The haunted tree Maokai is the latest champion revealed for Riot Games’ Legends of Runeterra. Coming from the Shadow Isles region, Maokai is the definition of a high risk, high reward champion. Maokai comes with a brand new keyword, Toss, and his little saplings in tow. Let’s take a look at the latest champion and the rest of the cards spoiled today.
The mighty Maokai
Maokai is the first champion to have the keyword Toss, and interestingly it seems to use another keyword in it. Toss reads, “Obliterate X non-Champion cards from the bottom of your deck.” Obliterate has players remove those cards from the game entirely. Cards removed this way cannot be brought back with cards like Kalista. They’re gone for good – and in a 40 card deck, that can be dangerous. Decking yourself becomes a very real possibility. The trade-off for this ability is Maokai’s level up.
Once 25 units have died or 25 of your cards have been Tossed, Maokai levels up. Upon doing so, he obliterates all but four non-champion cards in your opponent’s deck. That instantly puts your opponent just four turns away from a loss. Whatever cards they have in play or in hand are all they have left to play. As an added bonus, the leveled-up Maokai creates a sapling unit at the start of every round.
Thankfully, Maokai doesn’t have to rely only on the Toss mechanic, as units dying can also contribute to the 25-card condition. Maokai doesn’t even have to be on the battlefield when your units die or get tossed. A deck that utilizes a lot of ephemeral units to help accelerate Maokai to his second level would be a perfect fit for him. Pairing Maokai up with Elise in a spider-based aggro list might work as well.
More Runeterra spoilers
Maokai isn’t the only card to get spoiled with Toss. Deadbloom Wanderer has Toss 3 and Lifesteal. What this card actually does is keep its controller alive against aggro lists and then contribute cards to Maokai’s level up. Thorny Toad is another common card that, upon death, triggers Toss 2 and heals your Nexus two points. Not a great card, but again, it keeps the player alive and contributes more cards towards Maokai.
The more interesting of the cards spoiled is Overgrown Snapvine. Any follower you control is destroyed and replaced with another Overgrown Snapvine. Combine it with Maokai, and suddenly those 2/1 saplings are now 4/3s with the same ability. At seven mana, this card is a little costly, and it won’t come around until late game. Still, there is already a pretty disgusting combo making the rounds with this card. Combined with The Undying, players can fill their board with Snapvines and have a pretty good defense going. Unfortunately, players will lose The Undying once the board fills up, but it’s an easy two-card combo that sustains itself.