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Nightmare: Cthulhu Guide (S7)

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Smite God: Cthulhu

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Purchase Order

Suggested Build Notes Swap Shoes of Focus for Ethereal Staff after getting Elixir of Speed in the Late Game.

Build Item Shoes of Focus Shoes of Focus
Build Item Stone of Binding Stone of Binding
Build Item Breastplate of Valor Breastplate of Valor
Build Item Hide of the Urchin Hide of the Urchin
Build Item Oni Hunter's Garb Oni Hunter's Garb
Build Item Void Stone Void Stone


Build Item Warrior's Blessing Warrior's Blessing
Build Item Chalice of Healing Chalice of Healing
Build Item Multi Potion Multi Potion
Build Item Multi Potion Multi Potion
Build Item Multi Potion Multi Potion

Core Notes Swap Shoes of Focus for Reinforced Shoes if you need more defense or Traveler's Shoes if you need more movement speed.

Build Item Shoes of Focus Shoes of Focus
Build Item Breastplate of Valor Breastplate of Valor
Build Item Void Stone Void Stone


Build Item Hide of the Urchin Hide of the Urchin
Build Item Pestilence Pestilence
Build Item Ethereal Staff Ethereal Staff
Build Item Oni Hunter's Garb Oni Hunter's Garb
Build Item Mystical Mail Mystical Mail
Build Item Mantle of Discord Mantle of Discord


Build Item Genji's Guard Genji's Guard
Build Item Spirit Robe Spirit Robe
Build Item Reinforced Shoes Reinforced Shoes
Build Item Contagion Contagion
Build Item Traveler's Shoes Traveler's Shoes
Build Item Stone of Gaia Stone of Gaia


Build Item Teleport Glyph Teleport Glyph
Build Item Blink Rune Blink Rune
Build Item Shield of Thorns Shield of Thorns
Build Item Magic Shell Magic Shell

Cthulhu's Skill Order

Sanity Break / Sever

Sanity Break / Sever

1 X
2 4 11 12 14
The Mire / Devastate

The Mire / Devastate

2 A
1 6 7 8 10
Rushing Terror / Transfuse

Rushing Terror / Transfuse

3 B
3 15 16 18 19
Descend Into Madness

Descend Into Madness

4 Y
5 9 13 17 20


Welcome, one and all, to another guide. I'll be your narrator, Stuke. In this guide, we will be taking a look at an eldritch horror, crafted by the twisted mind of one H.P. Lovecraft, that became such a large presence in pop culture that his influence gave him a spot on the roster on the Battleground of the Gods. Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn.
Note: you don't have to follow this guide to the smallest detail, these are suggestions on how to play Cthulhu. I encourage you to look at the comment section below and see other suggestions.

Who is Cthulhu

Cthulhu is a Magical, Melee, Guardian who uses his constant damage output to drive his targets mad and then using the madness to make himself an even bigger threat to the enemy team. Correct applications of Torment and Insanity can make Cthuhlu tankier as well as giving him even more power for each of his targets that he has driven into madness.

Pros / Cons

  • Consistant Annoying Damage
  • High Area Damage and Denial
  • High Damage Mitigation
  • Big Hitbox
  • Slow Movement Speed
  • Team Dependant


When Cthulhu deals enough damage to a single target, through abilities or basic attacks, that target is given a stack of Torment. Once reaching the max amount the enemy goes into Insanity, causing visual and auditory hallucinations, as well as gain magical power for each enemy god that enters the insanity state. That's not all when this gets combined with his first ability, this passive starts to become more interesting.
Firing a small cone in from of you, any enemy caught in the cone are dealt damage and as given an attack speed slow. If Cthulhu successfully hits an enemy god, he also receives damage mitigation for a short duration. As mentioned in Prey on Fear, this ability gets a fun benefit when utilized properly. If you use this ability on an enemy while affected by Insanity, they become feared for a short duration as Cthulhu gains an additional percentage of damage mitigation until hitting the max amount. Making Cthulhu permanently tankier each time he consumes Insanity. This will be your main fighting tool as the benefits from being able to mitigate oncoming damage and slow enemy attacks are good on their own but being able to fear any enemy that is affected by Insanity makes this a devastating core to Cthulhu's kit.
Cthulhu channels a portal to create an eldritch mire, the longer he channels the larger the mire becomes, and during channeling the portal drops two masses that damages and provides effects. On the first hit, any enemy god is slowed and on the second hit, all enemies are rooted with each hit applying a stack of Torment. Since this is a channeling ability, Cthulhu is left vulnerable while this ability goes through its cycle but can be stopped early by canceling it or if an enemy god hits you with a hard CC.
While slow, it is powerful. Cthulhu dashes forward while trailing two projectiles behind him. Enemy gods hit by Cthulhu or the projectiles are given a stack of Torment. If Cthulhu dashes directly into an enemy god, that enemy is knocked to either side of Cthulhu but in the way of his projectiles. Best used as an engagement or an escape depending on where you stand during any stage in the fight.
After dealing damage to any enemy around you, Cthulhu changes into his true form. In this state, Cthulhu gains increased health, and any enemy god that stands close to him starts to gain stacks of Torment with the number of stacks speeding up if they are facing him with enemies affected by Insanity dealing less damage to Cthulhu as a result. While in his true form, Cthulhu gains a new set of abilities. All of this lasting for the duration of this ultimate.
Cthulhu swipes at the ground and leaves a trail of energy that deals damage to any enemy caught in the slash trails. Since this counts as an ability, you have to wait to use this again but it doesn't use any mana so you can spam this without worry.
Note: This doesn't proc item effects despite it's treated as an ability.
Cthulhu throws down a projectile in a target location that explodes, deals damage in an area, and knocks-up any enemy caught in the blast radius. Use this to set-up with the team or to get one last hit in if they are out of Sever's range.
In a very large radius around you, and after a short wind-up, Cthulhu takes a chunk of his health to heals all ally gods that surround him and damages all enemies in the radius. If Cthulhu is below a certain threshold of health, enemies will not be damaged and the heal to allies is cut in half.
Note: Cthulhu cannot heal from this ability so stay aware that you have no way to sustain during a fight.

