Karthus Build Guide
An indepth guide and analysis on Karthuswritten by feelsgoodman
Late Game / Luxury Items
- Death Defied
- Lay Waste
- Wall of Pain
Runes for Karthus
Masteries for Karthus
Table of Contents
|So you've come...||2|
|I see you lack time...I shall tell you what you need||3|
|Omnipotence has no weakness||4|
|The only thing better than power is more power...||6|
|...but of course, one must know how to use it...||7|
|...in the approriate manner...||8|
|...time and place as well.||9|
|A legend must be well-prepared for divine punishment||10|
|So how should we bring wrath today....||11|
|Dispose of all opposition. Reign destruction onto infinate lands.||12|
|Secret Weapon #1||13|
|Secret Weapon #2||14|
|Those fools dare challenge a legend?!||15|
|Other Maps and Gamemodes||16|
|Endless destruction brings empty nothingness||17|
April 24, 2011: Guide Finished. Published.
May 11, 2011: KARTHUS NERF! NOOOOOOOOOOOOO! :( Updated info accordingly. Updated champion match ups.
May 22, 2011: Updated "Other Maps and Gamemodes" section.
July 15, 2011: Updated "Champion Match-Up" section
December 17, 2011: Holy Crap. Haven't updated since forever...Karthus nerfs here and there in between the times. Updated several items, suggestions, etc.
October 17, 2012: So it's been exactly 10 monthes since I updated this. Much has changed in the game so I'll be revamping a lot. I don't know if people even read this anymore, lol.
So you've come...
Karthus is one of the most unique champions present in League of Legends. Able to deal huge, sustained damage to any enemy with a large arsenal of AoE abilities, he is an incredibly "flexible" champion whose performance will largely depend on the skill and judgment of the player.
A little about myself: Karthus has been one of my favorite champions for many months. I have over hundreds of wins with Karthus and have seen a lot about this champion, both playing with and against. So I do feel I'm fairly experienced with Karthus, hopefully I won't provide any misleading info in this guide. ._.
A fair warning: Karthus IS a very difficult champion. He does have a high skill curve as his difficulty estimate shows and perfecting the ultimate Lich King will take time and practice. That said, I hope to clear some road blocks with this guide and show how Karthus can be an absolute beast on the field.
(And for a fair note, he is NOT OP. Quit crying about his R...)
I see you lack time...I shall tell you what you need
Boots of Speed + 3 Health Potion or Doran's Ring
Rod of Ages
Sell Doran's Ring ----> Deathfire Grasp
Mejai's Soulstealer(if you or your team is doing well and snowballing sounds great. Otherwise, don't)
Ignite and Flash
Omnipotence has no weakness
First, lets analyze Karthus's strengths and weaknesses. (Yes...even a beast like himself does have weaknesses. Dammit Riot. :P)
-All AoE. (Able to Damage multiple enemies in a single go.)
-Global Lock-on Ultimate, able to kill anybody on the map.
-Very useful AoE debuff and slow.
-Scouting abilities. (You no longer have to face check bushes anymore. :) )
-Able to kill unsuspecting enemies with passive.
-Killsteal, killsteal, killsteal, and umm...killsteal. (ok...maybe this is a con :P)
-No real escaping ability
-Difficult champion to master.
Death Defied Sometimes it's better when certain things stay dead.
This certainly holds true for Karthus since sometimes getting kills when you're dead is easier than being alive. (Ironic...)
Anyhow, this is a very beneficial passive for a squishy champion like himself. Effectively entering an untargetable state while allowing a second chance to kill, utilizing this ability effectively will make your sacrifice worth the cause. Plus with the recent patches, you can now spam your attacks freely within your passive duration. A very nice bonus. ^^
Keep in mind your abilities will still have cooldown in this state. With that said, prioritize your abilities order to maximize killing opportunities for you and your team as much as possible within the duration.
In particular with his ultimate, keep in mind the 3 second channel is still in effect. Meaning you must activate it before the 5 second mark to use it in your passive state.
I will discuss more usage methods with this later in the guide.
Lay Waste Your bread and butter. In my opinion, a Karthus player's skill should be largely judged upon how well he can utilize Lay Waste both offensively and defensively.
With its low cooldown, long range, and high potential damage, there is a large variety of ways Lay Waste can be used effectively. Always try to take advantage of the double damage bonus whenever possible. (except for farming purposes) Conversely, aiming for last hit on multiple minions when farming is also advantageous since it conserves mana and gives more gold.
