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KOG'MAW BUILD GUIDE: Hellfire Artillery: Diamond AP Kog'maw by tinkady

by tinkady (last updated Today)

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9
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration(+7.83 magic penetration)
3
Greater Quintessence of Ability Power(+14.85 ability power)
9
Greater Seal of Scaling Health(216 health at champion level 18)
9
Greater Glyph of Scaling Cooldown Reduction(15.03% Cooldown reduction at champion level 18)
View Rune Details
Summoner Spells
View Summoner Details

Starting

3

Full Item Build

View Item Details
21
0
9
mastery 1 1/1
mastery 2 0/4
mastery 3 2/4
mastery 4 1/1
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/3
mastery 3 3/3
mastery 3 1/1
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/1
mastery 3 1/1
mastery 3 3/3
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/3
mastery 3 3/3
mastery 4 1/1
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 3/3
mastery 3 1/1
mastery 2 1/1
21 Offense
mastery 1 0/2
mastery 2 0/2
mastery 3 0/2
mastery 4 0/2
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/3
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/1
mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 0/3
mastery 1 0/3
mastery 2 0/1
mastery 3 0/1
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/4
mastery 3 0/1
mastery 2 0/1
0 Defense
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 1/3
mastery 3 3/3
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 2 2/3
mastery 3 1/1
mastery 4 1/1
mastery 1 0/3
mastery 2 0/1
mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 1/1
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/1
mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 0/2
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/3
mastery 2 0/1
9 Utility
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Player Level 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Icathian Surprise
QCaustic Spittle
WBio-Arcane Barrage
EVoid Ooze
RLiving Artillery
View Skill Order Details

Introduction

Hi all, I'm Tinkady, a Diamond player on the NA server. (Diamond 4 S3, Diamond 5 S4, Plat 1 S5 so far) This guide is a place for me to showcase my current build, musings, and math on AP Kog'maw.

My favorite champions have always been poke-heavy mids: AP Corki, AP Kog'maw, pre-rework Nidalee, Jayce, etc. As a general rule, this type of champion is incredibly strong in solo queue due to a lack of coordination on the other team. You may know me from my Solomid guide on AP Corki, which was sadly nerfed from its OP state. As a result, I've switched back to maining AP Kog'maw.

Overall, I have approximately 250 AP Kog'maw games played with an estimated winrate of at least 70%. The AP itemization rework of patch 5.13 greatly favored AP Kog, particularly via buffs to Rylai's and Liandry's. Since patch 5.13, I am on a 11-1 run with Kog'maw. My ranked stats are also shown below.





AP Kog'maw is quite possibly the most extreme champion in League of Legends (extreme, not overpowered). A lategame AP Kog is one of the strongest hypercarries, and can deal his damage from nearly an entire screen away (2200 range). I'm not exaggerating when I say that I almost always do the most damage to champions in the game, and quite often deal double the second highest value. On four recorded occasions, two since patch 5.13, I've dealt more damage than the rest of my team put together:



In competitive play, this feat is not particularly rare. When an organized team groups around an AP Kog'maw, ludicrous amounts of damage will be dealt. Look no further than Bjergsen's last two Kog games in the gameplay section later in the guide.

Pros:
  • Best champion in the game at level 16 powerspike
  • Longest range and most damaging poke in the game
  • Extremely strong sustained AoE DPS
  • Decently good burst with E-R combo
  • Instant long range waveclear at level 9- safe farmer, and best turtler in the game (comparable to Ziggs)
  • Can singlehandedly carry games after ~25-35 minutes
  • Can engage and disengage from long range after Rylai's purchase
  • Tank killer: sustained DPS with W and R, % health damage on W and Liandry's, Penetration on Q and Boots/Liandry's/Void
  • Lion Dance skin is awesome

Cons:
  • Weak early laning phase and map pressure
  • Assassins can crush you in lane and snowball
  • Relatively long ramp-up time
  • Squishy with no escapes - mitigated by Flash/Ghost
  • Hurt by blue buff denial
  • Skillshot reliant- inconsistent damage and difficult to play

Runes

Magic Penetration marks are standard. We aren't aggressive enough with autos to merit hybrid penetration, but those are viable as well and also make last-hitting easier.

Scaling health is standard for passive casters. Flat armor would be better if you know you're up against an AD lane. Flat health is also good if you don't have scaling or need extra survivability against an assassin. Scaling mana regen and gold / 10 are also viable.

I (along with Faker) prefer to run scaling CDR glyphs on almost all mages when it is safe. They are nice on Kog because we rarely want to build any CDR with items. Many pros run AP / level, which is also good. Just remember to not pick too many fights early, given two sets of scaling runes and a weak early kit. Alternatively, MR glyphs are excellent keep you alive early against AP, and scaling MR will do in a pinch.

