Maokai Build Guide by Ionwall

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 Ionwall

Pro Tank is Pro ((Extensive Guide))

Ionwall Last updated on October 5, 2011
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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.


Brute Force
Improved Rally

Offense: 9

Veteran's Scars

Defense: 21

Expanded Mind
Blink of an Eye
Mystical Vision
Presence of the Master

Utility: 0

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About ME!

I'm going to be updating this quite often
I cant promise everyday but for the most part atleast everyother day
so if something dosen't necessarily look "done" I am probably working on it currently.

I play a lot during the late evenings till the early AM
10pm till 5am-ish EST
So feel free to ask questions in-game =)
Summoner Name is Ionwall.

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Been playing the tree since the day he came out. Selecting the tree was for more "lolsies" because for the past EVER I Played a Resto Druid in the game called World of Warcraft((you may have heard of this game)). All started out fun and games until after a few random solo ques of people not tanking and people either failtanking or just not selecting them in general I decided to actually try to learn how to tank in this game. Turns out to be a lot more fun than I had imagined =). In my opinion I feel like I get more out of helping my team get kills and being that "tanks" who's SUPAPRO than going 35-2 after being a fed Carry because overextenders are overextending. Anyways First Guide hope you enjoy!

This is a MT build not an OT//Support build.

TANKING is VERY situational and this isn't always the best way to use Maokai but its damn near close.


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Champion Spotlight

For all you new Tank Trees

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Pros / Cons

PROS - Great Initiator, Can Jungle-ish, Can MT or OT very flexible tank has alot of base armor already added with runes can take quite a bit of physical damage and hes kinda like a "defensive support" and there is nothing wrong with that =) and Saplings have many uses such as mini wards to check bushes or to halt minis in your lane until the next wave of your minions get there.

Cons - Kinda Slow =( and...Some say mana starved: I say Chalice of Harmony sometimes requires a little teamwork on when to go charge in and initiate and sometimes thats kinda hard trying to communicate with random pugs who are not on vent//skype with you.

You may PING 100000 times and give your lane mate PLENTY of time to realize what your about to do and this still happens... You charge in use W-E-Q-R combo and your teammate runs to the turret and buys his ever so precious Long Sword and blames you for being a bad tank or just dumb in general for trying a 2v1.

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Greater Mark of Magic Penetration - Mainly for a little AP becuase a lil AP never hurt nobody

Greater Seal of Armor - More Armor for Pro Tankzorz when I Initiate. I dont use armor per lvl just because I like to charge AD carrys early game to get them underleveled//mad

Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist - More Magic Resist for 18 for when I have my ult up for a really long time due to Chalice of Harmony and enemy champs are shooting me from outside my circle

Greater Quintessence of Health Obviously more HP I have the longer I stay in team fights! Which is kinda a huge A+

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I choose to go Def ((9/21/0)) masteries after playing with a little of everything and this seems to be the more efficient for the playstyle in which I play in.

9 in offense to get more Magic Pen due to the aggressiveness of the combo - - -

21 in defense to make myself a stronger tank and make sure to grab 3/3 because of its effectiveness around Chalice of Harmony

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Relatively simple build to purchase for but rather expensive in the long run.

Start off by getting Regrowth Pendant and either Health Potion or Mana Potion
i generally will take the Health Potion but if the team is melee heavy or a has let me to believe who i think might be in my lane i might choose the Mana Potion instead.

After a few minutes go by i try to recall and go to base to get a Philosopher's Stone ASAP!

Then a Blasting Wand on the next recall and then after that i will generally wait to recall and just grab the Rod of Ages without buying the Catalyst the Protector depending on if i havent died since then or not

after Rod of Ages 1 of 2 things happens

either grab Chalice of Harmony or Mercury's Treads depending on how the game is going

fed AP Carrys//or your lane happens to have and randomly or any other dual AP lane combos AND your lane is going nowhere than grab Chalice of Harmony

get Mercury's Treads if the enemys turret in your lane is dead OR if they keep pushing to far and you seem to be getting the best of them with and a little help form your lane partner AND if their turret isn't dead yet((so you can get a few more kills here or there or the ability to harass a little better))

After that grab a Giant's Belt mainly due to the fact that time has elapsed and enemys probably have a few items to pewpew with.

Then the fun starts - grab a Bilgewater Cutlass and then set it to a keybind thats you will remember to use it

After that depending if you die try to get either Hextech Revolver or just buy the Hextech Gunblade outright and then finish your Warmog's Armor

and then for your last item its really up to you...((replacing Philosopher's Stone))
9/10 times i will get a Banshee's Veil but i guess any other defensive item would work as well.

I very RARELY get Shurelya's Reverie and if I do its because i just died and team is still at the enemys base and i need an extra little boots to get me back to the enemys nexus


I try to build MT not an OT but i guess if you need the MR

I try to build MT not an OT but a lil support never hurt nobody


Stop those fed AD Carrys

Slow could be useful at times and the HP is nice but yet again thats what I have Hextech Gunbladefor

2 Trees!?


You should already have enough armor to be able to stop most if not all AD Carrys without it

*Honorable Mention* not my cup of tea mainly because I already have 2 slows ((see more later))

I get this from time to time and it has its uses. If they are tankyier than most teams I might get one of these

may be too late for this?

about this thing they call thornmail...
is it me or does it seem like it dosent even matter anymore?
I have gotten it multiple times and find it only useful early-mid game

Still messing with this. I'm seeing a lot of Trees in higher ELO getting this but I always end out tanking them and is the 4k really worth it for Maokai?

