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Maokai Build Guide by Ragnarson

Maokai-The Devoted Partner(Offtank and Spell Pen)

Maokai-The Devoted Partner(Offtank and Spell Pen)

Updated on August 15, 2011
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League of Legends Build Guide Author Ragnarson Build Guide By Ragnarson 2,464 Views 8 Comments
2,464 Views 8 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author Ragnarson Maokai Build Guide By Ragnarson Updated on August 15, 2011
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Choose Champion Build:

  • LoL Champion: Maokai
  • LoL Champion: Maokai


Hey guys! this is my guide for the all powerful Maokai! ive been working this in my head for a couple of weeks, so i hope you enjoy!
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Pros / Cons


  • Lots of Fun to Play!
  • Great Harassment regardless of Build!
  • Very Under-rated
  • Can fit Almost Any Situation!
  • Great AoE Damage
  • Strong Solo Lane Capabilities


  • Very Situational Ultimate
  • Have to get used to Timing
  • Not The Best Scaling for Abilities
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alright. the first set is for the Offtank Build. The Second is for your Spell Penetration. I am gonna give you a few masteries to build around. the rest is mostly fluff, but the key points are there below the chart.
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the runes are pretty straight forward as well. i will go down through each one of the builds.


Greater Mark of Magic Penetration: This gives you a good bit more punch early game. as Maokai, this mostly helps you out when you use your Sapling Toss, as this adds damage to both the landing and the explosion.
Greater Seal of Armor: the armor here allows you to lane much more effectively. staying longer=more gold. GOLD IS YOUR FRIEND.
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist: This works the same way as the armor, just that it helps against caster's.
Greater Quintessence of Health: the health here adds significant survivability early game, allowing you to again lane and harass longer and more effectively.


Greater Mark of Magic Penetration: as stated above, magic penetration is great for your abilities! in particular, Sapling Toss benefits greatly because on the 1-2 punch it has.
Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction: YOUR COOLDOWNS ARE YOUR FRIENDS!! you have lots of friends as a Maokai player, but this is one you definately want to keep! your harassment through this is IMMENSE! your Sapling Toss and arcane smash will have your foes running scared!
Greater Seal of Armor Greater Seal of Magic Resist: these 2 seals will keep yourself in one piece far longer than most other mages! your passive, Sap Magic gives you the health you need, while these reduce the damage!
Greater Quintessence of Magic Penetration: yet again, its magic penetration for the win!
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Summoner Spells


Flash is a handy summoner spell in general to get used to
using. i dont useit a whole lot, but that doesnt mean itsnot effective!
i like Ghost more than Flash for the
simple reason that it is easier to
handle and is very versatile.
another spell i like for its versatility.
Teleport ganks are still effective
and you can jump quickly to contested areas.
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: this is your passive and a great thing to have! it gives you great survivability even in the middle of a fight! the 7% health especially helps you with offtank survivability, while the ability spamming with your spell pen build lets you use it more often!

arcane smash: this is another great ability for several reasons!
  • Great CC
  • Area slow
  • IDEAL for both chasing and escaping!

: another good one here!
  • Great for initiating!
  • Gives your team a target
  • Annoys the heck out of the enemy

: this is your signature ability!
  • Excellent harassment!
  • 1-2 hit combo!
: this is your ULTIMATE. ive often heard that it is not a very effective ultimate. if you think that, it means you arent using it right. the simplest way to use it is that you WAIT. the fight starts when you initiate. from there, you wait to see where the damage is being placed! the most often place is not around you! watch for your opponents to target your DPS. throw it up around them, charge in and CC them till they cant help but target you! let drop the damage and watch them fall like flies! you may notice that this is not in list form, but that is because the adavantages of this ability changes with each use. sometimes it enough to deter enemy teams, other times it just helps you tanking. It changes every time!
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These items are pretty tanky, which is why i love them. what can i say? im a tanking kind of guy! the main core items here are Chalice of Harmony and your tier 2 boots. the Chalice of Harmony gives you mr and a lot of mana to work with. Another item for the core build is, of course, your Rod of Ages. You need the stacks in this as soon as possible, so that it is more effective. for the boots, i recommend Mercury's Treads. the tenacity is very handy, and more mr lets you live. if you find yourself facing heavy AD, go for Ninja Tabi instead. from there, the rest of the build is pretty straight forward. get survivability, then focus on your AP/tanky items later on. THE ITEMS LISTED ARE IN A RANDOM ORDER AFTER negaron cloak!!!
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Items-Spell Penetration

