Kog'Maw Build Guide

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Noraa's Guide to AP Carpet Bombing

written by Noraa

Kog'Maw Build

Table of Contents

  • Introduction

    Update: 27/09/2010 & 19/10/2010
    * No changes needed, just a Bump

    Update: 10/09/2010
    * Updated items progression
    * Short Positioning section

    Update: 26/08/2010
    * Slight update to guide

    Update: 25/08/2010
    * No change! But this change is just a major buff the current play style!

    Release Notes v1.0.0.99
    * Caustic Spittle has been remade and now grants:
    * Passive: increases attack Speed by 10/15/20/25/30%
    * Active: deals 60/110/160/210/260 damage and reduces the target's armor by 5/10/15/20/25 for 4 seconds
    * Bio-Arcane Barrage cooldown reduced to 15 from 20
    * Void Ooze cooldown reduced to 12 from 13

    Update: 29/06/2010
    * New skill order

    Update: 27/06/2010
    * First Version
    * AP Kog'Maw
    * More updates will follow on addition builds

    This guide focus only on investing in Kog'Maw's strength and playing around his weakness. By using most of our resources in optimization Kog'Maw's damage output, Kog'Maw's strength can be achieved earlier in the game. Playing intelligently, we can avoid most of Kog'Maw's weakness in game. Which means I do not use any gold to make Kog'Maw any less fragile.

    This is also an advanced guide, where I do expect you to have a deep understanding of game mechanics and gameplay.

  • Pros / Cons

    - Kog'Maw is exceptional good at supporting your team with damage while being completely hidden and safe.

    - The niche that Kog'Maw has is his ability as an 'anti-tank' hero. However, he only truly shine as a anti-tank hero late game.

    - Two of Kog'Maw's spells have an ability power ratio of 0.7 toward champions.

    - Two of Kog'Maw's spells are highly spam ready. However, a sustained living artillery push is very mana intensive.


    - Weak against beefy champions, which ASPD Kog'Maw excels at.

    - Sadly, being very spam ready also implies being very mana intensive.

    - Kog'Maw truly blooms as a caster at level 11, before that he is a support caster.

    - In my honest opinion, Kog'Maw is quite slow. He does not have the mobility or escape mechanic to be an escape artist. Nor does he have the capability to run away from any hero that successful located and approached him. The following is a notable list of champions and their abilities that can be problematic of Kog'Maw.

    Tryndamere/Shaco/Kassadin/Tristana/Nidalee/Yi - Once you have been located, they can quickly apporach you and burst you down. These champions are good at chasing you down and killing you before you can kill them.

    Twisted Fate/Pantheon - Global Ultimate that can land right beside you can burst you down instantly as well. With them around, you must stay closer to your team.

    Shaco/Twitch/Evelyn - Stealth heroes are notorious for their scouting abilities and ambush power. If you are not careful with they are around, you will be trashed.

  • Abilities

    Icathian Surprise

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

    Chances are you are not going to kill anyone with this.

    This skill does not deal significant damage and is not easy to lane, but just run up to people and blow up on them anyways.

    Caustic Spittle

    Passive: Increases Attack Speed by a %. Active: Kog'Maw launches a corrosive projectile which deals magic damage corrodes the target's armor for 4 seconds.

    Spell Effect
    Passive: Increases Attack Speed by 10/15/20/25/30%.

    Active: Kog'Maw launches a corrosive projectile which deals 60/110/160/210/260 (+0.7 per ability power) magic damage and reduces the target's armor by 5/10/15/20/25.

    The spell is not bad. It has 0.7 ability power ratio and deals the same damage as Void Ooze but with twice the spam-ability and a bit less range. This spell is surely better early on when you have low ability power compared to Bio-Arcane Barrage.

    Bio-Arcane Barrage

    Koh'Maw's attacks gain range and deal a percent of the target's maximum health as magic damage.

    Spell Effect
    Kog'Maw's attacks gain 140/180/220/260/300 range and deal an additional 2/3/4/5/6% (+.01 per ability power) of the target's maximum Health as Magic Damage (Max: 100 Damage vs Monsters). Lasts 6 seconds.

    The ability power ratio means the skill deals an additional +1% of target's max hp for every 100 AP.


    - This spell can help your team take down a tank, but generally it is not a good idea to be at the front lines.

    - Living Artillery takes 6 seconds to 'cooldown', while this spell has a duration of 6 seconds. Means that you can use Bio-Arcane Barrage to harass while conserving your mana cost.


    - When you are attacking, you are not casting. This means that you are not bombarding their opponents!

