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Maokai Build Guide by Fan22

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The inmortal Tree [10.21] Maokai Top

By Fan22 | Updated on October 18, 2020
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Choose Champion Build:

  • LoL Champion: Maokai
    Extended Fights and Conqueror build
  • LoL Champion: Maokai
    Tank Maokai
  • LoL Champion: Maokai
    Jungle Maokai

Runes: Grasp page

1 2 3
Grasp of the Undying

Magical Footwear
Biscuit Delivery

+10% Attack Speed
+6 Armor
+6 Armor


1 2
Normal Spells
LoL Summoner Spell: Flash


LoL Summoner Spell: Teleport


LeagueSpy Logo
Top Lane
Ranked #23 in
Top Lane
Win 53%
Get More Stats

Ability Order Standard Abilities Sequence

Threats & Synergies

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Extreme Threats
Ideal Synergies

Champion Build Guide

The inmortal Tree [10.21] Maokai Top

By Fan22
!Hello this is my first guide, so feedback and comments are aprecciated¡
remember this guide its very recently and its a little bit incomplete, so i will update it always i can. I still need to try some of the builds or items listed here and some other things, so please keep checking it out!

¿Who i am?

Im Fan22, a standard Player who likes off-meta builds, i play on the LAS server, i also play rankeds and i Mainly use: Jax , Nasus , Singed , Maokai(duh) , Malphite , Tryndamere , Cho'Gath and Blitzcrank.
Keep in mind im just only an averague Maokai player, but im triying to get better at him, also english its not my main language so there can be ortography errors, if you see one please comment it to improve this guide ;)
Aside from that theres not much left to say from me, lets see Maokai stuff!
¿Why Maokai? Back to Top

+Once you get 2 items you become really tanky.
+You sustain yourself really well thanks to your passive Sap magic.
+With righteous glory you can make really good engagues.
+Can solo kill people with certain items like sunfire cape or liandry´s and high sustain.
+Very easy to play, but requires some knowledge on your abilities and their cooldowns for success.
+Good point n click CC with twisted advance.
+Has decent peeling with Q.
+Even if you are behind you can give your team a lot of CC.
+Sligthly Perma CC with W+Q+R combo.

Maokai it´s a pretty funny and easy to use tank that can turn teamfights into his favor with high CC and capacity to incapacitate and shutdown a target, but even if he is easy to use some of your abilities have some little tricks and interactions with other abilities that in my opinion makes Mastering Maokai worth, also he has good vision with his E and a big teamfighting potential with a good landed R.

-Needs Items for being useful, and time to scale.
-You relie a lot in your team and Good Teamfights.
-Struggles against true damague or armor penetration champs.
- Rangued matchups makes you useless into mid/late game.
-High CD abilities early and mana hungry.
-No mobility or escape aside from movement speed items like Shurelya's Reverie.
-Your ultimate it´s really hard to use.
-If an enemy gets out your of rangue you can´t do nothing.
-Weak vs. AA reliant champs, as they dont reduce the cooldown of your passive at difference of mages.
-Bad early game, early game champs can destroy you.

I think Maokai its a pretty fun tank who can deal good damague while also being a tank, and in season 10 with the new dragons and slightly buffs to tanks(Aftershock buffs for example), tanks and Maokai has became a little better, thanks to the Mountain Dragon Buff wich gives extra % of Armor and MR.

Maokai its really good in long fights and can sustain himself a lot with Sap magic, Grasp of the Undying,
and Revitalize, also his engages with a Righteous Glory are very powerful, especcialy if you Flash+ W in to the enemy Carry or Support.
But remember he isn´t an Early game champion, your goal it´s to survive and become a beast in the lategame.

Even if his kit of Abilities are not very "Mechanic" like the kit of Yasuo or Lee Sin, He has some tricks that in my opinion distinguiss a good Maokai player, but principally, what makes a good Maokai player it´s knowing when to use your abilities and how to deal with the enemy and make godd engages.

He is also very versatile and you can make lots of different builds apart from Tank, and it can still work (somehow) if you know what you are doing.
And he can be played in other roles like Jungle, Support and even Mid if you are against an AD assasin or Vs an inmobile mage.
Abilities Back to Top
Maokai Abilites

Passive Sap Magic
Periodically, Maokai's next basic attack against a non-structure heals him for 5 / 15 / 25 / 35 / 45 / 55 / 65 (+6 / 7.5 / 9 / 10 / 11 / 12 / 13% maximum health) (based on level).

