65 ratings
[4.2] Guide To Max Focus
By eah
Welcome to Channel 7 Galactic News! Tonight we will discuss how to build your most favourite security camera! Now, let's talk about all the parts you need...
Welcome to Max Focus!
Hello fellow player and welcome to a Beginner's Guide to Max Focus! Here you will learn every important aspect about the camera man and reporter in one. Scroll your way through the Guide with the navigation to the right.

(REQUIREMENTS: Since I will talk about all the upgrades Max can have, it is recommended to have reached Level 3 on Max)



- Dizzy Match-Up (maybe for 4.3)
- Smiles Match-Up (maybe for 4.3)

NOTE: If the pictures are "inside the text" or anything related to pictures looks weird and makes the guide unreadable: reload the page. It's a Steam bug and is unrelated to this guide.
Let's start with the basics and take a look at what Max can do.

Scene Illumination

Light up the scene with a deadly stream of lights, that also deal damage.

Let's take a look at his Scene Illumination. As you can see, this ability allows Max to fire a horizontal stream of bullets towards his enemies. While firing, Max is unable to use Slow-Mo Shot or Flood Light. His movement is not limited in any way, so Max can freely move to every direction while firing.

The base damage of a bullet is 50 and Max fires 10 shots per second, which results in 500 DPS (damage per second). Max shoots bullets for 1.5 seconds, therefor his maximal base damage is 750. After starting to fire the stream, Max needs to cool down his engine for 10 seconds.

Scene Illumination (sometimes called SI) is a damaging ability which can be hard to land for beginners. Although there are some upgrades helping you, mentioned in the chapter Scene Illumination: Upgrades.

Important to know:
- 50 damage per bullet, 10 bullets per second
- Duration: 1.5 seconds
- Cooldown: 10 seconds
- 500 DPS (damage per second)
- Maximal damage: 750 damage

Slow-Mo Shot

Nail those slow-motion shots by launching an area that slows time itself.

The Slow-Mo shot, Max' second ability, has got a supportive nature. It does not deal damage but slows time for everything inside the shot. Time Slow, unlike Slow, is a crowd control effect which not only slows movement, but every time- or speedbased factor in the whole game! Every shot, every 'Naut, every Creep, every droid, simply everything will be slowed down, if they are inside the effect area of the shot, by 50%. Time Slow even affects cooldowns of abilities. If an Awesomenaut inside the shot has an ability on 1.5 seconds of cooldown (and if that 'Naut stays in the Time Slow Area), the 'Naut has to wait 3 Seconds until they can use their ability again.
It also affects and increases the duration of other Crowd Controlling Effects such as snare, stun, and slow.

Well, that sounds amazing, right? It sounds too amazing to be (completely) true though. As you could see in the GIF above, the Slow-Mo Shot moves, therefor enemies are not slowed for a long time. And the Cooldown of 12 seconds makes clear that you have to use this ability wisely in order to not waste it.

The duration of Slow-Mo Shot is 2.2 seconds, but like every ability in this game you can upgrade it. More about Upgrades for Slow-Mo Shot is found in the chapter Slow-Mo Shot: Upgrades.

Important to know:
- Time Slow: 50%
- Cooldown: 12 seconds
- Duration: 2.2 seconds

Flood Light

Briefly overexpose your scene with a nuclear powered floodlight.

Flood Light is the so called auto-attack (short AA) of Max. It is a damaging ability without a cooldown, so his basic attack. It deals 90 base damage and can be used twice per second, which results in a base DPS of 180. His attack is ranged, so unlike some other Awesomenauts you don't have to stand very close to your enemies to hit them. An important and good thing is that the attack pierces through enemies, meaning you can hit multiple enemies at once, which makes it good for pushing lanes. You can improve many things on his auto-attack, more information on this is found in the chapter Flood Light: Upgrades.

Single-Lens Reflex Propulsion

Fly everywhere to catch the perfect angles.

Max is very unique in terms of movement: He is the only Awesomenaut that permanently flies in the air, meaning that Max has NO jump! While playing Max you do not need to care about glass platforms or jumping around. This has pros and cons which will be discussed in later chapters. Max has got a base health of 1250, which is similar to Voltar (the brain in a jar) and Vinnie&Spike (The Fish and the Plankton), and is lower average. Generally spoken is Max a so called Harasser. Harassers are good at dealing mediocre to high damage from a safe distance, therefor keeping the enemies away or in their territory. Harassers prepare kills or force enemies to retreat by wearing down the enemy's health. Other examples for Harassers are Coco Nebulon and Skree.

Important to know:
- No jump.

Now we come to Max' so called Utility Row.

