Build Guide by Zuulkra
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.
I play Kog'Maw as an attack speed build because it has high range and really great percent health damage. It (and I say it because I'm not looking. Period.) is a great support for your team for killing tanks, and if the opposing team has no tanks, then you're just as good at standing back and nuking high damage players, or getting them as they are running away.
I chose a 9/0/21 build because the way attack speed functions you do not need to spend the extra points in the offense tree to get the 5% damage, and other benefits, but going down far enough for the 15% magic penetration is a must. Putting your other 21 points into the utility tree gives you 3% movement speed which helps you kill and avoid getting killed and some mana regeneration because you do not have any other source of mana. At the bottom is 15% reduction in cooldowns for summoner spells which is very handy as Kog'Maw considering your only escape mechanisms are Ghost and Flash (which you should have taken the improved versions of, giving you an already lowered Flash CD and improved Ghost). Additionally, in the utility tree you will find +30% duration on monster buffs. Since you are not ability power you will have low mana regen so the golem buff, along with giving you cooldown reduction, will give you almost infinite mana to slow and slay your enemies. The lizard buff is key though, it gives you an additional bit of damage to every hit which will be massive when you are hitting two times per second AND a slow which is amazing before you get Frozen Mallet.
If you are facing a Tryndamere, go ahead and get Improved Exhaust instead of the .66% crit. Tryndamere is probably the best counter for Kog'Maw, making Exhaust very handy when fighting him.
I went with health seals and quintessences to improve your survivability late game because until you get your frozen mallet you will be targeted as one of the more squishy characters on your team. For marks and glyphs I chose attack speed because, especially early in the game, having that bonus attack speed will help you kill towers and destroy enemies while you have your Bio-Arcane Barrage active.
I go full mobility because Kog'Maw has almost no way to escape enemies, and no way to catch up if you have almost killed them and your Bio-Arcane Barrage has run out. Flash and Ghost accomplish almost any movement needs you have, whether it is flashing over jungle walls to escape hordes of enemies or ghosting to catch up to Ashe as she runs away with a delicious single bar of health left.
If you are facing a Tryndamere, as indicated above, get Exhaust. Damn him! Damn him to hell! Just burn him down till his endless rage kicks in, run away, when he catches up use exhaust and try to finish him off.
Passive: Icathian Surprise
Upon death your character becomes invulnerable for four seconds and after those four seconds you explode and deal 100+(25*Lvl) damage to nearby enemies (both creeps and champions).
Don't rely on this ability for kills, but it is really nice if you almost kill someone and happen to be able to run up and explode them. Sometimes they even get really pissed and /all about how it needs to be nerfed. :P
Caustic Spittle [Q]
Passive: Increases Attack Speed by 10/15/20/25/30%
Active: Deals 60/110/160/210/260 +(70% Ability Power) damage to the target as well as reducing their armor by 5/10/15/20/25.
I use this only if I really need to smash whoever I am killing, the bonus 260+ damage at level 18 is nice. The range isn't super long so don't try to use it too often, you are usually better off just decimating people from far away with your Bio-Arcane Barrage.
Bio-Arcane Barrage [W]
On use causes your attacks to have an increased 140/180/220/260/300 unit range as well as making your attacks do an additional 2/3/4/5/6% of the target's health in damage (+1% of your AP). This effect lasts for six seconds.
This is your primary ability. Use this to both harass and scrape enemies in battles. Paired with your Madred's Bloodrazor, Malady, lizard buff and Sword of the Divine you will be doing absurd amounts of damage on each hit, at an extremely long range. Because of its low mana cost you can use Bio-Arcane Barrage to harass early game as well, and potentially even get off some early kills.
Void Ooze [E]
Sprays ooze in front of you at a fairly long range which deals 60/110/160/210/260+(70% AP) to any enemies it passes through. Additionally it slows enemies who pass through the trail left behind by 28/36/44/52/60% of their movement speed.
This ability is great paired with your Bio-Arcane Barrage and a teammate's stun. Having your enemies slowed along with your increased range allows you to stand still and attack with no movement in between for a few seconds while your enemy is trying to flee.
Ultimate: Living Artillery [R]
You fire an artillery ooze at an incredible range (1400/1700/2000) which falls after a short delay dealing 80/120/160 + (30% AP) magic damage and reveals targets for 4 seconds. Damage to champions is increased by 150%. Every subsequent cast within 6 seconds costs an additional 50 mana, up to a maximum of 250 additional mana.
This is a great ability for killing fleeing foes who have managed to escape your spit storm, revealing potentially trapped bushes and farming minions when you need a bit more area damage. Do not use this as your main source of damage... it is good harassment, but it comes at a high cost if you are spamming it.
Start off with a Dagger and one health potion. Having the bonus attack speed will get you to about 1 attack per second by level 2 which will help you with killing minions and champions. Next you should finish off Berserker greaves. They are cheap, give good bonuses for you and fill your movement slot until you can afford elixirs.
