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Maokai Build Guide by JVLiasma

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 JVLiasma

The Tree Among The Trees

JVLiasma Last updated on February 25, 2012
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Team 1

Ability Sequence

2
14
15
17
18
Ability Key Q
4
8
10
12
13
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: 0

 
 
 
 
 
4/
Durability
Vigor
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Honor Guard
Mercenary
 
 
 
 
 
 
1/
Juggernaut
 
 

Defense: 21

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Strength of Spirit
Intelligence
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Mastermind
 

Utility: 9


Guide Top

Introduction

Welcome to my Maokai guide, Maokai is admittely, was not my first champion I used, nor am I the best Maokai player out there, however, i present this guide to you to show my style of play, so feel free to take parts of the guide and tweak it for yourself. Although this is also my first guide, please do give constructive criticism to help me improve my future guides.

WARNING: This guide is intended for normal play, as such, if you do decide to use this in ranked play, I am not responsible for any of your blunders~

Note: This is a jungle build if you havent noticed yet from Smite, thus, if you would like to play Lane Maokai do peruse the other wonderful Maokai guides on this site.

Note: I may be adding a ranked build when i get ready (or rather, get my guts out of a knot) so keep your fingers crossed till then~


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Pros / Cons

Pros


+ Decent clear speed
+ Fairly high heatlh throughout route (except at double golems)
+ Excellent ganking ( Twisted Advance is truly truly outrageous)
+ Good burst
+ Versatile (Would like some AP with your wi- tank?)
+ He has 3 CC of all flavours, Slow (Soft CC), Snare (Semi-Hard CC) and Knockup (Hard CC, cannot be reduced by Tenacity of ANY form .
+ Two words: Sapling Toss~
space
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Cons


- Apparently, Annie and Brand one-shot you
- Takes counter-jungling HARD
- Twisted Advance can put you VERY out of position ( Ahri's Qudra Flash anyone?
- Vengeful Maelstrom often misses, as most enemies wouldnt be... unitelligent enough to stay in there for more then 2.5 seconds
- Sapling Toss, for all its utility, damage and cuteness, has a completely ******ed AI (Maybe the sapling just wants some friends?)
- Does not have the ability to solo dragon at 6(TL:DR no dragon control)


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Masteries

Masteries

Why Defensive masteries? Its simply because these masteries benefit us the most, or most junglers for that matter. While I believe that most of the masteries are self-explantory, I will go through them in greater detail.

Defense:


  • Summoner's Resolve : Gives 10 bonus gold upon casting smite, you will be using Smite throughout the match, you should have used Smite about... 15 times in a 30 minute game, thats 360 seconds of map vision, or 600 health over 60 seconds, for one point, thats awesome.

  • Hardiness : It simply gives armour. Just armour? Whats so good about 6 armour? Apparently, its 0.32 Damage Reduction, may not seem like much, BUT, it will allow you to jungle more, run away with that riduculous low amount of life more, etc. 6 Armour goes a long way, even if its not much. (As with all masteries apparently)

  • Tough Skin : Seeing how you will be spending most of your time till late-game in the jungle, you will get a good amount of damage reduced by this.

  • Durability : Gives you health per level, not much to say about this, other then the fact it makes you tankier late-game and makes your Force of Nature more worthwhile.

  • Indomitable : At this point, the jungle creeps are dumbfounded on how you take so little damage from their razor sharp claws. Again, makes you more durable in jungle and gives you that 'Igotawaywith2hptrollface.jpg' look.

  • Veteran's Scars : Health! The glorious thing, its what allows you to keep fighting, and not collapse into a pile of firewood.

  • Bladed Armor : This helps your jungle in subtle ways, it helps you kill the small lizards standing next to their Ancient Golem boss, A.K.A Blue Buff. It acts like a built-in thornmail,allowing you to finish off that last silver of health with lifting a... Finger?( Branch?)

