Build Guide by after.fallout
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.
This is how I build Cho in a duo lane with a farm dependent carry lane partner.
Early game is focused on zoning the enemy out of range. Because your lane partner is the one who is getting most of the farm, you are running a little low on gold for the laning phase.
After laning, Cho expects to be the center of attention in every teamfight (why else would he get so big and run around screaming and stomping the ground). Thus you need serious mitigation. I carry teleport so that I can farm the other lanes and tp back for upcoming teamfights.
Mpen is best, it has synergy with Q, W and E.
Armor is decent.
MR is ok.
Nothing else is really worth mentioning.
Armor is my choice, it is at least as good as any other option.
MP5/level and Greater Seal of Replenishment MP5 are fine as well. Obviously Replenishment is better early game and Clarity is endgame. I personally rarely have mana issues endgame.
CDR: IMO, there really isn't another choice. Every percent CDR is 0.1 seconds off the cooldown of Rupture. Getting two Ruptures off during a teamfight is game changing.
The only viable argument for something else is that you are getting hard focused every game by mages and thus MR is ok. Still I would say getting that Force of Nature earlier would be better.
Movement speed: Cho's a slow beast. At level 1, 2 of these provide enough speed to get moving around the minions to help zone for your partner.
HP: the old standby. A third Swiftness is ok, but Fortitude lets you be a bit more aggressive in your zoning (last hit zoning is effective, but experience zoning is better).
I go 9/0/21 because CDR is king. With CDR glyphs, level 1 Rupture is at about 8.6 seconds.
It is Cho'gath's job to be in the center of the teamfight, with as many people silenced, slowed, MR debuffed or in the air as possible. CDR lets that happen.
I always start with:
Then I usually trek out to bot lane and zone for my partner (or cover jungle or help invade [pro tip: rupturing the enemy's jungler while they are attacking blue usually gets them killed]).
I only last hit minions to gain hp or mana during the laning phase. Hence I tend to have about 15 CS while my lane partner nears 40. The goal is to have the enemy <15. Because of this I don't make much money early game.
When should you go back?
1000g: + +
1150g: + +
1400g: + + +
1850g: + +
2300g: + +
Your goal is:
When you are low on HP. Do not be afraid to pill and then tp back in early. If you are between two numbers above and don't feel confident waiting for the next notch, go back and get up to 1 ward, 2 hp pots, and 2 mana pots. Ward dragon. If you are at a number and feel confident you can get another 110, stay then grab a ward and an hp pot.
I don't get the elixir after level 5 or so (after core build finishes I get them again as well as blue). This isn't because it isn't good then, but rather because I need to start farming more actively. If you get ganked, you aren't getting away unless you land a perfect rupture+scream (and understand that this is really hard to do). If you are dead, elixir is still draining away.
Only pure awesomeness. It is like having the heal summoner spell, only better because it increases max hp as well. Do not consider it an endgame only item. For the sacrifice of 250 gold, a red elixer gives about the same amount of health as a red crystal. And it gives a sweet red glow on Cho.
By now you are a serious presence on the field. You have almost 30% CDR and enough mana to keep the fight on. What do you do now?
Your team is going to get dragon: Be there.
There is a giant minion wave nearing your tower: Teleport over and launch them into the sky.
Your team is chasing Singed/Shaco/Teemo through their jungle: Ignore the noobs.
Seriously, do not teamfight until you have gotten at least 4 stacks. You will do no good for your team if you die. You are a monster with about 1000 hp and pretty ****py magic resistance. Leblanc will kill you faster than you blink (so will Nocturne, Yi, Viegar, Miss Fortune, ...).
Get your farm up. The next 3 items you should buy are:
Try to leave a slot open for wards. You shouldn't need hp pots anymore or mana pots because of your passive. Buy the biggest you can. Remember that wolves, wraiths and golems camps are worth about 80g each; worth taking care of if the lanes are pushed and they can safely be gathered (and aren't being done so by your jungler). If things are going fine while you are getting your cape, get it first because you will farm faster with it than without it.
Your midgame goal is:
This completes your core build. At 8460 gold (less than half my per game average), this lets you grab plenty of wards, pots and elixirs. Everything you get on top of this is gravy.