    - Using this spell will also push you out of hiding.

    Void Ooze
    Kog'Maw launches a peculiar ooze which damages all enemies it passes through and leaves a trail which slows enemies who stand on it.

    Spell Effect
    Kog'Maw launches ooze which deals 60/110/160/210/260 (+.7 per ability power) magic damage to enemies it passes through.
    Additionally, it leaves a trail which slows enemies by 28/36/44/52/60% for 4 seconds.

    Our bread and butter early game farming ability.
    Has the same utility as Mega Adhesive can be used very offensively when combined with lving Artillery.

    Living Artillery
    Kog'MAw fires a living artillery shell at a great distance dealing damage and revealing targets. Additionally, multiple Living Artilleries in a short period of time cause them to cost additional mana.

    Spell Effect
    Kog'Maw fires artillery from a great distance (1400/1700/2000). After a short delay, the artillery falls dealing 80/120/160 (+.3 per ability power) magic damage and reveals targets for 4 seconds (deals 150% bonus damage to Champions).
    Each subsequent Living Artillery in the next 6 seconds costs 40 additional mana (Max 250).

    Champion Damage:
    Spell damage to hero: 200/300/400
    Ability Power Ratio : 0.3 + 0.3 * 1.5 = 0.75
    Note: From testing, it seems like the ability power bonus is not added into the bonus damage

    This is the best skill that Kog'Maw have, this build puts a lot of focus bring this skill's potential to the max.

    Living Artillery is very good at forcing your opponent to move and not fight. If a ranged champion is harassing your team. Fire at their current location and force them to kite/dodge it, continuing this allows your team mates to approach the target. Once your teammate reaches the target, he will have to choose between fighting or fleeing.

    Application of Living Artillery:
    Here are some of the things you can do with Living Artillery,

    Supporting Fire:
    - Always always support your tank with living artillery
    - Due to the awesome attention seeking skills of your tanks, you are able to bombard freely over enemy threats whom are threating to your tanks
    - If the tank is the type that makes people clump toward him (ie Shen), fire as much spitball as possible

    Defensive fire:
    - As your team is moving backward / retreating, you should cast living artillery between you and the enemy forcing them to either dodge it or tank it. Cast Void Ooze to slow opponent down. All this while kiting backward toward your base.

    Harassing fire:
    - a random number of shells are fired at random intervals, without any pattern to it that the enemy can predict
    - Use this at towers to harass the opponent and give them shell shock.

    Counter-battery fire:
    - Always and Always aim for the other Kog'Maw when your allies are not in immediate danger. This will stop the enemy Kog'Maw from drolling all over your team.

  • Tips, Tricks & Tactics

    Tips & Tricks
    + +
    - Level 6 to 9 farming combo

    - Basic Farm Combo after level 9

    + + +
    - Hard Nuke combo on anyone that approaches you

  • AP Build

    Ability Power Kog'Maw
    SUPPORT Caster DPS
    Core Style

    This style NEEDS a good team that understands what you can do, and what you can't do. You are not Ryze or Annie. You are a very very annoying support caster that can poke the living hell out of anyone (Except yourself).

    This is the caster Style of Kog'Maw. Obviously, with this build our focus is on Living Artillery and Void Ooze. This build is also designed to go full out offense allowing Kog'Maw to sustain his bombardment from a safe location.

    - Super Long range
    - Strong Treat in team fights after level 11
    - Can not hard carry a team
    - Best vs squishy

    - An intimate relationship with Smart Cast [ R ]
    - less effective verse a healing team and tanky team.
    - Can't kill towers

    Skill Order

    Justification: Void Ooze and Living Artillery is the focus on the build, so they are maxed out right away. This leaves us with the choice of Caustic Spittle and Bio-Arcane Barrage. Since this is the defensive build, we'll take Bio-Arcane Barrage before Caustic Spittle favoring the range over the nuking power.


    Justification: The hard nuke build, with only one optional level on Bio-Arcane Barrage.

    Greater Mark of Insight
    Greater Seal of Clarity
    Greater Glyph of Force
    Greater Quintessence of Force

    Justification: Mark of Insight is a no brainer. Mean while Seal of Clarity will provide a sufficient amount of mana regeneration at late game when the spamming really gets going. I personally choose glyph of force over cooldown runes, simply due to the fact that Living Artillery itself has a very short CD. The reduced time is so short that I would waste it trying to aim it. As for quintessence, it again is a personal preference. I like to build Kog'Maw in the more defensive style for early game and leveling him as fast as possible. Also the fact that since he has to follow the team, he will be lacking a bit of experience, so my rune setup is design to keep Kog'Maw out in the field of justice for a long as possible.

