Chew Through Elo Hell: A Kog"Maw Champion Guide
Mon 17th Apr 2017 - 6:23pm
Kog’Maw has always been a champion known for his extremely high damage output and his ability to carry games with the right positioning. He is best known for his role as an immobile tank shredder. Kog’Maw is most commonly played as a blackline DPS source. Kog’Maw’s damage potential is best exhibited when his team can provide him with the necessary tools to survive extended teamfights. This is what is known as a Juggermaw team composition. The recent shift in the bottom lane meta has facilitated Kog’Maw’s success in Season 7. Nerfs to the lethality stat, buffs to Blade of the Ruined King, and buffs to Lulu are some of the most influential changes which have allowed our void pet to see more play on Summoner’s Rift. Today, we’re going to explore Kog’Maw and learn how to successfully carry!
Requires great positioning
Flash: Kog’Maw’s lack of a natural escape makes him susceptible to backline divers and crowd control. Flash must be taken in order to remove him from such dangerous scenarios.
Heal: This summoner spell prepares Kog’Maw for any hazardous situations that he may encounter in and outside of the laning phase. Heal will also provide you with a movement speed boost if you do end up in a bad position. This helps to mitigate your immobility.
The standard rune page for all AD Carries should be:
x9 Greater Mark of Attack Damage
x9 Greater Seal of Armor
x9 Greater Glyph of Magic Resistance
x9 Greater Quintessence of Attack Speed
Tier 1- Fury will increase the frequency of your auto attacks.
Tier 2- Feast is useful on Kog’Maw since he has a weaker laning phase than most AD Carries. Taking this mastery will allow you to recover after taking a bad trade and sustain your health throughout the early game.
Tier 3- Natural Talent is the best choice in this tier. Kog’Maw’s abilities deal both physical and magical damage when casted. You’ll have a higher damage output overall and scale better as the game progresses.
Tier 4- Since Kog’Maw’s main source of damage comes from his auto attacks, Battle Trance will increase his total auto attack damage in teamfights and skirmishes.
Tier 1- Savagery will improve your last hitting and result in a higher CS after the laning phase.
Tier 2- Secret Stash's Total Biscuits of Rejuvenation will restore more health than standard health potions would regenerate. In addition to this bonus, you are awarded mana. This is especially useful since your abilities have high mana costs.
Tier 3- Dangerous Game is the most optimal mastery in this tier. Kog’Maw will be able to proc Dangerous Game throughout team fights since his abilities will deal area-of-effect damage. As a result, Kog’Maw will have an easier time staying alive and have more mana to cast abilities in order to maintain a high DPS.
Tier 4- Precision gives Kog’Maw an extra source of armor shred in conjunction with Caustic Spittle. In addition to the bonus lethality gained, Precision offers bonus magic penetration. This will further enhance your abilities’ damage, especially Living Artillery.
Kog’Maw’s damage is enormous after you purchase Guinsoo's Rageblade and only swells as the game drags on. It won’t be very difficult to deal the amount of damage necessary to proc Stomraider’s Surge. The movement speed bonus gained from taking this Keystone mastery grants you more mobility and makes kiting your enemies a breeze. Stormraider’s Surge is more effective than Fervor of Battle since you won’t have to rely on your teammates to provide you with peel. Self sufficiency is important in a soloqueue environment since there is often little to no team coordination in ranked soloqueue. This holds especially true in lower elos.
Fervor of Battle:
Fervor of Battle has always been the standard Keystone to take when playing an auto attack oriented AD Carry. Kog’Maw is able to accumulate stacks of Fervor quickly since he will gain a lot of attack speed from the items that he builds. This in turn also increases his physical damage output and makes him a stronger AD Carry.
Abilities and Skill Order
Passive: Icathian Surprise
Upon dying, Kog'Maw starts a chain reaction in his body which causes him to move faster and detonate after four seconds; dealing true damage to surrounding enemies.
