Kog'Maw Build Guide by AP WormMaW Mid
[S11] WormMaW's Guide for AP Kogmaw
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+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+8 Magic Resist
Threats & Synergies
In here, you need to trade her only if she uses her Q. Don't try to brainlessly walk to her, because she will just punish you with her combo. Post-6 be careful about her all-in. Though if you will have negatron and keep your distance, it shouldn't be problem and once when you get your Liandry, you should be good to go in order to win trades against her (or even deny her entire all-in). It's important to mention, that when you go for harass, try to wait until she uses her Q, because then it's harder for her to juke your spells. Otherwise she can just always use Q for speed up, avoiding your spells and clearing minions with ease.
If you can avoid this matchup, do it. In here, don't even try to go for autoattacks, or you are going to get his combo with bleed, which might get you killed even at level 2. Ward around lane and try to always have some sort of information where exactly did this guy go - whether he is roaming or just waiting behind the wall to make his parkour combo. In lategame you should go for Zhonya in order to survive his burst in teamfights, because you are mostly going to be his target, but during early and midgame it should be enough to just make Seeker's armguard. Though, if you play it right and he doesn't get incredible ahead, then it's playable, but we all know what is he cappable off, so even if you don't give him any kills yourself, he will find some kills anywhere else, which will just make your life in lane harder.
Our beloved Akali, champion that is one of the hardest ones to play in a game in terms of mechanics, considering her quite low damage output. (#SarcasmEnd) Well, pre-6 you can do whatever you want to her, just be careful about her dash, that she has with her invisibility. Don't try to harass her in expense of lane minions, always prefer that farm rather than harass - expecially if she has Doran's shield. After she has level 6, don't ever try to come closer to her and farm only through your E and R. Any attempt to go on her face will mostly end in your death, even if you would rush Negatron (which you should do anyways, but it's not guaranteed, that it will always save you). So scale up, get your AP and try to oneshot her later on in teamfights. Otherwise you are doomed.
Here the main problem is, that whenever you try to face-to-face fight him during early or mid game, he will block some part of your damage with his shield, which makes him hard to kill. In addition he can pull off a lot of damage on you in order to harass you. Another thing is, that he can roam early, which might snowball their entire team, but if he doesn't, you will simply outscale and once when you get your Lich Bane, he will have problems even in face-to-face fight, because your damage output will mostly be way better.
Zed is a bit like Katarina - if you play it right, you are good against him, but if you do even the one mistake and he uses it against you, then you are going to pay really high price. For this guy, just try to harass him pre-6, which you should be able to, but be aware of his W,E,Q combo, because now more than before it hurts when he procs his Electrocute. After 6 you need to show a lot of respect and try to farm from distance (or possibly poke if you can). It's really important to get at least Seeker's armguard here, to not get oneshotted whenever he ults you, since it should provide you enough armor to live through his burst combo, if you are at least a bit careful. Just ward around mid and don't try to follow his roams too much unless you have perfect vision, otherwise he might set-up for trap and punish you for that. Lategame you will simply abuse your range against him, but till you get there it's going to be hard, unless he gets behind by not getting any kills off roams or lane.
This guy is definition of counterpick (if he knows what he is doing). Main problem is that he is hard to poke, due to his E. Another thing is that, if you try to autoattack minions, he can jump through them and harass you a bit and then just jump back, which will make laning against him annoying. Another thing is, that when he uses his wind wall, he can deny your farm, expecially if you try to last hit under your tower. Its really tricky even in lategame, when your team tries to go all-in against him, because if he uses right wind wall, you basically are unable to deal damage properly for several seconds, where in meantime your entire frontline might melt. On the other hand if he gets behind, he is not too hard to deal with, but it's always going to be frustrating.
This big blue bird might be really annoying early on if you let her hit some stuns, which she will use to hit E off that. That alone, can take away even around 60% of your health level 2. Dont give her these combos for free. First try to bait out her Q, then you can go all in against her if you have decent vision around yourself to see whether jungler is coming or not. Post 6 it turns into farming lane until you most likely reach level 11 to be able to poke her down with your ults, or unless you are so ahead that you can all-in whenever she returns back in lane. Dont remember, that she can use her wall to block you in awkward position, so even if you are ahead, never underestimate her damage output and ability to lock you down.
This guy can be really painful even early on with his Q spam. In case that he has Doran shield, just ignore him and don't even bother harassing him. In case that he has anything else, then use your E for slow and go all-in with W pre-6. If you go for short trades, just keep in mind, that first you need to wait for his shield from Q to fall, otherwise you will be losing trades and he will block a lot of your damage. Post-6 he will try to abuse you, though with your ult up if he jumps on you, just don't get scared. At first you need to E him and start spamming autoattacks and Rs until he has another ult back. With that, you should be able to deliver enough damage to scare him off these actions or sometimes he might even end up getting killed. What is problem though, that he might roam a lot and get advantage somewhere else, which might end up being problem when dealing with him from mid to lategame!
Good old Katarina, I guess anyone who plays mages knows how annoying her jumps can be, together with her damage output. I rated her as really high, even though really precise gameplay, can make this matchup quite easy. It means, that this lane might go really well or really badly. If you position yourself right and farm, she shouldn't be able to kill you and if you wait for right moment, you can even get kill 1v1 against her, but as I said, you just have to play perfectly. What is problem though, is her roaming potential. If she gets kills from other lanes, you mostly can't simply follow, unless you have really well warded jungle and you know where you are going, but mostly it's not worth it. So it's a bit of risk, but in lategame again, if you position yourself right, you might get win condition on your side again after you hit level 16, because she will have problem dealing with your poke and even get on you if you stand far away. If you get your Lich Bane, you can even oneshot her in a single combo, unless she uses Zhonya. To wrap it up - matchup is hard, but playable as any other and here it's really important to play it right - then it will become way easier than it seems to be.