  • Enlightenment : That Miss Fortune is running for the hills! Get her! Except Twisted Advance is on cooldown, and she not in range for Arcane Smash. She gets away! (*Shock**Horror**Gasp*) Combining this with Frozen Heart gives a decent amount of CDR, allowing you to keep up the CC your team needs, and to finish off that Ryze with 12 heatlh with Sapling Toss. Nuf' said

  • Honor Guard : 1.5% reduced damage is really really less, especially this deep into the defensive tree, a 300 damage Baleful Strike will deal 298 damage, just 2 less from the original, however, it is better than Mercenary , as even if you do get 12 assists, unlikely as it is, (say the match goes on past an hour) you will get 288 gold. Not bad, but I would prefer the 1.5% reduced damage please. NOTE: You could place the 3 points from here into Resistance but its mainly a case of personal preferance. NOTE: Removed in the favour of Initiator as it help Maokai better.
  • Initiator : The extra movespeed is crucial for a successful Maokai, the best 3 points to invest in at this point of the mastery tree.

  • Juggernaut : 3% more health and 10 free Tenacity? An excellent mastery, leaving you with 41.5 Tenacity, and about a 100 more health end-game. The 3% bonus is not much, but a nice 'add-on' to the defensive tree.


Ultility:


  • Summoner's Insight : Gives a 15 second reduction on Flash already absurd cooldown, a must-have if you are running Flash.

  • Good Hands : The enemies are pushing your Nexus turrets! Thankfully you revive in time from that ace, and show them that you should not defile nature or saplings are going to rain some pain...

  • Swiftness : Personally, Maokai requires movespeed, 3 of his skills require him to be in range or so, and combined with Force of Nature will give you enough movespeed to catch up with people that dont build Phantom Dancers.

  • Runic Affinity : Yo dawg, I heard you were jungling... And whats a jungler's ganks without his buffs? It is the difference between slowing that Ryze enough for your Lux to land her Finales Funkeln and letting that Ryze live with a trollface.jpg. (I aplogize for the Ryze focus here, i just ganked a Ryze and got a triple....... Ragequit~)

    So thats it for masteries~ I hope that was in-depth but concise for you~


Guide Top

Runes

Runes
As you may notice, my runes do not differ too much from standard caster runes, with perphaps the exception of Greater Seal Of Resillence. I will not go through the runes as in-depth as I believe most of my runes choices are obvious; Mpen Marks to pierce some of that pesky MR, Armour Seals to increase survivalibity in the jungle and AP glyphs and quints to hit harder with spells.

Alternate Rune Choices
Marks:

  • Greater Mark of Attack Damage: This one seems counter-intuitive but it does result in faster clears. However, Mpen helps strengthen Maokai's end-game strength, while the AD marks fall off completely by mid-late game.
    Status: Viable but not advised
  • Greater Mark of Attack Speed: Some people seem to like it for faster jungle clears and such, however, Maokai already has two good AoE clear spells, however, this boils down to personal preference, as Force of Nature and Mercury Treads will get you around 420 movespeed, allowing you to stick to most foes(Thanks to Zell for pointing this out to me~)
Status: Viable but personal preference
Seals:
These are completely unnegotiatble. Getting anything other than Armour Seals will weaken your jungle, ganks and late-game. So....
Status: All other runes are not viable on Maokai
Glyphs:
  • Greater Glyph of Scaling Cooldown Reduction: Personally, I don't see anything wrong with this. I just prefer the extra ap to tide me over the early game better. More saplings in your enemies face= AWESOME
    Status: Completely viable, recomended
  • Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist: Sadly, our dear Maokai does not have scaling MR! These runes will take care of that problem, and give a nice MR along with Force of Nature for that pesky Veigar who just keeps aiming you for some reason... (Which is good if you are building a tank, but you can't do jack if your dead)
    Status: Completely Viable, recomended as well.

    Quintessences:
  • Greater Quintessence of Health : Gives you more beef, 76 health is strongest early game but I don't like trading off 15 AP for 76 health.
    Status: Viable but not recomended


Guide Top

Spells Explanation



Sap Magic: What does this do? Basically, it give you a 'charge' of Magical Sap everytime a spell is cast near you, (About combat range)
such as Disintergrate. Toggle skills like Frost Shot will not give you a charge, but Anivia's Glacial Storm and your own Vengeful Maelstrom will. At 5 charges of Magical Sap, your next AUTOATTACK will heal you for 7% of your max health. This adds a tiny amount of sustain to your jungle, and can give you a burst of health in teamfights where spells are flying around anyway,

Fun Fact: Due to this passive (or innate as some people like to say), You cannot be killed while ganked by Evelynn and Karthus due to somewhat obvious reasons. (Unless it becomes a kite fest with Karthus, but I have never seen Karthus' get above the 400 movespeed mark so...)


