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All Guides Maokai Guides 4 Season NA Master / Challenger Tier Jungle Guide | Maokai | Updated for Season 8: [Patch 8.14] | www.twitch.tv/rocklee015
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Maokai Statistics for Rocklee015

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

Value
Average
Games Played
4
Win %
43
Kills
2.8
Assists
9.1
Deaths
5.0
KA:D Ratio
2.4
Gold Earned
9.5K
Creep Score
129.7
Average
  • Author Champion Statistics
  • Guide Details

Summoner Spells Back to Top

Maokai Header Summoners2.png


4.png11.png Smite and Flash:


Smite and Flash are the two best summoner spells for jungle Maokai. Smite is standard for all Junglers due to its objective control, jungle sustain, and power when used with Chilling or Challenging Smite. And Flash, which provides you with an instant gap closer and outplay potential.

New Runes Back to Top

► This page gives you very high mitigation, self sustain, and combat stats.

Resolve: Aftershock gives you high mitigation after you immobilize an enemy champion for 2.5 seconds, then you'll explode dealing scaling magic damage to all nearby enemies. Bone Plating gives you additional mitigation from spells or attacks after you take damage from an enemy champion, Conditioning gives you flat + scaling Armor and Magic Resist at 10 minutes, and Revitalize increases the healing from your Sap Magic [Passive]. Precision: Triumph restores Health on takedowns, and Legend: Alacrity gives you scaling Attack Speed.

You don't need to swap out anything on this page.

vvvvvvv.png

Aftershock.png?width=64 Resolve 2: Aftershock


► This page gives you very high mitigation, self sustain, and mobility.

Resolve: Aftershock gives you high mitigation after you immobilize an enemy champion for 2.5 seconds, then you'll explode dealing scaling magic damage to all nearby enemies. Bone Plating gives you additional mitigation from spells or attacks after you take damage from an enemy champion, Conditioning gives you flat + scaling Armor and Magic Resist at 10 minutes, and Revitalize increases the healing from your Sap Magic [Passive]. Sorcery: Celerity gives you bonus Movement Speed as well as scaling AP based off of your bonus Movement Speed, and Waterwalking gives you higher mobility and damage in the river.

You don't need to swap out anything on this page.

vvvvvvv.png

Aftershock.png?width=64 Resolve 3: Aftershock


► This page gives you very high mitigation, self sustain, and mobility.

Resolve: Aftershock gives you high mitigation after you immobilize an enemy champion for 2.5 seconds, then you'll explode dealing scaling magic damage to all nearby enemies. Bone Plating gives you additional mitigation from spells or attacks after you take damage from an enemy champion, Conditioning gives you flat + scaling Armor and Magic Resist at 10 minutes, and Revitalize increases the healing from your Sap Magic [Passive]. Inspiration: Magical Footwear gives you free boots at 10 min and increases your Movement Speed, and Approach Velocity gives you 10% increased Movement Speed towards impaired allied champions or enemies that you impair.

The only thing that you can swap out on this page is Approach Velocity Approach%20Velocity.png?width=32 for Cosmic Insight Cosmic%20Insight.png?width=32 if you prefer to have increased overall CDR scaling.

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
Maokai Header Abilities.png


► Skill / Maxing Order


Always start with Sapling Toss [E] in the jungle, this will give you the maximum damage output and jungle clear at level 1. Take Bramble Smash [Q] at level 2 for the bonus AoE magic damage, slowing effect, and knockback. And take Twisted Advance [W] at level 3 for the bonus magic damage and rooting effect.

Max Bramble Smash [Q] first for the reduced cooldown and increased AoE magic damage, this gives you the maximum damage output in the jungle and vs enemy champions. Max Twisted Advance [W] second for the reduced cooldown and increased magic damage / root duration. And max Sapling Toss [E] third for the increased AoE magic damage.

Alternatively, you can max your Sapling Toss [E] second and Twisted Advance [W] third if you want to have increased AoE magic damage during the mid game. This can help you burst your targets whenever you combo them, or increase the damage whenever they walk into your saplings, but it will also reduce your crowd control.


► Ability Explanations


Mao Passive2.png
Sap Magic [Passive] gathers magical energy from the nature around Maokai. Every 20 seconds, Maokai's next attack uses that energy to heal himself for a percentage of his maximum Health. Innately, each time Maokai casts a spell or is struck by an enemy's spell, Sap Magic's cooldown is reduced by 4 seconds. This is Maokai's only form of sustain, so it's very important to keep track of the cooldown whenever you're farming or fighting enemy champions. And since the heal is based off of your maximum Health, it will keep getting stronger throughout the game as you continue to level up and build more tank items.

Mao Q.png
Bramble Smash [Q] causes Maokai to smash his fist into the ground, releasing a shockwave that travels forth in a line after 0.35 seconds. Enemies near Maokai are also knocked back up to 300 units based on their proximity to him, and all affected enemies take magic damage and are briefly slowed. This is Maokai's most consistent ability for putting out damage and applying crowd control, so make sure to hit as many targets as possible whenever you use it. Always max this first in your games.

Mao W.png
Twisted Advance [W] transforms Maokai into a moving mass of roots, becoming untargetable and dashing to the enemy target. Upon arrival, he deals magic damage and roots the target for a brief duration. This is Maokai's primary ability for initiating fights outside of his ultimate, it allows you to lock down single targets with the rest of your abilities and will make catching people with your team much easier. Always max this second or third in your games.

Mao E.png
Sapling Toss [E] flings a Sapling to the target location, where it remains for 30 seconds and grants vision around itself. Saplings will tether to nearby enemies, chasing them for up to 2.5 seconds, exploding upon impact or at the end of its duration, dealing magic damage to all nearby enemies upon detonation (capped at 300 against non-champions), and slowing them by 35% for 2 seconds. Saplings placed in brush last for 30 (+ 2.5% of your bonus Health) seconds and cause a larger explosion, dealing double damage over 2 seconds to all enemies hit (capped at 600 against non-champions). This ability is very helpful for putting out AoE damage and slows before or after your combos, as well as scouting out bushes whenever you need additional vision control. Always max this second or third in your games.

Mao R.png
Nature's Grasp [R] summons a colossal wall of 5 thorny brambles that slowly advances forwards, each stopping at the first enemy champion they collide with. Each thorny bramble deals magic damage and roots any target struck for 0.6 - 2.4 seconds, based on distance traveled. This ability is one of the main reasons why people play Maokai, it's great for initiating fights, crowd controlling multiple targets, and will be very impactful during mid and late game team fights.

Items Back to Top

Starting Items

    Standard starting items. This will give you the most efficient early game sustain at level 1.
    You can get Bami's Cinder or Boots of Mobility on your first back as long as you can buy them in one buy.
    You can use either upgrade, but I usually prefer taking Skirmisher's Sabre in a majority of my games.
    Standard trinket for vision control. You can also use it for warding against or setting up invades.

Core Items

    Cinderhulk has always been the best enchant for Maokai. It scales with every defensive item that you buy and will make you very tanky.
    Take any of these Boot options situationally depending on the enemy team comp or your own personal playstyle.
    Righteous Glory is your most core defensive item. This gives you very high momentum and allows you to catch people with your abilities.
    Standard defensive MR items. Build any of these situationally depending on what you need. Spirit Visage has good synergy with Maokai's healing.
    Standard defensive AR items. Both of these items will also be very core for your builds, they have amazing stats and provide great survivability.
    Standard defensive support items. Build either of these situationally to have increased efficiency whenever you group and start team fighting.
    Standard 6 item build vs a balanced team. Swap out any of your items situationally if you need to.
    Standard 6 item build vs an all AD team. Swap out your Thornmail if you don't need Grievous Wounds.
    Standard 6 item build vs an all AP team. Swap out a defensive item for Locket if your team needs one.

Situational Items

    Warmog's Armor can be a great tank item to buy. The bonus Health and CDR feels good and the passive is very effective vs poke damage.
    Gargoyle Stoneplate allows you to be extremely tanky with the Health active. This can be very effective if you're the only tank on your team.
    Thornmail is a good item on Maokai but I normally don't build it unless I need to get Grievous Wounds. This will do very well vs heavy AD teams.
    Dead Man's Plate is still usable vs all AD teams, but I almost never build it because all of the other defensive items are way more useful to have.
    Elixir of Iron is the best elixir choice for Maokai. Since you build all tank, the bonus Health and Tenacity will prove to be extremely useful.
    Oracle Lens is bought whenever you need to start clearing enemy vision. So always make sure to swap to this if you need the extra vision control.
Maokai Header Item Notes.png

◄ Starting Items ►


1039.png2031.png Hunter's Talisman / Refillable Potion:

Hunter's Talisman / Refillable Potion are the best starting items for level 1. Since Maokai is able to AoE the jungle camps with his abilities, you get the maximum benefit from having the Mana Regen and unique passive for higher jungle sustain.

3117.png3751.png Boots of Mobility / Bami's Cinder:

You can get Bami's Cinder or Boots of Mobility on your first back as long as you can buy them in one buy. Bami's Cinder makes you more tanky and has a small amount of AoE magic damage, and Boots of Mobility will greatly enhance the amount of ganks that you can do during the early game. Please note that if you're using the "Resolve 2" Rune Page with Magical Footwear, that you won't be able to into rush Boots of Mobility until 10 minutes.

3706.png3715.png Stalker's Blade / Skirmisher's Sabre:

You can use either upgrade, but I usually prefer taking Skirmisher's Sabre in a majority of my games. The general idea is that Stalker's Blade is better for ganking due to the Chilling Smite, and Skirmisher's Sabre is better for dueling due to the mark it provides.

3340.png Warding Totem (Trinket):

Warding Totem is the best trinket you can start with early game. You can use it to ward against or set up invades, protect your laners, or get more knowledge on the enemy Jungler when you drop it in his jungle.

◄ Core Items ►


1401.png1413.png Enchantment: Cinderhulk:

Cinderhulk has always been the best enchant for Maokai. It scales with every defensive item that you buy and will make you very tanky. This will also increase the Healing from your Sap Magic [Passive] as well.

