Chogath is Top-Tier (Again): The Definitive Guide by 5HITCOMBO
THIS GUIDE IS HELLA OUTDATED LOL
WARNING: HUGE GUIDE TO CHOGATH
 New skill order in lane, I go QEWWWR then R>W>Q>E. I also open doran's ring instead of shield. [/edit]
 I've attached a picture of my team beating bigfatjiji's team to show that this works at high levels. I've beaten many of the top 50 with this build. This guide is due for an overhaul and I will get to it soon. In the meantime, enjoy feasting! [/edit]
 Warmog's has been removed to streamline the build! Thanks everyone! [/edit]
Chogath is Top-Tier (Again): The Definitive Guide by 5HITCOMBO
If you played back during beta, you remember how good Chogath was considered to be pre-nerfs and the introduction of all the new characters. Since the game went live, he’s been nerfed significantly—Rupture’s range was really overpowered then—and other characters have taken over the spotlight. A bunch of the newer players started playing Chogath just because he says nom nom nom, and the general consensus came up that Chogath was a bad character because everyone sucked. I’m here to change that.
I’m going to clear this up right now, because everyone is going to bring it up. This guide is NOT the MFing Chogath. I used that guide when I was starting out with Chogath a long time ago and found it to work great until I got to the mid ELOs. At that point, where you start running into dedicated team comps and tryhards, the MFing Chogath really loses its viability. I started doing the Rod of Ages first build, and it worked—but then I ran into a Cho who completely wrecked me, and he was stacking Mejai’s and Leviathan with a Lich Bane. I asked him about his build and he told me it was his standard AP build. For a long time, I played that Cho, and it worked great. I would take mid lane and get a Feast kill and generally run people over.
If you’re interested in that build, I’ll put it at the end. It’s really fun if you’re playing against mid-level players who will let you get 20 stacks. At that point you can pretty much 2-shot heroes with Rupture/Feast and the game just becomes a huge game of running around tanking 5v1s and hitting things really, really hard.
Cho is my #1 played character with a bit over 210 wins. A few patches back, a bug completely screwed his character model and it became impossible to Feast. I tried the “stand on top of them and hope Feast hits” thing, but it got me killed a lot more than I would usually die because I would have to be inside their group for a feast to hit. I stopped playing Cho for a while.
This patch fixed Feast, and the significant buffs from the patch that messed up his character model came into play. With the addition of Needlessly Large Rod (NLR) as an achievable farming objective, my build has undergone a complete rework. This is the definitive guide to Chogath.
Summoner Skills, Runes, and Masteries
Ghost/Cleanse: Escape, chase, survive, and surprise. Ignite isn’t good when your finishing blow is Feast and Flash is 1) likely to be removed and 2) nerfed to hell already. Other options are nice, but the sheer utility and synergy of Ghost/Cleanse trumps all.
Movespeed quints, Mpen marks, mp5/lv seals and glyphs. Cooldown reduction, flat or per level, are also acceptable for glyphs, and until recently I ran flat HP quints. Don’t get caught up in the hp/lv stupidity. The flats for your early game and lane phase are more than enough. Dodge is nice, but mana regen is nicer. This is just what I do, though. There are other arguments which have validity. Whatever works for you.
3/3 Hardiness, 3/3 Resistance, 3/3 Strength of Spirit, 4/4 Evasion, 1/1 Nimbleness, 1/3 Harden Skin, 1/2 Defensive Mastery, 4/4 Veteran’s Scars, 1/1 Willpower, and 1/1 Tenacity.
3/3 Perseverance, 1/1 Haste, 4/4 Awareness
Open Regen Pendant
Boots + NLR + Wards
Merc Treads/Boots of Swiftness + Wards
Finish Zhonya’s + Wards
Work towards Guardian Angel + Wards
Finish GA + Wards (do you get it yet?)
From here, the build diverges. Depending on team comp and the situation, you’re going to want these.
