All Guides Maokai Guides How to throw Children - Maokai Jungle
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Maokai Statistics for Omyslash0

Author's performance with Maokai compared to the ranked average.

Value
Average
Games Played
2
4
Win %
100
44
Kills
1.5
2.9
Assists
15.0
9.2
Deaths
1.5
5.1
KA:D Ratio
11.0
2.4
Gold Earned
9.6K
9.5K
Creep Score
100.5
128.9
Average
  • Author Champion Statistics
  • Guide Details

Summoner Spells Back to Top

4.png Flash

 This is a must have for one reason alone. The moment you gank someone with W and they flash you under tower while you're in mid air, you'll regret not having it should you choose 6.png.

11.png Smite

You're jungling. It's probably a good idea to control your buffs/objectives.

New Runes Back to Top

Masteries Back to Top

0/21/8

This is my generic, safe, I'm gonna be a tank route. I use this mostly because it works well with the Movement Speed Quints and he is a mana hungry champion. Now that the base movement speed has been placed at the top of the utility tree, it makes going 9 in utility much better for mobility. Now you do not have to worry about losing the extra movement speed by getting hit, you will always have it!

NOT A TYPO: 

I'm aware that it does say 0/21/***8***. The reason being that you have a few area's you could place this last point. Here are your options: Culinary Master, Runic Affinity, Scout, or Butcher in the offensive tree.

*Culinary Master* lets you clear through the jungle with ease. Not only do you have the increased heal from your passive, but you always get more from potions. And since you buy potions throughout the game, this point isn't wasted.

*Runic Affinity* allows you keep your buffs longer. I would use this if you think you'll be taking blues all game because you have a manaless champion mid-lane.

*Scout* works well with the new trinkets. I usually take this point if I am going to grab 3340_32.png to be able to reach a bush from further away.

*Butcher* is always good to help out with your clear. Maokai is already slow so this point can give him more of an edge.


9/21/0

This is when I take ability power or Magic Penetration Quints.

In both pages mentioned above I take Bladed Armor. Maokai is actually the only jungler I take it on simply because his Q and E doesn't always kill the lesser creeps at each camp. Bladed armor is an efficient way of killing them off without wasting auto attacks and clear time.

SEASON 4 NEW THOUGHT PROCESS:

I'm going to take back what I said about going 21 anywhere else but the defensive tree. Second Wind is a MUST have on Maokai. The increased heal that you get from his passive makes his kit so much better and can let you sustain through the jungle better now that they have added the Wrath camp.

Abilities Back to Top

E
Q
W
Q
Q
R
Q
W
Q
W
R
W
W
E
E
R
E
E
Passive
Q
2
4
5
7
9
W
3
8
10
12
13
E
1
14
15
17
18
R
6
11
16

Sap Magic

is the reason Maokai is a good jungler. It lets your sustain yourself throughout the game.

Arcane Smash

is your biggest form of consistent damage and CC. Always max it first.

Twisted Advance

is your gap closer. I usually max it 2nd because it increases the duration of the snare. But feel free to max E 2nd if you disagree because it does have the highest Base damage in the game.


Sapling Toss

does the most damage but is very inconsistent. The chance of you getting both explosions off in a gank is very unlikely but is still possible. I max this last because spamming it at higher levels makes you Mana-less extremely fast. However, if I need to push a lane efficient and get the last hits, I'll get a second point in it early. This guarantee's that a Q into an E on the caster minions will kill them immediately without leaving them at 5hp.

Vengeful Maelstrom

can be used to negate damage when your team gets engaged on, and can also deal a heavy amount of burst damage once you've charged up enough damage.

Items Back to Top

Starting Items

    I highly advice this over Hunter's Machete. The mana regeneration is huge for him (especially if you're starting golems). The passive is basically a consistent potion while jungling. It benefits much more than the life steal from Machete.

Core Items

    You need to make a choice early on. Do you need to keep massive vision on the map with saplings and Trackers, or do you need the extra movespeed from Stalker's Smite to land a game changing gank. I'm personally a map control kind of guy and I enjoy counter ganking with Maokai. So warding with Trackers and keeping track of enemy junglers is my playstyle. But I often get Stalkers to help close the gap.
    THIS IS A MUST (I only combine it with Moba's because their synchronized speed is gross. Swiftness boots are completely acceptable!) If you're ever ahead enough to straight up buy this item on your first back, please do it. This item basically makes every lane susceptible to ganks. In lane ganks become the "norm" and any river wards become useless since you move at "Stupid Speed" and are on them before they can blink.

Situational Items

Matchups Back to Top

Click on a champion below to see the author's notes on that particular matchup.

  • Aatrox
    Medium
  • Amumu
    Medium
  • Cho'Gath
    Easy
  • Dr. Mundo
    Medium
  • Elise
    Hard
  • Evelynn
    Hard
  • Fiddlesticks
    Easy
  • Hecarim
    Medium
  • Jarvan IV
    Medium
  • Kha'Zix
    Easy
  • Lee Sin
    Hard
  • Malphite
    Easy
  • Nasus
    Medium
  • Nautilus
    Easy
  • Nocturne
    Medium
  • Nunu
    Medium
  • Olaf
    Easy
  • Pantheon
    Medium
  • Rammus
    Easy
  • Sejuani
    Medium
  • Shaco
    Hard
  • Shen
    Easy
  • Shyvana
    Hard
  • Skarner
    Easy
  • Udyr
    Hard
  • Vi
    Medium
  • Volibear
    Easy
  • Warwick
    Easy
  • Wukong
    Medium
  • Xin Zhao
    Hard
  • Zac
    Hard

VS

Aatrox

Medium

***If you feel this champion has the potential of killing you early in your jungle and want a full depth explanation of how to avoid dying by an enemy jungler invading you at Level 2 at your Red Buff, please refer to the Lee Sin Match-up.***

266_64.png is great at quickly farming his jungle without taking heavy damage. His weakest point in the game is his first clear. Lucky for you, Maokai blows until he gets all three of his abilties. So you're relatively safe. However, his burst at level 2 can be misleading. Start Red if you feel threatened by an invade. Either keep tabs on him and counter gank him to prevent him from snowballing, or make some plays yourself and get people fed.

266_64.png is really good at continuously ganking, but he's also really good at just farming. Figure out which play style this 266_64.png is more fond of, and take advantage of it.

VS

Amumu

Medium

***If you feel this champion has the potential of killing you early in your jungle and want a full depth explanation of how to avoid dying by an enemy jungler invading you at Level 2 at your Red Buff, please refer to the Lee Sin Match-up.***

If 32_64.png had a friend that cried and was as useless as him early and was as scared as an invade early, Maokai would be that friend. Neither one of you needs to worry about dying to each other early on.

Pro's: You have a guaranteed snare when in range.
          You have more CC and burst than him pre-6.
          You can negate a lot of his engagements post-6 with your Ult.
Con's: He does more damage than you late game (especially if he builds liandry's).
           His clear is much better than yours.
           He's not quite as mana hungry as you are late game.

VS

Cho'Gath

Easy

***If you feel this champion has the potential of killing you early in your jungle and want a full depth explanation of how to avoid dying by an enemy jungler invading you at Level 2 at your Red Buff, please refer to the Lee Sin Match-up.***

31_64.png is extremely mana hungry early. Which means he can't consistently gank over and over. His abilities are all skill shots pre-6 and his Rupture (Q) is extremely easy to dodge if your allies have mobility. However, he has a 3 second silence late game, and is a huge wall (probably the biggest tank in the game) if he can keep all 6 of his stacks.

