IntroductionFirst of all, this is a 3v3 build, not a 5v5.
Maokai, is one of the best tank interrupters in the game to date. He has the ability to roll as a tank and to do hefty amount of damage in team fights. But to also interrupt, snare, and protect the entire team from incoming damage. Unless the other team is fed, you should always have the upper hand inside any team fight that occurs in his ultimate.
With this guide you can have success as the Twisted Tank in 3v3 matches :D
Heres a couple ranked games (the 2 custom games were also 3v3s with my team)
These masteries are generally self explanatory. To max your damage output, one should run 9 points in the offensive grabbing the magic penetration, to add a little bit more damage to Maokai's abilities.
I choose to put 21 into the defensive mastery tree because these are going to give you a huge buff to your tanky-ness, and will go well with the runes.
Your going to start with a lot of health, and have a decent amount of AP damage as you continue to level up.
So I choose magic pen marks to go along with the magic pen mastery. Your always going to do a decent amount of damage to your enemies, even if they have a decent bit of magic resistance (ex. )
The armor is for obvious reasons, take less damage, be a tank.
The ap per level is a personal choice, as the game will continue your damage continues to rise as well, making sure you are always caught up with the growing health and resistance of your foes.
I choose HP quints just to add a bit more meat to my bones, so that early game, I have a bit more survivability and can pull of early game kills and first bloods.
There are a lot of different combinations you can use for Maokai in 3v3 battles, but I prefer to use Flash to get in and out of battles, as well as to catch enemies in one of my combos (see video below)
I also bring ignite, to shut-down any potential heal that the other team may decide to bring, and so the rest of the team can focus on exhaust, ghost, etc.
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.
Not much to really say here, if you build a lot of health this can heal for quite a bit. It's extremely important to get in as many melee hits as possible in team fights because your passive will go off like crazy with all of the spells being casted around you.
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
Though the damage is not really worth getting up, this skill really shines when it is used to slow the attacking team, and to interrupt the enemy during channels. It can also set back when the enemy team when they are attacking allies.
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
This is your most important ability in terms of catching and setting up kills for you team, obviously, you can use it to hop over walls, pass through the enemy team, and grab the carry so that your team can do work.
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.
Saplings now last for 35 seconds! This is a HUGE buff, letting you ward even better, and even set up traps occasionally if it is timed correctly
Cooldown 12 seconds
Cost 70 / 80 / 90 / 100 / 110 mana
I choose to level this first because it can do extremely large amounts of damage, and act as short wards when you do not want to face-check a grass. Its extremely important that you can hit this skill shot, and wipe minion waves during farming.
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
Maokai's ultimate is where he really shines in team fights. But you should ONLY drop this when a team has committed to fighting you, otherwise its just a waste of a cast. Also keep in mind, that it does a small amount of damage on its own. If an enemy is running away with extremely low hp, you can drop this and pop it if they are out of range to kill them.
Skill OrderYour general spell combo is going to go something like this : . This is going to do a decent amount of damage. (ignite is not necessary)
Here is a video of how this should be executed :
You can also flash and twisted advance to catch your opponents and surprise those who were off guard.
On a side note : Your ultimate DOES do base damage. Though this situation may not happen often, if an opponent with extremely low health is trying to run away, and you are out of range/mana, you can drop your ult on them as they are running, and immediately pop it again, killing them.
Early GameMaokai really does not have much of an early game. I like to think that he really shines around level 5 or so, because your saplings are going to be lvl 3 and doing a large chunk of damage to your enemies. You and your partner will have no problem getting kills.
Before the match starts, its also very important to use saplings in grass to avoid the initial ganks or level 1 fights. Maokai really cannot participate in them, due to all of his skills really cant do much eachother.
Mid GameFrom this point onwards, Maokai really beins to shine. You are going to really start to tank damage, and win some team fights. Your damage is also most effective at this point, and if you have ignite with you, you can catch quite a few people off guard who think they are safe from the tank with less then half health. Don't underestimate yourself, but do not over extend. Unless you built a FaN you are VERY slow, and are going to have to TA + Flash to get away from any potential ganks on you. Keep in mind Flash + TA you can surprise gank people who thought they were out of your range.
Late GameFrom this point onwards, you transition from dps/off tank, into tank. You should be roaming with your team at this point, and set up ganks with W, using Q to make sure that they do not escape your carry. You should easily be able to farm at this point because E will clear the castor section of every single wave, allowing you to push lanes like a boss....or a tree.
It is EXTREMELY important to keep saplings in grass you think that enemies will be passing through. Now that saplings last a bit longer, you can have great map awareness, and will keep you out of danger.
Team FightsBasically, a team fight where you are initiating is going to go something like this. Twisted Advance to the back of the team, probably the ranged dps or who ever is pulling out the damage. Q as many people as possible, interupting any fighting going on, and throw a sapling slightly behind the team in case someone with low health runs away, they will run right into him. Also, if the team is fighting back and not retreating, drop your ultimate for the duration of the fight, DO NOT KILL STEAL by popping the ultimate again. That leaves your team unprotected if two of their champions are still fighting back.
On a side note : Make sure to ignite anyone with lifesteal (ex: warwick, sion, anyone building lifesteal)
This is probably not such a good idea, Maokai is best in the lane, not the jungle.
5v5 UseI decided to add a 5v5 section to this guide to help out those who really are not into the 3v3 scene. Maokai works just as well in a 5v5 scenarios. He has the ability to take the 2v2 lane, or a 1v2 if the need ever arises.
In a 1v2, since you will always be a higher level, you should not have any problems getting a few kills. Usually I find that I can surprise the other players with the amount of damage that the combo can pull of, and continually harassing with it (once you have a Catalyst) can really start to cause some serious damage.
In the 2v2 lane, it is best that you work with someone who is not a tank, and can pull some dps on their own but needs CC to help out (examples: xin, tryn, vayne, oriana, etc.) Though you normally wouldnt work with those people anyway, when it does happen you can wreck your lane.
The builds are usually going to remain unchanged, you just need to plan more on what kind of damage the enemy team is dealing out. It is also very important to place yourself in team fights. You should try to Twisted Advance at the carry and drop your ult around your team, this will minimize the amount of damage your team is taking. Trying to time your Arcane Smash to interrupt spells and ranged dps is CRUCIAL as it can save your teammates lives. You can also knock up multiple people if they are around each other.
Because Summoners Rift is larger, it is important to always be aware of where team fights may be occurring or where Allies are fighting due to the fact that you are slow, veryy veryy slow unless you bought a Force of Nature.
In 5v5 Moakai is a very good choice for a tank as his ultimate can very easily diminish the abilities of the enemy team, and all of the spells being cast around you will allow your passive to almost always go off multiple times in a row so remember to auto attack!! 150 hp heal does not seem like much until you've activated your heal 3 or 4 times in a row in a fight and its brought your health way back up.
Final CommentsIf used correctly, you can effectively harass, interrupt, and protect your team. The items builds can vary and should be corrected according to the team that you are facing, and you should always keep in mind your teammates before yourself, because you have a lot of potential to save them. I hope you enjoyed my Maokai 3v3 Guide :D
In the last few patches Maokai has been getting some serious love, and only is becoming more and more powerful.
I will keep this updated for every patch.