Cho'Gath Build Guide by Knightro
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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 everyone, my name is Knightro, and welcome to my jungle Cho'Gath guide! This guide might be a little brief, but I will basically be giving a rundown on how to jungle effectively as everyone's favorite Terror of the Void in a short window, so that you can spend as little time reading as possible so that you can spend more time gaming!
I cannot stress this enough, this is NOT an in-depth guide. This guide was written with the thought in mind of a quick reference, such as if you are in champion select, and you need to quickly find out what runes or masteries to take, where you don't have time to read through 50 chapter's worth of garbage to find the one section you need to read. With that in mind, please leave your thoughts and comments for me to read, and if you have any questions I shall personally answer them to the best of my abilities.
Why Jungle Cho'Gath?
Cho'Gath is a great champion because he is strong at every ELO in competitive play. He doesn't even rely heavily on runes to jungle, making him perfect for new players to learn how to jungle. And in the higher ELO, he becomes a monster that can destroy teams and carry allies to victory with his CC (Crowd Control) and tankiness.
Cho'Gath is extremely sustained, and almost never has to leave the jungle once you get Quill Coat. You can stay in the jungle farming camps forever, building Feast stacks and then getting really tanky. His ganks are also great, with 2 forms of CC at his disposal. This also makes him a strong counter-jungler, able to go and mess up the enemy jungler with little difficulty. The only issue is landing your CC.
The only downside is that you should itemize on tankiness, and that means that your damage will fall off in the late game. At that point in the game, your goal is to successfully land Ruptures and Feral Screams to assist your team in team fights. Landing Rupture is also key to his ganks and play style, so you will need to to a bit of practicing to get the timing down to land the perfect Rupture.
Greater Mark of Attack Speed: These are good for Cho'Gath since he relies heavily on basic attacks to clear. The faster you clear, the more you can gank. Also, they work well with Vorpal Spikes, dealing even more damage.
Greater Seal of Armor: There is always going to be some form of physical damage you will encounter. This comes from enemy champions, minion, monsters, and turrets. These runes will negate some of that damage and increase your overall durability.
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist: Since the jungle monsters deal no magic damage, and you won't be encountering any early on in the game, scaling magic resist is the way to go. They will offer three times as much magic resist at level 18 as their flat counterparts, and will be good for surviving burst damage from pesky mages late game.
Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed: Theres not much Cho needs from quints, so these will do fine. The movement speed helps you get around the map quicker, chase down enemies, or escape sticky situations.
9 points in the utility tree is much stronger then 9 points in the offense tree, since the utility tree gives more movement speed, as well as increased neutral buff duration and a shorter cooldown on summoner spells. Alchemist also increases the effectiveness of health potions and elixirs bought, making them to be more worthwhile purchases, and Scout increases the range of trinket items, which is very useful.
Cho'Gath scales very well with the defense tree, since Feast gets boosted by Juggernaut and Carnivore keeps him healthy throughout the game. Tough Skin ties in very well with the passive damage reduction from Hunter's Machete, making your first clear extremely easy. The rest are my personal preference, but you can swap around your masteries as you see fit. For example, if you see they have a team composition like Ziggs and Amumu, you might want to invest 4 points into Resistance and Evasive .
Carnivore: A great passive that keeps Cho'Gath sustained in the jungle throughout the whole game. This gives him more freedom to use his spells to jungle, since he can easily regain the mana spent. Stacks perfectly with Feast .
Rupture: Knocks up and slows anyone it hits. This spell takes a lot of practice, since there is a delay and the AOE can be misleading. Basically, you need to aim the spell in front of your target, so that they will walk onto it when the delay ends. Be weary about spamming this since it will deplete your mana quickly.
Feral Scream: Silences all enemies in a cone in front of you. This spell is great since the silence lasts up to 2.5 seconds, making it a very strong tool for interrupting channels and also preventing enemies from Flashing away during ganks. However, this spell also has a high mana cost to it, so be weary so you don't run out of mana.
