Kog'Maw Build Guide by Hoodstomp
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.
table of contents
a little about the author and Kog'Maw
2. pros and cons
the strengths and weaknesses of Kog'Maw
what masteries should I use?
what runes should I use?
what summoner spells should I take?
what does Kog'Maw do and what should I be maxing?
what are some good items on Kog'Maw? what should I build first? what should I build for defense?
who counters Kog'Maw in lane? who can be difficult to play against? who's easy to play against?
what support goes well with Kog'Maw? who does Kog'Maw do bad against?
10. laning phase
how should I start out the game as Kog'Maw? do I play it safe or aggressive?
11. team fights
what should I do before the fight? should I be using my other abilities during the fight or just my Bio-Arcane Barrage?
|Hey, it's Hoodstomp again. Some of you may know me, some of you may not. I used to play League of Legends professionally, but now I'm a top amatuer/high elo solo queue player. I enjoy playing the role of AD carry, and it's the role I also have the most knowledge in. I currently have one account in Diamond 1, and a couple smurfs spread around, mostly in diamond elo.
Since I got pretty good feedback on my first guide, I figured my second guide would be on Kog'Maw, one of my favorite champions! Also be sure to follow me on twitter. @Hoodstomplol
Kog'Maw is an extremely strong, and as of late, an underused AD carry. He excels at dishing out huge amounts of raw damage in a short period of time at a gigantic range. This champion arguably does the most damage out of any other AD carry late game with his Bio-Arcane Barrage active. With Bio-Arcane Barrage active, he has the longest range in the game, outranging Caitlyn and just barely Tristana. He is a bit weaker early game compared to the other AD carries, but truly shines come late game.
|+ Very strong late game.
+ Good single target damage.
+ One of the highest attack ranges in the game with Bio-Arcane Barrage active.
+ A consistent steroid.
+ Has a good poke and scouting tool with Living Artillery.
+ Excellent at taking down champions with a large health pool, such as Shen, Cho'Gath, and Zac.
|Kog'Maw really does shine in the late game. His Bio-Arcane Barrage allows for a great amount of damage onto his enemies, certainly melting any squishes or tanks that come his way. The single target damage that Kog'Maw can dish out in a mere few seconds is nothing to laugh at. Living Artillery is a very utility focused skill with the ability to reveal enemies hit by it. Void Ooze also does slow enemies for a considerable amount, and it allows Kog'Maw an easier time kiting his enemies around the battlefield. This guy is also from the Void. What more do you need?|
|- Slightly weak early-game.
- Can be mana-hungry.
- Very squishy and no escapes, so he's vulnerable to many champions, such as Ahri.
- AP scaling on his abilities.
- Low base autoattack range
- Bio-Arcane Barrage's downtime results in loss of damage.
- He isn't black either.
|Just like many other AD carries, Kog'Maw is very squishy, and when you pair that with the lack of a built-in escape, it can result in some difficulty during teamfights. Any champion, like Ahri, can jump onto him and decimate Kog'Maw if caught off-guard. Kog'Maw's ultimate, Living Artillery, also can build up, resulting in a lot of mana used up. Another downside is that none of his abilities scale with AD. Finally, without Bio-Arcane Barrage, Kog'Maw is left with a low base autoattack range and a loss of damage.|
// The masteries are pretty self-explanatory. It's standard 21 points into the offense tree. The 21 points ensure you have plenty of damage all-game round. Butcher is useful for killing minions while everything else is for dunking people all game. The important points picked up are points in armor penetration and extra damage, such as Executioner .
