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MAOKAI BUILD GUIDE: S4 Sudowoodo FTW - Maokai Jungle by annihilator24

by annihilator24 (last updated 4 months ago)

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9
Greater Mark of Attack Speed(+15.3% attack speed)
9
Greater Seal of Armor(+9 armor)
9
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist(+27 at champion level 18)
3
Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed(+4.5% movement speed)
View Rune Details
Summoner Spells
View Summoner Details

Starting

Full Item Build

0
9
21
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/4
mastery 3 0/4
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/3
mastery 3 0/3
mastery 3 0/1
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/1
mastery 3 0/1
mastery 3 0/3
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/3
mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/3
mastery 3 0/1
mastery 2 0/1
0 Offense
mastery 1 1/2
mastery 2 0/2
mastery 3 2/2
mastery 4 2/2
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 3/3
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 1/1
mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 0/3
mastery 1 0/3
mastery 2 0/1
mastery 3 0/1
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/4
mastery 3 0/1
mastery 2 0/1
9 Defense
mastery 1 1/1
mastery 2 3/3
mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 1/1
mastery 2 3/3
mastery 3 0/1
mastery 4 1/1
mastery 1 3/3
mastery 2 1/1
mastery 3 2/3
mastery 4 1/1
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 1/1
mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 0/2
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 3/3
mastery 2 1/1
21 Utility
View Mastery Details
Player Level 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Sap Magic
QArcane Smash
WTwisted Advance
ESapling Toss
RVengeful Maelstrom
View Skill Order Details

Introduction

Welcome, my saplings. This guide is currently being updated for Season 4, as the changes have given maokai some pretty interesting options for jungling. While his gameplay remains pretty much unchanged, jungling is now more beneficial for AOE junglers and extremely mobile heavy-ganking ones. I hope you enjoy this updated, guide, good luck!

Runes

Greater Mark of Attack Speed - By far still the best runes on maokai. A more responsive autoattack gives him a bit of an edge when dueling and in teamfights, and it scales very well to deal early and later game damage with iceborn gauntlet.
Greater Seal of Armor - You need this for early jungling, ganking, and just survivability in general. I'll be experimenting with other choices now that much of the early pressure for junglers has been relieved as of the late S3 patch. Other rune sets may be viable, but these still remain my favorite.
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist - The innate resistance to magic dealers is hugely beneficial for this tree, especially as lategame approaches and more team-oriented (generally armor-related) items are required.
Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed - Maokai no longer needs additional AP since the season 3 changes went into effect, and the additional early game movement speed will ensure you can get off a successful gank to snowball your lanes.

Masteries

mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/4
mastery 3 0/4
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/3
mastery 3 0/3
mastery 3 0/1
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/1
mastery 3 0/1
mastery 3 0/3
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/3
mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/3
mastery 3 0/1
mastery 2 0/1
0 Offense
mastery 1 1/2
mastery 2 0/2
mastery 3 2/2
mastery 4 2/2
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 3/3
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 1/1
mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 0/3
mastery 1 0/3
mastery 2 0/1
mastery 3 0/1
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/4
mastery 3 0/1
mastery 2 0/1
9 Defense
mastery 1 1/1
mastery 2 3/3
mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 1/1
mastery 2 3/3
mastery 3 0/1
mastery 4 1/1
mastery 1 3/3
mastery 2 1/1
mastery 3 2/3
mastery 4 1/1
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 1/1
mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 0/2
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 3/3
mastery 2 1/1
21 Utility

Skill Order

Player Level 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Sap Magic
QArcane Smash
WTwisted Advance
ESapling Toss
RVengeful Maelstrom

Pros / Cons

Pros:
- balls deep
- amazing CC
- early game ganks
- great ultimate
- really powerful passive
Cons:
- balls deep
- no escape (unless you want to get creative with Twisted Advance)
- weak in the jungle vs high-dmg junglers or junglers with slow ie or
- no huge power spike at 6
- cannot solo dragon/baron effectively

update for s3:
maoki is significantly weaker early on due to his inability to waveclear camps evenly with aoe. He is still excellent as a jungle, but he does need significantly more help level 1, especially if you decide to start wraiths