Power Pills Turbo
Increases the health by 8% per stage. 2 Stages. 130 , 260 in total.

In Max' case one stage of Power Pills Turbo increases his health by 100 on Level 1.

Increases the base health regeneration by 90% per stage, up to a maximum of 180%, for 90 per stage.

This upgrade is useful if your enemies use Damage-over-time (short DoT) abilities, like e.g. Gnaw does. it also helps to stay longer in a fight.

Space Air Max
Increases movement speed by 10% for 135

Not necessary for every 'Naut, but Max really benefits of the so called "Boots". His mediocre horizontal speed increases by 10% which is more than it sounds.

Piggy Bank
Gives 100 for "free".

This upgrade sounds very good, right? Well, on one side you gain 100 extra solar which can help at the beginning of a game, on the other side you now technically only can buy 2 utility upgrades instead of 3 (because Solar doesn't make you stronger). I wouldn't recommend getting it as Max.

Baby Kuri Mammoth
The duration and power of most Crowd Control effects as well as Amplify Damage are decreased by 30% for a price of 110

In general a situationally good upgrade. A must have for certain enemy teams or Awesomenauts, but most of the time not necessary to buy. Max usually needs that upgrade more often than other 'Nauts.

Unique Upgrade: Overdrive!
Decreases the cooldown of all base skills by 10% per stage, up to a maximum of 20% for 125 per stage.

This upgrade is only buyable by the former "Overdrive Awesomenauts" (Yoolip, Jimmy, Chucho, Max) which you could buy with the Overdrive DLC pre-Free2Play. It decreases the Cooldown of all abilities (except auto-attack) and makes Max' damage output and Slow-Mo frequency higher.

That's all about the Basics, now let's take a closer look at Max' abilities.
Scene Illumination: Upgrades
Now, let's talk about the Upgrades for the Scene Illumination you can buy and how they affect Max Focus. If you used the navigation to get here: You can find the base stats of Scene Illumination in the "Basics" section.

From Pond to Podium: Nate Frogg Exposed

Increases the speed and range of Scene Illumination projectiles by +12% per stage. 2 Stages. 135 per stage.

This upgrade is a very basic one, although it is very helpful on specific maps and against specific enemies. As we have seen in the "Basics" section, Max is not the fastest naut in terms of horizontal speed. This upgrade can help you reach faster enemy 'Nauts with your Scene Illumination and make up for the missing speed! Keep in mind that if you buy this upgrade, you cannot reach "Maximal Damage" on the Scene Illumination.

I can imagine how confusing these percentages can be, therefor we look into a graphical example. You now will see how much +12% of range look like:

Intergalactic Police's Dirty Secret!

Shoot two projectiles instead of one at a time. Projectiles deal 44% less damage. Costs: 200

This upgrades increases your total Damage by 12% (It decreases your damage per shot by 44%, therefor every bullet deals 56% of the original damage. Since the Scene Illumination now has two streams of bullets now, you deal 112% of the damage, so +12% damage). The DPS after buying this upgrade on Level 1 is: 560 damage per second. This upgrade increases your total damage from 750 to 840 damage. Additionally, because of more total bullets, it potentially increases your shot accuracy.

The following GIFs show you how the SI looks after buying this upgrade:

As you can see, the new beam reaches its end a little bit earlier than the original one. Keep that in mind if you use this upgrade.

UFO Spotted At Starstorm Station!

Makes Scene Illumination projectiles curve towards enemies. Costs: 210

This upgrade is, similar to the range upgrade, a supportive Upgrade for Scene Illumination. It actively helps you to hit your enemies by curving or homing slightly towards your enemies. In what way it curves towards enemies is shown by the following GIF:

Note that you lose control of the stream of bullets by buying this upgrade. This upgrade also synergizes with Intergalactic Police's Dirty Secret!:

Ted McPain's Secret Love Life Caught on Film!

Increases the duration of scene illumination by 1 second, making it last for 2.5 seconds for a price of 200 .

This upgrade increases your total damage output by increasing the amount of shots fired from 15 to 25 shots. Therefor it increases the duration of the ability. Keep in mind that the upgrade does not increase your DPS but your total Damage and that you are locked in the ability for 1 more second, which means that you cannot use the Slow-Mo Shot or Flood Light Autoattack for an additional second. This Upgrade increases your total damage from 750 to 1250.

Sadak Mysteries: Paranormal Activity?

Increases the base damage dealt by scene illumination by 12% per stage, up to a maximum of 24% base damage, making it deal 62 damage per shot in total. 2 Stages. 195 per stage.

