Kog'Maw Build Guide
Eat 'em up cuz it's feeding time! Hybrid Kog'Mawwritten by Broceon
Table of Contents
|Pros / Cons||4|
|Masteries + Runes||7|
|Archangel's vs Rod of Ages||10|
|Working in the team||12|
Hello Leaguecraft! I play a little different than the normal AP or AD Kog. I like to use all of Kog'Maw's skills, not just Caustic Spittle with BBO or Void Ooze with Artillery. So, to be able to play Kog'Maw like this I combined multiple builds together to make a hybrid Kog'Maw! To me this build I created allows me to use all of his skills to the fullest potential. Early/Mid game his AP scaling is just enough to make him hit hard until late game, when this build switches to DPS. Though it still does magic damage, it deals % max health per hit, thus becoming a "tank buster". This build focuses on hitting the extremes very hard, in other words, the carries that build no health and the tanks that build a lot of health.
Alright, lets get started!
For an in-depth explanation keep scrolling down but if your in queue and need a quick quide, here it is:
Meki Pendant and 2 health pots
Tear of the Goddess(605g)
Boots of Speed(350g)
upgrade boots to Sorcerer's Shoes
upgrade tear to Archangel's Staff
Then start building [item=madred's bloodrazor]
Runes: Just a normal caster setup is fine
This is my personal set up
Greater Quintessence of Swiftness
Greater Mark of Alacrity
Greater Seal of Clarity
Greater Glyph of Celerity
Icathian Surprise They kill you, you blow up. Make them pay for killing you! Unfortunately, it no longer gives first blood. Caustic Spittle I mostly use it for the passive as the range is too small for comfort. It gives attack speed instead of armor pen now. That actually helps when you want to use Bio-Arcane Barrage. Sometimes I'll use the skill for its small nuke, it can be the last little hit you need to win in a 1v1 fight. Bio-Arcane Barrage Kog'Maw's power! This will get you the most kills. Great range, great damage, and they never see it coming. Even without Madred's Bloodrazor this skill makes you hit hard. When this skill is activated you have one of the longest range in the game (sitting at 800 your range is as far as a tower). This is the skill that makes you a DPS. Void Ooze Your ultimate kiting and utility skill. Does decent damage and has a great slow! If you use it right, the slow can save your butt (or a teammates) more than you can count. Offensively it can help you kite better then Ashe. The slow on this makes him walk in place while you sit there destroying him with Barrage. Easy kill. If you're trying to run away, try shooting it in front of you. When the enemy tries to follow you they would have to run through it! Living Artillery Kog'Maw's other power! This skill out ranges almost everything in the game (except for global ultimates), reveals whoever it hits, and is spammable. This is your bread and butter to out ranging everything, even towers. This is what makes AP on Kog viable.
Now they buffed it! Scales with AD AND AP! This means Guinsoos became that much better for Kog'Maw.
Pros / Cons
Alright for all of those "Kog sucks" people out there this is what he's good for and bad for.
Extremely long, OP range
Can destroy toughs or tanks that build HP
Can destroy people that stand still (unless you're great at leading)
He doesn't have to chase people, he just shoots artillery at them in front of their turret
You will know where they are (he can check bushes with his ult)
Can gank well with void ooze
When someone "gives him a hug" he's usually screwed
Can be hard to play
Is very squishy
No escape skills
Is very item dependent
Usually the person playing under performs
No reliable CC
However there are times to not pick Kog
If there only 2 people with CC (mostly stuns or roots)
Kog has a very hard time keeping people in place. His slow is only reliable for a second, then smart enemies will find a way to walk out of it. You need a team with a good amount of CC to hold the enemy team in place.
If you team has no physical damage
As strange as it is, this build deals only magic damage. Even your buffed auto attacks will deal mostly magic damage. So if your whole team is full of mages, adding Kog'Maw will just allow the enemy team to stack magic resist.
If there is no one to take aggro off of you or protect you.