// The utility tree is simply better than the defense tree, assuming you only have 9 points to put into a tree. The utility tree is more useful than the defense tree in the late-game. Summoner's Insight and Mastermind is useful for the decreased cooldown on your Flash. The Vampirism mastery gives you take little bit of extra lifesteal.
x9 Greater Seal of Armor
x7 Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
x2 Greater Glyph of Scaling Mana Regeneration
x2 Greater Quintessence of Life Steal
x1 Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage
Flash is the must have summoner spell, no questions asked. It's a good escape tool, even with all the nerfs to it. It's the escape that Kog'Maw really lacks, allowing a jump over a wall or to dodge a vital skillshot that would kill you otherwise. You won't see anyone who doesn't take Flash on an ADC.
Barrier is the somewhat new summoner spell, added at the beginning of season 3. The shield provided by Barrier is certainly useful in lane, allowing you to barrier-bait your enemy. It can also block a hefty amount of burst damage headed your way.
Cleanse is the other option instead of Barrier. If you see that their team has a large amount of CC, be sure to take cleanse. It'll most likely save your life both in lane and in fights if you get caught by a Solar Flare or hit by a Light Binding.
Icathian Surprise (Passive)
Decent passive, but it doesn't help you while you're alive. It may seem to not synergize with Kog'Maw as he's a champion who shouldn't be dying, but it can still be helpful. Icathian Surprise is one of the few sources of true AoE damage in the game, and also deals more damage than Ignite at the same level. This passive allows for revenge kills, or getting yourself some assists in a team fight if you happen to be killed.
Bio-Arcane Barrage (W)
This is the main power of Kog'Maw. Bio-Arcane Barrage is the strongest ability in Kog'Maw's kit. This ability brings his range up to 710, the highest range in game (besides Twitch while using his spray and pray). Bio-Arcane Barrage allows Kog'Maw to be able to shred anyone, even tanks. Be careful when you activate it though. The cooldown is a lengthy 9 seconds, leaving you vulnerable and able to be engaged upon.
Void Ooze (E)
This is Kog's defensive ability. It can provide quite a bit of utility in lane and team fights. Anyone standing on this slow is open to a lot of damage from your auto attacks and teammates. In a defensive way, you can use this is someone's chasing you. If you land the slow on someone, you can use your Living Artillery to poke them.
Living Artillery (R)
Very unique and useful skill. Early to mid game, the damage is good for poking enemies and can synergize with his W and E. If you Void Ooze, and activate Bio-Arcane Barrage then hit them with Living Artillery, it can chunk them for quite a bit. Late game, the damage is mitigated a bit due to the enemy team most likely having magic resist. However, all throughout the game, it's useful as a scouting tool and hitting enemies from a distance. Do remember that the mana costs stacks, so make sure not to spam it or you'll find yourself out of mana quickly.
|The standard start of all ADCs now. Doran's Blade gives you enough AD for last hitting/farming in lane, and bonus health for early fights. The 5 life gain on each auto may not seem like much, but when combined with lifesteal quints, it gives you a good amount of sustain. If you're getting poked out in lane, make sure to be auto attacking minions for the life gain back from the Doran's Blade passive and your lifesteal quints.|
Typically, you would buy a B. F. Sword on your first back. However, on Kog'Maw, it's a little different. Since Kog already does tons of damage with his Bio-Arcane Barrage active, attack speed is a better stat for him than AD. A Zeal, Berserker's Greaves, and some Health Potions is quite a bit more than the price of a B. F. Sword, but it'll benefit Kog more in lane. However, if you do happen to be behind, buy the B. F. Sword to build into an early Infinity Edge. Make sure you rush Berserker's Greaves.
