Kog’Maw Build Guid (AP Mid)

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Pros and Cons

Pros


  • Gets exponentially stronger as the match continues
  • Prevents damaged opponents from fleeing fights
  • Reliably farms creeps from a distance
  • Able to duel anyone late game
  • Powerful objective defender
  • One of the best siegers in the game

Cons


  • Atrociously weak early game
  • Has low mobility
  • Difficult laning phase
  • Incredibly incredibly squishy
  • Pathetic objective controller
  • Neverending greed for mana

The Barrage Limit

Distributing Death in Moderated Concentrations


This is a term that will be repeated throughout the guide several times, and for good reason! It’s one of the most fundamental parts of playing Kog and impacts laning, teamfighting, and defending.The ultimate’s mana cost goes up almost exponentially. Shooting 1 ult is a pitiful 40 mana, but shooting a full barrage of 10 bullets requires an enormous 2,200 mana.

This poses a problem. Continuing to fight requires constantly shooting, but constantly shooting drains mana. To maximize your time poking, you need to shoot just enough that your mana regen will have replenished more than the mana expended when your artillery stacks reset to 0.

Or, more simply:

If you regenerate 120 mana in 8 seconds, then you can consistently shoot 2 bullets (120 mana’s worth).

If you regenerate 240 mana in 8 seconds, then you can consistently shoot 3 bullets (240 mana’s worth).

The number of bullets it takes to break equal with your mana regen is known as the Barrage Limit. The two examples above have Barrage Limits of 2 and 3.

Your Barrage Limit can be considered your guaranteed bullets. The rest of your mana bar is considered reserve bullets.

A final note: the Barrage Limit is not an exact science. You’ll often find that you will lose 20-60 mana per barrage even if you stay at the Barrage Limit. However, it functions as a serviceable estimate. You can find out how to increase the barrage limit later in the guide.

Critical Knowledge

Making the Rain Have Pain


There are a few extremely important, unintuitive things to keep in mind about AP Kog’maw for this guide to be of maximum effectiveness.Scroll to the bottom of this section if you want the short version.

Kog benefits little from AP


AP Kog’maw is largely a misnomer. Unless you’re at full build, your AP levels will hover around 180 AP even 40 minutes into the game. Living Artillery only has a 0.3 AP ratio on it, making AP a poor itemization choice.

This isn’t to say Kog has bad ratios overall. The other abilities have fairly decent or even impressive attached ones. But AP Kog’maw is not dangerous due to their basic spells. If you’re looking for a mid-range AP champion, there are a wealth of others with significantly better damage, mobility, and utility.

AP Kog’maw is dangerous because they abuse the range and base damage of the ultimate. The ultimate, at max rank, will dish out a whopping 320 magic damage. Landing just two hits in one second with this is enough to deal more damage than almost any other ultimate in the game. At a 1800 range.

However, your ability to consistently abuse this base damage is limited by the Barrage Limit. To take maximum advantage of spell penetration requires a high Barrage Limit.

Kog’s Offensive Power Scales With Mobility


Hitting a person in a teamfight with one Living Artillery is easy. Hitting them reliably again is hard. The ultimate is designed to be entirely avoidable. Even if a champion is directly at the center of the ultimate, they are almost guaranteed to be able to run out of the AOE. If someone is running from you, they will outrun you as the casting time of the Ult prevents you from catching up.

This means a person getting hit multiple times is messing up, and you never want to fully rely on strategies that depend on your opponents just messing up.

To reliably chain ults on fighting opponents requires CC. To reliably chain ults on running opponents requires having more movement speed than the runner. Reliably chaining ults dramatically increases fighting power, meaning mobility indirectly increases Kog’s offensive potential. However, when you hit the point where you can outrun opponents while ult’ing, any additional mobility encounters diminishing offensive returns.

Kog’s Offensive Power Scales With Mana


As Kog gets more mana and mana regen, the Barrage Limit increases.

Every time you increase your Barrage Limit, you effectively increase your consistent damage output.Multiply the ult’s base damage by the Barrage Limit, and this is how much damage you can spread out in the ~8 second window before the ult resets the mana cost.

