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Cho'Gath Build Guide by MaesePerez

Top Comprehensive Tank Cho'gath Top guide, info on every toplane matchup.

Top Comprehensive Tank Cho'gath Top guide, info on every toplane matchup.

Updated on February 22, 2024
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League of Legends Build Guide Author MaesePerez Build Guide By MaesePerez 9 0 9,348 Views 1 Comments
9 0 9,348 Views 1 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author MaesePerez Cho'Gath Build Guide By MaesePerez Updated on February 22, 2024
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Runes: into a free/scaling lane

1 2 3
Resolve
Grasp of the Undying
Demolish
Conditioning
Overgrowth

Inspiration
Magical Footwear
Approach Velocity
Bonus:

+10% Attack Speed
+10-180 Bonus Health
+10-180 Bonus Health

Spells:

Take every game
LoL Summoner Spell: Flash

Flash

LoL Summoner Spell: Teleport

Teleport

Ability Order into matchups you can farm comfortably

1 2

Threats & Synergies

Threats Synergies
Extreme Major Even Minor Tiny
Show All
None Low Ok Strong Ideal
Extreme Threats
Ideal Synergies
Synergies
Ideal Strong Ok Low None

Champion Build Guide

Comprehensive Tank Cho'gath Top guide, info on every toplane matchup.

By MaesePerez
Introduction
Hello, I am MaesePerez, and for the past few months I have been maining tank Cho'gath top, which has allowed me to climb to emerald for the first time. I was quite sad to find out Cho'gath is consistently one of the least picked toplaners, and one of the reasons I believe this may be happening is because there are not many good guides for tank Cho'gath, as many of the guides are for AP Cho. I hope that by writing a comprehensive guide on Cho'gath this will help get our favorite void creature into the spotlight he deserves.
Why should you play Cho'gath?
Well, if his beautiful model and fascinating lore weren't enough, there are many other reasons to play Cho:

This champ is easy to pick up, and can be a fantastic introduction to the tank class in general, since his passive Carnivore will allow you to take some bad trades early without losing lane entirely, as the early game healing is extremely good, and with his scaling and cc you will be useful in every game, regardless of lane outcome. (Do not quote me on this after going 0/15 in lane to Gwen and inting your games)

Cho is a tank that hard counters other tanks, such as Malphite or Sion so playing Cho'gath is a win/win situation, since if they pick a tank they most likely give you a free lane where you can scale and stack comfortably, and if they pick something like Vayne top to try and counter you, they most likely give up their main frontline, giving you an advantage in teamfights. Even champs like Ornn that are tanks and beat you in lane perform similar functions in teamfights but lack the one shot potential your Feast gives you, so you can function even when behind as a tank.


Finally, while you are a mid-late game champion, you are far more useful early than champs like Nasus or Kayle. Cho'gath can be extremely strong in early game skirmishes, especially against squishy champs, since your Rupture, Feral Scream and Vorpal Spikes are all AOE, and thanks to your flat 6 second cooldown on Rupture, you have one of the best cc uptimes in the game, so you are extremely strong in 2v2 or 3v3 skirmishes for scuttle or first grubs. So it isn't unlikely to get a double kill before 10 minutes, helping you completely bypass your weak laning phase.
Pros and Cons
Code:
PROS
+ Fantastic scaling
+ Good 1v1 potential for a tank
+ Good into both squishy champs and tanks
+ Great objective control with R
+ Very strong AOE cc on basic abilities


Cho'gath is a fantastic teamfighting tank, with a simple Q W combo being enough to disable multiple enemies for up to 3 seconds, which combined with your ult can allow you to one shot the enemy carries with no counterplay after q is hit, which can be done easily with some team setup or from out of vision. He is a scaling monster that can scale for free, since his rank 5 Q can one shot casters with minimal AP investment (1 adaptive shard, Doran's Ring and Dark Seal), so once level 9 is hit, you can scale safely, a luxury other scaling champs would kill for. His 1v1 potential is also good, and unless fighting a bruiser or an adc with Blade of the Ruined King, your 1v1 in sidelane is quite favorable, and you can stat check many of the champions that beat you early, such as Jax or Kled if you didn't fall behind.
CONS
- Weak early game
- His counters are very common champs
- Gets kited very easily by ranged champs
- No fast or point and click cc as a tank
- Big hitbox makes you easy to hit with abilities


Unfortunately, our beloved void creature isn't perfect, and has some weaknesses that must be kept in mind. While he doesn't have many hard counters, those he does have are extremely prevalent, such as Darius or Mordekaiser which makes him hard to blind pick. Your cc is all skillshots, and even if they have large hitboxes, q especially is very slow and most champs with a speed boost or a dash can avoid it easily. He also loses lane against many champs, and even if he outscales most of them, some champions who thrive on early leads such as Kled will take the free lane and terrorise your team in the mid game. Finally, anyone that builds Liandry's Torment, especially if they have more max hp or burn damage, such as Lillia or Brand will be an issue in any game they are in.
Itemisation
Many of you have probably noticed that one of the most iconic tank items, that seems to have a great synergy with Cho'gath, is missing from the recommended item section. This is of course, Heartsteel, and out of my past 100 games on Cho'gath this season I believe I have built it twice.

