Skill Order
Q W E R
1 1 1 1
2 2 2 2
3 3 3 3
4 4 4 4
5 5 5 5
6 6 6 6
7 7 7 7
8 8 8 8
9 9 9 9
10 10 10 10
11 11 11 11
12 12 12 12
13 13 13 13
14 14 14 14
15 15 15 15
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18 18 18 18

Season 5 preseason updates are here! Recent Changes: 1) Jungle is harder, so spec utility. Early jungle is just a pain. Some guides recommend backing after level 3 and not ganking until after you back. I think that is a bad idea. Not having the option to gank at 3 reduces your pressure tremendously. You should always plan your mastery and rune specs and routes such that you have at least enough hp to gank at level 3, even with a mediocre leash. Also, the difference between \"good late game masteries\" and \"good early game\" masteries is usually only a couple hundred gold worth of stats, which can easily be made up for by clearing a few extra early camps (if you don't gank for some reason) or getting an extra gank early or even by the GP/10 mastery in utility. Last season the jungle was easy enough that you could have your cake and eat it too--using late game masteries and runes and still being fine in the early jungle, but this season the jungle is a lot harder so you'll want to spec utility rather than defensive to improve your early clearing. Utility gives you lifesteal/spellvamp, an extra potion and better potions, which will make your first jungle clear go much smoother. The lifesteal spellvamp will continue to make your jungle easier throughout the game. It also gives cdr and move speed which are pretty nifty, although you won't be as tanky as a full defensive spec maokai. 2) You need to kill 3 camps to hit level 3. All camps now give the same xp. So your path depends on how high hp you want to be and also where you want to end. You're pretty flexible with the utility spec, you can really kill any 3 camps you want to hit level 3. The safest route though is \"Krugs\" (Double Golems) --> \"Raptors\" (Wraiths) --> (wait for smite to be ~15 sec from cd) --> Red More info about jungle routes in the updated jungle routes section.

New Jungle is harder than S4! But that's ok, this will just weed out the bad junglers, letting the skilled ones like you have free reign. Your first goal in the new jungle is to hit level 3, and then you want to gank a lane. Any 3 camps will get you level 3, and blue buff is relatively unimportant in the new jungle due to the fact that machete gives mana and blue doesn't give increased xp relative to other camps now. Although any 3 camps will get you to 3, some routes leave you higher hp than others. Let's make a list of common/useful routes, in order from most common/useful to the more niche routes: [b] 1) \"Krugs\" (double golems) --> \"Raptors\" (Wraiths) --> Red [/b] This is the highest hp route possible to hit level 3. Precast 2 saplings on \"krugs\", then smite them as soon as they spawn for the nifty stun proc. You could precast 3 saplings but i prefer 2 to save mana, since you aren't doing blue with this route. after doing \"Raptors\" (wraiths... why did they rename the camps...), you'll want to wait until your smite is about ~14 seconds from off of cooldown before doing red, so you can smite it as smite comes up. This will get you level 3 with full hp and with a good enough leash maybe even a potion to spare. [b] 2) Red --> Wolves --> Blue [/b] Another solid route if you want to gank the blue side of the map. I do not like the similar ending Krugs --> red --> blue route because that path is seriously vulnerable to invades when you are at red. Your trinket ward will have expired by the time you're done with red, and you won't have smite. its just asking for trouble. But anyway, when doing red first, you want to smite the red just as you get under 80% hp before using a potion. This will heal you to full and allow your smite to be back up for blue. Make sure that you used your trinket ward to keep an eye out for the enemy team before smiting red like this... if you see the enemy team nearby with any of your wards or your teammates wards, you should obviously save smite for the finishing blow. If you smite later though you'll have to wait ~5 sec before doing blue for your smite to come up... its safer but it costs a bit of time. [b] LANE NEEDS HELP ROUTE: 3) Stack 3 saplings on krugs, then throw fourth sapling and smite it over the wall as they spawn, then let your laner[s] kill them for exp. Then wolves --> \"raptors\" (wraiths) --> red --> gank red side. [/b] Sometimes the top laner matchup is really bad but you can help him out early with some exp and an early gank. To do this, precast saplings on krugs then smite them to help your laner and give you the nifty stun proc to make the rest of your clear safe. You can then go wolves --> \"Raptors\" (wraiths) --> red and still have enough hp to gank the lane. Depending on the lane matchup, it may be a good idea to help your team get an exp advantage. The point of this route is to give your laner(s) as much help as possible while still leaving you at enough hp to gank at 3 at a reasonable time. This works best if your laners have some sustain or are ranged as krugs will still do some damage to them. Also, using smite on krugs still gives you the nifty stun proc. 4) Starts starting on blue side are generally bad but sometimes you have to due to them invading red side and you running away... With utility spec you can do any level 3 route and have enough hp to gank. So kill any 3 camps and then gank a lane!

