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Maokai Build Guide by The God of Andre

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League of Legends Build Guide Author The God of Andre

Carry Your Team as a Tree - S5 Cinderhulk Maokai guide

The God of Andre Last updated on April 13, 2015
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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: 4

Legendary Guardian

Defense: 26


Utility: 0

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Hey everybody, I am better known as SirAndre in the world of league. That aside, this is my first guide that I am putting up on Mobafire. Hope you enjoy!
About Me
As of writing this guide I am currently in Silver II and I aiming for Gold tier, and I believe this will help me carry myself to success. I have carried myself from Bronze IV to Silver II using this build.Hope you enjoy the guide and please do give me some feedback!!

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+ Very Tanky
+ Insane Amount of CC
+ Has Great Sustain
+ Free 35 Second Wards
+ OP Damage Reduction Ult
+ Is Godlike With CDR
Maokai is one of the most underrated junglers in League of Legends. Often seen as an tanky offlaner, he is extremely viable in the jungle due to his passive. His skill set contains an insane amount of CC. He has a low cdr slow/knock up and a medium range root. Not only does he have CC, he is able to launch a sapling that gives vision and remains there for 35 seconds until and enemy walks nearby causing it to explode. His ultimate allows a lot of tankiness due to the damage reduction it offers to allies near Maokai. Not only does it reduce damage, it absorbs and deals more damage when re-activating your ultimate.

- Relies On Items
- CC Destroys Him
- Low Mana Pool
- Burst Destroys Him
Although Maokai does sound like the ultimate champion he still has his flaws. Maokai heavily relies on items to become tanky and without them he will evaporate in team fights. Also Maokai suffers with a fairly low mana pool and along with his ultimate, which uses a lot of mana, he cannot fight for too long without preparations. Also teams with heavy CC and burst damage can easily counter Maokai. Some notable examples are LeBlanc, Akali, Nautilus, and a few more.

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Greater Mark of Attack Speed

Greater Seal of Scaling Health

Greater Glyph of Scaling Cooldown Reduction

Greater Quintessence of Cooldown Reduction

Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed
We get attack speed marks in order to maximize clear time. In the jungle we want to rush levels asap.
We get scaling health as it greatly benefits with additional scaling with the cinderhulk enchantment. This brings out even more tankiness to our already beefy tree.
CDR glyphs are extremely useful as Maokai's damage comes from his crowd control spells. Being able to spam these will greatly increase your damage output.
We get CDR quints for the ability to spam our spells and movement speed quints for sticking onto your target and helping clear the jungle.

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A simple straight tank with CDR attached to it. Nothing else

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Ability Sequence Order

Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

> arcane smash > >
We first get a point in our E to use the saplings as wards to scout out the enemy team before the game starts. Start to place them on your starting camp at 1:20-25 in order to get your passive stacks and more damage. We max Q for its damage and then W to decrease its cooldown and damage. We get our R whenever we can and put off our E until late game as it is not as important.

Skill Descriptions

Sap Magic
// When a spell is cast near Maokai he gains a charge. Next basic attack heals him at 5 charges.
// Whenever a champion, ally or enemy, casts a spell near Maokai he gains a charge of Sap Magic. And when we say "near" the range of spell cast is pretty huge. After 5 charges his next basic attack will heal him for 5%/6%/7% of his max hp, the percentage increases every 6 levels. Although his passive has been nerfed from a staying 7% there really isn't any harm to his gameplay.

Arcane SmashArcane Smash
// Fires a projectile at a direction. Enemies hit are slowed and nearby enemies are knocked up.
// Your bread and butter skill. This is what makes Maokai powerful. It has a low cooldown which allows it to be spammed slowing and knocking enemies. At max rank it slows for around 50% so it is extremely useful for chasing. Note that you can control the direction you knock back your enemies. Keep this in mind and use it in order to secure kills during ganks.

Twisted Advance
// Becomes untargetable and travels to target enemy rooting it in place.
// This ability may not sound so great by itself, however, there are amazing things this spell can do. You become untargetable during your advance and roots the enemy dealing damage based on their maximum health. Now the trick with this ability is that it doesn't have a stop range when cast. Meaning that when an enemy flashes or dashes over a wall, you will follow that enemy instead of stopping in their original location. Timing your ability with other champion's escape, for example Vi's Vault Breaker, you can effectively increase your chase potential.

