Maokai is the next League of Legends champion to be featured in the upcoming Tank Class Update, scheduled for arrival during the mid-season.
Posting on the official forums, game designer Riot Beluga Whale pointed out that the Twisted Treant will not receive a complete overhaul similar to other champions. With an updated lore and modern visuals, Riot Games is taking the opportunity to address a “few major” remaining flaws of the champion.
At present, Maokai is a viable pick in almost every scenario. In professional play, he remains as a generic pick whenever a team requires a solid tank for the front lines or engaging purposes. Riot Games wants to change this aspect to ensure that Maokai remains powerful but in only certain scenarios.
The developer is looking into his E (Sapling Toss) and how Maokai is able to easily claim control of areas. In addition, the behemoth protection on his R (Vengeful Maelstrom) is being changed to either be noticeable in only specific gameplay scenarios or be entirely removed in favor of “something with greater clarity”.
Maokai is a fairly simply champion to learn. Riot Games believes that there is little reward in investing time and mastering the tree.
“We believe a compelling part of the League of Legends experience is the path towards mastering a champion, and this should be appropriately rewarded,” said the developer.
On that note, subtle upcoming changes to his kit will make for more meaningful decisions if players must optimize the champion’s abilities for greater impact. While testing is ongoing, the shift in the mastery curve will result in changes to how Maokai deals damage. The present aspect of a guaranteed damage output will cease to be.
Lastly, an updated lore means that the in-game character is no longer in line with his new look. Maokai is also undergoing a small thematic change that will bring him close to a “vengeful” twisted treant.
Changes for Maokai arrive a week after Riot Games outlined Sejuani for her mid-season update.