Maokai Build Guide by Fan22
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Extended Fights Maokai
Runes: Grasp Runes #1
+10% Attack Speed
+10% Attack Speed
+10% Attack Speed
Ability Order Abilities Sequence
Threats & Synergies
Fiora is a pain in the sapling for Maokai and every Tank, because of the %Max health True Damague she makes with her passive and Ult, and she can also block damague and CC´s effects with her Riposte (W), Making this lane a living hell. Tips: Don´t try to fight her and start with Dorans shield, also running Second Wind can ve useful. Wait for ganks and kill her with your icredible CC. Making Bramble vest and using ignite can help you to deny her healings.
In my opinion you can survive this lane if you play well and coordinate with your jungler, because remember Maokai is really good helping in ganks, and when Camille uses E if you time right your W you can follow her, but be careful not to run into her tower. What makes this matchup difficult its the True damague of her Q and high mobility with extra movement speed from Q and the E long Dash, and if she is feed it can be dificult to your team to shut her down since camille with 2 or items can kill with no problem a squishy champ and after that 1v3 or 1v4 your team. I recommend thornmail against her since camille always builds/ or has some form life steal. in the early game play as passively as possible an go Aftershock.
For me this lane is annoying because of the % current health damague from his spammable Q and magic resistance he gain from his E. But the worse thing is his W which gives Dr.mundo Tenacity which therefore reduces the duration of CC, wich lets your abilities usseles against him since he has so much Tenacity. Bramble vest helps you to reduce his healings, even if hi has magic damague from his Q and W, so buying some MR its good in lane for reducing his damague.
I don't personally think tryndamere it's really a hard matchup for Maokai, only in the early and if he gets anti-tank items, after you get a Bramble vest, Sunfire aegis or items like Frozen heart he can't do much damage to you. The problem with trynd it's that if he get's early kills from his random crits it can be difficult to deal with him and his splitpush, not much for you because you are very hard to kill for a tryndamere, but for your team, since most of the times Tryndamere will just ignore tanks and go to kill the Supp, mage or Adc. Trynd its a splitpusher so you can most of the times just smash the enemy team inTeamfights and get a lead, but always be aware of the map to stop him from getting free turrets and inibids.
She will make a lane against her a living hell. For Maokai illaoi it´s really hard to deal, as she deals a lot of damague and % Max health damague and heals a good amount of Hp, also illaoi will poke 24/7. Bramble vest and ignite can help you to reduce her healings and possibly kill her, try kill her pre-6 and when hits lv6 try to dodgue her R, dodging her E also helps you to not get destroyed.
Yi its a 50 / 50 matchup, like most hyper carrys. If he gets ahead its very difficult to shut him down, if he it's even your probabilities increase a lot. Try to not give him kills and help your team in Teamfights to lock down Yi to kill him, since after casting Q and cancelling his W he doesnt have much resources to anything. The problem with Master yi ti's his true damage, and On-hit damage from items. Always look to what he is building and adapt to it, is he going crit with kraken slayer? go Frozen heart, randuins, thornmail.
Probably the worst champion to deal as Maokai, but not impossible. The reason why its from her high mobility from Q, perma invisibility, true damage based on your max HP and additional movement speed from her passive. If she goes Top you should buy a Dorans shield and wait until you get Ganked to kill her, since there isn't much you can do on your own. Vayne can be easily locked with High CC, concretely your W, giving your team opportunitys to kill her. If she is the ADC you are a little more safe since you don't have to lane against her, but when mid-late game comes you are screwed. CC her everytime you can in teamfights and help your team to shut her down, items like Chemtank and Deadmans can help to engage. (Remember that Oracle lens can help you to deal with her invisibility) another important thing it's that vayne it's a Single Target champion, this means that if 2 or 3 champions go for her vayne can be killed with CC, if she doesnt kite.
Teemo it´s not really hard if you make Doran´s shield and endure his poke. Once you had Spirit visague or Adaptative Helm you can kill him, remember to ask your jungler for ganks because as always you can easily CC teemo and kill him with some help. Aftershock it´s recommended against teemo because you cant proc Grasp too much because his Q(blinding) doesnt lets you AA.
