Cho'Gath Build Guide by Highly
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.
Look at your Match History.
Now look at mine.
Now back at your history,
Now back to mine.
Sadly, your Match History isn't like mine, but if you follow this guide, you could get results like it.
I was never one to like Jungling or Tanking, but after facing reality, I realized that no one ever jungles in Solo Queue. Everyone wants to insta-lock a DPS or another squishy when there are 4 others, so I resigned myself to find a Champion that could do both roles effectively. After doing some experimenting, I found the perfect champion to play both in solo queue, premades, and ranked. Cho-Bro.
Tanky, goes without saying.
CC- Knock up & Silence
Able to jungle quickly and keep health pool comfortable.
Able to counter jungle easily.
Ganking is as easy as pressing Q.
Extremely easy to farm creep waves and push.
Requires practice and prediction for knock-up.
Damage outside of Feast is average at best.
Feast Stacks is a nuisance if you're team is losing and you're dying often.
Skills & Passive
I'm going to briefly explain Cho'Gath's abilities.
Carnivore is based on Cho's last hits, he recovers Health & Mana. This is what keeps you afloat in the Jungle and turns giant creep waves into a free heal. Each return to the fountain for you should be easily 2k+ with your passive keeping you afloat.
Rupture is your knock-up CC, can be cast at range but there's a cast time and second delay for the Spikes to shoot up. Mastering this ability is what makes or breaks you as Cho. Anyone can Nom or frontal-cone, but this is your main ability and you'd do well to learn predicting enemy movement.
Feral Scream is your silence, and a frontal-cone area in front of you that is slightly farther than what the visual will show. Holding this for the right moment in a team fight can turn it around, but don't be too conservative, it's what allows your team to push up.
Vorpal Spikes is your main tool as a jungler. People who never Jungle Cho often assume that your Q is your first skill, but this is what will help you decimate jungle creep camps. By getting your positioning down right, you can kill the small creeps without ever touching them.
Feast is the signature of Cho's nom-nom-nom. It'll do True Damage that benefits from AP, and stacks up to 6 times giving Cho health. Each rank of this Ultimate provides not only a growth spurt for Cho, but also a hefty health increase per stack. Don't hold onto it constantly and only aim to feast enemy champions. Your priority is to reach 6-stacks first, then hold it to nom the enemy. Every second you hold onto it before reaching max size is a second the CD cycle draws on.
Crucial. You can't Jungle without smite effectively. I'm not arguing that it's not doable, but the provided route is based on you having Smite, and allowing you to proceed through the jungle as quick as possible so you can be aggressive.
The best Summoner hands down, giving you the ability to close the gap for a CC, or just escape and save your stacks, Flash is too versatile and game breaking for ol' Cho not to have it. Nothing beats being at the middle of a team fight and able to Flash-Nom anyone.
I strongly discourage running any other summoners, considering how Smite is vital, and Cho needs to have a mobility boost, which Ghost just doesn't cut it for his Nom needs, part of the deadliness of Feast is being able to do it instantly when they're not cautious. You don't need Ignite or Exhaust for ganking, since you should be able to do it with Q alone initiating onto them.
This mastery setup is fairly standard, you grab Plentiful Bounty in the Offense Tree,
Utility Mastery in the Utility Tree, and then go down the Defense Tree to grab talents that help you survive in the jungle. It is possible to also build 0/21/9 and get the 4% damage reduction, but keeping the buffs and having Smite's CD slightly reduced allows you to progress a full jungle route 25-30 seconds quicker, and you need to be able to clear quickly and maintain a high health pool to counter jungle or gank aggressively.
This rune page setup is designed fairly simple. If you lack one of the component, you can mix and match, the end goal is to have Armor & Health at Level 1 though, to ensure Blue Buff Golem won't eat you for breakfast.
Mark of Magic Penetration x9
Seal of Armor x9
Glyph of Attack Speed x9
Greater Quintessence of Health x3
All of Cho's abilities are AP based, and the Magic Pen is going to make you able to at least contribute some damage output, as well as help your Vorpal Spikes when you jungle. Like all Junglers, Cho needs the initial armor from the Seals, and the AS from the glyphs helps out the process, with the HP Quints buffering your health pool.
With the given Jungle Route below, this setup is essential. If you have this setup and follow the route, you won't have any issues, any tweaks to it, I'd recommend you test it out in a bot game first.
