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[8.20.1]Nature's Finest Toplaner

by Pickle

(Last updated on October 14, 2018)

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Builds

Summoner Spells

Hide Notes
  • Flash
  • Teleport

You should always take Flash on Maokai as it gives you added protection and it will allow you to get in and out of team fights. Furthermore, it allows you to also make flashy plays by using your Flash followed by an instant W to lock the enemy in place.

You should take Teleport secondary so you can get back to lane quicker, split push more efficiently, group with your team and help out other lanes.

Runes

  • resolve
    RESOLVE
  • Aftershock
  • Bone Plating
  • Chrysalis
  • Revitalize
  • inspiration
    INSPIRATION
  • Cosmic Insight
  • Biscuit Delivery
Bonus :

+130 Health

Maokai is a very good champion and can take a range of different Runes. I recommend taking Resolve as your main Rune tree because it will give Maokai a range of defensive stats.

Items

Basic

  • Corrupting Potion
  • Doran's Lost Ring
  • Doran's Lost Shield

Core

  • Sunfire Cape
  • Boots of Speed
  • Abyssal Mask
  • Thornmail
  • Dead Man's Plate
  • Frozen Heart

Situational

  • Ninja Tabi
  • Mercury's Treads

You want to get Ninja Tabi if you're against a heavy AD team. Alternatively, you can get Mercury Treads if you're against an AP champion.

Ability Sequence

  • Sap Magic

    Sap Magic(Passive)

  • Bramble Smash
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
  • Twisted Advance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
  • Sapling Toss
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
  • Nature's Grasp
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
  • Bramble Smash
    Sapling Toss
    Twisted Advance
    Bramble Smash
    Bramble Smash
    Nature's Grasp
    Bramble Smash
    Sapling Toss
    Bramble Smash
    Sapling Toss
    Nature's Grasp
    Sapling Toss
    Sapling Toss
    Twisted Advance
    Twisted Advance
    Nature's Grasp
    Twisted Advance
    Twisted Advance

Maokai's Passive is Sap Magic
His basic attacks periodically heal him. The cooldown of this passive can be decreased by every spell that Maokai uses or gets hit by Maokai is healed for health that increases on level and max health. This passive gives him a lot of healing throughout the game.

Maokai's Q is Bramble Smash
Maokai smashes his fist into the ground, knocking back enemies and slowing them. All enemies that are hit get dealt damage.

Tips and Tricks
Your Q is rather versatile and can be used in a magnitude of ways. You can use it to clear waves, push faster and deal damage to the enemies. If you are close to an enemy and use your Q, they will be knocked backwards. If they are far away then they will just be slowed and dealt damage.

Maokai's W is Twisted Advance
Maokai becomes invincible and dashes towards an enemy champion. Once arrived he will briefly root them.

Tips and Tricks
Your W is very strong and be can used in a range of ways. You can use it to engage on enemy champions when you're receiving a gank. In team fights, you have two choices on who to use your W on. The first option is the enemy frontline. You can be a secondary support and peel for your carries and protect them from the enemies who are trying to get onto them. The second option is to go in on the enemy carries. If you are going on the enemy carries, then be aware of how deep you're going and make sure that your team can follow up. You will be tanky but you will not be able to kill the enemy backline, especially if the enemy has a utility support that can peel for them like a Janna or Lulu.

Maokai's E is Sapling Toss
Maokai throws a sapling into a selected area. Saplings will scout vision and chase any enemies that come near it. They will soon explode after coming into contact with them or reaching their maximum range. If it does hit an enemy, they will be dealt damage and slowed. Saplings last for up to 30 seconds.

Tips and Tricks
Your Saplings are incredibly strong especially when they have been placed in a bush. Saplings that are in bushes and deal extra damage to the enemy hit and nearby enemies. Your Saplings can be used as a barrier between you and the enemy, if they step near them they will explode and deal damage to them. You should use this to your advantage when warding by placing them in bushes and the river- if the enemy goes to ward or the enemy Jungler decides to gank, they will be in for a surprise and you will have time to escape.

Maokai's Ultimate is Nature's Grasp

Maokai Summons a wall of thorns that advances foward rooting enemies that are hit by it. The duration of the root increases the furthur that the wall travels.

Tips and Tricks
Your ultimate is very slow moving so keep that in mind when using it. The best way of using your ultimate is to flank enemies. For example, if they are grouped in the middle lane, you should move off to the side and behind them- then use your ultimate. This should root the majority of the enemy. You can also use your ultimate in laning combo, as it will spring from slightly behind you- you can double CC enemies. An example combo would be E + W + Q + R followed by Auto attacks.

Vs. Champions

  • Malphite
  • Shen
  • Dr. Mundo
  • Garen
  • Cho'Gath
  • Camille
  • Kled
  • Illaoi
  • Darius
  • Jayce
  • Aatrox
  • Fiora
  • Gangplank
  • Jax
  • Difficulty
  • Champion
  • Notes
Easy
MalphiteMalphite

Malphite is a easy matchup because he is another tank that doesn't do alot of damage. it is best to go for trades when his passive shield is not up.

