Build Guide by Zippydaspinhead
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.
"Who the hell plays Kog'Maw anyway? He's SO squishy, he can't move fast and his ult doesn't do much damage. HE SUCKS."
Every time I run into someone who says the above I just start laughing. Kog can eat ANY other champion provided he gets the chance. This build reflects that. I have shown in the purchase order some differences you can make, specifically boots and the 6th item. I'll explain more later. Some of you may look at this build and go wait? is this AS, AD, or wait is that AP in there? Yes this has a TINY bit of both. This build is made around your w, Bio-Arcane Barrage. With this anyone who comes charging in after your 'squishy' *** will get a face full of pain on the way in. If you can see them coming, you can 1v1 almost anyone.
WARNING: This guide is pretty long so get comfy. If you don't read it though please don't complain about its length.
Pros / Cons
Fun to play
Farm like a BOSS
Longest range in the game with your ult Living Artillery with the exception of Ashe's Enchanted Crystal Arrow and Karthus's map wide AoE ult Requiem. Also argueably Nocturne's Paranoia and similar if you consider them ranged attacks.
Play that champ that looks like the mutt with some pug heritage that just ate your slippers; ugly as hell but still cute at the same time.
Arguably the squishiest character in the game, the only ones with less health/resists starting that I can think of off the top of my head (feel free to comment with more) are Anivia and Ashe, both of which have more reliable CC than Kog and Anivia has her egg to boot.
Very little CC: Your slow only gets good at later levels and its technically a skill shot... though most of the time if your using it to run its easier to hit someone.
SLOW: even with MS quints and boots your not that fast. Characters like Teemo, Master Yi, and other fast characters will be able to catch you and whittle you down if your not careful. "My favorite lane partner is my turret" may be something you need to realize against such champs.
Pretty straight forward on the marks,
your W does magic damage, make more of it go through.
As for the rest that's where it can get fuzzy.
Your seals are mana regen per level. Kog has more than hunger for his enemies, he also hungers for mana early game. Wait, so why not get flat mana regens Greater Seal of Replenishment? Well, by level 6 your per level runes are at par with flat and by 7 surpass them. With Kog your gonna want to lane mid, which means this should happen fairly fast. On top of that your really only going to be using your w to harass early and its only 50 mana. You can also harass with your e Void Ooze, but it can eat chunks out of your mana faster than you realize. Your mana regen by the time you hit level 8 or 9 is enough for you to spam your ult every six seconds and almost make back the 40 mana cost before launching another.
Glyphs don't really have a strong candidate for Kog. You could go defensive and buff your armor or magic resist, but for reasons I'll explain later if your playing Kog correct you don't need defense very much. More mpen? No with your sorc shoes and marks you should be fine. Thus we again attempt to boost the effectiveness of your w, by increasing your attack speed with . Pros: the runes are cheap, the effect IS noticeable, and they fill the slot. Cons: Not ideal glyphs. Meh...
I take MS quints , but you can take others. Flat health is never a bad choice . I take the MS to boost Kog's biggest weakness his speed. This also means with certain champs you can take a step and get another shot off with your W or keep them in range of your ult a little longer. Flat health helps a lot early but if your cautious early your three health pots should get you enough lane time to buy your Malady. Health seems much less noticeable late game is either your not getting touched or your dying from a huge gank anyway.
Not much to say here. Going 9/0/21 for the CDR on your abilities and summoner spells, trust me its more worth it than 21/0/9. Go down enough for the extra mpen on the damage tree once you fill out your utility tree.
Again not a whole lot here, max your Bio-Arcane Barrage for extra percent damage, grab your Void Ooze for a somewhat good escape mechanic, and nab a rank in your Caustic Spittle early. Grab your ult at the appropriate times and max your Void Ooze second. Finally finish out your Caustic Spittle.
You want to take one rank and ONE rank of this early. Here's the deal on Caustic Spittle, I rarely use it. This makes things a bit simpler, and I don't like giving up the passive AS boost very much. I find that I do more damage with my W with the extra shot or two than taking away some magic resist and armor. I take one level early to have it if I need it, and also to gain the 10% AS boost. I don't keep leveling it till later because each subsequent level in the skill boosts the AS by only another 5%. Situations in which I do use Q:
Enemy is all dead except for tank.
Enemy is near and is ALMOST dead but will take another 2 or 3 auto-attacks to kill
You are about to die anyway so help your teammates out with some more penetration.
