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Kog'Maw Build Guide by Vynertje

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Vynertje

Kog'Maw: a ranked guide by Vynertje [In-Depth]

Vynertje Last updated on September 5, 2013
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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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Hello and welcome everyone to my Kog'Maw guide!

In this guide I will be explaining you everything you need to know to play Kog'Maw at a high level, and I hope to give you some good advice for any AD Carry!

Personally I think Kog'Maw is one of the champions that requires the highest mechanical skill level, because one mistake or mispositioning will get you killed. That is also why I personally really like him, and I hope you like him as much as I do.

Keep in mind that I will use a few terms you might not know yet, but I will explain everything in my gameplay chapters.

Before we jump into the guide itself, I would like to point out that I am not a native English speaker and therefore I will have made some grammar mistakes from time to time, even though I have tried to minimize them. I thank you in advance for keeping this in mind!

Also, a huge shoutout to Janitsu for making me the line dividers and banners!

Anyway, let's get started!

WARNING: This guide will have lots and lots of text and is aimed at anyone really wanting to learn Kog'Maw and the AD Carry role in general. Just so you know ^^

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About me: Why am I allowed to tell you how to play Kog'Maw?

I felt like I had to do this, I just wanted to show off a little ^^

But seriously, anyone can write a guide on MobaFire and I myself find myself disliking a lot of the builds out here, so, here you have my stats on Kog'Maw:

These games were all played at Gold and Platinum ratings.
If you feel the need to check on me, you can find my up-to-date profile here!

By the way, if you wish you can add me in-game (IGN: vynertje on EUW). I always accept those and I enjoy playing so called 'community games' :)

I also try to stream regularly, check it out :)

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Pros & Cons


+ Huge range with Bio-Arcane Barrage
+ Amazing damage because of ^ and attack speed steroid
+ Outscales pretty much everything
+ Good kiting possibilites
+ Bombards you with fireworks from 1500 range


- His range depends on a 17s cooldown skill
- REALLY difficult to position well with
- Painful early game
- No escapes - pretty immobile
- Will be out of mana really quickly when playing aggressive

space Kog'Maw stands out from other carries because of his Bio-Arcane Barrage. This spell adds an huge amount of damage to his basic attacks, and also increases his range to one of the highest in game (second to only Twitch when he has his ultimate activated). Because of the free %damage, he outscales pretty much everything because he will be able to destroy any tanks. His Void Ooze also gives him good kiting possibilities, by adding a 52% slow to his arsenal. Furthermore, his ultimate is badass because it allows you to shoot fireworks from 20 miles range :) spce Even though is W is really awesome, it has a really long cooldown and therefore is not 100% reliable. You really need to make the most out of these 8 seconds in order to be effective. Furthermore, Kog'Maw has no escapes and therefore requires superb positioning in order not to get killed by anyone jumping you. Because his damage comes from his auto-attacks, his skillset is only really good in late-game. Finally, his Living Artillery will burn through all your mana when not used with caution sp

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21-9-0 is my preferred page for Kog'Maw. This page maximizes your damage by going 21 points in the offense tree, while putting 9 points in defense for extra durability. I would recommend this page for anyone just picking up Kog'Maw.



This mastery page offers some more mana regen and improved flash. It takes down a little bit early game durability for extra mana regen and less Flash cooldown. When to use this page? It is pretty much up to your own preference, but keep in mind that it is only good when you make use of the extra mana regen



This is a good mastery page when you want extra sustain in addition to lifesteal quints, or when lacking these. I like this when playing against a support like Sona or Nami - poke heavy but with less kill potential.

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Greater Mark of Attack Damage

Greater Seal of Armor

Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist

Greater Quintessence of Life Steal

This is my preferred rune setup because it gives a mix of everything you need to have a decent early game. Attack damage for easier last hitting and some extra damage potential, extra defensive stats and good sustain with lifesteal quints.



Greater Glyph of Magic Resist

Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage

These are the only two alternatives I would ever recommend someone. Flat magic resist glyphs when facing heavy magic damage early game (for example against something like Zyra) and flat AD when you don't have lifesteal quints or when playing with something like Soraka.

Why don't I pick one of the following runes:

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Summoner Spells

space Flash is an absolutely MUST-HAVE in 99.9% of your games. You have no escape mechanisms at all, so if you get jumped on, you won't be able to get away except when you use flash. Cleanse should be picked against heavy crowd control like Amumu - barrier when you don't have to deal with those forms of heavy CC. Keep in mind that Cleanse does not remove knockups or suppresses.