Jungle Route

New updated s3 video.
UPDATE: If you like cheese (and I love it), start with your Q and get wraiths > red then gank bottom level 2. No one EVER expects it and about 4/5 times I do it in soloQ it results in first blood. (best with supports like taric)

This is a standard jungle maokai route starting at wolves and immediatly walking over to blue buff (this will be significantly easier with a leash from midlane and top). Updated for season 3
Below are a couple options for standard maokai jungling:
BLUE START
  • Place first Sapling at WOLVES at 1:04, then wait until 1:40 and cast the second. Small wolves will die from the explosions and more saplings are not worth the mana you will spend.
  • Auto attack the big wolf until it dies, then run to blue
  • Kill Blue with 2 saplings + autos. Walk away from it a bit to reduce your damage taken
NOTE: You now benefit a LOT from help at blue, try and get your teammates to help. You still can do the full jungle with no help, but it's hugely beneficial to get help.
  • Walk over to wraiths and kill with > > autoattacks
NOTE: never autoattack anything but the big creeps now, as all other creeps will always die to your aoe combos.
  • Kill red as quickly as possible then walk to golems (if you smited blue)
  • Kill golems with smite and either back or proceed to gank

RED START
NOTE: I sometimes like to start red and gank bot at level 2 for some unexpected maokai cheese. I have been very succesfull with this in the past, but it hugely slows down your jungle path so I do not recommend it for beginners
  • Place one sapling at wraiths at 1:04, then one at red at 1:15, then place a sapling at wraiths at 1:39 and autoattack the camp to death.
  • Walk to red and sapling it once at spawn (1:55), letting it walk into your second sapling (thank you doo0oooom for this suggestion)
  • Kill Red with (or without - need hard leash smite).
  • From here either get twisted advance at level 2 if a gank bot looks promising
  • You can also spec into arcane smath and proceed to kill wolves then blue


General advice for jungling:
YOUR LANES ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN FARMING - If your laners are doing absolutely horrendously or know they are going to get dived, or you see the enemy jungler near them - get over there ASAP. Your purpose as a jungler is to give your lanes the best possible advantage: 4CS from a wraiths camp is NEVER worth an advantage lost in a lane.
That being said, make sure you make it clear you cannot be everywhere at once. You do need to clear your camps.
Lately I've been speccing into twisted advance at level 2 if I see that a lane is overextended (some play extremely aggressive level 1 such as sona/ezreal or orianna).

NOTES FOR SEASON 3:
Small creeps will always die to your aoe in the jungle, so only ever use autoattacks on the big creeps in any given camp.

Counterjungling / Defending your Jungle

Maokai's saplings are very powerful for not only damage on camps, but as temporary 'wards' for your or the enemy jungler. Place these down in bushes if you think the enemy jungler will be going a certain way, or just to let your lanes breathe a little easier for 35 seconds.
IF YOU MEET THESE PEOPLE IN THE JUNGLE, RUN:




Any jungler that can chase you down will be able to hugely out - damage you (as you are more of a burst tank with little to no utility in between your cooldowns)
IF YOU MEET THESE PEOPLE IN THE JUNGLE, KILL THEM (unless they fed, don't be stupid.)



You should still be very careful to make sure the enemy laners are not coming to the enemy jungler's aid, but maokai is very strong 1v1 against champions that also rely on higher cooldown abilities. His sapling does the highest base damage of any non-ultimate in the game, and he has no problem trading with more bursty junglers.

If you see the enemy laners or enemy junglers in your own jungle, ping the heck out of that if there is anything you or your teammates can do about it. If your team is strong in skirmishes maokai becomes exponentially stronger since his ability to lock down enemies is almost unparalleled.
Above all, just be careful. Maokai is an all-in champion who has a very hard time escaping out of unfavorable situations. Don't initiate in the jungle unless you are sure you can win.