Nasus is an easy lane, but his late game its better and he can ignore your CC if he is feed enough. In Early game you should harrass nasus and deny all his farm, and dont forget to freeze the lane as much as you can. The problem its that if he gets around 200 or 300 stacks orif ahead he snowballs really hard and you cant stop him easily becaause of how tanky he is and beacuse Nasus doesnt need much damage items, wich lets him go Tank items and 1v5, to prevent this abuse him in the Early game and get help from your jungler since Maokai sets ganks super easy. Late game peel your teammates from nasus and CC him. Remember that even if you set him super behind he can comeback any minute, so get all the gold and XP, and objetive advantague that you can.
cassiopeia it´s very annoying in lane and can poke you a lot, and if you try to fight her and then back off she will deal a lot of damague with her E. But maokai benefits a lot from this matchups, because if you make an adaptative helm she will deal less damague to you and remember, your passive reducces it´s cooldown when hited by an abilitie or when you cast one, which means everytime she spams her E twings fangs, she will quickly chargue your passive and let you sustain for free, if you can AA her meanwhile you are fighting she is in trouble.
Darius will harras you everytime you try to farm and deal a lot of damage, the worst thing its that his ultimate deals TRUE DAMAGE and his E gives him free armor penetration. Be careful if he has Ignite and/or Ghost. Against Darius ask your jungler for ganks as earlky as you can, because if he gets items or if he kills you your jungler can't help you much, run TP and Doran's shield for sustain, second wind from runes also helps. Bramble vest helps a lot in this matchup because it reduces the healings of Darius Q, runes, deaths dance and Conqueror (common items on darius), and if you complete Thornmail you can deny up to 60% of his healings, however, i have discovered that rushing Bramble isn't very effective against him, so make that item later on. Going supportive items like redemption, zekes or knights vow helps a lot since it's innevitable that Darius will melt you not mather how tanky you are, so helping your team as much as you can works well. A small Tip against him it's that your W can instantly place you in the middle of him, meaning that you can use it to dodge his Q with ease.
aphelios its an adc, however sometimes i see people going aphelios top. i recommend thornmail first item and later on make a Randuins for countering him and for more tankiness. Also sunfire cape or a IBG are good options. if aphelios its the adc, making thornmail its still a good option and remember, if he has the Lifesteal gun (wich heals him for a % of damague dealt) bramble vest counters it, deniying 40% of the healing. If he is adc beware since if feed he can melt you with crits and letality.
Cho' gath its a tank like you and deals magic damage, however what makes him a deadly threat for you its the big True damague in his ultimate and also he has good poke and better sustain than you. Going corrupting pot. let's you stay in lane as long as he. Going mercs helps tor educe his damage and CC, making it a really good option in early game. Sunfire aegis + demonic embrace works really well agaisnt him since Cho its really durable, and maokai its also good especially in long fights, also demonic deals a % of Chos Health. try to not let him farm for free so he doesnt sustain so much. Remember his Q has high mana cost.
i didnt face her yeet but i can imagine her being a pain to deal as. i think Dorans shield its better than corrupt pot since it lets you survive the extremme harras of akali. once you had a adaptative helm or some MR you can actually fight her because her Q spam reduces your passive cooldown.
Malphite counters AD champs and you are an AP champion, so you should have it more easy, but watch out for ganks or suprise TP's from malphite around the map, since a good R can turn the game around. The problem with Malphite its that you cant really stop him from using his R on teamfights, since it makes him Unstoppable. Contesting malphite with a TP can be dangerous, most of the time Malphite tends to be succesfull when roaming after level 6, but if you an opportunity you can also use your TP to help, and also malphite does nothing after wasting R.
Olaf its one of the worst champs to deal as maokai (and probably a very good Ban), after he uses his R theres literally Nothing you can do to stop him from running down your team, which lets you useless in Teamfights, as you cannot do something to help your allies meanwhile they are being chased by Olaf. I recommend rushing bramble vest and asking your jungler for ganks to Olaf pre-6, after 6 its complicated to do something against him, but if your jungler it's ok and you arent too behind he should be killable. As i said before Olaf counters you really hard as he has a better early and also has true damage and can become Unstopable with his Ultimate, even in the late game he will still be a pain the ass. To win try to TP or roam to other lanes to get your team ahead, or to get a dragon and hopefully beat Olaf late game, end the game as soon as you can and get advantages everywhere in the map.
