Kog'Maw Build Guide by A.R.M.
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.
Inqusitive about the title?
I was doing a short research paper/project (a couple of pages (strangely enough bonus HW)) in which I wanted to see how a representative a video gaming community (luckily one commented), would react in the presented situation. It was in regards to the abridged claim that "people do not see the person on the other side of the screen." sirrel helped prove it true, do not hold it against him/her, it was constructed so that either he stayed graciously professional or would fail to see the person on the other side of the screen. He/She was played into the situation does not mean he/she is a bad person, it just means the person now has had the opportunity to learn from his or her mistakes.
One should never lower himself/herself to someone level, be the bigger person.
If you are reading this sirrel, thank you for the help.
Pre-preface, Internet Security Awareness and good practice for web links
Anyone can code a link to display as one thing and to link to something that you think is one thing but is another (a embedded link): The Best AD Kog Build Ever!
Not all browsers support the ability to click links, that is right, some are not tech savvy enough to update their browsers and their computers are too old to automatically do it.
The ideal link no matter what anyone else tells you, is the following:
The discussion for this guide can be found at http://www.mobafire.com/league-of-legends/build/ap-and-hybrid-kog-builds-with-a-brief-analysis-of-kog-312465/discussion#lastcomment
For literally anyone can click the link, but if he/she is smart enough to know I am a stranger and that embedded links are dangerous, then one will copy the link and past it into there web browser. Also if one has a web browser that does not support embedded links, then they can still be linked to ones' link.
Just consider yourself lucky that the Rick Roll for the first link above was from me, for some malicious person may have redirected you towards some website that would download a worm that a cracker (hacker) would then download a rootkit onto your computer (if you do not know the terms, they are malware, a virus is an example of malware)... thus having complete control over it in a rather stealthy way, thus stealing information and slowing your computer down. The internet is dangerous, I am sure that there are people with malicious intent seeking to do such. The more you know.
The items are the focus, ignore everything else (besides the hybrid penetration runes).
I was an AP Kog player in Season 1 to season 2, then they nerfed him hard. I would like to believe I know the in's and out of Kog'Maw.
I will not go over how to play Kog'Maw in general, there is plenty of other media out there including other guides that cover that, Kog's play mechanics have not changed, his item build has.
The following is a link to my roots with Kog'Maw: http://www.mobafire.com/league-of-legends/build/a-r-m-s-ultimate-kogmaw-165802.
The above builds and following notes are of a Kog'Maw schema I decided to try an instantaneously succeeded the very first time and every time proceeding. I define succeeding as doing the most damage to champions in a game. I came up with this build just yesterday (3/26/13) for I missed my old Kog'Maw and I knew I could stomp with him.
On the left is his Hybrid Build and on the right is his AP Build. His hybrid build I suspect will raise a lot of opposition and noise, and I expect to be chastised over it, none of it is rigor tested, but every time I did it succeeded, for you play passive, and come back to the lane as an ap that can farm and poke ridiculously hard.
Why not tons of mana on AP Kog Anymore?
AP Kog got hard nerfed in Season 2, and going even further back, he got nerfed in Season one such that no-one wanted to play him, but he was still there, and Season 2 showed he was still strong, thus he got hard nerfed. Keep in mind blue buff was also nefed awhile back, which killed infinite mana AP Kog (pre-grail).
After many months of reminiscing about AP Kog and playing him here and there in dominion/ARAM games (where my old builds are still viable despite lich bane being nerfed, so replace lich with liandry's).
AP Kog cannot infinite ult, if you are trying to play an AP Kog that ults indefinitely, just put all bias aside and consider the following:
If you play him you know his ult is mana hungry (200 mana at 10 ults, you should never go past 5 unless there is no chance of needing mana anytime soon and you cannot get the kill any other way).
AP Kog's ult got nerfed to 125% from 150% bonus damage, you need additional damage sooner to makeup for the lost damage. (before you could 1v1 literally anyone and win if your prediction/leading skills were of a high enough teir and still only rush mana (tear --> rod of ages)
Blue Buff was nerfed as well as Archangels (750 mana now instead of 1k mana), what archangels stacks into costs mana, so if you use that item your actually doing yourself a disservice when you ult.