Using it properly in synch with Defile will help you recycle mana effectively, allowing more spamming to ensue. :P
I will discuss more methods and strategies on using Lay Waste later in the guide.
Wall of Pain A HUGE slow packed with defense reduction and a distance about the size of an entire lane, Wall of Pain can effectively cripple the entire team both offensively and defensively. Setting up a perfect wall in the middle of a team fight can easily give your team an upper advantage due to the defense reduction and certainly makes running away/advancing a much more difficult task.
Another sweet advantage about the wall is its ability to peer through brushes and the fog of war. Not only can this effectively ruin the enemy's chance to pull off a gank or escape, but it gives your team more time and damage to kill them off.
There's really not much else to say about this. The effects are pretty self explanatory and conditions of use are fairly generic. With proper positioning, the wall only makes the job much easier for you and your team.
Defile Hands down, this is considered as Karthus's "gravy" ability. With a passive able to restore mana for each unit killed and a long range, DoT AoE active, Defile is, without a doubt, a great supplementary ability for Karthus.
Conversely, this is probably your biggest mana hog. As such, keep the active usage as a minimal as possible and only for emergency purposes. Do NOT EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER use this to farm until you have sufficient mana pool or mana regeneration. (IE golem buff...Even then, try to lay low on using the active.) For too long, I’ve seen many Karthuses using this ability to farm because it seems so profitable being able to hit so many things at the same time. This is where I start laughing (if they’re on the enemy team) or facepalming (if they’re on my team…or was me when I first started playing Karthus. =_=) since that blue bar will soon become black and they will have nothing to defend themselves against.
When in passive state however, ALWAYS keep this on. With an unlimited mana pool, it doesn’t hurt to deal as much damage as possible.
Requiem Ok…where should I start with this one:
Karthus ultimate is probably what has gotten people calling him a major killstealer or OP character moreso than anything else has he on his palette.
It is able to target every champion on the map, regardless of distance or status. (unless they're dead) As such, you will have lots of opportunities to nab the kills your teammates could not or help them get the kill they probably couldn't get.
Keep in mind this spell is affected by magic resistance and can be blocked. So be careful when using this spell. Additionally since this is a channel spell, it can be interrupted by any CC effects. So make sure your in the clear or dead when using this spell.
I will discuss strategies and methods later in the guide.
The only thing better than power is more power...
My two personal favorites are: Flash + Ignite, simply because it gives the extra damage needed to finish off opponents as well a positioning blink to get in and out of trouble.
Another popular choice is (what many call) "Suicide (or Kamikaze) Karthus": Teleport + Revive. The thing about this combo is that it's really risky. The cooldown times on both are VERY long so expect to go spellless of a long amount of time. Additionally, your giving up extra damage/escape for utility. All in all, this combo is a hit or miss. Not to say it's necessarily bad, but needs a different mind set that involves rushing into trouble to deal lots of damage in a short period of time.
Exhaust = General slow + damage reduction spell.
This spell is pretty good for Karthus. With his low movement speed, this spell will greatly help him chase enemies or run away from them as well as getting into position for your passive to do it's magic. All in all, it's a very versatile spell for Karthus to get into and out of trouble.
Teleport = For times when you need to support your team elsewhere on the map. My priorities are still higher for the other abilities but feel free to take this if you believe you'll benefit better off of it.
Revive = mmm....how do I say this. It's a hit or miss really. Picking revive CAN be helpful IF your team can get some coordination to make use of you suiciding a lot. Personally, I wouldn't do it but if you feel like running this spell + and just getting right back into the action...I'm not going to stop you.
Clairvoyance = ugh...I don't know why I even gave this a special mention. I suppose it's always good to have some extra map presence info. But really, you have Lay Waste and Wall of Painthat pretty much covers the job of checking the Fog of War. Personally, I wouldn't get this either as it's much more suitable for other champions say...*insert support champion*
Everything else is just...no. Do refrain from taking any of the other spells as they'll just waste your capabilities.
...but of course, one must know how to use it...
EDIT: Mastery Tree revamp. Change options.
Since the Mastery Tree changes, I've changed priorities on the masteries that would go well with Karthus.
My usual configuration is 21-0-9
...in the approriate manner...
