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Kog'Maw Build Guide by manlyflower

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.


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League of Legends Build Guide Author manlyflower

[S4] AD Kog'Maw: Face-Melting the Meta

manlyflower Last updated on December 29, 2013
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Team 1

Ability Sequence

4
10
12
13
14
Ability Key Q
1
3
5
7
9
Ability Key W
2
8
15
17
18
Ability Key E
6
11
16
Ability Key R





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.



Masteries

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
1/
Havoc
 
 

Offense: 22

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Legendary Guardian
 
 

Defense: 5

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Bandit
Intelligence
 
 
 
 
 
 
Wanderer
 
 

Utility: 3


Guide Top

Introduction

NOTE: GUIDE CURRENTLY IN TRANSITION FROM SEASON 3 TO SEASON 4
kogmaws lore

Hi, my name is manlyflower, and I have mained AD Carry since the end of Season 2. Kog'Maw has remained one of my favorite champions in the game due to his incredible kit that allows him to carry from either the AD or AP role, his ability to exploit both his enemy's lack of armor AND magic-resist in the Marksman role, and his overall cuteness and design. XD

The general consensus regarding Kog'Maw is, while he is incredibly powerful in the late-game, arguably outscaling every other champ in the Marksman role, he suffers from a noticeable lack in mobility and early-game laning presence. Hence, he is rarely picked in the current meta, as he often requires an incredibly capable team to hide behind and is consistently dominated by champs with heavy gap-closers, like Kha'Zix and other assassins.

BUT I HAVE FAITH IN KOG'MAW, AND YOU SHOULD TOO!


Here's the thing: I think the main trick in unleashing Kog'Maw's true potential as a self-reliant Marksman is to avoid crit items when building.
WHAT??? BLASPHEMY!

Actually, not really. Try out this build first. He may no longer be able to land some painful critical autoattacks, but what he gains is incredible survivability, over 10% of the opponent's health as damage, the ability to literally kite entire teams, and will ultimately destroy everything with a red health bar without breaking a sweat.

Psylock123 wrote:

I tried out this build and ended up getting to late game and getting the full build. It is by far the most powerful build I've played with as Kog'maw. Not even a fed Xin Zhao could kill me as I would steadily drain his life. This build fits into the current "rush warmogs" meta as well as counters it hard. I hope that others will see this and we'll see more Kog'maw being played.



Note: I tried to make this guide accessible to the entry-level Kog'Maw player as well, so it turned out fairly long. Just skip to the items sections if you already know what you are doing with Kog'Maw and are just wondering about my build choice.

Season 3 Introduction


Guide Top

Pros / Cons (With This Build)

PROS
CONS
  • He is out-damaged in the laning phase by most popular bot compositions.
  • Has no instant escapes besides Flash, and Void Ooze isn't always reliable. (Champions with gap-closers, like Blitzcrank, will wreck you so hard if you aren't careful. F*ck you Blitz.)
  • Generally requires a good tank line to protect and support line to peel off you. (With this build, not so much.)
  • Armor penetration is harder to come by with this build (Armor pen that deals with < 200 armor tanks specifically) , so you may be forced to concede early game damage with armor pen runes.
  • Doesn't get the critical damage with this build. (We make up for it.)




Guide Top

Abilities




Icathian Surprise
Upon dying, Kog'Maw starts a chain reaction in his body which causes him to gain up to 40% movement speed gradually over the duration of 4 seconds and detonate; dealing 100 + (25 x level) true damage to surrounding enemies.

TIPS & TRICKS
  • I used to refuse to play Kog'Maw because the idea of a passive that requires you to die left a bad taste in my mouth, but lets face it, we are all going to die a some point. This passive is actually a great clean-up ability that can eliminate that annoying scenario when you 1v1 someone and they get away with 10 health.
  • Oftentimes, enemy champions will try to dodge this ability by entering a bush and leaving the second you get in, effectively juking you and buying enough time for them to get away. Counter this by realizing their strategy and being ready to change course the second you chase them into a bush. Once you get this down, you will almost never let them get away.
  • If you are certain that you won't get a kill or assist a teammate in a kill by exploding next to an enemy champion, don't even try. Rather, try to blow up a large wave of minions to at least get some more gold before you retire.
  • Forget this skill exists until you end up using it. The goal is always to not die. :D



Caustic Spittle
PASSIVE: Increases Kog'Maw's attack speed.

ACTIVE: Kog'Maw launches a corrosive projectile which deals magic damage and reduces the target's Armor and Magic Resist for 4 seconds.


Numbers


TIPS & TRICKS
  • While a lot of Kog'Maw players find this ability completely useless, I don't find it entirely bad. At max rank it gaves you a nice passive attack-speed boost, and let's be honest, who doesn't want a permanent attack-speed steroid on their AD carry.
  • While some might not agree with me, I find maxing this ability before Void Ooze is more useful because you can't really use its active all too much late-game, and it does add a nice little chunk and armor/mr reduction when 1v1'ing in lane.
  • The only trick to using it is this: do not get close to your enemy to use it, only use it when they themselves get into range.