In summary, the season 3 items did not make up for his season 2 (and other item) nerfs. If you want to be able to Mid you need to learn to be conservative with your ult.
I will update and possibly beautify the guide, but that is dependent how well the masses receive this content.
What role(s) can Kog Serve?
To be frank, Kog can be an ADCarry, a Hybrid, and an APC.
He also can be and ADCaster or even a Hybrid Caster.
The reason I make the discrepancies is that Urgot is and ADCaster and one knows who/what a(n) ADCarry is.
Kog is squishy and slow moving, needs a strong peel team if he is to close --> ad and hybrid kog are mainly effected by this.
All of Kog's spells scale off of AP and only his ult scales off of AD as well.
AP Kog: extreme poke and can nuke with a full combo.
AD Kog: physical and magic damage at insane speeds; the opponent thinks what to build to counter?
Hybrid Kog: magic and physical damage at insane speeds; moreso magic then physical --> can still have an APC on the team, but need at least 1 ad top or jungle (with the other being hybrid or ad) for you will do 2:1 magic:physical damage.
General Stratagy with Kog'Maw
Always ult conservatively, it is easy to get ult happy, go oom, and the be out of luck thus vulnerable to an enemy attack. I like ulting once every 2 seconds (or therebouts (when his ult (mana cost) timer comes off cd, ult again)).
Do not get chase happy, you have to have map awareness, expend some mana on the brush with your ult if it is not warded and you HAVE to go through it, for it is not a waste, it is a precaution.... just think of it as not giving a free kill to the opponent. If you delane/chase them off of tower, that is a free tower, let them get away, for you can just chase them off tower or force them to engage (if they are smart they will engage).
Why AP Kog Still?
I am not going to cover what made him viable before, if you do not believe he was once, then skip to the hybrid portion or just flatter me and assume for this moment he was.
AP Kog is devastating, luckily liandry's torment still makes him viable if you are vs a mid (or lane opponent(s redefine the meta if you want)) he can fight. His ults range and Liandry's means you can burn the opponents down at no cost to yourself (if you play conservatively)
One ascertains the chalice for one is playing conservatively, which entails slowly but surely ulting the opponent(s) once every 2 seconds.
One then gets Sorcerers shoes, for lets face it, Kog no matter his form is slow, which means lost farm and lost poke/zoneing/lane presence (for the more one is lane the more the opponent has to be, thus the less able your opponent is able to gank.
One has to get a Liandry's next, once you get it you start to have a presence, and since one is not going oom due to conservative ulting/harass, one has lane superiority.
Once one gets a rylais, one starts to dominate, and can start to aggressively ult multiple times (up to 5). By this point in time, if you have not already you should be getting blue buff, not that it is necessary, but it is an extremely nice to have and trust me, it will do more for oneself and thus one's team than anything else.
If one is able to purchase and elise's mircle such that it will pop (become a consumed item), then get one, the utility is worth this divergence from the rest of ones build.
Upgrading the grail probably will not happen most games, but the longer a game goes the disproportionately deadlier AP Kog becomes to most others in the game (Sion, Nasus, Veigar can all get nasty if they are left to their own devices).
If one is able to upgrade the grail that is the coups de grâce (coo de graw - if slurred it sounds similarly to this) to your build, meaning one can get whatever situational item one wants, for with the grail you have all the utility and poke one needs.
Why Hybrid Kog over AD (Crit) Kog?
Ad Kog is good, I'll give you that, but his damage is crit based on ad and percent health damage (as many claim his percent health makes it worth it).
Any champion will do AD/Crit damage if one build them as such, so when you do it on Kog you think it is good, and it is, but one is ignoring his w's the fact that his percent health damage. Kog's percent health magic damage from bio-arcane barrage does not crit, but since it is an autoattack, the ad damage you'd normally do does crit. Some want to claim the magic damage portion of it crits, it does not.
