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Kog'Maw Build Guide by Lycra

ADC Sate Your Hunger - A Kog'Maw Guide

ADC Sate Your Hunger - A Kog'Maw Guide

Updated on August 22, 2020
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League of Legends Build Guide Author Lycra Build Guide By Lycra 19 0 33,530 Views 7 Comments
19 0 33,530 Views 7 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author Lycra Kog'Maw Build Guide By Lycra Updated on August 22, 2020
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Champion Build Guide

Sate Your Hunger - A Kog'Maw Guide

By Lycra

Hey guys, my name is Lycra and I am an ADC main who plays on EUW! I have been playing League since Season 1, though I have taken several short breaks from the game. Currently I am Platinum 2.

"If that's just hungry, I don't want to see angry."
Kog'Maw is a cute hypercarry ADC with lots of range and on-hit damage. You are very team dependent, because you lack any sort of mobility. Overall, Kog'Maw is not in the best state right now. Repeated nerfs to his favorite item, Rageblade, and a meta which is full of high-damage threats with lots of mobility, is just no place for our good void boy. Of course he is still viable, but you have to be very careful with positioning. He can still be a lot of fun to play, especially when you are duo queuing with a competent Lulu or Janna player, who can protect you from all the bad guys trying to kill you.


+ Mixed Damage
Kog'Maw’s bread and butter spell, W, deals a lot of bonus Magic Damage. Combined with his auto attack based playstyle, gives him lots of physical and magic damage.

+ Late Game Hypercarry
His W melts people, especially with his high attack speed from runes and items. It lets even tanks look like a squishy Yuumi. Coupled with his immense range, makes late game his time to shine.

+ High Range
Need to check Baron but you don’t have your Trinket ready? No problem for Kog'Maw! His ultimate is an excellent long range scouting tool.

+ Weak early game
Kog'Maw needs time to come online. He needs levels in his W and Attack Speed to unlock his true potential. He doesn’t need too many items to be effective, but in the early stages of the lane, you probably will have a hard time. This is very support dependent though!

+ Immobile
He doesn’t have a dash or any other mobility spell. This puts a target on his back for all the assassins out there.

+ Team-reliant
Most AD Carries are very team reliant, but Kog'Maw most of all probably. To be most effective with him, it is a good idea to play with a premade support you trust. With a good Lulu next to you, you will become a nightmare for the enemy team. In case you aren’t lucky enough to have a premade support, be careful and know your strengths!

_____ Lethal Tempo is an amazing keystone for Kog'Maw.Attack speed is a very important stat for him and this keystone gives lots of it! Allowing you to exceed the attack speed cap makes it a great late game rune. Other keystone options would be Feel Footwork, but this rune is not in the best state for ADCs at the moment, so Lethal Tempo should be consistently the better choice.

Triumph is a nice rune since you often fight 2vs2. This means after your first takedown, you’ll get 12% of your missing health back and that might be enough to kill your second opponent as well. Another option would be Overheal. It can be an especially good choice combined with a healing support like Soraka.

The only other option for this rune slot would be Bloodline. Since your first item is Ruined King, which already provides lifesteal, Alacrity is the better choice. Eventually, it is going to give you 18% attack speed and allows you to scale more smoothly into late game. You can never have enough attack speed on Kog’Maw!

Coup de Grace is most often the best choice out of row 3; it consistently provides the most damage. Essentially it will allow you to deal more damage to targets who are below half health; the damage boost may land you some kills. Cut Down can also be considered when the enemy team consists of lots of beefy tanks.

Free Boots! As an ADC, you want as much gold as possible, so getting free boots is very welcome. Since they are slightly magical, they give you an extra +10 Move Speed. You get them at 12 Minutes, but the time is reduced by 45 Seconds for every kill and assist you get. Even after upgrading them to Berserker Greaves, the +10 Move Speed still remains. The extra 10 movement speed are a nice bonus for Kog’Maw, who has no mobility in his kit

You get yummy cookies every 3 Minutes, until the 12 Minute mark, so 4 in total. They are more or less health potions, but they don’t have a flat HP value, but instead restore 15% of your MISSING health and MANA. This means, the lower you are, the more they heal. Also, eating or selling them increases your Mana by 40 permanently!

