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MAOKAI BUILD GUIDE: [S3] Maokai is still the Jungle by TheOddOne

by TheOddOne (last updated over a year ago)

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9
Greater Mark of Attack Speed( +15.3% attack speed)
9
Greater Seal of Armor( +12.69 armor)
9
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist( +1.35 magic resist per level (24.3 at champion level 18))
3
Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed( +4.5% movement speed)
View Rune Details
Summoner Spells
View Summoner Details
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9 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

Runes

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21 Defense
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9 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

Champion Matchups

Introduction

Disclaimer: Some parts of this guide may be copied and pasting from my previous guide because certain aspects of Maokai haven't changed in forever (values/effects on skills for instance).


Since my last guide, Maokai has consistently been a high priority picked in tournaments and while his numbers haven't been changed, he can be played slightly different in order to maximize his effectiveness.

Maokai is a strong jungler due to his skillset which is very strong with few items and his durability. He has some of the best CC as he can stop movement and interrupt enemy channeling and constantly slow targets in an AOE. This allows him to defend his carries from melee divers much more effectively than many champions. He also has other heavy utility such as sight from his saplings which can be amazing for level 1 scouting or moving on baron when wards are down. He also possesses one of the strongest defense spells in the game with his ultimate which may seem like it doesn't do much but when properly cast, it'll absorb a significant amount of damage.

I'm hoping this updated guide will be even more helpful than the last one as I've updated the way I play Maokai lately and it's been more effective than the older style of play found in my old guide which was a long time ago. For whoever didn't see the first guide, this guide should help show you why I think Maokai is still one of the strongest jungle picks in the game.

Mindset

To clear things up, we're playing Maokai as a tank. People claim he doesn't do damage but his base values are actually fairly nice and his disruption is top notch, in many cases I'd rather have Maokai for CC than Nautilus as Maokai's CCs are more practical and easier to pull off while most of Nautilus' are harder to get off in a team fight.

Maokai as a AP burst caster does not work in the jungle due to the lack of farm junglers have compared to solo lanes. Another reason why it isn't very good compared to a lane burst Maokai is the fact that you cannot abuse AP Burst Maokai against jungle minions like you can in a 1v1 lane where you're constantly against a target. Since Maokai's skillset features some of the best crowd control abilities in the game such as his Arcane Smash which is a knock up and a slow at a very short cooldown and a target snare, it is very beneficial for Maokai to be durable to cast it as many times as possible while stronger DPSers in the back line do the real damage. Therefore we will build Maokai as a ganker->tank support to effectively fit in our team.

Finally, keep in mind that after the gank phase is over and the teamfight begins, often you'll be tasked with either being the frontline and soaking up the enemy spells by going in first or defending your back lines from their divers by constantly CCing their diving champions from getting to your casters/ADs. While it is possible to be a diver as Maokai, it's generally only useful if you have follow up diving allies due to Maokai's damage not being able to fully kill a champion in a short timespan.

Masteries

General idea behind masteries: Defensive is probably best as we're not building glass cannon burst Maokai which would be 21 in offense (AP style) and if we go utility, we aren't able to make use of it as Maokai may be lacking in durability early-late game and could fall behind the standard going defensive route. Defensive Spec is very useful all game for most bruisers as it makes them more durable early game while making their late game durable as well. Considering we'll be in the front lines constantly, there probably isn't a situation where defense wouldn't be useful on Maokai as it's his job to block for his back lines and the other 2 mastery trees would not help if we put 21+ points into them.

