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Maokai Build Guide by Weeznaz

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Weeznaz

Season 7 Maokai Runes/Item/Masteries discussion

Weeznaz Last updated on November 20, 2016
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Introduction

Hello Summoners, my name is Weeznaz and I am writing this guide on one of my favorite tanks, because I think he is fun to play, and because after looking at the other guides I couldn't find one except C9 Balls' who expalined the item choices or rune.mastery set up in any great detail. So, I am here to do just that, help explain his item choices, rune set up, and mastery set up because Maokai is very flexible in build path.


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Maokai Introduciton

Maokai is an AP tank. You don't pick him for a dominating laning phase or split push power, you pick him as he scales in a super tank and has amazing teamfight potential.

Pros:
1: Max health damage attached to base values
2: Becomes a super tank in the late game
3: Offers teamwide damage reduction
4: Has above average lane pushing power for a tank
5: Is hard to kill in teamfights due to Vengeful Maelstrom and Sap Magic
6: Is an excellent form of primary engage and lockdown due to Twisted Advance.

Cons:
1: Becomes a man hog due to Vengeful Maelstrom
2: Not a true "carry", needs a competent team
3: Low move speed
4: Is reliant on Flash for initiations.
5: Relatively immobile champion: Has no omnidirectional dashes or blinks.


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Rune Set Up Explained

Quints: There's really only one good option, flat AP quints. These are to help give you early game offensive properties, also because there aren't many other good places to fit in AP in a standard Maokai build.

Marks: There's really only one good option, Flat Attack Speed marks. This is because of your passive Sap Magic, which is not only reliant on lots of spell being cast around you, but you being able to auto attack targets. This is the only reasonable place to fit in attack speed in order to help you attack targets faster and trigger your passive faster in combat.

Seals: There are a couple of options here: Scaling Armor or Scaling Health. In a standard game I would go scaling armor because I will be getting magic resistance grom Quints and will be buying Righteous Glory as item 1, meaning I will need some resistances as I build flat health. Option 2 is scaling health, if you know ahead of time you are against a primarily magic damage enemy team then these seals will help you out more.

Glyphs: Scaling Magic Resistance, Scaling Cooldown Reduction, Scaling Health are all acceptable quints. In a blind mathcup, I tend to go for scaling magic resistance because that combined with scaling armor is a well rounded defense page. IF I know Ahead of time I am going up against a primarily AD team then I like to incorporate Scaling Health to increase my defenses. Alternatively I consider adding Scaling CDR glyphs because buying Spirit Visage isn't that great against an AD team, meaning you loose access to 10% CDR.


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Mastery Set Up

I go 12-0-18

Ferocity Tree

Tier 1: Maokai has multiple paths to AP (quints, Rod of Ages, Abyssal Scepter, etc) so I can 5 points in Sorcery .

Tier 2: Expose Weakness is a reliable way to add damage against the enemy team assuming your ADC and or AP carry follow up on your engages.

Tier 3: Natural Talent : gives Maokai more AD an AP, good for more damage and helps last hitting.

Tier 4: Battle Trance is the most reliable of the given options to increase your damage by 5% since Maokai intends to constantly be in the middle of the enemy team, and Maokai gets tanky enough to last inside the fight for at least 5 seconds.

Maokai doesn't utilize any Ferocity Tree Ketstone masteris well so we don't go further in this tree.

Resolve Tree

Tier 1: I prefer to take 5 points in Unyielding since Maokai builds lots of resistances and I don't like base HP regen as a stat since it doesn't feel strong early game and it's irrelevant in the teamfight phase of the game.

Tier 2: I prefer Tough Skin as it consistently lets me be more tanky. Siegemaster is an intersting because if you are trying to survive a turret dive you can make the enemy team's job much harder, but when not under a tower this mastery is useless. If you know ahead of time you are about to he shoved in hard + turret dived I would take this mastery. If not, I wouldn't take this mastery.

Tier 3: I prefer to take 5 points in Runic Armor since Maokai has his passive Sap Magic. the extra 50 HP from Veteran's Scars isn't as valuable.

Tier 4: Perseverance isn't a good mastery on Maokai, I don't like base HP regen as a stat, and Fearless is a very tempting mastery, certainly giving value during teamfights. however I prefer Insight in order to make more Flash initiations/ make plays more often.

Tier 5: I prefer to take Swiftness because Tenacity is such a rare stat and CC is so common I take Tenacity wherever I can find it.

Tier 6: Either Grasp of the Undying or courage of colossus. Grasp is reliable damage and makes Maokai harder to kill while Colossus makes Maokai much more "indestructible" and Maokai easily triggers this mastery with Twisted Advance.


