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Maokai Build Guide by CrestingLight

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 CrestingLight

REVAMPED! In-Depth Guide to the Tournament Maokai - 5 Builds

CrestingLight Last updated on May 23, 2012

Tank/Support/Offtank/AP/Jungle

Ability Sequence

4
13
15
17
18
Ability Key Q
2
8
10
12
14
Ability Key W
1
3
5
7
9
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

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sunder
Archmage
 
 
 
 
 
 
Executioner
 
 

Offense: 9

 
 
 
 
 
4/
Durability
Vigor
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
3/
Honor Guard
Mercenary
 
 
 
 
 
 
1/
Juggernaut
 
 

Defense: 21

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Strength of Spirit
Intelligence
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Mastermind
 

Utility: 0


Guide Top

Introduction

Hello League of Legends players, I am CrestingLight, here with my five insane builds for Maokai the Twisted Treant. If you have thumbed through these builds before reading anything first, you might be noticing how these builds seem to be for completely different champions, and this very reason is why I love Maokai so very much.

In reading this guide, I will explain the five different builds and how to use each effectively in the way that your team requires to succeed.



Overview

My first build is for the role that Maokai is most commonly put into, and that is as an incredibly strong, offensive true tank. The second build is only to be used when your team already has enough damage, and will demonstrate how to use Maokai as a pure support/auramancer tank. *This Build #2 will not allow you to do much damage, but this can be a very good thing, especially if your team is in need of both the tank and support champion roles. The third and fourth builds are a little less common, but trust me when I say they are just as effective. The third build is for a strong off-tank/AP build, and the fourth being your good old fashioned AP nuker (yes, it is possible for Maokai, and I will prove it).
Lastly, I have added a jungle build! With the jungle changes in mind, Maokai has become a Tier 1 jungler, one of the best in the game! I will show you guys how it's done in further sections!

For each section of this guide, I will have information for each build. So, if you are trying out, say, build #3 and you would like rune information, just go down to the rune section, and go straight to the subsection called build #3!

Please try these builds out for yourself before rating, and as a little proof/incentive, here are some match histories of my last three games.

Build #1:

Build #2:

Build #4:



Finally, here is a list of common abbreviations that I will use in this build:
AA - Auto Attack
AD - Attack Damage
AP - Ability Power
ArPen - Armor Penetration
CC - Crowd Control
CDR - Cooldown Reduction
DPS - Damage Per Second (champions)
Exp - Experience
GP10 - Gold per 10 sec
KS - Kill Steal (NEVER DO IT)
MP - Magic Penetration
MP5 - Mana Per 5 sec
MR - Magic Resist
Quints - Quintessences (runes)


Guide Top

Change Log

As of now, I will be beginning a change log! Starting with the small things, you guys can see how this guide has evolved and is evolving!

05/12/2012 - Altered the skill sequence on jungle Maokai build. I've discovered that maxing his Arcane Smash first really helps his team in ganks, maxing out that slow to really hold down your opponents for a longer period of time.


Guide Top

Pros / Cons

Pros

    Can take one heck of a beating
    Amazing pusher/farmer
    Can play any AP role that your team could ever need, from tank to nuker
    Has great protection for teammates
    Easy initiator
    Saplings are a free 35 second ward
    Fantastic CC and ganking opportunities

Cons
    Very slow movement speed
    Need to learn to aim saplings
    Sapling AI sometimes prefers minions to champs
    Long cooldowns
    Few escapes if you're in trouble


Guide Top

Your Role in the Team

In this section, I will discuss your overall role that you play for your team for each build. I have come to find that many tanks or just many players in general struggle to figure out exactly what it is that they are supposed to bring to the table, and even fewer players know what the other member on their team are supposed to be doing, so here is a little general tank, off-tank and nuker insight for all of you here!




Build #1

For our first, and most common build, we are aiming to be an unkillable offensive tank. Now then, I notice that many people tend to take that as "be offensive, get kills, then tank for your team." This makes me cry a little bit. As the true tank, YOU ARE TO AVOID GETTING KILLS IF THERE IS A SINGLE OTHER TEAMMATE IN THE AREA THAT COULD GET IT, AT ALL COSTS. Now you may be asking yourself, "CrestingLight, what am I there for then?" Well my beautiful, beefy little minions, I will tell you. You are there to win the game. I know that sometimes this role can be difficult to focus on, especially if you have teammates that are frustrated or don't get along, but we must focus in order to win.

