Cho'Gath Build Guide by ted2016
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Cho in the Top Lane
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.
Hello! This is my first guide, and I'm excited about sharing my opinion with you! You don't have to like it, but please leave some feedback on what you like about how I did the guide or more information I could include NOT about how you don't like my play style. If you don't like my build then don't use it, but thanks for reading anyway!
I play Cho'Gath in the top lane as an AP bruiser hybrid. With this build, he is an off-tank that still deals damage and can easily get kills (especially with his ult Feast). If you have any specific questions, just let me know and I'll answer them in the guide somewhere.
I like Teleport cause it's really useful for people in the top lane, but you can take Ignite if you really want it (it can wreck people with it's true damage in combination with Feast's true damage), but honestly, I think Teleport has better utility, and Feast already does enough damage as it is. Tele makes a big difference if you have a team fight near dragon or something. It gets you right in there to clean up some kills. Your choice though. :)
You can go all flat MR glyphs or all scaling, but a mix can be useful for a balance of early and late game.
Armor seals are mandatory on bruisers like Cho.
Some people like Mag Pen marks, and I can see why, but for my play style, I prefer the AS marks because they stack with my masteries and Nashor's Tooth, which will increase the number of Vorpal Spikes you cast, which in turn increases your damage output.
Again, the Quints are optional, but I prefer MS because Cho has no natural escape abilities, and a little extra MS can go a long way.
The main reason I go 21 in Defense is because Cho will get enough damage from his ult (since it's true damage) that he really doesn't need all of the upper level Offense masteries. Additionally, the 21 points in defense help him survive heavy harass in the laning phase.
works well with feast stacks, and the bonus armor and MR will help ensure a safe laning phase whether you are facing an AD or AP champ.
help reduce pre lvl 6 harass also.
I take AS in the offense instead of CDR because with my items, I get 40% CDR with only two items, so it's a bit unnecessary. You can take the tenacity masteries if you feel you fall victim to early ganks a lot, but I prefer this set up because Rupture is exceptional at helping you escape.
First of all, this is not a Cho mid guide, so that's why i don't max Feral Scream or Rupture first. Most people say they are the most important in lane because of the long silence and ranged damage. However, in the top lane, melee bruiser are more common. Consequently, you don't really need the silence as much. I take Rupture first because it is good for checking brush and it can be a life saver if you invade/get invaded or get ganked early. The reasons I max Vorpal Spikes FIRST:
1) It helps a ton with last hitting
2) It can harass the enemy if they stand behind their minions
3) Cho doesn't have to rely so heavily on mana hungry when in lane
4) Most people underestimate the additional damage it does
Honestly, you can max Rupture or Feral Scream second depending on your situation. I used to prefer Rupture because of the power, but if you have a hard time landing it, or need the silence for a heavy AP team, then go ahead and max Feral Scream second. Recently, I have been maxing Feral Scream second because the silence gets longer while the pop up from Rupture is the same at all levels. But again, it's your choice.
Obviously get Feast whenever you can. You can gain several hundred health just by leveling it up when you have a few stacks.
Pros / Cons
1) He can stack HP without items by using Feast, which is on a relatively low cool down
2) His abilities have a nice balance of damage & CC
3) He can easily be built a variety of ways depending on his lane
4) He's just fun to play! How many other champs can eat their opponents?
1) He has no natural escape/movement ability
2) If you die a lot, his Feast stacks won't be able to stack very high
3) He can be a really mana hungry if you spam your Rupture and Feral Scream
Start 5 health pots unless you like a ward.
I go Cloth Armor because they build into Ninja Tabi, and early game is all about the auto attacks, which the armor helps with. If you want, a Doran's Shield will also help a ton with reducing Auto Attack harass.
If laning against AP, delay the Ninja Tabi or just go ahead and get Mercury's Treads if more than 2 AP enemies.
