Maokai Build Guide

Oaky, It's time to branch out and you're in for a treet!

Uploader Varph
Updated 1 year ago
Skill Order
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[img=] Why wood you play Maokai? Stump solo queue, and leaf your enemies devestated once you perfect your rootine. [i]Mao top isn't particularly common and infact most wouldn't even consider it which is why I've made this guide to open the doors to him and enlighten people about the greatness that is the Tree top[/i](This was the case when I initially made the guide! How times have changed). Maokai pre-6 isn't the greatest laner, its his weak point to be honest but after that he becomes a very surprising duelist that may catch people offguard. His strengths though are the fact he brings so much CC that any jungler can gank for him and will have an easy time getting fed, no one should feel safe against a Maokai in lane because of his synergy with the jungler. He also scales incredibly well dealing pretty awesome damage while having crazy good utility and stickiness, Maokai is basically a plant version of Gragas! [highlight][center]Season 3 Stats[/center][/highlight] [center][imgext=][/center] [center][imgext=][/center] [center][b]Season 4[/b][/center] [center][img=][/center] [center][b]Season 5[/b][/center] [center][img=][/center] [center]My [highlight]LoLKing[/highlight]:[/center] [center][b]Protatoes[/b][/center] [center][.]Good things come in trees(3 forms of innate CC)[/center] [center][.]Pretty impressive damage as a tank[/center] [center][.]Amazing sustain which reaches godlike levels during late game[/center] [center][.]Best champion to gank for[/center] [center][.]Free bush checker/mini ward[img=skills/maokai/e.png][/center] [center][.]Arguably the best defensive steroid in the game[img=skills/maokai/r.png][/center] [center][.]People don't expect his dueling power post-6[/center] [center][b]Cons[/b][/center] [center][.]Fairly weakish laner pre-6[/center] [center][.]Short ranged harass makes ranged champions very difficult[/center] [center][.]Dependent on items[/center] [center][.]Mana issues during lane if he has to trade before items[/center]