As a jungler, you should always be doing *something*, and you need to prioritize your time well between leveling and helping your team. This section is basically a list of priorities for the post level 3 jungle Maokai. After your initial clear and gank, you'll need to prioritize your time. A general list of what you could be doing, your priorities are as follows: [highlight]1) Protect your towers.[/highlight] Towers win games, so if one of yours is in trouble you need to drop whatever you're doing and get there asap. Maokai also happens to be one of the best tower defenders in the game, with 3 aoe abilities to quickly clear minion waves, a snare and slow/knockback to lock people down who try to dive you as well as his general tankiness. Don't be afraid to ult minions for more aoe damage when defending towers, the cooldown is short. Maokai has no trouble defending a tower vs two people early-mid game, and as a jungler you should always be prepared to defend any tower as needed. So if one of your lanes fails, or one looks like it's in serious trouble with your team at low hp hugging the tower, you'd better get there asap. Another reason to defend is that you don't want the lane farm to go to waste against the tower. [highlight]2) Securing buff mobs (blue/red)[/highlight] These are a prime target for counterjunglers so you want to get them killed soon after they spawn. After the initial clear, it may be a good idea to give away your buffs to members of your team who can use them better than you can. [highlight]3) Clear *nearby* small camps .[/highlight] Killing wolves/wraiths/golems are only high priority if you happen to be nearby. You need to clear these if you want to keep up in gold/exp. Past the first clear, It's rarely a good idea to skip one of these camps on the way to a gank, unless you're low mana or you think that losing 5-10 seconds will seriously affect your ability to get a kill. This is especially true if you're underleveled -- check your level and compare it to other players in the game, if you're near the lowest level you'll get bonus xp from jungling so you may want to farm a bit until you catch up --it won't take long. If you're relatively high level you should prioritize ganking more. It may be a good idea to simply stalk one side of the jungle constantly: ganking lanes and clearing the nearby camps. For example: you could clear wraiths and double golems, then gank double golems side, then gank mid, then clear wraiths and doubles again, then keep ganking until enemies in both lanes are turret hugging. [highlight]4) Ganking overextended lanes.[/highlight] This is where Maokai really shines. Maokai is one of the strongest gankers so if you ever see the enemy pushed past river it's a good idea to go there and wreck stuff. Use the W --> E --> Q combo to lock them down, drop down ult to protect your team as they plow into the unsuspecting enemies. If they run into a bush before you w, keep in mind that your saplings grant sight, so you can sapling the bush then follow your sapling into the fight in with a twisted advance. If the gank is successful, don't forget to follow it up with a tower push or possibly a dragon attempt, as you now have the advantage in teamfights until the ganked opponents rez. Keep in mind that \"overextended\" for maokai is a lot broader than for other junglers, as maokai's specialty is lockdown and burst: anyone not in flash range of a tower's attack radius is usually gankable, although it depends what escapes they have. You jump them with W, then combo a sapling and an arcane smash, while your laner burst them too. Maokai is more burst than sustain, so ganking a very overextended lane is not much more likely to be successful than ganking a slightly overextended one. Ganking lanes where your team is losing is also a lot more difficult than ganking balanced lanes or lanes where your team is winning. Ganking is more opportunistic than a priority. Some lanes just scream out \"GANK ME\": when you have sub 50% people extended past river you should really drop whatever you're doing and kill them. Or when that mid-lane akali just used her bubble right as you pass wraiths and is sitting in twisted advance range next to that brush. Other times a kill is less certain and so I'll take my time clearing small camps on the way to attempt a gank. [highlight]5) warding dragon. [/highlight] I really think that the support should be the one to keep it warded now. That being said, somebody needs to ward this and if nobody else does, you should. [highlight]6) Farming your jungle . [/highlight] you'll want to keep the jungle camps dead as often as possible to maximize your xp gains. At this point in the game, try to save smite for the \"Raptors\" (formerly wraiths) camp if you don't need it for dragon, as the free ward spotter buff is more useful than anything else past the first