Easy
ShenShen

Shen can be a easy matchup because he is not really a threat until he has sunfire cape. After he has this you cannot fight him because he will out damage you. When he is 6 Tell your team because he can ult team mates to save them. When he is casting his ult you can interrupt it by using W

Easy
DrMundoDr. Mundo

This is a very simple matchup, and is very equal. Dr Mundo's abilities all cost health so you should go for trades as often as you can.

Easy
GarenGaren

Garen is pretty useless except his Q is a silence and his ultimate does alot of damage. I would recommend trying to play around his Q and make sure that you go for full combos and poking him down so he doesn't regain alot of health from his passive.

Easy
ChogathCho'Gath

Cho'gath lanes can be really difficult at times due to chogaths kit. He has double CC so you need to be aware of his cool downs and make sure that you can dodge his abilities. For this lane he will get stronger and stronger the more he farms so i suggest getting some help early. After he has used his W, you can go for combos and trades.

Normal
AatroxAatrox

Aatrox can be a hard matchup if the enemy is good, if not then it is a pretty simple matchup. When playing vs a aatrox, make sure you do not go for full trades near his tower or tower dive him with his passive up. Aatrox's abilities do not cost mana but can cost HP. He has huge sustain so ask for ganks early. After 6 he is strong with his insane damaging ultimate.

Normal
FioraFiora

Fiora is another weird matchup that can be won by outplaying her and waiting to trade when her abilities are on cooldown. she can really destroy you so make sure you play safe and wait for her to use her abilities.

Normal
GangplankGangplank

As long as you dodge his barrels this is an easy matchup. Lookout for his ultimate and tell your team when he is 6 and that his ultimate is up. His W will remove your cc so make sure you layer your damage abilities.

Normal
JaxJax

Jax isn't really seen much anymore, however he can still be strong when he goes for a WQ combo. In this situation it is easy to win lane and just wait for his E to finish or using your W before he stuns you. You can counter him with your Q aswell, but beware you will be chased down in the long lane

Hard
CamilleCamille

Beware of Camilles gap closes and ultimate as she can trap you in place. For this lane i would suggest trying to hold and freeze it near your tower, because she out rotates you, out roams and is overall a better champion than you because she is a fighter. early game she does alot of damage too so do not go for extended trades.

Hard
KledKled

Kled is a very strange champion, in lane he is melee but can quickly turn ranged. There is no point going for full trades early, it is best to just farm and go for poke damage. Do not dive him as his Passive is very strong

Hard
IllaoiIllaoi

Illaoi is another hard matchup because of her tentacle damage. You should fight her when her E is down because it is really strong. Ideally you would dodge her E but if not run away and look for her tentacles spawning at the walls and dodge them. Prepare for lots of damage after level 6. Try and get ganks and put her behind early game.

Hard
DariusDarius

Darius is very hard matchup because of his passive. You should try to freeze it near your tower as he will not be able to deal damage to you without getting tower aggro. Please beware that this matchup is not in your favor at all and it is extremely hard to beat a good darius.

Hard
JayceJayce

Jayce is another hard matchup, He can completely destroy you in lane and poke you down early. i would suggest playing safe and farming until you get a gank or some items.

Early Game

Maokai

In the early game, your job as  Maokai is to farm up, and prepare for the mid game. In the early game you need to farm farm and farm! In Champion select you should make sure that you're playing with the correct runes and prepare for the game. At level 1, you need to get your items and move to a position where you can spot the enemy if they go to invade. If you have to leash for your jungler, make sure they get a good leash. When you're in lane you want to decide if you're going to freeze or push. Once you have made your mind up, you need to stick to it. You should not go for any full trades until either level 3 or 4 as these give you some good damage by then. The majority of the time you can't solo kill your laner unless you get a gank or outplay them. When you have enough gold you need to buy the first part to your item.

You can either Save  TP for a TP bot or go TP top - you must decide. If you are freezing the waves you still need to prepare for a TP bot and keep your eyes on the map just encase your top laner roams. If you're going to follow with a TP, you must first push the wave out as it may go on your tower. If you're being denied CS, be useful and roam with your jungler and get objectives or kills- You're not going to be useful mid game if you're behind in gold and XP because you just sat top doing nothing.





Mid Game

Maokai

Once you hit the mid game, you will want to leave your lane and group and pressure objectives. You can roam by pushing toplane out, and then rotating to another lane, for example if you toplaner backs- and you don't need to, then you should push the wave out, then rotate and go mid to apply some pressure or alternatively try to get the tower. When you go to group you should focus either the backline, frontline or anybody who can get on your carries. I like to play the "support" Maokai where you protect your carries. When an enemy goes on your carry, you Twisted Advance (W) them and rooting them in position this allows your carries to do damage and stay protected by you peeling for them. In the mid game, you will be looking for picks or to team fight. Don't force anything unless you really have too.




