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Kog'Maw Build Guide by dbug87

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League of Legends Build Guide Author dbug87

Kog'Maw - Everything you want to know

dbug87 Last updated on January 15, 2012
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Team 1

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: 30

Honor Guard

Defense: 0

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 0

Guide Top

Welcome to all things Kog'Maw

Here, you'll find several builds for Kog'Maw and stratgies on properly using them. Kog'Maw is my favorite champion in the game right now, and I've taken the liberty of playing him any way I can think of, and have found a few successful builds. I already have a Kog'Maw guide up but this one is a lot more in-depth. This one also isn't a wall of text like the other one was. Thanks to the community for pointing me to a few resources on building guides with a bit more style, with better formatting, and much more professional looking.

I'll also be using this to list updates.

1/14/12- Finished first part of guide, moving on to second build. "back-line DPS"
1/15/12- Got about done with the 2nd build, changed the name of the guide, added some things to build 1

Guide Top

The Saturation Effect/Preface

Is a passion of mine. I also enjoy doing things my own way, regardless of what's out there or what's tried and true. I usually come up with very creative ways to do things, and usually frustrate just about everyone around me. More often than not, the things that I try don't work, over and over and over again, and then suddenly, through massive trial and error, I stumble upon something that works, and works better than what most people have been doing.

It doesn't take much effort to look up my match history and see that before I started toying with Kog'Maw, I was on a MASSIVE losing streak.

I played him over and over and over again, never looking up a build, never looking up strategies. I was determined to figure him out inside and out, because I really like his dynamic and I really like the idea and style behind Kog'Maw. Kog'Maw is, frankly, a little ****- and so am I, so we fit well together.

Some things I called before I ever really knew

--I knew that the majority of the builds out there would be heavy AD, glory gamer, rush and crush types of builds. I knew it before I ever looked anything up, because Kog'Maw DOES play well that way, and the majority of league players are solo queue players.

--I knew I'd see a lot of PD/IE/BT combinations in his more popular builds, because this is a safe AD resort and its a very popular item combination.

--I knew I'd get met with resistance for the way I build him (build 2), because the majority of the community has already used and been successful with heavy AD builds in solo queues, and most people don't pay attention to team dynamic. They want to get in, get kills, and get out, never considering what they're doing to their team dynamic by glory gaming.

What is the saturation effect?

Say a new coffee place opens up... they have terrible coffee, or at least it isn't anything really out of the ordinary- but because they're new, everyone rants and raves about them. Well, that ranting and raving gets out of hand, and soon everyone thinks that X coffee establishment has the best coffee in the world.

Suddenly, it's completely asinine to oppose the idea that X coffee establishment has the best coffee in the world. Other coffee establishments are regarded as inferior. X coffee establishment charges an arm and a leg for their mediocre coffee, which hasn't changed from the time when it was much cheaper. Their reputation drives up their prices, and people pay it, losing a lot of money they could be spending on better, cheaper coffee at Y coffee establishment, which doesn't have the same repuatation.

No one is the wiser.

What I'm saying is that I'm trying something new, and it's working very well. I really couldn't care less what all the other builds suggest. I list reasons for my build, I list math, I list strategies which have worked for me and can work for you. If you don't agree, no one said you had to take this guide as anything more than a grain of salt. Please don't troll, and always keep an open mind.

Guide Top

The Builds/Core items

Each of the slots above is a different Kog'Maw build
Feel free to choose the one you prefer to play and read it's associated startegies.
    1.) AD Hypercarry (Lane)
    2.) Back-Line DPS/Tank Killer (Mid)
    3.) AP Carry (Lane)
    4.) Tanky AD Support (Lane)
    5.) Jungle

Keep in mind that no matter how you build Kog'Maw, he has three core items, unless you build him AP, which I do not particularly suggest (If you like AP Kog, more power to you. I tried it, it just isn't my thing, I suppose.)

The Core items for Kog'Maw are as follows:

--- ---

And for AP:

--- ---

AD: Should be pretty self explanatory.