If you need…
Mpen: Void Staff + Wards
HP/Slow/AP: Rylai’s+ Wards
Survivability (MR or Armor): Banshee’s, Force of Nature, Thornmail (+ Wards)
To get your stacks back: Blue Elixir
Detection: Oracles (Can’t stress how important this is against Teemo, Evelyn, Twitch, Shaco, Akali or even just a team with wards)
Typically, in a game where I’m not particularly concerned about their magic damage or attack damage, I’ll end up with:
Boots of Swiftness
And a slot for wards/elixirs/Oracles—if I know I won’t need the slot and have a ton of gold I get one of the other items (Lich Bane, Thornmail, Banshee’s Veil). Honestly, I’ve had hour long games where I haven’t filled my last slot out, so you shouldn’t really be concerned about the last slot unless it’s a Thornmail against a bunch of physical DPS.
Pros: Great farm, fast Feast (6 and 11), good 1v1 game, pretty easy to survive, Cho is one of the best counterpicks for traditional mids in the game.
Cons: Hard to get ganks off, slow movespeed; if you get nuked early because you made a huge mistake it’s dangerous to bluepill because they might take tower.
(Special note about mid: At level 5 or 6, if your opponent goes back to buy, go to golem and grab the buff. Do this whenever your tower is in no danger. After you do it once or twice you can usually wait in the bottom or top bush for a gank—they won’t be on guard for it. If you get a double kill or somehow force both to leave lane, take the tower with your teammates. Try to have the other lane swing one to the mid to cover if it’s in danger.)
Pros: Feast when your opponents are level 4 (!), lots of HP and built in regen with a ranged AoE knockup-slow skillshot, your jungler gets to jungle.
Cons: Blitzcrank is a pain in the ass to 2v1 against, farm not quite as good as a 1v1 lane, sometimes you’ll get zoned really hard by a combination like Teemo/Ashe or Kat/Pantheon.
Pros: Second-stun combos (Targeted stun + Rupture), GREAT auto-attack damage early due to Vorpal Spikes and having the highest attack damage per level gains in the game, very strong lane presence and control.
Cons: Feast hits 6 when everyone else does, regular farm, less level and item advantage, some doublestun or stun-nuke combos really hurt (Annie/Pantheon? Blitz/Taric?).
Your goal, regardless of what lane you are in, is to avoid dying unless you’re getting a double kill. Don’t ever trade 1-for-1. Chogath isn’t one of those characters that can or should trade 1-for-1. Your value comes from reducing the other team’s effectiveness by a huge factor. To do that, first, feed no deaths.
Your second goal is to farm every single minion you can while maintaining lane control. Sometimes this means you strictly last hit every creep to keep them in the middle of the lane. Sometimes it means clearing a wave immediately to push their tower. Either way, you are Chogath, and you control the flow of the lane, not them.
Your third goal is to harass really, really hard with Rupture and auto-attacks. With your defensive masteries and your passive regen, you should be fine taking a few seconds of damage from creep waves, so if you land a Rupture, go ahead and whack them. You’d be surprised how often people blow ghost or flash to get away from your auto-attack after they realize they’re slowed, and all it takes is one good Rupture to get champions to use their potions. After they run, last hit the creeps for hp/mana. Depending on your lane mate, if you’re in lane, you might have to play more defensively, so just keep your tower safe and your hit points high.
Stay in lane until you’ve farmed a NLR and boots. Buy wards with the leftover gold. If you’re forced back early, get boots and wards. Rushing a NLR is crucial for having +150 damage on your Rupture and Feast during the midgame.
QEQEQRQWQWRWWWEREE, pretty much always. If it’s hard for you to remember, QEQEQR and then R>Q>W>E. The reason is that you don’t have the mana for both Rupture and Feral Scream early game and Vorpal Spikes adds a lot to your auto-attack and lane control. Sometimes you’ll get kills early with Vorpal Spikes, and it really helps farming. Two levels is 30 extra damage (+.2 of your AP). That’s pretty big early on every attack when most solo mid champs only have ~500 hp. In the side lanes, it helps you last hit, because you’ll be up against dedicated harassers sometimes and you can’t always wait around for that last 30 to drop.
