Mobafire League of Legends Build Guides Mobafire League of Legends Build Guides

Maokai Build Guide by HumanKiller2

Not Updated For Current Season

This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.

Like Build on Facebook Tweet This Build Share This Build on Reddit
League of Legends Build Guide Author HumanKiller2

How to OP Maokai- AP Nuke/Offtank-Ranked play included

HumanKiller2 Last updated on October 1, 2013
Did this guide help you? If so please give them a vote or leave a comment. You can even win prizes by doing so!

You must be logged in to comment. Please login or register.

I liked this Guide
I didn't like this Guide
Commenting is required to vote!

Thank You!

Your votes and comments encourage our guide authors to continue
creating helpful guides for the League of Legends community.

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: 21

Honor Guard

Defense: 9


Utility: 0

Guide Top


Welcome to the ultimate OP guide of Maokai The Twisted Treant. This guide will show you how to master and overpower Maokai. He's one of the most fun champs to play and has awesome survivability even without a tanky build. Also, his skills are truly helpful in teamfights. He can change the course of a battle and can also effectively 1 vs 2 solo lane,although he's more powerful when lanning with a teammate. You'll find everything you need in this guide and if you follow it, well you'll truly be OP!!!

Note: this guide is an AP/offtank build, which means your team has to have one TRUE TANK or at least one other offtank: get a tank build for Mao in that case.

Special Sections:
-A ranked play section is available with strategies and what TO NEVER ATTEMPT OR DO!!!!

I changed for ignite, to secure kills.
I change rylais to liandrys,better damage output.
I change teleport to flash, but any of these two is an excellent choice.

Guide Top

Pros / Cons

-You have GRENADES that can be 35s WARDS :D
-You have a ROOT/SNARE that does awesome damage
-Great farmer
-Good survivability
-Harrassing as hell
-You have a cricle to protect you while getting tower
-You're OP.

-Really slow early on and not that fast late game
-Not a true tank
-Needs a good lanning partner
-Long cooldowns early on
-Mana dependent

Guide Top


9X Greater Mark Of Insight
9X Greater Glyph Of Insight
3X Greater Quintessence Of Insight
These are all for MAGIC PENETRATION = OP MAO

9XGreater Seal Of ReplenishmentGreater Seal Of Replenishment
You need Mana all the time, so this gives you a good head start along with Clarity and Doran's Ring to never be Out Of Mana.

So you're gonna tell me I'm wasting my blues on spell pen. Well you are wrong! Theses runes all combined give you +21 spell pen. With the Masteries ,this is like having sorcerers shoes at start. For a hero with 30 MR like Ashe or any squishy will drop to 9 MR which gives practically no magic resist. Once you get the sorcerers shoes, you get a nice 41, and sometimes you get to lower a squishy to 0 MR which makes your sappling DEVASTATING. I choose mana regen yellows to keep harrassing with sapplings. You can replace the blues with Cooldown redux if you prefer, but I find saplings to be OP even lvl 1 when having 21 spell pen + 8%! Also, once you get Void staff and Abyssall, your damage becomes crazy!!!

Guide Top


I choose 9/0/21 for the Cooldown reduction and mana regen. Also, really important is the mastery which gives you an extra 8% spell pen which we need to OP Mao. I also focus on getting the extra hp for early skirmishes

If you feel like your team is too squishy, I suggest getting the 9/21/0 mastery tree, , you still have the spell pen you need and have more survivability to support your team.

Guide Top


Ok, so we need alot of Spell Pen and AP to truly have sustained burst damage. But we need our Maokai to be able to take a bit of damage for our team, thus we need him to be resistant. The build proposed has health, ability power and a lot of spell PEN. EVEN tanks wont resist your mighty SAPLINGS!!! In this section, You'll get to choose the most appropriate build depending on your opponents and the game so far as well as choosing the best order to buy your items.



Theses are three items to get ASAP. First get a Dorans for early teamfights, and the extra AP and MP5, then if your team is rocking the house,grab boots of speed and blasting wand when going back to base. If you feel like your lane is being dominated, build a catalyst first instead. Once you can get ROA, go back to base asap to get it as it provides HUGE amount of health and mana as well as AP for grenades. After, get your sorcerer's shoes to have already alot of spell PEN and devastate enemy squishies. You can also grab mercury's thread instead if you feel the other team has too much CC, but usually, i always grab the sorc shoes because they really make a difference on being OP or not.

Liandry's Torment
This is a must: More spell pen, damage over time and HP to help you survive and dish out tons of damage.

Abyssal Scepter
This is another great item to get for Mao and is to get asap if other team as heavy ap damage. It will give you good MR and even more magic pen with its aura. With this item, squishies will definitely drop to 0 MR for maximum damage.