Other heavily situational picks:

space Exhaust is a good pick when your support will be unable to help you. For example someone like Leona who will rather be diving their frontline instead of defending you. Also a really good pick against a champion like Zed or Kha'Zix when you exhaust them at the exact right moment.
space While I would never recommend it, this spell can be really good when the enemy have 0 (not just only a few, literally 0) diving abilities. When they don't, you can more easily kite them by using this spell. It also has a lower cooldown when compared to Flash.

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Skills & Skill order explanation

Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

Skilling priority:

> > >

I think maxing Bio-Arcane Barrage is pretty self explanatory - however, I'll explain my choice for Void Ooze second and not even leveling Caustic Spittle before level 13:

First of all, your Q gives a decent attack speed boost and decent single target damage. However, the range of this spell is so low, that you should never be in range to use it (unless you are mispositioned, which I hope never happens), especially with bio-arcane barrage active.

My second reason is that the attack speed buff is only very minor, whereas the slow on your E increases greatly (20->55%), and since Kog'Maw is an immobile and squishy target, having the extra slow is really important because it allows for much better kiting.

Because of these reasons, I think maxing Q is only good for the attack speed which is very inferior to what other spells offer you.

Ability explanation

Passive: Icathian Surprise

Icathian Surprise: A funny passive which isn't really fit for any AD Carry. Where other carries have passives that keep them alive ( True Grit) or increases their damage ( Hextech Shrapnel Shells), you get something that helps you when you've already died. It's just like saying "Gee I sure hope I die a lot!"

Even though I don't like it, if you're dying anyway, you can sometimes take one or multiple people down with you. If you are sure you won't get anything out of it (so don't use it before any fight has ended), you can also use it to take a few creeps.

Q: Caustic Spittle

Caustic Spittle: As I've mentioned in my skilling chapter: This spell is not really that good, even though it gives some debuffs and bonus attack speed.

The active has a really short range and using this can often put you in a dangerous position, and you will not be using your range to the max. Because of that, you should only be using it when someone is in really close range in order not to waste your W range boost :)
Also, the attack speed is somewhat minor. This spell is really straightforward so I'll not be explaining anything more on this.

W: Bio-Arcane Barrage

Bio-Arcane Barrage: This is your main skill, and the only reason Kog is even played! This spell gives you a huge amount of range and the ability to chunk down enemy hp-stacks. Since we are combining this item with Blade of the Ruined King, we get an 11% (!) hp shred in mixed damage.

Because this spell deals magic damage, you will be doing nice damage at every stage of the game, simply because there is no -one- effective way to counter the damage you will be outputting. Stacking armor will cause them to get exploded by %damage, stacking mr will cause you to do 700 crits on anyone and hp will make your %damage even more powerful.

Now because this is such an important skill for you, here are a few tips to use it to its full potential:"
  • First of all, be careful when you use it and never spam it. Don't use it when you don't need it.
  • Try to get a feeling of how much bonus range it gives you, and only activate it when you are in range.
  • You can use it really effectively to siege down turrets because you can hit the turret while your enemies will be unable to hit you.
  • You can poke enemies who are standing next to their turrets without getting turret aggro because of the huge range.

E: Void Ooze

Void Ooze is a really nice skill in your kit. This allows you to kite your enemies more easily and also deals some decent damage early game. You should be using this on someone who has no gap closers or has already used them, so they won't be able to jump over this at all, and will be hindered into focusing you really well.

You can use this spell to last hit when getting zoned really heavily pre-6, but you should never overdo this, because it will burn through your mana pool really quickly. Also, keep in mind the delay as described below.

When using this spell, keep in mind that it has a cast time and that it will 'roll out', meaning that targets closer to you will get the effect sooner than those far away from you, and you should take this into account when trying to hit moving targets.

R: Living Artillery

Living Artillery: Long range, I said? Now this is long range! At max level this spell has 2200 range, which is about 3 times longer than your basic attack range. This allows you to snipe down everything that has thought to escape your grasp!

This skill is really nice for a couple of reasons. First of all, it allows you to chase down enemies really effectively because it not only has this huge range, it also reveals your target whenever you hit it.
This reveal can also be used to gain vision of unwarded spots from the same massive distance, so you don't have to face-check it and possibly evade a 5-man gank. This is really useful when checking baron/dragon.

Also, it allows you to last-hit when you are getting denied heavily, this spell has a huge range and that should make it impossible to completely deny you.