Here's an area that's all about preference. Some prefer Ghost to Flash. Go ahead, that one I have no problem with. Some prefer the more offensive spells. Exhaust is great and means you can take a point off of
in the offense tree and put it in Cripple. I would then remove appropriate point in the util tree and put it in either
Clarity is a possibility, but I don't like it. Its really only useful early game and you should be careful with your mana there regardless. Late game is next to useless.
Ignite is also one I have seen used with a Kog. This can be useful against champs like Warwick and Dr. Mundo. However I find you kill them fast enough to burn through the heal anyway so...
Heal - You will either die, or you will live with this build. If your careful and play your role you won't need it. Leave it for your supports.
Rally, Revive, Smite, Fortify - Rally won't help too much, if you need to be using revive then you need to play a different game, and your not a jungler so don't take Smite, Fortify can be helpful but leave it for a tank or support to take if you think your team REALLY needs it.
Teleport: Your in mid, there is nothing worse than having your mid turret be the first to go down. It makes it MUCH harder to know where the enemy is going to be going next and can shorten the distance for them to get from A to B. An example: You lose your mid turret and they push a minion wave down to your second turret. Your busy with that wave and the bot lane goes MIA and crosses the previously contested mid area at the river. You normally could give a better warning if you were there to see it. BAM, your top lane is ganked. Thus tele is good to be able to get back in the fight ASAP to either defend your mid turret or take theirs down and give them that headache. Useful for shopping, recovering after a death, and helping gank/counter-gank.
Flash: Your meant to be in the back, killing their dudes. Sometimes this just isn't the case though. Everyone takes out a turret but your tank is weak/dead. Everyone runs back... Guess who's slowest? Your 5 ft out of the range of your turret when Warwick jumps you from the bushes. You need ONE LAST HIT on that Ashe as she runs and just reached the max range of your W. Chased someone into their turret for the kill. Your ult range can hit the wall but not quite beyond it and you would have to go around. Minions blocking your escape/chase. So many uses. I have escaped 5v1's with Flash, and turned that super gank into a two man loss for them.
Ok so I got the build so how do I play?
One word: Cautiously.
Again Kog is REALLY squishy. Certain champs can kill him before you realize your under attack. Think of Kog as your artillery guns. They have a lot of punch and range, but if the enemy paratroops in (or goes around, or Blitzcrank grabs you, or ...) you lose your artillery. If/when you build a Frozen Mallet, it can help alleviate this to a degree but your still easily killed. When a game lasts long enough to net me a mallet, I play as if I don't have one simply because you still need to be in the back.
Here's the big thing with Kog that took me FOREVER to learn and you get the advantage of hearing it from me right off the bat. You may (not always) get a LOT more assists than kills. Again your in the back and technically even with your w and your ult most of your damage is dealt with your auto-attacks. Thus is a big cluster fight you may do a bunch of damage to the enemy champ, but someone's big damage skill is usually what kills the enemy. It all depends on team comp and the people you are playing with. You will have a bunch of your kills stolen. You also can (but maybe not should) KS with your ult fairly easily. Here's the thing. THATS OK! Honestly kills don't matter, the turrets, inhibs, and ultimately the nexus are ALL that matter. Gold, kills, damage, are all just means to an end. Would it be nice to have the kills? Yes. Would it be nice to go 15/0? Yes. Does it realistically happen? No. Get over it. The point is they died, you got some gold and XP from the assist if not the kill. Keep on steamrolling. Fortunately as you get better with Kog this happens less and less, its just something I noticed when I first started playing him.
Start your engines..., er, um, Mouth?
Grab some Boots of Speed and three Health Potions right away and head down your lane, ideally mid. It doesn't matter too much if you take Bio-Arcane Barrage or Void Ooze first, just take the other second. I generally start with Bio, as if the enemy champ pushes a bit you can hit them once or twice with it from behind your mage creeps. Your goal here is NOT to kill the other champ. If you get the option go ahead. Your main focus however should be last hitting creeps and light harassment/keeping them from last hitting and gaining experience. Here's the thing. Most mid's are squishy ranged champs. As Kog your DEFAULT range is slightly lower than average for such champs. However your w ENHANCED range is further than almost any other champion in the game.
In other words, fire it up. You will be able to hit them without much fear or retaliation. Most players aren't very familiar with Kog so they get hit 2 or 3 times before they realize its a sustained effect and not a skill shot kind of thing. That means that your foe takes around 150 damage and 6% of their health as additional damage. This is not much, but for a game start with that squishy 450 to 650 health champ it can be scary. The psychological aspect alone is worth it, they will keep their distance, which, as they may or may not realize later, is the worst thing they can do. You end up with more gold, more XP, and ultimately more killing power.