AP Quints are ridiculously gold efficient, and strong both when you are trying to win lane or farm safely. I've fooled around with Experience, Movespeed, Magic Pen, and Gold/10, but AP is likely too good to pass up.

Masteries

mastery 1 1/1
mastery 2 0/4
mastery 3 2/4
mastery 4 1/1
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/3
mastery 3 3/3
mastery 3 1/1
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/1
mastery 3 1/1
mastery 3 3/3
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/3
mastery 3 3/3
mastery 4 1/1
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 3/3
mastery 3 1/1
mastery 2 1/1
21 Offense
mastery 1 0/2
mastery 2 0/2
mastery 3 0/2
mastery 4 0/2
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/3
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/1
mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 0/3
mastery 1 0/3
mastery 2 0/1
mastery 3 0/1
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/4
mastery 3 0/1
mastery 2 0/1
0 Defense
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 1/3
mastery 3 3/3
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 2 2/3
mastery 3 1/1
mastery 4 1/1
mastery 1 0/3
mastery 2 0/1
mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 1/1
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/1
mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 0/2
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/3
mastery 2 0/1
9 Utility
Standard AP Carry page, with a few tweaks. Feel free to just run any 21/0/9 AP page- you won't be missing out on much.

In offense: Take Double Edged Sword (you deal tons of damage and don't take very much) and Feast (additional regen for lane) instead of two points in sorcery.

In utility: take Strength of Spirit instead of a point in Summoner's Insight because we build mana. Runic affinity is an option over culinary master if you think you'll be safe in lane.

Summoner Sets

Ghost & Flash
Ghost is good for escaping jungle ganks and divers. It's weak against gapclosing burst damage, but if Kog gets caught he's often screwed anyways- ghost can be your best bet to stay out of range. Ghost has a shorter cooldown than Flash, so you don't need to avoid using it offensively- it's good for chasing down enemies when you would otherwise be slightly out of range for an ultimate. It can also be used to avoid skillshots if you anticipate them in advance. Ghost scales multiplicatively with the 10% movespeed from Luden's. If you run this setup, I'd get the Distortion enchantment to your boots after a couple items to further increase your mobility.

Flash is an incredibly valuable summoner spell on AP Kog, and 100% required. You should almost never use it offensively, despite overwhelming temptation, but rather save it to escape from assassins and divers. Don't live to flash, flash to live.
Barrier & Flash
Heal is is strong for mitigating damage to allow you to continue to output DPS. It's good on AP Kog for the same reason it's good on an ADC- you have more burst and longer range, but are still a squishy, sustained damage carry. Except against extremely skilled opponents, people will rarely account for heal, so it is a valuable tool for baiting the enemy; you can go all-in and use this at the last minute, or use it to block the last ranged attack as your opponent fires off what they think will be the last needed. Just be careful to not use it too late. It is decreased by ignite and other heals (no more than 2 per team or 1 per lane), but is essentially a barrier with a mini-ghost attached, and applies to two instead of one. The speed boost is very useful- use it to kite away, or even help a teammate gapclose.

Cleanse & Flash
Cleanse is a solid option against strong, cleansable CC, particularly in their mid or jungle so that this is not wasted early. Consider running this against Twisted Fate, Morgana, Ahri, Brand, Veigar, etc. If you're going to need Merc Treads or QSS later, just get this instead (although note that this doesn't stop surpression). Our item slots are simply too precious to give up.
Barrier & Flash
Barrier is likely inferior to heal, because it applies to only yourself and not a teammate, but if you simply won't be able to kite away from their bust damage this is a fine option.

Item Builds

Starting Build(s)
Standard
3
Greedy
2
Flask and potions is a strong start, as you'll usually just be farming until at least level 6 and have no other major sources of health sustain. Take 4 health or 3 health and 1 mana potion as needed. It is possible to start with 4 potions by simply waiting outside spawn for an additional 10 seconds- walk out and place your trinket ward to prevent engages, and then back and wait to buy.

Warding trinket is mandatory, and perfect for a passive, squishy lane like Kog who wants to stay safe. The ward is also useful to keep track of your laner's roam, as they will likely try to do so if they can't kill you.

If you feel safe enough in lane, Doran's ring is an extremely strong starting item due to the gold value of its stats.
Final Build(s)
Standard Final Items
This is the final build you should end up with 95% of the time. If you're afraid of dying, don't limit your DPS by buying a defensive item on top of - just maintain a safe position far behind your tankline, and maintain ward coverage to prevent flanks.

