Maokai smiling while falling from the sky.
Image via Riot Games

Why is Maokai support so strong in League of Legends?

The tree will always stand tall.

In many cultures, trees are symbols of longevity and strength, with some lasting generations of time. In League of Legends, Maokai has also lasted for multiple patches as one of the best champions in the game, and it isn’t even in the role he was originally designed for.

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As a tanky frontliner with a plethora of crowd control, Maokai has always maintained a high spot in the meta for both professional play and solo queue. There are multiple ways to play him, but in the support role, he has quickly become the go-to champion for almost any player across several rank distributions.

There are, however, multiple reasons why Maokai is destroying the bottom lane competition in the current League meta. Here’s what you need to know about why Maokai is so strong in League right now.

Why is Maokai support so strong in LoL season 14?

Maokai rune page for the support role.
Building a stalwart presence on the frontlines. Screenshot by Dot Esports

Strong early-game presence

Most Maokai players opt for the traditional tanky start in the bottom lane since they’re meant to transition into the shield and firestarter for their team in the mid-to-late game stages of a match. In the opening minutes, you can play Maokai as a constant engage threat while still maintaining your distance with his Sapling Toss.

Not only does Sapling Toss deal a surprising amount of damage and a slow, but it also gives your team crucial vision in the various bushes that litter Summoner’s Rift. If you wish to engage for an early trade or kill, however, Maokai is very tanky and sustains well with his self-healing Sap Magic passive, along with plenty of crowd control to lock down a squishy target.

Surprisingly fast, expectantly deadly

When building into the mid-to-late game, you’ll want to build Trailblazer as the core item for your success since it provides you and your team with a shocking amount of chase potential and engage. Trailblazer is very strong on Maokai since it gives him bonus movement speed during movement, while also leaving a trail that boosts allied movement speed when he hits max speed.

This item acts as a lesser version of Kled’s ultimate ability, which is crucial for map rotations, objective control, and catching out enemies who are mispositioned or are pushing up too far in a lane or the jungle.

A game-changing ultimate ability

Lastly, Maokai has a massive ultimate called Nature’s Grasp, which launches a wave of thorns and branches from his location that root any enemies hit by it. This ult can be used to start up a teamfight, peel away enemies when your team is losing, or zone away foes from objectives and towers.

It’s a great tool in multiple situations, and several types of champions can benefit from Maokai’s skills as well. As a result, he can fit into several team compositions without compromise since he has so many strengths to provide that can counteract any weaknesses. Whether he’s needed as a heavy engage threat, a shield that peels away enemies from the carries, or a vision-based scout looking for possible ambushes, Maokai is a must in your solo queue matches right now.


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Author
Tyler Esguerra
Lead League of Legends writer for Dot Esports. Forever an LCS supporter, AD carry main, with more than five years in the industry. Sometimes I like clicking heads in Call of Duty or VALORANT. Creator of the Critical Strike Podcast.