clear. [highlight]7) Buy items [/highlight] If you're sitting on a bunch of gold and you're running out of wards, you'll need to buy at some point. All else being equal, the best time to go back to buy is when you just killed wraiths, as they'll be back up by the time you get back from base, along with wolves or double golems to kill along the way. [highlight]8) mid-game counterjungling. [/highlight] Maokai doesn't really counterjungle much, so this is something you only do when you're lanes are pushed like hell and you're generally stomping the the other team. In S5 the main target of counterjungling ought to be enemy \"Raptors\" (Wraiths). These are quite easy to get, and you can deny the vision buff from the enemy jungler. If you can get your team on board, you can steal red/blue buffs, which are more important than the smaller camps. This is more opportunistic than a priority. This is best done when the other jungler is known to be low hp or somewhere else. (for example, if you see the enemy jungler ganking the red-side lane without blue that's a good time to try stealing his blue.)

An advanced tactic for jungling is to put yourselves into the shoes of the enemy jungler, and think, if you were him, which lane would you gank? Then you can go to that lane and countergank and ruin his day. If you see that the enemy jungler hasn't ganked in a while and he doesn't seem to be doing dragon or anything else, he's probably itching for a gank and you can make pretty good guesses of where he'll turn up next. You should also avoid giving up your position if possible. After ganking in a lane, if you don't plan to camp the lane, go into a nearby brush and recall. Because you recalled in a brush rather running out of the lane, the enemy may still think you're around and will be forced to play passive, unless they have a ward in the brush. It is usually a bad idea to run back into river and then back into your own jungle after a gank. In the first place, river is often warded, and even if it isn't they have a good idea of where you are. This makes you a prime target for ganks yourself as you'll be alone in your jungle with your position known. In the second place, even if they don't gank you, they probably see where you are on the map with their ward which means they can play more agressively. If it isn't safe to recall in a brush, it's better to run back towards your tower and recall there than to run back into river.

After the laning phase is over, it doesn't really matter anymore than you started the game in the jungle rather than the lane. It's time to roam together with your team, warding, securing buffs as a group, clearing pushed lanes, and defending and pushing towers as a group. As Maokai, you are the tank and the initiator. Your job is to start fights on favorable terms, and protect your squishies during teamfights. [highlight]Map awareness is key[/highlight] Keep in mind of where the opponents and allies are at all times. If you can't see an opponent on the minimap, assume he's nearby. The key to winning teamfights is to roam with your team through the jungle or lanes, (check bushes with saplings before moving in), catching the opponents out of position or when they're outnumbered, and initiating fights on favorable terms. Wards are important, as if you ward a random area and somebody runs past, you know that enemy is not nearby when you want to start a teamfight. You'll also want to keep baron constantly warded, and late game make sure you're team is never too far away from baron when the other team is mia, so that you can get there in time in case the enemies attempt to kill him. Pick up oracle's lens and help your support clear out enemy wards. Other than this simple above advice, it simply takes a lot of practice and experience to know when to initiate, when to tower dive, or when to signal your team to backoff, since it's heavily dependent on which opponents you're facing, what escape abilities they have, how squishy they are and how they could kill you. But mastering this (when to initiate) is the most important aspect of learning to tank. The other aspect of learning to tank is peeling enemies off of your carry. Arcane smash is your friend. If people are beating on your carry, arc smash them, and maybe root them too, so your carry can get away. If they keep chasing, arc smash them again. With a 48% slow/knockback on a 3.6 sec cooldown (assuming max cdr), followed by a 2 second snare, Maokai is stupidly good for peeling. Use this to your advantage. If you have to chose between chasing down a fleeing enemy squishy, or pealing some bruiser or assassin off of your carry behind you, you should generally choose the later, as your team should easily be able to kill the enemy after peeling and locking him down with Q --> W --> Q combination, giving you an advantage in the next fight even if the other enemies get away.