Also I'd like to make a list of things we look for when picking masteries:

FRONT LOADED
A mastery that I consider 'Front Loaded' are ones whose effect occurs early in the game or at level 1. An easy example is Hardiness (defensive tree, gives 2+ armor per point) vs Legendary Armor (2% armor and magic resist according to your bonus aka non base armor/mr). At first glance, Hardiness sucks because it not only gives such a low value but it gives only armor. But Hardiness is front loaded, and would be far more useful in early trades and jungling than Legendary Armor. When this is factored in, it is no longer a clear victory and depending on how a player plays, Hardiness could be more useful and give a lead that makes up for its weak late game phase. A hypothetical example could be that a player with only Hardiness against a player who only has Legendary Armor gets such a lead before Legendary Armor's advantage kicks in, manages to be stronger late game because they won the early game when they had a more durable champion over the opponent. The opposite is also true, the Legendary Armor player could stay even and simply be more useful later game due to his scaling mastery. A front loaded mastery can affect the game and create a lead while a non front loaded mastery cannot create a lead until later where its value comes into effect. That is why front loaded masteries are sometimes very valuable.


POSITION IN TREE

This should be a fairly obvious point, a mastery deep in the tree may be flat out stronger than some masteries near the entrance of the tree. A simple example is Sorcery (offense tree, 1%CDR per pt) vs Intelligence (Utility Tree, 2% CDR per pt). Clearly Intelligence is better per point but it's location in the tree makes it worse than Sorcery a significant amount of the time as many champions can't afford to build that deep in the utility tree while many can easily afford to put a few into the offense tree and get Sorcery as it's near the entrance. Due to how points are allowed to be allocated, lower masteries sometimes are forced into being picked as you can't proceed through the tree without having enough points in the lower branches. Sometimes this alone is why certain masteries are picked as there is nothing else useful in that branch and the ones below it to put points into.

SITUATIONAL USEFULNESS

Every champion has something called situational usefulness. For instance AP Yi is a beast against low channel cancelling teams but since that situation comes up rarely, Yi isn't considered that good of a pick because he is useful in very few situations and the ones he is useful in, don't come up often. Same deal with masteries, as an example: Destruction (offense tree, bonus 5% damage to towers) seems like a good mastery as it's basically executioner in terms of damage but not deep in the tree. Except that it works only against towers which may be a target in the game at some point or it may not matter at all if your team starts losing or that damage has no effect on whether that tower was gonna die or not. This is a situational mastery as there is no guarantee that this mastery will be useful as attacking a turret may not come up that often but even more importantly, is if that extra 5% damage done to the turret was the sole reason a tower died (often it'll probably save 1-2 seconds if anything at all). Not to mention, it takes 20 hits for it to do 100% damage (an extra auto attack) so it's highly unlikely you'll save anything more than an auto attack.


Going down the list:

Defense Tree:

Summoner's Resolve: 10 Gold might not seem like a huge benefit but considering how many times you'll be using smite, let's say once every 90 seconds for 20~ minutes which would give us around 130 gold. While this gold isn't front loaded (as in you don't start with it but rather you see the effect as the game goes on), it's still very powerful for just one point. Resistance (2 MR per point) works out to be around 33 gold front loaded in terms of value of what it gives.

Durability: Every champion in the game can use Health, some champions will need it more than others, frontline champions needing it the most as they'll be soaking up the opposing team's damage. This mastery is also a victim of the stackable masteries effect, 1 point in it doesn't seem like anything but when we stack 4 points into it, its strength becomes more apparent (similar to if Defender or Tough Skin could be stacked more) upon stacking it, we become a far more durable tree. This skill isn't front loaded however so it takes a while to get going but is a better gold value than many of the masteries in this tree and as such, makes a valuable addition to Maokai's mastery page. With the addition of the way Season 3 is played (penetration is more effective), health is possibly the best defensive stat by a fair margin and champions that ignore it will tend to die very quickly. Also has some synergy with Juggernaut.

Tough Skin: It is hard to put a gold value on a skill such as this as there is no easy thing to compare it to as no such item exists which blocks a flat value like this. However, just adding the amount of hits every single monster will ever do to you in the jungle makes this an extremely valuable mastery for champions that don't have super sustain and durability (aka basically not WW or Fid I guess) as every single camp will easily do a dozen or more hits on you. Add that up for each camp on the first clear alone and suddenly you understand how many health potions it'll save on the first and every subsequent clear. It's a flat reduction value unlike Hardiness which means if you're in contact with many monsters that do low damage such as small wolves/wraiths/golem/lizards then you'll be significantly reducing their total damage dealt as 2 damage is a large proportion of their total damage per hit. A very strong jungle mastery.

