Maokai Build Guide

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Jungling Maokai, The Twisted Theory by 7thFullMoon

written by 7thFullmoon

Maokai Build

Table of Contents

  • Quick Guide


    9x Greater Mark of Potency or Greater Mark of Desolation;
    9x Greater Seal of Vitality or Greater Seal of Defense;
    9x Greater Glyph of Force;
    3x Greater Quintessence of Fortitude;



    External Image


    Summoner Spells


    Special Jungling Procedures!

    Use Sapling Toss twice at fountain to charge your passive;

    Do not throw any sapling to the monster camp until 1m:30s, when minions spawn, because the saplings will expire before the Ancient Golem spawns.

    (I have NOT YET tested with this with the added sapling durability)

    Standard Jungling Path

    External Image


    Skilling Order


    Item Core Build

  • Introduction


    If you have read the thread, welcome to the guide version of Jungling Maokai, The Twisted Theory by 7thFullMoon!

    If you didn’t read the guide before going:

    Read it now and tell me why you didn’t like it or disagree.

    On the other hand, if you have read it, will try it out on a custom game and post your opinions in a friendly manner, you sir/lady, are very welcome here.

    Also I would like you to read this as if it was one of Heat n’ Serve’s 5 minute guides, because it is inspired on them.

    Also, Maokai's Base Stats:

    Quoted Text:

    Damage 58 ɉ(+3.3 / per level)
    Health 421 ɉ(+82 / per level)
    Mana 250 ɉ(+46 / per level)
    Move Speed 305 ɉ
    Armor 18 ɉ(+3.5 / per level)
    Spell Block 30 ɉ(+0 / per level)
    Health Regen 1.45 ɉ(+0.17 / per level)
    Mana Regen 1.29 ɉ(+0.09 / per level)

  • Abilities

    Sap Magic
    Enables your jungling and provides a bit extra survivability during fights.

    Quoted Text:

    Each time a spell is cast near Maokai he draws energy from it, gaining a charge of Magical Sap. When he has 5 charges his next melee attack energizes Maokai, healing him for 7% of his Max HP.

    Arcane Smash
    A close range knock-up skill that synergizes extremely well with Twisted Advance for quick disabling/interrupting. Also has a slow but I don't recommend that you rely on it much.

    Quoted Text:

    Maokai releases an arcane shockwave. Nearby enemies are knocked back and all affected enemies take 70/115/160/205/250 (+0.4) magic damage and are slowed by 20/27/34/41/48% for 2 seconds.

    55/55/55/55/55 Mana

    Twisted Advance
    As mentioned above it synergizes well with Arcane Smash. But the most important thing about it is that it enables your ganking, without this close range blink/disable, you wouldn't be able to initiate as well as you do.

    It also synergizes with Sapling Toss. You throw a sapling through a jungle wall and as you have enemy's vision you can use it to teleport through the wall.

    Quoted Text:

    Maokai transforms into a cloud of arcane energy which quickly travels to a target enemy, deals 80/115/150/185/220 (+0.8) magic damage and roots it for 1/1.25/1.5/1.75/2 second(s).

    75/80/85/90/95 Mana

    Sapling Toss
    The key element to jungle, without it Maokai would be nothing, remember it's synergy with Twisted Advance.

    Use it to gain your indispensable map awareness. Also, never underestimate the damage of a sapling!

    Quoted Text:

    Maokai flings a sapling which deals 40/75/110/145/180 (+0.4) magic damage on impact.

    The sapling wards the nearby area, and will chase enemies which approach, exploding to deal 80/130/180/230/280 (+) magic damage. Saplings last for 35/35/35/35/35 seconds.

    70/80/90/100/110 Mana

    Vengeful Maelstrom
    A great ultimate for a Tank/Support like Maokai. 20% Damage Reduction is just awsome in the middle of team fights. Also, it deals additional damage when fully charged, which is great, that'll give you lots of assists! I mean, you can keep it up for as long as you have mana and it deals damage as a bonus, what else would you want?

    Quoted Text:

    Toggle: Maokai creates a magical vortex which protects him and allied champions by reducing damage from non-turret sources by 20%.

    Maokai can end the effect to release the stored energy, dealing 100/150/200 (+0.5) (+2 per damage absorbed) magic damage to enemies within the vortex. Maokai can store up to 200/250/300 bonus damage.

    75/75/75 Mana, 30 Mana Per Second

  • Why?

    So, why?

    He has a very noticeable Self Heal, his saplings and high survivability. He also has great jungle awareness and is quite unexpected; He has great ganking potential with a blink/root ability with decent range.

    How well can he do it?

    Very well. He can do it under 5 minutes; Notice that you must take smite so that you succeed. Also, with the combination of Ghost/Flash and Twisted Advance.

    How do we benefit from Maokai Jungling?

    Awesome map awareness with saplings all around your jungle, Early-game ganks will be almost certainly game-changing.

    If goes to the side lane he will lose much of his ganking potential and won't contribute much to the lane besides some bush awareness that will be compensated by the jungle map awareness.

