Maokai Build Guide

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Moekai: The Chu8 Way

written by Ranik

Maokai Build



Table of Contents

  • Introduction

    Hey everyone, first guide on here, hope it's good. First things first: all credit goes to Chu8 for this build. For those who don't know who that is, Chu8 is Chu, a rather famous and successful DotA player (played on EG), the #1 ranked HoN player (also played on EG), and quickly hit 2300+ ELO in League of Legends becoming #1 (currently hovering around top 3) in two months. Maokai is his most played champion in Ranked.

    This is the build he has ran on Maokai in Ranked Play, however I have tried to adapt it and given different examples for different levels of play.

    I do ask that you give this build a shot, 2300 ELO doesn't lie, and it is a pretty different way to play the character, however it does work.

    This build is for people who at least know what Maokai's skills do, and just need to broaden their horizons a bit.

    Finally, to get the most out of this build take a solo lane. However, I do offer suggestions if you are forced to dual lane.

  • Update Notes

    v1.4 (August 27th)
    -Fixed some typos.
    -Build still works fine.

    v1.3 (May 29th)
    -Updated skill build with most recently seen Chu skill build.

    v1.2 (May 27th)
    -Updated the builders to include the Runes + Masteries from this build in them.

    v1.1 (May 26th)
    -Fixed some typos + item link error on Rylai's.
    -Changed the Dual lane skill build to something that works much better instead of the traditional Maokai skill build. Not really seen Chu dual lane so I'm not sure if this is what he would use, but it's been working for me. In either case: try to get the solo lane. It helps a ton.

    v1.0 (May 26th)
    -Released.

  • Pros / Cons

    Pros
    +Not that hard to solo with.
    +Very durable, even without a lot of tanky items.
    +Huge, huge, huge AP burst.
    +Still helps the team a ton with his ult.

    Cons
    -Need to be somewhat good at farming.
    -After doing his huge burst, he has pretty poor sustained damage.
    -People are probably going to expect you to tank.
    -Does require you to learn good accuracy on Sapling to really maximize your performance, which can be difficult.

  • Summoner Abilities

    Ignite and Flash. No exceptions. Flash saves you and it makes initiating a fight and doing your combo a billion times easier, and Ignite will roll in the kills early on.

  • Masteries + Runes

    0/9/21 masteries are the way to go.

    For runes, Chu uses:
    x9 Greater Mark of Insight
    x9 Greater Seal of Resilience
    x6 Greater Glyph of Shielding
    x3 Greater Glyph of Warding
    x2 Greater Quintessence of Swiftness
    x1 Greater Quintessence of Potency

    These runes + masteries give you everything you need to succeed with this build: the perfect balance of extra survivability and damage output. The increased move speed is magical, and helps all around, especially if you roaming though.

  • Skilling Order



    Note: If you are roaming, it seems advantageous to max out Maokai's W first, instead of his Q.

  • Beginner Chu8 Item Build

    This is the item build Chu recommends if you're just starting out with this build.

    Pros
    +Exceptional vs AP burst teams.
    +Much easier to get a hang of and is a bit more self-sufficient thanks to the spell slows provided by Rylai's etc.

    Lane
    Regrowth Pendant and a Health Potion.

    Core
    On your trips back, assemble your core items
    Philosopher's Stone -> Boots of Speed

    Note: If you make a ton of cash, feel free to grab 1-2 [item=Heart of Gold] for mad ricing. Feel free to grab Eleisa's Miracle earlier if the laning phase ends early. In high rated games the laning phase lasts longer, so Chu grabs the Tenacity item later.

    Continue to finish your core:
    Sorcerer's Shoes -> Sheen

    Trinity Force -> [item=Eleisa's Miracle]

    Trinity Force is the key item to this build, it gives Maokai everything he needs, more speed, tons more damage, more survivability, etc. Make sure to attack in between abilities to use your procs up :D.

    Luxury
    Now that you have the best item for this build, grab these:

    Choose between:
    Banshee's Veil OR Abyssal Scepter depending on the other team and their stats.