3047.png Ninja Tabi:

Ninja Tabi are pretty standard boots and are the best option for mitigating general damage. These boots will lower the damage you take from jungle monsters, lane minions, enemy champions, and turret shots. Making them ideal for turret diving and extremely effective vs heavy AD teams.

3111.png Mercury's Treads:

Mercury's Treads are also a standard boot option, you buy these whenever you play vs champions that have heavy crowd control or AP damage. Champions like Alistar, Leona, Morgana, Sejuani, Ryze, Kennen, LeBlanc, etc.

3117.png Boots of Mobility:

Boots of Mobility are very cheap and will allow you to cheese people I guess, but I've always been against buying Boots of Mobility because to me they're very unreliable and will just get you killed if you fail to connect with your target. But these can actually be very effective sometimes during the early game, so if spam ganking is your playstyle, then go for it, I just don't like it.

3800.png Righteous Glory:

Righteous Glory is your most core defensive item. This gives you very high momentum and allows you to catch people with your abilities. The active is extremely good whenever you chase people and will usually guarantee that you get in range to use your abilities, but the physical stats on the item are very mediocre. Eventually it may be a good idea to sell this during the late game for a better defensive item if you need to.

3001.png Abyssal Mask:

Abyssal Mask is a Magic Resist item that you can buy in rare situations, but usually I'll just go for Adaptive Helm instead. The only time I would ever choose Abyssal Mask > Adaptive Helm would be when my team is mostly AP damage and needs the 10% bonus magic damage Aura from the passive.

3065.png Spirit Visage:

Spirit Visage is the best defensive Magic Resist item that you can buy for Maokai. It has Health, Magic Resist, CDR, Health Regen, and a unique passive that increases all healing received by 30%. Not only does this increase the healing from champions with healing abilities like Soraka or Nami, but it also increases the healing from your Sap Magic [Passive] as well. Build this as a 3rd, 4th, or 5th item in most of your games.

3194.png Adaptive Helm:

Adaptive Helm is a Magic Resist item that you buy when there are champions with AP damage casting the same spell over and over again on the enemy team. The item itself has pretty good stats, but you'll only build it when facing against champions like Azir, Cassiopeia, Corki, Kog'Maw, etc.

3110.png Frozen Heart:

Frozen Heart is still a surprisingly effective item for Maokai. The additional Armor, CDR, Mana, and Attack Speed reduction Aura synergize will very well with his playstyle. Build this as a 4th, 5th, or 6th item in most of your games.

3143.png Randuin's Omen:

Randuin's Omen is one of your core defensive items with a large amount of Health, Armor, and damage reduction. The active is very useful whenever you play against melee teams or need to stick onto somebody, and the crit reduction is very effective against teams with heavy AD. Build this as a 3rd, 4th, 5th, or 6th item in most of your games.

3050.png Zeke's Convergence:

Zeke's Convergence is a very cheap and aggressive supportive item. It allows you to put out more damage for both you and the partner that you put it on, the only problem is that it's very reliant on your partner performing well to get the maximum benefit out of the item. You also have to be in range of your partner a lot as well, but it's not that big of a deal because you'll be grouping most of the time anyway. The item also feels very good if you ever get behind because of how cheap it is.

3109.png Knight's Vow:

Knight's Vow is a pretty good item for Maokai if you're behind. The utility on it is pretty efficient for both you and the partner that you put it on, the only problem is that it's very reliant on your partner performing well to get the maximum benefit out of the item. You also have to be in range of your partner a lot as well, but it's honestly not a big of a deal because you'll be grouping most of the time anyway, the item just feels very good sometimes for how cheap it is.

3190.png Locket of the Iron Solari:

Locket of the Iron Solari is still one of the best supportive items in the game, it has good mitigation as well as a shield active that scales with your bonus Health. Building this item vs heavy AP damage is good for your team if you need one, especially when used with a Gargoyle Stoneplate for the increased shield.

◄ Situational Items ►


3083.png Warmog's Armor:

Warmog's Armor can be a great tank item to buy. The bonus Health and CDR feels good and the passive is very effective vs poke damage. You can pretty much build it vs any team comp if you want to, the components are also very cheap and have good stats. I enjoy building this in whenever I play against heavy AP or poke champions.

3193.png Gargoyle Stoneplate:

Gargoyle Stoneplate allows you to be extremely tanky with the Health active. This can be very effective if you're the only tank on your team. Typically you'll want to use this whenever you're around 3+ enemy champions during team fights or whenever you're about to take a lot of damage.

3075.png Thornmail:

Thornmail is a good item on Maokai but I normally don't build it unless I need to get Grievous Wounds. This will do very well vs heavy AD teams, and sometimes it may be more beneficial just to buy the Bramble Vest component as you focus on completing your other items, in case you don't need to rush Armor.

3742.png Dead Man's Plate:

Dead Man's Plate is still usable vs all AD teams, but I almost never build it because all of the other defensive items are way more useful to have. It just doesn't make sense to buy this over Randuin's Omen and Gargoyle Stoneplate on regular games. But this item does have good Health, Armor, and bonus Movement Speed on it.

2138.png Elixir of Iron:

Elixir of Iron is a temporary power spike that will give you +300 Health to help scale with your defensive items, provide you with 25% increased Tenacity, and give your teammates a minor Movement Speed increase.

3364.png Oracle Lens:

Oracle Lens is bought whenever you need to start clearing enemy vision. So always make sure to swap to this if you need the extra vision control. You can even get this at level 1 if you really want to, but I find the Warding Totem to be much more useful during the early game.

Matchups Back to Top

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

  • Aatrox
    Medium
  • Amumu
    Easy
  • Camille
    Medium
  • Cho'Gath
    Medium
  • Diana
    Easy
  • Dr. Mundo
    Hard
  • Ekko
    Medium
  • Elise
    Hard
  • Evelynn
    Medium
  • Ezreal
    Medium
  • Fiddlesticks
    Easy
  • Fizz
    Medium
  • Gragas
    Medium
  • Graves
    Hard
  • Hecarim
    Medium
  • Ivern
    Medium
  • Jarvan IV
    Medium
  • Jax
    Medium
  • Karthus
    Easy
  • Kayle
    Easy
  • Kayn
    Hard
  • Kha'Zix
    Hard
  • Kindred
    Medium
  • Lee Sin
    Medium
  • Malphite
    Easy
  • Malzahar
    Medium
  • Maokai
    Easy
  • Master Yi
    Hard
  • Nautilus
    Easy
  • Nidalee
    Hard
  • Nocturne
    Medium
  • Nunu
    Medium
  • Olaf
    Hard
  • Ornn
    Medium
  • Pantheon
    Medium
  • Poppy
    Medium
  • Quinn
    Easy
  • Rammus
    Medium
  • Rek'Sai
    Hard
  • Rengar
    Medium
  • Riven
    Medium
  • Rumble
    Medium
  • Sejuani
    Hard
  • Shaco
    Easy
  • Shyvana
    Hard
  • Sion
    Easy
  • Skarner
    Hard
  • Tahm Kench
    Medium
  • Taliyah
    Medium
  • Teemo
    Medium
  • Trundle
    Hard
  • Tryndamere
    Easy
  • Twitch
    Medium
  • Udyr
    Medium
  • Vi
    Medium
  • Volibear
    Easy
  • Warwick
    Hard
  • Wukong
    Medium
  • Xin Zhao
    Medium
  • Zac
    Medium

VS

Aatrox

Medium

Aatrox can be a difficult matchup for Maokai most of the time because of how powerful his combos and scaling can be. You can't really beat him in duels, especially if you get caught by his The Darkin Blade [Q] aatroxq.png or Infernal Chains [W] aatroxw.png, so always play defensively if he ever hits you with them. Usually he'll just try to knock you up with his three The Darkin Blade [Q] aatroxq.png swings and use his other abilities to stick onto you, so try not to get hit by his abilities if you can help it. For team fights you'll almost always need to focus him with the rest of your team because of how strong his engages are. Just never underestimate his crowd control or damage output while fighting him and try to dodge his abilities whenever you can.

VS

Amumu

Easy

Amumu is an easy matchup for Maokai most of the time. You out damage him at all stages of the game and can invade his jungle or duel him early game very easily. His main engage is Bandage Toss [Q] bandagetoss.png into Curse of the Sad Mummy [R] curseofthesadmummy.png once he hits level 6, so try your best to dodge his Bandage Toss [Q] bandagetoss.png or the fight may go heavily into his favor. But since you build all tank items you can easily block it for your team once you get tanky enough during the mid and late game.

VS

Camille

Medium

Camille is a decent matchup for Maokai, but her ultimate and damage will be very hard to deal with. Her damage is pretty consistent with the amount of catch potential she has, she can engage you from afar or disengage easily with her Hookshot [E] camillee.png, and her ultimate The Hextech Ultimatum [R] camiller.png will hold you in place long enough for her or her teammates to kill you. You can still duel her fairly well early game, but if she ever catches you in a bad spot with her ultimate, you're pretty much dead every time if her team is around.

VS

Cho'Gath

Medium

Cho'Gath will scale very well late game, but you'll have the advantage for a majority of the game if your laners don't die to his ganks, or until he gets his tank items. The dangerous thing about Cho'gath is the true damage on his Feast [R] feast.png and the amount of damage his Feast [R] feast.png + Smite 11.png combo can do, so never force any major objective if you know they're both up.

VS

Diana

Easy

Diana is an easy matchup for Maokai most of the time. You have better ganks, better team fighting, better scaling, and can invade her jungle or duel her fairly easily. Her ganks pre level 6 are pretty terrible since Lunar Rush [R] dianateleport.png is her only gap closer, but they have a lot of power on long flanks, so try your best to countergank whenever possible. Her general combo is Crescent Strike [Q] dianaarc.png > Pale Crescent [W] dianaorbs.png > Lunar Rush [R] dianateleport.png > Lunar Rush [R] dianateleport.png, while using Moonfall [E] dianavortex.png strategically at any point in between. Her damage is basically all burst with instant gap closers, but if you can manage to survive her combo, or dodge it, she'll have nothing but auto attacks to defend herself. So try your best to dodge her Crescent Strike [Q] dianaarc.png as much as you can so it doesn't reset her Lunar Rush [R] dianateleport.png and engage her afterwards. You shouldn't have a lot of trouble with this matchup unless she gets fed and you have low Magic Resist.

