Cho'Gath Build Guide by _rodzila
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.
Standard Stomping Cho'Gath
Example Final Build
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.
Threats to Cho'Gath with this build
|Lissandra||You can sustain all the damage she deals with her Qs, your silence breaks her combo and she's slow enough that you can land a high percentage of your Ruptures. Pretty easy lane for Cho'Gath with high kill potential at level 6.|
Hey, guys and girls! My name is Rodzila, and i've been playing League for a little more than a year now. I've mostly played with my friends and i'm the top laner for our little team. While i'm not a solo queue monster by any means, i do know my way around top lane and have won several matchups against higher elo players. One of my favorite (and most successful) champions is Cho'Gath, and i hope to share some of my knowledge about him with you guys.
Pros / Cons
Cho'Gath, like any other champion, has his strenghts and weaknesses. Let's take a deeper look at what makes the Terror of the Void so strong, as well as the cracks in his
|+ Excellent sustain in lane with Carnivore.
+ Two forms of hard AoE CC.
+ Free HP, true damage and outstanding objective control with Feast.
+ Straight up badass.
|For starts, Cho'Gath rewards you for doing that which most top laners should be able to do consistently: last hit minions. His passive, Carnivore, gives him some health and mana back everytime he kills a minion or monster. Second, he has a lot of CC in his kit: The AoE knockup/slow on Rupture and a very powerful silence in Feral Scream. To top it all off, there's his ultimate, Feast, which gives him free HP with each stack (maximum of 6 stacks), deals a ton of true damage and deals more damage than even an level 18 Smite to neutral monsters, meaning you can control dragon and baron easily. He also grows to become a giant, face-stomping, champion-eating badass.|
|+ Painfully slow.
+ Susceptible to ganks early on.
+ High mana costs at lower levels.
+ Easily kited.
|It's not all rainbows and butterflies for big ol' Cho'Gath, though. Despite being a very powerful champ, Cho suffers from a lack of mobility and low movement speed, which means he's easily kited by ranged champions that stay out of Rupture's range. His lack of mobility and the need to build Feast stacks early on also makes him a juicy target for junglers at the earlier stages of the game (buy wards!). His early game weaknesses also include huge mana costs for his Q and W before you get your Rod of Ages or your Frozen Heart.|
Flash: The most versatile summoner spell ever. Use it as an escape if you're in trouble or to finish off an opponent with a Flash + Feast combo. Be wary of ganks whenever your Flash is on cooldown because there's a high chance that the enemy jungle will come your way.
Teleport: A must have on top lane. You can use it to get back to lane faster or to join your team for a fight. Cho'Gath's teleport ganks aren't the greatest but his counter ganks are (much easier to land Rupture when people are standing still punching each other), so always follow an enemy Teleport with one of your own.
Ghost: This is actually pretty good on jungle Cho because of the reduced cooldown compared to Flash and the larger distance you can cover with it. Not nearly as good in lane, though.
Ignite: Not so good since your ultimate is an execute. Only take it if you're laning against Dr. Mundo or Volibear and you're determined to get a kill in lane.
Ability Summary / Leveling Order
- Carnivore(Passive): I love this passive. It gives you a bit of health and mana everytime you kill a minion, it's just that simple. This allows you to stay in lane forever.
- Rupture (Q): Your bread n' butter skill. At the cost of a lot of mana, Cho'Gath stomps the ground and knocks up all enemies in an small area. Enemies hit are also slowed for a bit after they get back down. Great for setting up ganks, or triggering that Yasuo ultimate.
- Feral Scream (W): A cone-shaped skillshot that will silence everyone it hits for two and half seconds (at level 5). Mages cry in agony once they're hit with it.
- Vorpal Spikes (E):This is a toggled ability that makes Cho'Gath fire off spikes with each auto-attack. You can use it for some creative harass in lane (hitting minions in front of the enemy so the spikes get to him) and also to secure last hits. Toggle it off if you don't want to push the lane. I usually take this at level 1.
- Feast (R):The icing on the cake. Feast is just awesome. It gives you a bunch of free extra health, it deals a TON of true damage and it does even more damage to neutral monsters, such as Dragon and Baron. With the recent buffs, you also reach 6 stacks at half the time, which is great. Bro tip: When your Feast has enough damage to execute a champ, a red ring with small teeth around it appears on their feet.
Max Rupture (Q) first for more damage. For easier harass, or if you need the longer silences earlier, max Feral Scream (W) first. Take a point in Vorpal Spikes (E) at level 1 for easier last-hitting.