A few words of warning though:
  • Keep in mind that this spell has a 0.6 delay between casting and hitting, so you will always need to calculate that extra time when casting.
  • Using this spell too frequently in a short time will cause you to run out of mana really quickly - it has a 6 second period in which each cast will cost 40 mana more. Keep in mind that resetting this is really important
  • You should not be using this in a teamfight when under 200 mana, because there are far more important skills in your kit when in major engagements.

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Items: Main Build Explanation

Starting items:


Doran's Blade should be your starting item as long as you have lifesteal quints or an healing support. Only when you don't have any of these, you should grab the Long Sword because it allows you to grab 2 Health Potion's.
This is mainly really good because the Doran's gives you some health, which can make up for your painful early game - you will be less likely to get bursted down.

Early-game core:

This is your early game core. Rushing Berserker's Greaves is not mandatory because it delays your Blade of the Ruined King, which is a key item and often the turning point for you in a game. Buy Vampiric Scepter because it gives some sustain on top of your lifesteal quints so you won't be bothered by poke too much.
Don't forget the option to buy a second Doran's against an heavy kill lane. This is generally good when you fear to get bursted down and prefer be a bit more safe. Remember: better be safe than sorry!

Mid-game core:

By the end of mid-game you should aim to have your 2 core damage items completed. The Blade of the Ruined King synergizes really well with your Bio-Arcane Barrage and will also aid you in kiting. I recommend you get this as quickly as possible because of reasons given above.

Infinity Edge is pretty much the best item for all carries who heavily rely on their basic attacks in order to deal any damage. The attack damage combined with extra crit chance and damage is great, and will amplify your damage greatly.

You could optionally get Phantom Dancer as your second item, if you are facing really hp-heavy targets (like 3 people with 3k hp or more in 20 minutes), but I don't recommend doing this because it will make you even more reliant on your Bio-Arcane Barrage. Keep in mind that when doing this, Infinity Edge should definitely be your next item!

Other mandatory damage items:

The main question is not why we build these items, but in what order we build them. Generally these items would be your 4th and final items, with a defensive item as 5th.

In this, Last Whisper is the solution to high-armor enemies, while Phantom Dancer gives more mobility, attack speed and crit. Since your first targets in a teamfight are usually the tankiest ones, you should use the following rule of thumb:

If 2 or more enemies have more than 100-150 armor, Last Whisper is your item of choice. If their frontline consists of squishier enemies, you should go for the Phantom Dancer

When playing ranked games, you will find yourself going Last Whisper most regularly. In normals or low-elo games, Phantom Dancer would be your most-picked.

My preferred final build:

This is the build I end up using in most of my games. The damage items are aimed at optimizing the damage on your basic attacks and are well suited to kill any tanks in the enemy team.

I build Warmog's Armor as my defensive item of choice because it works regardless the situation you are in. It just gives you a huge chunk of hp to survive through most of the damage they can throw at you. Keep in mind that the other, more situational defensive items will be explained in the next two chapters.

Why don't I build one of the following:

space Statikk Shiv: Because this item is more fit for amplifying early to mid game damage, and the stats are slightly lower than those of the Phantom Dancer. Also, the PD-passive will allow you to kite more easily

space The Bloodthirster: Because this item does not synergize as well as the Blade of the Ruined King does. The extra AD and lifesteal do not count up to the benefit of the %damage, attack speed and the awesome active. The Bloodthirster is more fit for champions who benefit from the extra AD for their skills.

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Items: Defensive Itemization

This chapter is meant to explain all defensive choices, in the hope to explain when you should pick which defensive item. So, without further ado, lets jump into our options!

space As mentioned, Warmog's Armor is the best all-round choice. When we have a look at our flowchart in the next chapter, this is the item we should go for if multiple conditions are met.

space The Guardian Angel was my item of choice in season 2, but I think the item has fallen out of favor quite a lot. This is because the defensive ratings have been reduced, and therefore it is only good if you can really make good use out of this second life. Because of that, it is really effective to avoid giving easy resets. Keep in mind that this should only be picked when your team can handle the downtime while reviving, because otherwise the enemy just kills your team while waiting for you to revive.

space This is the most situational item you can possibly get. It blocks a spell for you, but this can easily be wasted if you misposition only slightly. It can help you blocking spells that are essential to block (like Nidalee spears) and giving you a second chance when you get caught by it. Keep in mind that it does not block everything, because some skills consist out of two parts (damage and after-effects) - the damage will be blocked and the effect will be applied. A good example of this would be Onslaught of Shadows.

