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CHO'GATH BUILD GUIDE: A Comprehensive Guide to the Terror of the Void by screaming mime

by screaming mime (last updated over a year ago)

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9
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration( +7.83 magic penetration)
9
Greater Seal of Armor( +12.69 armor)
9
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist( +1.35 magic resist per level (24.3 at champion level 18))
3
Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed( +4.5% movement speed)
View Rune Details
Summoner Spells
View Summoner Details
0
27
3
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27 Defense
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3 Utility
View Mastery Details
Player Level 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Carnivore
QRupture
WFeral Scream
EVorpal Spikes
RFeast
View Skill Order Details

Runes

Masteries

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27 Defense
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3 Utility

Skill Order

Player Level 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Carnivore
QRupture
WFeral Scream
EVorpal Spikes
RFeast

Champion Matchups

Introduction

Why hello thar, I am screaming mime, and this is my Cho'Gath guide. There are very few detailed Cho'Gath guides, and I'm hoping to change that. I am a casual gamer who mains Cho'Gath, and I don't play ranked (yet). I have around 400 wins under my belt, with a positive win/loss ratio, and if that means you immediately dismiss this guide, by all means. I will inform you however that I have a very solid understanding of how this game works, how to win games, and have turned around many games using such knowledge. I play mostly solo que normal games, and I started playing with/against level 30s with 1000+ wins since I got to level 20 due to premades and the elo system being weird, so I've had to adapt to higher level players for a while now. To give you a better concept of my Cho'Gath sized e-peen , I will inform you that I frequently get friend requests from people on the other team, regardless of whether I win or lose, because they recognize that I was the one making the big plays that turned the game around, whether or not my team followed suit. You will learn SOMETHING reading this guide. Now I suggest you guys duck, because I'm about to turn around and go back to explaining how this champ works, and I don't want to slap you all with my d**k.

"You have stains upon your soul... Perfect."

Cho'Gath is an underplayed and under-appreciated champion, often ridiculed for being a replaceable off-tank or AP caster. Also, with the release of every %health shred passive/ability/item added to the game in the last few years, he's fallen off everyone's radar (which the idea of a Cho'Gath with 6 stacks falling off ANY radar is in fact steeped in irony). Anyways, with the emergence of the solo top bruiser and double AP metas rolling around, he has become a very strong pick. With a sustain passive, an ability that gives him health, 2 AOE CC abilities, and a true damage nuke, it's easy to see why.

TLDR: I know what I'm talking about, I don't suck, Cho'Gath doesn't suck, read and you too can not suck. By the way, if you actually did have to skip to this because my intro was too long, this probably isn't the guide for you. It's "comprehensive", which means long as f*ck.

Overview

Cho' Gath is known as a top lane bruiser, who becomes an immovable wall upon getting stacks. He has high health, good base damages, and has enough CC that he's very hard to ignore. He is a very safe pick because most lanes can be turned into a farmfest, and can turn most enemy engagements in his favor if you're smart about how you utilize his aoe cc.

I want to discuss the pros and cons of this walking rape machine known as Cho'Gath:

Pros
  • AOE CC up the ass (Silence in a cone and a knock-up with a slow)
  • Very hard to bully out of lane ()
  • Very good AP ratios
  • Gets free health from
  • High true damage ult
  • Fits into most team comps
  • Offers great Baron/Dragon/Buff control with
  • Tied for highest base damage in the game (with )
  • Protects carry from a lot of damage because he's the only champ they can click on.
  • Great at invades
  • Fast counter-jungling with feast
  • Clears minions really fast
  • Makes low health enemies paranoid of engaging
  • Fits into top bruiser, double AP, and tanky jungle meta if need be
  • Can 1v2 top or bot if need be (or mid which is apparently a thing now)
  • Hilarity ensues when 6 stack Cho hides in tiny brushes

Cons
  • Melee auto attack, so can get zoned
  • High mana costs and long cooldowns
  • His Q is hard to land and on a delay
  • Only tank that gets punished for dying (loses half his stacks)
  • Rather slow movement speed (even after the buff)
  • His sustain is entirely reliant on last hitting with , unlike and
  • So many %health attack/items/passives exist in this game now, you can melt if not careful
  • Teams sometimes mistake your poke for engages

Masteries

[http://img600.imageshack.us/img600/3653/guidemasteries.jpg]

*Will Update picture soon*

Explanation
I've been running 0/27/3 because I usually play Cho as Solo Top and the defensive tree helps your early game immensely, and on a champion that gets hit by every skill shot known to man because of shear size, cc reduction is hard to pass up. This setup gives Cho everything he needs to be effective: Armor, MR, health, movement speed, and generally badassery â„¢.
These masteries give Cho a very balanced defense and in my experience allow him to stand on equal footing with the enemy bruiser.

Alternatives
You can also run 0/21/9 if you think you'll be getting blue a lot, but I prefer the survivability. Another viable option is 0/9/21, if you think you aren't going to get bullied in lane. I used to run this but I found that because of how aggressive I play at times, the defensive tree is best suited for me personally. That being said, its up to you. Play around with it.
9/21/0 is also an option I was running for a while, but I found that I was going over the cdr cap with items builds and blue occasionally.

Runes

[http://img18.imageshack.us/img18/6753/guiderunes.jpg]


Explanation
I use the same runes I would run for any AP bruiser I would put top. If you might recall, I play a lot of solo que, so I don't necessarily know who I will be laning against. I like being pretty balanced, based on the fact that most teams are pretty balanced and bruisers tend to do both physical and magic damage. With the current meta, every once in a while you get an AP top, and most mages have a decent attack range, which means they might just autoattack you all day. On the off chance that you have a 1v2 lane top, this will really come into play. Building these resistances will maximize the efficiency of your passive, because each health you get back becomes more effective health.

Marks
Primary I run Magic pen because all of Cho's abilities do magic damage, including Vorpal Spikes, so it helps buff my damage, especially since squishy are notorious for being... well... squishy. Nothing is more satisfying that taking away chunks of some carry's health.
Alternatives that don't suck
  • Attack Speed Cho actually scales extremely well with attack speed, so this isn't a troll build. Because Cho's auto gets more damage from vorpal spikes, it's not a horrible idea to build attack speed. Plus, it makes it a little easier to last hit. My only criticism is that you might push your lane if you're not careful. This also helps with taking down towers end-game. It's also extremely useful on jungle Cho.
  • Armor I used to run armor reds, health yellows, mr blues, and health quints. This is more for if you are planning on just being a massive wall to infuriate purple caster minion , other skill shot champs or you know for sure you're up against some pure AD bruiser and you want to ruin his day. It's viable, but I personally changed because I felt like only my ult was doing damage.