When to pick Cho'Gath
One of the most important things you need to know to do well with a champion is knowing when pick him or not. All champions have their strenghts and weaknesses and some fit better in certain situations than others. Cho'Gath is no exception to that rule. Below i'll list a couple of situations where you should and shouldn't lock him in.
- When the enemy team is running a double AP comp: If both the top laner and mid laner on the enemy team are mages, Cho is a safe and effective pick, as his Feral Scream will render two of their sources of damage/utility useless for a window of time. He is even more effective if the enemy team has an Annie support, for example, and is relying on her to start fights.
- Enemy top laner can't kill you early: Cho needs time to get his items and build up Feast stacks. If the enemy top laner picked a late game champ or a tank such as Dr. Mundo, Sion or Nasus, you'll have all the time in the world to just farm and eat minions as those guys can't kill you in lane without help from the jungler.
- Your team needs both a tank and magic damage: Pretty straight forward. Your midlaner picked Zed, your jungler is stylin' on Lee Sin and you have a squishy support. To round up that composition, you guys need some magic damage and a beefy frontline. Fortunately, Cho does both.
- Your team is focused on taking objectives: So your team decided you'll be focusing on getting that 5th Dragon buff and taking all the Barons, but the enemy team drafted Nunu first for some reason. No problem, take Cho.
Do not pick Cho'Gath:
- Your team is running a hard engage/dive comp: Cho'Gath is not a good fit for engage/dive comps due to his lack of mobility and the fact that Rupture is not that reliable as an initiation tool.
- Your team needs a split pusher: While Cho can split push pretty decently with a Wit's End, he's better off being a disruptive meat shield in team fights. If your team needs a split pusher, take Jax.
- Enemy top laner has a targeted gap closer: Most champions with a targeted gap closer will give Cho a hard time in lane. Jax and Irelia can exploit your fragile early game with their leaps and snowball the lane with one or two kills. Since Cho needs his items and stacks to get going, playing from behind is extremely difficult with him.
- The enemy picked Vayne top: Seriously. Why do you guys do this? :(
Now that you know a little bit more about Cho, let's get on to the practical stuff, starting with the runes. In my opinion, there's not a lot of setups you can run effectively on him, but we'll take a look at some of the options, as well as some insight on the runes i like to run:
- Greater Quintessence of Ability Power: I take these for the early game power. Mind you: I play a lot of Cho'Gath and i can land a high percentage of my Ruptures. If you're still picking him up or if you're not that confortable with skillshots, you can also use...
- Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed: A lot of people use this on Cho'Gath and for good reason: It provides him a safer laning phase, and later on it makes it easier to get in range to land your spells. If you're jungling Cho, these are a must.
- Greater Mark of Attack Speed: At least for me, these are a no-brainer. Cho has somewhat long cooldowns and you need to do something while you wait for your skills to be available again. Also, with Vorpal Spikes and his high base AD, his autos hurt quite a lot.
- Greater Mark of Magic Penetration: Pick these if you're building full AP mid lane Cho'Gath. Otherwise, stick with AS marks.
- Greater Seal of Armor: At the risk of sounding too obvious, i take these when laning vs AD champions or auto-attackers. If you're jungling, take these as well.
- Greater Seal of Scaling Health: I run these if the enemy laner is an AP champion or if the enemy team has a lot of magic damage.
- Greater Glyph of Magic Resist: Standard glyphs if you're laning vs a heavy poke/harass AP champ such as Lissandra or Rumble.
- Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist: Run these if you're laning vs an AD champ to get some extra magic resistance when you group up for team fights.
- Greater Glyph of Scaling Cooldown Reduction: If you're building full AP, those are pretty fun. I take scaling over flat CDR 'cause having his skills on low cooldown early will only make you run out of mana.
There's not a whole lot to talk about here. I take 9/21/0 for the added survivability in lane as well as more mid/late game tankiness. You could also take 0/21/9 for the mana regen and movement speed, but that's up to personal taste. Using my setup, you can also choose to take 4 points in Fury instead of Sorcery and switch up to Resistance over Hardiness depending on whether the enemy team has more AP or AD.
Rod of Ages: You'll be looking to get this as soon as possible. It builds off of catalyst the protector, which is a relatively cheap item that provides great sustain in lane. Overall, RoA has all Cho'Gath needs: Health, Mana and AP. Best part is that it scales over time, meaning you'll be able to do damage at all stages of the game.
Mercury's Treads: Provides a bit or early magic resistance but you'll be getting it for the tenacity, really. As the frontline, you'll have to walk through all sorts of nasty stuff, like stuns, slows and whatever else the bad guys throw at you.