Now, I understand that this seems counterintuitive, since surely the HP stacking tank wants an HP stacking item, right? The issue with Heartsteel is that it is perhaps the weakest first item purchase in the game, its components are expensive but give no tangible power boost, and even with completed item, your strength doesn't increase until it has stacked up. This item, in my opinion, is very situational, and I only build it if nobody on the enemy team has %hp damage or builds an item that grants this form of damage. In the modern league landscape this scenario is already rare, but it doesn't stop there. Cho'gath outscales many of his bad matchups, and at around 1 item can make some bad matchups very favorable, such as Jayce. However, if Heartsteel is your first item, you continue being weak until your second item, making your already bad early game even worse, and the tradeoff being better scaling after 3 items or so, which by that point your R is already giving you enough HP that you'd benefit more from resistances anyway.

Aside from this, there are a few tips related to items that are important, such as always getting an early Bami's Cinder to help with waveclear, prioritising enemies with %hp damage when itemising resistances, such as building armor over mr even if Irelia is their only ad champion, since the hp from armor items will help against magic and true damage, but Irelia purchases Blade of the Ruined King and therefore only armor helps mitigate her damage]]. Cho'gath has intrinsic health scaling, so any item based on HP such as Abyssal Mask or Unending Despair is very strong on him, and prioritising resistances over HP is important, since you are already getting free HP from ult.
Playstyle and Tips for Lane
This is your weakest point in the game, but that doesn't mean that smart decisions can't help you get through it smoothly, and even dominate in the right circumstances.

Your all-in potential is bad, the only ones you win are vs tanks like Malphite or Sion, so try to get quick trades with Rupture and Grasp of the Undying, and only go for the kill if your ult is up or the enemy is extremely low. Your main priority is farm and getting your 6 minion stacks, so avoid using your ult on champions unless you are being forced to fight, keep in mind that using your ult on minions on cooldown is the most consistent way to scale. The exception to this is if a grub fight is going to happen soon, since you will either need it for the fight or to steal a grub, since you can get 1 epic monster stack from each set of 3 grubs.

Play safe, and try to maintain a freeze, since you can slowly heal from the minions with your passive, your real strength will become apparent after lane phase is over.

One last tip for lane, while you are a weak champion early, especially in all ins, you do have good sustain, so when fighting someone like Riven, with no sustain, taking a trade where you lose 20% and she only loses 10% of her hp can be positive, since especially in early levels, since you can slowly whittle her down while maintaining yourself relatively healthy.
Mid-Late game playstyle
Congratulations, you (hopefully) didn't feed early, you have a couple items under your belt, and you're ready to see how strong your pick really is.

You are a very strong teamfighter, and if ahead you can easily hold off the entire enemy team for several seconds, and even kill them yourself if you manage to land your abilities on a squishy target, allowing for a quick execute with Feast. In an ideal scenario, your team's primary engage will make the first move, allowing you to ensure a q hit, and after that the champ kind of plays itself, remember to use your e as an auto reset and tear them apart. Save your ult for priority targets in a teamfight, its not worth it to ult the Maokai after he blows his engage, but killing the fed Vayne as soon as the fight starts can make a huge difference.

Not every comp is ideal, and sometimes you will have to be the only engage, in which case you should try to fish for a q hit on an enemy, and unload your damage when they get knocked up. A somewhat niche but effective combo is the W flash combo, which can allow you to catch the enemy backline by surprise, allowing your team's assassin or mage to one shot them before the silence wears off and they can use their disengage spells. Remember to use your W to deny important abilities that can solo win a teamfight like Samira ult, throwing a silence on her not only denies her ult, but also her windwall, allowing you to burst her before she can kill your backline.

Aside from teamfighting, sidelaning is also an option, but the former is definitely preferable. As long as you are not in sidelane against a fed Darius or a ranged champ with %health damage such as Varus, you should be fine, but your objective in side is not to take towers, but to deny the enemy from taking yours by pushing out waves. Your lack of movement means getting caught usually results in dying, so staying on your side of the map is better. Your tower damage is also very low unless demolish is up, so prioritise pushing waves, getting a demolish proc if the enemy team isn't nearby, and going back to safety.

Finally, Cho'gath is one of, if not the best toplaner to assist junglers, since your objective control is unbeatable, which can allow you to not only help your team secure objectives when your jungler is dead, but also get hp from it. There are few things more satisfying than walking into baron pit, tanking the enemy time for 5 seconds, ulting baron at 1.5k hp and leaving while the enemy Kayn tries to use his pathetic 900 damage Smite. One thing to keep in mind while playing Cho is that since you have great burst but low dps, if your team comp has 2 sources of dps you can take 2 objectives very quickly. Let's say you kill the enemy jungler, you and the adc can quickly take dragon while your jungler and midlaner, assuming one has good dps on objectives, like a Tristana, can quickly take herald, turning a single kill into a massive lead.
Conclusion and final remarks
Of course, every matchup has several quirks and intricacies that you will slowly discover as you learn Cho'gath, but I believe this guide has set a good base that can help new and veteran players alike pick up Cho'Gath, and discover how criminally underrated of a champ he really is.

If after reading this guide there is a specific matchup that you would like advice on, or a specific scenario you would like help with, do not hesitate to shoot me a PM or leave a comment on this guide.

Thank you so much for making it to the end of the guide, and hopefully this has inspired some of you to pick up Cho, as he is a great addition to any toplaner's champion pool.
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League of Legends Build Guide Author MaesePerez
MaesePerez Cho'Gath Guide
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Comprehensive Tank Cho'gath Top guide, info on every toplane matchup.

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Teamfight Tactics Guide