APOCALYPSE KOG'MAW GUIDE
BY LOSLAYER OF AFROGAMER
This the apocalypse guide to
Ability Power Carry Kog'Maw
My name is Lorenzo 'Loslayer' Slay, a 2300 LKS Diamond Player who has been playing AP Kog almost exclusively for the last 4 seasons. With well over 2500 ranked Kog'maw games, a number of people over the years have asked me to write a guide. I was committed to not writing this guide unless I could prove that this champion was viable by achieving diamond rank using only him and my ability power strategies exclusively. This guide is me making good on that promise. I call this guide an "apocalypse guide" because I created it with the intent of superseding all other Ap Kog'maw guides that have come before it and I intend for this guide to take guide writing to the next level when it comes to completeness and usability.
Kog'Maw is a champion that I have been intrigued with ever since my first play with him. His unique long range abilities coupled with high damage and low cooldowns create a champion that is as fun to play as he is difficult to master. His ability to devastate the enemy back-line while simultaneously demolishing the tanky front-line has been something truly rewarding and challenging to master.
This guide not only includes the typical rune/mastery, skill and itemization discussions but also a full HELPFUL discussion of his best and worst match-ups as well as how to play him in team fights. You can also check out my stream if you want to watch some live games, the good, the bad, and the ugly, as I continue to climb the ladder with hopes of taking AP Kog'maw to challenger. You can check that out on the home page of my website on twitch.tv at www.twitch.tv/agLoslayer.
Without further ado the Apocalypse Kog'Maw Guide:
#1 You need to carry
Kogmaw is the only true, ability power hyper carry in the game. He will put the entire team on his back and still float like a butterfly and sting like a bee. There are few champions that can fill the coveted hyper carry role but AP Kog'maw is one of them; unlike AD Kog'maw, AP Kog'maw does not require that your allies have anything more than a pulse to succeed. Here are a few of the elements that make him such a potent pick:
High Damage at Oppressive Range -> This is what makes Kog'maw so much fun to play and so safe in the late game. Make no mistake, while Kog'maw's early game is wanting, it is not due to a lack of high damage. Not only does he have superior damage, he can deliver this damage at a range that makes it difficult (if not impossible) to respond.
Relevant Auto Attacks -> This is what makes Kog'maw a hyper carry. Some AP carries have auto attack steroids but none have them as relavently as Kog'maw. Not only do his auto attacks do % max health damage and scale with ability power, but he also has an additional 30% attack speed boost which he gains passively from his Q.
Rapid Spell Rotations -> Last, but not least, he can 100->0 high priority targets with a single full spell rotation. The best part: is that he can do it every 12 seconds. By the time you finish your core items that 12 second spell rotation drops down to about every 9 seconds; near the end of the game, you can pop a squishy targets every 7 seconds.
High base damage at insane range on a low cooldown, in combination with an auto attack that chews through the tanks who bust your front-line, makes Kog'maw a high skill cap champion who is exceedingly rewarding to master.
#2 He is not picked or banned... Ever
I cannot stress this fact enough. People neither pick him nor ban him meaning that you can play him whenever you want. If you are later in the picking phase, his lack of popularity almost guarantees that he will be available as a counter-pick option. It gets better yet! Since most people consider AP Kog'maw non-viable, they assume when you do pick him that you are going to play him AD. This can often prevent fatal counter picks, even if you are forced into picking him before you know the opponent mid-lane. His lack of popularity means more than simply getting to play him, it means that when you do play him, people do not know what to expect. A lack of experience against Kog'maw, especially AP Kog'maw, gives you a unique advantage even against the most experienced opponents. I cannot tell you how many times I have picked up early game leads simply because people completely underestimate my damage and choose to dive me or duel me in all the wrong ways at all the wrong times.
#3 Lion Dance Kog'Maw makes you Asian
If you are already Asian then the effects stack additively. You are now twice as Asian. Fact. 'nough said.