VS

Dr. Mundo

Hard

Dr. Mundo can be a hard matchup for Maokai. He builds all tank items and will eventually be too tanky for you, does more damage, farms faster, doesn't use Mana, has a reliable kit, and can chase or force you out of the jungle very easily. Dr. Mundo is very underrated as a jungle champion, the constant slows from Infected Cleaver [Q] infectedcleavermissilecast.png, AoE damage from Burning Agony [W] burningagony.png, scaling damage from Masochism [E] masochism.png, and self sustain from Sadism [R] sadism.png makes him quite formidable. Unless you're way ahead of him for some reason always avoid fighting him, because you'll just get chased down and die.

VS

Ekko

Medium

Ekko can be an annoying matchup for Maokai. The main problem is the mobility and utility in his kit, you should be able to duel him early and mid game as long as you don't walk into his Parallel Convergence [W] ekkow.png and get stunned. But you'll have to deal with how annoying it is to chase him when he uses Phase Dive [E] ekkoe.png or Chronobreak [R] ekkor.png to stall out fights or live, and a big problem is that he can just Chronobreak [R] ekkor.png your combo if he doesn't die from it immediately.

VS

Elise

Hard

Elise is a hard matchup for Maokai most of the time. Although she may be squishy she has very high damage, a ranged crowd control, gap closers, and will punish you heavily if she ever lands her Cocoon [E] elisehumane.png. Her combo is Cocoon [E] elisehumane.png > Volatile Spiderling [W] elisehumanw.png > Neurotoxin [Q] elisehumanq.png > Spider Form [R] eliser.png > Skittering Frenzy [W] > Venomous Bite [Q]. This is basically your entire health bar and it will happen every single time she lands a Cocoon [E] elisehumane.png on you. Her team fighting will be much greater than yours if she ever lands Cocoon [E] elisehumane.png, but if she ever misses it she probably won't engage. Also never underestimate her gap close with Rappel [E] or even when she uses Venomous Bite [Q], both of which can be used to get her closer to land Cocoon [E] elisehumane.png.

VS

Evelynn

Medium

Evelynn can be annoying to deal with but it shouldn't be a big deal unless she starts snowballing. Her rework makes her pretty weak early game unless she can land a good flank or proc her Allure [W] evelynnw.png Charm on you. You shouldn't have a hard time dueling her unless she lands her fully charged Charm on you, so don't be afraid to fight her. The matchup becomes very annoying once she gets Camouflage at level 6, so try to drop pink wards on jungle routes as frequently as you can to help your team with vision control. She has high burst in the right situations but her team fighting is very weak, her late game also tends to feel underwhelming most of the time. So just get your items, establish vision control, play better during team fights, and you should outscale her most of the time.

VS

Ezreal

Medium

Ezreal is one of the hardest matchups for anyone in the jungle right now, his damage and utility is just ridiculous and should hopefully be nerfed in season 8. So try your best not to overchase him and be careful of his level 2 cheese, whether he uses it to gank your laners or to invade your jungle, it's extremely difficult to deal with. But if you were ever able to catch him after his Arcane Shift [E] ezrealarcaneshift.png you'll usually be able to murder him. But a good Ezreal won't let you do that, he'll just keep pressuring all of your lanes while casually invading your jungle and there's not much you can do about it. The most ideal situation is when you're able to farm your entire jungle while having your laners not die to him for the first 5 minutes, but in soloq he always gets fed somehow, so always spam ping your laners if you know where he's at.

VS

Fiddlesticks

Easy

Fiddlesticks is an easy matchup for Maokai. You can deal more damage than he does, farm faster, and scale better. If you ever run into him somewhere in the jungle, his combo is always Terrify [Q] terrify.png into Drain [W] drain.png while using Dark wind [E] fiddlesticksdarkwind.png before or after the combo. Whenever this happens you can use your Bramble Smash [Q] maokaiq.png to interrupt the drain or Twisted Advance [W] maokaiw.png to cancel it, but if your abilities are on cooldown you'll need to run away most of the time. And if you ever catch him without his Drain [W] drain.png all he has is his Dark Wind [E] fiddlesticksdarkwind.png or auto attacks to defend himself until his cooldowns come back up. The main thing to try and prevent or avoid is his Crowstorm [R] crowstorm.png engage, if he ever fails this engage you can usually just win the fight afterwards, so be sure to help ward the areas where you think he'll be ulting from.

VS

Fizz

Medium

Fizz can be a difficult matchup for Maokai sometimes, but it's usually only when he can land his Chum the Waters [R] fizzr.png on you. His pre level 6 ganks aren't that strong, you can duel him early in the jungle, you have better team fighting, and will usually outscale him as long as he doesn't randomly get fed. But once he starts getting some of his items and has his Chum the Waters [R] fizzr.png, he becomes a big threat. Never underestimate the range or utility he has with Playful / Trickster [E] fizze.png and Urchin Strike [Q] fizzq.png, they're pretty busted when it comes to chasing people or engaging and have low cooldowns once he gets some CDR. But if he ever messes up his Playful / Trickster [E] fizze.png you can punish it pretty easily, so don't be afraid to go in if he does. You also farm faster than he does and can potentially counterjungle him a lot if he forces too many ganks or is on the opposite side of the map.

VS

Gragas

Medium

Gragas can be an annoying matchup for Maokai sometimes. The main focus in fights is trying to dodge his Barrel Roll [Q] gragasq.png, Body Slam [E] gragase.png, or Explosive Cask [R] gragasr.png, but mostly try to prioritize the Body Slam [E] gragase.png. If you can dodge or block his Body Slam [E] gragase.png the fight immediately goes into your favor and you have a much better chance to kill him or force his Flash 4.png. Also be careful of his Body Slam [E] gragase.png + Flash 4.png combo, he can Flash 4.png during the animation of Body Slam [E] gragase.png to get extra distance or to redirect his charge slightly. Sometimes it will be obvious when he wants to do his combo if he starts his Body Slam [E] gragase.png really far away, but if you see it coming you have a quarter of a second to react with your Flash to get away. His Explosive Cask [R] gragasr.png is also super disruptive for you, since you're a melee style champion he can keep using it defensively to knock you into a bad spot for his team if you ever mess up your engages. You can also body block his Body Slam [E] gragase.png animation by standing in front of it if you have to to save a teammate, only do this is really have to.

VS

Graves

Hard

Graves is difficult to deal with for a lot of champions, the amount of damage, mitigation, and utility he has in his kit is pretty broken, but not as broken as it used to be. All of his damage is ranged so he can attack you from afar with auto attacks, End of the Line [Q] gravesqlinespell.png, or Collateral Damage [R] graveschargeshot.png. He can blind you for up to 4 seconds if you stand in his Smoke Screen [W] gravessmokegrenade.png making it so you can't see him or anyone else on his team until you step out of it. And he can also kite you with his Quickdraw [E] gravesmove.png as he continues to do damage to you as well as provide himself with mitigation for free. He also takes no damage in the jungle and can counterjungle you very well if you give him the opportunity, you can also do that to him as well, but he has a much easier time doing it to you. He will just kite you back during all team fights and try to get a good Smoke Screen [W] gravessmokegrenade.png off to blind you. You can't really beat him in trades so avoid dueling him if you ever get behind and just try to play better during team fights if you can.

VS

Hecarim

Medium

Hecarim can be a difficult matchup for Maokai most of the time, especially if he ever gets fed. If Hecarim has Ghost 6.png or Onslaught of Shadows [R] hecarimult.png up he can force a gank in most situations because it allows him an easier time to get behind the target with his Devastating Charge [E] hecarimramp.png, so try to get deep vision on him whenever possible to predict his movements. You can also counterjungle Hecarim early game fairly easily, so don't be afraid to walk into his jungle when he's pre level 6 and try to abuse him. If he ever starts to snowball though it becomes very difficult to stop his momentum because Onslaught of Shadows [R] hecarimult.png is so good for team fighting. But the good thing about Skarner into Hecarim is that you can usually beat him in most trades and can catch him easily with your ultimate during team fights. So Just try not to get behind early game, scout him out a little bit, and try to have better jungle pathing.

VS

Ivern

Medium

Ivern is a very annoying to deal with, this matchup is can be difficult sometimes because he has high amounts of crowd control, will always start in your jungle at level 1 and take one of your buffs almost instantly, usually your second buff, and has the potential to make you irrelevant most of the game. Invading him early game is a good strategy if you have an idea of what his jungle path is, usually he'll take your second buff and immediately run to cover that same buff in his own jungle, just in case you try to take it away from him. So if you ever see him running around in your side of the jungle, you can potentially do exactly what he's doing on the opposite side of the map in his jungle. This will make it so you aren't as far behind early game and allows you to still maintain some pressure. Ivern can instantly take jungle camps with Smite if he marks them, so also be aware of that. The good thing about Maokai vs Ivern is that he can never 1v1 you in the jungle, so if he ever walks into you, you'll almost always be able to force him out of the jungle or kill him. If Ivern ever misses his Rootcaller [Q] ivernq.png as well, that's another sign for you to push in and pressure him. The annoying thing is that if he ever lands his Rootcaller [Q] ivernq.png he can instantly dash to you and either slow you with Triggerseed [E] iverne.png or follow up with Daisy! [R] ivernr.png for additional crowd control. Just try to play smart with early game pathing and try to avoid getting caught by Rootcaller [Q] ivernq.png and you'll always outscale him.

VS

Jarvan IV

Medium

Jarvan IV can be a difficult matchup for Maokai sometimes. Dueling him is hard if he lands his combo, and if he ever catches you out in a bad spot you could just die. Dodging the Demacian Standard [E] jarvanivdemacianstandard.png + Dragon Strike [Q] jarvanivdragonstrike.png combo will be your biggest priority, it will also put Jarvan IV into a bad spot if you do dodge it, since his primary engage is also his disengage. The thing you need to watch out for is his Cataclysm [R] jarvanivcataclysm.png, you can get trapped in this and die if your Flash 4.png is on cooldown. His team fighting will outclass yours if he lands a good Cataclysm [R] jarvanivcataclysm.png engage, so if he ever forces an engage just focus him down with your team or engage his backline for free.

