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Kog'Maw Build Guide by Jarulezz

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Jarulezz

How To Carry with AD Kog'Maw

Jarulezz Last updated on December 25, 2012
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Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
Ability Key R

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.



Offense: 21

Honor Guard

Defense: 9


Utility: 0

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Hi everyone, I'm Jarulezz and welcome to my AD carry Kog'Maw guide.
Kog'Maw can be played AD carry, AP carry mid or hybrid, but this guide will focus on him being AD.
He is an Auto-Attack champion, which means he does not really rely on his abilities and he also scales very well with high attack speed.
Kog'Maw can be a late game BEAST if played properly, but he requires good positioning and a proper support in lane.

Without further ado, here is my first ever guide on MOBAFIRE. Thank you for reading and enjoy!

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Pros / Cons


+ 2nd highest auto attack range in the game (with Bio-Arcane Barrage active)
+ One of the best late game carries
+ Shredding tanks with %HP magic damage
+ Good poke and scouting with Living Artillery
+ Annoyingly good passive
+ Dragon/Baron can be done extremely fast

- Squishy
- Weak-ish early game
- No escape
- If shut down early, useless late game
- Abilities scale with AP
- Vulnerable to assassins and gap-closers (eg: Akali)

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The new Season 3 masteries are much different than the Season 2 and I'm still experiencing with what would be best. However, you need 21 points in the Offense tree, so that you can get the Executioner mastery meanwhile picking up all of the Attack Damage masteries but no more points are needed.

The other 9 points I put in the Defense Tree for extra HP and armor (because you will be laning against other ad carries that focus on AD.. duh). Also, instead of going into extra HP with Durability and Veteran's Scars , you could put some points into the Perseverance mastery so that you can stay in lane longer, but I don't recommend it, because you will be getting lifesteal ( Vampiric Scepter) anyway and also you might lane with a support that can heal you (such as Taric, Soraka or Nidalee).

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Greater Mark of Attack Damage

Greater Seal of Armor

Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist

Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage

These are standard AD carry runes.

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Summoner Spells

Flash - is a must have on Kog-Maw as he has no escape mechanism and any champion that has a gap closer can get to him and there are many being released, such as: Rengar, Kha'Zix, Diana, Vi and the list goes on...

Cleanse - I recently started using this instead of Heal on my AD carries and I like it. It is a must have if you laning vs Ashe, Varus or Taric. It is also good if the enemy team has a LOT of heavy CC. It can also be used to cancel the damage from Ignite and remove the Exhaust debuff from yourself.
This summoner spell can be substituted by Quicksilver Sash, which cancels more debuffs than Cleanse. Here you watch a YouTube video how to effectively use Quicksilver Sash.

Heal - This is an alternative to Cleanse, but if you get ignited or Miss Fortune uses her Impure Shots or Tristana uses her Explosive Shot on you and then Heal will be quite useless.

Alternative Summoner Spells

Ignite - If you feel confident, this can secure kills in the early game. At level 18, it does 410 true damage to the affected enemy. The range of your auto attacks (500) is shorter than Ignite's range (600), so it is ok if you are plainly auto attacking. Although, in teamfights, you would normally have your Bio-Arcane Barrage active, which gives you an overall range of 710 (assuming Bio-Arcane Barrage is maxed out), which out ranges Ignite (600 range). So you would have to get closer to the teamfight if you wish to Ignite someone.

Ghost - I have seen people use this Summoner spell on Kog'Maw normally as an escape tool, due to his inability to escape, but there will always be a champion that will get to you (like Nocturne). Let's say Diana catches up to with her Lunar Rush and then she uses Moonfall to draw you back. With this combo, it gives her enough time to finish off a squishy carry like Kog'Maw.

Barrier - I will be honest with you, I have not used Barrier in Season 3 on any champion on Summoner's Rift . At Level 18, it protects you from 455 (475 with the Summoner's Resolve mastery, which you should have anyway) damage and it blocks damage for 2 seconds, ok so it may save you in some situations, but... If you get Ignited, it ticks every second for 5 seconds, so with Barrier you can block off 2 ticks of ignite. At level 18, Ignite does 82 true damage per tick (ie per second), so if you activate Barrier, you can negate up to (2x82) 164 true damage. You will still receive the other (3x82) 246 true damage.

Exhaust - This should be taken by your support. Nothing to discuss.

To any other summoner spells I say this.

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Ability Explanation

Icathian Surprise (Passive)

Upon dying, Kog'Maw starts a chain reaction in his body which causes him to move faster and detonate after 4 seconds; dealing up to 550 [100 + (25 x LVL)] true damage to surrounding enemies.

  • A lot of people tend to just let go of the mouse and keyboard and just throw their arms down when they die, but with Kog'Maw it is much different. Always remember to make the best use of the passive, it will get you kills. You will either force the low HP enemy you are chasing to Flash or they will die.
  • Do NOT chase enemies with an escape ability (such as: Katarina or Kha'Zix), because they will create enough distance to make this passive useless.

