Cho'Gath Build Guide by AmethystRockStar
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.
Added "Counter Jungling"
Added 2 missing steps/camps from "Jungling Without a Rival"
Added a disclaimer to "Jungling Without a Rival"
Added pictures and icons to several sections
Added a pro :] to "Pros / Cons"
Added a few new buids. (Last 2 builds are strictly item/rune and are still WIP)
Hello, this is my first guide as I've recently come across a great jungle build for Cho'gath which allows for a full on gank on any lane by 6:30 with both buffs, full hp/mana, feast and ghost ready
This guide is for people who have already had jungle and Cho'gath experience. It requires careful positioning so that vorpal spikes hit ALL monsters and so that rupture is used as soon as it can be for maximum stun/damage reducing damage taken.
Cho'gath is a jungling beast, and anyone who says otherwise doesn't know better. Because this guide doesn't focus on Cho'gath's extreme counter-jungle ability and also upon a late start with the enemy's blue, it's better done against a team without a jungler themselves.
Pros / Cons
6 - 7 minutes for level 6
The last build can be ready to gank bot with both buffs at level 4 by 4:45
Strong lane entrances
Great ganks if you can land rupture
Excellent mobility (after mob boots)
Unorthodox route = less likely to be ganked in jungle
Has a great, safe counter-jungle route
Mid-Late game you'll be shredding through minions waves and jungle with your attack speed = amazing farmer
Jungle AP Cho listed hits harder and can auto attack fleeing champions to death not to mention jungle like a golden god
Dependent on HP pots in the early game
Weakest in the enemy jungle unless using a slower but safer counter jungle route
Difficult timing for jungle beginners
I go with smite for obvious reasons. Yes, Cho can jungle without it, but combined with feast, it makes you a buff stealing beast post level 5. It also speeds up the early jungle.
Ghost is important because since this route requires crossing a ravine to steal their blue, it allows you to get there quick and be ready for use again when the ganking phase begins.
Masteries are geared towards typical jungling with less emphasis on damage masteries and more on defense and utility
For slightly faster jungling with less defense, max out Alacrity and put more points in CDR and penetration and scrap Evasion, Nimbleness, and some of the defense masters (though I enjoy the extra health if I feel like soling blue at level 1).
Skill sequencing is based around getting a point in rupture, 2 in vorpal, 1 in feral scream, and of course 1 in feast. This allows for superior ganking with mana/damage efficient jungling until level 6.
After your first (or first few) ganks, the skill sequence is based around what you need more. For more superior lane watching and farming, level E. Against a team with more casters, level W faster. I typically don't put more than 2 points in rupture and level it last since its stun time doesn't scale. I'm of course always leveling feast when I can.
Because Cho'gath carries some serious top-tier jungle weight, specific runes are not required. My choice of runes focuses on faster jungling with attack speed marks
, extended longevity with armor seals
, and more efficient jungling/ganking with AP glyphs
. Quints are for extra health
, attack speed
, and AP
for overall buffing of jungle game.
The more aggressive Cho build has an extra attack speed quint instead of a health quint for ripping through the jungle faster and synergizing with malady and sheen early game
First of all, the item purchases here are geared towards the situations I find myself in most commonly. Beyond the health pots, it is extremely flexible which items you choose.
I start with only 9 health pots because cloth armor only builds into frozen heart. I reserve frozen heart if I'm full on tanking or my team is full of squishy carries. If you want to start with cloth armor , it's better to get 5 health pots and run the counter-jungle route with a blue pill in between. By not buying cloth, you can start stacking more damage dealing or tanking items and save money for those expensive mob boots that allow Cho to be a super mobile gank machine.
9 health pots are not always required (I've done it with 8 as well), but it helps for surprise set backs and a quicker stronger gank. By level 6, you'll be popping that last health pot as you wipe out your golems and ascend into jungle mastery. After you get a gank or two, head back to start on your core items. This build is very flexible after the 9 health pots, and at times if I'm dominating and we need AP, I'll start stacking mejai's and leviathan for some fun late game dominance.
Other items I recommend:
Banshee's Veil for more MR
Spirit Visage (for extra early MR and faster jungling if you're too poor for a FoN)
Thornmail for auto attackers if they have a lot of Armor Pen and Frozen Heart just wasn't enough (but you should always get Frozen Heart over Thornmail if you must choose)
For the more agressive AP jungle Cho, I suggest Sheen and Malady early on. Turn Malady into a Lich Bane and sell sheen off for either a FoN or a Frozen Heart depending on the other team. The FoN gives you more regen and health resist, while the Frozen Heart is great versus a lot of AD champs as it gives good armor and great CD reduction.
With Sheen and Malady, you will hurt them badly early and mid game. These two items allow you to tear through a jungle so fast it'll leave a WW dieing for your secret. You'll have buffs whenever you feel like it, since you can get there faster and kill it faster. Finally, the extra attack speed, combined with stacking magic resistance reduction with Malady and a Red buff will allow you to chase down and melee almost any champ to death while they run away from your sick gank. After you get Rylai's you wont even need red to chase down your meal.
