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Maokai/Strategy

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Champion Background Strategy Skins & Trivia


Gameplay

Champion Spotlight
Maokai Champion Spotlight07:22

Maokai Champion Spotlight

Recommended Items
Summoner's Rift
Starting Doran&#039;s Ring item Health Potion item2 Warding Totem item
Early Boots of Speed item Catalyst the Protector item Glacial Shroud item
Essential Mercury&#039;s Treads item Rod of Ages item Frozen Heart item
Defensive Spirit Visage item Dead Man&#039;s Plate item Randuin&#039;s Omen item
Situational Righteous Glory item Abyssal Scepter item Ohmwrecker item
Consumables Health Potion item Vision Ward item Elixir of Iron item
Summoner's Rift (Jungler)
Starting Hunter&#039;s Talisman item Refillable Potion item Warding Totem item
Early Tracker&#039;s Knife item Bami&#039;s Cinder item Boots of Speed item
Essential Tracker&#039;s Knife (Cinderhulk) item Boots of Mobility item Dead Man&#039;s Plate item
Defensive Spirit Visage item Frozen Heart item Locket of the Iron Solari item
Situational Rod of Ages item Righteous Glory item Abyssal Scepter item
Consumables Health Potion item Vision Ward item Elixir of Iron item
Twisted Treeline
Starting Doran&#039;s Ring item2 Health Potion item
Early Boots of Speed item Catalyst the Protector item Glacial Shroud item
Essential Mercury&#039;s Treads item Rod of Ages item Frozen Heart item
Defensive Spirit Visage item Dead Man&#039;s Plate item Randuin&#039;s Omen item
Situational Righteous Glory item Iceborn Gauntlet item Abyssal Scepter item
Consumables Health Potion item Elixir of Iron item
Twisted Treeline (Jungler)
Starting Hunter&#039;s Talisman item Doran&#039;s Ring item Health Potion item2
Early Skirmisher&#039;s Sabre item Bami&#039;s Cinder item Boots of Speed item
Essential Skirmisher&#039;s Sabre (Cinderhulk) item Mercury&#039;s Treads item Rod of Ages item
Defensive Spirit Visage item Frozen Heart item Dead Man&#039;s Plate item
Situational Righteous Glory item Abyssal Scepter item Iceborn Gauntlet item
Consumables Health Potion item Elixir of Iron item
Howling Abyss
Starting Catalyst the Protector item Health Potion item4
Essential Mercury&#039;s Treads item Rod of Ages item Frozen Heart item
Defensive Dead Man&#039;s Plate item Spirit Visage item Randuin&#039;s Omen item
Situational Righteous Glory item Iceborn Gauntlet item Abyssal Scepter item
Consumables Oracle&#039;s Extract item Health Potion item Elixir of Iron item

Tips

Playing As Maokai Maokai
  • Sapling Toss.png Saplings can be tossed into brush or over terrain to gain line of sight on your enemies.
  • Save Vengeful Maelstrom.png Vengeful Maelstrom for after your opponents have fully committed to a fight.
  • Ranking up Arcane Smash.png Arcane Smash and Twisted Advance.png Twisted Advance gives Maokai powerful crowd control moves, while ranking up Sapling Toss.png Sapling Toss will improve your damage output and ability to farm.
Playing Against Maokai Maokai
  • Sapling Toss.png Saplings can be avoided by placing friendly minions between yourself and them. You can also just outrun them if you're fast.
  • Vengeful Maelstrom.png Vengeful Maelstrom does more damage if you attack Maokai or his allies within the area of effect. Stay out of the area to avoid the damage.
  • Maokai will avoid taking damage while he's using Twisted Advance.png Twisted Advance, so don't waste your spells.

