Threats to Cho'Gath with this build
|Anivia||Has no way of dodging your Q, your silence stops her ult from casting.|
|Karthus||He's so easy to hit with Q, easy to gank so easily killed.|
|Morgana||Farm lane. If you want to harass, W first to get her blackshield off, then Q. She will almost always stop you with her Q. Not a kill lane for either of you.|
|Zilean||One of the most squishy champions in the game. If you go in for the kill be sure to silence him so he can't ult.|
Hey there and welcome to my first ever guide on Mobafire!
This guide is quite in-depth and will require some reading, I promise you it's worth the time.
The build I wrote is a bruiser/carry AP midlaner Cho'Gath, this means you can take quite some damage from the enemy team but are able to put out quite some damage yourself.
Please do remember that this is my first guide ever, any supportive commentary is welcome at any time! If you think something is missing in this guide don't hesitate to send me a message.
Pros / Cons
- Very dependable on landing his Rupture to apply other means of damage
- Sensitive to ranged poke, especially early game
- No massive burst besides ult
- Has to keep his stacks up to be tanky
In my opinion there are 3 viable spells for Cho:
Best spell to have in your pocket at any time, great for chasing enemies over brushes or just in lane and ideal for making a quick escape.
Very viable if you like to gank a lot or want to push but be able to join your team when needed, communicate with your team to have wards in the lane bushes for you to teleport in. WARDS WIN GAMES!! Especially with the new trinkets most players will have a ward set up in their inventory.
I like the extra damage coming from this item, it's aggresive and is very powerfull when used on proper targets. In teamfights putting ignite on the enemy ADC will make his lifesteal a lot less usefull, making it easier to burst him down ASAP.
Greater mark of Magic Penetration
I believe these are by far the best marks Cho'Gath can have as an AP Carry. The reason I choose these runes is that they will give your abilities just that edge of extra damage, especially your Vorpal Spikes. This way your opponent will have to be scared to duel you, not think you're just a giant tank without any damage early.
Greater seal of Armor.
Most aggresive junglers in game are AD and this will help you reduce damage taken while you go in for the kill on your midlaner. And ofcourse most toplaners are AD, meaning these runes will prevent them from doing too much damage.
Greater glyph of scaling magic resist
Not unwise to take along with you, AP players can roam and hurt like hell so just to be sure you are tanky as ever take these with you to toplane.
Greater Quinteseence of Ability Power
+15 ability power right from the start will make your Feral Scream and Rupture hurt like hell. The ap will also help you last hit easier due to the extra damage coming from Vorpal Spikes.
Damage masteries + some points in resolve for the heals during the early/mid game. I chose thunderlords because there isn't a keystone mastery that is super good on cho. In my opinion deathfire touch just isn't worth it for only your Q and W. Thunderlords can be procced by hitting minions with your E and thereby hitting the opponent behind it. Stormraiders surge is also viable especially late game when your ult should to about 1k true damage to champions (if you have stacked like you should!).
Now this is were it gets interesting, the items displayed are my favorite choice when playing Cho'Gath midlane. The reason I picked these items is because they are a mix of tankyness and strong AP. Buying smart will mean you'll be able to get at least 20% CDR, combining with a blue buff to 30% ezpz.
This item works like a charm on Cho, combined with his passive Carnivore this will give you the mana you need begin game, additionally it will give you some extra HP for sustain and some AP for harassment.
Since the patch update Doran's ring has become a bit cheaper, giving us the opportunity to gain even more sustain by bringing along 2 health pots. You could go with mana potions if you're scared of losing a lot of mana or are confident enough you will win with enough poke but I won't recommend it.
Catalyst the protectorCatalyst the Protector
This is one of the most important items to get when playing Cho'gath and should be rushed ASAP. It gives you a chunk of health and mana and will heal you for spending mana. This will help you keep your mana up and outsustain your enemy toplaner.
