Cho'Gath Build Guide by PsiGuard
Your votes and comments encourage our guide authors to continue
creating helpful guides for the League of Legends community.
PsiGuard's Jungle Cho'Gath
+65 health and +10 ability power or +6 attack damage, adaptive
|Hi, I'm PsiGuard and welcome to my Cho'Gath guide. I've been playing League of Legends since November 2010 in Season 1 and have been maining jungle since the start of Season 3. My top rank is Diamond III in solo queue. I have experience against Diamond, Master and Challenger players through solo queue, ranked teams and tournament games.
I've played Cho'Gath jungle off and on throughout the years. He's risen to prominence in a few metas and often has one of the best jungle clears, but his crowd control isn't consistent enough for him to remain a strong pick through various game changes. Currently he's quite strong after the reworks to Vorpal Spikes and Feast along with the introduction of Gargoyle Stoneplate, which allows him to one-shot squishy targets in team fights with his ultimate.
Before we begin, I'd like to give a big thank-you to Jovy for her awesome graphics and help with coding this guide (as well as my other guides). Be sure to check out some of her other work at her signature shop and her own guides!
|About Cho'Gath /// Runes /// Spells /// Abilities
Ability Sequence /// Item Build /// Jungle Monsters
Warding /// Plants /// Jungle Routes /// Ganking
Wave Management /// Late Game /// Conclusion
|Cho'Gath is very much a tank jungler. He has high threat from Feast, but apart from his ultimate he mostly provides utility from his crowd control spells and serves as an enormous damage soak for his teammates. His ganks are decent, but not always reliable, so Cho'Gath players may find themselves farming more often than some other junglers.
Cho'Gath's strength lies in his incredible defensive scaling and his single-target threat. Feast provides the dual benefits of large health boosts and high burst damage. When combined with a timely Gargoyle Stoneplate active, a late game Cho'Gath can have upwards of 12,000 HP with his ultimate dealing over 1700 true damage. This makes him pretty threatening in team fights if he can get close enough to the enemy backline, but it also gives him a lot of objective control. A Cho'Gath can tank baron for a long time and has a huge nuke to secure it with, making it almost impossible to steal epic monsters from him.
Cho'Gath's biggest weakness is his unreliable crowd control and low mobility. In terms of ganks, he's very much dependent on landing Rupture, which means he usually needs his teammates to set him up for an easy Q. If you don't have that setup, you may find it difficult to land any CC in ganks. In team fights you're more likely to knock some people up, but the damage on Cho'Gath's basic abilities, combined with their fairly long cooldowns, leaves him a bit less disruptive than many other tanks. A lot of power is in his ultimate, so when Cho'Gath's ult is on cooldown, he is much less threatening.
Resolve is the obvious choice for a tank jungler like Cho'Gath. Most resolve runes work best on champions that are already building large amounts of health and resistances. Resolve keystones like Aftershock also scale with maximum health.
