Build Guide by Ray~2
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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.
Premise: i'm an italian guy, so i hope my english is well enough to be understandable :)
Before creating this build i asked myself what was the best feature of Cho'Gath. After some time, i realized that is undoubtedly his capacity to grow during the match, incessantly. So i created a build that recall this characteristic; i tested it many times and finally decide to publish it. First, let's analyze Choggy a little.
Insane amount of Health.
Growing quickly during the match.
Long range / knocking in the air ability.
Feast (high amount of damage and truly amusing: "NUM NUM NUM!").
Really useful in team fight (silencing, slowing and being targeted instead of your Carry champions).
Carnivore is difficult to master.
Rupture is difficult to master.
You'll be targeted so that you can't get your six stacks in feast.
Carnivore: Whenever Cho'Gath kills a unit, he recovers 40 - 82 (based on level) health and 8-16 mana.
( this is a good passive. Not excellent, but good. If you can spam well rupture and feral scream, this passive can help you to stay in the lane longer, if you can't, it's good anyway to get it casually killing minions and stuff. )
Rupture: Ruptures the ground at target location. After a short delay, enemies are launched into the air for 1 second, dealt 80 / 135 / 190 / 245 / 305 (+100% of ability power) magic damage, and have their movement speed slowed by 60% for 3 seconds.
Cooldown 10 seconds | Cost 80 / 90 / 100 / 110 / 120 mana | Range 950
( rupture is a spectacular move, if you can use it well. It's difficult to aim, but get some experience and this ability will become your best friend: can knock in the air, slow and do an impressive amount of damage. Rupture uses 100% of your ability power so it's a good idea to buff Cho'Gath with some item that increase his AP )
Feral Scream: Cho'Gath screams in a cone in front of him, silencing enemies for 2 / 2.5 / 3 / 3.5 / 4 second(s) and causing 80 / 130 / 180 / 240 / 300 (+70% of ability power) magic damage.
Cooldown 16 seconds | Cost 70 / 80 / 90 / 100 / 110 mana | Range 300
( again, an ability that become more frightening with an high ability power. It silence for 4 seconds so it could turn the table in most of team fights. Wait for use it, wait for the champions to be all near so that you can hit them all. )
Vorpal Spikes: Toggle: Cho'gath's physical attacks launch spikes which deal 20 / 30 / 40 / 50 / 60 (+20% of ability power) magic damage to a line in front of him.
( your best farming instruments. This ability is a passive - not literally, but it works the same way - that can add further damage based on your ability power on every attack you make. Useful on farming in the early game, frightening on the late. )
Feast: Deals 300 / 550 / 800 (+50% of ability power) damage to target champion, or 1000 damage to target minion (ignores resists).
If the target is killed by Feast, Cho'Gath grows, gaining 90 / 120 / 150 maximum health (maximum 6 stacks). Cho'Gath loses up to 3 stacks upon death.
Cooldown 60 seconds | Cost 100 mana | Range 100
( The most amusing skill ever. Feast is feast: bonus health and an insane amount of damage. Play really defensive to gain the six stacks; aggresivly after. What else? )
Now, for the spells. I choose Exhaust and Cleanse but it really depends on how you play.
Exhaust: Exhaust is the exact contrary of Ghost, plus the blinding effect (and the magic resist and armor reduction). So, why choose Ghost? Let's imagine that you are chased by 2 or 3 enemy champions: with Ghost you can flee away, but exhaust can target only one of them. Why choose Exhaust, instead? Exhaust will help you greatly in doing first blood, and it's even great in team fight and helping your allies, which ghost can't do.
Cleanse: This saved my life so many times... and thanks to cleanse i killed innumerable arrogant Ryzes who thinked that i couldn't touch them when i was in their rune prison. They were wrong: Cleanse, Feast, Kill. That's all. Cleans can be easly replaced with Quicksilver Sash, an item that i often buy instead of the Force of Nature that give you magic resist and the same active effect that cleanse have.
Fortify: Fortify it's an excellent spell that no one wants to take, that can save your team often and prevent your enemies getting much gold and advantage in the early game. As a tank, Cho'Gath should consider taking this if the support does not: in this case you can skip cleanse and take a Quicksilver Sash instead of the Force of Nature, so that you don't lose the cleanse effect.