Seals
Primary I run armor these days, because so many AD bruisers exist now, and I prefer it when that just tickles early game. It also helps with minion aggro and with jungling, if you choose to go that route. Also, even if everyone on the enemy team is AP, armor is never wasted because of autoattack and tower damage being physical.
Alternatives that don't suck-
  • Mana Regen or Mana Regen/lvl Because sometimes you feel like spamming your and just to see champs dance for you all day. Cho is mana hungry, this can fix that to an extent.
  • Health or Health/lvl As I said, I ran this for a while. This is more for an early game advantage, and to be overall imposing with all the health bars you have.
  • Attack Speed You can run this on Cho, but you will find you are rather squishy, and you might push your lane.
  • Gold/10 Stacking gold per 5 items is fun, and if you play passively and focus on last hitting, this can yield good results. You will feel squishy though.

Glyphs
Primary I run Scaling Magic Resist because as a tank, you end up taking a ton of AOE damage, and as the biggest champ in the game, skill shots will hit you that were meant for the other lane. It just happens, I find spamming laugh helps.
Alternatives that don't suck
  • Flat MR Not a bad idea, especially against people who have abilities that might hit like a truck ( javelin) if you're caught off guard early levels. You can also mix and match these with scaling MR. I ran 3 scaling and 6 flat for months and it worked really well. I have just grown (pun not intended) accustomed to scaling MR and using my passive to survive because its nice to have a free Null-Magic Mantle in MR at level 18.
  • AP/lvl Not horrible, and definitely helps your damage output, but I find that survivability tends to be better. If AP Cho is your thing, go for it. You will feel squishy to AP burst though.
  • CDR Personally I don't own these because I'm poor and they're expensive, but they would work pretty well. My only advice is to remember that you will be getting CDR with this build, Blue gives you CDR if you plan on having that, and the cap is at 40%. I like just having CDR in masteries and items personally for Cho.
  • Attack Speed Same as before. You will probably push, you will be squishy, but can be good for jungling.

Quintessences
Primary I really like movement speed quints. They make dodging skill shots easier, make your trek back to lane faster, and they help your jungle speed. It also makes landing your raptures a bit easier because you can get in range for it faster.
Alternatives that don't suck
  • Flat Health I used these for a while and they really help your early game and make the harass you can take in lane a bit easier to deal with. They do fall off a bit more end-game though.
  • Magic Pen Makes you hit even harder. The DEEEPSSSS BROOOOO.
  • Flat Ability Power The DEEEPPPPSSS.
  • Gold/10 Can help you get mad duckets (Condon TM.)
  • HP regen Again, I can't afford these, but I hear they are very good, and regen is always a good idea.
  • Attack Speed Same as before.

Summoner Spells


Teleport & Ghost

Teleport gives you good map control, helps you in hard match-ups, can help set up ganks, offers you better dragon and baron control, and helps you with backdooring. This will also mean that you can get another pot if you want to wait around for one lvl 1, and lvl 1 invades/fights wont set you back as much. Protip: Use it on the minion taking tower aggro if you lane is trying to take down that tower, it will make the minion not take damage during the channel, allowing for a few more autos from your teammates and allied minions .

Ghost can be used offensively and defensively. Believe it or not, you can also survive tower dives early levels a lot of the time by just juking back and forth around the tower so the enemy cant hit you. I've made many poppy players rage by having them tower dive me, only to have me silence and knock them up repeatedly while their ult is on, and I use ghost so my movement speed is just faster than her, and I get a kill. I also have it improved in masteries, and I have Movement Speed Quints, so I move even faster. Being how long top lane is, I find ghost to be really useful in escaping ganks.

Alternatives That Don't Suck

+ = one dead or pants-wetting carry. Also great for Baron steals if you feel bold enough.

In combination with flash and , you will give a carry nightmares for weeks. I've actually had champs flash as soon as I them because they're so scared shitless of my true damage or a gank.

It can make hitting your a tad easier, and make killing that fed carry easier to deal with.

Alright for teamfights and heal baits, but I dislike it on pure principal.

Take this when jungling. Smite plus = ultimate Baron and Dragon control. Their jungler doesn't smite steal from a Jungle Cho, he flashes into his own mugging.

Skills



Passive: Carnivore
Whenever Cho'Gath kills a unit, he recovers 34 - 68 (+2.5 each level) health and 3.5-7.75 mana (+0.25 each level).


[http://img268.imageshack.us/img268/7722/carnivore.gif]

Explanation
This is one of the best passives you could have for a solo top, but it does require you to be able to last hit. If you can't last hit, your passive is going to be useless and you will get pushed out of lane. You'll end up being the world's largest ward. The whole rationale behind building resistances is to abuse this passive so you don't get pushed out of lane. You can literally ignore the enemy in some cases if you can just focus on last hitting because their damage will be nullified to an extent by this passive. This passive is also what makes Cho such a good sustain jungler.

Fun Fact: your passive is triggered by getting a last hit on structures too. Also, will boost this passive if you decide to buy it.


Q: Rupture
Ruptures the ground at target location. After a short delay, enemies are launched into the air for 1 second, dealt 80 / 135 / 190 / 245 / 305 (+100% of ability power) magic damage, and have their movement speed slowed by 60% for 3 seconds.

Cooldown 10 seconds

Cost 80 / 90 / 100 / 110 / 120 mana

Range 950

[http://img3.imageshack.us/img3/9659/ruptureu.gif]

Explanation
Unlike everyone else's Q, this is a long cooldown skillshot on a delay (.5 as of the Diana Patch). This makes it really hard to land. It's similar to 's Pillar of Flame in cooldown, casting time, and radius. Having said all that, it has a very long range, and becomes much easier to hit in teamfights. It is a knock-up, so the time spent in the air is not affected by tenacity, and people hit by it are slowed by a decent amount after that. If you land this correctly, you can turn many of the enemy team's good engages into bad engages. Place it over your team right before a ult,or after a ult, ult, ult, ult, ult, or ult and suddenly they're in the middle of 5 burly men without a safety word. It can also interrupt channel spells and even teleport.
It works really well after someone else's CC as well. It's great after a friendly combo, ult, stun/ult/wall, ult, ult, grab... you get the idea... slow/snare/stun/tight quarters = easier Q.