|I've tried Grasp of the Undying on junglers and it's just way too hard to stack up. You aren't in combat with champions nearly as often as top laners. While Cho'Gath can eventually deal good damage with Grasp, it won't add much to his survivability and it's pretty poor in early ganks. Aftershock, however, does both jobs effectively right at the start of the game. The only downside is that you need to land Rupture to activate it. This can sometimes be tricky in early skirmishes, but in team fights you should be able to hit at least one enemy.|
|This is a pretty generically useful mastery for a champion like Cho'Gath with a lot of CC. You can net thousands of healing done to your teammates over the course of a game just by doing your usual thing and crowd controlling enemies. Works on slows as well as knockups. Demolish is also kinda nice since you'll eventually have a lot of HP to power it, but in most games I feel that Font does more work throughout the game.|
|Cho'Gath's early clear is just fine without the early armor from Iron Skin. I definitely recommend the stronger stats from Conditioning, even though it doesn't turn on until 10 minutes. Once Conditioning activates, it'll give you very consistent defensive stats, especially while you still have a lot of HP but not much armor or magic resist.|
|The other options here aren't great and while Overgrowth isn't amazing on junglers, it's still pretty solid. Cho'Gath has some self-healing when jungling or clearing minions, but he doesn't heal very much in combat with champions, making Revitalize fairly unattractive. Unflinching isn't too bad but you'd have to get a lot of use out of it against heavy CC to make up for the lost HP from Overgrowth.|
|Feast is a huge part of Cho'Gath's power. Lowering your ult cooldown will allow you to more quickly build up Feast stacks as well as minimizing the downtime on the ability. Fighting while Feast is on cooldown can be risky, as Cho'Gath doesn't offer much damage to fights without that nuke. You'll be spamming this ability on monsters, so it shouldn't be hard to stack up the CDR from this rune. It stacks multiplicatively with other forms of CDR, so you can get up to around 49% ult CDR if you get 40% CDR from items. Even if you don't reach the cap, this rune is still good.|
|I was running Transcendence but found it took a long time to come online. 10 minutes is a long time to wait for CDR. While no game is over by the 10 minute mark, many games are decided by early game advantages that snowball into bigger leads. Celerity gives you useful stats right at level 1, offering in-combat mobility and generally useful movement speed for getting around the map. The AP bonus is just extra; this rune is good just for the movement speed.|
|This spell is essential for jungling, as it unlocks the jungle-only items which you need to keep up in experience. The spell is also essential for securing monster objectives like buff camps, dragon and baron. Building Stalker's Blade or Skirmisher's Sabre will also allow you to cast this spell on enemy champions.|
|Flash - This is a core spell on most champions in the game and Cho'Gath is no exception. In addition to the flexibility it adds by allowing you to dodge skillshots, hop walls and escape death, Cho'Gath can also use Flash in order to reach priority targets to burst with Feast. I recommend you take both Flash and Smite every game.|
|Whenever Cho'Gath kills a unit, he recovers 20 - 71 (+2.83 each level) Health and 3.5 - 7.75 Mana (+0.25 each level).|
This is a pretty straightforward passive that's mostly just used for sustain while jungling (or if you're laning with Cho'Gath, while laning!). You don't need to do anything special to make use of this in your clear, so just remember that it's there to help you out. Worth noting that this passive along with Vorpal Spikes' AoE gives Cho'Gath a very strong clear on the Raptors camp at level 1.
One thing to remember in combat is that you can last-hit a few minions or pets in order to gain some extra health or mana. Usually this is most useful when you're out of mana, so you last-hit a couple minions and get enough mana for a key spell.
|Ruptures the ground at target location. After a delay of 0.5 seconds, enemies are launched into the air for 1 second, dealt 80 / 135 / 190 / 245 / 300 (+100% of ability power) magic damage, and have their movement speed slowed by 60% for 1.5 seconds.|
This is probably one of the toughest CCs in the game to land. It's got a respectable AoE, but the cast time combined with the delay makes this spell super obvious and easy to dodge, especially if the enemy has vision of you. One way to increase the likelihood of you landing Rupture is to cast it when you're in fog of war (in a bush or over a wall), since the enemy will only have a half-second to react since they can't see your cast animation.
In your jungle clear, Rupture is useful early game for accelerating your clear and reducing the damage you receive by disabling enemy monsters. When possible, try to time Rupture so that it interrupts the monster's basic attack during the attack animation. This will give you the best results for your health sustain. Since a rank 1 Rupture deals more damage than a rank 1 Feral Scream, and it has CC, this is the ability you'll use if you don't have blue buff and need to conserve mana. If you're really low on mana, just use Vorpal Spikes and nothing else.
The easiest way to land this ability is to use it after an allied champion uses their own CC to slow or stop the target. Most CCs in the game are strong enough to prevent enemies from walking out of your Rupture, though if they're slowed, they may still Flash it or use another movement ability. Since this ability is a 1 second knockup plus a 1.5 second slow, you're very likely to kill your target if you chain your CC with your allies.