Void Staff
This is your OMG the other team just all bought banshees veil and has ton of MR. No problem, void staff is there to ensure your damage goes through tanks as well. Squishies will find you truly OP once you get this item.

Guardian Angel
The last item is more of a personal choice, I normally go for GA, because you get almost invincible and really hard to kill, while being able to tower dive easily.

IMPORTANT: In play buying::
OK, so you come back to base because you were low, and dont have enough money to buy anything listed on the build, here's how to spend wisely what you have now:

475 gold:: always buy a second or third Doran's Ring: This will give you enhanced stats right now, and the extra 100 HP might save you next battle, get it now and sell it later, ITS WORTH IT!

250 gold:: get an Elixir of Brilliance, as Mao will be shortly stronger and deal more damage, even if its early, always get it if you can't afford anything else

75/150 gold: get 1 or 2Sight WardWARDS, it wins games!!!! Place them near blue, red, dragon or BARON

OK, so that's the standard build I use, but here is how you should build Mao depending on the situation:

Having a bad lane start: your opponents resist well the harassing(resistant enemy champions) and get you real low early on: BUILD YOUR Catalyst the protectorASAP, even if you have to skip boots for now. Catalyst will really help you take control of your lane.

Heavy CC's: Get ASAP to prevent the enmemy team of CCing you all the time. Will ensure better survivability, In this case, get Void staff or Abysall before Rylais. Also definitely replace your GA with a Banshee's Veil

Having Super DPS/AD on enemy's team: Switch your abyssal with Frozen Heart and consider maybe getting Thornmail instead of GA. Also consider maybe getting Zhonya's Hourglass for the extra armor and the active is really nice cause you can engage with twisted advance and pop the active and wait for your teamates to come in!

Your tank can't ****ing tank:: get your GA asap after ROA and get a Sunfire Cape right after. you should start tanking until you become comfortable enough to get Void Staff

You're ****ing rocking the house:: Switch your GA with Rabadon's Deathcap

REMEMBER: this build is when your team as one true tank or if your team has at least another offtank.DONT EVER FOLLOW THIS BUILD IF YOURE THE ONLY TANK/OFFTANK IN YOUR TEAM. In that case, get a real tank build build for Mao.

Guide Top


Summoner Spells:
Clarity his is a good Summoner Spell as it provides Mana to keep on tossing sapling and harassing the enemy, along with masteries and runes, you shoud rarely run out of Mana.
Excellent to secure kills of people flashing or about to escape.
I use teleport because I find you never miss XP while backing at base because you can get back ASAP, and although people tend to think teleport ruins a ganking surprise, well you'd be surprised on how it grants you kills sometimes. Also, it often prevents a tower from getting destroyed.
Flash is almost a must in competiteive play, plus you get to flash and W combo.

It's pretty hard to decide between Flash, Teleport Clarity and Ignite, choose two wisely dependiong on your playstyle.

2nd skill alternatives:

You can also get Ghost if you don't like Teleport, Ghost will provide you speed as you lack of it to escape or finish off a fast opponent easily.

If you feel like your team hasn't enough CC: get Exhaust to surely get kills when ganking. It will also help you when escaping.

Your awesome skills:

QArcane SmashArcane Smash

This skill is useful but not that OP, you'll take one point of it at lvl 4, but will only max it at the end. It deals ok damage, but not that much compared to Mao other skills.

How to use it: Since it has low cooldown, use it all the time when enemy approach after using Saplings and Twisted Advance. Its best use is to knock back enemies in your ultimate or next to your allies. To escape, it is also a OMG I SURVIVED skill, just use it on enemies chasing you and run run run, sometimes, the knocking back will truly save you!

WTwisted Advance
This is one amazing burst damage/terrain CC spell that you get as soon as lvl 2. If an enemy tries to turret dive use it asap on him as it will root him for a short duration. Also, it's pretty useful to initiate teamfights.

How to use it: Don't hesitate to turret dive with it to get a kill. Use it often as it does a decent amout of damage to the enemy champions. Though be careful don't go in a 1v5 using this!!! Use it on squishies and see them get some real good burst damage.This is your initiating spell most of the time.

ESapling Toss
This is your MAIN skill that you mant to max out asap. THESE ARE OP KILLING GRENADES. At first you might find it hard to sucessfully land it on enemy champions, but with practice you should be able to aim correctly.

How to use it: The trick is to always throw behind the enemy minions(out of their range)and if possible behind the enemy champions. Try to guess were they will go and throw it on them if possible. Also, ALWAYS THROW ON COOLDOWN, the build provides enough Mp5 to spawn it consistently behind enemy champions. Its range his HUGE. Always throw at the enemy tower for maximum harassment. THIS IS YOUR MAIN OP SKILL. Learn to place it wisely to see enemies devastated.

