Cho'Gath Build Guide by Shinybro
Not Updated For Current Season
This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.
Not Updated For Current Season
The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.
Lets take a moment to talk about Cho'Gath broken game play. I've played quite some games with this champion and unless if you fail miserably (or your team overfeeds other lanes badly) you're gonna have an easy time winning. This champion is one of my favourites as you are able to carry your team with mediocre feeds. In this guide I'll try to show you how to play both top and mid lanes and eat s...tuff up!
As Cho'Gath your job will be to tank stuff, stop hard casts such as Katarina's ulti, Nunu's ulti, Fiddlestick's ulti and so on, AoE your enemies down while carry\AP carry finishes them off. You have plenty of tools to stop the enemy team for going after your AD\AP carry, slow them down when your team is retreating or stop them from doing the same.
Depending on where you want to play Cho'Gath you'll need a standard rune set, however if you want to go for both mid and top I'm afraid you'll need two rune pages for maximum output (you could play with one only but your either damage or survival would suffer).
Top runes: Magic Penentration (red), Armor (yellow), Flat Magic Resist (blue), Armor (quints).
Mid runes: Magic Penentration (red), Armor (yellow), Flat Magic Resist (blue), Ability Power (quints).
I used to run solo top with the mid rune set and it worked just fine, however after getting top rune page fixed I came to realize the Armor quints are very recommended as it allows you more sustainability on top lane and overall survival, however its still doable even with Ability Power quints.
Lets take a moment to talk about your item build.
Now there are two ways you can start the game with: Doran's Ring and Boots+ 3 pots (I usually run with 2x mana potions and 1x healing).
Now in the upper Item build section I've put two Doran's Rings which is something many people laughed upon, however let me explain why those two rings are Godlike on Cho'Gath. Due to Cho'Gaths passive you already have an amazing sustainability on your lane whether if you're mid or top. Now combining two Doran's Rings you gain a nice health pool for early game, Ability Power which scales really well, passive Mana Regen and most importantly 5 mana per kill which is NOT Unique Passive. Cho'Gaths passive+2x5 mana per each kill is just amazing. You'll be able to spamm Q+W to farm\push\harrass and always have your mana pool high, add up Cataclyst of the Protector level up regen and ... oh well you get the point... you'll be spamming Q+W out of your ***, harrass the living **** out of your opponent and yet still have mana to do MORE. Zoning your opponent out\forcing him to recall more often will get you ahead on farm a lot which will win you the game later on.
Top build: When playing top, its not a bad idea to go for Glacial Shroud as first item then rush to Rod of Ages. With a good farm you should have both Glacial and Rod of Ages finished on 20-21th minute of the game. If support is rushing for Shurelya, your next choices are either Raduin's Omen, Runic Bulwark, Guardian Angel or some other choice depending on their team composition. With default build listed above you should have over 5000 hp and still have enough damage to destroy anything non tanky within few seconds.
Mid build: Always rush for Rod of Ages here as first. Second item will vary depending on your team composition and theirs. Follow up the build listed on top with the exceptions listed below.
If you have a jungler or top champ that is going for Frozen Heart your second item should be Abyssal Scepter and continue building your champ as listed above. Instead of Frozen Heart you're going for Zhonya's Hourglass. If their team is heavy on AD and no one else is going for Frozen Heart you can built Zhonya instead of Lichbane for extra survival.
Two simple choices:
1. Ignite and Flash - Most common spell choice, fail safe.
2. Teleport and Flash - Excellent choice in my opinion. It allows you to assist failing lanes every now and then, reduces your downtime if you need an urgent early game recall, if you're pushing for 2nd turret and you're about to be surrounded by the whole enemy team you can easily escape within few seconds instead of long recall cast or by ressurecting :)
Pros / Cons
Hard to gank
Heavy crowd control
Heavy AoE damage
Able to destroy any AP\AD carry\squishy supports within few seconds with only 2 damage items (Rod&Abyssal)
Still able to farm even to certain extent even if zoned out entirely
Becomes unkillable 1v1, 5 minutes after level 6
Is unkillable 1v1 if you have ulti ready
You're not jungle dependant, in fact in most of the games you won't need him at all to come for ganks
Good AD carry protection
Slow movement speed
No effective gap closers (outside Q+W which knock-up\slow targets, altho even after hitting them you still have to connect to the target)
Gets kited forever by long range champs such as Ezreal, Ashe & co
Creeping / Jungling
As Cho'Gath this is a brain dead job. If you want to play really aggressive, 2x Doran's Rings > Spam Q+W, you're gonna be pushing lane and harassing your opponent to oblivion without being stopped. Only thing you gotta watch out for is jungler if you're pushing constantly, so keep crucial spots warded up (if you're top, ward tribush & zone between baron and blue. If mid ward bushes around you or the two curved bushes behind them and so on).
If you pushed too hard and jungler is on the way to you clear nearby jungle camps (if top - golems, if mid - witches, can also steal their witches if their jungler is far away and coming from opposite direction or simply trying to gank top or bot).
Most important thing: don't stop farming! Never stop farming, whenever there's something nearby to be killed, kill it.
Use ulti whenever its ready and your stacks are not 6/6, with the exception of a possible combat engage so you'd need it then.
If you're top (so tanky build), you'll most likely be the fight initiator. Make sure to lock them down (and as many as possible) right away so your team gets initial pressure momentum. Second cooldown rotation (Q+W) should be used to either peel damage off AD/AP carry, lock their team down so your team avoids damage or slow the enemy team down.
Hit whatever is close to you and squishy, do not attempt to chase characters such as Ezrael or Kassadin and similar before they use their escape mechanics. If you do so, there's a big chance you'll get kited and lose damage up time. Hit whatever is squishy and close, use ulti to kill targets after your Q+W lands on them, or whatever is being focused.
Before engaging in combat try to harass them with your Q as it has decent range and fairly big area of effect, while at it try to take down minions with it to get some mana back (if you still have 2 Doran's its basically free spam almost).
One "good team play" thing that I try to do is after you get 2-3 kills, let others score kills to get fed as well, your farm should be #1 or #2 from both teams which is your main gold income. In nearly all games longer than 30 minutes you should have over 300 minions easily.
Cho'Gath isn't a rocket science level champion, it doesn't take much practice to get really good at him, keep playing your lanes until you're not awesome at it.
Thats it for now, hope this guide gave you some idea on how to play the champion.
If you found this guide useful, give it a +1, maybe I'll make guides for some other champs that I play often.