Kog'Maw Build Guide by v8163
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.
Now I already know I am going to receive heavy criticism for this because it pretty much violates every elitist in places they don't like to admit they enjoy being violated in.
That being said, this is my guide to "AP Kog'Maw" that is versatile and flexible. In that, with this basic framework Kog'Maw can fill the role of heavy duty long range ability power nuke that makes Xerath jealous.
Keep in mind that this is to be followed loosely which is why I leave the item build very open, because those are your core items (most of the time) and from there you can build to better suit the needs of your team.
Swagrid has done an AP Kog'Maw guide which is quite well done and addresses a lot of things concerning Kog'Maw. I would suggest reading his guide in case there was something that I have neglected to address here.
Pros / Cons
Quick Note on Skill Shots
The way I play AP Kog'Maw revolves heavily around Living Artillery and the ability to combo his Void Ooze and Caustic Spittle with his Living Artillery.
So before I go on I have to warn everyone who wishes to play AP Kog'Maw
I would not suggest AP Kog'Maw to anyone who isn't good with skill shots, otherwise you will be draining your mana for no reason and give your team every reason to dislike you.
This guide assumes that you are fairly good with skill shots already and seek a way to get more skill shots in without sacrificing damage.
That being said -
I encourage everyone to become intimately familiar with Kog'Maw's skill shots by experimenting on bots before you take it to a real game with other people. After you can effectively chase bots down and hit them no matter which way they run, you are ready to be humbled by those who will figure out how to dodge it. Yes, I have played against other players that cause my hit/miss ratios to be extremely poor (almost embarrassingly so) because they too know how to play AP Kog'Maw and know how to move around it.
It is all a matter of practice and if you keep at it you can even get it to an almost reflexive adjustment and firing.
Funny Story Time!
There was one game I played as AP Kog'Maw a long time ago (before his ult ratio was nerfed) that I played with friends (who can attest to this because of how funny/epic it was) vs a team that decided to NOT build any magic resist.
In one particular team fight we decimated them except for the twitch who popped two shots, saw his team dead and started to run away. As he was running away while trying to stealth, I began pelting him with Living Artillery. After two shots which took off about 25% of his health, he went invisible, darn that stealth! So I figured why not take blind shots into the jungle (we were all at blue) just because why not. After about 5 more shots being fired in what I would believe is the most *likely* path a running enemy would take to get away from us, we hear the magical "an enemy has been slain." At this point my friends weren't even watching but started roaring with laughter (as well as his team, twitch didn't think it was funny at all claiming "maphacking") that I killed a twitch using only Living Artillery while stealthed. Proudest moment in my AP Kog'Maw "career"
This was also the game that I was named an "expert fun ruiner"
For my version of AP Kog'Maw you only need to focus on two things : Damage and Sustainability.
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
Greater Seal of Scaling Mana Regeneration
Greater Glyph of Magic Penetration
Greater Quintessence of Magic Penetration
By using Greater Mark of Magic Penetration, Greater Glyph of Magic Penetration, and Greater Quintessence of Magic Penetration you start off with 19 base magic penetration. This is important for a number of reasons :
 Allows you to build your tear at a faster pace while still doing decent damage with little to no ability power.
 With the addition of Sorcerer's Shoes you will be sitting at 39 magic penetration which is higher than most champion's base magic resist. Meaning you will be doing true damage to them.
The Greater Seal of Scaling Mana Regeneration are self evident; you are AP Kog'Maw, you are a spam caster with high mana costs. Without mana, you will be a lot less effective. Mana and mana regen are king, you can never have enough of it. (blue buff is your friend, however you cannot always count on having it up and ready)
Don't be afraid to tailor your rune choices to fit your particular play style. It can vary depending on how you want to build your AP Kog'Maw, this is just a reference of a way that I personally enjoy playing my AP Kog'Maw.
Some of you are probably scratching your heads over the mastery page. Well it is pretty simple
This build is 9/0/21 , as per my AP Kog'Maw is a support caster.