Remember that, like other knockups, you can use this ability to interrupt channels or dash abilities. Keep that in mind when playing against champions like Zac who have large, predictable dashes, since you can not only guarantee your CC lands, but even prevent the enemy from reaching your team.
|After 0.5 seconds, Cho'Gath screams in a cone in front of him, silencing enemies for 1.6 / 1.7 / 1.8 / 1.9 / 2 seconds and dealing 75 / 125 / 175 / 225 / 275 (+70% of ability power) magic damage.|
Feral Scream is much easier to land than Rupture, but isn't as rewarding. At rank 1 the damage is pretty low, so I recommend only using this against jungle monsters if you have blue buff to sustain your mana. Once you get more points in it, it starts dealing more respectable damage compared to Rupture, which will stay at rank 1.
While not completely reliable, Feral Scream can increase your chances of landing Rupture against champions with movement abilities, or simply Flash. At rank 1 the silence lasts long enough to immediately cast Rupture, leaving the enemy without a chance to use spells to dodge it. However, this doesn't prevent your target from just sidestepping the Rupture, so you may want to combine this with allied CC, Stalker's Blade's Chilling Smite, Righteous Glory's slow, or simply the slow from Vorpal Spikes.
If you're not familiar with Silence effects, it prevents enemy champions from casting any of their abilities, using activatable items, or using Flash and Teleport. This means the enemy jungler can Smite while silenced, so don't rely on that to secure objectives (you should be able to use Feast for that). There are a few abilities like Undying Rage and Remove Scurvy that can be cast through silences, some abilities remove silences, and the duration of the effect is reduced by tenacity.
Silences are useful against almost every champion but since this ability has a long cooldown, you'll need to decide how to prioritize it. In some games, you might want to save Feral Scream to combo with Rupture and lock up a priority target in the backline. In others, you should save it to shut down the Zed, Riven or LeBlanc that's threatening your carries. In other cases, you can just cast it to hit the maximum amount of enemies in a team fight. Use your head and prioritize which enemies are most important to silence before entering a team fight. Don't just press W as soon as someone's in range!
First thing to note about this ability is that it's an autoattack reset. This means if you autoattack, and then press E as soon as it completes, you'll attack twice in quick succession. You'll want to reset your autoattack pretty much every time you cast E, so get used to where the animation cuts off.
Secondly, and perhaps most importantly, the cooldown starts when you finish your final attack, or once the buff expires. This means there's a big difference in DPS if you only manage to attack once or twice with your E active, since you'll be waiting the full duration of the buff and then the full duration of the cooldown. To maximize the up-time on this spell, you need to get your attacks off as quickly as possible.
The mana cost is 30 at all ranks, which is really really low. You'll want to be using Vorpal Spikes pretty much any time you're autoattacking, unless you're freezing a minion wave for your ally. Spam this as much as possible when clearing the jungle and make sure to cast it often in fights. We'll be maxing E first, so this is also your most reliable source of damage outside of Feast.
The slow on this spell is pretty decent, so it can help you set up Rupture and slow people down for your allies. Use Stalker's Blade's Chilling Smite to get close, then Vorpal Spikes to keep your target slowed. In team fights, you can hit multiple opponents for decent damage and a large AoE slow, which applies Font of Life, so you'll be healing your team at the same time!
A nice feature of this ability is that the range is calculated from edge-to-edge. What this means is that when you're really big because of Feast, Gargoyle Stoneplate, Elixir of Iron and maybe even Lulu's Wild Growth, you'll be gaining a lot more range on your E spikes.
Using this ability in combat is pretty straightforward. If you can kill the target with Feast, you use it. If you can't, you chip away at them until they're low enough. The only reason to use Feast on a target you can't kill would be if they're about to get out of your range (but could die to an ally) or you're about to die. If an enemy's health is low enough that they will die from Feast, a ring of glowing red teeth appears underneath them.
The tricky part of this ability is managing the cooldown. You'll want to get your 6 stacks from minion and monsters while keeping the cooldown available for important ganks and fights. You'll also want to use Feast to last-hit epic monsters, both to secure them and for the free stack. Making the best use of your Feast cooldown is difficult and will require some practice. Here are some rough priorities to point you in the right direction:
- Use Feast to secure contested objectives (baron and dragon).
- Use Feast to kill enemy carries.
- Use Feast to kill other enemy champions if you can't get to the carries.
- Use Feast to gain stacks on uncontested epic monsters (they're uncapped!).
