Cho'Gath Build Guide by Evulbacon
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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.
Here's a rather low-ELO player's guide to Cho'Gath, whom in my opinion is one of the most satisfying characters to play in this game. Cho is best played as a tank, in my opinion. He can be played as AP as well, but that role would be better filled by someone like Anivia or Malzahar.
I like to play him with a little bit of AP thrown in there as well. It makes you that much more scary, and you'll be able to pretty much one-combo a carry if you're not having a bad game.
I've played Cho for a couple of months, and now I thought I'd share the builds and strategies that I've found working at my level.
Pros / Cons
- Pros/Cons -
Considering I build Cho neither full tank nor AP, I'll go through this here.
- You'll be doing decent amounts of damage to squishies, considering your tankiness.
- You'll still be tanky. If you can keep your feast stacks up, you'll be near unkillable.
- You're a great solo laner.
- You're CHO! You've got huge amounts of CC. You'll be able to peel assassins and carries off of your squishies no problem.
- You have a top hat.
- Your damage won't be enough to be dangerous to tanks or bruisers.
- You're a tank, or rather, an off-tank, that needs farm. And a lot of it.
- You depend on your feast stacks to remain dangerous and tanky.
- Your teammates might accuse you of "killstealing" when you misjudge your feast damage in a team fight.
- Your team will be jealous of your hat.
- Runes -
For Reds, I go with 9 x
This allows me to put out a rather large amount of damage throughout the game. These runes allow me to zone my lane opponent easier, and it can mean the difference between a kill and an opponent escaping with 20 HP. You could go Flat AP here, but I think that MPen scale better into the mid and late game.
For Yellows, I go with 9 x
These should be pretty obvious. They synergize well with Nimbleness, and the less auto-attacks you take to the face, the longer you will be able to stay in lane or survive.
My Blue runes consist of 9 x
These runes are GREAT for early-game fights and laning alike. Considering many, many champions in this game rely heavily on magic damage for early-game harassment and poking, these will allow you to stay alive that much longer.
My personal preference for Quintessences are 3 x . You -could- go with 3 x , if you want more damage.
The health quintessences scale well with the Greater Glyph of Magic Resist, and considering you already have a rather large health pool, you will most likely intimidate your lane opponent(s). They are also great in the early game, considering neither of you will have that much resistances. They are also better than resistance quints once you hit the point where the diminishing returns on resistances are so high that flat health is just better.
Magic Penetration quintessences can be really useful if you're up against someone like Galio, or if you feel that you just need more damage. Considering your only source of magic penetration will likely be runes and masteries, this could be great. I haven't used it a lot, but it's all down to personal preference.
- Masteries -
I go with 9/21/0 for Cho. Get Archaic Knowledge and Improved Exhaust in Offense, Nimbleness and 2 points in Ardor in Defense. I prefer Ardor over Defensive Mastery because In my opinion, it scales better into the later game stages.
Archaic Knowledge gives you that much more "oomph" in your harassment and it means a lot when you're going in for a kill.
Defensive Mastery can be great if you're playing very offensively, but when I play Cho I prefer to zone my opponent and play passive-agressively, meaning you wait for them to take the initiative, and then you smack their face into the ground.
You can also go with a 0/21/9 build, grabbing Awareness in Utility in order to possibly out-level your lane opponent, which would lead to you zoning him out even further, giving him even less experience, which in essence will snowball you into eventually grabbing a kill on your lane opponent.
In the end, it's all down to personal preference. The first build scales better into the late-game, making you more of a threat, which will indirectly force the enemy team to target you, which is what we want, right? ;3
- Items -
For starting items, I go with a and two .
This allows you to stay in lane for longer periods of time and you'll be able to harass more. You could go with a , a and a . This enables you to harass more, although shortening your potential time in the lane.
On your first trip back to the base, make sure you can get yourself a Catalyst The Protector. If possible, stay in lane until you can afford both the Catalyst The Protector and .
Finish your boots as soon as possible.
Next up, either finish your OR build it into a if you feel that you're getting stomped in the lane.
This is your core. Now, for the situational items. I usually go for a . This gives you even more mana, allowing you to stay out in the open for longer periods of time. It gives you a sweet armor bost, and, most importantly, it gives you a huge amount of CDR. This allows you to stack up faster after a lost team fight, and it enables you to further disrupt the enemy team with and annoy the enemy AP carry with .
If the enemy AD carry is ripping you apart, go for either or . gives you slightly more damage, in case it's needed. on the other hand gives you even more CC. It even gives you a slight amount of CDR, which is neat for your .