The meat of the material, so lets start-
1. Blue Buff- Have someone leash, and pop your health potion the first second you lose health. Make sure you keep attacking the Buff-Golem, and your Vorpal Spikes should bring down the mini-golem. Smite accordingly onto the Buff-Golem, you should hit Level 2. From now on, you initiate creep camps with your Q.
2. Kill Wolves, focus Mama-Wolf, depending on your luck, you might not have to health pot.
3. Kill Wraiths, focus Big Wraith, use a health pot here, Q to kill camp, move on.
4. Red-Buff, Smite should get off CD in time to Smite it to death. Make sure you have 80% or so health when you engage, and you'll use another health pot here.
5. Golem camp, use another Health Pot.
After this, you're left with options. If the enemy team has no Jungler, your Blue should be running out right about now, you can go steal theirs, and proceed to take their Wolves and then visit lanes.
If they have a Jungler, I'd advise you to decide accordingly if you think you can take them on in their Jungle based on their Summoners and progress you see them in lanes. As Cho, the only threat at Level 6 is Lee Sin and potentially Trundle, every other Jungler can be Feasted and counter jungled with ease.
After your initial route however, you should be ganking or relieving someone in lane, letting them B. Remember, just because you're a Jungler doesn't mean you can't farm regular creep waves. Q-E-Auto Attacks can decimate entire waves.
Remember though, your job as a Jungler is to gank and hold lanes, not to push them up so that the resident laner can't farm. Moderation is key, never stick around in lane too long.
This topic receives its' own little section because I can't stress how important it is to coordinate and know your limits when ganking. You don't have to be 6 to do it, your Q knock-up and Vorpal Spikes will do enough damage to be able to kill, and the emphasis is on the knock-up CCing them for the lane residents to kill the target.
Things to note-
* Q positioning, you want to make sure they're standing in the front portion of the Rupture circle. This way they have to run forwards or sideways to run out of the circle, leading to them moving away from their turret, giving your lane team mates a chance to attack, or run back to their turrets and into the center or rear of the Rupture, knocking them up.
* Positioning, the ideal bushes are all in the river. They should not have wards setup early on, making Level 3-4 the ideal instances to gank. Even post 6, some people are reckless and don't ward, which will prove even more fatal. If you're going behind their turret, make sure your team knows that you're there so that they will push them back and you can knock them up accordingly.
* Creeps play a significant part into pathing. If you're attentive, you can position your Q when they're in the midst of a creep wave so they can't escape. This is a finer trick in Cho's Q.
* "Is their _____ summoner up?" Check with the people in that lane to make sure their Flash, Heal, or whatever Summoner ability might be up. Even better, check for the enemy ults or long CD abilities that could ruin the gank.
* Turret Diving- First Blood Only. FB is always worth it, yes, but otherwise, a 1-1 K-D isn't worth it when you're holding buffs or Feast stacks.
* Hiding in side bushes- If the enemy team decides to leave lane for x amount of time, you can sneak into the Top or Bot Bushes and wait there. Make sure not to be spotted by the creeps, this will only work when your lane is pushed up and they don't have vision past the river.
* If the enemy team sets traps, have a team mate set it off in advance before proceeding into that lane, and in the window before the next trap is set down, gank. Do not bother if there is a trap active, you'll be wasting your time. Same for wards, you should be watching the enemy team actively and have your team mates telling you if they purchased wards or not.
Fundamentals never hurt anybody. This list will document how to be a top-Cho-Bro.
Farm Greedily- You don't have to be at every team fight. Farm as much as you can, each time you back you should have 2-3k+ in the very least. Farm.
Let Idiots Die- If your team is doing a stupid dive or in a team fight they shouldn't be, let them die. Farm.
Don't Overkill- If your team has a fight under control, farm and push, don't waste time traveling if you're not needed, FARM.
Know Thyself, Know Thy Enemy- Don't go into a fight you can't win, don't counter jungle a Lee Sin, and always assume the enemy team is nearby if they're MIA.
Don't Be Brave- Get to safety, don't tower dive three deep, and don't risk yourself. Playing Cho is like playing an overbearing mother with 6 stacks of Feast to take care of. You might be insanely hard to take down, but only start being aggressively brave once you have your Guardian Angel. Also know when to leave a team fight.
ORACLES- Against stealthies, a champion that is hard to take down and will likely live is the best person to invest 400g on. You'll be in charge of getting the Oracles, given your two Gold Per 10 Items and massive farm is financing it. Over the course of the match, ward stomping and nom-noming their stealthies should make the Oracles pay for itself in no time. Being able to see and effectively CC any stealthed Champion such as Akali in her Twilight Shroud or Twitch can make or break team fights.