Caustic Spittle (Q)

Passive: Increases Kog'Maw's Attack Speed.
Active: Kog'Maw launches a corrosive projectile which deals magic damage and reduces the target's Armor and Magic Resist for 4 seconds.

  • This ability affects champions, minions and neutral monsters. However, it does not affect Dragon or Baron Nashor .
  • This ability can make the target's Armor and Magic resist go into negative values, so they receive extra damage. Use this to your advantage when taking blue / red buff.
  • In team fights, use this ability on the enemy champion that deals the most damage, so they eventually die quicker. Most likely to be used on the AD Carry or AP Carry.
Max this second.

Bio-Arcane Barrage (W)

Kog'Maw's basic attacks gain range and deal a percent of the target's maximum health as magic damage.

  • Kog'Maw's main ability. This is the ability that allows to shred the enemies and hear them scream.
  • Use this in the laning phase to harass your enemy at a safe distance
  • Use this in team fights, so you can stay far back, yet still deal the damage
  • Doing Baron or Dragon with this active will be very quick (especially if you have high attack speed)

    Max this first.

Void Ooze (E)

Kog'Maw launches a peculiar ooze which damages all enemies it passes through and leaves a trail which slows enemies who stand on it.

  • Use this to either slow down your pursuers or your victims
  • Using this before Living Artillery can help you with aiming and getting a good shot at the enemy
  • Remember that it slows anyone that walks on it, so if you cast it horizontally in a lane, it will slow down anyone that is trying to get to you

    Max this last.

Living Artillery (R)

Kog'Maw fires a living artillery shell at a great distance dealing damage and revealing targets. Additionally, multiple Living Artilleries in a short period of time cause them to cost additional mana.

  • Great poking ability
  • It can be used to scout Dragon, Baron, any bush and it reveals any target hit. When scouting for Baron, do not forget that you cannot debuff Baron, so you only see Baron before the ult hits him.
  • Has to be managed well as any Living Artillery used within 6 seconds of the previous one will cost 40 extra mana. This will drain your mana bar very very fast if casted quickly in a row.

    Put a point in this whenever possible.

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Core Items

These boots are a must have on most AD Carries, especially Kog'Maw. He benefits from attack speed more than any other carry, because hey! The more hits you get on the enemy with Bio-Arcane Barrage active, the better!

About the boots enchantments. I suggest you take Enchantment: Alacrity for the constant increase in movement speed (+15). You may also get Enchantment: Furor, but it requires you to attack someone. When you are trying to run away, it is better to have a constant higher movement speed, because if you have to attack someone to increase your movement speed you have to stop moving, therefore the enemy can catch you. Over a long distance, the constant increase is better.

Since the release of this item in Season 3, I find it superb on Kog'Maw. Since, most of his damage comes from auto-attacks and only has 1 AoE damaging spell ( Living Artillery), but that is way too mana hungry to spam all the time. This is the NUMBER 1 item on Kog'Maw! Clearing minion waves with this becomes a joke! Clearing jungle camps becomes a walk in the jungle! During teamfights, you will be dealing damage to 3 enemies within each auto attack. How good is that?!

Moreover, this item's passive procs any on-hit effects, such as lifesteal and your Bio-Arcane Barrage active. So to sum up this item: you get huge amount of Attack Speed along with a nice passive that lets you hit 3 enemies at once... What else would you want?!

This item offers you 2 things: great amount of sustain and also provides you with the most AD any item can give you. With a fully stacked The Bloodthirster, you get 100 AD and 18% lifesteal. The Runaan's Hurricane can help you stack up this item extremely quick and you will lifesteal so much more, so much quicker.

This item gives you more attack speed, critical strike chance, extra movement speed and along with the new S3 patch it now provides with a nice passive: Your champion ignores unit collision.

More attack speed has the same reasoning as Berserker's Greaves and Runaan's Hurricane, but the extra movement speed can help you escape, as Kog'Maw has no escape, but running away and also the passive will let you escape through masses of minions, whereas enemy champions will get creep blocked.

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Other / Further Item Choices

Offensive Items

This should be your 5th item. Along with the Phantom Dancer it will give 55% Critical Strike Chance and your crits will deal an extra 50% damage. Should be built later on in the game as it is not top priority on Kog'Maw.

The new S3 Black Cleaver is so awesome! AD, Armor Pen, Cooldown Reduction, 250 HP and lowers a champions armor by a maximum of 25%. It is good choice, but I would only choose this in a situation where the enemy team is stacking A LOT of armor. The extra AD and HP is always helpful. Cooldown reduction would not be very effective, as none of Kog'Maw's abilities have long cooldowns (longest being Bio-Arcane Barrage with 17 seconds, but because it lasts for 8 seconds, in theory it only has a 9 seconds cooldown). This also works great with Runaan's Hurricane, as the bolts apply this item's passive.

