Kog'Maw Build Guide by Haberdashed
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.
HEY! LISTEN!: Please don't vote this down without first making a constructive comment about what you disagree with, and how you think I could improve. I don't mind if people disagree with me, as long as they explain themselves. I want this guide to be good. I realize I'm not the best Kog'Maw player in the world, and that I could benefit from the knowledge of others. Please comment.
I've been playing Kog'Maw for quite some time now, and after having a bunch of friends ask me how to build him, I figured I'd just make a guide I could link them to, since I don't think I've actually seen this same build and everything on another guide (not that I've looked, really). Kog'Maw has possibly the best consistent range in the game, when his W ( Bio-Arcane Barrage) is active, as it is even farther than a level 18 Tristana's auto-attack. This allows you to be plenty far away from the fight, while still kicking ***. Add in the fact that you do 10% of the enemy's max health as magic damage with every shot, and you end up with somewhere between 2.2 and 2.5 attack speed, and you are a force to be feared. Btw, I run AS Kog'Maw. I'm really not a fan of AP Kog, and have yet to see a truly good one, especially one that could beat me while I was AS Kog.
My summoner name is tigerdude. Feel free to talk to me in-game if you wanna play or whatever.
PLEASE COMMENT BEFORE YOU DOWNVOTE OR IF YOU HAVE A SUGGESTION!
Hell, please comment if you upvote it! That way I know what parts of the guide are especially popular. However, like I said, please leave a comment first, rather than just downvoting. I will likely take your comment/suggestion into consideration, and may even change the guide based on it. So, if I have something in my guide that you disagree with, just make a comment about it, and I'll explain myself, as well as listen to what you have to say.
Note: This is my first guide, and I'm hoping to improve it over time. Feel free to give me suggestions on how to make it look nicer.
Note 2: Since apparently I need to prove my own credibility or awesomeness or something through stories of daring-do, I'll just say this: Pentakills are fun. I've gotten about 6, maybe more, with Kog.
NOTE ON BUILDS: The first is the one that I recommend you go with for regular 5v5 on Summoner's Rift. The second one is the same but with different runes, because it's the rune set I'm currently using on him, just trying it out. The third one is the Dominion build.
Edit (9/29/2011): I moved up the phage in the build, after testing it out and finding it to be very helpful in the...surviving...department, not to mention the obvious benefit of the slow. Thank you leaguesdf for the suggestion!
NOTE 3: I have now put my Dominion build for Kog'Maw in the 3rd slot up at the top there. It will obviously need tweaking, but so far that build has worked well for me in my Dominion games. PLEASE feel free to comment on it, and add your opinion.
A brief note about Kog in Dominion is at the bottom of the guide.
Dominion-related things will be in green.
Edit note 10/3/2011: I switched the Wit's End and the Malady so that the Wit's End is first. This is entirely optional, and depends on A) how good of a game you're having, and B) how much money you have when you go back after building that Phage. If you'd like to see some of the reasoning for putting the Wit's End first, look at some of the comments in the 3rd page of comments (not MY comments). Thank you both n00bkillerzz3000 and rembot for your suggestions. However I'm still very wary about removing the Malady from my build, and if it does happen, it'd most likely just be removing it from the end-game build, and replacing it with a Nashor's Tooth to maintain the attack speed and give some AP.
Damn, guys! 150k views! Just 3 days ago I was happy because this guide reached 100k views, and then you guys bumped it up by 57k!
For all of you not playing Skyrim atm, thank you very much for looking at my guide! I never dreamed it'd get over 250k views! I will continue to update it, and will make it look much nicer once I have time to do so, which will be in probably a week or two. I will also be very quick about testing different masteries for Kog'Maw once they change up the masteries in Season 2. Also, they're talking about nerfing Kog in the next patch, and I will be sure to check how badly he's hit by it, and may have to change the build accordingly. Here's hoping they don't nerf his attack speed or his W.