Items to Consider

Cthulhu is a very big boy. Utilizing his size to act as a meatshield, combined with his aggressive control and damage mitigation, makes him a serious frontline threat. Building items that make you tankier, bring your abilities up more often, as well as punish opponents caught in your abilities will benefit Cthulhu and his aggressive tank playstyle. Here is a selection of items that can synergize with Cthulhu that could be a nice addition to your build.

Since all of his abilities offer at least one form of crowd control, having this item in your build can seriously benefit Cthulhu deal more damage than the enemy will expect him to.
Since Cthulhu likes to get in the face of his opponents, or if the enemy gets close to take you out. It would be nice to mitigate any damage that comes your way. Combine this with Cthulhu's built-in mitigation as well as increasing it via passive Cthulhu can absorb more damage than most gods could probably dish out.

Tips, Tricks, & Combos

  • Ymg' ahor't ah'n'gha ya!
    Make full use of Cthulhu's multiple CC effects, his ability to stack damage mitigation, and his passive to gain the advantage during team fights.
  • Y' ph' n'ghftnah nilgh'ri!
    Your massive size is your biggest strength. Being able to act as a walking wall to defend allies and having control over large swaths of the area makes his presence known throughout the game.
  • Ymg' mgepmgah ya ehye mgng Y' ephainogephaii.
    Cthulhu might be big and tough but he's not "I'm going to 1v5 the enemy team tough". He can only do and take so much. If you want to fight either catch one of them out but with bigger fights that require his teammates to follow up with during engagements.

Rush in and put the center of The Mire on top of the enemy and they will be rooted for a follow-up from your basics, Sanity Break, or even teammate. Or you can switch these abilities if you want to hold them down before dashing towards them.
Similar to the last one but instead of holding them down, you hit them with an attack slow and gain damage mitigation so you can proceed to punish any opponent that doesn't get away fast enough. It's best to use this combo when the enemy is about to enter Insanity.
Combining the two previous combos to deal the max amount of damage as well as constant application of Torment stacks for when byou're ready to use Sanity Break to consume the stacks.
Ultimate Combo
Use the standard engagement combo and once ontop of the enemy team, pop your ultimate and start to unleash hell on those who either try to fight or get away. Keep spaming ability until your ult runs out. Once it dose you can either use Sanity Break on any enemy close to you who entered Insanity or use Rushing Terror to get away or group up with your allies.


Early Game
Cthulhu's early game is a tad bit tricky but can be pulled off, if the enemy is aggressive, stay under tower until you're able to make a move or keep them back by being equally aggressive. Try to spam abilities and keep adding stacks to your passive so you can be tankier later on in the game.
Middle Game
While not necessarily bad, more like Cthulhu plateau during this stage, in the meantime just keep stacking your passive and try to out farm the enemy and you should be good for the late game.
Late Game
Now we start having some fun. Now that you're extremely tanky and got some decent power under your belt for team fights, you are free to engage the enemy team and start causing chaos as the meatshield and CC machine for the team.


In conclusion, Cthulhu is a horrifying creature from the depths of Lovecraft's twisted imagination but in-game he's a beefy tank with constant damage and high area of control that progressively gets harder and harder to take down without the longer the games go on and Cthulhu is allowed to snowball. Just remember that your size is your biggest tool, apply stacks of Torment whenever possible to ensure you become stronger, ng ymg' mgah'ehye mghrii suffer fhtagnshoggg hup shogg!

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Gulfwulf (71) | June 29, 2020 10:29am
Isn't Hide of the Urchin bought a bit late? I thought the latest you should get it is 4th.
Devampi (96) | June 30, 2020 12:30am
It's not a Stuke build without urchin remember bran's writeup
Big damage (7) | June 29, 2020 10:56am
Personally if I'm planning on buying Hide of the Urchin 4th and can't because I need another item, either 6th or to replace boots I'll get Gauntlet of Thebes. Get the stacks on thebes way quicker and easier in the late game than urchin.

Edit: Didn't see Kriega basically commented the same thing whoops
Kriega1 (109) | June 29, 2020 10:40am
Or you could go Gauntlet of Thebes, which is easy-ish to stack when your team contests near Fire Giant lategame and you can be in assist range for waveclearing.
Big damage (7) | June 29, 2020 10:16am
Any reason in particular why Pestilence is a standard item pick up in the suggested build? I know there is 'healer meta' but I don't think an aura on the solo is worth it every game.
Kriega1 (109) | June 29, 2020 10:25am
It's not a standard pickup. There are other items with better stats. It can still be built but it's situational, and I wouldn't get it usually just because of my lane opponent having sustain.
Big damage (7) | June 29, 2020 10:59am
Yeah definitely, at best it's a pick up for going along with Divine Ruin or in other cases Brawler's Beat Stick / Toxic Blade if you're playing into like an Anubis and Freya backline or something similar.
Stuke99 (52) | June 29, 2020 10:21am
Outside of the stats this item provides, most solo laners have a way to heal themselves so that's why I use this in the standard build.
Big damage (7) | June 29, 2020 10:23am
It's a fair pick up but what do you think about Divine Ruin instead? Higher antiheal, easy application through The Mire and Descend Into Madness and also flat pen for diving the backline late game.
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League of Legends Build Guide Author Stuke99
Nightmare: Cthulhu Guide (S7)
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