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Jungle Maokai

With the introduction of Runic Echoes I believe Maokai is now a deadly jungler.

Pros:
1: Point click CC -> Potentially Potent Level 3 ganks
2: high base damage and high damage with a completed Runic Echoes
3: Becomes a super tank
4: Runic Echoes + Dead Man's Plate + Mercury's Treads= 460 Move speed
5: Gives your team more magic damage.


Cons
1: Bad first clear (Ask for a good leash)
2: MANA HOG (Will be blue buff dependent)
3: Susceptible to counter ganks

There are a couple of things you need to note when attempting Maokai jungle. First, is your first clear is really bad. His first clear puts him very low when completed, similar to Jarvan. your first item is Runic Echoes. Reason for this is this item gives Maokai much needed move speed and increase clear speed. Also the AP from the item gives Maokai more burst damage. Maokai has respectable AP ratios, but ever since the ROA changes bulding AP on Maokai has always felt ackward, and Righteous Glory was too important on top lane Maokai. Since Maokai with a Runic Echoes and Dead Man's Plate moves so fast, you don't need a Righteous Glory. to compensate for the lack of mana you will be addicted to Blue Bugg, and for items you want both Frozen Heart and Iceborn Gauntlet. You still want to pick up Spirit Visage, and while this does technically put you at 50% CDR which in theory sounds like a waste, the unique passive from Spirit Visage is too important to pass up.

Other than these small differences, jungle Maokai operates identical in teamfights and skirmishes.


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Item Discussion

Doran' Ring: Gives HP, AP, and mana regen making this a great first item.

Iceborn Gauntlet: This item gives armor, 20% CDR, and lots of much needed mana. This is a great early item to help with wave manipulation and AOE CC.

Sunfire Cape: gives good HP, the AOE burn helps with wave manipulation and AOE teamfight damage.

I. Gauntlet + S. Cape= strong response to Attack Damage threats and helps give Maokai more teamfight damage.

Mercury's Treads vs Boots of Swiftness: If against high AP threats and lots of CC then M. Treads are your way to go. If you are against lots of SLOWS then B.O.Swiftness are superior.

Rod of Ages: While this item's stats all work with Maokai, it takes 10 minutes for this item to fully unlock. If you are snowballing the game, then go right ahead and get this item. However, and this is usually the case I find, I prefer to go I. Gauntlet + S. Cape as this is a more consistent item purchase.

Righteous Glory: This item helps Maokai get into Twisted Advanced range, can be bought at any time in the game making this my preferred Catalyst of Aeons item over Rod of Ages.

Spirit Visage: gives good HP, CDR, and Maokai has strong build in health regen effects so the unique passive on this item gets great useage.

Dead Man's Plate: A strong HP, armor, and early game item with its move speed increase.

Thornmail: A selfish item that helps Maokai stand toe to toe with AD based teams.

Locket of the Iron Solari: gives armor, magic resist, and a strong teamfight shield.

Zz'Rot Portal: Armor + magic resist + side wave pressure= options. make sure to coordinate with your team so this items pushes and you can be waiting cross map to make a play so you don't have to waste TP.

Banner of Command: See description for Zz'Rot Portal

Frozen Heart: 20% CDR + Mana + great response to attack speed based enemies.

Hextech GLP 800: Gives mana, AP, HP, and the active is useful for disengaging, or engaging if you play it right. Consider this a safer early game option than Rod of Ages.

Morellonomicon: Only build this if you are against an all AP team, in this case you can't build Iceborn Gauntlet or Frozen Heart so you need an option for mana + CDR.

Guardian Angel: armor + magic resist + you become a PAIN IN THE *** to deal with ;)

Randuin's Omen: Are you against a crit focused AD carry? Are they getting out of control. If the answer is yes then buy this item. If not, this item isn't necessary as the other armor items have more utility/ better early game benefits.

Knight's Vow: This is a sort of tag team item, it requires your ADC or your consistent magic damage AP carry to be on the ball, and if you work together you both become much harder. However if you are against a burst champion, cough cough assassin meta, then this item becomes less useful.

Zeke's Harbinger: armor + magic resist + giving more power to your crit focused ADC or consistent damage carry if ahead= fun.

Zhonya's Hourglass: this item is expensive and gives low armor, but is FUN when used. This is a possibly good item against an all AD team.

Abyssal Scepter: is a selfish response to AP threats. Is a decent item, but I usually don't buy this item as I prefer stronger tank items.

Banshee's Veil: I usually don't buy this item because Spirit Visage is so much better on this champ. If against an all AP team comp, then I will consider buying this item.


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Your thoughts

What do you think of my item guide? Did it help you or not? Let me know in the comment section.