Cho'Gath Build Guide by Jeutnarg
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Not Updated For Current Season
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Hey y'all, this is Jeutnarg with my take on Cho'gath. Cho'gath was free the second week I played LoL, I tried him and loved him, and now he's my third-character after Veigar mid and Alistar support.
First off, I use this for solo queue games when I am going up against a duo lane at top or when my team comp needs a really strong early game from me to shut down the other team's top.
Second, if you look at the items, summoner spells, and skill sequence and hate them, at least read the section on landing Cho'gath's skill shot. It's painful seeing his Q misused.
Overall, I made this guide because it's how I play Cho'gath and I think that this guide promotes a unique method of NOMNOMNOMNOMNOMNOM!!!!
Thanks for reading and please leave any helpful comments you might think of.
Pros and Cons
Pros of Cho'gath:
I'm shooting for Armor, Health, Mana, and Magic Resistance with my runes. If you are trying to focus on one of these stats in particular, here's a handy chart:
2nd at Armor
2nd at MR
3rd at Mana
3rd at Mana Regen
1st at Armor
3rd at MR
2nd at Mana
1st at Mana Regen
3rd at Armor
1st at MR
1st at Mana
2nd at Mana Regen
If you're focusing on Armor, MR, mana, and mana regen, I'd advise using a rune only if it's on the 2nd or 1st tier for its type.
For Early Game:
I get MR, armor, and health for survivability
Mana and mana regen to spam abilities
For Late Game:
CDR per lvl and assist $$ for utility and money
Death CDR and Summoner-Spell boosts because they're awesome
My reasoning is simple: Clarity lets you spam abilities and Teleport makes use of Cho'gath's pushing and minion-clearing skills.
Other viable spells:
Escape mechanisms are nice. If you just aren't willing to lose escape mechanisms, don't worry, I won't be offended.
Just a good overall pick. Your team should have at least one of these.
clairvoyance is a game-changer: it makes your jungle a genuine death trap.
DO NOT GET THESE
They might be useful sometimes, but these are not spells that you need or benefit greatly from. For Smite... yes, Cho'gath can jungle normally, but in this guide he can't.
I do my skill order because you need to own your lane. Feral Scream is great, but it doesn't have the damage you need to handle two people, and it definitely doesn't have the range. Plus, Rupture can be used as an escape mechanism. Land it, and they gain a second, plus the opponent is slowed :) Good luck chasing at 40% speed. For that matter, good luck running away. NOMNOMNOMNOMNOMNOMONOMNOMONMOM!
Feral Scream is scaled after Rupture because I prefer it to Vorpal. Basically, Vorpal Spikes is terrible unless you have AS and can get some real damage from those spikes. The spikes push hard and can draw turret agro when you AA minions near a champion.
Feast is always leveled when it's available. It's your ult, and it rocks. 650 damage scaling at .7 with AP? NOMNOMNOM!!!
I have tried many different combinations, but I got sick of guessing, so I figured it out. This is everything you need to know about items on a tank Cho'gath.
Your goals are Armor, MR, Health, and Health Regen. (tank)
KNOW THIS FIRST!!!!!
I HAVE ONLY INCLUDED THE TOP ITEMS FOR EACH CATEGORY. Also, I do not include basic items (like chain vest and negatron cloak) since they are almost always top for the efficiency ratio.
Armor, in order of efficiency:
|Emblem of Valor
Magic Resistance, in order of efficiency:
Health, in order of efficiency:
Health Regen, in order of efficiency:
If you look at this and think: "Where is the supporting data?"... yeah, I know. I'm working to find a way of displaying the information.
First off, your core is definitely Mercury's Treads and Rod of Ages. They give you movement, solve your mana problems, boost your damage, and let you snowball harder mid-game.
Build them quick, and build them with preference given to Catalyst and Boots of Speed. Build Catalyst quickly because it gives you more total benefit the more times you level while holding it.
VS. AP NUKERS(majority of the other team)
VS. AD CARRY(one or two insanely fed carries)
VS. AP DoT or AoE(X***, Morgana, Mordekaiser, Malzahar)
Good items:, ,
VS. HARASS(Gangplank, MF, Pantheon, any character with a solid poke)
Mid game, the damage is very close to balanced, but the odds are that their AP nuker is still the most powerful guy they have and their carry is starting to get fed. Here you build more armor and health.
Late game, the carry is the carry. AP nukers simply don't have what it takes to hit you if you've built any MR or health, so your goal isvarmor, armor, armor. Make their carry waste their time on you.
Good items:see the generic item build just below.
The Generic Build
Start with Doran's Ring. The mana regen, AP, and extra health make you a much better force early game.
Next you build Boots of Speed and then Catalyst the Protector because you need to stay competitive for speed and want to solve your mana problems.
The full Mercury's Treads come next. You want that speed and MR.
After you get Rod, build some basic defensive items. Frozen Heart and Force of Nature are my preferred items to come out next with, since FoN is the most efficient and the highest MR item in the game. Heart I get for the CDR, armor, and mana, not for the aura.
