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Maokai Build Guide by Mr buckets

Support EUW Lathyrus' Challenger guide on how to Meowkai support (14.4)

Support EUW Lathyrus' Challenger guide on how to Meowkai support (14.4)

Updated on February 22, 2024
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League of Legends Build Guide Author Mr buckets Build Guide By Mr buckets 562 51 1,287,190 Views 23 Comments
562 51 1,287,190 Views 23 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author Mr buckets Maokai Build Guide By Mr buckets Updated on February 22, 2024
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Runes: Aftershock

Resolve
Aftershock
Font of Life
Conditioning
Unflinching

Inspiration
Biscuit Delivery
Cosmic Insight
Bonus:

+10% Attack Speed
+2% Movement Speed
+10-180 Bonus Health

Spells:

Summoner spells
LoL Summoner Spell: Flash

Flash

LoL Summoner Spell: Ignite

Ignite


Hello! My name is Lathyrus, although some people may still remember me as BardlyMissed. I started playing League of Legends in the summer of 2017, back in Season 7 where I started off as a Jungler. During the next preseason, I started experimenting with a lot of different champions, which eventually led me to Bard, where I fell in love with him and the support role. After picking him up, I started climbing and ended Season 8 as a Challenger. Currently, I have roughly three million mastery points on Bard between various accounts, which I used to climb to Challenger on the EUW, KR, and NA servers. During Season 11, I also managed to hit Rank 1 on my main server, EUW, at 1205 LP.

While I main Bard, I also enjoy testing out other supports. I always try to provide the best possible guides from the point of view of a support who regularly plays against the pros.




Before we get started however I’d like to take this moment to thank Raid Shadow Le... wait, wrong plug. You may have noticed my Twitch channel on your way in - but to save you a few clicks in case this guide leaves you wanting more Bard, I’ve linked my Twitch below. I stream on a pretty consistent basis, and can usually be found playing Bard (when Jankos doesn’t target ban me), testing new builds, coaching, or answering questions from readers like yourself who can’t find their answer here. I’ve also included the obligatory OP.GGs as well as my Discord, where you can meet-up with fellow Bard enthusiasts or receive notifications whenever I begin streaming for the day.

Special shoutout to my moderator Flayless’ Twitch channel, which has also been included.










Why Meowkai you ask?
The reason why I play Meowkai is because I think he is a really strong pick right now. He has a good presence in fights with his ultimate but also the potential to stick to someone. His vision control is one of his strong perks because of his saplings giving vision and he can throw them from far away. Furthermore he also does really well against Bard so if someone ever steals my Bard I will be able to counter them with this pick.
ABILITIES
In this section, we are quickly going to go over Meowkai's abilities. We'll talk about what every ability does, but also give some tips on how to use them.


P - SAP MAGIC
Meowkai’s passive is one of the reasons that he becomes so tanky. Every so often your next auto attack will become empowered and heal you for a percentage of your max health (scaling from 6% to 13%). The cooldown of your passive is reduced by 4 seconds every time you use an ability or get hit by an enemy ability. If you are above 95% health, then your passive will not be used.

Now some tips for using your Passive!
In lane, you will want to use your passive to heal up after trades, or by having the passive up when you engage on the enemy, this way you can W in, and auto-attack immediately to heal up. But generally, you will just want to use it any time it is up and save to go for it, unless you know you want to go in soon. You can just heal of the minions so you don’t even need to go in.


Q - BRAMBLE SMASH
Your Q sends out a shockwave that deals a good chunk of magic damage, and slows everyone by 99% for a quarter of a second. Anyone that stands near you while you use it is stunned and knocked back up to 300 unit depending on how close they stand to you when they get hit.

Now some tips for using your Q!
The knockback on your Q is directional to where you are aiming it, this means you can knock people into your team, or away from your team whenever needed just by aiming it properly. Furthermore, you most often will want to use the knockback to cancel people’s dashes, think of Leona’s Zenith Blade or Rakan’s Grand Entrance. This will often save you and your team’s life.

W - TWISTED ADVANCE
Your W is one of your strongest abilities, it is a point and click dash that can be targeted on any enemy unit, this means both champions, as well as minions. The dash has some travel time, but while you are travelling you will follow the enemy no matter how far away they go. While travelling you are also untargetable. On arrival you deal magic damage, and root the target for 1 to 1.4 seconds.

Now some tips for using your W!
Your W will make you untargetable, allowing you to not only dash but also use this skill to dodge abilities. Never forget that you can also use your W to escape from a sticky situation by dashing onto your minions or neutral monsters.
When running the Arcane Comet build you will not really want to use this ability to engage, but more to peel and lockdown.