Kog is a vulnerable target. He is an assassins wet dream. You need someone to be there to protect you, heal you, counter the assassin, or draw attention away from him. This can even work if you have another carry doing well. Usually the other team will go after the other "scarier" carry before they hunt you down. This leaves you free to do as much damage as possible!
If you're used to "carrying" a team
Kog needs a team to do his job. He can't survive on his own, or hold them still on his own. He works very well with a team to back up but he can't operate on his own. In most games I would have problems 1v1ing the other carry doing the worst. He just can't move around in a 1v1 like he can with a team. Those used to playing champions who can "facecheck" bushes and can "carry" your team, this is not Kog's play style.
When 3 or more PUGS auto-lock carries and damage dealers.
Really you might want to think about queue dodging XD. If you take the higher road, Kog'Maw only deals damage. He does not have any reliable CC, his slow is awkward to aim to protect many except yourself (though I have saved a few people with the slow). So if your team looks like it has enough damage, go with someone else.
Otherwise we're ready to play Kog'Maw!!!
No joke, I started calling ganks hugs. The most important thing to remember when playing Kog is to keep them away from you. This is the hardest skill to have when playing Kog. When someone tries to gank Kog it will usually fail (you live) unless they give you a "hug" or they get close to you. His range is his strong suit (and can even be a little OP) but even if he is destroying everything he loses his power at close range. You want to keep people at a good distance from you when you go gank, or they will just turn around and kill you. Use Void Ooze to keep them from reaching you quickly or run back then start kiting them as they turn around. It's like Ashe, you want them to die before they reach you or you want to kite them as they run away.
Remember, a good Kog is still alive after they die...or he takes multiple people with him.
Alright first thing's first, you're in champion selection and trying to decide what summoner abilities to pick.
I always go with:
I only use exhaust defensively with Kog
Because Kog has no escape ablities and no stun the only thing he has is Void Ooze. Though a great slow, what do you do if you are stunned? Dance for them? So I use cleanse (if I need it) put down void ooze and ghost the hell out of there. Or if they don't have many stuns I'll run exhaust and use exhaust whenever they are fully committed to killing me. This debuffs them enough for me to get the kill and walk away from it. Works great mid lane when most champs attack range is inside of exhaust.
Now if you think you're too bad ass for cleanse you could try some of these:
For another escape/chase mechanism
I personally think this is a crutch but there are times early game that I am out of mana. However, patience, good runes, masteries, and not spamming your skills can keep your mana in control.
An extremely helpful spell to have on a team, having good map control is improtant for any team. However, if someone else can take this instead of you, bush checking with Artillery can keep you aware of everything around you.
Anything to help you get away, disable an enemy, or to keep from dying is good.
This is one of my favorite summoner spells, however the range on this is closer than Kog needs to be in most of your battles. Though great to use, leave this for someone else.
Ok, if they're close enough to get you low enough to use heal, you're screwed early game. Again I think of this and clarity as a crutch.
If its not on this list, I don't suggest it.
Masteries + Runes
Alright I've been trying some different masteries but I have to go with a kind of caster option.
So why not offensive?
The offensive side is useful until after the attack speed mastery (Alacrity). From there gives you early game AD and crit damage that you don't need/use. Kog doesn't crit enough for Lethality to make a difference. That sacrifices too much to get to that 5% bonus damage
Why not defensive?
I cannot stress enough that Kog'Maw needs to stay away from enemies. Even with building ROA and Rylais, I was taken down just as fast as when I had no HP items. The extra MR, Armor, dodge, and HP will only help you so much. If you can't keep them away from you even the 4% reduced damage will feel like nothing.
That leaves us with the utility tree.
I build the utility tree to help Kog's movement and mana problems early game. Movement is very important to him. If you can keep out of your opponents reach, you won't need any defensive masteries. The movement speed mastery helps us do this. Positioning can be the difference of a triple kill or death.
