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Previous Lore

"To defy the natural order has consequences." - Maokai Maokai

Maokai was once a peaceful nature spirit dwelling in an idyllic forest, but the arrogance of humans brought an end to that life. Now he is a gnarled shadow of his former self, twisted by dark magics that defied the natural order of life and death. Infused with power he never asked for, the mighty treant has become a vengeful force of nature, sundering his enemies with wild Arcane Smash.png magic and iron-hard Sap Magic.png limbs as he searches Valoran for the means to restore the Shadow Isles to its former glory.

Before the Shadow Isles became a land of death, the islands teemed with natural life and beauty. This was never truer than in the isles' sacred forest: a paradise of thriving trees and countless species, both animal and spirit alike. When the Blade of the Ruined King item.png king of the Shadow Isles ordered his sorcerers to crack open the barrier separating life and death, the forest served as a well of power the magi drank deeply from.

The sorcerers' ritual succeeded in corrupting the cycle of life and unleashing forces they could not hope to contain. Vitality seeped from every living thing in the Shadow Isles: great trees withered into gnarled husks, people warped into twisted shades, and forest spirits became hollow wisps. Maokai, the strongest spirit of the sacred forest, watched in horror as his world crumbled and died around him. He fought to mend the wound in the world, but could not halt the destruction wrought by human folly.

As the ghastly energies sought to overwhelm the great spirit, he made one last desperate attempt to preserve the life of the land. Maokai inhabited the ancient oak at the heart of the forest's spiritual power. There he gathered the essence of the isles into the tree as the corruption of undeath clawed hungrily at anything within reach. Fortified by boundless magic, Maokai could not be consumed entirely, though the spirit was not left unscathed.

Maokai, now saturated with the essences of life and death, became fused with the ancient oak and contorted into an abomination. For ages, pain and grief were the only companions the spirit had. His boughs grew heavy as he wept at the desolation of everything he had known and loved, and his roots tore from the earth as he raged at the reckless sorcerers that had ruined his home. But all was not lost. Maokai had preserved the last vital spark remaining in the Shadow Isles, and with it, the hope of returning life to the land.

Like moths to a flame, the tormented shades of the Shadow Isles were drawn to the living essence within Maokai. The spirit guarded the seed of life from the relentless undead, but Maokai knew he could not fend them off forever. He needed to escape the land of death his home had become, so he cast himself into the sea and trusted in nature to guide him towards a living land. There he hoped to find the means to cast out the forces of undeath and restore life to the Shadow Isles.

"I will use this power until I am free of it." - Maokai Maokai
Maokai Render old

The twisting magical energies unleashed by mages during the Rune Wars caused an incredible amount of devastation to the natural world. The League was established to control the use of this magic by confining it to the Fields of Justice.

By limiting its use to there, they thought that they could prevent it from doing further harm to the environment. It seemed that they were successful until Maokai came into being.

During a League match on the Twisted Treeline, Maokai, an ancient oak that stood above the upper jungle, spontaneously roared to life. Ripped from the natural balance by arcane forces, his sentience was forged in chaos. Before the Adjudicators of the League could step in and suppress him, he slew all six champions participating in the match.

The scholars of the Arcanum Majoris took a keen interest in him, as they were eager to discover the secrets of his animation. Maokai was furious, however. He abhorred the existence that was thrust upon him; he felt it was a corruption of nature. He learned to communicate with people in hopes of finding a way to be returned to his former, true state.

Seizing the opportunity, the League offered a trade. They would research a way to revert him so long as he agreed to fight in the League of Legends. Maokai was indifferent to verdicts rendered by the League, but he was eager to punish summoners for their wanton use of magic. He agreed to the terms under one condition: once they learned how to turn him back, they would never animate another tree again.

He wears a lantern on the Fields of Justice to set him apart from the other trees, and as a warning to the 'animals' that would do him harm.

  • 14 February, 21 CLE

A frenzy erupts on the Twisted Treeline. Sapling Toss.png Saplings scurry in every direction, detonating in multicolored explosions of arcane energy. League Champions and summoners alike rush onto the field to contain an uprooted Maokai tree that is not only moving, but also attacking everything in sight. The tree is visibly confused over his violent birth into awareness, and he involuntarily conjures an Vengeful Maelstrom old2.png arcane storm of magic. The storm grows as it absorbs energy from the magical and physical attacks being directed at the verdant force, until suddenly the torrent explodes with enough power to kill everyone present.

A bright orange Intervention.png light falls over the scene as Kayle Kayle appears, shielding the group from death. As the dust clears, the tree is contained in an earthen dome by League representatives, and immediately whisked away to the Institute of War for further examination.