This upgrade is the basic damage upgrade for this ability. it is advised to get this upgrade at some point in the game. With the increase of the damage per shot, the DPS raises from 500 to 560 (Stage 1) / 620 (Stage 2). Your total damage increases from 750 to 930 if both stages are bought.

Brutalities of the Kraken Unveiled!

Adds extra damage to the last projectile of scene illumination, making it deal 150 damage per stage, up to a maximum of 300 damage. The projectile also gains an unique appearance, making it more distinctive. This extra damage scales with team levels. Cost: 145 per stage, 290 total.

MANDATORY: This upgrade is by far the best upgrade on the row and should be bought every game, meaning that there is no reason not to buy it.

This upgrade is the one of the two only upgrades that add burst damage to Max' build(s). Burst damage is reliable Damage unlike DPS damage (more about that in a later chapter). This upgrade also synergizes with Intergalactic Police's Dirty Secret!. Both bullet streams gain a stronger shot at the end. Note, that in that case the Burst damage will be reduced by 44%. If you hit both shots in that case, the overall burst damage is increased by 12% (+36 Damage on Level 1).

Summary Scene Illumination

The ability itself is not the best ability in game. If we only look at Max though, it's his most important and safest way to deal damage. As a pure damage-based ability, increasing the damage by upgrades is important.
Slow-Mo Shot: Upgrades
Now we slow down a little bit and take a close look on the Slow-Mo Shot row.

Katy Kork from The Day Show
Increases the slowing effect of slow-mo shot by 10%, making it slow targets by 60% in total. Price: 200 .

This upgrade is one of the usually picked ones. It increases the Time Slow by 10%. It doesn't sound much, but even "small" slow increases on a Time Slow ability have a huge impact. Definitely money well spent.

Rob Bourgogne from Channel 44 News

Each enemy caught in slow-mo shot's area will heal Max Focus for 40 health per stage, up to 80 health in total. This healing effect scales with team levels. Price: 180 per stage.

This upgrade potentially is the strongest healing upgrade in the game. It heals 80 health per second for every enemy in the Time Slow. There is no maximal amount of enemies taken to account or a heal cap which limits the amount of heal you can get. In practice though, you usually don't hit more than 5 enemies at once, and then for ~0.75 seconds. But gaining health is still not bad, even if it is a rather small amount. If you want to use this upgrade effectively, you should combine it with other upgrades, meaning that you shouldn't get this upgrade first on the row if you plan on buying it.

Hairy King from Hairy King's Life

Increases the radius of slow-mo shot's projectile by 15% for a price of 175 .

Another commonly picked upgrade, for a reason. It increases the range enemies get slowed in and therefor the area denial. It also increases the maximal travelling range by a bit. But again, it is hard to tell what these "15%" actually mean, so here you'll see the sizes in comparison:

Walm Krunkbite from See-Bees News

Increases the duration of slo-mo shot by 40%, making it last for 3.08 seconds in total. 140 .

Not commonly picked upgrade. By increasing the duration it increases the maximum range of Slow-Mo Shot. It Synergizes well with the following upgrade, Pete Jennirks from Galactic News, but that's about it.

Due to size limitations on pictures for guides, I cannot show you how much longer the Slow-Mo Shot lasts. (I will figure out something here soon.)

Don Steward from The Frequent Show

Reduces the cooldown of slow-mo shot by 1.5 seconds per stage, up to a maximum of 3 seconds total, making it 9 seconds total. Price/stage: 175 .

A quite situational upgrade. In combination with Overdrive you can reduce the cooldown of Slow-Mo Shot even more! If you build it that way, it synergizes well with Rob Bourgogne from Channel 44 News, as it increases your sustain. However most of the time you are not in the need of such a huge cooldown decrease on this ability.

Pete Jennirks from Galactic News

Reduces the projectile speed of slow-mo shot by 20%, making it 5.6 in total. This helps keep enemies within the area of effect for a longer time. Price: 240 .

(Mostly) MANDATORY: This upgrade should be bought in every game, there are very few to no reasons why you should not buy this upgrade. Always keep a slot free for that upgrade.

Some people might think now: Decreasing the speed of this ability? Why should I do that and let my enemies escape for such a huge price? As already said, the Slow-Mo Shot travels, moves. And it moves a little bit too fast on base, making it hard to keep your enemies in the Shot. This upgrade helps immensly there. it is true, you cannot "chase" your enemies with the orb anymore, but this is something you don't do in general. More about that later on in a different chapter.