Your job as the offensive true tank is to spoon feed your DPS, defend your turrets, and to protect your DPS's at all times. As for the first, this part should be easy. With your Clarity at hand, you should be able to continually poke at your enemies without risking your partner's health bar. Once all of your partner's abilities are off cooldown, you can go in for the kill. Be sure to ping your target when you are ready, and use your Twisted Advance then your Arcane Smash to hold your enemies down. Do everything you can here to NOT GET THE KILL. A fed tank is useless to your team, but there's nothing like a fed AD or AP Carry to terrify and disorganize your opponents.

Next, we want to protect our turrets, and this is where Teleport comes in handy. This is why we need to always make sure that our Teleport is always ready when we need it. Do not use this summoner spell to simply get back into your own lane. You will find that it doesn't make much of a difference in experience, and should your teammates lose a battle and their turret get pushed, you will be of no use to them whatsoever. Save it for when your team or turrets are in trouble.

Lastly, this is probably most important. You exist to die for your teammates. It is unfortunate, but true. If you see that your carry is being chased by three opponents, it is your job to use Twisted Advance to tie down the closest one, and take their agro so that your DPS does not die. It isn't a big deal for us if we die, but it's huge for them if they do, because they depend on kills and time in lane for their exp and farm. Never leave a teammate to die when it could be you instead.

In an ideal world, your end game score would look like this: 0/0/30
(However, always remember that deaths are inevitable! Even if you go 0/20/40, if you did it for your teammates, they will stay fed and be powerful enough to push for the win!)




Build #2

Now for this build, we only use it when our team already has a ton of DPS, and they are in need of support. Let's say for instance that you already have a team of Vayne, Akali, Annie, and Tryndamere. We know for a fact that this team is going to do plenty of damage, and they probably won't need much harassing in order to get their kills. However, they are all very squishy and will need protection and assistance in order to survive. You are here to be a buff for them, and to be so tanky that you essentially cannot be killed. With all of the damage on your team, your teammates should be able to wipe their entire team before you are at half health. Save them every time they get into trouble and your team will be unstoppable.

Ideal end game score: 0/0/30
(However, always remember that deaths are inevitable! Even if you go 0/20/40, if you did it for your teammates, they will stay fed and be powerful enough to push for the win!)




Build #3

For this off-tank build, we are going for more offense while still being tanky enough to protect our teammates when they are in trouble. When building off-tank/AP Maokai, it is okay to get kills for yourself, but remember, it is still not as important as feeding your carry. This build is especially effective for shy teammates who are unaggressive. You can poke and do lots of damage, then hold your opponent down for a strong assist to your carry. For this build, we are depending a little more on kills for our gold, but that doesn't mean you should become shy or fearful. You are there to be the strength for your team, and to rush in when they are too scared to. Your damage will be a real asset to your team, and you will provide yet another wall (after your true tank) that the enemy will have to get through before reaching your squishy DPS teammates. This build is all about balance, so if you see that you are doing too much damage, and not strong enough, build more tanky items, and vice versa.

Ideal end game score: 6/0/25




Build #4

For this build, we are a little bit more simple. We are here to kill things. When going with this build, we can afford to be a little more selfish, and stop worrying about supporting or protecting our teammates. As we will be most likely stacking, we are really going to want to get in there, throw our bombs and tie our enemies down. Don't forget, with how much AP we have, our ultimate alone can score us a pentakill, so use accordingly! Once the other team has been torn through like tissue paper, we let our AD carries run in to nab a few turrets, and push for the win!

Ideal end game score: 35/0/X (assists are never bad).




Build #5

As the jungler, it is your job to do quite a few things within the team. The first of which, is to gank for your teammates. This means that while you have buffs active (and even when you don't), you need to be getting out into lanes and locking down the enemy so that your teammates can get some kills. This means that you are really a support type for your allies, granting them vision of the board through Sight Wards and Vision Wards, and ensuring that your lanes are doing the best that they can.
Another role that you will have for your team is that of a support tank. You are going to be initiating team fights, protecting your teammates when they are in trouble, and in general buffing your teammates (or debuffing the enemy). This means that you will really need to pay attention to the map, have a lot of map awareness, and really be willing to be selfless for your teammates, spending $500 on wards this trip back that you could be spending on a Glacial Shroud or an item that goes into your build. If you are not willing to be selfless for your team, do not play a jungler, and do not play Maokai!