Each additional increase to the Barrage Limit is worth less than the one before. Having a Barrage Limit of 2 is twice as much damage compared to a Barrage Limit of 1, but increasing the Barrage Limit from 3 to 4 is only a 33% increase.

tl;dr: Kog’s Build Priorities


The summary of everything above is that you should build Kog to take maximum advantage of the high base damage and range. The core philosophy behind playing AP Kog is:

“One more ult.”

One more Ult per teamfight, one more Ult on running opponents, one more Ult when defending.
This means the stats Kog generally wants more than anything else are:

Mana > Mobility > Spell Penetration > Cooldown Reduction > Survivability > AP

When Kog can consistently outrun enemies, spell penetration becomes more valuable than MS.
When the Barrage Limit reaches about 3-4, spell penetration becomes more valuable than mana.

This guide is built around this mantra.

Take note this means you won’t necessarily have a lot of early-mid burst damage. But this is okay becauseyou are a sustained damage champion!!! Always remember this. You will often get comments like “you don’t do any damage.” This is because it is extremely easy to overlook sustained damage compared to burst damage. You will almost always have one of the highest damages dealt in each match, so ignore these comments and focus on your aim.

Masteries and Runes

Masteries


MASTERIES
1/1

4/4

1/1

3/3

1/1

1/1

3/3

1/3

1/1

3/3

1/1

1/1

3/3

3/3

2/3

1/1

21-0-9
Kog’maw is too squishy to benefit from the defense tree and fights too much to benefit from the utility tree, making offense the best choice. In the offense tree, these are all that are left when you put AP as a low priority and then exclude the masteries that increase critical strikes, attack speed, and basic attacks.

Runes


Recommended


  • Greater Mark of Magic Penetration: You don’t benefit much from AP, so spell pen is the natural choice
  • Greater Seal of Scaling Mana Regeneration: More mana regen, higher Barrage Limit
  • Greater Seal of Armor: If you’re having trouble laning, these may assist
  • Greater Seal of Magic Resist Same as above
  • Greater Glyph of Magic Penetration: As marks.
  • Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power: I’ve found it useful to have 2 of these alongside the magic pen glyphs. They make it possible to fully clear waves several minutes earlier.
  • Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed: These ensure that you’ll very quickly be outrunning your opponents for maximum carnage.

Not Recommended:


  • Greater Mark of Ability Power – Read the Critical Knowledge section. Kog doesn’t benefit enough from AP to justify this over spell pen.
  • Greater Seal of Scaling Mana – Your barrage is over time, and scaling mana regen returns more mana than given by Scaling Mana in about 90 seconds. If mana is the goal, then scaling will be more helpful.
  • Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction – Your ult is more limited by mana than cooldown, and your other spells don’t increase enough in utility with cooldown reduction to prioritize it.

Summoner Spells

Recommended:


There are too many flash-combos that even your max range can’t protect you from. Flash helps equalize the field, using flash to avoid dying to flash-combos

When flash is on cooldown, this is your second equalizer against flash-combos. It also prevents you from being towerdived by the mid and jungle. Later in the game, you are able to duel nearly anyone if exhaust is up.


When you can justify removing one of the equalizers, ghost is a good alternative to consider, increasing your offensive power tremendously.

Not Recommended:


If you’re in range to Ignite, you shouldn’t be.

Remember the Barrage Limit. Clarity can add bullets into your reserve, but you wouldn’t be dipping into your reserve unless you had shot several bullets in a row, at which point Clarity will grant only a 1 or 2 bullet bonus. It is rare that bursting something with those bullets is more critical than surviving and landing even more bullets over time.


As Kog, your deaths are almost exclusively due to being surrounded or CC-bursted. While heal and barrier might be useful early game as protection against burst, their late-game uses are limited since they will not save you from being surrounded and all burst combos kill you in one hit regardless. In addition, most champions can’t successfully burst Kog pre-6, but at 6 you can already farm further than their flash-bursts can reach.

Ability Analysis


Icathian Surprise

  • Just clicking on your opponent will often be sufficient to kill them even if they’re trying to juke the passive through bushes
  • If you are running and about to die anyway, turn around. Fight. The passive may be able to turn a fruitless run into a revenge kill.

