Not Updated For Current Season
This is my first ever guide, but i promise, you can't go wrong with it. In this build I will teach you how to play an excellent cho gath that not only tanks, but deals massive damage.
I choose to use standard caster runes simply because it's convienent for me because all 3 of my rune pages are filled, and i'd rather spend ip on new champs instead of another rune page. This works for me, but if you have extra ip and want to build tank runes, be my guest.
I find the utility tree to be the best one out of all three. The cd reduction on ghost and flash are incresed by 15%, and thats after the 15s deduction on flash from blink of an eye. The mana regen and buff duration increase are extremely helpful to cho. The offense tree is obviously bad on cho, but some of you might wonder why i dont use the defense tree. Well, simply put, none of the defense tree slots seem as good as utility. Dodge chance isnt enough to matter, as it only dodges 1 out of 50 auto atks, less damage from minions isnt necessary, as you wont be jungling with this, and only bad players would take long doses of minion agro. The 78 extra health might seem useful, but in the end, its only 78. by mid game you should have almost 4k health, at which point 78 will seem like nothing. The Ardor mastery isnt worth spending 3 points on for so little, and Tenacity isnt as good as most ppl think. Say a dps player on your enemy's team has about 300 ad. well, 4% of that is only 12, and if you think 12 dmg matters to a tank, think again.
Starting with ruby crystal gives a huge health advantage for low lvls. Its important to be able to lane longer with cho. Health regen was buffed in the last patch, so health seems to be a good way to go. This leaves cho slightly mana starved if you choose to kite, however, but thats where his passive comes in. I find that cho has an excellent atk animation, which makes it easy to last hit minions. It restores health and mana, so dont be afraid to take a quick hit from an enemy champion. His health regen combined with ruby crystal will allow him to take it easily. By the time you recall, you should have enough saved to buy a catalyst. This is arguably the best item for laning, as it gives a dramatic increase each time you level. Boots are also important, but its a mistake to rush them. Getting enhanced movement 1 boots are enough for the laning phase. all that is really needed is to be able to keep up with enemy champs, which should be easy with ghost and flash. Get a blasting wand as soon as you can, then complete rod of ages. This is an important item on cho. It gives cho's rupture ability enough power to kill full health minions it hits, resulting in a sizable gold advantage. thats why another blasting wand after would take priority over a catalyst, so you can continue farming creeps easily after they grow stronger. It is important to either be a good farmer or get a couple kills in early. Getting the second rod of ages is better if it happens soon, because it takes 10 mins to reach its full potential. You should be able to get ROA by around 20 mins, and the 2nd one between 30-35 mins. After that, i think that banshees veil is just an incredible item on anyone, especially a tank. It provides both mr and a bubble. After this, armor is still lacking a bit. Atma's impaler will fix this, and should provide about 70-80 dps, with crit chance! At this point, cho's 3rd skill will also add around 100 dmg each hit, which gives him formidable dmg output, as well as high survivability. The game would usually be over by this point, but i prefer rabadons for my last item. However, this might not always be the best move. Getting increased armor or mag resist would prove useful if your enemies have a lot of armor pen or mag pen. This doesnt mean to get more armor if you are facing heavy dps of more mag resist against mages. It means that more armor of magic resist at this point would only be useful to counter items like last whisper or void staff. Thinking statistically, at 100 armor you take 50% reduced dmg, but at 200 armor you take 66% reuced dmg. I dont find it worth it unless they have armor pen items, seeing as how the dmg output from rabadons would be drastic, while more armor would only stop another 30-40 dmg.
Rupture will be the main damage output for cho. Thats why its important to max out this first. The pop up is a lot more useful than a silence from feral scream. Also, most enemies would back off if they saw you walking to position for a feral scream. rupture, however, can be cast anywhere, and the cloud of dust before it activates is hard to see, especially in the middle of a creep wave. It is also important to lead them with this, as it takes time to pop up. If you want to get an easy kill, kite them with this until you hit lvl 6, at which point its only a matter of calculating to when they'll have 300 health after a rupture feral scream combo. Ghost and flash are great for getting in for a quick feast. Feral scream is maxed out next because it is also a good tool for killing enemy champions. Most other builds have vorpal spikes maxed out, put i just get 1 point early to help last hits. No ones gonna let you continuously auto atk them in a team fight, which is why feral scream is better: more burst dmg.
Obvious really, but cho gath has no escapes. champions like ezrael or tristana can escape easily with their abilities, but ghost and flash are good ideas on any champs without any such natural escapes. Also, these can be used to chase for a quick feast.