You should try your best to avoid having to proc your passive. In the unfortunate event that you do die during the game, Icathian Surprise gives you one final opportunity to dish out some damage. You might be astonished to learn that Kog’Maw’s passive is useful for more than just flashing your champion mastery or busting out your sick dance moves! If you are tower dived, you should look to try to trade your death for a kill on your enemies. Pay careful attention to who your tower is hitting. In an effort to hit them with damage so that they can’t be executed, try your best to stick as close to them as possible. If this is not possible walk next to the enemy minion wave in order to avoid missing as much gold as possible while the wave crashes into your tower. In team fights, do your best to position yourself in the middle of the enemy team.
Q: Caustic Spittle
Kog'Maw launches a corrosive projectile which deals magic damage and corrodes the target's armor and magic resist for a short time. Kog'Maw also gains additional attack speed.
Caustic Spittle should be primarily used on the enemy front line. These champions typically build a lot of items which provide physical and magical resistance. Wait for them to blow all of their gap closers and or crowd control. This will make it safe for you to cast Caustic Spittle while having an easy target to auto attack. Put points into Caustic Spittle after you’ve maxed out Bio-Arcane Barrage so that you can kill enemies quicker and gain more attack speed.
W: Bio-Arcane Barrage
Kog'Maw's attacks gain range and deal a percent of the target's maximum health as magic damage.
Bio-Arcane Barrage is what helps Kog’Maw stay at a safe range while maintaining his high amount of damage per second. The maximum health percentage of your opponents being converted to magical damage helps make Kog’Maw difficult to itemize against and negate the tankiness of your opponents. In lane, Bio-Arcane Barrage is a great tool to use when trading during the laning phase. This is because your auto attacks allow you to hit your enemies from afar. The extended range helps to make up for your lack of mobility during team fights. Place priority on putting points into this ability.
E: Void Ooze
Kog'Maw launches a peculiar ooze which damages all enemies it passes through and leaves a trail which slows enemies who stand on it.
Void Ooze can be used both offensively and defensively. During the laning phase, Void Ooze can give your team opportunities to get ahead of the enemy. For example, the slow can be used to help your support land a crucial ability or to follow up on a jungle gank. In the mid and late stages of the game, Void Ooze is useful for slowing down the enemy team during fights. Once again, this gives you time to reposition and your team an easier time getting to priority targets.
R: Living Artillery
Kog'Maw fires an artillery shell at a great distance dealing magic damage (increased significantly on low health enemies) and revealing non-stealthed targets. Additionally, multiple Living Artilleries in a short period of time cause them to cost additional mana.
In the past, Living Artillery was used as a form of harassment. This is no longer the case since targets below forty percent hit points will now take additional bonus physical and magical damage. As a result, Living Artillery should be used for execution instead of poke. Use this during team fights when your enemies’ health bars start to whittle down. After the fight, clean up with Void Ooze and your ultimate.
Doran’s Blade and Total Biscuit of Rejuvenation: These are the standard starting items for AD Carries. It’s not worth starting Longsword and three Total Biscuits of Rejuvenation because you shouldn’t be trying to rush Blade of the Ruined King.
Guinsoo’s Rageblade: Before Kog’Maw’s rework in 2016, Trinity Force was the way to go. This was because Trinity Force gave him less squishy, provided him with magic damage, and gave attack speed. The removal of the Sheen proc and high gold costs have made Trinity Force obsolete. Guinsoo’s Rageblade quickly became the optimal choice. Only half of his physical damage would be applied to Bio-Arcane Barrage, making on-hit more beneficial for Kog’Maw. In addition, Guinsoo’s Rageblade yields more attack speed, physical, and magical damage thanks to its components. Not to mention the stats provided has synergy with Kog’Maw since half of his damage is physical and the other half is magical. Guinsoo’s should be bought first. You should ideally purchase its components in this order: Pickaxe, Recurve Bow, and finally Blasting Wand.