For runes I would suggest:
I go with
Greater Mark of Alacrity
Bru gave this idea and I had my doubts...until I tried it. Probably the best marks you can get for Kog'Maw, it bumps up your early game damage tremendously. The 15% extra attack speed lets you skip leveling your q skill until later in the game. Thanks for the idea Bru!!!!
Greater Mark of Insight
The MP helps with void ooze and artillery, your two main AP skills
I go with
Greater Seal of Clarity
You need mana regen early and mid game. Seals offer the most mana regen for runes (besides quints). This lets you spam skills to charge up your tear.
Greater Seal of Shielding Greater Seal of Evasion Greater Seal of Resilience Greater Seal of Warding
Anything to help you survive early game. Kog' is prone to ganks and has little escape mechanisms to help him survive.
I go with
Greater Glyph of Focus Greater Glyph of Celerity
I go with the CDR as it will keep your W up most of the time. Bio-arcane barrage has a long cd and is your main dps skill.
Greater Glyph of Clarity
If you use different seals use mana regen on glyphs instead of Mana regen seals.
I go with
Greater Quintessence of Swiftness
These give me greater kiting skills, better lane power, and more survivability. If I don't take hits, I won't need more health.
Greater Quintessence of Fortitudeor Greater Quintessence of Insight
But these are suggestions, try and find what you need and have your runes help out with that.
Which of the first two skills you pick almost doesn't matter. If you're going with a buddy for first blood, Bio-Arcane Barrage will put out more damage. The flip side is that you can use Void Ooze to last hit minions from a safer distance and to defend yourself from becoming first blood. Usually I play the safer route and grab Void Ooze first.
The most important thing is to have Void Ooze maxed at level nine, this allows you to farm efficiently with just 2 skills.
I don't level Caustic Spittle until I get Madred's Bloodrazer since the passive will help my Barrage. The spell itself hits for a little less then void ooze but its range is closer then I like to be with Kog. If you really want to use Caustic spittle I would suggest sacrifising one rank in Barrage to put one point into Caustic Spittle. Void ooze needs to be leveled as soon as possible so that you can farm gold easier.
At level 6 Living Artillery + Void Ooze + Living Artillery = Death to Mage minions and gold!
Just drop artillery on the back (AKA the mage) minions then either drop another artillery or attack each one once and shoot void ooze at them to finish em off.
At level 9 Living Artillery + Void Ooze = Death to Mage minions and more gold!
This is when I really start farming. One Void Ooze and one Artillery will destroy the mage minions.
My build has two parts to it. The "inner core", the AP part, should be complete in 20-30 minutes. The "outer core", the dps part, should be complete in 30-45 minutes. These two together make the "core" build, these items you will get every game.
Tear of the Goddess
Start with a Meki Pendant and 2 health pots.
The meki pendant takes care of any mana problems and the hp pots help you stay in lane, since without hp quints you are pretty squishy.
I plan on adding in a builder to this section but it is not working for me right now
Then grab Tear of the Goddess as soon as possible, followed by Boots of Speed
We will then work on Guinsoo's Rageblade and upgrade Boots of Speed into Sorcerer's Shoes
Start with a Blasting Wand first. The priority after that is Guinsoo's Rageblade,then Sorcerer's Shoes, then Pickaxe (in case you can't complete Guinsoo's Rageblade in one go.
That completes the Inner Core
We now upgrade our Tear of the Goddess into an Archangel's Staff
Now we start working on a Bloodrazor. Start with Recurve Bow, then get a Pickaxe, followed by [item=madred's razor] to complete [item=madred's bloodrazor]
This is what you build every game. After this you have a couple different routes to take depending on the enemy team
Your fourth item should be some kind of survivability.Nothing will save you from bad positioning! However you can not compete without having something to help you survive.
