Cho’Gath is a versatile battlemage that can also be played as a tank, in the top lane. The beauty of this champion is that his entire toolkit is AP-based. Therefore, if you increase his AP early on by buying the right items, by minute 15 you’re an absolute beast who can take over the game and carry your team to victory.
Cho’Gath excels against most champions in the laning phase because of his natural regeneration. At level 1, without any items, he gets 9 HP per 5 seconds, which is almost 2 HP per second. In addition to that, his passive, Carnivore, heals him for 20 – 71 HP and restores 3.5 – 7.5 mana every time you kill an enemy. This makes last-hitting minions even more valuable but it also makes it easier. Because if you can regenerate that easily, you can certainly sacrifice a few hits for one last hit. And if your opponent can’t do the same, you’ll quickly gain a substantial networth advantage, which in turn will be translated into items and consumables.
These are the abilities that make Cho’Gath strong not only in the laning phase but throughout the entire game.
This is an AoE stun that can be cast from a range of 950. The effect radius is 250 and the delay is 0.627 seconds. Apart from taking magic damage (80 /…/ 300 + 100% AP), the targets you hit are also slowed down by 60% for 1.5 seconds. So in total, we’re talking about a 1 second stun followed by a 1.5 slow that’s strong enough to feel like a root. And the whole thing costs just 60 mana, while the cooldown is 6 seconds! This is clearly a spammable ability that can give you a big advantage in any 1v1 if you know how to aim properly and hit your target with it.
Cho’Gath can silence enemy champions with this ability and damage them at the same time. The silence duration is 1.6 /…/ 2s while the magic damage is 75 /…/ 275 + 70% AP. When playing against mages or champions with abilities that can help them to escape certain death, you can certainly use Feral Scream to silence the target at the right time and either finish the kill or get out alive, depending on the situation. In most match-ups, you won’t be putting more than 1 point in this ability until later on.
Vorpal Spikes enhances your next 3 basic attacks (with a 6 seconds limit), offering them 50 bonus range, magic damage (22 /…/ 70 + 30% AP + 3% of target’s maximum HP), and slow (30 /…/ 50%) for 1.5s. Combined with the fact that it only costs 30 mana and has a cooldown of 8 /…/ 4s, this is for sure one of Cho’Gath’s most powerful abilities. The key here is to hit an enemy champion with slowing attacks, then hit your Q and finish the job.
This ability can give Cho’Gath up to 75 bonus attack range and a lot of HP. Both bonuses are permanent. The idea is that when using Feast, Cho’Gath attempts to devour a target, dealing 300/475/650 + 50% AP + 10% Bonus HP of true damage. Against non-champions, the base damage of this ability is 1000 at all 3 levels. You can gain up to 6 stacks by killing non-epic monsters or minions. But you can gain more stacks by simply killing champions.
Each stack is worth 80/120/160 bonus HP and 4.62/6.15/7.69 bonus attack range. As you gain stacks, the champion’s model also grows up to 100%. That’s why Cho’Gath looks relatively small at level 1 but is absolutely huge in the late game.
When it comes to your item build, the main thing you need to focus on is AP. Apart from that, you only need a little bit of extra mana and if you’re playing against an aggressive champion composition that always targets you in team fights, maybe buy some survivability items as well. But by far, your main focus should be your AP.