Now that you understand the role that you will play for your team, let's move on to Runes!


Guide Top

Runes




Build #1

For this build, we really want a champion that is a true tank, while still being able to harass and assist with the damage so that our DPS can get that kill and get fed. This last part is why we will be starting with Greater Mark of Magic Penetration marks. Giving our tree that extra 8.5 MP is really going to get our saplings through all that pesky starting MR that everyone begins the game with. This is very important because (especially if you are up against ranged champions) you can throw your bombs and really harass hard, without having to worry about damaging yourself in a melee situation. If we continue to throw these bombs, and land them effectively, we should have our enemies at half health in no time, allowing our DPS to get the kill.

Our Greater Glyph of Magic Resist, Greater Seal of Armor, and Greater Quintessence of Health we take for all the same reason: to give Maokai that beefy boost he needs to not be afraid to get in there and start a fight, without the worry of being slain quickly.

Other Viable Options
Greater Seal of Replenishment - If you still find yourself mana hungry, but aren't taking much damage.
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist - If you feel your late game is lacking.
Greater Quintessence of Magic Penetration - For those enemies that keep getting away with 10-50 health.
Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed - For being able to hold down and clean up those stragglers after big team fights.




Build #2

In order to most effectively support his teammates, he is required to do some damage, even if it is not the focus of this build. The strength of Maokai's bombs are one of the main aspects that make him so useful to his team. When you are able to throw bombs and that take out a quarter of your enemy's health bar, this makes the entire game so much easier for your laning partner, because they no longer have to risk getting hurt themselves to harass and get the enemy to a "killable" level.

As for the Seals, Glyphs and Quints, the reasons are the same as above:

Our Greater Glyph of Magic Resist, Greater Seal of Armor, and Greater Quintessence of Health we take for all the same reason: to give Maokai that beefy boost he needs to not be afraid to get in there and start a fight, without the worry of being slain quickly.

Other Viable Options
Greater Seal of Replenishment - If you still find yourself mana hungry, but aren't taking much damage.
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist - If you feel your late game is lacking toughness.
Greater Quintessence of Magic Resist - For even more survival.
Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed - To be able to reach your teammates faster when they find themselves in trouble.




Build #3

For this build, we are looking for a good balance of AP damage and off-tank strength, so that we can really harass and bring an enemy down in health while still being able to substitute for the true tank when the team splits up, providing protection and strength for our squishy DPS. It is for the first reason that we are taking Greater Mark of Magic Penetration, and Greater Quintessence of Magic Penetration. This will really show a heavy change in our champion's damage from the beginning of the game through the end, and give us that harassing power to easily spoon feed our laning partner!

For that extra off-tanky part that we also really want, we take Greater Seal of Armor and Greater Glyph of Magic Resist. This will give us that extra Armor and MR we need to step in and get our last hits in lane, and to give us that extra threatening presence for zoning our enemy and depriving them of their last hits and experience.

Other Viable Options
Greater Seal of Replenishment - In order to be able to spam our abilities immediately off cooldown, without having to go back to base.
Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction - To be able to spam those saplings so the enemy never gets a breather. Especially effective against champions like Garen.
Greater Glyph of Ability Power - If you feel you are tanky enough and want more damage.
Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed - To make up for the lacking in movement speed.
Greater Quintessence of Health - For that obnoxious ignite spell.




Build #4

For this build we are going all out AP nuker, so at this point we are going to stop worrying about feeding our teammates and start feeding ourselves! While this may sound a little selfish, you should ALWAYS express to your teammates before the match starts (especially if you are random queuing), that you are NOT tanking, and that you are going pure AP nuker.

For this build, we always want to take Greater Mark of Magic Penetration. In building this way, you will definitely be doing damage all game, and the other team will start building MR against you. This is also why I take Greater Quintessence of Magic Penetration instead of Greater Quintessence of Ability Power, because that AP can just wear down with MR, but MP is always useful throughout the game.