Tbh, I have never ever taken this on Kog'Maw as I don't feel like it is needed. If someone could fill me in when they used this on Kog'Maw and how they felt about it. Also, 40 AD seems kinda low to me and seems to be a waste of an item slot. Although, I would take this on other AD Carries like Graves or Miss Fortune. The Black Cleaver would be a better alternative to this, as it will also benefit your whole team when you are focusing on 1 target.

Someone has told me, they would get this instead of Phantom Dancer as my damage would be reduced if the build lacks armour pen. I think this would be the case if you build Kog'Maw on more AD oriented, ie. you start with Infinity Edge (which many other carries should do). You could get this after your The Bloodthirster.

Yes, thats right.. Another The Bloodthirster as they all stack their attributes ie. you will get more AD and more lifesteal. I have done this a couple of times, but only when I got really fed. With 2 fully stacked The Bloodthirsters you will survive longer in teamfights and deal more damage, of course.

Cheeky story: In S2, I had a 1v1 with a LeBlanc - I had a full offensive build including 2 The Bloodthirsters. With 2.1 attack speed and so much lifesteal, I killed her before she could burst me down with all of her abilities and walked out with 50% HP, so yea... this is a powerful combo!

60 AD, which is something that should not be overlooked and a nice active. This item is good if the enemy team has A LOT of CC and they focus you with it. You might want to take this if you have Heal as your summoner spell.

Defensive Items

This item gives you 50 armor and 30 magic resist, which is not bad, but I was never a fan of this item on Kog'Maw. Reason behind this is if you get focused down and if you die, you will respawn and do nothing but die again because you have no escape except walking away. This item would be great on a champion that can escape when they revive (eg.: Corki or Ezreal), but not so much on Kog'Maw.

This is a great item if the enemy team has burst AP assasins (like Akali or Diana). Gives you a decent amount of magic resistance and HP. This is like a Cleanse, but it blocks the 1st enemy ability and you dont choose when you want to get out of trouble. It is good if you get focused at the beginning of the team fight. Good choice of an item on Kog'Maw.

This can be a replacement for Cleanse and you can take Heal as a summoner spell instead of Cleanse, but if you decide to take Heal you should get this item early in the game, probably after your Runaan's Hurricane. But taht depends on the enemy team.

Another story: I have used this item once in S3, because the enemy team had Ashe, Taric and Amumu (can't remember the others), but with this much CC, I just had to take this item. It saved me on multiple occasions.

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The Build Explained

This build will bring Kog'Maw close to his full potential as an AD Carry.

Attack Speed

With the Fury mastery, Berserker's Greaves, Runaan's Hurricane, Phantom Dancer and his Caustic Spittle maxed out, he will have around 2.1 attack speed and that is enough for him. Most AD Carries will only get 1 attack speed item (usually Phantom Dancer), so you will have wayyy more than they will. Buying any more attack speed items after the ones mentioned above would be probably wasting an item slot.

Attack Damage

With that much attack speed, you can now focus on attack damage. The Bloodthirster will provide you with 70-100 attack damage (depending on the stacks of the item). That will be on of your main AD items. You should get an Infinity Edge as it is a main item for AD Carries. It will give you 70 AD and a useful passive.


Once you have finished your attack oriented part of the build, you should focus on some defence, but you can also go for extra AD. This choice will depend on how fed you are, how well your team is doing in the game and your team members too. If for example, you have a tanky team with a lot CC (eg: Singed, Amumu, Alistar) that they can protect you even if someone gets close to you, then you can opt for extra damage instead of defense.

On the other hand, if your team is squishy then I suggest you get a defensive item.
Defense items will depend on the enemy team and how much of each type of damage they deal (physical or magical).

Your 6th item should be situational (maybe 5th too), but the first 4 items are a must have on Kog'Maw.

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As an AD Carry, you will be laning with a support usually in bot lane. Kog'Maw usually enjoys a passive lane, where he can farm without much of a threat and needs protection in order to do that. Here's a couple of handpicked supports that work extremely well with Kog'Maw and I recommend you ask for these supports in "Champion Selection". This list is also in order of how good the support lanes with Kog'Maw - 1st being best.


Nunu and Kog'Maw is a superb AD Carry + Support combinations. Nunu's Blood Boil gives you a movement speed buff and a CRAZY attack speed buff. Once Blood Boil is maxed out, it will provide more attack speed than a Phantom Dancer.
Blood Boil has a 15 seconds cooldown, but it also lasts for 15 seconds, so you can have the buff ALL the time.