Bio-Arcane Barrage
ACTIVE: For 8 seconds, Kog'Maw's attacks gain range and deal a percentage of the target's maximum health as additional magic damage. The damage caps at 100 against minions and monsters.

Numbers


TIPS & TRICKS
  • This is what makes Kog'Maw the terrifying tank-melter he is. Don't be too afraid to use it in lane to harass the enemy if you are safe to do so, because it costs a measly 50 mana at all ranks and gives you nigh untouchable range.
  • Late-game, when to use this ability becomes very important, but at the same time, if you are moving closer to a teamfight because you think that you don't want to use it juuuust yet, you are doing something wrong. It will take practice, but remember that using it is almost always better than trying to save it for later.
  • This ability stacks additively with Blade of the Ruined King and applies in full to two other targets with Runaan's Hurricane. F*ck yeah. (Note however that this move does magic damage, while Blade of the Ruined King does physical damage.)



Void Ooze
ACTIVE: Kog'Maw launches a projectile in a line in front of him which deals magic damage to all enemies it passes through and leaves a trail for 4 seconds which slows enemies who stand on it.

Numbers


TIPS & TRICKS
  • This ability should be used almost exclusively for the slow in order to run away or chase down fleeing enemies. (If you want to use it for its damage I suggest you find your nearest AP Kog'Maw build, which is an extremely fun way to play him by the way.)
  • While shooting it behind you might be more appealing when you are running away from enemy champions close behind you, it is often a better idea to shoot it straight in front of you so they are slowed along its entire distance instead of only half it.
  • A fun trick is when you use Bio-Arcane Barrage to harass the opponent, also shoot this ability directly at them so if they try to get in range to trade with their own damage, they will take much longer to get in range, giving you tons of free hits and time to back off completely unharmed.
  • I recommend only getting two early levels because I think that, with careful play, the 28% slow should suffice until you start dealing with entire teams, but if you feel like you need it to be stronger, don't hesitate to level it before your Caustic Spittle.
  • When using this ability in lane, be careful when you hit large amounts of minions, because it may push the lane and put you in an undesirable position.



Living Artillery
ACTIVE: Kog'Maw launches a living artillery shell to a target location at a great distance which falls after a 0.6 second delay, dealing magic damage to all enemies hit and revealing them for 4 seconds. It deals 125% bonus base damage to Champions. Each subsequent Living Artillery in the next 6 seconds after a cast will cost 40 additional mana, capping at 400 per cast.

Numbers


TIPS & TRICKS
  • When to use this skill is actually much more difficult than it appears at first. While only at 40 mana, if you spam it too much, the mana cost will drain you faster than you die without enough mana to use Void Ooze.
  • I suggest paying careful attention to the 6 second timer for Living Artillery, and allowing that to pass before you use it again to harass. That way, you can truly spam it along side all your other skills when it becomes time to chase and kill the enemy.
  • Remember this: using Living Artillery will disrupt your autoattacks, which will make a lot of difference in some fights, especially during the late-game. Only try and use it to harass and clean up enemies when you are out of autoattack range, or when you are retreating and can't orbwalk effectively.
  • ALWAYS USE IT TO CHECK BUSHES BEFORE YOU FACE-CHECK. It reveals areas. Not many carries have the ability to check bushes with the ease and range that Kog'Maw can. Just remember that the area it will reveal is actually a tiny bit smaller than it appears, so never be entirely confident, even when your ult shows it to be safe. Try to hit the edge of the bush, while getting the entire thing in it. Most of the time, enemies will hide there to jump on you.


Guide Top

Ability Sequence

Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

> > >

Explanation

It should be quite obvious to get your ultimate, Living Artillery, every level you can, as it's really the only reliable source of damage Kog'Maw has aside from his autoattacks, and the low cost, cooldown, and incredible range make it an excellent form of harass and kill security. Each level will give you a ridiculous increase in range so taking it at 6, 11, and 16 is completely worth it. The second priority is definitely Bio-Arcane Barrage, because the health % damage and range is truly what makes AD Kog'Maw who he is. This should be your order every game.

The 3rd and 4th options are a little more complicated. In the build, I suggest getting a single rank in Void Ooze at level 2 so you have that security in case of early agression from your support of the enemy lane, and then a rank in Caustic Spittle at level 4 so you have the extra damage when you try to combo your abilities early on, and the 10% attack-speed increase is a nice little, cheap bump in dps. I then get another rank in Void Ooze at level 8 so the slow will be more useful, and then proceed to max Caustic Spittle. The reason I do this is because I find two ranks in Void Ooze to be enough until the really exciting teamfights, and I find that a higher damage output (20% extra attack-speed) just feels more useful in those mid-game fights. Also, Void Ooze is the only ability of Kog'Maw that costs more mana the higher rank it is, and because his mana pool as an AD carry will always be low, I try to avoid making it costly in the mid-game. However, if you are being effectively focused down, repeatedly killed, and constantly are in need of a stronger slow, then by all means level up your Void Ooze 3rd and your Caustic Spittle last.