Arcane Smash: What it does is that Maokai send out a shockwave (Note that this spell is a skillshot) that will damage and slow nearby enemies. Enemies in immediate range around Maokai are also knocked up and back for a short while.

We take this at level 2 for our jungle, helping us clear blue easier and not die to that pile of rock. (And avoid the embrassing sound of being 'Excuted', it makes you sound really... bad.
Tips and Tricks
  • You will knock-up and knockback targets for a bit that are within melee range of you, even if you are sending the shockwave in a completely different direction.
  • The knock-up will end channeled spells such as the dreaded Death Lotus, easy Pentakill Absolute Zero and the 'Heseyespiercethesoulwithvoideffectstoo!' Nether Grasp
  • This can also be use to slow enemies chasing you, use the knock-up to deter melee ***aliants and the slow to slow the already slow casters in the back.

Twisted Advance: Maokai rushes towards a target enemy, rooting and dealing damage to them. This ability is a targetted spell and will stop if you lose sight of the target while in 'cloud mode'. It will refresh the cooldown though.
Tips and Tricks
  • You can root to minions and netrual creeps, this can make for a hasty escape if required in a clutch situiation.
  • You ganks are strong because of this, use Sapling Toss on the gankee then follow up with this, move for a bit and knock them to your allies with Arcane Smash. The resident laner should know how to do the rest.
  • Sometimes its better to sacrifice yourself in a 3v2 scenario to allow you ally to live and not just double suicide.


Sapling Toss: Its here~ the one, the only, Sapling Toss! It gives so many things in one spell, a free ward, brush checker, poking, finisher, farm or good old nuking.
Tips and Tricks
  • If you see an enemy chea- I mean Flash across a wall, you can use this in conjuntion with Twisted Advance to chase down enemies
  • The root from Twisted Advance makes it much easier to hit the target for the full force of the spell, making this two spells an excellent comob.
  • Use this to cut off escape routes when doing ganking or chasing, allowing you and your allies
    to secure that kill.

Vengeful Maelstrom: You place this down in an area, giving 20% damage reduction to allies in the area and converting that damage into extra damage when you turn this off, also, its on a rather short cooldown, so dont be afraid to use it. Early on, use it for extra burst during ganks, Later, use it to shield your team during teamfights, Note that it only deals damage to enemies that STAY in the area DURING the deactivation of this skill.
Tips and Tricks
  • Leading with this skill can get you in a good position for a teamfight, what may have been a 4v3 chase could easily becone a double or even triple kill for you and your allies with minimal losses.
  • This skill has a relative short range, so remember this when using this else you will just walk and walk and.... Collaspe into a pile of firewood when Jax decides to drop by.
  • Remember to detonate this, the extra damage would mean nothingg if it doesnt hit anyone, if you team is at an advantage, use this for the damage instead.
  • It does have a mana cost per second to mantain, so watch you mana bar if your low and out of Blue Buff.


Guide Top

Summoner Spells

Viable:

  • Flash: Use to be OP with the ability to pop missles, but even since they removed that and nerfed its range and cooldown, it is now less viable than before, however, I take this over Ghost because Flash instantly puts distance or close distances with your enemies while you can be stunned or slowed (No 'Master Yi godspeed Highlander for you~) and quick melee enemies (especially though who build Phantom Dancers) can still stick to you. Therefore, IMO I find Flash more useful..
  • Smite: Yo dawg, i heard you were jungling... While it is possible (but fairly hard) to get by without smite, it makes you loses a few things, Baron and Dragon control, see that Baron with 800 health? SMITE HIM OH MIGHTY SMITER!
  • Ignite: Some lucky champions get away with 8 hp, use this to burn that trollface.jpg away and get 300 gold for your time. Good if you feel that Maokai's burst is still not enough.
  • Ghost: The inverse of Exhaust, reasons are above but I find this more viable if you are not a fan of Flash.
Semi-Viable:
  • Teleport: Personally, I am a fan of this spell on solo-top Maokai and I can see its ultility, but Flash and Smite give more ulltity and power, swap Flash out for this if your the type that wards the map for the team. Its gratifying to be able to teleport to the enemies blue from bot, then immediately gank top, its adds a lot more to your map control and it instill that fear factor about how every brush contains a Maokai with his sapling friends.
  • Cleanse: Some people seem to like this spell, some bash it, I just find it meh. You are already stacking 41.5 Tenacity, however, if you are getting stun locked for the the entire match, consider get Quicksilver Sash instead.
  • Exhaust: I can see the use in this, allowing your saplings to hit and getting that root down, however, there are just better summoner spells compared to this for Maokai
Non-Viable: I dont really find the need to take these summoner spells or they just dont fit Maokai, for example, Surge maybe a good idea on AS/AP Teemo or Heal on Volibear. However they do not help Maokai enough or at all to warrant their usage.