Runes

[http://i.imgur.com/vqNBW.jpg]

Marks:
I only consider AS Marks (Greater mark of alacrity) because they speed up you're jungle time significantly and will allow you to proc your passive much easier during teamfights, while jungling, etc. These are standard for most junglers and I recommend them highly on mao.

Seals:
Armor is necessary on maokai, it really helps out early on in the jungle especially if you do not start cloth 5. These runes are also great for ganking, you will take less damage from the AD or an AD based bruiser toplane, and they help build toward the armor base you will need for lategame.

Glyphs:
Here I generally run Mr/Level runes because maokai needs to scale into lategame to become a monster, and to do this he needs to be able to survive enemy mage burst. This is especially good against late-scaling casters like orianna, anivia, karthus, etc. If you want to camp the heck out of mid lane you may want to consider flat MR blues over MR/level.

Quintessences:
I no longer run flaht ap runes in the jungle because of the huge health decrease on small minions and increase on large ones. You now benefit very minimally, if at all, from the extra flat AP. I recommend instead MS runes especially because of the huge increase to flat movement speed (% scales much better now without boots)

Masteries

[http://i.imgur.com/TulbC.jpg]
[http://i.imgur.com/MvYLY.jpg]
Offensive tree: Please don't.
Defensive tree: I generally take 9 points in defense, you can choose between 9 and 21. At the very least, get the standard 9 for jungling, 4 into hp/level, 1 into veterans scars, 2 into monster armor(i call it monster armor), 1 into bladed armor.
With the new jungle I like to run 0/9/21 as my masteries, going in the utility tree for the bonus movement speed, summoner spell CDR, gp/10, starting gold, Biscuiteer (^^), etc, etc. I really like going 21 into the utility tree because you get 3% increased movement speed, which makes up for the fact that you don't have boots and then some when paired with MS quints and the movement speed mastery at the top of the tree. I like the biscuiteer mastery for one reason: Veterans scars is considered to be amazing, and it gives 30 hp at level 1. Biscuiteer essentially gives you a bonus 80 hp at level 1 that you can use when you need. 80 early game is so much more valuable than 30 over the course of the entire game, as 30 hp out of 3,000 becomes insignificant as the game goes on longer and longer. Get all the movement speed things, they are the greatest ever. I take 2 in CDR and 2 in summoner spell CD, and I will be posting an image of this tree and alternatives hopefully tonight.

Summoner Spells



Explanation:

I find this summoner fits maokai best for a few reasons. Firstly, maokai has no escape and flash is by far the best summoner for escaping a situation where you would otherwise be dead. It can also be used to initiate or gank from the brush, and is extremely versatile in general. Paired with shurelyas flash can make up a huge amount of distance, but use it carefully since maokai does have no escape.


I haven't seen many people run exhaust on maokai, but this is a fairly common summoner when you want to put heavy gank pressure early on in the game.


This summoner is still really good for getting out of scrapes or initiating or chasing, and can make up more distance than flash if used properly. I generally prefer flash.


This is a MUST on every jungler. Yes, you can jungle without smite, but it makes your buffs incredibly easy to steal, and it becomes next to impossible to secure objectives like dragon and baron when the enemy jungler has a smite and you do not. Also take for faster jungle speed. Always, always take smite when jungling.

Please don't.

Skills

Passive: 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.

Explanation:
This passive is actually incredibly strong throughout the entire game. It is really the part of mao's kit that makes him a viable jungler. 7% of your max health is huge as you scale into lategame, as it will amount to about 200 health restored for each proc when you have 3k health. In teamfight, 5 spells are used every couple of second so getting your passive to proc as much as possible will hugely increase your effective health.
Note: When jungling make sure when you use your fifth spell to proc your passive before casting your next spell. This can be hard to remember when using E > Q combos but it is fairly important




Q: Arcane Smash
Maokai slams the ground, the force of which knocks nearby enemies back and sends an arcane shockwave forward, dealing 70 / 115 / 160 / 205 / 250 (+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