With that being said, should he land his full combo on anyone, it's enough time for the entire enemy team to jump on them. Note, that you can dodge his Q with W should the opportunity arise.

Try to counter gank him when he starts getting stacks and have your team focus him during the gank to prevent him from getting beefy. Your ganks are much more reliable than his.

VS

Dr. Mundo

Medium

***If you feel this champion has the potential of killing you early in your jungle and want a full depth explanation of how to avoid dying by an enemy jungler invading you at Level 2 at your Red Buff, please refer to the Lee Sin Match-up.***

36_64.png has potential to kill you at level 2, but it is highly unlikely. Should he die too much without getting anything in return, he has a harder time than Maokai coming back. Mundo late game is scary, so I suggest trying to end the game as fast as you can.

VS

Elise

Hard

***If you feel this champion has the potential of killing you early in your jungle and want a full depth explanation of how to avoid dying by an enemy jungler invading you at Level 2 at your Red Buff, please refer to the Lee Sin Match-up.***

Very similar to 64_64.png but 60_64.png still does a lot of damage late game just by being a tank. Watch for her at Level 2, survive, and get your team as fed as possible. Counter gank her when you can to keep her from snowballing.

VS

Evelynn

Hard

***If you feel this champion has the potential of killing you early in your jungle and want a full depth explanation of how to avoid dying by an enemy jungler invading you at Level 2 at your Red Buff, please refer to the Lee Sin Match-up.***

Similar to 64_64.png, but scarier. 28_64.png can't be seen coming to invade you like other junglers. Unless your support is willing to start all pinks and use one to secure your buff, just start Red. She'll hurt no matter what; Early, Mid, or Late game. Keep tabs on her. If one of your allies is overextended, make a bet that she'll be there and try to get there right as she does. BUY PINKS! This is the easiest way to keep her from rolling. Protect your lanes with them as best you can. Yes, they are expensive and put you behind, but they keep Evelynn from rolling on your entire team later.

VS

Fiddlesticks

Easy

***If you feel this champion has the potential of killing you early in your jungle and want a full depth explanation of how to avoid dying by an enemy jungler invading you at Level 2 at your Red Buff, please refer to the Lee Sin Match-up.***

You pretty much counter 9_64.png. Ult on top of his Ult in team fights and most of his damage is negated. He's not a threat till post-6, but even then, he's extremely Ult reliant. Get towers, and only do Dragon/Baron when it's 100% safe. Your Ult on top of his won't save all 5 of your teammates when you're grouped up and pinned down with no-where to go.

He has almost no kill potential on you 1v1. Wait for him to Drain before you Q, but make sure you Q close enough to him to interrupt the drain.

If he's anywhere near you and channels his ult, Flash on top of him and knock him up. You'll cancel it and put it on cooldown, probably winning the fight.

VS

Hecarim

Medium

***If you feel this champion has the potential of killing you early in your jungle and want a full depth explanation of how to avoid dying by an enemy jungler invading you at Level 2 at your Red Buff, please refer to the Lee Sin Match-up.***

The 120_64.png match-up is about who ganks harder, better, faster. Hecarim's damage spike increases immensely at level 6, but his ganks are scary pre-6 as well. However, what you have on him is consistency. Your W will always land once you click them and are in range. 120_64.png is reliant on his E to get the kill which has a very high cool-down after being used.

If he Ult's onto your team, throw yours down immediately and prevent as much damage as you can.

VS

Jarvan IV

Medium

***If you feel this champion has the potential of killing you early in your jungle and want a full depth explanation of how to avoid dying by an enemy jungler invading you at Level 2 at your Red Buff, please refer to the Lee Sin Match-up.***

Does next to no damage late game if built tanky, knocks people up, slows them, and has a crap ton of utility to back it up. Who does that sound like? Maokai's equivalent 59_64.png. So here's the argument/question, why pick Maokai when J4 exists?

You're right, Jarvan does everything Maokai does, and can enclose them in an arena of death. He does Maokai's job better. So why Maokai? You want to climb the ranks and not have to put a lot of time into learning a champion? You want someone easy to use? Maokai's your guy. J4 does the same, but how many J4's have you raged on because of their Ult placement? That's the one inconsistency that J4 can have that you don't.

Other than that, I don't have a reason. Go read up on J4 or play J4, that's your choice. I just like throwing children more. =]

VS

Kha'Zix

Easy

***If you feel this champion has the potential of killing you early in your jungle and want a full depth explanation of how to avoid dying by an enemy jungler invading you at Level 2 at your Red Buff, please refer to the Lee Sin Match-up.***

There's a theme going on here: Just don't die at Red buff. 121_64.png is another jungler that has the potential of doing that. Start red. Get him behind and he's just another squishy that can't kill you. He also can't build tank and be useful, so kite for your Adc when he leaps on him, and they don't have a wall to stop your Adc from wrecking havoc. You're the wall, and hopefully you'll have another one on your team doing the same thing. 2 Walls > 1 Wall.

VS

Lee Sin

Hard

This is probably the match up that most people will read, so I'll detail this one more than others.
I'm going to label 64_64.png as your hardest match-up. While I'll say this about most opposing junglers, 64_64.png has a shit-ton more damage than you do. Most 64_64.png's will attempt to kill you at level 2 at your Red buff. There are two ways of handling this.

  1. Have your support ward the entrance/bush across your red (not the one directly beside it, but the one closest to river). Should you spot him, because he'll get done with his blue before you get done with yours, you immediate go to his red. Don't even think about fighting him, unless your entire team is going to come and help out.
  2. Start Red. It's really as simple as that. Even if you don't think he will come and kill you, just start there to be safe. Once you're done with red, throw a sapling next to your jungle entrance (the same place you would tell your support to ward). Now one of two things are going to happen, and that sapling you just dropped will determine how far you take this advantage. He'll either A. Invade your already taken Red buff, or B. continue on with his route. Now, if he invades, that sapling just told you where he is. You take your Blue buff as fast as possible and run to his red. Why? You just got 3 buffs, are almost level 4, and he just hit level 2. However, pay attention to whether or not 64_64.png ganks or if the enemy laners disappear off the map. If he does, you're safe. If he doesn't, he's probably on his way to secure his buff. If you're feeling iffy about the situation, pull the buff along the wall by baron/dragon pit so you can flash safely away.

Should you decide to ignore all of this and start blue buff anyway without any help from your support, I suggest using your sapling in the red buff bush, and checking the other bush directly beside it. While taking your red, use as many saplings as you can to scout the fog of war around you. If you die here, good luck. Whether you come back from it is completely up to the other jungler.

You lose this match up early, and he can keep the pressure on you quite well. Be safe and cautious. Counter gank him and prevent him from getting an advantage as best you can.

VS

Malphite

Easy

***If you feel this champion has the potential of killing you early in your jungle and want a full depth explanation of how to avoid dying by an enemy jungler invading you at Level 2 at your Red Buff, please refer to the Lee Sin Match-up.***

54_64.png has fallen off in Season 3 because of the single target changes, but I still class him as a viable pick because of the stupid (good stupid) engage that he has. If 54_64.png is jungling that means he's not getting as many items as he would laning, which means he won't be as tanky. You however, are naturally tanky and have natural sustain to back it up. You clear camps faster, and your ganks are more useful than his and more consistent. Keep people off your carries, negate any damage after the 54_64.png Ult, and you've done the best you can in a fight.

