Cho'Gath Build Guide by BoxOfAids
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.
THIS GUIDE IS A WORK IN PROGRESS. Feel free to comment! I'd love to hear any success stories with these builds!
What is this guide?
This guide is for a high CDR (30-40%), tanky Chogath. There are multiple ways to achieve this, as can be noted by my 3 separate setups. Tanky CDR Chogath is an idea, not one specific build and rune/mastery setup. Rupture is on something like a 5.4 second cooldown with max CDR, Feral Scream is at 7.8 seconds. Both of these are AREA CC SPELLS on low cooldowns. This gives Chogath use besides just being a meat shield, as he can disrupt multiple members of the enemy team at once, multiple times per teamfight.
What is this guide NOT?
- This is NOT a full tank guide.
- This is NOT a full AP guide.
- This is NOT a jungle Chogath guide.
- This is NOT an attack speed Chogath guide.
- This is NOT a Chogath x Kassadin fanfiction (yet).
Does this build work for solo laning or duo lanes?
It can work with either, though you'll obviously have to play differently in a solo lane compared to a duo lane. The item builds will likely be unaffected.
There are a lot of items in your build!
Yup. Doran's items and gold per 10 items (Heart of gold and Philo stone) should be sold when you have no more item slots and can be replaced with items further into the build (for example, selling your Doran's ring to make room for a catalyst). If you still don't have the money to build anything useful after selling your items, hold on to them! Having their stats is better than selling them and realizing that you can't buy anything with the money anyway, or selling your Doran's ring (health, ap, AND mana regen) for a sapphire crystal (only mana) or something. Doran's ring should be sold before gold per 10 items. Also, the gold per 10 items are completely optional, you don't have to get them if you don't want to.
What are the pros and cons of these builds?
Each build has its own pros and cons, but in general...
-Lots of CDR means spamming his pop-up and silence spells, which hit in an area
-Feast comes up more often, meaning more kill opportunities and max Feast stacks all the time
-Still pretty tanky, allows you to fulfill a role much like Blitzcrank's (spam CC, never die)
-Feast still does lots of damage even with no AP, so you still get medium damage output
-Makes for a great anti-carry or anti-squishy
-Doesn't have the damage output of pure AP Cho
-Doesn't have the tankiness of pure tank Cho (but still pretty close!)
DO NOTICE THAT THERE ARE THREE ITEM BUILDS (different runes, same masteries for each). Pick the one that best suits your playstyle!
For the runes, you can pretty much substitute in any runes that I have in any of the builds, mix and match however you like! Just be sure to take into account that you only have ~10% CDR without the Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction x9, and 15% with them.
I'll get pictures in here eventually~
**IMPORTANT** You do NOT have to follow my runes in the builds exactly, read my explanations below for what runes are decent choices for each category.
I like Magic Penetration marks ( Greater Mark of Magic Penetration), they let you do more damage in laning and if you use one of the builds with AP in it, it helps out there too. You're free to replace these with tanky or AP runes if you'd like, there just aren't many marks in general that benefit Cho.
A few choices here. Greater Seal of Evasion, Greater Seal of Armor, and Greater Seal of Vitality are obviously good choices for a tanky character, you can take Greater Seal of Scaling Mana Regeneration if you want (you'd probably want them on build #3, since you start with no mana regen). Other than those, maybe AP? I guess?
Here's where things might get tricky. If you take Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction x9, you get about 15% CDR to start, meaning once you've got your CDR boots, you'll be at 30% already. Depending on what you build afterwards, that may be as far as your CDR goes. If you expect to be able to take blue buff a lot (no mana-hungry casters like Anivia), then you can just take CDR glyphs and lucidity boots and get no more CDR, if you need to you can get blue elixirs to get to 40%. Most other CDR items would be wasted though, since your good tanky CDR item choices mostly have 15% or more on them, which would put you over, meaning wasted stats. Unless you use build #3 and go Tanky CDR Aura Cho.