The final Cho listed starts with an elixir and 5 health pots at blue. He goes wolves, wraiths, red, golems, and is ready to gank with both buffs at level 4 and practically full health by 3:40 with half an agility elixir left for red shredding on your gank victim. This build is still in experimentation.
Jungling Without a Rival
This route is incredibly simple and keeps you pretty strong throughout the process. Combined with constantly having blue, 9 health pots, and carnivore, Cho can massacre the jungle and still be almost at full health. I'm going to post the route from here in a different format for quicker reference:
Start out here with vorpal spikes. Engage the first golem with melee and smite him outright. Also drink a health potion after you smite. After killing golem number 2, level Q and chug a SECOND potion as you lumber towards
Start out with Q and focus the large wraith, making sure your vorpal spikes strike most or all 3 of the smaller wraiths. For all monster camps, as long as a large monster is present, focus it until death. Otherwise, keep in mind that when a small monster is down to almost no health that switching targets is very efficient as the vorpal spikes will finish off the first monster as you focus the second. When you finish on your wraiths, POP GHOST IMMEDIATELY WHILE DRINKING a health pot as you head over to
Start out with a Q and focus the golem down. It's important that you popped ghost on the way here while you drank a potion so that you're not still injured from your wraiths. Also, if you popped ghost on the way, it'll be ready right as you set up your level 6 gank. Use Q as often as possible while focusing the golem and use smite as soon as it's up. In the middle of fighting blue, you'll need to pop another health pot (DIRECTLY after the one from the trip over wears off) which should finish right as you're finishing the golem. Level E. It's at this point that you're your weakest, and the potion you drank during blue wears off right as you start the next camp, so it's important to down that health potion right as you start
DISCLAIMER: The more I use this build in premmades, the more I realize that good premmades will ward their blue even if they don't have a jungler and will commonly try to gank you when you go for this. If there are a lot of mia's, or mid is missing, make sure you either ward outside the bush for a good headstart out, or simply take your own blue for safety and take theirs after you've nom'd a few of their teammates.
You'll only need 1 or 2 ruptures to take these guys down, and your potion should wear off right as the last one dies. Chug another potion and go to
You've now completed the hardest part! It's downhill from here to gankcity. Take the route past your outside middle turret if your mid has pushed the lane to their tower. Otherwise, move behind the middle bushes through the river past your deceased wraiths so that their middle can't see you just stole blue. If none of that matters to you, take the route through mid and steal some XP (especially if the enemy mid is gone). This will get you closer to leveling sooner. Pop a rupture and focus down the wolves totally potionless. After you finish wolves, head down to
They should spawn right as you finish wolves if you did it right. Open with Q as usual, but you should only need it once. After you finish, you should be at almost full health and, after drinking zero potions since you started on THEIR Wolves you should still have AT LEAST 3 HEALTH POTS as you transition to
Easiest part. By now you will have leveled Q twice, E twice, and W sometime during red. Drink pots continuously and you should be at almost full health and mana as you kill red. You'll be using a smite for this one as well. Head to your next area,
Remember these guys? They're cake now. Focus them down and use Q liberally. Shouldn't need potions here. Moving on back up to
Here's where you take the blue for the gank. Focus down the golem and use rupture as often as possible. You may want to drink your last potion sometime at the beginning or middle of fighting blue, since smite is going either be used at red, or at this blue if you decide you want to use it for that instead. The final step before setting foot in the lanes is to make a pit stop at
1 rupture and just auto attack them to death. Should hardly make a scratch to your health. From here pick a lane and start walking.
You should have finished all of this in under 7 minutes. In total, you've smited a golem, their blue, and your red/blue. When you're finished with your wolves the second time, smite should be close to being up again, ghost will be totally ready, and you should be close to or at level 6. You're now ready for the reason jungle Cho is serious business.
Jungling solo without any rival jungler makes for an easy game as long as your lanes call mia's. I've had countless times where the trip to my blue was impeded by the bottom lane enemies. But if you're up against another jungler, your plans need to change.
Generally, I use the standard cloth armor and 5 health pots when going against any sort of rival jungler. I never try to gank their wraits or golems, and typically I'll only get the team in on a blue steal if it's Fiddle or Ammumu I'm against. Otherwise, I typically use this path:
Smite the blue wraith and vorpal the rest to death. Shouldn't need a potion here.
