Cho'Gath Build Guide by X da Reaper
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.
Welcome summoners to my third guide!
As with every guide I ask that you take a few minutes to read the guide.
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I try to make my guides fun to read so I think you'll be glad you did even if you don't use the build.
I try to keep my guides short but informative, I want to give you as much information as I can without wasting your time.
If there is something you'd like to know you can ask in the comments or message me, I almost always answer quickly.
Check out the comments section, you guys ask good questions so there is a lot of good information I may not have transferred into the guide yet.
Classic Godzilla Cho is an off tank AP hybrid, not a bruiser or full tank. You will need to arrange your team accordingly to accommodate this build or your team may consider you a coward and a ruffian!
Enjoy the guide and please leave feedback and thoughts, rather then down voting, if you would be so kind.
Always remember that the stats the site lists aren't accurate.
Please also remember to keep things light hearted and humorous and be polite to your fellow summoners, like Cho would.
I've discovered I don't have to abandon the guide! However the next year will be rough!
X_Da_Reaper (guide developer): I retired from league for a lot of reasons but mostly due to the fact that I ship for the Navy soon. The good news is an old friend of mine will be taking over to keep the guide alive. I wish you all the best and my appreciation in advance for all your compliments, up votes and thanks for the guide. I'll miss nom nom noming all your feedback on the guide.
These are just an obvious choice when you are looking to deal magic damage. Marks are pretty cut and dry 90% of time, I really don't think there is a stronger option for any Cho'Gath build.
Again I feel this is the best seal for old Cho since you'll have enough mana if you are farming right and if you aren't Doran's Ring will compensate for that.
This build is focusing on a super tanky mage, our MR is going to be too weak without upsetting our build if we skip these extremely powerful runes. You can go with the flats but I don't feel that there is enough magic damage in the early game to justify them or at least not in this setup.
These can really help with Cho's mobility problem, there are soooo many champs with move speed buffs that not having one really hurts now. Combined with the build your going to be like Godzilla skate boarding on a freight train.
Taking two of these was an personal preference, before the changes to move speed these were a lot more viable. When you are starting with these and a Doran's it will make people think twice about diving you in the early game even if it's 2 on 1, you are Cho after all.
I feel that just one of these helps make up for it's scaling MR cousins. This helps get you to the strength of Greater Glyph of Magic Resist without the loss of the late game strength of Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist.
If I tweak anything a lot it's definitely my masteries. I use this set up for Cho'Gath and Mordekaiser and I just don't think you can get better bang for your buck.
I don't feel the offensive tree has enough pay off to ignore the defensive power house we have at our disposal.
While there are other ways to run your mastery tree I simply feel this is the strongest setup for Cho.
Give up an item slot to carry wards if your team is refusing to do it. The strongest part of teleport is using it preemptively using wards. Say you have dragon warded and you see someone going for a gank bottom lane. If you are good with cho you can easily teleport on the ward and reverse the gank. Remember to go out of sight if you are in lane. DO NOT teleport right in front of your enemy in case they are smart enough to warn their team. Didn't take teleport? what then? WARDS!!!!!! Seriously though, wards win the game, especially at low elo.
To be honest this build happened on accident, I was running the usual "Gentlemen's way of playing Cho'Gath" when I had to switch to carry. What I realized was that doing a hybrid mage/tank Cho made godzilla Cho, I was watching cities burn beneath him as he carried his team to victory.
With this setup you are going to have
Almost 4k hp
About 200 armor and 150 magic resist
Almost 500 AP (I about ****ped myself when I realized my ruptures were doing 800 damage at one point)<---- this was before item nerfs
A get out of jail free card if your feast doesn't finish the job.
This gives you everything you need to start a solo lane with Cho. It's not a must first item but it's really hard to pass up. While there are other options I feel this is your strongest starter. I do not believe in stacking these on Cho though, it works on other champs but seems kind of weak on him. Also keep in mind that it's not always going to be your best bet as your opponents get better. Boots and pots kind of dominated the Meta for good reason.
I hate these boots, I hate having to take them, why? Because they are the best boots in the game and you should always have them >.< . Ok so now that I got that out of my system you could also go for Sorcerer's Shoes if CC isn't a problem.
(Core) Cho needs health, this adds 630, cho needs AP, this will add 80, Cho can use some more mana, this will give him all he needs. If you are building a Battle Cast Godzilla, this item is the legs he stands on. It's also a bonus that the catalyst the protector makes your sustain almost impossible to beat.
"How are you so tanky!!!" quote from a Vlad who couldn't match my sustain, good times.
I love this item, I love it, I really like it a lot. Strong armor, awesome passive, cast all day mana boost, builds into Frozen Heart *HEARTS!*
*insert AP champ*
AP "Ha! take tha... why didn't that hurt you cho?"
AP "Oh god it hurts!"
