Kog'Maw Build Guide by Incendiax
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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.
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Greetings Mobafire, welcome to my third guide (Which will not be as nearly as detailed as my Vladimir guide, sorry guys!), which revolutionizes my old love:
Kog'Maw, The Mouth of the Abyss
I build an extremely unconventional Kog'Maw, which focuses on a few things.
- Crippling enemy AD champions
- Soaking up loads of damage
- Shredding tanks & squishies
- Supporting your team
- Controlling Baron/Dragon as soon as it spawns
- Countering Tanky-DPS and Tank champion picks
However, I do want to provide you with a word of warning before you continue.
Take this very seriously before you attempt to play Kog'Maw, he isn't like the other Ranged AD Carries at all; he takes much much more skill to get to the "How did Cho'Gath die in 3 seconds, it's 52 minutes in" stage than most people think. He isn't "W TO WIN HERP DERP", he is much more. Positioning and teamwork are essential to thriving with Kog'Maw.
Remember these things when you're playing:
You are only as good as your support is. Remember this, or it will be your bane.
Kog'Maw has a massive set of balls. You can't fiddle around in the back of a fight for too long. If somebody initiates, you go in. You are a secondary initiator with this build.
**This is a work in progress! Much more will be added onto it when I get the chance to.
Rune selection on Kog'Maw is very straight forward, and is difficult to do wrong. Yet somehow 95% of the Kog'Maw builds manage to do this. This guide is focused around an Anti-AD Support-Shred Un-counterable Meta-Defeating Tower-Hugger-Killing Kog'Maw. Seems like a lot to take on your plate? It is, and if you think that any of my statements are false, you are mislead sir; you can in fact do all of these things at once. It's the beauty of Kog'Maw. :]
Furthermore, selection is very simple and straight forward.
9 Greater Mark of Desolation for basic penetration, which sets you up for a great late game.
9 Greater Mark of Magic Penetration for more shredding with your magical damages.
9 Greater Seal of Health for survivability. If somebody sneezes on you early game, you die. Additionally, you increase your chances of surviving that last caster minion hit that would kill you without them.
9 Greater Seal of Attack Speed for additional Attack Speed. This reduces the need to buy Attack Speed items, so you can focus more on shredding late game.
9 Greater Glyph of Magic Resist because the other Glyphs suck **** and do nothing for you. You're substantially tankier with these Glyphs, and you'll notice it every game.
3 Greater Quintessence of Desolation for synergization with your Marks. Additionally, your Q shreds a flat amount of their Armor, which makes this an even better pick. Pesky Malphite won't die? Well, **** you Malphite. And all 102 of your armor at level 1.
You CAN take a Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed or two, but I'm not too positive about the outcome of that. Currently experimenting with this, don't expect good results with it.
I take 15-0-15 masteries, which is fairly uncommon, solely for the reason that the other 6 points in Offense are useless for Kog'Maw, but you lose out on some critical components of the Offense tree if you only take 9 points in it. In terms of Utility, Kog'Maw is an extremely slow hero, and he needs the 3% Movement Speed increase to stay on-par with the rest of your team, along with your enemies. Additionally, you get a bit of mana regeneration and increased buff duration out of the investment too, which is always nice. Kog'Maw with red buff is scary, but not as nearly as devastating as Kog'Maw with a red buff that lasts 30% longer.
Pros/Cons coming soon...
Exhaust allows you to thrive in scenarios where you either
- Get ganked
- Initiate a fight you can't win
- Have an ally getting focused
Flash for the same reason of Exhaust. You have no real escape mechanism, so this permits you to do a lot more and gives you a much more flexible playstyle. Additionally, you can use it for positioning yourself for sniping with Living Artillery, or pursuing people over walls.
Other possible options:
Clairvoyance, if you enjoy the "support" aspect of the build more, or nobody else on your team is taking it. This spell can be swapped with Exhaust interchangably, but you typically don't need it due to the fact that you have a Clairvoyance that does damage built into your kit; Living Artillery.
Ignite should really be left to the Casters on your team, but you can take it if you want. Swap it with Exhaust if you really feel the need to.
Ghost, much like flash, has dozens of utility usages. Chasing, escaping, getting to a destination. However, its not as useful as Flash is for you, so its a gamble. Take your preference.
Revive is an often overlooked spell which has an amazing game changing capability. Misused, it can just give the team another kill. Pick it wisely if you do bring it.
Heal is self explanatory. We're not level 5 anymore.