Guide Top

Jungle Route

Thats right, we are finally getting on the jungle route~

1. Start with a Doran's Ring and head out to your wraiths, start by throwing saplings at exactly the 1:06 mark, by the 1:39 mark, you should have 3 saplings stacked up and ready. head to the center of the camp and proceed to 2-shot the blue wraith.

2. Head on to your wolves, using Sapling Toss whenever available, Ding! Level 2, level Arcane Smash.


3. Go to the Blue Golem, start off with Sapling Toss into Arcane Smash, the small lizards should have a silver of health, ignore them and let them finish themselves off with Bladed Armor . Remember to use Smite When the Blue Golem gets low.


4. Wraiths should have respawned, again, use the Sapling Toss into Arcane Smash to leave them at low health, then one-shot the rest one by one.

5. Head on to the Twin Golems, NOTE: Do not attempt this at all if a enemy Shaco is missing or jungling. You will get down to about 1 bar of health at this point, Recall.

6. Purchase a Sapphire Crystal and 2 Health Potions if you had killed the Golems, if not, get Boots of Speed and a Health Potion.

7. Head to the Red Lizard camp and, doing the usual combo, smiting the Red when its gets low.


8. Wraiths next, this should be easy, by this point, you should be level 4. Now, go gank!

Note:I will be adding images/videos soon, as soon as I find a progamn that can record LoL without giving a black screen....


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Ganking

"Ganking is a art in itself, except for Gangplank that is..." Me

And indeed it is, we all have seen the spectacular ganks of Lee Sin and Nocturne, but how about Maokai? Unlike Lee Sin, who depends on Sonic Wave to hit for entry, you can simply waltz right in (AFTER you Sapling Tossed) then follow up with Twisted Advance. If your laner has more than 28 neurons, he will typically start to wail on the gankee as well, also, remember to use Arcane Smash for that little bit of distance given, slow AND damage.

If you are ganking post 6, you will want to place Vengeful Maelstrom in the path of the gankee escape (The area on it is rather huge, so its rather easy) for that extra burst. It also acts as sort of a 'safety net' in case he might just get away with 12 health.

REMEMBER: Ganking is not always about kills, for you or your allies, If they burned Flash and Heal, your did enough, its gratifying to know that you Brand can safely combo spells against that Flashless Fiddlesticks.

Image coming soon as soon as I a chance~


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Gankees

This chapter is made to denote who I feel is easier to gank and who you cant gank, ever. (Yes Morgana, I'm looking at you) Note that this is not a complete list of all 93 champions, but rather a general list.

COMPLETELY UNGANKABLE
Just no, just no, any good Morgana will just pop Black Shield and laugh your root off while you get stuck on Tormented Soil thanks to Dark Binding
Rather Hard to Gank
They either have a good escape ability or have a 'IeatorangesandI'mkay' ability, just saying, in all seriousness though, if your laner can make them waste those abilities, gank on my friend.
Hit Or Miss
Yeah, the stealth trio, Shaco being the mad jester he is, decided that a blink stealth is better, and in this case, he is absoulutely right, however, if your laner can stun him long enough for Twisted Advance, he cannot Deceive out, the other two are easier though, just keep wailing on them and you will squash their squishy... behinds in a matter of seconds.
Hmm... Meh
(Anyone with a non-spammable blink and dash goes here) as well as those with a stun, such as Sion, theres a good chance that your gank will work, but theres also a chance it would fail badly.
I'm here, gank me!
Or anyone with a slow, blind and no hard CC. Or maybe no CC at all, Post 6 Teemo is really hard to gank though, thanks to Noxious Trap.