Getting back on topic, you can certainly take Greater Glyph of Scaling Mana Regeneration, Greater Glyph of Magic Resist, Greater Glyph of Ability Power... glyphs are the most open runes for this build, you can pretty much take whatever you want.
Greater Quintessence of Ability Power are good, since these builds don't get much AP early, so they help him out a bit at the start of the game. They also make every Feast that little bit stronger. Greater Quintessence of Health are a pretty obvious choice for Cho, but they might be unnecessary, depending on your build and if you already took max health seals. Your other main choice is Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed, which could help you out since you've got no CC reduction in any of these builds, so they could help to mitigate slows and/or get you in range for Feast.
I don't think masteries need any detailed explanations, but I'll at least explain my reasoning. Lots of people will argue that the magic pen isnt necessary because of Vorpal Spikes not being helped much by it and Feast being true damage. However, his other 2 skills deal significant damage in the early and early-mid game, and since you won't have too much AP at that time, you need the penetration to make the most of your high base damage on Q and W. Plus you get the CDR. I like the 21 in Utility because you get the other CDR mastery, and much-needed mana regen, AND the XP mastery. If you get to the CDR mastery, you may as well go the whole way and put 21 points into it.
This leaves us with 0 points in the defense tree.
>What a noob, Chogath with 0 points in defense, what a fail!
*slap* You really don't need it. With the amount of health and resists Cho gets naturally with his items, he really doesn't have much use for the small defense tree bonuses (barring perhaps the basic armor, MR, and 21-pt masteries).
I'll explain my item choices build by build, rather than all at once.
But before I explain anything, a few general notes...
>I'm constantly out of mana, even though I get last hits. What should I do?
Well if you didn't start with a mana regen item like Doran's Ring, there's no helping you. If you did, then stop spamming your spells so much and autoattack more. If you're spamming spells because you're being harassed by ranged lane opponents and can't autoattack for last hits... then your best bet is to actually get another Doran's Ring. You can make use of all of its stats, so it isn't a waste, and the Doran's items even sell back in the shop for a good price. A 475 gold investment could save you a lot of aggravation in the early game!
>Why don't you get Merc Treads or Sorc Shoes?
I like CDR boots better because they're a cheap way to get 15% CDR, and the goal of this build isn't so much to do damage with Q and W as it is to be able to spam all of your CC spells, Feast as much as possible, and be unkillable. As a tank, you don't really need the Tenacity from Merc Treads, though the MR would be nice. Since Feast is true damage, Sorc Shoes aren't entirely necessary either.
>Why do you get Heart of Gold in every build?
Remember that these gold stacking items are OPTIONAL. Sometimes I don't get them myself, particularly if they enemy is strong early game. Gold stacking items like Heart of Gold and Philosopher's Stone allow you to build your other items earlier for not much cost. Heart of Gold happens to give health, which is good for Cho, so it's not like you're wasting your money on useless stats. Once you've got your slots filled, you can sell your gold stacking items and buy items further into the build. Again, they are OPTIONAL.
Build #1 - All-purpose CDR/Tank/AP Cho
*Optional second Doran's Ring
Boots of Speed
*Optional Heart of Gold
Ionian Boots of Lucidity
Rylai's Crystal Scepter
Rod of Ages
This build is my personal favorite. It's the most offensive and least tanky of the three builds, but plays surprisingly well. It actually DOESN'T max CDR (only gets to 30% despite having CDR glpyhs!), but you use it mainly on teams where you don't have mana-hungry casters, where you can keep blue buff up. With blue buff (or even a blue elixir), you will get max CDR, and you can focus on building tanky and then get some AP once you get high resists. Feel free to swap around the Guardian Angel and Banshee's Veil, I'll commonly get the Negatron Cloak before finishing the GA. Why get GA first? It allows you to tower dive, be more aggressive, and not lose stacks if something goes wrong. You'll also never be ganked while the GA is active, since you clearly will be unkillable.
