I am a Maeve main, by which I mean I am mastery 20 with her and played her consistently since her release. Most of my info comes from what I do a lot in-game and works/doesn’t. I have already made a guide on countering Maeve, which quite ironically ended up helping quite a few Maeve players, so I decided to make this guide as a sort of a backwards sequel to that. If anyone is interested, this is my paladins guru page. So if anyone doubts that I am a Maeve main then that should help to clarify.
About the Guide:
This guide is fairly in depth. Whilst many of the tips in here might seem small, situational and insignificant on their own, when applied at the right time they can be critical. In other words, these can be the differance between a good Maeve and a HIGH TIER MAEVE. Plus they look cool if you can do them so that’s a bonus 🙂 I will not be including much on specific loadouts* that you should use, as I believe that is a matter of personal preference in most cases. There will be some suggestions about items and LC’s, but ultimately the play style you choose is entirely up to you and I’m not going to hold it against you.
Not all of these tips are necessarily skill based. Some of them are just useful things that you might not know about maps or how you can use your abilities. Strategies like those can be used by anyone, so don’t worry if you are just starting out as Maeve.
As a final comment, I also recommend learning to play at a reasonably high sensitivity, as flicking your aim, sometimes in a full 180, is very important to some of these tips. If you can turn around faster, you can escape/respond faster and track a moving target whilst being in motion, without having to lift your mouse.
Enough of the forced jokes for now. Lets get into the useful stuff. *The author didn’t have an original loadout build so I included one that came from a professional player.
Ability and Item Based Strategies
These are all of the strategies that I can think of for Maeve that are based on variables that you control. They aren’t in any particular order.
|No One Escapes The Blade!
This is a fairly mechanically intensive strategy, and one of the most important to mastering Maeve, so prepare for a wall of text. Basically, what you do is you Pounce (without trying to hit a target) and immediately follow up with a shot as the animation ends. For some it might seem obsolete to use pounce in a fight without actually hitting someone with it, but this is far more useful than you might first assume. There are many cases where this is incredibly useful, and chances are you will encounter them many times in each match.
First of all is discouraging people from chasing you when escaping. When you get ambushed or start losing a fight, you should use Pounce to immediately put some distance between yourself and your opponent and flick your aim shooting behind you. If you hit a would be pursuer they are likely to back away. The second use is when dealing with targets at longer ranges.
Snipers in particular will have a particularly hard time dealing with you as your pounce moves you instantly and unpredictably (for the enemy), which throuws their aim off. Following up with a shot will usually make the sniper back off. The third and most entertaining use is countering andro ults and drogoz. If you master Pounce Flicking it will be near impossible for them to hit you, whilst you can have an easy time killing them whilst they air vulnerable in the air. Those are them main uses, but once you master this chances are you will use it for far more than just these as it is incredibly versatile.
Use Pounce To Escape Slows
Pounce is an awesome ability partly because of this. It is not affected by slows. Use it to reach the safety of higher places when slowed, or escape from Kinessa’s mines. There are many cases where you can use this but I can be bothered listing them. Note you can’t escape Evie’s ult because it cripples as well.
Turn During Pounce
You can turn your view whilst pounce is channeling as you would normally. This is particularly useful for pouncing around a corner or towards an enemy as you can set up a shot before you actually get to where you want to be. You can also use it when escaping by pouncing away from your opponent, but doing a full 180 spin whilst it is channeled and immediately shoot them as soon as the animation ends. Note that pounce will only go in the direction you were looking when it was activated, so you will keep moving in the same direction even if you turn. Doing this can be difficult as you might accidentally turn BEFORE you pounce and thus end up going in the wrong direction but it isn’t too hard to do. Learning to do this can make Pounce Flicking easier.
Use Pounce To Pass Through “barriers”
By “barriers” I mean any non-personal shield, Andro’s Reversal and Terminus’ Siphon. Basically Pounce completely ignores any non personal shield, so those of Ash, Fernando, Barik, Makoa and Vivian.
