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Maokai Build Guide by PoeticDreams

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.


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League of Legends Build Guide Author PoeticDreams

Moakai, Knock on wood

PoeticDreams Last updated on September 27, 2011

Ability Sequence

3
7
12
17
18
Ability Key Q
2
5
9
13
15
Ability Key W
1
4
8
10
14
Ability Key E
6
11
16
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.



Masteries

 
 
 
 
 
4/
Sorcery
Alacrity
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Brute Force
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Lethality
Improved Rally
 
 
 
 
 
 
Havoc
 
 

Offense: 9

 
 
 
 
 
Strength of Spirit
4/
Evasion
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
4/
Veteran's Scars
Willpower
 
 
 
 
 
 
2/
Ardor
Reinforce
 
 
 
 
 
 
1/
Tenacity
 
 

Defense: 21

 
 
 
 
 
Awareness
Expanded Mind
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Quickness
Blink of an Eye
 
 
 
 
 
Intelligence
Mystical Vision
 
 
 
 
 
 
Presence of the Master
 
 

Utility: 0


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NEWS

2011-02-16Build created.
2011-02-17I am aware they are strange symbols at different places in the build. This is caused by Mobafire's way to react to pasted text ( The build was created in Microsoft Word 2010 ). I will remove anomalies as soon as possible.
2011-02-17New parts coming soon : PRO/CON of Maokai, Laning Tactics, Pure Builds ( AP...Tank...Support)
2011-02-18Changed around the cheat sheet items. I believe it is better like this. FON provides Maokai with solid MR, HP Regen and Movement speed he desperatly needs. This doesnt remove the usefullness of HP items afterwards which is why Rylai's is still an awesome choice.I have included a PURE TANK build as well, check it out !
2011-02-21Added a new picture proving the decency of Maokai's damage output...And showing a build is not set in stone, as I used the tank core this time


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About this build

Hello,
This is my build for Maokai. This new hero has caused quite a storm on the US forums as for what role is he supposed to bring to a team. Truth is, Maokai brings a lot of disruptive support to his team, more than any other champion on league of legends. This build proposes a tank/AP role, making him a machine-gun CCer as well as a beefy champion.
This build also include a support build.
Enjoy, comment and punish those pesky mages !

Maokai, the new support flavor
Maokai has had a kinda cold welcome in terms of stats. As far as the spotlight gone, he didn't deal a lot of damage. That part is absolutely true. Unless you play him as an AP character, which I don't recommend (There are simply so many better casters), his damage output will be quite limited.

To counter this, he has been outfitted with a global shield, a slower/knocker, a short stun and a scout skill, making him extremely versatile and a great help in ganks. As for the laning, he does well when paired up with a high damage-output champion. After, he IS a support champion!

People shouldn't expect to kill a lot when using him, as it is not his role at all. See him as a disruptive tank. Singed would be a good comparison to me, or Soraka.

A link to my Renekton build : http://www.mobafire.com/league-of-legends/build/renekton-high-elo-havoc-53124


TL:DR Check the builds section.


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PROS / CONS

PROS
-Disruptive and meaningful in Teamfights
-Awesome gameplay as every skill has a special effect
-CC-Support version of Soraka
-Tankier than most supports
-Can throw pikmins...I mean...wow.
CONS
-Squishier than pure tanks
-Has no escape move ( FLASH ! )
-Low general damage output ( Singed-Like )
-Harder to play than tanks
-Situational
-Has to be on fire while wearing Sunfire Cape. Weird ?


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Runes

will be a must if you want Maokai to deal any damage.
will Maokai a much need Mana regen for early to late game
provides Maokai the potential to deal more damage
provide Maokai with additional health since he is a tank after all

I have had suggestions to switch the seals from Mana regen to Magic Resist. It could be a good idea but I recommend using support masteries then. If you don't , you will quickly have mana problems.


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Masteries

Masteries are the default 9/21/0. If you want to go more support based, you can turn to 0/21/9.

Both ways have PROS and CONS. Offensive will give mana regen problems for Maokai at early game. Support Masteries will reduce Maokai's damage output. Your choice.


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Summoner Spells

This spell is basicly good on all champions. It does work with Maokai even though he has a distance closener. Given that he doesn't have a escape move, it could work well

If you don't use Flash, this is a very good solution. Maokai never gets very fast with this build ( And theorically doesnt need to due to his gameplay style ) thus you could use the extra speed to catch up enemies.

A very interesting choice for any Champion, you can't go wrong with exhaust. Again, some may say that exhaust is a waste since Maokai has an instant slow and knock and root.

I usely use this spell when using casters, but I see so reason it wouldn't work on Maokai, seeing his damage output is lower than it should be right now.

I'm not sure about this one, but that's because I use Flash all the time, denying the use for a de-nerfer. Could be useful when paired with Ghost.

I have seen this in ranked play and cannot deny the usefullness of this spell late-game. Pair this up with a guardian angel and you are very-very hard to shut down.

Could work, but would synergize with Maokai's passive, thus I wouldn't recommend it

Can't go wrong with this, since Maokai is slow and clumsy...Like a Tree.