[center][img=items/rigtheous-glory.png][/center] This item is a good thing to have in your build, the 500 health is a very good amount but what you are getting it for is the active. The AoE speed boost/delayed slow gives you the ability to reliably engage a teamfight without Flash which is really all you need late game as Maokai. [center][b]After Righteous Glory you need at least 1 dedicated armour item and 1 magic resistance item.[/b][/center] [center][img=items/spirit-visage.png][/center] For magic resistance Spirit Visage is THE item for Maokai, nothing can rival how good this item is for him. All of the stats are well rounded for a durability item, with the 400 health adding to your collect, the obvious 60 MR which is the main reason for getting it. The 10% CDR will be extremely appreciated since CDR is very important to Maokai to get his CC uptime as high as possible. The passive though has Maokai written all over it, with the amount of self healing Maokai does especially during teamfights the value he will get out of this 20% extra healing(brings his passive up from 7% to 8.4%) will go a long way. It is worth noting that this items stats are gold efficient, and that isn't even counting the passive which I'd estimate is worth 500 gold on its own for Maokai during late game specifically. [center]-----------------------------------------[/center] [center][img=items/frozen-heart.png][/center] I get this over IBG when I feel my role in the team is to be the main tank, this is when everyone else on the team is squishy(especially the jungler/support) but they have no lack of damage so that the damage output from me isn't as important as my ability to soak up what the enemy team has too offer. [center]-----------------------------------------[/center] [center][img=items/randuins-omen.png][/center] Every tank knows that 1 armour item is never enough, with only FH you will really feel the enemy marksmans damage so the best item to get is Randuin's Omen. Anything with health on it is good(especially as much as 400) and the 60 armour/attack speed slowing passive/crit dmg reduction is exactly what you want to help reduce the enemy marksmans DPS on you. Upon buying Randuin's Maokai gets his hands on his FOURTH slowing ability with the active on this, it's just a fact that the enemy team isn't going anywhere quickly against a Maokai. [center]-----------------------------------------[/center] [center][img=items/mercurys-treads.png][img=items/ninja-tabi.png][/center] Which boots you go are pretty standard, if the enemy team has large amounts of magic damage or CC you go Merc treads, if they have very little magic damage or excess autoattacking champions you go Ninja Tabi. [center]-----------------------------------------[/center] [center][b]Other Options[/b][/center] This is the slot in your build that has versatility, what is it you need? Maokai's main items only fill 5 slots so you can adapt to the situation with that free slot. [center][img=items/abyssal-scepter.png][/center] If you are looking for more damage output and MR Abyssal is the way to go. You will always make use of its aura due to your range and that aura/AP will boost your damage considerably against enemy squishies and will benefit your teams magic damage dealers as well against the targets whose face your are in. And of course the extra MR ...well it's MR. [center]-----------------------------------------[/center] [center][img=items/liandrys-torment.png][/center] If you don't care for that extra MR from Abyssal, and the enemy team consists of multiple tanky champions that have no intention of dying fast then Liandry's is the best choice for damage. 300 Health contributes to your tankiness and the damage stats are nice but the main bit will be the passive on this which will give you another source of %HP based damage. Mao is pretty good are utilizing the passive since 3 of his 4 abilities(and 2 of his items) provide movement impairing effects so he will get the double damage proc from Liandry's the majority of the time. [center]-----------------------------------------[/center] [center][img=items/locket-of-the-iron-solari.png][/center] Locket is basically the anti-magic version of Frozen Heart when it comes to your build. If the enemy team have massive amounts of magic damage, it can be best if you invest in getting a locket to aid in protecting your team rather than purchasing items for selfish needs. That's not to say this is a bad item for stats for you personally, infact it has very comparable stats to Spirit Visage but it is just slightly more team orientated. [center]-----------------------------------------[/center] [b][center]Sub-Optimal Choices[/center][/b] Here are a few items that people might think about buying that might look good at first glance but are infact not that great. [center][img=items/rod-of-ages.png][/center] After the changes to this item it isn't good for a tank, it lost a chunk of health(the stat you want the most) and gained mana/AP. [center]-----------------------------------------[/center] [center][img=items/banshees-veil.png][/center] Since you are a tank first, 1 spell likely isn't going to do much to you. Additionally as a tank you should be trying to soak up the enemy's abilities rather than deterring them from attacking you as they will then just try attack your teams damage dealers instead. As an MR item this is more a mage or marksman item, Spirit Visage/Locket/Abyssal are all superior MR items for Maokai. [center]-----------------------------------------[/center] [center][img=items/sorcerers-shoes.png][/center] Never will the damage boost from the magic penetration here be more beneficial than the tankiness offered from Mercs/Tabi, there are other items for damage boosting but there are no items for you that offer Tenacity or 10% less autoattack damage. [center]-----------------------------------------[/center] [center][img=items/sunfire-cape.png][/center] There is just no point in getting this item. Maokai has great wave clear so that use of it is out the window, since most of the gold in this item is put into that aura that means getting it is for the damage, in which case you are just better off getting one of the other damage items([img=items/abyssal-scepter.png][img=items/frozen-fist.png][img=items/liandrys-torment.png]). As a tank item this just isn't worth it for you since for an extra 250 gold you can get Randuins which is twice the tank item that this is. [center]------------------------------------------[/center] [center][img=items/steraks-gage.png][img=items/titanic-hydra.png][/center] Neither of these are worth it for you, Mao has no care or focus for autoattack based damage and if he really wants to deal damage the Tank/AP items are superior.