Nashor's Tooth is my big Core Item. It give AS, CDR, and AP, literally every offensive stat Cho needs in this build. Not a typical item on Cho, but the one that I find most useful for this build.
Although Cho'Gath can be tanky with his ult, he needs resistances to keep the HP he gets from Feast stacks.
Frozen Heart and Spirit Visage give Cho sufficient armor and MR to be rather tanky. In addition, together they max out your CDR, which is huge with Cho. Having a 300-475 (+AP) true damage burst every 36 seconds with Feast is huge. Not to mention, you can build stacks much quicker. If you are losing your lane, go with one of these ( Frozen Heart for ad enemy and Spirit Visage for ap enemy) instead of Nashor's Tooth right away. If you are ahead, then you will be able to resist damage anyway, but if you are behind, then you NEED extra resistance to survive in lane.
Liandry's Torment helps do more damage because it's % damage that doubles with impairment effects, which come from Rupture
Zhonya's Hourglass provides more armor and a boat load of AP plus an active that helps in tight situations (avoiding tower shots, etc.)
Rabadon's Deathcap and Void Staff are mainly items for if you're ahead, or if you like power over defense. I don't recommend them normally because they have no defensive value (other than HP from Rylai's Crystal Scepter), and Cho needs to be rather tanky in order to do his job effectively.
I don't really like Randuin's Omen, Banshee's Veil etc. for this build unless you have a ton of money for a 6th item, but they are the standard defense items for HP, MR, and armor, respectively.
This is literally THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF CHO'S LANING PHASE. Let people harass you a little if you have to because your passive will heal you right back if you FOCUS ON LAST HITTING. A big reason I start Cloth Armor is because of the amount of harass it lets you take.
One of the biggest advantages of maxing Vorpal Spikes first is the great farming tool it provides. I cannot stress how important it is to FOCUS ON LAST HITTING. If you can outpace your lane opponent, then you can afford items first, and shut him down early. In addition, if you are ahead of other lanes in level and CS, then you can easily tele'gank and get a few kills to vault you forward even more. But none of that can happen if you don't LAST HIT EFFECTIVELY.
I cannot tell you the number of games I've won because my opponent focused on harassing me instead of getting last hits. Seriously, you regen HP be killing creeps, so get as many as possible to stay in lane longer!
Match-Ups & Team Fights
If you lane against someone like Riven or Pantheon or anyone with a strong early game who will probably try to get a few kills early, it's okay to use Rupture to get some last hits, so you can keep some distance, but don't rely too heavily on this tactic as it will quickly drain your mana. The biggest Advice I can give for people like this, is to always make sure you hit them back somehow. Usually they will start Doran's Blade which leaves them without pots, so you if you can always make sure to hit them back, then they will not be able to keep up with your Carnivore
In team fights, you are probably the one to initiate unless you have someone like Zac on your team who can launch themselves in. Because Feast stacks also increase your size, you can block important skill shots meant for your carries. Examples include Ahri's Charm, all of Ezreal's skillshots, and Nidalee's spears.
Unless you're just chasing someone down, don't save Feast for the kill shot because you will waste the enormous damage it deals. Use it on a high priority target if you can, but it can also be useful to cut down the initiator quickly so he doesn't zone the rest of your team. In addition, using it early (if you have gotten your Frozen Heart and Spirit Visage) will allow you to use it a second time if the battle draws longer than 36 seconds.
Basically, use Rupture to knock people up, silence the carries with Feral Scream, and spray your Vorpal Spikes on everyone. If you have Liandry's Torment at this point, it will affect everyone who is hit by Vorpal Spikes which will probably be most of the enemy team. If the rest of your team does their job, then even if you die from all of the skill shots you're absorbing, they should be able to clean up the wreckage you've left.
So this is the basic idea for this build. I hope you at least try it out or leave any comments about things I can add to help clarify anything. If you've made it this far, then I thank you for your time, and good luck to you out on the Rift!