Guide Top

Runes

Runes

Greater Mark of Attack Damage
9

Greater Seal of Armor
9

Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
9

Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage
1

Greater Quintessence of Life Steal
2

This rune set-up is very standard among AD carries, but I added the reasoning for them anyways, in case anyone was interested in why it became the standard.
  • Greater Mark of Attack Damage:
    Because Kog'Maw in general lacks the early-game presence that a lot of AD carries have, I try to make up for it in my runes. Because your only form of trading will be long-range poke, you will benefit a lot from this small damage increase, and you get enough early-game armor-penetration from your masteries.

  • Greater Seal of Armor:
    This is a very standard, safe set of seals to take in lane, as they are very cheap, and give you a hefty 13 armor at the start of the game, which translates to saving your hide when the enemy AD carry constantly tries to harass you.

  • Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist:
    Just like the armor runes, these runes are very standard for safe play, and magic resist can sometimes be very difficult to come by. A lot of supports do magic damage, so it helps for their harass as well. If you prefer the Greater Glyph of Magic Resist's flat protection over the scaling variety, then by all means take them.

  • Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage:
    I always debate using these or the greater quintessence of armor penetration for Kog'Maw's late game, but in the end, I think flat AD overall is more beneficial, as it allows for easier last-hitting as well as puts a little more weight behind your early-game harass.

  • Greater Quintessence of Life Steal:
    Having 2 or 3 of these quints has become the standard in runing for an AD Carry because of the sustain it provides at low levels, and as a result, is nearly indispensable for Kog'Maw. Combining these with a starting Doran's Blade will instantly reap results for your survivability. Feel free to get 3 of these quints instead of 2 if you want.

Other Options


Guide Top

Masteries

Masteries
1/5
4/5
1/1
3/5
1/1
1/1
3/5
3/1
1/
3/
1/
2/5
2/1
1/1
3/5

Explanation


OFFENSIVE: 22
I essentially take max ranks in all the AD masteries and fairly standard Executioner and Dangerous Game in the offensive tree to get to Havoc for boss amounts of physical carry damage, however, like I stressed in the beginning, the crit mastery Frenzy is useless in this build, so I avoid it and get a rank in both Butcher and Feast for the slight boost in last-hitting and sustain. I go 22 in offensive because I feel there is no 3rd tier mastery in the defensive nor in the utility tree to justify a point.

DEFENSIVE: 5
I only go for the damage reduction and percentage resistances because I find the extra health unworthy of the points. With the loadout we choose on Kog'Maw, he has a very good amount of sustain comparatively, so I feel that having 36 additional health is somewhat inconsequential.

UTILITY: 3
I chose to put 3 point in Fleet of Foot because Kog'Maw has a reliance on movement speed, especially in the early-game, when his mobility is hampered by his lack of a reliable escape. In addition, even a little bit of speed above the opposing laners can sometimes be the key element in escaping or confirming a kill, as it makes kiting and juking more possible.


Guide Top

Summoner Spells


Explanation


In choosing these two summoner spells, the reasoning should be fairly obvious. As an AD carry in particular, your main goal is to not die, and these two summoners are simply the best at achieving just that. Flash provides the instant escape mechanism that Kog'Maw lacks and severely needs, as if he doesn't have it, anti-carries like Jax will be able to simply jump onto Kog'Maw and eliminate him from a teamfight immediately. A similar line of reasoning goes into why I believe Cleanse on Kog'Maw is always a good choice as well. If you get CC'd during a teamfight, you are as good as dead. With this build, Kog'Maw has amazing survivability, but he must be able to autoattack and move to utilize it. The only time not getting Cleanse might be understandable is if you are going to get an early Mercurial Scimitar (which I do not recommend) or your team has absolutely no movement CC (which is very improbable). You might be aghast by why I don't have Ignite up here, and that is because I don't believe Kog'Maw has much use for Ignite. You really only need ignite to confirm kills or to interrupt high healing-potential enemies, like Master Yi and Dr. Mundo. First of all, Kog'Maw wants to stay alive early game, not get kills like Draven, and as for the Master Yi and Dr. Mundo, these days, I can almost guarantee you that someone else will get Ignite for you!




Other Options


Ignite
I know I just finished calling Ignite useless on Kog'Maw, but I will concede that there are times when it might be useful to take. Even though you will most likely not be able to stand toe-to-toe in exchanges with the enemy bot-duo in bursty exchanges, that doesn't change the fact that it might contribute to the damage you need to kill them, especially if they have strong heals (e.g. Soraka), particularly when you get a support that thrives in a kill-lane. I don't suggest getting one of them, but sometimes it can't be helped, like if you get a pub Leona. (If you did in fact get a pub Leona, godspeed you.)


Ghost
While I recommend Flash as your go-to escape in almost every situation, thinking about it a little more, one could make a good case for Ghost being almost as good. If you become very good at managing your Cleanse and Mercurial Scimitar active, I can see how the shorter cooldown would make it both effective when running away and trying to catch up, which you might find helpful when skirting the perimeter of a teamfight. But again, if you are facing a team with a lot of CC potential, I think that Flash will always provide a more sure way of clearing the CC crossfire. It's completely a matter of the opponents' team composition.


