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Maokai from League of Legends with islanders on a beach
Image via Riot Games

Maokai finally uprooted in LoL Patch 14.5 after record-high win rate over last 3 updates

Maokai's reign of terror could finally be over.

To all support players in League of Legends, don’t feel forced any longer to lock in the haunted tree.

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Maokai, the Twisted Treant, is no longer reigning supreme as a must-pick in the support role. After three consecutive patches of boasting a 55-percent or higher win rate, the champion’s mark has fallen to 52 percent, where he has remained since the release of Patch 14.5, according to League stats sites OP.GG and U.GG.

Maokai and his saplings charging at enemy.
This tree has been a menace on the Rift in 2024. Image via Riot Games

Patch 14.5 served as yet another attempt from Riot Games to remove Maokai’s potency at nearly all levels of play. The champion benefitted from the massive overhaul to both items and Summoner’s Rift as a whole that the 2024 season brought, resulting in his win rate increasing exponentially—particularly within the support role, where he has flourished for the past several patches. Due to the prevalence he’s maintained, however, his ban rate continues to float around 18 percent, though it’s likely to fluctuate as players get a handle on Maokai’s new state.

This time around, Riot not only tackled some of his early-game power through a higher cooldown on his W and lowered movement speed but also gave him a bit of agency back in his more standard (though less popular) niche as a jungler. Through increased damage on his Q at early ranks, Maokai was given an exceptional buff to his jungle clearing potential, though the nerfs to his W have continued to impact his prominence in all roles, with him continuing to be present nearly solely as a support.

One of Maokai’s premiere item options, Solstice Sleigh, which is one of the new final upgrades for the support item World Atlas, also received a hefty nerf in Patch 14.5 that impacted Maokai immensely. Maokai’s ability to inflict crowd control on groups of enemies at a time made this item a must-have for him as a teamfight initiator, resulting in a large increase to the item’s cooldown, less bonus health provided on purchase, and a decreased movement speed ratio upon disrupting opponents.

Yet even with more significant nerfs, Maokai remains strong as an option in the support role, complete with his build path remaining mostly intact. But his win rate has dropped to a stable position akin to that of other currently strong support champions like Janna and Zyra, so the champion is unlikely to receive further nerfs unless balance issues arise once more.

Players can look forward to all of the balance changes coming in Patch 14.6, which expected to be released on the live servers on March 20, being revealed later tonight with the patch preview. More details are likely to follow tomorrow.


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Author
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Ethan Garcia
Ethan Garcia is a freelance writer for Dot Esports, having been part of the company for three years. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Magazine Journalism from Syracuse University and specializes particularly in coverage of League of Legends, various Nintendo IPs, and beyond.