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Maokai Build Guide by Adreon

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Arcane Smash!!!!!!

Adreon Last updated on November 2, 2012
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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.



Offense: 0

Honor Guard

Defense: 21

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 9

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This will be a straight up Maokai guide on how to jungle. This guide will show you how to build Maokai as a support tank though ill go a little more in depth on how to build him. Im not the best at making guides so bear with me this will show you mostly basics of how to jungle Maokai. I got bored so i decided to just start a guide.

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My runes are pretty basic you start with

15% Attack Speed - this is for that extra fast jungling
20 Ability Power - You need roughly 20 AP at the start of the game to properly do wraiths first and so forth.
13 Armor - Pretty straight forward your going to need that extra armor in the jungle
13 Magic Resistance at lvl 18 - The rest of the glyphs i put in MR at lvl 18 for that extra MR

These runes aim for a more early start and ganking potential.

There are some alternatives to this by either taking Quintessence Of Swiftness other then getting more AP and changing all the glyphs to MR but this will slow your jungling by a bit. Then again it's Personal Preference

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Masteries are pretty straight forward.


Some changes can be done by yourself though you don't always have to follow a guide straight up you are welcome to change some points yourself.

Defensive Tree:

Hardiness- I take hardiness for the sake of the bonus armor so I don't get completely wrecked in the jungle that + 6 armor helps
Summoner's Resolve - The plus 10 gold everytime you use smite is great that adds up in your gp 5 per 10
Tough Skin - Pretty obvious for a jungler you need to kills those creeps fast as well as keep your sustain up
Bladed Armor - ^ same as above
Durability - Great mastery cause you get bonus health which scales into late game
Veteran's Scars - Extra health take it no questions asked
Indomitable - Reduces 2 damage from any source it's pretty good.
Initiator - Pretty much the best mastery in that tree it gives you bonus movement speed when above 70% so it helps extremely for those early ganks
Enlightment - The extra cooldown reduction helps later on because of all the items you build that give you CDR it will allow you to spam your abilities faster.
Juggernaut - Extra health and it makes you tankier

Utility Tree:

Summoner's Insight - CD on your flash thats all
Expanded Mind - Help your mana pool to spam for abilities
Swiftness - Extra bonus movement speed you will need it for ganking.
Runic Affinity - Longer buff duration pretty obvious to get

There are some alternatives to this instead of taking Swiftness u could take the extra mana regen (Meditation) so you don't go oom to fast in the jungle without blue.

But I myself just recommend more speed.

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The item build in the top isn't exactly what I follow in order I start with

Regrowth Pendant and 1 pot
1st back - Philospher's Stone and boots (If you got the money from ganks if you happen not to have any good ganks off just finish the philos and get some pots or wards) Also if you have enough money for Heart Of Gold and Philosopher's Stone then just buy both to get those gp5s ticking and get boots next back.
2nd back - Assuming you don't have much gold then you might only be able to buy boots and some vision wards/pots
3rd back - Starting working on Frozen Heart by getting a Glacial Shroud first
4th back - Finish your boots depending on enemy team either get Ninja Tabi when they are heavy AD or Mercury's Treads when they are heavy CC and AP.

By then I think you should get an idea on how to build Maokai later depeding on the enemny team i usually get a Giant's Belt after Frozen Heart for extra HP you'll need it for the tankiness.


Ninja Tabi - I buy this 90% of the games I play even though some of the team is AP the 10% reduction in damage is nice.

Mercury's Treads - Very expensive I don't buy this as much as Ninja Tabi but if the enemy team is extremely heavy CC then get it just remember it's the most expensive boots.

Boots Of Mobility - I've recently experimented with these and i have to say early it isn't bad it allows you to roam around and apply a lot more ganks and easy ones due to speed. I have been buying this item a lot lately but I still recommend Ninja Tabi more I would only get this if I was considerably fed.

Philosopher's Stone - I always buy a Philosopher's Stone for the gp5 and because it will later build into a Shurelyia's Reverie which helps your team greatly

Heart Of Gold - I always buy a HOG even if I don't plan on building it into a Randuin's Or Locket, because the 200hp and gp5 helps u early and later on. Later on I do sometimes make it into a Randuins or Locket but other then that I sell it for other items.

Frozen Heart - Have to say it is a must item on Maokai cause of the mana pool it gives you and the attack speed reduction it does to people as well as the CDR I buy this almost every game

Aegis Of The Legion - This item is also very good for your team i either build this after I get my gp5s or after my Glacial Shroud it is a great item worth getting without a doubt but just make sure your support isn't building it first

Warmog's Armor - I barely get time to buy this item when the game goes into super late game though I tend to buy it for the HP/HP regen it is an item worth getting but not worth rushing. Also it works great with Force Of Nature with extreme amounts of HP regen they go together well.

Force Of Nature - I usually buy this item because of the MR it gives and the speed is great late game but I only buy it if im not as fed or their team is decently strong in AP otherwise if I am fed i would buy an Abyssal Scepter.