Each time Maokai casts an ability or is struck by an enemy's ability, Sap Magic's cooldown is reduced by 4 seconds.
Sap Magic will not trigger if Maokai is above 95% health.

Cooldown: 30/25/20 seconds (at levels 1/6/11)

Q Bramble Smash
Maokai slams the ground, the force of which knocks nearby enemies back and sends an arcane shockwave forward, dealing 70 / 115 / 160 / 205 / 250 (+40% of ability power ) magic damage and slowing his enemies by 99% for 0.25 seconds. Enemies close to Maokai are knocked back slightly more.

W Twisted Advance
Maokai transforms into a cloud of arcane energy, becoming untargetable and quickly traveling to a target enemy. The target takes 70 / 95 / 120 / 145 / 170 (+40% of ability power) magic damage and is rooted in place for 1 / 1.1 / 1.2 / 1.3 / 1.4.

E Sapling Toss
Maokai hurls a sapling to a target area. The sapling becomes implanted in the ground, warding a nearby area for 30 seconds. After a 1 second delay after landing, the sapling will seek out nearby enemies. When an enemy approaches, the sapling will chase for up to 2.5 seconds and explode in an arcane blast that deals 25 / 50 / 75 / 100 / 125 plus 7 / 7.25 / 7.5 / 7.75 / 8% (+1% per 100 ability power) of target's maximum health as magic damage to enemies and slows them by 35% for 2 seconds.
Saplings have 400 base movement speed, increasing based on Maokai's boots.

Saplings tossed into brush last 30 (+2.5% of Maokai's bonus health) seconds and have a larger detonation radius. Enemies caught in the explosion take 67% damage on detonation plus two additional ticks of 67% damage over 2 seconds.

Sapling Toss's damage against non-champions is capped at 300 (empowered sapling damage over time has its own cap, for a total of 600 per empowered sapling)

R Nature's Grasp
Maokai summons a colossal wall of 5 thorny brambles that slowly advances forward, each one stopping at the first enemy champion they collide with, dealing 150 / 225 / 300 (+75% of ability power) magic damage and rooting them for 0.8-2.6 seconds (based on distance traveled).
Items & Runes Back to Top
*Maokai items will always be those that gives him more HP, CDR, and resistance(AR and MR), but of all stats HP its the best one since Maokai passive and E scale from maokai´s Max HP.

  • Sunfire Cape
  • Sunfire cape its a really good item for Maokai, it gives you Armor and health to survive AD lanes and the passive gives Maokai better wave clear and damage, allowing you to push lanes or farm jungle monsters more easily.
    If you need MR bbut waant the wavecleeaar of sunfire cape then just buy bamis cinder and finish a MR item first and later your sunfire.

    It´s a obligaroty item to have unless you are against an AP/mage champion,
    like Mordekaiser, Teemo or Rumble.

  • Spirit Visague
  • Spirit visague has really good sinergy with maokais passive.
    Increasing 30% of your healings, wich upgrades SapSap magic.
    The MR and health are really good for Maokai, but the most important
    part its the passive increased healings.

  • Righteous Glory
  • This item it´s very good, for Maokai, it gives you health, armor and mana.
    The active part of the item let´s you easily engague in a teamfight and get into the enemy adc, also slowing him.
    I recommend buying a Glacial Shroud in the early game since Maokai it´s really mana hungry, later you can use it to complete this item.

  • ] Dead man´s Plate
  • Deadmans gives a lot of power to maokai, gives good health and armor values, and its passive movement speed and extra damague gives Maokai better engages without having to sacrifice some resistance unlike other items like righteous glory.
    This item is very good for full AD comps.
    The downside of this item its that it doesnt give CDR a super good stat in mao for spamming more his Q and W.

  • Warmogs Armor
  • Warmog it´s an obligatory item for Maokai in late game, remember that your passive scales whit your health, so having a warmogs incredibly boosts your passive healing and gives you insane sustain for figths lategame.
    Aside from the the passive healing of Warmogs, the 10% Cdr and Health makes you super tanky, i recomend buying Warmogs after you have your third or fourth item since it isnt good as an early item and its passive requires 1 or 2 items to be effective, and 3k HP to work.
  • Knight's Vow
  • Knights vow its a powerful item that can turn some kills into a complete stomp, either for You or your Adc or meele Hyper carry.
    This item doesn´t give much armor and health, but it gives CDR and has an amazing passive! and thats the reason why we buy it.

