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Maokai Build Guide by Razormaul

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Razormaul

Razormaul's Jungle Guides - Maokai

Razormaul Last updated on September 27, 2012
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Top Lane
Ranked #11 in
Top Lane
Win 51%
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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: 21

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 9

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Hello. I am Razormaul a player who enjoys support like junglers. Such as Maokai Nautilus and Amumu. I am going to be making guides for all of my favorite support junglers, I hope you enjoy them.

Maokai is one of the support type junglers. He brings great utility to the team with a snare, knock back and 20 % damage reduction for his team. I build Maokai with a lot of cdr and resistances/hp rather than with ap. I do this becuase I find ap Maokai to be very squishy and can't initiate as well as he can when he is tanky.

Other Guides and Abbreviations


  • CC = Crowd Control=Stuns/Snares/Taunts etc.
  • AP = Ability Power.
  • CDR = Cooldown Reduction.
  • AOE = Area Of Effect, i.e Sapling Toss.
  • HP = Health Points.
  • OOM = Out of Mana
  • AD = Attack Damage

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Greater Mark of Attack Speed

Greater Seal of Armor

Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist

Greater Glyph of Ability Power

Greater Quintessence of Ability Power

You can change the marks to magic penetration, though this will slow clearing times. You can also have all of they glyphs be Greater Glyph of Ability Power

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I use 0-9-21 masteries for maokai. This provides maokai with early defenses to get through the jungle without taking so much damage, a lot of cdr on abilities and summoner spells and more gold.
In the defense tree I take,
In the utility tree I take.

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Starting items: These items give nice sustain in your first round through the jungle and leaves you with enough hp to gank.

Core Mid game items: sight wardshurelya's reverie

  • Shurelya's Reverie is a great item for catching people out of position. Using Flash and shurelya's and than Twisted Advance can be great for initiation. Get this every game.
  • Ninja Tabi Against a team with lots of ad and lacking cc.
  • Mercury's Treads Against a team with lot of magic damage and cc.
  • Aegis of the Legion is a great item for all supporty tanks. Ask your team if anybody is planning on buying this item as having more than one is bad.
  • Oracle's Elixir is a great item when you are ahead. With this you can clear the others team's sight ward resulting in easy objectives and more succesful ganks.
  • Sight ward You want to buy at least two sight wards every time you back to base. These are the most important part of your item build.

Good Mid Game Items

Late game tank items:

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Skill Sequence

Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
  • Level 1 - Take Sapling Toss as it lets you clear the wraith camp and get to blue buff before it spawns. It also lets you to scout the map for any counter jungling which may occur.
  • Level 2 - Take Arcane Smash so you can take wolves, wraiths, golems and red buff quicker. Also helps at level 3/4 gank.
  • Level 3 - Take Sapling Toss if you plan on continuing jungling otherwise take Twisted Advance.
  • Level 4 - Depending on what you leveled during level 3 get either Sapling Toss or Twisted Advance.
  • Level 5 - You want to start maxing Arcane Smash now so take another point in it.
  • Level 6 - Take Vengeful Maelstrom for teamfights and extra burst damage.
From now on take what i have listed above.

Many people max Sapling Toss first but I don't do this as leveling this up only increases Maokai's damage and not his utility. It is also easy to dodge or avoid. Leveling this spell also makes it cost extra mana so that is another reason to leave it at level 2.

I max Arcane Smash first to increase the slow % and for good damage in the jungle. The mana cost does not go up when leveling this spell aswell so that is another bonus.

I max Twisted Advance by level 13 for the increased snare duration which improves Maokai's ganks.

I don't level up Vengeful Maelstrom until i max out Twisted Advance becuase the increased burst damage and cdr is not as important as the snare duration on Twisted Advance.

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Summoner Spells

You need Smite for jungling as it increases clear time and it helps you to secure objectives such as Baron or Dragon.

I know some Maokai players that take Ghost over Flash (if you do this change masteries) but I like flash as you can flash and than use Twisted Advance which usually results in a kill while ganking.

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Jungle Route-Level 4 gank

Video of route: Remember I don't get a pull.You will have quicker clear times and more hp than I do, if you get a pull.

This is the most common jungle route you will take.You only do a different route if you plan on invading or ganking very early or if you got invaded. The route is,

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Jungle Route-Level 3 gank

If I spawn on purple side and our top laner has some cc (characters like Renekton and Shen) and the other teams top laner has no escapes (characters like Mordekaiser, Nasus and Olaf) than I will take this route. The route is,

  • Wraiths - Take the wraiths as I show in the video. IMPORTANT you NEED 19.5 Ability Power to do this. If you dont have 19.5 Ability power you need to auto attack the Big Wraith a couple of times.
  • Crest of the Ancient Golem - To do this route you need bot lane to help you a lot with this camp. You don't Smite Crest of the Ancient Golem as we need Smite for the Lizard Elder . Get the bot lane to help you take the Ancient Golem to 300 hp and finish it off with auto attacks and spells. Make sure they don't take experience.
  • Lizard Elder - Keep Smite for the Lizard Elder
  • Gank Top lane. Go through the Tri-Bush and into the river. From there gank the lane. Make sure to tell your top lane to have his cc ready. Remember to level up Twisted Advance at this time instead of Sapling Toss
  • If you have enough hp proceed to gank another lane or clear the jungle, otherwise recall.

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How To gank

Videos of Successful Ganks:
I use the sapling to be able to see into the bush so I can use Twisted Advance
Maokai is a very good ganker with two cc's. When ganking if possible you want your teammate who you are ganking for to use their cc first than you use Sapling Toss followed up by Twisted Advance than walk behind them and knock them away from their turret. Put your ultimate between them and their turret so they have to walk through it. Remember to press r again for the damage.

Lane Gank

Successful lane gank video: Lane Ganking is when you sneak into a bush in either top or bot lane.You wait for an opportune moment to attack and you come out of the bush making it a 3v2 or 2v1 fight.

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Team Fighting

Maokais job in a teamfight is to keep his carries safe or to lock down enemy carries. You either want to Twisted Advance the enemies carry if they are in a bad position, otherwise use Twisted Advance on the enemies that are chasing your allies down.
Don't keep your ultimate on at all times as you will go oom and be useless to your team. Instead keep it for when that Morgana, Galio or Kennen ultimate is being used. Most people try to avoid fighting inside of Vengeful Maelstrom you can use this to your advantage.

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Tips and Tricks

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Thank you for taking the time to read my Maokai guide. If you like the guide please vote! If you want more tanky, support jungler's guides I have guides for all of them that I enjoy to play. Here is a list of all my other guides.I hope I have helped!