Hardiness: Note that we used the term front loaded above, despite this skill giving somewhat meh value in terms of gold, it is very useful in the way that it's front loaded and stackable (up to 3 points) which allows us to take less damage early on in the jungle as they're doing less physical damage to us. Unlike Resistance, we can make use of this mastery at every single jungle camp from level 1 onwards. While later points in the tree could be more valuable in terms of gold value, having Hardiness just makes our early game safer and stronger than most of the masteries in the entire defense tree.


Bladed Armor: Similar to Tough Skin, this mastery can really speed up jungle clears (especially early ones) as the smaller minions tend to get several hits in per camp. When added up, the amount of damage this deals is significant and will often speed up clears and reduce the amount of hits it takes to kill a minion thus reducing the time it takes to clear the camp. It is very obvious how much time this mastery saves when you see 6 or less hp minions suiciding on your bladed armor, which means you can save 3+ auto attacks each camp which can add up significantly when clearing with someone like Maokai who uses AOE as his main form of damage.

Unyielding: A lot of new players tend to dismiss this mastery immediately upon reading that it just protects against champion damage. But ask yourself this, how many times are we going to be hit by a source of damage from a champion during a fight, especially on a bruiser and especially throughout ALL stages of the game. This question alone should tell you the value of this skill for a frontline champion, unless the enemy is 4 shotting your Maokai, it is highly likely this will be blocking a few dozen points of damage a fight for the entire game. Later when Maokai becomes a panzer in terms of durability, this skill can easily block damage in the hundreds as it'll take dozens and dozens of hits (any champion source) to finish you off.

Veteran's Scars: Same reason as Durability except it's better than it in every way due to the fact that it is front loaded and gives even more health. Very useful mastery for almost every champion in the game.

Block: Similar to Unyielding, how many times will champions hit us with basic attacks in a fight, this will likely yield similar values in terms of hp saved due to it blocking 3 hp a point. While this may be useless in the jungle unless we're fighting champions there, for just 1 point, where else could it be put and do we need it anywhere else? Simply a solid defensive mastery.

Juggernaut: I dislike quite a few of the masteries further up in the tree honestly such as Relentless and Tencious due to their poor multiplicative properties but I find Juggernaut to be a steal in terms of value due to how season 3 is played. Because I tend to amass HP in season 3, I've found myself going past 3k hp in my games significantly more. At 1000 hp, this is a 40 hp value, 2000 hp is 80 hp value and 3k hp is a 120 hp value. Considering you can easily hit 2k hp with low items, it is very easy to break the value where this skill becomes stronger than Veteran's Scars (which starts better because it's front loaded but doesn't scale). A solid 3 point mastery for most champions aside from a select few that stack armor/mr (in those cases such as Malphite we'd like Legendary Armor).


Defender: For some reason people tend to ask why I pick this over Legendary armor. Considering this is a mere 1 point and the effect is enormous for such a point, I'm not sure where they are tunneling in on the fact that this mastery is bad. Automatically in a fight vs a champion this mastery point adds up to a 1/1 advantage, so we can't say it isn't front loaded. But how often does a front line bruiser fight 1-5 champions in a team fight? Very often unless you're against a poke comp or a split push comp which is extremely rare in solo queue since everyone is a banana and can't understand those comps anyway so we can assume almost 100% of the time. While I'm unsure of its aura range (600~ I've read or so), it is very easy to have 2-3 from this single mastery point in a teamfight. Compared to Legendary Armor which requires 100/100 of each stat in bonus stats, this mastery point is nearly guaranteed that 2/2+ stats with a single point. Another useful secret benefit is the fact you can tell ganks and counter junglers by just looking at your armor/magic resist stats when jungling due to your stats changing when they come close.