space Randuin's Omen has been seen quite a lot more recently to counter ad-assassins. This item gives you a good amount of health and armor, and gives you a really good active. This slows all enemies' attack and movement speeds in order to drop their damage output noticeably. This item would be great against AD-dive champions who make at least some use of their attack speed. I would not recommend this against champions why rely 100% on their abilities.

space The Quicksilver Sash is another really situational pick, which is somewhat useless if not picked/used in the correct situations. First of all, make sure to really use it when you buy it. Second, only get it when you really need it. Generally this is against un-cleanse-able crowd control like suppresses. Personally I only get it against Warwick, Malzahar or Skarner.
You should finish the Mercurial Scimitar as final item, after you've finished all your other core items, because it only gives some extra AD which is not worth rushing because other items give much more useful stats.

Below this you have a bit more clearer overview of when to pick which items, but keep in mind that some exceptions apply and you should never blindly rely on this.

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Items: Defensive Item Flowchart

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Gamplay: General tips

(There used to be a chapter about taking golems in here. This is no longer possible, I'm currently trying to get something to replace this out here)

Lane tactics

Kog'Maw is a rather weak champion while laning, and should be treated with care. Your focus should be on farming - while trying to not get caught by any aggressive moves.

Usually you want to point out to your own jungler that getting you to snowball is often a free win: there is nothing as scary as a 6-item Kog'Maw. On the other hand, the enemy will often ask for ganks to shut you down instead. Make sure your support wards everything (and if he doesn't, buy sight ward's yourself!!) to make sure you are in a good defensive position.

When farming is concerned, you might need some practice last hitting with Kog because his animations differ somewhat from his counterparts. This might require some getting used to. Your target for farming should be 100 at 12 minutes and 200 at 25 minutes. If your cs is under 150 at 25 minutes, you should be practicing last-hitting more.

When going for a fight in-lane, keep in mind that you benefit from longer fights. You should avoid getting bursted down at all costs, because that is the only way they can beat you after getting a major item or two.

For more information on ADC, click the following link

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Gameplay: Trading

Trading is a really important aspect in lane phase, which often decides how your lane will end.
Trading is the skill in which you attack someone without lethal casualties, without using any ultimates or summoner spells. The outcome of the trade will decide who gets the upper hand in lane.

Someone who trades really well in those little engagements, will outpoke the enemey and gain the upper hand. This will cause you to zone and outfarm the enemy - if played well.

A trade can be a single autoattack, but can also be a short combination of spells. For Kog'Maw this is usually the combination to trade:
Void Ooze - Bio-Arcane Barrage - basic attack - Living Artillery - basic attack - Living Artillery and then back off. The slow will make it harder for enemies to attack you, while you have about 700 range because of your W.

A few tips on how to improve your trading overall:

  • You can simply basic attack someone when he comes for a last hit. He will have to weight off taking the last hit or attacking you: it will be a win-win for you either way.
  • Abuse any advantage in range - if you attack him from 700 range, and he has only 550, he will have a hard time getting to you to return damage.
  • Keep track of the enemy cooldowns. For example, when you use your W as Kog'Maw, the enemy has a 9 second window before it comes back from cooldown again. This window can be exploited because your damage is lower this way.
  • You can use a level advantage to trade effectively - especially at levels 2, 3 and 6 because you will have an extra skill to your disposal.
  • If you have a healing support, you can trade more effectively because you can heal their damage back.
  • If you just came back from base and finished a major item like a B. F. Sword, you will win the trade because you have this core item finished and they don't have that same amount of power.

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Gameplay: Teamfight Focusing as AD Carry / Positioning

When jumping in teamfights, you will be the main damage dealer of your team. However, with being the main damage dealer, you will be focused and therefore positioning and correct focusing is vital for a good AD Carry.

First of all, you should know who to focus. At lower rating you will hear people saying 'omfg noob kog not focus carry' - but this is 100% incorrect. Because you are supersquishy and getting focused, you will need to attack those that are the highest threat to you, not to your team overall, first. When getting doven onto by two anticarries, don't expect to be able to kill their ad carry and living through all of it. That is why you focus those diving you first. Keep in mind that you can always switch focus when someone backs away from focusing you, the most important thing is to deal as much damage as possible overall.

When positioning is concerned, you should always be a few feet behind your team. You are supposed to be in a position in which you can constantly attack, without getting hit back. However, remember that your team is there to help you - you should never run too far away from them while kiting.

