This guide is a SOLOMID guide, and I will detail it as such. While Kog isn't completely reliant on it, he needs to get to levels 6 and 11 as fast as possible, without hurting your team... and middle lane is the easiest way to get him there. If you are taking the side lane, I would recommend in most games just to take a less level dependent character. You cannot be farming exp while your team is 5v4ing in the middle, or they will die and your turret(s) will be destroyed. Understand? Take the middle so you can be helpful roaming with your team midgame.
With that said, nab your Dorans Ring and a health potion and head to middle. If you have a jungler who starts at golem, you will be in charge of being his lookout. Be a team player, later in the game he will be more inclined to help you nab golem yourself. ANd if you see they have a jungler who usually starts at golem (Amumu comes to mind, Fiddlesticks too) now would be a good time to go scout it with your team. However, assuming nothing unusual happened, you should be in mid and your creeps should be coming.
Our goals in midlane are as follows...
I. First and foremost, we will not die. Unless you get first blood with the kill, we cannot be feeding their carry. Just the worst thing you can possibly do, and you will give your fellow Kog'Maw players a bad image. Also you're not getting experience while you're dead.
II. Farm gold and exp. Our second most important goal is to farm gold and exp. You're not CRAZY dependent on items like some characters, but a tear on your first trip back is a good item to shoot for. Learn to lasthit, do NOT push to the enemy tower-- it only makes you susceptible to ganks and more room for them to chase you for a kill. Instead, try to keep the creeps right in the middle of the lane. A good tactic to learn is to last hit WITH a turret shooting the minion. Its totally dependent on your level, but usually you can hit a ranged creep, let the tower hit it once, and hit it again to get the gold. Or two turret hits and one of your attacks vs a melee one. Changes when your minions are hitting on it too, but you will need to learn how to judge appropriately and last hit. Last hitting could mean the difference between boots or not... Learn it baddies.
III. Harass your opponent. Notice how this comes AFTER not dieing and AFTER farming. If they have a super carry (Corki maybe...?) who you team DESPERATELY wants to starve, you shouldn't have picked Kog, instead you shoulda picked maybe Katarina, or Heim. I hope you realize by now Kog is not meant to be played against EVERY team. But that doesn't make him a bad character. Back to harassing, an easy way to do this and accomplish your second objective is to use Void Ooze to kill a couple creeps and hit your opponent at the same time. Learning to position your Void Ooze is important early game.
With the three Kog'Maw commandments of solomid out of the way, lets go over more specific strategies. As solo mid, you will encounter one of three opposing heroes...
A) A ranged carry, B) a mage, C) a bulky melee, or D) a pusher.
A) This is your Ashe, Trist, Corki, Nidalee, Twisted Fate, and Ezrael. They will probably be who you lane against in 2/3's of your games. Fear not, these are generally not difficult solomids, and who I personally prefer to be matched up against. They will concentrate on last hitting as you do, and you will be trying to outfarm each other. Little harassing will take place, but generally you will not be bursted down. And if you play well, you will not be denied gold. Remember to use Void Ooze to hit both them and nab a few creep. A few fights will take place, so harass with your Void Ooze and kite them while they're in the slow with your W, but remember to be careful of these characters blink mechanisms. Keep the creeps preferably closer to your tower, as they can all chase well. Be especially mindful of Ezrael, as he can harass VERY well. Position yourself between your creeps and run into the side bushes if necessary. Ezrael is a very tough middle for Kog'Maw, but hes a burden for any character really. Bottom line here is farming will take place until about level six. Be sure not to die, these are the ones you don't want to feed. At level six your harassing ability will be increased tenfold with your ultimate, at that point you can usually make them blue pill. Be careful of their ultimates as well.
B) Annie, Anivia, and Karthus are the most common. Casters are generally the funnest lanes. Its vital you know how large the range is of who you're up against. If you don't know what range Annie can and cannot stun you at you're in trouble. Play a practice game with these three and see how large they're abilities are... cause this battle will be one completely be about who can position themselves best and harass better. Note that your Void Ooze will outrange all of these three abilities, but is a slower moving projectile, so use it smart and follow up with some Bio-Arcane hits. Careful for opponents mages who pack Flash or ghost. A ghost + Wall by Karthus followed by Lay Wastes will quickly take you from 50% hp to 0%. At level six your range is not OP yet, but should outrange these casters still, so try to get a couple of cheap shots on them.