If you can't afford Berserker's Greaves and a Zeal straight up, you can go for Berserker's Greaves and a Vampiric Scepter or Berserker's Greaves and an Avarice Blade. You can eventually build a Statikk Shiv out of the Avarice Blade or farm up a Statikk Shiv with the extra lifesteal.
|Right around mid-game is when you should be getting your first few big items. Try to make laning last as long as possible for Kog'Maw though. You need the farm. The first item that you should buy on Kog'Maw should be Statikk Shiv. You might be saying, "Wait, shouldn't you get Infinity Edge on him first?" Statikk Shiv scales better with Kog'Maw because his Bio-Arcane Barrage gives him massive damage already, and the attack speed allows you to get a few more potshots off onto your enemies. After you get your Statikk Shiv, aim for your next big item, Infinity Edge.|
|Infinity Edge is pretty much a necessity on almost every AD carry. The damage that it gives you is unmatched by any other item, and the crit damage is really nice too. It synergizes well with your Statikk Shiv that you mostly likely should have, however if you happen to be behind in lane, you should build Infinity Edge first.|
HIT TAB AND CHECK THEIR ITEMS. Here is where there's another variety of choices you can go for. On Kog'Maw, a Blade of the Ruined King is good if the enemy team is has little to no armor. It allows you to deal massive damage to anyone, even their bruiser who dives on you. The extra movement speed stolen allows you to kite easier as well. A Last Whisper should be considered if they have considerable amounts of armor. If you were behind in lane and had to rush an Infinity Edge first, buy a Phantom Dancer instead of a Statikk Shiv. A Phantom Dancer is much better in the late game than the early Statikk Shiv rush.
|Get Blade of the Ruined King if you went for a Last Whisper first.|
|Get Last Whisper if you went for a Blade of the Ruined King first.|
|A Phantom Dancer scales much better into the late game than a Statikk Shiv. The crit from it is very nice, and the attack speed synergizes well with Bio-Arcane Barrage and Kog'Maw's Caustic Spittle passive. If you went for an early Statikk Shiv, sell it late game for a Phantom Dancer.|
Defensive Late-Game Items
|Banshee's Veil is a very nice item if you're against a double AP team comp, such as Ahri and Rumble or Rumble and Vladimir. It can block a fatal Charm or the burst from a Vladimir Transfusion.|
|Guardian Angel is good if you feel like you're the biggest threat on your team. Get this if you know that your team can protect you after you respawn though or if you're confident enough no one will dive on you again. If not, then go something else, such as Banshee's Veil or Mercurial Scimitar.|
|Mercurial Scimitar is an item introduced in season 3, upgrading from the Quicksilver Sash. It provides a good amount of magic resist, and the "cleanse" aspect of it comes in handy incase you've already used Cleanse or took barrier. The AD from it isn't bad either.|
|The enchantments are pretty self-explanatory. If you need to kite around enemies, then get furor.|
|If your base is getting pushed, definitely get homeguard. It'll get you there that much faster. Otherwise, furor would be better.|
|Ashe Difficulty: 1/5
Kog'Maw against Ashe is pretty easily in Kog's favor at all levels. You can force trades with her all day, activate your Bio-Arcane Barrage, Void Ooze her and go to town. If she tries to fight, she will straight up lose. When your Bio-Arcane Barrage is down, play cautiously and go back to farming. You can pressure her off the creep wave whenever your Bio-Arcane Barrage is up pretty easily. At 6, you do WAY more damage than her. Try to initiate the fight with your Bio-Arcane Barrage and land a Living Artillery in her escape path because odds are, she will be running away! Careful of getting ganked at 6 though. Ashe's Enchanted Crystal Arrow plus her jungler's assistance can easily get her back into the game. If the Ashe is smart, she will pretty much avoid all trades and play the farm game until 6. You're always fine to trade farm as Kog though.
|Caitlyn Difficulty: 4/5
Caitlyn. Oh man.. Caitlyn. She's one of the most annoying ADCs to fight against early. She has massive range, and can push you to tower very easily. As Kog'Maw, this will be a difficult match-up early, as she will most likely try to push you into tower. You won't have much of an answer for it. This isn't too bad though as you should be content to farm under the tower. You can try to force trades with her if you aren't pushed into tower, and you can win these pretty handedly if you can predict and dodge her Piltover Peacemaker. When chasing or fleeing, watch out for her Yordle Snap Traps. Once you are 6, as most lanes with Kog'Maw the lane gets a lot easier. You should be stronger at this point, and try to fight her a lot more often, if you land a couple Living Artillerys and attacks with Bio-Arcane Barrage, you should win easily. Be careful of her Ace in the Hole when you're low. Make sure to Barrier or have your support block for you if you know you'll die!
