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Competative Cho'Gath Guide
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Cho'Gath is one of the most powerful and sustained laners in the game. His huge amount of CC and tankyness make him very hard to gank earlygame and makes him amazing at initiating team fights as well as stopping the enemy team from initiating.
He is one of the most versitile champions in the game, able to preform alot of different roles in a team, from being a strong AP carry, to an almost impossible to kill tank, that can even jungle if needed.
Overall Cho'Gath is an amazing all-around champion that is very hard to deal with and if played right, can carry a team really really well.
+ Tanky, even without tank items
+ Great burst
+ Huge true damage ultimate
+ Very high lane sustainability
+ Alot of CC
+ Great farmer
+ Is freaking huge
+ Has the best skin in the game
- Dying on him is a pretty big setback
- Attracts alot of enemy fire, being the size of a nexus and all
- Hard to land skillshot which is pretty important to land
A pretty common, all-around build. Mixes AP with some survivability so you can be in the face of the enemy, doing decent amounts of damage, while still being relatively safe from dying. This is the build I will usually go for as it makes you very useful in alot of ways to a team.
A full tank build. For when your team already has all the damage you'll ever need but is rather squishy. Your huge size will already cause alot of enemy fire to be directed at you (cause really, it's not easy to target the Tristana standing somewhere under Cho's right leg).
This build will make you incredibly hard to kill while still being useful with all the CC you have.
Full AP build. Makes your AOE burst pretty insane. You are rather squishy in this build though, but with the health your ult and Rod of Ages provide, you're not THAT much of a pushover.
Jungle build. Cho'Gath is in fact a pretty good jungler, however as he is usually better laned and his ganking tool Rupture is hard to land, jungle Cho'Gath is pretty rare. It's still a very viable choise if for example your team already has 2 solid solo's and you want Cho'Gath in your team for the amazing CC he brings to the table.
This is the rune setup I will generally use on Cho'Gath.
- Greater Mark of Magic Penetration: As all of Cho'Gath's abilities scale of Ability Power, this is a logical choise. Makes you do more damage.
- Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist: For the added survivability. Gives you quite a nice magic resist boost late game. Alternatively you can use Greater Glyph of Magic Resist if you're laning against a heavy AP nuke such as Brand, Annie or Orianna.
- Greater Seal of Armor: To reduce any early game harass you might be taking.
- Greater Quintessence of Health: More survivabilty, just makes you an even harder target to harass/gank early game. Very solid for taking the solo top lane. (which in all honesty, you should)
The runepage I use when I want to go full-out tank.
- Greater Mark of Armor: As usually, you don't need to do damage when you go tank as Cho'Gath, this is the mark I like to use. Defensive stats on a tank?! Madness!
- Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist: Pretty self-explanatory. These are pretty much required for any tank.
- Greater Seal of Evasion: Since in this build I already grab armor as my marks, I tend to go for the
- Greater Seal of Evasion synergy. Not only will this get you in the enemies face easier, it will allow you to stay there.
- Greater Quintessence of Health: For the early game beef, laning survivability.
My page for AP Cho'Gath.
- Greater Mark of Magic Penetration: Magic pen to ignore some magic resist, pretty obvious.
- Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power: Gives you a pretty nice AP boost at higher levels.
- Greater Seal of Armor: Mainly just for the laning phase. As previously stated, this helps alot against any harass you might take in early game laning.
- Greater Quintessence of Health: See other rune build explanations.
Jungle page. The attack speed part here really comes down to personal preference and isn't even needed. I just like to aim for around 15% attack speed to make my jungling alot safer and easier.
- Greater Mark of Attack Speed: I grab this to speed up my jungle and to make the route safer. Since Cho'Gath's right click damage at low levels is pretty high with Vorpal Spikes, attack speed helps alot.
- greater mark of desolation: Also to speed up my jungle. Helps alot for your early levels in there.
- Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist: I did list these but as a jungler, you can still go any way as Cho'Gath. I grab these for most of my builds though, but if you want to take a more offensive approach, Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power is fine here too.
- Greater Seal of Armor: Makes you alot more durable at low levels in the jungle.
- Greater Quintessence of Attack Speed: I grab these for the same reason I grab the attack speed marks. These help me get to my desired 15%. Of course you can go for 3 of these or less, as said before the amount of attack speed you get here (if you get any at all) comes down to personal preferrence though I do recommend getting some as it really speeds up your jungling quite nicely.
