Maokai in Dominion--all tank or some AP?
For Maokai, do you think it's best to go all defense or to get some AP?
I am fairly low ELO and it's hard to guarantee teamfights will be particularly coordinated, that makes me lean, in my circumstance, toward trying to get Mao to do damage and not just have teamfight utility. Does this seem sound?
A build I'm thinking of trying later when I get back home:
Boots of Speed
Rod of Ages
Optional, timing undetermined: Aegis
Optional, timing undetermined: Frozen Heart
This gives fair to middlin' amounts of health, MR, armor, and AP. But of course it focuses on none of them, which may be bad. Still, once the cap is finished AP is 422.5 (including my runes). I figure I shouldn't go all AP as he'd die before he can do anything with it...
I was also thinking about focusing more on CDR but I'm not sure...
I main as Maokai in both SR and Dominion.
Usually, I'm sent bot, but my build is usually around the same wherever I am.
Catalyst to start out.
Merc Treads/Sorc Shoes depending on enemy team.
Rod of Ages
Rylai's Crystal Scepter
Rod of Ages is pretty much a must. Health, Mana, and AP, and you can make use of the passive throughout the entire game.
I almost always buy Abyssal Scepter, as it gives AP, MR, and it's Aura is very useful, given that Maokai tends to be fighting up close and personal. Anyone caught in his ult when he detonates will definitely be taking a lot of damage with the Abyssal Scepter debuff.
Now, Maokai has tremendous amounts of natural Armor, in addition to Masteries/Runes, so sometimes Frozen Heart seems a bit overkill. But the Aura, CDR, and Mana make it just too good of an item to pass up.
At this point you may be thinking "Why Trinity Force?" Well, I'll tell you why. The Sheen portion of TriFor goes very well with Maokai's ability to spam spells. You're going to be getting that proc fairly often, and the additional mana and AP really help. The Phage portion gives extra slow, in addition to Maokai's Q, which keeps enemies in your range for a longer period of time. Health is always good, and the AD further boosts the Sheen passive. Zeal gives movespeed, always good on our slow tree friend, and the attackspeed makes it so you can get more healing out of your passive in a big team fight. Plus, when he crits, he does a headbutt, and that's funny.
Lastly, if you ever get here, Rylai's. I pretty much take it for the Health and the AP, and the slow effect is just for chuckles. Maokai's Q already slows, and if you took Triforce, so do your Auto Attacks.
Maokai isn't really designed to be an AP mage/assassin. He's an AP tank, which is why I generally avoid things like Deathcap. Sure, you'll do more damage, but you're better off trying to stay alive as long as possible to defend your teammates, or to stick onto a point to prevent it's capture.
I run somewhat similarly, I build for CDR and Countering the enemy team
Catalyst + Potion
Mercs or Lucidity Boots, depending on enemy CC.
Boots3 if it's against Singed and they rest is CC-lite or uncountable knockups, flips, etc.
Next is Chain Vest or Negatron depending on my lane opponent.
I almost always turn my Catalyst into an Odyn's Veil instead of RoA. Odyn's + Ult can be a really nasty finisher, and can surprise unwitting opponents, or enemies that need a big burst to really finish off.
Hextech Sweeper if there are ANY stealth or temp-stealth champions. You want to be able to W and seal their fate when they try and run.
Frozen Heart if the enemy is running auto attackers.
I'll sometimes also grab Randuin's if they're REALLY heavy on auto attackers, but without a taunt to force enemies to attack you, the active is only decent for a few seconds.
Sunfire Cape if the enemy does not have any auto attackers.
Sheen/Tri as Maokai has very high base damage. I typically don't end up finishing Tri-Force unless it's a long drawn out game.
Haunting Guise for mpen, Void Staff if it's multiple heavy defense champs like Rammus and Singed.
Lone Kindlegem if I'm oddly not getting CDR elsewhere
Abyssal if the team is incredibly dependent on AP/magic, but typically Mercs + Odyn's is enough in this situation.
