Hi I am the Salty jungler, I am a jungle main currently in Diamond 4 and I enjoy writing short guides. A long forgotten jungle terror and in my opinion a very sleeper jungle pick. He has been seeing increased play in solo lanes as of late but many people don’t realize that he actually brings a lot to a team composition from the jungle as well. Cho’gath has high single target burst, strong ganks with knockups starting level 2, high tank stats, high base damage, high ratio scaling with strong teamfight utility. This guide is going to be a quick analysis on Cho’gath in the jungle.
- Silence! – One of the last remaining silences in the game; also it’s AOE so it’s hard to miss and can effect multiple champions – Very strong against specific champions like glass cannon assassins/fighters Ie Kat, Riven, Yasuo, zed. One good silence leaves them stranded in the middle of your team with no escape options
- High sustain – Cho’s passive grants him a ton of bonus health and will see him rarely needing to base past the first clear meaning more ganks and more farming
- Strong early game ganks – Cho has strong base damages and lots of CC, while it is possible to juke his rupture it is often difficult to do so before champions have boots and you can always chilling smite them to ensure it hits. If you silence them before rupturing there is literally no way for them to dodge it. When ganking use W+Chilling smite -> Q. They cant even flash because they are silenced
- Metagame – He fits well in the current tanky/CC meta, his ultimate is also a good use as a tank-buster finisher
- Objective control – The best in the game at securing dragons and barons, good luck outsmiting Cho’s 2000 damage feast+smite. Not even Nunu has shit on this guy.
- Fast AoE Clearing – His vorpal spikes add nice early game clear speed and all his abilities are aoe making it very easy to burst down the small mobs at camps and once you get his ultimate you get very easily oneshot camps with a spell rotation -> feast big minion.
- Itemization – Cho has TONS of itemization choices from full tank to full AP. I find a good median to be somewhere in-between. Cho’s incredibly diverse itemization path makes it very easy to first pick Cho and adapt your itemization to what the team needs most.
- His ultimate is so good – It destroys carries and tanks alike, true damage is virtually impossible to itemize against outside stacking flat HP. Cho’s ultimate does as much damage as a fully bleed stacked Darius ult being able to do 300/475/650 TRUE DAMAGE with a .7 scaling ratio is just absolutely nuts but people seem unable to realize how strong that is.
- QoL changes – Cho was rarely played because he felt clunky and unresponsive in regards to his abilities like Q and R however riot has been steadily been implementing small buffs and quality of life changes slowly over the past few years that have really added up and made Cho feel much smoother and more fluid when combo’ing than when he used to.
- Death’s are costly – You lose those precious feast stacks meaning it can be easy to get reverse-snowballed if you keep dying while trying to farm feast stacks back up in aggressive games
- Poor duelist early – Cho is quite weak early, he cannot duel many if any junglers early on however with his CC and innate sustain its usually pretty hard to die on him you are just forced to run away which isn’t that big of a deal really. If lee sin for example jumps you at your razor’s just Q+W him and walk over to wolves and carry on like nothing happened – It really won’t set you back that much, just concede anything he tries to contest you for and keep farming or ganking elsewhere. Also once you hit Magnus + Glacial shroud/frozen heart the table completely turns, you will be unkillable 1v1 to most AD jungles (so almost all of them) and should have a lot of kill potential on them. Its rare for junglers to itemize magic resist before a randuin’s in current meta and a lot of junglers even swap out their magic resist gylphs for CDR meaning you will have even more power against them
- Mana issues – His spells are quite mana intensive which is why I believe you NEED to get either RoA or frozen heart (or both) as your second item. Otherwise I find you just go oom way too fast, even if you max vorpal spikes first and just auto attack jungle camps to death you will still go oom in skirmishes and teamfights so I think it is important to build mana.
- Hard to land rupture – Most champions have mobility abilities or movespeed buffs or simply the mechanical skill required to dodge Cho ruptures. This problem gets worse as champions pick up more movespeed items such as T2 boots and items like shiv, trinity, PD, Lich ect. This can be somewhat circumvented by using chilling smite in conjunction with your silence then attempting to rupture them meaning they cant rely on their abilities to dodge and have lowered movespeed to try and juke.
One way and my personal favorite way to build Cho’gath is taking a more AP heavy approach with Magus, I like to follow it up with Frozen heart for nice mix of damage and tank then follow it up with T2 boots (Mercs or Tabis). If you are snowballing you can throw in an optional RoA before frozen heart, I consider this the core for every AP Cho game.