- Greater Quintessence of Health: Filler mostly. Just some extra health to help me survive when ganking or counter jungling/dealing with counter jungling.
Flash: Pretty mandatory in my opinion. Not only does it help you escape ganks/bad situations, it also allows for some great initiation.
Ignite: Adds to your burst and your arsenal of true damage along with some nice healing reduction.
Teleport: Can be a good choise, especially since you want to take the solo top lane. I grab this when going for a tank build in case your team needs you.
Ghost: Good for chasing down enemies, or even getting away though personally I always prefer Flash.
Exhaust: Adds to your already rich arsenal of CC. You can grab this if you know you're up against a very scary AD carry or melee right clicker. (such as Tryndamere)
Whenever Cho'Gath kills a unit, he recovers 34 - 68 (+2.5 each level) health and 3.5-7.75 mana (+0.25 each level).
Amazing passive. Makes you very hard to harass down if you can last hit properly. Gives you all the lane sustainability you will ever need. Low health? Just kill an entire minion wave with a Rupture - Feral Scream combo and watch your health be nearly full again. This passive does kind of fall off late game but you don't really need it there anymore.
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 (+100% of ability power) magic damage, and have their movement speed slowed by 60% for 3 seconds.
Cooldown 10 seconds
Cost 90 mana
This ability provides an amazing amount of AOE CC. Landing this often is what makes you a Cho'Gath player but does require alot of practise and anticipation. It is very easy to dodge but it is very rewarding if you do land it. Can be used offensively to initiate teamfights or defensively to escape ganks or generally bad situations.
W: Feral Scream
Cho'Gath screams in a cone in front of him, silencing enemies for 2 / 2.5 / 3 / 3.5 / 4 second(s) and causing 75 / 125 / 175 / 225 / 275 (+70% of ability power) magic damage.
Cooldown 16 seconds
Cost 70 / 80 / 90 / 100 / 110 mana
Your most reliable source of damage. Weaker than Rupture in terms of damage but alot easier to land. Also comes with a very nice AOE silence.
E: Vorpal Spikes
Toggle: Cho'gath's physical attacks launch spikes which deal 20 / 35 / 50 / 65 / 80 (+30% of ability power) magic damage to a line in front of him.
Good farming/passive harassing tool. Makes last hitting alot easier and jungling alot faster. You can toggle this off if for some reason you don't want to push your lane as that is the thing that comes with this ability.
Deals 300 / 475 / 650 (+70% 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 half (rounded up) stacks upon death.
Cooldown 60 seconds
Cost 100 mana
Cho'Gath's ultimate. Deals a huge amount of true damage so extremely effective on high armor targets. This ability is a hard counter to Alistar's ultimate, Unbreakable Will. Alistar ults at 50%? Np, Feast and Ignite and he dies anyway!
Is also very good for securing baron/dragon or if needed red/blue buff or even stealing them as it outdamages Smite by quite a margin.
This is the sequence I will always follow. I max Feral Scream first as it's my most reliable form of damage, followed by Rupture to add to my burst (you only really need one level in it at the start for the CC it brings, the CC part is unaffected by the amount of levels in it.) and lastly Vorpal Spikes with Feast whenever I can.
Same priority, slightly different order for jungling. I grab a point in Vorpal Spikes at level 1 to make my jungling alot faster and easier, but max my skills in the same order as any other build.
My general all-around build. For a nice combination of tankyness and damage.
A balanced tank build for Cho'Gath with a good mix of all attributes needed for tanking.
An offensive AP build.
Doran's Ring: The item I usually start with. Gives you a nice health and mana regen boost to add to your already amazing sustainability, along with some AP for some early harassing.
Doran's Shield: You can use this against heavy AD types in lane. You'll be less dominant than with a ring, but you'll be much safer and more sustained.
Rod of Ages: The most important item for any Cho'Gath build in my opinion. Gives you a great health and mana boost, a fair amount of AP and the sustain of a Catalyst the protector
Abyssal Scepter:: Makes you stronger to magic and your opponents weaker. Also a pretty decent AP boost on it. Very good item when going AP.
Frozen Heart: Another vital item to most Cho'Gath builds. Makes you incredibly tanky to any AD type champion, has a really good aura that will always be active in teamfights as Cho'Gath will always be in the middle of the action and a really nice amount of cooldown reduction. ( Frozen Heart, Elixir of Brilliance and Sorcery gives you the CDR cap of 40%)
Mercury's Treads: Best boots for Cho'Gath in most situations. Gives you the tenacity you will almost always need to stay in the fight.