As for our Seals and Glyphs, I go with Greater Seal of Replenishment, because this allows us to lane literally forever without needing to go back. I also take Greater Glyph of Ability Power for that extra AP boost early on that is going to make our saplings that much more effective, and allow us to get our kills early on, or at the very least push out opponents out of lane so frequently that they will be 2-3 levels below us at all times.

Other Viable Options
Greater Seal of Ability Power - If you find clarity does the job and you want MOAR POWER.
Greater Seal of Cooldown Reduction - This helps you have those saplings and Twisted Advance ready for every window that you see you could get a kill. Toss that bomb, lock 'em down and watch them melt. We'll go over the skill combos later...
Greater Quintessence of Health - For those who find themselves still too squishy for comfort, or for more shy players.
Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed - In combination with your Twisted Advance, no one can escape you.




Build #5

When jungling, whether you are AP or AD, the majority of your damage is being done by your AA's, so if you want to finish jungling faster, you really are going to want Greater Mark of Attack Speed. This also really helps to proc your passive Sap Magic right when it's up, maximizing your health gain and potentially saving your life in a team fight.

As for seals, we really want the classic Greater Seal of Armor. This is a rune that I really wouldn't change for anything. It helps against everything and everyone, all game long.

For glyphs, I go with Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist because we are really going to want that MR in the later game to help against those snowballing AP carries, and they just give you a ton of tankiness per rune.

Now for quints! Maokai is an incredibly slow champion, and he is also melee. This means that sometimes Maokai has a hard time catching up with his enemy champions, especially in order to use Twisted Advance and lock down an enemy. Taking Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed can really help you to get through your jungle faster, and to secure those ganks that may have gotten away due to how slow you are.

Other Viable Options
Greater Mark of Armor - More armor, strong against teams that are heavy on AD.
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration - Also a strong option if you feel you are a little too light on damage.
Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction - CDR can be crucial during a chase or team fight, and can even mean the difference between life and death! Grab them even quicker with Twisted Advance and you could ensure your teammates a kill]]
Greater Quintessence of Scaling Ability Power - Gives you some nice, heavy damage in the beginning that can help you through your jungle or to gank enemies with some heavier harass.
Greater Quintessence of Health - Great to add a bit of tankiness to your build, giving you some fantastic stats early on!




Additional Information

Runes are really a beginning shaping of your champion, and can be changed and molded to fit your personal play style and needs. So here are a few common questions that get asked about these runes:

Why so much Magic Pen, and not AP runes?
Personally, I always prefer MP over AP in my rune pages. When the enemy sees that you are destroying their health bar with every Sapling Toss, any smart player will always start building MR to combat that. In the end, this can negate any AP that you have put into your rune page and literally waste slots that could be used for something else. However, if we use MP runes, no matter how much MR they build, these runes will always be able help us in some way.

You suggest a lot of viable options, where should I start?
The runes that I have at the top of this guide is what I have found to be the most effective for me, and seems to work the best for most people who have tried it. If you have never played Maokai before, or are just starting, I suggest beginning with the runes posted in the build that you want to try, then just practice practice practice and figure out what changes you would want to fit your own play style. The viable options I have listed are common issues that players have with Maokai, and so they are just a way of potentially correcting them.

Anything else I should know about runes?
If you haven't yet read Searz guide on runes, I suggest you do so, no matter what level you are or how long you have been playing. I read this guide at level 30 after a year of playing and I still found there was a TON of information I did not know inside. The page can be found here: http://www.mobafire.com/league-of-legends/build/rune-tips-what-secondary-and-primary-means-and-more-24255

That will wrap it up for the Runes section (whew!), on to Masteries!


Guide Top

Masteries





UPDATE 12/19/2011

I just wanted to put a little side note into this section because I feel it's important to equip you the MOST KNOWLEDGE POSSIBLE!!! Lately, whenever I am soloing top with Maokai, I have been using some different masteries: those being 0/29/1. I know it sounds crazy, but as long as you have those MP marks in your rune page, your bombs will do plenty of damage to make you effective, and you'll be pretty much unkillable throughout the course of the game. For this occasion, I use masteries like this:





So, I just wanted to share! Give it a spin and tell me what you think!
(Just as a little example, I was just playing a game against a crit chance gangplank, and he crited me twice before level 3. Both crits did less than 110 damage, and with the regen boost and Sap Magic, I was back at full health before he could shoot me with that blasted pistol again!)



