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Masteries: 9/0/21 - Standard AP
Runes: Standard Caster runes, including Magic Pen and AP/Cooldown Reduction
Summoners: Flash (must have) and Teleport (if solo) or Ghost (if duo lane).
AP Cho *can* mid. His passive gives him good heals and the ability to sustain mana. His ability to harass/combo is decent and with a bit of AP under him, it can hurt.
AP Cho Item Build:
Doran's Ring x3
Magic Pen Boots
Rod of Ages
(Sell Rings for)
Rylai's Crystal Scepter
I find that this item build gives Cho the best survivability as well as the appropriate levels of AP. My AP cho requires the use of deathfire grasp. DFG is a must have. Using DFG, you can insta-gib any player of your choice. Here are two examples of how you can combo your way to a full HP insta-gib:
Example #1: Hiding in the enemy jungle. In one game, a Lee Sin was going for his red in his own jungle. I stood in the bush beside the red. I waited for him to blow a few abilities on Red and then proceeded my combo. I began my Q (stun), which has a slight delay time. Before it finishes, I hit him with my DFG, allowing for the full effect. The stun immediately lifts him up to the air. While airborne, I land a silence, ensuring he cannot flash or flee. When he lands, I finish up with my true damage ult. Within a split second, Lee Sin went from 100% to dead and couldn't do anything about it.
Example #2: Taric is sitting full health at his tower. If I begin hitting him, the tower will hit me and he'll stun, knowing full well I'll die. I begin by queueing up the stun underneath him. I immediately land with a DFG. I flash while he is in mid air and hit him with a silence. Upon landing, I finish him with a true damage ult. Because of my massive HP, I shrug off the few hits from the tower as I leave.
Example #1 gives you a full-health instagib on any champion. Upon hitting level 16, you can do this every minute. All necessary cooldowns are up in a minute or less. Even if multiple champions are roaming in their own jungle, you can still kill a champion and flee. While you may have insta-gibbed one champion, the others are slowed. Your combo is so instantaneous that the others will either flee in horror, or will not catch up to you in time.
Example #2 requires the use of flash and a lot more skill, but when pulled off, will absolutely demoralize the enemy team. You're a massive, melee-range Veigar at this point.
Max W over Q. Do not get E with AP Cho. You need to properly last hit, you want maximum ranks in your death-dealing abilities and it doesn't pay off for your build until you're accumulating serious items. If you're doing it right, you won't get your first rank in E until level 12. Your W/Q should be maxed by level 10.
Your priority is to get yourself up to 6 charges immediately. After that, then you're free to blow your ult on players. If you die, you'll lose half your stacks. Spend those first few minutes regaining those stacks before you go in for another fight.
Despite your massive size, AP Cho is squishy. You're a mage, not a tank. Your job in team fights, aside from the insta-gib, is to crowd control the enemy team from a distance. Your Q has massive range and your W has a long range cone effect. You're a natural focus target with your size, so try not to engage unless your team is coming out on top. Otherwise, keep your distance. With 500-600 AP, your abilities do great damage to the team. Cho has high AP ratios on his abilities. With a DFG and maybe blue buff, your cooldowns allow you to do this regularly. With a Rylai's, you should have no problems slowing down a team.
Tank Cho is beefy and bad ass. He is played entirely different than AP Cho
9/21/0 or 0/21/9
Summoners: Your choice
Max E first. Entirely opposite from before. You need E to farm, since you will have no AP. You need to be a persistant threat during team fights, which is why you need E up there as much as possible. Your Q/W do not increase in CC duration, so you only need one rank of those. Maintaining your ult stacks is more important than ever.
Optional Sixth Item: Guardian's Angel, Force of Nature, etc. Build purely defensive.
Playing Tank Cho:
Your item build is heavly armor dependent. Hopefully, you'll be going up against a heavy AD team. Even if you aren't, your job is to take on tower hits and engage/CC champions under their tower. No fear for Tank Cho-Gath.
You'll see there's a Frozen Heart/Randuin's Omen combo. Combined with thornmail, your armor should be through the roof and you'll reduce the attack speed of AD champions so much, they'll do no damage to you. At this point, you're basically playing "Don't give a shit" Cho. You go where you please and do as you please. Your care-free attitude and your massive size makes you a massive target. Your ability to crowd control and do persistant team damage makes you a threat. You laugh off ranged AD carries, ignoring them entirely, and your ult does significant true damage, a good way to open with or finish off an opponent. When you're standing square in the middle of a team fight, don't forget to activate your Randuin's. Chaining your Q/W/Randuin's, you're looking at 6+ seconds of crowd control of some sort. Inability to move, use abilities, or do anything for that long means that your team can do so much damage.
Have fun with either build. He does extremely well. Just don't try attack speed Cho.