Cho'Gath Build Guide by BS..
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AP off tank
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.
I'm BS.. and this is my first guide on mobafire featuring one of my favorite champions, Cho'Gath.
Hello I'm probably just like many other people here, borderline silver looking for a quide out there to help me carry my team.
How many times have you been playing a match and you play perfectly fine but another lane feeds and you are unable to win the match because of it?
Well this guide is aimed at exactly that situation. This guide is aimed at supporting your team and keeping them in the fight for as long as possible so that the eventual win goes to you.
I will try and update this guide at least once a week and before you downvote please leave a comment in the appropriate section so that I may understand and improve upon my guide.
Once again this is a guide designed for those player that are in Bronze and trying to pave the way towards silver or silver itself.
Updates and plans for guide
Soon I plan on making a match up section so that players can see the good match ups for Cho'Gath and tactics to use in these fights.
Updated problems with some grammar and bbcoding.
Accidentally had Cloth Armor/Pots as core build. Fixed.
Started lane match up section.
Added more champion match ups.
Added frozen heart to situation builds.
Added more champ match ups.
Fixed more grammar/spelling mistakes.
Rationale around hit points versus armor build.
My AP Health Build and its rationale
This build is one that I have used to help me carry my way through the lower rungs of ranked play. I know many of us are stuck in this category and I'd like to explain the rationale behind this build.
Many top laners nowadays are ad bruisers with little amounts of hard cc but can dish out damage while sustaining it themselves. What does this mean in the overall view? Most top laners are the carry killers. They're the people who run straight through the backline and destroy the carry of the other team or they help protect your own carrys. Cho, however, fills one more role on top of these. He is still what could be called a carry killer and a carry protector but more importantly he has hard aoe cc. This helps him to disrupt the other team much more effectively than many top laners in the current meta.
The reason I have chosen for a nearly straight HP build rather than armor and magic resist is because of the changes to magic pen and armor pen. In the current meta HP is much more effective at taking the brunt of damage than armor or magic resist and Cho'Gath being already naturally tanky and doing quite a bit of damage without ap items fits perfectly with the current meta. This build is strong mid game but truly flourish's in the late game, which I find myself in more and more of late.
At the end of this build with full stacks you will have right around 5.5k HP, although many times you will not make it to the end of the build because it is quite large. By mid point in the game even you will have right around 4.5k HP which is nothing to balk at in itself. Imagine Katarina trying to ult you down... Good luck. Can you take the adc in a 1v1 with both of you at full health? Most likely not because of Cho'Gath's long cool downs, but your triumph could still be a possibility. Should you be facing the adc alone in that situation? No, and you should have the tools to get away from it regardless.
In closing the rationale of this build is that HP will keep you alive longer to tank most anyone but the adc possibly and in team fights you will be continuously cc'ing and aoe damaging the other team because of your extremely long suvivability. This build is also important to me cause of late game monstrosity you become.
Proof of build
These are some of my more recent stats. I'm fairly average on lolking and if this guide takes off I will post a picture of my stats.
I will also accept any submissions of people using my build.
Late/Mid game monster
3 aoe spells
Can be built many different way depending on what your team needs
Insane Ult that has a variety of implementation and uses
If you miss Rupture in lane you have very little follow up
When fully stacked you actually impede your own teams vision
Fairly weak early game
Long Cooldowns which is Cho'Gath's main form of damage
I take Greater Mark of Magic Penetration because we build literally none in our build, in large part due to the true damage of [feast] so we need it to break through the other teams resistances.
We take Greater Seal of Armor because we build no armor till late game and many top laners in the current meta are ad bruisers and we'll need this in order to keep up our survivability in lane despite the power of Carnivore.
The Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power works well with our build because we build ap early and thus don't need flat ap but late game we do not so the bonus is more capable with our build.
That being said picking Greater Quintessence of Ability Power is helpful because it will give you more damage before you get a chance to buy that first item and make them think twice about battling you early on in lane without a jungler.
Other good options would be quints of speed. And flat ap marks to give you an early game edge.
I take 9-21-0 masteries because we need the defense to make up for your lack of armor and magic resist. The 21 points will make you even more naturally tanky than you are and Cho'Gath already has plenty of weapon's to choose from without many offensive masteries.
The 9 offensive points are mainly taken to grant yourself the 8% of ignored magic resistance.
The defensive masteries are used to strengthen the weaknesses my build doens't focus on. I won't go into each individually because they are in many ways a preference. But my rationale for them is that you don't need the health masteries because you're already building plenty of that. Don't bother with the 10% less amount of time on the death clock because you shouldn't be shooting to die. Finally you don't need the small amount of damage reduction because it's not worth it with the amount of hp that you build.