-- Malady carries an absolutely wonderful attack speed bonus for its cost, and provides an extra 20 magic damage, and lowers enemy resists- This makes your skills hit harder, and reduces the damage mitigation from enemies who may be blocking part of the percentage of your Bio-Arcane Barrage or Madred's Bloodrazor

-- Madred's Bloodrazor provides a little defense boost, another attack speed bonus, more % of life damage on top of your Bio-Arcane Barrage, some physical damage, and makes you a pain in the neck to deal with late game. You'll watch your entire team have trouble with a champ like Volibear or a tanked up Singed, they get cocky, and suddenly you chew them apart with your high % of max life damage.

-- Wit's End provides a little extra magic resist, ANOTHER attack speed bonus, and throws a decent amount of magic damage as well. The combination of magic resist lowering from Malady and the magic damage dealt by Malady, Madred's Bloodrazor, and Wit's End causes some astounding damage. Even better, it amplifies every time you hit someone thanks to Malady. Up to four times. Throw your Caustic Spittle into the equation for a little extra hurt.

For AP Kog:

-- Archangel's Staff because mana is a huge factor for an AP Kog'Maw, and this will boost your supply every time you use a skill. Every time your mana gets boosted, your AP gets boosted. I always rush this on an AP Kog'Maw build because it is so ridiculously critical on him.

-- Mejai's Soulstealer because let's face it, Kog'Maw gets kills no matter how you build him. That Living Artillery is nuts. Every kill gets you more AP, and at 160 AP, you get a cooldown reduction boost. Get it early, farm it hard.

-- Void Staff is a good chunk of AP, great additional magic penetration, and it makes Kog dig through resistances early game, and if they didn't build any, it will make you absolutely wreck people. Magic penetration left out of an AP Kog build is just asinine. Max your penetration.

Viable boots
Boots are always preference, I don't really care what anyone else's opinion is on this. Your boots need to play well into YOUR playing style. But I'll go over some of the pro's and cons of each set of boots.

Mercury's Treads
+ Great source of tenacity, magic resist boost
- You aren't usually the one getting CC'd
SPACE Boots of Swiftness
+Great speed boost, good for chasing
- No other passive bonus
SPACE Boots of Mobility
+ ZoMg speed
- Will deceive you. Once you get hit, you'll overestimate your escape potential.

Berserker's Greaves
+ Attack speed bonus is nice
- Doesn't help AP Kog as much as sorc shoes
SPACE Sorcerer's Shoes
+ Magic pen bonus is nice
- Doesn't help AD Kog as much as zerks
SPACE Ionian Boots of Lucidity
+ Cooldown reduction is nice
- You'll burn mana faster
SPACE Ninja Tabi
+ Dodge and defense on boots
- I have no idea what the patch will do to them

Guide Top

Non-Viable Items

The following items should never be used on Kog'Maw
-- -- -- -- --


Zhonya's Hourglass provides a stasis and high defense. The only reason you'd ever need this is if you were way too close to the fight to begin with. Kog maw doesn't have any sort of a channeling ult or anything that would make the active on this useful, and there are better items to get AP from.

Trinity Force lends Kog'Maw a huge next-hit bonus based on AD, which is great, but with the cost of trinity force and the fact that it only adds 30 to any stat he'd realy use, and a not-so-substantial life and mana boost, there are better items to augment the stats you actually NEED, and since your main damage comes from MAGIC damage from Wit's End, Malady, and Madred's Bloodrazor, the AD bonus really isn't needed. The cost of this item outweighs it's help to Kog'Maw, and will only slow down your evolution throughout the game while you struggle to pay for it.

Ninja Tabi is a set of boots for dodge and defense, if you're playing Kog'Maw correctly, you should never be getting pounded on enough for either of those stats to matter substantially enough to give up the passives of other boots which would help your end game a whole lot more.

Sword of the Divine has a 60% IAS bonus and 100 magic damage every 4 shots. Compare that to Wit's End which does 168 magic damag every 4 shots and provides magic resists AND an IAS bonus, and you've just negated any need for SOTD.

Guardian Angel has dual resists and a built in on-field revive. Its a very nice item for anyone who doesn't use death as part of their dynamic. I can only think of two champions that would qualify as NEVER wanting to use guardian angel. Kog'Maw and Karthus.

