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Kog'Maw Build Guide by Zarnim

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.


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League of Legends Build Guide Author Zarnim

Kog'maw- Consume all that lives!

Zarnim Last updated on February 12, 2012
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Ability Sequence

2
4
8
12
14
Ability Key Q
10
13
15
17
18
Ability Key W
1
3
5
7
9
Ability Key E
6
11
16
Ability Key R





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.



Masteries

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sunder
Archmage
 
 
 
 
 
 
Executioner
 
 

Offense: 9

 
 
 
 
 
Durability
Vigor
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Honor Guard
Mercenary
 
 
 
 
 
 
Juggernaut
 
 

Defense: 0

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Strength of Spirit
3/
Intelligence
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Mastermind
 

Utility: 21


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Introduction

Hello there! In this build I will show you how Kogmaw can continue to be an absolute dps monster in lategame while still being able to deal lots of damage early on and during that pesky mid-game nonsence. Kog'maw has been my faithful companion for almost a year now and this is a build that I have found myself, tweaking and changing it based on other people's criticisms.

This build starts off as a mage during the laning phase, but once you purchase Nashor's Tooth, Kog'maw sinks into the long range dps category while being able to spam spells on the enemy team from a great distance, much like Ezreal.

NOTE the cheat sheet at the top doesn't account for mastery points, so I do get a full +40% cdr with full build + masteries (+10%).


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Pros / Cons

Pros!
-Decent amount of damage all throughout the game
-Able to kite well due to Living Artillery and Bio-Arcane Barrage
-Squishy killer/tank killer
-Spammable ult
-Kamikaze when you die >:3

Cons
EXTREMELY SQUISHY
-No escape abilities other than void ooze to slow them down
-Can be easily kited
-Low AD at the start (49 Dmg) makes last hitting extremely challenging in addition to the projectile travel time.


overall, Kog'maw is a glass cannon


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This build is DIFFERENT

Though Kog'maw is widely played as an AD carry, my personal view of Kog'maw is that his true and original calling was as an AP/AS hybrid. With full 40% cooldown reduction, Kog'maw was originally allowed to release powerful debuffing spells all while keeping his Bio-Arcane Barrage up. However, due to the not-so-recent change to Kog'maw, Bio-Arcane Barrage cannot be up 100% of the time. With the recent nerf to Kog'maw, his range has been shortened but only at higher levels.

This build utilizes Kog'maw as a champion whose main focus is in the speed in his attacks, while supplementing them with strong magic spells to unleash both relatively high burst and sustained damage. Early game harass without having to tank those stupid minions is a plus too. Even though the minions' damage have been nerfed a bit due to the patch, they still hurt!


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Runes

So! on to runes.

Marks
Not much to say. Since most of the damage you will be doing is through magic damage (yes, even Bio-Arcane Barrage since you get bonus magic damage, but that is only for later).

Seals
This is quite a lifesaver during the laning phase, especially if you're in mid or if laning phase goes a bit longer than expected. Both scenarios end up with you being a pretty high level and conversely having some great mana regen to boot. Mana regen is also critical when trying to chase people with Living Artillery.

Glyphs


This is where people might get a bit confused. "Zarnim, why don't you just get an entire glyph section of CDRPL?" Good question summoner! This is actually one of the more recent changes done to my build, but first, the answer to the question, "Why CDRPL?"

Some people may say "so you can spam your ult to infinitibillion" Yes, that is true. 0.6 cooldown on Living Artillery is fun, but not the real reason. The real reason is so that you can constantly have Bio-Arcane Barrage on due to Kog'maw's recent buff. Sadly, Riot (darn them) has caught on to me and they reduced the 10 second active time to 8 second active time, but I digress.

So now, why not put 9 Greater Glyph of Scaling Cooldown Reduction in your runepage? Because that's too much CDR. Some of you are thinking "what? you can't have too much CDR!" But in this case, it's true. With 9 Greater Glyph of Scaling Cooldown Reduction, we would have 8.62% CDR at lv 18. Now with most spellcasters, this would be fine since you will most likely get blue buff and will be at the 40% CDR cap anyway. However, when Kog'maw, you should give blue buff to another person on the team. Why? In addition to having your amazing mana regen with Runes and Nashor's tooth, you get +25% CDR and some amazing mana regen. With masteries, you get an additional 10% CDR. In the end, you'll end up with around 43.62% CDR.

um what?

