Kog'Maw Build Guide by TROLLing1999
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learn the basics about Kog'Maw, the guide and the author
learn what runes, masteries and summoner spells to get
learn what items to purchase
learn the correct skill order and tips about your abilities
leran how to play early, mid and late game
a quick epilogue and credits to whoever helped me with this
|Kog'Maw||The Author||The Guide|
|Kog'Maw is a marksman(also known as ADC). Specifically, he is often charachterised as a hypercarry because of his ability to bring insane amounts of DPS to the table thanks to his Bio-Arcane Barrage. His laning phase is sort of weak compared to the one of other marksmen and he suffers from mana issues post level 6 but he powerspikes hard once he completes his core item set and can carry his team to victory. Kog'Maw fits nicely into the current meta and is a top tier pick along with Tristana||I am TROLLing1999, a guidewriter here on Mobafire. I have already more than ten guide under my belt and I know more or less what the reader expects. I am playing League since mid-late Season 1(started when Orianna was released). Currently, I am sitting in Silver 1 and hopefully I will manage to reach Gold by the end of the Season. In ranked queue I play almost exclusively marksmen and Kog'Maw is one of them.||I decided to create this guide because there aren't any complete ADC Kog'Maw guides on Mobafire with detailed explanations behind each choice and an in-depth gameplay section. In this guide I will try to cover anyhting around building and playing Kog'Maw. I will refer to rune, mastery, summoner spell and item choices, will give tips on his abilities and the game in general.|
|Explaining the Mastery Choices- Offense
In offense you want to focus on physical attack. Particularly you opt for masteries that will either boost your laning phase via sustain(i.e. Feast ) and base stats or for more masteries that increase your DPS late game. You must have noticed that I skip out Warlord entirely for the sake of Spell Weaving , Blade Weaving and Dangerous Game . The reasoning behind this is that the first two increase your damage output more than Warlord because as Kog'Maw you will be often alternating between AA and Spells when fighting through all stages of the game. Dangerous Game is great for making clutch plays in teamfights and in 2vs2 bot lane fights.
|Explaining the Mastery Choices- Defense
The best way to spend the remaining 9 points is to invest them in the defense tree. There you opt for masteries that make you more beefy early game, increase your sustain and boost your trading potential. Thus you will be guaranteed a long and safe stay in lane, which is what you're looking for, actually.
Flash s mandatory on Kog'Maw because of the fact that he is very immobile and has no built-in gapclosers. It can help you get out of sticky situations more than any other spell can. Heal should be your secondary spell choice. It heals a lot of damage and unlike Barrier it gives an MS boost that is very useful for running away However, if your support takes heal you should consider Barrier; this combination is the strongest one in my opinion after the latest Patches. It heals a lot of damage and unlike Barrier it gives an MS boost that is very useful for running away. Against hard CC lanes/teams consider Cleanse.
Starting ItemsThe bread and butter start for every marksman. It outclasses the Long Sword+3 Health Potions starter as it actually provides equal sustain, more tankiness(the HP) and the damage difference is negligible. This start gives you all the neccessary early stats for farming and trading and can almost guarantee you a long stay in lane. It synergizes well with the rune and mastery setups, too.
Core BuildTrinity Force is a great item for Kog'Maw. He benefits from all the stats, including AP and mana while his ultimate works really well with Spellblade passive. The double MS boost also kind of makes up for the lack of mobility. Berserker's Greaves is the one and only choice for DPS marksmen because of the MS/ AS boost. Blade of the Ruined King is another awesome fit for Kog'Maw. He benefits a lot from the AS, AD, LS and his W synergizes really well with the passive. The active is useful in many ways (escaping/chasing/dueling). Finally, Last Whisper' ArPen along with BotRK, Bio-Arcane Barrage and Caustic Spittle will allow you to face-melt any target. Very cost efficient and unreplaceable item.