When you have 1825 gold trip back during a free moment and pick up a Malady. This is a good start item for Kog since is gives him attack speed and mpen for your w. If you die or need to b before getting the gold buy the components as they are relatively cheap. I suggest buying the Daggers first as the ability tome won't help much early game.
Next buy is boots. You have three choices that are decent. The best is probably Sorcerer's Shoes as they give you more mpen for more killing power. Next would be Ionian Boots of Lucidity for the CDR which can be very helpful for your w and e. Last is Mercury's Treads for the CC reduction. I have no problem with them however if your getting hit by CC your probably about to die anyway in Kog's case.
Next start building Guinsoo's Rageblade and Madred's Bloodrazor. These two items in combination with Malady will turn your w into something to be feared. While the Bloodrazor is the biggest helper here, it is also the most expensive and helps the most against tanks, therefore I suggest getting the Rageblade first.
Being a hybrid character Kog gets both sides of the benefits of the Rageblade. The AP is nice as it helps boost your ooze and your ult and the AD boosts your ult and your w while the AS helps your W a lot too.
That was tasty whats for dessert?
Here's where the build gets quite flexible. You have your four base items, now how should I finish this off? Items 5 and 6 are pretty situational. For your fifth item I generally grab Frozen Mallet, extra AD and a slow is always nice. For your 6th it can be more difficult to figure out what you want. If the enemy team is tanky grab a Last Whisper for some crazy tank killing. If they are more on the squishy side grab The Bloodthirster or a Zeke's Harbinger for some lifesteal and AD. Of those two I prefer Stark's as it will let you boost your team as well. Bloodthirster is good but if your taking the kind of damage where you need that much lifesteal then your probably screwed anyway in my opinion. If you need some more magic defense nab a Banshee's Veil. (feel free to tell me other items and if I like them I'll add them here as well)
E and W, a match made in heaven
Your w Bio-Arcane Barrage has been emphasized a lot already but when used in tandem with your e Void Ooze its just plain sexy. Once your ooze is around level 3 your easily getting 3 to 4 extra hits with you w. By then you may have your Guinsoo's Rageblade and Malady done, and if your lucky your Madred's Bloodrazor, all of which GREATLY enhance your w. Just Malady and the Rageblade add an extra percentage to your W, and speed up the delivery of the pain. Madred's ups that another 4% with yet more speed, and additional plain damage.
This all sounds nice but whats awesome about it is what it really means. Hit e, click towards your victim (or lead your victim depending on the situation), hit w, right click the victim and watch the health bar disappear. One of my favorite things to do with this combo is wait till the enemy hits you with a low damage skill. FREAK out and run, they will chase you. When they reach about halfway through the range of your ooze let it fly, hit your w and start hitting them. Most players take a second to realize what is happening, and during that the champ follows the last command which is to try to reach you. The player then cancels that and attempts to run in the OPPOSITE direction, along your ooze. In other words they run up to hit you, turn before doing so and get continually slowed by the ooze till it disapates or they FINALLY reach the end of it. This whole thing takes maybe 6 or 7 seconds. If you have your Malady's, Rageblade, and Bloodrazor at the time this means somewhere between 10 and 16 auto-attacks with your w at 11% health damage. Considering that means anywhere from 110% to 176% health + regular damage (which is again added to by the same items), most everything dies. Depending on level differences and how fed you end up you may be able to 1v2 with this. CAUTION: this is a somewhat risky tactic. Treat it as such. Also smart Master Yi players will use their Highlander to rush you and completely decimate you. I'm not kidding, a good Yi will completely ruin your day as Kog.
I think I may be sick... (using your ult)
Kog's ult Living Artillery is a great utility tool. It boosts your damage output. It kills people that run. It harasses. It scouts. It farms. It ganks. It hits champs at their turret. It hits people b'ing. It generally ruins the enemies day, and if used correctly will be what your known for. PRACTICE PRACTICE. And like with any skill shot, you will miss. Don't worry, you lost 40 mana. Big whoop.
While in mid against that other ranged champ, wait till they hang around their mage creeps. Almost everyone does it. Throw one there. Either they see it coming in time to move out of the damage zone or they don't. Either way it isn't wasted. If they stay, BAM, you got some damage, they probably freak out and move around a bit, thus missing last hits and such. If they move, same thing minus the damage. Here's the best thing though. No matter what you hit the mage creeps, so its not completely wasted. The creeps in LoL are much like the champs. The mage creeps are DPS with less health while the melee creeps take more damage and do less. The faster you can kill the mage creeps the more your minion wave will be able to push. When you first get your ult, one hit + a void ooze + a second hit will kill all three, with some damage on the melee creeps as well. Later ooze + one ult will kill them, and later yet just one or the other. BAM instant gold.