Updated Mastery tree for first build. Just assume same Masteries for the other builds. I'll update them when I have time.
Updated item build, and added the note at the beginning of the intro. I still have to update the rest of the guide, and I'd love it if anybody would be willing to help me do some updates on the formatting. Also, don't bother with the second build. Just use the main one.
I figured that Kog's a pretty squishy champ, so he could probably benefit, especially early game, from some extra armor. The magic resist per level runes are because generally mages don't really have too much damage early game, so there's less need for flat magic resist at first. Then the attack speed reds and quints are, of course, because this is a build that depends on attack speed.
I love the new mastery trees I couldn't figure out anything good to do with the last 3 points, so I put them in defense and the improved recall, just because. Obviously, you can do whatever you want, but this is what works for me.
Basically, this is the main reason I made this guide. I get a little sad when I see all these guides for Kog'Maw that DON'T have you building a Madred's Bloodrazor as soon as you can. It is the single most important item for any Kog'Maw to have, and once you get it you will begin to see why he's so fun.
Boots: I realize Boots of Swiftness aren't necessarily the best boots to build on him. Some people get Berzerker Greaves, but with my build and runes you should be at or near 2.5 attack speed by the end of the build even without them. I would recommend getting Mercury Treads if the other team has more than a couple people with good CC, or if a LOT of them are doing magic damage.
As for the Madred's Razors early on, it helps with last hitting as well as taking Blue Buff if either A) your jungler doesn't need it, or B) you don't actually have a jungler for whatever reason.
Finally: The Black Cleaver. By this point in the build, I usually just get whatever item will help me do the most damage. Maybe The Black Cleaver if they're building armor, maybe a Void Staff if they have ridiculous amounts of MR. Just pick whatever will work best. I've also gotten a Hextech Gunblade before, and that's not too bad either. Or you could always get a Banshee's Veil if you're dying too fast, of if they keep stunning you right off the bat.
Basically, I start off with the boots and recurve bow because movespeed is very important in Dominion, and you're going to want to get your bloodrazor as soon as possible. This bloodrazor may not be as powerful as Madred's, but it's still good, and costs 1075 fewer gold, which is awesome because of how quickly you accumulate gold in Dominion. I usually finish it before 5 minutes into the game, sometimes much earlier even. Then the Entropy, because of the massive AD you get from it, combined with the slow. And then the Lightbringer because of how many times people have tried to escape me by hiding in bushes.
I grab Bio-Arcane Barrage first because it's great for harrassing. It's your main ability throughout the game, and should be maxed first. The second ability is honestly up to you, and will usually depend on who you are facing in your lane. If you feel like you'll be able to land his Q, I'd recommend it. However, you might be facing somebody who you'll be able to trap using your slow, so you can land more W-infused hits on them before they retreat out of range.
Pros / Cons
- Possibly the best consistent range in the game (while his W is active, and now that they've increased the time it's active for, it's even better).
- His ult, if you can master it, is a FANTASTIC tool for harrassing, KSing (if you're a jerk), and killing people before they can get away.
- Fantastic damage, and a lot of it is based off of the enemy's total health rather than just a specific amount, which means that tanks best beware of you.
- So much damage, so quickly, that it LOOKS like burst damage.
- He's friggin hilarious.
- He EATS tanks.
- Let's say you get snared. So what? You're probably still in range to hit them, BECAUSE YOU'RE KOG'MAW!
- If somebody does get up close and personal with you and you don't have your flash or ghost up, there's a decent chance you're going to die unless you can kill them first. Basically, he has almost no escapability.
- Gets kind of mana hungry at some points. Getting blue buff is very, VERY helpful, as it pretty much lets you spam your ult for a bit without worrying about running out of mana, not to mention using your other abilities.
Caustic Spittle: It's honestly not all that great of a move. I get levels in it because of the passive attack speed increase. Don't get me wrong, though. Anytime you're about to start attacking somebody with your W, and if you are actually in range to use Caustic spittle, you should do so. However, in most team fights you should be far enough away from the battle that you're not actually in range to hit anybody with Caustic Spittle.