C) Heres where Morde, Katarina, Xin, Pantheon (not so much since the nerf), and to a lesser extent Cho'Gath (but never seen mid/high Elo) fall. These will perhaps be the most difficult middles. But don't worry, everyone struggles with these jerks. I'll cover Morde and Kat more specifically, as they're the most common these days. Against Morde you can pretty much give up on any shot of first blood (unless he has a god complex)... just farm farm farm and farm some more. If you catch Morde without creeps nearby, you can harass with Void Ooze and Bio-Arcane, but don't waste EXCESS mana, and don't let him harass you. Katarinas a punk, and will be difficult. Learn the range of her attacks well, use Void Ooze to farm, kite with Bio-Arcane AFTER she shunpus and tries to run away. Keep her at relatively the same hp you are and you're fine, at level six you will be golden. These two are the most difficult, the others shouldn't be that bad. Same ole story, Void Ooze, farm. Just keep them off your turret till level six.
D) And last but not least, Sivir and Heim. Lame, very lame hereos, but you actually match up well against Heim. Keep the minions off your turret and weak with Void Ooze. Keep them at a low hp and call for ganks against the two of them as needed. Keep your turret up. At level six you truly shine against Heim. Snipe snipe snipe and keep him below half, and get his ass ganked. Sivir is a little different, but as long as you don't leave her alone in the lane shes not nearly as dangerous as Heim.
And that is pretty much it for the early game. By now you should be level seven, give or take a level. Prepare for middle game! I don't want to say middle game is the most important part of the game, buts its pretty freaking important.
At level 7ish, middle game begins. Now, you should take a quick look at your mana and health levels. If they're both above halfish, or somewhere you're comfortable with, take a look at sidelanes and see if either could use a gank. Assuming yes, fake a blue pill if you can, and but get to the side where you're ganking. Let your allies know, and then initiate the gank with an ultimate shot or two. Do not take excess shots here, as your mana will still be low, so try to hit whose the squishiest. At this point your opponents should be running for the hills, and then you can slow them down with a well played Void Ooze, and then pound on them with your Bio-Arcane Barrage. You must try to get as much out of the slow as possible. Its a great slow, but has to be used smartly. Hopefully your allies will contribute in some way (stun, slow, massive deeps) and one of you will get a kill. If not, its alright, you've made them back and you can either attempt to push that tower or blue pill yourself.
And... if nobody was a good ganking target, you should continue to farm gold and harass their midsolo. Careful however, they will have their ultimate too. Don't get caught up in an arrow of Ashes. You should be able to get them to back with ultimate harass and Void Ooze (at which point farm another creep wave and back yourself), but if not again, no biggie. Some middles are just too annoying sometimes. If you are getting completely outplayed, remember the first rule is NOT to die, do not be afraid to go back and come back with more ammo, and maybe bring a friend.
At this point, whatever path you've taken, you should be back at your base. Pick up your Tear and maybe boots, if you stayed relatively long or if you got a kill. If you got especially starved or had to back super early, you may not be able to afford your tear. If so... buy boots and as much of your tear as possible. With any extra cash, buy a ward for dragon if your team doesn't have one or a ward for their golem. Or just a ward to protect yourself from a great ganker (Shaco perhaps?) in a top or bottom lane. Anyways, look at the sidelanes, if theres a good person to gank, head there and gank. Ult > Ult > Void Ooze > Bio-Arcane > Ult usually does the trick. Pick off any runners with your ult, but careful, at this point your shots will take up ALOT of mana. Otherwise just go back to middle lane, and continue to farm exp. The faster you are at getting to level 11, the better you'll be.
However, when you're around level 8/9 or so everyone on your team will probably have hit 6 by now, and the little skirmishes and ganking/roaming will probably begin. Preferably have your team get you golem at this point, unless another caster needs it more. If you don't get it, its alright, you have alot of mana regen at this point, just manage your mana and keep an eye on the stacks of your ultimate. Anyways, help your team get dragon, help them push, and generally, past low Elo games you will be with atleast some of your team. Its usually a bad idea to farm alone now. Anytime you blue pill buy your Sorc Shoes if you can, and as much of your Haunting Guise as you can. These items are really cheap, and you can usually have them before level 11. If you see a creep push and you can take it alone, do so, the gold and exp is valuable to you. Level 11 is really key. Don't forget about your Void Ooze + Living Artillery combo to quickly farm the wraith camps and ranged creeps for exp and gold.