Vorpal Spikes: This is a passive toggle. 99% of the time, you should not toggle this spell off! It makes your basic attacks launch spikes that deal AOE magic damage. This spell makes farming very easy and increases your clear time considerably. The only time to toggle it off is if you don't want to draw turret aggro because the spikes will hit an enemy champion who is defending his turret.
Feast: A fantastic ultimate. You automatically deal true damage to the target. If it kills the target, Cho'Gath gains a stack of Feast. Each stack increases his maximum health and attack range, up to 6 stacks. This lets you become extremely tanky and gain up to 900 bonus health. It also has an extremely short cooldown of 60 seconds, so you can use it to farm off jungle monsters extremely quickly. Feast + Smite is amazing for securing objectives, since few champions can steal from a 2000 true damage nuke.
I like to max Vorpal Spikes first, since it has no mana cost, no cooldown, and has far more sustained damage for clears and ganks. If you max Rupture or Feral Scream first, you will be low on mana more often then not, and most of your damage will rely on hitting those skill shots, whereas with Vorpal Spikes you will be dealing damage with auto attacks.
Max Rupture second over Feral Scream for a few reasons:
- Lower CD then Feral Scream
- Lower Mana cost
- Longer cast range
- Better scaling damage-wise (in both AP ratio and base damage)
Of course, if you are really bad at nailing those Ruptures, then you should max Feral Scream second since it is much easier to land then Rupture.
Take points in Feast at levels 6, 11, and 16.
Spirit of the Ancient Golem: The best jungle item for Cho'Gath. It grants health, CDR, a huge spike to your bonus health and MASSIVE sustain in the jungle. It also grants gold when you cash in stacks by killing a large monster. Make sure to kill large monsters often to prevent the stacks from sitting at 80 for a while, you want to keep up your gold income!
Ninja Tabi: Even though Spirit of the Ancient Golem no longer offers tenacity, you can still take these boots over Mercury's Treads. They grant armor and damage reduction, making them great for staying in the jungle forever and negating physical damage. Of course you can take the treads if you need tenacity and magic resist.
Nashor's Tooth: This might seem a bit odd, but allow me to explain. This item grants attack speed, so that works well with Vorpal Spikes. This also grants ability power to scale your abilities, and deals bonus magic damage on each hit! This item speeds up your clear time in the jungle and lets you continue to hurt even while building tanky. It also grants 20% CDR! This is a huge amount, considering how scarce large amounts of CDR is becoming.
Spirit Visage: My go-to magic resist item. It gives CDR, health, magic resist, and increased healing by 20%. This works well with Carnivore, shooting your already high sustain through the roof! The only reason I would not take this item is if they had a team consisting of entirely physical damage dealers.
Randuin's Omen: This is the best armor/health item out there. It will offer the most physical effective health, and the passive is great for escaping sticky foes, and also for winning trades. The AOE slow in a team fight is also extremely useful, helping to lock enemies in place for your team to kill. I would always take this item even if they had a team of primarily magic damage dealers, because they will always have a marksman dealing physical damage on their team.
Guardian Angel: This can be taken if it's very late game, and you are starting to have team fights where death timers are getting up to high amounts (IE 70 seconds) then this item can be game changing. A second chance is amazing, you can come back alive and win a fight for your team, or push down an inhibitor or secure other important objectives. However, the base stats are pretty bad, so if the passive is on CD, you might want to swap this for another item.
Boots of Swiftness: If you need a ton of movement speed to keep up with mobile champions, these boots will let you speed around, while at the same time reduce the effects of slows. This does stack with Swiftness .
Wit's End: Another great attack speed item, that crosses damage and durability. The magic resist steal will make you beefier and weaken the target, and the attack speed and bonus magic damage on-hit stack well with Vorpal Spikes and Nashor's Tooth.
Iceborn Gauntlet: If you find yourself in need of more sticking power. The AOE slow zone helps stick to enemies and is great in team fights. It also grants a nice amount of armor and mana, in addition to some CDR.
Frozen Heart: If you need some mana and armor, then this is a great item to choose! It also offers 20% CDR, and an aura that lowers the attack speed of enemies, making it great for dealing with champions like Tryndamere and Udyr.