Frozen Heart: Like Rod of Ages, this item has no wasted stats on Cho'Gath: A good chunk of armor, a lot of mana and some cooldown reduction. You'll usually be getting this after boots.
Spirit Visage: Another lovely item on Cho. I rush it ver Banshee's Veil because of the cooldown reduction it provides, which i find more useful than the spellshield early on. Again, Cho benefits from every single stat this item provides.
Randuin's Omen: The active is great for sticking to targets hit by Rupture and the passive is very effective vs auto-attackers. Standard item for tanks.
Banshee's Veil: Another standard defense item against magic damage. You might want to get it before Spirit Visage in case there's a fed LeBlanc or Ahri on the loose, as it will greatly reduce their combo damage.
Guardian Angel: It's 40 minutes into the game and you're afraid of losing your Feast stacks? Sell your Banshee's Veil and get a GA. It also provides a good amount of armor and magic resistance.
Wit's End: This is actually a pretty interesting item on Cho'Gath. It allows him to take turrets pretty quickly and the MR steal is nice. It's also cheaper than Nashor's Tooth and overall just a better pick if you're looking for AS. Get it if you need some extra magic resistance quickly after you purchased Spirit Visage or Banshee's Veil.
Abyssal Scepter: Another interesting item to get if you're fed and there's another tank in your team. Get this only if you have at least one other source of magic damage on your party, though.
Thornmail: A must have vs full AD teams. Beware, though: NEVER rush this as your first defensive item. You won't live long enough to return damage if you haven't build a bit of HP first.
Ninja Tabi: Take the Tabi if you're playing vs a full AD team or if you're struggling in lane vs an auto-attacker.
Nashor's Tooth: In my opinion, this is a more expensive yet inferior version of Wit's End. The CDR is good, but overall, the resistance on Wit's is better, and your teammates also benefit from the MR steal.
Warmog's Armor: Cho already has free HP from Feast's passive, so what he needs is armor and magic resistance. The passive regen is also kinda wasted due to your ability to sustain with your passive.
Sunfire Cape: It's not that bad, it's just that both Frozen Heart and Randuin's Omen are better on Cho'Gath.
Righteous Glory: This can be useful on certain cases, i'm sure, but if you build Rod of Ages, which you normally will, then you're wasting money with an unique passive that you won't be using.
How to Play
Ok, now that you know how to build Cho'Gath properly, it's time to put him to practice. Below i'll give you a basic tutorial on what you should (and shouldn't) be doing once you take the Terror of the Void to the Rift.
Early Game (Laning Phase)
Laning phase is pretty straight forward: Focus on farming and land the occasional Feral Scream followed by a Rupture. If you're laning vs a ranged champion, try to time your Ruptures to catch him while he tries to last hit so you don't take a lot of damage trying to get in range to use Feral Scream. If you're having trouble, let the opponent push the wave and farm under turret until Carnivore gets you back in shape. Once you hit 6, check your jungler's movements to see if he's coming top lane so you can decide whether or not you save Feast to secure a kill or if you eat a minion to get a stack. If there's low kill potential in lane, keep eating minions until you get to 6 stacks. You might want to save your ult if Dragon is close to spawning and your team starts grouping up to take it.
Once lane phase is over, start roaming with your team. Cho'Gath really shines in team fights, where he can disable multiple enemies with his Feral Scream as well as setting up kills or peeling for carries with Rupture. He also has excellent waveclear, so you can always hard push a lane and join your team later. By now you should have at least your Rod of Ages and one or two more items, and hit Cho'Gath's power spike: You can literally 100-0 the opponent's AD or AP carries with a full combo. Look to fight early and often and take down turrets or secure objectives right after. Also, if you're at 6 stacks already, DO NOT save your ultimate to get kills in teamfights. If you missed Rupture, but you're in range to bite someone, do it. It will chunk 'em down hard and probably take them out of the fight right away.
OK, so now you're close to finishing off your build and you're tanky as hell. Since you (probably) only built Rod of Ages for damage, you likely won't be instakilling the carries with a combo any longer. The plan, however, remains the same: Land as much CC as possible and bite people whenever your ult is up to get them out of the fight. If this one turns out to be one of those long, drawn-out games, you might want to consider getting Guardian Angel to avoid losing Feast stacks.
Well, that sums it up, guys. It took a while to wrap this one up but i think it was worth it. This is my first guide ever, so any feedback is appreciated. If you want to talk more about Cho'Gath or top lane in general, leave a message in the comment section :D