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Maokai Build Guide by Fan22

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The Inmortal Tree [10.24] Top

By Fan22 | Updated on December 4, 2020
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Choose Champion Build:

  • LoL Champion: Maokai
    Tank Maokai
  • LoL Champion: Maokai
    Extended Fights Maokai
  • LoL Champion: Maokai
    Jungle Maokai

Runes: Grasp page

1 2 3
Grasp of the Undying
Bone Plating

Biscuit Delivery
Magical Footwear

+10% Attack Speed
+6 Armor
+6 Armor


Normal Spells
LoL Summoner Spell: Flash


LoL Summoner Spell: Teleport


LeagueSpy Logo
Support Role
Ranked #4 in
Support Role
Win 54%
Get More Stats

Ability Order Abilities Sequence

Threats & Synergies

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Extreme Threats
Ideal Synergies

Champion Build Guide

The Inmortal Tree [10.24] Top

By Fan22
Hello! this is my first guide so feedback and comments are aprecciated!
remember this guide it's now WIP because of preseason.
So im gonna update it with time and based on what riot does whit preseason and changes to the game.

Who i am? Im Fan22 a standard player who plays tanks and mages principaly, i play on the LAS server, aside from that i don't have lots of achievements on league.
I also play rankeds and i Mainly use: Jax, Nasus, Singed, Maokai(duh), Malphite, Tryndamere, Cho'Gath and Blitzcrank.

Remember that im not an expert on Maokai, but im always triying to improve,
and Have on mind english it's not my main Language so there can be ortography errors, if you see one please comment them to improve this guide!

Aside from that theres not much left to say from me, lets go ahead with the guide.
Why Maokai? Back to Top

+Has a lot of CC and can shutdown a target in almost every phase of the game.
+With 2 items you become really tanky.
+You sustain yourself super good thanks to your passive Sap magic healing.
+Has good engages and peel in teamfights.
+Easy to play, abilities are very straighfoward.
+Point n click CC with twisted advance.
+Has some peeling with Q.
+Good even if behind thanks to the utility you can provide.
+Can give vision of bushes with Sappling toss.


-Needs to scale and get some items to.
-Weak early game.
-You relie in your team and good Teamfights to succed.
-Struggles against true damage and armor penetration.
-Can be easily countered thorugh items.
-Ranged matchups can punish hard your early game.
-High CD abilities early and very mana hungry.
-No mobility or escape when flash its on CD.
-Your ultimate it's very slow.
-Gets kited as he has no gapcloser and W has low range.

Overall Maokai it's a fun and easy to use Tank that can be really useful in teamfights because of his high CC and the capacity to incapacitate and shutdown a concrete target.
Late game after getting yout items your sustain, CC and tankyness it's one of the highest, in pair with your damage, since Mao base admaage and atk speed are high
Even if he is easy to use his abilities have some little things that make a difference from a good and bad Maokai, also, he has good vision control with his E and a big teamfighting potential with a good landed R in 2 or more champs.
Maokai it's also very versatile on builds, you can build him ap and support and almost any item can work on him, and most of tank or ap items have sinergy whit him.

But Maokai has also his weaknesses, he has no gapcloser or movement speed buff to engage, so you relie on using E, R or waiting for your team to get in a TF to use your abilities, R and E are very slow, which means that you need to know how to use eficciently those abilities,
You are also Very weak in early game, Mana hungry, have no moblity.

If you don't coordinate well with your teammates it's very likely that you are just gonna get blownup or CC'ed to death, and Maokai has no easy way to escape other than Flash.
Abilities Back to Top
Maokai Abilites

Passive Sap Magic
When Sap magic it's ready Maokai's next basic attack against a non-structure unit heals him for 5 - 13% of his maximum health) (based on level).

Also, each time Maokai casts an ability or is struck by an enemy's ability, Sap Magic's cooldown its reduced by 4 seconds.

Note: 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 and sends an arcane shockwave forward, dealing 70 - 230 (+40% of ability power ) magic damage and slowing his enemies by 99% for 0.25 seconds. Enemies close to Maokai when bramble smash it's casted are knocked back.

W Twisted Advance
Maokai transforms into a cloud of arcane energy, becoming untargetable and quickly traveling to the enemy target.
The target takes 70 - 170 (+40% of ability power) magic damage and is rooted for 1 - 1.4 seconds (based on ability level).

E Sapling Toss
Maokai hurls a sapling into the targeted area. The sapling becomes implanted in the ground, warding the nearby area for 30 seconds.
After a 1 second delay after it lands, the sapling will seek out for nearby enemies, if an enemy approaches the sapling will chase for up to 2.5 seconds and explode in an arcane blast that deals 25 - 125 plus 7 - 8% of the target's max health (+1% per 100 ability power) as magic damage to enemies and slows them by 35% for 2 seconds.

If the Sapling it's tossed into a brush it will instead last 30 (+2.5% of Maokai bonus health) seconds and have a larger detonation radius.
Enemies caught in the explosion receive a total of 200% damage(which it's dealt over the duration) and are revealed for 2 seconds.