*Insert something witty here*

9/21/11: Added \"Change Log\" section. 9/22/11: Added \"Very Early Ganks\" section to Jungle Routes section. 9/23/11: Added video of a very early gank to Jungle Routes section. 9/25/11: Clarified items section. 10/9/11: Added mention of Sap Magic to abilities section. 11/6/11: Updated alternate runes section. Also removed dismissive references to attack speed marks... I'm starting to think they're a decent option, they seem to help a lot when recovering from being counterjungled. 11/7/11: Updated jungle routes list to add mention of a new wraith start route. Might add video later. 11/7/11: Seriously considering changing my mark/glyph setup to flat attack speed marks and flat mana glyphs. That setup seems to make maokai a lot more versitile and less vulnerable to counterjungling. I'm going to play around with this setup for about a week, then i might update the guide to use those runes. 11/10/11: Decided to just remove marks/glyphs from the rune list. They're basically choice anyway, it hardly matters which ones you use. I don't want people getting the impression that they *must* have armor marks or mana glyphs to jungle maokai properly, esp since that's the first thing they read on the guide. I listed all of the good options in the runes/masteries section. 11/11/11: Added Youtube video of the wraith start full clear alternate route. 11/12/11: Wow, they're redoing the whole mastery tree next patch. That's going to make things pretty crazy. Expect a major revamp of this guide next week. 11/15/11: Updated masteries. Consider them preliminary I might change them around. I'll also be experimenting with totally new setups over the next week or so and might add some new alternate routes that the new masteries make possible. Also removed references to removed masteries (RIP Strength of spirit). Removed section discussing the precise amount of AP you need to kill mobs with certain numbers of spells, as it's sortof pointless now with the addition of bladed armor. 11/15/11: All of the routes already posted in this guide still work fine with the new masteries. I may update the videos at some point. 11/15/11: The new masteries (particularly wealth and bladed armor) make level 3 ganks a lot more attractive than before, as you now can plan for and/or attempt a gank at level 3 without slowing down your main route significantly, and be at much higher hp/mana for the gank. I've updated the standard route section and other sections of the guide to include the possibility of starting with boots + 2x hp pots + 2x mana pots and optionally ganking at level 3. 11/15/11: Updated Standard Route video for new masteries patch. Jungle times listed in guide updated to reflect times in this new video. 11/16/11: Made some more minor updates to reflect new masteries. Added new mention of Continuing to blue golem after the double golem --> wraiths --> wolves route, the new masteries have made this option a lot more viable as you can start with an extra potion and be at higher hp in general. 11/16/11: Blue start route works a lot better than before with new mastery changes, so I've revised my opinion on \"Never Start at blue\" and I've added a new route that kills blue after wolves at level 1. 11/16/11: Added video of Wolf-->Blue start full clear route. 11/19/11: They hotfixed the xp jungle mobs give, changing them yet again. You no longer need 1/4 awareness to do my \"standard\" route. You also no longer need any points in awareness to do the Doubles --> red double gank route. 11/22/11: So after much waffling on the runes, I've updated the guide and listed Attack speed marks and Mana glyphs on the front page. These are by no means the only options. Heck, with the masteries changes, you don't even need runes to jungle anymore, not even the AP Quints. I've split off the runes section into a new chapter where i discuss the options. I also fleshed out the masteries section. 11/27/11: So they're redoing the whole jungle next patch! Going to have to revamp the guide next week. 11/29/11: So they revamped the jungle! Guide should be considered under construction. 11/29/11: Changed glyphs to flat AP. These seem better with the new jungle. 12/2/11: Going to wait till that hotfix comes out before updating this further. 12/4/11: Hotfix didn't change that much. Blue/Red have 100 more hp. so the route takes 3 seconds longer and you end up with slightly lower hp. You also no longer need that random point in awareness to hit level 4 so full defensive works again. Updated video. 