Build Guide by brandondash
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.
This is my first crack at a build, so forgive me if I don't lay it out well.
Cho'gath is one of my favorite tanks in the game, mostly because his model was inspired from Spawn's violator. Say what you want about utility (Rammus) or filling multiple roles (Amumu)... I say if I look cool then I play better, and there are very few things in the game that look as cool as a six-stack Cho'gath. AOE launch/slow/silence are just bonuses as far as I'm concerned.
I should note here that I have only ever played 1 ranked game. I don't have any desire to step into the ranked scene. There are enough angry words and trash talking in normal to make me turn the game off occasionally. I can't even imagine living in ELO hell. This build is crafted by a casual solo queuer. Take it or leave it.
Pros / Cons
Cho'gath has the snowball effect built into his character; as such, he has all the advantages and disadvantages of all the snowball items in the game. If you play too aggressively in the mid game, you will suffer for it at the end. On the other hand, if you get your feast stacks up you will be able to tank more damage than any other character in the middle stages of the game, as well as being able to do huge amounts of burst damage to squishies via your only real combo:
It is absolutely imperative you make it through the mid game without dying. A single death costs you three Feasts you could be spending on the opposing team's carries. This can sometimes lead to your laning partner getting frustrated with passive play; however, do not give in to temptation. The small advantage you might get with early pressure hardly ever outweighs the large advantage you will get by feasting up to your full six stacks.
Cho'gath has several advantages: his massive health pool late game, his ability to initiate, an aoe silence that can shut down entire caster teams, and his ability to out farm pretty much anybody else. Late game you'll have between 5200-5700 hp (depending on build) which makes it very difficult to be taken down quickly. On the other hand they can't simply ignore you due to the incredible disruption you can cause.
His ability to farm is close to the top of the list. In fact the only champion I ever lose to consistently is Sivir. A well placed Rupture+ Feral Scream combination will clear out an entire creep wave in less than a second then be available again for the next wave. More creeps means more gold means you will often get your build out quickly.
One rather painful disadvantage is that Cho'gath is a cooldown based champion but your three move combo will not kill anyone as the game moves into the late stages. The only way to get that to work in my experience is to strictly stack AP which really hurts your health pool. That means you have to run from nearly every 1v1 you'll encounter because - although they won't be able to kill you - you won't be able to kill them either and their teammates will overrun you.
Another disadvantage is that you are weak in small skirmishes during the mid game. You have no Rocket Grab or Headbutt or Bandage Toss. Everybody sees you coming and Rupture can be dodged. It takes the big team fights before you can shine.
Your last major disadvantage is the relatively long cooldown on Feral Scream. It makes sense that such a powerful ability has a long cooldown; however, if you miss your feral scream in a team fight you drop from "great tank" to "dead weight".
In fact I'd say your effectiveness with Cho'gath is tied directly to how good your are at using Feral Scream
I won't comment on the runes specifically, but what should jump right out at you is that they are the basic caster rune set. This is by design. As I explained in the pros/cons section you must play passively early in the game, and so those survival runes really don't make sense.
Cho'gath is a mana hungry AP farmer. This rune set is built specifically to farm hard and farm long. All your real advantages are found in your build.
- I absolutely love this spell and I think it's incredibly underrated. Coupled with Mercury's Treads it makes it very difficult to stop an invasion or an escape.
- Pretty self explanatory. This is a natural partner to Cleanse for escaping a nasty situation, and it's better than Flash for chasing.
- If their team is heavy magic, I tend to replace this with Force of Nature. You take a small health hit but what you gain more than makes up for it. You also lose the slow, but Rupture already slows.
- If their team is heavy melee, I tend to replace this with Randuin's Omen. Use it in any fight with more than 1 opponent. The cooldown is short and an amazing game changer at times.
- I know I part ways with many tanks on this item, but I just don't think it's worth the investment. First of all whether you are looking for armor or magic resist, there are better choices out there. The only thing you get from this item is the revive, but here's the rub: Cho's big advantage as a tank is his health pool and Guardian Angel takes that away when you revive. The effect is basically die / revive / die.
- At first glance this may seem like a great item to add in late since your health pool is so massive. The problem is that your auto attacks do a very small percentage of damage in a team fight, and while this would make a noticeable difference, using another AP item would give you almost as much of a damage boost through your Vorpal Spikes while also helping all of your other abilities.
- Many Cho'gath builds start on their Warmog's Armor early via Regrowth Pendant. They make up for this by gimping their team fight summoner spells by grabbing Teleport or Clarity. I don't like this plan at all. Cho'gath has amazing health regen via his passive Carnivore.
I don't run premades and I don't play ranked, so I can't tell you how Cho'gath fits in any tier system nor how this build fits coordinated team play. I can tell you that you are a massive demon who eats peoples heads, and that's A-OK by me.
Hope you enjoy it. ^_^