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Cho'Gath is free this week in League, and I'm very excited as I'm strongly interested in this Champion. However, I know very, very, little about him. I know some of the things he can do, but I'm sure that regular Cho players can teach me more than a thing or two.

Most League players know that many hero's can play roles they are not meant to, and while such behavior may be successfull at times, most hero's have roles they were specifically designed for. Cho is obviously a tank of sorts, but other than pure tank, what other roles if any, can Cho realistically perform?

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Fwiw, Chogath Bot is usually at top; and will roam to bot to help out. I rarely see him at mid except in a team fight. –  Alok Aug 14 '12 at 23:56
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Well, let's examine every role. I will be assuming that the current widely-used metagame is the one under which you are asking the question (which is an important assumption to make explicit!).

Top: A top champion should be fairly "tanky" and able to withstand damage, and he should also ideally have an escape move in order to avoid ganks from the enemy jungler (e.g., Shen's taunt, Jax's jump, etc.). Cho'gath can certainly be built as a tank, and a very effective one at that. He also has a good bit of CC between his Rupture and the Feral Scream. While he doesn't have a true escape move which gives him a burst in speed or quick way to change locations, a well-placed Rupture can easily get him out of harm's way.

Jungle: A jungler should ideally have some form of self-healing ability, enough CC to be effective at ganking without taking Exhaust as a Summoner Spell), and enough damage to clear the jungle in at least somewhat efficient time. Cho'gath has all of these things: Carnivore heals him with each minion he kills, Rupture lets him pop his enemies into the air, and his Rupture, Vorpal Spikes and Feast all do enough damage to get him through the jungle just fine. In fact, it's actually very nice to use Cho'gath as a jungler because it is considerably easier to gain Feast buff stacks while clearing the jungle than in lane while dealing with enemy harassment.

Mid: In the current metagame, mid lane almost always has an AP carry in mid lane (you will sometimes see a Talon, or maybe even a Sivir, but this is extremely rare). It is very viable to build Cho'gath straight AP, and his abilities do a ton of damage if you do. You can even take advantage of his tankiness if you do so by grabbing Rod of Ages or Rylai's Crystal Scepter. The issue here is predominantly one of range. Cho'gath's ranged spells have a considerably shorter range than most other standard AP carries. Furthermore, his auto-attack is melee. This makes your job very hard in mid lane; not only will it be difficult to harass your lane opponent (who likely outranges you), but it will be difficult to keep up in the creep score due to the fact that you need to close to melee range in order to last hit (which opens you up for significant 'poke' from the enemy champion). This quickly results in your falling behind your opponent in gold as you have to either give up some minion kills or be constantly recalling to heal.

Bot - Support: A support character primarily have at least one of three things: an ally heal, an ally buff, or an enemy CC. Cho'gath has only one of these. Rupture is very useful for letting your AD carry pick up a kill. Furthermore, it's generally a benefit to have a somewhat tanky support, and Cho'gath meets this criterion. However as a support character you will not be able to capitalize on your Feast or gain its buff without taking minion or champion kills from your AD carry (something that a support shouldn't do). While it might not be many minion kills (unless you're dying a lot), it still adds up over time, and the last thing you want is for your AD carry to fall behind the enemy's.

Bot - AD Carry: Because Cho'gath is an AP character and does not have a single skill that scales off of AD or buffs a related stat (such as an Attack Speed buff), it is not viable to build Cho'gath as an AD carry.

The rest is certainly up for argument, however I would say that while it is possible to go mid as Cho'gath and attempt to be AP carry, it will be so extremely hard to keep up with your enemy (never mind getting ahead of him) that there are much more viable options. I can't see Cho'gath mid being more than passable in this role, and he will more often than not be a detriment. The same goes with his support capability (though to a lesser extent). While he could do the job, and maybe even do it well, the fact is that there are many other champions out there who can do the same job and do it much better.

As such, I would conclude that his two best and most viable roles are in top lane and in the jungle. Which is better is certainly open for debate.

In answer to the less restrictive question "What is viable?" I would include support in this list (because it can certainly be extremely effective if played correctly) but still exclude mid AP carry due to the inherent limitations and difficulties.

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Well done, I have only one question\argument. You mentioned that Cho would be a less than ideal mid due to his range issues, but Gragas is an AMAZING mid, and also is melee. Yes, his barrel has a nice range on it, but I feel rupture's range is arguably similar. Whats your take on this? –  Ender Aug 14 '12 at 16:15
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Well, I've never seen Gragas used at a high level of play (meaning, pro or tournament level). But he has a little bit more of a sustain and ability to initiate than Cho'gath. His passive lets him regenerate life each time he uses an ability and the Drunken Rage reduces the damage he takes. He can also close very quickly with his opponent (no matter how much range he might have) using Body Slam. Combine that with the poke provided by Barrel Roll and a well-placed Explosive Cask knocking the opponent closer to him or his jungler, he seems a little more viable. –  Jeff Gohlke Aug 14 '12 at 16:21
    
I would also point out that Barrel Roll can be used to zone an enemy, or at least limit the available movement, in mid lane. –  Domocus Aug 14 '12 at 23:02
    
@Ender I didn't consider Gragas as melee when he was free; AP Gragas can farm with barrels and generally stays at range (except if using body slam) –  Alok Aug 14 '12 at 23:53
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@Alok what is meant when a champion is called 'Melee' or 'Ranged' is their Auto attacks; and as such Gragas is a Melee mage like Kassadin. –  ccreason Aug 15 '12 at 15:45
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Since he scales off of AP, he cannot be an AD carry.

While his ultimate hits hard and is true damage, it lacks range. His silence and pop up also do decent damage but have the same range issue. To make use of his spells, he has to get in close, without a closer. Between kiting and enemy burst, he will quickly die if he doesn't build tanky. If he builds tanky, there isn't room to build him as an AP DPS.

He can function as a jungler. He has a decent clear time, innate sustain, and two CC spells for tanks. The only down side is that he will get less income than he would in lane, making it expensive for him to be a tank.

His best role is top lane tank. He is a solid counter to sustain type heroes like Vlad and Yorick that can be troublesome.

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Good answer, I would like to see other answers first before I accept it however, as different perspectives tend to bring new ideas and information. –  Ender Aug 14 '12 at 15:03
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As a long time Cho player (he was my first main character when I was learning to play) I would say that he is best suited to top and second best to mid. However be aware that in both cases what matters most is your lane opponent. There are characters than Cho'gath has an easy time fighting (katarina, kennen, fizz, ziggs, and other squishy AP characters) and some that he has a really hard time fighting (olaf, riven, darius, and other in-your-face brawlers).

Also, I'm sure there are good links to guides you can find, but I almost always take flash ignite for summoners (the flash-feast combo is too good to pass up), and go 9/21/0 masteries for some damage but mostly tankiness. I tend to build Rod of Ages first, then Rylai's, and finish up with a mix of tank and AP items depending on what I need to survive in fights and still do damage.

I personally love Cho'gath as a character and I hope you enjoy playing him! Best of luck

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