Now I've had a lot of discussion about getting these boots, most find that Cho has more use when using Magic Resistance boots due to both the MR and the passive. When playing top I much prefer these boots, I already get a load of magic resistance from Abyssal Scepter, so why get more when you're able to do extra damage? The extra magic penentration received from these boots will make your abilities quite a bit more frightning. If you find yourself to be versus a very CC heavy team you could go Mercury's treads instead.
Rod of Ages
Next up: Rod of ages, this is the main item that Cho thrives on due to the extra health, mana and ability power you get every minute (capped at 10 minutes). The sooner you get this the sooner you benefit from it's passives.
If you find that your Frozen Heart isn't really adding to your build (Example: No real auto attackers on their team) this item should be taken instead. The cooldown reduction is pretty insane when it comes to continuesly CC'ing your enemy team. This item combined with your CD on your ultimate when you nom someone/something to death makes it pretty strong. I recommend getting this item if you've played a little more of Cho and know his kit and can land your rupture.
This item will greatly benefit your damage output and will give you a load of sustain versus an enemy AP Carry/bruiser due to its +60 Magic Resistance. The +60 ability power will greatly enhance the damage output of your abilities, remember that ability power will also help you get more true damage from your ultimate. Last but not least is the Aura it gives, when standing near enemy units their magic resistance will be lowered by 10-25, combined with your magic penetration this will greatly increase your damage from your abilities. Not to mention the 10% CDR combining with the Morellonomicon coming to a total of 30% already!
Damage inbound! This item is insane on Cho'gath (or any AP champion) when it comes down to damage, all your abilities benefit from it and will greatly enhance your damage output. Synergizing with all the magic penetration and aura from your Abyssal Scepter this is guaranteed for dealing some serious damage.
Nashor's tooth is a great item when it comes down to more duels vs 2-3 players rather then complete teamfights. When fighting in a duel it will take more time to take down an enemy then when you fight in teamfights where all combo's are massed at one point on the map. When dueling Nashor's tooth is your item by choice for sure. Due too the high attack speed you gain from it your Vorpal spikes will start to do some pretty sick damage when a fight last for a bit longer. Your basic attacks already benefit from your E's passive when it comes to dealing magic damage, when using Nashor's tooth this will be enhanced even further with 15 (+15% of AP) PER basic attack. Combining this item with your E pretty much lets you do constant extra magic damage whilst waiting for your destructive abilities to come of cooldown.
If you (somehow) let your opponent get fed on a lot of kills and/or cs this will be your item to ensure you won't be bursted down when you finally get to engage on him. The +50 attack speed will work pretty much the same as the attack speed gained when using Nashor's tooth. The key to this item is the flat magic resistance you gain (+30) and the extra 25 magic resistance you steal from your opponent. This means that as the fight is progressing your opponent will be come weaker as you become more resilient against his abilities. Combined with the +42 magic damage per basic attack will allow you to put your enemy AP carry to an end.
NOTE: Current meta isn't doing much for this item, only buy this if their team is 4/5 melee.
Right then, onto some more tankyness to make it almost impossible to kill you! This item is mainly your counter vs the adc of the other team. If there is any defensive item vs AD champs for Cho it's this one.
Frozen heart gives all the stats you could need with Cho, the 90 armor gives you an immense sustain vs adc and and junglers. Secondly it will give you 20% cooldown reduction which will give you the opportunity to cast your Q and W even more for extra crowd control. The +400 mana received will expand your mana pool even more combined with Rod of Ages.
If you find yourself being kited a lot by your enemy adc (kiting means he is able to poke you, run away from you and repeat that while you try to get close) this item is really your best friend. Whenever an enemy hits you with a basic attack their attack speed will drop by 15%, making it easier for you to either hit your other cc spells and catch up or move away from the opponent safely. The active on this item slows everyone near you for 35%, using this item when they are trying to move away or trying to catch up on you and your team is essential. If you find yourself against a team with more than 1 critdealer this item will be a great value to get.
