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Maokai Build Guide by Weeznaz

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Weeznaz

Season 7 Maokai Runes/Item/Masteries discussion

Weeznaz Last updated on October 14, 2017
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Hello Summoners, my name is Weeznaz and I am writing this guide on one of my favorite tanks, because I think he is fun to play, and because after looking at the other guides I couldn't find one except C9 Balls' who expalined the item choices or rune.mastery set up in any great detail. So, I am here to do just that, help explain his item choices, rune set up, and mastery set up because Maokai is very flexible in build path.

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Maokai Introduciton

Maokai is an AP tank. His sustain, CC lockdown, respectable base values allow you to build him as a super tank, and he's a great disruptor and annoyance to the enemy team.

1: Lockdown CC: Twisted Advance + Nature's Grasp can hold enemy champions down for about 2 seconds
2: Doesn't need to build any damage items. Between base values, built in max health values, Sunfire Cape, Iceborn Gauntlet, or Abyssal Mask Maokai doesn't need to build more damage oriented items such as Rod of Ages
3: Respectable wave manipulation.

1: Late game damage is negligible (he can't 1 v 5 carry a late game teamfights)
2: Immobile: slow base movement speed and no direct movement abilities.
3: Twisted Advance is short range: in late game teamfights it usually requires FLASH, a well placed TELEPORT, or Righteous Glory active to lock on to a primary target.

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Rune Set Up Explained

Quints: There's really only one good option, flat AP quints. These are to help give you early game offensive properties, also because there aren't many other good places to fit in AP in a standard Maokai build.

Marks: There's really only one good option, Flat Attack Speed marks. This is because of your passive Sap Magic, which is not only reliant on lots of spell being cast around you, but you being able to auto attack targets. This is the only reasonable place to fit in attack speed in order to help you attack targets faster and trigger your passive faster in combat.

Seals: There are a couple of options here: Scaling Armor or Scaling Health. In a standard game I would go scaling armor because I will be getting magic resistance grom Quints and will be buying Righteous Glory as item 1, meaning I will need some resistances as I build flat health. Option 2 is scaling health, if you know ahead of time you are against a primarily magic damage enemy team then these seals will help you out more.

Glyphs: Scaling Magic Resistance, Scaling Cooldown Reduction, Scaling Health are all acceptable quints. In a blind mathcup, I tend to go for scaling magic resistance because that combined with scaling armor is a well rounded defense page. IF I know Ahead of time I am going up against a primarily AD team then I like to incorporate Scaling Health to increase my defenses. Alternatively I consider adding Scaling CDR glyphs because buying Spirit Visage isn't that great against an AD team, meaning you loose access to 10% CDR.

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Mastery Set Up

I go 12-0-18

Ferocity Tree

Tier 1: Maokai has multiple paths to AP (quints, Rod of Ages, Abyssal Mask, etc) so I can 5 points in Sorcery .

Tier 2: Expose Weakness is a reliable way to add damage against the enemy team assuming your ADC and or AP carry follow up on your engages.

Tier 3: Natural Talent : gives Maokai more AD an AP, good for more damage and helps last hitting.

Tier 4: Battle Trance is the most reliable of the given options to increase your damage by 5% since Maokai intends to constantly be in the middle of the enemy team, and Maokai gets tanky enough to last inside the fight for at least 5 seconds.

Maokai doesn't utilize any Ferocity Tree Ketstone masteris well so we don't go further in this tree.

Resolve Tree

Tier 1: I prefer to take 5 points in Unyielding since Maokai builds lots of resistances and I don't like base HP regen as a stat since it doesn't feel strong early game and it's irrelevant in the teamfight phase of the game.

Tier 2: I prefer Tough Skin as it consistently lets me be more tanky. Siegemaster is an intersting because if you are trying to survive a turret dive you can make the enemy team's job much harder, but when not under a tower this mastery is useless. If you know ahead of time you are about to he shoved in hard + turret dived I would take this mastery. If not, I wouldn't take this mastery.

Tier 3: I prefer to take 5 points in Runic Armor since Maokai has his passive Sap Magic. the extra 50 HP from Veteran's Scars isn't as valuable.