Tips: Always predict their movement. You want the edge of the circle to be where they are and place it in the direction they're running. If you know they are going for your carry, put it under your carry when they all pounce. Melee champs are going to be directly on their target. When running away, you can put it directly below you and a little behind to give you some breathing room if they're right on your tail. It's hard to land, I suggest trying a few practice or coop games to get the hang of it. You'll get better at landing it with time. You can always put it under that champ up top every time they go to b, even if they're under the turret.

W: Feral Scream
Cho'Gath screams in a cone in front of him, silencing enemies for 2 / 2.5 / 3 / 3.5 / 4 second(s) and causing 75 / 125 / 175 / 225 / 275 (+70% of ability power) magic damage.

Cooldown 16 seconds

Cost 70 / 80 / 90 / 100 / 110 mana

Range 300

[http://img837.imageshack.us/img837/4913/feralscream.gif]

Explanation
This is one of the best silences in the game, and it's an AOE in a large cone infront of you. And its loooooooong. 2.5 seconds when leveled up all the way. This is your harass in lane. You zone with this and punish them for getting creeps. If you can clear minions and harass, that's ideal, because will give you some of the mana back. This is pretty much your only reliable range.

Tips: You can use it through walls if you stand back a little or angle it slightly. Also, it has a slightly longer range than the guide on it shows. You can ruin cooldown champs like 's day if they go in to harass and then can't do anything for a few seconds, meanwhile, you can wail on them. In teamfights, try and get it on the casters. Silence also prevents flash from working, so use that to your advantage.


E: Vorpal Spikes
Toggle: Cho'gath's physical attacks launch spikes which deal 20 / 35 / 50 / 65 / 80 (+30% of ability power) magic damage to a line in front of him.

Range 40

[http://img502.imageshack.us/img502/3209/vorpalspikes.gif]

Explanation
This is the auto attack buff I've mentioned. This is what makes your auto attack hit harder and it helps considerably with last hitting. It also costs nothing to toggle on and off. This is also why you can jungle so fast.

Tips:You can get some last hits if you're getting zoned by angling your auto attack right and timing it right. That dying minion in the back row is suddenly not so out of reach. Also, your spikes will hit the enemy if they are too close when you're farming. Careful to turn it off when attacking the tower if the enemy is there, because you will quickly get tower aggro. This was changed recently so that the width of these spikes increases with your size, which actually applies to things that make you larger than just feast, like Lulu's ult.


R: Feast
Deals 300 / 475 / 650 (+70% of ability power) damage to target champion, or 1000 (70% of ability power) damage to target minion (ignores resists).

If the target is killed by Feast, Cho'Gath grows, gaining 90 / 120 / 150 maximum health (maximum 6 stacks). Cho'Gath loses up to half (rounded up) stacks upon death.

Cooldown 60 seconds

Cost 100 mana

Range 100

[http://img862.imageshack.us/img862/5641/feast.gif]

Explanation
The reason you play Cho, for the most satisfying ult in the game. Garen has wet dreams that his ult could be this good. This is a true damage ult that scales with AP, a health buff, and also a super smite. It does have a short range and a casting time, but it's overall amazing. It makes carrys think twice before they jump in, makes 's ult a joke, and and tanks in general cry. Also, it does 1000 (+70% of ability power) true damage, so a competent Cho should never lose dragon or baron to a jungler.

Tips: You don't always have to finish off an enemy with it, you can start off a fight by taking a chunk of the enemy carry's health out of the way. Because of the nature of true damage as well, you are not "wasting" your ult on a tank. You are actually doing the most damage possible to their team because that's effective health you ignored. A 5v5 where their tank instantly dies is suddenly a bad engage for them. Also, inform your jungler that your ult does 1000+ true damage to creeps, so he should smite dragon/baron to leave it with just under that amount of health. You can also use your ult on creeps to get stacks. Feel free to go into the enemy jungle and steal a buff or large creep from one of his camps. Because of the fact that it give 90+ health with each last hit using , you can use it on a creep to survive the last tick of an ignite or give you just enough health to survive a Karthus ult. It's all-around an amazing ult. In a recent patch they also changed is to that your attack range goes up depending on how large your are.

Skill Order

Early Levels

Level 1 I get this because a lot of the time you will have to either leash, protect the jungler, invade, or possibly escape a gank at level 1.
Level 2 This is your harassing tool, and the silence is such a nice bonus. Try and cs and harass simultaneously if possible.
Level 3 This is to help you last hit and make your auto attacks hurt more. Often times enemy laners don't expect your auto attack to do that much damage.
Level 4 The silence gets longer, the more you level it up.
Level 5 Same as above.
Level 6 For the Oms and the Noms.

Maxing Order

>>>

You obviously want your ult maxed first because of the deeeepss (and because you leveling it up will adjust to give you the increased health buff, regardless of if you got stack before or after leveling). You max your silence second because it gets longer the more you level it up, while the knock-up is just as long and slows for the same amount as you level it up. Also, it's much more reliable to harass with your silence given the delay on your Q.
You max your spikes last because they just aren't as useful as your other skills.
If you are getting pushed to tower continuously, you can always level up E another time to help with last hitting. It's the same concept as an AD carry buying a doran's blade or something to be able to get the last row of creeps after one tower hit, without spending the gold.

Item Builds

Useful Stats
  • Ability Power
  • Auras in general
  • Armor
  • Attack Speed
  • CDR (Remember:maxes out at 40%)
  • Health
  • Health Regen
  • Magic Pen (including magic reducing auras/ on-hit effects)
  • Magic Resist
  • Mana
  • Mana Regen
  • Movement Speed (including activatables)
  • Spell Vamp
  • Tenacity

Lol Fail inb4 Why Bother:
  • Armor Pen (If you expect to auto attack a lot, I can forgive it)
  • Attack Damage (Exceptions are auras and atmas)
  • Critical Strike (No Dunk Chos please)
  • Lifesteal (Exception is auras)

Starting Items

This is my standard start. If you think the lane will be manageable as long as you play smart, you can start with this. Remember, you can always go back after a few minutes, get your philo stone, and not get too behind. I recommend this start in most cases.