When the mini-fighting occurs you want to be as far back as your ultimate range (which admittedly, at level 6, isn't a whole lot) will let you. Let your tanks/support initiate the fight, and then you go in and pick off their squishies. Remember remember remember, we are aiming for the SQUISHIES. Not the closest person to you. Even if it means putting yourself in danger, use artillery against their squishies. The idea of the fight is to kill their damage dealers first, and then the tankier ones. If the enemy team starts to target you, pop ghost and/or flash and jet outa there. Look for walls you can flash over to keep yourself out of harms way, but also contribute to the fight (if, for example, the fight is near the rivers flash over the walls and continue to nail them with your ultimate and abilities). Use ghost to escape, let their team forget about you, and reenter the fight. It may feel dirty to let them focus your teamates, but you're the carry, and your job is to kill, not to soak damage.
When you win skirmishes (fights with 4-6 characters total), attack the tower with your team, and when you lose them, try to defend yours. Yada yada, but the turrets are good sources of income and experience, welcome on any character. Do not back just because you have no mana, stay and push the towers. Also, control the dragon with your team, yada yada, exp and gold. I know it should be common knowledge for some of you pros, but I see so many times where everyone continues to farm alone instead of group up and push and grab dragon. The gold and exp you get from turrets, kills, and dragon (let alone map presence) far outdoes your farm by yourself.
You can defend turrets relatively easy with Koggie. Use your Void Ooze to kill/damage the incoming creep wave and then Living Artilleries to finish them off or scare away enemy champions. Remember, get the AD carries away from your towers first, and then the Morde/tank/etc. Activate Bio-Arcane as needed. You should be able to get them off your tower all while at a safe distance, especially at levels 11 and 16.
Anyways, by now you should have pushed a couple of turrets, and they probably have pushed a couple of yours. You should be able to complete your Archangels Staff (sell your ring for 200 extra gold for it. You should have no problem using your spells at this point (and I hope you weren't having trouble before...). And now, our core build is complete. 50 magic penetration, ~130 AP, and +25 mana regen, +200 health, are solid, round stats for Kog'Maw. We're not a glass cannon, and we will be dealing excellent damage, while also able to spam your abilities. We also make the best out of our best skill (Living Artillery) and we will WRECK squishies. I really feel this is the absolute best build for Kog'Maw, and I've tried alot of builds.
Now, we will start to build towards our situational items. Banshees Veil when AP is dealing the bulk of their damage, Rylai's for the sick slow on our ult and nice HP when the MR on BV wouldn't be as useful (added AP too!), and Zhoynas/Mejais when you're just lolololstomping. But remember if you're positioning well and staying alive, and the spell shield/extra hp isn't needed, Mejai's is an easy item to both generate stacks and keep them with Kog, and is very very cheap. You can definately throw in the Soul Stealer between your BVeil or Rylai's.
I classify end game after we have atleast our core items and when full fledged 5v5 teamfights start to occur (which, can actually happen very early). By now you should be at least level 11, and have second rank of your ultimate. You can now effectively stay in a very safe range, and be able to contribute to the fight. Before the fighting begins, poke poke poke and poke some more to damage anyone you can hit (preferably carries, then supports, and... if you must... tanks). When the fighting begins, throw down a Void Ooze, and continue to burst with your ultimate usage. If you are being ignored, put on Bio-Arcane Barrage and shred through opponents though auto attacks and your ultimate. If you are being targeted, pop ghost and flash as needed to stay safe and get in a better position. Use your slow to kite your chasers and continue to pummel the carries with your ultimate (but watch your mana, if you're at 5 stacks your ultimate will drain your mana and FAST. Wait a few seconds for it to die off). As teams begin to lose members, continue to throw your Void Ooze at the fray and kite with your ultimate. Bio-Arcane Barrrage is especially useful after the main fighting happens and combined with your ultimate can pick off runners.
Be careful of melee dps like Xin or Jax. Both have easy ways to close the distance and will both shrink your HP fast. If you're in a premade, yell on vent to get them to taunt/stun/wither them, and if you're solo queue, you must use your flash and ghost VERY effectively to stay alive and continue to stay in the fight. If they get you to back off they've effectively made it a 5v4 fight, which is very, very bad. To the best of your abilities you must stay IN the fight but AWAY from melee deeps. Use Void Ooze to keep them out of jump range if possible. Use ghost to run around obstacles and stay in range of their ranged dps and mages. Stay away from the melee dps.
Don't forget to use your Bio-Arcane to increase your range to more safely hit towers at this point in the game. Also don't forget to use it against Baron, that extra 100 damage will help down it as fast as possible.
And thats pretty much it. Super endgame should just be finishing up the game, by this time it should be apparent who will win. If the game is generally close though, don't forget to sell your Haunting Guise for a Void Staff, and get the Rylai's AND Banshees. You should still be able to deal solid damage, although its dropped off since midgame. Target heim/ashe/trist/etc. By now you will have ~~3000 hp, awesome for a carry.
