Maokai Build Guide. Maokai is a bit of a beast when it comes to Top Lane. What makes him so potent, is the fact he can soak a lane with ease, go toe-to-toe with just about any Champion, sustain himself comfortably, and punish squishy enemies with ease.

His kit is fairly slow, and he’s fairly simple to play. However, a well timed dive and knockback, followed by his Ultimate, can pretty much melt most Champions who aren’t packing armor. If you also consider his self-sustain through his healing, he’s incredibly tough to bring down when you build armor.

What’s also incredibly potent about Maokai is the fact his Ultimate zones a huge area of a lane, roots anyone caught, and pretty much guarantees a kill if enemies stick around too long. Maokai is considered top-right right now.

Runes

Maokai Build Guide

Resolve

  • Aftershock purely for the bonus armor it provides after using your Twisted Advance. The damage it emits is fairly solid, but it’s the mitigation you’re really after, especially late game.
  • Font of Life allows Maokai to tag an enemies with a team-wide buff once they’re immobilised. Those marked grant healing to him and his team. The heal isn’t enormous, but it’s a steady heal over time in a team fight that’ll save lives.
  • Conditioning makes Maokai even tougher, allowing him to gain even more armor and mitigation after the 12 minute mark. Hold your lane, and enjoy the payoff.
  • Revitalize bolsters Maokai’s self-healing. It also pairs with Font of Life, allowing him to juice up the amount he gives himself. When trading with other players, it’s fantastic.

Sorcery

  • Manaflow Band is mandatory, just because Maokai is so mana intensive. Hitting enemies boosts your mana pool by 250, and returns lost mana when you’ve reached the cap. Much needed over the course of the early game.
  • Transcendence offers a 10% cooldown reduction, which is great straight out of the gates. It also ties into your Offense (CDR reduction) allowing you to quickly reach the 40% cap.

Spells

Top Lane

Teleport

Teleport is a must for Maokai, simply because early game can be fairly mana intensive. Rotating through all your abilities can see you running on empty almost instantly. Regular returns, and a long walk back to lane, are often. Teleport helps ease this, and sees you bring value on Drake fights.

Fiora Build GuideFlash is mandatory in this Maokai Build Guide. Without a long distance leap, you need it to not only avoid and gank reliably, but also dive to finish off enemies. Not having Flash will pretty much limit any potential you have throughout the duration of a match.

Ability Order

Maokai Build Guide

  • Maxmize Bramble Smash (Q) first. It’s your primary wave clear, crowd control, and defensive tool.
  • Unlock Twisted Advance (W) second. The ability allows you to dive, evade key abilities, and root opponents. You’ll want to maximize this, the moment Bramble Smash is fully upgraded.
  • Get Sapling Toss (E) third, and leave it until end-game. Use the Sapling’s as wards, and light lane pressure only. It’s mana intensive to use them often.
  • Grab your Ultimate (Nature’s Grasp (E)) fourth, and upgrade it at every opportunity

Items

Our image (below) is your final Maokai build guide, and built in order. Pursuing these items will allow you to perform as well as you can, against any lane opposition. Please see Variables to adapt the build, based on if you’re against an Attack Power, or Attack Damage Champion.

Starting Items

  • Doran’s Shield (if Support, take Relic Shield)
  • Health Potion
  • Warding Totem

First Back

  • Bami’s Cinder (if Support, take Knight’s Vow)
  • Boots of Speed 

Final Build (Equal Opponents Of AP/AD Damage)

Maokai Build Guide

  • Sunfire Cape
  • Spirit Visage
  • Ninja Tabi
  • Righteous Glory
  • Gargoyle Stoneplate
  • Warmog’s Armor

Final Build (If Opponents Are Attack Damage)

Maokai Build Guide

  • Sunfire Cape
  • Ninja Tabi (or Mercury’s Treads)
  • Righteous Glory
  • Thornmail
  • Frozen Heart
  • Warmog’s Armor

Final Build (If Opponents Are Attack Power)

Maokai Build Guide

  • Spirit Visage
  • Mercury’s Treads
  • Locket of Iron Solari
  • Warmog’s Armor
  • Gargoyle Stoneplate
  • Adaptive Helm

Threats

DariusDarius will always be a threat to Maokai because his burst and bleeding are just so high. While you can dive him, or push him away, a good Darius will Flash to you, or travel through minions using Ghost, to reach you again. You can’t out-heal his bleeds, and his Ultimate will finish you off instantly if your Twisted Advance is on cooldown.

Maokai Build GuideGaren is potent purely because of his AoE clear, silence and execute. He can comfortably push you, and even if you do dive him, he’ll still deal massive damage back to you. The moment he gains any amount of attack speed or lifesteal (heck, even armour), it becomes a tough match-up.

FioraFiora is probably the toughest matchup for Maokai, purely because of her mobility and the ability to completely mitigate your dive. If she denies your Twisted Advance, she’ll punish you quickly. When she has her Ultimate, there’s little stopping her lane push.

KalistaKalista is a Champion you won’t see often, but she’s definitely meta. Massive mobility, burst and the ability to kite you for days. She’ll wear you down quickly and there’s literally nothing you can do about it. You won’t see Kalista often, as she’s more of a pro pick.

KledKled is horrendous to fight against as Maokai. He effectively has two health bars, and even if you do topple him off his steed, your Twisted Advance will be on cooldown and he’ll just run away. When he does begin to gain items, there’s literally no trading with him, even if you’ve got armor.

Maokai Build GuideRenekton is a terror in our Maokai build guide. He will always be a threat Top Lane, purely because of his burst, healing and stun. His dive potency when he uses his Ultimate is amazing. Even if you do root him (including using your own Ultimate) he’ll quickly break free to push you again and again.

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