Reinforced Armor: This spare point can honestly go anywhere, sometimes it can go into Resistance, sometimes here. This point is ok as it's strong against late game crit damage users but sometimes that damage is too much and it won't be enough. A decent mastery but not exactly as good as the previous ones I've talked about.

Honor Guard: 3% damage reduction from all sources, what's not to like? Not situational at all (applies to everything), useful all game and technically scales with your stats so it's sorta front loaded and scaling. A simple solid point for any front line non assassin.


Utility Tree:


Summoner's Insight: This skill may seem weak (well it is) compared to some of the other picks in this row of masteries but it can be a useful mastery in situations where you or the enemy force it to be. If you ever had times where you die simply because your flash was on a cooldown for a few seconds, you'd know how this could be a lifesaver. While 15 seconds may not be much, it'll give an advantage against an opponent who doesn't have it and allow you to act 15 seconds sooner in order to get an advantage.

Wanderer: I get this since I know I'll be using non combat movespeed a fair bit when I run mobility boots to gank with. It also shaves a few seconds everytime you're healing due to you walking faster everywhere until you enter combat. When combined with mobility boots, it makes it very difficult for champions to evade your ganks unless they deal damage to you as you will outrun 90%~ of the champions in the game very quickly forcing them to use a summoner or simply die if you catch them.

Improved Recall: It may seem weak or useless but this skill can either be a lifesaver or help speed your clear time/buy back slightly due to it saving time. It's a lifesaver in some situations where you're in a brush and require to recall to base before the enemy reach your brush, that 1 second could be the deciding factor if you get killed or not. Also if you add up the number of times you recall in a game, you could find this saving a fair bit of time for you. That said, it's not like the rest of this row had masteries that were really powerful for just a single point.

Mastermind: The mandatory mastery in the 2nd level of the utility tree, nothing comes close to beating this in usefulness. The ability to shave off 30+ seconds off certain summoners is huge. Also remember, this mastery applies BEFORE summoner's insight.

Runic Affinity: This mastery is fairly strong, especially in regards to the first buffs you receive. Having your first red/blue buff longer means that Maokai is able to gank more often (due to him having more mana and more damage for ganks longer) and reduces the downtime between clears. An extremely powerful mastery for just 1 point, having this front loaded mastery can change your early game significantly as it may be just what is needed for an extra gank (which could net over 300+ gold in advantages).



Runes

Copied and pasted from my previous guide:

Starting from the top:

My marks are attack speed solely to speed up the animation of my auto attack while giving me an easier time in the jungle. I've found that if you don't have enough attack speed, you'll rarely get off your passive in time when it's constantly being fired up due to spells being cast constantly.

My seals are currently still armor, it helps greatly in the early phase and even later in terms of facing the enemy physical attacks. Adding up the damage every camp does to you early game, these seals can reduce the damage dealt to Maokai by a large amount.

My glyphs are just plain magic resistance per level, they'll give the most bang for your glyphs later on in terms of durability which is what we're aiming for in terms of playstyle/build. The reason these are per level rather than flat magic resist is because we don't expect to be hit by many spells at all early game (especially pre level 4) and by the time we're in teamfights, we'll be past the breakpoint of when the scaling glyphs surpass the flat glyphs.

My quintessences are flat movement speed as the current trend is ganking often and early. Movespeed allows us to do both as we're walking between camps faster and we are getting in range for twisted advance faster to perform a better gank.

Summoner Spells



Explanation:

Copied from my older Maokai Guide:

Smite for obvious reasons. Flash is extremely versatile for Maokai as it allows him to not only escape over walls or away from ganks but also add 400 range to his Twisted Advance. I'm sure many people have seen this on stream/events where it is very hard to avoid a flash followed by a Twisted Advance for the initial level 4 gank. Flash allows for aggression and defensive play as being able to instantly relocate 400 range can be a lifesaver or what decides a gank.

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:

Far more powerful than it looks, this not only sustains Maokai during his route but also in teamfights. Using this passive constantly while throwing out spells is huge, this could easily proc every second in a fight which means you could be healing half your max life before you die which allows you to be very durable. Master using this passive while doing teamfights and you'll be one of the tankiest champions in the game.



