Maokai Build Guide by DiSaSteR1337

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.

League of Legends Build Guide Author DiSaSteR1337

MaoTank - Eat the Sapling Moth3rF0cker!

DiSaSteR1337 Last updated on December 4, 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: 29

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 1

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Hello everyone, my name is DiSaSteR1337 and I am going to teach you how to play Maokai.
Everything that i use in this guide is my own experience, some of the tips maybe could be better but with this guide, your friends always will ask you to play as an epic Maokai-Jungler-Tank.

Not many people use this champion and i want to change it. Most of the experienced players will tell you that Maokai is the best jungler ever. With his epic W snare, Q slow/Knock and Mini-E-Ward nothing stands aganist him.

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My excuse :)

This is my first guide ever written and I originally don't speak english. Feel free to comment. I will take a constructive criticism with pleasure.

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Main goals

As a Maokai you have to farm as much creeps as you can. If you play random games don't be scared of taking some minions from lanes that you are ganking. Gold flow has to be constant. If you do this, you can easily leave all the kills to your allies which will have much more damage than you. Almost every game, I finnish with the highest ammount of gold earned, which helps in making full builds very early.

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Quintessences -

In my opinion the best quints for our op ganker are Greater Quints of Swiftness. With them, enemies in each phase of the game won't be able to get the hell out of you.

Seals -

The most valuable Seals for you will be the Greater Seals of Resilience. You are a tank and a jungler. More sustain means more gold, less recalling, highest in-game level etc.

Glyphs -

Obviously your must-glyphs are Greater Glyphs of Shielding. Those will prevent you from getting chopped by ap champions.


I was making many many weird mixes with my marks and i think i found the best variation.
3 Greater Marks of Strength and 6 Greater Marks of Insight. It helps both in jungle and fighting. With exactly the same build you will be able to make the jungle as fast as possible.

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As you read in the title, TANK means sustainability, so we pick those particular masteries. The best for tanky jungler. Smite gives you 10 gold now, and flash is ready to use faster. Combining with later items such as Sunfire or Thornmail you can just stay in place and watch the minions and enemies die!

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You start with boots and 3 health potions. If you will have enough luck to get the first blood or assist, you will be able to rapidly get your second item: Philosopher's Stone. Great item on each tanky jungler who rather supports his/her team than steal all the kills. After PS you buy Heart of Gold, of course get health potions if you want. Then you get Boots of Mobility. You want to be as fast as possible to jungle and gank faster. Noone is going to run safe when you chase him. Sunfire Cape, which is the next item, helps you in jungle as much as in teamfights. Armor, HP and pasive damage will drive your enemies crazy. After rising your hp with Sunfire, you must buy Force of Nature. Those 2 items combined offer you huge health regen and big tankyness. Next item is optional, depends on what are you scared of the most. AD? - Get a thornmail - AP/Both? Buy Warmog's Armor. Warmogs adds you tons of hp and health regen which also mixes with Force of Nature. Now it is a very late game and you need to be careful. Enemies should be fed even if your power ganks made them try to surrender. Get a Shurelya's Reverie. It helps on many fields: easier to escape, great ganking speed, also good for backdoors - you go with your ad teammate through the jungle, pop shurelya's and run to break enemy turret. Noone is going to expect that.
If you chose warmog instead of thornmail you have lack of armor. Time to get Randuin now for resistance aganist ad enemies and turrets which you are made to tank. Combined Shurelya's, make you unreachable for chasing enemies.

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Passive heal...

Maokai's passive makes him sooooooo sustainable. When jungling, try to auto attack every time you gather enough stacks to heal on a minion, then use your skills. Don't use skills when your passive is loaded and you haven't used it yet. This will make your jungling more efficient and easier.
Also when you have a hard time, just come to your allies and ask them to pull some spells so your passive can load again. Usefull when ganking. After fight with enemy, almost every time your passive is loaded again and ready to heal you.

