Kog'Maw Champion Guide by PrintScreenKey

Version 1.0, Last Updated 2013-06-04

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Introduction

This will be my first attempt at writing a guide. I achieved platinum in season 3 ranked only playing Kog'Maw. I chose to write a guide for Kog'Maw because he is my favorite champion. Kog'Maw is a versatile champion because he can be played as an AP carry or ranged AD carry. However, Kog'Maw is usually played as an AD carry. This guide will cover both styles of play.

This champion suits you if you like high risk and high reward gameplay. Kog'Maw will do massive amounts of damage, however Kog'Maw will die extremely fast if caught in the wrong position.

Strengths

Kog'Maw excels at long ranges. An AP Kog'Maw has one of the deadliest pokes in the game, whereas an AD Kog'Maw has one of the highest auto attack ranges in the game. This makes him extremely difficult to play against as many enemy champions cannot respond to the damage dealt by Kog'Maw.

AD Kog'Maw is difficult to itemize against. His attacks not only deal physical damage but also magic damage based on percentage of max health.

Weaknesses

Kog'Maw's main weakness is that he cannot escape easily he gets caught in a bad position. This usually spells death because Kog'Maw is squishy.

AP Kog'Maw requires large amounts of mana because his Living Artillery's mana cost increases each cast. Living Artillery is AP Kog'Maw's main source of damage.

Champion Statistics

Base StatisticsValue at level 1Increase per Level GainValue at level 18
Health440841952
Health Regen50.5515
Mana295401015
Mana Regen7.50.720
Attack Damage463100
Attack Speed0.6652.65%0.965
Armor133.5376.5
Magic Resistance30-30
Range500-500
Movement Speed330-330

Kog'Maw's base statistics are deceptive. Although his range is 500, with his Bio-Arcane Barrage his range becomes 710. The up-time for Bio-Arcane Barrage is roughly 50%, however with max cooldown reduction the up-time is roughly 80%.

Kog'Maw's attack speed is 0.965 at level 18, however Kog'Maw's Caustic Spittle has a passive which increases his attack speed by 30% which puts his real attack speed at 1.164 at level 18.

Champion Abilities

Passive: Icathian Surprise

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 lvl)true damage to surrounding enemies

This passive is one of the most unique passives in the game. Although the passive activates upon death, I strongly discourage dying. In the unfortunate event that you happen to die, then attempt to position yourself to hit as many enemies as possible with your passive. If there is an enemy low on health then prioritize that enemy over using the passive on a high HP target. It deals significant damage can should not be taken lightly, I have personally gotten triple kills with the passive alone. 

Q: Caustic Spittle

Cost: 60 Mana Range: 625

Cooldown: 8 seconds

Passive: Increases Attack Speed by 10/15/20/25/30%. Active: Deals 60/110/160/210/260 (+70% Ability Power) magic damage and reduces the enemy's Armor and Magic Resist by 5/10/15/20/25 for 4 seconds.

The active is Kog'Maw's most underwhemling spell because of the lackluster range. Kog'Maw needs to keep his distance from enemy targets and the 625 range forces him to move into a danger zone. You should never have to use this spell under normal circumstances. This spell should only be used if the enemy has already moved into the spell's range and serves to reduce their resistances and add some extra damage.

The passive is nice as it helps ramp up AD Kog'Maw's damage output in the late game phase. This spell is generally leveled last.

W: Bio-Arcane Barrage

Cost:50 Mana Range:Self

Cooldown: 17 seconds

Basic attacks gain 130/150/170/190/210 range and deal additional magic damage equal to 2/3/4/5/6% (+1% Ability Power)% of the enemy's maximum Health (Max: 100 Damage vs Monsters).Lasts 8 seconds.

This is AD Kog'Maw's distinguishing feature. This spell provides Kog'Maw with additional range which allows him to trade versus AD carries during the laning phase of the game and be out of harm during teamfights. It lasts 8 seconds which is more than enough time for Kog'Maw to shred the enemy team.

Furthermore, this spell gives AD Kog'Maw on-hit magic damage which synergizes well with attack speed items. Care should be taken not to activate this spell prior to a teamfight since it has a 9 second down time at zero cooldown reduction. This spell is the first priority for AD Kog'Maw.

E: Void Ooze

Cost:80/90/100/110/120 Mana Range:1200

Cooldown: 12 seconds

Deals 60/110/160/210/260 (+70% Ability Power) magic damage to enemies it passes through and leaves a trail which slows enemies by 20/28/36/44/52% for 4 seconds.