Barrier
While I admit I haven't used this summoner spell much outside the many ARAMs I have played, in theory, this could actually be a very interesting alternative to Cleanse, especially in the early-game. (Late-game it falls off in usefulness to an unfortunate extent.) It allows you to Heal-bait, is on a relatively short cooldown, and is not affected by healing reduction, important as many AD carries these days carry Ignite with the intention of disrupting support heals and securing kills early-game. However, like I said, the amount of health it shields late-game is nowhere near as useful in staying alive as is Cleanse. So, if you do want to experiment and take Barrier, make sure you build a Mercurial Scimitar before major teamfights or you pick it up against a team with minimal CC. Good luck, and tell me how it goes.


Heal
While I was getting very pumped over the multitude of uses Barrier has, I'm afraid Heal is much less exciting for an AD carry. In addition to the much longer cooldown, it CAN be reduced by healing-reduction, it reduces all of the healing your OWN allies try to give you for a small period, and generally gives a smaller amount of health, the plus side being it actually gives you health back rather than just a temporary shield. While it also heals your allies, in all honesty, that is something that you shouldn't be too entirely concerned about as a carry. But in the end, it does have its benefits over Barrier, and if you do want to bait the dives and overextension as well and don't trust the new summoner spell, then Heal may be an alternative. (Like with Barrier, make sure you have another way of getting out of CC.)


Exhaust is really an option that I try to stay away from as much as possible, but I realize that there may be situations (there always seem to be situations) in which you may consider getting it. An Exhaust per team is incredibly important to make the enemy AD carry much weaker for a small amount of time, but Kog'Maw, being the AD carry he is, shouldn't be the one to get it. First of all, he can't normally get close enough to the enemy carry if things go normally in teamfights until both teams are entirely wiped out, and even if he uses it defensively on a tanky dps, the slow won't fully stack with your on-hit slows, and while it reduces damage, you are still lifestealing. If you get CC'd however, you have no escape. But in the end, if your support refuses to get it, and you feel like it is absolutely necessary, then it might be for the best.


Teleport
So, I try to have an open mind, and when I passed over Teleport as an option, I had to include it. While 9 times out of 10 it is a horrid idea for an AD carry to get it, if you can continue farming at a good pace, while exerting map presence at the same time, it may be fun to try running it, and see if you can get fed early on and just snowball ridiculously. You can also use it to backdoor in dire situations as Kog'Maw has ridiculous wave-clear potential. If you are planning on ranking however, don't give your team a heart-attack; go one of the above options.


Smite
Jungle 'maw?


Guide Top

Items Preface

The reason I made this section is because I KNOW I will be getting a lot of negative feed-back solely due to that fact that I have no Infinity Edge nor Phantom Dancers in a late-game Kog'Maw build.

---

Essentially, I don't think critical chance and critical damage synergize too well with Kog'Maw's kit anymore. Certainly you can still do tons of damage (TM) with an Infinity Edge and Phantom Dancer, but then again, really any champ can. What Kog'Maw specializes in is his percent-health damage, and so it is with that in mind that I tried to facilitate his build.

It mainly revolves around the use of Runaan's Hurricane to hit 3 enemy champions instead of just one. While the generic AD carry focuses on primarily single-target damage with the occasional area of effect burst, this build does slightly less single-target damage but focuses the entire tank/tanky dps line at once. Certainly this will require you to be slightly closer, but Bio-Arcane Barrage's range completely makes up for it, and the near-3k health, Frozen Mallet perma-slow, as well as bullsh*t amounts of lifesteal and escape ( Cleanse, Mercurial Scimitar, Blade of the Ruined King active) will make you incredibly hard to kill. It is entirely possible, with Runaan's Hurricane, to turn the AD carry role from that sniping glass-cannon, to a sieging war machine, and Kog'Maw happens to work best with this build. In particular, because Bio-Arcane Barrage has a duration of 8 seconds, the higher attack-speed, the better, and this build supplies the highest natural attack-speed I have seen in an AD carry build.

Trying to build crit along with this item will only reduce the damage you can potentially do, as Runaan's Hurricane gives no crit chance or AD, AND the 2 shots it fires WON'T crit, forcing you to abandon all survivability for more damage items if you want to make it work somewhat. Instead of trying to make love with critical damage on every single AD carry you play, making your build and champion synergize with itself will instantly show increased amounts of survivability, damage, and overall usefulness to your team.

I hope you now understand where I am coming from and give this build a try for yourself, and see how it holds up next to the standard AD carry meta.


Note: I included the standard AD Kog'Maw build at the top so you can see the differences in my build and that build in case you have no idea what I'm talking about. In the end, there are definitely instances in which I believe that crit Kog'Maw may be the way to go. In any rate, this build is just an expansion on Kog'Maw's already illustrious anti-health power.


Guide Top

Items

STARTING ITEMS



+ X1
This is the standard opening for an AD Carry these days, and for good reason. The small amount of health, AD, and sustain makes this item a very potent opening choice in almost every situation. Especially since the price reduction of Doran's Blade now allows for a Health Potion as well, I recommend this opening 9 times out of 10, especially to a newer player.