Greater Quintessence of Potency x3
This runepage is specially designed for Karthus. Normally, with most AP pages, you want to include a balance of offense and defense. With Karthus, it's different because he scales so well with extra AP that the damage scaling will make up for loss defense penetration. Evidently, this is why flat APs and mana is best for him because it lets him last hit easier in the early game as well as get an extra kick in damage in the early levels. Also, since you have your passive, building based on defense runes is not completely needed, although can be useful against hard counter champions such as talon, veigar or katarina. In this case, you would want to change to Greater Glyph of Shielding or Greater Seal of Resilience.
...time and place as well.
As shown above, it's my personal standard skill order for Karthus. After your ultimate, Lay Waste is your bread and butter offensive skill so always prioritize at maxing it out first. From here, it's really depends on the situation at hand. Normally, I tend to max the wall last with defile in second because it will help deal more damage overall. However, if you feel that maxing out your wall will provide your team the utility it needs to be better off, by all means feel free to reverse skill priorities from levels 12 on. (Possibly earlier if the situation calls for it.)
A legend must be well-prepared for divine punishment
Boots of SpeedBoots of Speed + 3 Health Potion
Mejai's Soulstealer(if you or your team is doing well and snowballing sounds great. Otherwise, don't)
Rod of Ages
Deathfire Grasp or Void Staff
Tl:Dr:Tl:Dr - k
Ahem...Ok, now let's try to move onto some more specifics. Before I move onto talking about items, I would like to say that everything is simply what I like to build on a typical basis and what I found to be most effective after many many matches. Feel free to criticize and comment on anything I suggest. I'm always open for feedback on improving my own databases for the sake of myself and others.
So let's get started:
Start: Boots of SpeedBoots of Speed + 3 Health Potion
Pretty standard starters. You want that mobility and the sustain in your lane to harass others while dodging their attacks. Also helps recover from potential ganks and what not. Overall, this is the most standard and suitable starting combo.
The second item you want to get is Sorcerer's Shoes simply because it's fairly cheap and it provides everything you need: movement speed and magic penetration. If you can, try to pick up 1-2 Doran's Ring to make yourself tankier, more mana sustainable, and more AP for damage.
Alternatively, if you or your teammates are doing very well, it'll probably be better if you invest in getting a Mejai's Soulstealer (along with a Boots of Speed) if you want to get some snowball action up and going. It's always a very good idea to get it early because you will be able to get stacks much easier early on than later. For Karthus, this is a very easy task with his Requiem and Lay Waste. A note of fair warning, only get Mejai's Soulstealer if your team is doing BETTER than the other team. By better, I mean around 5-7 kills ahead and/or some turrets as well. If your team is doing equally the same, I would avoid getting this simply because you won't get much from it. And obviously don't get this is your team is doing much much worst.
(Contradicting myself a bit; if you are highly carrying your team, regardless of overall team records, then get Mejai's Soulstealer because YOU will be able to get stacks much easier which will, in turn, help your team. Bottom line, only get Mejai's Soulstealer if YOU can get kills/assists in any way.)
Upon finishing your second item, (get Sorcerer's Shoes if you went with Mejai's Soulstealer) you have some options you can take for your second main item. The first branch will be rushing Rod of Ages. The Second branch consists of getting items building into Archangel's Staff. And the third branch will compose of focus on both.
If you decide to go with the first branch:
-Pick up Catalyst the Protector as soon as possible. This item will help you recover mana and hp as the game goes on, which sustains your overall survivability.
-Pick up Blasting Wand
-Finish Rod of Ages
If you decide to go with the second branch:
-Pick up Tear of the Goddess . Picking this up early on will help you maximize your mana much faster, reaping more AP rewards later on.
-Pick up Blasting Wand
-Finish Archangel's Staff
If you decide to go with the third branch:
-Pick up Tear of the Goddess
-Pick up Catalyst the Protector
-Pick up 1 Blasting Wand
-Finish into Rod of Ages OR Archangel's Staff.
My personal preference goes with the first branch. The reason is simple: Rod of Ages provides Health, Mana, AND AP. Plus capitalizing on the passive early on is key because there is no way to make the bonuses come any faster as opposed to Archangel's Staff where the bonus cooldown isn't something Karthus can't handle. (since he has 2 1/2 second cooldown spells to spam away)
Your fourth item will depend on what you previous got.