- Use Feast during downtime to farm up your 6 stacks from minions and non-epic monsters.
In order to properly combo Smite and Feast, you actually need to press R just before you cast Smite. Feast has a short cast time, so in order to minimize the gap between your Smite and ultimate, you need to cast Feast first. Just make sure you cast them pretty close together, otherwise you'll Feast too early and last-hit with Smite, leaving you without an extra stack. :(
Also since Feast and Smite are both true damage, you can very reliably know how much burst you can deal to an epic monster. Calculate your burst damage beforehand and use the combo above to secure the objective at a far higher health threshold than the enemy can steal. Remember, the base damage against non-champions is increased to 1000, so it'll be 1000 base plus however much damage you're getting from the bonus health scaling. Mouse over the ability to check that.
Like Vorpal Spikes, Feast's range is calculated edge-to-edge, which means your increased size gives you extra range on the ability! Make sure you're using Gargoyle Stoneplate and Elixir of Iron as they could provide enough range to reach your target with Feast.
You may want to take Rupture at level 1 to lock up enemies in level 1 invades, but if you're just starting by farming the jungle, take Vorpal Spikes.
The normal start is E, Q then W. Vorpal Spikes has the lowest cooldown and gives us the best jungle clear. Rupture is helpful at level 1 since it deals more damage and has a lower cooldown at rank 1 compared to W. It also knocks up monsters!. Take Feral Scream at level 3 so you have your full suite of abilities available should you need to gank or fight the enemy jungler. You can also spam W on camps if you have blue buff.
Vorpal Spikes is maxed first as it's the most reliable and lowest cooldown damage spell. Feral Scream is maxed next for the lower cooldown and higher silence duration. Again, it's also the next most reliable spell. Rupture can remain at rank 1 for a while, as it's the least likely spell to land and its crucial stats (crowd control and cooldown) aren't increased by rank.
As with most champions, put points into your ultimate whenever possible, at 6, 11 and 16.
|I recommend starting with Hunter's Talisman and Refillable Potion every game. Vorpal Spikes will proc Talisman on all targets hit and Refillable gives you some efficient health sustain should you take any damage in fights or early clear. Since we're running Resolve as our primary path, we'll have some bonus HP from our runes that'll give us the empowered Kindle passive right away at level one.|
|After level 9 switch to Sweeping Lens and upgrade to Oracle Alteration. It's worth sacrificing vision for vision denial in the mid and late game. You'll want the oracle to increase the likelihood of getting picks on enemies and to control vision around dragon and baron. Be sure to keep buying Control Wards so you still contribute to your team's vision!|
|This is my preferred jungle item on Cho'Gath as it increases your chances of successfully landing Rupture or catching fleeing targets. Since Cho's early ganks are a little lacking in reliability, Stalker's Blade helps you have a more consistent impact on the early game. I recommend this over Skirmisher's Sabre as Cho needs the mobility much more than the damage from Sabre, especially since late game you can one-shot carries with Feast.|
|Tabi are pretty much always a notable option on melee champions because virtually every game has an enemy Marksman who will become a major autoattack threat by late game. Ninja Tabi's passive provides a lot of effective health against autoattackers, especially later in the game when they'll likely deal the most damage of anyone in the game. If the enemy team has a lot of physical damage or not much CC, you'll likely want Tabi. You can even get Elixir of Iron late game to help make up for the lack of tenacity.|
|This should be a very obvious choice given the champion. Cho'Gath already gains a lot of bonus health from Feast, so those bonuses will be multiplied by Cinderhulk's passive. It's also a quick and easy source of damage for jungle clear and upgrades out of your starting item, so rushing this item is a no-brainer.|
|This is a perfect mix of stats for Cho'Gath in the early-mid-game. Not only are armor, health and CDR crucial stats in every game, but the active mitigates one of Cho'Gath's main problems. Instead of fishing for Rupture, you can just charge into the enemy team, slow them and then chomp on an enemy carry. I recommend buying this item every game, even if your team has good engage, purely because you need to walk into melee range to reliably threaten any targets.|