You put 9 points into the offense tree to pick up Arcane Knowledge for the % magic penetration.
The other 21 points go into the utility tree to help bolster your sustainability as well a few other things that are worth mentioning :
This mastery will literally be the difference between winning or losing(supporting you aren't behind the enemy team by about 30 kills or so). Because of the gross killing power of Kog'Maw(and I mean in general too) you will be targeted because you are very very squishy. If you die, your team has lost a great deal of sustained long range damage(or as some would call it, 'poke'). 10% doesn't sound like much, but in some games those extra 6 seconds determine if you lose one tower, or a tower and an inhibitor. Sometimes a tower and inhibitor, and a nexus tower.
Taking this mastery is not admitting that you will die, it is admitting that you refuse to underestimate who you are up against.
More mana = more sustain = more hp/5.
More mana regen = more spells before you need to cool down.
This mastery is debatable. I find it useful because it is the difference of being able to keep pace with your victims long enough to get your shots in or not at all.
This helps to augment your hit point sustainability. Supporting you are pelting them from afar with Living Artillery, this should help keep you topped off.
Once again, people criticize when this mastery is picked by non-traditional support champions. To the critics, let me make something clear :
|SPACE||As a support sniper it is my job to be far away enough to not attract attention until they cannot afford to peel off and come after me. I will not always be in the middle of everything to get the last hit on them with my Caustic Spittle or Void Ooze. This merely assures that I get someone out of dishing out the damage that I do, if I do not get the kills.||SPACE|
To me, this mastery is best utilized in the early game (when AP Kog'Maw is weakest) and with enough mana it can help in times when there is a fair deal of counter poke(god help you if you are against ANOTHER AP Kog'Maw). This mastery basically gives you a free 1 hp/5 every 100 mana you have.
IF you were in a game where your best option involved building more defensively (such as, a build akin to something that Ryze would use). You could opt to build a Frozen Heart, Banshee's Veil, and a Rod of Ages. This, along with your Archangel's Staff would bring your mana to 3975. From your Archangel's Staff you would receive 119 ability power (not including the ability power on your staff itself), and 40 hp/5 from this mastery. Not bad for having no actual hp/5 stat.
The spells you choose are mostly flavor and should be chosen based on your particular play style. I will give you my opinion on all of them, but they are only my opinions.
Flash is one of those need to have sort of things anymore.. the ability to (hopefully) leave a team in the dust is just too good to not take.
Exhaust isn't really a "life saver" as it is more of a "wild card" in terms of how I use it. I have used it to run away, to win a 1v1 encounter(with someone who should have killed me easily), and to chase. However it is not really 100% effective, but I will say that it has done more good than bad.
|SPACESPACESPACE||1) It was the difference of a Ryze blasting me into.... exploding myself onto him or a one-sided victory on my part.
2) Stopping level 6 Tryndamere's from tower diving for free Kog'Maw kills(the bastard...).
3) Rendering fairly farmed Veigar's impotent (lasts through his combo, which then shifts the opportunity to attack in my favor while his cool downs are coming back up)
4) Severely limited an AD Sion's ultimate regeneration
Ghost is one of those abilities that works really well if the chances of you being outrun are close to none. It also works well if you need to catch up with something that is running away from you. So in either of those cases, if you feel confident in your ability to chase and run away with Kog'Maw, I'd say go for it.
|SPACESPACESPACESPACE||Just keep in mind that there are many champions who can easily outrun your stubby little Kog'Maw legs. Even with Ghost.||SPACESPACESPACESPACE|
I could see using this if you went with a AP/On-hit Kog'Maw build. Sort of like an ability power/attack speed steroid(with a pretty long cool down...). I could see using it... I suppose...
For the Kog'Maw on the go! Teleport is a great map mobility tool. I personally don't use it, ever, but I can see others using it. Just takes a little coordination and some nicely placed wards.
