Champ of the Week: Kog’Maw wrapup


I usually save this post for Monday (though depending on my workload it has occasionally been later than that), but I think I’m ready to wrap the week of Kog’Maw and look ahead to my next champion.

Playing Kog’Maw this week served as a reminder of why I liked him so much at launch. He has a lot of flavor and a solid laning kit. He also scales well into late game but with enough weaknesses that he feels balanced. He performs well against a variety of champions, though I would suggest picking someone like Ashe or possibly Caitlyn if you’re up against a CC-heavy team comp.

I tried a few different builds over the course of the week, most of which relied on Bloodrazor for maximum damage output. Bloodrazor is ultimately a good item for Kog, but I think he’s actually more fun if you run with a Wit’s End/Malady build early in the game. The cost is only marginally higher and I felt like I gained better defensive stats from the Wit’s End stacks than just the cloth armor in Madred’s. Also, the build was just more fun. When I run Bloodrazor I feel like I have to max W first, and I don’t think that’s always the best option. Running Void Ooze and Caustic Spittle gives Kog’Maw a lot of early burst, though it is a bit mana intensive. It’s great when you’re laned up against a squishy opponent.

I think it’s tough to overstate the utility of Kog’Maw’s ultimate, too. If you’ve done a good job harassing your opponents you can shackle them to the lane by repeatedly breaking their recalls. I’m not usually one to break recalls but with Kog it feels like effort well spent.

If I could change one thing about Kog’Maw, I think I would change his W from magic damage to true damage. I know that sounds a little nutty – I’m not much of an advocate for true damage in most cases, but a little magic resistance goes a long way against Kog’Maw. The percentages on his W aren’t as high as Vayne’s, and they might need to drop a bit since it’s an activated skill. I don’t really think Kog’Maw needs much, and that would probably be enough to push him over the edge.


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.


Karma bundles and skins announced

The official bundles and skins post is up for today’s patch. For Karma, we’ll be seeing Sakura Karma and Sun Goddess Karma. As for the two other skins, today brings Lion Dance Kog’Maw, a Chinese New Year inspired skin that had been leaked on the forums, and Djinn Malzahar.

The Malzahar skin is expected, to say the least. He suffers as Xin Zhao does from a lack of originality regarding skins. It’s only fitting that we got a Djinn skin, I suppose. The Kog’Maw skin, on the other hand, looks really good. Kog’Maw has to have one of the best skin sets so far. His release skins were just recolors, but he’s since gotten Monarch Kog’Maw, Reindeer Kog’Maw, and now Lion Dance Kog. Good stuff.


The supermids aren’t always your best option


First, I’d like to draw your attention to my awesome title for the champions introduced since season one launch who exceed most other champions at taking the solo lane: supermids. The reason I thought it up (I know, I’m so creative) was that I needed a way to talk about Vlad, Kog’Maw, Miss Fortune, etc. without typing that out every time I wanted to talk about the great carries in the game. Enough of that, though. On to the post.

I played two games tonight with a friend with hopes of breaking into the 1600s in ranked solo. I had been playing well all day and things just seemed to be going right. We lost. Both games. Hard. The biggest problem in both cases was our comp. In the first game my buddy was stuck in the mindset of 3s so he banned Singed. No biggie, still 3 bans, but we decided to joke around and ban Eve. That left a few strong toons on the board. Our opponent first picked Warwick so my buddy and I snagged Garen and Miss Fortune. Solid start for the team. Unfortunately, a teammate thought we couldn’t leave Kog’Maw on the board, so he picked him over some CC (Morgana was still available). Our fourth teammate chose Sona and I knew we were in trouble. Our fifth pick: Mordekaiser.

Sure, we had strong toons, but the sum of the parts was virtually nothing. Without crowd control to keep the enemy away from the carries, we got rocked. You can go too far in the other direction, too. For my next game I didn’t ban Amumu because frankly, a lot of people suck with him. The other team first picked Warwick again. I snagged Garen for a buddy and our second player picked Taric. We had said someone should get Amumu, but I was already thinking we were on the verge of being too tanky. With good DPS, though, we should have been fine. Our third player takes Shen and immediately locks him in, even though our fourth had said several times that he was picking Amumu, which he still did, leaving us with 4 tanks, short on damage. I had my friend pick TF in the hopes that we could stun them down. We couldn’t. Our outside lanes were getting worked and it was just a matter of time before our opponents had complete control of the map and we were too short on DPS to burn them down.

Even when the supermids are available, you have to focus on comp over individual toon strength. I asked everyone after the first game if they really thought we had a decent comp. The response was this: “You had Garen and Kog’Maw. Your comp was great.”



Related Posts