Thornmail: Another armor option, it is very cheap for 100 armor, and can be very useful when you are getting focused down by enemies such as Udyr and Vayne.
Zephyr: This might seem like a very odd choice, but it has been pointed out to me that between this item and also Boots of Swiftness, you will be able to keep up with almost any champion, and be able to continuously attack them, and also escape from them. It also grants tenacity, which is a great stat for a tank.
Start at the Lizard Elder when on the Blue team, and the Ancient Golem on the Purple team. This way you will be on the bottom half of the map and Bot lane can leash you. Afterwards take the smallest camp nearest to you, which would be either the wraiths or the wolves. Then head straight for your second buff and secure that.
Once you hit level 3, check for ganks. If you see any overextended lanes, then you should gank them. If you don't, then continue farming the jungle. Just run in-between the small camps and clear them, Smiteing whenever you feel necessary. I don't bother with the Wight, since it deals a lot of damage in the early game, and doesn't offer enough gold to make it worth while.
Once you hit level 6, make sure to put a point into your ultimate. You should definitely be stacking up your ultimate as much as possible, to get that extra health. Even if you have 6 stacks, it can be very useful to help you secure your own buffs, and also makes securing dragon and baron very easy.
The best time to start doing dragon is when the enemy bot lane has gone back to their base. Ping for your allies, and then secure the dragon. Make sure that before you start the dragon, you have both Smite and Feast off cooldown. If you don't, you risk the enemy jungler running, up, Smiteing the dragon, and then running away. Also make sure to check the area with Vision Wards and Sweeping Lens to make sure that the enemy team won't come around and try to start a fight while you are halfway finished killing the dragon.
How to Gank Lanes
Firstly, you need to make sure that the lane you wish to gank is not pushed to their own turret. It is very difficult to gank someone while they are turret hugging, and it is also risky, meaning either you or your lane ally can die trying to kill the opponent. You also need to know if the lane is warded or not, so that you can actually gank. If the lane is warded, then they will more then likely back off and make ganking near-impossible.
When you do gank a lane, let your laner engage a fight first. If the enemy laner decides to fight back, you can charge in and help out. If the enemy laner immediately backs off, then it might be harder to actually gank because they might be expecting you to gank them. In this case, just go back to farming or gank another lane.
When you get the gank going, you should save Rupture until the enemy laner has blown his/her escape tool, IE Flash, Leap, etc. After they do, knock them up with Rupture and catch up to them, and silence them with Feral Scream. You can also use Feral Scream earlier if you so choose to prevent that initial Flash or Leap, and make the gank go a lot smoother.
If you have to turret dive, make sure that you have Flash available. You should be tanking the turret shots for your laner, and if you get into trouble, it is good to have Flash handy to make an escape and ensure that you live.
What to do in a Team Fight
Cho'Gath is a very strong team fight champion. His assortment of AOE crowd control and tankiness make him excellent at peeling for allies when they get jumped by assassins, or initiating team fights by catching an opponent with Rupture.
Don't hesitate to use Feast on a low health enemy if you are confident it will kill them. Even if it doesn't it will still deal a ton of damage, and leave them low enough for you or an ally to finish them off.
You should aim Rupture so that it will knock up as many players as possible. Once they are knocked up, walk up and silence all of them with Feral Scream. This combo will deal a ton of damage and allow your team to dive in and pick of squishy enemies.
If you see an enemy beginning a channel, such as Crowstorm or Death Lotus, then don't hesitate to either silence them with Feral Scream or knock them up with Rupture. It can mean the difference between acing the enemy team, or badly losing a team fight.
I would like to thank you all for taking the time to read my guide to jungle Cho'Gath. I know it might be somewhat brief, but I believe in "short, sweet, and to the point". If you liked it, please make sure to leave your thoughts in the comments section, and also to vote on it. If you are a fan of my work, then make sure to check out my other guides, which you can find on my profile. Hope you all enjoyed, and keep an eye out for my future projects!