When you get to level 6, it’s time to start gunning for kills if you haven’t already got one. Work on maxing Rupture and start putting points into Feral Scream here. You need Feral Scream for teamfights. This is where you’ll be glad you have mp5/lv seals and glyphs—running out of mana in a teamfight makes you a huge liability, because all of your teammates are depending on you hit a Rupture, a Scream and a Feast, and if you’re out of mana they usually won’t notice and will subsequently blame you for not having any. Teammates get really bold when there’s a Chogath tanking for them, especially if you have a habit of hitting sick Ruptures (like me :D). Your goal in teamfights is to land a rupture on someone who’s stunned or running, and when you do your team will instinctively jump on them and usually get a kill. Sometimes it’s good to silence the team and tank a few hits while you walk through to get a Rupture off on the ranged carry. Land a Feast on anyone who gets low enough to kill or even someone close. Get out before you’re low on HP with Ghost/Cleanse/Zhonya’s, and get used to using Rupture to make safe escapes. It’s easy—just predict how long it will take them to get to your Rupture spot with their runspeed and time the delay accordingly. Rupture’s range is still long as hell, so sometimes you can hit people from across walls or around corners. Remember, with Zhonya’s you’re going to be doing upwards of 500 with each Rupture, plus a knockup slow on anyone it hits. Follow that with Feral Scream and whack them once or twice before the slow wears off. Feast them as they run, the range is really long. If you’re good at this you’ll get a lot of complaints that Feast is OP—as long as the animation starts, there’s no way to stop it, even if they blink or jump away.
Mid to late game—you’re tanky. You have about 4000 hp and can land a Rupture-hit-Scream-hit-Feast combo for upwards of 2000 damage, instantly killing most champions. Rupture takes 1/3 of a squishy’s life, and Feast does over half of Teemo’s HP bar instantly. With Guardian up you revive for enough to still be a huge threat, and you and your team can be pretty much completely fearless if you’re doing well. The most important thing here is NOT to get aced. Remember all those wards you’re buying? Make sure you have them (in order) at baron, dragon, their buffs, your buffs, the grass by the wraiths, the grasses near the mid lane in the river, and anywhere else they might hide. If you don’t know exactly where the other team is at all times you’re not doing it right. Defend your wards and try to kill theirs with an Oracle’s. Baron when it’s safe and push towers when you can. Trading deaths for towers is dumb at this point unless it’s their nexus towers because those regen.
In general, trading a death for a tower is dumb, but there are select situations where it’s acceptable. Usually an inhibitor is worth one or two deaths, but tell your team to gtfo as you retreat and try not to lose any. There’s no point in sticking around after you get an inhib and there’s nothing worse than having your team die because you pulled out and they were too dumb to follow.
QEQEQR --> R>Q>W>E
Don’t die, farm hard, harass hard.
Rush Zhonya’s + wards, get GA + wards, diverge + wards.
Land sick Ruptures, Screams and Feast for the win.
That mid-elo build that lets you stack Mejai’s + Leviathan:
Mejai’s + Mob Boots
Thornmail/Lich Bane/Banshee’s Veil/Force of Nature
Thanks for reading!
I hope this helps! And the next time someone says AP Cho sucks just carry them super hard and they’ll shut up.
 Updated to reflect the removal of Warmog's. Thanks for everyone who suggested it. [/edit]
Added some brag pictures and a 55 minute game where I had 350 minion kills and was like 20-5. I couldn't carry vs their kogmaw, though, he was too farmed.
