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Maokai General Guide by Ducky55

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Ducky55

The self watering tree

Ducky55 Last updated on October 10, 2011
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Top Lane
Ranked #22 in
Top Lane
Win 51%
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Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
Ability Key R

Not Updated For Current Season

The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.


Brute Force
Improved Rally

Offense: 10

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 20

Expanded Mind
Blink of an Eye
Mystical Vision
Presence of the Master

Utility: 0

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Hi, i am making this just to keep track of my current build that i am using with Maokai and to share that build with anyone who wants to use it, this is a tank guide with a little tweak of dps. When i started playing Lol i noticed that most guides are "play like this own like that!" well i hate that kind of guide because it makes you dumb (No offence to no one).

I am making this guide because of a second reason for people to learn the game and learn to tank because tanking is not just buy some def items eat some damage and be done. It's about getting your team deaths the closest to zero and possible. Other players measure their skills by kills and assists, a tank measures mainly on death and well some assists aren't completely wrong ether.

If you find yourself playing tank often and follow a specific build you are wrong or you are playing armor Rammus. But to be a great tank you should always bend to what damage you are taking the most is it phys or magic? Physical attack you stack armor magic you stack magic
res pretty simple, and if you don't know what you are taking find out!
If you take an even amount of damage from both sources you should stack health because you can't gain the amount required to be enough tank to survive unless you are feeded and then you are pretty much to good to be killed. If champs are missing think what would you do if you were them. If they now are ambushing you and your lane partner and they are getting you both turn around and stop them. 1 death is better then 2.

Watch out for Annie, Brand or any other champions running around with matches they will hurt you!

You are welcome to try it out and i know it isn't finished but it's a work in progress.

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Pros / Cons

Can tank pretty much anything in a team fight
Has good self sustaining
Can get kills/setup kills if needed
Can tank generally most things if you stack the right things

Isn't the ultimate tanking build
Can't play to aggressive you will go oom
Can't jungle very good
You won't be the fastest pusher

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The mastery tree is built to minimize mana usage overall. No extra mana pool required because as a tank you want as much defensive as possible. Then you ask me why do i pick so much in the offensive tree? Well it's because who would hit on a mahogany hard tree that just stands there in the middle and does zero damage? You have to keep your so called "aggro" up. There for i chose the ignite mastery because you want to look attack-able. Constantly using ignite will put it on a constant CD if you use it to push the champions away from minions. Which means you will always have 10+ AP. Some stuff is pretty much self explained like why i spec 20 into defensive tree, my personal opinion is a tank should have Tenacity at least or else you aren't serious about tanking. The reason why i don't pick Strength of spirit is you will not be stacking much mana and you can gain back that life with your passive easily.

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The runes i use are

[*] Greater Mark of Insight

This will give you a good offensive so you can push properly and you don't have to buy any AP items to boost your damage and can focus more on purchasing the defensive items you need to survive.

[*] Greater Seal of Resilience

This will give a basic armor stacking if you are against any kind of physical attacks. It is a great way to keep you alive and well i don't really have to explain why armor is good.

[*] Greater Glyph of Warding
The same as armor this is for the basic stacking of magic resistance, so that you don't get ganked and killed by some annie player. She will always burn you becouse you are a tree, simple.

[*] Greater Quintessence of Fortitude
I find these runes very helpful becouse your passive will heal more, and health is almost always good to take you could switch these for Greater Quintessence of Vitality

[*] Greater Quintessence of Vitality
This is just a matter of preference if you play alot of late game find yourself having no problem in early or mid game switch to these for some simple health boost in late game.

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Items/Tanking overall

The main items you buy are the ones on the list they are the ones you always will buy no matter what team you are facing. The item setup is a way to gain mana, a steady income and some boots for speed and the right defensive stats.

What your main thought through the whole game should be what is she/he hurting me with?

If you are playing 3vs3 you can have alot of luck and meet a physical based team which makes everything so easy and fun.

The common item build

The main items to counter Physical damage is

Thornmail This item will give you a pure advantage over any phys based attacks, due to they don't often stack magic resistance the amount of damage that hits back most phys attackers its to much if you got enough armor and dmg which you get with ignite.

