When the prophet Malzahar was reborn in Icathia, he was led there by an ominous voice which thereafter anchored itself to his psyche. From within, this voice bestowed upon him terrible purpose, and though Malzahar was no longer tormented by its call, the voice did not cease its unrelenting summons. This baleful beacon's gentle flicker -- now fastened to Runeterra -- drew forth a putrid beast that ambled across a threshold it did not understand, widening a fissure between the spaces which were never meant to meet. There amongst the haunting ruins of Icathia, Kog'Maw manifested in Valoran with unsettling curiosity. The spark which led him to Runeterra teased him still, urging him gently towards Malzahar. It also encouraged him to familiarize himself with his new environment, to the stark horror of everything he encountered on his journey.
The enchanting colors and aromas of Runeterra intoxicated Kog'Maw, and he explored the fruits of the strange world the only way he knew how: by devouring them. At first he sampled only the wild flora and fauna he happened across. As he traversed the parched Tempest Flats, however, he came upon a tribe of nomads. Seemingly unhampered by conventional rules of physics, Kog'Maw consumed every nomad and any obstacles they put in his way, amounting to many times his own mass and volume. The most composed of his victims may have had time to wonder if this was due to the caustic enzymes which stung the ground as they dripped from his gaping mouth, although such musings were abruptly concluded. When his wake of catastrophe reached the Institute of War, and enthusiastic Malzahar greeted him with an enticing prospect: taste the best Runeterra could offer...on the Fields of Justice.
First things first, this is a strict AP, solomid guide. If you wanted an AD carry, you've come to the wrong place, and stay away from my hero. There is no reason whatsoever to pick Kog over another AD carry. Go play Ashe, Corki, or Trist. Kog has little range and only a situational slow to his disposal, and can't compete damage wise. Instead, we will be playing Kog the right way, as an AP hero. Oh. And you absolutely need Kog'Maw caterpillar skin, no exceptions. He just the most adorable thing in the world, yes he is!
My first guide, so critique away. Just a heads up, its pretty big, page and a half. Shrug. Read the parts important to you. Maybe I'll have a short version somewhere... I'm always up for some Kog'Maw discussion. Alright, without further ado... Lets get this guide started! Oh, and AD and Hybrid Kogs will be bashed alot in the thread. Forewarning...
Table of Contents
Pros and Cons
Damage: 46 (+3 / per level)
Health: 440 (+84 / per level)
Mana: 255 (+40 / per level)
Move Speed: 310
Armor: 10 (+3.5 / per level)
Magic Resist: 30 (+0 / per level)
Health Regen: 1 (+0.11 / per level)
Mana Regen: 1 (+0.1 / per level)
Icathian Surprise (Passive):
Upon dying, Kog'Maw starts a chain reaction in his body which causes him to move faster and detonate after 4 seconds; dealing 100 + (25 x level) true damage to surrounding enemies.
An interesting time where this passive helps very much is early game. Keep in mind its situational, but an important thing to note is your enemy will not get the kill UNTIL you blow up. This means if that Ashe you're up against took a couple tower hits killing you and walked away with a little HP, if you get the kill with your passive, you will get first blood gold, and not the Ashe, instantly turning the tables. Keep this in mind while you lane. First blood gold can change who wins the middle lane.
Caustic Spittle (Q):
Passive: Increases Armor Penetration by 13/16/19/22/25%.
Active: Kog'Maw launches a corrosive projectile which deals 60/110/160/210/260 (+0.7) magic damage and doubles his passive armor penetration for 4 seconds (Removes the passive until available again).
Edit: Its as if Riot answered my prayers! Patchnotes says this ability will get a slight increase in range. However, its very slight, and I still recommend ignoring this ability until end game.
Bio-Arcane Barrage (W):
Kog'Maw's attacks gain 140/180/220/260/300 range and deal an additional 2/3/4/5/6% (0.01 ability power ratio) of the target's maximum Health as Magic Damage (Max: 100 Damage vs Monsters). Lasts 6 seconds.