Here's some very constructive feedback from SwampZero:
Here are my thoughts on the important issues:
1) I have about 220 wins on Cho right now, and I've tried a lot of things on him before coming to the conclusion that Regen Pendant was the strongest. Against lanes that include Ryze, Pantheon, Katarina, Karthus, Mordekaiser, Ezrael and Ashe the bead isn't enough, even with pots, because they will harass or burst you so hard that you'll have to tower hug for a wave and regen with rupture no matter what build you take. With bead+pots, you can only do this once or twice. It also builds into Warmogs, which I staunchy defend as a good item on Cho, and I will also address that.
2) The reason I like Warmog's so much is that if you die with Cho, you lose a lot of HP. His base HP isn't very high even with masteries and runes (+200 base hp, to round up). If he dies, he's a squishy caster that needs 3-6 minutes to recover, and this severely gimps his effectiveness. With Warmog's, this gimp is mitigated, and it often prevents it from happening in the first place.
3a) I've never thought Randuin's Omen was particularly good on anyone but Rammus.
3b) Guardian's is usually my next item after Warmogs, and the reason for that is you're not really scared of champions midgame (combinations of champions, maybe). Going Chainmail into GA will make 100% sure that you survive the midgame unscathed, but late game it's more of a challenge, because your team won't always stick around to fight if you get hit really hard by burst. Getting the Warmog's first allows it to charge so when you need it lategame it's full, and on top of that the GA benefits from Warmog's (more HP when you revive) and Warmog's benefits from GA (more armor for your massive HP/regen).
4) Good to hear! I don't think you have the mana regen to hit with scream, and every time I'd want a scream at this stage I'd pretty much rather have a rupture.
5) My personal standard is Mob Boots for the lane control--in fights you won't have to move very fast or very far, because your whole team should be sticking to you, and when you're not in a fight the extra movespeed to control golem and get into position for ganks is invaluable. I only really get Merc Treads if they have more than 3 sources of targeted silence/slow/stun/root, if someone is stacking Sunfire Capes, or if there's a Teemo. In the Teemo case, if they're good and the mushrooms are really becoming a pain, I'll get a FoN after Guardian.
Most important note!
Ah, that's a good point, I should probably clear this up in the OP if it was unclear. You're 100% correct--there's no reason to play passively as Cho. You take 0/21/9 with Cleanse/Ghost specifically so you can play really aggressively. You never, ever want to overextend, and your aggression should be in short, calculated bursts. Play tight-aggressive and force them to make mistakes. If you're trying to rupture them, they have to either run to avoid it or risk getting hit with the knockup slow nuke + auto-attacks with the +30 from Vorpal.
You should absolutely be farming every creep in every wave at all times in a solo lane, and if you're in a 2v2 let your partner know that it's their responsibility to get last hits in because if you see one close, you're taking it. Try to leave some for them.
I think I covered this correctly, though. Your goals, in order are:
1) Don't die
2) Farm every creep
3) Harass super hard
Again, thanks for the feedback! Don't feel constrained to this guide, though. If skipping Warmog's works for you, by all means, skip it and go straight GA. I'm a fan of it because it's a HUGE lategame boost, but if your games tend to end earlier, between 25-35 minutes, it's probably worthwhile to go straight GA.
Anyway, Sunfire is terrible on Cho because you have no way to stand next to someone unless you hit them with rupture. Your movespeed is pretty low and what's the point in 50 damage a tick when you nuke combo for ~2k?
I've played a good bit of Cho, about 100 wins, and I used to roll a similar double snowball build.
It really does work great if you can grab a few kills early.
Honestly though I wouldn't pick up warmogs on Cho. Warmogs pretty much sucks bottom line and really Cho doesn't even need any hp from items. Buying some basic armor and magic resist along with the snowball items would probably be about the best Cho build imo. Though it has been awhile since I played him. I think I will give him a go!
Also, Warmogg's is a bad item. On anyone. For over 3K gold, you get ~1200 HP and ~90 HP regen. The regen doesn't do much for you (if you really need to regen, you can always rupture/scream a wave of minions), and for a similar price you could just stack some Giant's belts and give yourself more HP without having to stack it up, and give yourself the option to upgrade those Belts later into other beneficial items (Rylai's, Sunfire, FM, etc). The other thing of note here is that you already have a LOT of HP. Stacking items that give Armor/MR is more beneficial to your EHP than just stacking HP.