OR

If your team is lacking an AP carry, sometimes you will be required to go mid. It's not too different from solo top. Anyways, boots are essential for all those skillshot champs like , , and . It's also useful if you know that one of them will be top, or if you see the enemy has a jungler that ganks a lot. You can stick around for an extra health pot with this start as well, because you can reach top or mid right before the first creep dies, or even teleport if you're feeling paranoid. I've been running this recently a lot and am starting to lean more in this direction.

OR

This is what you should start if you are going to be laning against some AD bruiser who's going to be up in your face from level 1 trying to kill you. People like and are champs I've had more success against with a start like this.

OR
[imgext=]
I know some Cho players swear by this start, but I generally only use it if I know I am going mid against someone who won't burst me down early levels. It's also good against a very passive top. AP + Mana regen + health = Win.

OR

I have heard that this item can work in the same way that cloth armor and 5 pots works, but I personally think it isn't really worth the gold. It is viable if you are finding your lane really hard and they do Attack Damage. I prefer items I can build things from though.


1st Trip Back
If Farmed

I like to try and build a philo stone as soon as possible because that on top of your passive makes you extremely hard to push out of lane. Also, as solo top, you want to beat your opponent in cs (Creep Score). Let's say you are almost tied with your opponent's cs, then that philo stonewill give you a gold advantage. Make sure you have a ward down constantly. Nothing helps get a top laner back in the game more than giving them a free kill because your ward expired 10 seconds ago and you just assumed they wouldn't be there. I'll explain more on ward placement later.

Else
+
It's a good idea to go back fairly soon because ganks at top are common, and if the jungler and/or top laner has boots before you do, your chance of survival with ghost down drop dramatically. You also want to have a ward down constantly.

Vs Heavy Harass
+ OR
Early game is about countering your lane and not feeding first and foremost. Later you can worry about stacking armor against the enemy 4 AD carries or whatevertheshit. In the now is when you build resistances to not die. I'll go into countering your lane more later.

Early Goals
+ OR
This will give you a nice balance of Armor and MR, and some mobility. It also gives you only useful stats. The gold/10 will also help you with your item build, which helps counter your lane faster and finish your build faster.

Mid Game Goals

Vs Balanced Team

This gives you a balance of Armor and Mr and some AP with MR reduction, which you will notice pretty much right away. When building in pieces, try to always prioritize the resistances, unless you are far ahead.

Vs Heavy AP

This will make you very hard to burst down, and give you some sustain and damage on top of that, plus movement speed. Abyssal Scepter will also boost the damage of your AP carries when you're next to the enemy.

Vs. Heavy AD

The CDR and mana are always nice, the aura will lower their AD's attack speed, making him more manageable in teamfights.

Final Items (In order of my personal preference)

Good Armor

A terrific item that gives you a ton of useful stats, but make sure you remember to use the active. I like to drag it to the #2 spot, because I find it easiest to use actives there.


Get this if there is a fed AD building little to no lifesteal, or if their AD is singling you out because of some kind of %health attack buff (almost always a or ). It will help mitigate some of their damage and lifesteal, and it will boost your damage output towards them. Careful of tower aggro with this.


I dont get this item very often simply because I find the passive does very little damage. It also gives you tower aggro if an enemy is under the tower.


This gives you some armor, gives you damage based off of your already high health, but it also gives you crit, a stat I don't find all that useful on Cho. Not the worst last item slot you could have, but generally you don't have enough attack speed to maximize the damage you would get from it. I am also unfamiliar with the damage you get from it since they nerfed the %health to damage.


AP items that give you defensive stats are very rare. For a mix of AP and Armor, this is your only item that fits that criteria. The activatable takes some getting used to but it can be very useful.


This item seems to give you good stats, but I have personally never build it, and don't trust myself to use the activatable at the right time. I find that 2 activatables tends to be hard enough to manage.

Good Magic Resists

This is a very good item that gives decent defensive stats and helps boost your damage considerably. My prefered 6th item if if the game is that long or I don't need a slot for wards. Since now it steals their MR as well, I am an even bigger fan.


With health, mana, MR, and a spell shield, it's hard to see a downside to this item. Luckily, that's my specialty. This item is very situational because most enemy team comps will have a lot of skillshots or AOE CC that pop your bubble. It's passive can save you from certain global ults though, and for one.


This is a cheap item that gives you some health, MR, and increased healing and regen. It's a good item if you're being bullied in lane but I hardly ever buy this item, and if I do, I generally sell it towards the end for something better.


It's like a cleanse that works for suppresses as well. It will help end stunlock, and give you MR, but I have similar feelings on this as I do cleanse. Cleanse works on AD and AP carries because they are trying to not get hit with anything. A tank, especially one the size of your diabetic uncle after Thanksgiving, will be hit with CC consistently. It's good on some tanks, like , but Cho is simply too big to dodge CC...

[imgext=]
This is a fairly new item that I feel would be theoretically very good on Cho. This seems to fit more of a Mid Cho rather than a top Cho though. AP + Mana Regen + CDR = good item. Be careful and make sure you're not paying for a CDR item you aren't taking advantage of fully though.

Good Balance

I used to really like this item. It gives a decent amount of Armor and MR, one of two items in the game that give those mixed stats, and every 5 minutes I could afford to die and not lose stacks. I would go a whole game without dying and think it was just because I was good at this game. Then I realized that the giant weird white veil thing around me discouraged the enemy from trying to kill me. As a tank, that's not what you want. You want to march at them like Godzilla and make them shit their pants, and they'll hit you with everything they have because you are the biggest, scariest MF'ing Cho'Gath they have ever seen. That is, if they think they can kill you. If they don't think they can kill you, and it's a waste of their time, they will just treat you like an annoying landmark and kill the carrys around you while you stomp the ground and scream for attention. The other reason I don't get this is because of the fact that if you're able to be killed outright, the chances of coming back with 750 health in the middle of a team that is probably one champion shy of an ace and surviving is pretty slim. I don't like getting killed twice every five minutes when I could build a real tank item for about the same amount of gold and live. You can build it, but don't expect the passive to save you.