Caustic Spittle

  • Shreds a significant amount of armor and magic resist
  • Use it when tanks commit to fights in the middle of your team
  • After Rylais, it functions as an excellent peel tool because it applies the full 30% slow

Bio-arcane Barrage:

  • Useful for farming due to having no mana cost, but little else for most of the match
  • If you’re in range to autoattack, you’re probably too close to the fight.
  • Late game, it can win you most duels and is amazing shred against tanky divers after applying Caustic Spittle
  • Does not proc Rylai’s slow

Void Ooze:

  • Your most reliable farming spell
  • The slow scales with the level of the spell
  • Fairly respectable damage late-game against bunched opponents when not peeling with it

Living Artillery

  • The keystone of AP Kog’maw
  • Every level-up doubles Kog’s power and heavily increases range.

E, W, Q, then E > Q > W , , , then > >

Void Ooze has the most range, damage, and utility of all the basic spells, making it the first to be maxed.

Being in range to autoattack is too reckless as AP Kog, making the Q second to max.

kogmow ability

Items

Core:


Getting a large mana pool ready is important to making sure reserve bullets are always ready later in the game. Tear also increases the Barrage limit by 1. Because AP isn’t especially valuable, it’s largely unnecessary to upgrade to Archangels until there are no slots left

A mixture of spell pen and mobility, a godsend for Kog’maw. It’s tough to imagine any other better combination that Kog would like.


Allows access to chaining, making your teamfight power significantly scarier; essentially boosts your mobility in offensive situations.


Mobility is core on Kog to make sure opponents can never escape fights alive. Given how far Kog is from fights, Alacrity is the best choice for maximizing offensive potential.


The most cost-efficient spell-penetration item for Kog’maw! It also grants a nice bit of survivability, giving it two applications in one. Just Guise alone ensures your damage will stick for the rest of the game, barring every opponent being 20-0.


The second most cost-efficient spell-penetration for Kog’maw! Also the only one Before getting Void Staff, targets are mostly limited to squishy opponents. Void Staff allows anyone to become a target.


The Scrying Orb serves a few purposes beyond general objective-scouting. First, it lets you check suspicious bushes without using an ult shot, ensuring you won’t start off fights at a handicap. Second, it allows you to keep track of opponents who may be roaming from mid lane without putting yourself at risk of a counter-ambush by doing so.

Situational:


You have room for 1 situational item if you’re trying to fit in all your cores. Choose wisely!

It seems strange that Chalice is conditional, but surprisingly it only increases the Barrage Limit by 1. Tear also increases the Barrage Limit by 1, but also provides 750 mana for reserve bullets on top of that. However, Chalice does replenish your reserve ammo much more quickly than normal, so use if you need to maximize your offensive power after the cores.

You can’t fight if you’re dead. Physical assassins have little limitation reaching Kog, but a Randuins protects from the threat handily. Use if the opponents have a physical-damage assassin.


You can’t fight if you’re dead. Magical assassins have little limitation reaching Kog, but a Banshees protects from their critical burst spell handily. It also shuts down several flash-combos that normally would jeopardize Kog’s position. Use if the opponents have a magical damage assassin or have a long-range flash-combo that is pivotal to reaching you.


Extremely niche, but powerful. Your range ensures that you can easily and safely proc the passive. Use when against teams with several sources of healing.


Sometimes, opponents can reach Kog not through clever sneaking or a flash-combo, but through brute speed straight through the team. Use this when against teams who are able to charge straight for you without dashes.


A strange potential item for a strange champion. Talisman provides enough mobility to move at constant Boots of Mobility levels of speed with a powerful ghost-like active and mana regen to boot. It’s best to get when against siege compositions who poke you down with constant long-range spells


The Distortion enchantment will grant stronger mobility than Alacrity if you get Ghost instead of Exhaust.

Not Recommended:


The common theme of this guide is that AP really is not that valuable on AP Kog. Rabadons exemplifies that; it is the less gold-efficient than Liandrys, Void Staff, and even a second Sorceror Boots. This means that you would be better off buying a second pair of Sorcerors instead of getting Rabadons, making it a terrible buy in all scenarios.

The second common theme of this guide is that mobility is really valuable on AP Kog. Zhonyas asks you to sacrifice mobility to go into a statis, during which you’ll almost certainly be surrounded and killed. Randuins provides sufficient protection without compromising your mobility.


If you’re in range to autoattack, you’re too close to the fight. The mobility may be nice, but Twin Shadows and Talisman provide similar mobility along with other protective utility.