Finally, as for Scream > Vorpal at level 4, I'm not sure I can agree on this. Having one point of scream means an extra 70(+.7 AP) damage on your Rupture/Autoattack + Vorpal/Feast combo, can stop them from ruining your combo with a timely Flash/Cleanse/Heal/Ability of their own, and can stop other people's channeled ultimates from ruining your day, making it key to have at level 6. Yes, you shouldn't be spamming it at every opportunity, but "you don't have enough mana to spam it + Rupture" is not a good reason to give up the extra damage and the utility of the Silence.
You don't really have that much HP, it's the difference between 3.5k and 5k, which is HUGE when you add in things like Guardian Angel and Thornmail/Banshees. If the game isn't going late you can skip it, but I always plan for the lategame and honestly a fully farmed Warmogs on Cho makes such a big difference in teamfights. The regen is NOT trivial, because you're a siege caster with a close-range nuke. A lot of the time you don't have the luxury of farming a wave to replenish HP, and +30hp/5sec regen + bonuses for farm makes it a lot safer to be at half hp.
I'm not sure where people are getting this "Warmog's is bad (on Cho)" idea from. It's bad on other characters because they're either too slow at farming or too naturally tanky, but with Cho you really, really want survivability to preserve Feast stacks. If you don't have any hp items and you lose all your stacks on Feast you really only have about 2k hp, which isn't tanky AT ALL.
 I do agree that sometimes it's useful to have scream in mid, though, but I think the one point for 10 extra damage an attack (+30 total AoE) is pretty nice for lane control and farming. It helps to zone heroes too, you can hit them from outside of melee range for no mana. Depends on champ, against Panth/Kat/Fid you might want it to stop their Heartseeker/Death Lotus/Drain. My opponents usually aren't bad enough to die to me at level 6 anyway, though, I'm sure they're prepared to get rupture/feasted. [/edit]
AP-tank hybrid without RoA seems a little strange to me, considering it gives everything he wants.
Warmog's is pretty bad on everyone, just not as bad on cho since he farms better than average. Without any armor until very late, you might just turn into an hp-battery for a hard hitting melee with life steal like tynd or jax lol.....
Okay. So Cho' Naturally has 85 armor and 30 MR. So at 3.8K Hp, his Effective HP numbers are 7030 and 4940. If you pick up Warmogg's to take you to 5K HP, his effective HP numbers are 9250 and 6500. If, instead, you pick up Randuin's Omen and Spirit Visage (both fairly cheap and effective items that still give HP regen, the combination of the two is only a little bit more expensive than Warmogg's), your HP goes to 4.1K, your armor goes to 175, and your MR goes to 66. This makes your EHP numbers 11275 and 6683 - Higher than the Warmogg's gave you.
I might have to put a section about this into my guide--you're not trying to tank during the midgame. You're sitting back and hitting ruptures and screams on them and if they still come in, THEN you start tanking. Usually you're just a ranged caster harassing with low-cd spells that hit really hard and jeopardize their position. Rupture can be used like Anivia's wall, it makes people run in bad directions if they don't want to get knocked up and slowed (and nuked for ~500).
It's really mid-late game, after your Warmog's has charged a bit, that you become really tanky and able to eat tower shots and dps fire. You still don't want to die because it's really hard to stack feast and do your job at the same time. People will expect you to feast and it'll be down because you had to use it to get a stack, and then they'll blame you for not having it.
Bad build is bad.
If you don't agree with the Warmog's, by all means, don't get it, but I just find that it's really effective. Randuin's + Spirit Visage might outclass it, though. Maybe I'll try it.
OH! But don't get Sunfire Capes on Cho. You're not the fastest champion in the world and your goal is to instantly remove someone from the fight, not stand and whack them for a period of time.
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