WARD- Carry as many as 5, as your wallet allows it. After you pick up your Philo Stone, you should be constantly warding. Dragon, Baron, Enemy Buff Camps and Enemy Jungle Side Bushes are all important locations to have constant vision of.
Item Build & Variations
The premise of this build is to emphasize on a tanky Cho, but provide him with the utility of slow with Rylais, adding to his CC and giving him a slight AP boost. Two Gold Per 5 items are added to help fund this build, as you'll be doing heavy warding, and getting the Oracles for ward stomping enemy wards.
Standard start of Cloth Armor + Health Potion x 5
On your first back you should be able to get at the very least Boots of Speed, + Philosopher's Stone + 1-2 wards, the wards are crucial.
Second back should end up with Mercury's Treads and Heart of Gold, plus more wards.
Proceed to turn the initial Cloth Armor into a Guardian Angel.
The item build listed above is standard, but right after building your Guardian Angel you're faced with choices on what to build, choices include-
A FoN is exactly what Cho needs against AP teams, giving him the movement speed and magic resist to move around in a team fight against the enemy team.
If the enemy team's primary threat is AD champions such as Ashe, Yi, or Caitlyn, this will make them break themselves upon your body.
If you find yourself in need of more Magic Resistance than FoN offers, and the enemy team has something particularly nasty that you want to be able to avoid, this item delivers Health, MR, and anti-CC all at a modest price.
Only get this if your team is heavy AP, and if the enemy team is building to counter, but this item should see the light of day only once in a blue moon, considering Rylai's contributes much more to a team fight.
If you're not in a dire need of AP or AD mitigation, then you proceed with the build, only finishing your Gold Per 10 items when you're nearing the end of the game and you're doing team fights all the time.
How to Team-Fight
Your role as Tank Cho'Gath is to be in the middle of the team fight and CC the enemy team, and serve to protect your team as you push and initiate. However, this does not mean using your abilities the moment they come off CD for no reason. Likewise, you don't hold your abilities and horde it all team fight and derp around doing nothing. The best thing to do is to pay attention to your surroundings, and make judicious calls on when to use your CC's. Your tools in a team fight are as follows-
Rupture allows you to knock-up multiple targets.
Feral Scream allows you to silence channels and shut down enemy damage output.
Feast allows you to finish off enemy tanks or their squishies.True Damage is dangerous.
Shurelya's Reverie allows you to escape or chase. Use with judgement.
Randuin's Omen allows you to benefit from being in the center of a team fight.
Rylai's Crystal Scepter makes all your spells apply a slow, more CC to the table.
Being at the heart of the action means you have to use judgement on when and who to CC.
Noteworthy Knock-Up Targets
Xin Zhao's Audacious Charge
Akali's Shadow Dance
Warwick's Infinite Duress
Jax's Leap Strike
Renekton's Slice and Dice
Maokai's Twisted Advance
Tryndamere's Undying Rage
Twitch after Ambush
Evelynn after Shadow Walk
Your knock-up should be strategically used, for example if the enemy has a champion that will charge at someone on your team during a team fight, you should Rupture promptly. Listed below are targets that you should prepare to knock-up, and should take a priority. Some champions that can close a gap or initiate are left out, due to the fact that the enemy team's DPS would be a better knock-up choice, when initiated upon by for example an Amumu or Malphite.
Noteworthy Silence Targets
Malzahar's Nether Grasp
Anivia's Glacial Storm
Nunu's Absolute Zero
Kassadin pre- Riftwalk
Katarina's Death Lotus
Miss Fortune's Bullet Time
Caitlyn's Ace in the Hole
If you know X enemy champion has a dangerous cast/channel ability, hold Feral Scream for it.
Remember, at the end of the day, you're a tank. You build tanky, you ward, and you have to rely heavily on your team mates to fight when you CC the enemy team. That being said, you are a game changing monster-bug. By being an effective jungler, you can gank, push, and focus targets in fights, you can carry a team that otherwise would lose. A tank is able to dictate the tide of a fight and in a sense the game, all you have to do is build right and play smart.
If you have any questions or comments, leave them below. Hope that this guide not only creates more tanks and junglers, but also less dive happy fools who don't ward. I'm only oh so eager to be able to play Anivia again.
To Be Added
* Counter Jungling Matchups
* FAQ Section
* Diagrams of Rupture.
* Jungle Route Map & Video
* Alternative Jungle Route & Map