Flash is the best Summoner Spell in the game, so you should always use it, especially on an immobile champion like Kog’Maw. It has a lot of different uses, you can either Flash offensively to secure a kill or defensively to dodge a skillshot or escape a gank. There is just no better option.

Heal is also a really good summoner spell, especially for a duo lane, since you will heal your support as well (they will appreciate it!). It also gives you bonus movement speed for 1 second, so it can situationally be used to chase down an enemy. The most important thing to keep in mind about Heal is that Ignite reduces it effectiveness by 40%, so if you know you are going to fight to the death in a 2v2 fight, an early use might prove most effective!

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

His passive is definitely the weirdest part of his kit. It seems very uncharacteristic for an ADC to only have a passive once you died. It is most useful in early laning phase, after dying you might be able to get a return kill. All in all, your passive isn’t too important or exciting, just remember it’s there and don’t immediately open the shop once you’re dead.

Active: Kog'Maw launches a corrosive projectile forward in a line, dealing 80 / 130 / 180 / 230 / 280 (+50% of ability power) magic damage and reducing the armor and magic resist of the first target hit by 20 / 22 / 24 / 26 / 28 % for 4 seconds. Passive: Grants 15 / 20 / 25 / 30 / 35% attack speed.

The passive attack speed you gain from your Q is nice, but it isn’t really too much. Hitting an enemy with your Q reduces their Armor and Magic Resist between 20% and 28%, depending on your ability level. Reducing an enemy’s resistances by about a quarter is quite good, especially against tanks since they will lose a lot more than a Mage or ADC. You can also use it in laning phase to get last hits you would otherwise miss.

Active: Kog'Maw's attacks gain 130 / 150 / 170 / 190 / 210 range and deal 3 / 3.75 / 4.5 / 5.25 / 6% (+1% per 100 AP) of the target's maximum Health as additional magic damage (max 100 damage vs monsters). Lasts 8 seconds.

Bio-Arcane Barrage is his bread and butter ability and is what makes Kog'Maw a late game threat. Not only do you gain a lot of range while this ability is active, you also gain bonus magic damage, depending on the enemy’s max HP. This ability synergizes insanely well with specific items. The bolts of Runaan’s Hurricane also apply its max HP magic damage! This means once you finished building it, you can apply your W to up to three enemies. Rageblade applies your on-hit damage twice every third attack, this makes it amazing for your W. Since the on-hit damage is max HP based, not even tanks can withstand your attacks for long.

Be careful about when you are using this ability, since it does have downtime. Without W, you lose most of your strength, so play around its cooldown wisely!

Kog'Maw launches ooze which deals 60 / 105 / 150 / 195 / 240 (+50% of ability power) magic damage to enemies it passes through. Enemies hit are also slowed by 20 / 28 / 36 / 44 / 52% for 1 second. Additionally, it leaves a trail which slows enemies by 20 / 28 / 36 / 44 / 52% for .25 seconds. This slow duration is refreshed if the enemies stay on the trail.

Your E can sometimes aid you in your escape against enemy threats. Its slow goes up to over 50% at max rank. During laning phase, you might be able to follow up CC from your support with Void Ooze, slowing the enemy and making it harder for them to escape. A neat little trick when running away from an enemy is to use this ability towards the direction in which you are running, this way the chasing foe will have to run over your slowing ability for longer.

Kog'Maw fires a living artillery shell at a great distance. After a 0.6 second delay, the artillery falls dealing 100 / 140 / 180 (+25% of ability power) (+0.65 per bonus attack damage) magic damage and reveals targets for 2 seconds. Each subsequent Living Artillery in the next 8 seconds costs 40 additional mana (max 400). Living Artillery deals deals 150% damage to enemies approching 40% health and 200% to enemies between below 25% health.

