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Kog'Maw Build Guide by S4uc3 t4rt4r3

AD Carry The Obliterator (ADC, mid, jungle)

By S4uc3 t4rt4r3 | Updated on February 17, 2016

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Choose Champion Build:

  • LoL Champion: Kog'Maw
    ADC kog (the most tanky ADC)
  • LoL Champion: Kog'Maw
    Mid Kog (poke&DPS)
  • LoL Champion: Kog'Maw
    Jungle Kog (DPS and tank)
  • LoL Champion: Kog'Maw
    TrollKog loves mana


LoL Summoner Spell: Heal


LoL Summoner Spell: Flash


LeagueSpy Logo
ADC Role
Ranked #6 in
ADC Role
Win 49%
Get More Stats

Threats & Synergies

Threats Synergies
Extreme Major Even Minor Tiny
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None Low Ok Strong Ideal
Extreme Threats
Ideal Synergies


Hello people, I'm OTP Kog since his rework patch 5.22, and he was already my main ADC before his rework. And with the buff of patch 6.3 (whicha also make this champion much more comprehensive in his gameplay), I expect kog to become kinda popular, and even sometimes ban.

Patch 5.22 and 5.23 were definitly amazingly fun with chat like "Omg, kog, that stuff..." "f*** you, it's working ! ^^" (I had guinsoo's rageblade, wit's end and 8/2/something), I also saw a serie of "WTF, these damages" then I almost did a pentakill (penta was stolen by amumu) once... Or these moments, on lanes, when opponents decided to traid with you when you had guinsoo's with full stacks... followed by some O.O on the chat... Just lot of fun.

I'm writing this guide because I think that kog is actually pretty misunderstood. I'm in master 2 of economics, used to manipulate stats everyday and, well, I perfectly understand that it's not one of the easiest champion to build so I want to bring here some understanding, just because I believe I can.

Now, Kog's design came to maturity,so I can make a build which won't change a lot overtime (hopefully for me because I won't have a lot of free time to improve this guide). So it's time for me to write this guide

Let's get started =D
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First of all I need to make a point on how Kog is special

These few points are just simple calculation on how to make the most DPS. it means there is no point of making an arbitration. So if statistically it works, in game it will work too.


color=#00ff00]1. An ADC based on on-hit damages/effects[/color]

with his rework (patch 5.22), Kog start to scale extremely well with on-hit damages/effects when he was previously a standard ADC using attack damages and criticals.
simple calculation about the cost efficiency of these stats will give you that on-hit damages are always better than AD and that crit start to be more effective that on-hit damages when kog has more than ~320 AD, so just never.

2. LOW scaling damages

from last point, we saw that kog stacks now with 2 caracteristics (on hit damages * atk speed) while other ADC stack on 3 (atk damages * atk speed * crit chances)

This has HUGE (and misunderstood) implications. I'll make a very simple model to explain it :

I'll compare the DPS of 2 champion that start with :
- 100 damages
- 1 attack speed per second (100%)
- a modifier of damages of 1 (100%) ~~ I assume here that 1% of crit chance is the same as increasing this modifier by 1 point of percentage (100% >> 101%)

And over time, they will point that they can freely put in these caracteristics, these points cost all the same, so to maximise the DPS, it is better to put the same amount in all the caracteristics.
A standard ADC can put freely his points in 3 caracteritics while kog can't put any point in the damages modifier (cf crits)

(I'll add a graph to show the curves and the difference between them... next time I'll rework a bit this guide)

This Table shows you that as Kog scales with 2 caracteristics only, we will get less bonuses from his offensive items... after he bought already 2 or 3.
Said in another way. A Standard ADC and a Kog have the same DPS with 3 offensive items, if you give them a 4th, if the damages of the standard ADC increase by 30% thanks to this new item, the damages of the Kog will only increase by 15%.

