Cho'Gath Build Guide by Jnewbringspain
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Runes: Rune Path
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+8 Magic Resist
Ability Order Ability Order
Threats & Synergies
Luckily Rengar top is an unusual pick. Cho can struggle against mobility since he heavily relies on his Q to get things going. Rengar's constant bush-hopping and heavy damage presents a problem in lane. Keep your distance.
Kennen, if quick at reacting, will use his Lightning Rush to avoid your Rupture, making it hard to engage on him. Even if you do, you'll have to risk getting to him without getting stunned. As long as you don't give him free harass, you should be able to sustain. You can go for a kill after you get Catalyst and some levels on Rupture. Try to poke him down with Q and go all-in when he gets low. You probably can't kill him before level 6 though, as you'll need feast to execute him before he runs.
Cho is countered, but also kind of counters back. You heal by killing his minions which is nice, but his W will trap you if you try to get close, and you have no easy way of getting out. Similar to Kennen lane, just farm this one out and make a difference later.
True damage, shields, and mobility. Camille is a pain for these reasons, but this one is actually pretty easy. If you see her going in with Hookshot, try to land your Q right where she will land. It's not difficult to pull off and you will come out ahead in a trade if you do it. For the most part you can easily get some Grasp of the Undying stacks early on. Helps you out sustain her and stacks more max HP for you.
Kled is just really annoying because you'll have to save your ult. Feast before he hops off his creature and you've wasted it. He also has mobility, and his 4th hit on W along with his ult does % damage which sucks ass.
Rumble has such annoying harass that even Cho has difficulty maintaining health. He really makes life miserable for melee champions. Try to avoid his Flamespitter and consider using some Q's to kill some minions.
Kind of a static boring lane actually. You'll never hit a fast reacting Riven with a Q, but she can't do much to you if she rushes in because you can silence her and disengage. Still, it really sucks not being able to land Rupture. She is still difficult because she is notoriously overtuned, and you'll never be able to kill her without help. Farm from a distance with your Rupture, only attempt to trade if she makes a big mistake.
You can't duel him, and neither can anyone else up close. Ask for a gank and you can probably kill him as he has no escape. Otherwise, keep your distance and do your best to clear casters with Rupture. Let him push your wave to your tower and do your best to farm.
Her Riposte pretty much means you can't use Rupture at all. The delay is long enough for her to easily anticipate it. Max Feral Scream first, as she probably can't react fast enough to counter that skill. Play very safe and try not to all-out engage with her. Absolutely DO NOT use Rupture until her Riposte is on cooldown.
Maybe the most mobile champion, up there with Riven. You can land Rupture by anticipating her dash. Most Irelia players like to dash to execute minions, so watch for minions with low HP and Rupture it. You'll either hit her, or force her to miss minions. Also, keep in mind your Feral Scream will interrupt her W.
Teemo is simple in concept. Land your Q's and you'll be able to handle him. Your passive allows you more freedom to farm than most champions laning against Teemo, and if he blinds you, use Vorpal Spikes and you can still last hit minons. This lane is pretty similar to playing against Kennen. Be mindful of where he puts his traps.
You can easily disengage him if he jumps to you, and you can poke with Q. You also have sustain on him, along with Feast which cuts right through his ult's defense. Try to stack up your Grasp of the Undying early on. If you see him using Counter Strike about to jump you, Rupture on yourself, Feral Scream, Vorpal Spikes and disengage.
Similar to Jax, but maybe slightly more annoying because you'll have to be careful when you ult. If he ults right before you do, you've wasted your ult. Bait his ult, or use yours a little earlier than usual.
Cho can heal through his harass, and punish squishy Gnar with Q. Landing full combo is likely to give you a kill, and he really isn't much threat to kill you. He doesn't fare any better in Mega Gnar form as you are simply going to be too tanky to kill.
TBD - Pantheon rework probably changes a few things.
Simply put, he cannot handle your sustain. Also, Malphite is at a disadvantage if forced to build Magic Resist, so you have a big advantage in this one.
Cho is generally great against mages, as are most tanks. Vlad is really well countered in this matchup. You sustain possibly better than he does. He also has no mobility so you can land Q, and you can silence him before he goes into his pool. You essentially stop him from everything he's used to doing.