This item is all about sustain for Cho'gath, this item has everything a Cho who needs more tankyness in his build. The most powerfull thing about this item (besides it giving HP, CDR, Regen and MR) is that it increases all your healing and regen effects, meaning that your passive Carnivore will heal for 20% more, combined with the extra health regen this will make it very hard for the enemy team to poke you down and force you to back off. On top of that the new mastery Second wind will ensure you can heal back in no time should you get low after a fight has occured.
Anyone who has every played a tank has come along this item, it's very simple: 800 HP extra, which is a insane load of HP when combined with your stacks from Feast. Other than that this item regenerates 1% of your maximum HP each 5 seconds, increasing to 3% if you stay out of harms way for 8 seconds. This means that after you had an encounter you can stick around and heal back to full health in no time. With Second wind In your mastery tree this means you regenerate even faster when dropping below 25%.
NOTE: Get this item if you find yourself sieging or being sieged against a high poke composition team. This way you will be able to heal back a lot of the damage from the poke.
Rylai's Crystal Sceptre
When you find that champions are getting away from you too easy this is a very good purchase to make. Every ability you use will cause the target that get's hit to be slowed by 35% for the next 1,5 seconds. The passive from this item applies everytime you deal damage with your Vorpal spikes meaning they get a slow on them non stop as long as you can keep auto attacking them. Keep them close!
If you find that the opposing team is stacking a lot of HP and is hard to be burned down by just using plain ability damage this item will come in handy. Every time you hit an enemy with one of your abilties (Q,W,E,R) it applies a DOT (Damage Over Time) that burns enemies for 6% of their current Health as magic damage over 3 seconds, dealing 1% of their current Health as magic damage every .5 seconds. If the target has a movement impairement on him they take double the damage. This item combines very well with Rylai's Crystal Sceptre
because this means your basic attacks combined with your Vorpal spikes will deal this damage each basic attack you hit.
If you find yourself being the victim of burst damage focused on you this is a great item to save yourself from destruction. The active from this item will make you invulnerable and untargetable for 2.5 seconds. This should stop high burst abilities like Zed using his Death Mark or Veigar using his Primordial burst. Besides all that it give you a nice bit of armor against AD champions.
NOTE: It can be difficult for some players to time the active on this item. If you find yourself in this situation Guardian angel or Banshee's Veil might work better for you. These items help staying in fights without you having to use a clicky for it, you do however suffer a damage loss because these items give no offensive stats.
Onto the skill sequence, which will termain how you will play our beloved Cho in midlane.
Carnivore is Cho'gaths passive and is what gives him his great sustainability in lane. Whenever Cho'Gath kills a unit, he recovers 20 - 71 (+2.83 each level) health and 3.5 - 7.75 mana (+0.25 each level), meaning he gains a minimum of 120 hp and 21 mp per wave is last hitted properly.
Thanks to these recoveries Cho is able to stay in lane much longer then most other champions.
I usually start of with leveling my E, this is because it will make last hitting the minions early game a lot easier for you. Another bonus you get from this is that you will also hit any minions or champions that are in a line behind your current target giving you some early poke. Vorpal spike is getting dangerous when you get your knock up and silence on the road aswell, trying to get as many basic hits on him as you can will help you poke the enemy very well. I take Vorpal Spikes at level 1 and max it first
This is probably the most ideal spell to annoy your opponent with, you will both damage and silence your target at the same time, preventing him or her doing a quick counter attack. Patch over patch Riot has been removing silences from the game (Kassadin's Q, Leblanc Q + mimic). At the moment Cho'Gath's silence in probably is best, it is AoE which is quit wide in range and also deals damage. This skill can make a teamfight swing heavily into your favor when you silence half their team for 2,5 seconds.