Blade of the Ruined King: Historically, this item has been pretty hard for Riot to balance. It used to be a great rush item on Kog’Maw but previous nerfs hit them item hard and it was no longer the go-to. In recent patches, Blade of the Ruined King was given 15 AD, 5% more lifesteal, and less attack speed. Blade of the Ruined King’s active instead will deal target percent-health damage and its active ability damage is now physical. This was designed with champions who like to build on-hit items in mind and less useful for duelists. These changes were great for Kog’Maw since on-hit itemization is more optimal for Kog’Maw’s champion style.
Runaan's Hurricane: Runaan’s Hurricane will increase your overall damage since you'll be auto attacking multiple targets instead of just hitting a single target. In addition to its passive, this item also grants attack speed which will enhance Bio-Arcane Barrage. Purchase this item after you’ve bought Blade of the Ruined King.
Berserker Greaves: Attack speed is the most useful stat on Kog'Maw. Berserker Graves provides attack speed as well as bonus movement speed which will raise your mobility.
Frozen Mallet is a fantastic item on Kog’Maw. Its passive, Icy, will slow your target by 30%. Slowed enemies will make kiting a breeze since you’ll be dishing out a barrage of acid at your target. Stormraider’s Surge is handy in these situations because your core items give you the stats needed to proc your Keystone mastery fairly easily. Jaurim’s Fist and Ruby Crystal are useful if you find yourself being focused by the enemy or getting caught. Once Frozen Mallet is complete, you’ll gain 700 additional health instead of 300 health. Frozen Mallet can also be used offensively considering you’ll be able to hit your enemies more often considering they’ll be slowed.
You should purchase Sterak's Gage if you find yourself being bursted down by the enemy team. The passive ability gained from this item, Lifeline, will activate Primal Rage. Bonus attack damage and a shield which decays over the next eight seconds. This allows your team extra time to help peel for you and more time for you to kite backwards or escape the situation.
As soon as the first minion waves arrive in the lane you should try to push as fast as you can. This is done in order to reach level two before your opponents. Ideally, the laning phase should be pretty passive because Kog’Maw is very reliant upon items to deal substantial damage. This means that Kog’Maw is usually weaker than other champions during this period. You may trade with your enemies whenever the opportunity arises but this shouldn’t be your primary objective. Your goal should be to farm up to purchase the items needed for Guinsoo’s Rageblade. Shove the minion wave under the enemy tower whenever you recall and the opposing bot lane does as well. This will cause them to miss minions and experience, giving you an advantage.
Kog’Maw’s laning phase is a prelude to the mid game. Group with your team as much as possible during this phase of the game. You should have most of your core items completed and be optimizing your build path according to your game’s conditions. During team fights, it is imperative you stand behind your team’s front line while attacking the target that is closest to you. This is done so that you stay alive while outputting the maximum damage per second. Sometimes you may find yourself in hectic team fights and there might not always be a closest target. Consider which enemies are bigger threats and set your focus on a valuable target. Be aware of any potential threats to your well-being. Assassins should be avoided at all costs. Wait until they blow their cooldowns or until your team kills them before beginning to auto attack. Your aim is to survive the team fight. If an enemy like Fizz or Talon manages to dive into your team’s backline, do your best to kite away from them or flash away if you are the target.
Kog’Maw is extremely strong in the later stages of the game. Your team’s goal should be to take as many objectives as possible and siege enemy turrets. Kog’Maw’s extremely long range thanks to Bio-Arcane Barrage and Living Artillery makes him a great asset to any team composition. You should be trying to do as much damage as you can to the turret without putting yourself in a position to be picked off. Attack the enemy tower as much as you can while your minion wave is crashing so that you’re not vulnerable to the enemy team. This process of shoving minion waves and whittling down towers will eventually lead to a victory if done correctly. Do your best to not get caught in areas that aren’t warded because death timers are extremely long. Your lack of presence could cost your team the game.
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