    You select a champion as your Partner, while you are close to him you gain 20 armor and you increase your movement speed when walking towards them.
    The important part is the other passive, which (when in a 1000 range units from your Partner) heals you from a % of the damague they deal, and you re-direct a % of the damage he receives to yourself as true damague, this effects are reduced if the partner or the one who bought the item is Ranged.

    As explained above, this Item can boost a lot a feed carry (either meele or rangue)from your team and lets you peel and protect them better as the game goes on, always use this item on a feed teammate, if he dies and you still have the active use it on another teammate, this item in conbination whit zeke´s convergeance helps a feed Adc or meele carry lots of power and lets them Snowball even harder and win the game more easily! BUT only buy this item if your ADC it´s doing well, otherwise get other items.
  • Rod of Ages
  • RoA its a really good item on maokai since it gives you more mana, ap and health which are really good things, especially the mana in early after you make a Catalyst of Aeons, and also both passives combine with Maokai, regenrating HP everytime you use an ability its super good especially in the extended fights build, and the "scaling passive" of RoA its also good in Maokai because its give a lot of AP and HP in late game, however if you are Really behind i do not recommend building this item since it takes 10mins to scale and doesn´t gives MR or Armor.

  • Iceborn Gauntlet
  • IBG it's a good item on Maokai, gives you 20%CDR, mana, armor, and its passive gives you an slow effect and the sheen damage.
    I recomend buying this item after your first item since IBG doesnt give any health, but i recomend getting its mana components early for mana sustain
Laning Phase and Tips Back to Top
How To Play


In lane you need to Farm the best you can, and sometimes trade with the enemy (especially if you have Grasp so you can prock it and get free hp), if you fight someone try to be near a bush so your Sappling toss E makes more Damague, and while fighting remember to use your Corrupting potion if you have it.

Remember that Maokai its not a really good champ Early game, so, if you want to Fight the enemy toplaner do it at LV 4 or 5 when you have 2 or more points in your Q. Your Q doesnt do muchdamage before you have 2 or 3 points on it, this is important when clearing waves without bamis cinderBamis cinder since Q lv1 its pretty weak, So lv1 last hit with AutoAttacks.

Also don´t fights enemys that you know can Wreck you in long fights or short trades
like Darius, Sett, Mordekaiser, Olaf, Fiora, or even Cho Gath and other tanks. Only fight them if you are Really confident that you can kill them, or you have a bramble vest, or if your jungler is going to Gank.
But in Early game in general you dont whant to figth and just farm with AA and sometimes with Q, dont spam it since it runs you Out of Mana pretty quickly if you do.

You can start doing more agressive trades with the enemy if you have atlesat 2 items components of either spirit visaguespirit visague or sunfire cape tossSunfire cape.

Remember to use your sappling tossE in a bush if you have Mana so you can have more vision, using your sappling toss E can Easily prevent ganks in early game, this is recommended against agressive early game champs like Lee Sin, Olaf or Xin Zhao.
Tthe duration of your Sapplings scales with your Max Health, so the more tank you are the more vision you can give.

And, as last, Don´t forget to look at the Map for a potential
TP in botlane or skirmishes in the jungle or mid, you can also tp to help your team in a dragon fight.

So, after the turrets start falling and people already have 1 or 2 items its when you enter the mid game, and here the difference from Early game Maokai its very notorious since you start to become Tanky, in this phase you still want to farm and also Steal jungle camps from the enemy if its secure, however here you should start to Group with your team and help in fights, also rememmber to Ward and use your sappling toss E to get vision, this is extremely important when Fighting for Dragons.

In fights or TF your job its to CC juggernauts like Darius away from your team, and sometimes peel the adc.
Also, if you see the opportunity to engage and CC the enemy support, Adc or midlaner do it, shutdown them so that your team can kill them.

After you have 4 or 5 or All your items you start to become Really hard to kill, the problem its that most Adc´s and mages late game have lots of items to ignore your tanquiness and melt you, and with items like BoTRK you can die quickly if you and your them don´t go and postion well in TeamFights.
Here in late always protect your team and CC importan targets, always prioriting the ADC, if it has items and isn´t to behind. Maokai can CC and endure a lot of damage, which can be Useful for your team to kill dangerous enemys and Hyper carrys.

In Lategame Maokai can either CC targets eternally and never die and win the game or you can get melted by a Master Yi and mages. But always remember that even if you get melted by the enemy you still are a threath for the enemy because of your Strong Peeling and CC potential.
How to play Extended fights Maokai Back to Top
Before i explain how I think you should play when going the Extended fights build i want to say that most of what i say here can be applied even if you go Full Tank Maokai.

