Maokai is one of the best top laners in League of Legends season 10. He has an all-inclusive kit that has a slow, gap closer, an AoE root, and a heal. He’s reliable and can perform well without having resources funneled into him.
As with all League champions, specific items are going to be more effective depending on the situation. But there are certain items that are worth building on Maokai in all games.
Here’s the best build for Maokai in season 10.
Grasp of the Undying: This rune is one of the best for tanks. It scales with maximum health, making it effective for the entire duration of the game. One of the best aspects of the rune is that it grants you health as you proc it, making it especially efficient against melee champions so you can proc it often.
Demolish: Demolish is a great rune to take down towers fast. As Maokai, your kit doesn’t do anything to towers so having this rune is a must if you want to be able to push quickly. It allows you to take early tower plates for a huge gold inflow.
Conditioning: This is a pretty basic rune to grant you more tankiness early as the game goes on. Conditioning will improve the benefit from your armor and magic resist items, making you tankier with every item you acquire.
Overgrowth: Overgrowth is one of the best scaling runes, especially if you can farm efficiently. It needs some time before you notice the effect, but overall it’s a great rune which will help you along the way during the entire game.
Manaflow Band: Maokai is very mana hungry due to how expensive his abilities are. Most of your items won’t have a lot of extra mana on them so having this rune is a requirement.
Transcendence: Maokai benefits a lot from cooldown reduction so having the 10-percent cooldown reduction early on is really good. You will be able to spam your abilities more often.
Bonuses: +10 percent attack speed, +6 armor, +6 armor
Having extra health regeneration is crucial for every tank. Doran’s Shield grants you 80 bonus health to make you tankier early on and a great passive to help you last-hit with five extra attack damage against minions. This item is great early on but loses value as the game goes by.
During the farming phase, you are going to take damage from enemy champions. Health potions heal back 150 health over 15 seconds and will give you extra time before having to base.
As the main core item of your build, Sunfire Cape helps you waveclear with ease and has a great teamfight effect, doing a lot of AoE damage when you use crowd control on opponents. It grants you health and armor on top of these two effects, making it a huge priority in your builds. Due to how easy it is to activate the item, it’ll be doing thousands of damage over the entire duration of the game.
While Sunfire Cape is the core item of your build against AD-oriented champions, Abyssal Mask is the core against AP-oriented champions. Instead of the armor from Sunfire Cape, you get some magic resist, mana, and CDR. While it doesn’t have the amazing AoE damage effect from Sunfire, it has an AoE aura, increasing damage taken by enemies by 15 percent.
Due to the fact that your entire kit does magic damage, the passive increase of damage taken can allow you to delete carries in the span of a combo if they’re not careful enough. On top of that, it will fix some of your mana issues.
Mercury’s Treads are the best defensive boots option available, especially if facing heavy-AP oriented compositions who have a lot of crowd control. It grants you valuable magic resist early on while you get going and reduces the duration of all crowd control—the perfect combination for Maokai.
But if you’re against teams without a lot of crowd control, look to go for Ninja Tabi or Swiftness instead.
Locket of the Iron Solari
This is the best utility-oriented tank item in the game. It scales with bonus health, making it very valuable as the game goes by. While the item itself grants you only armor and magic resist, the effect can win you the game during a teamfight. You can deny heavy AoE damage from the enemy composition, saving your team from that Orianna or Karthus and winning the game.
This item is often times underlooked on tanky champions in the top lane, but it can win the game alone if you time it properly in a teamfight. The shield given to your teammates can be the difference between a won and a lost fight.
Redemption is the second-best utility-oriented tank item in the game following Locket of the Iron Solari. It grants you valuable stats in health and mana regeneration and an AoE effect that heals allies and is usable even while dead. It can help your team a lot in teamfights by giving them back a portion of their health or finish the low-health members of the opposing team instead.
Just like Locket, this item is underlooked in the top lane. It has a huge range and you can use it even while dead to change the tides of battle. It is cheap and the effect is great.
Gargoyle Stoneplate is a great tank item, giving you solid armor and magic resist on top of an effect to increase your effective health. While the item doesn’t do a lot in one-vs-one scenarios, it can be a huge difference in teamfights when you are surrounded. If you engage and pop the item, enemies can use their abilities but they’ll all be absorbed by your bonus health.
Just remember not to pop it instantly, otherwise enemies will wait the effect out and then you’ll be left out in the dry.
Thornmail is a must-have item against enemies who rely on healing via items, runes, or abilities in their kit. Notable champions would be Fiora, Camille, Jax, and Irelia. Bramble vest is quite a cheap component, allowing you to hold onto it until the late game to be upgraded.
While the overall efficiency of Thornmail is quite lackluster, you need to invest into it if you are split-pushing against heavy healing-oriented champions or if you are with your team but they don’t have any healing reduction items.
Spirit Visage is a great personal defensive option to increase your healing received by 30 percent. It gives you other useful stats such as health, cooldown reduction, and magic resist, which makes you very tanky. It can be rushed as a second item if you would like to boost your personal defensive stats.
This is a requirement against champions who rely on attack speed to be effective. The item gives you a lot of armor, CDR, and an amazing AoE debuff for enemy champions to reduce their attack speed.
While the lack of health on this item might make you skeptical, if you are facing a heavy AD composition, the armor will grant you more effective health overall.
Adaptive Helm is the best magic-resist item in the game against champions who spam the same ability like Ryze or Cassiopeia. It nullifies a lot of their damage and has decent stats to back the effect up as well.
But if you’re not the target of such champions, then don’t waste gold into acquiring it and invest into other utility items instead like Redemption or Locket.
If you have champions who would highly benefit from this effect, such as a fed ADC or Yasuo, then invest into this item to make them even stronger. The stats from the item are useful for you and it’s also quite cheap. You can get it early on after your core items to amplify their power. But if you’re going to be split-pushing a lot, avoid getting this item since you won’t be able to use it’s effect.
Randuin’s is a valuable item if you want to become tankier. It grants you health, armor, an attack speed reduction debuff for enemies, and an AoE slow to allow you to kite even better. If you are the main target for enemy AD champions and need a bit more survival, then this item is perfect for you.
It can also be purchased to allow your ADC to have more space to kite. If they get chased down in teamfights by opposing champions, you can use the effect when they engage and buy them precious time to kite and do their job.