Kog'Maw’s ultimate can be used in different ways. You can use it to reveal enemies hiding in brushed, or even spot if the enemies attempt baron.

Offensively, it is also really good, because it is an execute. This means the more HP the enemy is missing, the more damage your R will do. This effect is capped at 60% missing health, at which point it will do double its damage.

Be very careful to not spam this ability too much, since it will eat all your mana! Each subsequent R within 8 seconds of casting will cost an additional 40 mana, up to a maximum of 400 mana.

Range: 130 / 150 / 170 / 190 / 210 - Cooldown: 17 - Cost: 40
You max W first. It is the spell that makes Kog’Maw who he is. You gain more range and more on-hit damage with each level.

Range: 1000 - Cooldown: 8 - Cost: 40
Q gets maxed second for the permanent passive attack speed it provides.

Range: 1000 - Cooldown: 12 - Cost: 80 / 90 / 100 / 110 / 120
E will be the last spell you max. One point is enough for the slow, the passive attack speed from Q is just a lot better than an increased slow.

Range: 1300 / 1550 / 1800 - Cooldown: 2 / 1.5 / 1 - Cost: 40
You put points in R whenever possible. You gain extra range on your ultimate and that is very important for checking bushes and baron.

Depending on how confident you are, you can either go Doran’s Blade or Doran’s Shield. Shield is the safer choice, especially for lanes where you are outranged by the ADC, like Caitlyn or Ashe. Lanes with lots of poke from the enemy support, for example Soraka or Brand, are also easier to survive with Doran’s Shield. Doran’s Blade can be an option when you are paired with an aggressive support and you want to help deal damage, or when you are against a scaling lane where you think you can get an early advantage.


Your first item being Blade of the Ruined King, makes your life a lot easier when you need an early back because of a bad trade or gank. You need multiple Longswords and Daggers to build Ruined King, so on most backs, you are probably able to afford at least one of it. Ideally, your first bigger purchase is Vampiric Scepter. The early life steal takes a lot of pressure off of you. In case you are even richer on your first back, you can also go straight for Bilgewater Cutlass.

Ruined King is an amazing first item for Kog’Maw! Since Kog’Maw is an attack speed reliant on-hit AD Carry, Ruined Kings’ stats and passive, 8% current health on-hit damage, perfectly match what you are looking for in an item! His early laning phase is not very strong, so getting life steal early on in the game is very important. The laning phase changes for the better as soon as you get Bilgewater. Its active and stats might surprise the enemy and get you an unexpected kill!

Your boots of choice are going to be Berserker’s Greaves. Kog’Maw needs attack speed as fast as possible, and with Berserker Boots you get 35% attack speed for just 1100 gold! In comparison, Phantom Dancer only gives 30% AS. Defensive boots are also an option, but most of the time they don’t make enough of a difference to justify the loss of so much attack speed.

Rageblade is the other item basically made for Kog’Maw. Like Ruined King, it gives both AD and AS, but this item is amazing on him for its unique passive - every third hit applies on-hit effects twice. This is incredibly helpful, because you will melt enemies with your W. Every stack of rage also gives 8% attack speed, so at 6 stacks you get 48% bonus attack speed! The only downside is that you need to be at 6 stacks of Rageblade for the Rage passive to activate. Unfortunately Rageblade was nerfed in patch 9.10, but it is still perfect for Kog’Maw.

You fire two additional bolts at other enemies when attacking, which means your auto attack hits up to three enemies at once! This sounds very good, but usually this item comes with a downside: each bold only deals 40% AD. As Kog’Maw, a very large portion of your damage comes from on-hits and Hurricane’s bolts apply on-hit damage with no penalty! The more on-hit you have, the better the bolts are going to be, so your W combined with Ruined King and Rageblade makes your bolts incredibly strong.

