Mobafire League of Legends Build Guides Mobafire League of Legends Build Guides

Maokai Build Guide by Aliasear

This build has been archived and is for historical display only.

PLEASE NOTE: This build has been archived by the author. They are no longer supporting nor updating this build and it may have become outdated. As such, voting and commenting have been disabled and it no longer appears in regular search results.

We recommend you take a look at this author's other builds.

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.

Like Build on Facebook Tweet This Build Share This Build on Reddit
League of Legends Build Guide Author Aliasear

(S3) Alias: Jungle Maokai (SoloQ & Ranked5's)

Aliasear Last updated on February 12, 2013
Did this guide help you? If so please give them a vote or leave a comment. You can even win prizes by doing so!

You must be logged in to comment. Please login or register.

I liked this Guide
I didn't like this Guide
Commenting is required to vote!

Thank You!

Your votes and comments encourage our guide authors to continue
creating helpful guides for the League of Legends community.

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


Utility: 9

Guide Top



Guide Top

Whenever I'm jungling...

Spoiler: Click to view

Guide Top

My Pros/Cons


My Arcane Smash knocksback and slows those annoying creatures. SOFT CC
My Twisted Advance tangles their feet, preventing them from moving. HARD CC
My Sapling Toss sends my minions to search and destroy the enemy. FREE WARD
My Vengeful Maelstrom Protects my allies and uses the enemies' energy against themselves. SUPPORT/NUKE
My Sap Magic Keeps me alive longer to survive battle after battle. SUSTAIN


If I get caught, I can only Arcane Smash them away.
I need the first Blue Buff to clear camps fast and have mana to gank early.
When I Twisted Advance to gank, sometimes I get Flashed to turret.

Guide Top

My Summoner Spells

Guide Top

My Runes


Greater Mark of Attack Speed

Greater Seal of Armor

Greater Seal of Scaling Armor

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist

Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist

Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed


I use Greater Mark of Attack Speed runes to give myself an extra 15% attack speed. Since I, Maokai, am spell dependent for clearing creep camps fast, I find attack speed makes killing the Big Wolf and Big Wraith easier. It also helps when I try to 1 v 1 the enemy jungler.


I use both Greater Seal of Armor and Greater Seal of Scaling Armor runes. I utilize the Greater Seal of Armor runes so the creeps don't scratch my bark early game, and I use the Greater Seal of Scaling Armor runes to reinforce my wood so it can be harder than rock Malphite.


I use both Greater Glyph of Magic Resist and Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist runes. No creeps do magic damage, so I focus on Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist to protect my pinecones during mid/late game team fights. I use the Greater Glyph of Magic Resist to safeguard my saplings when I Twisted Advance an AP like Evelynn.


I use Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed because it lets me travel across the map faster, increases my survivability, and increases the chance of a successful gank.

Guide Top

My Masteries


Guide Top

My Spells/Skill Sequence

Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

Arcane Smash

Sap Magic (Passive) keeps me alive during team battles. It makes me feel like a Rengar.

Arcane Smash
Arcane Smash damages all enemies who are knocked back or hit by the missile. Any enemies hit by the missile are slowed. Enemies are knocked back if they are "next to" me, even behind me. I make sure to walk behind the opponent after I Twisted Advance before I Arcane Smash so that I knock the enemy champion into my team.
Twisted Advance ROOTS the enemy. Even though the enemy can't move, they can still spell/auto-attack. This is my ganking spell; Sometimes I Flash + Twisted Advance if I want to surprise my victims.

Sapling Toss sends out one of my minions to do my bidding. He could be a Sight Ward or a homing missile. If I'm ganking a lane, I make sure to Sapling Toss right after I Twisted Advance but before I position myself to Arcane Smash.

Arcane Smash V. Sapling

Arcane Smash

Arcane smash
Spoiler: Click to view

Sapling Toss

Spoiler: Click to view

Guide Top

My Items

(Standard) Start

Machete + 5 Pots

The Hunter's Machete gives me 10% boost in damage to creeps/minions + 10 true damage every time I whack them with my arm; The Hunter's Machete also has good synergy with my Greater Mark of Attack Speed runes. The five Health Potions are for sustain.

Checkpoint #1

Spirit Stone + Boots

Spirit Stone gives me better clear time, decent HP Regen, and decent Mana Regen so I can give mid Blue Buff without running into mana problems. Boots of Speed give me more mobility around the map, increasing the chances of a successful gank or escape.
Gold Benchmark: 750G

Checkpoint #2

Boots of Mobility; Homeguard + Crystalline Flask (Luxury)

Boots of Mobility gives me the speed necessary to gank even if I pass through a Sight Ward. Enchantment: Homeguard gives me instant full HP and full Mana when I recall in addition to a Hecarim speed boost when I leave the fountain. Crystalline Flask is a luxury item; It is a nice item, but not important enough to delay my "core" build.
Gold Benchmarks: 1125G / 1470G

Checkpoint #3

Locket of the Iron Solari

Locket of the Iron Solari gives me HP, Armor, and Cooldown Reduction which makes jungling faster and helps me summon my minions sooner. Also Locket of the Iron Solari's active gives me the ability to cast a shield on myself and my allies. Taking into account I may need to recall before I bank 2000G, I adjusted the Gold Benchmarks.
Gold Benchmarks: 850G / 1330G / 2000G

Ranked 5'S VS Solo Queue


My fourth item depends on my team. Ruby Sightstone gives me free Sight Wards but if my team does not watch the minimap, what good are those Sight Wards? A Giant's Belt would be more efficient. If I can trust my team, like in Ranked 5's, I would buy a Ruby Sightstone. If I can't trust my team, like in Solo Queue, I would buy a Giant's Belt.
Gold Benchmark: 1300G

Guide Top

How I Decide What to Buy After My Core

Sunfire Cape

I only build Sunfire Cape if I buy Ninja Tabi or Mercury's Treads. The Sunfire Cape's DPS removes the extra Movement Speed from Boots of Mobility.