Guide Top

Items

So maybe the game isn't going as planned, they dont have a single AD carry, or your getting stun locked in team-fights. Items, like everything in LoL, are situational. If the enemies' team is this: Veigar, Nunu, Leona, Sona and Nidalee, you might be about to buy that Glacial Shroud for Frozen Heart, when the common sense sector of your brain kicked in, and you got Negatron Cloak instead.

Full House AD:

Cost: 2775
Stats Given: 99 Armour, UNIQUE Passive: 20% cooldown reduction, UNIQUE Aura: Reduces the attack speed of nearby enemy champion by 20%.
Reason: This item is already in the main build, however, I wanted to go through why this item, a 20% reduction is like taking away a Dagger from their inventory, since this aura could easily affect all 5 enemy champions, it almost pays for itself (2775 price - Aura's effective gold cost= 675 gold). Therefore, you are effectively paying just 675 gold for 99 armour AND 500 mana, making this a must-have against a team with auto attackers like Master Yi or Tryndamere,as such, IMO, Frozen Heart> Thornmail
Cost: 2000
Stats Given: 100 Armour, UNIQUE Passive: On being hit by standard attacks, returns 30% of damage taken as magic damage. A minimum of 15 damage must be received.
Reason: Although I just bashed Thornmail, if there is a Caitlyn that just reached the 400 AD mark, you might just want to invest in this, as it would certainly bring some pain to the attacker, but do note that you should only take one, as both passives clash with each other.
Cost: 2000
Stats Given: 75 Armor, 350 Health, 25 Health Regeneration. UNIQUE Passive: 5% Cooldown Reduction and 20% chance on being hit to slow the attacker's movement and attack speed by 35% for 3 seconds. UNIQUE Active: Slows movement speeds and attack speeds of surrounding units by 35% for 2 seconds + 0.5 seconds for each 100 Armor and Magic Resist. 60 second cooldown. (500 Range)
Reason: If for some reason your enemies are just not fed but meh AD carries, this is the item for you. Combine this with Frozen Heart and Master Yi just got De Highlandered. (Movespeed buff may or not be included. Batteries sol- Oh wait)
Cost:2225
Stats Given: 35 Armor, 300 Health. UNIQUE Aura: Nearby allied champions gain 15 health regen per 5 seconds. UNIQUE Active: Shield yourself and nearby allies for 5 seconds, absorbing up to 50 (+10 per level) damage. 60 second cooldown.

Reason: Yay~ New itemz, but is it worth it? If your team has 3 hyper-carries, and your just poor old Maokai, use this along with Vengeful Maelstrom to make easy teamfight a pushover. If you end up being the main damage dealer on the team though (although it never should be), skip this for something else.


Royal Flush AP:

Cost: 1440
Stats Given: 56 Magic Resistance. UNIQUE Active: Removes all debuffs from your champion. 90 second cooldown.
Reason: To buy or not to buy? My answer is: Yes. Especailly if the enemies have any form of supression, such as Warwick's Infinite Duress or Malzahar's Nether Grasp, if you are getting stunned locked all match long, this is your item of choice. This item is also not just for AP heavy teams either, if you see your enemies full of dangerous CCs, Twisted Advance in and wait 1.5 seconds, then pop this, now if only I could import trollfaces into the LoL client for you...
Cost: 2715
Stats Given: 375 Health, 50 Magic Resistance, 375 Mana. UNIQUE Passive: Blocks one negative spell every 45 seconds.
Reason: Personally, I do not like this item, as the spell shield can be be popped by a simple low cost low cooldown spell, furthermore, most mages have at 3 spells that have less than a 45 second cooldown, just saying. However, do get this if you need the extra bulk and magic resist.
Cost: 2610
Stats Given: 40 Health Regeneration, 76 Magic Resistance, 8 Movement Speed Multiplier. UNIQUE Passive: Restores 0.35% of your champion's maximum health every second.
Reason: This is already in the main build, but as with Frozen Heat, I will explain it in greater detail. By the time you get this item, you would have around 3.1k health (take it as 3k to make my life easier) therefore you will be regenerating 8.5 health per second, or (42.5+40)=82.5 hp/5 along with the MR given, allowing you to recover from pokes before large teamfights. The most precious part about this item though, is the movespeed. Why do I like movespeed on Maokai? Well, simply put, Maokai is a slow tree, nevermind that, he needs to be close to the enemies to be able to do jack. This will increase your effectiveness by 15%. (Your Milage May Vary)
Cost: 2650
Stats Given: 70 Ability Power, 57 Magic Resistance. UNIQUE Aura: Reduces the Magic Resist of nearby enemy champions by 20.
Reason: A rather magey item, get it when it becomes the Great AP Wars, This makes so much difference when spells are flying around, swap out Frozen Heart for this if you do get into such a scenario.
Jack Of All Roles (Balanced)
Note: This part shows items you will want to get, regardless of game scenario or type, or maybe some Situational Items, of course, if your team is intelligent enough to build Frozen Heart and Randuin's Omen against a all AP team, you know you have do the same~
Cost: 3035
Stats Given: 60 Ability Power, 450 Health, 525 Mana. Passive: Your Champion gains 18 Health, 20 Mana, and 2 Ability Power every 1 min. Bonuses cap at +180 Health, +200 Mana and +20 Ability Power. (Not included in stats) UNIQUE Passive: Upon leveling up, restores 250 health and 200 mana over 8 seconds.
Reason: This really is the bulk of your core build, maxed out, the stats it provides make this item rather cost efficent, while giving that needed sustain to keep on jungling, ganking and staying alive for a long, long while. And for a AP Tank, you need the health for tankiness, AP to give initiative to attack you. All in all a great item, note that usually in a normal game, getting this around the 20 minute mark is ideal, as the stats would be maxed out in time for the end-game pushes. (Though, I wonder why a certain someone doesnt like RoA on AP Tanks? We will never know...)
Cost: 3105
Stats Given: 80 Ability Power, 500 Health. UNIQUE Passive: Your spell damage will slow the target's movement speed by 35% for 1.5 seconds (15% for multi-target spells and damage-over-time spells and spells with a cooldown time below 3 seconds.
Reason: It piles on more ultility in chasing or slowing, makes your saplings more accurate, and provided a decent chuck of nice, delicious health. Why then, do we get this item after Frozen Heart? Because, at this point, your effective health (EH) is not maximised this way, thus I find it better to purchase AFTER I get some armour to last longer than 5 seconds in a teamfight, where I can provide the ultility from the slow longer and more efficently.
Cost: 3600
Stats Given: 140 Ability Power. UNIQUE Passive: Increased ability power by 30%.
Reason: The icing on the cake, at this point, which both teams are just itching to Ace each other for the win, this is where these come in, very very very very rarely do you get to this point though, but when you do, your enemies better be ready for a world of hurt...
Shurelya's Reverie
Cost: 2200
Stats Given: 330 Health, 30 Health Regeneration, 15 Mana Regeneration. UNIQUE Passive: Reduces ability cooldowns by 15%. UNIQUE Active: Nearby champions gain 40% movement speed for 3 seconds (60 second cooldown).
Reason: So people have been telling me about this little item here, and I love it. The speed up is flexible in all regards, whether be it getting to baron faster or chasing to running from a 3v5. The problem? None really, if you decide to start with a Regrowth Pendant and a Health Potion. It would transition in this perfectly.

TL:DR : MOAR CDRs MOAR HP and a portable mass Ghost

Two Of A Pair

I can't actually believe I forgot about dem shoes, but here's some of my opinions on the shoes we can give our little tree...

{[Coming Soon]}




If you would like to explain any other VIABLE item, please feel free to do so in the comments and I will come over as quickly as I log on.


Guide Top

Playstyle

Early Game:

This is when the game just started, till a rather hard to define point, it mostly ends when the laning phase breaks up and small teamfights begin to happen. This is the crucial period for Maokai, as we covered that Maokai takes counter-jungling HARD.