A little bit tricky. You'll need to land your Rupture, but you can't straight up fight him. Poke him down a bit first, and do your best to disengage if he manages to catch you and starts going through his rotations.
Easy because he's so predictable. If he runs at you with Decisive Strike, Rupture him, basic attack, Vorpal Strike reset, and walk away before he can punish you with Judgement. Keep up the poke and eventually you can go all in and execute him with Feast, which goes right through his Courage defense buff.
Stay aggressive early. Stack your Grasp of the Undying whenever she tries to farm. Poke her with Rupture whenever you can. Scale yourself and delay her level 11 as much as you can. She's easy to attack since she has no range for 11 levels, and really doesn't do much damage before then.
Jayce is a little bit annoying with his poke early on, but he has really bad mana issues early and likely won't be able to kill you. Fairly easy to Rupture and combo. Plus he's squishy. Try to not take a lot of poke damage from him, late game you'll be too tanky for him to handle.
Largely depends on the Nasus players' build. If he knows what he's doing and starts building Magic Resist early, you won't be able to poke him down. You also won't be able to fight him all-in. Rupture him when he tries to get Q stacks and only go in if you're sure you can kill him. Without an early lead you'll have no chance later.
Not too hard, but you'll need to be careful of a couple things. Firstly, he can steal your ult AND stack Feast just like you can, so he can indeed become very tanky if you let him steal your ult a lot. Secondly, be careful of he Kingslayer ability. It will heal him, and the heal is almost double if he's below 40% health. You'll need to treat him similar to Volibear, poke him down to a certain threshhold, then go all in and execute with Feast. You'll want to do short trades then disengage with Sylas during lane phase. You can win fights going all in, but it is not recommended to do so.
He can poke you, outrange you, and scales really hard with Purge. Once he maxes that skill, it has no cooldown and you absolutely cannot all-in him. Do your best to pick up kill before that happens. Poke with Rupture, land some timely Feral Screams, and if you get caught in his Purge, disengage immediately.
He isn't much threat to you, but you will have such a difficult time landing a Rupture on him. Try to anticipate where he will dash. His shield is annoying, so try to keep hitting him here and there to keep it on cooldown. If he manages to ult you, it's time to run because he gains 50% armor penetration and he will cut right through you.
Bear can be a bit difficult. You can poke him down decently, but you'll need to time everything perfectly to actually kill him. When he drops to 30% health, he regenerates health rapidly. The goal is to poke him to about 40%, before his regen starts. Land a rupture and quickly go all-in with your skill rotations and Feast to execute before he heals up. Most of this lane you'll want to stay back and poke.
Hecarim top can be a pain because his all-in threat at level 6 is scary. It can be difficult to land your Rupture because of his fast movement. He can also sustain fairly well. I suggest trying to land some Ruptures while he tries to farm. If runs at you, silence him and try to combo him after. If you miss Rupture, you will lose an extended trade so be careful. Also be mindful, most Hecarim top players I've seen will run ignite for some extra damage.
Akali is a laning monstrosity. She just has so much mobility, it's difficult to land your Q. If you do manage to land it, she will just go invisible making it impossible to win a trade. Once she gets Gunblade she will also outsustain you. I wouldn't bother trying to kill her unless you get help from your jungler. You'll just end up wasting your mana early on. Try to farm up and be useful in teamfights.
Easy matchup. Shen only has a shot at killing you between level 2-6. After that, you have too much power with Feast for him to overcome. Both his W and R are pretty useless against you, and he's not particularly mobile, making it easy to land your Q's. The only thing Shen has going for him in this matchup is his Q, because it does max HP damage. Don't let him pull his spirit sword through you and you'll do fine. If he goes all-in with taunt, it should allow you to easily land your skills and out trade him. With that said, Shen is always still useful for his team because of his ult. Try to keep vision on him and interrupt it if possible.
Simple, yet difficult matchup. You'll want to poke him with Rupture, and you should be able to hit them easily, as he has no mobility. However, if he pulls you in, just disengage. Morde will win extended trades easily. Especially once his passive goes off. His aura does map HP and refreshes each hit, so you definitely want to get away from him when this happens. If you farm up and poke him down a bit, you should be to pick up a couple kills once you have Feast available.
