Maokai Build Guide by Tastetheicecream
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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.
Hello all, this is my first League of Legends build I have ever created. If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions please feel free to comment and let me know what you think of this build. I designed this build from the bottom up for a Maokai tank.
1.2 Summoner Spells
Skills to Use
The standard Summoner Spells that I use for Maokai are Ignite and Ghost. Ignite is helpful to pick up the last few hp on an enemy when they are low. Maokai does not have a lot of attack damage, so he will have to somewhat rely on allies to deal damage. Ghost is also helpful when trying to get out of a sticky situation. Maokai is rather slow compared to some other champions, but he has a lot of armor and health. If you pop Ghost while retreating from a fight, you most likely will be able to survive enless you get stunned.
Exhaust can be helpful during fights when an enemy is running away. You can Exhaust the enemy and proceed to pound on them.
Flash can also be a very helpful skill while retreating, or to get over a wall or line of trees.
Skills to NOT Use
Maokai is healed significantly with his passive skill, so this spell is not needed.
Don't use it.
1.3 Maokai Skills
Sap Magic- This is Maokai's passive skill. Each time a spell/skill is cast near him, he gains 1 charge of magical sap. Once he has 5 charges of magical sap, his next melee attack will heal him for 7% of his health. This is a very helpful passive skill during the laning phase. I have noticed that when Maokai's health is full, and he has 5 charges of magical sap, he will not use the heal attack until his health has dropped. So do not worry about healing when you are already full health.
Arcane Smash- When Maokai uses this skill, he slams his fist against the ground and sends a shockwave in the direction he aimed. The range on this spell is pretty terrible, it will only hit an enemy if there are in melee range. This skill is good for taking a chunk out of health out of a minion wave. The enemies that are hit by the shockwave are then knocked up in the air.
Twisted Advance- When Maokai uses this skill, he teleports to the enemy location, deals damage to the enemy, and roots the enemy in place temporarily. I use this spell a lot while harrassing the enemy and when leading into an attack. If you are performing a gank, cast Twisted Advance on the enemy then follow with Arcane smash. This is the same as when chasing enemies or just in an all out brawl. In team fights, try to cast Twisted Advance on a high proirity target.
Sapling Toss- Maokai throws his sapling. The sapling deals damage when it hits the ground, it also will chase nearby enemies and explode upon impact. This might be one of the most fun things to watch when playing Maokai. The sapling chases the enemy while screaming :p . This skill can be used as wards, highly useful when placed in bushes like Teemo's shrooms. However, the saplings only last for 35 seconds before dying. The saplings chase after creeps as well as enemy champions.
Vengeful Maelstrom- This is Maokai's ultimate skill. Maokai creates a vortex that reduces damage to friendly champions by 20%. The vortex survives as long as Maokai has mana. When the vortex ends, it deals damage to enemies still within it. At first, this ultimate does not seem that impressive. But this is what makes Maokai such an effective tank. With this 20% reduced damage and lots of armor/magic resistance built up, Maokai will survive a lot of punishment. At lvl 18, the cooldown on this skill is only 20 seconds, so during late game it is advised to spam it whenever in a fight.
1.4 Playing Maokai
As soon as the game starts buy Dorans Shield, you then want to choose Sapling Toss for your first skill. You use this to harass/poke the enemy and it can also be used to check bushes.
For the rest of your skills, refer to the skill sequence at the top of the page.
During the Laning Phase, you should be very aggressive with Maokai. Maokai is very tanky so get up in the minions and start beating on them. If an enemy champion gets too close, throw a sapling or begin attacking him. If you are able to push through to the tower, deal some damage on it, but only with your creeps. If the enemies engage your friendly lane teammate, get in between them to try and stop. You can use your Twisted Advance to stop any enemy attacker. Be sure to plant lots of saplings in the bushes around you to make sure no one tries to gank you.
Mid Game to Late Game
Once Maokai gets over lvl 6, you will have his ultimate on hand to use. At lvl 60 the cooldown is 40 seconds and is reduced as he levels(at lvl 18 cooldown is 20 seconds). With Maokai's ult, he will be able to dominate dragon and baron with some help from teammates. Once team fights(or any fights for that matter) errupt, you should immediately dash in with Twisted Advance on a HIGH PRIORITY target. Then cast your Vengeful Maelstrom in a good location, preferebly close enough so your allies are within it so they get the 20% damage reduction. Sapling Toss is helpful when enemies are running away. The Sapling will chase him, but if you are chasing someone like Master Yi, the Sapling will not be able to catch up with him.
-With stand an incredible amount of damage
-Fairly slow, especially early game
-Not a lot of damage output