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Maokai Build Guide by Kariano

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Kariano

Ranked Supporter? Maokai! :D

Kariano Last updated on February 12, 2012
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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.



Offense: 0

Honor Guard

Defense: 9

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 21

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Welcome to my 1. guide, featuring Maokai. I hope with this guide you will get some other points of view about Maokai.

Why should you play Maokai as a supporter? Well, there are many reasons:

+ 2 strong CC's,
+ ulti that reduces dmg from your enemies,
+ free ,,wards" for 30 sec,
+ doesn't really need 2 summoner spells for himself,
+ can hold a solo lane, thats especially good if u have a roaming carry ( Twitch <3) as laning partner
+ he is a TREE! tree = green = biologic things = life = help = support :)

But there are also some things that makes him a... not so cool supporter, e.g.:

- no heal for mates,
- CAN push a lane if spamming E,
- CAN ks easily (e.g. WHOOOPS, DIDNT SAW HE HUZ 10 HP, SRY)
- needs a decent team, like every supporter (= can't win a game alone)

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Pros / Cons

Now, to get somewhat egoistic, here are the Pros/Cons of Maokai himself:

+ tanky, without items
+ unkillable, with items
+ can tower dive extremely good
+ is a team fight-master (-20% dmg from enemies, can stun the carries, etc.)
+ good dmg output, may be a con, but hey - dmg is dmg :)

- SLOOOOOOW (what do you expect from a tree?)
- always low on mana (can be fixed by blue buff, but there wont be any situations where u need it more then your mid champ or the jungler himself)
- you will die often as a tank, and if you are a player who is just out for high elo and good stats, this is not your champion
- needs SOME training

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As a tanky supporter, I take the 0/9/21 masteries. Those provide great substainability, as well as utility things, that are a lack of Maokai :(

Other viable things are:

if u are sure that u WILL solo lane
( Twitch <3) and need the dmg
SPACE 0/21/9
if u have to be a full tank

Now some examples:

Jarvan IV - solo top, Rammus - jungle, Anivia - mid, Vayne - bot

-> you lack magic damage, but thats OK, you can go a little bit more offensive, but just in 1 or 2 items and you COULD get 21/0/9 but its not necessary

Renekton - solo top, Fiddlesticks - jungle, Brand - mid, Ashe - bot

-> your team lacks survivability, fix that by getting more defensive items early and the 0/21/9 masteries

Olaf - solo top, Amumu - jungle, Vladimir - mid, Tristana - bot

-> this is difficult. Actually, your team is tanky enough, and Amumu also does some good magic damage. Take the normal 0/9/21 masteries and look what Amumu builds.

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Runes? Runes.

Marks - AP Penetration as a supporter? Hell Yeah :D

Blue Thingys - Mana Reg - Maokai needs Mana, Mana needs Maokai, more questions?

Seals - I saw that my items at all give more Armor then Magic Resistance, but it's up to the enemy team, if they have many AD, taking those seals is not that intelligent.

Quintessences - I experimented with that GP5 runes and I have to say: they kick ***es! I take em, because Maokai as supporter is not allowed to farm that much, so u need gold anyway, and thats the best what can solve this issue.

TIP: You can use MP5 seals and other quintessences if you dont have that much money!

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Summoner Spells

I would like to use all summoner spells at once, but thats not possible, so here are some explenations:

  • - I used to take this on myself but nowadays the AD-Carry can also take this spell, if you already have an Exhaust.
  • - Well, Maokai is mana hungry, and if u have a mana hungry partner ( Urgot <3, Ezreal <3 etc.), this can be even better, but nothing is better than "OH NO U HAVE 10 HP, WOOPS, U HAVE 310, LETS **** THAT Vayne) :)"
  • - Well, OK, its that 08/15 spell and can be a good chasing tool, but I dont like it much, if u also dont like it, ...
  • - ... is yours.
  • - Double Exhaust on bot lane can be fun, but its not really good for Maokai, because he already has asfull of CC.
  • - OK, but you are not that champ that has to leave his lane often or will backdoor, so leave it for solo top.
  • - Great Tank spell, but i never liked it, if u are convinced with this skill, take it.
  • - If u wanna jungle, but thats not what this guide is about, for lane = TROLLOLOL...
  • - Meh, bigger trees, thats like chemical influence, we dont like, we are GREENPEACE! >:(
  • - NO!
  • - I have a friend who uses that spell often. He is french. No comment.