I like the early GA/BV combo of this build because the GA is heavy on armor while the BV gives health, MR, and the spell shield. This gives you resistances to both physical and magic damage while increasing your already naturally-high HP. Once you have both of these items, you can hop right into the middle of teamfights and unload all of your CC spells with little fear of dying. You can even stick around once your shield is popped and GA used, since you have deceptively high sustainability.
Once the late game comes around, you can start building tanky/AP items, namely Rylai's Crystal Scepter and Rod of Ages. You can certainly switch the order of them if you want, I prefer Rylai's first because you can Feral Scream to slow the target(s) due to Rylai's, which makes it easier to land your Rupture and Feast. Rylai's also gives more HP and AP up-front than RoA, though RoA gives more stats overall once you've had it for a while. Still, I like being able to slow with Feral Scream since you no longer have to rely solely on landing Rupture to slow a target.
The Rabadon's Deathcap is just kind of thrown on at the end there, you can replace it with a tanky item of your choice like Abyssal Scepter or what have you.
This is what happens when you get 2 double kills early (I had JUST sold my Heart of Gold to finish my Rylai's Crystal Scepter here, probably should have sold my ring instead but oh well).
Another screenie, I was mid against Corki this game :)
Build #2 - Max CDR Cho
*Optional second Doran's Ring
Boots of Speed
*Optional Heart of Gold
Ionian Boots of Lucidity
Chain Vest and Negatron Cloak, whichever you need more first.
Finish Glacial Shroud and Banshee's Veil, whichever you need more first.
Rylai's Crystal Scepter
Rod of Ages
Finish Frozen Heart somewhere
This build easily maxes out CDR, even with no runes (ok maybe you'll have 39% CDR for a while with no runes, but close enough!). It has more tanky items than build #1, but ends with less AP. This build maxes CDR pretty early without sacrificing tankiness. Feel free to go straight from Chain Vest to Glacial Shroud if you don't need the magic resist from Negatron Cloak, I just have it in that order because it's better if you assume a balanced enemy team.
This build gets Banshee's Veil before Guardian Angel, only because you would have minimal magic resistance by the time GA was finished (Doran's Ring, CDR boots, HoG, Glacial Shroud, GA... plenty of armor, low MR). You can pretty much finish Frozen Heart at your leisure, feel free to leave it until last if you want. It's only 1250 for a bunch more armor, though, so you'll want it earlier against AD-heavy teams.
Other than that, pretty much the same as build #1.
Build #3 - Tank/Aura/CDR/Troll Cho
This build is somewhat of a joke/gimmick build, but it can actually be good with the right team. It's certainly not a BAD build, just not really something that you would want to take into ranked play or anything.
This build gets 35% CDR with Soul Shroud, 40% with CDR glyphs. This is a support and aura oriented Chogath build, that still has high (or max) CDR while remaining tanky. It is mainly to be used with teams with already high damage output. It has much more teamfight presence than the other 2 builds, as the auras you provide to your team are invaluable. A good idea might be to swap out Banshee's Veil for Abyssal Scepter if your team is heavy on AP, then stand in the middle of the enemy team.
Swapping Doran's Ring for Philosopher's Stone in this build is purely to show you that you CAN do that if you want. If you want Doran's Ring instead, that's fine. If you don't want either... have fun with no mana regen.
I actually used the Heart of Gold for Randuin's Omen this time around, as it seemed to fit in with what this build is about.
This build is definitely for a Chogath with less focus on ganks and killing, but more focus on tanking and supporting the team. He can still spam his CC with high CDR, but he can benefit his team even when his abilities are on cooldown just by being there with his auras. This gives him more teamfight presence and makes your team stronger in general. As a tradeoff, he pretty much never builds any AP (unless you opt for Abyssal Scepter), which is fine if your team has enough damage already. You might also choose to change masteries to 0/9/21 on this build if you want, but you'll lose a little CDR in exchange for the extra tankiness.
Rylai's Crystal Scepter could also work here, since the slow on Feral Scream and Vorpal Spikes can add to this build's teamfight presence. But really it would be more of a replacement for, say, Banshee's Veil, which could hurt your Magic Resist. It's really more of a situational item that you would get while trying to do this build, but the enemy team has damage stacked on either AD or AP so you can hold off on getting the tanky items for whichever one they're short on and replace it with Rylai's. For example, the enemy team is all AD characters, so you don't need Banshee's Veil. You could then replace BV with Rylai's.