Lissandra is really easy due to her low range. If you build up MR, you deny her oneshot potential on you and the only thing you should care about is her jungler. If he is not around, you should be able to do anything you want with her, denying her quite badly if you play the matchup right. The only reason when you will have problem is, that her jungler will focus your lane, because ganks there are quite simple with Lissandra's CC, but in that case just stand behind and farm safely, which will waste jungler's time around midlane and give other lanes opportunity to get winning condition on their lanes.
Velkoz is possibly hardest matchup, that you might have against any mage-type champion. Main reason is, that his damage output with full combo is insane and even if you build MR, it will not save you against his true damage. Last biggest thing is, that you don't have any interrupt for his ult, so if he manages to land combo, you are most likely dead. In this case just farm up and try to not get killed. You can poke a bit from behind, but don't get into his E range if possible. When you hit level 16, you should be able to win game through pure poke, because your range is just incredibly high compared to his, but mostly it's not easy to get there.
Vladimir is headache for many midlaners. Main reason is that he has no mana pool and his health sustain is quite good even in early levels. That will most likely cause, that you will run out of mana in lane, before you will have chance to kill him. That is why he was picked quite often in midlane expecially during later phases of last season. As AP Kogmaw though, you have really good kill potential on him, if you use your W in trades. Again rush some MR (Negatron) and abuse your range. When you get your magic penetration (boots and haunting guise), then you should be able to even win face-to-face trades against him, due to high % damage of your W, which will shred his high health pool.
We all know this guy and what is he cappable of from big distance. This is why you will pretty much lose all trades pre-6, where it's best to just farm up. At level 6, when he starts channeling Q, you can try to hit him with E,Q,R combo because it's really hard for him to avoid it when he is slowed down due to his Q channel. At level 11 it will be a bit easier to trade him from distance, but still not 100% great because your ranges will be similar. Where you actually start outperforming him is level 16, where your range becomes higher than his, so whenever he is channeling Q, you have free R hits on him, which will force him away from whatever objective that he is currently trying to defend. So chill out here and don't get behind, you will be stronger later on!
Veigar might be deadly if he gets ahead, but his early game is really weak. Main thing that you should care about is his E, when his jungler is around, except for that it's not problem to eat it, expecially when you have your negatron, which you should have really early. Main reason why you counter him is, that you basically outrange him quite badly and after you get MR (and unless hes not incredibly fed), you can even get to close fights with him, in order to utilize W damage.
Lux might be annoying early levels with her harass, but once you hit your level 6 and you get your negatron against her, which will deny her oneshot potential, you should be able to win range trades and eventually kill her even in 1v1 situation.
This little guy is one of your hardest opponents. You can harass him (and you should!) early levels, but don't let him get his Q off on you, because then he has possibility to do huge combo on you, which might just kill you even during early levels, expecially if he has ignite and he knows what to do. You really need Negatron here, as usual and after level 6, just farm from distance and harass him only with your E and R (or possibly Q, but when he is between minions, its usually impossible to hit). In lategame it's a lot about position and information, where is he currently. If you let him flank you, you will mostly just flop, so when you decide to siege, always ask for wards on side and stand more behind unless you know, where exactly is he in every moment.
Pre-6 be careful her about her stuns. If she doesn't have it, it's no problem to go and harass her with your W autoattacks. Post-6 the only threat is her flash R combo with full burst and ignite, even though again, if you build negatron and stand behind, while harassing her from range, there is not much she can do against you.
Azir after rework is a bit easier during laning phase, because his soldiers range was reduced, so you might have easier time to farm, but his overall strength is higher, which means that you shouldn't mess with him in face-to-face trade. Just farm up and poke from distance, if you feel confident, that you are ahead enough and your health level is currently way higher than his, you can try to all in, but be cautious, it can easily backfire and you will just throw your advantage straight to his hands.
In terms of Aurelion, main problem is, that you are gonna get shoved hard expecially early levels. He can simply push lane and roam, which will provide quite big map pressure and your teammates might complain about it. If you go to face to face trade, it's not guaranteed, that you will get away alive, because if he jukes your ults and gets stun off, it might be really hard to win against him. What you need to do here is to just farm and outscale him, or possibly wait for jungle ganks. It shouldn't be problem to trade him a bit early though, if you keep your E to get away from him.
In this matchup it depends how good this Cassio player is. If he is just mediocore and he can't juke your skillshots, then you should win with ease. But against better players, that will walk around you while spamming all spells on you, it might be hard to do anything and early it's just better farm up. It's good though that if you hit your E, you can kite her over it, which should give you enough space to hit few ults off that and win trade. In lategame you should always make sure, that she is poked down, before you try to all-in her, because if you miss your combo on her while going face-to-face, you will just end up getting killed, so even if this snake is behind, never underestimate her damage potential.
Even though Diana has pretty strong assasination potential, pre-6 you can freely harass her and abuse the fact that she is melee. After 6 its a bit harder, but if you keep your distance from her and harass her, it's not too hard to deal with her. Just don't try to be a hero and buy that MR against her.