Abyssal Scepter - Only buy this item if you have had numerous amounts of good ganks and kills and you are basically fed this is the only AP item usually recommend because it gives MR as well as AP and reduces enemy MR. This is a Luxury Item

Shurelyia's Reverie - Great item i usually buy it after Frozen Heart or somewhere between it cause the boost for your team is essential as well as the CDR and extra HP early in the game definitely get it.

Locket Of The Iron Solari - Not as great as Randuin's but it's extremely cheaper then Randuin's. I barely buy this but I would only recommend buying this when the game isn't going into late game and you are endind it quickly. The Locket also synergies well with Shurelyia's.

Randuin's Omen - A great item only if the enemy team is really heavy AD. I barely buy this item because it usually doesn't go into that far of a late game but the item is great nonetheless.

Rod Of Ages - I don't usually recommend this item but I guess it could work well if you got a lot of ganks off early and had enough to 1 buy a catalyst it is decent but AP Maokai isn't that great in the jungle because I build him tanky and support like. This is a Luxury Item (sort of)

Rabadon's Deathcap - Same as above though I suppose if you are extremely fed it couldn't hurt to get the AP. This is a Luxury Item

Zeke's Herald - I have never really bought this item before on Maokai because usually your support would get this for your ADC and top and etc. The HP is nice but thats basically all you get out of it the rest is for your team.

Archangel's Staff - The only time I'll ever recommend this item is extreme late game when everyone is basically fed almost, but I suppose if you got extremely fed early you could get this but I would much rather get a Deathcap then an Archangel I never buy this item but it does help with mana as well as gives you AP it's alright on Maokai but never rush this item or put it as your core build. This is a Luxury Item

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Skill Sequence

Passive: Sap Magic: Your next auto attack heals you for 7% of your max hit points after 5 spells are cast nearby.

This passive Is really nice in teamfights being able to proc off constantly when you attack getting insanes amount of HP back

*except buildings. It doesn't proc off of buildings for some reason.

Q: Arcane smash: Knocksback nearby enemies and shoots a damaging slow.

W: Twisted Advance: advances to your enemy rooting them in place.

E: Sapling toss: Toss a Sapling which stays in place for 35 seconds and grants vision in that area.

R: Vengeful Maelstrom: A great ult that is used in team fights that reduces damage taken from all non turret basic attacks. It later does damage when you cast it again which does flat out magic damage plus bonus damage absorbed in the ring.

Pretty simple to understand how to use Maokai's abilities when you are about the start a fight usually you will have to W in and ult immediately to reduce damage and then proceed with Q and E

When Ganking:
Simply camp the bush and when they come close or you think u can just outrun em W in and procees with ult Q and E and so forth

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Summoner Spells

Smite = Must take no questions asked

Flash = Must take having that extra gap closer helps with catching up to enemies or even saving your life by flashing through the wall can be used aggressively or defensively to flash over wall or flash and then W enemy


Exhaust in replace of Flash - This is debatable but id much rather have flash because all you really need to gank is W exhaust isn't necessary

Ghost in replace of Flash - This is actually decent against certain enemy teams but I'D much rather stick with flash though it is a matter of opinion.

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Pros / Cons

Pros -
Insane Ganks
Great Ult
CC is great
Fast Jungler (being able to get to lvl 3 before any other jungler)
Decent Gapcloser with W
Short CD on ult

Cons -
Can be counter jungled pretty hard but rarely happens
Can get kited if his W is on CD but isn't much of a problem
Has a low Base HP
Must have a good CDR to spam abilities faster.

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Creeping / Jungling

The most famous start for jungling Maokai is this

Wraiths first (start by tossing saplings at 1:04 or 1:05 once you tossed 2 saps you go to the wraiths spawn and toss the 3rd one at 1:39 so the sap gets the landing damage and exploding damage off on the wraiths then you just need to hit Big wraith twice and continue to blue)
Blue second (With help of team leashing it)
Wraiths (By then u immediately get to lvl 3 once the big wraith is dead and you are able to gank mid and possibly get the kill or burn his/her flash)

Proceed with red then golems or wraiths then the rest is history you can choose to gank top or bot or jungle more.

Another route to jungling Maokai is getting red first then going to blue which allows for faster ganks getting both buffs before any jungler you are able to roam much faster and pull of ganks. I don't usually use this route cause it's more risky.

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Team Work

Maokai is an initiator so you should be trying to catch enemy teams ADC, Mid or any squishies they have by using W and bursting them down immediately with your team

Maokai's Ult is also extremely potent in teamfights make sure you aim it right where the fight is happening and keep it up for your teammates so they take reduced damage then when its time release it and it will sometimes do good amounts of damage to the enemy team because of the damage it absorbs. It can also just be used to scare the hell out of your opponents cause no one wants to be in a big ring of death.

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This pretty much sums up almost everything i might come back to this later and finish it up a little bit but for now here is my guide atm.

Comment let me know more things on how to make it better and rate it good if u wanna or thumbs it down if u didn't like it and im sry if it isn't good.