What you should be doing: For the most part, the early parts should be about jungling, jungling and did I mention jungling? Oh and ganking too, for the most part, you want to gank often and fast. Gank from level 4 to about... Level 10. Your ganks are strongest at level 5 as thats when when your burst potential is at its highest just before people get their ultimates and Sapling Toss is at level 3.
Mid Game:

At this point, small teamfights should be breaking out, and you should have Rod of Ages or at least close to completion, depending on how the game is going. Use Vengeful Maelstrom to create a arena of sorts to fight in and then detonate it. (Note that very rarely do you get to both shield your allies and detonate it in your enemies face. If it happens though, you are one very happy Maokai.

What you should be doing: Really, it simple, poke with Sapling Toss before teamfights and single out the greatest threat to your team, e.g that Xin Zhao with a KDA of 8/4/5 ( If it gets to that point...). Root them down and knock them up~ At this point, its you job to create as much disruption in the enemies team. See that Katarina Death Lotus? Arcane Smash her to stop her spinning to win. That Tristana running? Root her down with Twisted Advance and Sapling Toss to cut off her escape. TL DR: CC the heck out of them. Simple.
Late Game:

By now, one or two aces may have been flying around, and most of your core build is up. And a large teamfight lost could mean the death of a few turrets.

What you should be doing: Again, simillar to Mid-Game however, you would want to be more careful about the usage of your spells, you still want to lock down enemies, but its more on protecting your carries and caster instead. For example, that 10/9/5 Xin Zhao Audacious Charge d your Ashe. Lock him down with Twisted Advance and Arcane Smash him away, Tristana Buster Shot you into her team? Twisted Advance back in and Arcane Smash all of them. Still simple, but a bit more complicated.


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About Maokai (Read First If You Are Thinking Of Buying Mao-Mao)

First off, heres the Lore behind our dear Maokai, but does anyone read it? We may never know...

The twisting magical energies unleashed by mages during the Rune Wars caused an incredible amount of devastation to the natural world. The League was established to control the use of this magic by confining it to the Fields of Justice. By limiting its use to there, they thought that they could prevent it from doing further harm to the environment. It seemed that they were successful until Maokai came into being. During a League match on The Twisted Treeline, Maokai, an ancient oak that stood above the upper jungle, spontaneously roared to life. Ripped from the natural balance by arcane forces, his sentience was forged in chaos. Before the Adjudicators of the League could step in and suppress him, he slew all six champions participating in the match. The scholars of the Arcanum Majoris took a keen interest in him, as they were eager to discover the secrets of his animation.

Maokai was furious, however. He abhorred the existence that was thrust upon him; he felt it was a corruption of nature. He learned to communicate with people in hopes of finding a way to be returned to his former, true state. Seizing the opportunity, the League offered a trade. They would research a way to revert him so long as he agreed to fight in the League of Legends. Maokai was indifferent to verdicts rendered by the League, but he was eager to punish summoners for their wanton use of magic. He agreed to the terms under one condition: once they learned how to turn him back, they would never animate another tree again. He wears a lantern on the Fields of Justice to set him apart from the other trees, and as a warning to the “animals” that would do him harm.

“I will use this power until I am free of it.” –Maokai

And so, thats Maokai's Lore, now, lets get down to the details of him, shall we?

Maokai, The Twisted Treant
IP Cost: 6300
RP Cost: 975 (NA), 355 (SEA)

What you will get if you buy Maokai: A excellent ultity champion, a tree, a infinite amount of saplings (Terms and Conditions apply) a burst mage early and a tank late that still can dish out the pain.

What you will NOT get: An OP champion, a thinner than paper burst mage, a tank that does no damage and sits around.


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Changelog

V1.0.0.0: Guide Released~
V1.0.0.1: Updated, fixed a typo and added a ranked guide, the second one...


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Conclusion

*Shock**Horror**Gasp*!
Oh noes, we have come to the end of the guide, Boohoo...
Credits:

jhoijhoi- for her absolutely excellent guide on Making A Guide. (Ironic, no?)
DestinyOpfa- for being that totally awesome friend and inspiring me to write this guide.
ancient golem Jungle Creeps- For allowing me to kill you over and over.
Me- For writing this guide and playing jungle Maokai.
DestinyX- For being my friend no matter what, and arguing with me about certain parts of the guide.
You- thank you dear reader, for reading through my rather long guide( without skipping I HOPE) and I hope that you have learnt a thing or two about Maokai and his jungling prowesses.

This is JVLiasma, with nothing more to say and a little bit of writer's block.

GG.