Cho "pip pip cheerio"
Such a strong item, I almost always pick it over Void Staff it's not often the whole team is going to stack MR so Abyssal Scepter is almost always good to grab. It's going to make your MR so much stronger while giving you an awesome magic penetration aura and a nice AP boost.
(Core item) "Alright Cho's here, get him! wait why are our attacks so slo.. Oh god he is eating the AD carry!" nuff said?
Ok so look at the frozen heart passive 20% CDR... Enemy attack speed reduced by 20%... 90 Armor... 400 Mana... it's just, it's just, so a Cho'Gath kind of item.
alright I got him with Rupture, here's my Feast, here's my ap boosted damage auto attack, and I'll top it off with a nice Feral Scream.
Cho makes nuke's look merciful with this setup. In the above demonstration the only person who could survive that combo is a fully built pwndo and even he will likely be on the run with an ult burnt. Especially since you just built an item that put your MR to silly levels.
"Screw your cleavers, this is Cho's house!"
Lich Bane is a get out of jail free card for when you didn't do quite enough damage on a feast, or your combo wasn't enough, or all your spells are on cool down and this delicious looking champion is about to run by you with only a several hundred points of health to spare. Cho's auto attacks are very strong with Vorpal Spikes, with Lich Bane Cho is chucking semi-tractor trailers as an auto attack every once and a while.
"Oh it's ok, it's just Cho, he doesn't do that mu..."
"Compacting devoured subject into cube"
This is your last item because Cho can hurt so much with very little AP. Our main goal until this item is to build tanky and damaging at the same time. Now that we have our tankiness to a efficient zone it's time to give our AP a boost that will put Cho into Godzilla mode.
"It's funny isn't it? How your best friend can just blow up like that."
Break from the standard build? NEVARE! (yes it's misspelled for epicness)
Finally a day off, which means a chance to improve and add depth to the guide.
So let's say the unthinkable happens and whoever you are laning against is shutting you down, or that pesky enemy Lee Sin won't leave you alone (we hates the blind guy). While Cho is hard to shut down, it can be done, if this happens the build will happen too slow to be effective. In these situations a philosopher's stone can turn things around. You are Cho however, if this has happened you are probably still learning, because normally the equation goes something like this.
1 Champ attempt gank on Cho = Cho eats ganker
2 Champ attempt gank on Cho = Cho eats 1 ganker and kills assistant with occasional cc filled escape from assistant. Allow leeway in equation for gankers ****ping their pants as this is often a result of their gank attempt on Cho.
3 Champs attempt gank on Cho = Cho plays hard to get until tower and slaughters 2 to 3 gankers. Again allow leeway for much pants ****ping, at this point probably from both sides of the equation.
Upon adding the variances and these equations the solution is... Cho eats your face... what's wrong with my calculator that's not right.
I have been getting a lot of questions as to why I take ROA and it's mainly for the massive hit point boost and AP but the mana helps a lot as well. However it is reasonable to replace it with a RCS. I just don't feel the meager 15% slow on everything but Feast justifies the cost. However in the new build it has good synergy with Liandry's Torment which we will cover later.
Remember, it is important to examine your enemy team to make sure your build causes the most pants pooping.
While this build is effective 90% of the time, if they aren't putting out any real magic damage swap the Abyssal Scepter for a Zhonya's Hourglass. You'll get even more armor and even more AP and a nice active that you will likely never need.
I never really recommend taking the Frozen Heart out even if their AD seems low, remember that everyone is going to do some AD and it's your only real armor. However if you find yourself in the rare situation where no armor is needed you can pick up the new HOLY GRAIL, A shrubbery DUN!!!... ahem, sorry about that, unholy grail.
This rather interesting item was added to the second build since they took away Lich bane's MR. It should hopefully synergize with Liandry's Torment. The best part about this item is that it will line up two candidates for feast and it's super cheap. Don't forget it also covers the movement speed bonus you need to be a giant stomping scary T-rex your enemies can't escape.
This item, and my awesome Zilla fan's, are the reason I added a second build. While we are synergizing this item with Rylai's Crystal Scepter and Twin Shadows it's true strength lies in the fact that if you want, you can build it really early and it will proc on every Rupture. Build two doesn't have the mana or the burst of build one, but by god will you be a nightmare of slows.
This has always been a decent item for Cho, but now it's even better, and yes, it will work nicely on a Cho with lots of ap, it will be like a tidal wave, of spikes, or rockets, or whatever cho feels like chuckin that day, kittens maybe?
The reason we go Rupture first is the pure awesome damage and low mana cost compared to maxing Feral Scream. In addition I like the idea of having a cheap Feral Scream because it makes an excellent sure fire interrupt to potentially save yourself or an ally.
I know a lot of people like Feral scream because it's an easy hit. Don't forget that Feral Scream has far less range, costs 110 mana a cast, does less damage, has 30% less AP ratio, and is a full 4 seconds longer to come off cool down. Save it as an interrupt skill, that's where it is strongest.