Though Kog enjoys mobility and spams spells a lot, Echo doesn’t fit Kog’maws sieging style very well. In combat, optimal scenarios will let you use the echo effect once every three barrage shots. This means you are getting a fairly meager ~50 damage increase per Living Artillery, making it largely outclassed by much more effective damage options like Chalice, Rylais, and Void Staff.


What’s wrong with more mobility? Nothing necessarily, except that with movement speed quints and the utility speed bonus, Swiftness hits the hard cap of movement speed, making it grant barely any more than Sorceror Boots but without granting the spell penetration to abuse the ult’s base damage.


This one is tricky. Mana? Surviability? It contends with Tear of Goddess well. But then, it’s not quite fair to compare a 700 gold item to a 2800 gold one. Rod of Ages is a classic case of an item that sounds good on paper, but is awkward in practice.

Building Catalyst takes much longer than Tear early game, delaying Kog’s already-expensive build even more. Catalyst isn’t the only hurdle. Its position in the build order is awkward too. Finishing Rod after Rylais means you won’t have it fully stacked until 30 minutes into the game. Finishing Rod before Rylais requires a stupid amount of money that could have been instead put into a tear+survivability combo (like Warden’s Mail).

Even just upgrading Tear into Archangel’s Staff grants almost all the same stats, taking into account Seraph’s shield active which you quickly stack enough to get.


Given that AP isn’t an especially valuable stat, Mikaels would initially seem a better upgrade than Athenes. However, three things limits its viability. First, AP is a tertiary priority, not a useless priority. Second, in teamfights, Kog is very far away from any teammates. Third, Nearly all Kog’s deaths are all or nothing; the same reason Kog can’t as reliably use Heal/Barrier.

These three facts mean you will almost never be able to successfully use Mikaels in an effective manner to save your teammates or yourself. The extra mana regen is nice, but not even enough to raise the Barrage Limit by 1, making Athenes a largely superior choice.

Starting Items

Doesn’t Have a Nice Ring to it


Starting Items
This start may initially seem confusing. Why no potions with Faerie Charm? What about Doran’s Ring? Ignoring the delicious flask?

The Problem with Potions


First, potions are not free. Each potion costs 35 gold, which is about 2 minion’s worth. Therefore, to have potions worth their cost, you need to get 3 more minions that you otherwise would not have been able to get. Otherwise, you are breaking even or worse, and the only gain is exp.Second, Kog is so squishy that you can’t freely farm. Any decent opponent is going to be constantly harassing you away every time you try to move in to autoattack the minions. If you’re in range to be getting hit at all, you are not far enough. In addition, Kog’s early game is so weak that attempting to trade with people is an attempt in futility. You won’t be getting kills pre-6 unless your opponent is badly messing up.

These two facts combined mean that if you buy health potions, you would have to put yourself in poke-range and yet still manage to get 3 more minions that otherwise would have been lost. This doesn’t happen. Your autoattacks are too weak, your early range too limited, and your spells too infrequent to get 3 extra minions while standing in range of being hit.

Mana potions encounter a similar issue. Void Ooze costs about 100 mana. Each mana potion gives you 100 mana. To make the additional Void Ooze you get from the potion worthwhile, you have to kill 3 minions in one hit. This is largely unfeasible.

Potions may serve useful when learning AP Kog, but they’re a needless crutch once you become proficient at farming from max range, especially because optimal play guarantees that you’ll run out of mana way before running of HP, even assuming you get hit occasionally.

The Problem with Doran’s Ring


When you buy Doran’s Ring, you get it knowing that you’ll eventually have to sell it. The amount of money lost from buying and then selling it is 240 gold, or about 14 minions. To make the Ring worthwhile requires ultimately getting 15 more minions that otherwise would have been lost.The AP component of Dorans is already negligible. Void Ooze, your primary laning ability, only receives a pitiful 10 damage increase. The AP increase will largely not increase your farming potential. AP also has little benefit for AP Kog later down the road.

Doran’s Ring does eventually grant more than 200 mana (the amount given by the Sapphire Crystal start). But this takes a bit of time. Every minute, Dorans gives 36 passive mana. Every minion will give an additional 4 mana. This means that it will take at least 4 minutes of farming before even starting to break even with Sapphire Crystal. During the initial laning phase, 4 minutes of farming is already about the time you get your ult and want to head back to buy, making the additional mana wasted.