So... instead of wasting space in my glyph spots, I take out 3 CDRPL runes and replace one of them with one flat cdr. (I now get +5% CDR at lv 18)
For the new two free slots I put in 2 magic pen runes

So now you get an extra 1 magic penetration.

Quintessenses


With these extra buddies in your rune page, you will start off the game with a whopping 15 flat magic penetration. Now it may not seem like a lot, but in the game, it's more apparent. By level 6 (solo) or level 10 (duo lane), you can void ooze and ulti the caster minions for free and easy gold. You also get some cool early game harass with your Caustic Spittle and Void Ooze. By level 3 (2 points in Void Ooze), it takes whatever is in your path down by ~100 hp.


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Masteries

Still trying to find out what is best with these new masteries. Use at own risk. This will most likely become a rant about what I think is best, so if you do disagree with what I say, pay no mind to this section :)

November 18: This build is with a 9/0/21 getting increased magic pen, but skipping the spell vamp on the utilities portion of the tree. I do not, however, get Mastermind . Why? Read on curious summoner.

Mastermind
Unlike a support caster whose job it is to spam Clairvoyance, Heal, Clarity, and have a shorter cooldown on Teleport, that one point can be used for something more valuable. In this version, I get Sage since Kog'Maw is a beast when overleveled.

Transmutation
At first thought, I was like, "Wow! Spellvamp as a mastery? Sign me up!"
I put three whole points into Transmutation and started the game. I honestly could not see a difference. My E was healing me for only 8 hp per hit, so it wasn't that enlightening. Being unable to spam my spells due to my current mana regeneration (around 26 per 5, not that much) This didn't help as much as I thought. I see this as a throwaway spec for Kog'Maw, and I believe gaining more gold than my enemy is more of a bonus than NOT being able to sustain in lane at all.


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Items

Each of the items in my final build for Kog'maw has a specific purpose. My main focus in this build is buffing my attack speed and my ability power, along with getting some magic pen.

My MUST-HAVE Items


As you can see from the build at the top, I don't buy Nashor's Tooth immediately after Fiendish Codex. Why? My early game Kog'maw strategy is to farm and harrass with spells and not autoattacks. More is said on this strategy later in the following chapters, but essentially you can deal more damage with your Void Ooze, Caustic Spittle and Living Artillery than a couple of autoattacks to their face at a somewhat dangerous and close-ish range. However, once I buy a recurve bow, I usually get around 1.8 ish attack speed and can start harrassing with Bio-Arcane Barrage. Why Nashor's tooth? 50% attack speed, mana regen and 25% CDR is too much to give up with this build. Madreds also does magic damage, so Void staff + Madreds = Profit.

When I punch those numbers into my calculator it makes a happy face.


Boots (not just made for walking)

perfect for that little bit of attack speed. I have not tried it, but I suppose Sorcerer's Shoes can also work. More magic pen, more power!




Malady is awesome. Magic resist shred and attack speed is right up Koggy's alley. It's the second-best item on him after Madreds Bloodrazor.



THE LAST ITEM
is up to you

I don't really have a definite last item. Instead, I use it as a situational slot. The most common ones that I use are:


I shall explain the various implements for each one


I use this when the game seems like many one-on-one matches. The added AD and AP will buff your living artillery] to do massive amounts of damage, and as an added bonus, will heal you quite a bit. The AD and a bit of the AP will help your auto attacks with [bio-arcane barrage. The AP will undoubtedly help your Caustic Spittle and Void Ooze. However, I get Gunblade for 1v1 matches because of its AD buff and lifesteal effects. By this time, you should have a sufficient amount of attack speed to completely shred your opponent before they even see you. However, steer clear from burst or stun casters like Akali or Annie, or massively sustaining champions who are made to 1v1 like Jax or Tryndamere.



I only get this if I know the other team's players are ignorant of my Living Artillery or if you know someone else other than you will get focused (for example, Shen or Rammus is your best friend in teamfights, be sure to tell them to taunt people who try and kill you).



This is agains particularly annoying teams that seem to burst you to pieces with champions such as Annie or LeBlanc. Make sure your flash and ghost are both up after you use this.



It's just a good item. Good mana, good survivability. It'll make those stuns worthless for Annie and that first spell useless for LeBlanc




only ONLY ONLY use this when there's a guy who's too fast for you to handle and you need to slow said person down, such as Xin Zhao

also, if you find that people are escaping your flurry of Living Artillery, then this is quite a good investment.