The items you want to make in this build are: CDR, Health and Ap items.
The extended fight build its like Tank maokai but with a more AP bruiser type of items such as liandry´s torment, RoA or IceBorn Gauntlet, in general you want to still be a Tank but with a little more of damage in longer fights.

But sometimes you can´t make scaling items like RoA in lanes like Aatrox or Olaf because in that cases you need to make more Resistance and situational items like bramble vest.

Generally with this Build you want to stay the longest time possible in a fight with an enemy, because if you have 2 or 4 of the Extended fights items you should have Good damage and enough resistance and Health to fight someone.
BUT, have on mind that even if the Ext.fights build helps Maokai to win almost any fight, that "almost" means that even with this Build, champs such as Darius, Mordekaiser, Fiora, Sett and Camille can still destroy, alone and especially if the support or one their teammates comes to kill you, since Maokai doesnt have mobility.

If you use the Conqueror rune the best way to proc it fast its making the W+aa+E+aa+Q Combo.
rod of aguesRoA and Liandrys are super good items in this build, the first one helps us by getting a little amount of hp when casting a spell and mana when getting damaged, and if whe get the full stacks we can get 100Ap and good quantity of HP and Mana, but this item dosn't give Maokai resistance (armor and mr).

The reason why Liandrys its soo good (in paper) its because it gives you AP and health, and has an amazing passive that enhances you in a long fight, and in combination with the Max health damage from Sapling Toss and Liandrys torment you can make a good chunk of damague to enemys that stack HP like you. But the problem with liandrys its that it doesnt have you Armor or Magic resistance, so you should do this item after getting 1 or 2 items and boots.
Season 10 changes Back to Top
Here im gonna put anything new that can affect Maokai in the pacht notes.

[10.8]With the changes to the jungle and The tank jungle item, Maokai should be a little bit better when jungling, and it let´s not go trought maokais early game.

With the buffs to Sunfirecape it has become a more important item than before in his builds, Sunfire cape allows maokai to deal more damague by buying health and increases your wave clearing.

The buffs to garen and ryze are very bad maokai or any tank, especially from ryze, even if you CC him well he can still Oneshot you and your entire team (if he is even), so try to put him behind and focus him in TeamFights.

[10.10] Changes: Maokai got his base mana nerfed and his Q now costs 10 more mana, even if it is a little nerf, it hurts a lot Maokai in the early game since Maokai its very mana hungry early, making you be more careful when using Q for farming safe or for harrasing your opponent.
With this changes mana items for Maokai now are better options, items like [item=RIGHTEOUS GLORY size=40]righteous glory gives you mana ,CDR and health, wich is great.
anyway its not a big nerf so dont worry too much, just use mana runes and spam Q less.

[10.13] Changes: The buff to Gnar its quite scary, Maokai can mostly perma CC gnar and kill him, but this and the other buffs in the last patches makes the Gnar matchup really bad, also gnar in his Mega form has an insane engage with W + R + Q, Gnar can make most of games really annoying, but its winnable if not feed, get help from your jungler.
Also, the little changes to AP kog maw are scary as Maokai, mostly because his W has % max HP damague, which counters a huge Tank like mao, even if he goes Ad kog always has some ap from items or runes.
Here Ornn received a well appreciated nerf, wich is always good.
The changes (or nerfs) to Conqueror helps Maokai when laning against a Bruiser, making them a little bit less threatening, especially those who dont stack Conq well, but this also nerfs Conqueror Maokai, making it an more off-meta rune.

[10.14] Changes: The Riven buffs makes her a more difficult opponent for Maokai, beetwen her healing from runes & early [item=deaths dance size=70]DD and extreme mobility, Riven can make Mao´s weak early a Nightmare.
The buffs to Kha'Zix also are scary since a feed k6 with Black cleaver can even kill maokai, especially in the early-mid game, remember to buy armor.
The nerfs to Wukong, Volibear and Trundle are super good for Maokai,
these 3 can be very hard to deal, especially early game, late game with the rigth itemization and if not feed you can deal wit them.

[10.16] Fiora it's buffed and sett it's nerfed, sett nerfs ae really good for maokai but fiora buffs are Very bad for us theres also other buffs and nerfs to champions that Maokai faces in toplane and lategame.

[10.20] Maokai nerfs for his Q damage, they arent veery big but they are still nerfs for your late game damage.
League of Legends Build Guide Author Fan22
Fan22 Maokai Guide
The inmortal Tree [10.21] Maokai Top
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