Build Guide by VIPx
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Not Updated For Current Season
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Lore When the prophet Malzahar was reborn in Icathia, he was led there by an ominous voice which thereafter anchored itself to his psyche. From within, this voice bestowed upon him terrible purpose, and though Malzahar was no longer tormented by its call, the voice did not cease its unrelenting summons. This baleful beacon's gentle flicker -- now fastened to Runeterra -- drew forth a putrid beast that ambled across a threshold it did not understand, widening a fissure between the spaces which were never meant to meet. There amongst the haunting ruins of Icathia, Kog'Maw manifested in Valoran with unsettling curiosity. The spark which led him to Runeterra teased him still, urging him gently towards Malzahar. It also encouraged him to familiarize himself with his new environment, to the stark horror of everything he encountered on his journey.
The enchanting colors and aromas of Runeterra intoxicated Kog'Maw, and he explored the fruits of the strange world the only way he knew how: by devouring them. At first he sampled only the wild flora and fauna he happened across. As he traversed the parched Tempest Flats, however, he came upon a tribe of nomads. Seemingly unhampered by conventional rules of physics, Kog'Maw consumed every nomad and any obstacles they put in his way, amounting to many times his own mass and volume. The most composed of his victims may have had time to wonder if this was due to the caustic enzymes which stung the ground as they dripped from his gaping mouth, although such musings were abruptly concluded. When his wake of catastrophe reached the Institute of War, and enthusiastic Malzahar greeted him with an enticing prospect: taste the best Runeterra could offer...on the Fields of Justice.
'If that's just hungry, I don't want to see angry.' --Tryndamere, the Barbarian King
Kog is a ranged DPS and a late game carry. He is best played solo mid in order maximize his ability to farm up and get that Madred's as soon as possible so that your team is ready for team fights.
Play conservatively and try and be aware of when there are other MIAs or if the other team has a jungler make sure your team (and you) are warding Dragon and Baron. It's important that you get lots of last hits on minions while not pushing the lane too hard early and overextending yourself. You want to keep ahead of their mid carry and this usually means NOT GETTING KILLED EARLY.
Mid game you might need to roam to top and bottom lanes and help as needed (pushing, ganks, defending etc.). Try and keep red buff (and blue if nobody needs it) as often as you can. You should have your Madreds and be working towards a Void Staff. This sets you up for the late game.
Once the team fights start and you have a significant portion of your build complete you're going to be doing MASSIVE damage. In team fights your placement is key. Try to avoid getting focused early, pop your W (Bio-Arcane Barrage) and auto-attack away. Use Q sparingly. It's great to initiate with it on someone who is stacking armor, or to finish someone off if they are close range. This shouldn't happen often. You're usually using your R to artillery them as they try and escape. With BAB, Madred's you'll be doing 11% magic damage per shot with 40% magic penetration from the Void Staff. I find the Void staff increases Kog's damage output considerably.
Greater Mark of Insight x 9
The more Magic Penetration for BAB the better.
Greater Glyph of Insight x9
Same as above.
Greater Quintessence of Fortitude x 3
The extra health is great early and lets you stay in the lane a little longer. Survivability is a good thing.
Greater Seal of Alacrity x 9
Attack Speed is great on Kog and makes sure he's slamming more auto attacks into peoples faces during team fights.
If you know in advance you're up against a lot of squishies or your team has too much Magic Damage and you're going with the alternate build (listed below), some changes in runes are recommended.
Instead of the Greater Mark of Insight go with Greater Mark of DesolationGreater Mark of Desolation for more Armor Penetration.
If you find mana to be an issue, switch some or all of the Greater Seal of Alacrity for Greater Seal of Clarity size.
I like the standard 21/0/9. I put a point in Ghost because Kog'Maw needs to be able to escape. I also choose to put one point in Utility Mastery because you'll be using those red buffs and the 15% time increase is great. Also I pick Perseverance over Good Hands because they are both pretty weak but I like to think I won't die much. You can swap those around if you like.
In the Offense tree a lot of people will max Alacrity and only put one point in Brute Force. Either way is fine in my eyes.
You'll start with the Doran's Blade for survivability and a bit of added early damage. The current patch allows you to afford a health potion too but the next patch will change this. The first time you head back to base buy your base 1 boots and another Doran's Blade. If you're worried about ganks get a ward or two and a few health pots.
The next time you return you should rush Madreds Bloodrazors starting with the bow. Simply follow the order of the build above.
Occasionally if my team has a lot of casters and is already doing a lot of magic damage I'll end up using this build instead:
CRIT/AS: and eventually upgrade to
If the enemy team isn't focusing me often with spells, has little AoE or aren't trying to stun lock me I may take:
Guardian Angel, an Infinity Edge or Madred's Bloodrazor (whichever I don't have already) instead of the Banshee's Veil. It's important to realize that the item build on Kog is a bit flexible and that a lot of items work on AD Kog. ADAPT TO EACH GAME SPECIFICALLY!
Don't forget the occasional Ward and Elixir! The elixirs are very important once you're fully built in order to give you an edge.
This build is built around Kog using Bio-Arcane Barrage as his main fighting tool and therefore it is maxed first. Caustic spittle is second mainly for it's passive attack speed increase. One point in Void Ooze early is enough to make use of the slow. Late game when you have your Void Staff and are level 18 Void Ooze is critical. Hitting it on a fleeing enemy, using it to get away and even using it to farm minion waves is important.
Your ult is great. It has a low cooldown but try not to use it if you have more than 2 counters on it as the Mana cost is not worth it at that point... unless you're going to kill that runner. The ult is great for catching runners, and also checking bushes or Baron/Dragon as it grants sight. Don't forget about this!
When you know you're going to die try and make the best use of your passive. If you can kill someone, try and run at them. If they have squishies in the back try hitting them. If they focused you first try and inflict as much damage as possible by putting yourself in a position to hit multiple enemies. Don't forget to use the passive when you die! I sometimes catch myself sleeping and forget that I can take someone out after I'm dead.
I almost ALWAYS go with:
I use these because Kog'Maw is very squishy and doesn't have a natural escape ability. I believe this is the way to go, but if you're worried about CC (Crowd Control) you can choose one of the above and .
I honestly don't even consider any other Summoner Spells on Kog'Maw.
Thanks for reading my guide. I've had a fair bit of success with this build. I find Kag'Maw to be one of the best late game AD carries. He is somewhat team dependent. If you're lucky enough to have a good tank and a good support you will melt many a face with your percent based magic damage and plenty of magic penetration.
Please leave feedback and constructive criticism! I appreciate both and am open to new ideas and opinions.