In here, it's not too hard to lane against him, though it is just crucial to avoid him being able to jump on you, so keep on distance. Another thing you should be careful about is his AoE stun - you need to expect that sometimes when new minion wave arrives, he might try to stand behind wall, trying to engage on you with his stun. Last thing is his ult - he might go all in, then he has nothing anymore and you survive, so you start going aggro on him with W - don't forget that he can still turn on you with his ult!! Though generally it's not that hard lane if you are paying attention on what he is doing and what is he cappable of.
For Karthus, it's really important to not get harassed too much in early. A lot of Karthus players are trying to go on your face and spam their Q on you in order to drop you down. If it happens, it's quite good to get some jungle ganks if possible, otherwise this lane might turn into nightmare. On the other hand, once when you hit level 6, you can mostly use your combo on him and kite him in your E because once again, he has to walk up to you if he wants to do something. In that moment, you are the one who dictates the rules of trading. For lategame it's quite good to have Banshee against him or Zhonya to avoid his ults, otherwise you might have a lot of problems to survive in teamfights, since your ult can chunk you down really badly with high amounts of AP.
Leblanc is big problem for a lot of midlaners, due to her high mobility and harass/assasination potential. Though, if you build Negatron here after Dark Seal, you should be able to win even face to face trades, because once when she jumps on you, she has to stay at least for few seconds to deal her damage, leaving her wide open to your full-burst combo, which will mostly deal more damage than her. Except for that she has hard time to deal with poke, if she doesn't all-in you.
Quite easy matchup, if you waveclear his spawned minions, even though it's mostly farm lane, because once when he has all of his abilities, he will most likely push waves really fast and going close range against him isn't best, since he can use entire combo to neutralize you. Though you can poke him from range and try to deny some of his farm, while he shouldn't be really able to touch you, unless he uses his flash R during gank.
Orianna can be really painful to deal with expecially in early. Check out her summoners and if she has ignite, be cautious. You need to expect that she will most likely outharass you early on, but you should always return a favor at least a bit. Try to call for jungle gank, because most of Oriannas don't really look around them while playing aggressive. If you can't get any, just don't get killed pre-6, because after that, you can just waveclear with your E, R combo. Later on it's mostly about not getting caught in her ult, because again, she is not that strong if you take her down from the distance.
It might be quite surprising, but Syndra actually is not that hard opponent to deal with. Be careful if she is too aggressive early and try to make short trades against her if she misses her abilities or if she uses them for farming purpose, but respect her. Once when you get your negatron, she shouldn't be able to oneshot you with single stun and R combo, which will allow you to farm up your early magic penetration. Once when you have it, you should be able to win any kind of long-distance trades versus her and once when you hit level 16, you will be able to kill her before she even manages to reach you.
Talyah will have upper hand expecially early, because she can clear waves way too fast. That will force you to farm under the tower and overall you will have to stay back, because if she hits her combo without you having any MR, you can flop really fast. Though again once when you scale up a bit, she will have problem dealing with your high range abilities.
Twisted fate is usually pretty easy to deal with, unless you are facing exceptional player. Why I rate him like this is, that if you face good player, he will be able to juke most of your skillshots and even set-up situations for kills with his yellow card or even ult. Another coinflip here is, that if he roams and gets some kills on other lanes, you might be in a huge problems, because he basically snowballs their entire team. Except for that he is quite abusable in lane, if you just wait out his card pick and harass him as much as you want, when he doesn't have it, because if he gets yellow card while his jungler is around, you might be in a huge problem. That might as well tell you whether or not his jungler is nearby, because most of TFs are using either way red card for push or blue card for mana sustain, but really rarely they want to pick yellow card in order to harass you, because you should be able to simply outrun that.
Good old Viktor - this guy can be painful for a lot of people, expecially for his ability to kite around his slow and as well because of his high damage output. When he has his augment, he can clear entire wave simply by using a single ability. Though to kill you, he needs to get on your face, which is when you need to abuse the fact, that you can kite him in your E and harass him from distance, because that is where he is a bit weaker.
In this matchup it's crucial to understand how Ziggs Q works. It has bigger explosion radius, than "trigger" radius. That means that if he blows it up on minion, you might get damaged, which is how Ziggs mostly tries to harass you, but if you stand isolated from your minions, it should be fairly easy to avoid his Qs, because it literally has to jump on your face, to make it blow. Don't be too greedy and don't go into face to face all in trade, because thats where he can kite you over his mine field and finnish you off with his ult. Abuse the fact, that your skillshots are a bit more reliable than his ones.
+10% Attack Speed
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
My main account profiles can be found here: EUNE, EUW
This guide should (hopefully) tell you strengths and weaknesses of AP Kogmaw and how to (or not to) build him. Since I have noticed that many people misunderstood main point on how to exactly approach with itemization.
Generally speaking, my ADC build was created by using common sense + what I usually used to build when I was playing ADC Kog'Maw + what I have been seeing by players, considering their performance.
Obviously, this is not the one and whoever will try to tell you, that there is one and only build, that will fit every situation, then he lies. Basically you have to always consider your teamcomp + enemy teamcomp, because you can always decide to give up Sorcery offtree and go for Resolve offtree instead. Same goes for Coup de Grace vs Cut Down, which you should choose depending on how tanky enemy teamcomp is. Another example is, that you don't have to run on-hit Kog'Maw and you can go for ordinary crit-adc build, which I have seen as well and it was working (not sure about it's performance in comparison though).
To sum it up - I tried to give here some relatively versatile and reliable ADC build, that should somehow generally work quite well in most cases, but obviously if you want to always get the best out of every situation, you will always have to make some changes to it.
But after all, as I said - this is mainly AP Kog'Maw guide, so let's stick to that!