12/4/11: Updated Glyphs: After further testing, you need precisely 19.5 ap at level 1 to kill the wraiths with only saplings as shown in my video. So that means you need 5 ap glyphs and 3 ap quints. I swapped the rest of the glyphs out for magic resist/level because I think those are better mid/late game. 12/4/11: Removed under construction introductory section. Updated guide for new jungle. 1/24/12: minor updates: It is not actually possible to interrupt the enemy jungler's smite with arcane smash, because you can still smite when cc'd. Removed reference to shurelya's being an \"overlooked\" item. Re-did the math on Warmogs, and it's still worth buying after nerf. New Ninja Tabi is still good, too. 1/24/12: updated \"Early-Mid game: Maokai Jungle Strategy and Mentality\" chapter. 2/15/12: Added alternate route to jungle routes section that gets double buff and level 3 earlier. 3/18/12: minor changes to item build: lately I've been getting shurelya's earlier than I used too. So build order changed slightly. Also clarified that rushing glacial shroud is something you only do if you're winning early. 3/24/12: Changed item build--I find myself having less and less mana problems early-mid game... might be that sigils now give mana. The early 425 mana from glacial shroud seems less important so I find myself rushing aegis--> shurelya's in 90% of games now. 3/25/12: More updates related to above: Now listing spirit visage on front page as an alternative to glacial shroud if you need mr rather than armor. I'm starting to like this item better as it seems that games are taking less time than before: I haven't reached full build on maokai in months, so the fact that spirit visage doesn't build into anything is less of a problem these days. Also removed references to ionian boots, those are sortof awkward cause you want the move speed early game but don't want the CDR till mid-game. 4/4/12: Changed text to specify that building AP on maokai is only bad in the jungle... if you're a solo laner (or really, really, fed) you can pull off a little bit of AP and still be tanky enough. Actually, I'm currently working on a mid-lane maokai guide, and I build a bit of AP on him when I mid. 4/13/12: Fixed some mechanical issues with the standard jungle route, time to 4 is now 3:21. Some notes: They increased the movement speed of double golems, so it's now impossible to hit both of them with with both parts of the sapling damage when pulling them out with sapling. The best strategy now is to just lead the closest golem with the sapling, the explosion will hit both but the landing damage will only hit the closest golem (see updated jungle video for optimal placement of sapling). Ironically the jungle route is now faster than before as their increased move speed means you can train them out farther so less running for you. I've also determined that casting arcane smash a 2nd time on double golems is both a waste of time and mana, so I don't do that anymore. Sapling --> arcane smash --> sapling is all that's needed. 4/18/12: They buffed AP Glyphs, so you now only need 4 of them to kill wraiths properly. 4/19/12: Added Mid-Lane Maokai mini-guide. 6/17/12: Split off mid-lane guide into it's own guide. Also updated the mid lane build a little: I now sometimes build athene's on mid-lane maokai. That's a pretty good new item they added. 7/21/12: it just occurred to me that I've had this guide out forever, but I still haven't mentioned starting boots rather than regrowth pendent. I think a previous version of this guide mentioned starting with boots. Boots start is a perfectly good option, obviously. 8/11/2012: added mention of boots of mobility. 9/16/2012: Misc updates. Added mention of soul shroud to build options. This item isn't terrible if you need to cap off your CDR in games where you don't want glacial or FH. It gives a nice aura. Also expanded section on why you should never buy mercury treads on maokai. I added a little bit more detail on why I take ghost... but I may switch to flash eventually... seems like everyone else takes flash. 9/16/2012: Now instructs you to cast saplings at 1:05 instead of 1:04... maybe I'm crazy but it seems like ever since project shiny they spawn a quarter second or half-second later. 10/5/2012: Added a note on how to properly prevent red buff from resetting after leash. 11/18/2012: Preparing to update this guide for season 3. I think the level 4 paths are a waste of time on the PBE, the level 3 double buff paths are best. 11/27/2012: more s3 update thoughts 12/4/2012: Updated guide for major season 3 jungle and item revamp patch. Will update more sometime later this week. 12/4/2012: added item cost evaluation spreadsheet. 