Late Game

Maokai

When you've hit the late game, you should be near un-killable. You should be incredibly tanky and able to peel for your carries much more efficiently. As you have past the mid game, you should have some objectives already and should be looking to close out the game. One team fight can win your the game, but can also cost you the game. So your job is to protect your squishy and let them deal damage and win for you. Like i said above, you will want to Twisted Advance the enemy front line and peel back for your carries. This allows them to stay safe and deal damage while you're protecting them.




Tips and Tricks

Maokai

-Your Q can interrupt many champions dashes, knocking them back cancels there animation and stops the CC, for example you can knock back a Jarvin E Q combo.


-You can Slow push or Fast push lanes with your E and Q, this allows you to group faster because you will not have to spend a long time getting the minions to be even or start pushing.


-Maokai W can make you untargetable, allowing you to outplay the enemy by getting out of sticky situations by becoming untargetable.


-Maokai's Saplings can be used as vision, you can E into bushes to provide vision for your team. Also can be used to Slow approaching enemies.


-Maokai can out sustain lots of champions with his strong passive. You should go for trades when your Passive is stacked or almost stacked so you can get regen when you go for a trade.


-Maokai is great as a frontline tank or a peeling tank. You should be both, in different times in the game your job will change, you will either be a frontline or peel for your carries- both are technically the same thing but you should try to help your carries regardless.


-Even if you're behind, you're still useful because your Ultimate is very strong for you and your team.


-Your kit (QWE) are on relatively low cost so when you go for trades you can burst people.


-Your ultimate is a V like ability- it snares people in the middle first You can use this to your advantage when going for trades.


-In Ultra Rapid Fire you can stack your saplings in a bush and one shot an unsuspecting victim.




Pros and Cons

Maokai

Pros
 -Good laning phase.

-Strong Passive.

-Tanky and Strong Mid/Late.

-Game Good Kit .

-W is very strong for surviving or escaping Ganks.

-Your E can provide vision for your team.

-Lots of sustain early game.

-Good wave clear for either Slow or Fast pushing.

-Really fun in URF


Cons
-Hard vs champions with lots of sustain or harrass.

-Slow champion so needs boots early.

-You cannot spam abilities, so be careful with mana.

-Needs a team to follow up with him.

-His Ultimate is slow.




Ability Rundown

Maokai


Maokai's Passive is Sap Magic


His basic attacks periodically heal him. The cooldown of this passive can be decreased by every spell that Maokai uses or gets hit by Maokai is healed for health that increases on level and max health. This passive gives him a lot of healing throughout the game.




Maokai's Q is Bramble Smash


Maokai smashes his fist into the ground, knocking back enemies and slowing them. All enemies that are hit get dealt damage.

Tips and Tricks


Your Q is rather versatile and can be used in a magnitude of ways. You can use it to clear waves, push faster and deal damage to the enemies. If you are close to an enemy and use your Q, they will be knocked backwards. If they are far away then they will just be slowed and dealt damage.



Maokai's W is Twisted Advance


Maokai becomes invincible and dashes towards an enemy champion. Once arrived he will briefly root them.

Tips and Tricks


Your W is very strong and be can used in a range of ways. You can use it to engage on enemy champions when you're receiving a gank. In team fights, you have two choices on who to use your W on. The first option is the enemy frontline. You can be a secondary support and peel for your carries and protect them from the enemies who are trying to get onto them. The second option is to go in on the enemy carries. If you are going on the enemy carries, then be aware of how deep you're going and make sure that your team can follow up. You will be tanky but you will not be able to kill the enemy backline, especially if the enemy has a utility support that can peel for them like a Janna or Lulu.


Maokai's E is Sapling Toss


Maokai throws a sapling into a selected area. Saplings will scout vision and chase any enemies that come near it. They will soon explode after coming into contact with them or reaching their maximum range. If it does hit an enemy, they will be dealt damage and slowed. Saplings last for up to 30 seconds.

Tips and Tricks
Your Saplings are incredibly strong especially when they have been placed in a bush. Saplings that are in bushes and deal extra damage to the enemy hit and nearby enemies. Your Saplings can be used as a barrier between you and the enemy, if they step near them they will explode and deal damage to them. You should use this to your advantage when warding by placing them in bushes and the river- if the enemy goes to ward or the enemy Jungler decides to gank, they will be in for a surprise and you will have time to escape.



Maokai's Ultimate is Nature's Grasp

Maokai Summons a wall of thorns that advances forward rooting enemies that are hit by it. The duration of the root increases the further that the wall travels.

Tips and Tricks


Your ultimate is very slow moving so keep that in mind when using it. The best way of using your ultimate is to flank enemies. For example, if they are grouped in the middle lane, you should move off to the side and behind them- then use your ultimate. This should root the majority of the enemy. You can also use your ultimate in laning combo, as it will spring from slightly behind you-you can double CC enemies. An example combo would be E + W + Q + R followed by Auto attacks.



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