This is the other item I was talking about that gives you armor and MR. It's aura gives your nearby allies miniscule amounts of armor and MR, and 8 AD. It's cheap but doesn't give you a whole lot. I don't find it that useful on Cho. One nice thing about it is that if you and another tank can both build them and the aura will stack between you two.

Good Utility

This is typically what I build my philo stone into. It's active is great for initiating fights or running away. The health and mana regen is terrific, and the CDR is great as well. I try and build this pretty late because I like to milk my gold/10.


You get this item for the tenacity in cases when you don't get . Also, you turn your philo into this first if you plan on selling it because it will give you extra gold for whatever reason (until Riot catches on I guess).


I have been told by many people that this is not a tank item. Many people say only fail cho's build Warmogs. My only advice is that you have a very good understanding of what you are paying for when you buy this. It gives you health, lots of health, and a ton of hp regen. You will be super beefy, but that's about it. Effective health is amplified by armor and MR separately. In short, don't health stack without building armor and MR as well. I prefer tankiness with damage, so I stopped building this long ago. Also, it's very expensive.

Good Offense

This item will significantly increase your damage output. It's raw damage at it's finest. I try and build this if I end up going mid and doing really well. I have on occasion even bought this as my first big item just because I like to see the enemy cry. Except , his tears kinda hurt. Build this if you have to be the carry.


Many guides will tell you that you should try and build a for the sustain in lane and then build this. I think the item itself is good, but the mindset behind it is bad. People build this item to be tanky. Health stacking isn't the best way to make you tanky. If you build too much health, you're just asking the enemy AD carry to build . Also, it takes 10 minutes to max all it's stats. I like buying items for their immediate stats. It's situational.


This item really shines when you have more than 2 AP on your team, and your AP has one as well. Double stacking the aura works really well. This works well with AP casters like , , and, whose ults will heal them for a ton with 40% spellvamp.


Sometimes when I'm dominating top, I like to build my 2 gold/10 items, and then I think to myself "I'm doing so well already, why not ensure I stay ahead?" I add a and go crazy, definitely planning on capitalizing on my late game gold. Triple stacking gold/10 can also help you turn a game around if you know it's going to be a long one. REMEMBER TO USE THE ACTIVATABLE.


A lot of Cho players were ecstatic to learn that the slow from this stacked on top of your , essentially giving you a . I personally build this if I'm looking for AP and health, and my team is lacking some CC. I prefer this over RoA most of the time.


The AP is good and the activatable means you don't have to get , but it is situational. And your core and masteries give you cdr already.


Are you the carry? If no, don't build it. If yes, reread the question, think really hard, then build accordingly.


This item can be amazing on Cho, but just keep in mind that CDR maxes at 40%, so you don't want to pay for an item with stats that you won't be using. There is a guide that I highly recommend if you want to hear about the theory behind this item: http://leaguecraft.com/strategies/guide/13766-cho-math.xhtml


This item is known for being a very good midgame item. I have built this a few games where I was dominating top and wanted to be able to push my lane really fast and found myself auto attacking a lot. It gives you a good amount of AP and AS at max stats for relatively cheap. Pretty situational but loads of fun. Cho's attack animation looks really funny too when it's sped up.


This is good to build on a team with a lot of AD carries. You will benefit from the lifesteal to an extent, and the AS is very useful, but generally the support would build this. Still, not a bad item.

Items that are NOT Bi-Winning (In Alphabetical Order)


Have you seen your cooldowns? Do you realize how long that will take to get to full stacks? If the game is going on that long, you're probably being trolled by the other team, and they should have won this a long time ago.


I know what I said about AS, but you will miss the survivability, trust me. Or don't, and get yelled at for being a troll and building AS Cho.


Only viable if you are ganking a lot. VERY situational. I prefer my boots with a bit of survivability.


Again, I prefer survivability. When you're stunlocked, wondering why you didn't build tenacity, I will remind you mockingly in your subconscious "Bet you're REEEEAL glad you're soooooo fast, right big man? You might get slowed for days, but at least you can feed faster!" No but seriously, situational. You can build it, but I think only and a few others can get away with it.


End game it's a waste of a slot and your mana pool is so small early game it's hard to take advantage of.


There are better items, and you're not an AD carry.


Lol whut?


For your AD carry, not for you. The opposite of bi-winning: 2 and a half men. Build Morello's if you want a heal debuff.


I would only consider getting this with atmas and wit's end.


Are you Annie? Then put the mask down, you're not twelve.


If you have some attack speed, and you can afford it, this can be a good investment. Otherwise it's an expensive, nonsensical item. A knife that's a gun that glows green? WTF.


Lol no. Only for AS/AD build.


Build CDR other ways, or just get blue. Don't get this please.


...but Cho's arms aren't long enough to even use a bow...


Your cooldowns are so long even with CDR, and this build is for tank. Do not get this please. Even for the MR.


Are you support? Then put the shiny orb back.


Same as , you'll be stacking it for days.


I will laugh at you. It gives you AD per % of health missing. Not health missing: PERCENT health missing. Do you have any idea how much health a Cho'Gath player has to lose for that to start giving you enough AD to matter? Just don't. Even would be better imo.


You can build it, but I prefer living. Plus, you'll be at 40% CDR before you get to 20 stacks anyways.


Doesn't have tiger blood, do not want. You can build it but I hardly see anyone ever use this.


Lol dunk Cho. Maybe for the movement speed, but your aren't going to do more damage if you crit, there's a reason I say crit isn't something you should build. If you are considering building this, then I don't know how you sat through reading my tank/AP Cho guide up until now. This item belongs in an entirely different Cho'Gath guide.


You can get these if you are mid. I will allow you. But do not fail me.


It's a support item, you shouldn't build it.


If you can find it, have at it.


I don't know why you would.


This item gives you AS and lowers an enemy's armor. It is not a bad item, I just feel you don't attack fast enough for it to be all that useful. It is also sooooo expensive.


Only with Phantom Dancers. And Vodka. I hear they mix well.


Actually gives you good stats and would help your pushing. I think there are better items out there to fill a build with though.


If your cooldowns weren't so long, it might be better, but they are, and it's not. It's also the most expensive item in the game.