When you decide for Runaan’s Hurricane as your third item, Infinity Edge is a good choice for your fourth! Those items combined give you 50% critical strike chance, which makes you an on-hit and a crit ADC! You will still have lots of attack speed for your on-hits, but your damage profile shifts more towards physical damage.

Wit's End is a very good situational item for Kog'Maw! When you notice you get a lot of magic damage, it is time to consider buying it. The item gives you 50 magic resistance, which increases your survivability against heavy magic damage a lot! Wits End’s other stats, 50% attack speed and 5% movement speed, are also good. Attack speed is his favorite stat and movement speed is also needed, because of his missing mobility.

QSS is often a really good choice to survive hard CC like Skarner or Ashe’s ultimates. It removes all crow control debuffs. In addition, it also gives you a little Magic Resistance, but its active it by far the most important part of this item. It builds into Mercurial Scimitar, which is gives you additional Lifesteal. Since you lack mobility, QSS is an extremely good defensive item choice.

When you don’t have a great Lulu or Janna by your side, you might be in need of a different Guardian Angel. A very nice defensive item against AD assassins. You can buy Stopwatch first, use it, and then finish building Guardian Angel. The armor it provides also comes in handy against assassins!

Kiting is the skill of moving your champion after an auto attack. You can cancel the animation of your champion’s auto attack by clicking on the ground. Different champions have different auto attack animations, and the faster your attack speed, the faster you can cancel the auto attack animation. So instead of watching the full animation, you can move to gain or close distances with enemy champions. So why is this useful you might ask?

Because you are a lot more mobile when your auto attack animation is being cancelled. You have more time to move and you are not just standing there, waiting for your animation to finish, so you can dodge skill shots more easily. The practice tool is a nice way to improve on your kiting. Just place a dummy and attack it. Walk back and forth and around the dummy. Try it with different items, since it is vastly different depending on your attack speed. After a while you will get a feel for your champion’s auto attack animation.

There are three different ways to auto attack - by right clicking, by pressing A and left click (Attack Move), or by pressing Shift and right click (Attack Move Click). When you are only using right clicks, you run the risk of miss clicking and running straight into the enemy champions. A-click and Shift prevent this. To decide if you want to use A (you can bind it to a different key!) or Shift, it is heavily dependent on how your hand is positioned on the keyboard. Some people play with their pinky on Q, others have their ring finger on Q (like i do). For me, the most comfortable button is the Shift key, since my pinky is resting on it anyway. If you are not used to using attack move, it will take some time to get used to it. There is also another setting in the option, which lets you bind attack move click to your left click. Try to do it from now on with every single auto attack, doesn’t matter if it’s last hitting minions or attacking enemy champions. You can also go into the practice tool and practice it.

If you don’t have the pleasure of playing with a premade support, you are going to play with a random support. They can either be auto filled or really good, so there is a lot of variance. It is easy to start blaming your support if something goes wrong in the lane, especially when you feel like you are a better player than your support. This behavior is completely useless and only creates a negative atmosphere in the team. You are most likely never going to play with that player again, so don’t waste your energy by concentrating on their mistakes. Instead, focus on your own gameplay. Yes, there are going to be times when your support is inting the lane, but you are also most likely not playing perfectly. If you get the feeling that it is unfair and that the enemy ADC has the better support, remember that you will get good supports too, and the enemy will get the auto filled ones.

It is a good idea to think more about the bot lane matchup in the loading screen. If the enemy ADC isn’t playing Lucian or Draven, you should focus more on the support, since they will dictate the lane more than the ADC. You can categorize them as Poke, Trade, Catch and All-in. This helps you to identify their win conditions and make a plan to avoid them.

Poke supports can make your life hell in bot lane. They outrange you and can poke you from a safe distance. Champions in this category include: Soraka, Brand, Xerath and Zilean. You have to pay a lot of attention to those supports and always be ready to dodge their skillshots. Early boots and a refillable potion are recommended. Sometimes you can’t really do much against such lanes, try your best at getting as many last hits as possible. Asking your jungler for help can also be really useful, since you are most likely pushed under turret.