3. Kog'maw is still a late-game hypercarry

in fact, whenever the last point is true, Kog will naturally get a lot of damages over time.
These damages came from Caustic Spittle armor and MR %reduction, Bio-Arcane Barrage damages in % of max life, from Blade of the Ruined King % of current life damages and Fervor of Battle .
All theses sources of damages will simply become more efficient as the game is going on, whenever you buy items or not.
And (they will easily represent 50-66% of the damages point you will deal with each autohits.
So AS LONG AS YOU HAVE THE ATTACK SPEED, Your Kog will deal amazing amount of damages in late game whenever you buy offensive items or not.

Moreover Kog's ulitmate Living Artillery scales better to the late game than the majorities of ults.

4. So, Kog can tank ?

Yes, and that's his particularity. You won't get great bonuses from offensive items after the 2nd or 3rd. so if you can't buy offensive items... you will buy some defensives.
This will also allow you to take some damages without dying instantly and so... to stay where you are... to perform the greatest DPS ever

and in late game you will be able to have a kog with 2500-3000 HP, with 150-200 armor/MR (so able to tank 5750-9000 damages upon dying not including sterak/GA) with sterak shield and guardian angel for example... while dealing over 2000 damages per second (can be to several targets if owning runnan). Yes, it names being a monster...
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Kog'Maw ADC

Pros and cons :

Pros :
- great tankiness

Cons :
- can hardly avoid being caught
- weak early

offensive items :

Cull : There are two reason to take this item over Doran's Blade, the first is regen, as Kog will not increase his attack damages to 100 in the early game, you will get more regen from Cull, the second is golds, well, playing Kog, you can't expect to kill pre-6, except if you are extremely lucky, and you will hardly dominate late, and so you will have to play safe. When doing it, Cull is more viable.

Doran's Blade : However there are matchups which will simply force you to not play that safe (I consider miss fortune and kalista), and so in order to not give kills, well you have to take the Doran's Blade

Recurve Bow : this item gives attack speed and on-hit damages, and that's all Kog's need as offensive stacks. So Recurve Bow will be the most efficient item on Kog in early, so you must buy it asap.

Blade of the Ruined King : This item is the strongest item in term of on-hit damages, moreover it grants regen, which is important. On the second hand, the main problem of Kog is not to have plenty of damages but to have "enough" to kill anybody. granting more damages to tanky targets, this item will truly help Kog out.

Guinsoo's Rageblade : in order to get as much damages from Wit's End (which moreover grant magic resist), you need to put at least ~10 autohits, it's A LOT ! so... to really make it being worth you will need... 15 autohits maybe.
The way of consider this item changes with your role :
ADC : can be nice as you can stack it on minions, but it's dangerous choice.
MID : can be nice once you have a lot of AP/some AD and already a lot of attack speed, moreover his AD/AP stats will allow to make stronger ults. Which is great.
jungler : no way, 10 autohits in a fight as a jungler... too risky to be a decent choice.

Wit's End : This item grants flat on-hit damages, this is great early in the game, but not in late game (compared to runnan that may double or tiple your damages, guisnoo that will stack extremely fast thanks to your attack speed, or Blade of the Ruined King that will deal damages in % of life), so you must buy this item early or never
This item grants MR, this will allow you to take ~50% of additional magical damages upon dying, which is sweaaaaat, mostly against mage with burst.

Nashor's Tooth : there will be ALWAYS a better alternative than this item but it's not a bad item.

Muramana : this item is problematic, on one hand, it's a nice item that gives the mana to poke your opponent with your spell in lane but on the other hand, buying Tear of the Goddess instead of Recurve Bow reduce sharply your autohit damages. Moreover it will take a long time before to transform and if you really want to take benefit from this item you must max E before W. Then the active of the item will literally blow your mana for giving you on-hit damages which will never exceed 80 (so a bit less as the expected damages of Blade of the Ruined King.
Clearly, this item can be nothing else than situational, but it's possible to build it as ADC mostly.

