Maokai Build Guide by Ubernooblite
Mastery Tree Is Outdated
WARNING: These masteries are still using the old tree and have not been updated to the new tree by the guide author. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.
I have played MANY a game as Maokai and still i have yet to find a better tank build. I take Maokai solo top with his sustain from his passive he can go up against even the hardest pokers and still keep quite a bit of health. This build is not meant for doing damage it is meant for supporting your team in team fights. This build will make it so early game you get the gold and still have good sustain early game and then once the team fights start coming around your team cant lose. This build is perfect for late game so much that you can still have fun in team fights even if you do die (that sapling just makes every fight hilarious.)
I have also taken to Jungling as Maokai as it is just way to viable! Absolutely insane how much burst damage you can do with all your ability's so that you can get the kills. The well placed (honestly misplaced >.>) saplings have also gotten me kills in a lane I'm not currently in just because they do so much damage. Hilarious to see a "wasted" sapling come from a bush and kill someone just because there low while your in a different lane killing a different person. All in all hes a great jungler that really supports the team and gives your team a great advantage early on and lets your team snowball from there.
Here is the Ever Living tree. Please don't down vote the guide until you have tried it out.
Credits to jhoijhoi for the template, which you can find here.
Pros / Cons
+ Incredibly Tanky late game
+ Good initiate to team fights
+ All AOE skills
+ Possible as support Bottom
+ Fun to play
- Small damage output
- Takes a while to get tanky
- Early game must be played passive
- Difficult to learn abilities
- No Taunt
Jungle Pros / Cons
+ Amazing ganks
+ Good initiate to team fights
+ All AOE skills
+ Really fast clear
+ Fun to play
+ No leash needed
- Still a little squishy early game
- Blue Buff Dependent (sorta)
- Difficult to learn abilities
- No Taunt
The last point could be spent in either the ward sight if your more concerned with ganks or additional length on buffs if your mid doesn't need that blue buff and your jungle doesn't either.
- Greater Mark of Magic Penetration: As a solo top you need to be able to do damage and this gives you just enough damage with your sapling to ensure kills or at least push them back far enough to get hits on their turret.
- Greater Seal of Defense: You are still tanking so you will need the defense late game to support your team and help prevent you from succumbing to the damage they throw at you.
- Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist: Same thing here as the Seals.
- Greater Quintessence of Scaling Ability Power: Early game it still provides you with a little ap but by lvl 5 you have the same amount of AP as if you got the flats... and that's when the fun starts happening anyways.
You can also choose Health quints as they do work as well.
[Ghost]: Early game it provides you a great way to get back to the turret and save yourself. While late game it provides the chase to snare your opponents. [Flash] is also viable for these reasons.
[Teleport]: As a tank you may be needed to defend a lane from 1 or more champions if there backdooring. This also provides an easy way to get back to lane when you go back to base to buy items.
- Sap Magic: The bread and butter of Tank Maokai. This passive is what makes it so your able to survive for so long up top. and provides you with almost 7% health regen in team fights with all the spells being used. This passive has saved me so many times its insane.
- Arcane Smash (Q): Use this to knock back and slow your opponent. Try if your able to, to be in front of the opponent when using this ability as the knock back is away from your Champion. After placing your Vengeful Maelstrom you should walk around your opponent till you are pushing him towards the place where you need him to go and use this ability.
- Twisted Advance (W): Using this just after you use your sapling can insure you get the full damage off on your Sapling Toss. This ability can be very bad because you travel with the opponent even if they flash or use a movement ability. Many a flash has sent me over a wall with my opponent and into turret range.
- Sapling Toss (E): Using this first on top of your enemy ensures maximum damage. Early game without the ability to Twisted Advance and lock down your opponent lead your Opponent and make sure the sapling is away from minions if possible. This will make it so that they can still possibly get hit by the second explosion.
- Vengeful Maelstrom (R): Throwing this down as soon as you land your Twisted Advance can ensure that the enemy stays in it just long enough for you to end it as they walk out of it. This is really good in team fights by placing it where your carry's will be staying to reduce the damage from the enemy team focusing them. This can also be used when doing dragon and baron if you are taking to much damage. With such a low cool down this can be used in EVERY confrontation.
