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Kog'Maw Build Guide by AP WormMaW Mid

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WormMaW's Guide for AP Kogmaw (build for ADC included)

By AP WormMaW Mid | Updated on October 9, 2019
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Choose Champion Build:

  • LoL Champion: Kog'Maw
    AP Build
  • LoL Champion: Kog'Maw
    AD Build

Runes:

Sorcery
Arcane Comet
Manaflow Band
Absolute Focus
Gathering Storm

Inspiration
Magical Footwear
Biscuit Delivery
Bonus:

+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+10 Adaptive (6 AD or 10 AP)
+15-90 HP (lvls 1-18)

Spells:

LoL Summoner Spell: Flash

Flash

LoL Summoner Spell: Teleport

Teleport

LeagueSpy Logo
ADC Role
Ranked #6 in
ADC Role
Win 52%
Get More Stats

Threats & Synergies

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

Introduction

So, my name is AP WormMaW Mid and i am AP Kogmaw player since season 3. I actively played AP Kogmaw through all seasons and stopped only during his rework (when he had double attack speed on his W). But except for that, I was playing mainly AP Kogmaw on midlane, having quite some success with him - Master during season 4 and 5 in soloQ, Challenger in 5v5 team. During season 6 I was Diamond and now I am lurking around Diamond 1-2 on EUW and Master 150+LP on EUNE.

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.
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ADC Build

Please be aware, that this guide is mainly focused on AP version of Kog'Maw. Though I have been receiving some questions regarding ADC build, so I decided to include it, even though I won't be putting some huge commentary on that and even though I very rarely play ADC version of Kog'Maw.

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!
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Pros / Cons

So as many of you would expect, AP Kogmaw is not optimal pick into any kind of composition, even though if you play him right, he feels quite versatile.


Pros

+ High range artillery
+ Good waveclear
+ Tank shredding potential
+ Decent burst
+ Fun to play!!

Cons

- 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.
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When should I proceed with this pick?

AP Kog'Maw's weakness was always his early game. For that reason you mainly want to play him whenever you feel confident, that you can reach mid/late game. Generally if you are able to hold on long enough, you will at some point become unstoppable beast, that is very hard to handle, since your ultimate is spell with probably longest range, if we consider spells that you can constantly spam.

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.
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Guide progress

Just for updates of this guide - I will try to make updates as frequently as possible, but I am pretty busy person and it's not always possible for me to make changes instantly, expecially when I am not certainly sure yet, what is the best option for some things. So sometimes you might see me to run different things, than I have in guide, but that's mostly for testing purposes.
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AP Kogmaw damage output

Here I will show potential of AP Kogmaw, so you can see damage output, that it can pull off. All these videos are from my EUNE account where I was playing ranked games at Diamond 1 elo. It is not really the best example, but still I am mentioning it for you to see, that I am not trying to show some videos from normal games. Another thing to mention is, that all videos are from my twitch stream, where I am mainly streaming in Czech.

Rakan burst
In this game I was really fed and you can see the burst that you can pull off with Lich bane autoattack (right before Rakan dies). I already as well have full magic penetration, which you can clearly see).
Elise burst
In this video I have my flat magic penetration, which negates most of Elise's magic resistance. So here you can see, that even in early game, combined with thunderlords, you can pull off enough damage to just burst down someone in single combo.
Sion melt
In this video you can see me again having all magic penetration + lich bane. In this video you can briefly see Sion's stats - he initially has 140MR (before I reduce it with my Q) and he has Adaptive helm, which reduces Kogmaw's sustained damage a lot. But still as you can see, you can melt such tanky target in matter of seconds. You can argue that there was Kalista and Anivia, but they both had permanent crowd control, so they didnt really pull off any kind of damage.
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Runes

In this chapter I will slowly start adding commentary to updated runes and how do I proceed with them.


VS VS


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.


VS VS


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.


VS VS


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.




After nerf to Time Warp Tonic it's not that efficient anymore in combination with Dark Seal and Corrupting Potion. For that reason I prefer playing Biscuit Delivery since it gives you additional sustain and total mana in general, allowing you to stay in lane longer and farm.





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.

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Summoner spells

Here, I will try to describe all possible summoner spells and their impact. Please, be aware that what I write here is closely connected to my personal playstyle and what works for me, might not work for you, because you are simply used to something else, so I will try to give you my ideas and how I feel about it, but if you are used to certain summoner spells on nearly all champions, then just keep your style.