Thornmail returns melee attack damage to the attacker. Easy explanation, you aren't a tank. You shouldn't be playing Kog'Maw as a tank unless absolutely required. Thornmail still isn't on my tank build because most of the damage in the entire game comes from abilities, which thornmail won't block or return damage on. I can only think of two reasons anyone would ever get thornmail- Either they're trying to shut down an AD auto-attacking hypercarry like Master Yi or Tryndamere, or they completely misunderstood what thornmail does.

Obvious other candidates are items like Bilgewater Cutlass, Cloak and Dagger, Leviathan, and anything else that no one really ever gets because there's no point in getting them.

Feel free to suggest others.

Guide Top

AD Hypercarry Kog'Maw - Build 1


This is usually the way I see Kog'Maw played, so I'll go over this one first. It is by no means my favorite way to play him, but it's definitely viable, and usually I get my best kill scores with this build.
Wait...What is a hypercarry anyway?
Well, I don't know. Its a term me and my friends use and we all kinda get what it means, but I've never had to put a definition to it. Here's my attempt:

A carry is a character who starts out a little weak, and ends up carrying the game at the end, pulling the team to victory. They're usually an integral part of a teamfight, but not too much more powerful than the rest of the team... whereas a hypercarry seems to stay just a few steps ahead of everyone throughout the entire game, and if the opposing team allows this to happen, he ends up with potential pentakills by the end of the game

How would someone shut down a hypercarry?

Focus them. Never let them into a lane with just one person facing them. Always make sure you take him out first in any engagement. Keep him tucked to his tower. Basically you're gonna have to bully him specifically through the whole game.


Extreme damage potential
Tears tanks apart
Rips towers out of the ground
Causes sudden fatal malignant cancer in most enemies
Sadisticly unforgiving

Starves the rest of the team
No real use besides killing enemies
Requires a lot of confrontation, which results in a lot of deaths
First one in, usually doesn't come out.
No solid escape ability

So lets get down to business.
You'll want to play this build in a lane. You don't have much damage output to start out with, you aren't built to have any kind of armor early game, you're susceptible to ganks, you're squishy, and you just generally can't wreck anyone's face just yet.

Good people to bring into your lane with you are:
Kayle Her ult helps, her heal helps
Sona Because sona is a godly support
Fiddlesticks fear makes it easy to land a few shots, silence will really cut the enemy's damage output, and his sustain will keep him in the lane effectively whenever you go back.
Blitzcrank can pull enemies into shooting range

Anyone with a good ability to control the enemy's movement and positioning and/or keep Kog'Maw alive is a good bet.

Bad choices for lane partner:
Akali stealths, its part of her dynamic. Same with Shaco, Katarina, and some others. When they do this, guess who gets targeted?
Malzahar is an amazing farmer, he'll starve you. Stay away from Talon, Sion, Singed, and anyone else who is a power farmer for the same reasons.

Your build (and why)

You need the attack speed right off the bat and you need the resistance lowering to help your damage output right out of the gate. It will significatly help your farm ability.

This is where the majority of your damage output comes in. Stack this with your Bio-Arcane Barrage and you've got some serious hurt factor. The defense bonus is nice early game, and you need all the attack speed you can muster. You have to figure that your damage is based on a percentage. Obviously nobody has more than 100% health, so you need to stack that percentage to 100% as fast as you can. The more attacks you can get off, the more effective Madred's Bloodrazor is.

More magic damage, more attack speed, and now you have defense AND resists. It's sort of a no brainer, really.

You need movement speed, obviously. Every character, every build, they all have boots. Without it, you don't escape, you don't chase, you don't really do anything useful at all. Add the attack speed bonus because of the exact same reasons I just listed for madred's.

Movement speed, attack speed, critical chance. Winning. Once you get this, you have some major killing power and can drop most heroes. This is probably your "game changer" item

Now you have some ability power, a little extra attack power, and every time you swing or cast a spell you attack even faster and get even more ability power. Your ability power after a fight should have boosted with all the auto attacking, which will play a key role when they run away and you resort to your now-boosted artillery. This item is here to help you close the deal.


You can switch Guinsoo's Rageblade out for Last Whisper if you find that the only damage making it through is your magic damage, or if you really want to chew on a tank.

If you find yourself against a heavy AD team, with not much worry about AP, switch your Wit's End out for Zeke's Harbinger. It will help you sustain against high damage output because of leech, increases everyone's attack speed, and is a great option for Kog'Maw.