Ask yourself the following, do you build crit on literally everyone who is an ADC?
If the answer is no, or even if the answer is "it depends" and/or "it is situational,"
then this transition from AD Kog to Hybrid Kog will be natural for you.
Hybrid Kog as the build outlines above does 2 magic damage for every 1 physical damage he does on average, for all of his abilities do magic damage, and building hybrid means you will have roughly = ad and ap.
My Hybrid Kog is based on the idea that one can poke one's opponent down from afar (especially since you are burning them with liandry's) then get down and dirty with them (for then you have your void ooze's slow + liandry's burn), you have + a lot of attack speed for you used probably at least 6 spells if not more prior to the fight (for thus ginsues is stacked). You then have your w's % health damage plus a burn from liandry's (10% for they are slowed) that you can reapply every two seconds due to low cd on your ult whilst conserving mana + 5% due to the blade of the ruined king.
Lets say you are dying too fast due to ad, or even both ad and ap... rather than get that GA people suggest, in which the opponent will wait around until you come back and kill you for good whislt you are powerless to stop them, stay alive via getting an iceboarn gauntlent, for that will slow your opponent and provide armor, alternatively you can get a zhonya's, although it's active only comes in handy to avoid a huge burst/nuke like ziggs ult, or them diving you under tower, or a nocturne (attempting) to ult you, etc.
Why Hybrid Kog?
Kog does beautifully with attack speed and does a % health attack, so it seemed like a natural fit to give him additional percent health to his attacks.
Why Hybrid Runes?
You are Hybrid Kog, this entails that you cannot put all your eggs in once basket, thus you have penetration for both physical and magic. The armor penetration helps with your autoattacks with your Bio-Archane Barrage and the burn the Blade of the Ruined King offers whereas the magic helps with the Liandry's Torment Burn.
Why Magic Penetration items rather than Armor Penetration items?
Berserkers Greaves provide less utility for Kog than Sorcerers Shoes, so that is a no brainer.
Liandry's Torment might have some blowback for suggesting, but hear me out, it has quality magic penetration, Kog has a built in slow and the Blade of the Ruined King is an activatable slow. It is not hard to burn for 10% with liandry's torment, and the magic penetration makes that burn all the more effective.
Why Ginsues Rageblade?
It is a item on the cheap that provides statsequivilent to that of a much more expensive item, and it is not hard to get to 8 stacks as kog, for your ult is on a lower cd than the rageblades cd, so ult everytime your ult comes off cd and your rageblade will always be fully stacked, als spam 4 spells to engage and your already at 4 stacks minimum (although you should have ulted at least once or twice before in the expectation that an engage was going to occur)
Why Blade of the Ruined King?
Blade of the Ruined King is currently a must have and nice to have on many champions in the game, it heals, slows, burns, and provides attack speed all on the cheap. When you drop below half health you gain 20% attack speed, 10% life steal, and 10% spell vamp until you exit combat... that is a lot of bonus stats.
Why Liandry's Torment?
It synergizes with kog for it burns for % health as well as provids health and magic penetration.
Why Iceborn Gauntlet?
When your Void Ooze is down as well as blade of the Ruined King, this item provides a backup to slow in order for liandry's to burn the opponent for 10% rather than 5%. This item also provides armor --> survivability for I find I die mainly to attack damage when I am Hybrid Kog, for mages tend to be afraid of me and slowed... thus have some of my team on them...
Do not forget this item provides cooldown reduction as well, which comes in handy for haing your Bio-Arcane Barrage sooner rather than later... plus more Armor/Magic pen through kogs Caustic Spittle and more slow/cc through kogs void ooze.... his ult is on a low enough cd for Hybrid Kog.
Alternatively to Iceborn gauntlets you could get a Maw of Malmortious, of which being if your opponent is doing a ton of magic damage.
Zhonya's Hourglass vs Hurricane vs Mecurial Scimitar vs Maw of Mamortius:
Zhonya's is nice when they have a nocturne or some other champ (mainly assassin) that can jump on you. (I do not know, but if nocturne ults to you and you know it, and you zhonya's, will his flight path cancel?) If they are ad heavy or you find you are dying still due to physical damage mainly (it is not a minor discrepancy and cc is no issue), then get a zhonya's.