There are a few ideas that I can talk about here.
-Always remember that you should build resist items when you need them. If my build says to make Glacial Shroud then Banshee's Veil, but you're getting destroyed by spells, obviously you need magic resist first. Build a Negatron Cloak before that Glacial Shroud, it won't change your build that much and will make your life much easier.
-My guide is not a set-in-stone, unchangeable brick. You can swap items around as you like and as required by the situation. You can even swap out entire items if the situation calls for it. You certainly shouldn't build armor items against a pure AP team, you should be making a BV and FoN.
-Make sure to buy potions as you need them!
-For builds without max CDR, blue buff and Elixir of Brilliance can get you to max!
MORE TO COME HERE, MAYBE~
>Hey, what about Zhonya's Hourglass???
You can certainly get it later in one of these builds, but for the love of god, do NOT use the active. The idea as the tank is to get focused. If you use Hourglass's active, your enemies will look for another target, probably a squishy one. You don't want that to happen. There also plenty of other choices for armor. If you REALLY need that armor, get a Thornmail. Don't forget that part of the cost for Zhonya's Hourglass is for its active, which you won't be making use of except in a few rare situations (getting tower dived while you're alone, gonna die anyway etc).
I use the same skill order for all 3 builds, the reasoning is the same for all of them. Taking Rupture first allows you and/or your possibly existent lane partner to harass enemy champions, can give you area denial, and can secure an escape with its popup and heavy slow. Vorpal Spikes afterwards allows you to start getting easy last hits early. If you're not good at last hitting, feel free to move this up to level 1, just be careful if you end up engaging your lane opponents. At level 3, you take another point in Rupture, for more burst damage and easier last hitting if you're in a tough lane. Feral Scream at 4 gives you a silence, which can save either you or your lanemate if you're being chased down and need to prevent enemy skills. You shouldn't need Feral Scream before 4, it's more worth it take 1 Vorpal Spikes and 1 or 2 Rupture before bothering with Feral Scream, which only adds minimal damage and can't really be used for farming until later anyway. You only really take this for the silence, not so much for the added damage. After this, you basically max Rupture first for damage, taking a point in Feast at 6, then maxing Feral Scream second. The basic idea is to have 3 Rupture and 1 in each of his other 2 skills at level 5, the order isn't incredibly important (though my listed order is my preference). Maxing Rupture first keeps your damage relevant (it's actually a lot of burst damage) during laning and early teamfights until you get the CDR to become a CC-spamming jerk, with now low-cooldown area pop-ups, slows, and silences. Keep in mind that Rupture is most powerful during the early game, where your opponents likely don't have boots (or only have boots 1). If you don't take advantage early on of its high burst and how easy it is to land, then you're wasting one of Cho's most powerful harassment and farming tools. Just showing your opponents that you can land your Ruptures well early and taking off a bunch of their health can keep them playing defensively, which can let you farm more easily and safely.
These are really up to you. I like Flash/Teleport. Let's go down the list:
- *slap* No.
- Maybe? If nobody else has it on your team, you'll need it to stop enemy carries. Can be used to slow people for Feast... I guess.
- Cho's passive should remove the need for this spell. Pretty worthless past midgame.
- Decent choice, allows you to escape easier, get to fights faster, etc.
- I like Teleport in general, never miss out on XP/Gold early on when you have to B or if you die, then prevent big creep waves/backdooring later.
- This is not jungle Chogath. No.
- You're kind of meant to be the tank, you'll likely be eating CC a lot. Probably not worth it to take this.
- Gimmicky, but plausible. You won't be taking the Fortify mastery, so probably better to not take it.
- Maybe on build #3 or if you're just bad at mana management. If you're good at Cho, you probably don't need it.
- Very questionable. Would only be really useful early on for the extra damage output. I feel like there are better choices.