Primary Summoner Spells
I know that there are some summoners out there who prefer Ghost to Flash but I won't put that in my guide. Cho'Gath is bulky and very immobile and many times you can't escape a gank with simply speed. Flash offers him much more versatility both in attacking, positioning, and escaping.
I prefer Teleport to ignite on Cho'Gath because of his immobility and the fact that you will be top lane. You cannot make it to mid or bottom lane if a jungler shows up and the other team is about to get a kill or even a double kill through your mobility alone, this is a fact. However, with teleport you can be there momentarily and let me tell you the other team will be hard pressed to continue their attack with a giant ap off tank Cho'Gath in their path now. You are most likely able to pick up some kills for your team or at the very least dissuade whatever drama has unfolded. Lastly I take this over Ignite because Cho'Gath already has such a strong one hit ultimate that it isn't necesary most of the time.
Second Choice Summoner Spells
That being said Ignite is still a viable option and can be taken if you feel like you may need the extra damage. It is also good for that feast that didn't quite kill that pesky teemo.
I rarely take Exhaust on Cho'Gath but the utility is obvious. It will slow other champions so that you can catch up, reduce their damage output, and render the enemy adc useless in team fights.
JK. Don't take Ghost.
Cho'Gath's passive carnivore is one of the primary reasons that he is, in my opinion a better top lane character than mid. This ability will keep you in lane casting spells without the necesity of building items such as Vampiric Scepter or Hextech Revolver. He matches up quite well many ad bruisers as well because of this ability. He can stay in lane casting spells and sustaining himself longer than many other ap casters out there.
The possibilities of Rupture are endless. This is Cho'Gath's engage, his escape, his team fight disrupter. The ap ration given to this spell +1 per ap is also a force to be reckoned with without having to build much ap at all. This skill is also not the easiest to hit with and is a delayed skill shot.
This skill is (most often) leveled up second due to the fact that the knock-up duration does not increase and it is a skill shot with a somewhat high probability to miss the target.
-Don't be tempted to throw Rupture at a stationary target, they are expecting the stomp and will oftentimes move out of the way.
-Getting ganked? Wait for their jungle to waste his cc drop Rupture at your feet followed by a fast Feral Scream and walk away like they don't exist.
-Target the carrys in team fights and try to knockup champions going after your own apc/adc.
-Notice movements from the enemy champions and throw it WHERE THEY WILL BE, not where they are.
Feral Scream is Cho'Gath's bread and butter early game. It is much easier to hit than Rupture but still a skill shot. This ability is useful both because of its high damage output, +.7 ap ratio, and the long aoe silence that it generates as well. This skill proves menacing to prevent the other teams jungle from getting of a full combo on a gank. In team fights it is also destructive due to the aoe damage and the long duration of the silence enable your own team to have a possibility of getting multiple kills before the other team can even activate any abilities.
-In teams fights the number one priority is the opposing teams apc. Watch him panic as a 2.5 second silence is placed on his only damage source.
-Hit as many people as possible. Think weather it would be better to wait that half a second and hit both your top lane opponent AND the jungler or just one of them.
-This has a very slight delay so be sure to factor that in before throwing it at a champion on the edge of your range running away.
Vorpal Spikes is an often underrated ability that can dish out quite a chunk of damage late game, push your lane fast when need be, and once again providing more aoe damage! This spell helps peal everyone in a team fight with very few even realizing the problem. It has a +.3 ap ratio and this may seem small but after you've built your Rod of Ages and Rylai's Crystal Scepter it will be doing around 130 aoe on top of each basic attack, not to shabby.
-When attacking enemy tower and the other champ is there toggle this ability off as well because it will draw tower aggro.
-Otherwise there is practically no reason to toggle this ability off, keep it on always.
-At full stacks and fully leveled up this ability has 100 range.
Om nom nom! This ability is your finisher and it can also has one of the most unique ability aspects in the game. When you kill an opponent with this ability you grow bigger and gain health as well as a small amount of attack range that can be stack up to 6 times.More importantly this ability deal true damage! Annoyed with that pesky Shen stacking rylai's and sunfire? Not to worry you om nom nom right through it. The true damage of this spell is a truly spectacular aspect that will leave many summoners on the other side of the interwebs frustrated beyond belief.
-However if you do see an opportunity to om nom nom someone by all means do it, more stacks for you, more deaths for them. Cho'Gath op.
-Most of the time you will need to hit either Feral Scream or Rupture in order allow yourself to get into range for this ability in lane phase. Even then a flash might need to be burned in order to secure the kill.