|Warmog's Armor is the best late game item if you're not at risk of dying quickly in team fights. Consider this your "greedy" or "offensive" item for late game, as the regeneration gives you greatly increased up-time on the map. The high amount of health from this item also gives you more damage on Feast, which is another reason this is sort of an offensive pick. Just remember that you'll already have a ton of health, so generally a resistance item ( Thornmail or Adaptive Helm is going to give you better survivability.|
|Stoneplate is a safe option that offers mixed defenses and a lot of extra survivability for team fights. Since Feast deals true damage, it won't be reduced if you use the Stoneplate active before casting R. Moreover, the increased bonus health you have during the active will fuel Feast's damage. If you can get in the middle of at least 3 enemies, use Stoneplate and then cast R, you can deal a ton of true damage late game. This makes Stoneplate a fantastic item on Cho'Gath if you don't need to rush more specialized defenses like Randuin's Omen or Adaptive Helm.|
|You'll probably be buying a Thornmail most games as it's the perfect item for Cho'Gath to deal with enemy ADCs. By the final two items, Cho'Gath will already have a ton of health, so Thornmail's high armor value is a good complement to his stats. This also mitigates the effect of enemy lifesteal. The last thing you want is for the enemy ADC to just lifesteal off you for free (if you can't one-shot them with Feast) while you and your allies try in vain to kill them.|
|This is your best defense against critical strikes. Many ADCs will be building crit chance throughout the game, adn they're often your biggest threat by late game. If you need defense against a strong ADC and/or the enemy team has other crit champions (more Marksmen, Tryndamere, Yasuo etc.), consider buying this sometime after Warmog's Armor.|
|While it's a little situational, Adaptive Helm can be incredibly effective under the right circumstances. This item is the best counter to mages that are most able to kill you. The damage reduction is great against any mages with low cooldown spells (), damage-over-time effects ( ), multi-hit spells (), DoT AoEs () and magic-empowered autoattacks (). Mages that don't have any of the above types of spells usually can't kill you, making Adaptive Helm usually the best option for personal defense against magic damage.|
|This item isn't great for personal defense as it doesn't offer any health at all, but it provides decent stats, and more importantly, a very powerful active. Locket of the Iron Solari's shield scales with bonus health, making a Cho'Gath with Gargoyle Stoneplate arguably the best champion in the game for making the biggest shield possible. This is a good option to protect your team from AoE burst or diving assassins, as the huge shield can swing fights by keeping your carries alive. Check whether your support is building a Locket, as it's not as effective to have more than one. Make sure you aren't stacking the actives if you do both end up buying one.|
Familiarize yourself with these spawn times and respawn timers so you know what to expect in-game. If you're already an experienced jungler, feel free to skip this section.
Dragon (Elementals & Elder)|
Spawns At: 2:30
Respawn Time: 6:00
Elder Dragon Spawns: After 35:00
Elder Dragon Respawn: 10:00
Spawns At: 20:00
Respawn Time: 7:00
Plants are stationary, neutral units with 1 health. They can be destroyed with a basic attack to trigger an effect. Three different types of plants will spawn in the jungle and river. Their spawn timers and locations vary slightly but for the most part they are fairly predictable. The first spawn locations for all plants are predetermined.
First inner cone spawn: 1:15 - 1:25|
First outer cone spawn: 5:00 - 5:30
Inner cone respawn time: 5 - 7 minutes
Outer cone respawn time: 5.5 - 6.5 minutes
- Knocks away nearby units (including the attacker) when destroyed — even over walls.
- Blast Cones spawn in two spots per jungle quadrant, an inner point toward the center of the quadrant, and an outer point near Baron/Dragon.
First spawn: 3:00 - 3:30, always at each quadrant’s spawn point nearest to the side lanes|
Next spawn time: 5 - 6.5 minutes at either spawn point, starting once a given quadrant's Scryer's Bloom is destroyed
- When destroyed, releases vision-granting pollen in a large cone that flies in the direction the attacker was facing, revealing units and wards for 12 seconds (3 seconds on champions).
- Scryer's Bloom can spawn in two spots per jungle quadrant, close to river ramps.
- Only one Scryer's Bloom can be present per quadrant.
