why not mana regen? base mana? CDR? Or even just straight AP? Well, like I said before. This is a tanky support, not AP Mao.
Greater Seal Of Vitality:
Derp derp, survivability.
Greater Glyph Of Shielding:
Derp Derp, survivability.
Greater Quintessence Of Celerity:
Well, when I play, I try to gank as much as possible. In order to do that I need my abilities to ALL be ready to go, frequently. CDR is your best friend in this build.
The magic pen in attack gives you increased early game damage while giving CDR and a bit of ability power on the way. The buff to exhaust is much better than .66% crit, so pretty much a no brainer there.
Obviously if you're going support tank you're going to want to absorb as much damage as you can. 21 points in the tank tree is definitely going to help you with that. You can pretty much assume why I built the tank tree the way I did, other than say maybe no strength of spirit. This is because this isn't a mana heavy build, and the benefit isn't all that great.
Start with the mana sapphire and 2 heal pots. The mana helps you to spam more, and the heal pots are to keep you in lane longer. On your first back, get your catalyst and if you have enough money your boots. If you have even more than that maybe another health pot or two. After that you're going to get your CDR boots and finish off your RoA. The RoA is to give you a tiny bit more dmg with the slight AP while boosting your HP and mana pool. I would suggest building either your Aegis or Shurelyas next. If you find yourself alone more often that not, get the HP and mana regen. If you're team fighting a TON get the aegis first. From then on it's really up to you. I just put in with what I would go for next, being a Randuins and Rylais. One gives armor and CDR, the other gives the AP and HP.
Sappling is fail in this build. You won't have the mana or regen to support spamming it. This is a SUPPORT build. You're going for assists if we're to be 100% honest. Not kills. Your twisted advance and Arcane Smash are the spells that are going to get you there. It's simple. You just TA into an enemy, take a step past them, and knock back to your team mate(s) with an AS. Easy as pie. Your ult is self explanatory. Team fights, use it. If you want to throw a random point into sappling toss to bush check, be my guest. This is after all, just a guide.
Well I pick the things that can help me and my team mates to win a fight. Exhaust is because Mao has a low base move, and if you can keep them in range longer you're gonna get off another round of spells and hopefully your friend can pick up the kill. The flash if because sometimes, we may be over confident and no one enjoys dieing. It can also be useful offensively in order to get close enough to land a twisted advance and arcane smash, which should delay a champ long enough for your team mates to catch up.
I would personally recommend sticking with exhaust at least, but the flash is up to you. Other spells that I have found useful are Clarity (mainly for early game) and Clairvoyance (good for setting up and preventing ganks).
I have played MANY different combinations with my fellow summoners. The 5 heroes that I have had the MOST success with laning are as follows.
Xin Zhao: With your root and his knock up, followed by your knock up and an exhaust... It's pretty hard to escape that.
Blitzcrank: If your team mate is good with the skill shot, you're in for a treat. You go in for the root, do the knock up knocking them towards Blitz, who then unloads. By this time the enemy may be running, at which point Blitz pulls, you rotate once again, and dead.
Brand: With a good Brand you can do quite well. You root, Brand unloads, which has a stun in it, you knock up at the end, and by then you should be able to chase for another burst round. Pew pew.
Udyr: A well played Udyr can be deadly, especially when partnered with someone who can tank all the damage so they can build pure attack. With your CC and Udyrs dmg/stun, it's tough to get away.
Malzahar: With your ability to keep the enemy in a small area for a prolonged period of time, Malz can get off all his AP burst and just drop them.
Heroes that DON'T go especially well with Mao in my opinion are...
Sivir: Good damage, but no slows or CC.
Mordekaiser: Until you have a Rylais farmed, there's just not enough to keep the enemies close.
Pretty much any tank.... You need some damage output. Haha
Anywho, I'll update more later.
If you can always try to initiate early game from the brush. The element of surprise is your friend as I'm sure we're all aware. Open with a twisted advance and move behind a step or two then smash. By this point your team mate should have unleashed hell on the enemy or begun their CC. If the fight goes on long enough use your smash for damage. If the enemy decides to run, root in place with an advance. Try to predict what the enemy is going to do. If they look like they're just gonna fight it out, spam your root and smash for dmg. If it's late game toss in a sappling as well.
As for your ult. You should just advance in, ult, smash, and wait for cool downs. If your team is winning the fight by a decent amount, you can cancel your ult early in order to give that last kick of damage to help you clean up the enemy team.
Just a guide, don't hate. This is how I play. You don't like it, play Heimer.
Thanks for your time, and have some loooools while you play. More fun that way.