He has a lot of damag e and the execution from his R lets Urgot kill almost any tank, however a Thornmail or Randuins omen counters urgot, especially Bramble vest so he doesn't heal from items and gets the item applied every second on his W. If you see him fail his E or his Q you can actually kill him. After you get a sunfire aegis you can solo kill urgot easily since you just become so tanky that he cant damage you, and remember that most of his damage comes from his Passive and W, if you dodge the marks from his passive and his skills you can re-engage with W and fight him. Be careful since he deals a lot of damage into the early game, play passive until you are strong enough to endure his damage. Aftershock it's recommended here, since Urgot tends to win extended trades, especially if he has R available.
Kled it´s like a darius but maybe, and just maybe even worse. He has 2 dashes with his E making maokai with his lack of movement an easy snack, and don´t forget his passive and his damague. I think one of the more important things of kled is his Q, which deals good damague, but it also has Grievious wounds which reduces your healings, making maokais passive usseles in a fight. Go tp and try to farm all you can and help your teamamtes with a tp if you see the opportunity, i reccomend buying tabis in this matchup.
Sion its a tank that scles hard in the lategame, and when he hits that point its complicate to stop him. Run grasp and try to setup ganks for your jungler, sion doesnt have mobility aside from Flash and R. In late game keep him away from your team, demonic embrace or abyssal maks can help to deal extra damage to him.
After the rework garen has been a real pain in the ass, he has a lot of damague, true damague and tankyness, as Maokai the only thing you can do it´s try to feed your adc or midlane with a good teleport, or ask your jungler for a gank, don´t try to fight him unless he wasted his Q and E, and be careful since garen´s R can easily kill you. Here i reccomend buying tabis and randuins in the mid-late game
Caitlyn can be completely neutralized by you mid-late game, but she has a lot of ways of escapinf from you and a lot of range, making getting into her range quite impossible, always Flash + W her in teamfights.
Even if ashe doesn´t have any kind of mobility in her kit, the neverending slows and stun from her ultimate makes it impossible to engage on her, especially if she is peleed by the support, here i recomend buying speed items like deadmans and righteous, and also a bramble vest to deny her Q and auto´s lategame.
Lee sin can easily be locked down by maokai, however Lee sin can also make your early game a nightmare by ganking you and deniying your powerspike, and dont forget lee has % current health damage in his R. With good vision control and a decent jungler he shouldnt be a problem, especially late game where he starts to fall off
Sett can destroy you in early game, and since he got buffed having more AD scalings, if he makes a BOtKR or a Divine devourer you are kinda doomed without your team. Sett it's a counter to Tanks and Maokai loves to have as much HP as possible, wich is just what Sett wants to use you against your team with his R, on TF try not to stay to close to your team. Be careful and ask for your jungler to help you, rushing steelcaps and a bramble vest after your Mythic its recommendable.
Wukong has a lot of tools, do lets see him in deep. Wukong has a lot of sustain, damage for extended fights, and his R makes him a good AD bruiser for teamfights. In the early gmae he has more damage than you, so play passive until you get a Bamis cinder and armor. With a completed sunfire aegis and Plated steelcaps he doesnt do much damage to you. When he uses W or E to engage on you just cast Q to quickly disengage. In teamfights keep him away from your team and CC him, always wait to use R or W since you could be using them on his Clone, when he is around peel the adc or any important ally, since wukong can easily dive them. If he wastes his E or R he cant to much aside from doing damage with autoattacks. Remember that wukong Q shreds armor and his passive gives him hp regen and armor.
Graves hits hard and S11 got him a lot of items to do even more damage. In fights try to engage on him and CC him, if your team hopefully helps you theres a chance you can kill him, but since most Graves run Eclipse and Phase rush it becomes hard to get close to him, a Deadmans plate, Randuins omen, or Frozen heart should be good counter items against him.
Elise it's a huge problem in the early game, late game you can handle her. Early on she can easily pull of a DIve without getting a scratch, and since Maokai biggets weakness it's his early game Elise can easily abuse you and get a free lead. obviously Maokai has a lot of anti-dive tools, and the healing from his pasisve, but still it's very easy to kill you if the enemy its good. Late game you can CC her when she tries to get into your team and let them oneshot her. Elise also has % damage on his abilities, meaning that she does a lot of damage even to Tanks. If you peel your allies from her she shouldnt be a huge problem on TF, unless the other enemies are also a huge threath combined with Elise herself.