Focus the big wolf and drink a potion. After you drop the main wolf, you should hit level 2 and put a point in rupture. Drop a single rupture on the pups and finish them off. If you're more than 150 health points shy of full, start drinking another potion as you're walking to
By now smite should be around a 25 second cooldown. Open up with a rupture and drink that second health potion if you didn't right after wolves. Focus down the main golem and drop ruptures whenever possible. Smite to kill. Start drinking a third potion as the second wears off. Now that you have blue, it's time for some counter jungling. Cross the ravine directly after smiting blue and with the third potion you should be at about full health. Our goal in crossing here is to catch them at red, since junglers go for red after blue usually. As you cross over, first check
If there are wraiths present, go ahead and massacre them real quick with a couple ruptures and auto attacks. If there weren't any wraiths, skip that. Either way, you want to go next to
This is where you can shine. If wraiths are gone, chances are they'll be there any second. Be sure to enter the red camp from the bush side and hide in the forefront of the bushes for a rupture ambush. If you're even a little low on health, chug another potion and pop ghost as you chase them out of their own jungle. Few champs can stand up to a Cho'gath with full hp/mp and a blue buff. Be patient when you're waiting. Sometimes it pays off to sit in the bushes for a bit longer than you wanted. If they don't show, steal red as fast as you can and get the hell out since you'll probably be weakened.
If stealing red is too scary for you or for some reason red is already gone, take out their golems using smite and then go back for your red. At this point, you'll be using those last 2 health pots for either ganking their jungle, stealing wraiths and/or red, and for starting on your own red.
If their running a similar route and are already stealing your red, that's fine. You'll take theirs and be at near maximum health for a lane gank. Few junglers can stand up to Cho's sustainability, and only on rare occasion do I finish off their red and need a blue pill before I gank a lane.
But one of the most important aspects of counter jungling is making sure you know where their jungler is at all times. You should be buying wards whenever possible and putting them up first in their blue and red, then your own buffs. After that, post wards in lane bushes and major jungle paths. Drink an oracle's elixir and start removing their wards at any time. From now on, it's your responsibility to know when their jungler is going for a gank.
After level 6, you should be finishing off buffs like a NFL linebacker on steroids with your smite+feast combo. Steal buffs whenever you can and use yours as soon as they spawn. Let your team know with text AND a ping where you'll be ganking next. Also tell them when feast is up and when it's down.
Ganking is my favorite phase. This is the point that people will throw up gg's if you did it right and your teammates will all **** bricks because they've never seen a jungle Cho.
After you've finished jungling, you'll be within inches of getting to level 6 (or at it if you sharked enough XP from mid). This is where you find a lane and hide in the bushes. Typically, mid is the easiest since it's close and is very gankable. If solo top is struggling, head there first and help them push back from the tower. Either way, wait in the bushes until you sap enough XP to level up. This process should only take up to 20 seconds, and any longer means you should move out and grab XP as you speed towards your target.
The ganking process is quite simple. Wait until a squishy or weakened champion is close to your bush or within stunning distance from the bush. If you need to, make sure the lane is pushed properly so that you have easier access to enemy champs. Coordinate this with the respective lane holders and make sure you ping before you strike so that your team knows you're going for the kill. Finally, make sure feast is leveled (or level it as you're running out). At the moment of the kill, drop a rupture right behind and slightly overlapping the target. A rupture from the bush is hard to anticipate and sometimes the target wont notice at all! If they do notice, they will instinctively run backwards further into the AOE of rupture. Pop a ghost immediately after, melee once, feral scream , melee, feast. Anyone who survives that either has to go back immediately or they will be picked off by your teammate. Otherwise, have fun eating up their champion and being at full health. This plus a little lane experience will push you to level 7. If you got two kills, even better. It's time to go back and buy some mob boots so that you can rule the arena.
Post Level 6 and Post Jungle
Blue pill after you've had your fill of murder and buy some mob boots
STAT. This will allow you to be more effective and faster at ganking. After boots of mobility, you should have some extra cash, with which you can buy health pots for lane babysitting. As a commenter pointed out, Cho hardly needs health potions after level 4. I only buy more health potions for saving a weak lane, which usually requires me to take some hits while the solo goes back.
Whether or not you intend to jungle further, save and push lanes, or keep slaughtering like the insanely fast beast you are, you should grab your blue on the way out. Focus it down with Q and smite, then finish it off when it hits 1000 health with a feast. Now you have one or two stacks and are ready to jungle further or massively threaten a lane. For more ganking fun, run over to their red side and empty their jungle. You'll have a fresh red and still generous looking blue for all your further needs. Carry your team through mid and try let your carries have some kills if you can resist feasting. Of course standard Cho rules apply - Q+W waves for massive harvest, feast on minions when there isn't an enemy champ asking for death, and make sure you go into all chat and type "OM NOM NOM NOM NOM" whenever you feast any enemy champ.
If you're playing a more AP focused jungle Cho, be more aggressive and initiate less when team fights come to happen.
Jungle AP Cho is for a team with an already dedicated tank
I hope this guide has been of some use to you. Please remember that this is my first guide and I'm very new to MOBAFire. Therefore, I'm completely open to any kinds of constructive criticism or suggestions. But please be gentle, it's my first time ;]
P.S. Remember to express your opinion about this guide with a vote!