Build Guide by Raikov999
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.
Your votes and comments encourage our guide authors to continue
creating helpful guides for the League of Legends community.
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.
Introduction: Maokai The Twisted Treant
Hey there Summoners. Ahkmanrah here with my Maokai build. This will be my first build on the site and i hope that it helps people use Maokai to the best of his potential. Maokai is a support tank. He has CC, Spammable Wards, and damage reduction. Not to mention that unless he gets nerfed next patch he does a ton of more damage than the average tank. So if your looking for a character that can soak up a bunch of damage and help his team get kills Maokai might be the champion for you.
Lets Get to know the Tree
The twisting magical energies unleashed by mages during the Rune Wars caused an incredible amount of devastation to the natural world. The League was established to control the use of this magic by confining it to the Fields of Justice. By limiting its use to there, they thought that they could prevent it from doing further harm to the environment. It seemed that they were successful until Maokai came into being. During a League match on The Twisted Treeline, Maokai, an ancient oak that stood above the upper jungle, spontaneously roared to life. Ripped from the natural balance by arcane forces, his sentience was forged in chaos. Before the Adjudicators of the League could step in and suppress him, he slew all six champions participating in the match. The scholars of the Arcanum Majoris took a keen interest in him, as they were eager to discover the secrets of his animation.
Maokai was furious, however. He abhorred the existence that was thrust upon him; he felt it was a corruption of nature. He learned to communicate with people in hopes of finding a way to be returned to his former, true state. Seizing the opportunity, the League offered a trade. They would research a way to revert him so long as he agreed to fight in the League of Legends. Maokai was indifferent to verdicts rendered by the League, but he was eager to punish summoners for their wanton use of magic. He agreed to the terms under one condition: once they learned how to turn him back, they would never animate another tree again. He wears a lantern on the Fields of Justice to set him apart from the other trees, and as a warning to the “animals” that would do him harm.
“I will use this power until I am free of it.” –Maokai
(Q) Arcane Smash: Maokai slams the ground, the force of which knocks nearby enemies back and sends an arcane shockwave forward damaging and slowing his enemies.
(W) Twisted Advance: Maokai dissolves into a cloud of arcane energies. He regrows near a target enemy, dealing damage and rooting it in place.
(E) Sapling Toss: Maokai hurls a sapling, dealing damage on impact. The sapling becomes implanted in the ground warding a nearby area. When enemies approach, the sapling attacks, exploding in an arcane blast that damages enemies.
(R) Vengeful Maelstrom (Ultimate): Maokai shields his allies by drawing power from hostile spells and attacks, reducing non-tower damage done to allied champions in the area. Maokai can prolong the effect as long as he has mana to spend on it. When the effect ends, Maokai unleashes the absorbed energy to deal damage to enemies within the vortex.
Sap Magic (Passive): Each time a champion near Maokai casts a spell, he gains a charge of Magical Sap. When he has 5 charges, his next melee attack drains energy from his target, healing Maokai for a percentage of his maximum HP.
To be honest my selection of runes isnt a neccesity or anything. Use what you think is best for him. I use the mana regen runes because to properly harrass/use Maokai's saplings(wards)you need either a huge mana pool, or super mana regen. The runes i use help a lot early game, though if you have different runes i suggest buying a chalice of harmony.
For my Masteries i chose basic defensive masteries, emphasizing on mana regen in the utility tree, and overall defense in the defensive tree ^^
Not much else to say. Masteries, like runes are up to you in the end, these are just the ones i think benefit him the most overall.
There are only 3 items i always get every game:
Merc Treads - Maokai has a lunge attack that usually puts him in harms way. Its nice to have the reducedd CC and the magic resist when using the lunge the harrass or even go in for the kill.
Warmog's Armor- Maokai has a large health pool, using warmogs makes it even larger, and if you follow my farming guide youll be on your way to a lot of health mid to late game.
Sunfire Cape- You are a tank. A melee tank at that. The armor, health and passive damage a second just makes sense.
Anything after these depends entirely on the game.
If they are attack damage/melee heavy i recomend:
Aegis of the legion
For Ap/caster teams:
Force of Nature
You can also build AP/Tank Maokai, though i wouldnt do it unless your team is doing well. Otherwise you might not be tanky enough late game.
Rylai's Crystal Sceptre
Rod of Ages
These are just my suggestions of the best items to use depending on the game situation. I usually change it up from game to game.
Early Game- (lvl.1 - lvl.8)Early game should be decently easy for Maokai. Make sure you lane with a champion that had good damage output though, for the early kills. You'll want to be harrassing the enemy with your Saplings when you can, but dont over do it or youll run your mana pool dry when the time comes to get a kill. Try to always have about 50% of your mana before attempting a kill. By the time you hit 4 (sometimes 3 if my lane partner is good) you should get your first kill/assist. If not the double. To do this make sure you partner knows your about to initiate. Then wait for one of the enemy champions to extend into the range of your W or lunge/root. Then youll want to throw a sapling slightly behind them and quickly hit him with your q. If you do it correctly the sapling should do maximum damage to him. If your partner helps it should be an easy lane. Rinse and repeat as necessary.
Mid Game- (Lvl.8 - Lvl.14)Odds are you or your lane parnter are fed, if not both of you by now. I usually have about 2 or 3 kills and 5 or 6 assists at this point. Hopefully by now team fighting has broken out. This is good for you, because you get to help the rest of your team feed. Alls you need to do is use the same combo as before, except if you see a big melee bash going down you should throw your ulti around it until the enemy start to run. Then blow it up in their faces and help your team chase the survivors down. You make a great hunter with the lunge and knockback combo, so use it to slow or stop faster champions for escaping, or killing your teammates.
Farming combo: Throw a sapling into the middle of a group of minions, use your Q to hit as many as possible, then the sapling should explode leaving you a bunch of gold. Use this to easyly get gold/clear mobs of minions from hurting your towers.
Late Game( Lvl.14 - Lvl.18) If they didnt surrender then late game is the same as Mid game except you should be a lot buffer. PLay smart, Set up ganks, and dont be afraid to tank towers! With the warmogs armor you should have at least 4k health by the end of the game. Make sure you use your ulti to help your melee champs, and hunt down any stray champs trying to run with low health. Another thing to remember is that your a TANK. You dont get kills. You get Assists. So dont feel bad if you have 2 kills the entire game. It happens.
Well thats my guide, and i hope it helps all you future Maokai's out there. Ive seen a lot of misused Maokai's and it doesnt end well for them. Just remember the combos and choose your items wisely. Other than that remember to have fun.
Also, this being my first guide im sure there are things i should work on, but please be nice in your comments. That way my future guides can be even more useful =]