From runes to items, gameplay tips amd more, we've put together a guide to help you master playing Maokai in the toplane in League of Legends.
Be mindful that there are several ways to build and play a champion, and you'll need to be adaptable as the game and the enemy team progress.
That said, this guide is a good starting point to helping you get to grips with the champion and making an impact in your games.
Turbo Chemtank is a great item for toplane tanks who have less mobility, especially when closing down fleeing champions.
Winter's Approach synergises well, offering good tankiness and plenty of mana. When it transforms into Fimbulwinter, it becomes even better.
Other good items include Thornmail and Randuin's Omen.
Starting Item & Boots
While your choices may differ according to how the game progresses, the typical Maokai skill priority is:
R > Q > W > E
These are the summoner spells most typically taken by Maokai in this role. Naturally, this may change depending on match-ups.
Maokai doesn't have the easiest of laning phases, but with a little ability haste and tank stats he becomes extremely useful. You'll need plenty of mana to keep Maokai running, hence taking Winter's Approach, but once he's reached his two-item spike he's an excellent engage tank.
- Level 1 - Take Q - Bramble Smash, for the area damage and faster farm.
- Level 2 - Take W - Twisted Advance, for the gap closer and stun.
- First Back - Start towards your Chemtank, unless you're struggling in lane. An early Bramble Vest is often a good choice, as are your defensive boots.
Tips & Tricks
- When sieging a turret, don't hesitate to use Sapling Toss. The slow can be the difference between them defending the turret or your siege being successful.
- Sapling Toss can also be used to negate enemy traps in bushes.
- Saplings placed into a bush last longer, and have a greater effect.
- Bramble Smash hits around Maokai, pushing enemies back. This can be used to send enemies closer to your team if you position yourself behind them.
- Once launched, Twisted Advance takes you to the end of the spell. Make sure you're not heading into danger!
- Twisted Advance makes you untargetable for a brief moment - use it to avoid spells!