Similar to poke, these supports are only lacking the range. This means you can trade back, but they most likely out-trade you, or they can sustain themselves back to full health. Champions like Nami, Lulu and Sona fall into this category. Depending on your support, you might have to play this lane more passively, since their damage is very high. You can often win those lanes by getting a good all-in, since they are squishy. Be careful while last hitting, always watch out for the enemy support’s positioning, sometimes it is not worth to get a lot of damage just for a single cs.

All-in supports usually have a gap closer and hard CC. This means you can poke them with your range advantage, but you have to be very careful of their gap closers and CC, so you have to move in and out of range, depending on their cooldowns. Leona, Alistar and Braum are typical Champions of this category. It is very advantageous if you know the cooldowns of their CC and gapcloser abilities. These champions are often very weak when their abilities are on cooldown, since they rely heavily on them, so be prepared to punish them once they are on CD!

Catch: Champions with hooks or other long range CC. Your positioning is very important, standing behind minions can save your life. This category consists of Champions like Thresh, Blitz and Pyke. Warding the bot lane brush is a good idea, otherwise they can zone you hard. Similar to all-in champs, catchers also rely on their abilities, a Blitzcrank without his hook is no threat and leaves the ADC almost 1vs2 for a few seconds.

Having a good plan before going into the game is important and will make the game a lot easier for you. You can already start in champ select to think about their win conditions. Ask yourself questions like: When are their power spikes? Can they win an early all-in? Do they out sustain you, therefore making your trades and poke useless? Who has the better scaling? With enough practice it is easier to spot their win conditions and you will learn to avoid them and play to your own win conditions.

For instance, in this game I was playing against a Caitlyn + Morgana lane. This is a very strong and scary combo to play against. Caitlyn has so much range that you only start to out range her once your W ability is on rank three. Morgana is also a tough matchup for Kog’Maw, as it can be hard to dodge all her Qs. If one Q hits you, Caitlyn will be right there with her cupcake traps and the chain CC will likely lead to your death.

In this lane it is definitely recommended to start with Doran’s Shield, so you can sustain a bit back after getting poked by auto attacks and Morgana W. You should try to get as much farm as possible, and know when it is not worth to go for a last hit, because you would lose too much HP while getting it. Try to stay under turret and ask nicely in chat for your jungler or mid laner to gank. Since Thresh is my support, ganks could work out really well if he lands a Q.

It is absolutely important to get level 2 before the enemy bot lane does. You will hit level 2 after you have killed all the melee minions of the second wave. If you have a support with CC like Leona, you can easily get kills as soon as you turn level 2 and the enemies are still level 1. Don’t push the wave too hard though, because when they are near their turret, an all-in is not really possible. Even when there is no opportunity for a level 2 fight, you still have the lane under your control as long as you are first to level up. If, however, you are losing the race to level 2, back off in time so they can’t engage on you.

You are very vulnerable to ganks as Kog’Maw. Junglers might want to camp you, since you are an easy target because of your lack of mobility and early game weakness. Of course, this also heavily depends on your support, for example, Thresh and Morgana might be able to save you with their abilities. As a general rule, don’t try to push too hard as Kog’Maw, so you can always safely retreat in case of danger. Your goal is not to hard stomp the enemy lane, but to farm as much as possible and get to a stage of the game where you can take over.

When you keep the wave mostly close to your turret, your jungler might offer to gank. Don’t try to make it too obvious by all of a sudden going aggressive and shying the enemies away before your jungler is close enough. Just keep watching the minimap and react in time when your jungler ganks. You can’t do a lot in early ganke, since you don’t have CC or a lot of damage. Even just blowing the enemies’ summoners is a successful gank! Try to ping the summoner spell cooldowns and remind your jungler, if an enemy still has no Flash.