This spell is Kog'Maw's only form of crowd control. It offers an extremely powerful slow with a large range and width which serves multiple important functions. Firstly, it deters enemies from giving chase. Secondly, it helps Kog'Maw win trades in lane and give chase to enemies to land more auto attacks. Third, it has a high AP ratio for additional aoe damage for AP Kog'Maw. Most importantly, it helps Kog'Maw kite enemies which is the most important activity for Kog'Maw at all stages of the game. 

The spell is best used in enclosed areas or choke points because it can cover the entire path and slow the entire enemy team. This spell is the first priority for AP Kog'Maw.

R: Living Artillery

Cost:40 Mana Range:1200/1500/1800

Cooldown: 2/1.5/1

Fires a living artillery shot from a great distance that lands shortly(0.6 seconds) after launch. Deals 80/120/160 (+50% bonus Attack Damage) (+30% Ability Power)magic damage and reveals enemies for 4 seconds (deals 125% bonus damageto Champions).Subsequent artillery shots within 6 seconds cost 40 additional Mana up to a maximum of 400 Mana.

This is Kog'Maw's ultimate ability and the most difficult ability to use. It scales with both AD and AP which means it will do significant damage on both AD and AP Kog'Maw. This ability is the most important spell for AP Kog'Maw and with its low AP ratio, magic penetration becomes a core consideration for AP Kog'Maw.

A few important details about this ultimate is that the range increases significantly at each ultimate level. This is why AP Kog'Maw wants to reach level 16 to unlock that level 3 ultimate as soon as possible. The range is misleading because the radius of the ultimate is roughly 100, which means Kog'Maw can hit targets at 1900 range away at level 16.

This ability requires considerable skill to land because of the 0.6 second delay and the fact that a shadow is displayed at the landing location. Skillful use of this ability is paramount to AP Kog'Maw, as this is AP Kog'Maw's one defining ability.

Although the 1 second cooldown allows this ability to be used in quick succession, care should be taken as each cast increases the mana cost by an additional 40 mana. Realistically, an AD Kog'Maw can expect to use this spell 3 times in succession whereas an AP Kog'Maw should not use this spell more than 5 times in succession unless immediate damage is required.

-9x Greater Seal of Armor

-9x Greater Mark of Attack Damage

-9x Greater Glyph of Magic Resist

-1x Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage

-2x Greater Quintessence of Life Steal

Flat armor and flat magic resistance runes are necessary for surviving and trading during lane phase. Poke supports such as lulu and sona will deal magic damage and poke AD carries such as Ezreal and Caitlyn will deal physical damage. Attack damage runes are used to farm because Kog'Maw has a low base attack damage. Life Steal runes are used for early sustain.

AP Kog'Maw

-9x Greater Seal of Armor

-9x Greater Gylph of Magic Resist

-9x Greater Mark of Magic Penetration

-2x Greater Quintessence of Magic Penetration

-1x Greater Quintessence of Ability Power

Flat armor and flat magic resistance runes are needed to trade and survive during lane phase. Magic penetration runes are used because of the low AP scaling on AP Kog'Maw's Living Artillery which makes magic penetration more valuable than ability power. Ability power runes are used for boosting Kog'Maw's wave clearing with Void Ooze.

Masteries

AD Kog'Maw


 

26-0-4

As AD Kog'Maw you want to have points in the entire left side of the offense tree and 5 points to get 8% magic penetration. This is because Kog'Maw deals a combination of physical and magic damage. Kog'Maw's specialty is dealing absurd amounts of damage which is why we run with the majority of points in offense.

4 points should be put into the utility tree for extra mana regeneration and reduced flash cooldown.

AP Kog'Maw


 

21-0-9

As AP Kog'Maw you want to have points in the entire right side of the offense tree for extra damage.

The remaining points go into the utility for mana regeneration and mana. AP Kog'Maw requires considerable amounts of mana and any extra mana resources will help.

Summoner Spells

Below are a list of the most effective summoner spells to take:

  • Flash - This is a standard summoner spell which is mandatory on Kog'Maw to escape sticky situations.
  • Barrier - This will help Kog'Maw survive ignite, tower dives and long-distance damage from enemy ultimates such as Ezreal's Arcane Barrage.
  • Cleanse - This is a good summoner spell against crowd-control heavy teams as mobility is important for Kog'Maw.
  • Teleport - Great on AP Kog'Maw to have more presence on the map by being able to aid allies.
  • Ghost - Situational summoner spell when extreme mobility is required.

