Cho’Gath was our first Void monster, and it’s fair to say parts of his kit haven’t aged well. Last week’s patch brought a suite of adjustments that scrubbed some of the rust off of his ultimate, Feast. Missed the patch notes? We’ve got you covered.
TL;DR - Cho doesn’t lose Feast stacks on death and can earn infinite stacks off champs and epic monsters!
Ravenously feed on an enemy, dealing 300/475/650 (+10% bonus health) (+0.5 ability power) true damage to champions or 1000 (+10% bonus health) (+0.5 ability power) true damage to minions and monsters. If the target is killed, Cho’Gath gains a stack of Feast, which causes him to grow in size and gain 80/110/140 maximum health.
Only 5 total stacks can be gained from minions and non-epic monsters.
Across League’s history, Cho’Gath was the only champion who got numerically weaker from dying. Losing Feast stacks cost the bonus health they granted as well, making Cho that much more likely to die in the next fight. This left him in an unenviable spot: how do you feel great about a tank that can lose his tankiness? Short of “get so far ahead you literally never die”, that question had no good answer. The reverse-snowball effect had to go.
“Make Feast stacks permanent” was the obvious fix, but raised a small mountain of problems during testing. Feasts’s unreliability has been core to its design for years - everything from how Cho’Gath gains stacks to what stacks do has been tuned around the risk of one bad fight costing Cho hundreds of health points. With no other changes in place, perma-stack Cho would have been busted on release. The straightforward approach would have been to water Feast’s numbers down to ‘fair’ levels and call it balanced, but making Feast less exciting seemed... incorrect.
Feast now stacks infinitely if Cho chews his way through the biggest prey.
Fortunately, there was a solution that covered both the fairness and excitement problems. With stacks now permanent, stacking itself could be harder to accomplish. Tying it to a test of skill, rather than rote cooldown management, would in turn allowing us to remove the max stack cap. You read that right - Feast now stacks infinitely if Cho chews his way through the biggest prey on the Rift. We tossed him a few ‘safety stacks’ to ensure a Cho who falls behind can get back on his feet (otherwise we wouldn’t have solved anything), but he’ll need to eat a few objectives to break even with his pre-7.4 bonuses - let alone outscale them.
What does this mean for all you Cho players? First, Cho’Gath’s super-tank Late Game Fantasy™ comes at the cost of a squishier early- and mid-game. Stacking takes longer than before and stacks don’t grant as much health as they used to. Approach early fights with caution while you adjust to Feast’s new pacing - just because stacks persist through death doesn’t mean grayscreening is advisable.
Second, think carefully before cashing in your five minion/small monster stacks. Holding Feast’s cooldown for a gank isn’t as time-efficient as fast-nomming minions, but using R to secure an early kill keeps your safety stacks on reserve for occasions when low-health enemies might be harder to find. This is ultimately a case-by-case judgment call you’ll get a sense for over time.
Finally, Feast’s new bonus health ratio does a lot of work in teamfights. This is moreso the case for tank Cho players, but AP builds also join in on the fun once stacks start coming in. Take the ratio into consideration when deciding what to buy! (PS: If you’re looking to experiment with new builds - say, Titanic Hydra or Sterak’s Gage - remember that Practice Tool now exists! What a time to be alive.)
A single updated ability doesn’t solve all of Cho’Gath’s problems, but it goes a long way toward ensuring he’s got a place in a roster of 134 champions. Best of luck to all the Cho mains out there, and be sure to bring your appetite!