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:

The shortest cooldown knockup/back spell in the game, this spell gets extremely annoying for your opponents as they are constantly slowed or knocked up/back due to its low cooldown. This ability has the effect of stopping channeling if you're close enough (otherwise it'll just slow) due to the knockup property. Also note that this spell affects the small area around Maokai meaning that you can knockup targets directly behind/beside you despite the line animation going the other way.



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:

Similar to Rune Prison, this spell has an additional bonus/drawback in that it positions Maokai beside his target after the projectile reaches the target. Notice how I say projectile as if the target flashes or blinks back, you'll follow them to that location rather to where they used to be. This means you can either secure a kill easier if they mess up a flash or you could be in severe danger if they flashed into a tower/team.



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 spell boasts the highest base damage in the entire game for a non ultimate. Clocking in at 460, this spell's drawback is the cooldown and fact that it might be difficult to get both damage ticks off. The sapling is also useful for a ranged ward/trap (provided you don't put it near a neutral monster) or as a trap early on in the game to instantly kill a jungle camp. This is probably the best part about the skill as such utility value is very powerful. That said, I max this spell last as it has a high cooldown and only does pure damage rather than have any CC ability like the other two non ultimate skills.



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 second

Cost 75 mana + 30 mana per second


Explanation:

Deceptive like his passive, Maokai's ultimate is extremely useful against casters and their high damage ultimates or aoes. Placing this before a Morg or Fiddle ult can be very deadly to them as it greatly reduces the damage of their attacks and near instantly gets charged up to full, this could very well help kill the enemy attackers. Also note that when used in combination with Maokai's Q and E, Maokai is dealing extremely high AOE damage without needing a single offensive item.



Skill Order

So mainly like above:



Maxing Q first and leveling R and then W when possible while maxing E last.

The reasoning for this is that after level 4, you'll tend to get more than 1 arcane smash out in a fight as opponents last longer than a single combo. Also the slow is extremely good and gets stronger later, meaning you can essentially keep them from going far while your team damages them. This reasoning is the same for maxing Twisted Advance, it allows for a longer snare on the enemy target so your carries can do more damage as they're itemized for damage unlike you. The second skill point in Sapling Toss is very useful for clearing the jungle and minion waves as it makes Maokai's AOE damage to be fairly high for that point in the game.

The second skillbuild is superior for clearing and since we want to be flexible in terms of our jungle route (in case no ganks are possible):

Item Builds

Start:


The reason for such an item build, is that Maokai simply uses too much hp/mana to do camps without the Machete (unless Maokai gets significant help) as the stronger camps make it so Machete is a great item to clear them. However you will take more damage than in season 2 jungle so we're stuck with using 5 potions.

Easy gank lanes (skip this if it's going to be farm war):


If you are going to buy these boots, they should be relatively early and you should be ready to gank often as they're most useful during the early game lane phase. What I mean for farm war is that if you expect the lanes to be difficult to gank such as say vs a and your team is the side and other lanes are similar, often your ability to gank will be minimal. Also could be if the lane phase ends, as in towers in lanes start dying and teams are starting to group up more, it is probably a bad investment to go as you'll want defensive stats for teamfights in order to tank for your team. But for the situations these boots are good, they can work very well as you move from base very quickly and the enemy has a much more limited timespan to avoid a gank with these boots as they won't be able to outrun such movespeed. Just be warned that these aren't so valuable in an even number gank (say the enemy jungler arrives) as defensive stats are more useful when damage is being thrown out. If you do get these, you might want to sell them for the correct defensive boot later due to late game being mostly teamfights.


Next:


This item helps Maokai clear the camps in a fast and less costly manner later in the game. I like this item due to the fact that it allows you to spend less health and mana at each camp because you're killing them faster due to higher damage (10% to 20% from machete). Since we're already 300 in the hole from Machete, this is superior to phil stone in many ways as it costs only 500 to upgrade from machete and it gives more hp regen and front loaded stats. Because of how champions build machete first, Philosopher Stone has been phased out on many champions due to its regen being redundant when Spirit Stone is only 500 extra gold compared to philstone's 700 and Spirit Stone gives additional damage to minions and higher hp regen.


