The reason for such an item build, is that Maokai simply uses too much hp/mana to do camps without the Machete (unless Maokai gets significant help) as the stronger camps make it so Machete is a great item to clear them. However you will take more damage than in season 2 jungle so we're stuck with using 5 potions.
Easy gank lanes (skip this if it's going to be farm war):
If you are going to buy these boots, they should be relatively early and you should be ready to gank often as they're most useful during the early game lane phase. What I mean for farm war is that if you expect the lanes to be difficult to gank such as say
and your team is the
side and other lanes are similar, often your ability to gank will be minimal. Also could be if the lane phase ends, as in towers in lanes start dying and teams are starting to group up more, it is probably a bad investment to go
as you'll want defensive stats for teamfights in order to tank for your team. But for the situations these boots are good, they can work very well as you move from base very quickly and the enemy has a much more limited timespan to avoid a
gank with these boots as they won't be able to outrun such movespeed. Just be warned that these aren't so valuable in an even number gank (say the enemy jungler arrives) as defensive stats are more useful when damage is being thrown out. If you do get these, you might want to sell them for the correct defensive boot later due to late game being mostly teamfights.
This item helps Maokai clear the camps in a fast and less costly manner later in the game. I like this item due to the fact that it allows you to spend less health and mana at each camp because you're killing them faster due to higher damage (10% to 20% from machete). Since we're already 300 in the hole from Machete, this is superior to phil stone in many ways as it costs only 500 to upgrade from machete and it gives more hp regen and front loaded stats. Because of how champions build machete first, Philosopher Stone has been phased out on many champions due to its regen being redundant when Spirit Stone is only 500 extra gold compared to philstone's 700 and Spirit Stone gives additional damage to minions and higher hp regen.
Depending on opposing team's damage (if you didn't get boots of mobility):
If you didn't go
, this is a good time to get these boots as simply moving faster gives you faster clear, better ganks and better teamfighting as you're able to stick with targets or evade them. Depending on the majority of the enemy team composition, you can either go
vs heavy physical damage teams or
against heavy magical damage teams AND heavy CC teams as they can be very annoying when escaping from ganks or sticking with a target. Also some skills such as
's ultimate will do less damage to a target with Tenacity as the damage effect ends with the snare.
If you are the sole tank:
When I say sole tank, I mean if your champion is the only frontliner on the team, it basically means you need items that make you survive or else your backline falls once you die. Locket is very strong at this due to its huge base stats for the wearer and the additional shield it gives to everyone around you. Compared to shurelia's which is a very similar price, you can easily defend against an additional 300-400~ damage with Locket. Factoring the shield and health, you can easily have a 600~ hp advantage from this item.
This new playstyle being adapted in my games has been stack hp, and ask questions later. Unfortunately we have no choice but to follow this on Maokai due to his constant frontline presence. This item also somewhat helps his passive as it'll heal for more as it's a higher hp value the more hp he gets. Right now, almost every frontliner wants
Go for this against APs and support hasn't gotten it (otherwise get visage) :
In teamfights, there are very few items that are stronger than this due to its raw power through stats. While it may not be perfect in every situation (say the enemy is playing a kite comp or poking from afar, then Aegis' stats won't be very helpful), it is strong even without having many allies around due to the type and amount of stats it gives. Almost every champion in the game can appreciate health, armor and magic resist. If teamfights are about to happen, this item is probably very useful as everyone near you will get a boost. Bulwark should be gotten in most situations unless the enemy is heavily AD stacked and possess very little magic damage. A good thing to note is that Bulwark in total gives 60 MR, making it one of the highest magic resist items in the game.
Enemy is more heavy magic damage:
If the enemy has sufficient magic damage, often you'll need a spirit visage to defend against it, it also gives a nice bonus to Maokai's passive which heals him. Â
Useful in a significant amount of situations due to popularity of physical damage dealers, this item will always be the bane of AD carries due to it's slowing effects. In addition, it gives a nice amount of health which is always useful against all forms of damage.
If enemy is heavy AD stacked or auto attackers (Irelia):
Usually mid-late game you'll want to have at least one armor item as the chances of the opponent having one strong physical damage dealer is high. Most team compositions run an AD carry in case the game drags on and typically they'll be by far the highest damage dealer in the game when late game does roll around. If the enemy has only an AD carry and not much else in physical damage dealers and autoattackers, a
is also sufficient if you're on a budget) is enough. If the enemy has more than just an AD carry and contains auto attackers such as
in addition to their ranged AD carry, then it may be wise to invest in a team item such as
. Just by being near those champions with the item will lower their DPS as their attack speed will drop which means even if you aren't the target of their attacks, they'll be dealing less damage since they'll get less hits in.
Finally if you STILL have money:
My games tend not to go this long but if you're still leaking cash, either invest in items that'll help your AD carry win the game or invest in a power item to do it yourself since apparently your team is unable to do it themselves since this is trolololo solo queue.