Skills and Leveling

AD Kog'Maw

Level123456789101112131415161718
Q Caustic Spittle   x         xx xx
W Bio-Arcane Barragex x x x x         
E Void Ooze x     x x xx     
R Living Artillery     x    x    x  

Max Bio-Arcane Barrage first as AD Kog'Maw because range is the most important statistic for an AD carry. It will allow you to trade and poke. Max Void Ooze second because of the increase in slow per rank. One point is given to Caustic Spittle early because of the 10% attack speed at first rank and this is leveled last because each subsequent point only provides 5% attack speed.

AP Kog'Maw

Level123456789101112131415161718
Q Caustic Spittle   x         xx xx
W Bio-Arcane Barrage x     x x xx     
E Void Oozex x x x x         
R Living Artillery     x    x    x  

Max Void Ooze first because it is the main wave clear for AP Kog'Maw. Max Bio-Arcane Barrage second to help last hit any minions at a safe range. Living Artillery should be researched when available as it is AP Kog'Maw's main damage source.

Item Builds

AD Kog'Maw

Starting Item(s) - Doran's Blade or  Cloth Armor and 5 Health Potions

Doran's Blade is the most optimal start for AD carries. It is cost-efficient as it provides sustain, health and AD which are all valuable stats for an AD carry. Against a difficult lane such as Draven then you may want to start cloth armor and 5 health pots to survive in early laning.

6 Item Build

  1. Berserker's Greaves - Standard ADC boots because of the 20% attack speed.
  2. Blade of the Ruined King - Kog'Maw's lifesteal item. Do not build bloodthirster because Kog'Maw's on-hit steroid synergizes with this item. Additionally, Kog'Maw does not scale with AD with the exception of his ultimate. The active effect which steals the opponent's movement speed will help Kog'Maw kite. Build this item first.
  3. Statikk Shiv or Phantom Dancer - Kog'Maw's movement speed item. These items will help Kog'Maw kite and provide attack speed and critical chance which boost the damage of the Infinity Edge. Build these items second.
  4. Infinity Edge - Important for single-target damage. Build this item after Blade of the Ruined King and Statikk Shiv.
  5. Last Whisper - Armor Penetration necessary to take down tanks. Usually built as 4th item or if the enemy is getting early armor build as the 3rd item.
  6. Hurricane, Guardian Angel or Frozen Mallet - There are multiple routes AD Kog'Maw can go. If the enemy team has heavy burst then buy a Guardian Angel. If the enemy team has movement speed based tanks then build a frozen mallet to kite. If the enemy team has an AOE team composition then build a hurricane to melt their clustered enemy team. If going the hurricane route then build the hurricane as 3rd item.

AP Kog'Maw Starting Item(s) - Crystalline Flask, Ward and Health Potion or Doran's Ring or Boots and 3 Health Potions or Cloth Armor and 5 Health Potions.

Buy boots if movement speed is necessary for dodging skillshot based enemy champions such as Lux.

Doran's ring should be built for farm lanes such as a Morgana lane.

The flask route should be the standard opening against standard AP mids.

Cloth Armor should be build against AD assassins such as Talon, Zed and Kha'Zix.

6 Item Build

AP Kog'Maw should priortize magic penetration before AP because of his low AP scaling on his ultimate. He requires zero defense as he should not be in harm's way. Instead he should focus on mana and mana regeneration as he drains mana extremely fast.

  1. Sorcerer's Boots - Standard AP boots. Magic penetration is mandatory for AP Kog'Maw.
  2. Liandry's Torment - Offers the all important magic penetration.
  3. Seraph's Embrace - Core item for extra mana reserves
  4. Athene's Unholy Grail - Core Item for mana regeneration
  5. Void Staff - Important for dealing damage late game against high MR targets.
  6. Rabadon's Deathcap or Rylai's Crystal Scepter - Deathcap provides a huge AP boost which is important for damage output. However, Rylai's Crystal Scepter will ensure that Liandry's Torment's passive deals twice as much damage and slows enemies to land Living Artillery. The health is not necessary but may come in handy. I [ersonally prefer Deathcap over Rylai's.