After the laning phase is over and you have destroyed the bot lane turret, you have a few options. Firstly, while you have bot priority and dragon is up you should probably take it with the help of your team.

It is a good idea to swap with your top laner right after the laning phase is over. There are a few reasons for this: the enemy top laner is most likely going to be a melee champion, that means you are going to out range him. Coupled with your support, you have a range and numbers advantage. Depending on how fast the enemy bot lane reacts, you have a bit of time to try and push the top lane turret. Be careful though - if the enemy top laner is fed, he could 1v2 you. If he isn’t fed, taking the turret should be relatively easy. After taking down the turret, there might be a good opportunity to get the Rift Herald as well with the help of your jungler.

It is also an option to swap with your mid laner instead of your top laner. It is much better to knock down the mid lane turret than the top lane turret. This is because the mid lane turret opens up the map much more for you and your team than the top lane turret. You can better invade and set up vision in the enemy jungle with the mid turret down. It is often harder to get the mid tower though, because mid lane champions are often ranged and have some form of wave clear. Therefore it is more common to swap top lane and get the mid turret with the Rift Herald.

Sometimes, it is best to just stay bot lane. If you are crushing the enemy bot lane, you can extend your lead by keeping up the pressure. That way, the enemy bot lane won’t be able to catch up with you. You will attract a lot of attention by pushing to the second botlane turret though. It is easy for the enemy jungler or mid laner to gank you when you are pushed up this far. To avoid getting ganked, it is very important to set up proper vision in the enemy jungle with the help of your support. Don’t shy away from buying a few Control Wards! If you have their jungle properly warded, the enemies will still waste a lot of time trying to gank you, therefore relieving pressure on your teammates, who can do something on the other side of the map, for example getting Rift Herald.

Finding the balance between going bot to farm and grouping with your team can be hard. You should either write in chat that you are going bot, or at least ping, otherwise your team might engage while you are bot. While farming in bot lane, you need to be careful and watch out for the enemies positions on the map. If they have fast moving champions, or a lot of them are missing, you can’t really push the wave far. Blue trinket and a control ward can come in handy in situations like that.

As with any ADC, being aware of the enemy threats is extremely important. It is your job to stay alive and deal the most damage possible. You often have to attack the target closest to you, which will be a tank most of the time as the carries tend to stay behind the front line. This is okay though, as long as you are dealing damage.

"Hunger never sleep."

Sometimes you can’t do much in a teamfight and will get zoned. It is often better to retreat than to die an unnecessary death. You will get a better feeling for deciding to run away or stay and fight with more experience on Kog’Maw. Once you have played him a lot, you know his power spikes and his potential damage output and can therefore make a more informed decision. It is easier to decide if you have seen the teamfight unfold and know what abilities the enemies have used. As a general rule, the more they have used and the more health they have lost, the easier it is for you to turn the fight around on your own. Especially in games that are almost for sure lost, trying to go for the hero play to turn the fight around is often a good idea. Normal games are also a good place to test your limits with your champion. That doesn’t mean you should just randomly feed, but playing more aggressively makes you better at the champion faster.

Always keep your cooldowns in mind before a team fight starts. Are your summoner spells up? Is your QSS on cooldown? Depending on your answers you can play more aggressively or defensively. Knowing if the enemies summoners are up is also important. When you are unsure if their summoners are up or not, play like they are up. It can cost you the game when you play too aggressively only to get flashed onto by the enemy Alistar. Also, don’t forget about your Rageblade! You will be most effective at 6 stacks, so attacking minions before a fight happens to stack it helps a lot. There are a lot of things to keep in mind and it will get easier with more experience. Just try to be mindful and don’t play on autopilot.

And that concludes my Kog'Maw guide! Thanks to everyone who read and if you have any feedback please let me know in the comments or via PM :) If you enjoyed this guide, check out my Kai'Sa guide too ♥

Special thanks to my friend Jovy for helping me with the aesthetics of the guide!
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