Build #1

For this build, we are going for the truest tank there is, with a side of offense to help poke and harass, and feed our DPS teammates as much as possible. For this, we are going to put 9 into offense, being sure to grab ourselves Arcane Knowledge . This 10% MP will be invaluable to our Sapling Toss, and the 4% CDR is a fantastic little boost for the price as well.

As for the 21 in defense, I prefer to take Indomitable over Evasion , because in my opinion, I would like to have a higher percentage of damage of any kind being reduced rather than damage that is specified to AoE damage. I also choose to take Initiator because our passive Sap Magic is pretty good at keeping us topped off, and with Maokai having such slow move speed, this really helps us to get in there when we see a window to initiate and lock down that enemy that has stepped into our zone.



Build #2

For this support tank build, we want to put our extra 9 in the utility tree. The reason for this is that we have to face the facts. We are the tank. We will be running face first into team fights, and saving every teammate that gets into danger, and while we will of course try to prevent this occurrence, death will be inevitable for us. As a matter of fact, if you are the tank and you are not dying, then it is likely that you are not doing your job. This is why we must take Good Hands . In an average match, this simple mastery could save us around 20 seconds of being dead. This, in conjunction with Teleport could be enough to save a teammate, a team fight, or even a turret.

The other most important mastery in this tree is our Scout Mastery. As the tank who is doubling as a support, we need to ensure that we are constantly giving our team vision and wards throughout the game. With this extra 5% vision, we can see enemies that may be just pass over the edge of our wards, and we can see enemies that are coming toward us for a gank that much quicker!

As for the 21 in defense, I prefer to take Indomitable over Evasion , because in my opnion, I would like to have a higher percentage of damage of any kind being reduced rather than damage that is specified to AoE damage. I also choose to take Initiator because our passive Sap Magic is pretty good at keeping us topped off, and with Maokai having such slow move speed, this really helps us to get in there when we see a window to initiate and lock down that enemy that has stepped into our zone.



Build #3

As this build is for an off-tank, we want to go 9-21-0. Taking the 9 in offense will give us that extra 15% MP that can really put the hurt on tankier champions, and with the extra CDR that we get from Sorcery , it's a little of everything we need.

As for the 21 in defense, I prefer to take Indomitable over Evasion , because in my opnion, I would like to have a higher percentage of damage of any kind being reduced rather than damage that is specified to AoE damage. I also choose to take Initiator because our passive Sap Magic is pretty good at keeping us topped off, and with Maokai having such slow move speed, this really helps us to get in there when we see a window to initiate and lock down that enemy that has stepped into our zone.



Build #4

As for our AP nuker Maokai, we want to go with the new offense tree for our AP build, taking the 21 points in offense, and then 9 points in defense.

Our points in offense gives us so much AP it's just ridiculous. After taking your basic Mental Force mastery, giving you 4 more AP to begin with, we also take Blast and Archmage . These three masteries are going to give us that AP boost that we are really in need of, and especially with Blast on your side, it's going to give us damage that lasts.

I also take 9 points in defense. Even though this build is supposed to be for a more glass-cannon type AP nuker, let's face it, that's just not realistic. We do need survivability if we want to run in and Twisted Advance, so I personally enjoy taking that extra little boost of resistances, along with the extra health. It makes us a more viable player, and since you will not be initiating team fights, your Twisted Advance should be able to more than make up for the 2% Movement speed that we would otherwise be getting from Swiftness .

If you ever find that you are just too squishy to get in there and get kills, I would encourage you to switch your 21 points in utility to 21 points in defense, before you change your runes. Runes make more of an impact on your damage than your masteries do (in my opinion), and therefore I would not change your runes around just to accommodate for squishiness.




Build #5

As for our jungler build, we really want some key points out of the Defense and Utility Trees. For starters, we of course really need the Tough Skin and Bladed Armor masteries. These were a kindness that Riot gave us in order to make every aspect of our lives easier. This will negate quite a bit of damage not only from our jungle opponents, but also from the enemy minions in the lanes that we gank! If you think about it, if they have a wave of 10 minions built up, and they all attack you when you gank, you are looking at negating about 20 dmg per second, so if you are ganking for 5 secs, which is rather short, you will negate about 100 dmg! That's a lot! From there, we really want the general health and damage reduction that a tank really needs.

