Maokai Build Guide

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Maokai- March of the Treant

written by yabo

Maokai Build

Table of Contents

  • Introduction

    Maokai has proven to be an entertaining champion to play. The following guide is based on my experiences and play style. It is my first guide and I don't consider myself to be a good player. However hopefully this guide proves useful for some of you.

    This is a work in progress and I will update it periodically

    Please leave comments, and discuss your thoughts on Maokai

  • Abilities

    Sap Magic
    "Each time a champion near Maokai casts a spell, he gains a charge of Magical Sap. When he has 5 charges, his next melee attack drains energy from his target, healing Maokai for 7% of his maximum health."

    Arcane Smash
    "Maokai slams the ground, the force of which knocks nearby enemies back and sends an arcane shockwave forward, dealing 50 / 95 / 140 / 185 / 230 (+40% of ability power) magic damage and slowing his enemies by 20 / 27 / 34 / 41 / 48% for 2 seconds."

    Cooldown: 6 seconds | Cost: 55 mana

    Twisted Advance
    "Maokai transforms into a cloud of arcane energy, quickly traveling to a target enemy. The target takes 80 / 110 / 140 / 170 / 200 (+80% of ability power) magic damage and is rooted in place for 1 / 1.25 / 1.5 / 1.75 / 2 seconds."

    Cooldown: 13 seconds | Cost: 75 / 80 / 85 / 90 / 95 mana

    Sapling Toss
    "Maokai hurls a sapling, dealing 40 / 75 / 110 / 145 / 180 (+40% of ability power) magic damage on impact. The sapling becomes implanted in the ground, warding a nearby area for 25 seconds. When enemies approach, the sapling attacks, exploding in an arcane blast that deals 80 / 130 / 180 / 230 / 280 (+60% of ability power) magic damage to enemies."

    Cooldown: 12 seconds | Cost: 70 / 80 / 90 / 100 / 110 mana

    Vengeful Maelstrom
    "Maokai shields his allies by drawing power from hostile spells and attacks, reducing non-tower damage done to allied champions in the area by 20%. Maokai can prolong the effect as long as he has mana to spend on it. When the effect ends, Maokai unleashes the absorbed energy to deal 100 / 150 / 200 (+50% of ability power) (+2 bonus damage per damage absorbed) damage to enemies within the vortex. Maximum 200 / 250 / 300 bonus damage."

    Cooldown: 40 seconds | Cost:75 / 110 / 175 Upfront, and 30 / 35 / 40 mana per second

  • Masteries + Runes

    Masteries: 0-9-21

    Greater Quintessence of Swiftness Greater Mark of Insight Seal of Clarity Greater Glyph of Shielding

    - Greater Quintessence of Swiftness - Maokai needs movement speed, most of the items that you will build will give health. Movement speed will be useful all game whereas health quints fall off very quickly
    - Greater Mark of Insight - Stronger harassing, these could be replaced with another of your choice
    - Greater Seal of Clarity - These are a must they could be replaced with glyphs but you need mana/5
    - Greater Glyph of Shielding - Great magic resist per level

    -note: currently I only own 1 Greater Quintessence of Swiftness, and am using 2x Greater Quintessence of Fortitude

  • Items

    Starting Items:
    Regrowth Pendant Health Potion

    There are alot of different starting options, but I've found this to be the best as it builds into your first item and you will still have enough mana to play aggressive.

    Philosopher's Stone Boots of Mobility[item=Heart of Gold]

    From here I build straight tank based on the team. Sometimes I even opt for a second Heart of Gold.

    General Build Progression:

    Start: Regrowth Pendant Health Potion

    Return 1: Philosopher's Stone Boots of Speed Sight Ward

    Return 2: Boots of Mobility Sight Ward
    (At this point you should be roaming and helping set up ganks)

    Return 3: [item=Heart of Gold] Sight Ward

    Nearly every game I get

    Banshee's Veil next. This item is great on Maokai, the health increases his passive, the mana allows you to keep your ult up longer, and the shield aspect alone makes this item worth the cost.

