Build Guide by AJ
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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.
Introduction *skim approved
Hey all! This is my first build and so any suggestions at all are extremely helpful.
Also be aware that this build is LONG but its only because im so pationate about this build :)
Thanks to the incredibly helpful free champion rotation system, I finally found the champion that was right for me, the tremendously terrible(in a good way) terror of the void, Cho'Gath.
His AOE slow, silence, and relative ease of play make him a very appealing tank to me.
In this guide I will go through exactly how I play him with execption of runes(only because i do not own all the runes in this guide :) )
I first build my masteries in defense for obvious tanking reasons. One key mastery that I grab would be Nimbleness - giving me even more speed upon dodge bringing me to 420+ Movement speed AS A TANK!
I then branch into offensive tree grabbing increased exhaust and magic penetration so what little damage I do do, does a little more damage.
I used to go 9 into utility for the increased health/mana regeneration but I have been finding myself less and less in a situation where my team gets destroyed and they need only me to defend against 5 enemies so health regen is not as important. (And hey, maybe its because i'm doing more magic damage ;D )
I chose Greater Seal of Vitality and Greater Quintessence of Vitality runes which gives me a very noticable 320-ish health at lvl 18 JUST from these two runes. And since the recent patch which killed Greater Quintessence of Health, Vitality Quints IMO is definately the better choice now.
Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction, besides having been already available to me, allows me to Feast more often and get those last second ruptures off on thoses slimey ememies that get out of a team fight.
And for my marks i went with Greater Mark of Armor just because I feel that my item choices leave me a little light on armor.
I almost always go with Teleport when playing with any character. It allows me to back for Giant's Belt even while deadlocked with enemies in your lane and make it back at full health before the enemy can even act. In doing so, I can hold a lane solo while my partner can back and get whatever he needs and either come back or help gank other lanes.
Again, I grab Ignite because it seems to fit my playstyle very well and I cannot even count how many times ignite has gotten the kill for me in my 3 hit kill combos from full health.
And since I believe that summoner spells are a matter of personal preference rather than set to the champion I don't feel I should put alternatives but i will suggest my alternatives anyways.
Flash, as I saw in a video, can be extremely useful when getting feasts and kills as a bonus. Positioning yourself in a bush so when that unrelenting enemy(or just not paying attention to my level) stays just a little too far in lane you pop out of the bush and before they can even think "GTFO!!!" your picking that last meat off the bone. Flash is also great for escaping(nothing new). It is extremely important that Cho'Gath stays "feasted up" for you to be effective so when/ if they even think of ganking you, you can flash out in order to protect your hard earned feast stacks.
Exhaust is great for slowing enemies allowing you to perfectly aim your rupture which in turn slows them more/again almost guaranteeing any nearby allies time to jump on them and finish them off if you can't do it alone.
This is where my Cho'Gath really becomes Cho'Gath.
Out of the gate I grab a Regrowth Pendant and a Mana Potion. I take mana because Cho'Gath is VERY mana hungry expecially early game. Even though I personally find my self taking health pots more often I rarely even use/need them but when i take mana pots i find myself using them every time. And the Regrowth Pendent gives me some early, nice-to-have health regen while laning and lets me build into my next item.
Now 99% of the time I will start out building for the Warmog's Armor. This gives a HUGE health boost on base stats and its passive allows for even more growth in both health AND health regen. And I know that some people argue(even a forum post about "ghetto Cho Builds" and rushing Warmong's) that tanks are supposed to focus on smaller resistance item before a big item like Warmog'g. But considering Cho'Gath's HUGE potential for late game health(5,000 HP) even with ONLY Warmongs as a health item, its passive of a max of 450 max extra health is a very nice incentive to give yourself more time to farm it up and build Warmong's first.
Since saving up to get Warmog's first takes a good lenth of time, I make sure that boots are the very next item i buy. Specifically Boots of Swiftness. Boots of Swiftness give me some much needed movement speed since Cho'Gath without boots is painfullly slow. However, with boots of swiftness, he is painfully fast. When I am running as fast(if not faster) than their squishes, I can catch up,get into range of rupture, and pop them into the air and still get to them fast enough so that all they have to land on when they come down is the open mouth of my feast. NOM NOM NOM
Now by this time I will have a feel for their team and chose where I want to go from here on.
If they have a well balanced team I almost always grab Gaurdian Angel. This gives me a pretty balanced stats of both armor and magic resistance and potentially saving my stacks of feast if I were to die.
