Best Maokai Build Guide | Runes | Spells | Items in League of Legends

Maokai the twisted treant is a tanky poke champion that can control the lane as a support. He can initiate and engage for his team during the late game!

Updated on Sep 08, 2023
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Best Maokai Build Guide | Runes | Spells | Items in League of Legends

Maokai used to be a powerful top lane champion with all of his heals and crowd control abilities, but after all the nerfs and being not relevant for patch 12.15, he found his wins as a support. Maokai Support can be played really aggressively and he can initiate fights just like how Leona does. Here is the ultimate support build for Maokai this current patch released by Riot games.

Best Maokai Build

Maokai support focuses on poke damage and empowering the auto attacks of his ADC. When you play Maokai support, you automatically win the lane as enemies will likely lose control of the bushes in bot lane because of your sapling toss. For this Maokai build, we will start with the best runes along with the shards.


Best Maokai Runes

Arcane comet works really well with Maokai E sapling toss. The continuous damage along with the movement speed slow allows this keystone to hit the enemy champions. Scorch and Manaflow band both get activated when one of Maokai’s abilities hit an enemy champion. These runes can be abused by sapling toss.

Best Rune Path



Best Keystone

Arcane Comet

Best Slot 1 (Rune)

Manaflow band

Magical Footwear

Best Slot 2 (Rune)


Biscuit Delivery

Best Slot 3 (Rune)


Best Maokai Rune Shards

Adaptive force on both Flex and Offense will give Maokai higher kill pressure and more control over the bushes in the bot lane. This is the best rune set for Maokai players who wish to take control of the lane rather than playing it pbuttively.

Best Rune Shards



+9 Adaptive Force


+9 Adaptive Force


+6 armor

Best Maokai Spells

The summoner spells for Maokai is easily Flash and Ignite, having both of these summoner spells allow him to engage enemies more effectively and it gives him higher kill pressure.

Best Spells




The summoner spells of support usually consists of heal or exhaust but with ignite, you easily take the heals off of the enemy ADC by applying early grievous wounds on them during all-in engages.


Best Maokai Abilities Order

For this Maokai Build skill order, you will need to max your E first. Sapling toss is Maokai’s bread and butter when supporting. You can use this to take control of the laning phase allowing your ADC to farm safely. Bramble Smash should be maxed next as this is Maokai’s follow up damage after engaging with his twisted advance W.


Maokai Q Bramble smash has a low cooldown that you can use repeatedly during early game engages that is why in this skill order his Twisted advance will be the last to be maxed. Bramble smash simply outweighs Maokai W Twisted advance when it comes to damage and utility.

Best Maokai Items

Maokai is built like a DPS mage when you play him as a support. Maokai players want that extra kick in damage whenever enemies try to face check a bush. The damage overtime of Liandry’s Anguish is great but this mythic item’s effect is mirrored by another legendary item so having Imperial mandate instead is much more efficient than other mythic items.

Best Starter Maokai Items

There are lots of item builds out there for different Maokai roles, but the best starting items to build on Maokai is simply Relic shield and health potion. Relic Shield gives Maokai sustainability during the start of the game and it is much easier to stack.

First Item

Second Item

Relic Shield

Health Potion

Best Mid Game Maokai Items

During the mid game building Imperial Mandate will be an easy power spike for your ADC. Maokai can easily proc it with his E or Even his Nature’s grasp synergizes well with this item. After Nature’s grasp roots an enemy down, the bonus damage from Imperial mandate can now be easily proceed by your ADC.

First Item

Second Item

Third Item

Bulwark of the Mountain

Sorcerer’s Shoes

Imperial Mandate


Best Final Late Game Maokai Items

The best items for Maokai during patch 12.15 are the ones that lets him deal more damage with his ability. Maokai deals Magic damage with his damaging ability so Demonic embrace is a great purchase especially if there are enemies stackin on HP. League of legends really made this item great for all champions because the burn damage and the bonus stats make it gold efficient.

First Item

Second Item

Third Item

Fourth Item

Fifth Item

Sixth Item

Bulwark of the Mountain

Sorcerer’s Shoes

Imperial Mandate

Demonic Embrace


Zhonya’s Hourglbutt

Just like in other Maokai guides Grievous wounds is top priority, this is because he can easily inflict it to the entire enemy team with Nature’s grasp or simply his E. When Maokai builds Zhonya’s hourglbutt, he can easily initiate fights and survive the inevitable retaliation of the enemy team.

Best Champions to pair Maokai with

Maokai can keep an enemy locked down for extended periods, so champions that has skillshots and need enemies to be completely still are the best duos for Maokai in league of legends. He can also peel and control the lane during the early game for these adc champions.


Win Rate %








Strongest Champions against Maokai

These are the best counters for Maokai whenever you face against him on your next league of legends games. Taric and Bard can easily mitigate Maokai’s pokes by giving frequent heals on their ADC.


Win Rate %








Weakest Champions against Maokai

Maokai is a mobile champion and once he is locked down by hard CC or slowed from a distance, he won’t be able to initiate and engage for hist team. Renata Glasc can also easily hit him with her ultimate as he has no dash ability when there are no enemy units around.


Win Rate %




Miss Fortune


Renata Glasc


Amumu can lock him down and has much better engage while Miss Fortune has long ranged abilities that she can use to poke and burst Maokai the twisted treant down during the laning phase or even during the late game.

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