Tier 4: Perseverance isn't a good mastery on Maokai, I don't like base HP regen as a stat, and Fearless is a very tempting mastery, certainly giving value during teamfights. however I prefer Insight in order to make more Flash initiations/ make plays more often.

Tier 5: I prefer to take Swiftness because Tenacity is such a rare stat and CC is so common I take Tenacity wherever I can find it.

Tier 6: Either Grasp of the Undying or Courage of the Colossus . Grasp is reliable damage and makes Maokai harder to kill while Colossus makes Maokai much more "indestructible" and Maokai easily triggers this mastery with Twisted Advance.

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Item Discussion

Doran's Ring: Gives HP, AP, and mana regen making this a great first item.

Iceborn Gauntlet: This item gives armor, 20% CDR, and lots of much needed mana. This is a great early item to help with wave manipulation and AOE CC.

Sunfire Cape: gives good HP, the AOE burn helps with wave manipulation and AOE teamfight damage.

Mercury's Treads vs Boots of Swiftness: If against high AP threats and lots of CC then M. Treads are your way to go. If you are against lots of SLOWS then B.O.Swiftness are superior.

Rod of Ages: While this item's stats all work with Maokai, it takes 10 minutes for this item to fully unlock. If you are snowballing the game, then go right ahead and get this item. However, and this is usually the case I find, I prefer to go I. Gauntlet + S. Cape as this is a more consistent item purchase.

Righteous Glory: This item helps Maokai get into Twisted Advance range.

Spirit Visage: gives good HP, CDR, and Maokai has strong build in health regen effects so the unique passive on this item gets great useage.

Dead Man's Plate: A strong HP, armor, and early game item with its move speed increase.

Thornmail: A selfish item that helps Maokai stand toe to toe with AD based teams.

Locket of the Iron Solari: gives armor, magic resist, and a strong teamfight shield.

Zz'Rot Portal: Armor + magic resist + side wave pressure= options. make sure to coordinate with your team so this items pushes and you can be waiting cross map to make a play so you don't have to waste TP.

Banner of Command: See description for Zz'Rot Portal

Frozen Heart: 20% CDR + Mana + great response to attack speed based enemies.

Hextech GLP-800: Gives mana, AP, HP, and the active is useful for disengaging, or engaging if you play it right. Consider this a safer early game option than Rod of Ages.

Morellonomicon: Only build this if you are against an all AP team, in this case you can't build Iceborn Gauntlet or Frozen Heart so you need an option for mana + CDR.

Guardian Angel: While it has an awkward build path and low armor the unique passive can still be useful. Overall, a sub par armor item.

Randuin's Omen: Are you against a crit focused AD carry? Are they getting out of control. If the answer is yes then buy this item. If not, this item isn't necessary as the other armor items have more utility/ better early game benefits.

Knight's Vow: This is a sort of tag team item, it requires your ADC or your consistent magic damage AP carry to be on the ball, and if you work together you both become much harder to kill. This is a terrible item to purchase in laning phase. You need a few selfish tank items before you can make good use of this item. Just know if your damage source is on target you both can slug out drawn out teamfights.

Zeke's Harbinger: armor + magic resist + giving more power to your crit focused ADC or consistent damage carry if ahead= fun.

Zhonya's Hourglass: this item is expensive and gives low armor, but is FUN when used. This is a possibly good item against an all AD team.

Abyssal Mask: If against a team with heavy AP damage this item can be considered an option, but I would not purchase this before a Spirit Visage or Adaptive Helm as I feel the extra damage is not a fair trade in exchange for the extra tankiness of the other 2 options.

Adaptive Helm: A really strong response to lots of magic damage.

Gargoyle Stoneplate: Consider this a teamfight viagra pill: Gives lots of tank steroids. The item is a solid 3rd item slot pickup. The reduction in damage is not a huge deal since Maokai isn't expected to be doing the lion's share of damage in teamfights.

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Your thoughts

What do you think of my item guide? Did it help you or not? Let me know in the comment section.