Early Game

Always initiate with Caustic Spittle, because it will help anything else that you throw at them do more damage. The passive attack speed bonus really helps early game, too. Try and last hit as many minions as you can, and have your partner stay off minions for the most part and focus on harassing. This is why Kog'Maw usually doesn't want to lane with another farm necessetating carry. You guys will just end up hurting eachother's late game potential.

Farm is ridiculously important, so start with a Dagger and Caustic Spittle. You need the extra attack speed for farming. Pick up some potions if you really think it's needed, and keep in mind you have two choices with that dagger. If you're doing fine farming, turn it into Berserker's Greaves. If you're really falling behind, rush Malady and get your boots later. Let your lane partner go in ahead of you.

You can easily be shut down and screwed up for the whole rest of the game if you stay out of the lane too long or suffer too many early deaths. Play like a sheet of glass. If it even SEEMS like you should back off, then BACK THE **** OFF.

Your goal here is to wait until they're chasing your lane partner, you dive at them at that moment, pop your Caustic Spittle on them, attack, and get away. Once you get Void Ooze you should be adding that to the mix and probably getting a few more attacks in per round.

If life isn't treating you well, the opposing lane is stomping on you, and you just can't seem to get a hit in edgewise, it's more worth it to you to chill by your tower and get the experience and as many lats hits an you can and be safe than it is to risk aggressive farming and get killed. Yeah, you'll lose out on a bit of gold, but at least you aren't giving THEM heaps of it.

Solo top

Ended up with a jungler? Solo top with Kog'maw is sort of difficult, but it can be pulled off. At this point, you'll want to refer to my middle build for Kog'Maw. Don't play this hypercarry build if you get stuck solo top.

Mid Game

Now that you have some abilities, some gear, probably a tower down, good farm going, and the enemy is in the fetal position, its time to switch up the strategy a little bit. It's time to switch roles...
Early Game

-Relies on abilities
-Runs away a lot
-More useful for CC and poking than for actual champ killing
-very easy to kill/harass
-has ult, but not enough mana to efficiently use often
Mid Game

-More able to engage
-More of a threat
-Easily harasses with Living Artillery
-Easier time farming
-Enemies seem a little more defensive
-fear of incoming ult forces enemies to rethink aggression

The hunted is now the hunter
You should have your Void Ooze now, and its time to start getting your mass kill score. When they come at you, pop your Void Ooze and pop a Living Artillery RIGHT behind them. Hit your W and start raining Bio-Arcane Barrage shots on them. You may not kill them, but you'll hurt them substantially. From that point on, drop Living Artillery. I don't even care if you hit them. If it lands anywhere NEAR them, they become paranoid. Try it, it's hilarious. They'll pretty much play on their side of the river and let you and your lane partner farm up.

At this point, watch the minimap like a hawk. If you see other lanes, or yours, start bleeding into the middle, the laning phase is over. Usually happens when one side or the other loses one or both mid towers and one or both front lane towers, top or bottom. Usually it doesn't get to both before the laning phase is over. Nine times out of ten, its one or two mid, and one of them from the top or bottom.

Surviving ganks
Kog'maw is squishy. Period. There's no way around it unless you cripple his damage potential. So he's prone to ganks, I promise you that if anyone comes to gank your lane, with your range and how easy you are to kill, they're going after you instead if your team mate. It sucks, but it's the truth of the matter.

The INSTANT you see them AT ALL, fire Void Ooze at them. Run towards the nearest tower, if that's completely unreasonable, run into the jungle and circle bushes like a drunk guy at the city park. Confuse the hell out of your opponent until you see them run off to areas unknown, and recall out of there.

MIA means "missing in action" or "may initiate attack", depending on who you ask. It's true meaning in the world is "missing in action" but in the gaming community, "may initiate attack" seems popular. The cool thing is, in League of Legends, it means both.

If you see someone leave your lane that has no business leaving your lane, call them MIA. Just type in "(hero name) MIA" and hit enter. It isn't even hard, and it will save your team mates a lot of grief, and can make or break a game.

