Build Guide by Zazamoukh
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.
Cho'Gath is a great tank with a lot of utility. However without mana you're no more than a giant minion (basicaly). This build will allow you to be able to cast abilities quite often while not sacrificing the tankiness of the character at all. Because there is nothing more frustrating than to run out of mana when you need that "Uuuup you go" for a pentakill :)
-Has CC (stun/slow + silence)
-Has a nuke (no smite on a jungler? no problem)
-If used properly skills can aid offense and escapes too
-Can initiate (if you must)
-Easy farming (and after ~lvl. 9, you can clean waves instantly)
-Can shield fragile friendly champs with your sheer size, making them virtualy untargetable
-Death sucks on many levels
-Must think twice in early game before using an ability
-He's not a chick with big boobs
I always take ignite. It's a great spell to lower enemies health (after a Q-W combo ofcourse) for a good Feast. Or if you misjudged Feasts damage, it can help you out. No running away with 50 health after a Feast.
Very useful either to close the gap for that Feast or to get away and cast that Rapture from a safer distance to save your skin.
For the same things as ghost although not that effective overall on Cho.
It makes you're early game pack more punch. And if you got someone like Xin as your laning partner, you can kick *** very hard. Or it can be your only savior againt Sivir on a solo lane (I will discuss this later)
Whenever Cho'Gath kills a unit, he recovers 34 - 68 (+2.5 each level) health and 7-15.5 mana (+0.5 each level).
A great passive to stay in the lane as long as you want. And makes your Q-W combo cost a little less when you use it to farm (although the recieved mana is not enough to farm constantly at lower levels)
Cost 90/90/90/90/90 Mana
Cooldown 10 seconds
Ruptures the ground at target location. After a short delay, enemies are launched into the air for 1 second, dealt 80/135/190/245/305 (+1) magic damage, and have their movement speed slowed by 60% for 3 seconds.
This ability has so many uses. It's your distant farming tool, your initiator, your running away tool and your chasing tool. A 1 sec stun, with a 3 sec slow and a decent magic damage. What more can you ask for? (BUG ALERT. Sometimes enemies are launched into orbit, out of screen. Yes, orbit. For about 3-5 secs. Although it looks funny, it can be very annoying, because you and your team can't target that champ for that time and it allows the enemy team to catch up with you.)
Cost 70/80/90/100/110 Mana
Cooldown 16 seconds
Cho'Gath screams in a cone in front of him, silencing enemies for 2/2.25/2.5/2.75/3 second(s) and causing 80/130/180/240/300 (+0.7) magic damage.
AoE silence with 3 seconds. Sounds good, isn't it? Often my second ability in a combo after Rapture; first agains Sivir. If you can make your way to the enemy squishies (ranged dps, mage) this ability will reduce their damage output greatly allowing your team to pick of 1 or 2 of them with ease.
Range 40 (no mana cost)
Toggle: Cho'gath's physical attacks launch spikes which deal 20 / 30 / 40 / 50 / 60 (+20% of ability power) magic damage to a line in front of him.
This ability helps your farming, but as you can see, I max this last. It's a little boost to your damage output and sometimes meams the difference between a kill and a missed opportunity, but you're better off with Ignite and your other 3 abilities. You only want to toggle this skill off when you're attacking a turret with an enemy champ behind it. Most of the time you don't want to suck in turret hits for nothing.
Cost 100 mana
Cooldown 60 seconds
Deals 300 / 550 / 800 (+50% of ability power) damage to target champion, or 1000 damage to target minion (ignores resists).
If the target is killed by Feast, Cho'Gath grows, gaining 90 / 120 / 150 maximum health (maximum 6 stacks). Cho'Gath loses up to 3 stacks upon death.
Your signature ability is useful on so many levels (and very satisfying to NOM a Morde or a high damage mage). Try to use it as a finishing ability but don't be afraid to cast that ignite if you misjudged its damage. After the laning phase or a death you have to be extra careful when to use this ability. Using it in front of the enemy team is often a signal for them to attack. Try to regain your stacks during team fight free periods. Constant pressure on your lanes is a great ***** for you if you died recently. Feast can prevent the other team from stealing your Baron or Dragon too. REMEMBER! You can Feast pets too (Morde's ghosts, Tibbers and so on).
A THOUGHT TO CONSIDER: As you can see, most of your abilities scale very well with AP, so you can build Cho'Gath that way too. But most of the time the team counts on you as a tank. IMO the reason Cho is good is his CC ability, not his pure spell damage. With this build you can still get the kills you need (4-8 in a 30 min game) while not dying too much (which is important because of you Feast stacks).
These masteries aid your tanking ability while providing the much needed extra health and mana regen. Awarness can be swapped for Expanded mind but most of the time I solo, and reaching lvl 6 before your opponent can mean a kill.