The AP and HP will help you stay around longer in team fights. Slowing artillery is also priceless. This is extremely helpful in chasing, and can net your team a few kills if there are a lot of runners in the enemy team. However, your 2 AP skills (Void Ooze, and Artillery) are AEO skills and will not recieve the full benefit of the slow.
I usually grab this fantastic item, the HP is great and the 20% slow added on to void ooze and any other cc your team has will keep any enemy in place long enough for you to kill him.
One of the best anti-mage item's in the game. Get this if mages are ccing and owning you.
A fairly cheap item that give's you a lot of armor, and helps make dps champs wary of attacking you.
My 5th item is usually either an AP boosting item or Magic Pen
Void staff if magic resist is 70 or greater, malady otherwise. It also depends on who you're taking down. If you are the anti-tank of your team you will probably need void staff to crush the enemy tank, if not malady is great AS for you and will shred carries MR.
Lastly I sell Guinsoo's for Nashor's Tooth.
Nashor's offers more AS and CDR but lacks the AP we needed early game. If Nashor's can keep you above 150AP sell Guinsoo's to replace Nashor's
Guardian Angel This item sounds good on paper but it doesn't work on Kog if you position correctly. This is because you are usually one of the last ones to die, so with guardians they just surround you and kill you again.
Any Team auras You should be standing in the back, too far away to affect the whole team. Hopefully your tank, or another support will buy something to help your team but usually you need all of your money to complete your build.
Other AP or DPS items that add to your damage or magic pen are useful, you don't really need armor pen as most of your damage is magic.
If all else fails grab some green pots and some blue pots for AS, AP, and CDR.
Archangel's vs Rod of Ages
Now normally I'd say ROA every time. It gives you health, mana, and a good chunk of AP! I used to build this for Kog but I found out that, unlike most mages or support champs, Kog does not get a lot of survivability from ROA. Sure, the extra health is nice but if someone gets in your face there's not much Kog can do about it. His lack of escape mechanisms makes him very venerable to ganks. With Archangel's Staff you get more AP, more mana to burn through with artillery (so you don't have to buy chalice) but you don't get the HP. This means you have to play smarter. You need to check for enemy champs all the time. I have foiled many shaco's simply by shooting artillery into the bush, forcing him to join his team where I could keep an eye on him. More importantly you need to stay in the back of the team. Make them wade through 4 other champions to get to you! Be careful, play smart, and you'll do fine with Archangel's Staff.
Kog's early game is a little weak. This does not mean that he can't do damage, he just has no reliable way of staying safe once someone gets in your face. You need to think of yourself as a support damage dealer. You do not initiate a skirmish! Back up your lane mate and do not take the initiative, you want to stay back in your lane and do damage behind your minions/tower/lane partner.
If you're mid you need to do you damage behind creeps. You want to hit the other champion with void ooze whenever they are in range, and follow up with BAB whenever they are in range. In other words, whenever they push out to far, punish them. Even one shot with BAB can hurt. Make sure to stand behind your creeps and play a punisher role. If he attacks you outright don't be afraid of sitting there and taking him out with BAB and void ooze, you hit harder then he thinks. Only do this when you know you have the advantage, otherwise ghost, cleanse, and GTFO. Get him low and punish him for staying with artillery, you will out-range most champions. Don't be greedy! It is better to send someone back then it is to die trying to kill them. Denying champions gold and experience can shut them down better then killing them. It also gives you a chance to farm or gank.
So now that you have some basic information, grab your [item_text=meki pendent] and two pots and get to your lane. If you're trying for first blood get barrage as your first skill. If you're playing it safe get void ooze.
Now you just need to last hit and back up your lane partner/play defensively for the first 6 levels. Either use void ooze or a standard attack to last hit, and if your lane mate is ballsy back him up with a shot of void ooze and some barrage. If you are mid try to hit the other solo champ with void ooze and kite him with barrage while making sure to last hit as many creeps as possible. Towards level 6 you might be low on mana but you should have at least 600 gold saved up. The ideal situation is to have 930g as that will get you Tear of the Goddess and Boots of Speed. If not, you need the tear at level 6 to start charging up mana with your ult. If you are mid you need to start bringing the enemy champion low to force him back or kill him so that you can go back to grab tear and, hopefully, boots.
