Maokai Build Guide

Hard Wood

Uploader Hauntzer
Updated 8 months ago
5,383
0%
Runes
  • 9
    Greater Seal of Scaling Health (+1.33 health per level (+24 at champion level 18))
  • 3
    Greater Quintessence of Ability Power (+4.95 ability power)
  • 9
    Greater Mark of Attack Speed (+1.7% attack speed)
  • 3
    Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist (+0.16 magic resist per level (+3 at champion level 18))
  • 6
    Greater Glyph of Scaling Cooldown Reduction (-0.09% cooldowns per level (-1.67% at champion level 18))
Masteries
12 Ferocity
0/ 5
5/ 5
0/ 1
1/ 1
0/ 1
0/ 5
5/ 5
0/ 1
1/ 1
0/ 5
0/ 5
0/ 1
0/ 1
0/ 1
0 Cunning
0/ 5
0/ 5
0/ 1
0/ 1
0/ 1
0/ 5
0/ 5
0/ 1
0/ 1
0/ 5
0/ 5
0/ 1
0/ 1
0/ 1
18 Resolve
5/ 5
0/ 5
0/ 1
1/ 1
5/ 5
0/ 5
1/ 1
0/ 1
5/ 5
0/ 5
1/ 1
0/ 1
0/ 1
Skill Order
Q W E R
Arcane Smash
Twisted Advance
Sapling Toss
Vengeful Maelstrom
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
16 16 16 16
17 17 17 17
18 18 18 18

Maokai is a hard tank and teamfight initiator. His entire champion kit is built for being a tank, with a % damage reduction ultimate, a very strong heal with his passive, and a lot of easy to land CC. His ultimate and passive allow him to soak up more damage than most, if not all champions in the game. Due to his CC, initiation capability with Teleport flanks, and his ability to stick to backline targets, Maokai is inevitably one of the strongest tanks in the game.

The most crucial point of the game for Maokai will be the early game. He is very reliant on not falling behind early, but if he survives the laning phase he will be relatively low economy for the rest of the game. The reason for this is that if he falls behind, it becomes impossible for him to fulfill his role as an initiator and tank. However, he has a pretty safe lane with his ranged abilities and performs quite well in a number of matchups.

This guide will cover how to build Maokai, in addition to providing tips on laning and teamfighting as him.

Medium

  1. Early game trading vs Poppy is really hard, as she outright has more damage potential than you, and her shield passive tends to absorb a lot of your damage
  2. Focus on getting farmed
  3. If you’re getting a gank from your jungler, you want to trade and poke her lower
  4. Be careful of counterganks as she will chip away at your health pool too
  5. She’s really gankable early game since her escapes aren’t very good against you
  6. Her W does not block your snare
  7. You can dodge her charge by using W to a creep
  8. TP plays are really important in this matchup, since whoever gets their team ahead will have the advantage in laning phase
  9. When she gets Sheen and Spectre’s Cowl, she can easily outtrade and bully you out of lane
  10. At this point, you want to play as safely as you can and just focus on getting farm, since you won’t be able to outtrade her until lategame

  1. If you can farm early game and get your first few items, you’ll be able to push him out of lane whenever you want
  2. If he gets a few good trades off and you start falling behind, you will need help in order to fight him off
  3. If he’s ahead of you, he can waveclear instantly and harass you off your creeps really easily
  4. When you get your two item power spike, he won’t be able to do any damage to you at all

  1. Main thing you want is a Spectre’s Cowl and Merc Treads asap
  2. It’ll stop his chain roots and mitigate his damage
  3. You want to call for ganks on Ryze so he can’t scale
  4. Early laning is very easy since he doesn’t do very much damage, and you can free farm
  5. Around level 6-7 the matchup will get harder as Ryze will start doing a lot more damage
  6. You want to try to shut him down during this period by either calling for ganks or forcing TP plays since you’ll tend to do more in a skirmish
  7. Ryze usually ends up outscaling Maokai, so you want to keep a solid lead on him if you want to be able to fight him

  1. The hardest point against Gragas is levels 1-3, where he will outtrade and outsustain you
  2. You want to play really passive at this point
  3. You start winning once you’ve built your Spectre’s Cowl
  4. You’ll stop taking as much damage from him, and you’ll be able to start doing a lot of damage
  5. You don’t have to worry about his ult too much, because if he ults to engage on you, you can W right back onto him
  6. Ganking Gragas is really hard since he can ult you and whoever’s ganking him away from him
  7. In teamfights you can be more effective as Gragas has cooldowns he has to wait for, whereas Maokai can just sit on the enemy backline and soak up damage

Easy:

  1. His early game is stronger than Maokai
  2. Stay safe levels 1-3
  3. Similar to the Gragas matchup
  4. He’s very easy to gank, just make sure you block his Q if he uses it to escape
  5. Even though it’s an easy matchup, if Nautilus gets red buff in any circumstance, you will be forced to play safely
  6. You can dodge Nautilus’ ult using W just as the ult pops from underneath you
  7. Nautilus’ greatest weakness is his immobility
  8. You can clear the waves equally, and you will start winning trades each time after you get your Spirit Visage and Sunfire Cape

Maokai is weakest at levels 1-3. If you haven’t noticed from the matchup rundown, you will be trying your best to play safe and farm up a couple of items. If your enemy laner doesn’t build any MR items, you will actually end up doing quite a bit of damage to them.

The most important key is constantly looking for good TP plays, and a lot of them revolve around teleporting to a ward behind your kill target and using your W to snare the target. You will normally have the most impact on the game by having multiple successful teleport plays, so make sure you are able to do so by surviving the early game.

A lot of the time, you normally want to find your way into the enemy backline and tank as much damage while hurting the enemy carries. It’s pretty easy to 1v1 an enemy carry if they don’t have sustain or MR. However, if someone’s out of position, it’s a good decision to just target them instead and have them blown up instantly.

Look for -> Homeguard Flanks if you can. The success of these flanks is dependant on having people who can follow up on the play. It’s very hard to give a general guideline on what that actually means, but for the most part, make sure your team knows you’re looking for an engage through pings so that they’re ready to follow up. At the same time, don’t bait your team by pinging and starting the teleport channel only to cancel it/have it cancelled. It requires a good amount of coordination, which is something that will have to be learned.

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