Explanation:
This spell makes maokai one of the most disrutive tanks in the game. With a 6 second CD AOE knockback/slow this makes maokai the shortest hard CC cooldown champion in the game. With about 30% CDR, which you should hit ver easily by mid/lategame, that brings his Q down to 4 seconds. This is huge in teamfights and when chasing enemies. Use immedaitely after when ganking early on for best kill potential. Also, keep in mind this spell actually works as a knockback even if they are behind you. I generally max this first because it offers increasing damage with a flat mana cost, and makes maokai a very fast jungler not as reliant on mana as some junglers.




W: Twisted Advance
Maokai transforms into a cloud of arcane energy, quickly traveling to a target enemy. The target takes 80 / 115 / 150 / 185 / 220 (+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


Explanation:
This is what makes maokai such a scary jungler from level 4 on out. If the enemy laner is just a tiny bit overextended all you need to do is walk out from the brush and use to pin them down to kill. This can be used when chasing enemy, and is also a great tool to peel for your carries. I max this second because of the duration on the snare because by about lvl 10 you will probably be starting teamfights, and I much prefer the improved CC to more damage on sapling. A 2 second root is pretty long, and will let your allies easily catch or kill an enemy. Combo this sell with Q when ganking.




E: 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 35 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


Explanation:
This is what makes maokai so good level 1, what allows him to start wraiths into blue, and helps to clear waves incredibly efficiently. Little known fact: with both ticks, it has the highest base damage of any non - ultimate in the game. I take two points in this early so you can easily clear red and other camps, and leave it at 2 points because of the high mana cost on leveling up. This ability has HUGE potential for level 1 because his saplings last 35 seconds. You can place one at the entrances to your blue or your red that act as a ward for 35 seconds. Maokai is the #1 invade cockblocker just with his saplings alone. This is why I always take a point in sapling at level 1, and the aoe damage is good for invading as well if you have a lvl 1 teamfight. I max this last because of it's high mana cost after taking 2 points in it early.




R: 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 40/30/20 second

Cost 75 mana + 30 mana per second


Explanation:
This ultimate is often highly underrated because it's effects aren't really visible during a teamfight. However, just looking at the effect, it reduces all non turret damage to allies within it by 20%. Thats like giving everyone on your team 20% more effective health. For a tank with 3k health that's basically an increase of about 600 health. That's about half a . Looking at the opposite side of the spectrum, valdmir's ultimate increases all damage done to enemies by 12%. Maokai's reduces by 20%, effectively nullifying vlad's ulti and then some. Granted, maokai's ultimate needs to be positioned properly, but you will often get at least 3 members of your team with a well placed maokai ultimate. This also works when doing dragon and baron, so don't be afraid to use some of your massive mana pool to reduce allied damage. Do not be afraid to place this under an allied tower to scare off enemies trying to tower dive, because the CD on maokai's ultimate becomes so low lategame with max CDR (12 seconds) that you can use it every minion wave. Also, don't forget to detonate this ultimate in teamfights. If you see that the enemy team is disengaging and running away, detonate your ultimate for the extra damage. If no one is fighting in your ultimate, detonate it. A misplaced maokai ultimate is just wasting mana.

Item Builds

EXPLANATION
I realize many of you may be incredibly confused after the new S3 changes about what items to build and what on earth are these new things in the shop?? No need to worry, my little ones. These are the only two items you really have to worry about on maok from the new changes (Runic Bulwark aside) Below is an in-depth explanation on these items:

This item is REALLY good on maoki after the S3 changes. It builds directly out of razors and no longer gives AD, so it's non-discriminatory between junglers that scale with AD and junglers who don't. The proc makes it much easier to clear the now-much-buffer big creeps at camps, as well as doing dragon/baron/buffs. I also love the early armor you get, and with mao's base armor you're going to be one tanky tree. Don't build it into wriggles, just replace it super lategame with whatever item you need, but leave it until then.
Update: Lately I have not been building spirit stone for a few reasons. Maoki's AOE clear is really strong and will kill a camp generally with 2 Q's or an E>Q without spirit stone. Lately I've been building madreds first, seeing as how it no longer gives AD, just a much faster jungle with 25 armor at the same cost of spirit stone. I highly recommend it, especially if you are being super aggressive.
This item's stats are really good on maoki. You get the innate hp/regen and mana/regen, this is to be expected. First off, 500 health. A giant's belt costs 1k and gives 400 health, so it can be implied that 500 health should cost about 1200 gold. Tenacity is hard to put a price tag on, but using as a standard it should cost about 400 gold. Armor clocks in at 40 for 720 gold, (18g/armor), which means the armor you get from this item is worth about 540 gold. You also get 25% damage to camps from 20%, and I'm going to say that damage increase is arbitrarily worth 200g. Adding this all up, the true cost of this item upgrade SHOULD be 1200(health)+400(tenacity)+540(armor)+200(dmg increase)+800(spirit stone) = 3140 gold. This makes this item one of the most cost - effective items in the game. It is especially tailored to junglers, which makes it even more appealing. That being said, maoki is more of a support-jungler and does not really scale well as far as the team goes building pure selfish stats. I generally find it better to get locket/shurelyas/aegis first and then choose whether or not to get this item.

[imgext=]/
(you need to get the Greed mastery in the utility tree if you want to start machete + flask. If you do choose to start machete + flask I strongly suggest the biscuteer mastery as well, it is essentially +80 health and +40 mana at level 1. (Veterans scars is +30, so I see biscuteer as one of the best masteries in the game right now). Regardless, rush machete into and get boots AFTER you get a . The sustain you get from this is incredible when paired with the damage increase.


Still a (somewhat) viable starting item, but unless the price gets changed on . It still helps with early jungle tankiness but you really need extra damage rather than the extra armor.


After the S3 changes I recommend NEVER doing boots start. You will die in the jungle without any help (unless you do some trick stuff or are really good). Boots only now give +25 MS and you start with a flat 350, so MS is not NEARLY as effective early game. Please do not start boots 3, but get at your 1st or 2nd back.

VERY IMPORTANT
Every jungler needs to buy wards; these are especially helpful if you are being heavily counterjungled and you need to ward up your entrances, great if you really don't want to facecheck a bush, and just extremely important in general. Every role should be buying wards, until 50 minutes at which only the jungler and support should be buying wards. Place these near enemy buffs to know exactly when they spawn (if you don't already) for counterjungling, and you can buy if you intend to do a somewhat early dragon.


Philo stone is great when paired with spirit stone for OP sustain in the jungle (you pretty much never need blue buff again). Since giants belt has been changed it costs 1000g vs the old 825 for a HoG. After I like to get these to items and later build into .


This item is AMAZING. The stats on it alone are almost cost effective, since the warmogs nerf this is probably in the top 3 most cost effective legendary items in the game. The passive on it is decent, but I almost always get it just for the active and the really significant stats on it for it's low price. I recommend this as your first or second core item. (better than aegis now, but not as good lategame)


These are the 2 boot choices I consider on maokai. Many of you are probably sitting there wondering, wait, why not get mercury treads? The reasoning is this: maokai is a burst tank, he initiates or peels with into , maybe throws down , and waits for his CDs to come back up. You should easily be able to get off these three abilities before any major CC's hit you, and using CC on a tank that's waiting for cooldowns is just idiotic. The only situation I could see maokai buying merc treads is agianst a team with an ashe, nunu, karthus, and amumu. (and I mean all 4 of them). You should be able to get on top of their carries with into and peeling honestly does not require CC reduction, as any enemies between you and your carry should be within range of .
When to buy tabi :
The enemy team is highly dependent on AD damage or autoattacking (teemo, ad carries, etc.) or you just want cheap boots that help your jungling. Get these if you are behind in the jungle, as they will improve your resistances and speed.
UPDATE: SINCE TABI IS NO LONGER 850, I LIKE TO GET MOBI BOOTS INSTEAD.
When to buy mobi boots :
When you're really far ahead of the enemy jungler or you need the extra speed to set up good ganks (450MS on a tree flying at you from nowhere is pretty scary).
UPDATE: I almost always get mobis now after the S3 changes because of the crazy MS increase and the increased cost of tabis.