If you are able to get those “lost” 15 minions with the mana and health bonus granted by Dorans, it can be worth it. But in a realistic situation where you are playing constantly on the defensive, it’s nigh-impossible to make that a reality.

The Problem with Crystalline Flask


As with Doran’s, you buy knowing you sell it. 207 lost gold, so you need 11 more minions that would have otherwise been lost.Flask actually is decent compared to the others mentioned so far. But first, the issues: Flask essentially grants you 200 extra mana per laning instance. When you first arrive in lane, flask is wholly ineffective compared to Crystal, since the near-equivalent mana from Crystal means you aren’t gaining any lost minions.

After the first back, the items you get depend on your start. Assuming you are buying wards (and you should be), if you started Crystal, you likely now have tear + boots. If you started flask, you likely now have flask + crystal.

The early Tear grants 250 mana and 36 mana per minute. Crystal + flask grants 380 mana. This means in most cases, Flask is only granting about 70 more mana than you would have had, which is almost enough for 1 void ooze, which is only about 1-2 “lost” minions.

Essentially, mana-wise, the first time you arrive in lane, Flask isn’t useful. After returning, you will be trading 3 Flask stacks for 1 or 2 lost minions.

However, what makes flask decent is how its health regen component differs from health potions. Health potions ask you to trade a whole potion for 1 or 2 lost minions. Health-wise, flask asks you to trade a stack for 1 lost minion, and stacks can be replenished.

Accounting for all this, theoretically each optimal use of a flask stack is worth a little more than 1 lost minion on average. This can eventually add up to 11 lost minions with about 9 optimal uses of stacks, though it’s not guaranteed. My primary gripe with Flask then is its lack of certainty and that needing the health regen of flask means you are willingly going into the damage zone of the opposing champion, which can have unforeseen dire consequences. Flask can be just barely pay for itself during laning phase if you maximize your effective gold with optimal flask uses.

The Remaining Build Order

Priorities in Practice


At the beginning of the guide, we established the priorities Kog has.

Mana > Mobility > Spell Penetration > Cooldown Reduction > Survivability > AP

With some caveats on when spell pen becomes more valuable than mobility and mana.

The build order reflects this philosophy.

In order, get
> > > >

Then, pick 1 situational item

And follow up by completing
> >

and then finish Athenes, if applicable.

Upgrade the trinket when vision control is low in the late-game.

Completing Rylais


Rylais is made of three components: Amplifying Tome, Blasting Wand, and Giant’s Belt. Two of these components grant AP, which is largely unnecessary. Survivability is significantly more useful than AP. However, a little AP does help make it a little easier to farm with the Ooze-ult combo.

You should always keep wards as a top priority, even if it means you might miss out on finishing one of the AP components.

Therefore, the order of priority of buying the Rylais components are:

> > > >

You almost never will want Blasting Wand before Giant’s Belt. Even if you have Tome and 920 gold, you should consider getting more wards instead of getting Blasting Wand

Completing Void Staff


Completing Void Staff is frustrating. While it’s the key to one of Kog’s strongest power spikes, the components both only grant AP, and around this time there is only one empty slot remaining.

You should not even bother getting either component. Use your remaining item slot to maintain constant wards in your inventory until you can one-click buy the Void Staff in one go. Ward coverage is significantly more powerful compared to the lame 12 ult-damage increase given by blasting wand.

 

Guide Top

Chaining

That’s Off the Chain


When Kog has Rylais, they gain access to one of their most powerful and flashy tricks: chaining.Chaining is using CC to ult a target back-to-back with Living Artillery.

Normally, chaining is hard. An opponent is able to dodge Living Artillery simply by stepping outside of the landing spot. But with Rylais, if Kog lands just one artillery, it almost guarantees that the next artilleries will land.

After landing the ult, continue aiming the ult a little ahead of the opponent’s running direction. This forces two decisions: either they get hit by the ult and open themselves up to the next ult chain, or they momentarily stop or sidestep.

In teamfights, an opponent is often able to escape chains pre-16 just by getting outside the range of subsequent artilleries, making chaining difficult. After 16, successful chains are extremely feasible and can kill or seriously cripple a carry before the fight even starts.