    Rylai's Crystal Scepter
    Rabadon's Deathcap

    Final build should look like this:
    [builder=Maokai/bd1571fb26bed081dc74dc53c515b6a0]

    Tip: If you are solo queuing, there's no harm in spending 75g to buy wards. They will save your life and pay for themselves by saving you AND netting you and your team kills. If no one else will buy them, DO IT.

  • Advanced Chu8 Maokai Item Build

    This is the build Chu recommends once you get more familiar with how to use Maokai like this. He uses it all the time now over the above build.

    Pros
    +While it's not as great as the above build vs AP burst, it is better vs everything else.

    Lane
    Sapphire Crystal and x2 Health Potion.

    Core
    On your trips back, assemble your core items
    Catalyst the Protector -> Sorcerer's Shoes

    Feel free to grab Moonflair Spellblade earlier if the laning phase ends early. In high rated games the laning phase lasts longer, so Chu grabs the Tenacity item later.

    Continue to finish your core:
    Rod of Ages -> Sheen

    Trinity Force

    Trinity Force is the key item to this build, it gives Maokai everything he needs, more speed, tons more damage, more survivability, etc. Make sure to attack in between abilities to use your procs up :D.

    Luxury
    Now that you have the best item for this build, grab these:

    Choose between:
    Rabadon's Deathcap
    Banshee's Veil
    Moonflair Spellblade

    Final build should look like this:
    [builder=Maokai/70d6de8047c3c290b8384a2b408576f1]

    Tip: If you are solo queuing, there's no harm in spending 75g to buy wards. They will save your life and pay for themselves by saving you AND netting you and your team kills. If no one else will buy them, DO IT.

  • Summary + Tips

    *Start with the beginner item build
    *Try to get a solo lane as much as possible
    *Make sure to work your skill combo as much as possible as you level up.
    *You have an incredible AP burst, abuse it.
    *Buy wards if no one else will
    *Farm hard. Chu is one of the best ricers in any DOTA like, so comparing is difficult, but farm as best as you can.
    *Abuse your high base melee damage and passive in lane.
    *If you do run the solo lane, try roaming the lanes once you level up. You're practically guaranteed to net kills.
    *The best thing you can do to help your damage is to practice Saplings, getting the initial damage + the explosion damage is key.
    *Make sure you're doing max damage by attacking in-between abilities to use your Trinity Force procs!

    Finally, what Chu said about Maokai:
    "This is how I did it, and probably how you should to maximize Moekai's cuteness.

    1. Learn your combo. Using your spells in succession to maximize your burst potential and achieve increased accuracy with sapling is one thing, but you MUST understand approximately HOW MUCH DAMAGE you can do at each levels. This concept not only applies to Moekai, but to every hero in general. You have sick sick burst damage as Moekai, abuse it!

    2. Magic Pen. You need to penetrate enemy holes, you have one of the highest base damage in the game. Take 10 Mpen from runes, and build sorc boots for total of 30 magic pen (I used to have dilemma of choosing between merc and sorc boots since tenacity is a necessity in most games, but the latest patch fixed this problem! Grab one of them tenacity gears later on). This is more than enough for entire game in most games, then you can work on an abbysal scepter later on if you feel the need for more penetration. Haunting guise is an option too, but you need this early for max value and its usually an overkill. Other runes are optional, but IMO movespeed quints are must. Check out my deadwood runepage.

    3. Trinity Force. There is one item and only one you need on Moekai. I've experimented with many builds, still am, but every single one of them includes triforce and for a good reason. It basically adds EVERYTHING YOU NEED to look cute as Moekai. Gives you movespeed (so good), extra burst damage, much needed attackspeed to make better use of your passive in intense teamfights, and slow procs for better chasing. All in one item. Fkin smart.

    Follow these 3 easy steps and you'll be carrying them nubsie pubsies with ease."


    So there you go!

  • Credits

    I already credited him in the OP + topic, but all credit goes to Chu8 who is a genius that made this character, someone who was considered way underpowered at the time, extremely viable in high Ranked play. Kudos.

    Hope you enjoyed the guide.



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