Depending on opposing team's damage (if you didn't get boots of mobility):
OR

If you didn't go , this is a good time to get these boots as simply moving faster gives you faster clear, better ganks and better teamfighting as you're able to stick with targets or evade them. Depending on the majority of the enemy team composition, you can either go vs heavy physical damage teams or against heavy magical damage teams AND heavy CC teams as they can be very annoying when escaping from ganks or sticking with a target. Also some skills such as 's ultimate will do less damage to a target with Tenacity as the damage effect ends with the snare.



If you are the sole tank:

When I say sole tank, I mean if your champion is the only frontliner on the team, it basically means you need items that make you survive or else your backline falls once you die. Locket is very strong at this due to its huge base stats for the wearer and the additional shield it gives to everyone around you. Compared to shurelia's which is a very similar price, you can easily defend against an additional 300-400~ damage with Locket. Factoring the shield and health, you can easily have a 600~ hp advantage from this item.

More tankiness:


This new playstyle being adapted in my games has been stack hp, and ask questions later. Unfortunately we have no choice but to follow this on Maokai due to his constant frontline presence. This item also somewhat helps his passive as it'll heal for more as it's a higher hp value the more hp he gets. Right now, almost every frontliner wants .


Go for this against APs and support hasn't gotten it (otherwise get visage) :
into

In teamfights, there are very few items that are stronger than this due to its raw power through stats. While it may not be perfect in every situation (say the enemy is playing a kite comp or poking from afar, then Aegis' stats won't be very helpful), it is strong even without having many allies around due to the type and amount of stats it gives. Almost every champion in the game can appreciate health, armor and magic resist. If teamfights are about to happen, this item is probably very useful as everyone near you will get a boost. Bulwark should be gotten in most situations unless the enemy is heavily AD stacked and possess very little magic damage. A good thing to note is that Bulwark in total gives 60 MR, making it one of the highest magic resist items in the game.

Enemy is more heavy magic damage:


If the enemy has sufficient magic damage, often you'll need a spirit visage to defend against it, it also gives a nice bonus to Maokai's passive which heals him.  

Next:


Useful in a significant amount of situations due to popularity of physical damage dealers, this item will always be the bane of AD carries due to it's slowing effects. In addition, it gives a nice amount of health which is always useful against all forms of damage.


If enemy is heavy AD stacked or auto attackers (Irelia):


Usually mid-late game you'll want to have at least one armor item as the chances of the opponent having one strong physical damage dealer is high. Most team compositions run an AD carry in case the game drags on and typically they'll be by far the highest damage dealer in the game when late game does roll around. If the enemy has only an AD carry and not much else in physical damage dealers and autoattackers, a ( is also sufficient if you're on a budget) is enough. If the enemy has more than just an AD carry and contains auto attackers such as // in addition to their ranged AD carry, then it may be wise to invest in a team item such as . Just by being near those champions with the item will lower their DPS as their attack speed will drop which means even if you aren't the target of their attacks, they'll be dealing less damage since they'll get less hits in.



Finally if you STILL have money:
OR

My games tend not to go this long but if you're still leaking cash, either invest in items that'll help your AD carry win the game or invest in a power item to do it yourself since apparently your team is unable to do it themselves since this is trolololo solo queue.

Jungling

This game is a standard one on blue side with a random solo queue feeder making it slightly difficult to finish the game. Otherwise it's a standard smite jungle path with a bulwark item opening after the initial core items (I don't get ancient golem spirit stone early if I get bulwark).