RVengeful Maelstrom
This is one useful ultimate and gets OP once you get a decent amount of AP. So some think this skill isnt great, but it really changes the course of teamfights.

How to use it: When your going for a tower, always place it so you're protected from enemy damage you and your allies. Dont hesistate wasting all your mana to get a tower. When 2 vs 1, focus enemy tower and stay in circle, as youll take way less damage. Also, when you see a big teamfight coming, pop it behind enemies or on them, and wait a bit, trigger at right moment and you could get a double kill. With this AP build, your ulti becomes really OP and does serious damage.






(behind them)


Arcane smash(try to knock back or in circle)


(On top of them or behind if no minions)---


(trigger again)

finish with Q and auto attacks and W if available again.

First pop your R to prevent ranged damage while running, then if enemy minions are in range for your W use it to escape. If your oponents are running faster then you, use your Q to knock them back. When you got Rylai's, throw saplings to slow enemies chasing you to GTFO.

Use your saplings as wards. Throw 1 or 2 at strategic locations to prevent enemy ganking you. Then pop your ulti at tower to protect you. Always back when enemy encounter your saplings as you don't want to get ganked solo.

Guide Top


Maokai is a good farmer. It's pretty easy to get alot of minions kills. Just throw saplings on a group of minion and the grenade will grant you a lot of kills. Your auto attacks along with your other skills give you the opportunity to farm well, because you have alot of Mana regen. Also, your missed attempts on enemy champs will give you at least one minion kill almost everytime.

When you have Blue Buff, ABUSE farming with your skills (while still harrasing enemy champions)

When you have Red Buff, slow enemies down all the time and farm consistently with auto attacks and saplings.

Guide Top


Remember, your team need a TRUE TANK or another offtank for this guide to really work. If you follow the whole guide, you should surely get a win with MAO!!!

OK so let's separate this chapter into subchapters:

Early Game
Ok, so your team has a jungler, Perfect! Grab the opportunity to solo lane. Hug turret and throw saplings on cooldowns, try to last hit at tower and keep on healing with your passive when it gets available. Don't hesisate pushing a bit further once you get lvl 4. Be harra***ing as hell, but never approach the enemy. Be careful lvl 1-3 as you are a bit squishy. Max Saplings asap. Ask for a gank once you reach lvl 6 and start pushing to get tower. The key is to use your ulti to protect you (dont hesistate to drain mana if Clarity is up, it permits you and your teammate to get tower even if 2 vs 1 just don't focus the champions, FOCUS THE TOWER, THEN KILL CHAMPS, ESPECIALLY IF THEY ARE IN CIRCLE(AFTER GETTING TOWER)

Try to grab a AP caster to lane with you (check the top five above). you will harass the enemy consitently with your duo ranged burst damage while taking almost no damage. Be careful lvl 1-3 and start intiating with W once you reached lvl 4. use W E Q all the time and then bak, unless it grants you a kill. FARM FARM FARM. try to push asap once you reach lvl 4. Harass as hell and throw sapling at tower when they back, it could get you a kill(even if it involves getting 1-2 turret HitS BUT MAXIMUM 1-2). Use W to get back after.Use ulti to push tower and remember to ward with saplings to prevent ganks. FOCUS TOWER

Mid Game
Ok, so let's hope you gotten a tower by 15:00-20:00 mins. Now you have TWO options, involving a maximum sacrifice of two champions of your team OR one bot/top turret:
1- Get MID TOWER(ULTIMATE AND FOCUS TOWER) This is your main priority
2- Get DRAGON and bot tower after is possible(Dragon is priority)

Late Game
Ok so lets hope mid tower is gone by now and one of bot/top gone by now. you should have at least
by now, giving you enough tank capabilities and alot of burst damage, try to get 2nd tower mid, but hide in bushes before to get 1-2 kills before pushing, the GANK IS ESSENTIAL BEFORE PUSHING, NEVER ATTEMPT IF GANK FAILS.. When 3 enemies are down, and your team is at least lvl 15, go FOR BARON, pop your ult at baron(try to get blue bfor if you can) and you can easily take him off with only you 3 champs. Afterwards, push front of base for the win.

Note: If having trouble and seem to lose, always get the tankier items first, like Ruby Crystal and Catalyst, and then Giant's Belt. If being pushed at tower, pop your ult to scare enemies away

Guide Top


This is my first guide on Mobafire, I hope you enjoyed it, and I hope you'll be able to maintain a good winning ratio with maokai and this build.



I'm open to any suggestions on Runes, Masteries and Items. Plz vote and comment!