As for the utility tree, Maokai is a very mana hungry champion, and giving him the extra mana and MP5 from Expanded Mind and Meditation will really allow him to give his blue buff to his AP carry in mid (HE NEEDS IT MORE THAN YOU DO!!). Then, of course we want our buffs to last as long as possible with Runic Affinity , and when I jungle I lay down a lot of wards so I really like to take Scout , but you can put a point in Swiftness if you'd rather.


Guide Top

Items

Core Build


As with all champions, we always require a core build. As for our champion Maokai, there are three items that will help him in just about every situation, those being Rod of Ages, Abyssal Scepter and Guardian Angel.

Rod of Ages is a fantastic item to be used on Maokai, because it gives us so much, and basically scales with our level, as it gives us more health, mana and AP for every minute that we are alive. This will continue to make us more and more durable throughout the course of every game, and give our attacks more power every minute as well. This is a very strong item on Maokai, though not as strong as it once was. This can definitely be left out for a more support strong item these days.

Abyssal Scepter is a fantastic way to make up for that MR that Maokai tends to lack in the later game, while making our own AP so much stronger, and lowering the opponents' MR all at the same time, making us and our AP teammates that much more effective in every team fight all game long.

Guardian Angel gives us the power not to die, while giving us resistances to everything! While I do not suggest this item on our pure AP nuker Build #4, it is invaluable for every other build on this champion. You will be running in face first to every bush, jungle, and lane fight in the game, and the fact of the matter is, you will die! This nice little item, however, can prevent that death from being permanent, giving your teammates more time to do damage to their team, and letting you get out alive!




Build #1


For stage 2 boots, I always take the Ionian Boots of Lucidity in this build. In this build, we exist to feed our DPS teammates, and to save them from any trouble that they could get into. This means that we need to be ready at all times for anything that could come out at us. This includes a teammate that has wandered into a bush of enemies, a gank from a jungler or stealth champion, or even just a longer-than-usual team fight. Our abilities, especially our Twisted Advance need to be ready and off cooldown exactly when they are needed, and with these boots, we should have no excuses when it comes to saving their rears!

We also want to take a Sunfire Cape for the extra health and aura effect. When we run in there with our Twisted Advance, we want to be sure to melee the enemy a few times, and allow our sunfire cape to burn them down so that our opponent is good and ready for the killin'.

As for our Banshee's Veil, it can be devastating to combo champions such as and , and gives us (again) more of everything that we need.

ALSO, PLEASE READ THE NOTE ABOUT MEJAI'S SOULSTEALER AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS SECTION. YES, IT APPLIES TO THIS BUILD TOO.




Build #2


For our stage 2 boots in this build, we want to take Mercury's Treads, especially if you can see that they have a lot of champions with a lot of CC. As Maokai, we are going to get hit with a lot of spells and effects that are going to get us stunned, slowed and all kinds of other nasty things. We need to be able to get out of these and back to our team to make sure that our aura items are where they need to be and effecting our teammates in the proper way.

Aegis of the Legion is a situational item, though if you are playing with a team that knows at all what they are doing then you should definitely have a use for it. This item will be an aura that will improve all of the AD champions on your team. It is 100% necessary for any team that has an AD Carry or DPS to maximize their damage output, and turret nomming power!

Frozen Heart is another situational item that is detrimental to any opponent's AD carry. By lowering their attack speed, you are taking out the very thing that makes them effective, and therefore you are lessening their ability to damage your team or turrets just by standing there, while also giving you that nice CDR boost you could always use.

ALSO, PLEASE READ THE NOTE ABOUT MEJAI'S SOULSTEALER AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS SECTION. YES, IT APPLIES TO THIS BUILD TOO.




Build #3


If you have ever played an AP champion before, then you should know of the incredible item Rabadon's Deathcap. Giving you 140 AP + 30% AP is just ridiculous. This is going to give you that lasting damage that is going to put you into the "off-tank" category, continuing that damage that your bombs will be doing through to the very last minute of the game.