Why not Nashors?
-- Archangels is far more useful in our core build, and if we try to build it afterwards, we're not using all of its stats. Archangels gives much more AP, and the reagents (namely Tear of the Godess) fits much more better in our core build as we build our boots and Haunting Guise, before finishing the Archangels. The max mana you get from Tear is very useful throughout the game, and easy to stack with our ultimate. Nashors Tooth on the otherhand gives us 25% CDr, and 55 AS if I'm not mistaken. With blue elixer (you should have it on 24/7 after the core build), runes, and masteries, we should be approaching 25% CDr already, and if we have golem, we're at the cap. Even without golem, we're only gaining 15% CDr from the tooth, wasting 10% of it and valueable gold. There are better (cheaper) alternatives for CDr, which isn't even a vital stat for Kog, as his main damage dealer, his ultimate, only trims ~.5 seconds off it, which is not worth investing 3000 gold into... The AS is a completely USELESS stat except when using our Bio-Arcane Barrage. Anytime after that 6 seconds and that 55 AS is doing NOTHING except looking pretty, as Koggy's range is waaaaayyy too short to use. One or two well timed stuns during Bio-Arcane Barrage and you gained NOTHING from the AS. Archangels > Nashors every game people.
This guide is done, I think. Bout time too, massive wall of text amirite? Well hopefully its not too long. I may go back and fix some things (formatting/add more) as I continue to play Kog'Maw, but this should be ample to jumpstart your Kog'Maw experience. Go out and make me proud fellow monsters and caterpillers! *Sniff sniff*, they grow up so fast. Thanks for reading. Hope you enjoyed. Gimme your opinion, and I'll get back at ya. I want this to be an excellent guide, so any advice on formatting especially would be helpful. Hope to see you on the battlefield!
Hyfe's Nasus Guide: Probably the best guide out there, and made me take Nasus as my main tank. Read it here: http://leaguecraft.com/strategies/gu...petitive+Nasus. I tried to look at how he formatted his guide and such.
Zirun's Janna Guide: Helped me get into Janna and even buy her skin. Shes a ton of fun. Again I stole some formatting ideas. Found... http://www.leagueoflegends.com/board...ad.php?t=92349.
And all my friends who put up with my trying new Koggy builds in premades and such even though insisting Koggy is a bad hero . Hope I've proved you wrong and helped carry us to some wins.
Hope yall don't mind, thanks for helping me (even though some of you didn't know it) learn new heros and write this guide.
KAYTHXBAI! Oh, and remember to COMMENT please. I want your feedback.
Edit: As of the new patchnotes, Koggie will be gaining an extra 50 base range on his auto attacks, and the Q nuke range will be gaining some range too. The Q range is helpful, but we will continue to use my skill build. Still cannot justify it over the range of our Bio-Arcane Barrage. The autoattack range will be helpful for soloing mid, help us keep a little bit out of range. Do not let this buff make you reconsider hybrid/AD Kog though, its bad and you should feel bad for building him like so. AP is the ONLY way to go... competitively.
Well, I'm a little disheartened since I fed pretty hard my last game.
I tend to go Nashor's first since it solves some of the mana issue until golem and I dunno, I like CDR. Maybe because I'm messy and spammy, but that's how I went.
I also was a big fan of Boots of Mobility. They're great for defending against creep pushes midgame and Kog can farm the pushes pretty well... but he still doesn't move fast enough to keep up with the team if he starts taking detours and they don't want to wait. They also don't help escape half the time because you get flanked or rammused or master Yi-ed or all of the above and there's no way to escape.
It also really, really sucks if your allies take golem instead of you. Like, majorly sucks. A couple pew pews in the teamfight and you're just done, OOM. On the other hand whenever I have golem as Kog it feels like God Mode, and I feel like a major contributor to team fights.
For some reason though, I've just never taken to RoA or Archangel's. I'll just have to try it out your way for awhile and see if I can do any better than I have been.
i understand the potential of an AP build, and i have used similiar builds and done ok
But recently i find going Rageblade first then Nashor's and Madred's is much more viable on Kog
AP is quite nukey, but it takes too long into the game to really do much damage to carry, by going rageblade and nashor's, u have enough AP to make ur ooze and Q do decent damage, but most importantly boost your AP and AS for your W to dish out ALOT of damage during that precious six seconds. and Madred's actually stack with your percentage damage, so it's just beasty.
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