    Core Item
    + + + +


    & [spell_icon=Rally]



    With Improved rally and ignite.

    Core Item walk through and justification
    Goal: The goal of the itemization is to build up sufficient mana pool and regeneration to give living artillery hell to your opponent when late game comes. We do not attempt to fix our weakness with items, we are not tanks. To do our job, we need to have significant amount of sustained magic damage. So our itemization focus on few areas: Mana pool, Mana regeneration, Cooldown and Ability Power and Magic Penetration.

    [item_icon=Meki Pendant]

    Our first item is Tear of Goddess, we want to have this by level 6. So we open with a Meki Pendant and two health potions. On the first trip back to base, hopefully you can finish the Tear of Goddess. Next, we get a Boot of Speed for the needed movement speed. Then we get Mejai's Soulstealer and proceed to trailing your team in group fights. Since this build is not suited for Solo-ing after laning phrase, you generally need to follow your team, unless defending a tower. Once Mejai's Soulstealer is completed, we have upgrade to a Sorcerer Boots and Hunting Guise. With these we will have about 48 Magic Penetration, this is plenty enough to cut through magic defense of most non-tank heroes. By the time you finish these items, Tear of Goddess should be significatingly charged, thus we now get Archangel's Staff. With this item build, we will have sufficient AP and Mana to support living artillery in team fight situations.

    By personal Preference:

    Chalice of Harmony provides a MULTIPLICATIVE bonus to your mana regeneration. When it gets around middle / late game, and your Clarity Runes starts kicking in, is when chalice becomes a beast on Kog'Maw.

    After core item build:
    Choice of following:
    [item_icon=Zhonya's Ring][item_icon=Rylai's Scepter]
    Zhonya's Ring is the mother of all AP items. Get this if you have a lot of stacks on Mejai and is fairly rich.
    Void Staff the last whisper of magic. Get this badboy if the other team is stacking Magic Resistance.
    Rylai's Scepter: Who does not love slowing bombardment? Although the slow is not that super. It will provide good support if your team does not have any form of slow. But Rylai's is not working on living artillery at the moment.
    Nashor's Tooth gives great CDR. Which could push Living Artillery's CD at 0.6 sec (fun stuff). Along with the attack speed bonus and mana regeneration, this item is a good choice for breaking up tanks.

  • Positioning

    Ideally, you don't need a level advantage from a solo lane unless there is another Kog'Maw on the opposing team. This is so that you would have the range advantage. Otherwise, you are best suited to the side lanes.

    Think of yourself as a siege tank from Starcraft. Siege tank is a sick unit, they have insane range and damage, but is highly immobile. This is one of the reason why good players will never have an army based purely on siege tanks. Similarly, Kog'Maw is highly immobile as well, so you don't want to be the focus of your team. You are however a very useful source of damage and your position in a team fight will greatly affect its outcome.

    The first most important thing for Kog'Maw to understand is that terrain provides him a very large defensive and offensive advantage. Positioning yourself in the jungle or behind a wall is a great way to protect yourself from frontal attacks. Your only concerns are missing enemy heroes that will look for you and take you out and eliminate a huge source of damage. This is where clairvoyance comes in to aid the searching of missing heroes prior to a team fight. (Most Lower ELO teams will not purposely look for you if you are positioning yourself correctly)

    The second most important thing for a Kog'Maw to understand is that he must convince his team to only have team fight in the range of his ultimate. As long as they are in the range of your ultimate, they are safe, because that seemingly 2v2 fight will easily become a 3v2 fight if they are in range of your ultimate.

  • Team Fights

    Since the two spells that we focus on are both Area of Effect spells (AOE), this is were Kog'Maw shines most. After around level 11, you want team fights!

    Before team fight: Harassing Fire

    So before the team fight starts, you want to soften the other team as much as possible. This is by landing as much living artillery as possible.

    During team fight initiation: Support Fire

    Now the team fight has started and hopefully the other team has no initiated on you. You may now fire spitballs on the fight. All this while moving closer to the point of contact and reminding a safe distance away from the fight.

    During team fight part 2: Move in and support with other spells

    Now that everyone should have taken a considerable amount of damage and is less threatening, you may move in closer to help clean up tanks, pick off the squishes and snare the escape artists.

    Chasing / Escaping: Defensive Fire

    If things does not turn out well, your team will need to immediately retreat / kite backward toward your base. While this is happening, fire away and deal as much possible damage to any chasers, forcing them to either over-commit or to back off.

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Submitted by Noraa

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