Build Guide by Asnei
This build has been archived and is for historical display only.
PLEASE NOTE: This build has been archived by the author. They are no longer supporting nor updating this build and it may have become outdated. As such, voting and commenting have been disabled and it no longer appears in regular search results.
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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 have archived my previous guide, since it's sub-optimal due to the recent patches. This is my followup guide.
I'm making this guide because people seem to think that no one is using Kog'Maw to his full potential. It could just be that no one likes to play him, but I find that even when I am faced against other Kogs, they unfortunately tend to suck. This is not a guide for the faint of heart, or for new players. I expect you to at least have a semblance of common sense and know what you are doing. This guide should only help you gain an understanding and insight into ONE method of playing Kog'Maw. This is not the only way to play him, and if you prefer an AD build, this is not the build for you. Do not however, expect this guide to give your Kog'Maw a chainsaw, or expect to win a 1v5.
Some individual's strongly believe that AD is superior to AP at the moment. I think it's kind of funny, since the opposite was true when Kog'Maw originally came out. Regarding whether which one is actually superior, only time will tell.
A few points however:
1) AD proponents argue that you do 10% health damage per shot, and you attack at near max AS. Additionally you do A LOT of physical damage!
Answer: This is actually not true as 50 magic resist will reduce damage by 33%, and 100 magic resist will reduce damage by a full 50%. Actual damage by bio-arcane barrage is a lot less than people think. Additionally, physical damage is also mitigated by armor (which is a lot easier to acquire), and can also be countered with thornmail. Armor penetration is also weaker now due to the caustic spittle nerf. Whereas Armor Penetration used to be 50%+ with LW and passive, and 70%+ when active, caustic spittle now offers only a flat reduction, making it fairly useless with when used with Last Whisper.
2) Kog'Maw's advantage lies in his enormous range.
Not building to take full advantage of Living Artillery is foolhardy. As DPS, you should be focusing down other DPS champions first, and Kog'Maw fulfills his role in that regard superbly. 3-5 shots, and you should be able to send mages and all but the toughest of dps home packing, swinging the tide of battle in your team's favor. No enemy champion is outside Kog'maw's range. Without Living Artillery, Kog'Maw is just a generic high damage hybrid dps champion that has an excellent ranged regular attack.
-Excellent at defensive hugging or aggressive pushing, turret hugging is practically useless against Kog'Maw
-Extremely High DPS, even against tanks
-Clairvoyance helps prevent ganks
-Can 1v1 in most cases
-Excellent at kiting
-Completely solves Kog'Maw mana problems by mid to late game.
-Provides extremely long range CC (with Rylai's)
-Lack of escape mechanism
-Hard to aim accurately and consistently
-Weak early game
-Severe mana problems early game
Note: If you are going to vote me down, please at least say WHY you are voting me down. Otherwise I consider it rude to vote someone down without at least leaving a comment.
I would say the two most important aspects about Kog'Maw are his item build, and play style. He is a difficult hero to master due to his dependence on Living Artillery and the intrinsically difficult nature of aiming, especially when enemy heroes are cartwheeling around like a bunch of clowns.
1) You must learn how to anticipate movement. This sounds simple at first, and it will be simple if all your enemy does is move in a straight line. However, smart players playing against Kog'Maw will find themselves trying to move erratically to throw off his ults, in which more creative ways of anticipating movement is needed. I recommend you observe your lane's enemy heroes and their moving style. Most players have a distinct preferred pattern of movement, and it is up to you for you to recognize them.
2) Kog'Maw requires fast reaction time. Especially at higher levels, the distance you will have to move your mouse cursor will increase when aiming your ult, and many times it may even be on the edge of your screen (this is why I almost never use camera lock). With practice, you will be able to aim his ult accurately, and quickly. This alone is not difficult for more advanced players, but when you also have to split-second "guess" where the enemy hero will be in a second from now, it becomes much more difficult.
3) Kog'Maw, like most heroes, has a sense of synergy. Figure out how his spells work well together:
Caustic Spittle: range is much less than your other abilities, so you will most likely only use it in close quarters when enemy heroes close in distance. Highly useful for it's passive, and even more useful for it's relatively high damage output.
Bio-arcane Barrage: Bread & Butter of Kog'Maw. This ability should be used in conjunction with Void Ooze; use it whenever they are slowed. It is also extremely helpful for allowing you to keep healthy distances between you and where the action is going on during team fights.
Void ooze: This will be your primary CC ability on Kog'Maw (or the closest thing to CC for Kog). Use it to slow fleeing heroes, use it to get away. Try to position it to have the maximum effect, and at times you will need to aim slightly ahead of the enemy hero. Does decent damage, and it's splash great for farming.
Living Artillery: You should be spamming (R) everytime you see an enemy hero. No hero is safe from Kog'Maw, even when they're hugging towers. This is why Kog'Maw is great for team pushes, as well as team defense. In a little bit of psychological warfare, you may sometimes be able to nudge heroes closer to you if you place the marker slightly behind them. People will often run away from the marker before they realize that there is no place to run :). Try to anticipate "hot zones" that enemy heroes like to stay at, usually at the edge of your Living Artillery range. Sometimes they will want to get the last hit on a minion, and it useful to to know which minion they are going for to allow you to aim appropriately.
Ghost: For making a hasty exit, or for catching up to fleeing enemies. Overall very useful spell on a medium cd.
Clairvoyance: For knowing where your enemies are, and to augment your Living Artillery. You have to know where to shoot to hit them :). Also very useful for preventing ganks, as Kog'Maw is pretty squishy during team fights, and I find that they usually come for me first due to my high damage output.
I few key points to note with this build:
1) Doesn't have as high AP as some other builds: Not needed as there is effective AP is higher due to void staff's magic penetration. Also scales better against high MR heroes.
2)should get your around 14% max HP per shot in magic damage (unmitigated). Pure AD builds will only get 10% per shot (although they fire faster and do attack damage), but do not have the same range and harass potential. Additionally, more of your damage will go through with void staff.
3) Rylai's offers health bonus, but more importantly, long range CC potential.
In this build you will eventually have:
1 Madred's Bloodrazor
1 Void Staff
1 Rylai's Scepter
1 Sorcerer's shoes
You should start out with a meki and two health pots. As soon as you can, build a tear and your boots. Following that, you should grab another meki if mp/5 is still an issue, and then build straight into arch angel. Rylai's is usually a good choice following this, and I will usually build Void Staff as my 4th or 5th item (if not, I build another arch Angel). Madred's will be your final item.
RUNES9 Seals of Clarity to supplement Kog'Maws mr/5
9 Glyphs of Celerity to lower cd and allow you to keep a lich with every physical attack
9 Greater Marks of Insight and Greater Quintessences of Insight for bonus magic penetration, especially if you go sorcerer. Tough carries / tanks are typically the only ones that will go magic resist, and average MR for heroes is around 30-40. with 14.22 +20 Magic resist, they will essentially have NO damage reduction from your spells.
This is pretty much it, play around and experiment. If you guys have any comments or questions, leave a comment :). If need be, I'll edit the guide whenever necessary.