The next item is Rylai's. It is a golden item for a utility/tank Cho'gath. Extra tankiness, extra damage, and a 15% perma-slow make me very happy. I say perma-slow because Cho'gath has 3 AoE spells, one of which procs nearly every second (I'm looking at you, Vorpal Spikes)
Finally I get Thornmail, since the biggest late-game threat is almost always their carry. That passive just destroys any AD that has tons of pure damage and no health.
How Cho'gath has damage without much AP
After seeing a comment on this and realizing that the downvotes probably came from not covering this...
Early Game- Rupture has some of the highest early-game damage of any spell in the game, and he has innate sustain that can proc while harassing. Early game is cake.
Mid Game- Let's say you are lvl 12. The other people in lane are lvl 9. You have farmed up a Rod of Ages, so you now have 75 AP.
You combo for:
305 + 100% = 380
225 + 70% = 277.5
autoattack = 104.5 + 42.5 = 147
FEAST = 527.5
Grand total = 1332
|EMPTY||Following the #1-rated Annie build... at lvl 12, she has 110 AP and a burst of:
325 + 70% = 402
245 + 70% = 322
230 + 75% = 312.5
autoattack = 80.5
Tibbers for 2 seconds = (35 + 20%) * 2 = 144
Grand total: 1261.
That's right, people, Cho'gath has INSANE BURST!
When your jungler comes in, have him wait for you to land Rupture, and then proceed to unleash the largest burst damage the other side has ever seen!!!
Late Game- Definitely situationl. If your team has done well, and you have done well in gold, refer to the next section for what to buy.
If your team has fed a carry or has failed at ganks, then your team is going to need a tank more than you would believe. This is the point in the game where you will have to tower-dive so your team can push. There is nothing worse than winning a team fight and knowing that you don't have a person capable of tower-diving to make your victory stick long-term.
It is these exact kinds of situations where I have seen a game change. If I have built heavily enough on defense, then we can push through and come back. If I have built AP to get kills and glory, then we fail and only fall behind as the game progresses. This is personal experience, so you may not feel like this, but as a rule, it's the truth.
Luxury? Why of course, good sir, why not?
Ah, the thrill of having a good team, or just a few feeders on the other. This part of the guide is for those times when your team doens't need a tank, is face-stomping the other team, and you have cash to BURNINATE!
Now, how to spend this metric ton of $$$$ you have?
AP!!! YES!!!! It is time to take advantage of your glorious ratios, your true damage. This is when it is FUN to play Cho'gath. Seriously, though, AP-'gath on a good team is one of the scariest people you will ever see.
Build these things:
Oh yeah. This item is good. It gives you so much AP that it is essential, in my book, to have this on an AP Cho'gath. Plus, if you have enough spare $$ to consider buying it, that's one of the best signs that your team is doing great.
Next, you get Abyssal.
This item is all about the aura. If you see somebody on your team building it, then forget it. It's aura is unique and thus useless to have multiples of. It turns squishies into goop and off-tanks into squishies.
If your team is a little weak on CC, then you need this. It makes you harder to kill, more damaging, and most importantly, it turns you into a slow-machine. Your AoE is now one of the most powerful CC's in the game, slowing for 15% for 1.5 seconds and silencing for 3 seconds
Oh wow, this is the perfect complement to your AP-'gath. I mention this in my item selection for building a tank-'gath, but it's a fact of life: one of the best counters to AP-based nukes is health. And Deathfire is the counter to health. And it's one of the best things for mage Cho'gath. Excellent CDR, good mana regen (you didn't build Frozen if you're doing this, so you might have mana problems with your costs), and a nice burst against health-stackers.
Cho'gath has decent burst with his Q,W, and especially his R.
- land your Q (important, do not try and burst when you miss this)
- if it still twitches, Scream.
You initiate with Rupture since it slows and knocks-up. This buys you a lot of time to close the gap.
Feast is next, because seeing almost 400 health vanish in one attack from a tank is startling, and that moment of "Run!!! There's a monster literally EATING ME!!!!" can buy you enough time to auto-attack and Feral Scream for the kill.
Finally, you scream last, not first, since it is a distance shot. **WARNING Scream's damage does not really fill the aoe it displays **
If the enemy has very good escape mechanisms, then Scream can be a valid burst-starter. Just remember to try and land Rupture in the burst.
Ah, the biggest problem with Cho'gath's early game. Rupture is a skill shot that has a visible sign both on cast and prior to landing.
And it's loud. Even a total noob learns what happens when you stomp. So the difficulty is in finding a good way to hit them consistently. Just guessing is not going to cut it.
If you can start playing games with their mind, then you win, and Rupture is a psychological menace. Giant spikes knock you into the air and then you are slow. It's a 60% slow for THREE SECONDS, even at rank 1 of the skill. That's the most powerful rank 1 CC in the game.
Start the mind games by punishing them for actions. When they move in to last-hit, when they move into the bushes (surprisingly good opportunity), when they stand still for a second, PUNISH them. Make them fear you by always using Rupture. This is why I get clarity.