VS

Nasus

Medium

***If you feel this champion has the potential of killing you early in your jungle and want a full depth explanation of how to avoid dying by an enemy jungler invading you at Level 2 at your Red Buff, please refer to the Lee Sin Match-up.***

Dogs piss on trees, you're no exception. It just so happens that this dog needs some time for his piss to mean anything. 75_64.png is no threat to you early, or mid game for that matter. The one thing you need to watch for is the early dragon steal. Get a ward on dragon after your first back and keep it warded everytime his Ult is up.

If this dog happens to get an obscene amount of stacks on his Q; lock him down and hope to god your team can kill him before he hits anyone.

VS

Nautilus

Easy

***If you feel this champion has the potential of killing you early in your jungle and want a full depth explanation of how to avoid dying by an enemy jungler invading you at Level 2 at your Red Buff, please refer to the Lee Sin Match-up.***

111_64.png is a great ganker, but is reliant on landing his Q. Once he hits 6 he's a lot more consistent with his ganks. Block him from getting on your Adc in team fights, especially if your Adc got in his Ult range. You're stronger than him if you can get his shield down, so counter ganking him is simple.

He doesn't have any kill potential on you early 1v1.

VS

Nocturne

Medium

***If you feel this champion has the potential of killing you early in your jungle and want a full depth explanation of how to avoid dying by an enemy jungler invading you at Level 2 at your Red Buff, please refer to the Lee Sin Match-up.***

56_64.png is a fantastic ganker once he hits 6. Most will power farm until they get their Ult. Here's the issue, 56_64.png's will build two ways.

Glass Cannon Damage or Full Tank with 1 Damage item (usually Blade of the Ruined King)

If option one happens, don't let him snowball out of control. Counter gank him, he can only block 1 of your two CC's, try and bait it out if you can, or break it with your E. If he Ult's and you're not near him, assess the situation from what you know. If you think your lane will survive, you should probably go there as fast as you can to either cover, or help out. If they are just going to die instantly, find the closest objective and try your best to take it.

If he builds Tank, he's still a threat, don't get me wrong, but he won't be able to insta-pop your Adc. Farm up, become a wall, and keep your Adc alive the best you can. (are you seeing a trend?)

VS

Nunu

Medium

***If you feel this champion has the potential of killing you early in your jungle and want a full depth explanation of how to avoid dying by an enemy jungler invading you at Level 2 at your Red Buff, please refer to the Lee Sin Match-up.***

Honestly, he's rarely picked anymore because of all the nerfs he received, but when you face a good one, 20_64.png and yeti, are quite annoying. He'll steal your buffs if he times it right and he'll secure dragon/baron quite easily. He has about a 2300 damage burst on a buff at level 18, so be very careful of it. There's a small gap where you could outsmite him between his Q and 11.png, but chances are you won't get it.

Focus on other objectives. Towers. If Nunu can't get ahead, he's basically just a support that doesn't do too much damage. Ult his Ult when you can, or knock him up and out of it as fast as possible.

VS

Olaf

Easy

***If you feel this champion has the potential of killing you early in your jungle and want a full depth explanation of how to avoid dying by an enemy jungler invading you at Level 2 at your Red Buff, please refer to the Lee Sin Match-up.***

In my opinion, I think 2_64.png is useless. I have never seen one do well since Season 2 and after the buffs/nerfs (whatever you want to call it) I still think the same.

However, don't take him too lightly. He can snowball, and he is a scary tank with some damage. Watch out for him in early engages. His true damage is under rated and can cause you significant problems. Wait for his Ult to wear off in fights lock him up before he finishes anyone else off.

VS

Pantheon

Medium

***If you feel this champion has the potential of killing you early in your jungle and want a full depth explanation of how to avoid dying by an enemy jungler invading you at Level 2 at your Red Buff, please refer to the Lee Sin Match-up.***

80_64.png is another champion that might try to jump you at Red. So start red. His ganks are alright, but the range on his stun is short. Expect him to gank mid a lot, then gank bottom once he has his Ult. Try to keep track of his Ult cool-down. When it's up, play like he's always going to Man Drop on top of you.

He's good at locking 1 person up. Try and Q when he starts his E to negate some damage on people. Other than that, he's not too useful in the jungler unless he snowballs.

VS

Rammus

Easy

***If you feel this champion has the potential of killing you early in your jungle and want a full depth explanation of how to avoid dying by an enemy jungler invading you at Level 2 at your Red Buff, please refer to the Lee Sin Match-up.***

33_64.png should not give you any trouble. He's really good at shoving towers. The best thing to do is to warn your allies if you think he'll be ganking soon, and try to be there if possible. If he snowballs, like anyone else, he can be a single targeting bully. But to you, he won't do anything.

VS

Sejuani

Medium

***If you feel this champion has the potential of killing you early in your jungle and want a full depth explanation of how to avoid dying by an enemy jungler invading you at Level 2 at your Red Buff, please refer to the Lee Sin Match-up.***

113_64.png is a rare champion I come across in my games, but she deserves an honorable mention. Since her W nerfs, her Percentage HP damage is not as bad to deal with, but her CC is another story. She has very little kill potential on you 1v1. Her ganks are strong, should she land her dash. This lets her activate permafrost and she can stick to you like 72_64.png. However, it is inconsistent and reliable on landing it.

113_64.png's Ult is by far the scariest thing about her. Her gank potential becomes bigger, and her team fight capabilities increase. Try and Ult her damage if possible, you might not be able to negate her Ult, but you can try and negate the damage afterwards.

VS

Shaco

Hard

***If you feel this champion has the potential of killing you early in your jungle and want a full depth explanation of how to avoid dying by an enemy jungler invading you at Level 2 at your Red Buff, please refer to the Lee Sin Match-up.***

Good luck. A good 35_64.png is going to wreck your face and give you little hope of winning (at good one that is). Start Red. He's going to try and slaughter you. Like 102_64.png, 64_64.png, and 77_64.png, if he takes ignite, be extremely cautious.
If you can keep him from getting ahead, there's really nothing left for him to do but split push. Hopefully you have something on your team that can handle that. If not, force 4v5's instantly. Don't give him time to shred your base.

VS

Shen

Easy

***If you feel this champion has the potential of killing you early in your jungle and want a full depth explanation of how to avoid dying by an enemy jungler invading you at Level 2 at your Red Buff, please refer to the Lee Sin Match-up.***

98_64.png, like Rammus should not be scary for you specifically. Once you figure out that he's level 6, pay attention to whether or not your allies are going to all in someone. If 98_64.png is any good, he'll save them with Ult and turn it around. This really depends on where you are and if you happen to be in the right place at the right time. If you are not there, try to shove something, or at least take some of his camps.

VS

Shyvana

Hard

***If you feel this champion has the potential of killing you early in your jungle and want a full depth explanation of how to avoid dying by an enemy jungler invading you at Level 2 at your Red Buff, please refer to the Lee Sin Match-up.***

102_64.png is very similar to the 64_64.png match-up. She'll be in your jungle more than you. Her ganks are mediocre. If she takes ignite, I guarantee she'll show up at your Red Lvl 2 ready with high Dps. Play safe, give up camps if you have too, just stay alive.

One thing to watch out for is her Ult. Similar to Ahri, or any champion with a leap, if you W them and they use their ability while you're in mid air, you will follow them and get yourself in a sticky situation.