Late GameInfinity Edge will greatly boost your damage output with the huge bunch of AD, the Crit Chance and the Crit Damage. Afterwards you need a defensive item. Banshee's Veil can prevent you from being bursted down by an AP Assassin or save by dodging a CC spell when being out of position. Still you should be trying to side-step skillshots and not just rely on the shield. I like to upgrade my boots into Enchantment: Furor. The MS boost cooperates really well with your long range, with Phage's passive and all in all kind of makes up for your lack of mobility and allows you to kite with great efficiency.
AlternativesGuardian Angel is a great item as it provides you with both Armor and Magic Resist, while the passive can truly turn a fight around if your team is well coordinated. Mercurial Scimitar is worth the value against hard CC teams. Usually, I buy Quicksilver Sash around mid game and upgrade it into Scimitar late game. Enchantment: Homeguard is a very convenient upgrade of your boots and it is a must-have item when your main task is to defend your base. Enchantment: Distortion is another viable enchantment, that allows you to have Flash available a bit more often. This can be a crucial factor in a late game teamfight. Phantom Dancer can be used as a replacement to Last Whisper if ahead and enemies don't seem to be buidling resistances. In this case it adds a lot more DPS than LW would and grants you slightly more MS, solving thus your mobility issues.
Not a great passive because as a marksman one of your primary goals is not to die but it still has its uses. After death hunt your opponent as much as possible. I often get a kill in lane after a lost fight or some assists in a teamfight thanks to this. Still not something you should be forcing.
This is a very useful skill as it allows you to penetrate through the enemy's resistances. It's a bit hard to hit because of the cast time and you should always be trying to predict your enemy's movement to hit this. Use this skill in the beginning of trades/fights so that your next AA/abilities deal more damage. It also resets your AA, which means that it can be used for last hitting during the laning phase.
This skill makes Kog'Maw stand out as it gives him one of the longest AA ranges in the game and increases his DPS by a lot. Always activate this when fighting and when sieging a turret as it allows you to damage it from very safe range. Knowing the range difference and most importantly when the buff expires is crucial and can win you the lane or even the game.
A very useful ability with a very strong slow. Use it to chase down enemies or to set up your other skills and specifically your ultimate. Additionally, this ability provides you with some very valuable early wave clear which is crucial in every stage of the game. When an enemy is already on top of you, throw Void Ooze in the direction you intend to run. Thus you will be able to kite him really really hard.
This is a great spell. Insane range, good damage and very short cooldown. Do not spamm it in lane or when sieging because you will run easily out of mana. However, do not hesitate to spamm it in fights and especially teamfights, where the AoE can have great impact. Make sure though, that you have used every other spell already because otherwise you won't be able to use the at all as you will get OOM right away. Be aware of the cast time. Do not throw Living Artillery where your enemy currently stands but to the place you expect him to be in ~1 second. Do not forget that this ability gives you sight of the area you use it, which means that it can be used to check bushes from safe distance. With a bit of practice you will be able to use this at its full potential.
You always want to max Bio-Arcane Barrage first as it is your primary DPS source and the increased range is also very useful in various situations. Then some people prefer to max Caustic Spittle at level 13. However, I like to max Void Ooze second for the waveclear and the increased slow, which is particularly useful for kiting/ chasing/ escaping. Additionally, it is much easier to hit than Caustic Spittle. You do not need to max your Q before level 18. It has less range than your AA with W and the rest of your spells and in most cases getting in range in order to use it will put you in a dangerous position. 1 early rank in this ability is neccessary, though. 12% resistance reduction is nothing to laugh at.
Many people are under the missaprehension that Kog'Maw has a weak laning phase. Sure he might not have the lane presence and safety of a Caitlyn early but his kit allows him to go at least even with the huge majority of his opponents. Post level 6 and especially after having completed parts of Trinity Force, he has actually one of the strongest laning phase in the game and can beat most ADCs in a duel or a 2vs2 fight with relative ease.
At level 1 you must push the minion wave towards the enemy turret in order to get level 2 first. Kog'Maw's level 2 trades with E+W are really insane and very few marksmen can actually sustain them or return the damage as long as you place yourself correctly. You shouldn't go too far as you will loose your range advantage and take lots of damage from the minion wave.