Fortify, You aren't a tank. This spell should be on people who compliment it's usage.
Cleanse, Once again, you aren't a tank, and you shouldn't find yourself in a situation where you get CC'd down: You have 750 range with W activated. There are better options.
Clarity, You should be managing your mana efficiently. If you cannot do this, play Kog'Maw more, or stop playing him period.
Rally, again, self explanatory.
Smite, You aren't a jungler.
I can't decide which skill is my favorite out of Kog'Maws skill kit, so I'm just going to treat them all equally.
Passive: Icathian Surprise: Upon dying, Kog'Maw starts a chain reaction in his body which allows him to move faster for 4 seconds and detonate at the end of the duration, dealing 100 + (25 x level) true damage to surrounding enemies.
One of my favorite passives in the game, which allows you to get revenge on un-suspecting enemies. At level 18, this does 550 TRUE DAMAGE. This has scored me quadra kills, and allowed my team to push and win. Remember, you do more damage if you're alive though. Don't try to die just for your passive: use it as a last resort to secure a kill. Here's an example of how to use your passive. (Yes, I know I could've killed Blitzcrank earlier.)
Q: Caustic Spittle:(Passive) Permanently increases Kog'Maw's attack speed.
(Active) Kog'Maw launches a corrosive projectile at a single target which deals magic damage and reduces its armor and magic resist for 4 seconds.
You receive 30% Attack Speed for FREE when you get this skill to rank 5. This is phenomenal, and allows you to build more support/shred! Not to mention the active makes tankyDPS, and tanks want to strangle you.
W: Bio-Arcane Barrage: For 10 seconds, Kog'Maw's autoattacks gain range and deal additional magic damage which is equal to a percentage of the target's max health. The damage caps at 100 against minions and monsters.
This is what makes Kog'Maw, Kog'Maw! Giving him bat**** OP range, and making him a shredding machine all in one skill. Without this, he would be a very sad bug. This permits you to do so much more than you ever dreamed of. Want to kill Baron as soon as it spawns? No problem! Push W for a free Madred's Bloodrazor! Watch as he melts away with ease. The same tactic works on tanks too. The uses are endless.
E: Void Ooze: Kog'Maw launches a projectile in a line in front of him which deals magic damage to all enemies it passes through and leaves a trail for 4 seconds which slows enemies who stand on it.
One of the best slows in the game, which also deals a nice amount of damage. This builds support aspect revolves around this skill. You can turn the tide of a team fight with this spell, making anybody out of position regret ever clicking to pursue. Combined with a Randuin's Omen + Frozen Mallet slow, a one legged tortoise could beat them in a race.
R: Living Artillery: Kog'Maw throws a living artillery shell to a target location at a great distance and falls after a small delay dealing magic damage to all enemies hit and revealing them for 4 seconds. It deals 2.5 times as much base damage to champions. ---
Each subsequent Living Artillery in the next 6 seconds after a cast will cost 40 additional mana, capping at 200 per cast.
The spell that makes us rage if its used against us, yet brings us immense amounts of joy from using it. Much like his W, this is an essential part of his skill kit. With this, you can do some of the following:
- Nuke in fights
- Scout bushes & Baron/Dragon
- Kill tower huggers
Itemization, the bane of every defeat. The success of every victory.
Traditionally, I start with a Doran's Blade because it rounds Kog'Maw off nicely for early-game. Health to counter his squishy-ness, Attack Damage to increase his damage output, and some LifeSteal for sustain.
Alternatively, you can start with Boots+ 3 HP pots, but I wouldn't advise it unless you have a very CC heavy lane ahead of you, or you're fighting people with a lot of AoE/CC such as Miss Fortune, or Ashe.
Branching off into your second purchase, Wit's End. This gives you everything that you'll need for early, mid, and late game all in one affordable package. Damage, Attack Speed, Magic Resistance. Upon attacking, you apply 42 Magic-Damage+ your base damage to targeted enemy; along with progressively building up your Magic Resistance, to a possible total of 50.
With boots, it's a matter of situationally building.
If you feel like you need the Attack Speed, you can grab Berserker's Greaves, but you will penalize yourself and only end up with 387~ movement speed with these.
If you desire mobility so you can chase people down, then go with Boots of Swiftness. You cap over 400+ movement speed with these, allowing you to aim your Living Artillery better, along with escape with ease.