There are 3 major play styles that I believe to be viable with AP Kog. Each has unique strengths and weaknesses which can be used to adapt to a large range of situations. I named each style after the skin that best embodies the type of play that it requires. Here I have included the best summoner spells, starting items, runes and masteries (which you can click on to toggle between) as well as a brief description of what you are trying to accomplish. I will go more in-depth when talking about Jurassic Kog and Monarch Kog since the rest of the guide is dedicated to the play style and tactics of my personal favorite: Lion Dance Kog. Below I have included a simple navigation system. Just click to read more about a specific play style.
AP KOG PLAYSTYLES
Break Down: Jurassic is what many people think of when they hear "AP Kog". This is poke-comp Kog'maw. This is the old way of playing Kog'maw, mostly played prior to the nerf to his ultimate that came back in season II. While this is a weaker play style from a hyper-carry standpoint, it does have its uses and is definitely viable when used with a team that understands its role and limitations. Lets jump right in!
Jurassic kogmaw is built and played around the concept of using is insane range to poke opponents off objectives. Whether or not this is at an enemy tower you are sieging, an allied tower that you are defending, or the objectives of dragon and baron, your primary purpose in life becomes using R to give your team a tangible health advantage. To do this, you are going to need two things; mana and damage on your R. The first is a challenge because of the insane mana consumption of the ultimate after the 4th stack. There is no secret trick I can give you here; after the 3rd stack, its advisable to stop and wait for the stacks fall off before you start spamming R again. To aid in your spamming the items of choice are Athenes, Tear and Rod of Ages(ROA). Open with a tear and chalice before building the blasting wand of your ROA. If possible, you want to postpone getting boots II (sorcs) until after ROA but if you find yourself in need of MS then take it. There isn't really a need to worry about purchasing ROA late because the current meta games are lasting plenty long for you to get your money's worth. Before completing either the Athenes or the Archangel's you should purchase a Haunting Guise as this will about the time that you will start to encounter MR around the map. Your final build should look something like this:
Your summoners of choice are exhaust and flash. You take flash for the obvious reason that you have no built-in escapes, but people are often surprised that exhaust is my second summoner of choice. Exhaust is a totally underrated summoner: It can be used offensively to reduce the armor and magic resist of a fleeing target, or it can be used defensively to cut the damage of an enemy threat. Better still, it can be used for yourself or an ally. AP Kog'maw would be very difficult to play at high ELO if it weren't for summoner exhaust.#
Break Down: This is the late bloomer Kog'maw... Every once in a while you are going to pick Kog'maw and your opponent is going to lock in Zed mid and J4 jungle as if their only intention is to wreck your face. When this happens to me I start to feel kind of sad and ask myself, "What have I done!!!" When that happens, this build is what I turn to. The late game goal is the same, but there are some deviations in itemization that will really help you out. Lets start by checking out your summoners:
Your summoners of choice are teleport and flash. Again, flash is pretty standard but lets talk about teleport. In the case where you get a lane opponent that you know is going to dominate you (like Zed) there isn't a whole lot you can do with either items or runes/masteries. If you take a look at the runes and masteries you will see that I recommend taking MS and armor or MR depending on the match-up. Since you are running only 8 magic penetration, you are severely lacking in damage which will have to be made up for with itemization. Double D-ring, Guise are what you are looking to accomplish as soon as possible, not neglecting to get your tear on the first back. Until then the laning phase is going to be a whole lot of you dodging skill shots and fighting for CS. Teleport really takes some of the sting out of that truth. Pots and TP are your friend. Keeping your distance and harassing with E + R can make the lane feel a little better.
Monarch Kog desperately wants to be Lion Dance Kog but is forced to consider self preservation because of strong assassination threats. Once you have accomplished Survey the game and make a choice; is strong poke going to be enough to win you the game or are you gonna need some serious hyper-carry sustained damage? If you think you are going to be able to get away with just poking, either because you team is doing really well, or the enemy team lacks a safe engage, you can look to transition into a pseudo Jurassic Kog by moving this way . If it looks like you are gonna have to get your hands dirty++++++++ or you are really gonna need bio-arcane to take care of tanky targets then you should move toward a full build that looks more like this, picking up hourglass immediately after void staff. #
Lion Dance Kog'Maw
Break Down: This is hyper carry Kog'maw. This is the magic people. This is the way you would prefer to play every game. While this is not the only play style that can be used, as will be discussed it is my opinion that the Lion Dance play style is the most viable for solo Q. Lion Dance Kog brings amazing damage on all of his skill with a focus on using his ultimate to burst and assassinate the opponent. With an incredibly relevant auto attacks, he can demolish bruisers, tanks and towers alike making for the only AP hyper carry in the game.
