Cho'Gath Build Guide
The Monstrositywritten by Undead Mantis
Table of Contents
|Pros / Cons||3|
|Masteries + Runes||4|
|Working in the team||9|
|Things To Avoid||10|
Carnivore What Is:
Every time you last hit something, you gain some health and mana.
This is perhaps one of the best early game passives in the game. Early game, provided the enemy does not focus fire you constantly and ignoring the creeps entirely, harassment will mean nothing to you.
Rupture What Is:
A 1-Second delay skill-shot AoE that knock-ups, slows and deals a decent amount of damage.
Early game? Your harassment will consist of Rupturing then auto-attacking your enemy as they turn and flee. Mid to late game? A successful rupture simply means that it's time for you, the tank, to charge in and start tanking. With a 1:1 AP ratio, it's damage isn't much to frown at either.
Feral Scream What Is:
A cone that deals a little damage and silences.
A cone of silence that is just that, a silence. While good to have on hand early game, is usually only useful to silence enemy casters in fights. Do not expect too much from it's damage output.
Vorpal Spikes What Is:
Every auto-attack a bunch of spikes fly out from Cho'Gath's... area, that damages enemies in front of him and behind his target.
An invaluable farming tool, Vorpal Spikes helps you last hit minions with relative ease, and allows your auto attacks to do a deceptive amount of damage. ALSO NOW IT SLOWS WITH RYLAI'S DEAR GOD.
Feast What Is:
Cho'Gath deals a great deal of, wait for it, true damage to his target. Automatically 1000 to non-champions. Should he kill the target with Feast, he gets a stack of bonus health and size, up to 6 stacks maximum (I dream of a world with 20 stacks).
Great for helping destroy the enemy carry, helps you tank up before the other tanks, and, if you feel rotten enough, a good kill stealing tool.
UPDATE: As of the Lux patch, [item=Rylai's Scepter] works with VORPAL SPIKES. In other words, Rylai's is like Frozen Mallet. So! Take a look at the item section to see some changes.
OTHER UPDATES (v126.96.36.199): Some experimentation called for some changes in the rune build. I also added a section on things to avoid when playing Cho'Gath.
Despite what some travel agencies might say, the void is a freaking awesome place. It shows in the champions that come there, for they are, for me, the most fun to play. Cho'Gath, Malzahar, and Kog'Maw are my favorites, in that order.
It seems to me that Cho'Gath's reputation has suffered since the glorious days of Condon's MFing Cho'Gath. If you haven't already read it, I recommend it. It's funny and provides a great example of how to build Cho'Gath into a pure bred tank of nigh immortality.
That said, it's often been pointed out that there's no real REASON to attack Cho'Gath, simply wipe out his team then Cho'Gath will soon fall along with them. This is true enough, if one built him in the same manner as Shen or Rammus, whose jobs are to taunt the enemy and live long enough to tell the tale. A Cho'Gath such as that serves to simply feast on the enemy carry, slow someone, and hope that his team can do the rest.
Of course solo queuing for a bit will quickly teach you that teams are unreliable, and what good does it do to soak damage if your teammates can't deal enough damage to make your health WORTH something?
So, after a little bit of experimentation, I believe I found a great way to make Cho'Gath not only a tough roach to stomp, but a dangerous roach who can be an asset to the team.
Pros / Cons
-A pretty tough tank with relatively good offensive potential mixed in.
-An ult that deals true damage, and is great at prompting the enemy carry to start running.
-Has a slow that can deal great damage, and a silence.
-Can farm minions with nigh impunity thanks to his passive.
-Is somewhat easy to escape from. (Not as much now, thanks to Rylai's.)
-Vulnerable to attack speed champs that have a tendency to buy [item_text=Madred's Bloodrazor], like Warwick and Kog'Maw.
-Has less supportive utility than tanks like Shen, Alistar, or Amumu.
-His passive becomes less and less useful after the initial laning phase.
Masteries + Runes
Let's get the boring foreplay out of the way first.
9x Greater Mark of Insight
9x Greater Seal of Fortitude
9x Greater Glyph of Shielding
3x Greater Quintessence of Fortitude
This rune page is about early game survival and helps allow you to farm. Early game, your opponents main source of harassment will be their spells. With your passive and all this magic resist you already have, harassing you early game will be a frustrating process for the enemy. This is why I chose flat bonuses, rather than per level runes, as the runes are most useful in early game. The flat health simply helps you outlast your opponent.
The Insight Marks are meant to make Cho'Gath a bit more dangerous than a tank like Malphite. This way, Rupture and Vorpal Spikes will deal more damage.