I think Jax it's a skill matchup generally, altough he slaps you in the early game. Remember to disengage with Q when Jax jumps on to yolu with Q, you can also dodge his E if you time your W right. Early on play passive and use your passive to out sustain his Corrupting potion. Since Jax tends to spams his abiltiies, concretely his W, he actually helps you to get your passive cooldown down by a lot. Getting plated steelcaps denies a lot of hims AA's damage. Other items like thornmail, frozen heart, or randuins omen help to reduce by a significant amount his overall damage. In the late game Jax its a monster, so always make sure to close the game as soon as possible, however if the game lenght extendeds i recommended playing for your team and getting Jax off from them, since Jax tends to always dive the enemy Backline, so peel it's crucial.
If pyke isnt super feed once you caught him he is probably dead, your CC chain let's him in a very bad spot most of the time, and you are amazing for peeling agaisnt pyke, princnipally because of your W, wich follows Pyke even if he dashes away.
Kayn has extreme mobility and a lot of damage, if he goes Red that damage increases since his Q in red form deals a % of your Max HP as physical damage, wich in short means he can shred you, and kill you no matter how much armor you have. Thronmail it's crucial agaisnt Kayn because hi heals like crazy, and if you dont get grievous wounds he will just roll the game.
Early game he is better than you, once you get enough armor Renekton shouldnt be a huge problem, in the mid-late game CC him and peel your backline since renekton will always go for Squishys, and don't forget his insane healings. Afterhsock can help you in short trades, corrupting potion gives you sustain and mana, the mana its very useful to farm with Q.
Amumu and maokai can make really good ganks together, especially if amumu has his ultimate. Not only the CC of him works well whit you, also amumus passive increases your damague.
In my opinion braum and maokai can make a good combo in the late game as peel tanks for the Adc or Apc And your and his ultimate makes for very good tamfights for your team.
A well used R can give Miss f. free kills, try to CC the enemies and let her kill them, remember to use your CC and her ultimate to win teamfights.
Since ashe doesn't have any kind of defense tool in her kit aside from her R or Flash, Maokai can peel ashe and let her destroy and destroy in teamfights. Also her slows and R helps Maokai to get into enemys and engage.
She basically makes you inmortal, although yummi should be with the Adc but hey if you are lategame Maokai you should have some damague.
Your CC can setup a good combo for katarina, or a well Ultimate, which cna turn completely around a TF or skirmish. You can also help to CC enemys that try to stop or kill her, giving some peel to a feed kata can win you the game.
Lee sin should work well with maokai since all your CC gives him a lot of opportunitys to do damage or dosplace an enemy whit his R.
Maokai and Alistar can together, Perma CC an enemy. This helps a lot to peel the Adc or incapacitate and important target and shut them down.
Maokai can W + Q an enemy to give Brand enough time pull of his whole combo. If you do this on someone like a bruiser or the adc your team can get a good advantage, epseccially since maokai speciallices on TF, like Brand.
Seraphine and maokai can help to protect the Adc, and her CC + a good Ult gives maokai enough opportunitys to engage and kill the enemy. Even if the enemy hasa mercs it should be enough to blow up someone.
Bards ult gives maokai free chances to shutdown an enemy, if he cast's it on someone like the Adc or mage they are gonna be doomed by your CC and teams damage
If blitz gets someone they are pretty much dead, and whit your CC you can ensure that the grabbed enemy whill not be able to move or cast anything.
Maokai can Knockbakc an enemy into veigars cage stun, ensuring his abilities hit. Even whitout the cage your CC can do the same job, which should blow up any squishy.
Yone R has a really good engage potential, if you use our CC and a good R your team should bea ble to pull of a good Teamfight.
Runes: Grasp page
+10% Attack Speed
+10% Attack Speed
Runes: AP poke support
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
++8 ability haste
Champion Build Guide
Who i am? Im Fan22, a standard player who plays tanks, bruisers and mages principaly, i play on the LAS server, aside from that i don't have lots of achievements on league..
