Maokai Build Guide by Dragonmysterieu
[S10] Maokai Support : The Tree of NightmaresBy Dragonmysterieu | Updated on January 2, 2021
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++8 ability haste
+15-90 HP (lvls 1-18)
Threats & Synergies
He will drag you under tower when you engage on him and you are just going to be his klepto farm
His insane early game damage will leave you broken and unable to fight back.
Similar to draven, you make an easy target whenever you go for cs. more importantly fire is super effective against grass type.
Jhin needs to toy with you a bit before he is actually able to kill you. You should never give him any openings, and once you kill him he becomes your new 300 gold minion.
You would think that the almighty tank killer vayne would be a hard matchup, but that simply is not true. Her short range make it almost too easy to catch her out with your point and click root. her bad early game makes her a great candidate for your lvl 3 all in.
your sustain mixed with your wide range of engage tools make caitling obsolete. Play safe till lvl 3 and go for the all in for an easy kill.
Alistar can just forcefully shove you away as he pleases.
Braum can outrade you in 2v2 in lane is you don't properly separate him from his ADC.
her high movement speed and disengage makes her pretty annoying, and forces you to bait out her ult before hand to realistically get on the enemy adc.
you can evade her buble with well timed W and has no real mobily to escape you.
Skill matchup. Her light poke and black shield can be annoying at first, but later on in the game her squishiness will be her demise.
Brad has surprisingly high damage, is ranged, and his stun is very potent against you. Not a fun matchup.
Wait for him to engage on you, then when the time is right you W dodge his knock up and jump on his adc. His cc is obsolete against you.
If he hooks you just W a melee minion. Blitz's damage is front loaded and can easily kill you early. late game just build stone plate and get a free engage on his carries.
Thresh has many tools to remove you from his ADC .
Yet another high damage support. Don't eat to much poke early. If you can get the jump on her she has nothing other than flash to escape you.
If you manage to start your root animation towards her, she is already dead.
His ultimate only executes below a certain health threshold, which he should never get to. Your W completely counters his stealth.
Since her release she has always been a strong pick. She gets free stacks of her passive just because you are doing your job which help out in skirmishes and for her ult follow up
She does it all. Her passive MS makes it easy for her to follow up. Her poke makes for easy kills if you catch out an enemy, and her ult blend quite nicely with yours.
Mysterious Gun man needs a lot of peel, and you my friend have a lot of peel.
All in all a great choice, her traps make for great follow up after you engage and can snowball really fast.
She can put traps down that you should look to push enemies into using Q.
With an Irelia ADC you can root enemies in place to set her up for easy stuns so she can pop off
If you can't beat them, join them. Draven's early game damage is absolutely nuts and makes for and easy all in bot lane, not to mention the snow ball potential.
Very oppressive kill lane. With flash up your opponents need to be weary of an engage at any time. Your Q counts as a knock up that he can ult on IF he is good at pressing his R key.
Tanks always go well with Kalista. Her ult is very versatile and can be used as engage or disengage.
Pretty much depends on the Jhin player. Be careful not to knock enemies outside of his W or ultimate shots!
It's pretty meh. She can help poke down the enemy laners for an easier all in, and her ult help you engage later on. Her lack of damage will be felt on your team.
His strong early game and ability to quickly follow your flash flash make him a very reliable adc.
Her low damage will be your downfall.
Champion Build Guide
Some things to note, my guide focuses more on Maokai support and takes into account that the player is already aware of general role specific play styles like good warding spots and farming with a support item etc.
You will generally go Turbo Chemtank as your second item. Your lack of mobility and movement speed makes it so that Turbo Chemtank plays a key role in your engages and acts almost as your fifth ability. The movement speed you gain from the active is unmatched and acts as your primary engage tool, so that you can close the gap between you and your target. The stats are also excellent and it will go well with your passive.
Afterwards, you have to choose: do I go for a more support path or not? This question breaks into two parts. "Does my team need more peel?" And "Do I need more tank?" If you answer yes to both of these questions, Knight's Vow is what you need. If tank is what you need, you should go: Spirit Visage this will be your first magic resist item. The health and unique passive can save you from a lot of close calls.
Because of the changes to Infinity Edge you don't always want to go for Randuin's Omen. I recommend only going for it if the enemy team is disproportionately AD, or that they have heavy crit reliant champs like Yasuo. If the enemy is dependant on auto attack for their damage, as in to or more of their carries, you should go Thornmail. Champs like Kog'Maw, Varus, Kai'Sa, and Fiora prefer quantity over quality and since Thornmail does damage base on your armor per instance of auto attack they will take the most damage.
Versus heavy AOE (Area Of Effect) teams, Redemption and Locket of the Iron Solari are excellent choices. For example, teams with a Brand, Lissandra, Katarina, and so on.