The two best boot upgrades for Kog are distortion (when running ghost/flash to increase mobility) and homeguard (to refill on mana more easily, when rushing to defend base, or anytime not running ghost/flash).

Always remember to upgrade your trinket! All three are viable- make sure your team has one blue (preferably on the AD carry, and on you otherwise) and a mix of warding/sweeping trinkets. I generally get warding on Kog, so that I can push up safely.

Buy Elixirs of Sorcery mid-late to late game when you expect a major engagement or poke war, or have capped out on items. This item is excellent for Kog, particularly because of its mana regen and true damage on spell hits.
Build Order
Here I have outlined an example build order. However, always remember to build adaptively.

Your highest priority is to get Tear of the Goddess on your first back- you need to start building up mana stacks as soon as possible. Remember to use skills while waiting in fountain or walking to lane.

Your first major purchase will be Luden's Echo. This is your first spike in power, and when you stop being useless. It increases your damage and waveclear greatly.

It's fine to build Sorcerer's Shoes before or while building Luden's if buy timings work out that way, but try to save up for Luden's if possible. If you don't rush Luden's as your first major item, don't build it at all.

Haunting guise is a strong early item, so for more early damage build it at around the same time as Socerer's Shoes. It builds into Liandry's Torment, which is an extremely efficient option now, and always your second or third buy.

Now you have choices. Rylai's is incredibly strong on Kog'maw now, providing a 40% slow on all of your AOE damage, so I'd generally rush it after Luden's. However, if your team has enough crowd control or is lacking damage, you can finish your Liandry's first.

Void staff is very powerful as our next buy, with our high base damages and Luden's/Liandry's procs being more impactful than more AP.

Finally, turn your tear into an Archangel's. Feel free to earlier if you need the survivability and waveclear (more AP) over magic penetration or damage.

Items

Luden's Echo
Luden's is great for us because it increases our base damage and AP ratios. It doesn't matter how many pokes are missed- the proc will simply apply on the first one that hits. It also gives us even better waveclear, supplementing our passive early style.

This is the item that made Kog'maw OP when it was first released. It was nerfed since its release, but even in its nerfed state is likely the best first major item on Kog. The only other option I'd consider is Liandry's Torment- my personal math makes them seem about the same effectiveness against champions, although Luden's is nice for waveclear. Luden's is probably best, and the pros haven't ever done anything else.
Rylai's Crystal Scepter
I believe that AP Kog'maw is the #1 user of Rylai's after patch 5.13's change to provide 40% rather than 15% slow on AoE spells.

Kog possesses an extremely long range AoE spammable poke spell. Once that slows, he gains tremendous utility. Our ult is now essentially a free engage or disengage on a particular target or clump of targets, given enough mana. It also becomes much easier to chain ults together, particularly at level 16 when your ult's cooldown is below 1 second and becomes a literal permaslow.
Liandry's Torment
Magic pen? Great. Additional base damage, most effective in poke scenarios? Awesome. Synergy with buffed Rylai's? Lovely. More survivability? Sure, why not.

Riot decided to buff this item by giving it 30 AP (652g of stats) for only 100 gold, which is insane value. This item is more than 100% gold efficient even before you factor in its powerful burn effect. It and Luden's Echo are our favorite damage items, for similar reasons.

Some math on this versus Luden's rush:

We'll assume one cast of rank five E and two casts of rank two R. We'll be against a target with 40 MR and 1000 average current health. This is 260 + 240 * 2 = 740 base damage, and 0.7 + 0.3 * 2 = 1.3 AP ratio. With Liandry's we'll have about (15+80+13)*1.05 = 113 AP, and with Luden's we'll have 134. With Luden's, we have 840 base damage and a 1.4 ratio for a total of 1027 damage. With Liandry's, we'll have 887 base damage, plus approximately 1000*(0.02)*5 = 100 from Liandry's burn, assuming two seconds of application and one second of slow, for a total of 987. Now, note that resistances will reduce the first value to 1027 / (1 + (40*.94 - 15) / 100) = 838 and the second value to 987 / (1 + (40*.94 - 15 - 15) / 100) = 917.

Thus, Liandry's does more damage to champions as a first buy. It also provides more gold worth of health than Luden's provides in movespeed.