We will start by looking at the runes and masteries. The runes and masteries are pretty straight forward, 16% attack speed and 16 magic penetration. 16% attack speed comes in handy at two points in the game, first at the beginning of the game when all Kog'maw really has is his auto attacks because Q and E do practically no damage. This can make trading in lane a viable option and last hitting under tower quite a bit easier. The additional attack speed can make keeping the wave off of your tower a lot easier as well, allowing you to save mana for ganks and more important wave clears like going to get blue. The second place where you really start to feel the attack speed is when you begin putting your Nashors together. As your attack speed climbs you start to feel some of the power of AD Kog in your AA, and by the time Nashors is complete there are plenty of times when using W to finish off enemy champions feels safer and easier than trying to snipe them with R. The higher in solo Q that you go, the more important that it is that you are able to take advantage of the amazing strength of Kog'maw's W. People like to say that the primary reason that AD Kog is good is because of his W. With the rest of AD Kog's kit being somewhat lack luster, just imagine what it does for you as AP Kog, carrying over 200 AP and over 30 flat magic pen as well as a massive amount of % mpen! The later the game gets, the harder it becomes to hit quick moving champions with your skillshots and being able to press W and right click can really be a life saver when that happens.
The second thing on your runes is an absurd amount of magic pen. Its true for every Kog'maw play style that magic penetration is your friend. For people who generally prefer flat AP quints, consider that while you can purchase a virtually unlimited amount of AP you can only purchase so much magic pen. At 40 min who cares about a difference of 15 AP? At 40min an extra 10 magic pen is nothing to be scoffed at considering that % pen is applied first!
Summoners are the same as for Jurassic Kog so this is a copy paste. Your summoners of choice are exhaust and flash. You take flash for the obvious reason that you have no escape, but people are often surprised that exhaust is my second summoner of choice. Exhaust is a totally underrated summoner: tt can be used offensively to reduce the armor and magic resist of a fleeing target, or it can be used defensively to cut the damage of an enemy threat. Better still, it can be used for yourself or an ally. AP Kog would be very difficult if not impossible to play at high ELO if it wasn't for the summoner exhaust.
The build order for the Lion Dance is probably the easiest of them all because your solution to every problem is more damage. Opening with doran's blade or boots 4 makes your priority first back BOOTS 1, TEAR, AMP. From here you rush void staff before completing Boots II then Nashors. Once you have these items you are in really good shape. You have great Mpen, attack speed, CDR, and few mana problems. From here, if you can grab a Lichbane without that being too greedy from a defense perspective then you should do it. If you need a bit of defense then grab the Sepherath's for the mana shield and then proceed to Lichbane. Your final build should look something like this: #
Just like everyone thinks, AP Kog's laning phase blows really hard. At low plat ELO and below, you can mitigate his terrible early game with attack speed and a doran's blade, trading with the relatively cheap E + W combo. However, the higher you climb in ranking correlates with increasing difficulty in lane; though doran's blade is still a great star, if you require MS to dodge skill shots then boots 4 pots is preferred. Knowing how not to get rolled over in lane is critical to winning games with Kog.
The first step is to redefine what it means to win/lose lane. You are winning lane as long as you have at least 3/4th the CS of your opponent and equal experience which means equal levels. Basically, if you arent behind in levels you are doing pretty good and this should be your goal if nothing else. The reason that you can get away with less CS is because he has pretty OP base damage which really only requires Mpen to be effective. Fortunately you pack a lot of mpen in your runes and it's fairly cheap in comparison to the ability power items the opponent ability power carry has to build.