this is a straight forward mage build in my opinion. the core items here are the Doran's Ring, Tear of the Goddess, and the Sorcerer's Shoes. these give you damage, mana, and magic pen that the build is designed for. after that point, the build is in random order. i usually get Moonflair Spellblade next because a) its relatively cheap b) its got some punch and c)the Crowd control reduction changes the game for you! from there on, i recommend getting Archangel's Staff second to last so that you can build up the mana. the zhoyna's hourglass is not there for its AP power, but because by that point in the game, you are probably being targeted and some survivabilty wouldnt hurt. Now for the usual arguement of which way to go, Abyssal Mask or Void Staff. I have both listed in the build, but they actually work slightly against each other. so then, this is how it works. you facing a lot of squishies? get a Abyssal Mask. the area mr drop helps you out a lot more. if you are facing more tanky opponents that need a bit of focusing, go for the Void Staff. this peels of their health quite easily.
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your roles as of gameplay change drastically from laning to teamgithind. it even varies between these 2 builds. so i shall do my best to explain each.


  • Laning

    -for laning, your have plenty of options. you can go into any lane available, but you usually want to stay away from mid as Mage burst damage, such as Annie can focus you down too much early game through the stun. i usually solo top, or act as tank in bot. as of your abilities, your main thing is harassment. Don't be afraid to throw around your Sapling Toss!! if you feel a gank coming, use them to ward the bushes!one of my favorite moves is to ward the gank push on top or bot, then use Twisted Advance to run straight through them as soon as i see them! works very well because the last thing they expect is for you to run towards the ganker!
  • Team Fights

    -as the offtank, you initiate. use Twisted Advance to jump into the middle, then use your arcane smash to slow/damage/CC multiple enemies at once. this gives your team an easy target with the wrap up, then stuns multiple enemies. your biggest thing here though, is your ULTIMATE. wait for the teamfight to go into full effect to get the most out of it.


  • Laning

    -here its pretty much the same thing as the Offtank build. be wary of your mana and be a bit safer until you get the full damage capabilities for your abilities( i usually start really pushing when i get Moonflair Spellblade).
  • Team Fights

    -you do not want to initiate the combat. while you can, you no longer have the survivability needed to do it as effectively. the biggest thing you want to watch for is enemies out of position. you can take them down with ease, using Twisted Advance followed by arcane smash this puts out a lot of damage, and then it slows them so that your team mates can follow through if you cant finish them (you shouldnt have a problem). the other big thing is to use your Sapling Toss to cut off enemy escape routes. that way, you can funnel your enemy into your team, or force them to take heavy damage trying to escape the slaughter!

There are 2 combos with Maokai that ive seen or used myself.
  • Sapling Toss-> Twisted Advance-> arcane smash->CHASE SCENE!!!
    The Biggest thing with this combo is timing. if you are new to maokai, i wouldnt recommend this combo until you get the Sapling Toss timing down and are used to it.
  • Twisted Advance-> Sapling Toss-> arcane smash->CHASE!!!
    this is a much easier combo. i would recommend this to first time users, or those who are like me and not the best at timing. this way, you get at the least the initial damage from the Sapling Toss hitting the ground/
you may notice that your ultimate is not listed in either combo. that is because when i think of your ultimate, i dont think ability, i think aura that saps mana. and thats really what it is. a big buff zone for your entire team.

WARDING: here im gonna list the spots you want wards in order of priority.
  • BARON NASHOR(after 15 minutes):use a sight ward
  • DRAGON(after 7 minutes): use a sight ward
  • GANK PUSHES IN TOP/BOT/MID LANES: here use a Vision Ward unless the other team has stealth.
  • BLUE BUFF/RED BUFF BUSHES: a Vision Ward should be all you need.
  • ANYWHERE THE OPPONENTS SEEM TO BE COMING FROM: this is usually the bushes and jungle openings right by turrets. just use a Vision Ward.

Im sorry for not having a map, im currently working on that(sorry, im a low tech kind of guy. its a miracle i learned code).
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I hope this build helps you out! please leave any advice or tips below! i appreciate it all in advanced!(except troll votes)
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Special Thanks

Special thanks again goes to jhoijhoi! i really recommend you check out her stuff if you get the chance! thanks for the layman's way to code a guide!
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