Ignite I would recommend if you intend on being up-close and personal. Which there are many Kog'Maw builds that are, so this is entirely viable if you intend on being within range to use it. It is also great for stopping healing effects from nuisances such as Soraka, Sona, Karma, Taric, Heal, Dr. Mundo, and any form of life stealing effects.
Eh... I personally think that if you feel the need for cleanse, there is already a problem. If you are disabled in any way/shape/form. Chances are they are on top of you already and you will probably be dead before too long. Bet you wish you had Exhaust huh? =)
The only reason I say this is because Clarity really falls off later in the game. By level 18, 700 mana is three casts, you could make a case about those three casts being the difference between an ace and a pushed nexus, but I can't recommend it when it takes the place of a more useful summoner spell.
While you can use this as a spotting too for the sake of getting a better idea about the area you are about to enter or launch a few Living Artillery into. I don't think its utility can compare with other options in terms of staying alive or chasing.
I won't say it is useless, but I wouldn't pick this over some of the others. I've always found heal to be lacking except when it denies me as Kog'Maw a kill, then I see it as annoying and overpowered. =)
... Okay remember when I was talking about Good Hands . Yea, this summoner spell isn't going to make your case look very good. While you can change the flow of the game(or at least drag it out to where it becomes unfun for everyone, I say make them earn their win!!!), it is NOT that important.
... Another one of those... things where I can see your reasoning but to replace it with a more... useful summoner spell that is more... suited to a nuker, there is no way to justify this. Unless you are trolling, please don't troll as AP Kog'Maw. It makes it that much harder on the rest of us, and there aren't very many...
The only reason I'd ever see taking this is if you plan on stealing dragon/baron/buffs or helping kill them faster. For all other reasons, you really don't need this, but if you really want to you can.
Abilities (and their uses)
- Passive :
Icathian Surprise is one of those abilities where you kind of have mixed feelings about. While it is pretty awesome to be able to chase down an enemy who just barely killed you and explode on them(supporting they don't have Flash or another dash-esque like ability such as Tumble or Quickdraw), it really isn't all that great. It doesn't work with revives such as Chronoshift or Guardian Angel either. While it does do 550 AoE true damage at level 18 it still suffers from a few problems
Caustic Spittle is one of your two close range nukes WITH a built in attack speed increase AND MORE IMPORTANTLY a magic reduction debuff application! At max rank it shaves off 25 magic resist strait off the top and has a 70% ability power ratio! Not bad at all!
Bio-Arcane Barrage is probably his most fearsome ability(just as all %hp attacks tend to be). It gives him an extra 210 attack range and deals 6% base + 1% per 100 ability power in bonus magic damage. If you couple this with a Void Staff you have the capacity to kill anything in a timely fashion regardless of their hit points or magic resist.
Void Ooze is his in-line AoE slow/nuke. This ability has a great amount of utility on top of the damage component. I like to think of it as laying out a red carpet of acid for my enemies to walk on. It's range and thickness allows you to cut off entire lanes with it, which can possibly end up saving you and your teammates. It is also useful for chasing and cutting off escape routes(or at least making it take longer for them to move past it).
- R Living Artillery has to be my favorite ability in the entire game...(closely tied with Demacian Justice)This ability has incredible range(can snipe an enemy champion at their turret while under the safety of your own when maxed!)It also deals bonus damage to champions which is why I often neglect to build lots of ability power early on. If you manage to hit them almost every time, the damage speaks for itself. I've killed many with 0 ap.
The secret to landing Living Artillery is to think about all the small nuances of it.
- Its animation
- Its range
- Your enemy's movement speed
- If they have their summoner spells ready
- If they have a dash
- If they move in a predictable pattern or have tendencies of any kind
SPACESPACESPACE Most actually DO move very predictably when dodging Living Artillery
1) Strait back seems to be the most common, if they don't have boots you can use the actual skill aimer and as long as they are dead center when you fire it, it will ALWAYS hit. Once they get boots you will have to adjust it in the direction you believe they will move.