Outside of teamfights, chaining is a powerful kill securing tool. After a chain is started, even stopping to dodge the artillery is to Kog’s advantage. A person who has to momentarily stop has put themselves closer to Kog. If they stop sufficient times, Kog will be able to reliably land an ooze-spittle combo, killing wounded opponents almost instantly.

Chain opponents down to secure kills in teamfights or on fleeing opponents.

Stage of the Game

Playing Ranked


Kog is not defined so much by “early, mid, late” as many other champs as far as their role is concerned. Rather, Kog’s power and presence is dictated by the rank of Living Artillery.

Rank 0 – Etiolated Mortar Mimicry


  • Unless your opponent screws up, you will not win in CS.
  • If you chose to not start potions or Dorans, your effective gold is higher than your CS would imply.
  • Conversely, subtract CS from your opponent based on how many potions and Dorans they have.
  • Survival is the name of the game
  • Don’t bother pushing hard. Your autoattacks are like butter slapping a brick.
  • If you die, you weren’t playing carefully enough.

Before you have your ult, you’re fragile and your laning phase should consist of using your spells at maximum range to farm the waves. Void Ooze is the most useful one for this task, as it has longer range than any of your other spells and its AOE is able to take out minions decently. Use the tip of its 1,200 range to farm most of your minions.

Never attempt to trade or poke with the enemy. It doesn’t matter if they’re melee, if they have less range, or even if they’re out of mana. Every spell, every auto should be focused on trying to farm above all else. Your kill potential is fairly nonexistent pre-6. If you think you can kill them by hitting them enough? No.

Kog is such an easy target for the jungler to jump on. This is the biggest reason why even poking is fruitless; a competent jungler will take advantage of your vulnerability even if you’re only a quarter of the way down the lane.

Survival is your primary priority. Unless you have a jungler with a mixture of heavy CC and heavy damage,consider informing your jungler to not even gank for you. Kills rarely result unless the jungler has red and you can land a well-timed void ooze or exhaust. But even this opens up the fight to a countergank that is easy to lose.

Your pushing power is stupidly weak. Even two uncontested minion waves won’t bring the tower to half health. It’s not worth the risk unless their jungler is in a different lane.

Every time you go back, buy 2 wards. Consider getting a vision ward early as well. Ward the enemy’s side of the lane so you can prevent them from roaming without significant heads up.

If you get jumped under the tower, immediately use exhaust. Literally a life-saver.

Most importantly, when you die, it is 100% your fault. It means you were too far without wards, you were trying to trade, you didn’t dodge enough, or that you got surprised by burst damage. Take every death as a learning experience of what to expect for the future and avoid repeating the same mistake.

Rank 1 – Obnoxious Spittle Tickler


  • Prevent opponents from roaming
  • Roam if the chance presents itself
  • Force squishy targets back with powerful ooze-ult combos
  • If you die during laning, you weren’t playing carefully enough.
  • Use your basic spells primarily for their utility
  • Poke to deter

The first rank of the ult is your first major power spike, immediately doubling your power. Upon receiving it, your Barrage Limit starts at 1. Shooting even 2 bullets in a row is an easy way to use up your whole mana bar very fast, so carefully consider every time you even want to shoot just twice.

Continue buying 2 wards per back and keep warding their side of the lane. Your opponent will likely have their ult at this point as well and will often begin roaming as you don’t have the pushing power to take advantage of their disappearance. Putting wards on the side will ensure that if they begin roaming that your team will have heavy advance notice to get away, as you have no pushing power to meaningfully punish roaming opponents

You may often want to chase after roaming opponents, but be aware that they may easily be hiding around a corner or in a bush in ambush, waiting to take advantage of your still-weak power. Use blue trinket to keep a constant source of vision on them to avoid potential ambushes when chasing roaming opponents if you lack ward coverage or if they just walked past the ward’s visibility.

Poking opponents is now possible, but remember your Barrage Limit. Also keep note that your
ult is an excellent tool for farming, especially in conjunction with your ooze. After reaching max rank of Void Ooze, you will be able to start killing caster minions with one ooze-ult combo.

Try to clear waves without exceeding the barrage limit. Ult the mage minions, wait 8 seconds, then ult the mage minions again. This spends less mana and lets you clean up with living ooze right after.

