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Maokai Build Guide by Psycho Viking

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Psycho Viking

Maokai - Cuz trees live longer (tank)

Psycho Viking Last updated on September 6, 2011
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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.


Brute Force
Improved Rally

Offense: 9

Veteran's Scars

Defense: 21

Expanded Mind
Blink of an Eye
Mystical Vision
Presence of the Master

Utility: 0

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hello dudes, this is my first guide, and its for maokai, playing him as the tank. ill make this short, cuz im not the type that spends lot of time to go in depth. and sorry for my bad english.

maokai is an very interesting hero, he is like morde and chogath, an ap tank. but dont focus on ap, but survival, u got tons of disrupting abilities, and all of them got like lots of different uses. this makes him a very funny character.
and, I dont know much about for the system of mobafire, so i dont know how to put in pictures of items and such.

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Pros / Cons


Got a nice lane sustain
Good farming abilities
Epic ulti
Very disrupting skill spam
can do almost everything (scout, disrupt, snare)
got nice look
very funny champion


no escape ability
slow champion
mana hungry
can be nuked down, if you tank wrong

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marks gives you decent damage.
you need a lot of mana regen therefor seals.
glyphs is because you are a tank, and you might lag a little magic resist.
and the quintenses give u early game survivability, aswell as syncronising with your passive, if the enemi team got many ad characters considder getting dodge instead.

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i wanna go 9 in offense, for the magic pen bonus, and then 21, cuz u are the tank.

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i've listed some items at the top, of this guide, but you can ofc always get something better. it depends on what the enemie team got. if they got 3 mayor AD champions, then switch either your BANSHEES VEIL or FORCE OF NATURE with a THORNMAIL, as a tank, u have to suit best for tanking the enemy team.

in some cases, i rather get a RANDUINS OMEN, than a SUNFIRE CAPE siply because the randiuns omen both suit the team better, and enshures your escape.

if you are during very well, grab that LEVITHAN, it increses HP, and at 20 stacks u are invulnerable, simply. and then enemies see your high amount of stacks on this item, they'll be mor likely to focus you. you know it from yourself, every1 want to rob that fed dude from 7 stacks.

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Skill Sequence

in this chapter, i will name the skill with taps like Q, W, E and R, as its alot faster to create my build.

here is a short preferense of the skills and how they should be used. IMPORTANT!


i want to max this skill first, as its gives a good cc, and deals more damage. i know that people would say that its better to max the SAPLING TOSS first, but i dont think so, here is some reasons:

SAPLING TOSS deals more damage than ARCANE SMASH, but it gets more mana expensive the more u lvl it up, at lvl 5 of both, SAPLING TOSS cost the double of your Q, but dont deal the double damage, and u want to use your SAPLINGS as wards, for the lowest mana cost, dont you? besides, Q also gets better CC, aswell as it retains the same mana cost and got a lot lower cd, so u can spam it in your lane, for constant harassment, without going out of mana. and it triggers your passive more often.
you should use this spell combined with TWISTED ADVANCE, for a nice combo setup, snare them with your W (TWISTED ADVANCE) walk aruond them, to throw them in the direction u want. it give nice slow, and u can also use it as a skillshot, to kill the low hp enemy just outside your attack range.
In a team battle you should use this skill to disrupt the enemies as much as possible, cast it to disrupt channels, cause small stuns, slow and toss enemies around.


i max this ability second, its a good snare, and does some good damage. AND it can pop spells if used right, this skill is freaking awesome, and its what makes maokai amust focus target in combat, try hit the squishies. IMPORTANT, the time u are transformed while using this ability, is always the same, even how long away your target is.


this ability does some heavy damage, but its very very mana hungry. use it to scout when u get baron or dragon, use it to get enemies moving (they'll always flee from this cute little basterd). if i solo top, ill max this to increase my farming skills, and if this is the situation, try to combo with TWISTED ADWANCE, to snare in the radius of the exploxin, for huge early game damage. use it to scout whenever you feel uncomfortavle with the many misses.


This is Maokai ulti, and for good reason. not only its a low cooldown ulti (30 sec or so) but if used right, this can bring the teamfight into a shure win.
wait using it until the team fight has settled down, and because u are te tank, u choose where that is ofc. its an sustained AOE spell, like anivias ultimate, it reduces all damage taken by all allies in the AOE by freaking 20% its like 50 armor and magic resist for all teammates in it, 5x50 =250 around 250 armor and magic resist. not only reducing damage, u can cancell this ultimate, to cause nice damage to evry enemy standing in the AOE, and this damage increases the more damage absorbed by avenging malestrom, ending up in crushing that unlucky enemy carry accidentially walking into the ring of DOOM. but it got a max damage cap ofc, but even then u hit the damage cap, its sometimes a good idea to w8 trigering the damage, the reduced damage from this AOE is very usefull, so keep the ring up, untill the enemies leave the area or u run out of mana. ofc Maokai is made to keep enemis in fight, so use your TWISTED ADWANCE on the squishy target that tries to flee, and push it back into the ring with ARCANE SMASH. ONLY fight on your permissions, but, u choose WHERE the permissions are.

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Summoner Spells

i like to go with heal and flash.

HEAL: some1 would say this is stupid for a tank, but u are more than a tank, u are the SUPPORT TANK, so use this for your teams good, and combined with your ultimate, this ability rocks!
this ability can also be used to bait greedy enemies early game for lots of gold under your turret, and u know how i mean ;)

Flash: you are slow, but durable, meaning that you got enough time to reach the wall and flash over it, or use this spell to get in range for a TWISTED ADVANCE


if your team already got 1 heal, get either a ignite, exhaust or a ghost, depending on the team needs.

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Team Work

in a team fight, do what a tank does best. TANK!
get in with your TWISTED ADVANCE, and disrupt the team with you ARCANE SMASH. then the fight settle down throw in the trumf, VENGEFULL MALESTROM, either the enemies stay and fight in unsuccesfull conditions, or they'll run out of your ult, if they choose to get out, pin 1 of them down (not the tank) with TWISTED ADVANCE, and let your team get an easy kill, while the rest of the enemy run away. if the start focusing your team squishys, give them a reason not to, SNARE them with TWISTED ADVANCE, position yourself between your team, and them and the use ARCANE SMASH, to get them away. do as much chaos as u can in a teamfight, and be disrupting and annoying. if it happens that u have to flee, be the end-up of your team, conteniously tossing the enemies away from your team with ARCANE SMASH, and SNARING that tryndamere trying to spinning slash forward with your TWISTED ADVANCE.

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all in all, MAOKAI the TWISTED TREE is freaking awesome, hope u enjoyed and understood my guide.
have fun and PUNISH THOSE WRETCHED MAGES, just like in the champion spotlight.