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Maokai Build Guide by Jibijaba

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Jibijaba

Maokai : The tree that doesn't give a ****. [Jungle]

Jibijaba Last updated on July 1, 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

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 11

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

Utility: 10

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Hey! This is my 1st guide so I hope you wont be harsh on me!

Imo, Maokai's a great jungler (sometime an excelent one!) and I will show you how I play him so you can see his power yourself!

I have been playing him for a while now ; solo-laning, jungling, duo-laning. He can shine in all those area if played correctly (with the build for that role.) But I found that he's a real fast jungler with a good ganking ability so I decided to share this with you guys! (Ok most of you probably already knew it but.. meh! Don't burst my bubble!)

(And by no mean I am saying that this is the best build for him, it works really great for me that's all. If you have any suggestion, I will be happy to try them out. It's the only way that we can build the perfect maokai, helping each other with CONSTRUCTIVE comment:) )

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Pros / Cons


    A great tank with wonderful Ult
    A gap closer
    A snare
    Some CC's
    Fast jungler
    Good iniator
    Throws pikmin!
    If you have anything that need a cloth armor in your build, nothing is wasted!
    Need alot of help for the dragon
    Easy to counter on his 1st round
    Does an excellent job laning, so you are taking the jungle spot
    No real escape mechanism (even tho you can use your twisted advance on a creep.)
    And probably more! :P

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Ranked Play

Most of my wins come from this build. I'm far from a top elo player, but I know that Maokai have his spot if played well.

I was waiting for season 2 to really get my game on (being that I started at the end of s1.)

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Skill Sequence

I start withfor a simple reason, the burst damage on the ancient golem. I start by throwing one in the spawn to trigger 1 stack of my passive.

At 1:21
I start to throw them at the ancient golem spawn location. That way, when he will spawn, he will get bursted by 3 pikmins. (see video for more info!)

I takesecond for 3 reasons, aoe damage, low cooldown and cheap mana cost. That way I can trigger my sap ... asap? (sorry :( )

At level 3, I getso I can gank.

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Vengeful Maelstrom

This is one of the best ult in the game if used well and perhaps one of the worst if used randomly. While friendly champions (and yourself) stay in the circle, you will take 20% reduced damage. That's alot. But if you are playing with less skilled players that prefer to fight outside, well, your ult is pretty much useless for that fight.

You can use it to do a quick burst of damage on opponent to far from yourby simply spamming the R key twice. Don't expect alot of damage that way, but if that master yi is fleeing from you with 200hp and everything else is on cd, do your ult on his path and make it explode, you will get the kill. :)

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Theses are the best I found when jungling with him. You get the buff duration bonus, the magic pen and reduced jungle damage (which help on your 1st pathing),

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He's really versatile when it comes to runes. I prefer using caster over tank runes, but alot of combination work for him.

I personally use a heavy mana regen with flat ap rune set.

This way, I can give my 3rd blue (and sometime my second) to someone in my team.

And not be a mana hungry maokai like the others!

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This is a quick item list that I go for. Buy potions, buy wards and if you can an oracle. Controlling the map is more important then anything. It will help you all game long.

1. Cloth Armor
2. Boots lvl 1
3. Catalyst
4. Merc's thread (if the other team ain't cc heavy, go for the cooldown boot's.)
5. Rod of Ages
6. Glacial Shroud
7. Sunfire Cape
8. Frozen Heart
9. Abyssal Scepter
10a. AP Heavy : Banshee
10b. AD Heavy : Thornmail
10c. Confused? : Guardian Angel
10d. Steamrolling? : Lich bane or Rabadon and laugh.

Core build

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Summoner Spells

Smite is a must for a competent jungler and ghost/flash will help you gank (and save yourself).

Flash works really well. Flashing then using Twisted advance will allow you to do a "Oh Sh!t" momment by traveling a large distance real fast.

But the area where ghost shine is that it will allow you to travel faster and chase for while.

If I know my team will have a hard time finishing targets, i go for ghost.

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Team Work

Don't forget to ping your gank and to say it.
If you have to, ping more then once. Failing a gank because the laner wasn't aware is probably the worst thing for a jungler.

Protect your teamates, if one lane is hardly pushed on ur tower and theres no ganking opportunity, go make a presence none the less, with ur pikmins you can turn a lane around really quickly.

Buy wards, place them. Buy more wards, be ready to replace them. Being aware of everything in the map is the most important thing. Controlling objectives (buffs + dragon + baron) is a must if you want your team to win.

Buying an oracle to clear wards is an other great thing. Removing map awareness = GG

And finally, buy more wards.

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a quick video of me clearing the jungle (sorry for the quality! I'll make a better one soon, I promise!)

Real game video coming soon!

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I've been playing that guy for a while now, switching to some other champions now and then but always going back to Mao. Give Maokai a chance, he's a real fun champion and a good addition to any team, jungling or not.
So what are you waiting?! Go try him and enjoy!

I'm open to any constructive comment / rant :P
If you have any questions, ask away.

Thanks for your time.

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    Skill sequence
    An other video
    More details in every chapters of this guide.
Small video of my jungle route
More information, completed the guide