Cho'Gath Build Guide by Witvviky
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.
Credit for the image goes to Nyra119 on DeviantArt!
Pros and Cons to Playing Cho
Very tanky late game
Ult does crazy damage
TOP OF THE FOOD CHAIN
ConsATM: Cho'Gath is not as strong as other choices because of buffs/nerfs (Maokai is better)
CC skill-shot based
Not as tanky early game
How everyone should feel while they are playing Cho'Gath
As long as this is your mindset you will never lose as Cho'Gath!
Every jungler should run this. It does 500 true damage at level one to a minion. Use this to clear the big buffs and to ensure/steal the big ones like dragon and baron.
I feel like flash should always be run, even after the nerf. It also fits with your masteries. If you don't like it Ghost is another good option.
Carnivore This is easily the best jungling passive that exists. Provides the regen almost on par with a catalyst/regrowth pendant at level one. This combined with your runes/masteries will have you ganking at full health every time you leave the jungle.
But, it is still relevant at other times as well. If you get ganked, or just start losing a fight. Rupture/scream some minions and you can survive a good 4 or 5 more hits. This can easily get you out of some nasty situations without giving up a kill
Rupture There are so many uses for rupture! It's one of my favorite poke/cc/aoe spells. It does 100% AP, has a ridiculous range, and knocks up.
But whatever you do, DO NOT initiate with this ability! So many Cho'Gaths use this to initiate when they come out of jungle to gank! DONT DO THAT! Save this to stop someone after they have flashed or ghosted away! Or to help escape if your gank is countered! Needs more exclamation marks!
Feral Scream This ability is what makes Cho a CC *****. Throw this into any teamfight to deal damage and silence everyone for a decently long time. Silenced champs can't do anything. Shut down AP/tanks.
Vorpal Spikes This is Cho'Gath's bread and butter skill. Makes it so AP adds to your AD and all your attacks hit everything in front of you. This lets you jungle, hit ranged in teamfights, and farm minions for health/mana.
Feast This ult is one of the best in the game. The first thing people notice when playing against Cho'Gath is that this ult makes him look bigger (awesome) and they also notice that the bigger he looks the tankier he is. This is nice but don't just think of this as a health buff. This skill is a TRUE DAMAGE NUKE. If you look at their health, and you look at your Feast and your Feast says a bigger number than their health, YOU WILL KILL THEM. MR/Armor do not matter. Not to mention this is also a 1000 damage smite, great to ensure/steal dragon/baron.
Out of Game Setup (Runes/Masteries)
Marks - For marks I use flat magic pen. All of Cho'Gaths damage is magic damage so this will help with cutting through early MR.
Seals - For seals I ALWAYS go flat armor when jungling. Makes jungling so much easier when you have 12 armor right off the bat.
Glyphs - For glyphs I use flat MR. This rounds out your early game defense so that you can safely gank and survive AP annoyance.
Quints - For quints I use flat AP. Flat quints are always best and the 15 AP makes Cho a much faster jungler and much harder ganker.
The Armor and Magic resist help your early game resilience.
The reduced damage and damage return for minions helps with jungling.
The health/lvl and flat health help with jungling/tankiness.
The move speed helps with ganks.
The cooldown reduction is good for all of Cho's huge CDs.
Then the buff duration to help keep blue buff as long as possible.
1. Head to blue buff. Get a decent leash and finish it up quick with Vorpal Spikes and Smite. (Do wolves now if you didn't do them before)
2. Go to wraiths. Open with Rupture and finish with Vorpal Spikes on the auto-attacks. Easy.
3a. If you got wolves before blue go back to wolves and kill them now.
3b. If you killed them after then they won't be there. Kill little golemns.
4. Get red buff. Vorpal Spikes makes this easy along with your Health Potion and Smite.
5. Kill wraiths. Easy.
Now gank! You are level 4. You have your 2 CC spells and double buff. You are in the middle of the map, pick an over extended lane and gank. Remind your teammates to let the enemy push. If no ganks are available force a lane for the turret or just keep farming. Simple as that.
The Item Build
Starting ItemsCho has no trouble jungling with your runes/masteries so grab the regrowth pendant for sustain and a quick philo stone on your first back. Pop the potion while you are getting red buff.
Core Itemsphilosopher's stone catalyst the protector
With these item's and Cho'Gath's passive you should never need to recall, and when you finally do you will be buying A LOT. The catalyst can be built into either BV or RoA. The philo stone will probably be sold.
Cho is versatile and thus his boots are versatile. This is mostly a judgement call. Grab merc treads if they have more than 2 hard CC spells. Grab ninja tabi if they have a fed AD carry. Grab BoS if you are super fed and don't give a ****. (For ranked get one of the defensive ones.)
Mid Gamephilosopher's stone catalyst the protector
Once you get here you should be doing pretty good. Not only do you have the sustain from early game but you now have a lot of health with your items/ult and a decent amount of armor from runes/masteries/shroud.
Late GameWell, you've made it to late game. So you know your team doesn't suck horribly and at this point you know the strengths and weaknesses of their team. Once you build up about 1500 gold hold tab and follow this...
Up in the AirThe game is going really average, boringly. No one is particularly fed on either side. You just have gold to spend so you wanna spend it.
Like most teams they only have one AP carry so the BV provides sufficient MR along with the Mercury's Treads. CC is mostly avoided from the same items as well. Then you got CD reduction and mana from Frozen Heart. To top it off you have extra CC, tankiness, and AP from your Rylai's Crystal Scepter and Rod of Ages. Then the rabadon's deathcap if the game has been going on way too long and you just want to do more damage.
Ezreal Fed Their Tryndamere (too much AD)You are doing decent but some noob laner fed one of their AD carry's.
You want your Frozen Heart done FAST. Not only does it slow the AS of all nearby enemies (nerfing AD carries). It also gives some nice, very needed, mana along with some armor for yourself and good CDR. Finish your RoA for health and then turn the Heart of Gold into a Randuin's Omen at this point you just walk into teamfights and say, "STOP RIGHT THERE AD SCUM"
They have a 12/4 Brand??? WTF (too much AP)You didn't gank mid as much as you should have and your AP carry picked veigar so their AP carry is really fed.
MAGIC RESIST! You are resilient to magic my friend. Get the BV fast off of your catalyst the protector then get the FoN. Build the Rod or will may start having mana problems and the health/AP is nice.
You are X/0 Unstoppable ChoYou are doing really well. You ganked for first blood and haven't been stopped since. You wanna do more damage and, you wanna snowball into an epic lategame.
No one will ever escape from you. You move fast and your spells make them move slow. Your rupture will take out half their health and you can turret dive 1 on 3. This rarely happens but when it does it feels good.
So... yeah. This is basically how I play Cho'Gath! Thanks for reading the whole guide or at least skimming through to the end :D If you have anything to say about the guide pelase comment. I will try my best to respond to and act on every comment I get.
As a finishing stroke I'll just leave this here...
I try to update and add to this guide as much as possible. All changes and dates posted here.
1/17/2012 - First day I posted the guide and already updated thanks to Zell! Made a lot of major changes.