Basically if your opponent tries to use a personal shield to protect themselves when they are low or about to start passively healing, you slap them in the face and pounce resetting their healing time/ killing them. Particularly useful against Vivian as you can still deal some burst when she shields in a 1vs1 situation.
Andro is also really fun to mess with in this way. Pounce will do damage directly to Andro when Reversal is channeled, which basically means that he gives you 500 free damage, provided you can dodge the projectile at the end if there is one. Same thing works against Terminus although it’s usually a bad idea to get close to him as Maeve, so only use it as a finisher move. Note: This doesn’t work on Zhin’s Counter. Not only will you make a fool of yourself but you will take 700 damage and potentially give him healing if he has it in his build.
Prefire your shots
You might think that I mean just shooting ahead of your target by a bit whilst attacking them. That would be wrong. That is just a basic principle of any projectile. Because your attacks are projectiles, albeit very fast projectiles, you can hit an enemy moving around a corner or doorway by shooting just before they come out. I like to refer to this by a popular term you might have heard: Hard Reads.
This can be incredibly useful as you can get in an extra shot on an enemy without them being able to predict it in time, or respond and shoot you. I have used this to kill a BK who chased around a corner that I had prefired at as a recent example. It can also work when lobbing your shots under and over bridges, like those in stone quarry, as you can get off a shot but leave no window for the enemy to fire back as go over or under the bridge.
This takes great timing, general aiming skill and to a degree the ability to flick. It is very fun and flashy if you can pull it off, but can also provide you with a crucial 840 damage advantage as well.
Use Prowl To Approach From Above
|Maeve Double Jumping Ability
People will make a habbit of looking behind them for flanks, but few will actually look up. You can use double jump + the jump height bonus from prowl to go very high up and drop down on an enemy.
Few people will actually anticipate this and you can easily get some kills like this. It is better to use this strategy if the enemy team is engaged in a team fight. If you target an enemy on their own, they will be much more alert for you and will listen for the sound of prowl. In a team fight you can drop down on someone easily as they will be more focused on repelling your allies. Besides, Maeve is really good in a 1v1 so you don’t really need it against a single target.
Use Rogue’s Gambit
Now I wouldn’t suggest this for you if you are just starting with Maeve. This card requires you to be more alert, manage your health more and have better positioning. You lose the great self sustain of Dodger, but Gambit more than compensates. It provides you with an easy escape after a successful flank, or the capability to chain kills.
You can use it while escaping, just by shooting a low health target once, and getting another dash if they are killed by you or your team. The gameplay with Gambit is far more fast-paced than with the other legendaries, because it requires you to know your exits so you can pounce away quickly should you get attacked by heavy burst damage. This is simply because you can’t rely on healing to save you. However with the recent change to Dodger, making it so that it is affected by caut, Gambit is much more appealing, as it provides a significant late game advantage.
|Blinding The Enemy
Use her ultimate when there are team fights going and never use it when an enemy knows of your position.
Talent and Loadout Build
|Best Loadout For Maeve
This deck build is designed to maximize the use of Street Justice legendary card. In addition to that, the cads will also help to increase speed bonus of Prowl by 10%, Gain 12% Damage Reduction for 3s when using Nine Lives and gain 30% damage reduction after using pounce. It also increases Maeve’s maximum HP by 100 and take 30% less damage when her health is below 40%.
Buy Cauterize until level two, and then buy Haven or Blast Shield depending on enemy composition and then Life Rip. After that Maximize Cauterize followed by Life Rip and Haven.
Use Kill To Heal
I don’t see this used alot for some reason. This works particularly well with Gambit, as it provides the great self sustain you miss out on from Dodger, but with the added bonus that if you can chain kill effectively, you basically become immortal. This card is a bit more involved than its more popular counterpart, Life Rip. You actually need to be able to secure a kill to get healing which will requires you to think more about how you attack. The healing is ultimately better than Life Rip, but you need to have good timing and the element of surprise to do best with it. However if you feel like running Life Rip instead, or if it suits your playstyle more, then there is nothing wrong with using it.