Now level 6 is where the fun starts. You want to "poke" the enemy champions every chance you get but don't go over 2 procs of the ulti. So hit them once or twice, wait 6 seconds, then repeat. This will get them low enough for either a gank or force them to retreat. When either happens make sure to check bushes (with artillery) and last hit to your hearts content. I have had some games where we even got the tower before I hit level 9.
When you hit level nine stop focusing so much on the lane opponents and start farming like crazy. The combo is:
Living Artillery + Void Ooze = Money!
Straight from "Noraa's Guide to AP Carpet Bombing" because it works! You can clear some minion waves faster then Heimer but be careful Void Ooze burns a lot of mana.
After that team fights should start pretty soon.
Working in the team
This is the fun part for you! You get to shoot up the entire enemy team without them being able to touch you. But there are some things you should keep in mind.
The first is to shoot artillery into the enemy team, I'd say 2 or 3 shots but keep it sporadic, then wait for the "Complete" cool down (six seconds) since you don't want to burn all your mana from keeping up 5 shots. After the cool down you do your second job, you scout the jungle around your team with artillery. This keeps the enemy team from flanking you or surprising you.
Let me explain. Let's say your team is pushing the outer mid tower. When your team's minions are against the tower, shoot your opponents up with artillery (right outside tower range). When you have to pull back let artillery completely cool down then check the bushes that lead into the river. Specially if they have an assassin (shaco, akali, etc) or a fiddles. These are your greatest threats. You want to know where they are and feel free to make them pay for staying still when they think you can't see them. Use artillery's sight as often as possible, it has great utility.
When team fights break out either:
Shoot artillery to where you're hitting their squishiest carry/healer
Shoot Void Ooze to hit 2 or more
Use barrage to help bring down whoever your team is focusing
You want to unleash your Void Ooze and Artillery on the other team and use Barrage to take out your teams focus. You will be very surprised how much Artillery and void ooze hit for if you can hit someone with both skills at the same time. The catch is that you want to do all this from behind your teamates, you do not want to find a Warwick standing right next to you. If you do end up with a Shaco or another assassin next to you, immediatly damage everything you can and take out something with your passive. It is better to take out 2 people and damage the other team then try to run from a madman who will die killing you. His job is to take the carry, even if he dies doing so. Usually characters like that are made to chase and Kog is not made to run, it is very hard to escape with him. I usually find it better to stay and do as much damage as I can than to run and die anyway.
Whether you win or lose you want to either run up or back to their base/your base and kite the squishiest/nearest person.
Now here's an interesting part of Kog.
Kog shouldn't go in the forest before level 6. When he hits 6 he can shoot artillery to scout ahead. If you think someone is trying to grab a buff throw an artillery on the monster. Artillery will reveal everything around the neutral creep (except for Baron). I've actually stolen dragon before when the enemy team was trying to take it out.
All the buffs in the forest are great for Kog but he doesn't really "need" any of them. If you have someone who's desperate for mana or needs the slow let them take it. If they are free game, lizard will help you get more shots of BAB off..
You shouldn't feel afraid to walk in the forest late game if you check all the bushes, just be careful of where the enemy team is.
I want to thank Noora's guide to Carpet Bombing for giving me a start to Kog. I came up with most of the build through practice and some good thinking! I hope you enjoy Kog as much as I have and have some great games with him! If you have any suggestions or comments please feel free to leave them.
I'll include a section for good teammates and lane mates soon!
If there's anything in this build you disagree with or would like to comment on to help improve/change this build/guide don't be shy and leave a comment! I read and reply back to most of the comments left and I will try suggestions people leave (unless I completely disagree with them or their math/logic doesn't add up).
Submitted by Broceon
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