Late Game/Teamfight Phase

Mid Game

-More able to engage
-More of a threat
-Easily harasses with Living Artillery
-Easier time farming
-Enemies seem a little more defensive
-fear of incoming ult forces enemies to rethink aggression
Late Game

-Severe damage dealer
-Must usually be ganked by 2+ to be killed
-Cannot be handled one on one unless by a high skill player
-Doesn't particularly care about armor, life stacking, or resists
-Still squishy, unfortunately
-passive does a TON of damage
-death count is rising a bit due to passive utilization

It is VERY difficult to take on a fed Kog'Maw.

However, this doesn't mean you should be rushing head on into teamfights. In fact, doing that will ensure that you die, because while Kog got a whole lot stronger, he never got much harder to kill. The only difference is that now you can kill THEM before they kill YOU.

So what does that suggest? It suggests that you shouldn't be tanking ANYTHING. Wait for your TANK to do all the TANKING. Makes sense, right? Don't get that cocky bone in your body like "oh, I can kill everyone" or you'll quickly feed the enemy and turn the game around, feeling nostalgic about the time when you and your team were friends.

It's interesting... the point in the game where it's critical for a carry to build up their kills and still be conservative about deaths... is always the point in the game when everyone starts strapping on kamikaze bandanas. Even I do it sometimes. Maybe humans as a race are just ******ed that way, I have no idea.

Sit in the back and pick em off. Chase em down if you need to and artillery them. You are not, under any circumstances, the person who should be initiating that team fight.


Your job is to deal damage the whole time to as many targets as possible, get your auto attacks in while things are on cooldown, slow their advance if they start to push your team, lower their resistances for your team mates, and at the end, pick off stragglers. Chase down the guys that ran away, reveal bushes, etc.

One last time... Kog'Maw is not a tank. If tanks were ply wood...
Kog'Maw would be sopping wet, old, dry-rotted balsa wood.

1 versus 1 is a different story. Pop your Void Ooze, hit them with Caustic Spittle, drop a Living Artillery on their head, and auto-attack them until they disintegrate. Drop further Living Artillery shots as needed. Eat faces, Salt to taste.

Other things to remember:

--Kog'Maw's Void Ooze ignores walls. Use it to catch an enemy turning a corner in a jungle
-- Caustic Spittle and Malady amp the damage of turret hits. If you see an enemy tower dive you, drop their resists and slow them with Void Ooze. For this reason, it's never a good idea to tower dive Kog'Maw.
--Your Void Ooze has insane range. You'd be surprised. Learn it's range well.
--Your artillery is just as good of a psychological tool as it is as an attack. Make enemies leave the bushes, abandon their tower, etc. No one said you had to hit anything.

I did a straight offensive mastery tree because we're trying to do as much damage as humanly possible, so there's not much to explain here.
space Runes
I chose mass attack speed runes because you want to get that 100% off of madred's as soon as you can.

Summoner spells
Ignite and Exhaust are always a good bet for hypercarries. Slow them down, do more damage, reduce healing effects, lower armor and resists... yeah. That works.

Guide Top

Back-Line DPS/Tank Killer - Build 2

Ahhhh THAT'S more like it!
This section currently under construction!

Here it is. This is how I personally play Kog'Maw. This is a fine tuned build, very strange to most people, and incredibly unorthodox. It plays Kog'Maw very passively and most people can't understand why anyone would want to do that.

Lately, I won't lie, I've been playing him with the above hypercarry build, just to become more versatile, but if it ever comes down to it, this is my go-to Kog'maw guide/build right here. This section. I feel that this build and style compliment his playing dynamic the most, and does the most to benefit your team dynamic and ultimately gain you wins.

It's not the most fun way to play Kog, but dammit, it's effective.

Solo top if absoluetly required


Extreme damage potential
Tears tanks apart
Rips towers out of the ground
Assists any melee champion near you
Lowers armor and resists substantially
Totally jacks up enemy dynamic
Your team will love you

Gets way more assists than kills
Susceptible to ganks
Must have a good grasp on lane control to be effective
Gets blamed for kill steals a lot
Gets underestimated a lot*
Relies on champion kills for gold in the lane phase

*Your team will yell at you to get out of situations that you can probably actually handle pretty well.

What in god's name would make you build Kog'Maw this way?

Yeah, it's strange. It's unorthodox. It doesn't make sense to nearly anyone, because most people play solo queue and want to glory game Kog'Maw.

