Build Guide by Malakat
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Hello and welcome to my Cho'Gath guide. This is how I like to play this champion and how I think he should be played. You will be building him mostly as a tank, picking up a bit of AP along the way. This build is designed to have a strong early game, to be able to get fed quick and dominate later.
Cho'Gath is good in a duo lane, but no more than that. The place where he's at his strongest is solo top, especially when up against two. He can hold his own against and even dominate most combos. Try to get a solo lane if you can!
Skill Sequence and Tips
Always start with a rank in Rupture. The best thing about this skill is that you need to be nowhere near your enemy to harass them. This, in combination with his passive is also what that makes Cho'Gath a beast when laning alone against two. Always max this first in a 1v2 situation or if you're being heavily harassed.
Vorpal Spikes has its uses. It is insanely good for farming with no mana cost at all. Get a rank at level 2 and max first if you're allowed to hit on the creeps and don't really care about harassing the enemy. Don't underestimate its harassing capabilities though! Your melee attacks can devestate squishies with a few ranks in this. It can also be used to somewhat harass champions behind a creep you're hitting if aimed correctly. If you did not start by maxing this, get it last. The other skills are more important when team fights start breaking out.
Feral Scream is a silence with quite a bit of damage. It's a great skill, but most of its use comes in mid to late game, so I almost never max this first. Even against very magic dependant champions Rupture is typically better, because with that you can harass them from outside their range.
Feast you should of course rank up every time it's available. Know exactly or at least approximately how much damage your Feast does at all times (300/550/800 + 0,5*AP). When you try to gank with this it's a good idea to keep an eye on exactly how much health your opponent has left. Know, that when you see three full bars on the champion health bar it means they have just over 300 health. Click your enemy and you will see the exact number at the top of the screen.
First of all, never rush a Warmog's Armor as your first item. I see so many Cho'Gaths do this and it's just wrong. Cho has plenty of health as it is, especially if you count his Feast stacks (900 extra at its most. That is a lot.), and he gains no increased bonuses from stacking health. Without proper armor and magic resistance you will just be a squishy sack of health.
Doran's Ring - By far the best starting item for Cho. The extra mana regeneration and ability power will not only allow you to harass your opponents better, but you will also be able to kill creeps easier, which in turn regenerates your health and mana ( Carnivore).
Mercury's Threads - Yes. Magic resistance and shortened disables. These are the shoes of choice for almost any team setup. If the enemy team is very physical heavy you can go with Ninja Tabi. Boots of Swiftness can be fun if you feel you can never quite catch up to your food.
Aegis of the Legion - The single most cost efficient defensive item in the game. Get it.
That's it. This is a very cheap and effective core build. You have plenty of magic resistance and enough armor to get by. By this time in the game it's time to see where you stand and have a closer look at the enemy team. Obviously Doran's Ring will be channged for the last item.
Some examples on how you can continue:
The typical all-around build:
Glacial Shroud - cdr very important
Rylai's Crystal Scepter - Remember that this also applies to Vorpal Spikes, effectively applying slow to your melee attacks as well.
Warmog's Armor / Force of Nature
Zhonya's Hourglass / Rabadon's Deathcap
The "I wanna be pure tank!" or "I keep dying." build:
Force of Nature
The "I'm friggin' unstoppable; might as well go full AP" build:
Rylai's Crystal Scepter
What items not to get, why and what to get instead:
Guardian Angel - This, contrary to popular belief, is not a tank item. The hp you get when you come back is next to nothing compared to your pool, and will rarely save you. Also, the graphic effect only works to turn focus away from you, which is not very good if you actually want to tank. The good part about it is that it gives both armor and magic resistance. You could get this on top of Aegis if you're planning to fill the rest of the slots with AP items.
Rod of Ages - This is actually a pretty good item on Cho'Gath, however it's very expensive, and you need to get it quite early to make full use of it. It just doesn't fit anywhere within this build. Rylai's Crystal Scepter gives the same amount of hp, almost as much health and that excellent slow effect.
Atma's Impaler - You shouldn't be building attack damage. If your team desperately needs some extra physical damage you could consider this, but generally Zhonya's Hourglass will allow you to deal more total damage. Also, cooldown reduction.
My rune choices work to cover your weaknesses more than to improve your strengths. It's a pretty standard caster build with some extra magic resistance;
- Magic penetration marks
- Mana regeneration / level seals
- Magic resistance / level glyphs
- Flat Ability power quints
This setup will allow for a strong early game feed your build as quickly as possible, while still supporting you in end game.
. You need every bit of magic penetration you can get. After that you can choose to go either defense or utility;
Defense is the classic way to go. These are well suited for a strong early game, while most of them lose their edge as you get more powerful defensive items.
From the utility tree you want mana regeneration, cooldown reduction and run speed. extra experience and shorter summoner spell cooldowns are a bonus.
Remember that your early game is important, thus I recommend defensive masteries, especially if you're new to the champion. I only go utility when I duo lane.
Cho'Gath is a champion that can be a whole lot of fun to play, and when fed only a little too much can completely dominate a game in the right hands.
Just remember that it's the player that makes the game; not the guide he follows (though it helps).
Thanks for stopping by, good luck and happy nomming.