    Heavy AP Team:

    My next item is generally a Giant's Belt followed by Spirit Visage

    Heavy Physical

    Most of the time I will opt for another [item=Heart of Gold] followed by a Thornmail

    I generally don't upgrade the Philosopher's Stone into a Shurelya's Reverie until my 5-6 item, The cooldown reduction is nice, but I prefer getting items with more tank stats first

  • Typical End Game Build


    I feel that Warmog's Armor is a great item for Maokai, however with this item the timing of it is very important. When I do get this item it is generally after my Banshee's Veil and maybe a second [item=Heart of Gold]. I still need to do more testing on this item to come to a better conclusion.

    For those that feel that it is to late in the build to get a Warmog's, I suggest that you try it. The way that I play Maokai (constantly pushing lanes and roaming) I can get the full stats on this item very quickly

  • Skilling Order

    I will adjust what i get at level 3 depending on the situation. In general:

    Vengeful Maelstrom (ONLY 1 POINT) > Sapling Toss > Arcane Smash . Twisted Advance > Vengeful Maelstrom (Last 2 points)

  • Summoner Abilities

    Summoner Abilities:

    Summoner abilities will generally come down to personal preference
    Currently I'm running
    Teleport + Exhaust

    I've found that teleport solves my mana problems. As soon I have the gold for a Philosopher's Stone I head back as this will solve my mana issues for the rest of laning phase. Exhaust currently the strongest summoner spell in the game. Maokai is already a strong ganker, and exhaust will make him even better. During team fights it will allow you to completely shut down one of their carries.

    For a while i used
    Heal + Clarity
    both are very strong choices and have uses throughout the game. I've found that Clarity is most useful in providing lane staying power.

    I believe that Heal is still a very strong spell on Maokai and can change the tide of a battle. In the end you should use what summoner abilities fit to your play style.

  • Working in the team

    The first thing that you will probably notice with my build is the 5 gold/10s and high movement speed on this character. I play him as an early lane harasser into a roamer. Maokai (atleast with this style should nearly always be played as a 2v2 champ with another champion that will be able to hold his own when you leave.

    Early Game:

    Maxing Sapling toss first will give you a strong lane presence and allow you to keep pressure on your opponents will being able to farm. Do not feel guilty having a high cs early, you want to get your philosopher's stone and boots of mobility as quickly as possible. Generally I will make my first recall early, either when i have enough for tier 1 boots and a philosopher's stone, or just a philosopher's stone.

    Early-Mid Game:

    At this point you should have your boots of mobility and be leaving the bottom lane. Go around ganking, counter jungling and helping the other lanes win. Use your speed to have your presence felt in all lanes and the jungle.

    Mid Game:

    Unlike most people who level Sapling Toss first, i level Arcane Smash Second. It adds more disruption to a team fight. Players will generally converge on you after you initiate with Twisted Advance. Use this opportunity to slow and "knock back" most of the enemy team.

    The second reason is it now becomes your job to push lanes. You have good creep clearing capabilities and lots of speed. Keep the enemy team chasing and on their heals, however make sure you are present for team fights. Do not put your team at a disadvantage.

    Late Game:

    You should have enough game sense to know how to play end game. You are a tank and initiate very well. People underestimate the power of your ultimate and it can very easily alter the outcome of a fight with good placement. Continue pushing lanes and disrupting the enemy during team fights.

    We all know that the saplings are fun to play with, but people haven't realized that Maokai's a much better champion than people give him credit for. There may be better champs for doing what I do with Maokai, but he's the one that I enjoy playing as and have had alot of success with.

    Good luck to you all and hopefully this guide was helpful.

  • Tips and Thoughts

    -If you know its safe, steal your opponents Wraith Camp every chance you get while roaming. It is very quick and can be done with i believe a level 4 Sapling Toss and level 1 Arcane Smash. Do the same with your own Wraith camps if it won't disrupt your jungler or mid laner.

    -Ward, Ward, Ward. As a roaming champion you need to take advantage of your opponents being out of position. Map awareness wins games.

    -If you tend to push your lane hard in the early game, make sure that your using saplings to watch the river. It's better to have vision and use that mana instead of harassing them more at the tower. You do not want to give up first blood as it will make it much more difficult for your lane partner to solo once you leave

    -Scout with saplings, do not face check bushes, especially early on. Maokai may be a tank, but this build delays your tank items in favor of map dominance

Do you have your own
Build Guide?

Submitted by yabo

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