Level 1 - 5
Level 1 take bio arcane and DO NOT PUSH THE LANE. This is the easiest way to lose a game as Kog'maw. If you come to lane and rush level 2 and push your lane then BEST CASE SCENARIO is you get zoned hard. The more likely scenario is that the enemy jungler is going to wreck your face as you skirt around your caster minions, desperately struggling just to get experience. The fact of the matter is that you have no escape and if you are running my suggested runes you have defenses either... not that 9 armor would really save you from early game J4 or Lee Sin ganks anyway.
Exceptions: If you are in one of the favorable match-ups described below, you can rush the level 2 E + W combo to gain a health advantage. If you choose to play the laning phase this way, ensure that you always trade well by timing your combo with opponent critical skills on cooldown. Good people to do this with are Twisted Fate, Karthus, Katerina and maybe Orianna or Ziggs depending on runes and getting 2 early points in W.
Levels 2, 3 and 4 are going to feel pretty similar, take one point in each skill and at level 4 take your second point in Void Ooze (E). Do you best to keep the minions off your tower by attacking frequently or to match the push of the opponent. I actually prefer farming under tower during this phase because it allows me to conserve mana, I have no fear of the enemy jungler ganking and the opposing mid laner is forced to use more mana on CSing minions then they would if the wave was in the middle of the lane. You can get away with this because people tend to CS poorly when they are pushed to enemy tower and wary of your jungler. Additionally most mids have next to no roam potential until level 5.
Once you hit level 5 the game begins to feel worth playing. Level 3 void ooze actually does damage and you can coordinate ganks with your jungler if you wish. At level 5 you have a couple of options you can push the wave make to the middle of the lane and harass with (E) when the opponent gets near a minion you can kill with it which may open your lane up to be a good gank. You can roam bot lane if you are blue side or top if you are purple side THROUGH YOUR JUNGLE and try to make a play which will work out 50 % of the time before backing for your first buy. Lastly you can just farm in lane and try to make the first back a bigger buy. At this point you have enough gold to buy a tear which should always be your first item and maybe boots or some pots and/or wards depend on exactly how CSing went.
Since I just mentioned roaming as an option lets talk about roaming in general. When playing AP Kog unless you are hyper fed, you are basically like Simba from the Lion King. Early in the movie Mufasa tells Simba "everything the light touches" is his kingdom. I am saying the same to you, "Everything the light touches on your minimap feel free to explore/roam it." What about that dark area between midlane and over! That land you call river?
YOU MUST NEVER GO THERE SIMBA!
Okay, seriously, don't go down river unless you know for a fact the jungler is on the opposite of the map. If you get caught in river by any jungler, the mid laner, or even the support for god sakes chances are you are going to die! You will die a sad noob death. The same rule applies for returning to lane after roaming, 9/10 the mid laner is camping a bush waiting for you... GO THE LONG WAY. What does it cost you even if its uncalled for? 30 gold? WORTHTHTHTHTH!
First back is pivotal moment of the game so I want to mention it explicitly. It doesn't really matter when it happens as long by the time you get back to lane you have a tear and level 1 boots and at least 2 pots. I am totally serious: Tear, Boots, Pots 2x. If you get to lane after your first back and you don't have all of these are you are in some deeeeeeeep void ooze. Tear, because if you dont have it you basically have no mana and no lane presence after the 3rd wave at this point. Your options become stick around and attempt to farm under tower while it takes a ton of damage which you will potentially lose on your next back OR leave after 2 waves and lose CS and let a full health basically full mana opponent midlane roam/push your tower.
Question: Can't I just have the jungler hold/help me out? What about blue buff!!!!!?! Answer: Assume your jungler is useless. And the enemy midlaner actually just stole second blue from your camp. Its not your jungler's job to hold your tower, freeze your lane, ward river, or win YOUR lane. So just forget you have one.
You need boots on first back cause people want your body and boots were made for walking. Pots you need because you have 0 bonus MR and 0 bonus Armor and you are gonna take some small amount of damage if for no other reason because you opponent is going to go out of their way to poke you just to see how squishy you are.