Don’t be afraid to use Resilience or Illuminate
Pretty simple. I’ve seen lots of Maeves suffer because they didn’t choose the unorthodox items when they being constantly killed by stuns, slows and stealthed enemies. If you are suffering because of CC or stealth, just do yourself a favour and buy the appropriate item. No shame in it.
Map and Team Comp Based Strategies
These strategies are for playing effectively based on variables that you don’t control. Again, not in any particular order. Some of these are quite specific.
Escape Makoa’s hook with Pounce
This is one of the more difficult things to do. You can escape Makoa after being hooked by him, in a tiny window of oppurtunity just before he shoots you. To do so you have to rapidly flick your aim away from him, preferably upward for the best results, immediately after you get de-stunned and pounce.
This requires very good timing, as you might flick early or late or accidentally hit Makoa, but if you can pull it off at least sometimes it will save your life. If you are on high enough health you can take the shot after being hooked and still escape quickly, leaving Makoa confused, and providing you with a chance to escape. However, if you get pulled into the whole enemy team, then you might as well accept death.
Double jump to escape Jenos’s Void Grip
It is fairly well known that pounce escapes Void Grip just like any other movement abilty. However you can just as easily escape Void Grip by double jumping which can be very useful when facing a Jenos. Firstly you don’t have to use your pounce just to escape it which would put you at a disadvantage. Secondly if the Jenos is running the LC that cripples on Void Grip then pounce isn’t much use. However even if you are crippled you can still double jump, so you can still easily escape Void Grip by double jumping after you have been rooted. There is a strategy to doing this. Avoid double jumping madly around the Jenos when you engage as chances are he will Void Grip you after you have already double jumped which means you’re screwed if he also cripples. Instead do single jumps at first, then when you he uses Void Grip you double jump to escape.
Use doorways and corners
I briefly mentioned this in my guide to countering Maeve. If you are being chased, you can just run through a doorway or a corner and wait for an enemy to follow you, then you just pop them with a burst combo when they go around. This works better with Gambit as you are more likely to have your pounce when they come around. Better yet, you can bait out an enemy by using prowl outside a doorway or corner. They will likely follow the sound to intecept you, knowing you are somewhere there but not knowing your exact position. As soon as they go around you can just pop them. I personally never see people taking advantage of this, but it works so well. I have done it many times and I cannot recall a scenario in which I used this and died.
Use the air space
This works better on maps with more open central areas and some obstacles. A perfect example is the onslaught map snowfall junction. When you are in the air and moving, you are much harder to hit, particularly for champs like Drogoz. I don’t just mean double jump all the time by saying this, although that is by all means a great idea. I mean jump off the highest ledges you can find, and use your mobility to stay airborne for a long time. Not only is it extremely fun to rival Drogoz in terms of airtime, but it makes you a really hard target for anybody below you, and as I mentioned, for any lizards with jetpacks.
Pounce counters knockback
Another awesome virtue of pounce. I don’t think many people realise this, but pounce completely negates all momentum when used, and you are completely immune to knockback when it is being channeled. This can be useful in some cases. You can dash against the knockback of Torvalds ult, or escape the beam. You can recover easily from Ash’s knockbacks and from Cassie’s knockback arrow. I put this one here and the slow one in the previous section because I just tend to see more slows used than knockbacks, so this is more team-comp-based in my opinion.
Use flank only routes
To clarify, I don’t just mean routes that go either left or right of the objective. I mean the routes that are physically impossible for most other champs to use. Here are some specific examples: On Jaguar Falls you can use prowl to escape through the large open drop off to the side of the objective by double jumping in mid air to reach the ground outside the entrance to open room (what a mouthful). On Stone Keep you can easily jump over the tall hedge at the open edge of the map by using Pounce to reach the enemy side, or escape to your side (you use your pounce up by doing this so be careful). On brightmarsh there is a route specifically made for flanks on either the far left or right of the raised platfor outside of spawn, which allows you to go behind the enemy team when you clutch defend at the end of an enemy push. There might be other paths but these are the ones I can think of off the top of my head.