Champ of the Week: Damn that Kog’maw is slow


This may have been a bad week to try Kog’Maw as my champ of the week. I’ve actually had some enjoyable games with him but I’ve also been playing Vayne and, as far as anti-tanks go, she obviously has the upper hand. Let’s be honest, though, she’s more of an anti-anything-that-moves than she is anti-tank. Still, I’m forging ahead with the Kog’Maw testing so here are a few thoughts.

I had forgotten just how damn slow Kog’Maw feels. I’m playing with the amazing Monarch Kog’Maw skin, which may contribute to the slow feeling in part. When he’s hopping around flapping his wings he certainly doesn’t feel very fast, but in teamfights I always feel like it takes me longer to get any place than I would like.

The most common Kog’Maw build also lacks the burst that many other ranged carries build for. Since most of his damage is percentage based, he doesn’t feel much different from the point that you finish Madred’s Bloodrazor until the end of the game. It’s a unique mechanic, unlike any other champion currently in the game. It also translates strangely into his gameplay.

In my most successful Kog’Maw matches I regularly have a few fights in which I start out at half health and, at a time I would normally run on other ranged carries, I turn and fight whoever is in my face and often win that fight. The percentage based damage gives him the ability to do this fairly early in the game and continue to do it through the game’s duration. With other ranged carries I simply wouldn’t do that until I have a monster farm, if for no other reason than that so much of your damage comes from critical strikes. With Kog’Maw, though, it is usually a finite and unwavering number of attacks that will kill an individual target, affected only by the target’s purchase of magic resistance or your own build changes. In some ways that makes Kog’Maw very enjoyable to play, but it can be frustrating to think that just one simple crit could have meant a kill on a retreating carry.

My biggest problem with Kog’Maw right now is how much damage high magic resistance targets can absorb. Malady is really his only option for addressing that problem, and it doesn’t reduce MR by very much. The rest of the magic penetration items are AP based, which feels like a waste of money. You could get Sorcerer’s Boots, but Cloak and Dagger isn’t really designed for a champion like Kog’Maw. I’m going to have to try a few games with Cleanse to see if that would be enough.


Champ of the Week: Kog’Maw


I’ve done a couple AP champions and a melee assassin for this feature – I think it’s time for some ranged DPS. Looking at Kog’Maw’s kit it seems that, other than Vayne, he’s probably best suited for flat out tank killing. Ashe is likely still the best pick overall for a ranged DPS, but if Kog’Maw can get ahead, he can burn tanks like no other. That said, he’s very susceptible to crowd control effects and suffers from a fairly weak early lane presence.

Basically, I want to see how Kog’Maw performs against a variety of comps with an average farm. He is absolutely devastating if overfed, which also has me interested in seeing how well he can carry against tanky DPS teams. I think the changes to Wit’s End make it the perfect Kog’Maw item, so I’m going to try a few builds centered around a Wit’s End rush to see how well it scales.

Check back later in the week for more impressions. Hopefully I can get a few Vayne games in before the day’s end and have some impressions on her tomorrow as well.


Patch Day 9/8 – Manamune

manamune-tooltipToday’s patch brought another new item to the table in the form of Manamune, an Archangel’s staff for physical damage dealers. You can see the stats in the screenshot here (I think this is the same version that went live) and as far as champions are concerned, I’d bet a lot of people are going to love this thing. I played against a Janna today, for instance, who got both this and Archangel’s. She lost, but it was still interesting, and she hit pretty hard.

I think we’ll see just about every Ezreal player get this, and likely a lot of Kog’Maws as well. It could be good for just about any hybrid damage dealer, but I think most of the carries will avoid it. it doesn’t suit the high damage/high attack speed build that most carries favor. The one exception might be someone like Corki, but even with him, the benefits of casting diminish quickly as his auto attacks become stronger.


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.


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