Other than that, she's rather kite-able, just try not to get bullied.

VS

Skarner

Easy

***If you feel this champion has the potential of killing you early in your jungle and want a full depth explanation of how to avoid dying by an enemy jungler invading you at Level 2 at your Red Buff, please refer to the Lee Sin Match-up.***

You probably won't see 72_64.png until his changes are put into the game, but either way he's a jungler. 72_64.png excels at sticking onto people and not letting them get away. Once he lands his first Q, if you're not out of his range by the time he lands the 2nd, he'll be bashing you like Evelynn until you reach safety. Careful being close to him near a tower, or using W on him near a tower; he'll just pull you to oblivion.

VS

Udyr

Hard

***If you feel this champion has the potential of killing you early in your jungle and want a full depth explanation of how to avoid dying by an enemy jungler invading you at Level 2 at your Red Buff, please refer to the Lee Sin Match-up.***

77_64.png, how I love thee. If I were to pick one person to go up agaisnt Maokai, he'd be it. Ever since Diamond Prox started 1055_32.png as well as Tiger Stance, everyone invades people at their Red Buff. He will two shot you and there's nothing you can do about it, except out maneuver him. Like...Starting Red (trend?). Udyr can 1v1 you at ANY point in the game. Unless he's extremely low, clear the wave and run the other way. Keep him off your carries and he shouldn't be a problem in team fights. But if he gets on someone, he'll stay on them.

VS

Vi

Medium

***If you feel this champion has the potential of killing you early in your jungle and want a full depth explanation of how to avoid dying by an enemy jungler invading you at Level 2 at your Red Buff, please refer to the Lee Sin Match-up.***

254_64.png is actually a really good pick in general, especially vs. Maokai. Her Percentage HP Damage makes here deceptively strong when she builds tanky. You might be able to handle her early Levels in a 1v1 depending on the situation, but she out scales you later.
254_64.png's early ganks are inconsistent. Her charge takes a while to get some range on it and slows her movement speed. Unless your lane gets baited/is over extended, she's not too bothersome. However, once she hits 6, she's as deadly as you.

You have consistency on her. Even though her Ult is on a short cool down, you have her Ult in your kit with W and Q, which you get constantly. Abuse the fact that her ganks are more rubbish pre-6.

Watch out for your carry in team fights. She'll most likely Ult the most fed squishy on your team.

***NOTE: It is possible to dodge her Q by using W past her while she's in mid air. You'll go underneath her to the target you clicked on. It's a rare occasion, but it's a nice tip to know.
***NOTE: It is also possible to stop her Q while she's in mid dash with your Q. Not so much a rare occasion, but a pretty hard thing to do.

VS

Volibear

Easy

***If you feel this champion has the potential of killing you early in your jungle and want a full depth explanation of how to avoid dying by an enemy jungler invading you at Level 2 at your Red Buff, please refer to the Lee Sin Match-up.***

106_64.png has very little kill potential on you. When he dashes toward you, slow him with a Max range Q. If you can follow him around the map and prevent him from getting a few kills early, he shouldn't snowball. Don't get baited by his passive unless an ignite was thrown on him.
Ult your team immediately whenever he Ults and you'll negate a lot of the spread damage. If he ever gets too close to your carry, try to make them miss-click and throw you back instead. You getting thrown into the enemy team as a beefy tank to soak up damage is much better than your carry getting torn to bits.

VS

Warwick

Easy

***If you feel this champion has the potential of killing you early in your jungle and want a full depth explanation of how to avoid dying by an enemy jungler invading you at Level 2 at your Red Buff, please refer to the Lee Sin Match-up.***

19_64.png has very little kill potential on anything pre-6. He has no gap closer, and only gets a movement speed buff if your teammate is low, meaning they were probably going to die either way, 19_64.png just wanted the assist.
Now, I just bashed him a lot, but he is a huge threat if he gets items. Most 19_64.png's will do a tanky damage build. 3153_32.png and 3065_32.png work wonders on him. After he has both of those and some HP, he's going to be one hard S-O-B to kill.

Similar to 254_64.png, he will try and Ult the most fed/squishy on your team. Flash Q his Ult whenever you can to prevent massive damage.

VS

Wukong

Medium

***If you feel this champion has the potential of killing you early in your jungle and want a full depth explanation of how to avoid dying by an enemy jungler invading you at Level 2 at your Red Buff, please refer to the Lee Sin Match-up.***

62_64.png is weak early on, but you are still weaker. Careful not to get caught out at your Red Level 2, his Q and E have decent base damage early and can wipe you clean if you're low. His gank potential is pretty decent, but he lacks the CC that you have. Once he hits 6, he has 1 knock up, but keep in mind that while he's Ulting, he is not doing auto attack damage (it's actually similar to Garen's Spin to Win).

However, his team fight potential is pretty huge. Should he ever E, R onto your entire team, hopefully you see it coming/have the reaction time to throw your Ult down because it's going to hurt like a truck and give his team time to clean up whatever he could not.

He's strong when fed, but falls off damage wise late game. If he builds glass cannon, you can lock him down and your team can blow him up; however, do not group up for his Ult, as it does a good amount of damage and can insta-gib an entire team. If he builds tank, he'll Ult your whole team, but won't insta-gib your carry.

VS

Xin Zhao

Hard

***If you feel this champion has the potential of killing you early in your jungle and want a full depth explanation of how to avoid dying by an enemy jungler invading you at Level 2 at your Red Buff, please refer to the Lee Sin Match-up.***

Very similar to the 62_64.png Match-up. 5_64.png is scary when fed, but not so scary as a tank. However, he is much scarier than Wukong pre-6. Don't duel him, and warn your lanes if you see him on the map. He falls off late game, but so do you, so don't worry too much.
As long as you don't die extremely early to him, and keep tabs on him, you'll be good. You're much more useful counter ganking, and much better at team fighting. Keep him off your carry as best you can should he get fed.

VS

Zac

Hard

***If you feel this champion has the potential of killing you early in your jungle and want a full depth explanation of how to avoid dying by an enemy jungler invading you at Level 2 at your Red Buff, please refer to the Lee Sin Match-up.***

154_64.png is an interesting one for sure. I have him labeled as extremely hard for a reason. Why? Because the match-up is completely dependent on your ability to dodge/interrupt/negate everything he has. Though he has been nerfed to oblivion, I still consider him a great threat. Here's why:

• His ganks are unnoticeable if he uses his E to sneak his way into a gank.
• He has percentage HP damage.
• He sticks to a target like glue.
• He doesn't fall off ever.
• He has a 4-piece 3026_32.png that makes him extremely aggressive.
• He has sustain, and is manaless.
 
Honestly if you want to play well against this match-up, you should probably go play a few games of Zac yourself to see what I mean.

Here are your ways to counter him:

• Knock him up with your Q every single time he charges his elastic slingshot. Jungling Zac's max this ability, meaning if you negate all of its damage, he won't be too strong in an engagement.

• You have fantastic wave clear, even vs blobs. Should you be fortunate enough to proc his passive, just wait. Auto attack them as much as you can while they're spread, once they get close enough for your Sapling to hit on contact, do as much damage as you can. Throw E and Ult simultaneously then Q after. Blow up your Ult and then your Sapling will explode. If you do it correctly, you should be able to take out his passive instantly. But if you rush things and try to take them out one at a time, he'll get away.

• Ult both his E and R. Should you see him flying mid air about to decimate your entire team, you need to thrown down your ult before his E even hits. If you can't do that, then you need to get it before he Ults and full combo's.