This is my primary start on Cho. It is usefull to have the armor since many top laners are ad bruisers and Cho's early game leaves him quite vulnerable many times. The 5 pots combined with his [carnivore] will make him extremely suvivable in lane.
Use this start if you think you won't have a problem in lane. It will help you escape ganks, chase down your lane partner, and in general be more mobile.
, sight ward, 1
This is a start that I run against champions that I know I will be taking damage from no matter what I do in the early lane phase. Examples would be Teemo, Jayce, and nidalee. The Crystalline Flask will prove to be quite worth the moment because they can auto attack you all day while remaining safe themelves. The addition of the sight ward is also quite nice for obvious reasons.
You are going to be laning top and thus are the most cut off from the rest of the team more often than anybody else. You need sight wards in order to keep and eye out for a potential 2v1. I cannot stress this enough, you should nearly ALWAYS have a ward after the first back.
Rod of Ages is Cho'Gath's core item on this build. This item will make you tanky, allow you to continuously cast your spells, and also give you a nice chunk of ap. What more could Cho'Gath want in an item.
Most times you're gonna want to rush Rod of Ages first but then take at least some level 1 boots. You can choose from either Ninja Tabi is the team is auto attack based or...
Mercury's Treads if the teams is heavy cc/you're in an ap lane matchup.
Remember with boots that you are trying to take damage away from your teammates which is why I prefer these two options to Sorcerer's Shoes. Stage II boots are not really necessary unless the situation warrants it and should be bought at the very earliest mid-game.
Rylai's Crystal Scepter is also essential because as the title implys, this build is all about health. The more hp you have the more damage you tank for your team and this also provide a slow and some nice ap damage. This and rota are your core items.
Non-core item but still primary build
Warmog's Armor is another key component of my build because it provides two things that are quite strong in the current meta; health and regeneration. The 1000 bonus health is nice but the passive stacked with all the other health that you buy as well as your feast is insane. At this point upon buying mog's you should be at about 4k with your stacks which gives you an extra 40 hp regen over 5 seconds.
Randuin's Omen is a great buy because of the active, the passive, and guess what... MORE HP! With this item if you count it up you have 3 aoe spells and 4 cc's, talk about affecting a team fight late game.
Guardian Angel is my personal favorite last item because... Well it's obvious isn't it? It brings you back to life. Another key issue here however is... 30% of your HP with it! Not bad, not bad at all for a champion that's building straight HP.
Spirit Visage is a great alternative as well. It grants cd which can be quite helpful on Cho'Gath. The doubling of your regeneration is also quite effective.
Thornmail can be a good choice if the enemy adc is extremely fed also. Blade of the ruined king for my hp? Let's see who lasts longer with my trusty thornmail returning your own damage back at you.
Does it ever seem like Cho'Gath is in the thick of things taking tons of auto attacks and it's hard to tell who to target? Well look no further than Sunfire Cape because it grants armor which is still nice, some HP which I believe I've gotten my point across about, and another aoe damage passive. It's a win win and can be bought if the situation warrants it.
If your team needs a little extra punch then throw a little bit more ap on your build after your Warmog's Armor with a Rabadon's Deathcap. The benafits of this item are self explanatory and you have plenty of suvivability by this point if your carrys just can't get the job done.
If health just isn't cutting it in situations such as facing: Vi, Kog'Maw, or Volibear, i.e. people with % HP damage then you really should get some armor since HP won't be as effective as in most other match ups. It is a great item with a passive that slows attack speed and cdr which will always benafit Cho'Gath.
Common Lane Matchups
Difficulty - 8
Garen is one of those champions that you're can make life very annoying for you top lane. He doesn't use mana like you so he can spam his abilities and I can tell you with 100% certainty that if he can hit you with his silence, spin to win combo he will. Be careful of this early because it does lots of damage and once he hits six his ult is akin to yours.
-Do not brawl with Garen, you will lose.
-Take advantage of your range if you get the chance
-After you get your Rod of Ages he becomes easier to deal with, wait for him to make a mistake and capitalize.
-Your objective should be to just keep up with garen's farm. He farms extremely well so it is important to not let him take a gold lead on you, this will cause a snowball just as if he was getting kills.
-Late game you have more cc and more aoe, you're stronger in team fights at supporting your team.
Difficulty - 9
Teemo is another one of those champions that can be very pesky in lane do to the fact that he can zone you from your minions with little effort. However, hit teemo with even one Rupture Feral Scream combo and he'll lose a nice chunk of health and think twice. Still, Teemo is quite a nuisance and that is why i recommend running Crystalline Flask, sight ward, and a Health Potion. Until post level six he is arguably your biggest counter in lane.