|Draven Difficulty: 5/5
Against Draven, you should leave the lane and never look back.
|Ezreal Difficulty: 2/5
Playing against Ezreal as Kog is one of the easier lanes. Ezreal can't really do much against you in lane unless he lands Mystic Shots. This is easy to avoid by standing behind creeps. You can constantly force trades with him, activate Bio-Arcane Barrage and go to town. Just make sure you are wary of his skillshots. You still have to play defensively when your W is down because you don't do much without it. However, you should actually look to bully Ezreal for the most part. Only, be a bit careful when Ezreal hits 6. He gets a pretty huge power-spike if he can land his Trueshot Barrage paired with another hard CC such as Sona's Crescendo.
|Graves Difficulty: 4/5
This matchup can be pretty hard for Kog'maw, especially early. Graves definitely has the power to bully you in lane, and push you into tower. As Kog, it's hard to force trades with him early. You can try to poke with your Bio-Arcane Barrage, but if he is smart he will just Smoke Screen you. You should, for the most part, try to farm and stay alive in this matchup early. Once you are 6, you actually have the potential to poke him out. Still, be very wary of an all in! Never get close enough for him to Quickdraw into you for a full damage Buckshot plus Collateral Damage combo. Once you are higher than level 7, Graves pretty much just starts to lose. Your range is way too much and you can just poke him all day with your Bio-Arcane Barrage and Living Artillery. If you make it, there you're golden.
|Miss Fortune Difficulty: 5/5
Miss Fortune is known as another one of those early lane bullies. She has very strong trading potential and is hard to deal with in lane. You will definitely lose trades if you try to go head to head with her. Be careful of her Double Up though. The targeting is a little weird, so make sure you understand how it somewhat works. If you can knock off her Strut and get a few shots with Bio-Arcane Barrage in (you outrange her), you can poke her down to a manageable HP. When you see her trying to run at you, just use Void Ooze and kite backwards, getting autos in whenever possible. For the most part, just try to get as much farm as you can though, as 6 you can obliterate her, as long as you don't stand in a full channel of her Bullet Time. Living Artillery OP!
|Varus Difficulty: 5/5
Varus is a very hard lane to win against as Kog'Maw. He has both the poke advantage, and the all in advantage. In this lane, you pretty much just want to avoid as much damage/poke as you can and try to farm. There's not much potential for outplay at the early levels. Try to dodge his Hail of Arrows if you can, as this is his main source of damage in lane. At 6, you can maybe poke him down with some good Living Artillerys but if you step to close and get hit by a Chain of Corruption, your life is probably over. Farm in this lane and try to stay alive!
|Vayne Difficulty: 2/5
Vayne against Kog'Maw is a pretty even matchup. Both are pretty weak the first few levels and ramp up afterwards. Kog has a slight advantage though pre-6 because of his range. You can activate your Bio-Arcane Barrage while Vayne is trying to farm. You'll get a lot of free hits, poking her down. Once she is kind of low, you can pretty much just zone her and bully her like you would any other low HP adc in the lane. Trading with Vayne can be dangerous though. Her Silver Bolts can deal a chunk of your health. You just have to be VERY careful about getting Condemned into the wall. It's a lot of damage, and a very long CC. Also, at 6 you pretty much can't win an all in against her because of her Final Hour unless you somehow land every Living Artillery (very hard because of Tumble) or your support drops a Vision Ward. Always try to land some good poke before you go all in against her. Never duel her alone in the late game.
|On your team: Blitzcrank really isn't the optimal support to lane Kog'Maw with. There's no follow up besides a slow and Kog'Maw doesn't do enough burst damage early. If you have to lane with Blitzcrank, wait until he lands a pull and engage to the best of your ability. Activate Bio-Arcane Barrage and Void Ooze, and hopefully you'll have brought someone relatively low.