Summary Slow-Mo Shot

There are only 3 Time Slow abilities in the game. This one, Time Warp (Yuri) and Time Rift (Raelynn). Every single one of these abilities are strong and landing into a time slow might be even worse than getting stunned. Slow-Mo Shot, with its huge area of effect and range in comparison to the other 2 abilities, is technically one of the best abilities in the game. Sadly it is predictable and can be evaded easily. And as every other Time Slow, it can be made weaker by Baby Kuri Mammoth.
Flood Light: Upgrades
Last but not least we take a look at Max' auto-attack. Auto-attacks are mostly DPS based, therefor i will calculate the DPS changes for you here.

Hidden Microphone

Increases the attack speed of flood light by 20%, making it 144 in total. Price: 170 .

This upgrade increases the attack speed from 120 to 144. But what does that mean? Attack speed technically means "attacks per minute". Max normally shoots twice per second, therefor 120 times in a minute. 144 attacks per minute mean 2.4 per second, and with a base damage of 90 this means a DPS increase of 36 damage.

Keep in mind that Max has a movement penalty while firing the auto-attack. That means that if you fire more auto attacks at once, you also move slower.

Flying Camera

Max is now able to fly backwards while aiming forward. In addition, he will no longer have his movement speed reduced when moving while firing flood light. 210 .

Welcome to Max' best upgrade for beginners. The previously mentioned movement penalty is now removed, additionally you are able to fly backwards. A buyable quality of life improvement. However, this upgrade does not increase your speed in general and locks a valuable auto-attack slot for an expensive price of 210 Solar. Think twice if you really want to buy this upgrade.

10¹⁰x Zoom Telelens

Increases the range of flood light by 50%. 150 .

Another rather supportive upgrade that helps you hitting the auto-attack. The range increase is quite significant, so if you have trouble hitting the auto-attack, this upgrade is made for you. However, like the previous upgrade, it locks a valuable slot on the auto-attack row. This upgrade also does not synergize with Galactic Police Scanner, a damage upgrade on this row, and makes it harder to make use of this damage upgrade. Keep that in mind.

Incriminating Dirt

Increases the base damage of flood light by 12% per stage, up to a maximum of 24%, making it deal 111.6 damage in total. 180 per stage.

This is the basic damage upgrade of this row. It also applies to droids and creeps. Now we calculate the DPS again: 111.6 * 2 attacks per second = 223.2 DPS. That means this upgrade adds more DPS than Hidden Microphone but also has a higher total price.

Addresses of the Stars!

After spending 2 seconds without firing flood light, Max' next flood light will deal +100% damage. 170

This upgrade adds a smaller burst damage opportunity to the auto-attack. In my opinion this upgrade is not mandatory, but comes really close to it. Definitely a very strong upgrade which has a fair price. Obviously synergizes with damage upgrades.

Galactic Police Scanner

Adds 10 bullets to flood light, increasing its overall damage by 30%. 155

This upgrade is way cheaper and stronger than Incriminating Dirt but needs you to stay close to your enemies and to hit them with every particle of the auto attack. It also increases the spread of the auto-attack by adding 10 bullets. Each of these 10 new bullets deal 2.7 damage (ingame shown as 3 damage). Because of these characteristics of this upgrade, it does not synergize with 10¹⁰x Zoom Telelens. If every bullet is hit, Flood Light deals 234 DPS.

Summary Flood Light

This auto-attack is compareable to Ted McPain's Shotgun: close to the enemy but still ranged. It pierces enemies while not being melee, which makes it one of the better auto-attacks in the game. Pushing (killing enemy droids and attacking turrets) is very easy and fast and Flood Light deals average damage against turrets. A solid auto-attack.
Summary: "Good" and "Bad" Upgrades
Now that you have seen all upgrades that Max can buy, we now also can determine which upgrades should and shouldn't be bought. For that we have to look at every row individually. Sadly, Max does not offer the best upgrades in the game. Following now is a rank list for every row:

Scene Illumination

1. Brutalities of the Kraken Unveiled!
2. Sadak Mysteries: Paranormal Activity?
3. Intergalactic Police's Dirty Secret!
4. From Pond to Podium: Nate Frogg Exposed
5. Ted McPain's Secret Love Life Caught on Film!
6. UFO Spotted At Starstorm Station!

On Scene Illumination the best upgrade by far is Brutalities of the Kraken Unveiled!, the upgrade adding 300 burst damage at the end of SI. No other upgrade adds so much reliability on Scene Illumination than this one. Every other upgrade is not as good as "Kraken", and there should never be a discussion about that. Because of its reliability, it is mandatory to buy to play a good Max and should be bought first on the SI row.

After that, Sadak Mysteries: Paranormal Activity? should be bought. It adds more damage per shot (even to the "Kraken"-Shots), and even if the bullets are not that reliable it is important to make them as strong as possible.