If you went with the first branch:
-Pick up Tear of the Goddess. However, do NOT build it immediately into Archangel's Staff
-Pick up a Needlessly Large Rod
-Finish into a Rabadon's Deathcap
If you went with the second branch:
-Pick up . You want a little extra survivability as opposed to the extra offense, which you should be getting plenty from Archangel's Staff.
-Pick up a Blasting Wand.
-Finish into a Rylai's Crystal Scepter. The reason we're skipping Rod of Ages is because I'm assuming at this point, the game is fairly far in and you won't have the luxury to farm the bonuses off anymore. Therefore, getting a flat HP and AP bonus is much safer. (Considering your mana is covered by Archangel's Staff)
If you went with the third branch:
-Finish the alternative of whatever you didn't get before.
Your fifth item is a little simpler and mostly depends on whether you'll get Rabadon's Deathcap or Archangel's Staff.
Get Rabadon's Deathcap if you went with went with branch 2 or 3. Otherwise get Archangel's Staff if you went with branch 1.
Your last two items (I'm going with the assumption you will sell your Doran's Ring) can go in many different ways. Decision should be made largely based on the enemy team and what will benefit you the most.
Pure Offense -
Void Staff: Break through their defenses to deal more damage. I would usually get this item if your opponents have a lot of Magic Resistance
Will of the Ancients: Bonus AP and spell vamp. Pretty nifty item that'll help you survive longer out there with the spell vamp. Don't count on it to save you in a big team fight though. :(
Deathfire Grasp: This item gives you a pretty substantial amount of AP from itself. What really makes this item great is the active which heavily nukes a single target. Since it scales so well with AP (and as Karthus, you should have a ton near the late point of the game) you can easily 2 shot squishy targets from the get go. I highly recommend this item if there are targets that just NEEDS to die.
Pure Defense -
Thornmail: If their team has a lot of dps and you just want to watch them slowly kill themselves.
Banshee's Veil: More HP and Mana to go through. Plus a bonus Spell shield to protect you from getting instagibbed from certain nukers out there. (See: )
Guardian Angel: You must love preserving those Mejai's Soulstealer stacks. Regardless, it's a good item for preserving yourself in the face of the battlefield.
Frozen Heart: Lots of Armor, extra mana to waste, and a nice debuff. Get this if your enemies have a lot of DPS that rely on a lot of auto attacks to deal damage.
Zhonya's Hourglass: Personally, I consider this item as a borderline staple item. Back when this item was still Zhonya's Ring, it was considered as a must item for Karthus because of the passives and actives it has to offer. Now that it split into two items ( Rabadon's Deathcap being the other.) Zhonya's Hourglass took it's predecessor's defensive components by giving it's user 2 seconds of invulnerability. If you read my TL:DR, you will notice how I highly recommended Zhonya's Hourglass and the main reason is because of it's active.
Lich Bane: A Lich related item for a Lich? I'm in. Lich Bane goes very very well with Karthus, especially in the late game where you'll be constantly auto attack for an extra hilarious 400+ damage. The damage also affects turrets so this will increase your pushing capabilities as well. Like Zhonya's Hourglass, I find this item to be borderline staple because of the extra damage, defense, and utility it gives which synergizes very well with your main items.
Abyssal Scepter: Pretty good item for further reducing enemy defense while increasing yours.
Athene's Unholy Grail: This item gives you insane mana sustainability along with tons of extra AP. Karthus's ability to proc the passive mana regen upon killing enemy champions is unprecedent thus making this item a very very strong one on Karthus. I might even go so far as to recommend this above some other core items, namely Archangel's Staff because they function very similarly.
And of course, do get elixirs whenever you can. Preferably Elixir of Brilliance.
Also, don't forget to buy Sight Ward or Vision Ward whenever needed. Information is never a bad thing and you'll get plenty with warding the right places.
Debriefing some others...
Haunting Guise: There really isn't a lot of benefits for Karthus in this item. Really, it's just a waste of space.
[item_icon=Malady] [item_text=Malady]: What usefulness does this have to offer?
Nashor's Tooth: See above.
Trinity Force: See above.
Guinsoo's Rageblade: See above.
Manamune: See above.
Chalice of Harmony: See above.
Hextech Gunblade: Karthus problem child #2. At first glance, you might think I'm stupid for suggesting an item with Attack Damage and Lifesteal. Look again and you will see this item also offers a hefty AP bonus, nice spell vamp, and a very nice active as well; all of which Karthus can benefit from very very nicely. To be honest, I don't really even know why I don't have this item listed as one of the late game alternatives. I think the main reason might be the overall price of the item. Like Deathfire Grasp, I'm going to test this out a bit more. But I have a strong feeling that there's a high chance I'll move it to a recommended item.