I literally can't stress enough how much potential you're WASTING by playing him as a hypercarry or AP carry. Kog has so much to bring to a team dynamic, and most people never even touch it. They play him in a lane, they go for as many kills as they can, they farm the **** out of the lane they're in, starving their lane partner, and they glory game all the way to the end. You'll get wins this way, but the instant anyone brings a gap closing champ like Katarina into a lane with you, and you have no way to interrupt her ult, you're done. Shut down. It happens that quick. Kog'Maw's range is his only REAL advantage over anyone else, and yet as a hypercarry, his range is barely used at all, and 90% of the time you're in WAY too close.

I just... can't get behind the idea of Kog'Maw as a hypercarry. I feel like I'm gypping my team.

Which brings us to our first argument...

cuastic spittle Versus Void Ooze

Caustic Spittle


-Lowers resists
-High damage
-Passive attack speed bonus

-Doesn't out-damage Void Ooze by much
-Resistance lowering can be provided by Malady
- Malady provides more attack speed
-Short range
Void Ooze


-Great range
-Good AOE-ish slow
-Skillshot: doesn't require a target
-Bush scouting
-Keeps enemy from running

-No passive
-No resistance lowering
-Sort of mana-expensive
-Not-so-wonderful cooldown

Why oh why would any Kog'Maw EVER get caustic spittle before void ooze? I can't understand it. Early game, you should be worrying about controlling your enemy an farming, not giving yourself all this extra damage output which is gonna make you cocky, which is going to encourage you to engage, which is dumb, because early Kog is squishy Kog.

This is where I argue with other Kog players the most. Everyone and their mother says to get Caustic Spittle first, work points into caustic and bio-arcane, and max void ooze once it forces you to put points into it. Makes ZERO sense to me.

Let me explain a few things...

--Your first full item is Malady. What does malady do? Increased attack speed and lowering of magic resists. That's the most solid argument I've got against getting caustic first. You just did everything that caustic does in ONE item, and you now have a heavy damage dealing slow on top of it with Void Ooze. Best of both the worlds.

--You are meant to be ranged as hell. WHY would you FIRST put points into the ONLY skill that you have that requires you to get in closer to the enemy?

--There are MUCH better carries in the game than Kog'Maw. WHY would you steal kills from characters that can do your job BETTER than you? Caustic Spittle promotes an aggressive play style that will only hurt your team in the end.

--Enemies keep track of the damage you're doing. They know what you're capable of, or at least they should if they're any good. Keeping caustic out of your arsenal until late game mind-****s the enemy. They think you're all about doing a specific level of damage, and then suddenly, late game, you hit them with a hard resistance drop, damage, and your attack speed is higher than they remember it. FREE KILLS until they figure out what the hell happened. They WILL underestimate you late game.

Ya gotta trust me on this, guys.

Your build
and why

Increased attack speed, lowers resistancs, really reasonable price, extra magic damage... it really helps you early game. It helps your void ooze and bio-arcane do more damage.

You're REALLY focusing on chasing down the tank or any stragglers after a team fight. You NEED to be able to move, pedal to the metal style. Chasing is a huge part of this build's dynamic, and a huge part of your job when building this way.

The majority of your damage. A little defense boost and attack speed boost as well. Plus, the Madred's Razors early game will help your farm and make creep kills a little easier.

Now you have a little bit of resists on top of your defense, very nice magic damage output, and a good stackable passive. Combined with Malady and Madred's Bloodrazor, you're throwing a good amount of physical damage and a good amount of magic damage. Your damage is VERY hard to mitigate and there's a LOT of it.

Cooldown reduction, damage, armor penetration, and a great active for taking out a tank. I usually move youmuu's to my #1 slot so I can hit that active whenever possible.

Now everyone around you has increased attack speed, life steal, health regen, and every enemy has their armor lowered. You can now stand off against just about anyone if they choose to engage you, and significantly help your team fights when people AREN'T targeting you.

All together...

The armor pen stack from youmuu's and stark's with the addition of the resist lowering from malady and caustic, mixed with the damage from your core items and bio-arcane makes for a lifebar chewing that most people won't soon forget, and with the leech, armor, and resists- you're sustainable, too. Youmuu's active and boots of swiftness makes sure nobody gets away, and you're a critical buff to team fights. Everything synergizes with your dynamic, everything works well with everything else in your build

THAT is why I build Kog this way.