So now that I've taught you how not to use the ability, lets talk about how TO use it. Early game, it augments your normal attacks to deal about double the damage they would be, even at rank one or two. Your range is also increased alot. This is helpful to counterharrass that Ashe who thinks she can just kite you around. However keep in mind that it only lasts for six seconds, four attacks at most early game, then after you will return to your very low range. This ability also helps you hit turrets while in a much more safer position, and helps get the last hit on a fleeing champ. You can also help your jungler nab dragon much quicker, and also get that golem buff with a friend. Don't be afraid to use this on a squishy character. Just because they're not stacking a lot of HP doesn't mean this won't deal damage, cause most the time they won't have a bunch of MR either. Late game the damage to squishies is VERY noticeable, in fact it can even outdamage Void Ooze with only one or two attacks. This ability is best used in a teamfight after a fight has broken down, and a couple of their members are retreating. But whenever you can get in a good position to use this while safe go for it.
|Void Ooze (E): Kog'Maw launches a peculiar ooze which damages all enemies it passes through and leaves a trail which slows enemies who stand on it.|
Early game use this ability where you can kill a creep or two and also harrass their solo. Remember at rank 5 you can instagib ranged creeps with one Void Ooze and a Living Artillery. This usually works for the Wraith creeps too. Keep your farm up!
Living Artillery (ultimate): Kog'Maw fires a living artillery shell at a great distance dealing damage and revealing targets. Additionally, multiple Living Artilleries in a
short period of time cause them to cost additional mana. Deals bonus damage (150%) to champions.
An important thing to note about this ability is the bonus 150% damage only applies to the BASE damage, not any extra damage gained from AP. This is kinda a bummer, but we can combat this weakness by having a *slightly* different item build, as I will detail later.
Pros and Cons:
-- Extremely long range. Can deal damage while at a safe range.
-- Squishy killer. Usually does well against Heim, Ashe, Trist, other squishy carries.
-- Can pick off runners after a teamfight breaks down.
-- Deals burst and sustained damage. Very surprising damage.
-- Rewards good play and individual skill.
-- Underestimated and underplayed.
-- Joke is OP.
-- Position dependent. You must learn when and where to fight, and how to contribute to the fight without taking excess damage.
-- His main damage skill (R) will take time to learn. You must learn to predict and read your opponent.
-- Not the best ganker.
-- You are squishy and you will be targeted if you are doing your job right.
-- Melee dps with an ability to close the distance (Jax, Xin, to a lesser degree Akali) will be the bane of you, either pack Exhaust or position yourself exceptionally well.
-- Cannot fit into every team lineup. And if you use your first or second pick on Kog'Maw you're only hurting your team. Best played on a premade who knows what you're playing. Don't get me wrong, I play Kog in solo too, just wouldn't pick him with the first or second pick.
-- Average middle. Will not starve the opponents in most cases, but desperately needs to get to level 6 and level 11 as fast as possible to contribute the most.
-- Skill dependent. Think the AP version of Corki.
These are just the basic pros and cons. If you think the pros describe qualities you like, and the cons are things you can work around, I think you just might like Koggy ^^;.
The common 9-0-21. I'm sure you can figure it out. But heres the link...
Be sure to nab improved ghost and improved flash in the utility tree, if you choose to use both as I do. Otherwise always nab your preferred mastery.
Ghost and Flash. Learn it and love it. These spells both change your position, which is key on Kog. Both are also "get out of jail free cards", which some might Q.q about, but ignore them. If ghost and flash are get outa jail free cards, then exhaust and ignite are "put into jail" spells, just as stupid.
However... If you're adamant on using different ones, be my guest. Cleanse is okay, and what I used to run before the nerf. Teleport can be nice in lower Elo, but you should learn to live without it. I sound like the typical carry, but Fortify/Clair/Heal/Rally (lolrally) are support/tank spells, though Clair is really nice and I wouldn't be opposed to running it, but get the mastery for it! Ignite is unnecessary, as you can finish off opponents with your R, and you should not be too close. Exhaust is good if you see a strong melee dps on their team, be sure to get the improved mastery! I find Clarity unnecessary, learn to manage your mana people.
Reds MUST be Magic Penetration (duh) and I HEAVILY suggest health quints. Seals and glyphs you can go whatever direction you please. Mana regen/lvl, dodge, hp/lvl, and armor are good seals... while mana regen/lvl, CDr flat or scaling, and magic resist are good glyphs. Make a decision for yourself. I use whatever runepage can double up with whatever other caster I play at the moment. Can't go wrong with mana regen yellows and CDr glyphs.
Now the fun part right? I'm sure half of you just skipped to this part without reading any of the above. Shrug, it is pretty important, and will probably single
handily determine if you like my guide or not.