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Maokai Spells

Q ARCANE SMASH - Has its ups and downs. The trick about this spell to new Maokai players is to wait for the duration of the snare AFTER you charge in or away with . Other than that its a decent use of damage and sometimes can be beneficial to "spam" to get that extra charge for your passive

W TWISTED ADVANCE - One of the better initiating spells in the game in my opinion... especially when an enemy uses Flash or an enemy with a spell that alters its positioning such as Ezreal's ability Arcane Shift. It just looks funny when rolling as a ball of branches for an extended period of time. Anyways... very useful for the most part just make sure when your are charging in you have team support or trying to make sure an enemy cant escape and are almost postivie you can kill him on your own or enough for somebody else to get to him
DONT B AFRAID to use it on minions to escape - EXAMPLE in a 5v5 map and you are purple and your running through bot river going to blue, I myself, have found it sometimes usefull charging the little minions to escape or giving me enough time for ghost//teammate to catch up etc.etc.

It also has its downfalls - EXAMPLE charging in to an AP Shaco who happens to jump into a bush that has 100 Jack in the Boxes stacked ready to shoot you to death or just being baited in general.

E SAPLING TOSS! - coolest spell in game. TOTALLY a biased opinion but w.e. SO many uses where to start...

If I find myself lanning against 2 AD melee champs I will test to see if they are aggressive enough to chase I will go into a bush at like 75% hp and throw a couple of these down in the bush far enough to where they wont aggro and so they cant see me do it. The most I ever seem to be able to lay down would be 3. ((with no CDR Runes)) After I put 3 of em down i try to act like im going to attack them and then run straight to the bush and watch all 3 of em CHARGE! and then you yourself E-W-Q.

WARDS!!! Cant stress this enough. I guess the saying goes "Buy a Ward - Save a life" or w.e. its kinda the same thing except for free and a shortened length of time. Temporary Wards are essential to separate the Good Maokais from the Bad Maokais.

Just look cool in general and they make for a really cool dance and the noise they make when they are on the way to detonation is kinda awesome.

R - VENGEFUL MAELSTROM Very underestimated. Sometime its hard to get your teammates to get in the circle or sometime even your enemy to go in the circle itself. Does not block turret damage.
3/3 + Chalice of Harmony + Blue Buff + = PRO ULT.

All kinds of combos to cast in different sequences you just have to figure it out through time and overall very useful spells for all kinds of different situations.

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Skill Sequence

Max out your E first.
Max out your W second.
Max out your Q last.
assuming you max out your R every time you can

there are a lot of different things you can do with each spell in different casting sequences

throw these bad boys everywhere. Get used to throwing them behind the enemy when your lanning so it hits them and not minions unless you REALLY want the gold for the minions but try to figure when which one is the better option.

CHARRRRRGGGEEE - just try to be smart on when to do it and when not to do it and wait till after the snare to use your if need be.

Overrated. could be better in my opinion mostly used for its push but the slow is kinda nice i chose not to level it up till late anyways.

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Summoner Spells

I use and

has its many uses like getting back to your lane quicker or chasing down an enemy to charge//snare them with or just running away in general

long ult is LONG?

Chalice of Harmony + + = PRO ((not to mention if you have blue buff or still have Philosopher's Stone or not.))

no such thing as too much regen!


Save it for the Supports

useful at times depending on my team i might get this instead of ghost

I generally don't solo Q and a lot of my friends already have this spell but if you don't have an Exhaust - I would pick it up.

see below

It is what it is.

I cant stand it when enemy champs run away with no HP but i get more out of Ghost/Clarity



I dont have imp. Fort and i get more out of Ghost/Clarity

might start messing with this actually but GHOST IS SO AWESOME


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Ranked Play

coming soon!

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Creeping / Jungling

coming soon!

this is definitely doable just trying to figure out the best way possible
best way i have come up with so far:
Cloth Armor and 5 [Health Potion] and then go to dogs and then Smite the Blue Wrath after dogs and then golems rinse repeat. If you don't know how to jungle with anyone else i wouldn't suggest trying to jungle with Maokai

but as far as i have gotten is
Wriggle's Lantern
Mercury's Treads
Rod of Ages
Chalice of Harmony
Warmog's Armor
Hextech Gunblade

again still working on this..
suggestions would be awesome.

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Team Work

comming soon!

This sections is going to take me awhile.
Need to play a few more ranked to decide who is the top tier of lanning partners should you not opt to go Solo top or if there is no jungler

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If I'm pushing a lane by myslef and i will wait till all the minions seperate into the to sets of groups throw a sapling at the 3 in the back and charge the 3 in front and then melee the rest of it down. EZ PZ lane farming just rarely get the chance to due to your "defensive Support" you should be doing. and dont be afraid to throw a SAP here and there at dogs//wraiths as you run by. Free GOLD is always welcome in my book.

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comming soon.

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Did u know if u mix the letters of Maokai u get I AM OAK

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Things im currently working on!

A build around Frozen Mallet
maybe with Cleanse

Jungling in general
Trying to solo baron at early levels and by levels i mean 15-16-17 and of course 18 mainly for the lol factor.