I want to remind that im not, personally, an expert on Maokai, but im always triying to improve.
Also 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 the guide!
Aside from that theres not much to say from me, lets go ahead with the guide.
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 concreate target.
Even if he is easy to use his abilities have some little things like cooldown control or especific interactions with other champs, wich makes a difference from a good and bad Maokai.
Maokai also has good vision control with his E and a good teamfighting potential with a good landed R, since it can root 2 or more champs.
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,
he is also Very weak in the early game, Mana hungry and has no moblity.
Passive Sap Magic
for 5 − 65 (+6 - 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 it's reduced by 4 seconds.
Note: Sap Magic will not trigger if Maokai is above 95% of his maximum health.
Cooldown: 30/25/20 seconds (at levels 1/6/11)
Q Bramble Smash
W Twisted Advance
At arrival 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
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 (+0.8% 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 bush it will 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 also revealed for 2 seconds.
Note: Saplings have 400 base movement speed, wich increases based on Maokai boots.
Sapling Toss damage against Non-champions it's capped at 300 damage (empowered sapling damage over time has a cap for a total of 600 per empowered sapling)
R Nature's Grasp
So don't take all i say in the guide literally and always adapt your items to what you think it's better, or to what you like!
The second thing about items it's that Maokai want items that give HP, AH and resistances (Armor and MR), but, from all those stats Health it's the best one since Maokai Passive and E have a Max health scaling on them and some items and runes also scale with your Health, that's why your items should give you a lot HP.
Sunfire Aegis it's a good mythic for Maokai, it gives you Health, Armor and MR, and ability haste (CDR), Altough all tank items give the same stats.
the Bami's Cinder passive gives Maokai improved wave clear and damage, allowing you to push lanes or farm jungle monsters more easily, the burn damage scales with your Max Health, wich fits you very well since it's a core stat for Maokai.
The passive goes really well with Maokai since he excels in long fights and can survive for a long time thanks to the healings of his passive.
Sunfire Aegis gives additional damage as a tank and better fighting, and also remember that Maokai has a Lot of base and scaling attack speed to make good use of the AA burn damage when it is fully stacked, this item is good against bruisers or fighters that also like extended fights.
Also, Sunfires burn passive works and stack on Epic monsters.
The mythic passive gives 5% tenacity and slow resistance for every completed legendary item.
The extra tenacity and slow resistance are very useful against enemys with a lot of CC, beetwen the burn passive and the mythic passive Sunfire it's really good for damage and long fights, even in teamfights it can be useful.
This mythic gives Health, Armor and MR, and ability haste.
It has (like the other tank mythics) the Bami's Cinder passive for extra wave clearing and damage.
The strenght of this item is it's mythic passive and active.
The active grants you a lot of extra utility and engage potential because of the movement speed and the AOE slow when you collide with someone.
This active helps a lot when engaging and it's basically the same as the old righteous glory, almost...
the active works well against champs that you HAVE to engage or neutralize in teamfights, in those cases sunfire or frostfire arent that good because you don't get to get close to them. for example, chemtank it's good against: Seraphine, Lucian, Lulu, Ezreal, Brand, Ryze, Vayne, Graves, etc... generally any heavy CC champ or carry.
The mythic passive gives 5% additional Ability haste for every legendary item completed. CDR it's a very good stat for Maokai, lowering the cooldowns of your abilities, wich let's you use your CC more often in fights, it also lowers the massive cooldown of your E, basically a free warding ability.
Frosfire Gauntlet it's another mythic that works well with Maokai, it gives Health, Armor and MR and ability haste.
It has Bami's Cinder passive for wave clearing and some damage.
Aside from the burn passive from bamis, it has another one that makes your next AA in a few seconds create a field of ice that slows enemies on it .
This gives more utility for Maokai and/or while waiting for your cooldowns.
Also, the slow scales with your Max health, and since health it's a core stat on him it synergizes very well.
The mythic passive gives you additional size and HP for every legendary item completed. The extra Health it's super good and the extra size comes as a litte extra, but being bigger also means having a bigger hitbox tho, so good luck dodging Ahri charm and Lux Q.
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 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 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 healings.
With this item you will heal a lot more and if the enemy doesn't have grievous wounds you will be really hard to kill.