Ignite: Another good choice. Can kill champions that you failed to feast, but can't help you flee like ghost does. That's why i prefer Ghost/Exhaust to this.
Flash: Flash is a excellent spell that can help you killing enemies who survived your feast or fleeing away when chased. I prefer Ghost/Exhaust, anyway, because i'm not much skilled when it comes to flashing away and it happens often that i flash, the enemy cast ghost or exhaust and he catch me.
This is the only spells you should consider to take; any other spell is unnecessary or useless to Cho'Gath, IMHO.
Runes - i prefer runes "per level" for this build for a simple reason: you are increasing. At the beginning you are not killing (so remember play defensively!) but in the end you'll be a freaking and frightening monster. Health stacks with feasts, AP stacks with the items, magic penetration is always a good thing to have when you do magic damage. Classic. <i>Movement speed</i> are incredible useful for chasing, fleeing and such - trust me.
Now, for the masteries. I went for a classic 9 / 21 / 0. Cho'Gath is a pure tank, so building up his defense is always a good idea. Evasion stacks with the Tabi, so i took it. The other masteries need no explanation. For the offensive tree, instead, i took cripple to empower my exhaust spell, Archmage Savvy to gain more AP per level and Archaic Knowledge to get mor magic penetration. With this, you will do epic damage with all of your spells, expecially late game.
Mid game: Finally, you will start to feast: gaining the six stacks that this ability gives is fundamental to your performance. Feast on minions, feast on monsters (is a good way to get the buffes too, expecially tha golem's buff - very helpufl to Cho'Gath)... obviously on champions too, but only if you're sure to kill them. The important thing is to gain the six stacks as soon as possible. When that appens, you'll finally be ready to kill: now you can start harassing the enemies often, you can feast on them to scare them (and kill with Exhaust ;D), you can move around the field being a Huge, Frightening, Dinosaur/Insect/Dragon - Like. If you have played well in the early game (defensively, without feeding the enemies), you will survive most of the ganks too - that doesn't mean you have to be found alone in the open: Cho'Gath isn't useful to backdooring alone unless you're getting the Atma's impaler, so stick with your mates and help them harassing the enemies first; hopefully they'll target you, your mates will kill them and you'll survive. Your huge amount of Health will let you survive terrible situations, so remeber it: your job is to be the target for the enemies when your mates kill them, and hopefully do some damage, not the contrary ;D As you are a tank, you should buy the oracle elixir around levels 6/8 if there are stealth and squishy champions in the opponent team (like Twitch or Evelynn). Around 15:00 minute, it's time to put another ward (sight or vision) near Baron Nashor, if you're playing in the summoner's rift (and near the dragon around 10:00 if you're playing in the twisted treeline) - with this, you and you're team can gank the opponents when they are fighting the epic monster, getting easly an entire team kill.
Late game: Now your role will be fundamental to the team: you are huge; you have an insane amount of health (around 5K with feast and items bonuses), so use it. You have to be the first person to charge the enemies, the one in the front lines - you have to provoke them and push them to target you. Mostly, you have to die for your team - but what's the funny part? If your team will do a great job killing the enemies when they're targeting you, wou will not die at all. So remember: you must start the charge, but not finish it (you have Exhaust and Cleanse to flee difficult situations). Hopefully you'll get tons of kills/assists too, that will help you get a full equipment, making you litterally invincible. Remember that Rupture and Feral Scream are insanely useful in team fights, knocking in the air 2 or 3 opponents or silencing all of them at once for several seconds (and with your equipment, this skills will do great damage too!). Feasting, then, is excellent: most of your enemies will be shouting "What the hell happened???" when they'll find themselfs dying with half of their maximum health. Your other role is to help someone backdooring the towers: you can now take several shots from the towers, so don't panic and charge them when a champion great at backdooring is following you (like Yi) - they will surely destroy the tower and you will be nowhere near to die.