The room Maokai found himself in was cavernous, with a reflecting pool stretching across the entire expanse of the floor. A human adorned in flowing purple robes stood in the middle of the room, reflections of light from the pool dancing across her.

"An honor to make your acquaintance." The woman bowed deeply, admiration glowing in her eyes as she beheld the treant. "I shall be administering your judgment for entry into the League."

Maokai exploded into a rage. "Judgment? You humans woke me, and created this abomination of life, and now you stand and judge me?"

The summoner did not respond. She raised her arms and muttered an incantation under her breath. The floor swam beneath him, and suddenly the room dissolved away.

His roots tingled with familiarity as he found himself standing in a large expanse of trees. The forest around him stood tall, with strong trunks and leaves of every color - this was his home as it had existed eons ago. He ached for what was long passed.

Suddenly, the surrounding terrain exploded. The ground surrounding Maokai sunk and bubbled in grotesque ways. Vegetation as far as the eye could see began to melt with a sickening hissing sound. Humans were running panicked through the forest under a rain of bullets and chemicals. A boy fell to the ground, struck by a stray bullet. The summoner and Maokai were invisible to the chaos erupting around them, but somehow the boy looked straight at them, the life in his bright eyes quickly fading.

The ground below Maokai changed again, accelerating until it became a blur. Maokai stood, trembling, as the scenery assaulted all his new found senses. The acrid odor of trees melting in a pool of acid. A beautiful island the color of the sky splitting asunder into three. A beautiful, ancient city of white quartz twisting into itself in impossible ways, defying the laws of time and space.

Maokai closed his eyes, weary. The League must have assumed they were showing him something new, but it was nothing he hadn't already known. He had stood for centuries, absorbing the pain and sorrow from the abuses wrought upon the land and the life in its soil.

The summoner spoke quietly, holding the scene that flashed before them in reverence. "We do not ask for any of this, yet it is brought upon us by those who would do evil. By joining the League, you can help us prevent these things from happening."

Maokai's disgust had not subsided. "You humans are the ones who are causing this. You ask me to feel for you when all I see is the hatred you bring onto yourselves. When you see your children being overrun with weapons, I see the fallen trees carved into your instruments of destruction. I see the land which has existed before you and which will continue to exist after you suffer for your petty squabbles."

"Knowing all this, would you still choose to go back?" She asked.

The treant hesitated, surprising himself.

"Or will you continue to stand, impassively, believing that you can affect none of this?"

Her accusatory tone snapped him from his momentary hesitation. "Your wars are no concern of mine. You deign to awaken me to the pain you humans suffer, but before you gave me this curse I already knew your pain and suffering. When the earth absorbs the blood of your children, it cries. I have withstood this longer than you can even imagine. We of the earth do not feel, and thus I am not of the conviction to change how you humans live or die."

The summoner's eyes darkened. It was not the response the League wanted, but it was the only one they were going to get. "Then what will you do?"

"I will walk this path until you can turn me back, as promised." He paused, and one could swear that something akin to a smile twisted the tree's mouth. "Until then, I will punish you magic users with these hands you were kind enough to bestow upon me."

Composing herself, the summoner expelled the illusion with a sweep of her hands. "Very well. That is your answer." She turned on her heel and walked away without another word.

Maokai watched her go, impassively. He noticed the young boy's blood from the illusion lingering in a puddle on the floor, though the body had been whisked away. The treant started to walk past it, but suddenly stopped and turned.

With slow, deliberate movements, he yanked off a chunk of his roots and laid them gingerly in the pool of blood. The roots began to absorb the blood, slowly at first, and then desperately, as if the blood could not be held back. The roots jumbled together into a mess of knots, and then a Sapling Toss.png sapling emerged. It looked up at him with innocent eyes.

Another chance at life. Something inside the ancient tree moved, though what it was he had no idea.

He knew that someday he would return to stillness, but things would never be the same.