First spawn: 6:00 - 6:30 minutes|
Respawn time: 5.5 - 7 minutes
- Drops 5 fruits on the ground when killed.
- Each fruit heals for 3.5% of max health or 8 (+6 per level) flat health, whichever is higher.
- Eating a fruit slows you for 35% for 0.25 seconds.
- Honeyfruit spawn along river walls, starting near Dragon or Baron pits and slowly extending closer toward lanes over the course of the game.
- If a Honeyfruit isn't taken before its respawn timer completes, a second Honeyfruit may spawn. No more than two Honeyfruits can exist per half of the river.
As a jungler, you have the most agency when it comes to traversing the map to place down vision, especially in the enemy jungle. When it's safe to do so, try to place deep wards to keep track of the enemy jungler.
Placing a Control Ward near lane-dominant allies will help them avoid ganks from the enemy jungler and free up a path for future ganks from you. You can also use a Control Ward to check a bush you're waiting in to make sure it's clear (if you don't have a Sweeping Lens or Oracle Alteration).
As the game progresses, you may have to start placing wards nearer to your base if you're losing, or deeper into the enemy jungle if you are winning. Always remember to place a Control Ward inside the dragon or baron pit if your team is planning on taking that objective.
Below are some of the more valuable ward spots. Of course, warding is always situational, so don't feel restricted to only using these placements if the situation calls for something else.
Blue side stealth ward locations
Blue side control ward locations
Red side stealth ward locations
Red side control ward locations
Jungle routes are very flexible and should change according to in-game situations and meta changes. Once you know both team compositions, start planning your route, and be ready to adjust your plan if level 1 circumstances (such as early invades or vision control) require you to adapt. In general, starting on the opposite side of the map of the lane you want to gank first is a good idea.
Volatile matchups like Darius vs Riven top, aggressive enemies like Yasuo and champions with poor escapes like Twisted Fate are good targets to gank early. If your ally has great setup, like Nautilus or Annie, you can visit those lanes often for easy kills.
You may also want to plan your route to minimize enemy opportunities to invade or maximize your own chances of stealing camps. Starting on the same side as an invader like Shaco or Nunu allows you to secure your buffs safely, while starting on the opposite side of a champion like Evelynn or Olaf can lead to a kill at their second buff. Against slower clearing junglers, you may be able to just walk into their jungle after your first camp and take their buff for free.
On Cho'Gath, I generally recommend routes that maximize efficiency. The earlier you get to level 6, the faster you'll get your initial Feast stacks and the tankier you'll be by mid-game. You are of course free to gank very early when appropriate, but try to make sure you have a specific purpose when you skip over a camp to gank earlier. It's better to clear your camps first and then waste a little time looking for opportunities rather than spending too little time farming, setting yourself behind.
Blue > Gromp > Wolves > Red
Blue > Wolves > Red
Slower route, better efficiency.
Faster route, better gank priority.
These are pretty typical routes starting from blue buff. More efficient routes are better in games where there won't be much ganking action in the first few levels. Use the slower route if you won't be able to gank immediately and you won't need to counter the enemy jungler's ganks ( Shyvana or Master Yi likely won't gank immediately at level 3). The faster route is good for contesting river control and gank priority against most junglers.
Blue > Enemy Red > Scuttler >
Gromp > Wolves > Red
Blue > Enemy Red > Enemy Raptors > Red
Red steal with high efficiency.
Red + raptors steal with potential lvl 2 mid gank.
The efficient red steal is surprisingly effective in solo queue (outside high diamond+ anyway). Teams don't coordinate for vision or jungle defense very well, so you can often just steal a free buff and farm the rest of your jungle, leaving the enemy jungler at a disadvantage. Be sure to warn your laners when the enemy jungler is likely to gank, since they won't be able to continue powerfarming.
Stealing red and raptors can be strong against junglers that will almost certainly clear all three of their blue-side camps. It denies them a lot of experience and leaves them little to farm. Crossing through mid for some early pressure to secure your red is a good option against junglers that rely on red buff to gank. Otherwise you could do a similar route to the one on the left where you just clear a lot of camps. Be ready to interrupt your route any time after level 3 to gank.