There are many items to continue building for, here are the ones I consider in alphabetical order:
Aegis of the Legion
30 armor, 39 magic resist, 270 health and 8 damage for you; some of that for your nearby teammates. Great on a tight budget; possibly the best for going against a well composed enemy team.
Overrated IMO (for Cho). The bubble is nice but Cho expects to be hit with a spell dozens of times in a teamfight, not once. If CC is a problem, QSS is a better solution. If magic DoT is a problem (Teemo, Malz, Twitch, etc.), Force of Nature is better. If pure magic damage is a problem FoN is still a better option. Sure, a bit more mana is nice and an extra 2 auto attack's worth of hp is nice. I am almost never sold on a BV for Cho.
Force of Nature
Great item for Cho. You will make use of the unique. I get one in just about every game.
For an extra 1250, you can upgrade Glacial Shroud to get 5% cooldown, 54 armor and 75 mana. I get it as a last item.
An insurance policy for your stacks. I like it, but I don't go out of my way to get it. On average Cho can feast 2 times between teamfights. Living longer during the teamfight is worth it though.
If they can't kill you, a deathcap is a nice humiliation item. Deathcap makes Rupture into a 500hp aoe nuke and feast hit for 1k true damage. It's expensive, but I might sell something to grab it late game after I have gotten 6 items.
With this and Frozen Heart, glyphs and masteries you are basically at 40% CDR. If you are decent at using the active, you can do a nice combo of exaust-omen-rupture-silence which almost absolutely ensures you get feast off for a kill. Otherwise it is mediocre and I lean towards Thornmail or an hourglass more.
Rod of Ages
Absolutely not necessary as an early part of your build. You should get it if you aren't needing other resistances. It farms up in 10 minutes so you likely would finish farming it regardless of when you get it. Usually this is a better item than a Soul Shroud; I like it more than Warmogs, but I'd rather have an Hourglass.
HP and a second off Rupture. Not worth it if someone on your team already has it or if you are near 40% cdr already (get Warmogs instead). I think it is fun otherwise.
Makes enemey AD champs cut themselves up like butter. Only really effective for about 20% of the champs in the game and then half of them can build to mitigate it pretty well. I get it about that often.
Warmog's is a great item to farm at about a 10k game point. I don't like getting it early like every other guide seems to suggest. I usually still max it out in game (30 minions and 7 kills/assists; easy). It is up in the air whether or not I even bother getting it as there are often other things which I like more.
AP+armor, why isn't this in every Cho guide (or every AP tank guide for that matter)?
It costs a lot and everyone and their mom wants a Warmogs. Hourglass makes Rupture hit for 100 more, Scream hit 70 more, spikes 20 and Feast for 50 more true damage. On top of that it provides a fairly strong amount of affective HP for autos. And it makes you invulnerable when you just chewed on your Fortune cookie and she says you aren't making it past her team safely to yours.
I like Teleport and Exhaust for Cho'gath:
- Teleport helps provide map presence and control.
- Exhaust combos well with Cho's spells, it makes it easier to land Rupture, and lets you catch up for Feast.
- IMO Exhaust-Rupture-Scream-Feast is easier to pull off than Rupture-Flash-Scream-Feast. YMMV. Flash can help you escape as well.
- Yep, Cho is slow; this helps chase and run away. Honestly, I am not good at using Ghost. Every time I take it I feel like something else I could have taken would have been better. So I don't.
Boots first (Mercury's Treads), after Doran's of course; Tanky CDR is nice, but you need mana too. SF Cape is at the very definition of being a tank, and an Abyssal Scepter makes it and all your abilities hurt more (and lets your AP carry not have to get one so fast). Everything else depends on the game.
Rupture and Exaust+Rupture are initiation tools. Scream works well to single one champ out over others for a kill. Feast should always be on cooldown after killing a minion if you are at less than 6 stacks. Simply being bigger than everyone else makes you more likely a target. Silence further pisses people off and they are even more likely to target you.
This is the first guide I am publishing. Please comment on what you like/don't. I am not requiring comments to vote because I think that does nothing to promote good comments but I would very much appreciate them.
* forgot rod of ages... thank you Phever