I almost never get around to Rylai's
In some very rare situations where the enemy lineup is really squish, I'll run Deathcap/Lichbane to just outright flatten.
I'll typically stay bot, but building really tanky allows Mao to swap up to top to tank windmill to take it back, if the team is struggling there. The Ult + Odyn's retribution typically destroys the enemy team in an all out fight, and if they're still up, the team assassin should be able to mop up.
Building all tank on pretty much anyone is poor on Dominion. Being super tanky, low damage can be strong when approaching a 5v5 teamfight on SR, but in Dominion you're going to have a lot more small fights where you need to be able to contribute.
That said, Maokai benefits quite well from building AP, and really doesn't do enough naturally to just build him as a big stack of EHP.
On Dominion I generally build:
Catalyst -> Rod of Ages
Boots -> Merc/Sorc/Lucidity
As a core that I'll complete nearly every game. Especially when going bottom, you definitely want to get a sizable chunk of AP to be able to clear waves with one sapling. Getting Sheen pretty early has felt really important to me, as it allows you to fight quite a bit better when you do engage. Shroud and Scepter get you tanky while providing offensive stats, and are easily the best options available for those slots.
After that I've wanted to build a few different ways:
1). Get tankier. I'll do this if I'm rotating top to do more team fighting. I'll finish Frozen Heart usually, then put something in the last slot (Spirit Visage, Odyn's Veil, Rylai's, Omen, Thornmail). After that finish building the Triforce from the Sheen.
2). More damage in anticipation of getting tankier. Very similar to 1, but build a Phage for the last slot, finish Trinity Force, then building another tanky item in the last slot.
3). MOAR DEEPS. Build a Deathcap in the last slot. If you still have gold after, build the Sheen into a Lich Bane to chunk people with autoattacks.
I'm finding I prefer options 2 and 3 in most cases. Keeping your damage up is important; the whole point of staying alive a long time is giving you time to kill the hell out of the other guys.
Mao on dominion one of my favorite champs
i go bot first for farming/ checking team
if top goes wrong ill try to switch after i get boots
upg to RoA asap
Boots ( any preffered ninja tabi mercs or cdr i love to take swiftness or even mobility aswell)
(situational items: Armor zhonyas Mr abysall or else deathcap or odyns or thornmail if theyr rlly hard on AD
I'm trying him during free week and have had mixed success. I always do as suggested and get Catalyst (and upgrade to RoA if for no other reason than I always forget to use Actives such as Odyn's). He lanes pretty well, but I always end up getting two or three others bot and unlike Skarner I just don't have the movement or the sustainability even with his ult.
Now, it could be my team is feeding them. To be honest I'm spending more time learning Maokai than watching Top. But we've lost both times, the second time with an enemy Maokai that I spent way too long on trying to take off our bot after I got three-man ganked.
I'm considering Mobility if for no other reason than it takes forever to get back into the fight. I've tried building Aegis but it either wasn't enough, or the enemy was too fed, or I just plain outright sucked. Any suggestions?
QQ: my +50 win-loss ratio is gone now. :(
In the games I've been playing a Maokai this week, I find that CDR is pretty important for him. Moreso than trying to stack heavy AP (though I think this could be said for many AP champs). I've usually built him pretty tanky; RoA and Abyssal being the only AP items, occasionally a Sunfire Cape.
You don't necessarily get a lot of kills, but if you get any team help you'll rack up on assists. The other team most likely won't take your turret without sending 3 people there. Even when they do, unless they're really fed or have tons of CC, you'll mostly like be able to pick off one or two of them; or at the very least drop them all very low so they're forced to recall after taking the point, which gives your team time to counter-cap something else. With enough CDR, Mao can easily keep multiple champions from channeling the turret, adding the turret blasts to his effective damage. That + Garrison + Ult + Saplings is pretty devastating.
I've been meaning to try building a Trinity later on, but haven't got around to it.
He does better as a tank.
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