This is the most frustrating levels to play as kogmaw. The game is maturing but you arent quite ready to fight, you go out-of-mana quickly and your Q and W are pretty useless at this point. You probably haven't been able to invest much gold cause you haven't second backed or your second back was a weak buy meaning D-Ring Amp, or Amp pots ward. At this stage of the game keep an eye on the opponent midlaner and match their roam. Look for ganks by the opponent jungler and try to follow up on those fights as soon as possible taking the safe route. You can check dragon pretty easily if you are blue side and even contest it over the pit wall. If you are purple side let dragon go if you don't back the support of your team, there are just too many bushes, you can put out enough Rs to poke them down fast enough and you certainly cant 1 v 3. This can be frustrating but hang in there you are almost to mid game and everything will soon change.
Welcome to level 9 AP kog and welcome to mid game. As previously mentioned kogmaw is level depend and level 9 means level 5 void ooze and level 2 Q. Additionally by level 9 you should have had plenty of time to get back to base and get a blasting wand and amp tome/dring so you are packing a small amount ability power too. Your Void Ooze + Artillery Combo will now take just about anyone from full to 2/3 if not half. 2/3rds may not sound like a lot but when you catch 2 or 3 people with it because of how big your AOE is and you manage to do it before anyone on your team has taken a lick of damage it can be a bear to contend with. Your plan at this point of the game is to clear your mid lane enough to keep your tower standing and start following your jungler around to make plays.
As I mentioned at the beginning of this guide AP kog is a hyper carry because he has less need for his allies then other champions, I don't say this to mean that you can run around the map solo because you most certainly cannot, you are still a young Simba. What it does mean is that you can follow the your jungler to invade the enemy jungle and it be ok. You must understand you are going into the jungle with your jungler and he is probably going to die. You still have pretty high cooldowns and after your intial burst there wont be much you can do for a bit, and top it off you are following only close enough to support him with your E + R combo ( about 1200 units back ). Which means when he face checks that bush and there is an udyr in it, you don't take any of that damage, and when the enemy midlaner come in behind udyr you arent taking any of that damage either. Your jungler is your meat shield as is everyone on your team and the only thing you can do to help him is pump out tons of damage and trade him for 1 -2 kills. If you think its really close you can use your exhuast if you think it will save his life but just hold it so you can buy an extra second or two for CDs after he does to complete the trade. Its always worth trading your allies for kills unless you are trading them to a tristana/lucian, master yi or yasuo. The trade is always favorable because you out scale just about every champion in the game except for the ones mentioned.
The midgame is all about doing this. This is usually earlier than most people would like to, but this is the best time for kogmaw to group. Half the time your time isnt going to want to group so force the 3v3s by clearing your lane and roaming to bot lane. These skirmishes usually attack junglers and turn into fights over dragon. Level 11 is your next big power spike and perfect for fighting in and around the dragon pit. Help your team force these fights if the game is anywhere near even.
If you hit level 16 and still have all your inhibitor towers then its probably good game. Between the outrageous amount of Magic Penetration coupled with 300 base damage on your ult, great attack speed, and lichbane procs, your damage is off the charts. The only champions you need to really worry about killing you are fed ADCs with gap closers like tristana, lucian, or yi. And you can still kill them if you have lichbane, exhuast is up and you see them coming. Your role in this phase of the game is pretty simple. Kill everything. When the fights start combo high priority champions with E +R before activating Q + W to manage threats to you and your ADC. Since often to tankier targets the damage from R can be shrugged off it is usually best to R the high priority targets that you originally combo'd while you kill the bruiser/tank that wants you. While your damage is high it can be difficult to connect your ults with some of the more mobile champs in the game. If this becomes a serious problem rylias is the solution. This is something that you should be able to anticipate when contemplating your 5th item depending on how nailing targets has been in the mid game. Allied champion with hard CC mitigate the need for the rylias but if your team comp is lacking in crowd control then rylias should do the trick.
People try to make team fighting complicated but reality it is one of the simplest things from a conceptual standpoint. Your job in a team fight is to kill more people more quickly than the enemy. Period. And because you don't have any mobility there are no flash plays to be made or intricate timings to be used. Combo E + R the carries, Q + W the divers.
Early Game / Mid game
These fights are usually more spread out than late game fights which makes getting the maximum effect out of your AOE damage a little more difficult to do. Lets take a hypothetical dragon fight at around level 11.