Tricks

Ability Usage
  • Sap Magic.png Sap Magic gives him a lot of staying power during the lane phase, especially if facing/laning with champions that spam skills like Evelynn Evelynn, Akali Akali, Cassiopeia Cassiopeia, or Karthus Karthus.
    • Using your abilities at the start of a game to charge your passive grants you a small burst of health after taking damage in a level one skirmish.
  • Sap Magic.png Sap Magic will not trigger when attacking structures. If fighting under a tower, be sure to attack nearby minions if you need the heal.
    • Sap Magic.png Sap Magic does not trigger when you are at full health, so do not be afraid of last hitting minions at full health while this ability is up.
  • When used close enough Arcane Smash.png Arcane Smash causes a small knock-up in addition to the slow it provides, use this to interrupt channeled spells such as Katarina Katarina's Death Lotus.png Death Lotus or Nunu Nunu's Absolute Zero.png Absolute Zero.
  • Flash.png Flash and Twisted Advance.png Twisted Advance can make a surprise grab and provide an opportunity to open a team fight.
  • Maokai Maokai is a great initiator and has good tower diving/chasing capability thanks to Twisted Advance.png Twisted Advance. His Sapling Toss.png Sapling Toss is also able to chase retreating enemies past their towers and possibly kill them.
  • Maokai Maokai can farm using Sapling Toss.png Sapling Toss, as mid-game the sapling can kill 3-5 minions easily. The Sapling deals damage twice: once upon impact and another after a short delay. It can also be used to damage enemies in brush safely.
  • Use Sapling Toss.png Sapling Toss to harass enemies in the lane. Try to overshoot your target slightly, just enough to get the impact damage and allowing the enemy to dodge into the explosion.
    • Try to aim your saplings so there are no enemy minions nearby to trigger them, as they may choose to explode on them rather than the desired champion. You can also use it to zone out enemies by placing them behind the enemy minions, forcing the enemy to duck away from experience range or take damage.
    • Champions with Boots of Speed item.png Boots of Speed can outrun the sapling quite easily, making this form of lane-control mainly effective at the very start of a game.
    • Saplings won't detonate on stealthed enemies, but can hit them. This is very useful if the enemy tries to flee through both minions and stealth.
    • By using Sapling Toss.png Sapling Toss multiple times in a bush, stacking them on top of each other, you can catch unsuspecting enemies off guard resulting in a huge burst of damage if they walk into your saplings.
  • Vengeful Maelstrom.png Vengeful Maelstrom is not a channeled spell, so Maokai Maokai is free to use other skills while supporting his teammates. Remember to deactivate right before all enemies leave the AoE, or else they will suffer no damage.
    • Vengeful Maelstrom.png Vengeful Maelstrom is very useful when the battle ground is stationary, such as during a tower push or defense. Using it in the open will usually cause enemies to run out of it, wasting its potential unless you want them to go away. During a push, however, the designated fighting grounds remains around the tower, which forces the enemy team to fight on your terms.
    • Small skirmishes in the jungle or even the occasional team fight are good times to use Vengeful Maelstrom.png Vengeful Maelstrom, as escape routes are few and the fighting ground is often crowded and fast paced.
    • The damage output from Vengeful Maelstrom.png Vengeful Maelstrom is very powerful with some ability power. Using it in team fights to hit as many enemies as possible can turn the tide greatly in your teams favor.
    • Vengeful Maelstrom.png Vengeful Maelstrom is good for small skirmishes in laning as well. If you aren't sure you can kill your enemy with the normal Sapling Toss.png E > Twisted Advance.png W > Sapling Toss.png Q combo, throw down Vengeful Maelstrom.png Vengeful Maelstrom to add that extra bit of damage you may need.
    • Use Vengeful Maelstrom.png Vengeful Maelstrom while tanking minion waves to quickly kill minions and shut down the enemy's push.
    • Vengeful Maelstrom.png Vengeful Maelstrom can be very useful for a kamikaze operation. A fully built Maokai Maokai can easily store up the 300 bonus damage when 1v4 thanks to Sap Magic.png Sap Magic. In addition to free hits while they try to kill you, the resulting nuke from Vengeful Maelstrom.png Vengeful Maelstrom can often get an unexpected kill.
    • Place it over enemies and yourself should you expect the enemy to focus on you, reducing your damage taken while possibly let it cause more to enemies. Place it over allies if you expect enemies to aggressively attack them instead.
    • Enemies running from Vengeful Maelstrom.png Vengeful Maelstrom isn't necessarily a problem, as long as you are damaging them while they flee from it. With Arcane Smash.png Arcane Smash, Twisted Advance.png Twisted Advance and even other allied crowd-control effects, the enemy fleeing Vengeful Maelstrom.png Vengeful Maelstrom can allow your team to do a lot of damage upon them without receiving reprisal before they escape the circle.
    • Vengeful Maelstrom.png Vengeful Maelstrom is a great counter against other champs' AoE ults. Activate Vengeful Maelstrom.png Vengeful Maelstrom during a channel such as Absolute Zero.png Absolute Zero or Death Lotus.png Death Lotus to absorb some damage and later retaliate with some of your own.