E - SAPLING TOSS
Your E is a great zoning tool, and allows you to gain a lot of control on the map. It allows you to throw a sapling to a targeted location. The sapling stays in that place for 30 seconds revealing the area around it, like a sort of mini ward. If an enemy unit walks near the sapling then the sapling will chase the target for 2,5 seconds or until it collides with it, once it does it will explode dealing percentage health magic damage and slowing enemies by 35% for 2 seconds.
If the sapling was thrown into a bush then the sapling becomes empowered, having a longer duration based on your bonus health. Furthermore, after the initial explosion, the empowered sapling will deal the same damage again over a time of 2 seconds.

Now some tips for using your E!
You will want to use your E’s inside of bushes most of the time since the empowered effect is a lot better than the standard E. However you can still use it if you need to poke a bit. Apart from some poking, you will mostly use them to cut off chokepoints, and give vision. The damage from the saplings is quite good, especially using the Arcane Comet build, and can really chunk the enemy team whenever they try and go anywhere on the map.
You can also use your E when you want to facecheck a bush or need to clear a ward, since you will both have vision in there, as well as have protection should an enemy come close to the bush.
Apart from that know that the movement speed of your saplings is dependant on the type of boots you have. Base boots will increase their speed by 25, swifties and mobis will increase it by 60, and the other boots will increase it by 45.

R - NATURE'S GRASP
Your R is amazingly strong in teamfights or to catch people out. Whenever you use it it will send out a large number of brambles that will move forward at a slow pace. When it collides with a champion it will deal damage, root them based on how long the ult travelled. It is good to know that if an enemy champion gets hit by your ult then the bramble will stop there and not continue going forward.

Now some tips for using your R!
You will want to use your ult, when either the enemy team or your team is engaging, don’t use it to engage yourself. It is too slow to actually use it as an engage ability so use it as a layer of CC during an engage rather than the start of it.
Furthermore, you can also use it when taking turrets or other objectives as a large zoning tool, since the hitbox is enormous and thus will give enemies little choice to either move away, or get hit, giving you a bit more free time.

PROS & CONS
PROS
CONS


+ Easy to get vision
+ Good ult for objectives and disengage
+ Damage is high for being a tank
+ Good Crowd control
+ Really tanky
+ Good engage
+ Easy to peel for ADC

Meowkai is a great frontline tank who is able to keep him and his team alive. His entire kit is full of CC and utility, which helps you securing objectives and kills, all while keeping your team safe. Furthermore your saplings allow for a lot of vision control since you can facecheck about anything with relative safety.
- Early game is weak
- Very team dependent
- Low mana pool
- Needs to scale

Your kit scales really well with items and levels, but that makes your early game quite weak, hindered even more by your low base mana pool, which can deplete very fast in the early game if you are not careful. Furthermore Meowkai although having a great engage and disengage, he can not do both of them at once, so be wary of your team’s ability to follow up, on whether you want to play aggressively or more defensive.

SUMMONER SPELLS
Flash is our obvious first choice for our summoner spell. It is a go to summoner for most champs and although you can use your W for some mobility, having flash will just help you close the gap when people are just out of range, or to escape death.
Ignite is our second choice, it gives you a lot more early kill pressure, for both in lane and when roaming. Late game you can also use it to get some grievous wounds on priority targets. Exhaust is less worth it in lower elos, but can be a decent swap sometimes.
Exhaust is an option for the Aftershock build in higher elos. It gives your team way more survivability against all in supports and assassins. Which are quite prevalent there. It isn't really bad in low elo, but you can get much more done with Ignite there.

RUNES

Aftershock is super strong for Meowkai, since all abilities but your E proc the rune. So anytime you engage, disengage, or peel you will automatically get a lot tankier from it. This will allow you to survive even longer when diving into the enemy team, and even get some chunk damage off.
In the build you will be getting quite a bit of health, so Font of Life is gonna help you heal your allies a ton. Like we’ve mentioned, all your abilities apply CC, so no matter what you do you will be able to make use of the rune a lot.
Conditioning is great for just scaling tank stats. You're building tank Maokai, and this makes you more tanky.
Unflinching is great for tenacity, which is a hard stat to find anywhere else right now in the game.



This is the big reason why we go for inspiration in our secondary tree. Like we said before Meowkai’s base mana is really low, so getting the biscuits is gonna help you greatly in the early game, and also give you some bonus mana for later in the game
Cosmic Insight gives ability haste, which is now a pretty rare stat to find on items in the game, at least for tanks. It's a good addition to the rest of the runes, and there isn't much else we need from the Inspiration tree.
For our minor runes we take one attack speed runeshard, a movement speed shard, and scaling HP. The attack speed is gonna help you apply your passive and Dead Man's Plate effect, dealing extra damage and keeping you alive longer. Movespeed helps with ganks, and scaling HP is the best late game option.