12/4/2012: General clean up. Removed outdated info, rewrote some of the early game strategy. Added new \"Advanced Early Game tactics\" section. Also, I Removed references to \"new Jungle\" that were actually referring to season 2 jungle. wow, this guide is old. 12/8/2012: Cleaned up skill order to reflect the fact that I usually gank at level 3 now. 12/8/2012: Updated Runes/Masteries for Season 3. Added Standard Red level 3 path to jungle videos... blue path will be updated shortly. Removed mention of starting bead + potions + flask, even if this start works, I think machete is too good to pass up. Updated Item build, now instructs to rush bulwark vs heavy magic teams. I'm starting warm up a bit to the new spirit stone item. 12/8/2012: Blue level 3 path now up. Revamp is about done. 12/15/2012: Now instructs you to always buy crystalline flask on your first back if you don't start with it. 12/28/2012: I've decided I like spirit stone better than philo stone most games. Updated build to reflect that. Also cleaned up build section a bit and added \"Final Build\" suggestions. 12/28/2012: Spreadsheet version 2.0 added. A few changes: Added \"Scaling Bonus\" column to attempt to account for the benefits of having multiplicative stats on the same item. SOTAGolem is now listed as 2160g rather than 2400 because it builds out of spirit stone. Instead of selling spirit stone for 560g you can upgrade it to SOTAGolem, so building SOTAGolem saves 240g. Liandry's is now spelled correctly. Also I now value the aegis/bulwark auras more than before, I think I was undervaluing them before. Value of CDR increased slightly. Added Glacial Shroud and Randuin's Omen to spreadsheet. 12/30/2012: Updated boots enhancement section. 1/16/2013: Flask Nerfed, Flask/Machete start no longer possible. With this and the stealth biscuit nerf (no longer usable concurrently with hp pots), I'm not sure if even want to spec util anymore. Masteries tentatively changed to 4/23/3 and starting item suggestions changed to machete + 4hp pots + 1 mana pot or machete + 5 hp pots. I will update the red path once I get the exact masteries locked down, probably sometime over the weekend. Also changed the 3 mr/lvl glyphs to cdr glyphs to maintain 10% cdr. 1/17/2013: Madred's razors are now superior to spirit stone IMO. Maokai has enough aoe dmage already and with the reduced hp of the lesser creeps and increased hp of the major creeps, you'd rather have single target damage. In S3 this item is cheaper and no longer has wasted stats on attack damage, so its a pretty good buy even on ability oriented champs such as Maokai. 1/19/2013: Switched to all move speed quints. AP mostly adds to AOE clearing ability so its sortof pointless in the new iteration of the jungle where all the lesser monsters have very low hp. 1/19/2013: Updated Red path video for new mastery spec and new item start after flask nerf. Blue path video will not need to be updated because absolutely nothing changed about the path. 1/19/2013: Updated Masteries Section. 2/3/2013: Moved flask from \"always buy\" to \"optional\". I don't think its a must buy anymore since the nerf. I still usually get it though. Also added spirit stone back as an option since they reduced the price by 100g. 2/10/2013: added suggestion to precast saplings on double golems to help your bot lane kill them. 3/1/2013: Warmog's nerfed too much, removed it from build. Now that warmogs isn't a good option, you could maybe build a little bit of damage as your 6th item if the game goes to super late. Updated Spreadsheet. 3/19/2013: They buffed CDR glyphs, so you only need 7 of them plus offensive masteries to hit 9.83% cdr which is close enough to 10% for my purposes. Now using a couple of mr/level glyphs. Also, I made a new jungle fizz guide, check it out by clicking the link to the right! 4/29/2013: Spirit of the Ancient golem got buffed too much, i'm going to buy it now and forget about madred's razors. Since it gives CDR now, there's no reason to get FH/Visage as you'll be overcapped. You could still pickup shurelya's or a glacial shroud. 7/3/2013: some updates to early jungle paths related to recent jungle changes. 7/31/2013: Lots of changes for 3.10. Changed masteries to 9/21/0, removed CDR runes as you're capped on CDR just from items since the item changes. 11/19/2013: updated guide format for solomid.net site revamp. 11/24/2013: S4 updates. 7/2/2014: Working on updating this guide for 4.11 rework. Changes so far: back to move speed quints. Warmogs is now a good buy. I now only put one early point in sapling toss. 7/15/2014: more updates for 4.11 11/30/2014: updates for season 5 preseason

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