Randiuin's Omen

I build Randuin's Omen if I feel the enemy team is AD heavy. I can Twisted Advance into the enemy team to position myself for Randuin's Omen's active.

Spirit Visage

I build Spirit Visage if I feel the enemy team is slightly AP heavy. Spirit Visage's passive increase my Sap Magic's heal to 8.4% from 7% of my Maximum Health and increases Health Potion's Heal from 150 HP to 180HP.

Abyssal Scepter

I build Abyssal Mask if MY team is AP Heavy. The Abyssal Mask's Magic Resist Reduction Aura has good synergy with my Arcane Smash and Twisted Advance and increases my spell damage.

Warmog's Armor

I build Warmog's Armor if the enemy team does NOT have Elise, Fizz, Garen, Lee Sin, Xin Zhao, or Kog'Maw since their damage scales off %HP. Liandry's Torment's does becomes a problem if I build Warmog's Armor but that's why I build Spirit Visage or Abyssal Mask.

Runic Bulwark

I only build Runic Bulwark if the support is not building it. It's too good not to have, but for the role I play, I'm better off building Randuin's Omen, Frozen Heart, or Spirit Visage.

Iceborn Gauntlet

Iceborn Gauntlet is a fun, SITUATIONAL, item. Replaces Locket of the Iron Solari[/center]

Guide Top

When I Gank or Initiate Fights


arcane smash

I Twisted Advance onto the enemy...

Then I immediately Sapling Toss above the enemy...
arcane smash
Before the sapling lands, I walk behind the enemy and Arcane smash them towards the sapling

Things I avoid:

Initiating Teamfights

arcane smash

I Sapling Toss into blind spots (like the brush) so my team doesn't get flanked...

Then I Twisted Advance onto a "priority" target like the enemy AD Carry or AP Carry. If I have [Randuin's Omen] I could Twisted Advance to position myself in the middle of the enemy team...
arcane smash
Then I make sure to walk behind the champion I used Twisted Advance on then use Arcane Smash. I make sure the aim Arcane Smash towards the enemy AD Carry or AP Carry so that they are slowed by Arcane Smash's missile...

I delay casting Vengeful Maelstrom until I can predict where the most damage to my team will be dealt, since the Vengeful Maelstrom absorbs 20% damage. I particularly watch for AOE damage that come from champions like Fiddlesticks, Katarina, Ziggs, and Miss Fortune.

Things I avoid:

Guide Top

Thanks for Reading

Thank you for reading my guide on Maokai jungle...
If you find my build useful and effective, please upvote so as to make my guide more visible to others. If you downvote, please leave a reason why in the guide discussion.

I plan to keep my guide(s) up-to-date, so expect no less than the best.



Guide Top

My Other Jungle Guides

If you enjoyed this guide, check out my other jungle guides:


Guide Top

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why do you start with Arcane Smash instead of Sapling Toss?

I start with Q, Arcane Smash, instead of E, Sapling Toss, for a couple of reasons:

1) 0 Start-up time.
You need to start tossing saplings and stack them which takes some time. If you start too late, you slightly delay your clearing time. Start too early, you waste mana. If you start Arcane Smash you can be anywhere on the map and still start at any camp.
2) If the enemy invades, you are in trouble.
If you start saplings, you can't invade nor can you defend from an organized invade. If they decide on a delayed invade and you set-up your saplings before hand, they will push you out and you are left with a mana-dependent spell, little to no mana, with red buff, which means you will have a difficult time ganking early AND clearing camps efficiently. If you started Arcane Smash you can fight off an invade because of Arcane Smash's sustained damage and CC. If you decide to let the enemy team take your blue buff, you have a spammable, low-cost, AoE spell, decent starting mana pool, and Red buff. If you decide to farm you can grab Sapling Toss OR you can gank a lane with 3 CC @ lvl 2: ( Flash +) Twisted Advance + Arcane Smash + Red Buff . Scary.
3) More Sap Magic(Passive) procs.
Arcane Smash has a 6sec Cooldown. Sapling Toss has a 12sec Cooldown.

So in short, I feel that Arcane Smash is more stable. reliable, and versatile compared to Sapling Toss at Lvl 1.

Guide Top

Change Log

January 30, 2013

  • Guide completed
January 31, 2013
  • Added "Arcane Smash" V. "Sapling Toss" to the "My Spells/Skill Sequence" section
February 1, 2013
  • Changed the all the Rune Names and Icons to their "Greater" counterparts in the "My Runes" section
  • Added a "Quintessences" to the "My Runes" section
  • Added Icons to the "Initiating Teamfights" subsection in the "When I Gank or Initiate Fights" section
  • Updated Gold Benchmarks to Season 3 prices
  • Added a "Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)" section
    February 5, 2013
    • Added a "My Other Jungle Guides" section
      February 13, 2013
      • Changed some wording
      • Removed explanation of Masteries
      • Added Picture Breaks