Heart of Gold is a stepping stone to what you need later on, and it gives you some sexy statistics along with it. +250 Health, and 5 Gold per 10 seconds. You can take a bit more of a beating in fights now, and you also set yourself up for some nice purchases later on with the passive.
When you get around to purchasing your Randuin's Omen, you'll be taking on a lot of responsibility. You're now adopting the the Support/Shred Kog'Maw kit. For further explanation, please see the "Randuin's Omen" Section.
Madred's Razors reward you with a nice chunk of survivability, damage output, and farming potential. You don't need to worry much about last hitting once you purchase this, and Dragon/Baron kills with be ridiculously fast.
Building this further into a Madred's Bloodrazor will give you most of your damage. You can now effectively shred tanks, squishies, and Baron/Dragon down with ease. The beauty of it all is, you utilize mostly mixed damage (Magic/Physical) so you're near-impossible to counter.
The Black Cleaver rounds finishes your offensive set of items, giving you even more shredding potential, and more support capabilities. With the passive shred of -15 Armor per hit, you not only rape whoever you're attacking, but also let your melee DPS go to town on them in the process. This works on turrets too, mind you. :]
Frozen Mallet is what ties this build together in my opinion. Rewarding you with a massive chunk of health, a bit of damage, and a disgusting slow. This lets you slap nearly anybody brainless, while permitting you to take chunks and chunks of damage.
Why Randuin's? Well, you most likely know that when you play Kog'Maw, everybody LOVES to focus you. Especially fed melee DPS and ranged AD. This is where the beauty of it really comes in. They attack you, they get slowed for a significant amount; and at that point, you can destroy them with a Void Ooze -> Caustic Spittle -> Living Artillery -> Bio-Arcane Barrage -> Living Artillery combo. If they aren't dead by the time they get half way through your Void Ooze, then they will be within a second or two. Let's review the bonuses you get from the almighty Randuin's Omen.
The +75 armor, +350 health, +25 HP/5 & Cooldown make this a very delicious pick on Kog'Maw. But that's not only why I take it. It's because of the passive. It synergizes perfectly with Frozen Mallet, along with your skill Void Ooze, rendering the enemy who's attempting to attack you nearly immobile with significantly reduced Attack Speed, effectively crippling any chance they had of killing you; which gives your team a free kill(s). If they attack you, and you attack them, they are going to be very, very upset.
Let's look at the figures here for a moment.
Assuming the enemy has 450 base Movement Speed, which is all too common, deduct the initial 35% from hitting you with an Auto Attack. This puts them at 293.5. Hit them with an Auto Attack, and they're now at 205 Movement Speed. Now, let's add in the slow from Void Ooze. At max rank, this slow is 60%. So, now they're at approximately 83 movement speed, on a good day. And we haven't even started discussing how low their Attack Speed will be. This is essentially the same amount of slow as Nasus's Wither, and brings a **** ton of Utility to Kog'Maw, allowing him to adopt a support role while simultaneously being a shredder.
Buy a Randuin's, and never lose another teamfight to that ******** Irelia again.
Skill Usage / Playing Style
You can't do much in your lane safely until you're level 6. You can play offensively at level 4, but I advise against it: your opponent will capitalize off of your aggression and most likely kill you.
Typically, your combos are:
Harassment (Any time):
Void Ooze -> Caustic Spittle -> Bio-Arcane Barrage
For 1v1/1v2 in lane:
Void Ooze -> Exhaust -> Caustic Spittle -> Living Artillery -> Bio-Arcane Barrage -> Living Artillery ->
Exhaust the person you aren't attacking if they can pose a threat to you, or the person you're attacking if they are the only DPS attacking you.
Supporting in Team-Fights:
Exhaust -> Void Ooze -> Caustic Spittle -> Living Artillery
Exhaust the highest priority target, Void Ooze the remaining enemies to keep them back, Shred the selected target with Caustic Spittle, and give vision on escaping/static targets with your ultimate.
Kog'Maw comes with experience. You cannot pick him up with this build and instantly start winning. This build is for those who are dedicated enough to the character to play him enough to get to the point where you can dominate with this build. As with Vladimir, I've played Kog'Maw for a substantial amount of time (Roughly 200 games) and its a High-Investment High-Reward time of gameplay.
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As always, Have fun and good luck.
>Started development of the guide 8/11/11. Completed first draft on 9/28/11
>Fixed a small error regarding skill point distribution. 9/28/11
>Updated some runes due to user recommendation. 11/3/2011