The following video is an awesome guide on how to position well:

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Gameplay: Kiting

Kiting is the most important for any AD Carry in a teamfight. A few other words for kiting are stutter stepping or orb walking.

Kiting is simply moving inbetween autoattacks, in order to deal maximum damage while constantly moving to stay at range. If you ever have a look at high-elo games or perhaps LCS games, you will see that most AD's master this and will often keep a large distance between themselves.

Keep in mind that having a gap closing ability alone is often not enough to keep you in a safe position, so you will

How to practice this:

  • Try to move inbetween autoattacks on minions to practice this
  • Practice with a friend in a custom, in which you try to kite him when he plays a bruiser and then swap roles
Another way to practice this is the following video:

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Matchups: Synergies

When picking Kog'Maw, it is important to be paired with a well synergizing support. This is because you don't want an aggressive support as Kog'Maw because you cannot be that aggressive yourself. Having bad synergy can easily cost you a lane and might snowball to costing you the game as well.

When picking a botlane combo, you should keep in mind what type of carry or support is picked already. I think there are about 3 different types of lanes:

  • Poke/sustain lanes: This lane will try to poke you down constantly in order to deny you farm. They will often lack killing potential but scale decently into lategame. A good example of this would be Caitlyn + Nami. Another example of a poke lane would be Soraka + Corki, but in this specific lane they are more based on sustain rather than range and trading abilities.
  • Kill lanes: These lanes will want to kill you as quickly and as often as possible to snowball into lategame. They will usually be able to kill you pretty easily but transition really weak into late game if they don't get to snowball. An few examples of this would be the infamous Graves + Taric, or Leona + Ezreal.
  • Late game/farm lanes: This is the lane Kog'Maw belongs in. This is a lane in which the players mainly want to farm and get their items before doing anything aggressively. These lanes often lack killing potential but scale extremely well - if you let them free farm, they usually carry the game. Lanes like these need to be shut down by any of the lanes above. An example of this would be Kog'Maw combined with Nunu or Janna. Kog'Maw could possibly also be played as a poke champion, but this requires the correct support - and you will be really weak in the first levels as well.

So, without further ado, I present to you, my list of well synergizing supports for our lovely Kog!

space The only reason this lane works is a really good one: Combine Blood Boil with Bio-Arcane Barrage for the most deadly late game damage ever - 2.5 attacks per second dealing 11% of their hp each hit - to burn someone in about 4 seconds. This is a rather weak lane though, and you will really need to get a few levels in both spells to get some power.

space Janna is an awesome support to protect you in late game from everything that tries to kill you. All her spells are focused at aiding you - but she is really squishy in lane and this can get you killed if not played with care. When getting a few levels, your trading ability will be really strong though and as long as you do not get caught in an all-out fight, you will be a fairly strong lane overall.

space Couple her with Kog'Maw to counter a poke lane. Her sustain is awesome and the mana heal can give you a free-farm lane by just spamming your skills to last hit, even when you are getting zoned. The weakness of the lane is, however, that you cannot reply to any aggressive moves onto you. When you or Soraka gets caught, it is pretty much over. Because of that, I would never recommend picking this into a kill lane.

space Lulu gives you a nice balance between a protective support and a poking champion. She has a shield, speed buff, a temporary health boost and great slows. Before level 6, you should be trying to keep poking because if you let them freely go onto you, you are pretty much dead. Later on, she can really be a great asset by using her skills defensively. Again, her weakness is being really squishy before level 6, so it is another risky lane.

There are a few other supports that have decent synergy with Kog'Maw, but I will not explain them in-depth because the four listed above are much better picks. These are: Alistar, Taric and Sona. The other supports are not even worth considering.

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Video Guides

Keep in mind that this guide is somewhat outdated, but the information given on gameplay is really good - CLGEU-/EG.Yellowpete is one of the best Kog'Maw players in the world and I really like his guide :)

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To conclude & Credits

Credits to:
Janitsu - for helping me out with banners and line dividers :)

xke - for his awesome help on reddit concerning AD carry basics. I have also included his video in my guide.

Awesomefusion: For his awesome guide on AD Carry positioning, which I included in my guide.

Jhoijhoi: For her awesome guide on how to make guides

Daniator15: For helping me out with some video's. Even though I hate him for ditching me to lose solo queue. Please all add him and send him your hate messages :)

EDIT: I managed to overtake the first spot in 8 (!) days and my guide has been rated higher in the first 30 days than guides made my Marn and Velocity players! Thanks!