This game is just a proper snowball, if you're against a team where you've won in team select, merely getting a lead wins the game. Avoiding mistakes and not letting a counter jungling Lee Sin get ahead of our team, I gank mid a couple of times to essentially win mid lane due to it having a very strong lane to gank for (Swain). Combined with bot lane winning on it's own, the game slowly snowballs. Most games you should try to find a good objective to do while keeping your team safe, so in this game we basically stayed away from bottom as they were winning without our help so I tried to make sure mid/top won by ganking for them in order to complete the snowball. Though personally I don't think it was much of a game since it became very lopsided.


This game I make a judgement call that goes wrong (I still believed we could've gotten Rumble early and Yorick would've gotten the buffs) and suddenly we're behind. The important part here is that I try to fix the situation immediately before it spirals out of control by ganking the lane that has double buff.

Final Comments

So hopefully you've learned enough about Maokai here or from watching my streams to get a good idea of how to play him, I've tried to get as much info that is practical in this guide with my time limitations (I gotta update all of mine lawls). But thanks for reading and hope you can make the forest proud, born in the jungle, die in the jungle!

Comments

June 18, 2013 - 12:02 PM #1

awesome guide. I learned jungle with this guide and Maokai is now my fav champ

June 15, 2013 - 12:05 AM #2

Can you update OddOne? I really like the guide, helped me wins my games when I go jungle with him, so a please update.. :)

April 18, 2013 - 01:45 AM #3

Build Works great, ive won all my games with it. Flask was great idea to use all my friends questioned it until i came to gank their lanes lol. Keep it up Odd One

March 4, 2013 - 04:49 AM #4

in my opinion razors is far superior to spirit stone atm. I jungle maokai diamond V atm and with maxing Q your aoe will kill the small camps without upgrading to spirit stone by the time you kill the big minion. The +25 earl game armor is amazing for trading, diving towers, and early dragons. .83 AS with madreds proc means about 1 proc every 4-5 seconds on average, netting +300 damage as opposed to the bonus 50 damage you get every time your Q is up and bonus 41 you get on your W (assuming 2 ranks in E and 5 in Q), plus the negligible bonus 15 damage per autoattack. In total, madreds gives you much faster clear time and assuming you don't upgrade spirit stone (which you generally shouldn't if you buy it) madreds is MASSIVELY more effective for clearing jungle. The mana regen problem can be solved with a couple early mana pots and good mana management.

February 9, 2013 - 09:58 PM #5

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8if2-BYNrNQ&list=PLXhpBpiQvQS9ehyhYC9njHhMGq7F2SI-W

February 5, 2013 - 04:40 PM #6

If you give up your second blue in the jungle Maokai has God awful mana regen, while the spirit stone isnt much its a lot more than none. Also one of the reasons anyone would build razors is if they have a semi decent attack speed because youre going to look for that proc more often with more auto attacks, which maokai does not. Even with AS reds and the points in AS masteries (for the luls) Mao still has a base .83 AS that only goes up to .98. Not worth it.

February 4, 2013 - 08:59 PM #7

@Oddible: There are a number of reasons why I think he did not get razors. Reason one being that since he gets mobility boots and not merc treads he still needs the tenacity, so he turns the spirit stone into the ancient golem (which gives very nice stats, especially for maokai). Reason two being that mao needs mana regen and health regen if he plans on giving up blue to his mid lane. It really makes no sense for maokai to buy razors, really.

February 3, 2013 - 11:11 PM #8

@Oddible: Tanks dont normally run madreds, even though it provides armor it only builds into a Wriggles, where the spirit stone builds into the Ancient Golem, which is far more tanky than the Wriggles. Logic.

February 1, 2013 - 05:09 PM #9

@Oddible: i'm just assuming , but madred's razor isnt for every champion even if its way better , on things like maokai , you dont really use your normal attack more than your spells(saplings,mostly)

maokai is known for his fast burning of mana , spirit stone helps easing his mana problems and gives him more power on his saplings , i still think he should get philo stone , but it doesnt really matter :P

January 26, 2013 - 02:15 AM #10

Came here to read why he would choose Spirit Stone over Madred's Razor, but he doesn't even mention it, which makes me think that this guide is a bit of a half-azzed rework for S3.

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