Hypothesis: High-Strength heroes should build Maelstrom more often.
Chain Lighting avg damage = 120 * 25% = 30. Item gives +24 dmg = +55 dmg. Attack speed of +25 on top of that, gives AT LEAST another 25 damage (total of +80), more if the hero’s #attacks / sec is less than 1 to start with.
+80 damage for a 2700 gold item? Yes, please!
Unique attack modifier that stacks with others UNLESS it procs. So what? I’ll take the 120 damage, multi-target lightning over any other proc!
Farming: Battlefury; cost = 4350, cleave = 35%. Average base damage of 80 + 65 = 165*35% = 51 to multiple targets. Average Mael dmg (multi-target) = 30… and that doesn’t include the AS, and it’s ranged but gives no hp or mana regen. However, Battlefury is also (4350-2700 = 1650) / 4350 = 38% more gold. If you need regen with Mael, you can buy some for 1650 gold… this is almost the cost of a Perseverance (1750).
Mael can be used by ranged or melee heroes, unlike Battlefury. Magic dmg > physical damage once heroes have 6 armor or better (link to armor table: http://dota2.gamepedia.com/Armor) , whereas magic resistance stays at the 25% base without items.
When NOT to take Maelstrom early:
· you need tankiness first (armor and/or hp) before you can start right-clicking people
· You have great abilities, but severe mana pool or mana regen problems that prevent you from using them when you need them
· You already have flash-farming abilities and have the mana to use them
L6 Dragon Knight
Suffers from low attack speed early game. Already a great pusher and tanky – Mael makes him better. Doesn’t usually build his own regen items anyway (except Soul Ring).
L6 Centaur Warrunner semi-carry
Suffers greatly from low attack speed early to mid game. Already tanky and mana requirements are low.
She’s a pusher, not a teamfighter, until much later. She’s a bit squishy earlygame, so a Bracer or Urn might be a good pickup first. However… Mael gives more early push. Attack speed makes her ult even more deadly. What’s not to like?
L6 Ogre Magi (no lust), semi-carry
Needs to be effective early game, suffers from lack of pushing power. Mael solves both problems BUT does nothing for his mana problems. Mael only viable if supports have Arcane Boots / Basilius, or you have CM on your team.