Thornmail is also an amazing item, though it is very situational, so be careful. If the other team has no AD carry, DO NOT buy this item. It returns 30% of the damage taken from basic attacks to the opponent, so just make sure the other team has an AD carry before buying. Other viable options to replace this item are Banshee's Veil or Void Staff.

ALSO, PLEASE READ THE NOTE ABOUT MEJAI'S SOULSTEALER AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS SECTION. YES, IT APPLIES TO THIS BUILD TOO.




Build #4


For this AP build I take Sorcerer's Shoes, for the obvious extra MP.

As for Morello's Evil Tome, it gives us that extra 75 AP, some extra MP5, and the CDR that we lack from not getting the Ionian Boots of Lucidity. Perfect for our build.

Now comes the fun part, but you have to remember to use it! This is what makes a good or bad Maokai right here: Their use of Lich Bane. After every single ability we use, we should be AAing. Every time that we use Twisted Advance, we should AA, then use our Arcane Smash, the AA again! That right there is like having two more damage abilities for us to use, because we could do up to another 1000 damage just from two auto attacks! Also, you should get in that habit anyway because remember, our AA heals us for 7% of our max health!




Build #5

Junglers are generally built a little differently than laners, and for good reason! It is a different game for them, and therefore they need different things. Seeing as our jungle build is very expensive, you really want to grab GP10 items such as Philosopher's Stone and Heart of Gold. Without these items, I guarantee you will find yourself always out of money and unable to survive in a teamfight, and especially to fulfill the role you are required for.

From here, its all tanking items for us! We are here to support our team with auras and to be able to survive just about forever. In order to do this we definitely want to grab Frozen Heart, Randuin's Omen and Force of Nature. This is really going to give us that tankiness we need to be able to get through anything, along with some auras that help the entire team. From here, we can build Warmog's Armor for some straight health stacking, Spirit Visage against AP heavy teams (only if you have a strong healer on your team such as Soraka or Sona), or even Trinity Force for a little bit of everything! Make sure to look at your enemy and decide exactly what it is that you need to build against!




An Important Note About Mejai's Soulstealer


Mejai's Soulstealer is a great item that can make or break a game for your team, but you must be able to use it properly. If you are having a very poor game, either your team is unorganized or you just aren't on your "A Game", do not buy this item. Replace it with a Void Staff instead.

***However, this item can also be used in another, more unconventional way that will confuse and disorganize the opposing team. If you are tanking for your team, and you have a lot of squishy teammates that keep getting focused down in teamfights, you can try getting a Mejai's Soulstealer. Since you will be getting a lot of assists, you will be getting stacks, which will FORCE the other team to focus you. This is exactly what we want. By the time they have killed you, your DPS's should have enough time to pick off a few of their teammates, and especially if you have Guardian Angel, this can make your team unstoppable in team fights.


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Summoner Spells


Teleport, Heal and Flash are my three favorite spells to go with on Maokai. With Maokai being such a slow walker, I find that without Teleport he doesn't usually get to where he's needed on time. However, I find that when I do have Teleport, I'm almost exactly where I need to be at all times. As the tank (unless you are AP Maokai), you are constantly needed to hold lanes while people go back, and to get into team fights. Also, if your jungler is warding, you should have some great spots all over the map to go where needed.

Since the Heal buff, it has really become a strong spell for summoners to take on most champions. This can be an excellent tool for a lot of things! This could be anything from one-on-one's to surviving a big chaotic team fight, to supporting a teammate in trouble! I would never yell at anyone for taking this awesome spell!

Then, of course, there's Flash. Flash is great on just about anyone, being useful for almost any occasion. This could be escaping over walls, getting out of range of enemy abilities (or getting them in range of yours), or to surprise attack an unsuspecting enemy!

For AP Mao, though, we want Ignite, because we won't be called all over the board as the tank will, and it gives us that bit of extra damage that we need to finish those kills off.

Lastly, obviously for our jungler Mao we would need to take Smite. This helps us speed through our jungle, steal buffs from unsuspecting enemies, and ensure monster buffs for ourselves, such as Dragon and Baron.



Other Viable Options

If we are going support tank (Build #2), we could go with Clairvoyance, though I do not think it benefits us more than our main two. However, if you find you are not using your abilities a lot and you have plenty of mana, you could switch those out.