2) When dealing with more experienced players they will try to veer to the sides
3) More aggressive players will attempt to move forward which will let you trade their attacks with your Void Ooze/ Caustic Spittle/ Living Artillery combos. Be careful though, some champions like Ezreal and Akali will outburst you anyday.
4) Occasionally you will encounter a player who just seems to know exactly how to dodge everything you throw at him, or at least enough to make it a worthless effort. Those are the ones that your team needs to corroborate in killing.
By putting constant pressure on the enemy team you are forcing them to split their attention between what is right in front of them and what is raining above them. This can often lead to sloppy initiations on their part or that they get too low to afford to initiate.
A word of caution
I advocate pressure and to spam Living Artillery until everything is dead.
Living Artillery is expensive and even with a full end game build you cannot spam it indefinitely(unless you have blue buff, which Kog'Maw just gets plain terrifying). Which is why you need to learn resource management as well as knowing when and where it is appropriate to drain your mana.
I am sure anyone who has played World of Warcraft for any reasonable amount of time knows what this means. You might also be familiar with what a burn cycle is. This means that you go through a period of heavy mana use, followed by a "down time" where you allow your mana to build back up enough for another burn phase. The joy about building Kog'Maw the way I do is that the preserve phase is fairly quick and doesn't always require a trip to the fountain. Which is where
Comes into play.
There are times when you should keep mana around just in case and times when you absolutely should not be burning through it.
|SPACESPACESPACE||1) Before an eminent team fight, do NOT waste all of your mana, that is helping NO ONE.
2) Burning all of your mana while creep farming is bad. You do not need to unload on creeps to the point where you run dry. Caustic Spittle has a fairly low cooldown, last hit with it if you find yourself getting low.
3) If you are in lane and are getting low on mana, always try to keep enough to combo your Void Ooze/ Caustic Spittle just in case you get jumped.
4) Living Artillery ramps up in cost the more often you use it. If you want for the debuff to fall off, it will be reduced back to 40 per cast, which is cheap.
I really had a hard time putting this together because instead of following a restrictive item buying sequence I tend to adjust as the game progresses. My item paths and choices largely depend on who is killing who and how the rest of my and their team is choosing to build.
Occasionally you will annoy someone enough to spite you by building nothing but strait MR and sustain. At that point their damage output will be forfeit but they will also shrug off a lot of your damage, this can be both good and/or bad depending on your team composition (meaning the balance of ability power based champions, attack damage based champions, and the relative toughness of your team when compared to the enemy team).
Uh okay? Why are you telling us this stuff V?
|SPACESPACESPACESPACE||BECAUSE THE GAME CONSTANTLY CHANGES WITH THE CHOICES OF EVERY OTHER PERSON THAT IS IN IT
I find it EXTREMELY aggravating or sometimes mildly amusing when I encounter a bit of the unimaginative/unintelligent/elitist mindset that seems to plague League of Legends. These are the ones who play an AD carry such as Graves or Ashe and after 15 minutes and 6 deaths they are still trying to build that infinity edge instead of maybe trying to build a Hexdrinker so that ap carry stops feeding on her. But of course that would be asking too much.
Erm... *cough* Right.... Moving on......
In about every single game I will usually follow this building pattern :
If I am against someone who I can farm creeps relatively safe (like Karthus or Morgana)
Meki Pendant + 2x Health Potion
If I am against someone who will harass me pretty often (like Vladimir or Talon)
mana crystal + 2x Health Potion => because of Strength of Spirit , yes every hp/5 counts.
After I finish my Tear of the Goddess, I will buy Boots of Speed and then âssess the situation from there :
Buy Sorcerer's Shoes next - This gives you mobility to avoid bad situations and hopefully the magic penetration to start dealing true damage to your opponent(s). Combining true damage with Living Artillery's already insane damage multiplies against other champions makes Kog'Maw a very scary long ranged ability power nuker.
Buy Chalice of Harmony next. This item is what will give you sustaining power and will be the last item you replace, if the game goes on that long.
