|Don't mess with the Epic Tree!|
The new champion rotation this week is pretty sweet. I've been wanting to play Maokai for a while now, and find out what the deal is with his ulti. I've gone against a few of them since I played, and he always had one problem: Getting people into his ulti.
I think that people use his Vengeful Maelstrom as a source of damage. In fact, it should be the opposite. Your job is an off-tank (or AP Tank Hybrid). That means you protect your team and soak damage for them. This means that placing your ultimate properly will help soak up damage, and whoever is unfortunate enough to stay there will either be dead or dying when you release it.
*Note: I'm borrowing Chickenmoo's "Climbing Mt. ELO" format with these, but I've got terrible memory with these games. The replay is there for viewing.
One of my good games with him (queued with my friends BatBoi and Andirew/xLegend)
Maokai (me) | Vladimir (BatBoi) | Sivir (Andirew) | Lee Sin | Nocturne vs Xin Zhao | Sivir | Nunu | Nidalee | Veigar
Replay - Maokai 4/3/19 Epic Tree! (Mediafire)
Our early game was mediocre. Lee Sin and Nocturne laned together top, Sivir and I played bottom, and Vlad played mid. The enemy Nunu was jungling, Sivir was top, Veigar mid, and we had Xin Zhao and Nidalee at bottom. BatBoi just bought Vlad before starting this game, and I had about 5 games with him, so I didn't help him much with his build. Good thing I remembered his passive gives AP for health and health for AP, so he built the most obvious Warmog stack.
Anyways, bottom lane was a bit stale, with some yelling at Sivir on my part. I don't know why he kept face-checking the bushes when I was Maokai and I make people GO BOOM with my saplings, and get vision in bushes. He does some pretty stupid things like being in the bush with no one and randomly throwing a boomerang, or face-checking to boomerang only to get killed. Luckily, that was his only death in the game.
Top lane had some issues early game, with Nocturne getting killed, blaming Lee Sin for it. Fortunately, Monk just shrugged it off and continued playing. He wasn't doing too good early game, but our Nocturne started to roam when he got to LV6, and it was a great decision. His mid ganks definitely helped himself and Vlad in getting fed, as well as the counter-gank on bottom that took out Nunu. Early game ended when the enemy mid tower was taken down, along with 2 champions without any losses from our side, and the bottom tower shortly after.
We are really doing great in teamfights, pushing mid heavily. Poor Veigar always gets focused, and he was heavily denied early game farm on his Baleful Strike. By mid game, he only has about 150 AP, an obviously mediocre amount for him at this time frame. Nunu isn't doing much with his ultimate, either, speccing tank Nunu which their team lacked. Xin Zhao was not doing great either, getting focused on his dives, and often combo'd with my W->E->Q and shortly getting smashed by Nocturne. We also got a lucky break while attempting Baron, where the enemy team lingered in midlane, only coming into Baron after we took it, allowing another big push to mid after. We then slowly took down their inner and inhibitor towers, along with their inhibitors. The game ended with Nexus destruction at 38:56
- Nocturne is still one of the best, if not THE best, ganker in the game. When fed, he can 1v1 anyone.
- Warmog's Armor on Lee Sin, paired with an Atma's Impaler, is viable. It gives him damage and health to help him stay in teamfights longer with some utility.
- Veigar's farm is highly important, since it is what gives him his nuking capabilities.
- Xin Zhao is still an excellent 1v1 champion, but the recent nerf made him less viable within teamfights.
- Maokai is easily built into a tank, but a Catalyst to rushed Rod of Ages will allow him to tank early. However, he should be an off-tank in Summoner's Rift. He doesn't have a lot of health and damage mitigation for a tank. However, he does have a great initiate skillset.
And on the second topic: Twisted Treeline. I've been playing with my friends xPrTx and BatBoi on 3v3 normal queue, but we're planning on doing ranked 3v3's once they get to 30. I think we have good synergy, and I feel comfortable playing it more than 5v5, I guess because I'm playing with 2 other people and I know their general playstyles. Right now I'm thinking of practicing champions I will main on TT. Hopefully, all 3 of us could get on at the same time this weekend for some normal queue TT and get some experience in. I'll have to do some more learning on this map since I don't have much experience on it, but it's still a very fun map.