VS

Jax

Medium

Jax can be a difficult matchup for Maokai sometimes. But you have much better jungle clear, higher impact when ahead, a safer kit, better team fighting, and a better engage. The only time trading goes bad with him is if you attack into or get stunned by his Counter Strike [E] jaxcounterstrike.png and give him bonus damage. Aside from that his movements are very predictable and can be played around easily with your kit. Just avoid long trades with him when his Grandmaster's Might [R] jaxrelentlessassault.png is up and be aware that his Leap Strike [Q] jaxleapstrike.png can also leap to minions and wards if he needs gap close or disengage.

VS

Karthus

Easy

Karthus is pretty much a joke right now in the jungle, but he can do good damage sometimes if he somehow gets ahead. You should be fine to dodge most of his Lay Waste [Q] karthuslaywastea1.png damage unless you get caught his Wall of Pain [W] karthuswallofpain.png and get slowed. He's also very squishy early game and has to play extremely safe around you, because if he ever gets caught out by your combo he's basically dead every single time if your team is around. The only things you need to worry about are his Requiem [R] karthusfallenone.png, late game scaling, and speed at taking Dragon and Baron. His Requiem [R] karthusfallenone.png does massive damage and can be used as a way to countergank you, so always take the damage from his ult into account when forcing a gank after he's level 6.

VS

Kayle

Easy

Kayle is an easy matchup for Maokai most of the time. You can duel her very easily pre level 6 and will have more momentum than her throughout the game. Her power comes from using her ultimate Intervention [R] judicatorintervention.png on the right targets and doing massive AoE damage with Righteous Fury [E] judicatorrighteousfury.png during ganks or team fights. Her Intervention [R] judicatorintervention.png has a very short cooldown once she starts getting some CDR, so just try not to dedicate too hard once it's used unless you know that you can kill the target once it's over. She's pretty immobile for the most part, even with her Reckoning [Q] judicatorreckoning.png and Divine Blessing [W] judicatordivineblessing.png, so you shouldn't have too many problems landing your combos on her.

VS

Kayn

Hard

Kayn is a difficult matchup for Maokai. He has higher damage, good team fighting, easier gank paths, and can choose between his Shadow Assassin or Darkin form situationally depending on the game. Kayn is easier to deal with early game than he is mid or late game because he won't be transformed, so try to take advantage of this if you can. Once he transforms into Shadow Assassin or Darkin the game will get much harder. Shadow Assassin provides him with more damage and carry potential that allows him to 1 or 2 shot you or your carries with a longer ranged Blade's Reach [W] kaynw.png. And Darkin is a more defensive form that provides him with more sustain and team fighting potential, giving his Blade's Reach [W] kaynw.png a knock up. He can also stall fights for a long time using Shadow Step [E] kayne.png and Umbral Trespass [R] kaynr.png to wait for his cooldowns to come up again, so try to establish an early lead against him otherwise he will just outscale and potentially carry the game.

VS

Kha'Zix

Hard

Kha'Zix is extremely strong and has always been relevant in the meta. He has much higher burst damage and good mobility in his kit, so dueling him can be hard to do as Maokai. He has a fast level 3 jungle clear and will have equal or greater pace than you in the jungle. He's also able to use his Void Assault [R] khazixr.png Invisibility to dodge your attacks in between his Taste Their Fear [Q] khazixq.png cooldowns for extremely effective dueling. His mobility in the jungle with evolved Void Assault [R] khazixr.png is also very hard to deal with, as he gains Invisibility and Movement Speed upon entering each new bush, making it even harder to attack him. His evolved Leap [E] khazixe.png will also reset for any champion kill or assist, so try to be careful of this happening in the middle of a fight. Overall he's just a very hard champion to deal with in soloq, snowballs well, and has heavy damage at all stages of the game. The best thing you can do if he starts getting ahead is to farm up and play around your team as you prioritize killing him whenever he engages.

VS

Kindred

Medium

Kindred isn't a terrible matchup for Maokai, but her scaling is decent and she'll beat you in a lot of skirmishes or team fights. She will kite you constantly with Dance of Arrows [Q] kindredq.png and Mounting Dread [E] kindredewrapper.png so try not to overchase her and fight outside the radius of her Wolf's Frenzy [W] kindredw.png whenever possible to reduce her damage. Her ultimate Lamb's Respite [R] kindredr.png is very good at stalling fights long enough for her cooldowns to come back up or her teammates to join the fight, but remember that you can also use it to save yourself from dying as well if you need to. Lamb's Respite [R] kindredr.png will save all units within the circle, this also includes Dragons and Baron, so she can actually use this right before you cast Smite 11.png if you aren't careful and save the objective, then try take it afterwards with her Smite 11.png.

VS

Lee Sin

Medium

Lee Sin isn't a terrible matchup for Maokai if you can survive his early game. He'll tend to win most duels against you during the early game, especially if he lands his Sonic Wave [Q] blindmonkqone.png, so try not to fight him unless it's extremely favorable. Lee Sin punishes you through mechanical outplays mostly, so just try not to be a in a bad position or he'll kick you into his team from a ward jump or Sonic Wave [Q] blindmonkqone.png > Dragon's Rage [R] blindmonkrkick.png combo and you'll probably die. Also be careful of his Sonic Wave [Q] blindmonkqone.png + Smite 11.png combo when forcing objectives because it will do more damage than your Smite 11.png combo if he lands it. You'll always outscale him, so just survive the early game and you should be fine.

VS

Malphite

Easy

Malphite jungle is pretty terrible until he gets level 6 and shouldn't be too much of a problem for you until then. The annoying things about Malphite is that he usually builds pure tank and his Unstoppable Force [R] ufslash.png is a perfect ultimate for engaging. But the good thing is that you also have a good ultimate for engaging, faster jungle clear, and lower cooldowns. Eventually he'll get so tanky that it's not worth killing him anymore so it's important to have a good impact early game before the team fighting phase begins.

VS

Malzahar

Medium

Malzahar can be a difficult matchup for Maokai most of the time because his kit just doesn't allow you to comfortably engage. You have to go through his Call of the Void [Q] malzaharq.png silence and Nether Grasp [R] malzaharr.png just to get to him, and then you have to go through his Void Shift [Passive] which immunes all crowd control and gives him 90% damage reduction. And while all of this is happening you're also taking DoT damage from his Void Swarm [W] malzaharw.png and Malefic Visions [E] malzahare.png. But if you can somehow manage to get past all of this, or if his Void Shift [Passive] and Nether Grasp [R] malzaharr.png are on cooldown, you can actually kill him pretty quickly. He's very immobile without his abilities so just don't force bad fights or recklessly engage into him when they're up and you should be fine.

VS

Maokai

Easy

Stop playing normal games.

VS

Master Yi

Hard

Master Yi can be a difficult matchup for Maokai, it just depends on how fed he gets. All Master Yi will do is auto attack you to death if he starts snowballing, but if you snowball against him he won't be able to do much to you. You can interrupt the channeling on his Meditate [W] meditate.png with your Bramble Smash [Q] maokaiq.png, so try to use your abilities wisely while fighting him. Overall, he can be very difficult to deal with, especially if he gets a Quicksilver Sash, and if he ever gets ahead you'll just lose, so try your best to path well and play better during team fights.

VS

Nautilus

Easy

Nautilus is very similar to Maokai due to all of the single target crowd control that he has, but you'll always outscale him. You'll beat him in most duels during the early game, but it becomes more difficult during the mid and late game once he gets 2-3 defensive items. His combo is usually Dredge Line [Q] nautilusanchordrag.png > Staggering Blow [Passive] > Riptide [E] nautilussplashzone.png > Titan's Wrath [W] nautiluspiercinggaze.png, with or without his ultimate Depth Charge [R] nautilusgrandline.png. His Staggering Blow [Passive] is actually quite disrupting during any sort of fight, his auto attacks will root you in place once every few seconds for 0.5-1.5 seconds duration depending on what level he is. He can use it on multiple people back to back as he AoE slows your entire team. Overall, he has a lot of lockdown potential with his combo and it's really annoying if he uses everything on you during a team fight, but you shouldn't have too much trouble when facing him.

VS

Nidalee

Hard

Nidalee is one of the hardest jungle matchups in the game for everyone, especially if you have a poor early game champion. She farms much faster than you, has infinite sustain with a blue buff, takes little damage from jungle camps, has low cooldowns, can invade you with little to no chance of getting punished for it, is extremely mobile across the map, and can attack you from long range then burst you with cougar form. This champion has literally been so oppressive for the last 3+ years in the jungle and it's sort of sad. If she ever lands a Javelin Toss [Q] javelintoss.png on you she can then go into her Aspect of the Cougar [R] aspectofthecougar.png form and Pounce [W] on you from a distance while at the same time using Takedown [Q], bursting you so hard that you almost die in less than 2 seconds every time. She's very squishy for the way she usually builds, but her constant heals from Primal Surge [E] primalsurge.png will keep her healthy enough to keep fighting even if you get the jump on her. There is still a chance that you can snowball against her, but it's very low. So just try to farm up, play better during team fights, and survive the early game. I would suggest banning Nidalee in higher elos.

VS

Nocturne

Medium

Nocturne can be a difficult matchup for Maokai sometimes, especially if he spell shields one of your abilities. He can also snowball pretty easily in soloq when he builds damage. It can be hard to duel him in the jungle, his Duskbringer [Q] nocturneduskbringer.png will give him bonus Movement Speed and AD while fighting on the trail, if he ends up blocking anything with his Shroud of Darkness [W] nocturneshroudofdarkness.png he gains bonus Attack Speed, and Unspeakable Horror [E] nocturneunspeakablehorror.png will also allow him to put out more damage as well as terrify you for 1.25-2.25 seconds depending on the rank. He will usually build damage for the first 10-15 minutes of the game which makes him very vulnerable if you ever catch him out of position, and if he ever misses his Duskbringer [Q] nocturneduskbringer.png or uses Shroud of Darkness [W] nocturneshroudofdarkness.png on nothing, you will auto win the trade every time and force him to run away as he tries to channel Unspeakable Horror [E] nocturneunspeakablehorror.png on you. The thing you really have to worry about is his ultimate Paranoia [R] nocturneparanoia.png, it has high range, good damage, and will punish anyone out of position. He can also use it point blank to help burst his target if he needs to. But if he ever uses Paranoia [R] nocturneparanoia.png and doesn't kill his target, or chooses the wrong target, he can get put into a bad position that you can punish since he can't cancel the second activation of Paranoia [R] nocturneparanoia.png and has no reliable disengage.