Notes: Saplings have 400 base movement speed, increasing based on Maokai's boots.
Sapling Toss's damage against non-champions its capped at 300 (empowered sapling damage over time has a 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 of them 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 the distance traveled).
Items & Runes (WIP) Back to Top
*Before we dive into Maokai items and runes i want to give a short explanation about the itemization, first, the builds i give are considered Standard builds, this means that some items should be changed based on whats happening in Your matches, an example would be: I recommend Randuin's Omen as a fifth item, but the enemy team has a Cassiopeia and a Seraphine and you already have some armor for Lucian and Lee Sin, in that case going Randuin's Omen might not be the best option, in this example buying a Force of Nature would be a better idea.
The same applies with other situational items like Thornmail or Randuin's Omen.
So don't take all i say in the guide literally, always adapt your playstyle to what you think it's better, or to what suits your whay to play better!

The second thing about items it's that Maokai will always want items that have HP, CDR and resistances (Armor and MR), but from all stats Health its the best one since Maokai Passive and E have Max health scaling on them and some items and runes also scale with HP.

Sunfire Aegis

Sunfire Aegis it's a really good mythic for Maokai, it gives you Health, armor and MR and 15 ability haste (cdr).
the Bami's Cinder passive gives Maokai better wave clear and damage, allowing you to push lanes or farm jungle monsters more easily.

And the other passive, Flametouch, gives you stacks for every second you burn a Champion or Epic monsters with Bami's Cinder, every stack makes Bami's Cinder deal increased burn damage.
At the maximum of 6 stacks you get your attacks will explode around you and apply the burn damage to the enemy for 3 seconds.

This passive goes really well with Maokai since he is very good in long fights and can survive for a long time, Sunfire Aegis gives additional damage to maokai and better fighting, this is good when playing against bruisers or fighters that also like extended fights.

Another good part about this mythic it's that it gives passively 5% additional Ability haste for every legendary item completed, CDR it's a very good stat for Maokai lowering the cooldowns of your CC.

Frostfire Gauntlet

Frosfire Gauntlet it's another mythic that works well with Maokai, it gives Health, lots of armor and some MR and ability haste.

It has Bami's Cinder passive for wave clearing.

Aside from the burn passive from bamis it has another one that makes your next AA
create a field of ice that slows, the slow scales with your Max health.
This gives more utility for Maokai or while waiting for cooldowns, and health it's a core stat on him.

The mythic passive gives you additional size and HP for every legendary item. The extra health its super good for you and the extra size comes as a litte extra, being bigger also means having a bigger hitbox tho..

Turbo Chemtank

This mythic gives health, some armor and a lot of MR and ability haste.

It has (like the other mythics) Bami's Cinder passive for wave clearing.

The strenght of this item resides on it's mythic passive and active.

The active grants you 75% bonus movement speed and ghosting for 4 seconds when moving towards a turret or a visible enemy champion.
After the duration it's over or when coliding with an enemy Champion you emit a shockwave that slows enemys hit by 40% for 2 seconds.

This active helps a lot when engaging and its basically the same as old righteous glory, almost.

The mythic passive gives 5% tenacity and slow resistance for every completed legendary item. The extra tenacity and the active works well on champs that want to engage on TF or unaware enemies. However it is possibly the weakest out of the 3 mythics, so build it when Engage it`s necessary, for example against: Seraphine, Lucian, Lulu, Ezreal, Brand, Ryze, etc... generally any heavy CC champ or carry.

Plated Steelcaps

Steelcaps gives some armor and reduces AA's damage.
Higly recommended against a mostly AD team or against champs that relie on AA, like:
Lucian, Ashe, Jax, Tryndamere, Fiora, Sett, etc..

Mercury's Treads

Mercury treads gives some MR and Tenacity.
Higly recommended against a mostly AP team or against champs with heavy CC, like:
Cho'Gath, Maokai (ironically), Brand, Morgana, Ryze, Thresh, Leona etc..

Spirit Visage

Spirit visage gives 40 MR, 10% Ability haste and 450 health and 100% base HP regen, the stats, and especially the big amount of HP are really good for Maokai.
Spirit visage passive has a really good sinergy with Maokai passive.
It increases 25% of the healings and shieldings you receive, wich empowers Sap magic already powerful healing (if you have some health items).
The stats combined with the item passive makes spirit visage a very recommended item, the shielding increase also comes in handy if you have an enchanter with shields on your team.[/columns]


Thornmail it's a really good item, wich, works and it's bought on almost any game.
it gives 60 armor and 350 Health.

Aside from the stats Thornmail passive it's very good against AA champs, mostly ADC's or some bruisers, it deals magic damage (+10% of your armor) to the attacker when you get hit by an AA, and applys grievous wounds to them, theres also a improved grievous wounds effect that reduces healings for 60% when inmobilizing an enemy, This is very good since champs like: Aatrox, Sylas, Vladimir, Mordekaiser, Soraka, Nami, etc.. Dont use attacks too much, or maybe not on you, and this effect can apply to those champs (the stronger version) grievous wounds even if they don't autoattack you.