On place 3, meaning the third and last upgrade you should buy on Scene Illumination, we have three candidates. From Pond to Podium: Nate Frogg Exposed is situationally good. Intergalactic Police's Dirty Secret! adds +12% damage per 2 shots hit, this applies to Kraken as well. Ted McPain's Secret Love Life Caught on Film! adds more total damage, but also increases the delay between the start of the ability and the end burst damage and locks you out of your other abilities. You need to decide by yourself which one you prefer, some upgrades are to be prefered in certain situations.

But please. Never EVER Buy UFO Spotted At Starstorm Station! (Homing) ! At least if you played Max for a while and got how to move around to hit enemies. Homing just takes too much control from your hands and gives it to the hands of the (in my opinion) bad homing algorithm. You can invest more than 200 Solar better elsewhere.

Slow-Mo Shot

1. Pete Jennirks from Galactic News
2. Katy Kork from The Day Show
3. Hairy King from Hairy King's Life
4. Rob Bourgogne from Channel 44 News
5. Don Steward from The Frequent Show
6. Walm Krunkbite from See-Bees News

Generally said is Slow-Mo Shot an ability that doesn't need to be build on right at the start of the game because the ability is actually pretty good on base. Personally I don't build this row until I've bought enough damage on the other rows, I even prefer to build utility upgrades first.

Pete Jennirks from Galactic News is in my opinion the best upgrade on that row, although it kinda depends on the enemies you fight and how the enemy team reacts to your Slow-Mo shot. It helps you to keep your enemies inside the slowing orb longer though, and hitting the orb as long as possible is even more important than slowing your enemies more than the orb already does.

Which is why Katy Kork from The Day Show is only on second place here. +10% slowing is just too good to pass on. Now we have 2 upgrades that should be bought every game, which leaves only 1 slot for another upgrade.

Place 3 (Hairy King from Hairy King's Life) and 4 (Rob Bourgogne from Channel 44 News) are almost equally good, but most of the time you benefit more from a bigger orb size than a self-healing effect. For Example: If you have a Healer Awesomenaut in your team you don't need to focus on self-healing.

Don Steward from The Frequent Show usually isn't bought because you don't need to spam your slowing orb that much. Additionally Overdrive gives you a cooldown effect on all abilities and doesn't lock a slot on your Slow-Mo Shot row.

Walm Krunkbite from See-Bees News is the worst upgrade on the row. I never had a situation where I thought "Damn, if that orb would've just lasted a bit longer!" and the only reason it should ever be bought is to increase the range of Slow-Mo Shot back to default when buying "Pete" which decreases the maximum range.
Summary: "Good" and "Bad" Upgrades 2
Flood Light

1. Adresses of the Stars!
2. Galactic Police Scanner
3. Incriminating Dirt
4. Hidden Microphone
5. 10¹⁰x Zoom Telelens
6. Flying Camera

Adresses of the Stars! is definitely the best upgrade on that row, because it adds a burst damage of ~250 Damage if the AA is upgraded. You usually get a burst AA after using Scene Illumination (its duration is 1.5 seconds, 0.5 less than needed to wait).

Galactic Police Scanner is cheap and the strongest AA damage increase with +30% on that row. You need to land every "beam" of the autoattack tho, which means you need to stand closer to your enemies than usual. Since the range of your AA isn't that long you have to stay near them anyways though.

Incriminating Dirt is on place 3 because it adds +24% damage to your auto attack, in combination with the previous upgrades it leads to +54% maximum damage for a normal attack.

The last 3 upgrades shouldn't be bought because the first 3 upgrades in combination are way better.

Hidden Microphone is adding less DPS than "Dirt" and locks a slot, even if it gives you more damage per solar spent. The only reason to buy Microphone is if you want to build a maximum DPS build instead of the Burst Damage Build.

Range is very situational, because you will deal less damage for the price of a longer ranged auto attack. It also does not synergize with Police Scanner because being ranged with an upgrade that needs you to stay close to your enemy is not helping you dealing that damage.

And now, the worst upgrade in Max' kit: Flying camera. It is a very beginner-friendly upgrade but does not add anything to your auto attack but your mobility. For 210 Solar it takes away your movement penalty on auto attack and lets you fly backwards. The more you learn how to play Max, the less you need that upgrade. "Clicking" your auto attack instead of holding down the button reduces the duration your movement penalty takes place and takes practice. Practice costs 0 Solar, Flying camera costs 210 Solar and a valuable slot on the auto attack row. Not recommended at all except if you are learning Max. It might work good in lower leagues, but in League 3 or higher you shouldn't be in the need of this upgrade.
General Playing Advice
Now some ground rules you should know while playing Max.

