Build Guide by ABagOfFritos
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.
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.
Seals are up to user discretion, the rest should be as I've posted. You can swap the seals for mp5 or dodge, these would be the only other options I recommend.
Start with a meki pendant and either 2 mana potions or one mana and one health. Complete Tear of the Goddess before boots and then simply build the boots. BV and SFC can be bought in whichever order you need for your game.
If your early game is going extremely well, I would recommend completing the Archangel's before any defense items as you can reduce damage with your ultimate more than enough if they aren't getting their damage up very quickly.
Masteries really can be just about anything you want, but I like having the 48 extra hp at the start and the movement speed. A basic 9/0/21 would work and so would a 9/21/0, but I wouldn't recommend either as defense/utility is amazing for Maokai.
At level 7, with sapling at level 4 you can clear the caster minions with a single sapling, this allows for some fast gains at levels 7-10, after which your sapling will not one shot the casters anymore unless you went for a complete archangel's first.
(If you get the fast archangel's, you can farm the casters much longer)
I recommend laning with any early game dps champions. Your snare plus their dps = easy kills or at the very least sending the enemy home to heal. Ezreal is one of your best friends.
If you have a jungler, take the 1v2 lane. It is easy for you to prevent yourself from being zoned and easy to farm with your saplings.
Max out your sapling asap, get your snare at level 2 and smash at level 4, ult at 6, 11, 16 as always. Max out smash once your sapling is done, and leave the snare for last.
Your snare is the biggest thing for team fights. It would be easy to say "snare the squishies" but this may not always be the best course of action. Sometimes snaring the tank away from the fight is a good plan as well. Tanks like Mordekaiser and Nasus can do a lot of damage to both single targets and multiple targets, so cutting them out of the fight is always useful. Other than that, it is as simple as snaring the squishies for your team to jump in and get nuking.
Your ult is, of course, also a big deal. Keeping the fight on your ult can make or break a team fight. Don't drop it too soon or the enemy team can simply peel your team away from it and get full damage output on you. If you can keep your whole team in your ult there's a significantly better chance of you all surviving the fight. Don't forget to cancel it when your enemies are low on hp, this can get you kills if they're still within the circle. (Don't cancel it too early either, as your allies may need the damage reduction a bit longer.)
Not only are you a great main tank, but if you have a second tank on your team you can be a hell of an off-tank. Especially with Alistar, who can charge one back at you and you can follow up with your root and leave him to your DPS while you join Ali with the rest of the enemy team and drop your ult, holding them for a few seconds while your DPS joins you.