Aug 25, 2016

Weird Picks #60: Full AP Maokai Mid

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Hey everyone! Sorry for the low post volume lately, work is absolutely wrecking my sleep schedule. Anyway, today we have a fun build that is mostly derived from an ARAM setting. However, in games where fights seem to avoid objectives like the plague, forcing an extended dance allows this build to really shine. Check out the details for full AP Maokai mid below!

Introduction

Hey everyone! Sorry for the low post volume lately, work is absolutely wrecking my sleep schedule. Anyway, today we have a fun build that is mostly derived from an ARAM setting. However, in games where fights seem to avoid objectives like the plague, forcing an extended dance allows this build to really shine. Check out the details for full AP Maokai mid below!

How to Play
Runes: Ability Power Quints, Magic Penetration Reds, Flat Armor Yellows, Flat Magic Resist Blues
Masteries: 18-12-0, Deathfire Touch Masteries
Abilities: E, Q, W, then prioritize R > E > Q > W (Get Q + W at level 2 if jungler is planning to gank)
Core Items: Morellonomicon, Sorcerer's Shoes, Hextech Protobelt-01, Rabaddon's Deathcap, Void Staff, Liandry's Torment


Why It Works

Powerful Waveclear and Poke
Using his Sapling Toss (E) at a rate of 40% AP on impact and 60% AP on explosion, Maokai is able to farm from a safe distance and clear the back minion wave with ease. Additionally, most champions cannot outrun his sapling toss on a direct hit, resulting in strong AOE scaling poke damage as well.

Skillshot Dodging Champion
As a mid-laner, Maokai is facing off against a variety of skillshot-reliant burst mages. However, by tactically using his Twisted Advance (W), Maokai can dodge a variety of otherwise dangerous spells. This gives him the ability to outplay a variety of champions such as Brand.

Immense Sustain Against Spell Spammers
As a result of the passive heal that his Sap Magic gives him, Maokai is very difficult to push out of lane once he gets Morellonomicon (or Rod of Ages if you want to be tankier). Although he is prone to ranged poke, he can quickly recover, especially against champions like Vladimir or Ryze.

Excellent Jungle Synergy
An excellent jungler himself, Maokai adds a lot of value to allied jungle ganks as a result of triple crowd-control spell combination.

Free Liandry Proc
Most champions need to build Rylai in order to take full advantage of Liandry's bonus damage. However, since Maokai has a built-in crowd control spell on three out of his four spells, he can easily proc the item without wasting a slot.

Potential Pitfalls

Easy to Push Against Early
Early on, Maokai does suffer from some mana issues. As a result, if you are pushed to tower continuously and take a lot of free damage, you can quickly fall behind in CS and lane presence. However, if you are pushed to your tower, this leaves the enemy jungler open to potential ganks.

Low Sustained Damage
Maokai is extremely good in poke fights (as any ARAM player will tell you). However, during a continuous team fight, this Maokai build does relatively little in the way of sustained damage. His burst damage is not bad, but as a result of his weak defenses, he can quickly get burst down if he jumps in too early.

Conclusions

This Maokai build is extremely fun and prone to outplaying enemy champions. However, it requires your team to play around his strengths, and enemies can definitely easily capitalize on his weaknesses. If this build falls behind, it becomes very difficult to catch-up.

Suggested Rating: Tier 3

What do you think about the AP Maokai Mid? Comment below!


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