During the laning phase, it can really help you with last hitting and harrasing the enemy. If you use Void Ooze and then activate Bio-Arcane Barrage, with the help of Blood Boil you should be able to take at least a third of the enemy team carry's HP. The movement speed buff can also help you escape ganks and his Ice Blast can be used to harras the enemy if they get too close.

Also, with Nunu by your side; dragon, baron can be done extremely fast.


Alistar can be a great support partner for Kog'Maw. He is like your guardian angel and can protect from iniations with his Headbutt, but he also set up kills with it. He is also quite tanky, so he is able to take harass and he will just heal back up using Triumphant Roar. Laning with him can be both passive and aggressive, but with Kog'Maw you want to play passively early to cause havoc later on in the game.


Taric is an overall good support. His abilities provide a heal, an armor buff aura, an armor debuff for nearby enemies, a stun and an ult that gives you extra AD. He can provide protection for Kog'Maw early in the game, which is very needed. Be careful not to take too much harras as he can run oom (out of mana) very quickly if he has to spam his heal.
He can stop chasing enemies as well as secure kills with his Dazzle and he is a good choice for supporting Kog'Maw.


With Soraka, the lane becomes VERY passive. You probably will not be getting any kills unless the jungler intervenes, but you will be able to stay in lane and farm for a LONG time due to her heals and mana. Soraka's sustain is higher than any other support's in the early game. Her heals are more powerful than Taric's. You can always trade a bit, as she will heal you back, but never go for the kill. When you hit level 6, don't hesitate to harass the enemy with Living Artillery, but remember to use it once every 6 seconds. Soraka will always replenish the mana you have lost.

Although, due to the fact that you are both squishy, you should play carefully and not push the lane. This is a good choice of a support for Kog'Maw.


Sona provides an increase in AD and AP, a heal with extra armor and a movement speed buff along with a teamfight changing ult Crescendo. She is an another support that can play a passive lane with the occasional harras. Her Q ability Hymn of Valor can be quite a powerful harras option, but it can also help you last hit, if it casts onto you. The heals let you stay in lane longer. Movement speed buff will help you escape ganks and the ult... That ult will save you on numerous occasions in lane where the enemy decides to initiate on you, but it is a great ult when they tower dive you. You are most likely to get a kill or even 2 when they tower dive you.

Downside is that she has the lowest base HP and she is quite squishy. She will not protect you, but she can stop the enemy from chasing you.


With Nidalee, you can lane for a pretty long time without going back. Her W ( Bushwhack) can be used as wards, her E ( Primal Surge) can heal you and it gives a 7 seconds attack speed buff, so it is quite good. And she also has a great poke with her Q ( Javelin Toss), so she can keep your enemies far from you. The downside is that she is quite squishy and does not provide any CC and if you get stunned/slowed she will not be able to help you escape, like Nunu with his W and E or Alistar with his W or Sona with her Crescendo.

I don't recommend other supports as they may need an aggressive AD Carry to lane with, but I may be wrong. Most combinations will work well if both players are experienced enough with the champions. The above are just ones that I think are great partners for Kog'Maw and make his bug life easier.

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Biggest Counters / Threats

As Kog'Maw does not have any hard AD Carry counters. Champions of other roles can make his life miserable. Here's a short list:

Blitzcrank is number 1 counter on my list, because he is the champion that you will meet at the very early stages of the game, which is your weakest point of the game. His Rocket Grab will zone out you and your support too. If you get grabbed, there is a high chance you will die as you have no escape.
These champions all have 1 thing in common: GAP CLOSERS. These champions pose a huge threat to Kog'Maw. Once they are in front of you, there is not much you can do and you just need your team to help you. There are probably many more, but you get the idea.
Again, the following champions have something in common: HEAVY CC. These champions can create a living hell for you. They will stun you, fling you, push you, headbutt you out of position. Drag you into the center of the teamfight.

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Teamfights + Positioning

Team work is key to success when playing Kog'Maw. He requires a team that can protect him from the enemies, whilst he is doing the damage. His greatest enemies are gap closers and also Olaf, because he can't be CC'ed for 6 seconds when his ult is active.

During teamfights, you should have your Bio-Arcane Barrage active, stay back behind your whole team and just attack the closest squishy target or the closest target that deals the most damage. If you can attack the enemy AD Carry / AP Carry without being focused or getting too close to the fight, then go for it!
But remember these points:
  • Do not dive into the center of the teamfight, because you will instadie.
  • Do not chase a fleeing enemy if your team mates are still in the team fight. Winning a teamfight is more beneficial than getting a kill or 2. Also, because Kog'Maw's main strength is auto attack, which is constant, he has great DPS (damage per second) and should always be in teamfights. A tean without their AD Carry present during the teamfights has their damage drastically lowered and may lose the fight.

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Well, this is the end of my first ever guide on a champion. I hope you have enjoyed reading this Kog'Maw guide!

Please vote / comment with constructive criticism :)