Sapling Toss
// Flings a sapling that deals damage upon impact and chase a nearby enemy then dealing damage.
// Basically telling your babies to guard an area and telling them to explode at any it sees. You fire a sapling at a target location which grants vision before expiring after 35 seconds. This spell is pretty useless in damage but its ability to give you a 35 second ward whenever you want is pretty good. It's also useful in finishing off a low health champion you are chasing for extra style points.

Vengeful Maelstrom
// Creates a vortex that protects him and allies while absorbing damage.
// An extremely powerful ultimate with an extremely low cooldown. The 20% damage reduction is pretty huge and it can save most allies during fights. While also granting protection it can absorb damage from non-turret sources and increase your damage burst release at the end of the duration. Don't be afraid to use it! It has a 20 second cooldown at max rank so use it whenever you feel like it's needed.

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This is the most important item in your build. Treat it as if it is your baby. This sucker right here grants a 300 max hp boost but most importantly increases your max hp by a percent of your max health. The burn damage increases as you level up so it does not fall off during the late game phases. With a full build you can easily reach up to 4k health.

CDR is extremely important as it helps ramp up stacks on your passive and stick to your foes. With more CDR means more CC on your enemies so it's a good choice for Maokai.

Your next core item and the one you should rush after your boots and jungle item. This bad boy right here will cause your enemies to melt in a matter of seconds. It decreases your enemies MR which amps all of your damage. It synergizes with your spells and your items. It increases the damage taken from the Ranger's Trailblazer - Cinderhulk burn, Thornmail, and even the gromp poison buff.

This item grants good hp and mana but it also gives that all so important catalyst the protector regen buff. It is highly recommend to get the catalyst before buying the entire item as it allows crucial early game regen. But we also get this for its active. It's a great item that allows you and your team to chase after the enemy. It's great in rushing towards their squishy adc and picking him off during team fights. The slow from the active is great too.

STOP HITTING YOURSELF. This item is amazing for any meat shield champion. And it's a tank's wet dream when you're against a full ad team. Combined with Abyssal Mask and gromp buff you'll do massive damage whenever someone auto attacks you.

This item grants massive increase in your health and it also gives you a nice regen passive outside of combat. It allows your to quickly regen and go back into a fight if needed. You mostly get it for the massive hp increase as the more hp you get the more Ranger's Trailblazer - Cinderhulk percentage hp you get.

This item is good because it gives your ap and health, but that slowing passive on all of your spells. The reason why this synergizes with Maokai is because of his CC bases skill set and also that Thornmail procs the slow on Rylai's Crystal Scepter. Get this when the game is easy and you want to have more kill potential.

Get this whenever you're dealing with a burst type champion. Usually you do not get this item as the spell block really isn't as useful even with the 40 second cooldown. However it is still good to get it if you are dying too many times from their mid ap burst. Get this when you're against a LeBlanc or Akali. It will help.

This item is extremely useful whenever you are dealing with tanks of any kind. That hp burn is surprisingly strong and is also proc'd by Thornmail. Get this item whenever you are dealing with tanky champs like Sejuani, Amumu, Sion, etc..

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Look at this majestic creature. This is your best friend, this is your love of your life, this is the monster you will always save smite for. The reason why I made another chapter just for this silly thing is because of the buff it gives you for smiting it. The Gift of the Toadstool buff poisons any enemy that hits you with an auto attack for 10 + 5% of your max health. Basically, the tankier you are the more damage you will do. BUT you have yet to hear the best part. The poison damage is increased by Abyssal Mask's MR reduction. Coupling this buff with Thornmail would mean hell to any puny adc. Never give gromp to anyone on your team unless he is 20-0 or you feel generous and give the kill to your adc after smiting it. Respect the frog and it will respect you.

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Welp, thanks for reading my first guide to Mobafire!! I really hope you are able to improve your games by learning from this guide. And please do ask me if you have any questions or feedback. Thanks again for reading!