Also, likely the ideal option is the best of both worlds: rush Luden's, and then get a Haunting Guise.
Void Staff
Our base damages are high, and on top of that we build Luden's and Rylai's/Liandry's. Best damage amplifier, particularly when the other team has an Aegis or other MR.
Seraph's Embrace
Tear of the Goddess is essential. It builds into a very cost efficient mana item with a nice shield attached. This is a viable purchase as early as your second item, especially if you want a shield and waveclear more than a slow or extra damage against champions. I'd generally get it last, though.
Rabadon's Deathcap
We prefer the penetration of Void Staff over raw AP. If skipping the Luden's rush, this should probably be your 6th item. The new Luden's gives enough movespeed that you should sell your boots for this in extremely long games. Consider this over Void if the enemy team has no tanks/Aegis, and the carries aren't building any MR, but I highly doubt this should happen often.
Athene's Unholy Grail
This item is quite viable, and our best option for building CDR. When building it, get chalice directly after tear. However, there are better options, as this gives you less teamfighting power and burst. With proper mana management, flask, elixirs, blue buffs, and Tear of the Goddess, you can survive without this.
Zhonya's Hourglass
I'd rather not buy this, as if you're close enough to the enemy to make use of the active, you're likely dead anyways. The one time is perhaps against a fed Zed. Or against a fed Karthus and strong AD damage elsewhere on the team.

Feel free to get a Seeker's Armguard after your Luden's rush if you need the armor and want to build this later. But once again, we simply don't have room in our build.
Rod of Ages
Viable option, as it and Archangels' staff synergize nicely to give you a lots of AP, mana, and shield strength. If getting this, rush it instead of Luden's so that you can start stacking ASAP. However, I don't know of any situation in which you should!
Lich Bane
Building AP with Lichbane and Deathcap causes Kog'maw to do less poke damage, but likely more theoretical damage when autoing and using all of your spells. However, my build does more damage when staying far back and doing 90% of damage with just your ultimate's incredible range. Consider two scenarios:
1. You are winning/not threatened by dive. An AP build would do more damage in this scenario. However, regardless of your build, you are playing AP Kog'maw and ahead, and thus most likely going to win the game unless you throw. One way to throw would be to get blown up early in a teamfight, which is more likely with an AP build. Regardless, a magic pen build will still do more poke damage, and more damage than the rest of your teammates.
2. You are losing/threatened by dive. The ideal playstyle here is to stay as far away from the fight as possible using the range of your level 11 and 16 ultimates and slow of your E. For this playstyle, you will actually do more damage with Liandry/Rylai's/Athene than with AP items. You will do a huge amount of AoE damage, and it will be much harder to kill you than if you stray into auto range for Lich Bane procs.

Regardless of whether it could theoretically do more damage, pure AP Kog is risky and incredibly unforgiving of bad positioning ability in teamfights.
Nashor's Tooth
Similar to Lich Bane, except requires even more of a close range style. Certainly not terrible, but just play AD Kog'maw. If you do want to try this out, make sure you have several points in W by the time it's completed.
Banshee's Veil
Viable defensive item in three scenarios: fed AP assassin(s) that will instantly kill you, high poke, or a single hard engage spell like Malphite ultimate or Blitz hook. You can build an early or against a hard AP lane if getting demolished. We simply don't have room in our build for this.
Vision Ward
The primary use of pink wards is to be placed defensively- if placed in an uncommon spot for an enemy, they can stay up for a huge amount of time. You should have one on the map whenever you have extra gold, and encourage your team to do the same. Here are some nice spots, courtesy of Bischu:



Also pick one up if you're going to do dragon/baron and neither your jungler or support has one.
Stealth Ward
Even though you have a trinket, consider buying a ward whenever you have extra cash. This is especially true if your flash is down or if you plan on pushing your lane. This is also true lategame until you cap out on items, since the support can't singlehandedly cover the map anymore.

Skill Order

Player Level 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Icathian Surprise
QCaustic Spittle
WBio-Arcane Barrage
EVoid Ooze
RLiving Artillery
Take E level 1. W is also viable if you can harass with auto attacks. Q should be taken at level 4, unless you are shoved into tower already in which case you may want it at level 2/3 to help last hit.

Max R first, your most important skill by far. You gain a large amount of range and base damage per levelup, and in general your power level is heavily tied to whether you are pre-6, 6-10, 11-15, or 16-18.

Max E second, for long range harass and farming/waveclear. Leveling this increases the slow percentage significantly in addition to giving additional damage.

Max Q second, as it is an additional nuke with nice utility.

Max W last, because its %-health damage doesn't scale all that well until lategame. Feel free to take more points when you can safely auto, or just want a bit more range for farming.

Skills

Icathian Surprise
If you're going to die, don't run away. Fight it out while staying next to your target, and then use this passive to take one with you. This does true damage in a somewhat large AoE, and will catch a lot of people off guard.

