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Maokai Build Guide by Aizo
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Runes: Facing AD Laner / Jungler Combo
++8 ability haste
++8 ability haste
+8 Magic Resist
+8 Magic Resist
Ability Order Ability Order
Threats & Synergies
His passive is Maokai's passive but based on the opponent he targets. So if he fights you he is making use of your large mana pool and getting a ton of healing, and he will likely build black cleaver and send you to pound town.
If you are facing Akali, make sure to run the Armor runes but to build Magic resist first. Akali does a mix of damage and it is more efficient to build towards your Magic resist items vs her first, but you also don't want to be taking massive physical damage from her. She is incredibly difficult to peel off of your allies due to her high mobility and shroud. Do not fight this champion in her shroud under any circumstances, however if her shroud is on cooldown make sure to punish her for stepping out of place
This champion has a very telegraphed engage pattern that is fairly routine for Maokai to just Q knockback away, make sure to not take her delayed true damage Q and you should win almost every trade.
You won't see this matchup a lot, but when you do, ADAPTIVE HELM must be your first item. I don't care that you want increased healing from spirit visage. Adaptive helm will reduce Cass's damage by 20% and while that still likely won't be enough for you to be able to 1v1 her, at least you won't be getting 1 shot by her.
Cho'gath and Maokai are both fairly weak in the earlygame with the edge slightly to cho'gath in terms of the 1v1. However maokai is much more able to setup ganks for his jungler making this a very good matchup to get your jungler some free kills
Darius is a matchup that if you don't know your stuff you are going to have a very hard time. However in saying that I have developed my build path and general laning strategy to be able to beat darius most of the time. Make sure to save your W for dodging his Q if you can and to kite him through your bush saplings so that he can't get 5 stacks of his passive onto you
While neither you nor mundo should die in this lane in the 1v1, understand that he does win trades VS you due to his very low CD %max HP magic damage Q's that will constantly be thrown at you. In this matchup you just want to do your best to farm up so that you can apply more utility in teamfights than he can
This is one of maokai's most difficult matchups for new Maokai players, especially when playing against experience fioras. The matchup is all about Maokai trying to condition the fiora player into using Riposte at the wrong time. You can not just mash your spells on CD, you must have method and nuance to when you are throwing out your CC otherwise fiora will simply block it, stun you, and collect her 300 gold and 21LP
This matchup is extremely difficult because gangplank has better earlygame and lategame than Maokai. He will poke you out from range in lane and make things very difficult for you.
Garen can trade with you pretty effectively so you definitely don't wanna let him bash all over you. Make sure to Q him away whenever he tries to get in on you and kite him through your bush saplings. If he tries to slow cleanse your bush saplings he'll be left sad because the slow is re-applied on each tick.
Ranged matchups are quite difficult for maokai. %max hp matchups are quite difficult for maokai. Gnar does both. Try your best to not let him bully you so hard out of the lane that you can't scale into the midgame. The good news is that his teamfight engage style is fairly telegraphed. If you know that he is about to transform into mega and try to get onto your team to ult engage them, make sure to zone him / q him away to deny his strong engage.
You can be 7/0 and she'll be 0/7 and she will still beat you in the 1v1. You don't have the ability to fight her 1v1 at any point in the game, and if you get a jungle gank you don't have the damage to kill her unless if you have a high damage jungler.
When facing Irelia she is an incredibly slippery high damage champion with a lot of things you need to keep in mind. Dodging her stun and ultimate are crucial to beating her in 1v1's. In champion select when you know you are going against her, take double Magic resist runes because irelia deals high Magic damage due to her passive so taking the magic resist runes will allow you to mitigate a lot of that and you're going to be building Bramble Tabis vs her first so you can live. Good luck with a good irelia tho they are a terror.
Jax is a matchup where if you two have a bash off, jax is going to win every time so you have to be smarter with your play. All you have to do to survive his earlygame is to keep your Q up to block his engage leapstrike, walk back and wait for your Q to come back up again and keep doing it over and over. If you play this matchup right it should be quite easy
Ranged matchup makes it quite difficult for the earlygame. But if the jayce is foolish enough (which many are) to build lethality instead of a black cleaver vs you then building tabis and bramble should be enough for you to stat check all in him at 100% hp.
She will greatly smack you in the lategame, however in the early to early midgame you are able to push her around due to her very weak earlygame.
Ranged matchup, somewhat difficult in the earlygame. However at some point you become a super tank against a kennen who is likely not building any Magic pen, all you've gotta do is stop him from wiping your team and he's no issue =)
Very difficult to deal with. This guy is very good at diving due to his dismount mechanic and can 100 to 0 you at level 3 - 4 if he feels like it. Make sure that you aren't giving him free trades because you may end up dying and making yourself have a really bad time
The easiest lane matchup you can be gifted is tank malphite. AP malphite is slightly more difficult but you can dodge his nuke with your W pretty easily. Just whale on this guy dude... its malphite
If for whatever reason you are in a blind pick game and the .00001% chance that both toplaners pick maokai, watch out, its probably me you're up against and I don't suffer any fools when it comes to maokai top dittos.
You can't trade with this guy. You just don't do damage to him, and he shreds you. If they have a morde on their team, don't play maokai.