Rabadon's Deathcap: Cho'Gath has really good AP ratios. As soon as you pick up your Cho'Gath, people will fear your burst.
Void Staff: Good to have if enemy team has alot of magic resist.
Sorcerer's Shoes: You can grab these for the added magic penetration, but only if the enemy team really has no CC at all.
Morello's Evil Tome: Good for the CDR if you're not grabbing a Frozen Heart.
Wit's End: Nice to get if you find yourself auto-attacking alot.
Malady: Same deal as Wit's End, just more offensive.
Force of Nature: Amazing source of magic resist. Paired with the movement speed and health regen, this is a really good item for Cho'Gath.
Randuin's Omen: Really nice item if you're looking for even more armor besides your Frozen Heart. The on-use on it is also really good as you'll be in the middle of the action.
Guardian Angel: Get this as your last item if you want to be even more annoying. Question: What's harder to kill than a Cho'gath? Two Cho'Gaths!
This is the jungling path I usually follow:
White: First run
Blue: Second run
Red Circles: Defensive jungle wards
Black Circles: Wards for counterjungling
or a video showing this route:
This route basically gets you to level 6 as fast as possible. You can gank at any point between camps whenever needed.
Alternatively you can use the standard jungling route which is:
- Blue Golem (with a leash)
- Red Lizard
- Double Golem
Again, you can gank anywhere in between those camps. Cho'Gath is a very sustained jungler and can stay relatively high health troughout his jungle route.
Start off by buying your Doran's Ring and putting a point in Rupture (works for both laning and level 1 fight). If there's no level 1 action, go to your lane (in most cases top lane, in rare cases this can also be mid). You want to farm as much as possible so make sure to last hit as best as you can. You can harass with your Feral Scream, avoid using Rupture as harass in the lower levels. You probably won't be going for a kill before level 6 so minimize the use of Rupture.
Try and farm up to get a Catalyst the protector as fast as possible, as with this item, your sustain is godlike and you can pretty much stay in lane whenever. Remember to keep your side of the river warded to reduce the likelyhood of you getting ganked.
When you hit level 6 you can start being more agressive. When going for a kill you should have your opponent harassed down to about 60% health. Do this using your Feral Scream and getting a few melees in now and then if possible. When your opponent gets around 60%, try landing your rupture. If you do land it, follow up with a Feral Scream (so he can't flash away or stun/slow you right away) and finish with your Feast + Ignite. If needed you can finish the job with a couple of melee hits while ignite is ticking. Your opponent should still be slowed by your Rupture anyways.
Your goal here is to get your Feast stacks up. Don't just blindly use it on every cooldown though, as you might need it in a fight. Use it whenever you think you won't be needing it and try and get to those 6 stacks.
When the laning phase ends, you should aim to have farmed up at least your Rod of Ages and another core item, as well as your level 2 boots.
When a teamfight occurs, you wan't to try and initiate by landing a good Rupture. Follow up with a Feral Scream on as many targets as you can hit with it and proceed to Feast on whoever should die first (e.g. the highest priority kill target).
Make sure whenever you die to get your Feast stacks back up as fast as possible, but again make sure you don't do this right before an important fight as you will need it in a fight. When a Cho'Gath game hits late game, you should either be incredibly tank, or you should yield one hell of an AOE burst nuke. You will also be enormous so expect to get focused. Your job here is to initiate fights, preferably by landing a Rupture + Feral Scream combo on one or more squishy targets, allowing your team to burst them down instantly.
- You can use your Flash to initiate a fight to catch your opponent off-guard. Simply Flash in, land a Rupture and Feral Scream instantly and watch them panic.
- You can make landing Rupture easier by first silencing them with Feral Scream, ensuring they can't flash away or even stun/silence you.
- When the enemy jungler wants you bad, try toggling Vorpal Spikes off so you won't push a lane you don't want to push. Make sure you control the creep waves so that it stays around the middle, preferably closer to your turret.
- You can use your enormous size to make an enemy miss last hits, simply stand on top of a low health minion to cover it.
- Remember Feast deals true damage! This can be used to counter abilities such as Alistar's Unbreakable Will or just any high armor target.
- Feast deals more damage than Smite on a minion. Use this to your advantage to either secure, or steal important objectives such as Baron/Dragon.
I will try and keep this up to date as best as possible and if anything you feel is missing/wrong, don't hesitate to tell me so.
I might also expand on the jungling part at one point, whenever I get some more personal experience on it perhaps.