The ward and the proc are useful. I'd rather just buy a ward though.


Goes with the vodka. and the Phantom Dancers. Or if you want all the gold/5 items, you can turn into this, and be like .


Dunk Cho so stronk.

Early Game

NOTE: I highly suggest invading level 1. If it's successful, it can just snowball your team so hard. With , Cho's level 1 potential is very good.

You are really going to want to focus on farming. Most lanes will become a farm fest because your passive will outheal their damage, and you need last hits to utilize your passive. Try and discourage the opponent from getting last hits or harassing by harassing back with . Basically you want to try and show that when you two trade blows, you will just heal back the damage, so it's pointless. You don't want to necessarily kill the opponent, sending them back or getting their jungler's attention is enough. Always try and keep enough mana for in case of ganks.

Levels 1-3

  • Be very mana conservative at this point or you will get oom spamming your abilities really quick.
  • At these early levels you will find most lanes will focus on farming. You should try and avoid confrontation. Certain champs are very strong early levels, or will be so afraid of the rape train that is Cho that they'll try and harass you out of lane level 1 to get the advantage. If this happens, just buying just pots and wards and teleporting back is alright. You will get to a point where you're too beefy to give a f*ck.
  • Be aware that many junglers will try and gank around level 2 when you two are still level 1. Until you have a ward, I would try and keep the creeps the middle of the lane, maybe a tad more towards your tower to help you zone and decrease the risk of surprise ganks. Having said that, your is AMAZING for ganks if you can land it. A lot of top laners don't start with boots, so if your jungler is willing to give it a shot, he can come in for a gank and possibly first blood. Just make sure they realize it's a long cooldown and your burst is really from your abilities. Burning their summoner is acceptable too, it will make them play more conservative.
  • If your opponent is a douche, they might try and push creeps all the way to tower, to make sure you lose cs. Little do they know that you can last hit extremely well at tower. Get an point in and laugh at how much they're overextending. Protip: Melee Creeps take two tower shots and a melee attack, while caster minions take 1 melee attack, a tower shot, and then another melee attack. If they are actively hitting your tower, call for a gank.

Level 4+

  • If you haven't died to some gank, you will probably find that the enemy is just not that interested in trading with you. You are the wall of Cho, and they can't do much about it. You want to focus on farming and harassing with .
  • Keep the wards rolling. It's not a bad idea to buy two every time you go back. If your jungler has pressure, you can be bold and place a ward in the bush next to their red or blue (whichever buff is top). Make sure to push out your lane to lower the likelihood of the enemy seeing your movement. This might allow you to contest it. I personally like to, if nothing else, ward up top, then walk over to their buff to get the timer reset. Once you have , counter jungling becomes really easy and fast.
  • If you haven't been using , sometimes you can force a flash by playing passive up until now, then landing a rapture and chasing them to turret. A lot of time they think your jungler is there and will overreact. You can treat it like a farm fest, but feel free to get aggressive every once in a while (as long as you know their jungler is somewhere else and your jungler is mia. This works really well with junglers like shaco and fid on your team, champs that come out of nowhere anyways, and make all the lanes super paranoid. I like to throw one down right as a Nocturne ult goes off, regardless of if he's ganking top. A lot of people just assume "oh shit! He's coming for me!" and flash out.
  • You need very good map awareness to play Cho. Imagine your team is all Eves, and they're too busy feeding to call mias. Nothing's worse than seeing a 4-man gank come out of nowhere, and after you die, all the lanes say "mia" one after the other, like that's going to help you now. Check the mini map frequently. If everyone is accounted for, and their jungler is bot, feel free to push hard or be aggressive, then buy. Feel free to also port in for ganks as well, but make sure you know where the enemy is on the map.
  • Make sure you know the summoners on all your allies and enemies. For example, don't get heal baited, and call mia when your opponent with teleport disappears inexplicably. Your team will think you're paranoid until a ward near dragon shows the enemy teleporting there, or your low health bot decides to push after a double kill, only to give a double kill to a Rumble with teleport.
  • Make sure you are getting feast stacks. Feel free to use it on the Tank minion, it will give you the most gold. Make sure to also save it for ensuring buffs, dragon and baron. If you foresee a teamfight in the next 30 or so seconds, generally you shouldn't use .
  • You should be running teleport, so feel free to teleport bot to get dragon with your team, especially if you have up. It does 1000+ true damage to minions, so your team has essentially 2 smites, and should never lose dragon.
  • Feel free to counterjungle as Cho'Gath, especially if you have pushed your lane, and you know their jungler it bot. Taking one of the double golems, a big wraith, or a big wolf can start to put the jungler behind after a while. Make sure to always be checking the mini-map as they might ward and try and catch you next time you do that.

Notes about Early Game
  • Make sure to go back. It's easy to forget that you haven't bought in a while as Cho because of your sustain. As long as you aren't getting heavily pushed, and the enemy tank minion doesn't die while you're gone, you won't really get behind by buying. It helps if you push out right before you buy. I sometimes like to disappear for like 10 seconds to make them think that I'm buying, which generally will make them go buy to keep up with you, and then as soon as they're gone, I push the tower hard, then leave. They will lose the XP and possible gold that way. If you are winning your lane, it is worth it a lot of the time to never actually hit their tower, and just let the turret kill their creeps instead. Leaving their tower up can put your opponent very behind if you continue to do that.

Item Goals:
(800g) - You want this early to start raking in the mad duckets. It's great for staying in lane as well. Feel free to blue pill as soon as you have enough for this and just teleport back, it will help make you an immovable object even sooner.

(350g) - As long as you aren't overextending, generally ghost and should be enough to get you out of most binds. Buy these first only if you need them. Movement speed quints will be enough for the first few levels.

(35g) - I try to have two or three of me after every time I buy. They will help you in unfavorable situations and in hard matchups. Also, with surviving ignite occasionally.

(75g) - Buy one the first time back and 2 every time after. These will help you to not die.

Mid Game/ Late Game

Goals

DragonAt this point in the game, you're going to want to start thinking about Dragon. It's a good idea to try and push your opponent out of lane and push the creeps to their tower, and then you can either walk to or teleport to dragon (You can always teleport back top if you save it to protect your tower. I highly suggest you have up when trying to get dragon with your teammates because it decreases the chance of it getting stolen dramatically, as well as speeds up your clear immensely. Note: This respawns 6 minutes after death.

