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Acorns for scale.
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Hello, I'm here to bring you a fun build. I have been using this in slash, this is not a viable build for conquest because of gold income making making me want to see what the barrel of a gun tastes like (Although the alternate build is conquest viable).
An example of the cooldown you will get from this build. (Link to a gif)
This build will set your ult cool-down after finishing to 47 Seconds, and your main poke (2nd ability) to 5 seconds.
Both of these can be lowered with Cloak of Ascetic (relic) and Spear of Desolation.
Okay but why do I want that when I could build full tank?
Well I'm glad that I made you ask by forcing my own question!
Part of what makes Cthulu a great tank is his potential for peeling before and during a team-fight. His 2 is already great at control because it does decent damage and forces enemies to either run, or risk taking additional damage and a slow/root. His 1 and 3 also has potential for additional poke.
Then there's his ult. Cthulu's ult is incredible at whittling the health of enemies and also chasing down weaker prey with very long range knockups. In short, using your ult in a group of full health enemies is going to result in at least dealing decent damage before your team engages, and ulting during a teamfight is going to cause a lot of splash damage as well as healing your team with your Ult's 3 ability.
That didn't really answer the question you made me ask.
Alright, so in a nutshell, Cthulu with 60%+ cooldown is capable of ulting to initiate a teammate and heavily peel the enemy, crippling their potential. During the teamfight you are rooting and poking the enemy the whole time, and the cooldown for you ult is short enough that you can actually ult again during the teamfight to pick off lower health enemies like an adc with your massive range knockup.
Along with this, you can heal your teammates in Ult. All in all, safe to say this is extremely annoying to fight against. This makes Cthulu less of a tank and more of a team bruiser with finishing potential.
Of course, the alternate build is safer earlygame if things go sour. Your team will have a nearly unkillable health sponge instead of a constant titan walking around the map. Either way can still be successful so building harassment vs traditional tank is up to your discretion.
What's important to know about the skills?
Cthulu's skills are broken into 2 paths based on his ult
Here's what's important to remember about each.
Your 1 without ult: SLOWS ENEMY ATTACK SPEED. Does damage in a cone area.
Your 1 WITH ult: CHANGES YOUR BASIC ATTACKS INTO AN AREA. This does okay damage in a huge area and removes protections up to 5 times.
Your 2 Without ult: Huge area. One pulse comes down and does damage, second pulse comes down and roots enemies along with the damage.
Your 2 WITH ult: Very large range circle that knocks up enemies. Extremely important to land.
Your 2 is the most important part of your kit if you build cooldown.
Your 3 without ult: A dash. Some people haven't figured this out yet but if you cancel the move after dashing it still pukes out two projectiles so use this for extra poke when you are not in danger of dying.
Your 3 WITH ult: HEALS YOUR ALLIES. I guess it can do damage too. It also damages yourself unless you are below 20% health.
Your ULT: It's like a get out of jail free card in monopoly. You just kind of win every team-fight, gain a lot of health, and are CC immune.
So what items are best for being an annoying harasser?
Well, obviously I have listed the max cooldown items, and on the alternate build I have listed what I think are the best health based build items but I'll explain the reasoning behind both.
First, do not buy sands of time! The 10% cooldown early sounds nice when you are trying to rush cooldown but it is almost never worth it for a few reasons. First, you want a tanky item to start not power because your scaling isn't good; you are here to peel and harass, not get a bunch of kills early. Second, all of the end paths as upgrades are garbage for what you are trying to accomplish. Third, Cloak of meditation gives you the mana you need early, while sands of time drains your mana quickly. Finally, items like Pridwen have more value. Sands is 700 gold and pridwen is 900; but for only 700 more you get 25 protections in each path which is way more useful on Cthulu.
For cooldown, Sphinx's Baubles are the most core item since they allow you to go past your normal cooldown. The decrease in damage doesn't matter because you attack so often in such a large area that you end up peeling more damage than without the extra 20%.
I like rushing pridwen first item because it kind of gives you everything you would want on Cthulu, defense on both paths (for extremely cheap early game), very chunky cooldown, and an early survivability tool by cancelling ultimate. It comes at the cost of not being safe, if your teammates suck or feed you are going to be in trouble until you reach your next cooldown item or have to buy a starter item to float by.
Shoguns Kusari is great because it instantly helps all of your teammates out, gives you health, very nice protections against magic and is kind of cheap.
Breastplate is, well... cheap af easy cooldown.
Spear of desolation and Cloak of Ascetic can lower your cooldowns artificially, sometimes straight to 0 which is insane value.
Building full health.
Stone of Gaia Stone of Gaia Stone of Gaia Stone of Gaia Stone of Gaia.
I can't say it enough, Cthulu hits over 4k with health items and gains an extra 800+ health off of ulting with that. It starts to get extremely hard to kill you until the enemy starts building qins specifically to counter you. Stone of Gaia's passive heals you for about 20 per tick and the active effect giving 8 percent health back is insane.
Gauntlet of Thebes. I don't really think I need to explain this one. Core for almost any tank.
Bulwark of hope can give you 12 percent of your health as a shield when you drop below 40%. That's about 320 free extra health just for tanking for your team, and bulwark also gives protections. All around really nice.
Emperor's armor is a bit niche but can just straight up be the reason you take out a much needed phoenix lategame. Pop ult, soak up an entire teams damage, and peel as your team bursts down towers.
Gem of isolation is power which isn't that nice on Cthulu, but it gives health and the constant slowdown from your massive areas quickly makes you a massive annoyance in a teamfight.
Pros of Max CDR Crackhead build:
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