There are three main types of ganks for top lane: flanks, dives and lane ganks. Actually, this applies to bottom as well, but due to ward coverage your options are more limited there.
Flanks are the most straight-forward type of ganks; you gank when the enemy laner is overextended. From blue side, you can use the Blast Cone near the river bush for a sudden entrance to the river, or you can simply walk up river if there are no enemy wards. You can also go through the enemy northern jungle to flank through tribush if it's safe to do so. Against enemies with dashes, you'll either want to wait until they use the dash before using Rupture, or you'll just chain your Q with your ally's CC if they have one.
Dives are a little difficult for Cho'Gath early game as he doesn't have much burst damage and can't drop tower aggro easily. Once you're level 6 with Feast, you have a lot more threat in dives. If your ally is a high damage melee champion, you might need to take tower aggro and let them deal the damage while you CC the target. If your ally has a way to drop tower aggro or is a ranged champion that can quickly step out of range, you can let them tank and follow up once they start attacking.
Lane ganks are a bit more complicated because they take time to set up and your top laner needs to be on the same page as you so they set up the wave properly. If your top is pushing, you can enter the lane bushes without being seen, then wait for the wave to reset to the middle of the lane and look for an opportunity to fight the enemy 2v1. The best time to engage is when the enemy goes for a last-hit on one of your minions, especially ranged or cannon minions since they're farther towards your side of the map. You can either let your laner start the fight with a CC or just cast Rupture from the bush when the enemy is last-hitting, as they're much less likely to dodge it while you're unseen.
Cho'Gath's ganks are either solid or really terrible depending on who the mid laners are. Against low mobility mids, he has decent gank pressure with Rupture, especially if he already has Stalker's Blade to help land Q. With allied mids like Twisted Fate or Syndra that have some sort of setup, he provides great followup CC that will usually result in a kill.
However, if your mid laner has weak followup or setup like Vladimir or an early game Kassadin, or if your opponent is highly mobile like Ahri, it can be much more difficult to effectively gank. Take note of both mid lane champions and their abilities, then decide how likely you are to land a Rupture and actually get a summoner or a kill out of the gank.
If you don't have Flash, it's usually best to try and approach from a flank, otherwise you'll just be lumbering obviously towards your target and they'll run away to their tower.
Bot lane is pretty nice to gank as Cho'Gath because most bot lanes have some sort of crowd control to set up your Rupture. Pick one target to focus and layer your crowd control on them to prevent them from escaping. The tough part of ganking bot is that there is usually stronger ward coverage, so ganking from blue side when you have a Control Ward in tribush, or ganking from red side when you have a Blast Cone or a Control Ward in river bush is usually best. You can also go for a lane gank, but I recommend doing so only if your ADC or support has pretty strong engage, otherwise you might just be waiting around in a bush for a while.
Keep an eye out for ADCs and supports with special escape spells, as they may determine which champion you'll need to focus. For example, Thresh can pull his ADC to safety, but doesn't have many tools to escape death himself. Kalista's ultimate, Fate's Call, is an even better escape for her support, as it can be used even when the support is CCd. Rakan has multiple dashes to escape with, and if he's paired with Xayah, his Battle Dance has extra range. In general, it's best to focus the enemy with the best chance of dying, rather than just focusing the ADC every time because they're more important.
One last thing to be aware of for bot lane ganks - be prepared for counterganks. This applies to any lane but is especially important for bot lane ganks. If you don't take stock of the map before ganking, you could find yourself in a 3v5, which could lose you multiple kills and objectives, possibly resulting in the eventual loss of the game. Keep in mind enemy Teleport cooldowns, global spells like Stand United and Destiny, and possible locations for the enemy jungler and mid laner. It's much safer to attempt a gank on bottom lane if you know the enemy team can't countergank, even if your gank doesn't work out ideally.