Now you get into the real items. Begin with a Recurve Bow to start building your Madred's Bloodrazor. Try to stay in lane until you have enough, but if you have to go back before you can complete your Madred's then go ahead and pick up either of the two other components. Madred's Bloodrazor is key to your face smashing. Combined with the lizard buff and Bio-Arcane Barrage you will be melting through players' health.
Next I go for Malady in most cases. If there are any high dodge characters on the other team go ahead and get your Sword of the Divine instead. Then get Frozen Mallet after your Phage. Boom extra health and a slow so you don't need lizard buff as much to kill people.
Now get new boots. Sell those silly Berserker Greaves and buy either Sorcerer's Shoes or Mercury Treads (in the case that there are lots of CCs on the other team).
After your boots you have some flexibility. I have been getting Malady/SOTD (Depending on which you purchased earlier) and Guardian Angel. Once you are capped on Attack Speed (almost), having the extra armor/magic resistance and the passive from Guardian Angel is very useful.. If you end up getting focused A LOT then either get Warmog's instead of Malady, if there is still time to build it up. You should also be buying Elixirs of Agility to supplement your attack speed, bringing you up to 2.48 at level 18. As they have reduced Kog'Maw's attack speed down to where it was originally, Malady will help get you back up to 2.5.
If you are on a team with a Starks Fervor or other attack speed improving aura (I.e Nunu), go ahead and grab Void Staff earlier, it will help a lot with your damage output if you don't need the extra Attack Speed. If you do happen to go Void Staff after Sorcerer's Shoes, you should get a survival item... which really depends on the enemy team. You can go with Warmog's, Banshee's Veil or Guardian Angel.
Try to lane not in the middle. While Kog'Maw is great middle, it is more useful for tank spanking on one of the side lanes. It makes a great combination with almost any characters. Pairing with ranged who have slows or stuns is a lot of fun, generally allowing some very early game kills.
If you end up opposing healers do not fret! You will out-damage almost any healer very early on in the game if you and your partner focus fire their dps. With your ridiculously large range and slowing effect and your partner's hopefully not too bad damage you should be able to bring down anyone in a matter of seconds.
Generally I play Kog'Maw very offensively, using Bio-Arcane Barrage to harass every time I can. It is very effective to combine your Void Ooze with your Bio-Arcane Barrage. Your enemies will most likely stand there and hit you for a moment before deciding that they cannot actually out damage you and your partner, at which point they will try to escape... but no, they have been slowed and are about to have their corpse feasted on. However, make sure you do not over-extend yourself. Even with Ghost and Flash Kog'Maw can be very squishy early game (however, once you are dead, you can always go blow them up!).
Now that you are level six with some good attack speed you should be able to harass very well with your ultimate, Living Artillery. Make sure that you do not use all of your mana for it because when you have your enemy at half health you will want to Bio-Arcane Barrage and Void Ooze them into a pulp. This is the major set-back of this build on Kog'Maw is his early game mana consumption. Eventually you will want to get the golem buff which will give you enough mana regeneration to spam your Living Artillery all day.
As you approach level 9-12 you will probably start grouping with your team and pushing lanes as a group of 3-5. Your job is to stand back, slow, and omgdestroy tanks (or DPS if there are no tanks there). I do not generally use Caustic Spittle's active unless I am in a fight where I need to be destroying one player incredibly fast on the basis that it soon will drop the passive, and since you are not going to be relying on your basic damage as much as your percent health damage and bonus damage effects it will not actually improve your damage output by a very significant amount.
Late in the game you will be grouped with at least four of your teammates which will hopefully give you some buffer and allow you to stand still and nuke players. Use your Living Artillery to check bushes, deal damage before fights start, and to kill fleeing characters. When fights do break-out go for the highest health players in order to demoralize their team (as they see their tank transformed into nothing but goo in a matter of seconds they will not be very interested in coming any closer) and to, of course, destroy their tank. Frozen Mallet will serve you well much later in the game when almost everyone has their item sets maxed out and you need just a little more health to stay alive, and another slow to ensure you ace their team yet again.
Remember that many people under-estimate the range on your Bio-Arcane Barrage so you can rush in, void ooze, and pop it to decimate their health. Rarely will they have time to run away.
Ghost and Flash will become increasingly crucial in late game as the damage intake will become higher and higher. Using your Flash well to escape death and your ghost to get away as well will make or break your game.
Neutral Monster Buffs
As previously mentioned, you should be grabbing the neutral monster buffs whenever you can. By level six or seven, possibly eight or nine if you are having a slow game, you should have enough power to drop the golem or lizard without taking substantial damage. These buffs, especially the lizard buff, are going to vastly improve your ability to feast on the tears of your foes... and the rest of them as well.