    And even if a “Roaming” Maokai was considered it wouldn’t be nearly as effective.

    How viable is it?

    As viable as Critplank. As viable as Tank Morde. As viable as the old Sunfire Cape Garen. You get it, right? It’s an unintended role that he fulfills as well as his original one. Also, I haven’t tried this in ranked games, therefore I can NOT confirm it’s viability, but as long as I can predict, it IS viable, because it is highly versatile and if you don’t want to jungle or if they counter-jungle you can always go to lane and turn your Cloth Armor into something else.

  • Runes

    9x Greater Mark of Potency or Greater Mark of Desolation: +5,31 Ability Power/ +14,94 Armor Penetration;

    9x Greater Seal of Vitality or Greater Seal of Defense: +9,72 HP at level 1/ +87,48 HP at level 9/ +174,96 HP at level 18 or +1,35 Armor at level 1/ +12,15 at level 9/ +24,3 Armor at level 18;

    9x Greater Glyph of Force: +1,5 AP at level 1/ +14 AP at level 9/ +28 AP at level 18;

    3x Greater Quintessence of Fortitude: +78 HP.


    Marks: I find the saplings extremely important during the whole game, but specially during the jungle phase, when you need to have that 'above average buff' of Ability Power or a way to have more powerful auto attacks. That’s why I chose to take either Ability Power or Armor Penetration

    Seals: Lovely extra health to help you out.

    Glyphs: Here I invest in some AP that will, obviously, power up your abilities, even if your ratios aren’t too high, I find this fundamental to jungling because the extra AP makes it quicker and safer.

    Quintessences: Same as seals, because having a large health pool is important, specially in the beggining.

    IMPORTANT: These are not the optimal runes, they are what I run and make me capable of jungling with him, I advise you that there are better rune sets or that you can take any other set that fits your play style better, as long as you are able to jungle.

  • Summoner Spells

    Ghost or Flash and Smite. Non-negotiable.

    Smite makes jungling possible and Ghost/Flash give you a very needed escape mechanism. I personally recommend ghost, but it depends on your preference.

  • Masteries

    External Image

  • Skilling order

    Basic Skilling order:

  • Jungling Path

    Standard Route:
    External Image

    Backup Route:
    External Image

  • Special Jungling Procedures

    Use Sapling Toss twice at fountain to charge your passive;

    Do not throw any sapling to the monster camp until 1m:30s, when minions spawn, because the saplings will expire before the Ancient Golem spawns.


  • Items

    Start: Cloth Armor and 5 Health Potions;

    1st Recall: Boots of Speed and enough Health Potions to have 3;

    2nd Recall: Wriggle's Lantern and upgrade your Boots of Speed to Ionian Boots of Lucidity/[item_text=Mercury’s Treads];

    3rd Recall: Build a Glacial Shroud;

    4th and next recalls: Here I'd get a Hextech Revolver for the AP/Spell vamp, but I find Will of the Ancients fitting your role better as a support (The old build used to require a Hextech Gunblade). Or you can just rush your Frozen Heart.

    Your core is:


    Situational Items:

    Mostly Caster Team:

    Banshee's Veil;

    [item=Force of Nature];

    Guardian Angel;

    Mostly Attack Damage Team:


    Frozen Heart;

    Randuin's Omen;

    Hybrid Damage Dealer:

    Hextech Gunblade - This item is plain awsome, it has a useful active and nice Stat/Gold ratios but you shouldn't be fitting the role of a DPS, you should be that gigantic piece of wood that's incredibly difficult to tear appart. I'm not telling you not to buy it, it's just that there are better choices;

    You are fed:

    Zhonya's Hourglass;

    Rabadon's Deathcap;

    Rylai's Crystal Scepter;

  • How to: Ganking

    Initiating the Gank:

    You should always initiate a gank with Twisted Advance and preferably combinate it with Ghost. Period. This is just obvious. It's your only initiating ability;

    During the Gank:

    Right after the target is rooted use Arcane Smash to knock them back and quickly throw a sapling onto them, then activate your ultimate and toggle it off as soon as you can. Hopefully the target will have already died because your friends helped you or he was at low health;

    Finishing it:

    By now Twisted advance should be off CD again, so just root them and burst again.

    NOTE: Auto attacks get you kills! Don't forget to auto attack if you have all spells on Cooldown!

  • The End

    Quoted Text:

    This guide was inspired by Heat n’ Serve’s 5min guides and my recent addiction to Udyr. If I get enough positive feedback I’ll post it as an actual guide.

    And don’t bug me about this being theory crafting.

    Haha, just made it a guide. Which means I got enough positive feedback! Give me some more! Rate this guide up.

  • Credits

    BYZ – For the original jungling path images;

    Heat n’ Serve – Because he inspired me to write it and I must thank him.

  • Thank You

    Thanks to:

    Everyone who posted here and helped me out. I love you Leaguecraft Community!

    And to you for reading it!


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