Step 1) Try to get into a decent position. This can be difficult to do because assassins aren't afraid of getting behind your team. Stick next to the person with the most CC if possible and stay out of the pit.
Step 2) Poke. This early in the game its very difficult to poke because you have a very small mana pool. Poke with Q + R avoiding getting more than ONE stack. Hold E. The cool down is still too long to get it off more than once in a team fight so you are gonna need to make it count.
Step 3) Repeat and wait for a mistake. This can be a misplay by your team or the enemy team be vigilant these things happen quickly
Step 4) As soon as you have a clear shot on any two people, or 1 high priority target pull the trigger. Hit them with Q + R + E if you are feeling confident or E + Q + R if its against a mobile enemy or someone not moving in a straight line.
Step 5) Kite if you can, but you should probably run If you can put out some dmg with your low range W then go for it You have about 7 second until your combo comes up again. Watch the fight and position yourself to get a kill. No one near the end of a 2v2 or team fight should be able to take a second round of your combo.
Late Game Team Fights
They dynamics of these are a little different and much more in your favor. You now have plenty of mana to poke for the start fights, and your cooldowns are low enough to get a 2 or 3 void oozes out before the fight is over.
Step 1) Identify the biggest threat to you and identify the biggest threat to your frontline (usually enemy carry)
Step 2) Put as many obstacles between you and the biggest enemy threat as possible while trying to stay within striking distance of the enemy carry.
Step 3) Poke squishiest person while both teams dance.
Never aquire more than 2 stacks before letting them clear
Hold Void Ooze (E) unless you know you will have time for it to come back up before the real fight
Feel free to throw out Qs whenever you want
Step 4) Repeat and wait for a mistake.
This can be a misplay by your team or the enemy team be vigilant these things happen quickly
Step 5) Once you see aggressive forward motion by the enemy target (this is usually to back up their attacking or retreating backline) E + R + R hitting as many people as possible with the E along the way.
Once E + R + R connects this usually puts the target carry at between 20% and 40% health
Step 6) Kite or Advance
Half the time your burst damage on their carry in combination with the AOE slow which at last level feels like a decent disengage will make your opponents want to back away from the fight all together. If this is the case advance spamming R to keep them scared. DO NOT TUNNEL. DO NOT GET AHEAD OF YOUR FRONT LINE.
The other half the time its an all out brawl and you are about to have between 1 - 2 desperately trying to take you out. If you were fortunate enough to have really great positioning then you are behind your ally ADC your job at this point is to Q and W kite for the ADC. This is important because as soon as the ADC dies you you are going to be the focus next. If fortune did not favor you or the enemy team has just gotten wise and decided to target you then you are in somewhat of a bind. Hug terrain and prepare to flash if someone gets too close. Exhaust can save your life as well if you dont want to flash or if you think you can kill the opponent in approximately 3 seconds. 3 seconds is a long time for AP kog. Thats approximately 4 Rs and a good number of %max health autos not to mention your Q.
Step 7) Clean up
This can be easy or hard depending on enemy team and how many people are left. Because of your superior position you should always be the last one on your team to die. Its pretty typical for it to be you and the enemy ADC left to duke it out. Late game if you don't have exhaust you have a very slim chance of being able to beat the trist or lucian 1v1. The right move is to either camp a bush that you know isnt warded and wreck them, or just defend your tower. Anyone else you should able to take with your huge range and stupid burst.
Okay... TL;DR. (too long; didn't 'rite) There are so many champs and every lane has its own little nuances that I just haven't managed to write my peace on each of them yet. This is a work in progress and I will probably take on a few more everyday. For now I have included most of the champions that you will face on a regular basis in grousp and given details on how to play against those types of champs. For the matchups to come I am prioritizing those matchups that people are frequently contacting me about.
LUX XERATH: These are pretty weird matchups. Its weird because Kog'maw is a champion whose signature is his range but this champions severely out range you especially early game. For both of these champions I prefer the Monarch Runes and Masteries with a Liondance play style. In laning phase pay attention to the way that these champions move when they are about to harass you. As soon as you have the patter down use Void Ooze preemptively when you think they are going to try to poke you, this tactic will discourage them from trading and give you a little more control in the lane. Getting a chalice in these matchups isn't always a bad idea since they will be getting one of their own.