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Skill Sequence

At Lvl 1, I take Sapling Toss 'cuz of the warding ability.

At Lvl 2, I take W (aka Twisted Advance), just for the kicks ;D. No, actually i take them to have a ability to root enemies and let the carry do some dmg.

At Lvl 3, you should take Arcane Smash.
This is the point where the games start to be funny. If your partner is ready,

W - E - Q, hit, hit, hit, First Blood.

After that and a pentakill, your priority should be:

> > Arcane Smash >

>> Why don't level up E first?

Because Sapling Toss makes dmg, and supporters don't have to do dmg. Even though it makes me sad if I try to harass em and the sapling does just ~ 50 dmg, it's better to max W and Q first.

>> I smash enemies and they dont fly away over the whole map!?!
You have to stand IN FRONT of the enemy, so you have to STAND IN FRONT OF THEM. If you get chased, do something they don't think with, and turn around, Q, and run like a little crying girl.

PS: Tryndamere will make you REALLY cry if he chases you/teammates, because good Noobdameres will wait till you turn around, spin through you, and make wood to heat for winter. What can you do against that?
Wait till he spins in front of you, W, go forward, Q him away, laugh, write "LOL XD OMG NOOB" in /all and win the game.

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Ok, now for items:

Faerie Charm + Sight Ward + Sight Ward + Health Potion Health Potion + Mana Potion
Sapphire Crystal + Sight Ward
Pretty common stuff. Gives you good sustainability.

Your 1. Route Back should be if you have enough money for Philosopher's Stone + Boots of Speed. If you got enough money, get some Heart of Gold and Mercury Treads. Your first core item should be Rod of Ages, for the Mana and HP and that little tip of AP. Aegis of the Legion will be your first really supporter item.
If the enemy team has tons of AP dmg, take that Abyssal Mask first, or if they have many lumberjack champions, take your Randuin's Omen first. After that, buy the other item. Your final item will be Guardian Angel, because it gives a overall bonus to your defense and has that nice passive.

If you want to make your own Item build, you should look what exactly you need:







SPACE Supporter

Shurelya's Reverie

As you can see, I actually take Items from all sections, because Maokai is just a supporter if he can tank and also do little bit damage (lategame).

Example for other teams:

AD heavy (Top, Jungler, Bot, Mid)
-> OR

AP heavy (Jungler, Support, Mid, Top)
-> OR

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Team Work (Laning Partners)

They shine and glitter, the AD carries, as they are called.

Ashe ashe ashe ashe. She is one of the most squishy AD carries in game, but her dmg output is very good. If she is quite good at last hitting and harrasing, your lane is won.
Lvl 6 will give her an overdrive of awesomeness. You stun, she stuns, you stun, she kills.

Ahh. Caitlyn. Most awesome range in the game. She can nearly solo 2 of them in my opinion, most times I dont even are on lane if she gets a kill. Most effectively will the Trap-Root combo be.
Lvl 6 will make her a real sniper. If she wants to blow someone away, try to root the other champions around him, so they dont jump ahead of 'em.

Not often seen, but will be a monster, if he has Sheen or other items. Because of his AoE abilities, you can harras both of your enemies with ease. Corki can escape very good and so you will be ungankable as the Corki-Maokai duo :)
Lvl 6 gives Corki even more (always able) dmg.

If he has skills, he will be your friend. If he cant aim, he will a pain.
You can help him to aim by rooting, but if he cant even hit em if they can't do anything, it's gg.
Like Caitlyn, Ezreal will get a real sharpshooter with Lvl 6. You can just hope that he will hit, most of the time the enemies are gone anyway.

He is a carry? Wow. Ok, this combo is pretty awesome if you correctly think about it: you are a support without heal, he is a ad carry with heal. More to say?
Lvl 6 will give you absolutely Team Fight control, because you will reduce dmg and GP will make dmg.

The new in the town. His range is very small, but he has a dash, that can bring him in the perfect position for your W. His other skills are also dealing decent damage and have good sinergize with Maokai. My first game with a Graves on my lane brought him 9/1/2 in the first 15 minutes and my stats were 1/2/11 (<3 junglers).