I take this skill at level 2 and max it second
Rupture is the only skillshot Cho'gath has and takes some practice to succesfully land on your opponent. When casting your rupture you have to be either sure that your opponent isn't moving or be sure he is moving to the place where you are casting it (in front of him in the direction he is running). When it lands they will be knocked up, take magic damage and are slowed by 60% for the next 3 seconds. Landing this ability followed up with a silence from Feral Scream will give you some nice poke without your opponent being able to do much due to the slow and the silence. Do be warned, if you stay too long in range after you cast your silence the enemy will try to poke you back with all the abilities they have. I take this skill at level 3 and max it last (due to high mana cost and it mostly being used for cc)
Feast is your ultimate ability, dealing massive true damage and granting additional health on each stack gained. This is what makes or brakes a tanky Cho'Gath, building up stacks (max 6) with your ult grant you bonus health depending on your level. Late game maxing these stacks will give you a big chunk of health for anyone to deal with (besides your sick ap + true damage of course!).
Because of this extra hp it is important to build stacks as fast as you can, don't hold out on using it because you maybe might kill your opponent. Feast on minions and build up stacks for extra sustain. When you have your stacks up to lvl 6 you will no longer have the need to feast on minions and can use this to harrass squishy champions or focus on building stacks via rift herald/baron/dragon. DO NOT use this ability on your oponents tank, focus on either the AP carry or AD carry to ensure that the damage dealers on the enemy team are taken out swiftly. Lastly your stacks build up attack range, 8.3 range per stack to be precise. This means that as you grow in hp and range you will also be able to do damage with your Vorpal Spikes from a further distance.
Patch update: STACKS STACKS STACKS. Cho now keep all his gained stacks even when he dies.
Poking your opponent
To really scare your opponent in lane you have to continuously try to poke them. When playing Cho there is a pretty simple way of poking:
Early game you will use your Feral Scream to poke your enemy as much as you can. I prefer using the feral scream rather then Rupture due to the high mana cost and chance of missing, waisting 90 valuable manapoints. Another advantage Feral Scream has is that it doesn't have a precast like Rupture(0,5 seconds) so can be cast out of the blue when in range of your opponent.
If you find that your opponent is one who likes to go more melee basic attacks on you (Udyr for example) you will find that your Vorpal Spikes
will be your best option, giving you extra damage on every basic attack.
After getting your Catalyst the Protector Catalyst the Protector you will be able to do some more serious poke and getting some skills. You now have a lot more mana as your disposal which will allow you to poke with your Q and W on a more regular basis. When going in for a hard poke try to hit your Rupture first, knocking up the enemy, dealing damage and slowing him for 3 seconds. Right after the knock up walk up to your opponent and hit him with your W. If he decides to go into the offense anyway be sure to poke him with some basic attacks with your E toggled on.
Claiming the Kill
With all this poking and landing skillhots we should be about ready to kill our ignorant opponent. When going for the kill there are a few things you have to be aware of:
- Make sure you know where their jungler is, you don't want to dive in and then face a 2v1
- Check the CD on your abilities, make sure they are off CD to ensure you have enough cc to keep your opponent close
- Use the right ability sequence to ensure most damage output
- Be aware of how much damage you will do, don't waste your long cooldowns if you can't take the kill
- Rupture him, dealing damage, knocking him up and slowing him down
- Hit him with 1-2 basic attacks for extra damage from your Vorpal Spikes
- Silence him with Feral scream, dealing damage and preventing him from using any abilities
- Hit him again with 1 basic attack if there is time
- Rupture him again, follow up quickly by the next step
- Repeat these steps and try to get as many auto attacks on him as you can. Once he is low enough take the last step
Ignite quickly followed up by Feast
NOTE: Try using this sequence in coöperation with your jungler, combining cc and damage will ensure a clean kill.
When you're in a game with a lot of teamfights there are a couple of things you need to keep in mind:
- You are one the tankier champions of your team, they will expect you or other tanks to make the first engage
- You can silence a load of enemies in one blow with Feral Scream
- Focus your Ultimate on either the AP or AD carry, depending on which is strongest.
- Try to protect your own AD and AP carry by landing your rupture at players engaging your ADC or APC.
Keep in mind that Cho's ult is an immense burst damage that can't be countered with armor or magic resistance. I've seen people trying to ult the enemies tank (like mundo) leaving you with little burst left for the real damage dealers.