ANNIE BRAND CASS ANIVIA: These are pretty reasonable matchups. While all of these champs out damage you in the early game you have superior range as soon as you hit six. Play safe in lane till then maxing E followed by Q. As long as you or your jungler don't feed them the lane tips in your favor as soon as you hit six.
TF KARTHUS KAT: Yay! These are super easy match ups. You can build basically anything you want and still be good to go in lane. Dodging karth Q and TF cards is an obvious but both of these champs need junglers to be real threats. TF is going to want to push and roam against you, so picking up chalice tear to counter his push isnt a bad idea. Since he isnt a huge lane bully you may even consider taking TP to give your team a little relief from his global threat. Kat is a special one because this is the match up where I would suggest you level up W to lvl 3 before taking a single point in Q. This will give you the ability to harass her well without taking much damage, and you are going to have a hard time hitting with Q anyways. Against Kat Exhaust is a must. If exhaust is down she can kill you. Poke her with E if she starts to come near you this should keep her pretty passive.
LULU ORI ZIGGS GRAGAS: All solid mid lane farm picks. They bring pretty good damage late game and are a threat in lane if they have the enemy jungler. Fortunately for you your range should keep you out of danger for most of the laning phase. These champions pick up chalice first which cuts the effectiveness of your magic pen early damage. Its not idea to pick a chalice of your own in this case, or if you are feeling confident about the way the lane is going to can get a guise which will make you a considerable amount stronger. Later you can sell it and upgrade to void for only 1000 gold.
AHRI LB SYNDRA: Most people would consider these to be counter picks but they are really just hard lanes. In the case of all three of these champions they bring superior poke, and Hard CC at a range pretty comparable to your own. This makes for a very annoying laning phase for which I would recommend the Monarch Runes and Masteries. Play it passive and look to follow them when they roam. (THROUGH YOUR JUNGLE YOU MUST NEVER GO DOWN RIVER REMEMBER) You may arrive a bit later but cleaning up is better than nothing. I don't have a problem pick Kog into these laners because I know I severely out scale them. Even if you are a little CS starved once you get Void, Nashors you are stronger in team fights even if you cant 1v1 them. In this match up pick up a hat instead of lichbane just to ensure that you continue you stay on par with their damage output.
FIZZ KASS AKALI DIANA: This are counter picks kind of... You wreck these champions early game pre-six. If you wreck them hard enough its usually not till about level 9 that their balls grow back and they start trying to kill you. By this point you have lvl 5 Void Ooze and if you keep your distance you can get by just fine in lane. They are strong single target damage dealers which means you are move valuable in team fights if you land your skill shots. These matchups aren't the end of the world but are definitely hard for beginners.
ZED YASUO RIVEN: These are "no go" lanes. No matter what runes and masteries you run this lane is gonna suck, they are going out farm you out roam you, kill you and probably take your tower. There really isn't a whole lot of advice that I can give you. I would play Monarch kog in this situation but probably take exhaust so they can just tower dive you every 70 seconds. Yasuo is basically the biggest cock block in the game; he blocks your Q W and E with one spell and even if he doesnt block them with his constant movement around the battle field he is practically impossible to hit with your skill shots anyway. Zed has the ability to be in two places at once which can make hitting him with skill shots kind of tough, I would remember to use E + R combo rather than the reverse in the match up.
Kogmaw, unlike many champions, doesn't have very many "good" popular matchups in the midlane. The AP kogmaw pick isn't to counter pick the midlane, but to counter pick the meta. The range and *AOE* damage that you can bring the team can be pretty astonishing and the fact that you have relevant auto attacks make you as valuable as the ADC when it comes to killing tanks and taking towers. This unique combination of burst and sustained damage is what makes AP kog the only ability power Hyper carry in the game.
This guide is still a work in progress, there is still so much to add, but I hope what I have been able to complete so far has been helpful. If you have questions about the guide, or my play, or just wanna chat please send me a friend request in the client, or better yet catch me on stream and ask me in person!
Atrioc for guidance on layout
SizoW For the awesome Kog artwork!