If you find you are dying near equally to magic/physical damage and/or cc is of no issue, then get a Hurricane for added attack speed, it also procs with your W and the blade of the ruined king, thus doing a good amount of damage.
If Magic damage is killing you mainly (and/or someone got a thornmail for some reason) and CC is an issue, then grab a mercurial scimitar. It will remove debuffs in all aspects besides suppresses and provide some much needed mr and damage.
Finally if Magic damage is killing you mainly but cc is not an issue, then grab a maw of malmortious, because the coincidental effect of the irony of having a maw on Kog'Maw, it provides great mr, damage, and a nice shield, and don't forget that shield is there whilst ginsues passive is active... thus healing whilst their magic does nothing due to your shield.
I like exhaust and ghost, for if someone jumps on you can exhaust them and ignore them and or kill them... depending on the teams priorities. Ghost is handy in conjunction with your void ooze (slow) as well as chasing/running.
You can take flash, barrier, anything you want (although I do not think very highly of barrier ARAM's aside.
I would suggest a flash/ghost, exhaust/flash, barrier/flash combo if you prefer them over the standard meta flash/ignite, you have enough percent burn, you do not need ignite, you are better off with exhaust than ignite for you can severely weaken your opponents damage output as well as make your opponent temporarily squishier if you have the master point for it.
Flash and ghost are for high mobility, exhaust and flash are for survivability and repositioning, barrier/flash are for all around survivability and repositioning.
I would say go with exhaust and flash or exhaust and ghost, for more often than not there are 1 or two opponents doing far more than the rest, and significantly reducing one of the opponents damage output via exhaust is devastating to them. After that it comes down to: do you prefer flash or do you prefer ghost?
Exhaust provides up to 2.5 seconds of: 30% damage reduction (excluding true damage, 50% attack speed slow, 30% movement speed slow, and with the mastery Summoners Wrath an extra 10 armor and magic penetration is a lot of extremely useful utility. When Kog gets jumped he will drop quickly, but in my experience there is about a 3-5 second lag time before getting killed, so if you insta-exhaust them you enter fight or flight mode.
If you want to run just void ooze in the direct you wish to run away and walk way (or ghost if it calls for it).
If you want to fight then do in the following order: Void Ooze, Living Artillery, Caustic Spittle (it should hit before Living Artillery does), Bio-Arcane Barrage, and ult at your own discretion, but keep enough mana in reserve to void ooze and caustic spittle again if you foresee the fight going that long (which it usually but one's void ooze should have kept them off of oneself, thus allowing a second combo an about 5 ults during the fight. The thing about champions that tend to jump you is that they themselves are squishy, and exhaust extremely hinders their sustain, one just has to have a sleigh of hand in order to beat them...
Note that one can do both simultaneously (especially in teamfights) for if one has an aware team, they will come to your aid. it is good to have a bodyguard with hard cc for Kog... with the ideal one being Udyr. Thus exhaust kept you in the fight and dealing damage rather than dying thus instantly creating a 4v5 in which the opponent collapse onto one's team.
Even if someone has a Mercurial Scimitar, a Quicksilver Sash, Mikael's Crucible, or even cleanse, it still disrupts the opponent for a fraction of a second long enough to Void Ooze (and ghost) away. One should in the very least keep an eye out for what the opponent that would be jumping onto oneself so that one knows exhaust only would buy a moment time rather than make an easy target, for there is nothing worse than someone coming in and getting you for you didn't see they just got a Mercurial Scimitar.
There is more to come
The above is a rough draft of this guide, and depending on how you all receive the information, it may improve quite a bit. I wanted to put this out there since this is free Kog'Maw week.
Please do not talk down about the build until you have tried it at least thrice, which is still not a sample size, but I feel it is a realistic request.
It did the most champions to champions every time I played either of these two Builds, although I feel the Hybrid Kog is more reliable.