Cho'Gath Build Guide by yoshiro3333
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Not Updated For Current Season
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Intro : "Don't knock it till you try it!"
The reason for the name of this build is because about half the games i play with Cho'gath start like this.
"Cho, why are you building attack speed?"
"Just wait, it's a new build that works really well"
"Cho, What are you doing? you are going to make us lose the game"
15 minutes later....
"Wow that was a weird build, but it works really well. I didn't think Cho'gath could work like that."
Thus i say "Don't knock it till you try it!!!!"
I have played mostly 3v3's on this build and haven't tested it to extensively on 5v5's. As for 3v3's I am almost always a "powerhouse" when playing this build, so try it and tell me what you think or give me suggestions on how to improve it. This build is made, assuming that you have looked at other cho'gath builds, and that you have enough experience to know some of the general idea's behind playing the usual tank or ability power cho'gath.
Pros vs Cons
Zero Mana Problems
No Health Regen Problems
Great Melee Mage
HUGE area damage in team fights (Can do more Area of effect damage than Ryze)
Nice Crowd Control and huge burst damage.
Squishy beginning through mid game(you will not be a tank, so don't play like one!)
Quickly becomes focused in team fights
Sometimes requires time to build up (this build dominates the late game)
The Above runes are what I personally use, but I have found a few combinations that work. Such as going for all out Attack Speed or AP on every color of runes. I consider Attack speed to be the most crucial part of this build, but I would still consider any health, AP or AP pen runes to help balance out what you need. I personally found that point for point, the above build where this build it is needed the most. For quints, movement speed can be a desired rune, but it depends on your preference. I personally like the attack speed because I will often have xin come charging at me. 1 on 1 he will continue to fight me thinking he has got an easy kill, because he doesn't think this Cho'gath has a clue what he is doing, but discovers he is losing a head-on melee battle. Using exhaust, he will likely starts running, and a well placed Rupture will stop him in his tracks, giving you the easy kill.
Jungling build or Laning?
Notice that this is a common rune build among junglers, with the exception of having Armor for Yellow runes. If you choose jungling I would recommend getting those armor runes, because you will need it! Otherwise, keep the health for laning. If you do want to try jungling with this, then you should concentrate on taking your enemies down as fast as possible. Most jungling builds rely on having armor items, but you should get that Vaporal Spikes Vaporal Spikes upgraded 1st and hitting as fast as possible. I personally start with potions and this may seem like a bad idea and really inefficient, but continue reading to hear the explaining the use of his passive for survivability, and knowing understanding that you gain more out of damage than you get out of having cloth armor. When you hit level 6 you can instantly combine smite with your feast to do huge nuking power to high health creeps like red buff, blue buff or dragon. Check creep health and as soon as their health drops below 1000 HP you can instantly gain a stack and kill them even if they had AP resistance. The wraiths are you best friends and you should visit them as often as possible because your visits don't need to cost mana, you (usually) gain more life than you lose and your visits are incredibly short!
The reason why I choose 9/21/0 is because I said for the Cons area, the build is squishy. I have been tempted to choose the offensive skill tree, but you simply need the defense more. Cho'gath does not really do a huge amount of Physical attack damage, so the armor penetration in the offensive tree does not really benefit you. You benefit much greater from deffensive abilities such as Ardor since if boosts your main 2 damage areas: AP and attack speed. The reason for this is again explained below.
Wait, you said no mana problems?
Now wait a minute!!!!
I said under pros, it was mentioned that I won't no mana or health regen issues???? There aren't really any of those items in the build! You are be correct that there really isn't, but the real secret lies in Cho'gath's passive. Every minion kill or jungle you kill, you gain back mana and health based upon your level. In other cho'gath guides this almost isn't even worth mentioning, but in this guide, its the heart and soul of the build.
This Passive allows you gain more mana than you can use, you gain health back quickly because you can destroy minion waves faster than (almost) any other champion.