Afterwards you can choose to build more damage or tank depending on how well you are doing and what your team needs. Abyssal and hourglass are great offensive items for him and the resistances work very well with his free HP while deathcap is always a viable choice for the hard carry. Alternatively if you are looking for some strong defensive options Randuin’s, Banshee’s and Warmogs are all excellent choices to round out your build.
Of course if you are feeling really yolo you can go something like Magus – Morello – hourglass – deathcap – Void for the most damage heavy build out of the jungle.
Maybe being the team’s supertank and utility machine is more the style for you, cinderhulk is a very strong item that offers great late game scaling and makes Cho’s free hp passive even more ridiculous as it ranks up.
To put the power of Cinderhulk into perspective, assuming Cho’gath has 6 stacks and cinderhulk he will be gaining [ 1112.5 | 1337.5 | 1562.5 ] bonus health at his respective ult ranks. This is a pretty insane amount of HP to say the least. So let’s dive into a build for tank Cho’gath.
You want to rush Cinderhulk for obvious reasons, I normally then follow it up with a very utility heavy core of Frozen heart and Locket of the iron solari for the all-important max CDR as well as provide a lot of very useful auras for your team. These item’s won’t make you as tanky as say randuin’s and banshee’s but the utility they provide your team will more than make up for it. If you would rather a tankier albeit selfish MR option you can always go spirit visage instead of locket, I would still strongly recommend locket against AoE team comps though.
From this point on you probably want to consider items like Randuin’s, Banshee or Abyssal, Warmogs, Thornmail to finish off your build. I think righteous glory also has potential applications on jungle Cho’gath it could provide very strong engages which tend to be somewhat hit or miss with cho’gath relying solely on his rupture.
Runes and Masteries
Ok now that we have covered item builds lets talk runes and masteries, there is going to be variance depending on whether you want to play AP-bruiser Cho or Tank’Gath.
AP Cho specs
Reds – Attack speed reds or magic penetration reds or hybrid penetration reds
yellows – Flat armor or scaling armor
blues – Flat ap
Quints – Flat ap
I prefer to run attack speed for the early clear speed and sustained dps with E however taking pen will offer greater damage later in the game. Cho scales great with AP so I take flat ap in its primary slots (Glyph & Quint). Flat armor is super standard, you can run scaling if you plan on just farming for better lategame, cho has the sustain to take it; just don’t go scaling armor against someone like lee sin, vi or J4.
For masteries I go 21/9/0 grabbing both AP and AD masteries for more early game power, if you plan on building more AP heavy then remove the AD masteries to put points into archmage and spellsword for better ap scaling. Grab the 5% attack speed over the CDR so you don’t overcap when you finish frozen heart. Grab butcher, dangerous game and devastating strikes + havoc. Click here to view
Reds – Attack speed
Yellows – Scaling health
Blues – x6 flat CDR x3 Scaling MR
Quints – x2 flat Armor x1 Attack speed
This is a bit experimental but it feels really solid in my opinion, if you wanted to you could just run flat armor and movespeed quints if that suits you better. it’s important to run 5% cdr from runes and 5% from masteries to attain 40% cdr with your full build.
As far as masteries go if you are building full tank you obviously want 9/21/0. Some key masteries I like to grab is two points in enchanted armor for the scaling, reinforced armor for crit mitigation lategame, oppression for damage reduction and four points in legendary guardian since the bonuses are pretty substantial if you are standing in the middle of their team. Click here to view
My first three points always going E-Q-W. Maxing W first will give you increasing silence duration and gives a lot of additional burst damage with each rank up, it is also very easy to land making it my usual go-to. A Q max in theory does do more damage but it is far less reliable damage than W and for that reason I max it second. Finally you level E last as you are relying more on your spell combos than auto-attacking with AP Cho. You can take a second point in E at level 4 for better farming speed though.
You will want to max E first for the farming speed since your spells won’t be hitting as hard without AP. E adds nice consistent AOE damage in teamfights and since you are full tank you will have no problem getting up close and delivering a ton of autos in teamfights. You want to max W second for the longer silence duration and higher damage. Finally max Q as it does the least for you as a tanky Cho.
That concludes my Cho guide, thanks for reading. I’m sure after a few games you will realize sleeper power of Cho’god. If you have any requests for future guides leave them in the comments and I might consider them.