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Maokai Build Guide by Nakakata

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Nakakata

Carry the soloQ with Maokai! Build, Guide and Matchups [4.19

Nakakata Last updated on November 12, 2014
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Jungle Role
Ranked #4 in
Jungle Role
Win 51%
Get More Stats

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: 9

Legendary Guardian

Defense: 21


Utility: 0

Threats to Maokai with this build

Show all
Threat Champion Notes
Braum Who cares about his shield if you jump directly on the carry?
Katarina Easy matchup. Use the Q on her ultimate
Kayle Who cares if she doesn't take damage? You can cc her tons of times untill the end of her ultimate
Nunu Pretty easy, he has no range. You can dodge his Q with your W, reveal him if he ults in a bush with your E and stop his ult with your Q
Guide Top

Maokai: The Items

1)The jungler item:
Obviously the Spirit of the Ancient Golem, the perfect tanky item. It gives you the HP and the armor to not lose hp in the jungling. Buy a Quill Coat first, because you need more speed and you can still dive a couple of tower shots at level 4-5. Never build the Spirit of the Spectral Wraith, you already have enought damage and you need tankiness to tryhard.

2)The Shoes:
I learnt the importance of the Boots of Swiftness with Maokai. At a high level game, it's very hard to gank with other boots, after the nerf on the W's range. Remember, then, that you haven't got so much magic resist, without the Mercury's Treads. Your "Scaling Magic Resist" runes will help you, don't worry.

3)The Iceborn Gauntlet and the Spirit Visage:
Now let your brain work, finally! Have they got magic damage or not? Are you ahead or not?
-Usually the opponents have got one AP carry and some AP damage on the support, nothing more. In this case, you can start with the Iceborn Gauntlet. Now: are you ahead or not? Is your team pushing too far? Do you need more damage? Build the Sheen if you are ahead and if you want more damage to carry your team; build the Glacial Shroud if you are behind or if you are too much ahead (it's hard to think, isn't it?): if you are too much ahead, you don't need more damage to gank, but you could need some armor to dive better or to gank better in the bottom lane. Then, close your item. Why the Iceborn Gauntlet and not another tanky item? It's been a hard choice: it doesn't give you HP, so it doesn't stack with the jungler item and it doesn't help you against the AP enemies; but it gives you the Sheen's passive and Maokai has one of the highest AD in the game and gives you another slow, that can always help.
-If the enemy team has got more then one AP carry, start with the Spectre's Cowl. You can also combine the 2 items, building the Sheen first and then the Spirit Visage, if you are ahead; or the Spectre's Cowl and then the Iceborn Gauntlet if you take an advantage during the game. Why the Spirit Visage? It helps your passive and gives you super-tankiness in the teamfights.

4)The rest of the build:
- Sunfire Cape/ Randuin's Omen: If the enemy team is not full AD, you usually take just one of them. Let's see how to choose! You want to build the Sunfire Cape when you need to do more AP damage (if you are the only AP champ in your team) and/or if you are ahead and you don't risk to die and you can stay in the middle of the fight all the time; usually, you prefer to take the Randuin's Omen, which gives you more tankyness, reduces the attack speed and can slow with its active.
- Banshee's Veil: Build it if you need more magic resist. You can also take this one instead of the Spirit Visage, if you need to block abilities (like Blitzcrank's hook or Le Blanc's Q)
- Warmog's Armor: Build it against the true damages
- Frozen Heart: It's very rare. Build it when the enemy team is full ad and needs attack spees to work well.
- Rylai's Crystal Scepter/ Liandry's Torment: They are very rare, too. Build one of them two if you must carry hard a game and if you are the only one in your team who knows how to play this game.

Guide Top

Maokai: The Jungling

Buy fast your items and run to your first buff. Place 2 saplings to gain the control of the area, without using your yellow trinket. At 1:20 put your first E at your buff's spawn and do it again at 1:32 and 1:44. Let your allies go in their lanes, before using again your E, or they will steal the exp of the 2 little golems/lizards. Go to the Wights and to the other buff. Place a ward in the bush next to the buff and a sapling in the bush at your back, if you don't feel safe. Then gank top, if you started with the bot buff (at the end of this section: When to start with the other buff?), otherwise, go bot.
There are 2 combos: W+Q+E and W+E+Q. Use the first if the enemy has got flash (or something like that) or tenacity, and send your sapling to block the way; otherwise, use the second one.
You are a ganker and always want to gank, never forget it.

When to start with the other buff? Do it when the enemy jungler is very strong in the early game and if he could invade you on the second buff (Lee Sin and Shaco)

Guide Top

Maokai: The teamfighter

The combo here can change. You could not have the range to engage with your W, so you often will need to flash+W, when an enemy is out of position. Activate your ultimate and then use your Q on the target. Use your E to slow the counter-engage of the enemy team and put down some damage and slow with a good timing on the Iceborn Gauntlet's passive. If you need some extra damage to kill the target or simply to do some other AoE damage, let your ultimate explode (use it wisely). If your team can't burst the target, do some peeling to the carries and take all the damage you can take to protect them. Otherwise, keep going and use your W on the next target, to start the combo again.
The cooldown of your ultimate is very low (it can be something like 20 seconds): don't forget it, if the fight doesn't end fast!

This is my second build and it is not completed yet, so give me a feedback and a comment, please, this will help me a lot! Look also at my Sion guide!

Thank you and Good Luck with Maokai, Summoners!