Once you reach level 2 throw Void Ooze to your enemy and follow up with 3-4 AA with Bio-Arcane Barrage. Ideally your support will follow up with its own CC/damage and harm the enemy adc even more. Most likely you won't anyone him but you might force people to burn their summoner spells leaving you a gap for another favourbale fight withing the next few minutes. Even the HP difference alone can give you a great advantage over your enemy and you should make sure he doesn't equalize it over time.
The best way to achive that is to zone out your enemy. To achieve this your first need to freeze the lane at a desired point by last hitting at the very last moment and then place yourself between the minion wave and the enemy bot lane couple. Brush control is also vital as a sneaky engage or an unexpected push can easily break the freeze.
Along with last hitting, you should be attempting to harass your enemies and deny them farm. Kog'Maw's long range with Bio-Arcane Barrage allows him to harass the enemy adc while staying at a safe distance. Whenever the enemy is about to go for a last hit, activate your W(no mana cost) and follow up with several AAs. However, make sure you don't trade while it's on cooldown as you can loose a lot of your power. Since you don't have serious mana issues pre-6 you can kind of spamm Caustic Spittle and throw it whenever you find the opportunity. Remember, though that you don't have lots of kill potential pre-6 and that your W expires at some point and you might be left exposed to the enemy if you don't realise that.
At level 6 you powerspike hard and you can beat most of your opponents in a 2vs2 fight. Throw Caustic Spittle and Void Ooze and follow up with Bio-Arcane Barrage and Living Artillery. You will go OOM quickly but if you hit your skillshots you will easily win the trade. (Given that you won the trade,)From this standpoint, you can start being more aggressive. You can push and siege the enemy turret with the range you get from your W.
For a more detailed view on how to lane as a marksman have a look at the Laning Phase section of my Caitlyn Guide. It focuses on Caitlyn but also gives many general tips. Here I am focusing on Kog'Maw's kit more or less.
Once the laning phase is over, your goals should be to secure as many obectives you can to earn gold and win the game. Many ADCs tend to splitpush in this stage of the game. Kog'Maw is not really the best splitpusher. Even though, he has the waveclear and can duel 1vs1 against most marksmen he is very immobile to respond to a 3-man gank. Apart from that all his sieging potential goes wasted. So even if you can actually split push decently it's actually much better to work together with your team and siege turrets. Use Void Ooze to clear waves faster and Living Artillery to poke the enemy. Bio-Arcane Barrage allows you to damage turrets from a very safe distance and while staying far behind your teammates.
Always keep an eye on bot lane for those big minion waves as they can give you quite a lot of gold.
The most important aspect of teamfighting as a marksman is positioning. You need to stay in your team's backline, avoid taking damage but still be able tons of damage. In other words you should maintiain enough distance so that you can hit and not be hit.
Some guides/ players overemphasize cautious play. You're a glass cannon and your job is to actually deal damage. I have seen many teamfights being lost because of the adc not attacking the enemy at all. One very important skill to master as an adc and can actually solve the aforementioned issues in most cases is kiting. It means that between ranged attacks and spells you move backwards and to the side so that you can be harder to reach.
Kog'Maw is great at abusing a good initiaton. Throw Void Ooze and Caustic Spittle, activate your W(and AA as much as possible, of course) and spamm your ultimate. You will run immediately out of mana but you will have done insane damage and probably kill someone.
If this is not the case though, you should attack the closest and most threatening target. Whether a bruiser, an assassin or a tank you should be able to melt your enemy thanks to Bio-Arcane Barrage and Caustic Spittle. If he really gets in your face use Blade of the Ruined King and Void Ooze and kite him as hard as you can. If your utlimate is availabe do not hesitate to use it as frequently as possible. Also make sure to switch targets once your enemies are no longer threatening you.
Another thing that you should always have in mind is that you must be aware of when your W will expire. At this point you only have 500 range and must be really carefull with target selection.
This is all I have for now. I hope I helped you discover Kog'Maw's awesomeness.
Before I end I would like to credit specially the following:
- Astrolia, GMD and Foxy Riven for helping me understand how tables work and providing some very cool templates.
- Emikadon for making these awesome line dividers.
- ADC Matchups in the cheatsheet