Tankshka - The Most Viable High-Level Koshka Build by EWING

Tankshka - The Most Viable High-Level Koshka Build

Last Updated: Mar 4, 2015
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Introduction Top

Hi there! This is my first guide, and I just wanted to warn people from the start: the formatting for this will be very basic. I just wanted to get a different kind of Koshka guide out there, since I don't see any guides that build her tanky. This guide also won't be totally comprehensive; it will just cover the nuances to playing Koshka as a tank. For more comprehensive guides, please see Feline Fatale by Maveryck. It's fantastic.

Koshka Before. I'm writing this guide as someone who loved assassin Koshka when the game first came out but, like many others, stopped using her as she became less viable at higher ELOs. The reason for this dropoff was twofold: 1) She dies way too quickly, especially since enemies focus her immediately; and 2) She does not have the "escapability" that her assassin counterpart, Taka, has. Essentially, Koshka was a good early-game character, but once enough time passes in a game she becomes a sitting duck.

Koshka Now.What's changed with Koshka - how is she viable now? Well, nothing has changed, but rumors started spreading around people building 'tank' Koshka. Many people - myself included - thought this wasn't really a viable build - the point of Koshka is to do damage; if she builds tanky, she won't be able to burn down the enemy carry.

After playing the build, I quickly found out: TANKY KOSHKA IS A KILLING MACHINE. She doesn't need the crystal damage to survive. That's true for three reasons:
1) Her main source of damage comes from Twirly Death. Once she has stacks, she's doing 250 damage (at Ability Level 5) PER AUTO ATTACK. She doesn't need crystal damage to be viable (the modifier is a paltry .35) - that's a ton of damage on its own.
2) Aftershock's proc has damage that is not reliant on Crystal Power. That means you have a ton of burst damage off the bat without needing to stack Crystal. And - since you're Koshka - the proc will be going off every 2 seconds.
3) You stay alive longer. I know this seems like a stupid point, but as Koshka, you need to get some auto attacks (both for Twirly Death and Aftershock) to be effective. You're not Taka, where you can burst an enemy down with just his two abilities. Building tanky allows you to deploy your damage without having to run away after your Pouncy Fun.

1.2.0 Changes. Additionally, with Patch 1.2.0, the energy requirements for Pouncy Fun and Twirly Death were essentially cut in half. This allows her a lot more build flexibility - before, she had have two void batteries; now she gets by with one. That makes the tanky build even better.

Abilities Top

I won't delve into each ability here - check other guides for how the use them. I did want to clarify a few things though:

This needs to be prioritized first. It's your bread a butter, and one of the main reasons why this works. Even if you expect team fights at level 1, this will allow you to scare them away sufficiently with a few hits on their carry.

Most guides will tell you to get the overdrive on Yummy Catnip Frenzy first, but I disagree. Yummy Catnip Frenzy's overdrive gives you 225 more damage; Pouncy Fun gives you 170. However, you're going to be getting Pouncy Fun off every 5 seconds or so; Yummy Catnip Frenzy will only go off, at best, every 45 seconds. And, importantly, the utility does not change - the move stuns 2.2 seconds regardless of what happens. Your overall damage output will be much better with the overdrive on Pouncy Fun.

Most guides will also tell you to initiate with this, but this is not always the case and, quite frankly, it's a bad habit. When you initiate with your ultimate, more often than not the enemy will pop their Reflex Block and boots and sprint away. Even with Pouncy Fun, you're not always going to catch up with them to get your auto attacks off. Plus, if you Yummy Catnip Frenzy and your team isn't ready to initiate a fight, you'll get burned down regardless of your defensive items.

Instead, I recommend that you initiate with Pouncy Fun. If they stay and fight, great - wait for them to pop cooldowns and then hit them with your ultimate. If they run, then you can Yummy Catnip Frenzy - at that point, they've used their boots/shield, and you're on top of them with the speed from your passive.

Items Top

With 1.2.0, you don't need Energy Battery just to start the game. This item pays for itself and then some, and gives you some needed health regen early on.

Which defensive items to take? This depends on who you're playing. Crucible is almost mandatory. You need the health to not be burst down right away, and it's a safe bet to build from your Reflex Block if the enemy is building both Crystal and Weapon.

After that, build depending on what the other team is building. If the other team has a weapon carry, Atlas Pauldron is essential. You will be on the front lines, and you're able to halve the carry's damage right after your initiation. If the other team has a mage or crystal carry, Aegis is necessary. If I don't need to build Aegis, I go for another Crucible, since I almost always want the ability to shield twice during a team fight. Metal Jacket is in there for rare occasions, when the enemy has two weapon carries that focus you off the bat.

How do I upgrade my Void Battery? This should be the last item you upgrade, after you have three tier-3 defensive items. There are two choices here: Eve of Harvest and Clockwork. Koshka can benefit from both. Clockwork the ability to use her first two abilities every 4-5 seconds, which is great for damage. However, I like Eve of Harvest - Koshka has problems with health regen late game, and the 25% Crystal lifesteal is nice. To be honest, I've even sold my void battery and gone with a whopping fourth defensive item if it's late enough in the game and I'm being focused.

Why not (insert item here)?

