Full details on Maokai, new LoL champion

Lucas Sullivan at

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Riot revealed the official ability list and backstory for League of Legend's next champion, tree-wizard Moakai, who's slated to be released soon. Avid readers of our fine website won't find too many surprises--it's almost identical to the list that we announced last week in our massive preview of Maokai and Jarvan VI, which was based on our exclusive hands-on with the champion in December.

Seeing how closely the release version of Maokai matches the version that we played with, we're wondering if our ability list for Jarvan IV (the next champion slated for release) is going to be nearly identical to his final ability list as well. Stay tuned to PC Gamer for more champion updates in the future; you can amaze your friends, families, and pets with your mystical knowledge of what lies in the future for League of Legends. For now, here's the breakdown on this ornery oak tree.

And that was the last thing the logger ever saw.

Lore:

The twisting magical energies unleashed by mages during the Rune Wars caused an incredible amount of devastation to the natural world. The League was established to control the use of this magic by confining it to the Fields of Justice. By limiting its use to there, they thought that they could prevent it from doing further harm to the environment. It seemed that they were successful until Maokai came into being. During a League match on The Twisted Treeline, Maokai, an ancient oak that stood above the upper jungle, spontaneously roared to life. Ripped from the natural balance by arcane forces, his sentience was forged in chaos. Before the Adjudicators of the League could step in and suppress him, he slew all six champions participating in the match. The scholars of the Arcanum Majoris took a keen interest in him, as they were eager to discover the secrets of his animation.

Maokai was furious, however. He abhorred the existence that was thrust upon him; he felt it was a corruption of nature. He learned to communicate with people in hopes of finding a way to be returned to his former, true state. Seizing the opportunity, the League offered a trade. They would research a way to revert him so long as he agreed to fight in the League of Legends. Maokai was indifferent to verdicts rendered by the League, but he was eager to punish summoners for their wanton use of magic. He agreed to the terms under one condition: once they learned how to turn him back, they would never animate another tree again. He wears a lantern on the Fields of Justice to set him apart from the other trees, and as a warning to the “animals” that would do him harm.

“I will use this power until I am free of it.” –Maokai

What did the four fingers say to the face?

Abilities:

  • (Q) Arcane Smash: Maokai slams the ground, the force of which knocks nearby enemies back and sends an arcane shockwave forward damaging and slowing his enemies.
  • (W) Twisted Advance: Maokai dissolves into a cloud of arcane energies. He regrows near a target enemy, dealing damage and rooting it in place.
  • (E) Sapling Toss: Maokai hurls a sapling, dealing damage on impact. The sapling becomes implanted in the ground warding a nearby area. When enemies approach, the sapling attacks, exploding in an arcane blast that damages enemies.
  • (R) Vengeful Maelstrom (Ultimate): Maokai shields his allies by drawing power from hostile spells and attacks, reducing non-tower damage done to allied champions in the area. Maokai can prolong the effect as long as he has mana to spend on it. When the effect ends, Maokai unleashes the absorbed energy to deal damage to enemies within the vortex.
  • Sap Magic (Passive): Each time a champion near Maokai casts a spell, he gains a charge of Magical Sap. When he has 5 charges, his next melee attack drains energy from his target, healing Maokai for a percentage of his maximum HP.

 
What do you think? Is he a day-one purchase for you?