I have heard....
that this goes well on Kogmaw. Try it at your own risk. I don't like it since it doesn't proc the slow on my other three abilities, only on Bio-Arcane Barrage which is just an auto-attack modifier, adding magic damage. With Ryalais, we still get the frost proc on it anyway, so..


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Why I don't like Rushing MBR

It seems that almost every game I get into, around the 12 minute mark, people start saying "oh my god this Kog'maw's a noob, he's not getting Madreds first. GG." *feeds to oblivion*

I could rant about this all day, but I'll include a TL;DR on why I hate people who rush Madreds Bloodrazor after they get their boots.

Reason 1: long building time

Are most people be able to complete a full MBR until around maybe 17-20 minutes in? If they do, then A: the other team is horrible, or B: the player gets every minion in existence before the 20 minute mark. It could take even longer than that. In my games, the enemy Kog'maws who rush MBR get it around the 25-min mark.
If someone can get a "good, somewhat accurate" representation of when someone would get a a MBR, it would be greatly appreciated in my guide :)

Reason 2: Utterly Useless early-mid game.
Let's break it down shall we?
Lets say you are having the best game of your life and have 6 kills, 0 deaths and a heck of a lot of minion kills at around the 16-minute mark (semi-impossible, I know, but bear with me) and around level 12 or 13. Say you leveled up Caustic Spittle all the way to lv 5 and you have a full attack-speed runepage. Let's also say you leveled up that cloth armor into a madred's razor and then had enough money to buy a Recurve Bow (kids, thats 2050 gold without buying potions!). Still saying that you have those great attack-speed masteries which give you +4% AS. Even if you could get the entire 3,800 gold Madred's Bloodrazor this would forego boots. No boots. Just you and your MBR and maybe 2.3 attackspeed.

Hooray, you now have successfully wasted every rune slot and 4 mastery points getting 2.1-2.3 attackspeed and only a half-completed Madred's Bloodrazor (or a whole one, either way).
It is now midgame and you tickle the caster minions with your abilities, while having to proc your Bio-Arcane Barrage to do any significant damage to the chariot minions. Sure the poke on your Bio-Arcane Barrage forced your lane opponents out of the lane during early laning phase, but you do absolutely no damage to champions.
And this is if you get many kills in the beginning and a huge amount of CS.

Now you see why I hate madreds rushers. Little to no damage early or midgame.

"But late-game, Kogmaw rips people apart! Kogmaw is supposed to BE a late-game champion!! n00b -1"

Yes. Kogmaw is supposed to be a late-game champion. That is exactly why I don't get Madreds until that time. Late-game will be late-game, so why not improve your mid-game damage output to have a bit more fun harassing the other team and get a higher CS?


Reason 3: Too Expensive for a first item.
The cost it takes to make a Bloodrazor is enough to buy a Fiendish Codex, a Berserker's Greaves, a Blasting Wand and an Amplifying Tome, with a whopping 334 gold left over for wards, potions or elixers!

But is this necessarily better?

If we give exactly 3800 gold to both a MBR rusher and a summoner who is following my guide...

-The MBR rushers will rejoice and buy (shock and awe!) a MBR, thus giving them 30 AD, 40% AS, 25 AR, and magic damage based on 4% of the enemy's max health.
-Those who follow my build and get those items, they get 90 AP, +7 mana regen per 5, and +10% CDR, and level 2 movement speed with 334 gold left over to buy wards or health potions.
-Who will win in a fight? Assuming neither has any runes, and both people are competent players, most likely the non-madreds rusher will win.

There is yet another reason to why MBR should NOT be bought first. As many of you know (or you will soon find after reading this) Laning minions' gold yield scales over time. From the League Wiki, the gold gained from the caster minions is +1G every 3 minutes. The gold gained from the melee minions is +0.5G every 3 minutes. Though this may not sound that much, as time goes on, building more expensive items later in the game becomes much easier because of this gold gain. So, it is better to use your early game money to build a low-mid priced item, since you can soon buy much greater items later in the game.

TL;DR
-Gold increasing over duration of the game = easier time getting MBR later in the game.
-Instead of saving up for MBR, early gold lets you get intermediary items that help you have a stronger midgame. You can't be sure you'll always get to lategame
-less enemy health=less damage from MBR. More enemy health=more damage in conjunction with other items that shred mr


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Skill Sequence

The certain Skill sequence that I go for maxes Void Ooze and Caustic Spittle first, getting ulti whenever you can, and Bio-Arcane Barrage last. This provides me with a decent harass during laning phase right when I hit level 3. Casutic spittle + void ooze does a surprising amount of damage to both tank and squishy carry thanks to your runes and masteries. I will talk more about laning in it's appropriate chapter.