Overall the grievous wounds, the passive damage to autoattackers and armor and Health make this item in my opinion a really good option in most matches. However if there arent heavy AA champions or a lot of healings there are other good Armor options like Frozen Heart and Randuin's Omen, or gargoyle's stoneplate for mixed damage and TF's.

Abyssal Mask

Abyssal mask gives 60 MR and 350 of health, it gives really good quantitys of MR and health.
Aside from the stats, one of the main points of abyssal it's the passive, when we inmobilize an enemy it will receive 10% increased damage for 4 seconds.
This passive gives Maokai additional damage, and when you inmobilize someone in a TF, if your team focuses that target, it will receive a lot more damage, wich its pretty good on any situation!
It gives really good MR but the health values are ok, other items like Spirit Visage or Knight's Vow have more HP.

Dead man's plate

Deadmans gives better engage potential thanks to it's passive, wich requires to walk and get stacks of momentum, at 100 stacks we get more movement speed and our next AA will consume the stacks to deal magic damage equal to them and slow the enemy.

The stats are also really good Vs. AD, gives 475 Health, 40 armor and 5% movement speed.
The passive movement speed and extra damage in the next AA gives Maokai better engages in a pretty consistent way.
Even if the armor values aren't too high they are still good, and you also get additional movement speed wich combines with the idea of the item.

Warmog's Armor

Warmog armor gives 800 points of Health, 10% ability haste and 200% base HP regen.
In the late game this item it's very good because your passive scales with a percentage of your health, so having warmogs incredibly boosts your passive healing, and warmogs passive gives you insane sustain for or after figths in 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 an effective buy and 3K of HP to work.

Knight's vow

Knights vow its a powerful item that can turn some kills into a complete stomp, either for You and your Adc or Meele hyper Carry.
This item gives 400 Health, 300% base HP regen and 10% ability haste.
The additional HP regeneration and health values paired with some CDR makes this a very good option even if there isnt a 27/1/9 Tristana, it works if you are tanky enough to help an important ally to survive.

The item passive, wich it's the main point of it, works this way:
You select a champion as your Partner, while you are close to him you redirect 15% of the damage they take to you, and if they are below 50% of their maximum health you gain 35% bonus movement speed while moving towards them.

As explained above, this Item can boost a feed carry from your team and lets you peel and protect them better. I really recommend this item for helping a feed teammate, even if he dies, and if you still have the active, you can use it on another ally.
This item in conbination whit a Zeke's Convergence helps a feed ADC or meele carry to get more power and lets them Snowball even harder and win the game more easily! BUT remember, this item it's good if theres a carry or damage champion in your team that you should protect, or if you are behind, otherwise other items might be better for the situation of the game.
Laning Phase and Tips (WIP) Back to Top


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 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 the Early game its that Maokai notoriously starts to become Tanky, in this phase you still want to farm and Steal jungle camps from the enemy if its safe to do as much as you can.
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 Teamfights 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 Adc's and mages late game will also have items to ignore your tanquiness and melt you or s squisht teammate, against items like Blade of the Ruined King, Liandry's Anguish, Kraken Slayer or Lord Dominik's Regards you can die quickly if you and your team don't fight and position well in Teamfights.
Remember that most items have some kind of counterplay, so always build against them and their user, for example kraken slayer has true damage, but if you buy more HP and also a Frozen Heart, you can diminish the items efficacy.

In the late game your Job its to protect your team and CC important targets, engaging in teamifghts while your team does the other part, always prioritize the ADC if it has items and isnt too behind.
Maokai can CC and endure a lot of damage, which can be Useful for your team to kill dangerous enemys and Hyper carrys.
And with a Thornmail or a Force of Nature combined with your Sap Magic passive, geting hit by abiltiies or attacks actually helps you to destroy the enemy.

In Lategame Maokai can either CC targets eternally and never die n' win the game or you get melted by a Master Yi and Brand.
But always remember that even if you get melted by the enemy you still are a high threath for them because of your strong Peeling, Vision and CC.


Some general information about Maokai and his abilities.

* Bramble Smash it's a really good to tool to quickly disengage while in a fight or short trade, this works better against bruisers, remember to use Q after the used their mobility spells, for example after Wukong used E or Jax Q.

* Twisted Advance will follow the champions before arriving and rootign them, meaning that if they Flash or Dash you will travel wth them in the destination.
This is important against champions with high mobility like Jhin Zed Wukong Camille Fizz Lee Sin, etc...

* Maokai passive, Sap Magic,cooldown reduction works on every ability, even those that are On-hit or a little special, for example Shen Q, Jax W, Samira Q, well, literally any ability.
What is extended fights Maokai? (WIP) 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 also applied when going 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.
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