BUT if they have even a little more AP than AD OR if i feel that they are stuggling even a little bit... I build for the equal cost Force of Nature. Force of Nature gives me a big 76 Magic Resistance and a big boost in health regen. However, what really makes this item the item that was MADE especially for Cho'Gath is this item's passive. READ IT AND YOU WILL SEE: Restores 0.35% of your champion's health EVERY second. This means not the standard every 5 seconds, EVERY single seconds. Now this may not sound like a lot but considering that it is not uncommon for me to get 4,000+ health(even getting up to 4,900 w/ out being fully runed), that 0.35% of 4,000 translates into 14 Health PER second just from the passive. Adding that to what health regen you already have from Warmog's Armor base + passive health regen AND Force of Nature's base health regen, THATS a WHOLE LOTTA REGEN!!!
NOTE: I usually still get Guardian Angel after Force of Nature anyways if I get Force of nature first.
For High/all AD teams or if i feel i need more armor after Guardian Angel and Force of Nature for a particular fed Xin Zhao I get Frozen Heart with its 99 armor / huge 25% CD reduction / nice -20% attack speed aura for all nearby enemies
And if im either comfortable/dominating or feel my tank items are enough where they are at based on the enemy team I go ahead and by Elixir of Fortitude and Elixir of Brilliance. It is at this point where I have reached my what i call "God Mode" consisting of 6 stacks of feast / Guardian passive / and a big red glow around me making me a planet.
Gameplay / Strategy
This as it turned out will be more of a stategy on how to use your skills to its full potential.
My effectiveness with Rupture also makes Cho'Gath extremely deadly. Accuracy is everything when the last second or any gank counts. ANTICIPATE! Try to predict where your opponent will move and even more importantly LEAD YOUR SHOT. Rupture has a relatively long "cast" so to speak. You stomp the ground in a VERY obvious fashion -- 1,2,POP --. This makes rupture pretty easy to dodge if you are even barely looking for it so be sure if you must harrass with it that you put it where you think they will run which more often than not is backwards. Although, if your lane is getting ganked, the full speed motion blurs the enemies eye for your rupture and is easier to hit if they are following predictable paths. In one case I was laning with a lux when an Olaf charged out of the river and other two followed. Since they all ran past me and went STRAIT for lux I knew where they would be headed and I place a rupture which so happens to hit ALL THREE enemies and saves lux's life(more of a real senario then a brag :) ).
Feral Scream is not really a skill you will be using often while laning. However it is EXTEMELY important that you use it in EVERY team fight. It is better to use both Rupture AND Feral Scream when entering a team fight but if you only have enough mana for one... SCREAM!! This can be a game changer. Feral Scream(As you can read) silences ALL enemies in a cone in front of you along with doing minimal damage. This stops Malzahar, Fiddle, Annie, and ESPECIALLY Nunu dead in their tracks.
Feast, Feast, Feast is probably the biggest factor that will either make or break your game. I have found recently that the more I feast and the earlier I get my stacks, the more effective I am late game and in turn the more effective my team is. PLAY BY A 30 SECOND RULE: if you are in a position where you cannot feast an enemy in your lane in the next 30 seconds from when your ult comes up feast IMMEDIATELY on an enemy minion. Now, this does not mean ---AHHHH OMG OMG I NEED A FEAST RUN STRAIT FOR ANNIE AND EAT HER FACE!!!--- It simply means by playing it cool do you see you and your partner getting into a scuffle where that feast would be needed and in turn give you a kill??? If not eat a minion and be a little more reserve until it comes back up and your comepletely ready for a fight. And keeping these feast stacks is just as important. Even more than usual, be aware of MIAs when pushing a lane and don't put yourself in a situation where even your massive health can't stop you from being killed.
One other thing that would be very nice to mention: I find this happening all the time and is extremely effective. When going to a lane to push back a HUGE wave of minions hit them all with a Rupture and a Feral Scream. This will whipe out the entire wave giving you an instant 200 Gold for sizable waves.
AND finally One last thing that you might wanna try on an enemy squishy but I myself haven't tried enough to give my take on it: when 1 on 1 in mid for example if you happen to be covering mid temporarily, Hit them with a rupture so they take damage and slow, feral scream, feast, ignite.
I did this when i was probably lvl 12 or so with a Ryse at full health and this worked :D. It also might have worked somewhere else but i can't remember.
I find that it is better for the whole team that I love playing Cho'Gath since nearly every team I played on since lvl 20 when i started playing him is perfectly fine with playing without a tank champ which is just plain stupid.
I hope that you all take to Cho'Gath as well as I did and love him as much as I do!
GL & HF
And remember.....all constructive critisism is MUCH appreciated and I will get to it when I can.