Level 1-5

There is a key to playing Kog'Maw in the middle, and that is to fool the enemy into thinking you're absolute garbage until about level 3, maybe even 4.

Why on earth would you want to do this? Easy. You need the enemy to be playing aggressively. You need them cocky and making mistakes. Kog's best offense is an enemy who decided to charge in and get slowed, while he pummels them as they ineffectively try and run away. There are two scenarios which happen early game in the lane.

Enemy stays behind minions

-Hit them with void ooze at max range-
Everyone underestimates the range on that skill.
-Keep them off their farm-
Play to your maximum range.
-Let your mana get low-
pop clarity once they get aggressive.
Enemy is aggressive

-Hit them with void ooze mid range-
running at you OR from you, they're slowed.
-Pop Bio-Arcane Barrage-
Run a bit, attack, run a bit, attack
-Capitalize on retreats-
Attack them as they flee, ooze if it's off of cooldown.

If the enemy just won't get aggressive

-Tank a few hits-
Make them think you're playing stupid
-Back off-
Make them think you're cautious,
slow and attack if they get in range.
-Call for ganks-
A jungler coming in behind and enemy
will force them to you every time.
Or at least throw them off.

Minion Balancing Act

Another key part of Kog playing mid is to balance the lane. ONLY last hit minions, do not aggressively attack them or farm them. You'll rely on killing the middle champion for your money, not minions. At least not early game. If you want that to be possible, the lane has to be almost constantly in your favor.

The math behind minions is that just enough of them spawn so that they meet exactly in the middle of a lane, they kill eachother off just in time for the next wave to meet directly in the middle of the lane. To pro farm the middle, you need to kill 1 for 1 with the enemy mid. If they kill a minion, you kill a minion. Otherwise, you leave them alone. This will keep the fight in the middle of the lane, which gives you plenty of room to escape if you need to, minimizes ganks, and the enemy will see you farming slow and attempt to capitalize on a perceived cautiousness.

It really screws with an enemy player's ego when you don't engage them directly. Trust me. Give it a try, they'll stupidly charge into you over and over and over again.

Surviving ganks
Kog'maw is squishy. Period. There's no way around it unless you cripple his damage potential. So he's prone to ganks. It sucks, but it's the truth of the matter.

The INSTANT you see them AT ALL, fire Void Ooze at them. Run towards the nearest tower, if that's completely unreasonable, run into the jungle and circle bushes like a drunk guy at the city park. Confuse the hell out of your opponent until you see them run off to areas unknown, and recall out of there. You can't really tank a gank until about level 8. In which case, slow one of them, preferably the more threatening one, and go after the squishy. Get some damage off and run away before the slow wears off. Run towards your team. Bring a weakened pair of enemies into a 2 person lane and it's now 3 versus 1 and a half.

Ventrilo helps substantially for orchestrating this kind of thing.-

Established Laning Phase

Level 6-10

The lanes are established, the enemy has had time to figure out your style, you kind of have an idea how the lanes are going to go, (i.e. "Looks like bottom lane is getting wrecked, but top lane is pushing pretty good.") and Kog has the potential to really chew on an opponent that gets too close. On top of that, he can harass enemies off of their farm with little to no effort with Living Artillery, but try and keep 6 seconds between every cast to minimize mana consumption. You just don't have the mana sustain this early in the game to fire it off every time it's off of cooldown. Make sure you make your artillery shots sporadic. If you're waiting for cooldown, or even waiting exactly 6 seconds every time, the enemy is going to start anticipating it.

This phase of the game is very important. This is where you start absolutely jacking up the enemy mid's farm potential and getting your kills, and eventually breaking the first tower. If you don't have the first tower down by 11 minutes, you've done something wrong.

Your main goal is to keep the enemy pinned to their tower and start farming minions hard as hell. Ward up the bushes with the wards you grabbed early, and watch like a hawk for ganks. Push the **** out of that lane and make sure the enemy is dancing. Artillery, ooze, whatever you've got to fire at them, do it. This is where Clarity becomes less of a juke and more of an extension to keep your aggression going.