At this point this is where personal flavor and the situational item builds come into play. I enjoy playing AP Kow'Maw as a support caster who focuses on penetrating defenses.
My builds usually comprise of Sorcerer's Shoes, Chalice of Harmony, Archangel's Staff then either
There are lots of ways to build AP Kog'Maw and you should always consider just how you plan to benefit your team when you do this. Build appropriately for the game you are in.
Skill Sequence and Performance
Some would argue that you should take [Bio-Arcane Barrage] first or within the first few levels.
If you feel that you can make better use of Bio-Arcane Barrage then sure, go right ahead, I just choose to not worry about it until later levels when stripping %hp becomes more important as you will theoretically do more damage because you will have more AP and they will have more HP.
You can harass very effectively using the Void Ooze/ Caustic Spittle combo followed by auto attacks ( Bio-Arcane Barrage too if you opted into it early) if they are running,(obviously if they start attacking it is time to turn tail and huddle around your tower) keeping in mind that creeps will start to attack you.
Damage output and YOU! Reduction and Penetration!
Your damage output will be almost entirely magical so this is where educating yourself on how Magic Penetration/Reduction works becomes vital. Defense penetration and reduction are going to be your lifeblood, without it you are nothing but an annoyance. Kog'Maw benefits greatly from Defense reduction/penetration mainly because of the scaling ratios and cooldowns of his abilities. You want to maximize your Living Artillery's damage as much as you can.
Defense Penetration/Reductions works the same for both armor and magic resist which are as follows (numbered in the order that takes priority over the others... meaning top to bottom...):
1. Magic Resistance REDUCTION
2. % Magic Resistance REDUCTION
3. Magic Resistance PENETRATION
4. % Magic Resistance PENETRATION
This is something I do not think a majority of people have a firm grasp on and usually leads to elitist snobs raging over something completely irrational. Keeping in mind, I do not play ranked, I play blind pick. However there are a few rules you must understand to properly adjust to whatever happens in game.
1) All flat Penetration is factored in BEFORE percent penetration is.
Meaning that when you buy a Void Staff, the effectiveness of your flat penetration ( sorcerer's boots/ Haunting Guise) plummets.
2) Reduction is factored in BEFORE penetration.
Meaning that champion abilities, such as Caustic Spittle, Cursed Touch, ( Amumu synergizes amazingly with Kog'Maw, assuming the other team neglects to build appropriate defenses), Tormented Soil, and other such abilities reduce the targeted magic resist before magic penetration is factored in.
Magic reduction is also found on Malady and Abyssal Scepter (is an aura which stacks with Fiddlesticks's passive)
3. Magic penetration CAN NOT reduce an enemies magic resist below zero, however magic reduction CAN
Quick Theory Crafting
This means that a team with Amumu, Morgana, and Kog'Maw (assuming Amumu or Morgana get Abyssal Scepter and Kog'Maw gets a [malady and also they stand in a all of the ticks of Morgana's Tormented Soil and are hit by Kog'Maw's Caustic Spittle all at maxed rank) you can essentially strip off 143 magic resistance that will go BELOW zero. That is some serious damage amplification!
I wrote a calculator for all of this
I'm pretty sure its accurate!
Common Complaints, Rages, "criticisms" and arguments
The statements will be in pink, because I find some of them to be a tad on the nagging side and less on the rational side of things. Open mindedness is something that the LoL community seems to lack and I find it repulsive, however I will address them anyway.
Bio-Arcane Barrage is useful at all levels, and it gives you a long range, why would you not get it early
Because I play Kog'Maw as a caster, not an autoattacker. There are games where I will opt into it and go with a more AS/AP oriented build because the conditions are ideal for it.
[More to come]
Because I am on and off of this guide I will be adding to it and changing it here and there, especially with the changes being made to Haunting Guise and the new upgrade that Chalice of Harmony will be getting. I am excited for their releases and cannot wait to watch my little koggles destroy even harder than before!