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I just bought Maokai, and as much as I want to love him, I have many questions about him. First of all, how is he best played? I'd like to play him with more of a tank build, and I'd also like to play him as a jungler; but I've seen him go AP jungle and supposedly he can also support. So how should I build him?
Second, what items, masteries, and runes should I consider? I'm really bad when it comes to knowing what items suit what champs so any help would be great.
Third, anything I should really consider when playing him? Any tips or tricks? What role does he play in the team?
Fourth, what's his skill proirity? I take two points in saplings early and max it last. I max q first and w second.
Finally, how do you use his ultimate? It's the only ability that I don't quite understand or know how to use well. When do I use it? When should I stop it? Does it stop on its own after a period of time like Nunu's ult?
I'd really like for these questions to be answered, so if you could please help me, that would be excellent.
Thank you in advance.

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Senior Member


Although Mao is not my main, but I play him often to answer your questions:
1. Because he is a melee champion, two third of his skills will bring him to the middle of a team fight, he is either a tanky caster(solo top or jungle) or a full tank(support bot).

2. Your core item should be ROA + Frozen Heart if you are tanky caster. Warmog + Frozen Heart if you are full tank

3. As for the ult, it is for saving your teammates, not for secure penta kill. I usually wait about 1 second to see where the real action are, or my squishy teammate is out position and got caught. Mao's ult will remain active as long as you have mana. I only end the ult when the team fight end or I got killed.

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Junior Member


Find TheOddOne's Maokai guide on solomid.net, he pretty much covers everything you need to know; he's really good with Mao.

When I jungle Mao I go 0/21/9 gettting defense from creeps, health and reduced dmg taken, mana regen and speed. I go with atk speed marks, armor seals, 6x mr glyphs 4x abillity power glyphs, and ability power quints. This gives you 20 ap lvl 1 just enough so you can throw 3 saplings over the wraith wall and 1 more when it spawns to clear the camp before running to blue.

As for his ult, throw it down wherever you think the most dmg will come from, which means right in the thick of things when all the aoe goes down. During ganks you can throw it down for some extra dmg, try to lead them with it so it forces them to run through it.

Other than that check the guides on solomid.