VS

Nunu

Medium

Nunu isn't a terrible matchup for Maokai most of the time, but he can be very annoying. He can sometimes duel you in the jungle when he has red buff but will usually get outscaled, especially if he doesn't take objectives early. Nunu is a supportive Jungler that has crazy objective control with Consume [Q] consume.png + Smite 11.png combo, there is almost 0% chance that you will steal anything from him, and a very high chance he will steal anything from you. So typically you don't ever want to start an objective like Dragon or Baron unless he's dead or on the opposite side of the map. His Ice Blast [E] iceblast.png is also annoying because it slows you and your Attack Speed, but it will never allow him to win any trades against you unless you're already low or he has a red buff. But overall, unless he has really good laners, or ones that scale really well with his Blood Boil [W] bloodboil.png, you shouldn't have too much trouble dealing with him. Also his pre level 6 ganks are so terrible that he might try cheesing Dragon early game, whenever I play Nunu I take Dragon at 3 min 23 seconds every game to give you an idea, so try to keep good vision control at the jungle entrances and around Dragon. He may also try to invade you a lot if he's good, so try to counterjungle him as much as possible whenever you get the chance, especially if you see him on the opposite side of the map. You can also interrupt the channel on his Absolute Zero [R] absolutezero.png with your Bramble Smash [Q] maokaiq.png if you need to.

VS

Olaf

Hard

Olaf is a very hard matchup for Maokai. He has insane dueling power with extremely high sustain, high chase potential, can build tanky or AD and still do well, and can immune himself to all crowd control. You can still beat him in duels early game before he gets items sometimes, but it can still be difficult because of his sustain. He has constant slows on a low cooldown with his Undertow [Q] olafaxethrowcast.png, he gets massive healing from Vicious Strikes [W] olaffrenziedstrikes.png when he's low on Health, has true damage on his Reckless Swing [E] olafrecklessstrike.png, and can immune all of your crowd control with his Ragnarok [R] olafragnarok.png, as well as any other crowd control or movement slowing effects. He has a pretty one dimensional playstyle and his champion kit is very old, so he may have a hard time making plays sometimes, but if his ganks ever connect they're pretty unstoppable.

VS

Ornn

Medium

Ornn can be a very annoying matchup for Maokai. He builds all tank items, has percentage based damage, has a lot of crowd control, and can immune himself from all incoming crowd control for a short duration. You can win duels early game if you can dodge his abilities, but if you can't and he lands everything on you, the fight may not go in your favor. His Volcanic Rupture [Q] ornnq.png shoots out a fissure that will slow you and spawn a small magma pillar, Bellows Breaths [W] ornnw.png deals percentage based damage and immunes him from all crowd control for its duration, Searing Charge [E] ornne.png will displace or knock you up depending on if he hits a wall or not, and Call of the Forge God [R] ornnr.png will slow you on first activation then knock you up on the second activation. Overall, his kit is insanely good and will outscale yours, so try to establish a lead early game and remember to try and dodge whenever he forces an engage with Call of the Forge God [R] ornnr.png.

VS

Pantheon

Medium

Pantheon is annoying to deal with for most melee style champions. He has high damage, a very basic but reliable kit, and can block your attacks constantly. You can still beat him in duels early game in rare situations, but just be careful to not get baited by his Aegis Protection [Passive] shield blocks. His kit is so old and basic but it's actually quite good because of the damage his abilities have. His combo is usually just Spear Shot [Q] pantheonq.png spam until you get low > Aegis of Zeonia [W] pantheonw.png > Heartseeker Strike [E] pantheone.png followed up with auto attacks and more Spear Shot [Q] pantheonq.png spam. His primary engage is Grand Skyfall [R] pantheonrjump.png, he can use it from a very long range and drop down into fights unexpectedly so try to avoid the giant circle you see on the ground whenever it happens. He can also have a really bad game if he gets behind and takes a lot of damage in team fights if he ever tries to force an engage too hard with his Grand Skyfall [R] pantheonrjump.png, so if you ever see it coming always play defensively and just kill him immediately. You will usually outscale him most of the time, so unless he snowballs really hard early game, you shouldn't have a big problem dealing with him.

VS

Poppy

Medium

Poppy isn't a terrible matchup for Maokai most of the time, but she can be very disruptive. You should do fairly well against her in duels until she gets 2-3 defensive items, but the main problem is how annoying the crowd control in her kit is to deal with. She can slow you with Hammer Shock [Q] poppyq.png, stun you with Heroic Charge [E] poppye.png, and knock you far away with Keeper's Verdict [R] poppyr.png. These abilities are pretty much a nightmare for any melee style champion, but if she ever misses them you'll be able to punish her for it. Her late game is very solid with a full tank build, so try to establish an early or mid game lead before it gets to this point. Her ganks aren't anything special and her jungle clear isn't as fast as yours, so you should be able to punish her throughout the game constantly by having better ganks at level 6 and outfarming her.

VS

Quinn

Easy

Quinn isn't a terrible matchup for Maokai most of the time unless she gets the jump on you early game. You outscale her, have way better team fighting, and are more reliable as a champion to have on a team. She will usually win most duels during the early game but you can still burst her very hard with your combo. Her pre level 6 ganks aren't that amazing but she can skirmish very well with her Blinding Assault [Q] quinnq.png and Vault [E] quinne.png. When she gets Behind Enemy Lines [R] quinnr.png at level 6 she gets a huge momentum boost and can gank anywhere she wants with extremely high Movement Speed, but if she takes any damage while in this form it will drop instantly. Just don't chase her too hard if she gets a good Vault [E] quinne.png combo off on you or if she's already in her Behind Enemy Lines [R] quinnr.png form. You'll always outscale her, so just try to play well early game, play smart during team fights, and try to make picks on her whenever you can and you should be fine.

VS

Rammus

Medium

Rammus can be a difficult matchup for Maokai sometimes, as well as any other melee style champion. He scales equally as well with defensive items, has a decent team fight, can catch you extremely easily, has higher mobility, and will gank more frequently. You can still duel him if you get ahead early game, but eventually you won't be able to do much damage to him. He'll start to gank very frequently once he gets level 3, his combo will always be Powerball [Q] powerball.png > Frenzying Taunt [E] puncturingtaunt.png > Defensive Ball Curl [W] defensiveballcurl.png, with or without his ultimate Tremors [R] tremors2.png. His Powerball [Q] powerball.png allows him to gank or gap close freely with high Movement Speed and Frenzying Taunt [E] puncturingtaunt.png will hold you in place as he and his teammates kill you. Rammus has a very basic concept but he's still one of the best tank champions in the game, just be careful about how he moves on the map and try not to get caught in a bad spot with his Frenzying Taunt [E] puncturingtaunt.png. As a melee style champion it's very easy for him to catch you, and if he ever catches you during a 5v5 team fight you're going to take a lot of free damage or potentially die, so just be aware of when you can move in on him.

VS

Rek'Sai

Hard

Rek'Sai can be a difficult matchup for Maokai most of the time. She scales well, can build tank or damage depending on the game, has good jungle clear, better snowballing, better gap closers, high mobility, and doesn't use Mana. You can still beat her in duels early game, but her damage is very high most of the time so it will be a close fight. Her main damage comes from Queen's Wrath [Q] reksaiq.png and Furious Bite [E] reksaie.png after she knocks you up with Un-burrow [W], she can also use her Tunnel [E] to help gap close or disengage over a wall if she's losing. She can also use Tunnel [E] to create very unique gank paths, similar to any other champion that can go over walls, like Nidalee or Sejuani. Her ultimate Void Rush [R] reksairwrapper.png is now one of her best abilities, it can be used to deal massive burst damage to low targets or as a long ranged gap closer. Also, an annoying thing about Rek'Sai is her Tremor Sense, she will be able to reveal your location from far away to her and her allies, so try your best not to get spotted. Overall, the game will usually be in her favor, so just try to not give her a big lead early game and play better during team fights if you can.

VS

Rengar

Medium

Rengar can be a difficult matchup for Maokai if he gets ahead, but if he doesn't it's not that bad. He builds heavy damage, has high burst, high mobility, good sustain, and has a very good ultimate. You'll have a hard time dueling him in the jungle most of the time, especially if he starts to snowball. His damage mostly comes Savagery [Q] rengarq.png and auto attacks, his sustain comes from Battle Roar [W] rengarw.png, his crowd control comes from Bola Strike [E] rengare.png, and his engages comes from Thrill of the Hunt [R] rengarr.png or his Unseen Predator [Passive] while in the jungle. At max ferocity the effects on his 3 main abilities get amplified, but the main one to be concerned about is the empowered Bola Strike [E] rengare.png because it will root you in place. Rengar will have high mobility while dueling you in the jungle because of his Unseen Predator [Passive] bush leaps, usually if he gets the jump on you you're pretty much dead, so try to avoid dueling him unless it's very favorable. His pre level 6 ganks aren't that good so try not to feed him early game, because if he ever gets a kill on you and is able to take your jungle camps as well, he'll just hit level 6 sooner and begin snowballing with AD CDR items. So ward up the jungle entrances, farm your jungle efficiently, and only gank or invade when it's extremely favorable.