Three defensive items are essential for this build - you WILL be focused early, and you can't skimp on one. Since you can't stack crystal with two items, Aftershock is necessary. So that leaves you room for one item. Again, crystal power isn't the focus - her moves don't scale THAT great from crystal. Also, since you're using your two abilities once every six seconds or so, energy becomes a worry for her - so you need a Void Battery - that's why I go with Clockwork or Eve of Harvest.

Especially after they took away the +Energy, this item is really not worth it. You don't need the slow - you move faster than they do with your passive - and remember, this build does not stack Crystal Damage.

I tried this and didn't like it. I thought it would be nice because I could apply my Twirly Death stacks quicker, but I just didn't have enough crystal power to make the proc worth it.

Even with the change, her moves don't scale well enough with the additional crystal power to make this worth it.

Koshka DOES have health regen problems late game, but this item really does not offer enough survivability for me to justify taking out one of the other core defensive items. It's an OK choice, but ideally your support will get one to help during team fights.

Strategy Top

Team Composition. Koshka works well with most team compositions, however, this build has a glaring flaw that your teammates NEED to help overcome: she does terrible damage against structures and the Kraken. Because of that, you need to have a teammate that builds weapon damage - preferably a carry (like Adagio, Ringo, or SAW). I've struggled late game with team comps like Ardan and Celeste because we couldn't take down Kraken or turrets effectively.

Overall Mindset. I can't stress this enough - KOSHKA IS AN EARLY GAME HERO. Her Twirly Death and Aftershock make her shut down enemy laners and junglers easily. You NEED to push this advantage. However, this does NOT mean that the goal of the build is racking up as many kills as you can. That would be nice, but that mindset gets you into situations where you're chasing someone halfway across the map when the would've teleported back anyway. Your goal is to deny the enemies farm. That means a) ganking (or forcing a teleport) their laner and forcing them to miss creep kills, or b) stealing enemy jungle camps. Finally, people are still fixated on Koshka being a squishy assassin - you WILL be targeted first. This build helps against that, but you're not invulnerable.

Early Game. Buy Ironguard Contract, two Halcyon Potion, and a Scout Trap. Head to your triangle bush or jungle shop to prepare for a level 1 fight. You're vulnerable here (you haven't built any defense yet), but your Twirly Death packs a whallop - use it on enemies that overextend. DO NOT CHASE unless you're guaranteed a kill - the gold you get is not worth the risk, and the farm you're missing is valuable. After that, farm, farm, farm. The ideal situation is where your support allows you to take camps so you can rack up exp and gold. Then, start building toward Crucible, prioritizing Reflex Block first. Sprint Boots when you can (although they're not a priority because of your passive), and get Halcyon Potion with excess gold - you need it for energy and health regen. If you're running low on energy constantly, get Energy Battery - you will need it eventually.

GO UP TO THE LANE WHEN YOU CAN. Do NOT steal the creeps from your laner, but if he needs to teleport, cover the lane for him. This is for two reasons: 1) You get a ton of gold in the lane, and 2) You can stack up your Twirly Death fastest in the lane. If my jungle is clear, I will often go up to lane (even if my laner is there), Pouncy Fun onto creeps, Twirly Death, and run out. Getting 5 stacks of Twirly Death is huge for farming and ganking.

Middle Game. Your goal is to have Crucible around level 6. Once you get Yummy Catnip Frenzy, you should focus even more on denying farm. After that, focus on what you need most. If the team is going heavy crystal, get Kinetic Shield; if they're going heavy weapon, go Coat of Plates. If it's a mix, build against whatever hero is more built. For example, if level 5 Taka is crystal and level 8 Ringo is weapon, build against Ringo. Don't save your gold for only tier 3 items - take tier 1 defensive items that you can use later. For teamfights, you don't want to overextend - remember that Pouncy Fun puts you out of position, which isn't good even with Crucible. Wait for an enemy to get out of position and then Pouncy Fun in, focusing on the carry that hasn't built against crystal. If the carry starts to run, then you can Yummy Catnip Frenzy. Make sure not to chase too far away from your team - if the enemy carry sprints away, focus on someone else, and keep an eye out to Pouncy Fun when they try to get back so you can finish them off. Once you win the teammfight, try to rush down the turrets and push the gold advantage. Along the way, build up to your tier 2 boots. Once you finish your second defensive tier 3 item, you can build Void Battery.

Late Game. Not much changes here. You want to continue farming both jungles when you can, building towards your third defensive item. Again, build against what the other team is building. Make sure to be aware of who is building what on the other team so you know which player to target - go for the person with low shield, if possible. You need to build Aftershock at some point to help with the fact that Twirly Death is doing less damage when people are built. As your last item, I recommend Eve of Harvest to upgrade your Void Battery. The crystal lifesteal helps with sustain. However, Clockwork works too. If you find that you're still getting burned down too quickly, you can always sell your Void Battery and get a fourth defensive item. Prioritize upgrading to tier 3 boots last - they are too expensive for the stats, but if you have enough money you can get them. Once you're fully built, remember to sell your boots, buy Crystal Infusion, and re-buy boots.

Conclusion Top

That's about it - I apologize for not going too far in-depth with the character. Please check out some of the other great guides out there for that. This is just an introduction to Tanky Koshka and how she plays. Have fun!

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