+ High range artillery
+ Good waveclear
+ Tank shredding potential
+ Decent burst
+ Fun to play!!
- No escape
- Needs to scale up (at least till level 11)
- Questionable lategame (mostly difficult for positioning)
I guess most of those points are not really questionable, except the one, where I mention, that lategame might be tricky as AP Kogmaw. Kogmaw is well known as lategame beast, but as AP Kogmaw it is a bit different, you are still lategame beast with huge damage potential, but if you don't have proper peel, you are forced to just stand behind and spam R, that is not really too efficient against tanks, expecially when they are full - or when you are facing some healing support. That forces you to go closer and use rest of your kit - even autoattacks, which opens windows for your opponents to catch you off guard.
Another problem is, that you are having hard time to deal with two things - engage and excessive sustain. Both of these things are hard to handle. If we consider engage, you can always imagine, that if there are champions that dive on you, it's hard to deal with it, even though if you keep decent vision on sides and you won't let enemy team to flank you, it's mostly quite fine.
Compared to that, healing is bigger problem, because champions like Soraka or Nidalee pretty much negates your poke, which is forcing your team to go into straight fight, where you are forced to play it right and do required damage.
Generally, I have to admit, that AP Kog'Maw is not as strong as he used to be in the past for higher elo, but in lower one, where people don't know how to close up games, he is really strong and easy to climb with, if you can play him right.
These three runes are probably only viable keystones for AP Kogmaw - at least currently for my playstyle. I heard that there might be some other possible builds, but for me it didn't seem too great, since I always played AP Kogmaw more damage oriented, rather than utility oriented.
|Let's start with Summon Aery - this keystone rune is really interesting, since it is very reliable in terms of damage, compared to Arcane Comet. Another positive thing is, that it procs from autoattacks as well, which allows you to be way more agressive in lane, with it's cooldown being very low. Problem with this is, that it doesn't really scale that well, when you get more AP.|
|Arcane Comet is so far probably the best option for AP Kogmaw. Even though it might not be so reliable, when poking with your ultimate, it still deals way more damage in the end, compared to Summon Aery. Generally I rather like Sorcery tree as main one over Domination, since it allows you to run Manaflow Band together with some other mana sustaining ability either way from Precision or Inspiration tree.|
|Electrocute - main problem that I see with this keystone is, that it forces you to run domination, which is quite annoying, because like this, you are forced to get Sorcery as secondary, just to get Manaflow Band. Another thing is, that pretty much entire Domination tree is quite awkward, since it requires time, till it's runes scale up, which is quite decimating, considering your already weak early game.|
|Manaflow Band is next rune, that I am using for AP Kogmaw. It's pretty much mandatory rune, that you simply need to have, if you don't want to struggle with your mana for entire game. Comparing this to any other choice in this row, there isn't really anything worthy enough to mention, since other choices are very awkward for AP Kog'Maw.|
|I start off with Celerity to say, why I currently think, that it's not good choice for AP Kogmaw. First point is, that Kogmaw generally has really low base movespeed, which makes this rune a bit less useful. Except for that, you don't really build too many movespeed items, that would make your benefit from this rune too great in terms of extra AP.|
|For Transcendence - I was using this for most of time recently and I probably started to realise, what kind of trap is it. When games are so fast-paced expecially at higher elo, you need as much possible early game power as you can get, while this rune will leave you without any benefit for most of game.|
|To wrap it up, right now Absolute Focus is probably the best possible choice in terms of early game power, which offers you extra AP and since I am running Corrupting Potion from level 1, with it you are able to keep yourself up at higher amount of health for way longer time to get benefit out of this rune. I already managed to use this rune for quite some time and I am really satisfied with it, since it as well increases value of Rabadon's Deathcap.|
|Currently, when games are a bit slower in addition to fact, that Riot nerfed Scorch some time ago, this is possibly best option for last rune in Sorcery tree, which allows you to scale into lategame pretty well.|
|Waterwalking seems like another useless choice. It would be great if you were possibly roaming a lot to other lanes, which mostly isn't happening, expecially right now when you can get oneshotted in early by any assasin, who is using Electrocute.|
|After nerf, that happened some time ago it's not really priority no.1 anymore and the damage that it provides is not even close to damage, that you can get in the end from Gathering Storm. Another factor is, that you don't need that much early game power after recent changes.|
|Even though I used to run Biscuit Delivery for most of the time, I started to find quite a lot of success with this rune instead. Main advantage is that if you manage to use it 3x for ranged minions, then since you hit level 9, you can simply clear all ranged minions just by using E, instead of being forced to R afterwards. That way you can save up some mana, while being able to waveclear more effectively.|
|Even though Time Warp Tonic synergizes really well with Biscuit Delivery, I still prefer getting free boots out of Magical Footwear to save up some gold and get extra movespeed with this. This rune is interchangeable with Perfect Timing in case that you are against assasins and you will have to usually rush Zhonya's Hourglass.|
|Flash is for obvious reasons must-have summoner spell for AP Kog'Maw as for many other champions. Main reason is, that you don't have any escape mechanic and your entire self-peeling mechanism relies in Void Ooze. But when someone gets on your face, you are mostly forced to kill-or-die, which is problematic, if you get caught into something like Jarvan IV or Malphite ultimate, when your only chance is to flash away, otherwise there is high chance of you getting killed, due to some follow up of enemy carries. Possibility of flashing as well allows you to go closer for autoattacking with your Bio-Arcane Barrage up, while keeping yourself relatively safe (depending on the enemy team composition).|
Teleport is my second prefered summoner spell, that I use in like 99% of games. Here, reason might not be as self-evident as in previous example and if you don't know, what you are doing, it might not be as efficient to pick it up, because it's closely connected to certain playstyle in lane.