1. Dorans Ring and a Health Potion.
2. Tear of the Goddess
3. Sorc Shoes/Mercury Trends/Ninja Tabi
4. Haunting Guise
5. Archangels Staff
Thats it! Thats the core build. While you're probably expecting some godmode build with six awesome items that every guide suggests, but you will not farm that much outside a 60 minute game. These three items (assuming you sold the Ring at one point) will carry you through 3/5's (yay for weird fractions!) of the game. At that point you will start building a situational item, which I will detail below... However before I do, I'd like to go over what we have in these three items, and what makes them apart of the core build.
The Ring early game is worth "delaying" your build as it will put you at ~~750 HP with quints, with enough mana regen to keep you using Ooze and Bio-Arcane smartly. The AP boost is decent. Another bonus is the Ring, Tear, and meditation will give you plenty of mana regen until you finish the Archangels Staff.
Tear/Archangels Staff should explain itself. A lot of mana regen, spammy R helps get extra mana, and it all converts into AP. A nice item for Kog. While some may suggest RoA, or Rylais, but the mana regen is awesome and makes it so you don't need to buy a Chalice to keep up in spell spam. Don't forget to use a R when running through the river to build up charges, when you're at full mana. You will be lacking some survivability. Play smart. Even though tear is not an AP item, Kog'Maw deals fine damage just with it, trust me. Similar of what a Corki can do with a Catalyst early. Still can dish out solid damage.
Sorc Shoes too, should be easy to understand. The more magic penetration the better. However do NOT be stubborn and refuse to buy any other boots. If you're up against alot of CCs, or alot of AD characters, buy the respective boots ****it. Don't make me rage at you.
Haunting Guise is probably the most underestimated item in the game. It gives three stats, HP, which is welcome on any character. AP, the focus of this build, and most importantly... Magic penetration. With Sorc Shoes and runes, you will have ~50 Magic Penetration. You will be hitting for true damage against most non-tanks in the game. Especially before you get to super high Elo, where they get smart and get resistances and teams always have an Aegis, then you will still be dealing considerable damage. The gold per stat with a Haunting Guise is awesome. The only downfall is it does not upgrade into anything. Which is fine, really. You should not come close to using all six item slots, and if you are... you can always... You know... Sell it. Not a biggie at that point in the game.
However, the REAL reason we buy a Haunting is because the way our ultimate works. If you recall correctly from the skills section, AP does not get the bonus 150% damage against champs. So instead of (160+.3(AP)) x 1.5 its (1.5 x 160) + .3AP, simplified 240 + .3 AP at rank three. However, magic penetration works on the overall damage! So while I could have an Needlessly Large Rod with my gold (80 AP) a measly 26 added damage on my ultimate, instead I get some HP, 25 AP (8 damage) and 20 magic Penetration, which increases the amount of the BONUS +80 damage actually deals to the enemy, which is far more worth it. I hope you can follow... In short, Magic Penetration is an awesome stat on every caster, but even better on Koggy. Don't believe it? Try it yourself. I can add some mathcraft here if you want me to, in future updates. But I think I explained it well.
tl;dr: penetration is much better for Kog'Maws ult then AP, making Haunting Guise just an incredibly awesome item on him.
Wards are there every time cause too many people neglect wards. They're cheap, only three or four minion kills, and save your life many times over. Your team should always have dragon warded, and if you're at low Elo just buy them for the team. A gank at dragon early is awesome. I know you're a carry, but don't forget wards. You don't need them every time you go back, but if they've got popular ganking champions, please do buy.
After the core items consider these items... I usually get Rylai's and/or Banshee's in about 75% of my game, and a Zhonyas/Mejai in the other 25% when we're just stomping. Void staff is situational... Yes, we're getting ALOT of survivability. I'm tired of carries (Koggy among others) being super squishy. You need to be able to get away from a Jax jumping in your face, if you die in two seconds their team WILL demolish yours.
Items to consider after our core three:
-Banshees Veil: Awesome item, MR is always nice, Spell shields blocks a good 200 damage at least and a stun at best. More HP the better. I know Kog is a carry, but you need to live through battles folks. You can build this straight after the core build, Koggy doesn't need alot of AP to be effective. The 50 magic penetration will continue to wreck carries.
-Rylais: Awesome for a slowing ult, makes chasing even easier and more annoying. Good survivability, better for when the MR and Spell Shield of Banshees isn;t as useful. Against AD team this might be a better item. In longer games, I usually end up with both this and Banshees Veil.