Towers If the enemy team is trying to get dragon and your team is in no position to contest it, you should aim to take down that top tower to try and even out the gold discrepancy. Dragon gives your team 190g each, while a tower gives you each 150g. Getting all 3 front towers down is a good mid game goal. The first tower down on either side can really start to dictate when the laning phase stops and mid game begins.

Baron Baron spawns at 15:00 minutes, which means around that time is when you need to be wary of enemy movement towards that direction. Ward placement there is essential. ALWAYS make sure you have up when attempting baron. Nothing is worse than having an enemy jungler walk up to your team baroning, smite it, and their team getting 300g and 900xp each while your team tried to take it down for the past minute and a half. Make sure your team has wards, and either a pink ward or oracles before you attempt baron. Baiting a teamfight at baron can have positive outcomes most of the time as well. Late in the game, if you see more than 1 enemy champ bot, it can be beneficial to try and get baron. Note: This respawns 7 minutes after death.

Ganking With teleport you have the ability to teleport behind some enemies who are overextended and rip them a new one. With CC up the ass, and a true damage nuke, punishing cocky players becomes easy. You can always walk there as well.

Farming A farmed Cho is terrifying and will have the enemy's future children wetting the bed. Having said that, realize that + makes for easy farming of huge creep waves.

Safely Navigating the Map
Rules of Engagement
  • Stay together (move as a group)
  • Have vision on baron
  • Have wards on the map
  • Keep lanes pushed out
  • Control buffs
  • Don't get caught

Explanation At this stage you and your team need to keep the map warded and start moving as a group. Be hyper vigilant when it comes to enemy mia's because when baron is on the table, sometimes that minute of peace is the calm before the storm. Keeping your lanes pushed out will allow you some vision that you would otherwise not have, and can help you predict where the enemy is moving and why. It's a good idea to get oracles because you are most likely the most unkillable champ on the map. Carrying a few wards around with you is especially useful. You are pretty much the only one on your team that should be allowed to push out too far because you are able to join a teamfight with teleport anytime one breaks out and a ward or minion are close by.

Item Goals:
Mid game:
(850g) - Double gold/10 plus farming can turn games around.

(1200g) - With teamfights on the horizon, CC reduction is amazing. It will also help you not die to the AP carry.
OR
(850g) - The other viable boot option. I prefer CC reduction but against some lanes and AD heavy team comps, this can be amazing.
(1525g) - This is a great item against an AD lane, and turns into an amazing item against the enemy ADs.

(740g) - Protection from that AP mid or double AP meta.

Late Game:
Build to counter the enemy. My items section is very detailed, pick items from there. Also, always prioritize resistances over damage if both teams are pretty even. Having said that...

(2772g) - My go-to item for countering AD.

(2650g) - My go-to item for countering AP.

(2200g) - My go-to item for being useful.

Team Fights (OMS AND NOMS)

Level 1 Fight:
If your team chooses to invade, you should have a strong level 1 presence because your knock-up gives your team a huge advantage. It is a long cooldown though, and has a high mana cost, so spamming it isn't going to be that effective.

Level 1-6:
  • You will most likely be farming at this point in your lane. Try not to trade too much in lane early levels because you'll quickly run out of mana and it leaves you vulnerable to ganks.
  • Your rapture (provided you can land it) can help be used both offensively for ganks or defensively for escaping them. Make sure you keep your ready in case the jungler decides to gank early. If your jungler wants to attempt to gank, try and lead the enemy into your rapture, or if your jungler has cc, in some cases it's better to follow up after their cc. Your silence will prevent the enemy from flashing away as well.
  • Once you hit 6, you start becoming a force to be reckoned with. Your nuke does a lot of damage, so any low health champ can become lunch. If you start finding yourself in teamfights this early, remember that silence will make the enemy team unable to flash away, and feast does a ton of damage. Make sure you're working on getting feast stacks. A tiny Cho is an ant: a 6 feast stack Cho is unkillable, unstoppable, nightmare-inducing force to be reckoned with. Note: Your ult does 300+ true damage.

Levels 6-10:
  • Try and farm and harass. If the enemy gets low enough, and it's safe to engage, try to , then , then feast for the kill, or at least some peace and quite in lane.
  • Teamfights might pop up around dragon, so try and have up. Your silence is really long now, so your combo on the enemy team can make them easy prey.
  • Make sure to try and chain your team's cc.

Levels 11-15:
  • Teamfights will be frequent now, try and hit as much of the team with as you can, and follow up with . Always prioritize your scream for hitting the mages. It is one of the longest silences in the game, it will make mages essentially useless for 4 seconds.
  • Make sure you know who the threat on the enemy team will be in the teamfight, and make sure your teammates know that as well.
  • I like to prioritize who my team needs to kill in what order. I might type "kill vayne, then ryze". This way my team knows who I'm going for. Note: Your ult does 475+ true damage once you level it up at level 11.
  • Make sure to peel the enemy off your carries. Your combo makes that really easy.
  • You will be a higher level than most anyone on either team, so take advantage of that and act like it.
  • KEEP YOUR FEAST STACKS UP! I cannot stress this enough. If you die in a teamfight, have your team wait for a few minutes to get those last feast stacks back. Going into a teamfight without that extra hp will end really badly over and over and over...
  • Let your team know if you are going to just poke at the enemy under their tower. Nothing is worse than having your whole team mistake you poking for engaging. Just because you don't suck with doesn't mean your team has to try and capitalize on it fully.
  • Focus on destroying the goddamned nexus. Towers, inhibitors, nexus. Those are what really matter. If you win a teamfight, push (provided your team isn't stupidly low). Cho can tank turrets for a while, it's worth it to press your advantage and lose some health rather than heal and come back for another teamfight.

Levels 16-18:
  • Prioritize your targets.
  • Protect your teammates.
  • Be on the frontlines as the tank, you are the MF'ing Cho. Don't let them forget it.
  • Chain CC
  • Feast champs to kill them or to scare them away.
  • Be an all around disruptive rape train.
  • FOCUS ON OBJECTIVES.

Lane Match-ups

I will be going into extensive detail in this section in the upcoming weeks. First I just want to try and get this guide out there.