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.

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AP Kogmaw prefered items

So, I will leave this section as explanation of my itemization sequence. First of all, even though final build is in most cases static, itemization order might be various, depending on itemization of your opponents. As I said already before somewhere in runes section, AP Kogmaw doesn't really have the best AP scalings, but yet his base damages are more than good. That leads to simple conclusion, you have to build a lot of magic penetration. With full magic penetration build, if you make proper calculations, when your opponent has around 60-70MR, you can still deal true damage to him, which really buffs your damage output. I am not going to go to details with calculations and how magic resistance/magic penetration works - there are many google links, that can give you formulas to calculate damage reduction depending on magic resistance and you can do math yourself. In addition, I doubt that many people would go through these formulas and try to understand them. Maybe these calculations themselves would be enough for another entire guide. But back to the point.


Why this start? Why don't you start with Dark seal/Doran and potions??? Simply said - during game you will receive a lot of poke damage and expecially during early game you lack mana. This will give you some stable form of sustain in laning phase and it will save you quite some gold, that you would spend for potions. But that is not the only reason. Another reason is the burn damage - whenever you are going for trade as AP Kogmaw. If you do that, you should always use Corrupting potion to deal additional damage - and expecially during early game we are talking about quite a lot of damage. So this item will increase your trading potential in lane as well, but remember, that you shouldn't really use it, when you are on full health and you know, that you are not about to take damage, unless you want to use it to finnish someone off. Otherwise, you might find yourself wasting stacks of this potion and then you won't have it for sustain, when you get harassed.


Dark seal increases healing of your potions, which increases efficiency of your corrupting potion during game. In addition since you are poke champion, you are able to position yourself in backline and get some extra AP stacks off kills/assists. Another reason is, that this item is quite efficient in terms of gold, compared to Doran's ring. If you buy it for 350g, you can still sell it for 240g - so you pretty much lose only 110g off this item. For Doran's ring - you buy it for 400g and sell it for 160g. Another reason why I love this item is, that if you purchase it, you can always clear ranged minion wave with single E+R. Without it, if you would run just tear + some MR like negatron, those minions would survive with a bit of health.






Having additional MR or Armor (depending on matchup or possibly enemy team composition) is really great, because it increases your ability to trade in lane and possibly to get a bit more closer to your enemies to use your entire kit, including W autoattack spam. You simply get tanky enough to eat some damage and survive, while killing your opponents. Against AP opponent, you might choose to build only Null-Magic Mantle, if you feel like enemy team doesn't really have too many AP threats, that you would have to care about. On the other hand if you see stuff like Orianna mid and Elise jungle, you should rather rush that Negatron Cloak, since you might expect to take a lot of magic damage during ganks.



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 Echo, 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 Torment, since it's proc can apply effect of Liandry's Torment. 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 Echo + 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 Echo 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


Even though I usually don't build Lich Bane anymore, it's still very strong lategame item, especially if you are facing very beefy team compositions. Problem is, that you can only afford it as pretty much last item, which is when game is usually already over.

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Other items

Here is the section where I will mention other AP Kogmaw items, that I pretty much never build, because they simply don't fit my playstyle or it's just generally bad idea to build it.


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.


Sometimes I see people building this item - it gives you some extra mana, which is always great for AP Kogmaw, then AP and quite a lot of health. Overall this item looks like pretty decent option, but problem is that except for rough stats, it doesn't really offer anything unique. AP Kogmaw mostly aims for items, that can give him something special - some on hit effect, or extra damage on hit of spell or some additional defensive effect. This doesn't really offer anything like that, which makes this item quite awkward choice. It can make you a bit more tanky and give you better mana sustain, but that's all about it - you still have to give up some item, that would potentially give you way more than that.

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Skill maxing order

At levels 1-4 we situationally use two possible maxing orders.


> > >


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.


VS


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.

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Ability combos

Here, I will try to explain some ability combos, even though most of them are quite obvious and there isn't much of a difference.


> > >


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.
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Gameplay


Game preparation


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.


Laning phase


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.


Mid game


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).


Late game


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!
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Is this the end?

Right now, I consider my guide as final for now, since I want to focus for guides on other champions as well. But, in case that you would find out some interesting parts, that would be valuable to have in this guide, just feel free to ask me in comments and I can consider adding those parts in my guide!
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!!
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Other guides

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