Defensive items :

For this part, always keep in mind the balance between HP and armor/MR which works like that :
1 armor and 1 MR = 1% more HP
which give, using the cost of armor/MR, a balance of ~
20 points of armor/MR for ~120 HP that exceed 1200 (the goal being to make the balance between armor and MR in order to take as much physical damages as magical damages)

this is of course not working in the laning phase where regen is too important (so you need more armor/MR to take less damages and regen HP lost more easily) and can be changed according to the stats of the champion you are playing. here for example, kog will have a few regen in fight so you can play with a bit less HP than in the balance.
BUT always keep in mind that shield/heal in % of life DO NOT change the balance (they benefit from both extra armor/MR and extra HP)

Frozen Mallet : You must do this when facing a team that you counter

Sterak's Gage : You must do this when facing a team that counter you. whether it's the best item for being tank, it is kinda hard to use : the HP you must lose before the activation of the shield may represent more than 70% of your max life, that you must lose within a few sec, of the shield won't activate.
The main problem here is if you are not full life when engaging the fight, well, the shield might never activate, and so buying Blade of the Ruined King before it is essencial.
something like Recurve Bow > Berserker's Greaves > Blade of the Ruined King > Recurve Bow > Sterak's Gage

Guardian Angel : if well used, the passive of this item can be really amazing.
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Kog'Maw Mid

Pros and cons :

Pros :
- can poke
- can avoid being caught through long range slows
- really use the full Kog'Maw's Kit
- the fastest tower destroyer ever, can even splitpush.

Cons :
- Less tankiness
- not mixed damages

basic knowledges to have :

As an APC, kog is kinda special, I'll introduce you here a few tip to understand him :

AP vs magic penetration

when trying to make a build of an AP, you must find out if his/her AP ratio are nice enough to buy AP or if you must prefer magic penetration instead.

The tip :
to know if the champion you are looking for will more benefit from AP or MP

1. On champion that will mostly deal damages through their basic spells

calculate how much AP he need to have AS MUCH DAMAGES from the AP ratio than from his base damages at the 5th level of the basics spell.
less than 300 : dependant from AP, ex : Elise or Evelynn
~300 : high AP ratio, ex : Xerath or Annie
~400 : average AP ratio, ex : almost every mage
more than 400 : low AP ratio, ex : Leona, Maokai

2. (the case of kog), on champion who will mostly make damages through their ultimate

same method applied with ult at 2nd level, interpretation of result is the same.

Here, results shows that whether Kog had low AP ratio before his rework, now his AP ratio are average.
So previously, Kog was scaling a lot with magic penetration, and now... it's ok to play him using mostly AP. Moreover, whenever Kog is played AP, he will get amazing bonuses from Fervor of Battle which make physical damages and do not benefit from magic penetration

(I remember the good old time of season 3, when Kog's Q was reducing armor/MR by a flat amount, which allows to make true magical damages maxing Q and taking MP runes/items, This was the perfect dominion fighter, insane burst, insane DPS, very long range ult to cancel captures, able to 1vs1 jax/fiora in fair fight with equal stuff, aaaaaaah).

my choices

you will see reading guide a wild array of different way to play kog mid that go from a guide such as mine with restricted mana pool and trying to take the best from any aspect of the champion to guide that just suggest you to run Seraph's Embrace+ Rod of Ages+ rylai's crystal specter+ Liandry's Anguish

well, let's get started

1. summoner spell : ghost

In fact I've watched a lot of game of kog mid to make my choices among all these AP items that can be nice on Kog, and once, I've seen Origen (this season) playing AP kog mid with ghost, and it was great ! when barrer/heal don't often allow to survive/win a trade, ~everytime I've seen him using ghost, some good stuff happened. I tried, it worked amazingly.

2. runes

MR per level : in my build, there is high possibility that you will be too much lazy *** to build some Magic resist, but staying at 30 point is awful, just awful, you get midlife from a single - not so dangerous - spell, it's just aaawwh (statistically, 157/130 = 1.2, which means this simple runes will allow you to take 20% more magical damages upon dying at level 18, and... you easily take some magical damages, very easily)
HP regen/5s at level 18 : well, in all game I've seen, people didn't take it, and they craved it. In all game I've done on my reroll without them, same results. simply, after laning phase, the only regen you will have is your base HP regen, which moreover is low. 15 point/5s at level 18. These simple runes will give you 18 additional point

3. Masteries :

Fervor of Battle : well, at ~any moment of the game (after level 6) , you will get that 4s of damages from Deathfire Touch = the damages of 1 authit using Fervor of Battle
and as Kog's Living Artillery and Void Ooze are area spells, they only poke Deathfire Touch for 2s. So basically, with this build, Fervor of Battle will be much more dangerous than Deathfire Touch . Concerning thunderlord, poking it is too hard, CD is too long and it's not that strong... seriously.