+ X3
This alternative to the standard Doran's Blade/ Health Potion opening I recommend only to players that are much more confident in their abilities to trade often as a Kog'Maw. What you trade in exchange for early tankiness is a small amount of more damage as well as 2 more Health Potions. While it might not sound like much, the expirienced player can use these two extra pools of health to force the opponent into losing trades, as they mostly likely only have 1 [health potion], forcing them to recall early and lose cs. This is difficult, however, especially without a sustain support, which is why I normally suggest the first opening item set.





CORE BUILD


This is really a no-brainer. As an AD carry you need to be able to have as much attack-speed as you can safely have, and these boots are a really cheap way to do it. Most other boot options are just not as efficient. If you are being truely overwhelmed by AD or AP, you may choose to substitute for Ninja Tabi or Mercury's Treads respectively, however I still feel that the situations that warrant it are few.


->


->
Because we can use Blade of the Ruined King as an attack-speed item instead of being forced to use it solely as a damage item (which I will be the first to admit did not work), we are now free to get an item solely for damage. Usually it is always between Infinity Edge and The Bloodthirster, and as the former would not work with this build at all, The Bloodthirster is an amazing choice. While with Runaan's Hurricane the little bolts will only do half-damage, so 50 AD from this item, it will still do great single target damage (which we don't want to forget about), AND the lifesteal applies with the bolts. So, in short, it is an amazing item which will allow Kog'Maw to do amazing health-shred damage as well as flat physical damage. The lifesteal will also stack with the Blade of the Ruined King, providing you with unholy sustain.

Note: Always try to go:
B. F. Sword -> Berserker's Greaves -> The Bloodthirster

However, in the end, this is an ideal build, and if you are getting destroyed and cannot afford the early 1550 cost as well as need some sustain in lane, you may need to go something along the lines of:
2nd Doran's Blade -> Vampiric Scepter -> Berserker's Greaves -> The Bloodthirster
This will give you some cheap damage and lifesteal early-game, but shouldn't mitigate your mid-game damage by too much.


->
It is completely thanks to the changes to this item in the last patch that this vision of a non-crit Kog'Maw build becomes completely possible. As you can see, Blade of the Ruined King now gives 40% attack-speed, and it inflicts 5% of the enemy's current health as damage, which is perfect for tearing up health-tanks now. In the past the only way you could get these levels of attack-speed were with hybrid items like Nashor's Tooth and with the infamous crit items, Phantom Dancer and Statikk Shiv. But now we can use this item as the early-game attack-speed boost item that Kog'Maw needs. It also works perfectly with Runaan's Hurricane, as the % health damage will apply. Some might not like this item on an AD carry because the active has a painfully small cast-radius, but think of it more like how I told you to use the Caustic Spittle active. Only use it if an enemy is getting dangerously close and you need the movement speed and clutch mini-heal (It actually heals quite a lot at later levels.) to get away, or if you are chasing and can use it, in lane for example, to catch up and do tons of damage. In that respect, it is a very good active.

3/5 blade of the ruined king nerf





MID-GAME TRANSITION


This enchantment is simply the best choice out of the other enchantments for an AD carry. Even with Runaan's Hurricane it procs, and you can use it to kite enemies (extremely easy with this build anyways) and catch up with runners. The only time I can think of when I would understand using something else would be using Enchantment: Homeguard when your base is being seiged, because in all honestly, it is one overpowered enchantment when defending.


This is finally the item we have been all waiting for. This is the baby that turns Kog'Maw from a standard single-targeting AD powerhouse into a team-dropping void monster. Almost all of your items will contribute something meaningful to the two extra autoattacks that this item provides. At end-game build, you can expect these bolts to be fired at 2.0 autoattacks per second, do 150 damage plus 11% of the enemy's max health, reduce armor up to 25% with The Black Cleaver, slow with Frozen Mallet and apply the Blessing of the Lizard Elder slow and damage-over-time, heal Kog'Maw for a ridiculous amount, and essentially control the entire teamfight. This is the item that leaves mere crit chance in the shadows, and provides 70% attack-speed, alongside Blade of the Ruined King and Caustic Spittle giving you one of the highest attack-speeds in the game. If this doesn't spell broken, I don't know what does.

-> In the next patch this item is expecting a radius increase from 300 to 375! This means it will be much more effective in targeting more enemies in mid-game and late-game teamfights. Rejoice!





END-GAME BUILD


Even though Last Whisper is commonly thought to be the best option for an AD carry in the late-game in dealing with tanks with extremely high armor values, with this build, The Black Cleaver is actually an incredibly more effective item. First of all, the armor pen value for Last Whisper was reduced by 5%, which is a good amount considering the small amount of AD and lack of other stats the item gives you. But the main reason The Black Cleaver is much more amazing is because 1) it gives you health, a stat that is indispensable in the current meta, 2) it gives you cooldown reduction which works wonders with your Bio-Arcane Barrage, 3) it gives you 15 more AD than Last Whisper, and 4) instead of simply penetrating armor it reduces it. Because you have Runaan's Hurricane, it will actually reduce the armor of three champions, and because they are in the front line of their team they are usually the champions with the highest amounts of armor. This means that their reduction of armor will allow your allies as well to benefit from the increased physical damage, as opposed to if you just had Last Whisper, which means the tanky dps that will try to peel them off of you will have an easier time. Almost every way you look at it, The Black Cleaver gets much more done.