- This could actually work well with build #3, which is more of a support-gath.
- Flash is never a bad choice. Allows you to get in range for a Feast when you might not be able to otherwise, as well as do everything it normally does (escapes, etc).
For now, have some bulleted tips. I'll add actual strategies and stuff later.
-If you can't last hit with melee auto attacks in lane, use Rupture or Feral Scream. Try to hit the enemy champion(s) at the same time, or at least get 2 creeps at once.
-Cho is VERY mana hungry. If you change anything in my builds, just be sure that you get mana regen early, or you'll have a real tough time in lane. Make sure to get last hits and don't waste spells. 1 missed spell = over 10 seconds of waiting for mana for another, and that's only if you started with Doran's Ring.
-Keep in mind that Cho regens mana when you get last hits, so if you can harass your opponents during laning either via a good laning partner or just playing better, you can essentially dominate your lane by being able to freely replenish your health and mana.
-Cho duo lanes VERY well with anyone with CC. If your lanemate uses their CC first, you can easily land Rupture. For example, Xin Zhao using his E to dash to a target will slow them, allowing you to get a guaranteed pop-up with Rupture, at which point you both can continue to do damage. This combination is especially deadly once you get Feast, as anyone with half HP will get hit by the first CC, take damage from Rupture as well as a few auto attacks and probably a Feral Scream, which gets them into insta-kill range from Feast. Of course, if you want to pull off this combo, remember to have enough mana stored up.
-Cho is not the greatest ganker, but using the strategy above of having someone else hit the target with CC first, you can probably land Rupture and follow it up with Feral Scream, which greatly improves your ganking ability, as the target now can't use movement skills or summoner spells for a short while. As such, Cho benefits from a coordinated team.
-The whole goal of having a high CDR Cho is to be able to spam his CC skills (both under 10 seconds cooldown with these builds) and take hits in a fight. If you're not in the middle of teamfights, you're doing it wrong!
-If you get a Rylai's Crystal Scepter, remember that Feral Scream and auto attacks with Vorpal Spikes can slow! You can then use Rupture on the slowed target for a guaranteed pop-up! People underestimate how good Rylai's really is on Cho.
-Try to get a feel for how much damage your combo can do, maybe practice it against bots. Unsuspecting enemies can go from just under half HP to dead when you're around level 7. Rupture hits for a lot and slows the target long enough for you to easily land a few autoattacks and a Feral Scream. If you need to, you can flush next to the target before you finish them off with Feast.
- Rupture gets harder to land as the game goes on and enemies build boots 1. Once they have boots 2, you'll be hard-pressed to land them regularly. Try to force your opponents into tight spaces like the jungle so that they cant dodge it.
-Use psychological warfare with Rupture! If you move towards an enemy champion, their first instinct is to back away, thinking "is he trying to attack me?" or "am I about to be Feasted?". As soon as you move forwards, drop Rupture behind them, so when they back away, they get hit. It takes some practice and doesn't work against experienced opponents, but it's still a good thing to know.
MORE TO COME~
This is more of just a general note that applies to both Ranked Play and Normal games.
DO NOT use these builds when your team doesn't have enough damage. If your team looks like Shen-Soraka-Ashe-Annie, then 2/4 people on your team already do minimal damage. If you use these builds, you'll make it 3/5, which will leave you with nowhere near enough damage for this team to stand a chance, unless Ashe and Annie get fed early. Your damage would also only be split between Ashe and Annie, so if either one gets caught out of position and dies, you lose about half of your team's damage instantly. In such cases, it's better to play more of an AP/CDR Cho (maybe with Morello's Evil Tome or Deathfire Grasp), adding much-needed damage to your team while still being able to throw out your CC spells enough to disrupt enemies in teamfights.
Well, that's about all I've got for now. As I said, this guide is a work in progress. More information will be added, including strategies and item choices.
Please feel free to leave comments and critiques below, say what you like and don't like about it, as well as request anything that I may have missed. And be sure to upvote the guide if you like it!
Thanks for reading!