Keep in mind these runes are about helping your early game, allowing you to farm minions with little fear of retribution. Also, the runes here are probably the part of the build I'm the least confident in. If you believe your tank page works wonders, by all means go for it. If you think Cho'Gath could use the speed instead, go for Greater Quintessence of Swiftness.
Masteries, you say?
The only part of that I barely feel the need to justify is the experience bonus. You just want to get to 6 as soon as possible so you can start eating things.
MAGIC. It happens sometimes. So I'm told.
Anyway the two spells I utilize the most are Ghost and Teleport.
WHY? Why you ask? See, Cho'Gath is fat from all the food that was foolish enough to stand between him and the Nexus. As such, he require maneuverability and Ghost fits the bill pretty well.
Cho'Gath should be either eating minions or eating champions as often as possible. As such, Teleport allows him to get to wherever the food is at.
Though feel free, as with the runes, to experiment with spells such as:
Ignite can work well early and possibly mid-late game. It can be difficult to snipe with your Feast. Sometimes they get away with JUST enough health. Ignite solves that problem. I once lost to a Cho'Gath in mid who Feasted and Ignited me. I won't make that mistake again but you can do the same.
Exhaust works well with tanks because tanks support the team and helps the carries take down the other carries. Many Cho'Gaths like to use Exhaust to help them land their other spells (Rupture + Feast).
Flash Flash+Feast can be hilarious.
Whew! I think we're finally done with the foreplay. Let's go shopping!
This is the core of the monstrous build:
Rod of Ages
First, we start our day with a nice, healthy Ruby Crystal (the second most hilarious pun ever, intended). This will give you enough breathing room to ignore early enemy harassment, especially if you're lucky enough to be mid. You will keep farming as much as you can, eventually building the Ruby Crystal into a Rod of Ages. This item will be the basis of your tank-semi-mage build. The extra AP by the time it's fully charged will be surprisingly useful, allowing your rupture to significantly damage squishes. Along the way towards finishing the Rod of Ages, you will be also building Mercury's Treads. When you finish the boots depends on how your game is going. If you are simply farming with complete impunity and suffering no serious harassment at all, finish the RoA first. If you're having trouble and have died at ALL, get the boots first. Next, to protect all this health you have been garnering, you're off to build Guardian Angel as soon as possible. It's a great tank item, simply put.
The next items, assuming the game goes on long enough for you to build them, are a little less concrete. In most cases, the enemy would have a rather balanced team of casters, DPS, and tanks. Hopefully your team has a good composition as well.
UPDATE: Now that [item=Rylai's Scepter] works with Vorpal Spikes, it works like Frozen Mallet for Cho'Gath! The bonus health and AP aren't so shabby either. Plus now your Scream slows, and the Rupture slows even MORE. Good god now Cho'Gath has some CC for once.
As such, the next item would ideally be Abyssal Scepter, which gives not only a boost to your magic resist, but a considerable boost to your AP, allowing you to do even more damage. If enemy DPS are attack speed based and has gotten [item_text=Madred's Bloodrazor] and are becoming an issue for your team, Frozen Heart should help cool things down (the most hilarious pun ever, not intended). Although honestly, Madred's is a great counter to Cho'Gath straight up and unless you Rupture, Silence, and then Feast on whoever has that cursed thing, little can be done to stop it. Frozen Heart is also an ideal addition to the build after Abyssal Scepter, as it gives you more mana and cooldown reduction, allowing you to eat more often. If, during the fights, you are simply immortal but aren't doing enough damage, Sunfire Cape will help spread the love as you wade in there to feast on the enemy carry. Do not get Sunfire Cape if a good enemy has Madred's Bloodrazor. It will do nothing but hurt you.
Ideally, your build would be as such:
If the enemy has a good Tryndamere or Yi or some other crit-based hero, Thornmail is of course the answer, letting you feast on them with little fear of their retribution. Hopefully your team will clean up the mess.
If the enemy casters are nuking the hell out of you, [item=Force of Nature] is a way to alleviate the soothing. It's hard to go wrong with [item_text=Force of Nature] and if the team simply needs a more durable tank, get it.
For most games, you probably won't get much farther than Abyssal Scepter, and you'd be lucky to get Frozen Heart.
Hold on, going to go get a Root Beer, been typing for so long.
Fairly standard for any tank Cho'Gath. The reason I get Scream at Level 5 is because a silence is simply handy to have before everyone else hits 6. You level it up last because the damage isn't something to complain on the forums about.