In seldom cases, you should build Mikael's Blessing. Mikael's Blessing is an item you should build when your team has a protect the carry composition, or that the enemies have a lot of cc. It's a cheap item with garbage stats, but the active can really turn the tide of a fight if you trust your ADC or mid laner.
|Your passive sap magic can be deceptively strong. In the early game, you want to tank a hit for your jungler during the leash to help his clear. In combination with Relic Shield, your early game self sustain is incredibly strong and means that you should always have enough hp to assist when ganked. In the late game while you are low on health, you should never give up and believe in yourself! Often times, it's better to just jump into the fray and distract the enemies so that your team can get away from a bad fight. In a good fight however, enemies might be tempted to focus you if they see that you are low on health, but by going back in your passive will have refreshed. Thus, you will often end up soaking in much more than originally thought.|
|Bramble Smash is your bread and butter. It counts as an interrupt much like Thresh's E Flay, meaning you can stop things like Leona's E Zenith Blade or any other dash-like ability as well as any channeling ability, for example: fiddlestick's Crowstorm. You can also flash QW to knock opponents back and root them in place to create easy pickings for your ADC.|
|Twisted advance is your main engage. It is a point and click root so even if your target flashes away, you are going to pursue him until you reach him. Furthermore, you are untargetable while you do so, it acts as a great engage and doubles as a great escape tool as long as you have a target. If you Sapling Toss near a jungle camp you can Twisted Advance over the wall.|
|Sapling toss is what I believe puts the nail in the coffin for Maokai support. In lane you can use it for bush dominance and warding. If you are playing against heavy poke champs like Vel'Koz or Lux, they will usually want to settle in the brush to make it harder for you to see their skill shots and to overall counter attack them. With Sapling Toss, you can safely get vision from a distance and flush them out or get free damage. You almost always want to go E first, as is acts as good harass, soft cc, and vision control. Put a few of these buggers in the surrounding brush around your jungler's first camp and the enemy team will think twice about invading!|
Finally, your ultimate ability Nature's Grasp is an AOE, slow moving root that stops at the first champion hit, with root duration based on the distance travelled. Even with its colossal size, this ability is quite hard to hit because enemies can usually avoid it by just walking the other way. Therefore, this ability is not great at engaging fights but rather creating chaos within one. To get the most out of your ultimate, you have three main ways of using it.
Firstly, you can use it as follow up after doing your WQ combo. This creates an even longer cc duration of almost 2.5 seconds! Although it may not sound like much until you realize that for 4/5 of that time, the enemy is unable to attack while taking the full front of your burst damage and your ADC's. In lane, this should be an almost assured kill at lvl 6.
Secondly, there is the option of throwing your ult mid-fight. In an all-out team fight, enemies will have a hard time evading its massive size. The loss of the ability to move, juke, and fight for even a moment, late game can be catastrophic for your opponents.
Lastly, you can try and be sneaky by using your ult in the jungle/river if you know the enemies lack vision. Your ult is easy to dodge because of how slow and telegraphed it is at first, but at full speed the enemies cannot avoid its wrath without a movement ability or a flash. By positioning yourself at the appropriate distance away from a lane in the jungle, you can make your ult end against a wall surrounding said lane (ex: raptor camp wall or the edge of the map). By doing this, you are able catch enemies off-guard and get them with the full 2.4 second root on up to five people. By the time enemies see the ult, it's usually too late as it will already be going at full speed.
|For runes, the clear cut best option is aftershock. It does the most damage out of the other options and makes you temporarily tankier, increasing your chances of getting the kill and making out alive simultaneously.|
|Predator is another viable option, it acts a lot like Ghost. personally I prefer aftershock. If you do want the extra speed you should not take Magical Footwear and you buy boots after targon's brace. The only lacking part of taking predator is the below part minor runes that come with it.|
|Font of life is your secondary option instead of Demolish. It will heal any ally that attacks one of your CCed targets for 1% of your max health over 2 seconds. The heal procs every instance of damage as long as the target is marked, and even though 1% doesn't sound like much it's still free "lifesteal" that your are giving to your team. I find this rune to be better in situations where your ADC scales harder than the enemy's, or in the likelihood that you won't win the laning phase (check bad matchups above).|
|For the second row of minor runes, your choice should be heavily match up dependent. For most cases, Bone Plating is a solid choice. As a Moakai support your job is to win laning phase for your ADC, and this rune is the best option to succeed. While off cooldown you can be much more confident in your engages. Most of the time when the enemy sees you approach them they will blow their load on you immediately, so even though the buff only last 1.5 seconds you are likely to negate damage with all 3 plates.|
|I love to take this rune for the value and the extra 10 movement speed. Combined with Boots of Swiftness you are guaranteed to outrun enemies, and have the necessary mobility to both block and juke important skill shots. Your high kill potential on average will end up shaving 1 min or 30 seconds off the delivery time.|
|Time warp tonic also fills a similar function to Magical Footwear and can be interchanged based on preference. This rune is better for harder laning phases and when you think your ADC will be very passive. You should always pop a pot when thinking of engaging for the 5% bonus MS and to start the cooldown incase you need another potion during the fight. Goes great with Biscuit Delivery!|
|If you are planing on going predator for your keystone, Cheap Shot would be my go to, first row, secondary rune. It's 40 true damage (almost equivalent to an auto attack in laning phase) rewards you for doing something that you were already going to do, CC. On top of that, with its 4 second cooldown you can expect to proc the damage a multitude of times during a fight.|