Build Guide by
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.
Why Use MaoKai?
Well for starters he's a tank with a reach, what that means is that he isn't just limited to only physical abilities. What this build will get into a little bit is how I use this character to make the enemy team nerd rage almost every game before I'm even level 13. I hope those who select this build and enjoy the true power of The Twisted Treant.
Which Runes and why???
Well with the thought of building an AP Maokai i wanted his spells to hit hard instead of just stacking the Ability Power I want them to actually deal heavy damage. So I use the Greater Mark of Insight x10 That should be enough to make each spell hit with a little oomph!!
Then for seals i like to give Maokai some mana regen because you want to keep those hits coming and you only get six item slots theres no point using them for a mana regen item but as a heavy mana user maokai need the regen. The Greater Seals of Clarity will give you a good start to mana regen and just back it up all the way to 18 you get a good 50 mana regen per 5 .This also allows you to keep in your lane without the need for running to mana up, with the kills of a few minions or just a few seconds of hiding and your mana will be going back up to keep throwing your achorn guy.
The greater glyphs of Force give you a great start in the game combo'd with the Amplifying Tomb to make a super easy first blood with your sapling toss. Which is why we also had the marks of insight just so your spells are penetrating and dealing heavy damage.
With all of these combine your spells should feel like your using ultimates on the enemy with every strike. At level 18 i rarely find myself using maokai's actual ult to finish an enemy. You can one two hit them with sapling toss, twisted advance and archane smash. Just don't go walking arround like a super hero. You've now traded the survival maokai glyphs for epic damage output.
Well duh he's a tank!
You don't mess with a characters masteries if he/she was meant for tanking you build down the defense mastery as natural. So If your already a skilled League player then i don't need to explain the use of every mastery for maokai. any good tank uses the same mastery build and i just added the 3 into offence because of the added ability power. These masteries will let you survive as maokai long enough to use your spells and get away from most ganks. Because who likes getting ganked, it's a shame. The explanation for not going into offence or utility as an AP maokai is simple I don't want to be running around as a squshy tank. I'm sure your damage would increase if masteries spent elsewhere but then your guarantee of living long enough to see the end of a fight are lowered. You will become the instant target of any team fight if you dont have a defence build. Also with the defence build the enemies dont know how your masteries are set but they can see your items and they wil suppose your a silly all AP Maokai yet when they pile in to kill you and you come out the victor it frustrates them. thats where you usually get the people who nerd rage out of games or start trash talking you like "Why wont you dieeee!?!?!" ...And i just get a kick out of it.
The Beans in his Chilli
Okay I understand its not the best item to start a game with but if you play maokai as a ranged sappling tosser and ignore getting cought in combat then you wont have a problem buying the Amplifying Tomb first, and the reason for buying the amp tomb is because it turns into meja's soul stealer, and to have that in the beginning of the game will only let you build up your ap with every kill and it should last you as the only ap item you need for a while.
Next item to buy would bee your boots and turning them into boots of swiftness asap because whats better then a heavy hitting heavy damage absorbing champion...ohh yeah thats right one that can motor accross the map even in combat to get away the increase movement 3 is just so helpfull, and honestly no other boots can work with my build. Some might say ohh buy why not the sorcerer's boots it will give magic pen...well we dont need that because latter on your getting void staff. You can go further onto saying but it will give more pen and i thing its nowhere close to the benefits of swiftness, and you already have marks of insight to deal with early game pen.
After your boots are out of the way and your gliding everywhere tossing your sapling all over the world we can build the item that makes maokai more durable. The damage over time that the sunfires cape is perfect it will help you level out the minion squads without using your mana on the minions. Leveling faster is always better. Which item to buy first the giants belt or chain vest doesnt matter, however if you can deal with laneing long enough to buy the belt i say buy it first because more health first out weighs armor. Plus remember your spec'd into the defense tree hence you got enough survive~ability but the extra 400 hp will ward enemies from even wanting to enter combat with you let alone give them the chance to weaken you.
Your main 3 items are built now and can sustain you thru the whole game but why stop there. Lets get into the heavy ap work now. I have enough faith in your skills as a player to be able to save up for Rabadon's Deathcap but you can use the extra 40 ap by this time so buy the blasting wand first. Save up for needlessly large rod and your ap is lookin better but wait you can combine the two for the death cap now you get 155 ap and all of your ap is increased by 30% and lets take a look at your stack of Meja's Soul Stealers holy Beans!!! at this point in the game from my experience im arround level 13 with close if not over 340 ap your spells are hitting like mac trucks. Can we improve upon this...yep
What better to throw insult to injury?? The void staff cheap to buy this late in the game but so beneficial. Enemies might start stacking magic resist in their items if your annoying them too much so 40 pen at this time of the game will do one of two thing hit your enemies harder or ignore their magic resist and do true damage. The 70 ability power isnt even neccesary but its there for the lol's
Okay I have some trouble picking the last item for my build but the frozen mallet has health and slows the enemy when you strike its all around helpful at lvl 18 to keep at least one enemy in a team fight to struggle and maokai's instant attacks are close combat so it keeps them in your range also giving you time to throw saplings at them casting maelstrom they are slowed so twisted advance to keep em in the fray, smack e with your pimp hand (archane smash) throw more saplings blow em up with a finally of maelstrom and you will have one upset enemy. Point being made is the slow from frozen mallet makes it easier for you to use your spells against other high level champions but feel free to replace it with either Zhonya's Hourglass or Guardian Angel. I wouldn't go into any other items for this build. the hourglass will make for more durable and hit harder with your spells, and guardian angel is obvious, just a second chance to finish what maokai started or a second chance to run for life. Choice is yours :)