Rip that tower out of the ground.

Once it's down, push the minions all the way to the next tower. It's gonna take a while for the enemy mid to push it back to your tower, use this opportunity to go to THEIR red buff, grab it, and gank top. THEN come back to mid. Screw up the enemy mid some more, and break that second tower. Call another lane for help if you have to, the center towers are much more important to remove than the side towers.

Once the second tower is down, you need to be watching for the other lanes to bleed into the middle. As SOON as that second tower drops, retreat to your tower or go help another lane if it's failing. Do not stick around, do not go for the inner tower, do not be an idiot and hang around for the gank that is 100% guaranteed to come your way.

Unless you're looking to show everyone how hard you can punch the enemy's boots with your ***. Then uh... you have fun with that.

Mid game/Laning phase is over

Level 10-14

So the enemies have started bleeding out of lanes. The laning phase isn't entirely over, people are still straying off to farm lanes or try and split push here and there, but for the most part, the action is in the middle lane. Your tank, at the very least, has abandoned his lane and is now trying to do his tank thing middle lane like he's supposed to.

At this point, your role officially switches.
Get in the back, bud.

You are no longer in charge of being a killing machine. You are not a carry. You are in charge of getting as many assists as you can and power-feeding your ACTUAL carries. You're in charge of stragglers after team fights, securing dragon kills, warding enemy buffs, warding baron, screwing up enemy ganks, securing buffs for your team mates, popping Clarity for your casters, keeping minions off the side towers, and slowing down middle lane plows with Void Ooze. However, most importantly, you are the designated tank killer.

You should never be close enough to a team fight to initiate it, you should always be straggling in from wherever you were, be it dragon, an enemy buff, a side lane farm, or wherever. When a team fight starts, you shouldn't be in the lane. You're supposed to be all over the place crippling the enemy's dynamic and meta game. You're supposed to make sure they don't get anything that could help them if a team fight were to break out.

You need to ward the piss out of everything that looks like an enemy has stepped there in the past year. Stragglers are your income, and it keeps them out of team fights. You're watching for anyone to roam off alone, so a LOT of wards in the enemy territory is absolutely REQUIRED for you.

If you see them go for baron, hide above him and artillery the last hit, and then hustle out of there. If you see someone go to farm the minions off of a side tower, destroy them. NEVER take one more than one enemy at a time, and if you can manage it, try to let someone else get the actual kills. Obviously, if someone is out of their lane and you catch them, and your team is busy doing something else, you don't want to let that player walk away. But if anyone is nearby, try and force the enemy to them, and let them pick up the kill.

Your job is to be a complete pain in the ***.

Once a team fight breaks out, drop artillery, throw ooze, pop cuastic, pop bio-arcane, and target the tankiest guy they have. Grind him up, he's your priority. Do not use your artillery on the tank, he's only going to take any REAL damage from your auto attacks after caustic. Use your artillery on squishies WHILE you're fighting the tank.

You should never be close enough to get focused, and you should be very quick to retreat.

If the enemy team is calling you a *****, calling you a noob, or anything else, you're doing your job. Your team will love you, the enemy will be crying.

Final Phase

Level 14-18 and on

There is no more side lane farming, everything is in the middle. They push you, you push back, they push you, you push back. The game has come down to the final minutes. Your assist score should be much higher than your kill score, and you should have little, if any, deaths.
Enemy has lost teamfight phase
Your team is pushing

-Drop stragglers coming in from anywhere-
Keep any surprise attacks off your team
-Harrass the freshly revived-
Keep them from getting back into the fight
-Slow plowers-
Make them rethink their advance
-Amp damage on squishies-
Use caustic on squishies rather than the tank.
Get them out of the equation. Your team
Should be high enough now to handle the tank.

Enemy has won teamfight phase
Enemy is pushing

-Fire for effect-
Rain artillery, even if you arent hitting-
it will keep them at bay.
-ooze across the lane-
Rather than down it. Catch as many as you can.
-Keep clarity running-
You need your casters throwing pain.
-Amp damage on the highest threat-
Don't worry about the tank right now
-Gain vantage points-
If it's clear, artillery from the jungle
They'll have a lot harder time finding you.

Either way, the object is going to be to ace them, grab baron, and end the game.