The stats combined with the passive makes Spirit Visage a very good item, the shielding increase also comes in handy if you have an ally (or enchanter) wich gives 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 it offers, Thornmail passive it's very good against AA champs, mostly ADC's and some bruisers, it deals damage to the attacker when you get hit by an AA, and applys grievous wounds to them.
It also has an improved grievous wounds effect that reduces healings for a wooping 60% when inmobilizing an enemy, This is very good since champs like: Aatrox, Sylas, Vladimir , Olaf, Mordekaiser, Soraka, Nami, etc... Don't use attacks too much, or maybe not on you, and this effect let's you apply the effect to those champs (the stronger version) grievous wounds even if they don't autoattack you.
The improved version literally erases from the game Heavy healing champs like Aatrox, Sylas, Vladimir, Soraka.
Overall the grievous wounds effect and the damage to autoattackers and the armor and Health makes this item, for me, a really good option in most matches. However if there arent any heavy AA champions or a lot of healings there are other good Armor options like Frozen Heart and Randuin's Omen, or Gargoyle Stoneplate for mixed damage and TF's.
Abyssal mask gives 60 MR and 350 of health, it gives good 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 from champions.
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, 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 against AD, gives 475 Health, 40 armor and 5% movement speed.
The passive movement speed and slow 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.
I think deadmans its a good third or fourth item to have better engage, especially against teamcomps with high damage or peel, making it very hard to CC them or do anything.
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 a warmogs incredibly boosts the healing from your passive, and warmogs passive gives you insane sustain for the lategame, this is very useful if the enemy team has a lot of poke, since if you and your team are pushing a lane, or about to start a teamfight, warmogs passive can help to regen your HP back in some seconds.
Aside from the the passive healing of Warmogs, the 10% ab ility haste and Health makes you super tanky, i recomend buying Warmogs after you have atleast 4 items, since it just gives health and extra sustain, to make warmogs a good purchase you need some health, armor and MR, and warmogs passive also requires atleast 3000 ohsf health to work.
Randuins it's a very good item that gives a lot of armor and some health, and some needed CDR.
Passively it reduces incoming damage from attacks and has an active that slows nearby enemies hit and reduces their Attack damage and Critical strike damage.
Randuins makes Adc's tickle you in the late game, and once you engage on them with Twisted Advance and hit them with the active, they will get killed and deal no damage.
i recommend getting it if the enemy Adc its really feed or if there are a lot AD threaths or AutoAttack reliant champs (for example Jax or Lucian).
Knights vow its a powerful item that can help to protect a feed carry and ensure your victory.
The item gives 400 Health, 300% base HP regen and 10% ability haste.
The additional HP regeneration and health paired with some CDR makes this a very good option even if there isnt a 27/1/9 Tristana in your team, 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 as true damage, and if they are below 50% of their maximum health you also gain 35% bonus movement speed while moving towards them.
It's very good for protecting a feed carry of your team and gives you an extra peeling tool.
I really recommend this item for helping a feed teammate, and even if he dies, if you still have the active you can use it on another ally in a Teamfight.
This item in combination whit a Zeke's Convergence helps a feed ADC or meele carry to get more power and lets them Snowball harder and increases the chances to win the game, but remember, this item it's good if theres a carry or high damage champion in your team that you should protect, otherwise getting tankier with other items would be better.
Knights vow should be bought after you have atleast 2 items, (your mythic and a legendary and finished boots) because just like Warmog's Armor it doesn't offer much alone and its aimed for the mid-late game.
Grasp of the Undying
Grasp it's a really good rune for tanks, it gives extra damage that scales with your Health, it also heals us and grants us permanent HP everytime we prock it, and as you probably know Health it's a core stat on Maokai, and grasp it's centered around it.
Because this rune needs to be procked (used) to be useful, like Dark Harvest, it should be sued when we know we are gonna trade a lot in lane, for example Jax Ornn or Sett.
Because we have to prock it with an auto, it isn't a good rune in hard matchups, in those cases Aftershock it's better since it gives some damage and resistances for free in the early game, and it works really well on passive lanes.
Aftershock gives us a temporal increase of our resistances after inmobilizing (Q, W and R can prock it) an enemy Champion, the extra resistances scales based on the amount we have.
