Kog’Maw Impressions

Caterpillar Kog'Maw.

As with every new patch, I’ve been spending my time in game playing with the new features and the new champion, Kog’Maw. From what I’ve seen so far, Kog’Maw is a heavy-hitter with an excellent chase ability whose balance lies in his slow movement speed and low damage resilience. Oh, he’s also a load of fun.

I started out a little unsure how to build Kog’Maw, but after seeing the incredible range granted by his Bio-Arcane Barrage it seemed like attack damage would be great. I’ve spent most of my games since playing AD builds so most of these impressions will be about his position as an attack damage character. There are definitely some situations in which hybrid is probably best, and I’ll cover some of those in another post.

I think Kog’Maw’s great advantage is his ability to deal heavy damage from range. With just a little bit of attack damage and the percentage based buff from Bio-Arcane Barrage you can deal heavy damage from long range. I’m a personal fan of rushing an Infinity to get your early damage up nice and high. My basic method is to position myself lateral to the target and either hit him directly with my slow or land it behind him. From there I attack with regular attacks, using my ultimate for vision if the target runs into brush. It’s important that you save the active on Bio-Arcane for when your target is leaving. A combination of long-range shots and your ultimate should be plenty to finish off a running target. Always make sure you lead the target by just a hair. The blast radius of Living Artillery is big enough that you can miss behind your target. That’s important because it makes it that much harder to avoid for your target.

For teamfighting, Kog’Maw has to stay as far away from the fight as possible. He is extremely squishy, and while your passive can be nice in the midst of a fight, it’s not nearly as effective as your regular damage output. Another thing to remember is not to spam your artillery, at least not when you’re starting a fight. You need that mana for your percentage based damage and your slow (which is a fantastic control mechanism for any fight). Save the mortars, which get costly after a few casts, for chasing down anyone that runs or dropping on compact groups of enemies.

Overall, Kog’Maw is a very strong carry – among the strongest in the game – but he is so squishy and so easily killed that you need to have a strong team in front of you, and more specifically a team with good croud control. It’s very easy for your opponent to rip you down if they get close, so you need a team that can keep you out of trouble. If you have that, you’ll have a blast playing the newest creature from the Void.


LoL: Patch Day 06/24 – Kog’Maw


The servers are back up (and set to busy to throttle traffic) and Kog’Maw has finally made his way into the League of Legends store at a whopping 6300 IP. I’ve been dying to give this little monster a go and I’m hoping he’s a solid addition to the champion lineup. Healing has also gone through yet more changes so the game will hopefully feel a bit less like a kite fest.

As always, new champ first. Kog’Maw is really frackin cool. His skillset is actually pretty nice, and makes him extremely adept at tearing people down from great range. I think I really surprised the Veigar I faced in my first game when suddenly he was at 20% health at his turret and all of my damage had been done from extreme range. I have a feeling he will be infuriating to play against, much like a well played Ezreal. I’ll have a full impressions post up later today.

Ashe finally got her Hawkshot, so look forward to seeing her in even more of your games. I can’t imagine why they thought one of the strongest characters in the game needed to have the best map awareness in the game. It’s on a long cooldown, but it’s like having free wards with a huge radius. Her other skills did catch some minor nerfs, so hopefully it won’t be too ugly.

Gangplank got a bit of a buff. His Parley can no longer be dodged or blinded and his Raise Morale now grants additional attack damage instead of attack speed (though I’d imagine the active buff will still be speed). His ultimate has also been changed so that each individual cannon ball deals less damage but the radius (of the cannonballs, not the ult) has been increased so you should see more hit.

Pantheon’s Heartseeker Strike has been both fixed and modified. It should deal less damage in the early game but with itemization it could actually deal about the same, which seems fine. I never had a problem with it past level 11, it was the level one 400+ damage nuke that killed me. His spear also received a bit of a buff, which could make him just as scary in the early game.

Veigar is the last of the major reworks. He got a new passive, which is half of a Chalice for mana regen. He also now gains ability power for any champion killed by an ability. Event Horizon got some mana and cooldown tweaks, but the biggest change is to his ult. It no longer deals damage based on mana but instead takes the sum of his own AP plus the targets and deals 80 percent of that value in bonus damage. It also no longer refunds mana on kill.