5. items :

Cull : well, everytime I've been using it on kog mid, I've not regret it, the amount of sustain it gives is just sweaat and AD is not wasted at all : it really increase the damages of the ult (I remember you that even after discounting their prices, AD increase more the damages of Living Artillery than AP)
Moreover, the important point here is to buy

Rod of Ages : well, I have played with Tear of the Goddess - as everybody - and... it was nice last season, on kog who don't have good AP ratio... Now... you don't need just mana. Moreover if you play Tear of the Goddess, you will btw need to buy extra health after (like by buying rylai for example), but rylai's slow is... not that useful, well, it doesn't really allow to hit someone with several Living Artillery in a row, firstly because area of effect is too slow to prevent someone slowed by 40% to out of it if he really want. and moreover, often you can't approach enough to cast a second/third ult... simply because your target has a team too.

Then, to those who prefer to play with both Rod of Ages and tear of goddess, just no. Well, on some games I watched where people were playing normally, with this stuff, the player NEVER felt under 60% max mana. I've seen some of them succeeding to run out of mana. But it was always after casting 3 perfectly not necessary Living Artillery that cost them over 1000 mana (because of stacks that didn't end). And, in all the game I've played, it was perfectly ok to not use second mana item.
and using both Rod of Ages and Seraph's Embrace in the same time only give 24 additional AP, it's not worth doing them both just for that little bonus ! not at all !
Nashor's Tooth : as already owning a nice amount of AP and mana, Nashor's Tooth is really effective. The 20% CDR allow to relaunch the ult faster (because I'm pretty sure that like me, in fight you use it by CD), so 25% faster (which is for a low CD spell like dealing 25% more damages with it. and the AP ratio on-hit is just amazingly useful.
Guinsoo's Rageblade : this item will increase the damages of your Living Artillery more than a Rabadon's Deathcap thanks to AD ratio. Do I need to add something about attack speed and on-hit effect damages ?
I buy it only after Nashor's Tooth because to really get the use of Guinsoo's Rageblade, you need the stacks, and... they come way faster when you already have the attack speed, + Nashor's Tooth gives nicer damages on-hit

a little word about CDR : whenever they stack with themself in a extremely nice way, here, as Living Artillery mana cost is increasing every time you cast it. Well, having 20% more CDR allow to cast 33% faster, so for example you will cast yout ult 6 time instead of 4 (not exactly but realistic) but these 2 additional cast will cost as much as the 4 previous... so it will hardly be worth.
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Kog'Maw Jungle

Pros and cons :

Compared to Kog in other roles
Pros :
- great regen
- nice tankiness

Cons :

As a jungler :
Pros :
- nice damages
- range
- fast and safe jungler

Cons :
- low CC
- can be counter jungle

Jungle route :

The thing you must know is that golem's buff, which stun the foe every 6 autohits last for 2 seconds, with kog's attack speed at level 1, which is 2/s when W is activated, it follows that making 6 autohits take 3s, so the foe will have only 1s to hit Kog when combining the two bonuses.

so always start golems

to kill red loosing as less HP as possible, there is a strategy, use E while using hit and run without activating your W, once the buff is running out of patience, activated W.