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Jungle time!

I was looking for the fastest way to jungle and i believe i found it.
First after buying boots and 3 potions you run to the Wraiths camp. There you wait until 1:05 and you throw a Sapling. When the cooldown refreshes throw another one. Now you have 2 saplings on the ground. Wait to 1:40, when the Wraiths respawn, throw the third sapling and melee the biggest wraith. Thanks to that you made the biggest damage you could in about 1 second. Now time to run to a blue buff. If you did what i told you, you should be able to come to blue before it even respawns.
IMPORTANT: YOU NEED A HARD PULL ON BLUE BUFF - Mid ally should pull it, then you take the buff's attention and other allies help you to lower his hp to about 500-600. Then, wait until everybody gets out so you won't loose XP and smite it.
Boom you are level 2. Get your Q skill. Your Q skill throws your enemies to the air when you are close to them, so if you will master it, you can block some of the minions attacks.
Time to make wolves. Throw one sapling and hit with q, then smash the biggest wolf and take care of the smaller ones. Go to wraiths, they have respawned now. Kill them and you should be lvl 3. Get Q skill again to deal more damage to the red buff that you are going to slay now. Fight with the red, dont bother to use potions. Kill it before your smite refreshes. Now go to the golems, use E and Q and smite on the bigger golem and finnish the smaller one. Tada you are lvl 4, time to pick W and start ganking.

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A little bit about Q skill

Your main damage/cc skill is Arcane Smash. It reacts a little bit weird, so i want to explain it to you.
When you stay far from the enemy and hit him with q, he is going to be slowed and might be thrown in a weird direction. Because of that, to get the best CC result, try to stick to the enemy when you press Q. This is easier to achieve with combining W snare and then pressing Q, because you are right under your enemy feet. Overall, you gotta play some games and feel it by yourself.

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When you reach level 4 and you pick your W skill, you are the most op ganker in game. Run to mid, because your ap often have some good cc to stun or slow enemy before you run out of the bush. Then snare the enemy with W, wait a half of a second and use Q. Finnish with the E and boom, first blood should be in your team. Then you can go back to jungle or gank any lanes that need your help.

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The Ultimate Ultimate...

Not many average players don't even know what maokai's ulti does. As you can read on a skill, it reduces damage dealt by 20% to every ally that is in the area of it. After receiving some damage inside the ulti, you can detonate it by pressing R which deals average to high damage to all enemies that are in your ultimate's range.
After level 6, i use it while ganking because of it's really fast cooldown. When you reach lvl 6 your ganking combo switches to W, Q, R, E, R-(to detonate). You can hold it turned on or detonate ASAP if the enemy is trying to get out.

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Late game

Simple as can be - don't be afraid of tanking the towers. After getting the Sunfire Cape, you can easily dive the full hp enemy with help of your ally. Then it gets only easier. Shurelya helps you in chasing enemies/escaping from them and also builds the "shock factor". When you rush out of a bush with 3 allies on your back and 480 speed, they won't be able to even say something on teamspeak ;). Try sometimes to backdoor like a bows. Let's say enemies break your inhibitor. You and your ad carry are next to the dragon. You go through the jungle to enemy turret that is the best for you to destroy. Then, while you are entering the lane pop shurelya and break the tower instantly. You can also use it to run away from a situation like that.

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Last tips

- DON'T forget to use your Shurelya's and Randuin's active! They can really change the

- Try to pop your ultimate i na place that you predict enemies to fight. Also tell your
allies to get inside of it.

- Maokai is a great champion, but doesn't do tons of damage, so the dragon can be made only with help of your team.

- Also he is a bit mana hungry, so try to force your mid ally to pick a champion, that does not require every blue buff.

Now it is time to run the League of Legends and rock the world! Feel free to comment and rate. This is my first guide so i will take a constructive criticism with patience :)

Have fun
- DiSaSteR1337 -EuNe.