LoL 12.17: Maokai changes bring the champion back to top lane

Keeping up with their willingness to update and change champions in League of Legends Season 12, Riot Games is giving the MOBA's resident tree, Maokai, a set of new changes.

This update looks to bring Maokai back into his original top and jungle roles while allowing him to keep his support playstyle.

Here's everything to expect from the upcoming Maokai changes in LoL 12.17 and what they'll mean for his gameplay.

Maokai changes arrive in LoL 12.17 PBE

Previously known to be the epitome of a top laner with defensive utility, providing cover for his team while also being able to engage in team fights, this once titanic tank has had his abilities reduced in exchange for supportive some sapling tossing. Although he's quite good at it, as evidenced by his 51.98% win rate according to LoLalytics, that's still not a place that both the developers at Riot and his fans want him to be.

As it stands, Maokai is played as a support for nearly 80% of the games, while the roles he's been known for in the past, top and jungle, sit at 16.4% and 3.3% respectively. These sets of changes look to change these numbers up a bit.

Announced by Lead Champion Designer Riot August on Twitter, almost every part of Maokai's kit will be changed. They mainly focus on his Sapling Toss (E), removing its max health damage in exchange for a reduced mana cost and an increased slow. The ability will also scale with his AP and total HP.

Sap Magic, his passive, will now have its cooldown reduced anytime he is hit by a large jungle monster. His Bramble Smash (Q) is getting tweaked a bit, favoring a more late game approach, it'll also be given max percentage damage and bonus damage to monsters.

Lastly, his infamous ultimate, Nature's Grasp, will now travel faster and will also give him a significant burst of movement speed for a short amount of time if the ability hits an enemy champion.

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Maokai Changes

Here's what the numbers are looking like for Maokai's changes.

Passive - Sap Magic

  • [NEW] Getting by large jungle monsters reduced cooldown: 1 second per auto

Q - Bramble Smash

  • [Adjust] Base Damage: 70/110/150/190/230 (+40% AP) ⇒ 65/110/155/200/245 (+40% AP)
  • [NEW] Percent Max Health Damage: 2/2.25/2.5/2.75/3%
  • [NEW] Now deals 20/35/50/65/80 bonus damage to monsters

E - Sapling Toss

  • [Removed] Percentage Max Health Damage
  • [Adjust] Base Damage Total: 20-120 ⇒ 45-185 (+40% AP + 3% tHP)
  • [Adjust] Brush Damage Total: 40-240 ⇒ 75-315 (+80% AP + 6% tHP)
  • [NEW] Empowered damage does not affect minions
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  • [Buff] Mana Cost: 60/70/80/90/100 ⇒ 45/55/65/75/85
  • [Buff] Slow Amount: 35% ⇒ 45%
  • [NEW] Empowered Brush Slow Amount: 55%

R - Nature's Grasp

  • [Buff] Missile Initial Speed: 50 ⇒ 100
  • [Buff] Missile Max Speed: 650 ⇒ 750
  • [Buff] Missle Acceleration: 250 ⇒ 300
  • [NEW] Move speed on champion hit: 40-60% Move Speed decaying over 2 seconds

READ MORE: LoL 12.17: New Zenith Games Blitzcrank, Jayce, Lee Sin, & King Viego Skins hit PBE

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