On maoki I will generally choose between these three enchantments, Homeguard is just great because of the massive speed you get after you base (rammus over 9,000 video riot pls) Alacrity is nice for the MS in teamfights, but I would say captain is by far the best on maoki because of the necessity of your team following you in teamfights. The drawback is it's very expensive, so only get it after you build a couple of your core items.


These are the two items I heavily favor on maokai. Almost every stat on shurelyas is crucial to maokai. Health, CDR, and the activateable ability to chase down enemies and initiate over longer distances is an absolute MUST in high elo play. I always buy aegis because of the overall balanced stats it gives, it's pretty much an item every maokai should buy.

vs heavy magic (all game)
While this item is still great, the HUGE cost increase on it (650g) makes it not nearly as viable for just building against early game magic. While it's still a great item, you should gear this toward more lategame magic damage. Paired with Runic Bulwark this gives a staggering 110 bonus MR, which should put you at 170, more than you should ever need. I generally don't build this item for the early game anymore, but it is great vs a caster-heavy team. Still great with maoki's passive, and gives even more CDR and hp regen increase than it did before. Still worth it to buy.


vs mid/lategame magic
Since the removal of FoN and the implementation of this item I will tell you this: ALWAYS, ALWAYS get this vs amazing lategame casters (karthus, cassiopea, katarina). The reasoning behind this is that you should already have an aegis as your second or third item, and if the game makes it late this item offers a flat 60 magic resist, 30 of it as an aura. This DOUBLES the base MR of most champions, and greatly reduces the amount of damage heavy casters will do. I don't recommend this against physical damage. Build aegis and then go into randuins/FH.

optional vs heavy single target initiate

vs hard AD (you generally want at least 1 of these)
These are both excellent items on maokai, the 5% CDR on randiuns and 20% CDR on frozen heart is really excellent to give maokai the most possible utility as a disruptive tank. I rush frozen heart if the enemy threat is primarily physical or if they have a hypercarry that relies on AS (vayne, kog, etc.) Randiuns builds out of heart of gold so is actually cheaper than it appears (noramlly by about 500 by the time you purchase it), and the activate on randiun's has soo much synergy with the fact that maokai loves being on top of their team.
Frozen heart is very helpful if you are having mana problems in extended teamfights, as it gives an obscene amount of mana for an already incredible item.

I like this item if I'm doing extremely well in the mid to late game, as it gives a significant damage increase on maokai. Also, this will apply aoe MR reduction to help out your AP carry in general.

Recently with the s3 changes, warmogs now only costs about 2600 instead of 3,000, and gives a flat 1k hp. This means that farming for your warmogs is no longer necessary (on junglers this can be especially difficult). I highly recommend this item against teams that do not have any % damage dealers. However, I do not recommend this item until you have your base resistance and health items ( . With the amazing new jungle item, , warmogs becomes much less of a necessity, but is still amazing vs NON (not vs vayne, kog, malzahar). Remember, % damage will always deal damage in percentages.

Early-Mid Game Roles

1) Map Awareness
Of all the roles that need this skill, it is most crucial on the jungler, and especially with one as capable of doing just about everything as maokai. You should be buying at least 1 every time you back. I'll discuss locations to ward a little later on in this chapter. Basically, having map awareness means: if your bot lane is getting tower dived, you should already be there. If your mid laner is getting zoned by the enemy laner or the enemy jungler you should do your best to apply pressure to those lanes. This goes into the next part of this chapter: giving presence.