VS

Riven

Medium

Riven can be a difficult matchup for Maokai sometimes. She has very high mobility, high damage, high burst, good crowd control, good team fighting, and builds almost all AD items. You can duel her fairly well early game if she gives you the chance, but a good Riven will just play around her mobility until the time is right to kill you. The problem with Riven is that she can always get away from you if she's good at wall hopping with Broken Wings [Q] riventricleave.png, she can also use it as a knockup on the 3rd cast if she needs to. Her Ki Burst [W] rivenmartyr.png can stun you as you're running towards her. Her Valor [E] rivenfeint.png is used as a shield but also as a short dash, which helps her position better to compliment her other abilities. And Blade of the Exile [R] rivenfengshuiengine.png is used to increase her damage and the range of her other abilities. So you may actually be able to beat her 1v1 in most cases, but if she's good at playing Riven you'll have a low chance of actually finishing her. Her team fighting is actually quite insane if she can land her crowd control and burst combos onto your carries, so just be prepared to play defensively and kill her if she's forcing an engage. The good thing is that if she ever gets behind in the jungle she has a terrible game because her clear speed is much slower than yours and she's required to build mostly AD items which will make her extremely squishy.

VS

Rumble

Medium

Rumble can be a difficult matchup for Maokai sometimes. He has decent clear speed, good scaling, good team fighting, but he can lose to you in duels if you're able to dodge his abilities. You'll be able to kill him in a lot of situations with your team, but the main focus is just finding a way to stick onto him. The main ability that you need to dodge is his Electro Harpoon [E] rumblegrenade.png, this will slow you as you try to chase into him or his teammates, making it almost impossible to engage if it hits you. The other ability that you must avoid is his ultimate The Equalizer [R] rumblecarpetbomb.png, this is an amazing ultimate for damaging, slowing, and zoning an entire team. He tends to be fairly squishy until he gets his Zhonya's Hourglass and other AP Health items completed, so just realize that you can potentially do a lot of damage to him. Also, be aware that when he reaches high Heat his abilities will be doing way more damage, so try not to get baited into a bad fight. Just don't stand in his Flamespitter [Q] rumbleflamethrower.png or The Equalizer [R] rumblecarpetbomb.png for too long and never underestimate his damage and you should be fine.

VS

Sejuani

Hard

Sejuani is a difficult matchup for Maokai most of the time. She has very high crowd control, amazing team fighting, great jungle clear, good dueling, good ganks, builds all tank items, and will usually outscale you. You can still catch her out and duel her, but it gets harder the longer the game goes on. The amount of crowd control in her kit is ridiculous, her Arctic Assault [Q] sejuaniq.png will knock you up, her Winter's Wrath [W] sejuaniw.png will slow you and apply Frost stacks, her Permafrost [E] sejuanie.png will stun you at 4 stacks of Frost, and Glacial Prison [R] sejuanir.png will also stun you from a distance. Getting caught by any of this means that you're going to have a hard time attacking anyone but the frontline, so try your best to avoid her engages and engage onto priority targets.

VS

Shaco

Easy

Shaco is an easy matchup for Maokai most of the time. He has less damage than you, a slower clear speed, terrible team fighting, and will never outscale you. You should be able to duel him fairly well, even if he gets the jump on you. His combo is usually Deceive [Q] deceive.png > Jack in the Box [W] jackinthebox.png > Backstab [Passive] + Two-Shiv Poison [E] twoshivpoison.png, with or without using his ultimate Hallucinate [R] hallucinatefull.png. The most he can do early game is invade your jungle or spam gank your laners if they're overextending. If he takes your second buff at level 1 it's not a big deal as long as you start blue buff, this way you can still full clear the rest of your jungle without having any Mana issues. If he ever tries to kill you at your second buff, or you think he's going to, just ward the bush on your buff prior to starting it to see if he's already in there waiting for you. Usually you'll be close to 100% Health on your first clear by the time you get to your second buff, so just don't aggro it before checking the bush and you should be fine to duel him. Also remember when fighting Shaco that you can Smite 11.png his Jack in the Box [W] jackinthebox.png if you need to avoid taking damage or getting feared, this will come in handy in certain situations.

VS

Shyvana

Hard

Shyvana can be a difficult matchup for Maokai. She has high scaling, high dueling potential, high jungle clear, good damage, and gets very tanky. You'll always have issues when dueling her, especially if she gets Skirmisher's Sabre or is running Exhaust 3.png. She has high amounts of damage from her kit, mainly focused around auto attacks and magic damage, and will brute force a lot of her fights. Twin Bite [Q] shyvanadoubleattack.png and Flame Breath [E] shyvanafireball.png will increase her auto attack damage, while Burnout [W] shyvanaimmolationaura.png provides her with bonus Movement Speed and magic damage to help her stick onto targets. And Dragon's Descent [R] shyvanatransformcast.png is her main engage, causing her to leap forward and knock enemies towards her, while also modifying her basic abilities. Basically you can win duels whenever she doesn't have Challenging Smite up or whenever she misses Flame Breath [E] shyvanafireball.png, but it will still be very close. The weaknesses of Shyvana is that her pre level 6 ganks are pretty bad, she gets kited extremely easily, and the only way she can reliably gap close is by using her Dragon's Descent [R] shyvanatransformcast.png. Just try not to get behind early game and clear your jungle efficiently because her counterjungling is very punishing.

VS

Sion

Easy

Sion is an easy matchup for Maokai most of the time. He has low damage, low jungle clear, slow abilities outside of his ultimate, and almost never builds damage. But his crowd control and team fighting can actually be quite good in certain situations. You'll do fine when dueling him, but his abilities are very annoying whenever they land. His Decimating Smash [Q] sionq.png is a charged slow or knock up, Soul Furnace [W] sionw.png provides him with a shield and AoE magic damage, Roar of the Slayer [E] sione.png is a ranged slow, and Unstoppable Onslaught [R] sionr.png is his main engage that has a very long range and will knock enemies that it hits. He becomes completely useless in duels or team fights if he ever misses his crowd control, so try to maneuver around his abilities whenever possible. The main thing to avoid is the Decimating Smash [Q] sionq.png, if you can avoid this then you should automatically win the trade and force him to play defensively. Your ganks and team fighting should be better in most situations, so just play well and you'll be fine. You can also interrupt his Decimating Smash [Q] sionq.png with your Bramble Smash [Q] maokaiq.png, or dodge it with Twisted Advance [W] maokaiw.png if he tries to charge it.

VS

Skarner

Hard

Skarner can be a hard matchup for Maokai. He has an amazing ultimate, amazing catch potential, very high jungle clear, high mobility and utility, good crowd control, can build damage or tank depending on the game, and can beat you in duels on top of his Crystal Spires. You'll have a hard time dueling him most of the time, and if you do end up dueling him try not to fight on top of his Crystal Spires so he doesn't get the bonus Movement Speed, Attack Speed, and Mana Regeneration. His combo is Crystalline Exoskeleton [W] skarnerexoskeleton.png > Fracture [E] skarnerfracture.png > Crystal Slash [Q] skarnervirulentslash.png spam, with or without using his ultimate Impale [R] skarnerimpale.png. Usually the entire point of playing Skarner is to be able to land his Impale [R] skarnerimpale.png during ganks or team fights, and it's one of the best ultimates in the game for catching people. He will have an easier time catching you with his Fracture [E] skarnerfracture.png combo or Impale [R] skarnerimpale.png since you're a melee style champion, so never underestimate him and overextend or you're probably dead. Also remember that whenever a Crystal Spire gets taken by either team, it will show on the minimap for both teams, so try to use this to pinpoint enemy locations, especially Skarner's.

VS

Tahm Kench

Medium

Tahm Kench is an annoying matchup for Maokai most of the time, but he has slow jungle clear, poor ganks, loses in duels frequently, and has mediocre scaling. You should do fine against him in duels, just be careful of his early game damage from Devour [W] tahmkenchw.png if he's able to get a combo off on you. His combo is usually Tongue Lash [Q] tahmkenchq.png > auto attack > auto attack > Devour [W] tahmkenchw.png > Tongue Lash [Q] tahmkenchq.png, with or without using his Thick Skin [E] tahmkenche.png to help mitigate damage. You always need to try and avoid his Tongue Lash [Q] tahmkenchq.png, because if you can dodge or spell shield it the trade should go into your favor. Just be careful of Devour [W] tahmkenchw.png when chasing him, he can swallow you when he reaches three stacks to burst you, or stall for his teammates to arrive. He actually has a strong team fight when he uses Devour [W] tahmkenchw.png to save his teammates and there isn't anything you can really do about his ultimate Abyssal Voyage [R] tahmkenchnewr.png, just try not to get counterganked by it.

VS

Taliyah

Medium

Taliyah can be a difficult matchup for Maokai. Her range and burst damage make her very hard to duel most of the time, but if you can ever dodge her abilities or force her onto worked ground, it's not so bad. Her damage comes from poking you with Threaded Volley [Q] taliyahq.png, catching you with Seismic Shove [W] taliyahwvc.png, and kiting you with Unraveled Earth [E] taliyahe.png. Her combo is basically using all of these abilities at once if she ever catches you with Seismic Shove [W] taliyahwvc.png, so try your best to dodge it throughout the game. During the late game her Weaver's Wall [R] taliyahr.png can be used to control objectives or catch people out, so always take this into account if you know that its up before forcing objectives, diving turrets, or split pushing.

VS

Teemo

Medium

Teemo is a pretty annoying matchup for Maokai, as well as any other melee style champions. He can attack you from a distance, blind you from attacking, kite you through bushes, and do heavy amounts of DoT damage from his auto attacks and abilities. You'll do fine against him in duels if you can catch him out with your combo, otherwise he will probably beat you in trades. Whenever you get close to him he'll just auto attack spam you while using Blinding Dart [Q] blindingdart.png to blind you and Move Quick [W] movequick.png to kite you. Once he hits level 6 you'll also have to run through any Noxious Trap [R] teemorcast.png shrooms he's placed on the ground, which will slow you and do massive damage if he's building AP. But if you can ever catch him, you should be able to put out decent damage most of the time, just try not to overchase him or you're probably dead. His team fight is strong if your team plays into his Noxious Trap [R] teemorcast.png shrooms, so try your best not to walk in obvious locations and sweep the area before pushing forward in the jungle or during sieges.