-Try as hard as you can to get creeps in lane phase but don't drop so low that Teemo can take you out.
-If he moves up on you make him pay.
-Fun Fact: If he blinds you continue to auto attack because Feral Scream will still connect for damage.
-After six he's yours: Rupture, Feral Scream, Feast = Dead Teemo.
-When you get tanky enough if the Teemo is dead and you have full health walk through the bushes before you back to clear out his shroom. This will make it easier for you and your jungler to chase him down.
Difficulty - 3
Riven is a wonderful champion with an awesome skill set that is so perfectly countered by Cho'Gath it's ridiculous. The fact that we get our Feral Scream up first takes away Riven's entire skill set. All in all this should be an easy match for you because you have more sustain, counter her damage, you're tankier, and you have an ult that eats through whatever armor she has bought.
-Most likely you will be able to free farm in this lane, keep up with the Riven at all costs, fed riven is still a big inconvenience.
-If she's going through her combo silence the girl.
-Wait for her to use her escape abilities before throwing rupture because she moves deceivingly quick when using them. I believe they crank her speed up to the equivalent of 475.
-Don't get to low her ult is much stronger the lower your health.
Difficulty - 5
Yorick will try and harass you continuously in lane however Carnivore should help you hang in there with him. In this lane it will be primarily a farming match up once again but one thing that you can and should take advantage of is the fact that you're combo prevents Yorick from casting his slow and thus if you see that he's able to be bursted down you should be able to get off your combo and kill him.
-You should be able to brawl with him after you complete your Rod of Ages or are close-there-too.
-He can harass harder and more insistently than you can but you hit like a truck whereas he hits like a back scratcher.
-If he's level six and his jungler comes then be extremely careful of his ult, a 3v1 is much more difficult than a 2v1.
-Even though you out damage him if he can harass you low enough then his ult and Omen of War can hit surprisingly hard.
Difficulty - 6
Honestly in season 3 Darius doesn't seem to match up quite as well as he did last season. With teams stacking health he has an extremely hard time unless he gets fed early. In a very similar way to Garen do not brawl with Darius but instead wind him down. The difference between Garen and Darius is that Garen's passive will keep him in lane whereas Darius' will not. You have a stronger late game and as you build more health you will be able to with stand his dps as long as you don't go toe to toe while he's at full health.
-Like with Garen take advantage of your range if the opportunity presents itself.
-When he enters a battle try and keep him off of low health members of your team, his ult will take them out quickly and effectively. This is true with ganks as well.
-Wait to throw your Rupture until after Darius has raked you in otherwise it is wasted.
-If you are somehow able to zone him off of his farm then do so, Darius is very reliant upon it.
Difficulty - 5
Wukong is a champion that can hit you quite hard early on and his ult can wreck the team fight stage of game play. He gets less play time now due to the fact that he has little sustain in lane. He has more range than you would think with his Crushing Blow and his Decoy is quite a pain when attempting to hit Rupture. All in all just be careful with throwing your skills shots and you should be able to pull through and win the lane.
-At low level ranked play many Wukong's will start Cloth Armor, 5 Health Potions which doesn't make sense against Cho'Gath. Take advantage of that.
-Don't get baited, Wukong will Nimbus Strike, Crushing Blow, and then decoy away all day. Sometime you just have to let this go and count it as a loss.
-His ult has a knock up! This is more detrimental than most people realize because it allows him to move fully on top of you with ult, and sets up great ganks for the jungler in lane.
-You're tankier than him early game most likely and this means that you can take a little more of what he can dish out than he can from your own combo.
Difficulty - 9
Jayce is one of the hardest champs to face against as Cho'Gath in lane if he knows what he's doing. He's got range on you, a % HP damage ability in Thundering Blow that will shred through our health pretty effectively, and a wide variety of abilities that allow him to gap close as well as escape. You will not have an easy time versus a good Jayce.
-Try and get as much farm as you possibly can because he will most likely keep the wave pushed to your tower in an attempt to deny it to you.
-If he misses his Acceleration Gate/ Shock Blast combo then you have a few seconds before he can nuke you effectively, take advantage of this time.
-Beware of the knock back as well as the % HP damage on Thundering Blow.
-Sometimes you will find it easier to silence Jayce with Feral Scream before attempting your Rupture due to Jayce's mobility.