Your health and damage output are VERY deceptive. With your passive, ultimate and sapling you can not only survive through heavy damage dealers but can also stay there long enough to deal some pretty nasty damage.
Quick Rotation of abilities: Sapling Toss--> Twisted Advance--> Vengeful Maelstrom--> Arcane Smash
Make sure to Arcane Smash when you are pushing the Champion the right way.
Cancel your Vengeful Maelstrom BEFORE they leave the circle.
As a solo top this is what you are wanting to get as it provides the damage early game that can make it easy to kill your opponent with a gank or possibly even by yourself.
This is also to provide make it so that the root from Twisted Advance has a long enough duration earlier so that you can hold the enemy in your Vengeful Maelstrom so that when you cancel it if they try running out right away they still get damaged by your ultimate.
Only one point in Arcane Smash for the knock back.
: The Magic Resist and Tenacity is great for tanking early game against the AP carry's and because you are still pretty squishy you aren't completely out of luck cause the Tenacity reduces CC enough to pop your ghost and get out of there if needed.
: Cool down provides you with burst escape, chase, initiating, ganking and does it for you and your ally's... completely worth the money
: Magic resist to prevent you from getting nuked as well as a bit of movement speed to make you able to get closer for your root and some health regen to keep you immortal.
: Provides you with an instant shield for you and your ally's, has saved me and ally's plenty of times. Its a great item that can turn a team fight into a team feeding frenzy...
: Just to top it off and make the enemy team rage quit. Increased health regen more health and as a bonus some added MR. Stacks nicely with your FoN and your passive. Can also be replaced with a AP item like Void Staff or WOTA to deal more damage.
- : Perfect for giving yourself a bit more magic resist, armor and health. as an added bonus gives it to the rest of your team as well in the team fights.
Pretty much the same with a few things that are different.
: Same things as normal but also the tenacity really helps save you from any burst CC from the enemy your trying to gank and may save the gank still.
: As a jungler once you have this item ganks go a lot easier popping this as your running in makes it so you can get your twisted advance off quicker and provides the enemy less of a chance to escape.
: Same reason as for solo top seeing as your still going to be tanking late game.
: Again same reason as solo top but this also gives you a bonus shield when ganking so that you can gank more frequently at different places because of the amount of damage you've blocked.
: Same reason as solo top.
- : Can be replaced with Aegis of the Legion but the CD reduction helps it so your ult can be up in between lanes. Another idea would be as soon as team fights start to sell your Glacial Shroud and start building Aegis, really depends if there a more AD or AP heavy team with Frozen heart giving you more armor obviously.
This is where people get extremely surprised as Maokai is great at jungling. He seriously does not need a leash he doesn't need help with wolves he just goes in there and kills the jungle then ganks and kills enemy's.
- Starting at wolves you need to rush to get there and starting at 1:06 you start throwing 2 saplings at the camp where wolves spawn. Once they do spawn you throw one more and deal huge amounts of damage killing them in under 10-15 seconds.
- Run to blue right away and throw a sapling at it popping your Health Pot for some added life regen. Make sure to continuously throw saplings throughout this fight so that 1 your passive pops and 2 you deal enough damage
- Take your Arcane Smash and head over to Wraiths. make sure you get close before throwing your sapling so that the little Wraiths don't run out of the way of the saplings explosion. Spam your ability's for that passive proc.
- Head back to wolves and kill them easily again with just your sapling + smash combo.
- Take Red buff
- Take Wraiths again for level 4 and you get to start Ganking. Easiest is to right away run mid then back seeing as you probably have just over half health and some money to spend.
Another possibility is to take Twisted advance at level 3 for some really early ganks which usually results in the lanes not being ready for them yet (both your side and there side) and possibly at this time Bot might still be level one depending on how fast you clear.
Now go have fun tanking. These tips and tricks may take a while to learn because of the AI on the sapling and the complete deceptiveness of this tanks health. Just make sure you don't die ;)
Thank you for reading this far. Please make sure to try this build out before voting.
Credit to JhoiJhoi for her amazing guide here!
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