VS

Trundle

Hard

Trundle is a very hard matchup for Maokai. He has good damage, good dueling, high mobility, gets very tanky, can build damage or tank depending on the game, and will always outscale you. You have a chance to beat him early game in duels but you won't be able to fight him during the mid or late game at all when he has his ultimate up. All of his damage comes from auto attacks and his Chomp [Q] trundletrollsmash.png, which has a very low cooldown and can also be used on turrets. His Frozen Domain [W] trundledesecrate.png and Pillar of Ice [E] trundlecircle.png are used for catching people out or escaping bad fights. And his Subjugate [R] trundlepain.png is used to steal enemy stats and dramatically increase his fighting potential. You need to try and have better ganks than him to try to get your team ahead before the mid and late game hits and he begins to scale. Also, remember not to overchase him while his Frozen Domain [W] trundledesecrate.png and Pillar of Ice [E] trundlecircle.png are active unless he's very low, because you will never catch him. And remember to always run away whenever he uses Subjugate [R] trundlepain.png on you, unless you can fight him, because it directly counters you once you start building tank items and will always be on a shorter cooldown than your ult.

VS

Tryndamere

Easy

Tryndamere is an easy matchup for Maokai most of the time. He has less damage, less scaling, slower jungle clear, terrible team fighting, and always has to build into damage items regardless if he's behind or not. You should be fine to duel him in most situations, especially during the early game. Literally all of his damage comes from auto attacks and whenever he uses Spinning Slash [E] tryndameree.png, making him extremely item and crit reliant. His combo is usually just Mocking Shout [W] tryndamerew.png > Spinning Slash [E] tryndameree.png > auto attack spam, while using Bloodlust [Q] tryndamereq.png or Undying Rage [R] undyingrage.png situationally if he needs to. He pretty much offers nothing in a team fight except for a minor engage and auto attack damage, so if he ever tries to team fight just use your abilities on him and force him to play defensively. A good Tryndamere will just try to cheese you early game and then split push the rest of the game while dueling anyone that comes to stop him. But you shouldn't have that many issues dealing with a jungle Tryndamere because you can beat him in most duels, have way better ganks, and way better team fighting.

VS

Twitch

Medium

Twitch can be a difficult matchup for Maokai sometimes, but he's insanely squishy, never builds tank, and his only reliable playstyle is trying to cheese people early game. But his damage and team fighting can be quite overwhelming if he starts to snowball. You'll do fine against him in duels if you can catch him out with your abilities, otherwise he will probably beat you. Whenever you get close to him he'll try to use Ambush [Q] twitchhideinshadows.png or Venom Cask [W] twitchvenomcask.png to get away from you, but if you ever catch him when either of these are on cooldown, he's pretty much dead. Usually what he'll do is start red buff at level 1 then try to gank your laners immediately afterwards, typically mid lane, so make sure to warn or ping your team so that they don't get cheesed. His major strength aside from cheesing people is team fighting with his Spray and Pray [R] twitchfullautomatic.png. This will do massive AoE damage if he catches your team in a good choke, so you have to either kill him quickly or kite back whenever he uses it. He also has a very bad game if he ever gets behind, but it only takes one good team fight to get him back into the game as a carry. So just try to not let him get ahead early game and punish him whenever he steps out of position and you should be fine.

VS

Udyr

Medium

Udyr can be annoying to deal with for any champion, but he shouldn't be a big deal unless he starts snowballing. He has good dueling, very good jungle clear, decent team fighting, and will scale well if he builds all tank items. You should be able to hold your own in duels against Phoenix Stance [R] udyrphoenixstance.png but not as much against Tiger Stance [Q] udyrtigerstance.png. He mainly just tries to abuse his Bear Stance [E] udyrbearstance.png and Turtle Stance [W] udyrturtlestance.png as he cycles in his damage stance. This provides him with high mobility and mitigation while still doing damage during any fight, and should not be underestimated. The good thing is that your team fighting should be much better than his for the most part, so just try not to give him an early lead, have better ganks than him once you get your ultimate, and don't get baited into long chases if he can spam his stances to get away.

VS

Vi

Medium

Vi can be a difficult matchup for Maokai. She has very high damage, good ganks, good team fighting, a good ultimate, and good jungle clear. You'll be able to beat her in duels if she ever misses her Vault Breaker [Q] viq.png, but if she lands it you're pretty much dead until you get more defensive items. Her combo is very simplistic and relies a lot on landing her Vault Breaker [Q] viq.png, she can use any combination of her abilities depending on the situation. A general combo would be Vault Breaker [Q] viq.png > Excessive Force [E] vie.png + Denting Blows [W] viw.png > Assault and Battery [R] vir.png as a finisher or to stall out for Vault Breaker [Q] viq.png to come back up again. She can punish players very hard if she's good, but if she ever misses her Vault Breaker [Q] viq.png or chooses to use Assault and Battery [R] vir.png at an incorrect time, she's basically dead because she has no way to get out of the fight. So try your best to dodge her Vault Breaker [Q] viq.png, try to have better ganks or counterganks once you reach level 6, and play better during team fights because that's where you'll mostly beat her.

VS

Volibear

Easy

Volibear is an easy matchup for Maokai most of the time. He has less damage, slower jungle clear, worse ganks, worse scaling, worse team fight, and has an even worse champion design. You should do fine against him and be able to win most trades, just be careful not to get baited by the Health regen on his Chosen of the Storm [Passive]. His combo is usually Rolling Thunder [Q] volibearq.png > Majestic Roar [E] volibeare.png > auto attack spam > Frenzy [W] volibearw.png, with or without using his ultimate Thunder Claws [R] volibearr.png. Volibear has a really bad champion design and his ganks are probably the most one dimensional ganks in the entire game. His only engage comes from Rolling Thunder [Q] volibearq.png and it's so easy to stop with all of the crowd control in the game right now that the only reliable way he can engage a fight is with Flash 4.png. Just make sure to use your abilities on him whenever he tries to engage team fights and try not to get flipped into a bad position from his Rolling Thunder [Q] volibearq.png and you should be fine. Also, remember that his Frenzy [W] volibearw.png + Smite 11.png combo puts out a lot of damage when securing objectives.

VS

Warwick

Hard

Warwick can be a difficult matchup for Maokai. He has massive sustain, high damage, high mobility, good crowd control, good ultimate, good jungle clear, can build damage or tank depending on the game, and will always scale well. You can duel him early game sometimes, but eventually you won't be able to do much when his ultimate is up and he gets a few items. His damage mainly comes from auto attacks and Jaws of the Beast [Q] warwickq.png, his mobility comes from Blood Hunt [W] warwickw.png, and his crowd control comes from Primal Howl [E] warwicke.png and Infinite Duress [R] warwickr.png. His combo when ganking will usually be Blood Hunt [W] warwickw.png > Jaws of the Beast [Q] warwickq.png + Primal Howl [E] warwicke.png > auto attack spam. He uses Infinite Duress [R] warwickr.png whenever he needs to engage or escape bad situations, it has huge range, lockdown, and will heal Warwick for 100% of the dmg it deals. He has very high dueling and skirmishing power whenever his cooldowns are up, so try to avoid fighting him unless you're noticeably far ahead and focus on your own level 6 ganks.

VS

Wukong

Medium

Wukong can be a difficult matchup for Maokai sometimes, but you have slightly better scaling, a faster jungle clear, and can countergank him easily. For duels you shouldn't have a hard time fighting him unless he gets ahead or catches you low in the jungle. His main combo is Decoy [W] monkeykingdecoy.png > Nimbus Strike [E] monkeykingnimbus.png > Crushing Blow [Q] monkeykingdoubleattack.png for quick engages, but if he uses his Crushing Blow [Q] monkeykingdoubleattack.png before his other abilities he'll do bonus damage to his target because of the Armor reduction it applies. His ultimate Cyclone [R] monkeykingspintowin.png is one of the main reasons people play Wukong, it's pretty much one of the best ultimates in the game and can shred an entire team or win team fights on its own with just the knock up. The only thing that you really have to worry about aside from the surprise factor of his Decoy [W] monkeykingdecoy.png, is if he ever gets fed and lands good Cyclone [R] monkeykingspintowin.png engages, because if he's good at landing them you're pretty much done for. Wukong also has a terrible game if he ever gets behind, since he needs to build AD items early it makes him really squishy and allows you to kill him much easier whenever he engages.

VS

Xin Zhao

Medium

Xin Zhao can be a difficult matchup for Maokai. He has decent scaling, high single target damage, decent jungle clear, good dueling potential, and very good team fighting whenever his ultimate is up. You'll lose most duels against him for the most part, so avoid fighting him unless it's extremely favorable. He's very good at dueling because of his single target abilities, and similar to Master Yi, if he ever gets fed he just auto attacks you to death. His combo will usually be Audacious Charge [E] xinzhaoe.png > Three Talon Strike [Q] xinzhaoq.png > Wind Becomes Lightning [W] xinzhaow.png, with or without using his ultimate Crescent Guard [R] xinzhaor.png. His Determination [Passive] will also be doing damage and healing him during this time, every third auto attack. The knock up from Three Talon Strike [Q] xinzhaoq.png is very disruptive in duels and the rest of his kit just allows him to stick onto his target easier while increasing his stats. The weakness of Xin Zhao is in his playstyle, whenever he goes in he can't really get out without his teams assistance. So if he ever engages and his Crescent Guard [R] xinzhaor.png expires, or if it isn't up, he becomes a very easy kill target.

VS

Zac

Medium

Zac can be a difficult matchup for Maokai sometimes because of how tanky he gets and how good his kit is for ganks and team fighting. You can duel him early game, especially if he misses any of his abilities, but he'll be much harder to kill once he gets 2-3 tank items. Zac has great control, builds all tank items, and is extremely disruptive at all stages of the game. He has amazing engages with his Elastic Slingshot [E] zace.png and can follow up afterwards with his Stretching Strikes [Q] zacq.png and Let's Bounce! [R] zacr.png to put your team is terrible positions. Always try to track the position of where Zac is going to land with his Elastic Slingshot [E] zace.png by checking for his shadow on the ground, this way you can avoid the impact and have an easier time dodging the rest of his abilities. And also be careful when his Cell Division [Passive] is up, he can use it to bait you into bad fights, but otherwise the bloblets are very easy to kill, you can also Smite 11.png them. And something to remember is that you can interrupt the channel on his Elastic Slingshot [E] zace.png with your Bramble Smash [Q] maokaiq.png or Twisted Advance [W] maokaiw.png if you really need to, this will prevent any engage or disengage from happening and potentially net you a kill.