Alternatively, if you won't be able to do any meaningful damage, try to get CS. Worth. OR YOU CAN DANCE. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND DANCING.
Caustic Spittle
This skill has been reworked into yet another skillshot, and a much more impactful ability than the previous iteration, which had far too little range to be useful other than for lasthitting and peeling divers.

If possible, use it when your jungler ganks for you, or in teamfights on targets being focused, because it shreds armor and MR. This shred affect does not work on Baron or Dragon, but it does work on jungle monsters, so lead with this when taking camps.

If somebody dives your team, Q them while your team focuses them for increased damage.
Bio-Arcane Barrage
This gives your autos some nice range and additional damage, which is great for farming safely from a distance. I personally am terrible at lasthitting, so I often use it to empower my autos to reduce the chance of error.

This skill can also be used for auto harass, primarily against melees. Your pre-6 is weak, but in many level 1 or 2 matchups you are free to auto harass melees to your heart's content.

Always activate this when attacking Dragon or Baron- the %health damage shreds them quite quickly.

This skill is also a convenient way of charging your tear while walking to lane due to its lack of a mana cost.
Void Ooze
Your main waveclear and harass tool pre-6. Early on, save this for if the wave is shoving towards you (lasthitting under tower early on isn't great) unless you want to back or know where the enemy jungler is and aren't afraid of getting ganked.

At level 6, you can clear the backline of minions with E-R-R. At level 9 (or 7 if ahead in levels) you will be able to oneshot the backline with just E-R, and it is usually a good idea to do so and then roam or farm jungle camps.
Living Artillery
This is an incredibly fun and powerful skill. At levels 11 and 16, you can demolish enemies without being anywhere near retaliation range.

One good tip is to aim this slightly behind the opponent, as they'll often dodge by running away. This is especially true when you pair it with an E, as the first instinct is to run away from the ooze.

When chasing or retreating, remember to move in between spellcasts.

Use this skill to check brushes instead of facechecking them. It can also be used to check Baron or Dragon over the wall.

This skill can also be used for safe farming, similar to a Karthus Q.

It takes practice to learn how to manage stacks properly. Lategame, you can use 10 or 11 chained ults in a teamfight before you run out of mana. If the situation allows, use 8 or fewer before waiting 6 seconds for them to reset. When poking, don't use any more than 2-3, or 4-5 with blue buff. A chart of mana costs is shown below, and its a good idea to have a general sense of these numbers.

Individual / Cumulative:
1: 40 / 40
2: 80 / 120
3: 120 / 240
4: 160 / 400
5: 200 / 600
6: 240 / 840
7: 280 / 1120
8: 320 / 1440
9: 360 / 1800
10: 400 / 2200
11: 400 / 2600

Champion Matchups

Ryze
Difficulty
Favors You
Farmers:
You love these matchups. As a general rule, nobody scales harder than you. Not even Karthus. Still be careful though- you lose most of these matchups pre-6. Do your best to poke them out of lane while not denying yourself farm.
Zed
Difficulty
Favors Enemy
Assassins:
They are strong against you. Just try to farm from a distance, and ward heavily so that you know where they're going when they try to roam. If you don't know them already, I recommend looking up the cooldown times on their gapclosers on LolWiki before the game, just so you have an idea of their capabilities. If they're playing overly aggressive, pay attention to where they're warding and ask your jungler for a gank. Usually, things will get a lot easier at level 11 when you can farm from long distances.
Ziggs
Difficulty
Favors Enemy
Pokers:
These lanes are often tough, but very winnable. You will win these lanes as time goes on. If behind, focus on clearing the wave and going elsewhere to avoid getting poked too hard.

Early Game

Depending on the matchup, you are most likely going to just play the farming game until level 6 or when your jungler ganks. Try to focus on getting every single CS much more than harassing. On the other hand, Kog is similar to Kassadin in that, pre-6, it's fine to miss creeps if you stay in exp range and it means that you can prevent getting harassed out of lane. It's most important to play scared and survive until level 6; gold will come easily once you're high enough level.

Tell your jungler that you are going to need blue buffs. Also warn your jungler about your pitiful early damage, and that he's free to gank but generally should't camp you expecting a kill.

Mid Game

At level 9, you can oneshot the wave with a single E-R combo. At this point, you can try to poke your opponent out of lane, but often it's better to just shove and farm razorbeaks and wolves, and occasionally roam.

When your laner roams, you need to ping missing and call out where they're going (try to keep vision) and then either shove your lane hard and take tower, or follow them. Staying in your lane and pushing tower is a surprisingly viable option- you will lose skirmishes as Kog, and often will just bait your team into dying or get caught in transit. You have potent roams if the enemy overextends- you don't have a gapcloser, but you do have high damage and a moderately strong CC in your E- but you should roam less on Kog'maw than you would on another mid simply because if you run into somebody alone you will often die.