My favorite AD carry. Awesome range, tank killer. In teamfights you should always be aware of where the enemies are, because intelligent players will send just 1 forward to eliminate him because of his passive.
Lvl 6 will give him a sniper-meteroid-spittle-thing, more awesomeness please :)

Ok, Yi is pretty unwanted in the current meta, cuz he is neither tanky nor he is ranged. If you look right, he is one of the most difficult champions, because he 1. needs kills to be killing and lumberjackin'. Try to do everything to keep the enemies away from him when he is not ready to make a Go. Think of him like a raw egg.

Bewbs. Although most MF's go mid, she rocks the most duo bot lanes because she can reduce healing effects. Her range is also OK, her ulti is *******ing and really good if the enemies get the WHOLE damage, and Maokai is a master in keeping people right there where they are...

I rarely saw good Sivirs, but I know what Sivir is able to. Her spell shield is an in-built Mana give-back tool and really cool if a Blitzcrank tries to fist Rocket Grab her and... OOPS! my hand is not back at me... GIVE IT BACK! :(
Her ulti is not game-changing for her, because most damage will come from her Q, but her ulti is really good in teamfights.

You should be fine with a Tristana on your shoulder. She has a gap closer, awesome range, a knockback, a atk speed buff and err a passive skill that will give her a good farm. What else do you want? Kills will be a ease, especially if a jungler comes around and helps.

Well, well. Tryn actually takes a solo lane because he doesn't need support, and I dont really like giving him kills, but Riot says he is an AD Carry... Well, although I never had the chance to lane with him, I think you have enough damage & cover to make roastbeefs of them.

This will be your own best friend. Often he will roam around and come back to the lanes with many kills in his backpack and shiny items, so this will give also you the best situation: you don't need THAT much wards, you don't have to risk your life, you can farm, you can gain experience etc. etc.

Some love him, some hate him, on both teams. I love him in any way, because he is one of the most difficult AD carries, if you look at the items, in the game. His equipment will mostly be the same, not depending on the enemy team. And he is also one of the few AD carries that can play tanky, because he will towerdive and hop out. On lane, try to get tower aggro @ Lvl 6, let Urgot swap the enemy out, Maokai stun, Maokai hammer, Urgot mark, Urgot chainsaw, Urgot Urgot chainsaw, Urgot chainsaw.

If the Vayne player is good, you will dominate. If he is bad, you will loose. When you have a feeding Vayne you will loose your tower in 7.5 minutes, but if she is good, you can finish the game in 20 minutes (or less).
Vayne needs to kinda go near the enemies, but her range is still enough to not take damage, and if it's getting dangerous, Tumble.


What did we learned?
Maokai can lane together with nearly everything and some constilations will be ***rocking and some will be... interesting. Maokai can swap roles in nearly 4 LvL ups and thats exactly the fact that makes him such a good supporter.

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Wards are your primary tools to win. With effective and many warding, you can win a game, if nobody is going to feed.

Every time you go back in Early Game, you should get 1 Sight Ward OR 1 Vision Ward, depending how you are doing in your lane, but most time you will dominate and so u should get Vision Ward.
If Dragon time is starting (if most of you have Level 6-9), you should be always aware if you or the enemy team is going to kill him. Try to place ur wards between their (or your) Blue Buff and the Dragon Spawnpoint.

If you buy some things in Mid Game, you should buy 2 or 3 Sight Ward / Vision Ward and another really good item to think about is Oracle's Elixir, because you can go around the map and destroy the most important wards of your opponents. If you can't afford an Oracle or you had a bad early game, you can ask your Toplaner or Jungler to buy an Oracle's Elixir. DONT ASK YOUR AD CARRY TO BUY THEM! If someone has an oracle, he will be the #1 Target, and thats definetly not that what your AD-Carry should be.

In the End Game, you always should have 3-5 Sight Ward with you and you should buy Oracle's Elixir, even if they are already at your base. Always ward Baron Nashor and Dragon, and if u have enough money for many wards, ward your and the enemies jungle.

If you don't ward, you will LOOSE!

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It work's! LOOK!

-me and DeGeschi: Maokai 4/4/25, Vayne 15/6/12
-me and a random: Maokai 1/2/14, Graves 9/1/3

-me and Prunus serrulata: Maokai 2/4/23, Sivir 6/1/5

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Maokai is a good tanky supporter.
He needs a good team.
His items can be changed the way the team needs the most.
Can tower dive/tank in team fights like a boss.


Special thanks to:
Riot - creating such a epic game
Mobafire - helping me to publish a guide that helps players
My family, My friends, My LoL m8's - just awesome :D
jhoijhoi - creating a guide to creating a guide :)