Now the enemy will know what you are up to after the first fight were they saw their APC or ADC dissapear in one quick NOMNOM. So they will try to keep you away from the damage dealers as much as possible. These are the moments I try to use my flash ability very offensive, flashing towards your oponents adc and quickly feast on him will either result in a quick kill or forcing the enemy to back off being unable to deal damage.
Farming is what makes your game powerfull or weak, high elo players will focus on farm rather than keeping focus on harassing the enemy player. The reason for this is that harassment does not ensure any gold for you to buy items from. So let's farm up with Cho!
Your usual farming skill will be your Vorpal Spikes, making your basic attacks deal bonus magic damage.
When you find that your opponent can harass you too much when getting close enough to melee the minions try using your Feral Scream for farming. You can also use this ability to farm a larger group of minions if the are all rather low at the same time.
If the farm you want is way beyond your reach of safe playing but you still want to make sure you get the gold (especially if it's a canon minion!) use your Rupture to make sure you get it. Keep in mind though that this ability costs a lot of mana, at lvl 1 casting this ability 3 times already burns up all your mana, so be sure you have enough to keep laning!
When farming top lane remember that there are other places to farm then just in your lane. Let's say you pushed out your lane and you can't really farm under his tower, this means you would be sitting in lane waiting for the lane to push back towards you. This ofcourse is a waste of time!
Whenever something like this occurs try moving towards the golem camp in the jungle, doing this will keep the experience and gold flowing and may just get you ahead in lane. Ideally you want to make sure that your Feast is up when you go for this, the golem camp is tanky and a 1000 true damage kills this camp very fast, meaning you wont take that much damage!
Patch update: STACKS STACKS STACKS: As of now Cho'gath's stacks will not be lost upon dying. This means you will only become more tanky as the game progresses. Get your first 5 stacks on minions (or 1-2 champ kill if you're fortunate). Help your team control baron, combine your ult with the smite of your jungler to ensure an easy 1,5k true dmg on dragon + 1 free stack for yours truly.
The game obviously isn't all about teamfights and you winning every scenario. It might just so happen that the team fight didn't go quite as planned and you are forced to back off.
Even though Cho is rather slow he can still make sure others on your team will have a save retreat while you soak up some damage coming from longer range abilites such as Caitlyn with her Ace in the Hole.
Besides soaking up damage you can obviously also make sure the enemy team won't be able to get close enough to do damage when you are walking away. Landing a proper Rupture will knock them up and slow then for 60% 3 seconds long. This should give you enough time to walk away safely towards your own tower.
Should your rupture not be enough or perhaps even miss there are other options you can use.
If enemy champions are able to catch up with you it mostly means that only 1 or 2 will be close enough for an attack, such as an Akali using her Shadow dance. When this occurs and the champion charging you is rather squishy you can always turn around and go in for the kill anyway. Your teammates will see you have turned around and will try to join in at getting this cocky enemy down ASAP.
In the least favorable scenario you will be caught up with and there won't be a chance to get out of there. What I do at this point is turn around and cc them and get them to attack me as much as possible. Cho is tanky and take quite some damage before he dies, giving the rest of your team time to run back, heal and defend towers and inhibitors.
If you have a feeling this is the scenario you will be facing try to land as much abilities on the damage dealer from their team, this will force him or her to retreat back to base and preventing him or her from pushing hard.
Keeping them close
If the roles are ofcourse reversed and you are the one chasing down enemies your most potent way of ensuring they won't leave your sight is using your and your . Landing a rupture will cause them to be slowed, making it easier for you and your team to get close and secure a kill. If you have a player that can either flash away or quickly escape using an ability such as using his Deceive you want to make good use of your silence, preventing them from flashing or using any other ability to quickly sneak away.
Just remember that as long as you keep enemies close too you, you will deal most damage. Both your and are more close range then your other two abilites.
Most of you will have already watched the champion spotlight featuring our chucky lizard. For those who haven't here is a quick vid (7 minutes) from Riot's Phreak explaining some of Cho's abilities, tips and tricks.