Jungling

TBA
For now I recommend this guide: http://www.solomid.net/guides.php?g=23971

Q & A

I'll add these as I get them, providing they're relevant.

Final Comments

Cho'Gath is a very fun champion to play that works extremely well in today's meta. He fits into any team comp and has enough CC in his kit to help keep the other team at bay.

Please note that I'm not some high-ELO player, I don't compete, and I am a casual gamer. Regardless, I hope that you enjoyed reading my guide and have come to a better understanding of how Cho'Gath works, and how the game works overall. I will be updating this weekly, and I still have a lot of content I would like to add.

Feel free to comment below and friend me if you have any questions. Don't forget to upvote and feel free to post stats, I'll throw them into the guide.

I want to give a special thanks to the following:
  • Condon - His guide is what started me on the path towards Cho-hood.
  • Cruel42 - His guide is very informative and well written. I looked at his guide as a guideline for the kind of guide I hope to produce. His videos are also very entertaining, check them out if you haven't.
  • Hyfe - Everything about his guide helped me to become the player I am today and gave me the understanding that I have.
  • http://leagueoflegends.wikia.com/wiki/League_of_Legends_Wiki - I used this site for the .gifs and for fact checking. I highly recommend it for stat checking.
  • turbOpun - His guide "Creating a Quality Champion Guide on SoloMid" was probably my number one resource for creating this guide.
  • Dyrus - Watching videos of him top lane and in tournaments has helped me become a better player. He also has the best guide for boot stacking with Cho.
  • Torqueware - For actually sitting down and reading through the whole thing multiple times.

Comments

August 10, 2013 - 04:01 PM #1

could you please put a little changelog in here? I see that you're updating it but some sections are not so easy to guess if they're updated or not.

November 22, 2012 - 08:34 AM #2

By the way you have a third point in the 14th level up spot instead of the 16, but over all great guide.

October 25, 2012 - 09:38 PM #3

@Matuk

First of all, thank you for reading my guide and explaining your reasoning. It is always appreciated.

*Comment #1 - I tend to level up E in a few circumstances. If I am getting pushed heavily to tower, I level it up a few times so that I can get every last hit and spam laugh in between tower shots. Also if I am going against a melee top laner and I happen to get ahead, I tend to level it up so that I can autoattack them out of lane.

*Comment #2 - Generally I do actually build Wit's End for the magic resist. I do like Nashor's tooth on on Cho Gath, but you have to be careful because you might be going over the CDR cap of 40% if you are getting it in your masteries and items like I tend to.

Deathcap is actually amazing on Cho, especially if you can land Rapture consistently. If I get really far ahead top, or in some cases mid, I'll go back and buy it wholesale. It's not very common for the team to ignore me as Cho because with max CDR, you're disrupting them enough to where you can't be ignored. And the fact that you're the size of a MAC truck means you tend to get hit with everything anyways.

*Comment 3 - I agree about Ionic Spark. IF you have the attack speed, it could be very scary, and its procs have a very long range and he pushes fast. I would have to test it, but I think that you might actually benefit more from Guinsoo's Rageblade. It's a terrific midgame item that is very cost efficient. I tend to always look at if I am spending my gold in a cost efficient way before buying things. It would function very similar to getting a Nashor's or Wit's End.

October 25, 2012 - 01:32 AM #4

For the record, Ionic Spark would actually be really scary on Cho, so long as he has plenty of attack speed - If somebody (like a Sona or Soraka or Taric) already has Shurelya's covered, maybe after a while you can sell the Philo and get the Ionic Spark instead. Yes, you already do plenty of cleave damage, but that extra 125 damage proc, attack speed, and tiny HP boost can really be deadly in team fights. Cho's goal in team fights is to aoe the crap out of everything anyways - except for Feast.



Only real loss is the boost to HP/mana regen.

October 25, 2012 - 01:26 AM #5

Also, if you want to pick out a more offensive item than Wit's End, since Cho's Vorpal Spikes have a 0.3 AP ratio, it takes 140 AP to match the 42 damage proc - though you also have to remember that Vorpal Spikes hits multiple targets.



For this reason, unless I actually need the extra resist, I very much prefer grabbing Nashor's Tooth. I also typically like to have a Deathcap in my build somewhere, unless I really do need another tank item. Usually Frozen Heart, Abyssal Scepter, boots, and masteries/runes provides enough resist, while Shurelya's and Feast provide enough HP.



That depends on your enemy team comp, of course, and just how much extra tankiness you really need. You need to remember that, as the "tank" you have to make sure the enemy values you as a top priority target. Most *SMART* teams will choose to focus, rather correctly, the AP carry or AD carry instead of you. So, you have to build yourself so that, if they choose not to focus you... while you're not being the team tank, you are still a very deadly threat that they will regret ignoring.

October 25, 2012 - 01:15 AM #6

What are your thoughts on prioritizing E a bit more? I've always maxed out Q and E first, and completely ignored W until otherwise. This makes it easier for Cho'gath to take on people 1v1 and really surprise solo top bruisers with how much damage his "auto attacks" do.

July 30, 2012 - 06:21 PM #7

1. 0/21/9 would give you additional 2% of Movement Speed, which is worth much more than all the shit you can get from Offensive Tree.

2. Building HP items is not reccomended due to obtaining higher effective health by stacking resistances while you have built-in Health steroids for both laning phase and lategame. Instead of RoA, get Shureyla/Wit's End/Frozen Heart/Randuin/GA. I've found this item combo to work at it's finest on Cho.

3. Try out Chalice of Harmony against mana-less top laners. It's good.

4. Get Flash. It has short range but actually work - flash/scream/omnomnom is far stronger than ghost/still get cc'd-kited.

5. Actually Maw of Malmortius is item which works fine for people with lots of HP. The best example would be Olaf. Because it makes a difference if your last 20% of HP where you have large AD boost mean 100 Health or 1000 Health... I still don't reccomend it on Cho.

June 5, 2012 - 09:42 AM #8

i max vorpal strike before scream to farm, heal and damage better,and that leaves me with more mana to spam stun..

June 3, 2012 - 12:12 AM #9

10/10, very thorough, looking forward to the updates!

May 29, 2012 - 10:27 AM #10

I am really liking the rampant bashing of Ezreal in this guide. Nice guide. I for one, cant really fault it on anything.

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