We max Vorpal Spikes second because it's free damage that happens to be really strong. You can go for Feral Scream second but you'll probably notice some serious mana problems.
Obviously we want to get our Feast leveled up as fast as possible. We are going to talk more about this skill later since it's our bread and butter.
I go with Flash because on Cho'Gath there is no better spell, it is a gap closer for Feral Scream and Feast and is an absolute must.
Red shirt: "It's ok, Cho isn't close enough, I'm sa..."
Ally: "Uh red shirt?"
I like Teleport because it is so game changing with Cho, the sudden addition of a truck load of CC damage and tankiness tends to turn team fights and scare your enemies for the rest of the game. Not to mention the strength you can add to ganks.
"Don't go out there!"
"Cho'Gath has Teleport, he'll find you and eat you!"
Exhaust My meal is escaping and I need him to slow down.
Ignite This guy is healing my damage *death sound* well he was anyways
Ghost Why is that T-rex moving like a velociraptor?
Rest in peace Surge
Surge "Ok we can take them Cho is on all his cool downs" *Cho activates surge* "GODZILLA!!!"
Dis is Cho's House!
Let's talk about lane control and farming, Cho has no real escape abilities so it's very important to ward your lane well and try not to push. If you are going to do a Rupture make sure it catches the other player and not just the minions. In an ideal scenario you let your opponents think you are weak and push to your tower. You and your jungler can then proceed to show them that it was a ruse and they have just been invited to lunch.
It's very very easy to over push your lane as Cho, as I said, you are terrible at getting away so you should avoid this if you don't know exactly where every enemy is. Don't Rupture or Feral Scream more then you have to and if worse comes to worst turn off your Vorpal Spikes to only hit one minion at a time. Depending on your skin it may save you from blowing out your speakers or running out of rockets :-).
When your jungler comes for a gank remember that success will likely rely on your skill shots. Lets cover an example
Jungler pings, start a rupture if you think you can catch them OR wait till they see the jungler and start to run, place rupture where they will have to juke so you can close the gap or they are forced to flash out of it. It's like sniping a target, you have to lead your target to get the good game changing ruptures.
Alright, time for the ten commandments of Cho
Thou art not a full tank, thou shalt not covet the full tanks tankiness
Thou shalt not enter a team fight without thy team already following thee
Thou shalt not roam to dangerous places
Thou shalt build thy Feast stacks as hastily as thou can.
Thou shalt covet thy stacks
Thou shalt dive towers intelligently to create fear in thine enemies
Thou shalt be a tidal wave of CC
Thou shalt protect thy allies
Thou shalt pwn thy enemies
Thou shalt spam the "nom nom nom nom nom!" taunt
You aren't a full tank, let your team know you can't afford to give away stacks. You all need to work together. You should be leading the charge if you don't have a full tank but your team should be right behind you. Once the fight starts your number one job is to survive, number two is protect your team and number three is to secure kills. In this build kills are certainly not wasted on you.
Seriously though there is a lot to playing a good Cho. You really have to assess things in your head when figuring out if you should engage. You can't afford to give up your stacks and a kill for the other team.
Having your stacks maxed is a must, it's why we build CDR. Without full stacks it's too risky for you to really get into the midst fights which is what you need to be able to do.
Every stack you lose you are going to need to rebuild off of creeps, waiting for champ kills to line up perfectly will leave you with one stack before you know it. That's basically having 750 missing health, kind of a problem for a character who needs to be right next to an enemy to do his best spell.
The big problem isn't having to take the time to rebuild your stacks, the big problem is every feast used on a creep could have potentially been used on a champion. At six stacks if you die you lose three.
Let's take a closer look at what this means. That could be 3000 TRUE damage at level 16. The other players will never have to deal with that damage and that should make you very sad. To put that in perspective that is enough damage to completely wipe out almost every enemy champ but the tank and even he would be walking with a limp after that.
Don't be afraid to open with a feast, they will never see it coming and it tends to break a player's spirit's when half his health is g... *auto attack* ok 3/4 of his... "QUIET!" Nevermind, he died.
I am completely open to suggestions and I really hope you enjoyed this guide. I will start a special thanks section like I do on all my guides. Like the many other improvements I plan to make, it will have to wait.
I'd also like to ask you to make suggestions and talk to me before down voting. Telling someone something you don't like while down voting at the same time isn't going to give them much motivation to make the changes you suggest. Please give other guides this courtesy as well, writing a good guide isn't as easy as you would think, it takes time, patience, and the help of people like you.
Fallen Defender for reminding me (not in the way I would prefer) that I needed to add some more to the guide.
Thenome123 for reminding me I needed to add a "other items" section.
Shadowcrusnik For inspiring the "Dis is Cho's House!" section
Chronomova for inspiring the "WARDS!!!!" section
Masaharta for pointing out that I forgot to talk about the most important item in the build.
alveolate for catching a typo in my old English.
Thank you all so much for the support, excellent questions, up votes, and rep bumps, you are not hideous creatures.