Unless your opponent is very squishy, you should largely be using poke as a form of deterrence rather than a form of killing. Still, a successful ooze-ult combo on an opponent can deal substantial damage so always keep an eye out for chances to land one.

Due to the low barrage limit at this point, and also because Rylais is often not yet completed, chaining is largely not possible.

Though your mobility is not the best, this is around the time you can begin roaming fairly effectively if you push a little. Simply walk over top or bot, time your ooze to slow fleeing opponents, use the blue trinket to reveal them juking through the bushes, and then throw out 2 or 3 ults to really hammer the damage home. You almost always have to base immediately after however, as your mana supply will be shot.

Rank 2 – Artillery’s Apprentice


  • Keep everything constantly warded
  • Clear waves instantly and begin pushing and grouping
  • Be wary of dash-combos
  • Poke to kill

You have hit your second major power spike, doubling your power once again. Now that you are 4x more powerful than at the start, you may begin poking very offensively at the opponents, though always keep mindful your Barrage Limit.

As always, keep the enemy’s side of the lane warded. Your poke may be strong, but you are still extremely susceptible to a good gank.

Your ooze-ult combo is almost guaranteed to clear the entire wave immediately at this point. Take advantage of this and start pushing as relentlessly as you can.

If you’re 35 CS down at the end of the laning phase, you handled it very well.

Your teamfight presence is now massive even with few items. Your Rylais is often finished at this point, and now is the time to start chaining opponents down. Careful however; a wide variety of dash-combos can still reach you even at max range.

While you can now chain down fleeing targets reliably, it is difficult to land a long chain during teamfights.

Your ult now functions as a very viable form of killing, though opponents will often still barely get away.

Rank 3 – Ruler of the Acid Reign


  • Stay at max range unless you’re cleaning up
  • Keep a target locked on and shoot
  • Destroy diving opponents
  • Poke to win

This is it. If you have made the game go on this long, another 2x multiplier in power. You are now 8x more powerful than you were at the beginning of the game and boy does it ever feel good.

You are now safe from almost every single dash-combo in the game at max range. Unless you are caught off guard due to poor warding, you cannot be reached except by flash-dash combos.

Always remain at max range unless it’s time to clean up, and continue buying constant wards to maximize your safety.

You can safely pick targets every fight who you want to hunt down and chain them to death. Often, just a 2 or 3 artillery chain is enough to send an opposing magician to half health or less. Pick a target and keep them locked on.

Your dueling potential is extremely strong if you have exhaust up. If the fight is starting to die down, consider getting closer to the fight and pick off the remaining opponents with your basic spells, which now do fairly hefty damage in their own right.

Use your Caustic Spittle to slow down and shred tanks trying to dive into the middle of your team. If combo’d with your spells right after, a few empowered autos is enough to deal insane damage.

Increasing and Exceeding the Barrage Limit

 

Making Good Impressions


The Barrage Limit has been mentioned several times in this guide, so now is the time to learn how to increase it.Keep note that the Barrage Limit is not an upper limit on how many times you should shoot in a fight, but a general guide on how to maximize your consistent damage. As you play Kog more, the Barrage Limit starts to become more instinctual.

Barrage Limit starts at 0 and increases depending:

+1
+1
+1!; but +2 after level 11
+1 at 2nd rank.

The highest amount your barrage limit is able to reach is 5.

Raj of Barrage


There are times when it’s time to stop holding back and go past the barrage limit. Blow out a full 10-ult barrage and cripple opponents… and yourself.Realize that pushing past the barrage limit too much will make you useless for any further fighting. As such, it makes sense that the barrage limit should only be exceeded when something can be secured or defended.

That can mean a several things including but not limited to:

  • Securing a kill
  • Securing an objective
  • Securing a kill to secure an objective
  • Keeping a small area scouted while taking a ward
  • Defending a turret from low-health opponents
  • Taking blue buff quickly, since the mana will regenerate
  • Holding off opponents from defending an objective when it is almost dead
  • Stopping a baron/dragon attempt
  • Rushing a baron/dragon where your team plans to peace out after securing it

Knowing when to push the limit is one of the biggest things that separates good AP Kogs from great AP Kogs. Shoot wisely.