Your kit is a decent counter to Zac's Area-of-Effect damage, but you need to apply it properly.

About me Back to Top

My Summoner name is Omyslash0.

I've been playing League since Season 1, not too long after the Beta was finished and the full game was released. Being the scrub that I was, I played ranked instantly when I hit 30 and put myself in what was known as 'elo hell'. I began at 600 elo, back in the old rating system. At the end of Season 2 I managed to reach what would have been Silver I, but in the old system was around ~1450 elo. I made that leap with Riven, which I might make a guide for, but Goldfather8 did a fantastic job and I don't think there needs to be another.

I did my first 10 games at the start of Season 3 and made it to Gold III instantly. I was content, but I felt that I performed at a higher level with all my practicing and dedication to the game. However, I was scared shitless of going down in rank and feared Queing up for ranked. I didn't believe in Duo Que's and was just too scared. When I did play, I made it a goal to keep playing until I lost two in a row. So I played Ahri, Anivia, and Riven. Got to my promotional series multiple times and just couldn't carry the game hard enough, so I thought.

I wasn't a team player, or at least as big of one as I am now. And that's where Maokai came in. I've always played him, but I never felt powerful enough because I just wanted kills and I wanted to 1v3 people. However, I picked up the mentality of teamwork at some point in Season 3 and literally bulldozed my way to Plat II (where I stand now). I played nothing but Maokai and the occasional Sona Support, you know, teamwork champions! Got to my Plat IV to Plat III Promo series. Lost one, won one. Get to my last game, I'm about to insta-lock Maokai Jungle because my team let me jungle and just wanted him. 3 seconds left before it's my turn, and they lock Maokai. I shit the bed. Literally panicked. I calmed down and thought of who I have the most issues with as a Maokai player and fit my champion pool. 77_64.png was first on the list. Got in the game and this Maokai just tore my team apart. First blood, Second blood. But I did what Phoenix Udyr does best; clear. I kept towers up, and I kept morale up. Went through and won the game to what I thought would be Plat III. Here, my MMR was high enough it skipped straight to Plat II. This all happened in about 4 days.

So that's my story. I have experience, I have knowledge not only of Maokai, but of the general concept of the game and a lot of tips to share with you if you'll let me. Of course, everything here is strictly my opinion, supported with facts from the game and articles I've read. Take what you want, leave what you want. But don't bash an idea until you've tried it. If you have ANY questions or arguments against a claim that I've made, you think I haven't given enough credit towards a specific champion, you think there's an important section I've left out, or there's not enough detail about a certain subject, please let me know. Comment below, e-mail me at omyslash0@hotmail.com, or add my IGN on League. I'll get back to you as soon as possible. Share if you like what you see. Hope you enjoy the guide!

Mechanics (how to use Maokai effectively) Back to Top

• Max Damage (AA = Auto Attack):
W - E - Q
W - R - E - Q - R at the last possible moment you can
W - R - AA - E - Q - AA - R at the last possible moment you can

Why not E then W? Two reasons

  1. You might miss. We all mess up and we all forget that people can dodge abilities. Waiting for the guaranteed snare lets you land the impact damage no matter what.
  2. You have to take the travel time of your W into consideration. You might hit the initial burst of your E, but by the time the W lands, your Sapling could target a nearby minion, or they could've flashed while you were in mid air. Remember, your children are not very smart.

Now, you won't always get both explosions on your E, that's why I don't max it first. It's too inconsistent and too reliable on your snare keeping them still long enough. Once you start getting ranks into W, you'll find that you get both explosions more often than not.

Note that once you W, you E quickly, then run behind them, then Q to knock them towards your team.

The auto attacks, because you have the highest early base damage in the game, are extremely important. However, they aren't always included. Why? The snare duration on your W is dependent on what rank it is. A 0.75 second snare at rank 1, feels much different than a 1.75 second snare at rank 5 (the duration increases by 0.25 every rank). Early levels, an inexperienced Maokai player (even experienced ones) might find it hard to get the auto attack in and still complete the combination correctly and you might end up knocking them away. Getting the knock backwards is much more important than the auto attacks, so if you're not confident enough, get used to the combo first, then add on later.

• Ganking:

When ganking for an ally that is low health, hold your W until they run away. If the enemy starts charging at your ally but is not close enough to do damage, just run at them to close the gap, don't waste a spell. Your movement speeds quints and Utility tree spec (should you choose to use them) will work wonders.

In general, you should try to time your CC with your allies CC. For instance, you don't want to Chain your Snare with an Anivia stun. But you don't want to be late and give them time to 4.png. Make sure you take into consideration the time it takes Maokai to travel from where he was, to the champion when using W. Also, should your ally land a stun/snare, be sure to throw your Sapling (E) first. This allows you to get both explosions 100%.

************ Remember, it doesn't matter if your ally has a stun that lasts 500 seconds, the duration of the previous CC ends the moment you start yours and only lasts as long as yours. Don't be the person that makes a 501.5 second stun turn into a 1.5 second stun.************




Ganking Tips and Jungle Routes Back to Top

******* NOTE: Before you even think about ganking or farming, scan the map for starting items. You need to know what combinations have wards in them, and which ones do not. However, this needs to be done the moment you see champions come into lane. If you see anything other than what is mentioned below, they have warded SOMEWHERE. Now it's up to you to make an educational guess as to where.

******* NOTE: This section of my guide can apply to almost ANY jungler out there, not just Maokai. It's good information to know in general. A lot of these tips can be transferred into learning how to lane.

******* NOTE: 2043_32.png wards are now visable! I suggest checking bushes that you would not normally check. For instance, both small bushes on both sides of your mid lane. Enemy junglers or even mid lanes will often place 2043_32.png's in area's that are not frequently traveled. Because they last forever, if you do not make it a point to look for them, mid lane will be impossible to gank because they will always have vision on you. (Extremely relevant to 28_64.png players). On the other end, make sure you are picking up 2043_32.png's every once in awhile to place in these same spots. Especially in lower tier games, people will not check for them and you will have vision of that area for the rest of the game.

******* NOTE: Always check to see who started 3340_32.pngtrinket and who started 3341_32.png trinket, specifically who has 3340_32.png Just like when biscuit existed, you need to know exactly how many wards each person has before ganking and keep track of every lane when they back and if they have used their warding trinket.