Lane Matchups

For this section, I will cover AD Kog'Maw's lane matchups because AD Kog'Maw is played more often and the lane matchups are more dynamic. In terms of AP Kog'Maw, the lane matchups are not as interesting. AP Kog'Maw is a solo lane in the current meta. Since he has squishy, he farms passively until his Living Artillery is available at which point he can begin to poke the enemy laner.

Caitlyn

An even match-up. Farm without your W (Bio-Arcane Barrage) activated. Having your "W" up will ensure Caitlyn is hesitant about poking you since you can freely match her, or even outrange her. Be wary of her Caliber net and Peacemaker combo and you should trade even or better.

Draven

Your hardest matchup. Avoid trading with draven, stay out of his zone and you can farm with your Bio-Arcane Barrage activated to stay out of his range. Be cautious when he uses his speed boost as he will attack you for a third of your HP. You may max E first in order to farm safely.

Ezreal

Easy match-up. Avoid his mystic shots and when he attempts to CS, void ooze and auto attack to cut half of his HP away.

Ashe

Easy match-up. Similar to Caitlyn but with lower damage output. Her Volley will push minions so stand behind minions. Take cleanse and watch out for her level 6 which is when she has her ultimate.

Miss Fortune/ Varus

Both champions are difficult to deal with. A sustain support will help here. Otherwise, avoid trading and minimize the situations where they can bully you.

Twitch

Stay out of his zone. His venom cask/auto attack into expunge combo will do significant damage. Be sure you are able to see him or you are close to your tower as he may setup an ambush.

Sivir/ Vayne/ Quinn

Low range ADCs. Easy to farm as long as you stay out of their zone and ensure you do not leave yourself exposed as they will punish you for overextending. Do not use spells against Sivir and watch out for her boomerang.

Graves/ Tristana

Burst champions. Graves and Tristana may attempt to burst you down as they hit level 6. Especially if they have a taric or leona to engage onto you. Watch their movements as they hit level 6 to anticipate any all-ins.

Corki

Watch out for his Q and auto attack combo. However, he will run out of mana fast if he does not have a soraka or if you have a sustain support. At level 6 do not get harassed by missiles. You can stand behind minions or move around to dodge them.

Blitzcrank/ Thresh

Your worst nightmares. Make sure they are banned during champion select. Otherwise, you will have a rough time in lane. Expect to die multiple times.

Nunu

Your best friend. He provides the most important statistics that Kog'Maw needs: Attack speed and movement speed. He will turn you into a hyper killing machine.

Allied Soraka/ Janna/ Alistar/ Sona/ Lulu/ Taric/ Nami

These supports are all equally good as your allies. They will provide you with survivability in lane with their shields or heals. Janna and Alistar also ensure enemies remain outside of your danger zone.

Enemy Sona and Lulu

Their pokes will give you hell in lane. There is not much you can do other than having a sustain support to help keep your HP high. Always remember you are Kog'Maw and you do not have to farm every creep to be a monster after laning ends. Expect to sacrifice some farm to not get poked.

Early game

Farm. Farm. Farm. Your #1 priority is to farm.

Kog'Maw's early game strength is about average. Hence, there are no opportunities unless your support creates one or the enemy makes a mistake.

Mid and Late game

Firstly, I will provide some advice for mid-late game gameplay. Stay behind your front line at all times. Kog'maw is vulnerable to being caught out as he does not have any blinks/teleports/hard CC. Therefore do not put yourself in a position where an enemy could potentially kill you. Always be in areas where you have vision of your immediate surrounding area. Map awareness is a key aspect to develop and have here. Always keep a comfortable distance between you and any enemies.

Secondly, some information about Kog'Maw is that he known as a hyper carry. As soon as Kog'Maw hits level 9 (mid game onwards), he will have his level 5 Bio-arcane barrage which gives him his 710 attack range and 6% max HP on-hit magic damage. This will make you a force to be reckoned with and most enemies will stay out of your range. If an enemy gets within your range then you can BE CERTAIN that they are targetting you. Enemies will melt like butter as soon as you have 2 completed items (Blade of the Ruined king and statikk shiv). Kog'Maw only gets stronger from that point onwards.

Lastly, play Kog'Maw often to understand how much damage he can take before dying. Sometimes you will be able to fight enemies when they come into your range by killing them before they get to you. This requires analyzing how much HP you are taking off their HP bar and knowing how fast they could kill you once they get in range to do damage.

Conclusion

I hope my guide has been useful in learning Kog'Maw.

Version History

1.0 - 5th June 2013 - Initial guide draft

 

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