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Maokai General Guide by Jimmydoggga 2.0

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Jimmydoggga 2.0

How to play AP Maokai mid (Updated for patch 4.11)

Jimmydoggga 2.0 Last updated on July 3, 2014
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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: 21

Legendary Guardian

Defense: 9


Utility: 0

Threats to Maokai with this build

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Threat Champion Notes
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Hey folks!
I have been a fan of Maokai for as long as he has been OP (Yesterday), howover since the recent patch he has grown into a very good mid/top laner due to his ability to deal consistent damage to both the tanks and the squishies using his Twisted Advance and combining it with a DFG and the large amounts of ability power you can build on him due to his Sapling Toss.


    You like having one of if not the highest max HP damage in the game.
    You like hugging trees
    You like being an asset to your team (Pffffffftttt)

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Maokai is usually played as a jungler/tank.
However as we are not playing him as a jungler/tank we still need to make him reasonably tanky because Riot.


Greater Mark of Magic Penetration

Greater Seal of Scaling Health

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist

Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed

Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
These runes are essential on any mid laner simply because glyphs give more AP.

Greater Seal of Scaling Health
You get these runes because you won't need it in Mid and you do far better with scaling health for later.

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
These runes are what means you can actually mid lane efficiently without dying because the enemies got ranged harass.
Naturally if the enemies Zed or Lee sin or something you can use armor seals and AP glyphs instead.

Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed
Useful for catching up to Twisted Advance or arcane smash people in lane and also in teamfights. Also are useful for dodging skillshots if you are up against a ziggs, or another skillshot reliant champion.

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Boot options

I usually run either Ninja Tabi or Mercury's treads as a boot option because magic penetration doesnt do a lot for your laning pahse but mitigating the opposing laners damage does. However if you're doing well in lane Sorcerer's shoes may be an option.

Deathfire Grasp
This item is absolutely ESSENTIAL on Ap Maokai.
Proc this for 20% of the targets max health, then E, then W for 15% and thats at least 40% of their entire health gone.

Rod of Ages
This is pretty much the item that makes you viable. Means you can spam your E in lane, and gives you all the health you're pretty much going to get. Essential to get if before mid game.

Rabadon's Deathcap
Get this to increase the max health scaling on your Twisted Advance to crazy levels. This is fairly interchangeable with Zhonyas or Lich bane if you can get autos off so pick whichever you need.

Void Staff
This gets past the enemies magic resist. If theyre building MR get this, otherwise you can get Liandry's Torment if they're building health.

Lich Bane
A good bursty combo item that means you can 1v1 most people pretty easily. Also helps with lasthitting by a LOT.

Optional items

Zhonya's Hourglass
If you're going in with your W and getting annihilated, get this item. This means that your team can follow upon your W and do damage while you have a Vengeful Maelstrom that still mitigates damage.

Liandry's Torment
You can build this to do even more damage to tanky enemies than before, by using your ult into a Twisted Advance or a arcane smash then immediately popping your ult for some good damage.

Athene's Unholy Grail
This can be a good replacement for Rod of Ages in a hard lane (one that you need magic resist in. Also useful because you can toss nearly as many sapling as you want.
If you get this pair it with a Rylai's Crystal Scepter in order to be as tanky as you usually would.

Rylai's Crystal Scepter
A good alternative to Rod of Ages in terms of health. You can get this if you're not using a lot of mana in your lane. Be sure to use a Liandry's torment as well as the 4% current health passive will proc on all of your abilities with both these items.

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Pretty good spell in the jungle or on top lane, although mid lane its pretty average.
This does heal for 7$ regardless of the damage dealt, so overall it can be some good sustain.

arcane smash
Pretty much only useful for jungling ganks, or Yasuo ults if you have one on your team. If you get ganked this spell is pretty good as a getaway too. The AP ratio means it isnt worth leveling at all.

This spell is Maokai's core spell for mid/top lane and is what makes him ridiculously OP.
It has one of the largest % max health ratios in the game and 7 of these will kill the enemy laner outright at maz lvl, although with other abilities and forcing enemies out of lane this decreases massively.

This is your farming spell, and also your spell for immediate bursting after your W.
Throw this and Twisted Advance immediately after and you get a nearly dead opponent. It costs mana though so if you can last hit a minion do so.

This is your ult and the other main reason you're OP. Basically damage reduction and a good chunk of damage that follow your Twisted Advance around. Helps a ton in teamfights and also in 1v1s. Be sure to proc the ult immediately after you Twisted Advance as theres no reason to snare to keep them in your ult anymore.

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Early game

The main goal of Maokai is to force the enemy laner out of lane using your Twisted Advance and Sap Magic while farming up so you can burst and still offer good utility. Sap Magic and Twisted Advance mean you have few weaknesses, as you can sustain and catch out ranged mages. Melee mages mean you have to be more careful with how you go in, otherwise they can kill you easily.

Mid/Late game
This is around the time you have a Deathfire Grasp and Rod of Ages onwards.
Gank bottom lane and top lane to secure kills for your team and if there is a teamfight around dragon baron dont forget to use your Vengeful Maelstrom as soon as possible.
Don't forget to target the carry with your W and follow it with Deathfire Grasp.
The % damage means the tankier they are the better it is for you.

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Thanks for reading my Maokai guide guys, and I hope you enjoyed it.


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