Common Mid Starts:

 1056_32.png/1033_32.png2003_32.pngx2
 1056_32.png/1033_32.png2044_32.png (they wait at fountain for 5 gold)
 2041_32.png2003_32.pngx3
2041_32.png2044_32.png2003_32.png
1004_32.png1004_32.png2003_32.pngx3
1004_32.png1004_32.png2003_32.png2044_32.png
1004_32.png2044_32.png2004_32.png2003_32.pngx5 (or any variation of pots, you just need to know that you can get 6 in total)
1004_32.png2044_32.pngx22003_32.pngx4
1004_32.png2044_32.pngx32003_32.pngx2

Common Top Starts:

1029_32.png2003_32.pngx5
1029_32.png2003_32.pngx32044_32.png (they wait in fountain for the extra gold)
1055_32.png2003_32.png
1054_32.png2003_32.png
1006_32.png2044_32.png2004_32.png2003_32.pngx5 (or any variation of pots, you just need to know that you can get 6 in total)
1006_32.png2044_32.pngx22003_32.pngx4
1006_32.png2044_32.pngx32003_32.pngx2

Common Support Starts:


2044_32.pngx52003_32.pngx4 (Again, any combination of potions.)
1004_32.png/1006_32.png2044_32.pngx42003_32.png
1004_32.png/1006_32.png2044_32.pngx32003_32.pngx3
1004_32.png/1006_32.png2044_32.pngx22043_32.png2003_32.pngx2
____________________________ Everything above this line is still viable and good to know, but was for Season 3.
Season 4 Trends:
3301_32.png2044_32.png2003_32.pngx2 or 3301_32.png2044_32.pngx2
3302_32.png2044_32.png2003_32.pngx2 or 3302_32.png2044_32.pngx2
3303_32.png2044_32.png2003_32.pngx2 or 3303_32.png2044_32.pngx2
1054_32.png2044_32.png or 1054_32.png2003_32.pngx2


Ganking Tips:

  • Running into a lane full force without waiting is not always the best decision. Be patient. A good rule of thumb is to wait for the champion to get aggressive against your ally or wait for them to go for a last hit. This puts them as overextended as possible and is also predictable enough for you to use to your advantage.
  • Know the difference between passive play-styles and aggressive play-styles. If you look at a lane while you are clearing jungle and you notice they are playing super passive and only farming, keep that in mind. Also keep in mind if they are playing extremely aggressive; this can clue you in as to whether or not the jungler is near or not.
  • PASSIVE to AGGRESSIVE means the enemy jungler is near and ready to gank. Be prepared for a 2v2/3v3 in that case and do not get baited into a bad situation.
  • AGGRESSIVE to PASSIVE means you have probably been spotted and are either sitting on top of a ward, or you passed one on the way to the lane.
  • In-lane ganks work fantastically, however, they rarely work for Mid unless they have remarkable CC and can bait them to go aggressive, or you have 4.png available to combo with W. Before you do an in-lane gank for Top or Bottom, make sure you ASK THE LANE (particularly bottom) if they have warded the in-lane bush. Make it known that you are thinking about doing an in-lane gank, and ask them to push the lane so you can sneak yourself in the brush.

Season 4 Jungle Paths:

As of right now I don't have the time, or experience in the jungle with Maokai to give you detailed information on what is the most efficient jungle route but I will tell you a few things I know at first glance:
  • You do not hit Level 3 by just taking buffs anymore. You need to take 1 camp in between buffs to reach 3.
  • Fast clear and consistent farming champions are becoming strong.
  • Maokai can't clear extremely well (especially the Wight and Golem camp which is primarily what can give you a lot of extra gold compared to season 3) making it hard to use the advantages of the new jungle.
  • Early level invades are less popular and less effective.
  • Games tend to go into Late Game more often than not and gaining a substantial early advantage is more difficult (though still possible). This makes Maokai a little harder to use correctly because his strength is early on and he can fall of quite a bit in the later stages of the game. This just means you REALLY need to be on point with your ganks and you need to know how to end the game effectively without losing an advantage.

In short, if you do not get a lot of early ganks off, you WILL fall behind extremely fast if the enemy jungler is strictly farming his jungle. I will update this as SOON as I possibly can but I don't want to give you false information in the process! Bare with me =]


Blue Start:

Right now it is very hard for Maokai to start anywhere else but blue. You run short of mana if you start Red because you need to take a camp inbetween Red and Blue to hit level 3. So starting Red (especially if you get early level 1 invaded) is a little risky, still possible, but risky. Anyway, here are the paths:

Blue - Wolves - Red  then Gank

Whether you take Wraiths or Wolves doesn't really matter if you gank directly after taking Red. But if you find yourself without a ganking opportunity, then taking Wolves is the better route. It leaves Wraiths up for you to take after Red and by the time you make it to wolves, they will spawn again and 11.png will be back up for the Wight camp. My general rule of thumb is to only take the Golem and Wight camp when 11.png is available, but with the Cooldown only being 40 seconds, you can smite one camp, take another, and it will be back up for the third.

On both sides of the map you want to look to gank Mid lane if they have some type of CC. This lane is the easist to snowball, and Maokai's kit makes it really easy for your teammate to land skill shots.

Red Start:

Red - Wraiths - Blue then Gank

Similar to the blue start, it doesn't quite matter what camp you take in between buffs, the goal here is to hit 3 after the 2nd buff is taken. However, if you look around and find yourself not seeing a gank opportunity early, take wraiths. It leaves wolves up after blue to take and wraiths will be back up by the time you walk there AND 11.png will be available for Golems.

****At this point in the game you can MAYBE take two tower shots, so the chances of you successfully diving is slim to none unless you are able to communicate well, but in solo que? Forget it. I wouldn't attempt it unless you are confident your ally will snag the last hit and you can flash away before the turret demolishes you.



Early Game Back to Top

Step One: Pick 57_64.png Maokai 57_64.png
• If you have read any of the Matchups you'll notice a common theme; DO NOT die to the enemy jungler at your Red Buff (For more information on how to not die at Red, please check the Lee Sin Match-up of this guide). Honestly, the games that I've lost have been because of this or me just having a poor performance. 

Gank, Gank, Gank. You probably won't have decent CS as Maokai unless you find yourself covering lanes with huge amounts of creeps about to hit tower. Your main priority is to get your team fed enough that every enemy lane wants to surrender at 20 minutes.

• Because Maokai's kit is so easy and so consistent, the first gank attempt that you make  (assuming you dodged wards) will either :
  1. Guarantee a Kill
  2. Burn the enemy's flash
Assuming you didn't burn your flash TRYING to get a kill, this sets up for an easy kill. Once you've burned their flash, they're not only susceptible to first blood, but for the next 5 minutes, that lane is yours to bully. The amount of pressure and annoyance you can apply to that lane is almost as bad as what 35_64.png could do simply by existing.
• If you're not used to keeping flash timers, they're the same as your normal Buffs; 5 minutes. The only two differences is that they don't show up on time stamp so you need to glance at your In Game Time, and take an educational, approximate guess. Also remember that the champion could be specing in the Utility Mastery Tree which lowers the cool down to 285 seconds (4 min 45 seconds). Knowing when a champion is vulnerable is a key role to being a fantastic jungler.

• Not saying that LoLKing scores and LoLTeam scores are the tell all about a player, but give your allies a quick glance. If your first pick grabs Fizz and has a decent KD ratio, you might want to pay him a few visits to get him rolling.
266_64.png  238_64.png  92_64.png  10_64.png  55_64.png  24_64.png  114_64.png There are plenty more, but these are all good champions to get fed and let the ball start rolling.

• Early Game is where Maokai shines. You have the highest early base AD IN THE GAME and the Base damage on all your abilities hits EVERYONE extremely hard. Not to mention you have children to be thrown.

Mid Game Back to Top

Alright, so this part of the game can be extremely easy, and extremely hard depending on how you performed in the Early Game. I'll write this section in two different scenarios, assuming you either got your team fed, or had a rough start/the game is pretty even.

• You got pretty fed:


The #1 question I get when people ask me for advice is: "Man, I go into Solo Que and win my lane every time. I go 10/0 in lane and my team just feeds so hard I can't carry the game out. How do I get out of this 'elo hell' ?" And my first thought, and the question I ask is "What did you do with your lead?". Now, I get a variety of answers, some of which are viable and others that make it obvious that they don't now how to finish a game out. Here's a little equation to help you out.