->
Out of all the items I put in the main build, this is the one that I am least sure about, which explains why I added so many alternatives below. The reason this is in here is because it gives you an incredible amount of health, which is extremely powerful in keeping you alive in the current meta, and it allows you to kite 3 enemies combined with your Runaan's Hurricane. NOW, there are many situations in which another item might be more useful. If you need magic resist for example, or another cleanse, you could go the route of Mercurial Scimitar, or you could build a Guardian Angel if you keep getting jumped without being able to dodge. In any case, if you cannot build this item for any reason or another, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND you make sure you have Blessing of the Lizard Elder on at all times. It gives you the slow that you will not have, and will make your life so much easier, especially when kiting.





OTHER OPTIONS


I still stick by what I said about The Black Cleaver being so much better on Kog'Maw than this item, but I will recognize that there may be situations when this item will be a better choice. If the enemy you are facing is the tankiest mofo you have ever seen, with health values and armor values that you didn't think were possible, and you keep on being run out of teamfights because this guy will not let you in, then I concede, get a Last Whisper. Sometimes you just cannot help it, and that extra tankiness you get from The Black Cleaver will go to waste because you can't do damage in a teamfight anyways. So if you think the problem really is a lack of armor penetration, then be my guest and get this item.


This item is a substitution mainly for Frozen Mallet, but you can substitute it for The Black Cleaver if the enemy has no idea what armor is. If you feel like you can spare health, and you just need another way to clear all the CC headed your way, and Cleanse just isn't cutting it, then you may want this item. The active allows you to gtfo, and will hopefully put you at a distance that will allow you to turn around and continue laying down some Blessing of the Lizard Elder slow. If you simply want more mr, but also want more AD, then this item will also be an option for you.


If your magic resist deficiency is seriously killing you, and you know you can't give up health, as it is another factor in keeping you alive against the enemy LeBlanc, then you definitely want to consider investing in this item. You will sacrifice the offensive power of the Frozen Mallet for sure, but it is completely worth it for the nice mr, health, and the Banshee's Veil passive that will make it so the enemy can't initiate on you. (Not to mention it's much cheaper!) Again, make sure you have Blessing of the Lizard Elder at all times for the slow. In situations where you need magic resist, more often than not, this item will be the thing that saves you hardcore.


Giving you a massive 1000 health, this item is probably the most defense for your buck you will find in the current meta. Even though this Kog'Maw build is designed to counter Warmog's Armor, it certainly couldn't hurt to join the meta in the defensive aspect. While I think this item is utterly amazing on AD carries like Tristana and Ezreal with great escape-mechanisms, on Kog'Maw I don't recommend it as highly because I think he could make much more use of the utility of a Frozen Mallet, Banshee's Veil, etc. However, if the problem is not really CC but rather incredible amounts of burst damage, you might want to consider this route.


These days, most new players have a difficult time judging if a situation warrants building a Guardian Angel as the defensive item for your AD carry. It hardly gives any magic resist, no health, and the armor, while it helps, doesn't make as big a difference as Kog'Maw should already have a relatively high armor value at this point in the game, with Runic Bulwark and whatnot. Stats wise, this item is nearly useless in the current meta. I only suggest getting this item in those situations when a fed-as-all-hell Kha'Zix is dropping you the second a teamfight starts every time. The only problem is that it won't help if your teammates can't help peel him off you. So you have to use definite discretion. If you really are alone against this Kha'Zix, I would recommend you just build a Frozen Mallet like normal and hope the ridiculous health, slow, and lifesteal will allow you to kite him to death. In any case, if you are up against a fed assassin of any sort, good luck.

disagree about my opinion of GA? let me tell you a story...


This is a very fun item in my opinion. Even though it isn't the best, it is one of those unique items that I end up building on almost every champion just because I like it so much, for no real reason. However, I was thinking about it recently, and this item would be downright hilarious with this build. One of the great things about this unique "On-Hit/AD" Kog'Maw build is the amount of lifesteal you get, and what if you took that already hilarious healing-potential and magnified it by 20%? Spirit Visage does this as well as gives a modest amount of health, equalizes his armor and mr values, and increases Kog'Maw's cooldown reduction to 30%. While the health it gives you is certainly inferior to some of the other alternatives, I like to think that the potential-health from the increased lifesteal makes up for it. To give you some numbers, I did some juicy lifesteal theorycraft.

some juicy spirit visage theorycraft


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Choosing a Support


Omg, why are they so adorable.