Number 1: Never stand still!

It may be a stupid advice for some people but especially new players don't move (much) while attacking. Move back and forth while firing Scene Illumination. Move Max and your mouse around while firing Slow-Mo Shot. Move around while fighting every kind of enemy. The fact that you move around in general just makes it harder for your enemy to predict where you're moving next. Also if you just started to play Max: moving around all the time makes it easier to get used to his mobility and speed.

Number 2: Poke and Harass 'em all!

As explained before, Max is a Harasser. He is annoying and always deals some damage somehow, may it be a small amount or a high amount of damage. And being annoying is good! (At least if you annoy your enemies and not your team...). Poking is a specific form of harassment that can be done with Scene Illumination: Deal small to mediocre damage to your enemies from a safe distance so that they have to retreat in the long run. So poke your enemies every second you can. If an enemy is near and he has a good amount of health or he wants to prepare a push on one of your turrets, just illuminate the scene!

Number 3: Push whenever you can!

Max can change lanes very fast, moving from top to bottom is not a problem for him. His piercing auto attack and his movement make him ideal to push fast at two different places. Use every second you have to at least hurt enemy droids with your Flood Light. You don't even have to push the enemy turret, just make sure your droids get to the turret. The enemy team most likely gets disturbed and will kill the droids in front of their turret. What will you do now? Right! Change lanes and repeat.

Number 4: Prevent Healing!

...obviously not for your team, but the enemy's team. Just get the healing creeps on every map, get every health pack that is positioned more to the enemy side than to your team's side (except if your team needs healing). Max is especially good at the removal of healing creeps on the following maps: Sorona (The desert map with the worm in the bottom center), Aiguillon (The purple colored map with a stealth orb in the center).

Activate the Player Status Dock in the settings if you didn't do that already! it helps you to determine when to destroy a healing opportunity and when it is safe to take.