If you manage to kill your target in a successful gank, you'll usually want to help your laner push the wave to the enemy tower so that your minions are killed by the tower, denying the enemy laner gold and experience. The minion waves will also reset to the center of the lane, giving your teammate time to go back to base and buy items and return to a safe position. One exception to the push-after-ganking rule is if you gank very early in the game against an enemy with Teleport (usually the top laner). If you kill someone very early, they'll respawn after only a few seconds and Teleport without missing much CS. If you push when that happens, your top laner will just lose a lot of XP since they're sharing with you and it can set them behind without denying the enemy top laner any farm.
After a successful gank, usually when pushing to the enemy tower, you may want to take a minion tax. This means you'll take some of the farm to help you keep up in gold since you had to spend time ganking rather than farming your jungle. You'll generally want to tax more heavily if your laner gets the kill off a gank and tax lightly if you took the kill. Many low-ranked players (and occasionally some high-ranked ones too) are selfish or ignorant and think that taxing their lane is going to ruin their farm and cause them to lose the lane. They're wrong, as taxing in moderation keeps a jungler's gold and experience relevant throughout the game, but if your laner freaks out because you took a few minions (or pushed their lane, some people think this is a bad thing all the time), you may want to just leave so they don't feed or AFK or something.
Holding lanes is an often necessary duty of a jungler and is something you should be happy to do (since it gives you a lot of gold and XP). If your laner dies or needs to go back to base, you may need to "hold" or "cover" their lane by clearing out enemy minions pushing to your tower. If the enemy laner goes back to base or is dead, you may wish to push the wave to the enemy tower. Only do this if you can finish pushing before the enemy laner gets back to lane or they can freeze it in front of their tower, making it difficult for your laner to farm safely. Usually holding a lane consists of either clearing the current wave that is at your tower or pushing completely to the enemy tower. Don't just sit in a lane and last-hit because it's a waste of your time.
Cho'Gath's late game isn't much different from the rest of the game. By this point you'll have your Righteous Glory and Gargoyle Stoneplate, so your best chance of winning team fights is using Glory and Flash to get close to your target, activating Stoneplate for the bonus HP, then using Feast to kill a priority target. If you can land Rupture or an ally lands a CC spell on your target, you're more likely to succeed. You'll only get one Feast per fight, so make sure you're getting the most out of it. If you can't reach the backline, make sure your Feast goes towards killing someone that threatens your backline.
If and when your Feast is down, you'll mostly just be disrupting enemies with crowd control. Few enemies will be threatened by the meager base damage of Cho'Gath's basic abilities late game, so focus on landing timely Ruptures and Feral Screams while your carries do work. Make sure you don't kill yourself chasing enemies you can't kill, because it's better to stay close to your teammates in that case. That way you can more easily zone their carries and reduce the amount of time they have to keep attacking.
Against teams with heavy shielding, you might not have enough damage to one-shot the enemy ADC. If that's the case, play closer to your teammates and use Feast on someone you can kill. That, or you'll have to follow up another ally who gets some damage off on the ADC before you swoop in and finish them off.
Outside of full team fights, vision control should be a priority around major objectives ( baron and elder dragon ). If you're not full build yet, be sure to buy Control Wards in your last item slot and use them to deny vision around objectives. This is pretty basic stuff for any jungler, but for Cho'Gath you're pretty much at the mercy of your teammates to carry you late as you can only kill one person at most.
Remember you have a huge nuke for securing epic monsters, so once you've cleared vision around the objective, you might want to just start killing it. The only exception would be if your team is likely to get smashed by AoE from champions like Rumble or Anivia while they're clustered in the pit. In which case, you'd just have to try and get a pick with CC while denying vision.
Thank you for reading my Cho'Gath guide! I hope I was able to help you become a better jungler and a smarter player. Feel free to leave me a comment if you have any questions, comments or criticism. I read all comments on my guides even if I don't respond to all of them. If you appreciated my guide or approve of my build, feel free to hit the green upvote button up top.
A special thank you to those who have supported my guides with votes, Scout points and advice that have been instrumental in bringing my guides to the level of quality they are today.
|A very special thank you to Jovy for her wonderful graphics used in this guide as well as her help with coding all my guides. All the fancy headers, table of contents and most of the other graphics you see in my guides are from her. Be sure to check out some of her other work at her signature shop and her own guides!|
Follow me on Facebook and Twitter for stream updates and other League of Legends content.