Early, Mid, and Late Game Back to Top

Maokai Header Game Stages.png


► Early Game


Maokai's early game is primarily focused around getting to level 3, ganking overextended laners, and farming to level 6. Maokai shouldn't have too many issues while clearing the jungle due to his Sap Magic [Passive], Hunter's Talisman, and Refillable Potions, but it's still good to ping for a leash as you preset your Saplings. Usually you'll complete two camps, go for scuttle, farm to level 3, and look for ganking opportunities around the map. And if you can't find any ganks, or end up falling behind for some reason, just go back and continue farming your jungle or potentially invade the enemies jungle depending on the situation. Just be careful when invading because if you ever get spotted by a ward and the enemy team decides to collapse on you when your abilities or Flash are on cooldown, you'll most likely die every single time. Your main focus will be to safely transition out of the early game, look for ganks after you get level 3, and get to level 6 as soon as possible. So focus on your jungle pathing and only gank when it's extremely favorable.


► Mid Game


Mid game is when you need to start snowballing with your Nature's Grasp [R] ganks, so try to make plays every single time that your ultimate is off cooldown. The good thing about Nature's Grasp [R] is that it's a perfect ability for engaging and will punish anyone with bad positioning, which makes it perfect for ganking, especially in combination with the rest of your abilities. Also, try to give most of the kills to your laners on successful ganks if you can, unless you're in low elo, because since Maokai builds all tank items, they're much more cost efficient than damage items. Doing this will help your team's carries begin to snowball. This is the time of the game where you need to try and make as many picks as possible, because it becomes a lot harder to do during 5v5 team fighting. A good place to gank most of the time is bot lane, if you can manage to get kills on bot lane it will help secure the first blood turret, early Dragons, and start opening up the map.


► Late Game


Maokai has very good scaling during the late game most of the time, and is still considered one of the best tanks in the game in terms of scaling and team fighting. His late game is primarily focused on controlling objectives, clearing enemy vision, having good engages, and being as disruptive as possible during team fights. As a melee initiator it can be difficult to engage team fights properly due to all of the vision control and items that people have during the late game, but it's very rewarding if you can manage to pull it off. Your damage mitigation will also be extremely good during the late game because of all of the tank items that you build, but also having 30-40% CDR will be extremely useful for maintaining your crowd control during team fights. For team fighting I'll explain more about it in the "Team Fighting" section down below, but generally just try to peel for your team's carries and be as disruptive as possible to the enemy team's frontline. But if you're very far ahead and don't need to focus on peeling, you can just dive onto priority targets with the rest of your team.

Team Fighting Back to Top

Maokai Header Team Fighting.png

Team fighting with Maokai is pretty straightforward for the most part, you always want to be as disruptive as possible to the enemy team's frontline, or be diving onto priority targets with the rest of your team. Since your crowd control is so impactful during the mid and late game for catching people out, you'll usually force the enemy team to instantly play defensive whenever you try to engage, so try not to tunnel too hard otherwise you'll probably just get kited and die. Playing defensively is usually the most effective way to play Maokai during team fights because it allows you to peel for your team's carries, allowing them to put out more damage and have better positioning throughout the team fight. This will also cause the enemy team's carries to start attacking you in most cases, which is the most ideal situation, because tank champions are always supposed to be soaking up as much damage as possible during team fights. The other way to play team fights is to use your abilities aggressively to help dive onto priority targets with the rest of your team. This can actually be just as effective as playing defensively whenever you're ahead and don't need to peel, but make sure to use your abilities to peel after your initial engage just to be safe.

Tips and Tricks Back to Top

Maokai Header Tips and Tricks.png

maokaipassive.png Sap Magic [Passive]:

There's not really a lot I can say about Sap Magic [Passive] that I haven't said already. Just remember to always keep track of the cooldown while farming or fighting enemy champions, and also remember that your passive's cooldown will still get reduced even if you can't see an enemy champion casting their abilities. This can be very helpful for knowing when a team is doing Dragon or Baron, or whenever there's a champion stacking their abilities in a brush like Syndra or Heimerdinger.

maokaiq.png Bramble Smash [Q]:

When using Bramble Smash [Q] always make sure to try and position yourself in a way that allows you to knock someone back into a favorable direction. For example, if you Twisted Advance [W] onto somebody and your teammates are right behind you, run to the opposite side of your target as they're rooted and use Bramble Smash [Q] to knock them further into your team. You can also extend the range of your Bramble Smash [Q] if you Flash immediately after pressing it, this is good for slowing or knocking back targets who are out of normal range and will come in handy in certain situations. Lastly, a very minor thing to remember is that you can cast Bramble Smash [Q] over small walls if you really need to, this can help you slow targets for both you and your team, or last hit somebody trying to get away.

maokaiw.png Twisted Advance [W]:

Since Twisted Advance [W] allows you to become untargetable whenever you cast it, you can use it to avoid the damage or effects from certain abilities. This will come in handy for avoiding damage abilities like Karthus's Requiem [R] or crowd control abilities like Blitzcrank's Rocket Grab [Q]. You can also use Twisted Advance [W] to reset turret aggro whenever you need to dive turrets, but be careful because if an allied teammate is diving alongside you, the aggro will immediately swap to them. Lastly, a very minor thing to remember is that you can cast Twisted Advance [W] over small walls if you really need to, this can help you chase or engage targets as long as you have vision of them.

maokaie.png Sapling Toss [E]:

You can extend the range of your Sapling Toss [E] if you fling your Saplings more than halfway through a wall, this can be good in rare situations when you need additional vision or poke damage. Another good thing to remember is to always fling your Saplings in correct positions after you initiate onto somebody with your other abilities. For example, if you did a Twisted Advance [W] > Bramble Smash [Q] combo on somebody, try to fling your sapling in the most optimal spot where you think they're going to run to as soon as they come out of your crowd control. Doing this will reduce the chance of them getting away and increase the chance that your Sapling will hit them. Because if you try to just throw your Sapling directly on top of them after your combo, and their Flash is up, they can just Flash away and avoid getting slowed. Lastly, remember to always drop your Saplings in good spots in the jungle to increase your jungle clear and vision control, and also remember that there's no limit to how many Saplings can be out at one time, so use them as much as you need to throughout the game.

maokair.png Nature's Grasp [R]:

There's not really a lot I can say about Nature's Grasp [R] that I haven't said already. Just remember to always try and catch as many enemies as possible when using it, that the root duration increases with distance traveled, and that each thorny bramble grants vision as it travels.

Lane Synergies Back to Top

Maokai Header Lane Synergies.png

12.png201.png43.png117.png25.png61.png131.png7.png134.png164.png59.png98.png

Maokai has great synergy with champions that have crowd control or movement slowing effects, shields and mitigation, high burst damage, and hard engages / good follow-up. These are just a handful of the champions that will synergize great with Maokai. Alistar and Braum are both examples of champions with crowd control or movement slowing effects, which allows you to have more time to get onto your targets. Karma, Lulu, Morgana, and Orianna are all examples of champions with shields and mitigation, which allows you to survive longer during fights. Diana, LeBlanc, and Syndra are all examples of champions with high burst damage, allowing you to assassinate priority targets much easier. And lastly, Camille, Jarvan IV, and Shen are all examples of champions with hard engages / good follow-up, which allows you to have an easier time engaging and executing team fights.

Pros and Cons Back to Top

Maokai Header Pros and Cons.png

Pros:

  • Has amazing crowd control.
  • Scales very well with defensive items.
  • Has a very effective item build, extremely cost efficient.
  • Has very good ganking and counterganking.
  • Has amazing team fighting and pick potential.
  • Synergizes perfectly with most team comps.
  • Has a very easy playstyle to learn.
  • Becomes extremely tanky.

Cons:

  • Has very mediocre jungle clear.
  • Has very mediocre damage scaling.
  • Has very mediocre dueling and skirmishing.
  • Very reliant on your team's damage output and follow-up during team fights.
  • Very vulnerable to champions that have a lot of crowd control or movement slowing effects.
  • Gets invaded and outscaled by meta Junglers.
  • Has way less momentum than meta Junglers.
  • Has a terrible game when behind.

About Me Back to Top

Maokai Header About Me.png


► About Me


Hello everyone my name is Jordan, and I've been a gamer my entire life. For the past 10 years I've been mainly focused on staying in the top decimal percentage of players for online games, such as WoW, LoL, and Osu!. But as much as I've played online games, my real passion is for console gaming.


► League of Legends


I've been playing League of Legends for the past 5 years, and I'm a NA Challenger Tier Hecarim Main, 2900+ elo jungle. I've been in high elo ever since I started playing back in season 3 when I finished my first season in Diamond 1, and have been Master or Challenger Tier every single season since then. I'm mostly known for my Hecarim jungle gameplay and have just over 5600 ranked games with him, but I also play Evelynn, Rammus, Udyr, Shyvana, Nocturne, Skarner, Sejuani, Nunu, and Volibear depending on the current state of the meta.

Season 3: Diamond 1 2500 elo

Season 4: Master Tier 2850 elo
Season 5: Challenger Tier 2900 elo
Season 6: Master Tier 2550 elo
Season 7: Master Tier 2650 elo

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► Social Media Links


Be sure to check out my social media if you have any questions or if you're interested at all in watching my stream! If you'd like to know when I'm streaming, make sure to follow my Twitch, Facebook, Twitter, or join Discord to get live notifications! We have a small community, but everyone is welcome!

Twitch: http://www.twitch.tv/rocklee015
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Rocklee015
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Rocklee015
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/Rocklee015
Discord Server: https://discord.gg/d3DMycY

Thank you for reading my Maokai Jungle Guide!
Hopefully it helps you carry your games with more knowledge and confidence as you become a better player! Take care! o/

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