Enemy Matchups

They will Looze


Instead of the classic easy/medium/hard difficulties, opponents are classified by what rank of Living Artillery it takes for them to stop being a major threat. The higher the rank, the more difficult, with “Never” being the most difficult. The rank classification is often when previously one-sided fights suddenly start going in favor of Kog’s team.In addition, each person gets a danger classification: burst, poke, displace, roam. These define how the champion intends to kill you and what is most pertinent to watch out for.

Burst – Attempts to stun and then burst you down from full health
Poke – Attempts to whittle you down with never-ending spells to finish you with a burst
Displace – Attempts to lock or zone you down for other opponents to reach you
Roam – Pushes hard, then roams to take advantage of your weak pushing power.

Most opponents have a non-punishing level 1. Farm freely for the first level.

After opponents cast spells to harass or farm, you have a few precious seconds to move in to farm. Back off before the cooldown ends.

Although enemies can wound you repeatedly, most cannot actually kill you pre-6. Don’t be too concerned about your wounds unless you know the opponent can actually finish you off.

Stay at max range at all times. Pick apart with living artillery before even momentarily considering moving in.

Use Exhaust to successfully duel most opponents after rank 2 of Living Artillery

Tips and Tricks

Truly mastering Kog’maw is perfecting even the littlest of tricks to work massively in your favor. Here’s a list of things to nail to become a master!

FLASH ULT COMBO
A difficult trick, but incredibly strong. Opponents will often try to break your chaining by flashing out of it. Flash toward them to immediately close the gap and continue chaining. Also use to get the last bit of distance to snipe a flee’ing opponent, but be wary that if they’re not CC’d, they can dodge the ult and waste your flash.
CHECKING BUSHES AND OBJECTIVES WITH THE ULT
Living Artillery grants vision on the location it casts on, so use it to see if the roaming mid-laner is trying to ambush you or if the opponents really are at baron.
USE NEXUS REGEN TO BE AN ULTIMATE LAST-DITCH DEFENSE
The title explains it all. In dire situations where you have to hold off several opponents from nexus turrets, you are able to stand at the edge of the base regeneration and unleash a literally endless stream of bullets. This allows you to become the absolute final line of defense when things are looking grim.
BURST COMBOS
You have two primary burst combos as Kog.The first is the most common: Ooze-ult. Difficult to anticipate and both reach the end-point around the same time. This is also the combo that lets you clear most minion waves instantly once void ooze is at max rank.

The second is for targets committing: Caustic Spittle, Ooze, Ult, Auto. A committing target can’t avoid the Q, which will amplify the damage from the rest of the combo.

ULT YOUR OWN LOCATION DURING DUELS AGAINST MELEE
During duels against melee targets, keep ult’ing at the ground directly underneath yourself. This will guarantee the hit unless the target decides to disengage momentarily, buying valuable time to make distance.
SHOOT VOID OOZE IN THE DIRECTION YOU’RE RUNNING
When someone is charging toward you, it is tempting to always cast Void Ooze directly at them to slow the charge. However, in many instances, if damage is not of importance, it is better to cast void ooze in the direction you intend to run. This ensures that the enemy has to run across the whole length of the ooze if they want to reach you.
OOZE’ING OVER MINION WAVES
During laning, you may not be trying to poke opponents down, but incidental damage is always nice. Try to position yourself to hit both the minion and the opponent at the same time.
AIM FOR THE ZHONYAS!
Whenever you see someone has gone into Zhonya form, keep your eyes extra peeled on them and try to land an easy ult shot rightttt as the Zhonyas duration ends. Once you get good with the timing of your ult, the Zhonyas form is just a free target.
TELL YOUR TEAM TO AVOID ENGAGING
The more you can poke before a fight begins, the better. Explicitly tell your team that you need time to poke and to try to stall out engages until you’ve dealt some good damage first.

Kow’Maw Counter Champions

Kow'Maw Counter Champions
Kow’Maw Counter Champions

Kow’Maw Counter Tips

 

  • Be aware and ready for Kog’Maw’s passive, which causes his dying body to detonate.
  • Try to avoid Kog’Maw’s Void Ooze and Caustic Spittle abilities, which can often be dodged.
  • Try to avoid standing in Kog’Maw’s Void Ooze where possible.
  • Kog’Maw is great at clearing minion waves but has low mobility, often leaving him vulnerable to ganks.
  • As Kog’Maw is often dependent on AD, building armour may prove effective.