He probably has the strongest early game out of any champion. Cho is a bit weak early on making this difficult. He is still a problem after level 6, because your Rupture and Feral Scream won't work against his ult and you have no way to escape him from running it down on you. He also has good sustain. I would suggest picking up Morellonomicon after ROA in this matchup. You'll need to slow down his sustain and you will also need extra damage to stand a chance against his all-in. Try to farm from a distance and do your best to avoid his throwing axe.
Amumu's crowd control makes it easy for you to land Q, and also gives your team great engage with a very beefy front line.
Cho does better when he can easily set up his Q, which means you want to be paired with other champions with good crowd control skills. Jarvan is particularly good because he also knocks up, and your Q fits nicely inside his ult.
Kayn is good particularly in Rhaast form because he can also knock up enemies and will dish out good damage with you.
Rammus sets things up really nicely for you and will give you an incredibly tanky front line for teamfights.
See Rammus, except skill shots.
Udyr is nice because he is so good at chasing down and stunning. His quickness makes up for your lack of mobility.
Vi really does go well with anyone. She has a lock-on knock up which goes great with your Q, and great gap-closing ability.
Similar to Udyr, his mobility makes escape impossible. His ult makes your Q easy to land.
More knock up synergy, and he can stealth so they won't see it coming.
Champion Build Guide
Why should you listen to me?
Because I've played a lot of Cho'gath, and despite him going through a lot of changes, I believe he has settled in a very strong spot. He easily ends up with the largest health pool in the game because of his ult, but he also has good crowd control and damage.
Here are some other guides I've made.
See spoiler for my stats.
+Largest health pool in the game with Feast.
+True damage with Feast.
+A lot of crowd control.
+Solid base damage on his skills without building AP.
+Doesn't need to deviate from ideal build often.
+Amazing sustain with Carnivore passive.
+Not easily countered, fairly safe if you pick first.
+Can level up his abilities in different orders and still be successful.
-Can struggle against players with mobility and quick reactions.
-Largely relies on Rupture to succeed.
-Bad at roaming due to awful mobility.
- Feast has essentially no range.
- Rupture can be difficult to land at times.
- Feral Scream sometimes seems buggy and won't hit when it should.
W - Feral Scream is maxed 2nd. This skill is easier to land and has a silence. However, the increasing mana cost and lesser damage makes it less ideal to level up first, but there are certain matchups where I level this skill first such as Fiora.
E - Vorpal Spikes is maxed last. I ocassioanlly take this to level 2 or 3 and then stop. The reason is for the increase in slow %. It will allow you to land Rupture easier. It just doesn't increase damage enough to be fully leveled earlier.
R - Feast, like any ultimate should be maxed ASAP. This skill does great true damage and should be used as an execute so you receive a stack when you kill an enemy. You won't receive a stack if you don't kill your enemy with this skill. Can be used up to 6 times against minions before it caps, however there is no cap when feasting on champions. It will do roughly 30-40% of an enemies' health, so pay close attention on when to go for the execute. This skill is also AMAZING for a baron steal, as it easily does more damage than level 18 smite.
Carnivore (Passive) - This passive gives you a ton of sustain just for last hitting minions. Very simple, you heal for 20-71HP based on level, and 3.5-7.5MP based on level. Far more effective for health sustain, but helps a bit with mana as well. This passive allows Cho'Gath to farm safer against ranged harass than most other melee champions.
This is the #1 item you need on first back. Do everything possible to make sure you can buy it before backing. It addresses your early mana problems, and also gives you more HP.
Rod of Ages comes first. Provides you with HP, MP, and AP. Also scales as the game goes on and really fits well with Cho'Gath.
Next you will want Iceborn Gauntlet. This item is surprisingly effective for Cho'Gath. Land a Rupture, then Feral Scream, walk up and hit your enemy with Vorpal Spikes. The extra damage on-hit is great, but the item also provides some much needed cooldown (20%!) along with more mana sustain and 65 armor. Very cost efficient item that also fits well with this champion.
Your last core item is Warmog's Armor. This item should be fairly obvious, as the massive health increase goes perfect with Cho'Gath, and another 10% cooldown is very helpful as well. The passive is nice too for recovering when needed, and it's very easy for Cho'Gath to reach 3,000 HP.