[center][b]Early[/b][/center] Maokai's early game is his weakest point since he is soft and lacks any real sustained damage. Your laning should consist of just last hitting and avoiding any major conflicts with your laner, using Q to last hit and harass at the same time or using it as a \"get away from me\" button if they come too close, you can also use E to last hit if you are getting zoned but try to avoid that since it isn't cheap to cast. Maokai as a laner although below average to begin with, he is always amazing to gank for so you should be communicating with your jungler and ideally having him camp your lane as a Maokai lane from a jungler point of view is pretty much a gold mine thanks to all the near impossible to avoid CC he offers. Ideally you will want to try and stay in lane until you have 1200 gold so you can buy a Catalyst[img=items/catalyst-the-protector.png] but that isn't always possible so generally items you can get when returning with less than 1200 gold are any combination of [img=items/ruby-crystal.png][img=items/sapphire-crystal.png][img=items/boots-of-speed.png][img=items/sight-ward.png][img=items/health-potion.png]. After backing you should decide whether or not you should teleport, if there is any chance you can save the teleport and make it back to lane without missing any farm then you should take it as you can use teleport later for ganks or returning to lane when it is more urgent. [center][b]Mid[/b][/center] After level 6 options really start to open up since with access to his ultimate Maokai can actually trade with people favourably. When you have your ultimate you should engage whenever you opponent gets too close to \"test the waters\", see how the trade goes, if it goes poorly well then you should just avoid all in trades from then on and just stay safe and farming while waiting for jungle pressure, if it goes well you should abuse that and go on the enemy whenever you get the chance while managing your mana bar. You should engage trades with your W and R at the same time and have that real slap fest that is Maokai's trading, aim to keep your ultimate up as long as the trade and detonate it whenever it looks like your opponent will escape its radius as that is damage you don't want to miss out on. Due to having a Catalyst, one of the best times to trade is when you are very close to the next level since your damage is mostly AoE you will kill minions during the duel as collateral damage causing you to level up and get the Catalyst proc which your opponent will not notice and will make them severely underestimate your position in the fight. Teleport isn't only used for getting back to lane quickly, you should always keep an eye out when your team or the enemy team are making a dragon attempt, don't hesitate to teleport down if it looks like a fight is breaking out as your team will likely need your help. Another thing is you should get your botlane to ward as far back in their lane as possible and let them know you can teleport gank, if the enemy botlane push past that ward you can pull off a very easy gank that is sure to result in at least one kill, I try to pull this kind of play off at least once per game.

Outside of teamfights your job is pleasingly simply since you have a limited amount of tools outside of a straight up engagement. Be your teams frontline and give your squishies a barrier of safety that is you, between them and the enemy. Ward up side zones during those teamfight poke/siege/stalemates with your saplings and be ready for the engage(or be the engage yourself). During teamfights you will either be peeling someone off of your priority damage dealers, or getting in the face of the enemy damage dealers and buying time for your team or shutting that target down for your team to kill them. Either way it ends up being the same thing, Cast [img=skills/maokai/q.png][img=skills/maokai/w.png][img=skills/maokai/e.png] whenever they come off cooldown at the target you are locking down, make sure to autoattack whenever you possibly can to make the most of your passive[img=skills/maokai/p.png]. Maintain your R[img=skills/maokai/r.png] for as long as possible and try to stay near any allies to let them benefit from the 20% damage reduction, only detonate it if you feel that the enemy needs that extra damage to go down else they escape with their life. Always be willing to take the damage for your team, that is your role as a tank! Only times you shouldn't be actively trying to take the hits for them is when you are about to die yourself, or it is against Dragon/Baron and you have a tank jungler using [img=items/spirit-of-the-ancient-golem.png], in which case let them tank since it provides a good amount of damage against the objective.

Check out my other guides! [imgsmall=champ/ahri.png]Ahri - [imgsmall=champ/zyra.png]Zyra - [imgsmall=champ/brand.png]Brand - [imgsmall=champ/syndra.png]Syndra - [imgsmall=champ/lissandra.png]Lissandra - [imgsmall=champ/veigar.png]Veigar - [imgsmall=champ/morgana.png]Morgana - [imgsmall=champ/anivia.png]Anivia - [imgsmall=champ/xerath.png]Xerath - [imgsmall=champ/velkoz.png]Vel'Koz - [imgsmall=champ/ziggs.png]Ziggs - [imgsmall=champ/azir.png]Azir - [img=champ/viktor.png]Viktor - [img=champ/leblanc.png]LeBlanc - [img=champ/gragas.png]Gragas Support - [img=champ/amumu.png]Amumu Jungle - [img=champ/janna.png]Janna Support - [img=champ/nautilus.png]Nautilus Jungle - [img=champ/sion.png]Sion Jungle - [img=champ/bard.png]Bard Support -

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