First and probably most significant reason is, that it allows you to control lane from early game or when you get hard matchup, it allows you to survive. If you imagine, that you get some mage against yourself, who is running Ignite/ Barrier, then you already know, that you have very little chance to win straight confrontation against them, unless you pre-poke them, which is hard during early game, when you are quite weak. But what you can do is, that you pre-poke them and burn their resources (health, potions, mana), then you recall and come back with certain shop and full strength.
From that moment, you can zone your opponent, because you know, that in this moment, you are way stronger than him, which will allow you to ideally freeze lane on your side and deny any kind of attempt to get farm from your opponent. Mostly people will just give up after short time and rather recall. It's even better, if you can interrupt attempts for those recalls, but be careful and always respect enemy jungler, that might try to gank you. Don't forget that even laner can try to make some fake bait recall, in order to land some CC on you, to get kill off that. If it happens, you are going to have big problems, since you don't have Teleport anymore, which will mean that you threw your entire advantage that you had. If you execute this strategy properly though, you will get CS + level advantage, that will help you to trade your opponent even when he has summoners up, which will allow you to slowly start scaling and snowballing off your position.
Second reason is, that sometimes you are getting focused by enemy jungler, that is trying to deny you, because he knows how well you are scaling. In addition you have no escape mechanic, which makes you quite easy target. In soloQ it's mostly gamble what kind of jungler you get and you should always depend mainly on yourself. So if you receive such camp, then it's always good to have some tool, how to get back in lane fast, without losing too many minions, which would lead into gold/level disadvantage, where mainly level disadvantage is annoying, when you are trying to reach your level 6/11/16 powerspikes as fast as possible.
Another reason might be, that you can do some play with Teleport on bottom lane, in order to help them. But be careful, if you get into bad position, you will most likely end up getting killed, without receiving anything, expecially if you manage to miss your skillshots (which might happen in any moment).
Last reason for having this summoner is that you can always be in certain place, where you are needed. For example if enemy team is rushing baron and you are dead, you can use Teleport to get there in time. Or you can farm on top/bottom lane, without worrying about some Dragon/Baron rush, allowing you to scale up and reach your level 16 powerspike faster. Don't forget about situations, where your team is attempting to siege, but you get out of mana or possibly you didn't have time to buy. In these situations, you don't need to call off your team, but you will simply instantly teleport back and continue in whatever you were trying to do, which is important expecially in soloQ, where communication and coordination of teams is quite limited.
|Cleanse is pretty useful summoner spell, if you are facing some champions with annoying CC (yes I am looking at you Veigar, Twisted Fate, Elise and so on), where it might save your life many times. If you are playing reasonably well against Twisted Fate and looking for his cards, by not trying to trade him, when he can stun you, then you are relatively fine, even though it's problem when there is combination of CC from both Jungle + Mid. In that case, if you decide to not get cleanse, you need to be aware what you are doing, by positioning yourself properly and keeping vision around your lane, expecially during laning phase. If I would be honest here, I get cleanse sometimes against Veigar, but except for that, I usually prefer Teleport anyways.|
|Barrier is viable defensive possibility for summoner spell. If you are not too much into some snowball off better farm or experience lead and you just prefer winning 1v1, then this is possibility for you. Why I don't run it though - it mostly doesn't really save you from proper jungle ganks, which will deny your early game and you will fall behind, since you can't get in lane fast enough. Another reason is, that you are weaker than most of other champions in early game, which will mean, that you will not be able to win most of 1v1 situations against good players (obviously depending on elo). So this mostly ends up being your additional level of protection in teamfights later on, which is not bad, but it simply doesn't fit my playstyle.|
|Except for Barrier, you can use Heal as alternative for defensive summoner spell. Problem with heal is, that it can get reduced by healing reduction, which means that if your opponent uses Ignite before your Heal, then you receive nearly nothing out of it. On the other hand, you receive brief movespeed buff and what is even better, you can heal some of your allies, to help him survive. This possibility can be sometimes extremly helpful during counterganks, where you are forced to fight 2v2 and your jungler receives fatal damage, or when he possibly overextends.|
Benefit of Exhaust lies in ability to deny huge burst from assasin champions. Pretty obvious examples are Zed, Kha'Zix, Talon and so on. What I see as a problem here is, that it might not always hit the mark, when you are getting ganked, because you can only exhaust one target, while the other one will still deal full damage. That might sometimes end up being disadvantage compared to Barrier, that simply protects you against as many targets as you want.
From my personal experience, it nearly never gave me required protection, because what really protects you from enemies is your own position, awareness and then obviously teammates. Main point here is, that you don't really need this summoner, but if you are used to it for example from certain other champions, then feel free to pick it up.