***** Towers > Baron > Dragon > Kills *****

(if you believe in this equation, ignore the next 2 paragraphs)


So, you see this, and now you're thinking, "but pro's use dragon to team fight and get advantages, and they bait barons, and they get first blood and win the game with just that". That's true. Your argument is fair. But you misunderstand one thing you are in Solo Que. If you can guarantee me that you have the synergy that Pro teams have, that you can all turn on a dime at the same time instead of having 5 different mentalities of what to do, then you go ahead and make risky plays that force fights. Because if you win those fights, yeah you'll snowball faster IF YOU TAKE SOME OBJECTIVE AFTER. But if you lose that fight when you had an advantage, you just gave them a Ray of Hope to come back and win the game. Whatever emotional issues/rage issues/communication issues the enemy team had is now gone or it at least subsided because they just aced you.

I am, by all means, not a "Pro" Player, but I've watched enough interviews and read enough articles to tell you that every Pro will say "League of Legends is an 'Objective based game', not a 'Get Kills' based game. The Ultimate goal is to take down that Nexus. If you're 30 kills up and have taken 0 towers, you're still not getting anywhere. You're not nearly as ahead as you would be.

So what can you do? After every successful gank, you should shove that wave and get damage down on the tower. Now you'll learn that if you are too low, that the enemy jungler is probably on his way to 2v1 you, but that comes with experience. Here's what you get out of shoving after a gank.

       • Experience (more than what you'd get if you just ran back into your jungle)

       • Potential Gold (whether that be from CS or getting the tower)

       • Map Control and Pressure


That does not mean that you should TAKE the laners CS. You'll probably make them rage if you do it purposely, so be careful of that. But if he lets you push it alone, make sure to get every last CS you can. Remember, Maokai's weakness is that you cannot farm the jungle as well as other junglers, but you can push fairly well.

Tower diving is not a sin. If you have 2 other people with you, that have gap closers and the enemy gets a little too close, go on them. Now that doesn't mean jump onto their entire team. Force 2v1 or 3v2 fights. If you know that you'll survive even if you jump in solo, do it. That'll guarantee the tower that's behind you, and if your team is smart enough to follow up that's a kill and a tower. But notice...the tower is an objective you get no matter what.

• You have a rough start / The game is pretty even:


At this point in the game, you know that SHOULD you win the game, it has to go to late game. So, who is the strongest role late game? Adc. Protect them. If that means warding your jungle so they don't get surprise ganked. Do it. If that means camping them so they get some kills. Do it. The faster they get items, the better chance you have to taking a tower quickly, gaining more gold and winning the game.

Pay close attention to whether or not their jungler goes top lane at all. If so, 1 of 2 things will happen
  1. Your top laner will die and lose first tower

  2. Your top laner will survive the gank and the enemy will gain very little.

This means 3 members of the enemy team are near dragon, 4 of your members are near dragon. Chances are they won't contest the dragon unless they have heavy poke or an even teamfight. Either way, you're Maokai. Forcing a 4v3 is pretty easy because of the consistency of your W. Should they get top tower, Dragon = First tier tower. If you are making even trades, you're staying in the game. Use the enemies bad positioning to take objectives to push/gain an advantage.

Late Game Back to Top

Honestly, this is a place you never want to be. Your damage falls off, and now you're pure utility. Every champion on the enemy team can probably 1v1 you at this stage, and you deal very little damage to any of them. However, that does not mean the game is over. At this point you can pull off a few things:

  1. Protect your carry as long as you can.
  2. Negate as much damage as possible with your Ult, then throw it back at as many of them as possible (your Ult still deals a lot of damage).
  3. Catch people out/Bait the enemy into bad engagements.
  4. Get as many passive auto attacks as possible to make yourself as tanky as possible.

You want to block as much harass from your team as you can without putting yourself in danger. Because of your passive, and because other abilities used can proc it, you heal up rather quickly by smacking a minion once or twice (especially with 3065_32.png).

Late Game is all about team work, and playing your composition correctly. Try your best, protect your carries, and hopefully things work out. The best way to win is to keep the morale up, and don't let your team start raging.

Ranked Mentality Back to Top

I want to take a moment and explain my thought process on ranked. Note that this has NOTING to do with Maokai. If you have read down this far then that means you are actually reading the guide for what it is worth; the massive amounts of information that it provides. And let me tell you, the fact that you came here to fully learn the champion instead of just glancing for masteries/runes/matchups, you are already on the right track. 


I want to start off saying that I have been banned on the Tribunal before and am not perfect in any way shape or form, however, I do learn from my mistakes. Though I do not agree that I should have been banned (because there are far more toxic players out there that get away with it) I understand that I could have bettered myself.

Now, enough beating around the bush, let's talk about how you should prepare yourself for a ranked game.

Before you Queue

I do not queue for ranked unless I feel I am ready. You need to have a reason, a goal as to why you want to play ranked. Playing ranked just to play ranked can be dangerous. Nothing is more frustrating than watching your LP go down just because you wanted to try ranked again. If you're in a bad mood, ranked is not going to cheer you up. Eventually you will lose a game and be just as, or even more upset than you were. Watch some professional League Games to get yourself pumped and get yourself in the right mentality. Warm up with a normal game to see if you're ready for the real deal. Even though normals are nothing like ranked, they can still help you access where you are at that given time.

Champion Pool :

Try and get at LEAST two champions that you are comfortable with in every role. Now I'm not saying go counter-pick yourself because you only know two champions, but you are better off being countered and comfortable with the champion than picking a counter that you've never played before and not understanding why you counter them.

Look, don't be that guy that goes into ranked only knowing one role. Math says that you have a 20% chance of getting that role, and even less of a chance if someone else wants it. Don't get me wrong, it is GREAT to be a Main of a role, or maybe even two roles, but do not go into rank expecting that 4 RANDOM players are going to bend over backwards for you so you can get what you want. In a solo queue game, being a jack of all trades has more benefits MENTALLY than claiming the only role you are good at playing. Here's why:

Think about what happens when you do not get the role you want and you are forced into something you are not comfortable with. 1 of 3 things happen:
1. You dodge
2. You play at less than 100%
3. You play extremely conservative and don't take advantages where experienced players would
Chances are, you're going to feed or use your abilities incorrectly and cause your team to have a disadvantage. And because you are doing terrible MOST players view YOU as the problem.

Think about it, I KNOW you've been put into that situation. And I KNOW you've thought/tried, "Screw this, I'm just gonna insta-lock and pick the role I'm good at so I don't feed". Cool. Awesome. You're going to play fantastic. Wrong. Because you are already angry, you are not as focused as you could be. And on top of that, you just forced someone who wanted that lane into something less comfortable. Meaning you are not at 100% and now at least 1 other person is not at their best.

If you are a jack of all trades, you eliminate one person from doing awful because the person that is forcing you into another lane is probably upset because they had it happen to them. It's something you can take control of (and we all know, League of Legends does not let you control your teammates), so make use of what you can.

Champion Select

Comfort > Calling > Pick Order

The teams goal during champion select is to get as many people into a comfortable role as possible to increase your chances of success. Calling is fine, as long as you understand that you are not guaranteed that position. In my opinion when you call a role, "Pref" should always be a part of it. You prefer that role, you don't claim it. I personally do not chat with my team during champion select. I minimize my communication to what is important. Getting people in comfortable places, and maybe creating a team composition; however, team compositions mean NOTHING unless everyone understands the composition and can execute it. Meaning if someone is not experienced with the champion, the team composition fails.