Against: Blitzcrank can be hard to play against. Kog'Maw's lack of mobility makes it harder to dodge his Rocket Grab into Power Fist, and if your support doesn't ward the bushes, you're basically prey for the enemy laner.
|On your team: Janna is one of the best supports to pair with Kog'Maw. Janna's Eye Of The Storm allows Kog'Maw a safe and easy time farming. Her Howling Gale and Monsoon are good disengages against champions such as Blitzcrank, Leona, and Thresh. Her Eye Of The Storm is also great in fights due to the extra AD it gives you and the shield isn't bad either. Remember her Zephyr gives a decent slow to the enemy.
Against: Janna is a passive but strong champion to play against. Her Howling Gale and Monsoon are again, great disengages, allowing for her ADC to stay alive longer. Her Eye Of The Storm also gives AD, so be careful of that. Her Zephyr also gives her a good amount of movespeed, so she'll be able to run away in most cases.
|On your team: Just like Blitzcrank, Leona isn't an optimal support for Kog'Maw. He lacks a upfront burst that you would pair with Leona, such as Leona and Varus. Her combo of Eclipse > Zenith Blade > Shield of Daybreak > Solar Flare can be good for catching out enemies, but Kog'Maw is fairly weak early game, something Leona is somewhat dependent on.
Against: Leona is basically your worst enemy. If you get caught by a Zenith Blade into Shield of Daybreak and Solar Flare, expect to either be dead or very low. You're very squishy, so have your support sight ward or Vision Ward the bushes so she can't land a sneaky Zenith Blade. If you know none of her spells are up, you can try harassing with Bio-Arcane Barrage and Living Artillery. Run Cleanse in this lane.
|On your team: Lulu is a very strong support to pair with Kog'Maw. Her Glitterlance is good poke in lane and an 80% slow is very strong, allowing you to catch up and get a couple shots off with Bio-Arcane Barrage. Her Help, Pix! is most likely going to be a weak shield, but the Pix passive isn't too bad for that little extra damage. Her Whimsy is great for catching enemies, and her Wild Growth will be a lifesaver.
Against: Lulu, like Janna, is an annoying support to play against. Her Glitterlance slow is 80%, meaning she effectively can stop a chase. Her Help, Pix! can occasionally save someone, but her Whimsy is most likely just as annoying as Glitterlance. She can speed up an ally, or polymorph you or one of your teammates into a small critter. Keep in mind her Wild Growth also can knock-up you and your allies in the midst of a team fight. Cleanse would be optional in this lane.
|On your team: Nami is a great support to pair with Kog'Maw. Her Tidecaller's Blessing provides a nice slow in fights for when you have your Bio-Arcane Barrage active and her Aqua Prison is a very nice CC in lane. Ebb and Flow is a great heal in lane too. Make sure to follow up when Nami uses Tidal Wave though. It's a good slow, and when paired with Tidecaller's Blessing, no one will get away.
Against: When playing against Nami, the key thing is to try to dodge as many of her Aqua Prisons as you can, or you'll be in big trouble. If she uses Tidecaller's Blessing to slow you into an Aqua Prison in your escape path, you can bet some serious damage is headed your way. If you see a Tidal Wave coming, try to dodge to the best of your ability. Your best bet would just to move to the left or right, not try to outrun it. Her Ebb and Flow also does provide a good amount of sustain.
|On your team: Nunu is one of the best supports, if not the best, with Kog'Maw because of Blood Boil. It gives movement speed and a good attack speed buff. Blood Boil on a Bio-Arcane Barraged Kog'Maw results in an easy fight for you. They synergize together very well. Late-game, Kog'Maw will wreck anyone. Ice Blast is also a good slow in lane. He's very tanky. Do remember that Ice Blast and Absolute Zero slow attack speed of the enemy as well as the movement speed, so take advantage of their disadvantage.