|In terms of Ghost, you receive ability to escape certain ganks during laning phase or even outrun dangerous targets in teamfights. Another benefit might be, if you want to hunt down some target, using your Living Artillery, but I never got used to this summoner spell, which always made it awkward for me to use, expecially if I was facing champions with hard CC.|
|Ignite is probably worst possible summoner spell for Kog'Maw, since it doesn't provide any additional defense against your opponents, which is Kog'Maw's biggest problem. But what is worse - it's short range spell, which means that it can be really hard to use, when you really need it, since you are trying to keep your distance in most cases, which makes this summoner spell pretty much worthless.|
|Tear is must-have item for AP Kogmaw, it reduces your mana costs and gives you a lot of mana, when it scales up. Currently you should aim for this item after you finnish up Luden's Tempest, that will provide you pretty good early game power spike and mana sustain.|
|You should never consider buying any other boots than this. It's currently the only easily accessible flat mpen item, which is something, that you always need. Don't even think about running CDR boots or something like that, it's not worth it.|
|Great starting item, since it gives you CDR, AP, Mana and extra damage on spell hit, which is great when you are trying to poke down your opponents. It also offers you great synergy with Liandry's Anguish, since it's proc can apply effect of Liandry's Anguish. Generally this item gives you your first decent power spike.|
|Void Staff is situational item, that you should buy whenever you see, that your opponents are running magic resistances. By that I mean any kind of MR, which would increase amount of their MR above 60, which might be achieved only by buying MR boots. Main reason for that is, that you want to be always as close as possible to dealing true damage to your opponents, so for that reason, don't be scared to buy it right after you get your core.|
|After recent meta shift and generally after changes, that were made, Rabadon's Deathcap is not mandatory item anymore. If you are supposed to buy this item, it should be one of the latest items, that you purchase (4th or even 5th). Main reason is, that you need to get your Archangel's Staff + Luden's Tempest + magic penetration items before you even think about buying this. Another thing is that many times you are facing really annoying teamcomp, that will force you to buy one defensive item, which is usually either way Banshee's Veil or Zhonya's Hourglass.|
|Even though we have Luden's Tempest and it might look like an overkill, you should always appreciate value, that you get from this item. If you combine those items, you might get around 140 AP off this item alone, if you add the mana part. Consider finnishing this up either way before or right after Void Staff, depending on current situation in terms of MR of your opponents.|
||Here, it's mostly quite obvious, that choice is being made, depending on opposite teamcomp. If enemy is dealing a lot of physical damage, combined with assasination potential - you will just run Zhonya's Hourglass. If enemy team is consisted mainly of AP champions, it's better to go for Banshee's Veil. Additional benefit here is, that you can avoid getting caught off guard with shield, which can prevent you from getting grabbed by Blitzcrank or possibly knocked up by Malphite ult.|
|Pretty good item if you would urgently need healing reduction, which your team wouldn't be able to provide for some reason. It also offers decent amount of magic penetration, which is quite useful for AP Kog'Maw|
|Horizon Focus is very strong lategame item that allows you to poke down people way more effectively, allowing you to burst down people from distance.|
|Who would forget about item, that is pretty much mandatory for AP Kogmaw right?! I tried to build this item several times in my games just to give it a shot. And I can tell you, that I literally REGRETTED IT EVERY SINGLE TIME! This item might make it easier to sometimes chase down someone or to chain Rs, but in fact you don't need to do it, if you know how to chase as AP Kogmaw. In addition, this slow isn't really that high and people can still manage to juke following R that you are shooting, which will make your job hard again to hit next one. Except for that slow, other stats are pretty bad on this item as well, expecially after it got nerfed quite some time ago. But worst thing is, that you would have to replace something with this item - which is simply not worth it. I don't like this item, because when I tried it, few times I lost game, that I would normally win and I lost only, because I replaced my Lich Bane with it, or defensive item, which left me way more squishy. So guys, whenever you are thinking about building this item - Don't follow the siren's call!|
Many people feel like - "It's pointless to build Lich Bane, since you can build this item, if you want to go for autoattacks!"
And I can only tell - on the paper, they are right! It gives you attack speed which increases your W potential, it gives you more cooldown reduction and over time better on hit effect, that ends up dealing more on-hit damage than Lich Bane! So why is it here? Main reason is - "uptime". This would be true, if you had high % of uptime on target, which means that you would play AP Kogmaw like ADC pretty much and you would permanently autoattack, which is not true. Fact is that you pull off few autos and you run back to poke again or to reposition yourself. Or you just pull off one autoattack inside your full burst combo and then you back off. You simply don't autoattack in consistent manner. In addition - Lich Bane usually solves the problem when you are going face-to-face against some squishy ADC or Mage or Assasin. It's simply "kill or die". And if you want to trade ADC, that has huge amount of attack speed and crit, you won't pull off more than 2-3 autos. Lich Bane gives you that ability, that if you hit your combo, you simply kill in one autoattack instead of requirement that you have to keep shooting (where you will obviously lose). So simply said - when you fight in these situations, you mostly don't have enough time to shoot more than 1-2 autos before you actually die, which makes this item worse option compared to Lich Bane.
Maxing order consisted of E > W > Q > E for first levels is usually used, when you are getting pushed under tower and there is no way for you to shove the lane. That usually leads to situation, where you get harassed under tower, while trying to last hit. This is basically quality-of-life choice for first levels, where you keep first rank of E at level 3, to be able to use it for ranged minions, since it pre-hits them to level, where you can finnish them with single autoattack after tower hit. Otherwise, you would need to pre-hit each minion with another autoattack before killing it after tower shot - which is exactly moment, when you are vulnerable to harass of your opponent. Another thing is, that you can use Q from distance to last hit minion, that would be otherwise unreachable.
This order on the other hand is used, when you are controlling lane and you are confident, that you won't get pushed in. Second rank of E at level 3 makes it more mana-efficient for harass in lane, since you mostly can't hit Q, because most of decent opponents will try to stand behind minions, to avoid it.
Afterwards, general spell maxing preference is following:
Note: This is just priority of secondary abilities, that you get through levels. Even if it's not mentioned here, you still want to get R ranks whenever you can!