-Zhoynas: If you're just facerolling and the team are downies and still not targeting you get this to hit even harder. Don't forget to use the active if you're focused kiddies.
-Mejai's: You may say its late to get this item, but this item is so ridiculously cost effective after just five stacks. If you can manage a couple of assists between deaths (not hard at all) you can usually come up positive with this item.
-Void Staff: If... and ONLY if... The opponents main damage dealers are stacking MR, THEN sell your Haunting Guise and buy this item. Not BEFORE. Not for the Cho'Gath stacking HP and MR. Not for the Singed with a FoN. Not for the Shen. For their DEEPS. Usually if I'm playing with my pro premades I eventually upgrade to one of these.
-Red/Blue/Green elixers: These things are OP. Mix them in with your core build whenever you want. Blue first, but really can't go wrong. Red for HP/Turret damage, Blue for CDR and AP, Green for AS if you need Bio-Arcane Barrage damage vs bulky team or something.
-Guardian Angel: You can use this when you're getting targeted against more dpsy teams I suppose, but I much prefer a Rylai's. The revive on this item is pretty sexy though, and comes with some nice defense stats.
Items I don't reccommend:
-Nashor's Tooth: CDR isn't very important, truth be told. The difference between the .3 seconds you'd be saving on your ult (our main damage) is tiny. And if you've got a nice (read: good) team, they should be helping you with golem. We already have a nice regen item.
-Hextech Blade: AP hero, horrible item, grossly overpriced, we have a better slow. Take your pick.
-Lich Bane/Sheen/Trinity: We're not auto attacking frequently. I know they sound good in theory with our ult, but the key is to be away from the fray.
-AD items: Go play Trist. Honestly. If you're still convinced Kog can match up against the big three AD carries, you're bad and should feel bad.
-Abyssal Sceptor: Haha, truth be told you probably won't be close enough at times for the aura to actually work. MR is nice. AP is nice too. -MR aura is sexy. Not a terrible item, I just feel BVail is better for survivability, and Void Staff is better at lowering MR at this point. If you need 70+ Mpen to deal good damage to squishies, its time to make the switch to the Void Staff. However, I guess it has a niche if you have a team with alot of AP... but make the aura *****s buy this .
-Rod of Ages: Delayed too hard in this build. If you prefer it instead of Archangels be my guest. I just find the mana regen and max mana too irresistible to pass up. If however, you've got a team whose dedicated at giving you golem all game (or have a Soraka mana bot), RoA or Rylai's make an excellent alternative to AA staff. The catalyst is an awesome item early game item to lane with.
-Zerker Greaves/Boots of Mobility: You're doin' it wrong.
-Bloodrazor: "But Bloodrazor stacks with our W rekirtS! How can 10% max HP be bad?!?!?". Silence. First off, Bloodrazor costs a whopping 4k gold. With that gold, we get a Tear, Guise, and boots, and a blasting wand. Nearly our entire core build. And With our AP ratio, we'd be dealing an extra 1 damage (7%) on our attacks with our W, that penetrates 20 MR. This AP and MR also benefits our ultimate (which you should be spamming) and our Void Ooze (our nuke). While you do get AD bonuses on the Bloodrazor, you cannot compare to the damage output of Ashe/Trist/Corki with a IE. You can't. Do not try. Six seconds of your W to have good range is not enough to aid in a teamfight, and it has too long of a cooldown to use reasonably. You have too short of a range and no escape mechanisms to play AD. You instead have ridiculous range with your nukes. If I haven't made my point yet, AP Kog > AD Kog.
1. Void Ooze
2. Bio-Arcane Barrage
3. Void Ooze
4. Bio-Arcane Barrage
5. Void Ooze
6. Living Artillery
7. Void Ooze
8. Bio-Arcane Barrage
9. Void Ooze
10. Bio-Arcane Barrage
11. Living Artillery
12. Bio-Arcane Barrage
13. Caustic Spittle
14. Caustic Spittle
15. Caustic Spittle
16. Living Artillery
17. Caustic Spittle
18. Caustic Spittle
R >> E >> W >> Q... Unless you're pushing towers, then a rank of Q for the 13% armor pen can make a difference. I would stress not straying from the skill build though. However... Always adapt to your game.
Time for the in-game strategy...