ITEMS






You can get the item set for this build by clicking here.
You can either download or copy-paste the text and insert it right into your league client. (you can find your items section under your collection tab, then press on import item builds)

Celestial opposition
The new support items, World Atlas and then Runic Compass, have a few upgrade options. Maokai should take Celestial Opposition. It's passive is very similar to Aftershock in activation, providing more tank stats and then a slow like the old Randuin's Omen. It's a great survivial and engage tool for Maokai.


Boots of Swiftness
The tree wants to move fast. Your roaming potential and CC mitigation are best with these boots, and they're relatively cheap, letting you get out on the map quickly.



Trailblazer
We are taking Trailblazer to really snowball Meowkai's passive and movement in the early and mid game. Once you have this item, you can move around the map surprisingly fast, and your lockdown with W and first auto attack with the slow helps you gank for all lanes. It also gives you armor and HP, helping protect you from the enemy ADC while you're in lane.


locket of the iron solari
All the component items for Locket of the Iron Solari are helpful as you're building it, it's a good teamfight item, and it gives you all the tank stats. It's well-rounded and a perfect midgame fit.


Abyssal Mask
Frozen Heart is a great finishing option for your last or second to last item. It costs less than it did in Season 2023, and it's insane value for the gold. Build this if you are dealing with a lot of AD and/or auto attack threats on the enemy team.


Anathema's Chains
Our other finishing item option is Kaenic Rookern, a new item for 2024. If the enemy team is AP heavy, build this. Otherwise, build it after Frozen Heart. This item again has amazing value for the gold. The shield has a 12s cooldown, and you basically get 1000HP (health+shield), 80MR, and 150% base health regen for 2900 gold. Don't forget that even ADCs and AD bruisers have abilities, runes, and items that deal AP damage. This item is excellent.



Elixir of Iron
In most situations, your standard elixir of choice will be the Elixir of Iron. Maokai is a tank and will want to be in the middle of every fight, so this just makes him tankier.




Meowkai 's early game is fairly weak compared to the other meta picks there is out there right now. He is pretty good at setting up plays around botside with his crowd control, so asking for ganks early can be a nice addition, but you can also sometimes set up good kills with just your ADC. Just know that the faster you get to mid game the better it is for you. Always keep this mindset at the start of each game.

Though Meowkai has a fairly weak early, he is not to be messed with. If Meowkai lands an entire combo with hitting all of his spells, including hitting an empowered Sapling Toss, he can easily remove 30-50% of the carry's health in just level 3. If your opponent tries to fight in your minion wave, you want to try to keep the crowd controlled for as long as you can in the wave, as minions is a big damage output in every game during laning phase.

When playing with the Aftershock build you will focus on getting your passive off when you kill minions with Steel Shoulderguards keeping you topped up on health and gold. Aside from that you will want to look for either your own engage or the enemy’s engage.


If you happen to be playing with an Arcane Comet build you will be looking to poke with your E both by throwing it into the bushes, as well as just on top of the enemy itself.


Now its time for you to become your team’s living ward and your carry's peeling machine. Meowkai 's job at this point of the game is to walk around the map with Sapling Toss and Stealth Wards to bring vision for your team. While teamfight is beginning to happen a lot more, you will now start to focus on who is the carry on the team for you to peel for. Remember to buy lots of Control Wards to deny vision from your opponents.

When playing the Aftershock build, this is also the stage of the game where you will also be a lot tankier, and thus can engage safely a lot more if the need is there.


If you happen to be playing with Arcane Comet it is also when your E’s are gonna hurt a lot. You want to make sure to keep an eye on objectives at all times, and make sure to have vision and saplings set up.



Now it becomes risky to die and you've got to be aware of what you are doing. You want to focus on the objectives because it is at this point of the game where dragon souls, Elder Dragon or Baron will be really important to get. Luckily this is where Meowkai as a champion is also getting better. With multiple items completed and being higher level, all of your scaling abilities will be really good.

Meowkai in late game should focus on zoning away people from either the objective or his carry in teamfights. His Sapling Toss and Nature's Grasp are your high potential zoning abilities which do some damage and deter the enemy team from accessing important parts of the map. Bramble Smash and Twisted Advance will be your crowd control to peel off any threats for your carry in the teamfights. This will help your team a ton as you can deal damage to their backline by having good placements on your zoning abilities but also saving your carry who will deal most of the damage for your team.




THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR READING!
I hope that you were able to either learn something new from the guide or were able to find the runes and builds that you were looking for. From the entire team, thank you so much for taking the time to read the guide. If you still have any questions you can always hop into my stream, my discord, or just in the discussion tab here, I am always willing to help you out with!
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EUW Lathyrus' Challenger guide on how to Meowkai support (14.4)

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