2) Presence
As the jungler you need to be aware which lanes are winning and losing, which lanes are overextending, and where the enemy jungler is as much as possible. I find that if a lane is screaming at you to come help them it is generally a good idea to do what they ask. Even if you walk over to the lane and the enemy backs off it allows your allied lane a little more breathing room; allowing them to CS and preventing them from dying for that short amount of time. Grabbing an early to clear out enemy wards can help hugely giving your lanes presence.

3) Securing Objectives
As the jungler it is generally your job to make calls about when to invade the enemy jungle, when to kill buffs like blue and red, and who to give them to. As a general rule, take the first blue and the first few red buffs, then give every blue after that to your mid laner. If they are a manaless champion, feel free to take it or give it to another mana-heavy champion like or . It will also be your job to make calls about when to do Dragon and Baron. I find that the best times to secure a dragon are after a successful gank in botlane or when you see the enemy jungler heavily commit in toplane. When you aren't able to secure Dragon you should always have it warded past the 6-minute mark, by either yourself or the support. Maokai cannot solo dragon in the early game so you will almost always need your botlane to help you. With the much more aggressive Korean-style meta tower have become of huge value; so you should do your best to defend your own towers and push down the enemy's. If one of your lanes dies you should almost always get over to their lane so that the tower doesn't get pushed while they are dead.

Lategame Roles

1) Map Control
As Maokai, an itiniator/tank, it will generally be your job to choose when to initiate, when to disengage, and when to catch out opponents. I must stress the HUGE importance of warding lategame. If you are able to catch out a single opponent with a ward into , you can easily either push down towers or go for baron or enemy buffs. The more wards your team has on the map, the less likely you are to get caught out, and the more likely they are to get caught out. Unless you're item capped (which you generally won't be unless you are incredibly fed) you should be buying wards up until the very end of the game.
2) Initiation
Maokai is an initiator who has a huge amount of utility to offer in teamfights. Probably most significantly, he chooses which target to lock down at the start of a fight. If you're team isn't capable of winning an all-out 5v5 you generally do not want to use onto an enemy tank or a carry with a long-range escape like or . However, if you know you can win the teamfight these targets are prime targets.
3) Teamfight Decisions
Maokai can either peel for allied carries extremely well in a teamfight or lock down enemy carries.
My favorite type of teamfight is one where I have a build something like and you're pretty much an untouchable god that can 1v4 indefinitely. If you are this fed and capable of zoning out the entirety of the enemy team feel free to do so. However, if you have a valuable carry such as or it is often better to jump on the enemy tank and let your carry pound them into the ground.
Peeling:
Often times you will have an ad or ap carry of incredibly high value, either they are very fed or scale very well (vayne, kog, trist, etc.). If this is the case you will want to do what is called 'peeling' for your carries. The basic idea of peeling is to prevent the enemy team from getting to your carry. To do this, maokai has two incredibly powerful skills, and . With CDR arcane smash will be up about every four seconds, and the slow on it lasts for 2 seconds. If the enemy tank is getting too close to your carry use to root them and to disrupt them as much as possible. When peeling you should almost never die since you are not the focus of the enemy team's attention, so you should live to be incredibly annoying throughout the entire teamfight.
General Teamfighting:
Always make sure to lay down at the beginning of the teamfight to give your team a much better chance at winning. Also, make sure to proc your by autoattacking as much as possible. A huge amount of spells go on in teamfights, so make sure you are autoattacking for that extra health. I cannot tell you how many times the extra 8% has saved my life or let me survive long enough to win a teamfight. This passive gets deceptively strong lategame, and it's very important you remember to use it. With full CDR your should be available about every 4 seconds, and it's an excellent tool to disrupt channels, slow enemies, or discourage them from chasing you.

Maokai Commentary


Skip to 1:15, this game was back when I was a lowly 1800 n00bl0rd but still one of my favorite games of maokai and my first ever tournament ^^ enjoy.