I'm considering this very very hard. Maokai does lack mana very fast but not late-game...If you go into the support masteries, take it, else use exhaust.


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Skills and Analysis

I will now explain how his skills works, and tactics related to them.

is Maokai's passive. When himself or a nearby champion uses a skill, he gains 1 magical sap charge. After 5 charges, he will regain a set %Hp from his next auto attack.

Tactics
It is imperative that you use this passive to stay in lane as long as possible. Maokai cannot, just like Singed, stand very long because his Hp/5 is somewhat low ( Even with masteries on )

is Maokai's Q. It is a wave-skillshot that will slow any unit caught in it and damage them. Additionnally, units very close from Maokai will be knocked back a little, resulting in a very short knock-out.
Tactics
This skill can be used to farm due to his low cooldown, but you should try to maximize his potential by using it in the combat combo (W-R-Q-R-E). Knocking your enemy could make the very difference between the kill and the fail.

is Maokai's W skill. Maokai moves up to the enemy and is untargetable during his flight. He then roots the enemy for a small time and deals damage as well.
Tactics
This skill should never be used to farm, and must be used to initiate ganks of fights in the combat combo. While the root is not very long, it becomes a decent stun if you hit Q right after. Be aware W can be used as a last hitter, but doesn't protect you from tower-failing !

is obviously Maokai's E and signature move. He throws a sapling in a very large zone around him. That sapling will serve as a ward for 25 seconds. If an enemy goes near it, it will run toward it and explode, dealing damage in an AOE circle. During design, it also used to silence the enemy, but this was removed due to it being OP ( Maokai would be able to stun, slow, knock , shield and silence ?)
Tactics
There are things to definitely know with Sapling toss. First, it doesn't aim for champions in priority. Thus, you should be careful not to draw the sapling in simple minions and put it as far as possible from lane minions.
Saplings are invincible! Use this to your advantage to bomb tower-hugging champions. Finally, always use Saplings in brush to cover your butt and break any possible gank. Your allies will love you.

is an interesting circle-skillshot that will shield allies from 20 % not-tower-damage. Any damage dealt in the AOE will also be stored and released when you R again. Until then, Mana/second is heavily consumed. If Maokai gets too far from it's ult, it dies.
Tactics
This ult is quite situational...And not that reliable. Keep in mind this doesn't make champions as shielded as Shen's Ult or Kayle's... That said, it is a great support skill and better than Galio's Ult in my opinion because Maokai can act freely while his ult his on, just like Anivia. Thing is, Maokai got a LOT less mana. Keep it in mind too.


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Items and Possible Builds for Maokai ( TL;DR Read this )

Aww, the items part, where it gets hot. I'm not gonna lie, there is more than one way to build Maokai. I will show the Support/Tank, the Ap/Tank one, the Tank one, and the AP one.


Ap Core
Aiming for an Off-Tank position.

will provide you with additional starting mana and allow you to buy 2 health potions right off, which will be very useful while laning.
are useful to keep you alive since you are quite weak early game.
should be the first item you complete. Try to bluepill when you have enough to buy it, normal boots and potions if needed.
Even though you are aiming for AP combat, you are still a tank and should act like it.
synergizes very well with you, giving you everything you need to make you beefier while adding ability power.
will beef you up, add armor and make you more dangerous. Yes, you are in wood. Yes, you are burning. Hm. Yeah. IF the enemy team is AP based, throw the sunfire and get a or
From there on, you may choose between
will add even more HP, give you more Ability Power and even slow on your attacks.
Or
for extra armor and ability power. Can't go wrong here!


Support Core
Aiming for a support-Tank position.

will provide you with additional starting mana and allow you to buy 2 health potions right off, which will be very useful while laning.
are useful to keep you alive since you are quite weak early game.
should be the first item you complete. Try to bluepill when you have enough to buy it, normal boots and potions if needed.
is a must.
synergizes very well with you, giving you everything you need to make you beefier while adding ability power.
is your first support item. If you aren't comfortable with the idea of giving up armor for mana regen, you can still go for or jump directly to
will beef you up, add armor and make you more dangerous. Yes, you are in wood. Yes, you are burning. Hm. Yeah. IF the enemy team is AP based, throw the sunfire and get a or
is probably the last item you will get. At the menu, we got extra mana, reduced cooldowns and an AOE Attack Speed slow.


Tank Core
Aiming for a Tank position.

will provide you with additional starting mana and allow you to buy 2 health potions right off, which will be very useful while laning.
are useful to keep you alive since you are quite weak early game.
should be the first item you complete. Try to bluepill when you have enough to buy it, normal boots and potions if needed.
is a must.
synergizes very well with you, giving you everything you need to make you beefier while adding ability power.
will give more HP, armor, and put you on fire. Yeah!
will multiply your HP Regen, your Magic Resist and add movement speed, which is quite needed since you are slow
synergizes with FoN by adding more HP ( More HP = More Regen ) and the famous aura that keeps you alive in fights.
adds up even more armor and MR while giving you the ability to revive on the battlefield. Valuable stuff.


Guide Top

About Maokai's low damage output...


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