Make sure you always have dragon vision, and call for your team to do dragon with you whenever you have a big advantage, particularly if the enemy jungler shows top. The best time to do dragon is after a successful jungler gank and double kill botlane, but don't ignore the midlaner- mids are much stronger than botlaners in midgame, and dragon damage can simply set you up to be triple killed.

Late Game

Once you hit level 16, it's time to win. Tell your team not to fight if you're about to hit 11 or 16, and once you do try to force engagements. I'm not kidding. Be bossy and tell your team to wait. One of the best ways to carry solo queue is by shotcalling.

At this point, you should almost never be alone. Stay with your team, especially a teammate that can disengage for you. Always check bushes with your ults, and highly prioritize not dying over taking risks, because you can singlehandedly hold off a siege.

Time your blue buffs' spawns, and tell your team that they need to group and poke+fight whenever you get a blue. Unless way ahead, tell your team to avoid fighting until you've softened them up with poke first.

With Rylai's, you can often get a chain of ults on a single target and will be tempted to go totally ham to finish the kill. Fight this urge unless you have vision of the area and know it's safe to chase- if you're ambushed, you're useless. However, this is a very good way to initiate a teamfight when winning- if you land an ult on a squishy with no escape and your team is with you, they're dead.

Baron is, as usual, an important objective, and once you get it you can go siegeing which Kog loves. One caveat: more so with AP Kog than with other champions, try to avoid situations in which you are taking baron and can get caught in the pit. I recommend standing off to the side, away from the approaching enemy, or if you have flash up you can simply stand in the back of the pit and jump over when in trouble. When doing baron, you often want to turn on your W auto steroid (percent health shreds baron) and then simply use E and R to scout and zone anybody coming. When the opposing team does baron, you are at a very large advantage because you can poke them quite easily. They will group, and can often be funneled into certain paths in the jungle.

One of Kog's core strengths is his ability to stall. When the other team is grouped up and pushing, with a simple E-R you can clear the entire wave and make it much harder for them to siege towers. Once again, highly prioritize staying alive- if you die, there's nothing to stop your towers from being taken. Your team will often lose hope because they don't realize how good Kog is at stalling until he oustcales. Tell your team all about this, and always be a positive influence in chat (although don't chat too much).

Teamfights

Stay as far back as you can while hitting groups of people or important carries with your ults. When somebody walks towards you or they group up nicely, throw an E in the mix. Teamfights are wonderful for you, because players will tend to clump up and not pay attention to dodging your ults.

When getting dove, lead with Q and kite backwards over your ooze while autoing. It is quite easy to land ults on people trying to kill you because you know exactly where they will go next. However, you only have so many ults per teamfight, so don't ignore carries/grouped targets in favor of hitting the thing in front of you. The beauty of Kog's point-and-click mechainc and enoromous range is that you can focus whoever you want, regardless of whether you're about to die. Hitting their most fed squishy is almost always the answer.

With Rylai's, you can initiate teamfights by making catches from long distance surprisingly well, as mentioned above.

Gameplay

Here is a recent LCS game in which Bjergsen carried with AP Kog'maw: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VX4Y1UEjASE&t=12m54s.

Detailed match history is available here, and you can see the order in which he purchased his items: http://matchhistory.na.leagueoflegends.com/en/#match-details/TRLH1/1001260073?gameHash=f82fa235ee6ed757&tab=overview
Note that Bjergsen did more damage than the rest of his team combined! This is quite common when Kog is played in pro games, as teams are able to effectively play poke compositions.

Here's another Bjergsen game: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BELrvyQH_iw&t=14m36s. Here's the damage dealt, once again more than the rest of his team combined!

Conclusion

If you've gotten this far, you are now a master of AP Kog- enjoy your freelo. If you disagree with any of my points, or have any new ideas, let me know- I love theorycrafting and doing mathematical analysis. If you enjoyed the guide, like it and leave a comment. Thanks!

Comments

March 20, 2014 - 12:31 AM #1

Hi,

I found this guide very helpful.

I've been trying out CDR glyphs with decent success (just Silver). I'm not sure whether they do more damage than secondary Mpen Glyphs. If you've done any math on this, I'm quite interested in the result since my goal is to maximize damage. I actually feel that some of the health from Rylai's is a bit wasted and I'd much rather have more damage. The way I play Kog emphasizes unanswerable damage, not engages. That's after all, the reason we get Double-Edged Sword too.