Locket will boost your defenses while providing a nice shield to your team. It adds 20% of the caster's bonus health, which means a huge shield. Build Gargoyle Stoneplate afterward. Activate Gargoyle Stoneplate first to boost your health, then Locket of the Iron Solari afterward for a bigger shield. Gargoyle also provides huge resistance stats. You'll be a walking brick wall at this point.
Thornmail should only be taken if multiple enemies are basic attackers. Example of a team comp to take Thornmail: Tryndamere top lane, Master Yi jungle, Vayne ADC. If you do want to take Thornmail, either take it in place of Iceborn Gauntlet, or forget about building both Locket of the Iron Solari and Gargoyle Stoneplate.
Adaptive Helm is really only taken against Teemo, maybe Singed. It helps a ton against poison.
Frozen Heart is another armor option and should only be taken if you are worried about enemy attack speed. Take in place of Iceborn Gauntlet if you want it.
Spirit Visage can be taken if you want extra healing to go with magic resist. Most cases your Mercury's Treads will be enough.
Banshee's Veil is a possibility, but I probably wouldn't bother with this item. Cho'Gath gets so huge it becomes nearly impossible to dodge skillshots, so this item won't help you very much.
Randuin's Omen can be taken if you are worried about crit strike specifically.
Morellonomicon is taken every so often when I need some extra damage and heal reduction. Generally speaking this item is really good for Cho'Gath anyway so it will still be very effective in your build.
Farming with Cho'Gath is pretty simple. He has a smooth, easy last hit animation. You get a basic attack reset through Vorpal Spikes which helps. Also, after Rod of Ages and a few levels on Q, your Rupture will 1-hit clear the caster minions.
Cho'Gath is unique because he can deal with ranged champions quite well despite being a melee champion. The range on his Rupture allows you to engage ranged champions if you are accurate. Use it to engage. When going for a full combo kill, you'll want to land Rupture > Feral Scream > Vorpal Spikes (1 hit) > Feast. Against squishies, this should be a kill. Feral Scream silence allows you to do all of this without fear of your enemy using Flash or Heal to escape.
If you are facing a melee champion, I would engage with Vorpal Spikes first to make your Rupture easier to land.
You'll need to be pretty careful about enemy junglers and make sure you ward, as you really have no means of escape. Your best bet is to attempt to land Rupture on both of them and walk away.
Save Feast for your opponent if you are having an easy time killing him. You can always get your minions stacks whenever you want. If you are having difficulty securing a kill, use it on your lane minions to gain stacks that way.
I wouldn't try to roam very much. Cho'Gath is very slow and a bad roam will leave you missing experience and gold for a long time.
For teamfights, you can poke/engage with Rupture. You'll want to do your best to hit the enemy teams' biggest threat and go for the kill with Feast, but you likely won't be able to get to the backline easily. Don't just charge straight into the backline. With your health, you can afford to do some damage and Rupture will come up again off cooldown a couple times to use again. You can clean up the backline later.
Timing your Feral Scream is very important. You'll want to use it at the best possible moment to stop an enemy from using a spell. Works great against someone like Fiddlesticks if you have vision on him while he's channeling ult. Flash to him and Feral Scream to interrupt.
As stated earlier, Feast is amazing for Baron/Dragon steals. It will do more damage than max level smite, so definitely go for the Baron steal if you can.
Cho'Gath is pretty binary so there aren't a lot of fancy tricks to learn, but there are a few.
Vorpal Spikes will reset your basic attacks, so you'll want to basic attack and then activate it right after for maximum damage.
Although it's not really a trick, timing your combo is essential. Rupture > Feral Scream right before the knockup is over will silence long enough to get in 1 Vorpal Spikes hit + Feast.
Using Rupture from a bush with no vision stops your enemy from seeing the important windup animation and they will have less time to react to it.
Feast out-damages smite, and if you kill Dragon, Baron, or Rift Herald with it, it will give you a stack that does not count towards the minion cap.
Cho'Gath is a very underrated champion in general with the largest health pool in the game. While immobile, he can make up for it with the amount of crowd control and range on Rupture. He has a good set of unique traits that make him both valuable, and fun to play.
Spoiler: Click to view