Loading Screen

At this point you need to be going over the enemy team and what they are capable of doing.
  • Their Team composition: Poke, Engage, Catch out, Sustain, etc.
  • Does your team composition match theirs?
  • Who is better during each stage of the game (Early, Mid, Late)?
  • Do they have scaling/hyper carry Champions?
  • What summoner spells are the lanes taking?
  • What can we do if we get behind?
  • What can we do if we get ahead?
After all of that, you should focus on your lane. You need to go over EVERY possible circumstance that could happen. 
  • Can they engage?
  • What spells do I need to save incase they do?
  • What are the cool downs on priority spells; i.e. stuns/gap closer/cc/ultimates?
  • Can I engage?
  • If I do, how will they react?
  • Aggressive or Passive Jungler?
  • Can I invade successfully without the help of my teammates?
There are a plethora of questions you could ask yourself, but you need to think through every situation so that you have a game plan. This will also help you stay focused and help you react better to unique situations. 

Being Toxic

The act of doing or saying something that will change the mentality of the team in a negative way.

There are a million ways to be toxic in a game. Though I'll go over the most popular ways to be toxic, I also want to go over some of the ways one can be toxic and not even realize it. The easiest way to win a game is to keep everyone happy and keep morale up.

The most common ways to be toxic are explained in the tribunal. You know when you click "report player" and you choose from a list of "Why are you are reporting this person"? ...that's toxic.
  • Intentional Feeding
  • Negative attitude
  • Assisting enemy team
  • Leaving the game
  • Verbal Abuse
Yeah, we get it, we have all seen it and have witnessed it. This community can be vulgar and a pain to deal with, however, toxicity is contagious. If you let it get to you and take it personally, you'll soon turn into that person you didn't want to be. I don't want to beat a dead horse, so I'm just going to say; Don't do anything that will get you in trouble with the tribunal. Period.

What I am more concerned about is how you can directly effect your teams mentality in a negative way, that will not get you reported/banned.

  1. Do not be a hero.
Nothing is more annoying than someone trying to be the good guy and is trying to remedy a situation that is not going to get resolved in the time span of your game. What I mean is, when people are raging at each other, DO NOT go out of your way to solve the issue via chat. This not only can cause them to rage more, but it causes you to shift your focus from the game, to being a mother. No one likes being told what to do, that's just a fact of life. Make your comment like "Hey guys, we still got this" and let it go. If it becomes a nuisance, ignore them and communicate via pings.

      2. Try and keep verbal communication/critique to a minimum (maybe even non-existent)

Now that might sound counter-intuitive, but hear me out. You are placed with four random players that you know nothing about. Meaning you have NO idea what could set them off. For example:

"Dayum dude, if we could have landed that Nami bubble that would've been clean!"

Interpretation #1: Yeah, I messed up but it's not that big of a deal, I can land the next one.
Interpretation #2: Well maybe if they wouldn't have flashed | Maybe if you would've landed | Maybe if you 'Champion' would've been there | I would've landed the bubble
Interpretation #3: Wtf, fine I just won't throw my bubble. Then it can't miss right?

I would say that a lot of this is exaggeration, but it's really not, and I'm sure a lot of you have experienced saying one little ittsy bitsy thing and watched it get blown completely out of proportion. Keep your chat to a minimal! Only say something if it is of dire need.

For the record, Baron or Dragon or even a Tower is NOT of dire need. That's why Riot invented Pings and a Map. You don't need to type:
"Can we drag?"
"Can we baron?"
"Top or bot tower?"
 PING IT! And guess what, the team is either going to go there, or they are not. Now what you need to not do is blindly ping it and disregard how your team moves. If you ping drag, and no one goes there, that doesn't mean solo it because you pinged it. That means, the group doesn't agree with your call and you should stick with the majority vote. When something is not communicated verbally, it's a lot harder to take offense to it. But you need to understand that just because they didn't follow your call doesn't make you wrong. Your idea or play could have been awesome, but it can only be awesome if everyone is on the same page.

HOWEVER, when I say ping more in your games, I do not mean be the guy who pings Aatrox 6 times until you're unable to ping more; that crap is annoying. Another thing that personally gets on my nerves is when someone pings something that is BLATANTLY obvious. Now I understand that 'obvious' is a loose term depending on your tier, but if the enemy top lane shows up bottom and everyone dies and you look top lane and see that your ally is pushing his lane as hard as he can...don't ping his tower, he's already doing what you're about to suggest to him.

One last trick that I use when pinging, is I ping in places that do not reveal who is pinging. For instance, instead of pinging baron directly, I ping right outside the pit. I do this mostly when I'm behind and I know that the team would not trust my play otherwise. If I KNOW that it's a safe play and it will work, my team will more likely believe an anonymous ping than a ping from a 0/8 Maokai.

But seriously, pay attention to your pings in games and pay attention to your teams reaction. I think you'll find that just pinging will save you a lot of stress.

The Game Itself

The only thing I need to stress here is to give people the benefit of the doubt. Every tier (Bronze, silver, gold etc.) has a different mentality. And they do certain things because they have seen it work and want to utilize it. "Troll picking" does not mean they want to lose. That means they just want a change from the meta and they want to catch people off guard with something they have never dealt with before. I mean look at Prolly, when he first showed up in the pro scene, his champion pool consisted of things like 'Annie' Mid, matchups that people had not seen in forever. Guess what, he stomped his lanes for a few weeks until people practiced them. If it works in the LCS, I'll bet you it works in any tier of solo queue.

If you call a play and no one agrees with it, that does not mean you are wrong, that just means they think their idea is better. You could be right, but going with the majority is ALWAYS better. You only get to call plays once the team trusts you (and even then, that's not enough).

If you have applied EVERYTHING from before the game, to when the game actually happens, there isn't much left to do other than play your best and do your part. You lose a lot of games because you performed poorly and whether you realize that or not is up to you. The first step to any problem is admitting you have one. Only then can you start to fix it.

Analyzing Your Teammates

Judging is fine. We all do it, but you don't need to tell your teammate that they suck and 'should uninstall the game'. As the game progresses, keep a mental log of who the good players are, and who the bad ones are. This will make your decision making much better. I'm going to react differently, both mentally and physically, to a good Amumu engaging onto 5 members, than I am to a brainless Amumu engaging on 5 members. The important thing here is that you never show how you feel about the person's game play, because you will only cause a negative effect.



If there is something you would like added here, or that you would like to hear my opinion on, please contact me and let me know!

Rant over =]







Special Thanks Back to Top

EG Magnum : Looking over the guide to see what was wrong.

Giantredmonkey : For helping out with certain match-ups.

Scrub Maximus : For finding all my typos.

To all of you: For any comments you make to help me make this guide more user-friendly and useful!

Thanks,
Omyslash0

  • October 18th, 2013 — Guide Completed.
  • October 21st, 2013 — Ganking Tips and Jungle Routes *ADDED*.
  • November 17th, 2013 — Changed the organization of some information to make it easier to read.
  • December 24th, 2013 — Added Red Start to Jungle Routes. Rod of Ages Added to Item build. Trinket information added throughout guide. Removed Philo Stone and Reverie from Item build. Added Pink Ward information in Item Build and Ganking/Jungle Routes. Removed Janna's Global Movement Speed from guide (it's now a set distance). Updated Support item Starts to better fit Season 4.
  • July 10th, 2014 — Added Ranked Mentality tab and fixed Teaming Fighting to better fit Maokai's new Ultimate.

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