I find it odd getting MR glyphs when going a poke build because unless they have an incredible gap closer, I can farm safely enough near the turret and clear waves almost instantly with E-R once 6. Besides, I usually get Chalice right after Tear and that's a decent amount of early MR. I could understand getting MR glyphs if we weren't building early MR anyway but it just seems like I don't benefit enough from MR glyphs outside of levels 1-5. If they are in range to do heavy magic damage, I'm usually dead anyway and the extra R might save me just as much as the 12 MR.

I'm not 100% sure that CDR glyphs or Mpen glyphs are better but I'd just like convincing reasons why not to go for CDR glyphs over the others. (BTW, I use AP quints)

Thanks!

January 23, 2014 - 08:35 PM #2

Great guide, been a fan of AP kog since mid season 2. I'd love to see some ap kog highlights as well as the full games. definitely deserves my upvote

January 22, 2014 - 07:13 PM #3

Ah, I would Love to tell you how my avatar is working, but I have no clue. It just never broke...

My IGN is Piromiru, was plat last season, but my placements went horribly this season... Gotta grind back up...

I was considering W purely for the AA range it gives combined with an attack speed item like Nashor's for sustained long ranged harass that they can't really do much about, but I was mostly playing devil's advocate to see what you thought. I agree that it is situational at best, but I always like to at least consider weird things like that.

Your views on the buff are pessimistic, but as much as I hate to admit it, you might be right. They might change other things than the ult though. I'm thinking E might get lower base damage and maybe a narrower shot to hit his team fight AOE damage some. Hitting his E would be understandable now that they can move more power to his Q as a single target spell I think. I don't think they will touch his ult much at all, but they might lower it's AP ratio a bit if anything. I suppose they could hit it's base damage and up it's AD ratio to hit AP Kog and not affect AD Kog much... I don't think they will touch it's range though since it has always been such a core part of Kog'maw's identity as a biological siege weapon. I suppose they COULD normalize it's range between levels, which could be either an overall buff or a nerf that breaks him depending on what range they normalize it at. If they set it at rank 1 range for all 3 ranks, I would probably break something in apoplectic rage... If they set it at Rank 2 for all 3 ranks though? I might could live with that, but I wouldn't like it... Rank 3 range would be unabashedly over powered if all 3 ranks had it... Dunno. There are few other skills in the game that actually change ranges based on rank, and Riot has said they don't tend to like them since they are 'hard to learn' for both the user and the enemy. I suppose Kog'maw's is a bit different since his is always telegraphed though.

January 21, 2014 - 11:38 PM #4

By the way, how did you get your forum avatar to work properly? Mine's broken. Also, what's your IGN?

Also, there's absolutely no reason to ever max W before E, and even if you were going for an onhit build you'd want the increased slow to keep them in auto range- I'd max Q last in that case. Furthermore, since W is maxed last a Nashor's tooth would not be a good early buy.

January 21, 2014 - 08:43 PM #5

Ooh, I should start a discussion on the buffs in the comment section. I don't actually like this change. Its fantastic, but helps AP Kog much more than the already-weak AD Kog, andg once they buff Q they'll have to nerf other aspects of the champion- most likely his ultimate base damage or range. AP Kog is already in a good place, and I'm afraid that buffs will just get him neutered like AP Corki.

A useful comparison on the change: the new Q has the width of an Ezreal Mystic Shot (Q), but has 1550 missile speed instead of 1900 and 950 range instead of 1100. Anyways, here's my theorizing so far:

The pre-6 value of AP (and mana regen/mana) has been increased significantly. I will probably switch to AP quints, although Exp quints haven't been nerfed at all so are still very good. They got buffed, even- gaining levels in Q now has more power.

I will definitely start with Doran's ring whenever possible, although flask and the occasional cloth armor will still be needed often.

I will almost always max R>E>Q>W now, except maybe maxing W third against a team with two hyper-tanks (although MR shred is also useful against them so maybe not even then, I need to do math). The w damage is strong, but doesn't scale up until lategame- percent health abilities should usually be maxed last. I suppose we could max Q first, but it's harder to hit than E, worse utility than E (slow good, waveclear great), and shredding resistances isn't helpful if we don't have follow-up damage. The only time I might is if I wanted to bully early while freezing the lane by my turret, which isn't likely against good opponents.

Muramana will definitely be replaced with Athene's. I realized regardless of the buffs that I chose Muramana during the super-long games of the 3.14 patch, and that in 3.15/4.1 it is possibly weaker than Athene's. With the buff, we have more incentive to build CDR and Athene's is just an overall solid item. This change will likely make DRing or flask > tear > athene's > seraph's my primary build.