OH ****. That champ dodged your ooze, took some hits from your w, and is now running away with low health. Lead your target and puke one. BAM instant kill and gold. Remember: LEAD your target. This will take some practice figuring out speeds and lead amounts.
Time to kick it up a notch. Enemy team noticed your dominating their mid and someone's MIA and its an assassin. Periodically throw a shell in the bush, you may see a gank coming or better yet prevent it.
Scout it out. Throw one in the bush before you enter, check on barron and dragon, check if there is a champ hugging that turret before your tank goes in, ect... Uses for recon are almost unlimited with your ult. Its cheap so let fly.
Someone get up in your grill and you can't get away? DON'T FORGET YOUR ULT! It has a one second CD, hit your e, your w, and SPAM your r. You may not be a huge burst creature but you can still kill some gankers before they kill you. If not you can get them down low enough where they won't hit a team member before b'ing or your team can finish them off or better yet your passive can kill them! You still get a kill and the gold and XP from your passive so USE IT!
A note on Mana
Your ult is pretty cheap at only 40 mana... to start. Keep in mind that if you don't wait the 6 seconds between each shot your costing yourself an extra 40 mana each time. It may not seem like much but just to get up to a full six stacks on this is 40+80+120+160+200+240=840 mana with an additional 240 on top of that each shot afterwards. If your just harassing the enemy it is prudent to wait the 6 seconds or you will be dry on mana. If someone is running and you want that kill, feel free to spam it. Same goes for getting ganked it may save your life. I'm not saying always do one or the other, just be aware, and be cautious of your mana pool.
Oh I'm DEFINATELY sick! (using your passive)
Kog is one of the few champions whose passive doesn't directly help him or his abilities in some way. Instead you get to run at your enemies when you die and damage them. HOWEVER, this is not always your best idea. Throughout the game your passive will gain damage with your level. Turns out this progression is about the same as the health on the minion waves. In certain situations it is better to blow up a minion wave than your opponent as then you can farm more gold. For instance, you screwed up and got killed in your lane. The other champ is already miles away. Blow the minions, get some gold and recover from your loss a bit. Another situation. You die, the other champ is right there, but he has full health or near to it an your friends are still across the map. Blow the minion wave. Its best if you had hit the wave with a void ooze first, as that will almost guarantee you killing the entire wave. Try to position yourself midway between the melee creeps and the mage creeps for maximum potential.
What about if their health is low, kinda in the I don't know if this will kill him or not? Go for it. It can pan out 3 ways. One; He dies. Yay, you avenged yourself, got a kill some gold and some XP. Woot. Two; He doesn't die, but he b's before someone comes and ganks him. No gold, no XP, but you'll both be back in the lane around the same time so he gains little in the way of XP or gold on you. Three; You miss, it sucks but it happens, and you did screw him out of some time in the lane.
Pretty simple rule to follow here. STAY IN THE BACK!
You are squishy. If your doing your job then you also have pissed off the enemy team. They want to destroy you. DON'T MAKE IT EASY FOR THEM. If they are going to kill you make it such that they have to go through your tank, sneak around, send their ganker on a suicide mission. All these SHOULD result in your death being a positive thing because the rest of your team should be able to pick up a few kills from it.
I'm not saying be bait. I'm not saying sacrifice yourself. I'm saying in the event you die, make it worthwhile for the main goal - the nexus.
That said, target their carries. Out of range? (as if) Feel free to dart forward for a second to throw an artillery. It may or may not hit, but they may dart for you and then your tank can roll in and start something. You should talk with your tank and let them know, 'hey, this guy is getting on my nerves so CC him and I'll kill him' or 'this guy kills me a bunch so CC him while I take out the carry'. Kog is very team dependent when the big fights roll in SO TALK TO YOUR TEAM. Make sure its clear who you kill first, who's second, so on and so forth.
Thank you for reading the WALL of text I have written on Kog'Maw. Feel free to make suggestions and comments below and if you like (or don't like) something let me know. Ratings are appreciated either up or down as they allow me to adjust the build accordingly. If you feel something needs to be explained more let me know and I can edit the build.
PS: Don't look at my Blitz score... I already know I'm terrible with him.