The last item is your choice. You could go with a resistance item like OR an item like . makes you a CC monster. Your will slow. Entire teams will be thrown into the air by your . Your will gain stacks. Fun times will be had. You will recieve rage from the opposing team.
Why not focus on buying health items? Simple. Your Feast Will easily push you above 4k HP if fully stacked.
Also, is GREAT if you can afford it. Buy it when you've just finished an item and have cash over, or if you're forced to go back with a low amount of gold. The AP on this is awesome. The CDR is awesome as well. There's nothing that ISN'T awesome about this item. And it's only 250 gold.
And don't forget to buy wards!
- Skills -
This is pretty standard, with a few changes. Put a point in at Level 1. This is great CC and good damage for level 1 fights. I then put two points in for harassment and farming/pushing when needed. At Level 4, I put a point in for easier last-hitting, farming, and slightly better harassment.
From this point onwards, the skill order goes like this: > > >
Now you might ask, why do I max Feral Scream before Rupture?
Simple. Rupture is a skillshot. Feral Scream is a skillshot as well, albeit MUCH easier to hit with. While Rupture might have superior POTENTIAL damage, Feral Scream will net you more damage in practice.
Also, I don't like maxing Vorpal Spikes before Rupture. While Vorpal Spikes might net you more damage over the course of time, Rupture gives you more up-front damage This allows you to catch your opponent by surprise, and will make it easier for you to pick up kills.
- Summoner Spells -
My personal preferences here are and
Flash is, simply put, THE best summoner spell in this game. It's so versatile. Flash in to Feast someone. Flash over a wall to get out of harm's way. Flash into the Baron-pit to Feast-steal it. Overall, an awesome one.
I like Exhaust for my second one. I find this one great to shut down the enemy carries. Since you'll be in the fray at all times, you'll always be in range to cast it. It can also be used in order to catch a runner. Overall, a great summoner spell to have on a tank.
This is useful if you're having mana problems in the lane. Cho eats mana like no other.
Not optimal, although I have picked up a few assists and even a kill or two with this one. Pick this if your team needs it.
You're supposed to be in the face of people, tanking the CC for your team. You could make great use of this, by saving yourself or someone else. I just don't like it.
This is a good one. You clear minion waves within seconds. You can easily use this to prevent the opposing team from pushing or to push a lane yourself if needed.
If you don't like Flash, grab this one. Not as great for surprises and escaping through the jungle, although great for chasing and escaping if you're in the open, like in the river or in a lane.
Some people have used this to great effect on Pantheon. Cho'Gath is not Pantheon. That's all that needs to be said.
Your support should carry this. Your team needs this. Only grab it if you're POSITIVELY the only one that can carry this one.
Could be used for baiting. For lane-sustainment, you have Carnivore.
Have you ever seen someone use this, yielding positive results? Was it an AP-based tank? No, that's what I thought.
If you're using an AP guide, this is a great one to pick up kills. In this guide, we're focusing on tanking. Ignite is not for the tanks.
- Working with the Team -
You're most likely the beefiest or the second beefiest member on your team. You should position yourself in the front lines, ready to disrupt and hurt the enemy team, while concentrating on peeling assassins and other enemies off of your squishies.
If you can get into position for it, do your best to land your combo in the face of the enemy carry. Throw him into the air with Rupture. Make him deaf with Feral Scream. Eat his face with Feast. If this didn't kill him, he will most likely be running away with a sliver of health, making it an easy job for your team to mop up the rest of the enemy team.
Landing your Rupture is EXTREMELY important! Practice this. This is what will make or break you as Cho'Gath. This is what separates the good Cho'Gath's from the great ones. I cannot stress this enough. Practice this. Practice again. And again. Ultimately, you'll want to hit almost every single one.
- Farming -
This is a short chapter. Basically, you want to turn your Vorpal Spikes off if you want to keep your lane un-pushed for as long as possible.
If you need to farm up quickly, run ahead of your minion wave to gather the enemy minions up. Throw out a Rupture and a Feral Scream, and you are 150 gold richer. Don't worry about the health you've lost from pulling the minions -- Carnivore will give it back.
- Summary -
So, here we are, at the end of the guide. To sum this one up:
- Make sure to keep your Feast stacks going. Don't die.
- Keep the enemies off your carries! Let them know what happens if they overextend.
- Make sure to farm well! That's the reason you're going solo top. Make sure to last-hit properly.
And most importantly: Buy Gentleman Cho'Gath. This is the best skin in the game. Period.