Ninja Tabi Is good if you are facing a pure phys attack team and in which case you only stack armor items and you will survive pretty much everything.

Atma's Impaler Is a good late game item if you have stacked some health items so you got around 3-4 health and you are surviving most team battles and 2vs2 fights.

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This is your main survive ability, this will make you last longer then any other champ in the lane, if you can handle your stacks and balance the mana output. You will have no problems tanking and surviving in lane.
This ability is a filler to gain stacks for sap magic, interrupting stand-still ults and pushing the enemies that last little meter so they don't get away in time. A good example for a interrupt is Nunu's ultimate he charges up you can just run in shot this at him and he stands there not knowing what just happened.
This your main way of setting up kills for your teammates pop this and they will stand next to you swearing over your root. NOTICE: Rooting the right champions, for example going against wukong or any other "clone" champ can end up rooting the wrong guy and messing up your rotation completely.
Notice that this will "teleport" you to your target, so you will follow them if they use an escape ability before you hit them. (Can end badly if you root a champion recalling) But you won't be that unlucky. Can also be used across walls so combined with the Sapling toss you can
attack hard across walls if played right.
This is THE best ability ever, it will allow you to harass at a ridiculous distance if thrown right, does a above average damage with this spec and sounds amazingly funny. NOTICE: This little fellow damages when he lands and explodes, he will also follow the closest target around 1 second after he lands. You will also see a small area around the sapling so it can be used as temporary wards/bush checkers when pushing lanes or jungling.
This is an awesome tanking ability, this will lower all damage taken EXCEPT tower damage. So don't think you can pop this and tank a tower. A good way to use this ability is to pop it right at the center of the team battle. When fighting baron cast this as soon as the first champ takes damage then when baron has around 600hp to 1000hp (depends on lvl dmg taken etc) left you can turn this off and the damage absorbed will hit baron like a train, a quick way to end the battle.
A good combo at lvl 6 is start with your ult slightly directed at the best way for him to run, if laning use it behind him or if he is close to a tube(aka jungle exit) slight aimed there between. Then use the root to get him stuck (he/she will auto attack +dmg on ult) position yourself between you and the way he was running, and use your arcane smash for that small push, then a quick sapling and turn off your ult. Voila he is probably on half hp running for his life and now go back a bit and be pleased by what you have done.

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Summoner Spells

What you should think about is what does Maokai need? I put these in order of usefulness.


First thing you need to know is Maokai is slow and this is a true blessing! Need to get back to lane quickly? No problem. Need to get away quickly? No problem. Need to gain that last inch so you can root? No problem! You will always find a use for it!

This will allow you to make them fear you just enough to attack you and why not lower their healing while you are at it in a teamfight. You are fighting 1vs1 he just barely out heals you no longer. Just root put this on and a sapling. They don't want to stay longer then that close to you.

Is a great if your root is on CD or you are to low on health and they are faster then you. If you want to make the target a little more easy to handle this is the spell to use.

This is a great ability to use for short distance movement but it doesen't beat ghost in the long rung and because your run speed is so slow you won't get away always even if you pop flash, but it's good in combat.

This is a good spell to start with maokai if you are having problem with mana but if you notice that you are running around mid-late game without using it buy a mana pot or just don't spam your spells as much.

I have actually never found this to be a good spell. Before you scream at me let me just say, Map awareness, if you got it should be enough with ghost to get away. You won't be using this much because you should survive the dmg.

This is a good spell if you want to be everywhere but with mao's speed i don't really see that happening and if you want to get back to your lane quick ghost does the job pretty well to.

Fortify is always good to have atleast 1 in your team. It can help with both defensive and offensive. Example: They tower dive, fortify and root. oops they died ^^

Spells i haven't really tried so don't blame me for being wrong!

This is a spell i rarely use because you can heal pretty much full health if you can handle your stacks. Can be tried but not recommended. You will be at almost full health all the time if you are playing right.

A spell i haven't used once in any game, as a tank i chose spell to help the team staying alive not doing more damage, could be tried. Should be good in team battles if you are playing with a lot of physical based champs.


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