Mid Season Tanks Update - Maokai

Why hello there. It’s time to turn over a new leaf for {{champion:57}}, the next champion in our Tank Update! We choose Maokai for a slot in this update because we felt that there was a great opportunity to push this champion as a whole into a really good state. With fairly modern visuals and an updated lore courtesy of the Harrowing, there were only a few major flaws remaining. As per the general goals set out in [Sol's post on Sejuani](http://boards.na.leagueoflegends.com/en/c/developer-corner/pcT3hhuA-mid-season-tanks-update-sejuani), lets chop down Maokai’s situation. * **Generically Powerful** - This is the primary driver in the work being done on Maokai. We feel Maokai’s kit doesn't offer enough distinct strengths compared to other tanks, leading to a situation where if Maokai viable, he is almost always the right man for the job. This is most visible in pro play, where he has remained a generic pick whenever a team needs a solid tank, agnostic to other factors such as enemy or ally team composition. Maokai after the update should feel more powerful in certain gameplay scenarios, but less so in others. Expect us to play up both the anti-caster slant from his passive and his ability to claim and control areas with his Saplings, and for his efficacy and durability to be contingent on leveraging these strengths. * **High Power, Low Satisfaction** - Currently, we believe there are major mechanics and abilities on Maokai that offer significant power with low understanding and appreciation, such as the % Damage Resist on his Ultimate. Expect work towards either coalescing this ambient power into more noticeable moments, or removable of the ability/mechanic entirely in favor of something with greater clarity. * **Rewarding Gameplay Mastery** - As one of the lowest Mastery champions as far as win rate improvement over games played, there's very little reward offered to players who take the time to learn Maokai’s current kit. We believe a compelling part of the League of Legends experience is the path towards mastering a champion, and this should be appropriately rewarded. Currently we feel most of the tanks in our game have fallen a bit short here. Expect Maokai’s kit to offer more meaningful decisions around how to optimize his abilities. * **Damage Reliability** - This is part of the Mastery Curve issue. Expect a shift in how his damage is dealt, making his optimal output less of a guaranteed thing. * **Fleshing Out Fantasy** - With the recent update to his lore during the Shadow Isle Harrowing event, Maokai has progressed from a depressed and gloomy tree into a vengeful and twisted treant. However, the glimpses of his character visible in game are not in line with this new character. We are continuing the work towards cleaning and sharpening his thematic to create a more compelling champion. Don’t worry, saplings will still be silly and adorable, but expect Maokai to express more than just sadness and remorse. Best, Beluga Whale
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