My usual Build

The build order is kind of variable, you can change it if you need to.
Match-Ups 1
In this chapter we take a look at how good or bad Max can cope with certain enemy Awesomenauts.
Ayla is a partially flying character and is able to chase down Max very easily. She can create an Area of Damage around her (Rage) to deal damage to her surroundings while flying, meaning that you practically can't escape except if Ayla makes a mistake. Her Evil Eye slows you down and deals strong burst damage, which increases if Ayla is low on HP. Pay attention to it, if you get hit you are most likely dead. Her Chain Whack is harmless for you. Use SI to weaken her from a safe distance and attack her with (an upgraded) Flood Light after she used her Evil eye. If you manage to do that, slow her down with your Slow-Mo Shot.
Coco is a nightmare for Max if she manages to hit her Ball Lightning. It can knock you back, slow you and stun you, which means that you either fly miles away while being slowed and/or get stunned out of your Scene Illumination which turns your damage output down. You can't do much except with a Slow-Mo initiated Scene Illumination.
Derpl is rather easy to fight since he stucks himself to a position if he uses his Siege Mode. Use Scene Illumination in such cases. Additionally, Timeslow (so, Slow-Mo Shot) still affects Derpl while he is in Siege Mode. But Pay attention to his Grid Traps: Once caught, you are most likely dead.
Froggy G is very annoying to fight, since his Splash Dash grants him Immunity while using and deals stun to everyone hit, which can cancel your SI. He also can get the Slow-Debuff and can potentially reflect bullets with his Tornado Move, meaning he negates your Auto-Attack and SI. So Froggy G counters Max in multiple points which makes him hard to fight as Max.
Very Bad
Genji could be the worst enemy Max can face. Cocoon is a counter to almost everyone, so I won't discuss the Cocoon here in detail. Just try to not get cocooned at all. His Monarch Blessing is the thing that counters Max very hard. Despite the general shielding it offers, Genji can upgrade it with a flat shield that absorbs 26 damage per hit made. That means that Max' damage output with SI gets halved, since every bullet deals 50 damage (and the shield sees every bullet as a unique damage source). NEVER buy "split shots" on SI if Genji still can upgrade his Monarch Blessing with Bronco Yeast. His long-ranged Auto-Attack also is a threat to Max.
Leon is hard to fight since his Tongue can pull you in very bad situations. Leon is an initiator, therefor you should keep an eye on where he is at the moment before you engage a team fight. Once pulled, you have a hard time escaping, since Leon can deal more damage when attacking you from behind. Call for help from a teammate while you try to evade his attacks and attack him only if he missed his Tongue/ if his Tongue is on Cooldown.
Very Bad
Penny is an example of a generally viable 'Naut. This, plus the advantages she has while fighting Max, make her to a very strong Max-Counter. Her Pounce deals burst damage and stuns you and knocks you back. Stun and Knockback at once is fatal for Max since he loses the control over his mobility. Energy Pulse deals high damage, amplifies you and can silence you. Penny's mobility (Quadruple Jump) is good enough to chase you in any direction, additionally to that Penny can change her Auto-Attack to a ranged one. Fight her with a teammate if possible, 1 vs 1-fights should be evaded.
Vinnie deals high burst damage and can blind, silence and weaken you. But, as long as you can evade his attacks, which is not that hard considering Max' mobility, you easily can melt his Health down with your auto attack. Vinnie is a flying character and Max has the advantage in the air. Just follow him after he initiated (without taking a too high risk) and you should be fine.
(Very) Bad
Voltar technically is not a huge threat to you since you easily can destroy his Health Pod and therefor deny his healing power. BUT, and there is the situation where he is devastating, he has access to powerful, ranged knockbacks on his Drones and Health Pod. He can knock you miles away while dealing a good amount of burst damage, denying your initiations and harrassments. In lower leagues not everyone gets knockback (right away), but if they do, you have a very bad time.
Very Good
As long as you don't get stunned by him, you outclass Yoolip in every way. His horizontal Aout Attack his not hitting you if you stay above or under him. If you move around him you can evade the Gripping Gaze easily (and if not, you can decrease the amount of Stun with Baby Kuri Mammoth), and his dinosaurs are on ground level only. Yoolip has a simple and very predictable jump, so you actually win almost every 1 vs 1 fight.
Yuri is a flyer, therefor Max has a slight advantage to him on base already since Yuri's movement in the air is not the best. He also is able to use his Time Warp to use Time Slow, but as long as you are not near Yuri, which you don't need to be thanks to Scene Illumination, you won't be affected by it. Auto-attacking him while he is fleeing is easy and good. Yuri also cannot deny area (and therefor deal damage) that well with his Mines since Max is not in the of Jump Pads.
Match-Ups 2
Clunk is relatively easy to fight as Max as long as you pay attention to his positioning. Clunk likes to drop down on a lane with enemies after starting Explode which means that there is not much time to evade Explode. His Bite can be upgraded with a snare and his Explode can be upgraded with an area slow, so keep an utility slot free for Baby Mammoth Kuri, if necessary.His AA can deal a huge amount of damage. Attack him from a safe distance or with teammates.
Chucho is a partially flying character that is able to get knockback while on his bike and slow on his Sticky Bomb. The Bomb shouldn't be a huge problem if you stay over him since Chucho can't throw the bomb that high. Attacking him while his bike is destroyed is advised, as he is not really fast without it.
Deadlift is a very tanky support and his movement is good. While using his shield you potentially can't damage him. But since Max' SI is piercing and hits every enemy (so droids too) in his shield, Max can destroy his shield pretty fast. Max' piercing AA also helps to do that. Deadlift has a base Knockback on his Lunge which can be increased, so pay attention to that. Since Deadlift has a basic jump, slowing him mid-jump is very effective.
Gnaw does a good job in denying area and damaging his enemies over time. He also can get pretty fast which means that he can chase you pretty well on certain Maps. His Weedlings actually are good for you, since the Slow-Mo Shot Self healing upgrade can make use of them. So the damage over time shouldn't be a problem for you. Keep in mind that Gnaw can slow you down and amplify you with his Spit and can be a threat to you.
Ix easily can negate all your damage with his Refract, which he can perform longer if you Timeslow him. Slowing him should only be done while his Refract is on cooldown. Attacking him from a safe distance with SI is advised, since he is stronger in 1 vs 1 fights than Max. getting swapped by him shouldn't be a problem, except if you get swapped into Mines (Yuri) or Grid Traps (Derpl).
Jimmy is able to stun and knock you back with his abilities. Missile Barrage also can hurt you from a distance. Do not engage into a 1 vs 1 fight with him, except it he is low health, as he outdamages Max easily there. He also is able to get a huge amount of shielding which makes your damage-output smaller.
Ksenia is a 'Naut that likes to pick of enemies while they are alone. Being able to silence and slow you at the same time makes it hard to counter her as Max. Stick to your teammates if she is in the enemy team. She also is able to get Knockback on her Scissors if she wants to which is a nightmare for Max, especially on the map "Starstorm".
There is not much to say about that Match-Up because Lonestar doesn't counter Max in a special way and vice versa. Keep an eye on his Knockback-Bull since it can be upgraded with a rather huge amount of Slow.
Nibbs can get a heavy slow on her Orb of Omicron which means that you should engage while it is on cooldown. In general it is easy to fight Nibbs as Max: Slow her down while she perform her Firebreath and attack her with your SI then.
Fighting Raelynn is similar to Nibbs: Don't engage if she has a Timerift available (a Timeslow Ability), Slow her while she performs her Laser and attack her with SI then.
Rocco is a long ranged character which means that you cannot attack him with your AA without getting hit too. While using his vengeance he can slow you down with every hit of his AA, additionally to that he can easily hit you with his Precision Shot while you are slowd down. Don't fight Rocco alone.
Scoop has a long ranged snare which is the biggest issue you will have as Max against him. He also is really tanky so you most likely won't get him down easily in a 1 vs 1 fight. His Auto Attack only hits horizontally which means that you can attack him safely if you are under or over him.
Max has an advantage over Sentry on base since he can just fly out of his Black Hole Sun which is a heavy gravity CC-Effect. His Teleport ablity, which deals damage to nearby enemies, still is worrying to Max since it applies high burst damage and silence, if used as the so called "Teleburst". As long as you damage him, he cannot use his Teleport, which is good. For the sake of your other teammates, don't feed his Back Hole Sun though, since it sends the dealt damage right back with it (and not everyone can escape it that easily as Max does).
Skolldir is known for his Stun + Throw combo. This combo actually isnt that threatening to Max, since its a horizontal knockback and Max can just fly away from the bad situation most of the time. Skolldir only hits his auto-attack horizontally which makes it easy to dodge for Max, and his Earthquake applies on ground level (and Max usually is flying high enough). The throw still initiates kills for Skolldir's teammates, therefor the Match-Up is equal.
Skree has a huge advantage with his "auto-aiming" Auto Attack, which makes it hard to dodge his damage. He also can apply a good amount of slow on every ability and Skree can block escape routes. Once slowed, you're gonna have a bad time.
Swiggins lives from his Anchor Hook and Anchor Drop combo. Once hooked (and stunned), you get locked down and most fo the time can't evade attacks, killing the dropped Anchor is also not possible all the time. It also can amplify you, which makes teamfights very hard to survive. Do not encounter him in a 1 vs 1.
Ted actually is threatening with every of his abilities: He can knock you back with his Shotgun, Stun you with his Stimpack and Airstrike adn at the same time deal heavy damage. But Ted's mobility is not the best, which makes it easy to predict his movement and to attack him out of a safe distance.
And that's how the cookie crumbles!
Well then, that's all you need to know about Max Focus! Enjoy playing him, destroying turrets and bases with him and killing enemy by enemy!