After 2.5s we lose the resistances and cause a "explosion" around us that deals damage, scaling based on our max health.
Since this rune scales well and it's useful in almost every phase of the game it is good for hard lanes or against a team that we want to engage on TF's, the additional resistances let's us make short trades or engage on enemies without risking ourselves too much thanks to the extra tankiness it temporally provides, negating a lot of damage.
Against champs like Darius Kayle Camille Volibear, i recommend using Aftershock, but Grasp of the Undying can also work and it's useful even when behind.
Demolish it's a good rune that let's us make additional damage to a turret, and it scales with our Health, because we are gonna build a lot of HP Demolish comes in handy, especially in the mid late game to destroy towers.
Font of Life
This rune heals allies that attack marked enemies, we mark enemies when we impair they movement (CC). It gives extra utility and scales with our HP. This rune only works on Attacks, so if your team relies more on abilities rather than attacks you should swap this rune for Demolish.
Conditioning it's really good for scaling and the free armor and MR it's always good, it also increases them by a %.
Since Maokai it's a mid-late game tank this rune synergizes well with his scaling playstyle. And since you whant to build Health having free resistances helps.
This rune it's very good for a weak early game champion like Maokai, reducing a little of the damage we receive, wich it's huge on short trades.
In the late game Bone Plating it's still insane, reducing a lot of the damage and burst we could take from the enemy in the middle of a teamfight.
This rune it's good when against a: Camille Renekton Darius Shen, etc...
Magical Footwear gives us free boots, wich saves us 300g of gold, it is good for Maokai beacuse having free boots works with the idea of scaling for the mid-late game and having extra gold we can get items a little bit faster, and being a little bit faster (+ 10 MS) it's another bonus.
This rune gives us 3 free biscuits in the early game, consuming them restores our health and mana and increases permanently our mana, even if we sell them we still get the extra mana.
Since Maokai it's very mana hungry and weak in the early game, the sustain from biscuits and the permanent mana it's really good for laning phase.
This rune it's the best one for mana hungry/dependant championss, and Maokai it's no exception,
It not only gives us a maximum of 250 free mana, but also restores 1% of our missing mana if we have the
maximum amount of mana.
It helps to not run out of mana so easy, concretely in the early-mid game.
Transcendence it's good for Maokai, especially after the changes on S11.
It now gives 10 ability haste in very early levels, and it reduces 20% of the cooldown of basic abilities after a takedown, in a TF having our CC abilities more often it's really good, and CDR it's always good for mao.
In laning phase our objective it's to farm all you can and sometimes trade with the enemy (especially if you have Grasp of the Undying so you can prock it), if you fight with someone try to make them walk near a bush and use Sapling Toss on it, so it deals more damage, and if you have a Corrupting Potion remember to use it while fighting for the extra damage.
In the early game Corrupting Potion + Sap Magic helps Maokai in the early game giving you additional sustain, both in HP and mana, since Mao its really mana hungry in the early-mid game. Sap Magic works on minions, if you have it available attack one to heal, use it as soon as you can.
Maokai it's not really strong in the early game, so if you want to fight the enemy Top laner do it at Level 4 or 5, when you have atleast 2 or more points in your Q, since Bramble Smash doesn't do almost any damage on level 1, this is also important when clearing waves, because Bramble Smash at lv 1 and 2 doesn't do much damage it isn't recommendable to farm with it until you put more points on it. In the early game i like to put a second point on Q at level 3 because of the reasons listed above and because Sapling Toss doesn't offer much on toplane, it has a big mana cost and enemies can easily walk away from it.
Don't fight with enemies that can Wreck you in long fights or in short trades, like Darius, Sett, Mordekaiser, Olaf, Fiora, Cho'Gath, Sion etc...
Only fight them if you are really confident that you can win the trade or if you have some items, or if your jungler is going to Gank, otherwise respect your opponent and only do shor trades.
In Hard matchups you are gonna have to use Bramble Smash to farm, but don't use it too much since you are gonna run out of mana quickly.
You can start doing more agressive trades with the enemy if you have atleast 2 item components of your mythic.
Remember to use your Sapling Toss E in the toplane bush if you have mana so you can have vision and prevent ganks or know where your opponent it's, using Sapling Toss it's very recommended against agressive early game junglers
like: Lee Sin, Elise, Olaf or Xin Zhao.