Bio-Arcane Barrage: One of my favorite abilities in the game, if not my favorite. At max level, it does 6% of the enemy's max health in magic damage with every attack. Combine this with the Madred's Bloodrazor, and that's 10%. Without building AP. Your early game harrassment, before you hit level 6, will mostly consist of either slowing the enemy and hitting them with W-empowered attacks, or hitting them with your Q and then the same thing, or all three, or just the empowered attacks.
Void Ooze: It's a decent slow, but since you're not building AP, and it costs a lot of mana as it is, only get 1 level in it until you're forced to get more. Don't use it for the damage, because it doesn't exactly DO much damage. It does its job just fine even with only one point in it. NOTE: If you're trying to escape from people who are chasing you, fire it IN FRONT OF YOU, rather than behind you, because this way A) you don't take time to turn around (twice), and B) they have to run through the whole thing, rather than maybe half of it, depending on how close they are to you.
Living Artillery: Where to begin? This is another of my favorite abilities in the entire game. First things first: You must, MUST master this ability. If you can learn to aim it like a pro, it will be your best friend next to your W. This is what lets me burst people down one-on-one. You just auto-attack with your W active, and your Q's debuff on them, and then use your ult whenever it's up until they get out of range. It does an okay amount of damage until late game, and even then it does just fine against the squishier members of the other team. It's great for checking bushes because of the added bonus of revealing enemies that are hit by it. It's one of the best harassing moves in the game, to the point where I usually end up making people afraid to get within the range of it, because I've gotten so good at landing it. Once you hit level 6, assuming you still have some mana and that you don't WASTE IT by using his ult in quick succession, you should control the lane easily against almost ANY enemy champion, assuming you haven't fed them too much. It's also a great thing to use while chasing people, because you can probably take out half of their health with just this move between the time that they get out of range of your auto attack, and the time that they get out of range of your ult. I'll admit that I've stolen plenty of kills with this move as well, though I generally only steal them from my good friends.
So, main points about his ult:
- decent damage
- be careful about using it too many times in a row because you'll run out of mana
- use it to check bushes
- great for using while chasing people
- make them AFRAID TO GET NEAR YOU
- I'm pretty sure that at max level its range is actually slightly larger than your sight radius. Yeah.
I've played quite a few games as Kog'Maw. While he isn't as classy as Gentleman Cho'Gath, he's still pretty awesome, and looks great in a top hat:
Anywho, he's by far my favorite champion in the game. Here's some tips to make your time more enjoyable while playing as Kog'Maw:
- When you die, if you manage to kill somebody with your passive, or if they narrowly escape you, type something along the lines of "GIVE KOG'MAW A HUG!" in /all.
- Just listen to what he says, and make sure to check out his dance, joke, and taunt, as they are all hilarious.
- Start up the trumpet noise, and then rush into a teamfight
- At the beginning of the game, after you grab Bio-Arcane Barrage, if you're in mid lane, go check to see if they're standing next to/in front of their turret. If they are, and if you line yourself up just right, you can still hit them as long as your Bio-Arcane Barrage is active, without taking turret aggro. I've actually gotten kills this way when people weren't paying attention.
Dominion Notes (Item explanations are in the Items section)
Here's just some stuff relating to playing Kog in Dominion. First off, if you look at the item build, you'll notice that I get the Recurve Bow first, and then boots. What I generally do is either buy boots or the recurve bow, then when the game starts, I run to a point, capture it, and then immediately go back to base and buy the other item with my newly acquired gold.
Kog is still a very squishy character, and in Dominion half the time you won't know where half or more of the other team is, so you have to be VERY attentive to where the enemy team is, as well as make sure to stay near at least 1 or 2 teammates at most times in order to deter attacks and to have support in ganking/capturing.
Also, when starting the game, I find it fun to use his /joke right as the barrier is let down, releasing you onto the map.