This rune build gives Cho a harder offensive punch while providing the mana you absolutely need at higher levels. Seals can be swapped for magic resist or armor, I just like that extra HP to stay longer at a lane.
Item order for AP heavy enemy team:
Start with a Meki, and 2 Health Potions. Your greatest priority is to get a Negatron Cloak. With it, Akalis can lo longer burst you down and you can forget about Karthus's mines. After grabbing Merc's Treads finish Force of Nature and go for a Guardian Angel. Most of the time this will be your final build. With this you can safely do your job of creating some chaos in the enemy ranks most of the time. You can make a Fiendish Codex out of Meki before Guardian Angel. It will give you more mana regen and a bit of CDR which can come in handy if you died a few times and need to fill those Feast stacks. Anything above this is just icing on the cake.
Item order for AD heavy enemy team:
You start with the Meki and the 2 Health Potions as usual. But this time your boots should be either Ninja Tabi, or Boots of Swiftness. I prefer the later. After that you can choose either to go for a Randuin of a Frozen Heart. I usualy go with Randuin first because of its health regen. A Guardian Angel is a good choice after that but you'll rarely have the chance to finish it. A Thornmail and a Deathfire Grasp should be your finishing items if the game turns long (which is unadvisable against an AD heavy team)
Item order for BALANCEDenemy team:
This will be the build you most oftenly aim for. The start is the same again. After that either complete a Boots of Swiftness or a Merc's Treads depending on the CC ability of the enemy team. A Negatron before Guardian Angel gives you great magic resistance early game. Guardian gives a bit of both and makes it easier to protect your precious stacks. Force of Nature is often a neccesity because most of the balanced teams are still a bit AP heavy (few pure AD champs) and the health regen is great. I often upgrade my Meki after this to a Fiendish Codex. It helps regaining stacks and keeping your mana pool filled. Randuin helps out against enemy AD makes you more able to tank turrets (before Randuin you simply can't do that). Not to mention CDR and HR. Im not a big fan of Warmogs Armor but as a fifth item it can be a good purchace instead of Banshee's Veil. I choose the later because it allows me to wreak more havoc (extra mana+spell block). Deathfire is good to lower enemy HP to be able to finish with a Feast, but it should be only your last item. It's just a little extra; most of the game you're good with a Fiendish Codex.
Warmogs Armor: I know most of you wonder why I didn't include Warmog in my core build. Well, most of the time you're just good without it. The huge ammount of health is good, but you're better off with an item that gives some resist too. Pure HP can disappear quickly so resists are much more important early. But as a fifth item (after enough resist) it has the potential to make you unkillable. So it's a great item, but not as first-second-third or fourth choice.
You are a good laning partner for just about everyone. I prefer a good AD champ like Xin, Trynd or Jax beside me, but ranged carries and other tanks are good as well (Blitzkrank, Rammus, Alistair or Singed make a great laning partner too). On a dual lane you can play as you like. Watch out for your teammate (Rupture enemies of his back if needed) and try to farm that Negatron and the shoes of your choice.
Solo: Most of the time I solo if the team has a jungler. This is good because it gives you the oppurtunity to fill your stack before the team fights begin. You can hold the lane against most of the champs, but don't overuse your Rupture, and Scream because you will run out of mana very soon this early. Don't worry, it will get better and better with each level you gain. In this phase, just farm as best as you can. Harassing enemy champions is often not worth it (you can give them a bit of Rupture, but don't focus on them) focus on clearing waves near YOUR tower. Don't push the lane! It will be harder for your jungler to help you with a gank. (This strategy sometimes made my enemies overconfident, making them fall for my Rupture-Scream-Ignite-Feast combo)
Your worst enemy is Sivir on a solo lane. She can clear waves instantly and block Rupture (and clear the next wave from the mana, you gave her). You can't keep up with her in mana regen, so you'll need some help from your jungler from time to time (ganking if possible).
By the time you got your Negatron Cloak and some shoes, your mana regen runes start to kick in. Now you will be able to use your abilities to farm without a second thought and participate in team fights. An important thing you'll have to watch for is not to use your Feast before team fights. 800 true damage is not bad to have around. Don't forget that your job is to draw away damage from your squishy teammates. You have to be first line, but still keep an eye on them. Your Rupture can save their lives if they are running away! Help them escape if they need to retreat. If there is a channeling ult in the enemy (Katarina, Nunu etc) always keep your Rupture for them and don't use it to initiate. In other circumstances it can be used as an initiator.
By this time you'll have some idea of the other teams strenghts and weaknesses. Finish your items accordingly. Make the Warmog vs. Banshee decision.
A usefull trick end game: If you've reached your full size and have a Guardian shield up, you cover very much space. More fragile teammates can literaly hide behind you, making them nearly impossible to target for the enemy. This way, only AoE spells can harm them, while they can continue to deal damage. Use this to your teams advantage.
Thanks to DEWO for the build template.