Now don't get me wrong, you can run out of mana if you spam your spells without thinking twice. Be conservative with your spells and use them when you need to. Especially your feral scream! The only purpose of getting this at level 4 is to stop dangerous abilities such as nunu's absolute zero or katarina's death lotus . Feral scream will not hit very hard until level 18! Don't use it unless you can greatly benefit from it's silence effects!
Your job in this build is to be poking with your Rupture. If you are about to start a fight, save your rupture for the fight. If you think there won't be a fight in the next 8 seconds, check that you have a little mana to spare then poke away! Sometimes I have found it necessary to begin a team fight with Rupture , so it depends on what your situation is. Pay attention to groups of enemies clumping up as, you will be able to disable more and damage more. Rupture will be your main source of "poking damage" along with Vaporal Spikes hitting champions behind the minions.
A weird way to put my strategy, is to position yourself like you would Mordekaiser. He lines himself up so that he hits enemy champions as well as minions so that he can have higher shield levels. You too, should either position yourself so you hit the champions who is behind the minions, or a group of minions behind the champion. With this build's passive, you will be gaining some much needed health and mana in the middle of a 1v1 battle.
Vaporal Spikes is your main source of damage. That is why you want to upgrade it as soon as you possibly can. Your Spikes do area damage, so if you have a group of champions clumped up in front of you in a team fight, they will either focus you or wish they had! Bump the whole group with your Rupture, then pound away with your ferocious Vaporal SpikesVaporal Spikes, allowing your team to crush them while they are slowed, damaged, and temporarily immobilized. If somehow that doesn't have enough power behind it, then chow down with your feast dealing huge amounts of damage that ignore magic resist. If you did not need to use feast during the team fight, use it anyway on a nearby minion to gain stacks. (hint the big minion with the cannon give you the most cash!) You have Cool down reduction from that Nashor's tooth you just bought, so it will be ready for the next team fight!
Covering the weakness of this build
The weakness to this build is that you are squishy. You need to look at the opponents team and see if you need Armor or Magic Resistant items. There are many situational items, such as:
Bloodrazor to counter health stacking tanks
Void staff is to counter high AP resist champions such as galio High AP resistance is a nightmare for this build, because it deals huge amounts of damage, but in small, fast bursts. This will tear through that hard resistance and leave them wondering what happened. Remember your ignores ALL Magic Resistance!
Warmog's Armor is a great choice for well rounded opponent teams. As I said before, you farm so fast with this build that you can have it fully stacked rather quickly. This item is not recommended against champions that have Madred's bloodrazor
Guardian's Angel helps to cover against well rounded teams with it's magic resistance and armor. The revive is always helpful.
Thornarmor - armor against AD champions.
sword of the divine isn't really necessary because even if your attack is dodged, the real damage from Vorpal Spikes will still hit, however the attack speed and extra magic damage still makes this item valuable.
Wit's End is great against AP users for it's Magic resistance. If you don't feel threatened by any AP champions, then don't get it!
There, you have the final build. Not only do you have a crazy AOE auto-attack, you have a very strong "nuke" of eating people which ignores AP resistance, and you have enough AP-pen from masteries and runes and Malady, that you rip appart anything you see. You litterally should be fighting something every second you possibly can, trying to find the closest source of income, and plow through it. Jungling should be no problem for you when you destroy a group in the jungle in seconds without needing mana. You will get heavy health and mana regen, without having to dump any gold into items.
If you did this build correctly, you will have more money than you can spend. Get ALL 3 elixers from the shop. You need the all the AP, CDR, attack speed, extra health you can get! The AD and crit doesn't hurt either. Sell low cost items and get better ones if you still have extra cash! The build often needs more survivability items, so buy what your specific situation calls for!
If you still have money left over, (which can happen more than people would suspect) you can always buy Oracle's Elixir to get rid of shaco's boxes, temo's mushrooms or even wards. Anything annoying that you may want to watch out for. If you have money that isn't being used, then why not spend it on something that has a small chance of being useful? What else are you going to spend it on?
Got any suggestions on how to make it work better? Comment and let me know!