MORE VIDEOS DESCRIBING THIS GUIDE IN DEPTH SHOULD BE POSTED SHORTLY

Change Log

  • 10/28: Guide published
  • 10/30: Inserted Change log chapter
  • 12/4:
Masteries: Updated masteries for new season
Runes: Changed quintessences to Greater Quintessence of Swiftness reflecting the s3 changes.
Item Build: Changed to reflect s3 changes (see Item Build section)
Intro: Updated for S3
Jungle Route: updated to start wolves level 1 by default.
Item Build Chapter: Explained the new jungling items good for maoki in-depth, please read this section if you have not already. (pending further changes)
Mastery Chapter: Explained the different trees in depth and what you should take for your new masteries.
  • 12/5: Uploaded new video under jungle route
  • 12/5: Uploaded new photos in runes/masteries sections
  • 2/2: Changed item build guide to reflect the more recent S3 changes (locket is op as hek)
Jungle Route: Updated with my favorite cheese
  • 2/21: Updated Item build and the corresponding chapter to include madred's razors

Comments

January 20, 2014 - 09:46 PM #1

http://sh.st/cM6P

February 22, 2013 - 03:58 AM #2

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February 21, 2013 - 07:26 PM #3

Wow maokai is the only jungler i havent tried a madreds on so far. How foolish of me its a great idea! Especially since you have aspd runes anyways! thanks for the advice

I have never really build spirit stone anyways(straight into philo and tank items), but i guess madreds will fix some issues i had with him.

as for the utility tree:

I have been messing around with the utility tree ever since trying out hcarim and i feel like it might be good for maokai. The scaling of the utility tree is MASSIVE and while defense tree has some neat stuff like tenacity and extra hp, i feel like you are right regarding the dueling of maokai. He isnt much of a duelist and if somebody catches you in a bad place those 21 in defense wont save your ass anyways.

Great guide, some really great advices

February 5, 2013 - 10:33 PM #4

Nice guide. I would love some S3 videos. Until you upload some can you recommend existing videos?

February 2, 2013 - 09:19 PM #5

you are not actually sacrificing nearly ANY crucial tankiness you would otherwise get from going into the old offensive tree. The only things that help you against monsters in the jungle are (from left to right) Summoners Resolve, Durability, Tough Skin, Hardiness, Bladed Armor, Veterans Scars, and then Juggernaut (very little early game), Reinforced Armor (really there is no point to this mastery), Legendary Armor (which is bad), and Honor Guard. Out of these only Hardiness and Honor Guard can make a noticable different early game, and the extra hp potion you get from starting +50 gold more than offsets this. Also, the gp/10 you get in the masteries offsets any tankiness you may get lategame by allowing you to buy about 500g in items. As for dueling, maoki is not and will never be a duelist. The only reason you want to fight someone in the jungle is if your laners are helping you catch them out. Good question though, Bixlow.

January 13, 2013 - 09:38 PM #6

I'm not sure if I just didn't read the guide well enough, but for new players reading this guide, it would be an idea to maybe add a warning on his W, that if the enemy is fast, they can flash away and you end up at their turret.

December 29, 2012 - 11:08 PM #7

Could you explain a little bit more why going 9/21 instead of 21/9 is better on maokai in season 3. I understand that you get more gold to start off but aren't you sacrificing a lot of crucial tankyness that will help you in the jungle especially when going against a very counterjungling/dueling type champ like shyvana or olaf?

December 20, 2012 - 05:42 AM #8

Ty bro, really good guide! Thanks for the great guide!

December 15, 2012 - 01:21 AM #9

This is great. I bought Maokai on sale and just used this and games have gone really well :)

December 13, 2012 - 05:04 AM #10

the extra 3% you get will bring your flash cooldown to 270, as opposed to the 279 seconds with only 7%. Thats a really small difference when compared to the benefits of biscuiteer. It is essentially a one-time +80hp and +50mana. In comparison, veterans scars gives +30hp. In the jungle, generally the hardest part is early game, and +80hp is equivalent to 3 HP quints or about 1/2 a health pot. Also, you can chug it alongside health pot to keep you regenning health very quickly. After your first back health should not be an issue in the jungle, and biscuiteer is my personal preference.

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