Void Ooze as an ability, with highest priority, is most important one expecially for your laning phase. It allows you to farm from distance, waveclear really fast and it as well allows you to harass your opponent. Since it provides slow, it is as well great peel tool, where you can kite your opponents through it. Another upside of slow is, that you are able to line-up your other abilities, such as Caustic Spittle and Living Artillery and make them harder to dodge for your opponent.
Second, on priority list is Caustic Spittle. Usually I was rather maxing up my Bio-Arcane Barrage, but with current meta changes, I swapped to this. Reason is, that currently many players are playing burst champions with Electrocute and if you want to be able to answer it, you need additional burst damage, that this ability provides. Additional thing is, that you can better position yourself and go for your autoattacks only if you are really sure, that you can pull them off. This fact might change again, when meta shifts or possibly Riot does some changes to runes/items.
Bio-Arcane Barrage is last ability to rank-up. It might be viable as second from time to time, if you are facing some really tanky comp and you need tank-shredding tool. But mostly in current meta, you can't utilize this ability enough, to make it worth. For that reason, I am currently maxing Caustic Spittle as second, to have more burst damage, while keeping this as last choice.
I most likely pointed it out already before, but I will explicitly say it here. Right now it is rather situational, what you want to max second after Void Ooze. If you are confident enough, it's always better to max Bio-Arcane Barrage, because you can't miss this ability and if you can autoattack long enough, you can build up way more damage on it, expecially against tanks.
Main problem is though, that in current state, we need more burst damage, if we want to protect ourselves against divers and assasins and since Electrocute provides higher burst damage than old Thunderlord did, it is mandatory to have more burst damage as well, since we are mostly not allowed to autoattack long enough to make it worth. For that reason, I am mostly rather maxing-up my Caustic Spittle.
For that reason, decide yourself what do you want to max second, depending on your position in that game and if you feel like you have enough protection to pull off damage with Bio-Arcane Barrage. But if you simply don't know, then generally max your Caustic Spittle second.
This combo is the one with highest damage output, if you can land it. Reason for it is, that if you first land your Q, you shred MR, which will make target to take more damage. Problem with it though is, that it might be tricky to hit, which will in the end cause damage loss.
A bit less efficient combo in terms of damage, though it's more reliable. Thing is that if you try to hit your E first, you slow target, which will make it hard to juke rest of your abilities. I usually use this combo instead of first one, due to reliability. It is really great tool for assasination of opponents, when you are for example trapping them.
I would like to add important note here. If you are for example waiting in bush, to oneshot someone with a single combo, be careful about the execution. By that, you need to always remember, that when you use Living Artillery, it leaves mark at that place, where it is about to fall. Simply said - if your opponent has good reactions, he can juke that and you will only lose your opportunity to get free kill. For that, try to delay your Living Artillery, after your Void Ooze hits or it is soon about to hit. Like that, you will not give your opponent information, about upcoming burst and in addition, if he will try to sidestep R, it will be really hard to do, due to slow (unless he has some sort of dash of course).
Last thing to mention here - those above are pretty much full damage combos, that will require you to be in autoattack range. Though, if you are not in range for it, you will basically do same thing, only without Bio-Arcane Barrage.
Before game starts, first thing that you should do is to identify threats. By that, I mean, that you should look at enemy team composition and check out, who can be dangerous for you.
First look at midlaner and his summoner spells and think about what he can do to you - always keep in mind whether he has Teleport, which might mean, that you can trade him, or possibly Ignite, which might mean, that you need to watch out, when you are at lower health, or thing like Barrier, that might surprise for example while diving. After that look at enemy jungler and figure out, what kind of combined powers do they have and how does it influence your playstyle - for example Zac is pretty much constant threat for you, forcing you into defensive playstyle consisted of pure farming, while Shyvana might allow you to play agressive early game, unless you get flanked by her. At last, look at enemy support and toplaner and think, whether or not they might look for roams (Hello Pantheon, Malphite, Blitzcrank, Leona, ...).
After you identified your threats and figured out playstyle in lane, you should try to think about warding, that you want to choose (if you want to prioritize one side of lane to keep it warded and possibly figure out changes in your build order (Do I need to build some defensive items earlier or can I omit them?).
What I wrote here applies to any champion, that you are playing, but I still mentioned it here, since I find it important and to be completely honest with you, sometimes I even don't do it myself and after that I pay high price for it, because when I am for example streaming, then my attention might be somewhere else. Typical example is getting killed and wondering - oh you are having Ignite? There is no reason for it to happen, if you just prepare yourself in champion selection/during game loading.
Depending on identified threats, you should decide, whether or not you want to push from start. Your reaction at first wave should be simply that, if you want to play defensively, then you shouldn't try your Void Ooze for harass, because that would push lane as well, which might mean, that it opens possibility of gank, expecially against champions that don't have ability to push from start or they simply abuse it against you. If you decide to play defensively, always keep in mind, that even though you don't want to push, you still don't want to get completely pushed in as well! Ideal situation is to be near tower, but freezing it outside of tower range. So simply if you see, that enemy laner is pushing, start pushing as well, to try to hold it where you want. Keeping it near your tower allows you to be relatively safe against ganks, it's hard for your opponent to punish you for farming and it opens possibility for gank.
If you find yourself unable to counterpush, because you simply don't have enough power for it, then you should go with spell order E > W > Q > E for first 4 levels, as it was described above. Reason for that is, that when you are forced to farm under tower, you are able to use Rank 1 Void Ooze for ranged minions to pre-hit them for free last hitting. It might still be hard to farm, even under your tower, if enemy laner tries to harass you there - in that case, you should try to call for a gank, because no one should be allowed to play that deep so early.