Against: Nunu and a Blood Boil'd AD carry is pretty scary. As mentioned above, Ice Blast and Absolute Zero both slow movement and attack speed, leaving you open to a good amount of poke from the enemy. Your best bet would be to run Cleanse in this lane. It gives a good chance to fight back. Ask your support to hard CC Nunu during his channel of Absolute Zero to stop further damage.
|On your team: Sona is another good support with Kog'Maw. Her strength will carry you through the lane and make your life while farming easier. She can poke the enemies early with Hymn of Valor and Power Chord. When low, she can sustain both her and you back up with Aria of Perseverance. Her Power Chord after Aria of Perseverance reduces the enemy's damage, giving you an opportunity for trading. Sona's best ability would be Crescendo, a hard CC immobilizing enemies struck. This gives an open window for attacking. Song of Celerity is a good spell midgame, for when you need to escape a teamfight or when chasing an enemy, combined with her Power Chord.
Against: Against Sona, you want to try to avoid her Hymn of Valor and Power Chord combo as best as possible. It'll chunk you for a good amount of damage early. When trading, be careful and see if she utilizes her different Power Chords. Her damage reduction of 20% may not seem like a lot, but it can skew the trade in her favor. Watch out for a Flash and Crescendo onto you and your support. It can result in an easy double kill for the enemy carry.
|On your team: Aggressive supports usually aren't good with Kog'Maw, but Thresh isn't too bad. His Death Sentence can catch out enemies, and Dark Passage can be used very strategically. It allows for easy jungler ganks if he pulls some Madlife skills out of his hat. Flay is nice movement displacer, and The Box is a very, very powerful slow, resulting in an attempted disengage, or many kills in lane. He's basically Blitzcrank 2.0.
Against: Thresh is another support hard for Kog'Maw to play against. Because of his lack of built in escape, if you get hit by a Death Sentence, expect to use Flash or some other summoner spell. His Dark Passage again, allows for easy jungle ganks so you'll have to watch out for that. Flay displaces movement, allowing you to be moved closer to him. The Box will almost guarantee a kill on you or your support. The slow is very strong combined with his kit.
Remember, your main goal is to farm, farm, farm!
Early game, Kog'Maw is a bit weaker than other popular AD carries such as Varus, Caitlyn, Quinn, and Miss Fortune. Until level 6, try to last hit to the best of your ability, using W if necessary. Avoid taking too much damage, as it can add up quickly. Kog'Maw is fairly squishy, just like all ADC's. If you are engaged upon pre-6, try to kite and poke them back with Void Ooze and Bio-Arcane Barrage as much as possible. However, once you reach level 6, you are able to kite with Void Ooze and Living Artillery, resulting in won trades. The poke from Bio-Arcane Barrage is able to force the enemy to leave you alone so you can farm freely as well. Kog'Maw is a ultimately a farm champion, so early game it is not necessary to fight all the time. You will outscale almost all the other AD carries (exceptions being Tristana and Vayne) just by farming well and being ahead by those few last hits. Try to make laning last as long as possible!
Before the start of the fight, try to poke with your Living Artillery. Don't use up all of your mana though, you'll need it during the fight for Bio-Arcane Barrage and Void Ooze.
As usual, stay at a safe distance and keep good positioning. This is very easy to accomplish because of your massive range with your Bio-Arcane Barrage active. It is your JOB to kill the tanks as an AD carry, so don't be afraid to hit them, while keeping good positioning. Your Bio-Arcane Barrage will make quick work of them. Kite backwards with your Void Ooze as people try to dive onto you. You should be able to take out the enemy tank line much quicker than they can take out yours, and that will ultimately lead to you winning the fight. Remember to always utilize your range because if someone gets close to you, it probably will not end well.