And now: The weather...
About me / Feedback
I am eah (_Eagleeye on the official forums) and play this game since 2014. I usually am located in League 2 or 3 and played or mained many 'Nauts. Because of that I know a lot of stuff about the game and especially about Max, my current main Awesomenaut.

However I don't think that I know everything perfectly. My opinions can differ from other people's opinions. Therefor, if you disagree with something said here, if you have something to add, or if you have questions about stuff mentioned, feel free to leave a comment! I am happy about any Feedback you want to share!
< >
Qweras85 Sep 22, 2017 @ 12:42pm 
Niceu niceu very niceu eah-chan. I'm a Max Focus main and I learned alot of new things from this, biggest being the importance of burst damage. ^u^
eah  [author] Jun 19, 2017 @ 4:45am 
Added the general build a max should have. Keep in mind that this is not the only way you can build max!
SkilledRoy Jun 16, 2017 @ 8:52am 
Do you have a good build to use?
eah  [author] Jun 15, 2017 @ 3:11am 
Updated to 4.1:

Max' Kraken - Burst - Shot at the end of Scene Illumination now only deals half the damage to droids. Since I didn't mention droid damage at all the Guide didn't change.
Match-Ups didn't change either.
eah  [author] May 29, 2017 @ 12:45am 
Match-Ups are complete now.
eah  [author] May 28, 2017 @ 2:34pm 
It's not complete yet, I wanted to add more stuff tomorrow (Monday).

But generally said Yuri has a disadvantage against Max
Joy May 28, 2017 @ 2:30pm 
Where is mah monkeh in da "Match Ups" section?
/merry/ May 22, 2017 @ 7:32am 
great guide tbh. :awesome:+
domeafavor-lag May 20, 2017 @ 11:23am 
nevertheless I upvoted though :)
eah  [author] May 20, 2017 @ 2:51am 
Thanks for the critique. The thing on a character specific guide is to explain stuff about that character though. That means that Text is involved. If people are not willing to read then a Guide might not be the best way to learn something about the game.