| Sap Magic
| Great skill as it absorbs magic from friend and foe alike, however to use it requires you to land a basic hit on something. Not always the best when you're trying to stay out of the main fight.
| Arcane Smash
| Good skill when things start to get moving. Knock an enemy back, away from you and your team, or bounce them right into the range of a tower. Takes low priority in skilling order as its just not as important early game.
| Twisted Advance
| Awesome skill for holds in team battles and keeping an enemy rooted next to a tower for that extra hit or two. Use this together with Sapling Toss and Vengeful Maelstrom and you have a nice bit of damage done.
| Sapling Toss
| The prime skill that anyone playing Maokai should be using. This skill is unique because its one of the few skills that can be deployed from far range, and will chase down and blow up any enemy that comes in range. Great for smoking out potential ganks waiting in the grass.
| Vengeful Maelstrom
| Really good skill to get enemies off towers, or to deploy in the middle of a big battle. Always try and couple this skill with an exhaust or a hold and ramp up as much damage as you can. Make sure to toggle this skill off while they're still in it though, because otherwise it's useless.
Hello, I'm Raith Rapture, or Lord Raith. Whichever you prefer. Welcome to my Maokai guide. I've decided to write this guide because since I first found out about Maokai it was very obvious to me that played correctly, he could be an amazing support character and a solid team addition.
One question I've been asked a lot while in-game is "Maokai, why the fuck aren't you tanking?" The short answer to this, is that Maokai has no true tanking abilities. He's a pusher and could definitely be considered a fighter. Built properly, Maokai becomes an early game destroyer, a late game pusher, and an all-around good team fighter.
While this guide may seem premature as Maokai is a very recent addition to the game, I will be updating this guide regularly.
Pros & Cons
Summoner Abilities & Explanations
AP Build Quick Reference
Added explanations to skilling order
Created Masteries section
The Pros & Cons of Maokai
-High damage output
-Good crowd control
-Lack of tanking abilities
-No escape abilities
This is a must for Maokai. While with a decent pair of boots he has a pretty decent speed, Exhaust really shines when you use Maokai's ultimate ability
I find this to be useful on just about every champion I use. Great to make it in time for a team gank, running to defend a defenseless tower, or just getting out of a bad situation. Maokai lacks any true "get the hell out" abilities so I personally always keep this one handy.
Personally I run out of mana all the time. While I don't keep this spell in my line-up often, its a good one to have if you're going AP because Maokai will use up mana quickly early game
Good all around ability for getting in that last hit, but if you need to use this you're probably not going to get the kill anyways.
Good for getting around quickly. I don't use it, but that's because it has no defensive use.
Good if you want to get out of a bad situation quickly, but Maokai is slow... so I'm not sure how handy this will be in all situations.
Meh, not bad, but if you need to use this, it's probably already too late.
This isn't bad in a pinch, but between Maokai's regeneration and passive self-heal, this is kinda pointless.
This isn't horrible, but only use it if you're chosing to jungle. You really shouldn't need to be in the jungle though.
Useful in its own right. If you're confident enough to take this with you, than good luck.
No. Die in a fire if you use these:
Having this spell in your line-up just speaks volumes to how much you suck and should die in a fire. This is like planning to die. You die you feed. I don't want you out in the field dieing twice as often because of this.
If you need this, you've built wrong and your team will be surrendering shortly.
Ok, this isn't as bad as I act like it is, but it's really not needed and you should be playing with enough map awareness to not need this. It won't save you from ganks, cause well, ganks happen.
Cripple for Exhaust, increase ability power, ability cooldown for obvious reasons, and a 15% spell penetration is always a nice way to push your way down lanes and through other champions, making your moves like Sapling Toss that more effective.
Maokai is a fairly strong defensive character and I like to use some defensive masteries to make Maokai that much harder to kill. Not to mention the extra health regeneration keeps you in the lane that much longer.
Increase to your mana pool and your mana and health regen just make you that much more effective while doing just about anything.
-Start with Sapling Toss.This is a wonderful ability for not just laning, but for also checking out the grass, scouting areas to make sure you're not walking into a gank, and farming both minions and creeps in the jungle. The best part about Sapling Toss is that its a two part damage. When you throw the sapling it does initial impact damage to the enemies around it, and then it has its explosive damage. Also, if you want to get really crafty with it, you can toss out a sapling in front of a fleeing enemy, and if they're close to death, the sapling will finish them off.
-Twisted Advance is the second ability you should focus on leveling. Its a great hold that keeps the enemy rooted to the ground and the time it holds for goes up with each skill level. Twisted Advance will rocket you straight toward the enemy, rooting them and leaving you standing right next to them. Its a decent chaser because if they use Ghost or Flash, Twisted Advance will just keep going after them. Now well this is all well and good, please remember that this skill won't let you click your own teammates or minions to be used to get away like Katarina's Shunpo, so make sure you're ready to engage whatever you're chasing when using this move
-Arcane Smash is the last ability you should focus on and has the least priority. While its a nice move to clean up minions or to take care of a nearby escaping champions, it lacks any real power and has a very short range. However, Arcane Smash does offers a shockwave effect that knocks back nearby enemies, and by nearby I mean directly in your face.
Lastly Vengeful Maelstrom is our ultimate. Vengeful Maelstrom is a great skill to be utilized during team battles, to get enemy champions off towers, to use during tower pushes. Not only does Vengeful Maelstrom reduce enemy, non-tower, damage done to all allied champions, it also absorbs the damage done by enemies and can be released by deactivating the move to damage the enemies while they're still in it.
AP Build Quick Reference
Maokai, being as unique as he is, can have a few variable builds:
Early Game Build:
Mid Game Build:
Late Game Build:
These should be your five core items. At this point, you'll have plenty of mana and mana regeneration, a large addition of health, high AP, and an attack that has a chance to cause slow.
Now depending on your circumstance there are several way you can go for your last item.
Magic Resist Options:
[item_icon=Force of Nature]
Now the situational items are generally for people looking for a few balanced options to just even out there champion at the end of the game.
Proof of Concept
Overall Maokai can be a strong teammate, decent pusher, and a hell of a lot of fun to play. From smoking out enemies with tiny, running bombs, to his high regeneration rates Maokai is a great champion if paired with good teammates and played correctly.
*If you have any suggestions to the build or items to modify please take to discussion. I will be happy to review your input.