Maokai 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.
Every game goes for about 40 minutes, so you're spending some time on this game. Therefore you gotta look at the long run picture. With this build, farm gold and stay alive as don't die as long as possible, and late game you will carry your team based on your health regen alone. I'm aware of my rune build I'll get to that in the rune section. This build can be used as a solo top AND bottom tank. Top lets you farm and get your build faster and end the game faster, bottom lets you help your team sooner but the game goes longer. As the tank your sole purpose is to stay in and fight as long as possible, and go down fighting whilst your team either escapes or takes out the turret/champions. Okay let's begin.
I am aware that my rune build contains level 1 and 2 runes, if you take this build I'd suggest upgrading them to tier 3 runes. Only reason for me using these runes is because I'm too lazy to purchase new ones. So step 1: upgrade runes to tier 3. Now these runes are used to give you massive late game tanking as well as a little bit of early game defense. Masteries! Follow them, they give you that little umph behind your ignite as well as defense and reduced time dead. You're a tank, you should die often but get back on in there as soon as possible.
Purchase them in this order, trust me. It makes you seem cute and adorable early game, but when you pop those last 3 items you can tank both of the final turrets as well as enemy champions while your team has free reign to rack up as much damage as possible. Anytime a tank can live for a minute with 5 champions and a turret attacking them, it's a good thing. Spells: Ignite helps you get some kills early game and some harass on enemy tanks late game. It should be on cooldown for the majority of the game. Teleport helps you get back to defend your towers if you're soloing top or teleport into their base so you can tank those last 2 towers. Its very useful.
VERY IMPORTANT!!! MUST READ THIS PART!!!! The emphasis is needed. Always start with the sapling and max it out as soon as possible, at level 7 if you toss you sapling so that the landing hits the caster minions (the ones at the back) AND the following explosion, they die instantly giving you gold and experience. So max out sapling first. VERY IMPORTANT!! Maokai's ultimate is PHENOMINAL in team fights so don't get it until you are actually needed in team fights, doing this allows your other spells to get stronger maximizing your farming abilities and making your item purchases easier therefore ending the game sooner
Second skill depends on if you're soloing top or going bottom.
1) Solo Top: Get Arcane smash at levels 2,6,8,10,11 while picking up twisted advance at level 4. If you throw your sapling (level 2 sapling, so your hero is at level 3) at the caster minions (with the landing AND explosion) then hit them with a level 1 arcane smash it will kill them instantly pushing the lane and giving you uber farming abilities. Again, don't get your ult until you need to, you'll know when you need to based on how often you're in a 5v5 fight (probably around level 13-15).
2)Bottom Tank: Get Twisted Advance at levels 2,6,8,10,11 while picking up arcane smash at level 4. This still allows you to farm if you use the sapling toss then arcane smash on the caster minions but because you are laning with someone twisted advance will help your partner get kills because it locks the enemy in place. The higher the level of advance the more time the person is locked in place, as soon as they get out OR WHILE THEYRE STILL IN IT hit them with an arcane smash while right next to them, this locks them then allows you to push them around its great for pushing enemy champions where they need to be (i.e. into your turret/ away from theirs. OR if you are chasing someone and manage to get a twisted advance on them then launching arcane smash will force them into your teammates allowing them to do their damage.
Summary: Solo top = max arcane after sapling. Bottom Tank = max advance after sapling.
Unique Skills and Team Work
This build is based on Maokai's passive so when you have all your items use your spells a LOT it won't do much damage but you will survive a long time, this is marathon maokai, not some kill fast champion.
YOU decide where the fight is. When you feel your team is behind you and there team is looking for a fight drop your ultimate AND STAY INSIDE. It gives you AND your teammates magic resist. So stay in as long as possible and let the enemy use as much spells as possible. When you die, and you will die, you ultimate automatically deactivates causing damage so don't worry about deactivating it IF YOU ARE GOING TO DIE ANYWAY. Only under specific circumstance should you deactivate your ult. Below are the following.
a) If enemy/support characters are in your circle and are low on health and trying to run out of your circle, end your ultimate and you will score some kills OR allow your team to pick up easy kills
b) If the enemy begins to retreat while low on health end your ultimate and damage them
As long as you pick up the items in the order above. And follow the build, you should have a tanky maokai that can deal damage in the long run. Dont know if anyone will use this build but here's hoping that someone does and likes it. Any questions about this build contact my summoner name ArmoSpikkel and i will help out with any questions you may have