Spamming Rupture is like this, but more like 500 of these in a small area, every 10 seconds.
Now some actual strategies on how to land it.
1. Know your target - melee champs are generally harder to hit with Rupture. They move more, and their vision is normally pretty close to themselves. Basically, since people tend to look at what they are trying to kill, a melee champ is more likely to notice when the ground starts shaking.
2. Use the bushes- not only can they not see you, they can't hear you stomp in the bushes. The aoe of Rupture is large enough that they cannot walk out of it in the time they now have.
3. Don't treat this like a normal harass move. You need to hit them, but also need to hit their ranged creeps for $$$. Try to wait until they're standing in the midst of their creeps.
4. Guess where they'll dodge. It's normally better to guess a bit behind them (keep them just in the range, but center it behind.) Most characters assume you center it on them, and so they try to run backwards.
5. Maximize the range. The range on Rupture is god-like! Use it to its full advantage.
6. Be willing to have the placement icon out a while. Fish for a hit. Unless you're pro at smart-casting, there is a delay between seeing an opportunity and taking the opportunity. Remove that delay. Be sitting there with that giant AoE cursor already out; you're just waiting for a golden moment.
7. Use it when you know where they're going. The general guideline I have is that 1.5 inches further on their path will nail them. This works amazingly when your jungler comes in for a gank. They either take your hit (stupid idea) or have to run around your shot (not a good option either). Yes, they might flash, but that's not something you can do much about.
Teamfighting as a giant void monster (late game)
SOME people worry that a pure tank Cho'gath is never focused :( That may be true at ranked games and such, but this guide isn't for those situations, and I think that those people are wrong if they think that Cho'gath is still not focused in lower stakes games.
Cho'gath draws agro or punishes them for not killing him earlier, because:
1. Feast - you are HUGE. You eat skillshots, you make even smart-casting harder, and you are annoyingly difficult to see past.
2. Feast - You can assassinate a squishy. If you Q,W, and then R a squishy, even late game, they are almost dead. If your team has an ounce of sense, they will be dead.
3. You have two hard AoE crowd controls Do I really have to say why this is good?
4. Prevent them from moving easily. This isn't about crowd control, it's about just being there. If I, Cho'gath, am not focused in a teamfight, then I charge forward and get right into their midst. It's hard to move around when there is a huge monster taking up half the lane.
5. Intimidation - you have Feast. You visually smack them in the face like a hammer. THIS IS CHO'GATH. HE WILL EAT YOU IF YOU DON'T KILL HIM RIGHT NOW. Anybody but calm or very experienced players will tend to see your massiveness as a threat and then will focus you. A true tank cho'gath has LOTS of health and LOTS of resistances, particularly armor. Good luck killing him before his team comes in and eats you for real.
The method is simple in concept, charge in, try to disrupt, and draw agro. If they kite like crazy, then just keep trying Rupture until you get one knockup, then rush in and start that stuff. If they focus you, then they've just put a lot of skills on CD just in time for your team to make things crazy. If they don't focus you, they'll get silenced and knocked-up all day long.
I'm glad you took the time to read this entire.... no, I'm glad you scrolled down here.... eh, forget it. Thanks.
Thanks for reading at least this much, I hope it at least gave you some ideas on how to play Cho'gath better than you already do. If you want to play Cho'gath differently than I am showing you how to, then please reference either this guide or this guide. Both are pretty good, and I've tried both with success.
REPLAYS???? I don't video myself playing video games. The day I become pro, I'll put that in, promise.
END-GAME STATS!!?!?! It's pure **** without the END-GAME STATS!!!! Pretty much the same deal.
I would like to thank Mikuroo for his input and also Jhoijhoi's very helpful guide on how to make a guide, which I've I have read before starting and referenced heavily for updating my build.
Style of the Guide
This is my personal excuse to the world of MobaFire.
- I try to give technical details about some of my techniques and methods. It's hard to be concise when there aren't technical terms to use, so sorry for some of the blocks of text.
- Colors and cool bbCode is great if you're good at it, but I'm not that great, so there is a certain lack of color.
I put in five builds. I'm writing this as a reference. I want people to pick the right build, and then be able to use it as a quick reference in-game. It's important that it be convenient and quick to use, and Situational Item sections just don't cut it for speed of use.
1.0 Original Publish
1.1 Updated masteries and runes to better synergize with build and overall strategy.
1.2 Added Luxury section and additional justification for tank-'gath. No vids yet, sorry. Have not played solo vs. duo in a while, but I'm trying.
1.3 Completely redid the item section and have still not done the videos. I've been trying new champs a lot, so I haven't had a solid example to put on my Youtube profile and embed. There are still some nasty chunks of text, but I'm working on those.
1.4 General consistency updating. Thought about videoing, but still haven't done it.
1.5 Added a section, made a change after finding a legit AS-inclusive build.
1.6 Complete overhall of styling and formatting.
1.7 Archived for two reasons. 1. I no longer play Cho'gath that much. 2. I haven't been playing Cho'gath as much. Without current experience as a solo top monster, I feel that I shouldn't be telling other people how to do that.