Kill red

after red, go directly to wolfs and SMITE father wolf
reasons to do this are multiples :
first raptors are 4 and take time to kill as kog is dealing single target damages.
second point is the stun is not very efficient here, the little raptors will deal you a lot of damages.
Then the bonus you get from golems is precious but not eternal, and it's kinda wasting it spending time doing raptors
fourth reason is W deal damages in % of life, while the big raptor doesn't have a lot of life, reducing Kog's W efficiency
fifth reason is kog can be easily counterjungled, so smiting wolfs is essencial to get the vision of your jungle
sixth reason is same as for second point, but works better as wolfs are only 3. And... if Kog can clean raptors/wolfs without loosing a lot of life using smite, it's not possible to smite both camps

Kill blue

to kill blue, use the same method as for red.

from this moment, your jungle will be very safe, ah, yes another tips, as long as you are not 6, better to kill little raptors before the big.
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possible futur patchs

I want to make a list of possible buff and nerfs that mey Kog receive in the futur and their implication.

Buff :

The passive property of Recurve Bow become not unique. in order words, Recurve Bow can stack.
>> implication : Kog must do two of them as first item. This would also allow him to gain strengh in a more linear way in the beginning of the game.

Nerf :

Now his design came to maturity, Kog is... a bit too strong. But in order to balance him, there are two decent choice

1. reduce his atk speed multiplier on his Bio-Arcane Barrage.

and with this change the % of damages from AD (in a proportional way) and the % of damages from AP (maybe not in a proportional way)
for example, I myself believe than x2 mulptiplier was decided kinda randomly, and that a mulptiplier of 1.7 would be more... fair. This would implie an AD ratio on hit of 65% (110/1.7 = 65%, it's currently 110/2 = 55%).
The change of the AD ratio on-hit won't change the build unless if the AD mulptiplier fall under ~1.4, which is not about to happen.
For the AP ratio, this would have some consequences, If it is changed in proportional way, (for example 1.5/1.7 =~0.9 as it's currently 1.5/2 =0.75). Currently Nashor's Tooth is not a best option on ADC and jungle Kog (through it's viable item). However, increasing AP also means increasing damage on-hit from AP ratio compared to flat damages on-hit (like from Wit's End. But if Kog's attack speed multiplier fall under ~1.7 or 1.8, then Nashor's Tooth might become a possible option.

2. reduce his base attack speed

this will have absolutly no consequences on his built. Just the champion will become less strong.

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the best synergies

here is a list of the champions that work the best with Kog'Maw, this is based on all the experience I got playing him :

Lulu Her job, prevent opponents from doing what they want to do, her weakness, lower damages than other laners. On his side, Kog can, if you let him do, deal enough damages for several people... and it's more likely to happen with lulu in your team.

Alistar his strong early will allow kog to go through early with ease. Moreover his high tankiness ability in middle/late will force people to gather around him to take him down, which is perfect situation playing kog. And his headbump can save Kog from very dangerous situations...

Soraka everybody know that if you can, better taking down the soraka first. but doing it, you allow Kog to make his best DPS, and focusing kog, you will allow soraka to make her best heal... on Kog. in any case, it's hard to deal with this problem.

Rammus there are two point in his kit that will ceate very nice situation to play kog in, the first is his incredible tankiness. This will have as consequence to force your opponent to gather to take him down. which allows kog to deal easily damages from far without putting himself in danger.
The second point is his long taunt which will allow to at least launch some undodgeable ultimates, and if close enough, to make some nice DPS.

Maokai reasons are the same as for Rammus.

Lux and Morgana, their ability to root targets from far will allow kog to make some free and undodgeable ults. And their shields are great for making as much DPS as possible without dying.

Kayle because 2 dps is better than 1, and because kayle's ult will allow to protect the one taking damages between herself and you.
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Laning BOT/MID

Kog has low escape and weak early, in order to pass this early without bad stuff happens, the main tip is to manage to make your lane being always pushed. To do this, you must make in sort that enemy minions are always a bit more healthy/numerous than yours. And... as an ADC, tell your jungler to not come before you hit 6.
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other useful stuff

wiki page :

I'll add some videos too, especially about MID kog, I think it can be nice.
League of Legends Build Guide Author S4uc3 t4rt4r3
S4uc3 t4rt4r3 Kog'Maw Guide

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The Obliterator (ADC, mid, jungle)
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