If you're 1v1 against a heavy caster harasser like Fiddlesticks who just LOVES to lifedrain you or your friends, get scream at Level 3 so you can put a stop to that shit. A silence can save your life or someone else's.
Early game, laning should be less about your opponent, more about keeping your health up. Thanks to your amazing passive, farming minions is a chore you will enjoy. Last hit as much as possible. Once you get the Rod of Ages, you should be able to Rupture the caster minions, then clean up in one or two swipes with your Vorpal Spikes. The rest of the minions should be a breeze to last hit too, with Vorpal Spikes.
However, your opponent should be kept on their toes to keep them from getting in the way of your eating of their minions. To harass your opponent, you must manage to land a Rupture on them. Success means you get to walk up to them, and auto attack them as much as you can manage. Almost ALWAYS the opponent turns to run when getting hit by the spikes (at least at this phase in the game) and as they get away after suffering a few hits, their minions should be turning on you. Thankfully, you have enough health to not mind the scratches, and you return the favor by killing the minions, returning whatever health you may have lost from the experience.
Now, ideally, you'd like to be mid, and this process is much, much easier. I find that the only champs really capable of wearing Cho'Gath down in mid is Pantheon and very aggressive Kog'Maws. Perhaps the most even matched of opponents in mid is Mordekaiser, who harasses with the same sort of impunity. It should be noted that as Cho'Gath you will have little chance of taking the tower of a Heimerdinger, all you can do is hold your own tower and try to out-farm the little bastard.
If you end up in a side lane with a partner, that's fine, you just need to be a bit more cautious, now that you have two people to deal with, and an ally to worry about. Harass less often, try to keep your health up as much as possible, and if your ally wants a kill, use your Rupture to initiate, then run in and help.
Once you hit six, Feast as often as possible until you hit six stacks. At level six, I'm usually at this point able to ignore all but the most focused and rapid of harassment. Once you have enough stacks, use feast to assist your ally in killing the enemy.
Working in the team
Fights happen, and Cho'Gath will need to be there.
As a tank, you initiate. Ideally you Rupture as many enemies (not tanks) as you can and charge in there. Usually, they start to run until they realize the fight has begun. If an enemy caster happens to be particularly good, silence them before they can do any real damage. Feast, if you can, the enemy carry. Hopefully your team is smart enough to realize the carry is to die and will appreciate the feast assistance. If YOUR carry is in great danger, however, Feast on whoever is posing that threat.
As a tank and the last expected to die, [item=Oracle's Elixir] could be useful against a Twitch, Akali or *snicker* Evelynn.
Your Rupture works as an initiator, and as a chasing tool. If an enemy is trying to get away, you might be close enough to land a Rupture, and hinder their escape. Silence Vlads as they try to run, lest they use their kiddy pool to run. If you have Sunfire Cape, wade in there.
UPDATE: Assuming you have Rylai's in your build now, you're going to have some slowing power the enemy won't expect. If you aren't casting your spells, you're going to be auto-attacking the enemy carry, and make sure they can't get away. Conversely, it's highly recommended you baby sit whomever your ranged carry is. I've helped win games by making sure the melee champs didn't close to Ashe. Thanks to Rylai's and the CD reduction I got from Frozen Heart, they couldn't reach her and she carried us to victory.
Things To Avoid
1. Do not use JUST Rupture/Scream to harass. You will become mana starved really quickly if you use the Rupture alone to harass. Again, Rupture, walk up to them, auto-attack. They will most likely back off at which point you turn around and kill some creeps for health.
2. During laning phase, your focus is last hitting, and to kill the enemy champion if your ally prompts you to. Farming keeps you alive, and you should ignore the other champions otherwise.
3. Resist the temptation to steal kills with your Feast. This rule only really applies if the person you are stealing from is a carry or someone that has a stacking item. You must remember you are a tank. Use your Feast only if you know it's the BEST way to kill said champion.
4. Once you hit 6, do not hold onto Feast hoping to someday get a champion kill in the near future. If the enemy champion is low enough on health that you can kill him/her with a Rupture+Feast combo, go for it. Otherwise, you want to start Feasting minions and get some health.
Cho'Gath has been such a joy to play from the very first game I started playing him. I'm not a pro or anything, but I've found that among all the builds for Cho'Gath I've seen, this one has reaped the greatest versatility.
It saddens me to see that Cho'Gath is seen as one of the worse tanks of the game, and is supposedly unfit for competitive play. I understand, from Morello's own words, that Cho'Gath is due for a tune-up. I look forward to these changes, but for now, I settle on living with the monster I have built.
Submitted by Undead Mantis
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