Now it might seem like the AP/Lichbane build has been strengthened more than mine. I'm not convinced that this is the case (once I put Athene's back in). We have even less incentive to be in autoattack range than before now that Q outranges even our empowered autos, and the base damage was increased while the AP ratio was not, which favors magic pen. Kog's AP ratios are actually much better than I gave them credit for, so building Deathcap and/or Lichbane will be quite viable with this change, but I still think they'll be somewhat situational purchases against dive heavy teamcomps.


Regarding your ideas: an AP onhit build was strengthened less than a poke and kite build. Still possibly viable, but I haven't tried it really. I don't see why you'd build it over AD Kog, but I could be totally wrong- show me some math. Anyways, I think Lich Bane is much stronger than Nashor's for Kog, and as a 7th item Nashor's is possible but I think Zephyr is probably better because it sacrifices very little movespeed.

January 21, 2014 - 05:27 PM #6

Gotta ask, are you drooling over the Q change like I am?

Incase you somehow don't know about it:
Q - Changed to a skill shot, range increased from 625 to 950, and projectile speed increased from 1500 to 1550.
Stays 60 mana at every rank, and got it's base damage boosted by 20 at every level (80/130/180/230/280) and (.7) AP.

I think I can confidently say that this will affect our skill order, possibly drastically. I still think we will max E first for wave clear, range, and since it hits multiple targets, but I can Easily see us now maxing Q second and only taking 1 point in W at level 1. Clearly this change benefits the Lichbane build more than your ulting build, and promotes CDR more in all situations, but it's still a crazy buff!

With that base damage, cheap mana cost, and nice range, we can almost pretend we are Nidalee chunking spears with her trap tied to them every 8 seconds... Ganks for us just got a lot more dangerous if we rank Q first. If your lane opponent doesn't build MR, they are taking true damage from you and have half of their armor gone early game for your jungle... THAT is scary...

I might need to try a build that prioritizes Q and W over E and rushes a Nashor's tooth or Lichbane... Would be insanely less mana hungry early on, but It would still need a tear badly. Still too long of CDs on the abilities with good ratios to really justify a heavy AP build, but said build will be stronger (significantly) since it now actually has a forth spell to use!

Maybe something like Tear -> Nashor's -> Sorc Shoes -> Haunting Guise -> Void Staff -> AA -> Liandry's -> Rylai's -> Lichbane (Sell Boots)? W would be doing around 9.5-10.5% of their health per auto at either true damage or near and LB procs would be doing 360 bonus damage on Auto. Q - 560 E - 540 R - 480. Would be unable to sustain a long chain of Rs, but would be stronger against mobile opponents who can dodge your ults and would allow you to shred tanks to nothing very quickly... Nashor's + Spellblade would also be doing 80 additional damage per auto. Still has the same flaw of you being squishy as hell, but Kog's ranges should let him just ulti from behind his team until someone uses their gap closers then he could shred them safely (Ideal situation obviously, shit happens).

Speaking of team fights, I hadn't even considered how much of a buff this is for them! With the range buff, we will be able to reliably Q the tanky initiators taking our a chunk of their defenses for our whole team, unlike before where we were literally Never in range to use it... hmm...

Again, I just remembered that we will not have a reliable single target spell that has range for a full application of Rylai's... Geez, this is more awesome than I thought!

January 20, 2014 - 07:32 AM #7

Thanks Twixy, they should be working now.

January 20, 2014 - 12:10 AM #8

I can't download the replays, could you upload them again using another site?

January 14, 2014 - 10:13 AM #9

Yup, Jarvan's pretty tricky. Not a terribly difficult lane if you survive the earlygame, but he can zone you out for a long time, and is one of the initiators that can sometimes get on you lategame.

January 14, 2014 - 03:12 AM #10

Well I wanted to see the laning phase a few times to get a feel of how to play. I'm one of those people who have a better understanding of something after seeing it instead of reading it. Plus, vids are awesome. I know you say to have as passive a laning phase as possible, and that's what I try to do. I also feel like any trading at all as you try to disengage is often dangerous.

I also feel like j4 is your cancer, as both a laner and a jungler.

I'll tell you though, I do feel like a god when late game rolls around. I haven't tried Double Tear (I dub thee the "QQ build"!) because I feel like most of my games end before I get the 2nd Tear stacked (which has happened a few times) so I've just been opting for Lich Bane if winning. If I get any peel at all from divers I can just melt their whole team (with or without Lich). I've played AP Kog before, but it feels different than I remember. Perhaps because I got both Athene and AA's (no Seraphs at the time), I dunno, but I do know that I feel really powerful come late game.

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