Nasus is going to scale to lategame pretty uncontested because of maokai's limited ability to reliably push nasus off the wave and get stacks. All you can really do is peel him from your team and don't gift him free +12's on killing you
Ranged AP matchup, very difficult. Do not allow her to get ahead of you or you won't be able to step foot into lane.
What do you get when you're playing a CC champ and you're facing an Unstoppable champion...? A threat. Olaf is very difficult for maokai to deal with due to his incredible chasedown and unstoppable ultimate. Very dangerous, don't step too far into lane against this guy or else you will die
Basically does what maokai does in lane but he's better at trading with tanks. You can give him a hard time in teamfights tho. Make sure to CC him when he uses his ultimate so that he cannot recast the big RAM back into RAMMING your team
Your job is to not be in range of him if you are below 50% HP because Pantheon has an execute on low health enemies and it is quite easy for him to execute you at low levels due to your relatively low HP pool. If you let him get ahead of you earlygame with kills you are going to have a rough time. It is more effective to give up a few CS in order to not die
Difficult for you to kill her, in the earlygame she will dump on you because of her Q's %max hp damage that is quite easy for her to spam on you, she can also turret dive pretty safely due to there being many walls to stun you on. Be very careful of her earlygame threat
She's got a very powerful earlygame however she is an assassin who will likely build lethality. Tanks are pretty good into assassins so in the mid to lategame you should be able to 1v1 her, but in the early lanephase she can be very scary.
Ranged threat who has very good kiting capabilities. She is incredibly dangerous in the earlygame. While you can easily outscale her if you don't fall behind it is quite difficult to do so because of how oppressive her earlygame is
Another dangerous early game threat who you will outscale no problem so long
He wants to be in bushes, you want him to be in bushes, not much of a threat so long as you don't troll the earlygame
This is one of my favorite matchups because you can turn most of riven's damage into just a mobility tool. If she tries to q into you just knock her away and suddenly you won the trade.
Extremely difficult matchup because his Q does not reduce your passive CD, and his standard build path directly counters maokai's going for High Penetration and HP burn.
Ranged AP matchups are always super difficult especially when they can poke you without hitting skillshots on you. Ryze can clear the wave and poke you at the same time. Good luck in this one brothermen
This is basically a farm matchup, your job is to stop his ult when he goes for cross map plays
If the singed tries to proxy you it isn't very hard to farm under turret thanks to your high base attack speed
You can stop his Q charges pretty easily and dodge them as well. Due to his 0 mobility he is very easy to control in fights.
Very difficult, he is an AP drain tank which means that you can't grevious itemize against him so you have no kill pressure on him.
AP healers are very difficult to itemize against, lucky for us he isn't SO strong that you can't kill him in the midgame but he definitely excels in earlygame fights which is where you are weak so be careful
AP ranged matchups are a theme of being DANGEROUS for maokai. Maokai doesn't get incredibly high MR scaling so he's naturally attuned to being in rough mage matchups
Good news, nobody plays trundle, better news even fewer people play him toplane. Bad news, he's gonna take all your tank stats and kill you with ease.
He's very dangerous if you allow him to whale on you you'll have trouble but you can kite him pretty easily
Ranged matchup who can armor shred you if he builds Black Cleaver, if you get hit by his ultimate you're in danger if you manage to dodge it he loses most kill threat
She will shred you no matter your armor. I hate this champ...
Hardest counter in the game for maokai. He has one of the most powerful lategames and will 1v5 your team and maokai has no good kill threat on him at any point in the game because you can't itemize towards grevious and magic resist
Neither of you have much kill threat on eachother and you can control his low mobility in teamfights
You probably won't see him but if you do just don't let him cheese kill you with ignite early and you will outscale him with ease.
Not a terrible threat unless if he lands his ult. That will give him incredible Armor pen and make you just a piece of bark for his sword.
Hypercarries are very welcome with maokai especially long range ones that are gonna hit the whole enemy team like twitch. If he's cloaked the enemy won't know where he is, and maokai's ult can essentially block off an entire team from getting onto twitch giving him perfect opportunity to shred their health.
Maokai as a champion lacks a lot of damage, while Jhin is very good at controlling fights, he doesn't provide the teamshredding damage that maokai really needs, and will end up making fights lost due to the downtime of his reloads.
High Damage, High Mobility, great hypercarry, maokai can keep the dudes off her while she's weaves in and out of fights.
Look at twitch and Kai'sa. Maokai loves having hypercarries on his team.
Hypercarry, and a dive buddy? Kassadin goes swell with maokai especially if maokai picks up abyssal mask for increased power.
This dude has a lot of stuff in his kit and is an all around great pick in general. Having him on your team means that you can reliably jump into their team and expect backup and a lot of damage.
Champion Build Guide
When taking dragons or barons I always place a sapling in the bush that is between the red buff and baron pit to ward it, and apply poke whenever the enemy team tries to contest, and putting a sapling in the pixel brush. Remember that it is better to space saplings out in the brush because the damage is only doubled if the bush saplings get all 3 ticks off, so if 2 hit at the same time you're dealing 3 base saplings worth of damage which is about 21% max HP damage, but if you space them a little bit it will be 4 base saplings worth of damage, or about 28% max HP damage, and it applies a slow for even longer.