I do sometimes contradict myself and I get a point in Bio-Arcane Barrage at around level seven or eight if I see that I can harass them well at the start. Experiment with this at your own risk. i don't like doing it since it leaves you susceptible to their damaging abilities when you try to zone them.


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Summoner Spells

And here we are at summoner spells.


anyone who has ever played Kog'maw before knows he has absolutely no getaways. That is why Ghost Flash has always been the two go-to summoner spells for me. However, let's just look at the other summoners just to be sure

I have seen some Kog'maw players use this. But with this build, just wait a bit and last hit with your Auto attack. You'll have enough mana in time.

also a good spell, though your void ooze becomes better at slowing them down. If you need it for the damage reduction and armor/mr reduction, leave it to the others to get it since more often than not, they will have a better gap closer during ganking, bringing them closer and able to exhaust more easily.

I have also seen this while playing. I'm assuming most people use it for the +AP mastery, but I see no use in getting it. Just kill them with Living Artillery as they get away.


For the other summoner spells,


Leave them to the tanks and support!


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Laning Middle and what to do Post-Laning phase

Ok. The moment you have all been waiting for. How to lane with Kog'maw. Some of you reading this build already know how to play Kog'maw and are familiar with his ranges and other "things" about his gameplay. I'm going to demonstrate how I use him.


Usually I'll go mid, unless someone else picks an AD carry like Ashe or caitlin. At the start of the first minion wave, try to assess how well the enemy will be able to dodge your incoming attacks by casting a few Void Ooze at them. However, don't use up too much mana at level one just trying to assess their dodging ability. Lv 1 void ooze is not that powerful. However, once you hit level 3 and have 2 points in void ooze, it will do some considerable damage to the other player. Now due to the mana regen runes, you don't have to worry too much about lack of mana for void ooze, but still try and keep an eye out on your mana.

Once you hit level 6 in middle, you can start farming for real. This is why I like to use AP Kog'maw. Unleash a Void Ooze at the enemy caster minions, followed directly with a Living Artillery. If everything goes well, the caster minions should be either dead or almost dead, a couple of autoattacks to them or another living artillery should finish them off for guaranteed 3 minion kills every wave.

Also, as you hit level 6, try and harass the other player as much as you can with Living Artillery. One of my favorite combos is to hit them with a spray of void ooze and drop a living artillery right on them. This should do enough damage to scare them into giving you complete/majority lane control.

Once you have farmed around 2615 gold, call for someone to hold your lane. When you go back, get the Fiendish Codex, Berserker Greaves, a Blasting Wand and an Amplifying Tome. Continue farming middle, or if laning phase is over, creep a bit and get as many minion kills as possible. Once you get 1000 gold, immediately go back and get your Void Staff. With these items, try and push your lane with your jungler or your team and destroy their tower if you haven't already done so.

Continue farming until you can purchase a Nashor's Tooth and a Recurve Bow. With these items, you can now start harassing the other players with your Bio-Arcane Barrage. By this time, you should be around level 16-18 and you should have Lv 3 Living Artillery. Once you see the enemy team group up, start trying to spam your Living Artillery on them, dealing quite a bit of damage.

After this, just continue poking and prodding with your Living Artillery. Hopefully you will get some kills so buying MBR won't be too much of a hassle.


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Laning in the DUAL LANE

If you are duo-bottom laning, try to follow the same example for middle lane, only be a lot more careful. You will not be able to sustain in lane for as long a time as if you were in middle, so you won't be able to accumulate that hefty 2615 gold quick enough with just an amplifying tome in your pocket. Instead, go back early when you can buy a Fiendish Codex and try to be in lane for as long as you can, getting as many minion kills as possible.

Try and harass them once you hit lv 3 with your void ooze, trying also to hit the caster minions at the same time. Once you hit level 6, void ooze and living artillery the caster minions, but this time you will have to auto-attack the minions to get the gold, so don't let your minions attack the caster minions! If you have enough, go back and get berserker greaves and a blasting wand.

