Cho'Gath Build Guide by Eleshaki
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.
Cho'gath is one of those champions people are going to proclaim great or garbage. His ultimate will constantly cause you dilemmas but his other abilities are extremely versatile. He can sustain well in any lane but especially shines in the top lane as a solo. He can also be played as a mage in the middle lane or as a jungler. I will go through builds for these roles as well various play-styles and answers to decisions you will make during the average Cho'gath game.
Note: The level 18 health value above does not include Feast stacks.
Note: If you want more pictures in my guides too bad. I don't cater anything towards children. Adults should be able to read without unnecessary pictures.
From the depths of some hell a creature was spawned. He was uglier than **** and constantly complained about the sun. Cho'gath is mainly concerned about eating and this drives his every impulse. His favorite treat however is the flesh of the living. Since no one stays dead in the League of Legends, they told him he could join for a free-for-all buffet. He particularly loves Asian delicacies which the League offers some ten to fifteen dishes of. He strives for his favorite delight though which is a nice Demacian virgin cutlet.
+Versatile abilities that can be leveled differently and effectively to match your current game.
+His ultimate, Feast essentially provides you with a built in Warmogs.
+High damage output even when building tank; especially from Feast.
+Very, very large. Stand on your team and lets see their carries target anyone else.
+Jungles fairly quickly without the need of Madred's.
+Has decent area effect damage from three of his abilities.
-Has to manage Feast stacks to stay a viable tank.
-His Q, Rupture, is difficult to land on fast targets.
-Being the largest champion in the league has its problems; especially when trying to dodge enemy abilities.
Top Lane Cho'gath
The top lane is where Cho'gath belongs. He can sustain for a long time, deal good damage, and take quite a few hits.
You might be wondering why I have pretty peculiar masteries. Its a personal preference. I like to be spread out in the three trees when top lane so I can take a well-rounded approach. I really don't want to go in depth which my choices of masteries because I urge you to use them accordingly to your playstyle. Just understand that Cho'gath deals large amounts of magic damage so ability power (his ratios are good) and spell penetration are decent additions if you're looking to do damage. Otherwise stick with the cornerstones of tanking: armor and magic resist. Health regen and mana regen are great assets for top lane soloing as well.
There are only two choices for top lane solo: Flash and Teleport. Flash will help you avoid nasty gank attempts in combination with well placed Rupture and Feral Scream. Since you will be tanking Teleport will get you into the fray in other lanes. You want to be able to win the first large fight that occurs so a timely Teleport can sway the tides of battle.
Top Lane Play
Your job on top lane is simple: farm. If you cant fight 1v1 and farm minions at the same time your place is somewhere else. Cho'gath can play safe or aggressive well which is a good quality to have with a top lane champion. Odds are your opponent is playing an AD bruiser like Shyvana, Irelia, or Wukong. You're going to want armor and you want it fast. Take what you can with runes and masteries for starters. If things are looking bad get a Chain Vest fast. AP champions top lane shouldn't cause Cho'gath much of a problem. Cho'gath in the basic sense of the game is still a mage at heart.
I like to start with a Doran's Ring. You get some extra health and mana regen which is nice. Potions aren't really necessary because Carnivore will provide you a decent chunk of health back with every minion kill. Your early game play should be passive. Last hit and don't get ganked. Don't spam your spells because you want to always enough mana for get-aways and ganks. Against auto-attack heavy champions I often level Vorpal Spikes first because you will do more damage on auto-attacks than them during the early phases of the game. Once you hit 6 get your Feast stacks up immediately. If you are purple take your golems every time they're up. Obviously use Feast on the big one once he's below 1000 health. As far as the creep waves are concerned, use Feast on cannon minions. Only use it on a normal minion if you have no choice. Once you have 6 stacks only use Feast on champions or to ensure large objectives. You will want Catalyst the Protector quickly. Make sure you constantly have your river warded. If you cannot afford a ward play conservatively and never stray too far.
Mid and Late Game
Once laning is wrapping up you want to make sure you're in every team fight. With full stacks of feast you essentially have a free Warmog's Armor. This allows you to build armor and magic resistance faster. Remember, health doesn't make a tank tough; armor does. With your size you can easily draw attacks and shield your team. I like to rush a Guardian Angel because it will help you preserve your stacks. If at any point you're low on stacks try to avoid a major fight. With low stacks in the mid game you're essentially just a beefy mage. The rest of the game is standard tanking and game-play.
Cho'gath by no stretch of the imagination is a viable jungler. I still play him occasionally in the jungle but it is not nearly as good as playing him top lane or even as a mage mid. Your ganking potential is completely based off Rupture which is a difficult spell to land. Your lanes have to be able to have some sort of crowd control in order to allow you to land one. However, I will briefly describe his jungling mechanics in case anyone is feeling like having fun. I also associate a pretty wacky build for him when I jungle that has a high damage output.
Start off with a Doran's Ring and use similar runes to what I listed above. This will give your Vorpal Spikes extremely high initial damage. Like any jungler who heavily relies on mana, start at blue. Ask your team for a leash and a few hits if possible. You may take some damage but after wolves and wraiths you will be full health from your passive. Cho'gath essentially AOEs his way through camps during the first 5 levels. Vorpal Spikes should be leveled first to conserve mana when you don't have blue. Once you hit 6, jungling becomes a cakewalk. Blue and Red drop in a second. Normally you would save Smite to finish off a key buff. As Cho'gath start off with Smite and Feast the moment they are under 1000. Essentially you get 2 smites, with one being a bit stronger. I would advise against tanking while jungling as Cho'gath. Higher damage builds will be able to take the jungle on faster and will be more effective when ganking.
Deciding Between Abilities
Depending on where and what role you are playing, you will be focusing on a different ability. Of course Feast is always going to be a great nuke ability regardless of your role.
- Rupture-is the ganking and team fight ability. It has a whopping 100% ability power ratio giving it great area effect potential...if it lands. Rupture is only as good as your ability to land it. I only start leveling it consistently when team fights are frequent. Even when jungling, I still prefer to level my constant damage opposed to this hit or miss ability.
- Feral Scream- is the dueling ability. It does do area effect damage and a silence which is great in team fights. When playing mid or top verses an ability-based champion it becomes your most consistent damage. It is fairly easy to land unless you have some crazy character like Fizz (who miraculously can not be affected by area effect spells while doing his pansy leaping). I level this first anytime I'm in that dueling situation because it shuts down mages.
- Vorpal Spikes- is so great for ensuring last hits. It allows Cho-gath to easily last hit and clearly quickly at the same time because of its damage. You essentially get two hits for every attack as well as some area splash damage. This is a great ability to level when top lane against a bruiser or when in the jungle. It can be the subject of several silly builds as well such as going AP/attack speed. Do not, I repeat do not build Cho'gath crit thinking its viable. Its not increased damage on hits; its separate damage. This means it does not scale to make larger critical hits so don't do it.
Screenshots and Videos
I will at some point at some gameplay footage when I get the time to edit several videos. I will also add some more screenshots of postgames when they occur.
Note: Guardian Angel kept me and my stacks alive twice during that 70 minute game.