Cleanse is actually a very viable option that is not used very often. As the tank you will get bogged down, and I can understand if you want Cleanse to keep you in that fight (or to get you out!).

Ghost is also a decent substitute for Teleport, giving us a good escape, or letting us keep up with quick opponents, allowing us to tie them down for a kill.




Absolutely Not

Just... no.



Gray Area

Everything else is in the gray area. All other spells I have found can be viable on Maokai, such as taking Exhaust in order to ensure a gank. If you are just hellbent on a certain spell, go for it, but I encourage you to try the suggested ones first and see what you think.


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Jungle Path

This is just going to be a quick little section, hopefully I will be able to get some pics and diagrams in here soon!

First, you are going to want to get your teammates to protect your blue buff while you start at wraiths. Communicate to them that you will be a few seconds late and that they need to just hold it there when they leash.

At 1:05 start bombing wraiths, then be sure you throw one at 1:40 so you get that initial impact damage. Once those die, run on over to your blue buff that your teammates should have started by now. Throw a couple bombs, and use your q, and make sure to smite the blue golem when it is at 445 health.

Head on over to wolves, throw a bomb in the middle, then q twice while auto attacking, and you'll be off! By this point, wraiths have spawned again and you can go grab them a second time.

After wraiths you want to head over to red buff. Throw a bomb, then spam the **** out of your q and e. Pop a health potion as soon as red starts to hit you, and then just keep q'ing and auto attacking. Head over to double golem when this is done, knock those out then head back.

At this point, you can grab your Boots of Speed and start ganking! Try to find a lane that is pushed up, and is ideally already around half health. You can pop in with your Twisted Advance, and then slow them with Arcane Smash. This, in combination with your e should definitely land a kill for your team!


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Some Nifty Little Tricks

I just wanted to share a couple of neat little tricks that I have found works really well that are a little on the unconventional or strange side, but they really work!

The first has already been previously mentioned, but in case you didn't read it up above, I'll say it again here:

Mejai's Soulstealer can be used in a different way that will confuse and disorganize the opposing team. If you are tanking for your team, and you have a lot of squishy teammates that keep getting focused down in teamfights, you can try getting a Mejai's Soulstealer. Since you will be getting a lot of assists, you will be getting stacks, which will FORCE the other team to focus you. This is exactly what we want. By the time they have killed you, your DPS's should have enough time to pick off a few of their teammates, and especially if you have Guardian Angel, this can make your team unstoppable in team fights.

Tip #2 is a trick I've discovered with Teleport. If you are tanking and you see your teammate run into a bush with three opponents in it, dive in to save them. As your teammate runs away, they will begin to focus you. Now here's the fun part. If they do not have a stun ready, you can just plant your *** right there and pick a tower across the board, and teleport to it. If they are not able to kill you in the few seconds it takes to teleport, you will come out at that tower, and be able to back it home free. It confuses and enrages opponents. It's hilarious.

The third little trick I've learned deals with downing turrets. Say you have an AD carry with you and their turret is half down, with one defender on that turret. Once you rush in, put your ultimate, Vengeful Maelstrom around you, your carry, and the turret. I don't know if it's just that most people don't know what Maokai does, or if he's just scary, but 9 times out of 10 when the opponent sees that whirling circle around you and their turret, they become fearful and run away. Even if they don't, this will offer your carry some protection and give a nice bit of damage should they attack.

This last one is more of a skill combo thing but most Mao players don't use it. If you want to ensure your sapling hits the right target, throw your bomb a little ways behind opponent and immediately use Twisted Advance on them. This will ensure by the time you tie them down (they will have run a few steps backward by this point) your bomb should just be landing, and will then be able to explode exactly on your target, with no chance of getting away.


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Summary

In summary, Maokai can be used for just about anything. Offense tank, support tank, off-tank, AP nuker or even jungler, whatever your fancy Maokai can do it all.

I will be constantly adding to this guide as LoL changes over time to try to keep you in the game and in the tournaments with this Maokai build! I encourage all of you to send me your screenshots of games you play using my build, and comment with any questions or comments that you may have!

Please try it before you rate it, and make sure to rate after you win! Thanks for reading guys!


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