  • Maokai Maokai's typical initiation is using Sapling Toss.png Sapling Toss, rooting them near the sapling with Twisted Advance.png Twisted Advance to ensure the sapling explodes on them, and finishing off with Arcane Smash.png Arcane Smash. Waiting until the root is just about to end before using his knock-up on Arcane Smash.png Arcane Smash increases disable time on them as well. If a team battle is about to start, use Vengeful Maelstrom.png Vengeful Maelstrom after you jump in with your Twisted Advance.png Twisted Advance, positioning its location to net as many enemies and allies as possible.
  • Maokai Maokai's damage output early game is very high being able to bring a squishy enemy to about 1/3 of their health using a few well aimed Sapling Toss.png Sapling Tosses. When they get low enough use the above combo, you can easily get a kill.
  • Maokai Maokai can have a support role similar to Galio Galio, being able to deal decent damage and still protect allies, or Malphite Malphite, being able to disrupt enemy positions and set up kills for his allies while still remaining relatively tanky.
  • Maokai Maokai has great jungle potential and is one of the fastest clearing junglers with Sapling Toss.png Sapling Toss, Arcane Smash.png Arcane Smash and Sap Magic.png Sap Magic.
Mastery Usage
Item Usage
  • Spirit Visage item.png Spirit Visage is a perfect defensive item for Maokai Maokai, as it provides a nice amount of both magic resistance and cooldown reduction.
    • Most defensive items synergize well with Sap Magic.png Sap Magic by improving both his sustainability and durability.
  • Frozen Heart item.png Frozen Heart is an excellent item for Maokai Maokai, giving him armor for survivability, cooldown reduction to allow him to do more damage and control fights better with his abilities, mana to allow him to maintain Vengeful Maelstrom.png Vengeful Maelstrom longer, and an excellent passive to reduce the damage of enemy autoattackers.
  • If using a Guardian Angel item.png Guardian Angel, it is possible to save your Sap Magic.png Sap Magic until after you have resurrected as the stacks stay with you through death. Doing this could save your life if a champion decides to wait around until you've revived.
  • Maokai Maokai has rather high ability power ratios for a tank, making tanky Ability Power items like Rylai&#039;s Crystal Scepter item.png Rylai's Crystal Scepter, Banner of Command item.png Banner of Command, and Rod of Ages item.png Rod of Ages highly effective on him, however don't pick more than two of this as you might leave your tankiness behind.
    • Rylai&#039;s Crystal Scepter item.png Rylai's Crystal Scepter provides great synergy with Sapling Toss.png Sapling Toss, as it applies the slow with its first hit and then again after it chases down and explodes near an opponent. The health will also benefit Maokai Maokai's tanking.
    • Ohmwrecker item.png Ohmwrecker can be used to enable Maokai Maokai to tower dive more aggressively, and save himself significant damage in situations where he is dragged under tower by someone using an escape during Twisted Advance.png Twisted Advance.
    • If your team is already very tanky and are in the need of damage, you can actually build Ability Power similar to an actual mage. Keep in mind however that you still have to get very close to an opponent, and as such you should try to remain hard to kill.
  • Using a Sheen item.png Sheen or Iceborn Gauntlet item.png Iceborn Gauntlet can offer great results due to Maokai Maokai's high base attack damage and low cooldown on Arcane Smash.png Arcane Smash. Iceborn Gauntlet item.png Iceborn Gauntlet can be aggressive alternative to Frozen Heart item.png Frozen Heart as it provides almost the same stats.
  • Chalice of Harmony item.png Chalice of Harmony is very useful on Maokai Maokai as it provides valuable magic resistance and greatly increases his mana regeneration to extend the duration of Vengeful Maelstrom.png Vengeful Maelstrom.
    • It can be later upgraded into a Athene&#039;s Unholy Grail item.png Athene's Unholy Grail for increased MR and valuable ability power, as well as a lot of CDR.
Countering
  • Part of Maokai Maokai's ability to tank comes from him being able to consistently heal through Sap Magic.png Sap Magic. If you can spare it, try using Morellonomicon item.png Morellonomicon or another source of Grievous Wounds icon Grievous Wounds to minimize its effect.
  • When jungling, Maokai Maokai can reach level 2 and gank earlier than most junglers due to Sapling Toss.png Sapling Toss stacking and strong ganking at low levels with Twisted Advance.png Twisted Advance. Be aware of this and play accordingly.
  • Vengeful Maelstrom.png Vengeful Maelstrom will detonate for damage even if it ends due to death or mana loss. Don't forget this when finishing him off at low health.
  • Avoid fighting in his Vengeful Maelstrom.png Vengeful Maelstrom, as the spell effect can turn the tide of a teamfight in Maokai Maokai's favor.
  • When facing a laning Maokai Maokai, the most reliable way to avoid Sapling Toss.png Sapling Toss is to stand near your minions, then run when he throws the sapling. This way, the minions draw aggro instead of you, allowing you to reliably get out of the explosion radius.
    • Avoid the brushes if possible. Not only is brush-hugging ineffective against Maokai Maokai's Sapling Toss.png Sapling Toss, it can actually make landing the explosion damage easier.

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