Among other, smaller tweaks, Blitzcrank’s ultimate now silences for .5 seconds. I don’t know if that includes the passive, but certainly on active. Morgana’s Dark Binding now deals damage like a nuke, which should help with her damage output in the prevalence of Mercury’s Treads/Cleanse. Akali’s attack timing has been fixed and Corki should more consistently generate rockets and now has a counter to indicate the “Big One” rocket. Shaco’s Jack in the Boxes should also be fixed for targeting and the visibility bug. Kayle also caught a few damage nerfs but a reduction on her ultimate CD at level one and two down to 90 seconds.

As for healing, Soraka’s ult has been significantly nerfed, both in the amount healed and her AP ratio. Ezreal’s heal has been completely removed and his attack speed buff/debuff has been significantly reduced. It should bring him a bit more in-line, though he still has obscene attack range/harassment ability. Innervating locket also no longer heals minions.

I’m a little sad to see that Janna didn’t receive any significant changes. She is crazy out of line when it comes to kiting and harassing, and though her knockup has a 33 percent shorter duration, she still has too many escape tools to be considered truly balanced.

I’m sure you’ll see more posts throughout the week on this patch and the new champion. So far I’ve only had one game with him but it was a lot of fun.


Kog’Maw releases tomorrow

Kog'Maw, Mouth of the Abyss.

The champion spotlight video is officially up for Kog’Maw, as are the patch notes for a patch tomorrow morning. This one includes the new champion, a pretty large batch of skins, and some decent healing nerfs (though unfortunately Janna remains almost completely unchanged).

After watching the Kog’Maw video I can tell you my impressions about him were way off. He seems to be a hybrid caster with skills for armor penetration. It’s a weird mix, and I wonder if he won’t lose some damage in the confusion or just be too strong in one direction or the other. His ultimate actually looks pretty cool – it’s a mortar style spell, much like Veigar’s Dark Matter though it can be cast from a long ways off.

As always, I’ll have full impressions for you in the morning.


Kog’Maw is patch-ready

Kog'Maw, Mouth of the Abyss.

Riot’s gone and posted the official “champion approaches” info for Kog’Maw, including his skill list. It looks like the latest creature from the void will be making his way to the League by the next patch.

Let’s have a look at his abilities, shall we?
Bio-Arcane Barrage: Kog’Maw’s attacks gain range and deal a percent of the target’s maximum health as magic damage.

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.

Caustic Spittle: Passive: Increases armor penetration. Active: Kog’Maw launches a corrosive projectile which deals magic damage and doubles his passive armor penetration for 4 seconds (Removes the passive until available again).

Living Artillery (Ultimate): Kog’Maw fires a living artillery shell at a great distance dealing damage and revealing targets. Additionally, multiple Living Artilleries in a short period of time cause them to cost additional mana.

Icathian Surprise (Passive): Upon dying, Kog’Maw starts a chain reaction in his body which causes him to detonate after 4 seconds; dealing magic damage to surrounding enemies.

It looks to me like he’ll play a little bit like Kayle, with the active cast on Caustic Spittle increasing damage he deals and the ranged attack he gets from Bio-Arcane Barrage. I have to say, I’m not thrilled to see another melee toon, and his passive has to be among the worst in the game. When will that be useful? When you die? Isn’t part of the game trying to not die? Four seconds also seems like an eternity for the detonation. It would be much more interesting, in my mind, if targets he killed were infected and would explode after they had died. As always, we’ll have to see how this plays out, but for now I am wholly underwhelmed by his skill list.

Will Kog’Maw be the latest toon that’s banished to unplayability?


Champion Sneak Peek: Kog’Maw, the Mouth of the Abyss

Kog'Maw, Mouth of the Abyss.

If there’s one thing League of Legends is missing, it’s monster champions. Today, Riot gave us a sneak peek at something that is finally non-humanoid: Kog’Maw, the Mouth of the Abyss.

Kog’Maw made his first appearance back when Malzahar launched, in the picture above. A lot of people thought that might be his original voidling skin, but it turns out that’s actually our boy, Kog’Maw. Unfortunately the picture is the only thing we have to go on at this point. I think he looks pretty cool, I’m just hoping his mouth-related abilities aren’t quite as buggy as the gentlemanly Cho’Gath.

Pendragon included a silhouette of our new champion in the official post, but I think the pic above does him more justice. I’m as excited about this guy as I’ve been about any of the recent champions I can remember. I’m also kind of happy that the Test Realm is down because it makes his release a little more mysterious. I can’t wait to see a skill list.


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