Difficulty - 4
Lee Sin has a very strong early game than can punish you allow yourself to get hit by his abilities. As on other champions be careful of the Sonic Wave into resonating strike combo because it has a % HP damage built into it. Once he hits 6 Lee Sin's killing power skyrockets just like your own. His q, Dragon's Rage, q combo is especially deadly against our HP build. That being said if you stay behind minions and don't get aggressive then you will dominate the team fights and late game much more than him.
-He's stronger than you early game, don't force anything.
-Your silence will severely limit him since much of his mobility and damage comes from his abilities.
-Beware of the %HP damage in Resonating Strike.
-Get to late game with the same k/d and the same farm as him and you'll be much stronger than him in team fights.
Difficulty - 10
Volibear is going to do the exact same thing that we're trying to do. The difference is that he has a % HP ability and a passive that counters your ult if you miss it. Season three Voli in top lane is quite a force to be recommded with and you should be very cautious when fighting him.
-His bite hurts, stay away from it.
-You might want to call in your jungle to help take him out.
-Beware of his speed, it jumps up considerably when he activates Rolling Thunder.
-Lastly he has just as much cc as you and with a jungler he can burst you extremely fast.
Difficulty - 10
Kayle is a champ that I 100% recommend you do not face if you can avoid it. Her nuke Reckoning is more powerful early game than Rupture and it is not a skill shot as well. Her ranged attack spell Righteous Fury in combination with her nuke/slow in turn deals more damage than she normally would. She can out sustain you as long as she is smart with her mana because of Divine Blessing. To give one last nail in the coffin she can avoid your ult with Intervention. I emplore this, you should only be facing Kayle if you're getting countered after your pick.
- Request help form your jungler, you will need to put the Kayle on a defensive edge.
- Don't try to kill Kayle, out farm her. You can only kill her with a gank.
- Get Health Potions to start the game and most likely you should buy a Crystalline Flask.
- Be wary of Intervention if she's not silenced and you're trying to om nom nom.
Difficulty - 4
Elise is another champion that you have to watch out for because of Neurotoxin and Venomous Bite dealing %HP damage. I don't think I have to continue to reiterate why this is a problem with the core of our build. On top of that she can be quite a pain with 6 activatable abilities, an awesome escape with Rappel, and finally a stun that last's .5 seconds longer than your knock up. That being said you have a 2.5 second silence, an execute ability, and you have far more lane sustain with Carnivore.
-If she wants to continuously waste her stun... Let her, she'll run out of mana far faster than you because of your passive.
-Her Rappel can only zip to enemy units so if your surrounded by friendlys and not in a jungle, she can zip to jungle units don't forget, then she will come down in the same spot she went up.
-If she's silenced she literally has no killing power so take advantage and don't let her use her abilities.
-She can hit hard with her %HP damage but many Elise's build lots of armor and your Feast deals true damage directly through it.
Difficulty - 3
Diana is a scary champion because of her heavy snowballing. She's also unique because like Kassadin she is a melee ap assassin. However, since the nerfs to her Crescent Strike, the aoe on her Pale Cascade, and the reduction on the range of Lunar Rush she isn't nearly the threat that she used to be. Dodge her Crescent Strike and her killing power is significantly reduced. If she jumps on you without hitting her Crescent Strike then just silence her and you're fine. All in all your stronger than her as you pack on more and more HP.
- Crescent Strike is the key to her burst and it is easily baited out.
-Beware of the reset on Lunar Rush.
-Do not underestimate her if she hits her Crescent strike, she bursts for an intense amount of damage even with her nerfs.
-Wait to throw Rupture until after she has used Moonfall.
Time constraints have me turning out champion match ups slightly slower than I would like. Many of the ones already listed are some of the champions you're most likely to face as well as ones that I believed you would have difficulty with. Upcoming are some difficulty assessments of champions. Descriptions of probable encounters with them and tips on how to deal with the champions will be forthcoming in the next few days. Until then stick to the tips section from the skill sequence section of the guide.
Difficulty - 5
Difficulty - 2
Difficulty - 4
Difficulty - 7
Difficulty - 6
Difficulty - 7
Difficulty - 6
Difficult - 3
Difficulty - 4
Difficulty - 9
Difficulty - 1
Quick comment, his confidence is his undoing... More to come thank you!
Thank you for reading my guide! I have tried to make it very readable and user friendly but it is my first guide and I might have erred. Feel free to criticize.
Please just leave comments your criticism explaining to me what I could improve on. I hope to check it regularly.
Also once again please leave a comment after you vote whether or not it's praise or criticism so that I can improve my guide. As I see more down votes... I ASK that you leave comments on what I can do in your opinion to improve the guide. I will be constantly working on it in the coming weeks and I would like constructive feedback. I also wish to emphasize that this is for summoners working their way through bronze.