Another thing is that you should focus for farming. You can still harass and you might even have to, when your opponent is trying to constantly harass you. Just always try to protect your "personal space" in lane, otherwise you will get denied from farming way too much. When you are harassing, try to do it in a moment, when it won't cost you minions, but that is easily said than done. Mostly from my experience, when laners are playing agressive, then no matter how good they are, they are going to lose some farm. So if you are forced to protect yourself, then you have no other choice.
If you are facing some matchup, where you have upper hand (expecially against melees), then you should try to abuse them early, but don't forget, that if you get ganked and die, you will throw your entire effort of denying enemy laner. So don't go too far with it and always prioritize your farm!
After you reach level 6, depending on matchup on mid/jungle, you might try to start harassing your opponent consistently. It's beneficial, if you try to do it, when your opponent is trying to go for minion, because like that, he has to decide between minion and juke. Simply try to predict, where is he going to stand, to hit that minion and pre-use your skillshot there, when he starts moving there.
Whenever you have time, you should take jungle camps, which just shortens time, to reach your powerspikes. It's always great, if you are allowed to farm some jungle camps, but don't forget, that your jungler needs them as well, so if you are having some farming jungler, you shouldn't do it. Except for that, look where your jungler is and where is he trying to go and if you see, that he is going to gank botlane, you can most likely take his raptors or maybe even wolves, if raptors are not available.
Last important about laning phase is question of roaming. Be careful here decide to roam only if you feel like your team is really ahead and you want to maintain that pressure. Problem is, that a lot of times you are giving your team false information, that you are able to pick up certain fight, even though you are quite weak during early game. Additional disadvantage is, that you might lose a lot of cs and let enemy laner to get advantage over you, sometimes without getting anything out of it, since you don't really have any hard CC. Such situation is really annoying for AP Kog'Maw, because to become strong, you need to scale up and if you delay this process, it might mean, that you lose certain objectives and throw the game by that.
For follow-up of enemy roams, again you should decide depending on your situation and matchup. For example you should never ever follow things like Talon, Katarina, Kassadin, Zed and so on, because you don't know where are their wards and if they spot you, they can easily set up trap, that you won't outlast. After that, you will lose some lane minions, which will put you even further behind, which is mostly critical against these types of champions.
At first, your goal is to reach level 11 or 16 as soon as possible. Now your steps are going to be highly situational. If your team is ahead, you can simply siege towers, to get extra team gold and keep on snowballing. In case, that you are behind, you will have to play defensively and mostly just waveclear. Again, try to abuse fact, that your opponents will try to take down towers, so you can try to line up your abilities in place, where carries will be most likely standing, if they want to damage tower. A bit tricky part here is, that you should be careful about dive.
Except for that, you always should try to ultimately aim to reach level 16, because then, your ult will have lowered cooldown, increased damage and most importantly increased range. That range increase is really important, expecially if you are playing against champions like Xerath or Ziggs, that will try to waveclear and hold their base up. But after that, you will simply outrange anything, that they can throw on you (obviously except for ults). To do it, try to take jungle camps when it's possible and try to take farm even from side lanes. This is moment, when having Teleport is actually beneficial, because it allows you to clear sidelane without major risk of losing baron.
Except for all of this, midgame/start of lategame is most likely moment, when you are strongest, when ahead. Reason for that is, that in lategame, you damage can be incredible, though your opponets will be way more durable and will have way bigger damage output. That means, that it's way easier to get killed, just when anyone passes by and throws couple of spells on you (quite literally).
People tend to say, that AP Kog'Maw has insane lategame. I am not sure, if I exactly agree with that statement. He is definitelly strong and has potential to deal incredible amounts of damage, but there is one problem - his lack of escape and low defenses. If you are going some defensive item, it might be alright, to survive burst from someone, but then if enemies are having heavy frontline, that can run into you, it might be annoying to deal damage, while keeping proper position and if you go some defensive item(s), it might be problem to deal enough damage during those teamfights. It just feels like it's way harder to kill things.
On the other hand, if you go full squishy, you might have problems to survive any kind of damage, because if anyone gets on you and uses couple of abilities, you might just flop, if that player has some offensive items and possibly has some damage potential. Example of nightmare is Evelynn, that can oneshot you pretty much anytime. So from now on it's mostly about who can protect carries better and as well - who does mistake. Because this is the moment, where every mistake can cost you game and that mostly applies for Kog'Maw twice more, because if you got into lategame and you still didn't end the game, then it means, that either way you are not performing as you should, or your teammates. If you are performing well, then it mostly means that once when enemy team makes catch on you and they manage to take you down, you might even lose off that. That is mostly the reason, why lategame is complicated, even as AP Kog'Maw, who is mostly considered as lategame beast.
In teamfights always think about threats like Leona ult or Malphite ult and such things and try to keep your distance until they use it. Once they do, you can come closer and unleash your full potential, with your W, which deals big amounts of damage, expecially as AP Kog'Maw, but always be aware, where your opponents are and don't get caught, because if you are not careful enough, any step in teamfight might be your last!
For future, I plan on adding deep analysis of certain champion matchups in midlane, that AP Kog'Maw has problems with, but that will be continuous process and such thing doesn't appear over night.
But anyways, thank you for your attention, expecially if you managed to get here, trough that wall of text and I wish you best of luck on Summoners rift!
Happy vomiting! Rawrlrgrlgrlgrlgrlg!!