When choosing your support, you need to be very conscious of several things.
  • What kind of game are you planning on playing in the laning-phase? Passive? Agressive?
  • Are there any tank/tanky dps on your team that will be peeling enemy champions off of you?
  • Do you know the person supporting you?
  • Who is the enemy AD Carry playing? (Ranked only)

Choosing a support can be either a reaction to the opponent's bot-lane choice or specific to your play-style and AD carry choice. In an ideal world, your support will fit both of these descriptions, but it's not the end of the world if you have to choose one or the other. As Kog'Maw in particular though, it helps to use the quotes below to decide your support.


In Ranked:


(Whenever possible, do not first-pick Kog'Maw in a ranked setting. It is a BAD idea.):

"What support will keep me alive against the enemy bot-duo? Do I need a sustain support for unavoidable harass, or a peel support to keep me alive when they try to dive?"



In Blind-Pick:


"How am I planning on playing this game, aggressively or passively, and what support will facilitate that play-style the most?"









Note: A lot of these supports actually would fit in multiple supporting categories, so I mainly added them in the category based on a combination on how well they countered the champions that I listed prior to them and what they offered to Kog'Maw the most.



Supports!


SUSTAIN SUPPORTS:
You want to consider these types of supports when you go in a lane with a stranger, and you are not entirely sure about how good they are, or if you are in a lane against opponents with high amounts of unavoidable harass. E.g.

These champions can easily damage to you without actually engaging in a fight, and so often they are considered very strong early-game champions. It is because of this that Kog'Maw most often has the most trouble in these kinds of lanes, which if why you should consider the following supports to help keep you alive through heals.



soraka

sona



taric

karma



PEEL SUPPORTS:
These kinds of supports are Kog'Maw's second choice most often. You should have confidence in your support's mechanical skills as these kinds of supports utilize shields and CC so precision timing is required. They are effective in lanes where the enemy AD carry specializes in sticking onto Kog'Maw and/or bursting him down in short, close-range exchanges. Kog'Maw is also very weak to these types of champions. E.g.

You will most likely need champions that can give you clutch shields as well as slow/CC the enemy so they can't engage on you while you try to farm. In many situations, this type of support will also be able to use that very CC to set up kills, which is why most Kog'Maw players ted to prefer this kind of support: they can facilitate both defensive and agressive play.



janna

nunu



alistar

lulu



nami

kayle



KILL SUPPORTS:
The final category I am splitting the supports into refers to the supports with the ability to certainly keep Kog'Maw alive on the defensive, but are used to their full potential when trying to set up kills on the enemy. I really don't recommend you take these supports, but in the end, Kog'Maw still does some nice damage, so I can imagine scenarios in which you harass them to a nice, low health, and your support sets up the kill. Just remember, in this lane, you are MUCH more susceptible to jungle ganks as your support will not generally be in a position to prevent ganks!

Your best bet is to run this kind of lane against a champion that doesn't have an incredibly powerful early-game, like another Kog'Maw.



thresh

leona



b*tchcrank

lux



zilean

nidalee



Format from DarkPercy's AP Master Yi guide. Thanks for your help in coding this section!


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Early-Game: Laning Phase

After you get your starting items, you have only two jobs in the early game.



That's it! But unfortunately, it's a lot harder than it sounds, especially for our little Kog'Maw.

Because he is known to have one of the strongest late-games and one of the weakest early-games, if your enemy is at least somewhat capable, they will try to kill you. A lot. This said, Kog'Maw can actually do some serious damage in the early-game. He has no burst on like Corki and Graves which is why he is commonly thought as a total weakling before he starts getting his items, but over a long period of time, his damage racks up. So remember this:

You will have to trade damage with the enemy as Kog'Maw at some point. You won't be able to free-farm like you want in most scenarios. So never trade for burst, always remain untouchable.

This means be careful of all forms of CC, like a Taric stun or a Caitlyn trap, as getting caught in a stun will allow the enemy AD carry to unload their entire combo on you. It is important to know the burst-combo ranges of the enemy bot-lane, and to stay out of this range while trying to harass the enemy between last hits when you have your Bio-Arcane Barrage up. This way you can get the enemies to a comfortable health where they can't go aggressive, and your support may be able to turn them into a kill. (Try to let your support set up the kills, just focus on last-hitting.)


As for last-hitting itself:
This is the most important thing to succeeding as Kog'Maw. If you can last-hit minions well, you will get items faster than everyone else, will reach late-game builds faster than anyone else, and destroy teams before they can even react and build armor. And last-hitting means last hitting. Don't autoattack minions if they are not about to die. It pushes lane and Kog'Maw does NOT feel comfortable in a pushed lane, unless he is fed to good hell.

A goal I always give myself is 100 cs (creep score) at 15 minutes. If you can do that, especially as Kog'Maw in a high-pressure lane, you are in good shape. (The numbers are an estimate obviously, but this should supply you with around 1850 gold from the minions, or an estimate of about 8-10 kills spread equally among the enemy AD carry and support. I hope you see now the importance of last-hitting.)


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Mid-Game: Roaming Phase

Mid-game is generally defined as that point in a game where members of a team start to roam en masse to gank lanes and push down towers. It is usually a couple of levels after everyone reaches their level 6, or soon after bot hits level 6, as they level more slowly.