With just these three items, you can start harassing extremely well with your partner. Always poke with Living Artillery and Void Ooze it is your best combo. If possible, land a Caustic Spittle before the void ooze and living artillery. Since Caustic Spittle does the same amount of damage as Void Ooze to a single person, try to hit them as much as possible with it if the enemy gets too close. You won't have to worry about mana that much, though I do advise not to use Living Artillery for more than 2 stacks unless you are sure you can kill them. That extra 120 mana cost will hurt!


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Team Work

STAY BEHIND YOUR ALLIES. I cannot stress this enough. You are given an attack range modifier for a reason. You are almost as squishy as Ezreal, except you don't have a fun getaway ability.

In teamfights, Spam your spells on their melee DPS to kill him as fast as possible before he can get to you. Your teammates should have been going for the casters and ranged AD in the back, so it is your job to draw attention to the tank so he wastes a few spells on you, but at the same time damaging those squishy squishy burst casters.

How to do?

This is where Kog's Living Artillery really shines. Because of its long range, you can effectively proc Bio-Arcane Barrage, attack the tank and spam Living Artillery onto the carries at the same time. By the time their carries die, your malady should reduce the tank's magic resist enough so your hard AP carry can kill their tank with relative ease as they try and get away.


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AD Vs. AP Which is better? Well, both are

Though I always say that I hate AD Kogmaw, I have to admit its quite a scary thing now that his ulti scales better off with AD (.6AD vs .4AP).

What I have noticed is that AD Kogmaw is a much better 1v1 champion. Without having to proc his Bio-Arcane Barrage to do damage, he literally has to just right click on an enemy and he shreds them to pieces. Plus, since Living Artillery scales 0.6 with additional AD, it packs quite a punch late game. Thus, those who are building AD-caster Kogmaw can destroy others with just one click and a few buttons.

AD Kogmaw, though others may disagree, became extremely popular when his Living Artillery finally scaled with AD, thus leaving us (the AP-AS hybrids) in the dust. Kog'maw almost seems like Ezreal. Before Ez's Trueshot Barrage started scaling with AD, AP Ezreal was played more often (though was still considered rare). Nowadays, no one plays AP Ezreal for the fact that people just think of AP as a throwaway statistic on Ezreal. That is, now, what I fear with AP Kogmaw.


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Summary and Final Regards

All in all, this is my favorite build on my favorite character in League of Legends. As I said before in the start, this is for more caster oriented people, so if you like harassing with your auto-attack early game, I suggest looking at another build.

Thanks for devoting your time to reading my guide! Comments and improvements are very helpful since this is my first build that I made here on mobafire.

And remember:
if you are against the Koggy.
Don't Feed the Koggy


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Explanations brought up in the Comments

9/5/2011 1:05 PM (brought up to light thanks to ReppinFTC,) "mixing flat magic pen and % magic pen is frowned upon"

I can see how this is frowned upon. Against a tank (let's say 200 MR at the least) will have their MR reduced by 74 after taking out 15 from magic pen. This means they will still have 126 effective MR. However, if we just take the Void Staff, we get -80 MR from them and they will have 120 MR. With just the % magic pen, I shred more MR than with both the flat and % magic pen. Why would I do that?

Because you shouldn't focus the tank with your spells.

So let's look at the squishy carries now.

Since it is your job, as I stated before, to spam Living Artillery on the carries far away, you need some flat magic pen. Why? Let's look at some of the math with Ashe

Let's say you are using Madmack's Ashe ranked carry build (the link is here From the cheat sheet, it says she get a nice 80 magic resist for her final build.

Ok then.

Let's put her MR to the test shall we?
15|40% magic pen
80-15=65
65 * .4 =26
65 - 26 = 39 active MR

0|40% magic pen
80 * .4 = 32
80 - 32 = 48 active MR

39 < 48

Even though I don't get as much MR reduction on the tanks, I do get more MR reduction on the carries who don't spend all their gold on MR defensive items.

SO
tl;dr
I use the flat Magic Pen mostly for the carries who don't stack MR, and the % magic pen for the tanks.


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Updates as of October 15

October 15
-Changed a few grammar mistakes to keep it flowing

October 18,
-Added a section on AD and AP.
-Expanded the sections and spruced up some of the language in them.

November 16,
-Fixed a few inconsistencies with the guide
-Added new mastery tree (temporary)
-Added new disclaimer
-Added new section

December 13,
-Fixed grammar and spelling inconsistencies throughout the guide
-Added a cool new reason why not to rush MBR
-Added a new thing onto masteries