First of all, start with the Regrowth Pendant(15 Health per 5 sec.) and eventually a Mana Potion, this object can help you staying in lane longer: when you are low life you'll need only to hug your tower for a few seconds to replenish your health. Regrowth Pendant is an important item for this build 'cause can be built into the Philosopher's Stone(5 Gold per 10 Sec, 22.5 Health per 5 Sec, 10 Mana per 5 Sec) an excellent item expecially early game, when for Cho'Gath is hard to farm on creeps. Build this as soon as possible, 'cause it will open the road for much more expensive items. Then, depending on how is it the opponent team, you should consider buying Sorcerer's Shoes(if the enemy team is imbalanced and/or you will not need armor or early game) or Ninja Tabi(if they are well rounded and you are going to need armor). In any case buy only the Boots of speed(enhanced movement 1), build one or two Kage's Lucky Pick(25 ability power, 5 gold per 10 sec) and only after that, make your choice on what boots you should buy. With +50 ability power, +22.5 Health per 5 Sec, +10 Mana per 5 Sec and a little bit of armor or magic penetration, your early game is set.
A little more Health will be necessary, so build a Kindlegem(+200 Health CDR 10%); a cheap item that can help you harassing the opponents more often and it's necessary for your future Shurelya's Reverie. Now it's time for building up your magic resist: Force of Nature(+40 Health Per 5 Sec., +76 Magic resist, +8% Movement speed and more health regen with the passive effect) and Quicksilver Sash(+48 Magic resist, ACTIVE EFFECT: removes all debuffs from your character) are excellent items expecially early game, when you're still in lane: if you've chosen Cleanse as your summoner spell, you should take the Force of Nature; if you've chosen any other summoner spell instead, you should take the Quicksilver Sash that is cheaper (permitting you to buy the most powerful item for this build earlier) and gives you the cleanse active effect. You'll now have scary Health regen, so you can start to tank as well. You will be smiling like dumb when the ignite spells of your opponents will be failing on your health regen like they were not casted at all :)
Now it's time for another great item: the Shurelya's Reverie(+330 Health, 25 Health per 5 sec, 12 Mana per 5 sec, CDR 15%). After buying it, you'll simply feel unstoppable: with this much health and health regen you'll be an excellent tank and moreover you can ghost away your entire team with the active effect.
Now it's time to get ride of that Kage's Lucky Pick you're dragging along at this time of the game: build one of them in a Deathfire Grasp(+60 ability power, 10 Mana per 5 sec, CDR 15%). You now have 30% of cooldown reduction (meaning you can spam your abilities well) and enough mana regen to substain the consumes. The active effect of your Deathfire Grasp it's another excellent part of the play: it deals a damage equal to the 30% of the health to the target with a minimum of 200 damage. There's no carry who can resist in front of your combo Rupture + Feral Scream + Deathfire Grasp + Feast (ghosting with the Shurelya's active effect if it's necessary). Bye bye Te emo; bye bye Twitch - one-shot kill.
At this time the game should be near it's end, so, if it's still running, i suggest make some choices on the next items to take (selling the Kage's Lucky Pick if necessary). Warmog's Armorit's a must to be much more tanky (i usually buy two of them if the game is set ;D), but if the outcome it's not decided yet, a Warmog's Armor and a Guardian Angelmay be a better choice, or, again, a Warmog's Armor and an Atma's Impaleror a Thornmail. It's your choice depending on how the game is doing: if you are in clearly advantage and your team is well fed, you will not need more armor or magic resist - two Warmog's armor may be redundant, but they can give you tons of health, transforming you into an instoppable tank; Guardian Angel it's a good choice if you find yourself dying and losing often your feast stacks, i rarely go with it, but many player appreciate it's passive effect; Atma's impaler and Thornmail, in the end, are excellent items that can give you more armor and damage (passively for the thornmail): it's the perfect choice if the enemy's team is full of melee/fighter champion (you'll no need any more magic resist with this build, so do not consider taking Banshe's veil or similar items). The Atma's Impaler is better for an offensive play, the Thornmail - instead - for a much more defensive tank. Anyway, with this build, farming like normally, you should buy all the equipment in 40:00/50:00 minutes time - this means you'll have better equipment then any of your opponents, every time.
And that's all: the build is still at working so any advice is welcome (even about my poor english, lol X'D)! DON'T MINUS WITHOUT COMMENT, PLEASE.