At this point, what are Kog'Maw's objectives?

Keep on farming.

Yep, you have to keep on farming. Your objective is to farm enough gold to have Berserker's Greaves, Blade of the Ruined King, and a The Bloodthirster. These three items will allow you to make a serious difference in mid-game teamfights. You will not have your Runaan's Hurricane at this point, so you will not yet have the incredible aoe damage you desire, but your single target damage will be very good.

When to join your team in their roaming pursuits and when to just stay safe in a lane and farm is a very difficult decision to master. More often than not, you will want to simply farm. Your team should realize this and simply choose their fights better knowing you aren't there. Obviously if a nearby lane is being pushed to oblivion, and your team needs your help, help them, but remember the continued use of farming.

Once you get your Runaan's Hurricane, that is the point at which I believe Kog'Maw's late-game begins.


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Late-Game: Teamfighting/ Positioning

In late game, with a Runaan's Hurricane, farming will be a breeze. Whenever you see a patch of red on the map that is safe to farm, farm it. This should be second nature to you at this point. But now, farming isn't the first priority, it's winning teamfights.

At this point you should always be taking Blessing of the Lizard Elder the second it comes up, if it is safe, and always remaining in close proximity to your entire team, especially when the enemy team is missing from the minimap. An overextended ally in the late-game is, in my experience, the number one reason why I lose games against very evenly-matched teams. Once one person gets caught out of position, it's almost as good as over.

Once in a teamfight, you may be used to the AD carry maxim, "Stay far away, attack the closest target." This still holds somewhat, but a slightly modified approach is required.

"Stay moderately far away, attack the closest line of enemies near you, and try to find a position that doesn't require you to move."



You can afford to be slightly closer to a teamfight, as incredible as it may sound to seasoned players. Also, while moving to escape assassins, tanky dps, etc. might be inevitable, if you can find a spot to lay the full 8 second duration of your Bio-Arcane Barrage, with your +2.00 attack-speed, the enemy tank line will cease to exist, regardless of their build. The Frozen Mallet will help in this regard. Even with your Bio-Arcane Barrage on cooldown, you can still do damage. But there are things you must do to pull this off.

Obviously the introduction of gap closers amongst the enemy ranks, like a Jax, will make it so that you have to be more on your toes, but generally, once you can do these three things sufficiently, you will be able to prowl the exterior of a teamfight, melting their team like lava does a village. This is essentially the gist of winning teamfights in the late game. If you can't pull off all 3 of the aforementioned necessities, 1) practice them, and 2) follow the first maxim and stay as far back as you can as to not be caught.

Once you can get closer to a teamfight is when the adrenaline starts. Ask any Vayne player, and they will agree. Things get very exciting, and that feeling when you rack up that final kill and push to the Nexus... priceless!


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Community Results

Send screenshots of your scores in so I can add them to this wall! :D

Maruuu @namesmaru on Twitter


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Conclusion

So yeah, Kog'Maw melts face.



As you can see, I have some more sections that I may add at a later time, after I do some more tests with this relatively new build.

Sections to add:
  • Choosing a Support
  • Enemy Bot-Lanes
If there are any sections you think I should add, please let me know!


If you have experimented with this build as well and have any recommendations, please leave a comment as well.


Also, this is my first build, so I would appreciate any constructive criticism in making these builds look better, and be more useful. :D
I would also appreciate advice on how to add more colour and pictures, and where I could find said pictures, because with all the information, it might appear to be a bit too blocky.


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Credits

I would like to point out I took a lot of information from the League wiki, so thanks to everyone who maintains it.
http://leagueoflegends.wikia.com/wiki/Kog

Thanks so much to jhoijhoi for the amazing BBCode and format guide.
http://www.mobafire.com/league-of-legends/build/making-a-guide-101506

Thanks to DarkPercy for letting me use and helping me with the coding for the "Choosing a Support" section.
http://www.mobafire.com/league-of-legends/build/ap-master-yi-and-his-dark-sides-128998

"Kog'Maw KNKL 05" picture by Knockwurst
http://knockwurst.deviantart.com/art/Kog-Maw-KNKL-05-203454692

"CHRISTMAS MUNDO" picture by purplekecleon
http://browse.deviantart.com/art/CHRISTMAS-MUNDO-190813322

"Lulu + Kog'Maw" picture by Unknown Artist
If you know the artist please tell me, I have been looking everywhere. D:

"Kog'maw Rag" picture by O-mie
http://www.deviantart.com/art/Kog-maw-Rag-270137492


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Update Logs

  • 03/01/2013 - Guide goes live!
  • 03/02/2013 - Added alternate Hybrid Penetration runes
  • 03/03/2013 - Added "Choosing a Support" section
  • 03/06/2013 - Expanded alternate options in "Items" section
  • 03/07/2013 - BotRK hotfix; altered build order
  • 03/08/2013 - Expanded on build order at top of guide
  • 03/08/2013 - Added some juicy Spirit Visage theorycraft
  • 12/24/2013 - Quick S4 pre-season changes