And 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 dragon fights, with your Ultimate and your W you can help a lot your team.
After the turrets start falling and people already have 1 or 2 items its when you start to enter the mid game, here the difference from the Early game its that Maokai notoriously starts to become Tankier, 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.
You should also Group with your team and help in fights or when constesting objectives, and remember to Ward and use your Sapling Toss E to give vision, this is extremely important when fighting for a Dragon so that you know what the enemy it's gonna do, or if the enemy jungler wants to steal Dragon, etc..
In Teamfights your job its to CC juggernauts like Darius away from your team and peel your team, you can also use your CC to engage on a TF, using Twisted Advance and Nature's Grasp.
Also, if you see the opportunity to engage and CC the enemy support, Adc or midlaner, do it, incapacitate them so that your team can kill them.
Your main combo when engagin or fighting someone its going to be Twisted Advance + Bramble Smash (from behind the enemy), use Bramble Smash when the rooting from your W it's going to end, to maximize your CC.
After you have 4 or All of your items and the match it's more than 20 minutes long you start to become really hard to kill, and you also enter the Late game, the problem its that in this phase most Adc's and Mages will also have items to ignore your tanquiness and melt you or a squishy 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, because when you engage you become the enemy team focus, wich also let's your team do their job.
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 he has his items and isn't too behind, or in shor if he deals damage.
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 target before arriving and rooting them, meaning that if they Flash or Dash away you will travel with them in the destination.
This means that if you time well your Twisted Advance you can follow an enemy that is triying to escape.
This is important against champions with high mobility like Akali Zed Wukong Camille Fizz Lee Sin, etc...
*The cooldown reduction on Sap Magic when using or getting hit by an enemy ability works on any ability that hits you, even those that are On-hit or a little special, for example: Shen Q, Jax W, Samira Q, well, literally any ability.
A little detail it's that toggeable abilities like Singed Poison Trail and Teemo E don't reduce Sap Magic cooldown, the only exception being Anivia R.
Another thing about Sap Magic it's that it its an unsstopable autoattack, meaning that once you do hit someone with the attack it can't be canceled
* Maokai has 2 roots in his kit, because of that, it's very important to know that roots are a type of CC with some restrictions, they limit the movement of the target but it can still attack and cast abilities and spells, and it also doesn't cancel chanellings (some exceptions would be Teleport and Shen Stand United R ), this knowledge it's important if the enemy has a channeling, for example Katarina R it's a chanelling, so the only ability that you can use to cancel it it's your Q Bramble Smash, because of its Knockback.
* Sapling Toss duration (when in a bush) scales with your Health, this means that once you have enough health and CDR you can ward for free a lot of parts of the map and reveal wheres the enemy, even if they don't too much damage.
However i decided to let it as an alternative playstyle and focus on Tank Maokai as the main way to play, however the extended fights build (especially with the new AP Bruiser items) has changed a lot in preseason, and i will update it after playing more games and make more testing, i will also test AP Maokai since theres a lot of new interesting items for that playstyle, especially on support with Imperial Mandate.
First of all, what is Extended fights Maokai?
It is a build that focuses on playing and using runes & items to win extended fights or trades and be really hard to kill, this also means that your way of playing will be more like a Mordekaiser or Nasus rather than a Tank who wants to engage and use his utility and tankiness.
Runes that help us on this build are Conqueror, Grasp of the Undying, Second Wind, Triumph, Last Stand, Legend: Alacrity, etc...
Items that work really well for this Playstyle are: Sunfire Aegis, Demonic Embrace, Spirit Visage, Force of Nature, Thornmail, Randuin's Omen, Cosmic Drive, etc...
Generally AP, HP, CDR and resistances work well for this Build, AP helps to deal more damage, altough Maokai doesn't have very good ap scaling on his abilities, but having 1 or 2 AP items its useful, the core stats that we want are HP and CDR, HP helps to boost our passive and be tankier, and CDR helps to cast more our abilities, especially Bramble Smash and Twisted Advance.
Because Maokai doesn't have much tools for fighting when compared to other champiosn like Diana, we are gonna use items and runes to support this playstyle, Grasp of the Undying being one of them.