Previous Abilities

Previous Splash Art

Patch History

  • Arcane Smash.png Arcane Smash
    • Mana cost increased to 45 / 50 / 55 / 60 / 65 from 45 at all ranks.
  • Sapling Toss.png Sapling Toss
    • Removed: Dealing 40 / 60 / 80 / 100 / 120 (+ 40% AP) magic damage on landing impact.
  • Stats
    • Health regen reduced to 7 from 8.678
    • Health regen growth reduced to 0.75 from 0.85
  • Arcane Smash.png Arcane Smash
    • Cooldown increased to 8 / 7.5 / 7 / 6.5 / 6 seconds from 6 at all ranks
  • Stats
    • Magic resistance increased to 32 from 30
    • Magic resistance growth increased to 1.25 from 0
  • Sapling Toss.png Sapling Toss
    • Sapling duration increased to 40 / 45 / 50 / 55 / 60 seconds from 35 at all ranks
    • Removed: Saplings stacking on top of each other
    • New Effect: Saplings thrown at the same location shuffle a short distance away from one another
  • Stats
    • Mana increased to 377.28 from 327.28
    • Mana growth reduced to 43 from 46
  • Sap Magic.png Sap Magic
    • Heal changed to 5 / 6 / 7% maximum health from 7 at all levels
  • Visual Update
    • New models and textures for Classic, Totemic, Charred, and Festive
    • Animations updated
    • New Classic artwork
    • New ability icons
  • Vengeful Maelstrom old2.png Vengeful Maelstrom
    • Maximum bonus damage reduced to 100 / 150 / 200 from 200 / 250 / 300
  • Twisted Advance.png Twisted Advance
    • Damage reduced to 9 / 10 / 11 / 12 / 13% of target's maximum health from 9 / 10.5 / 12 / 13.5 / 15
  • Vengeful Maelstrom old2.png Vengeful Maelstrom
    • New Effect: Has a maximum duration (10 seconds)
  • Arcane Smash.png Arcane Smash
    • Cost reduced to 45 from 55
    • Slow duration reduced to 1.5 seconds from 2
  • Twisted Advance.png Twisted Advance
    • Removed: Cast time
    • Cost reduced to 75 at all ranks from 75 / 80 / 85 / 90 / 95
    • Cooldown reduced to 13 / 12 / 11 / 10 / 9 seconds from 13 at all ranks
    • Damage changed to 9 / 10.5 / 12 / 13.5 / 15% (+ 4% per 100 AP) of target's maximum health from 80 / 115 / 150 / 185 / 220 (+ 80% AP)
    • New Effect: Deals 300 maximum damage to minions and monsters
    • Cast range reduced to 525 from 650
  • Sapling Toss.png Sapling Toss
    • Cost reduced to 60 / 70 / 80 / 90 / 100 from 70 / 80 / 90 / 100 / 110
    • Impact damage reduced to 40 / 60 / 80 / 100 / 120 from 40 / 75 / 110 / 145 / 180
    • Explosion damage reduced to 80 / 120 / 160 / 200 / 240 from 80 / 130 / 180 / 230 / 280
    • New Effect: Explosion slows enemies hit by 50% for 1 second
    • Sapling movement speed changed to 450 (+ Maokai's bonus movement speed) from 475
  • Vengeful Maelstrom old2.png Vengeful Maelstrom
    • Targeting changed to self from ground
    • Cost reduced to 40 from 75
    • Radius reduced to 475 from 550
    • New Effect: Absorbed damage is displayed as floating text (like shield mitigation)
  • Arcane Smash.png Arcane Smash
    • Bug Fix: Slow value not matching tooltip
    • Slow increased to 20 / 27 / 34 / 41 / 48% from 20 / 25 / 30 / 35 / 40
  • Stats
    • Armor increased to 22 from 18
  • Vengeful Maelstrom old2.png Vengeful Maelstrom
    • Bug Fix: Incorrect bonus damage per 1 damage absorbed (1.6 instead of the intended 2)
  • Stats
    • Movement speed increased to 335 from 310
  • Sapling Toss.png Sapling Toss
    • Removed: Explosion particle being visible in fog of war
August 7th Hotfix
  • Twisted Advance.png Twisted Advance
    • Bug Fix: Maokai becoming untargetable or disappearing after casting and rooting
  • Sap Magic.png Sap Magic
    • Bug Fix: Incorrect values displaying per rank
  • Twisted Advance.png Twisted Advance
    • New Effect: Maokai will attempt to attack the target enemy champion he roots
  • Sap Magic.png Sap Magic
    • New Effect: Maokai can heal while silenced
  • Stats
    • Health growth increased to 90 from 82
    • Armor growth increased to 4 from 3.5
    • Movement speed increased to 310 from 305
  • Arcane Smash.png Arcane Smash
    • Damage increased to 70 / 115 / 160 / 205 / 250 from 50 / 95 / 140 / 185 / 230
  • Twisted Advance.png Twisted Advance
    • Damage increased to 80 / 115 / 150 / 185 / 220 from 80 / 110 / 140 / 170 / 200
  • Sapling Toss.png Sapling Toss
    • Sapling duration increased to 35 seconds from 25
  • Vengeful Maelstrom old2.png Vengeful Maelstrom
    • Cost reduced to 75 at all ranks from 75 / 125 / 175
    • Cost per second reduced to 30 at all ranks from 30 / 35 / 40
    • Cast time reduced by 50%
  • Twisted Advance.png Twisted Advance
    • Bug Fix: Rank-up tooltip incorrectly displaying increasing cost values
    • Bug Fix: Death animation not playing
  • Added


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