(Might need some good convincing about the two items. I feel like they hold great potential on Karthus but something about it is not too appealing. Let's hear some input from the community.)
[item_icon=Morello's Evil Tome] [item_text=Morello's Evil Tome]: Pretty much the same with Deathfire Grasp. Simply not enough of what you need.
Final Note: Everything I say here is NOT set in stone. With different patches comes different updates. Sometimes I will not have the opportunity to update my guide accordingly. Additionally, the order of which I recommend building items are NOT set in stone either. Some matches might require a certain item earlier than later. If you feel this is needed, diverge from the main build to get what you need to go pro. All in all, use your own judgment to decide and determine what will be the most beneficial for yourself.
So how should we bring wrath today....
Builds upon your Mejai's Soulstealer
Balanced Defense Karthus:
The kind of build that emphasize on a little extra armor and magic resistance from Abyssal Scepter and Zhonya's Hourglass.
More magic resistance emphasis. Mostly from Abyssal Scepter and Banshee's Veil. Alternatively, you can choose to replace Archangel's Staff for Lich Bane if necessary, though I would advise against that.
More armor emphasis. Mostly from Zhonya's Hourglass and Frozen Heart. (In particular, Frozen Heart will synergize well with Archangel's Staff due to the bonus mana.) If someone else on your team already has a Frozen Heart, then it might be a good idea to replace it with a Thornmail or Guardian Angel
A more offensive focus with greater slow utility coming from Rylai's Crystal Scepter. Lich Bane is for extra auto attack boost, useful when you might need an extra hit on enemies or when you are trying to kill off turrets. Void Staff is for more penetration. Alternatively, you can replace Void Staff with Will of the Ancients to give you and your team some AP bonus and extra spell vamp.
I like turtles
In time when you can. Eternal Defile, gogogo!
Dispose of all opposition. Reign destruction onto infinate lands.
Alright, so now we got all the equipments prepared. You know what masteries and runes to take prior to the beginning of the match. You know what items to get and what to prioritize. All that's left is knowing how to use Karthus. In this Section, I'll try to go through each scenario that can occur in a regular match and how to deal with it. So without further ado, let's begin:
(NOTE: My early game is referring to the laning phase portion of a typical match, meaning it generally covers whatever happens between levels 6-10 and possibly earlier.)
Karthus's early game is divided into three basic scenarios: 1v1, 1v2, and 2v2. In terms of priorities in lanes, this is the best order for Karthus during the laning phase. Let's go through each one of them specifically:
One vs. One
This is Karthus's ideal match up. Whether it's solo mid or solo side lane, (preferably solo mid as letting Karthus obtain his ultimate early will be beneficial to the whole team and he has a lot of abilities in his asset to help set up good ganks and such.) focusing on a single target opponent is idealistic. The reason is simple: His Lay Waste will be much easier to land when concentrating on one primary target, as opposed to multiple, which increases the chances of landing the double damage bonus. (Very detrimental to your opponents if bonus is landed, especially during the laning phase.) With that said, let's move on.
In this scenario, your goal is fairly simple: farm and harass. To do this, the way you use your Lay Waste will be the key factor to determine overall success and failure. I'll explain in more details about tips and tricks, factors to be aware of, and versatile uses of Lay Waste in another section later on in the guide. For now, just remember these rules of thumb:
-DO last hit minions with it.
-DO aim to last hit multiple minions at once.
-DO aim for open space nearby enemy champions when harassing them.
-DO use this to zone or play mind games with your opponents. (Keep them at a distance and, if possible, in open space.)
-DON'T aimlessly spam it.
-DON'T harass your opponents by blindly spamming it.
-DON'T randomly aim it.
Generally, the idea is to farm up as best as you can while using as little mana and always plan a good spot to use it. Your early game mana will be the worst in the match, so careful usage is key.
A side note about Lay Waste is that it can uncover areas hidden by the Fog of War. (IE: bushes, over ledges, etc.) If you can't see your enemies in sight, always use a few Lay Waste to check in hidden areas. You might be able to uncover important intel AND do some sweet and unexpected amounts of damage.
As you level, you will begin to put points in your other skills, such as Defile and Wall of Pain. The general idea during the early game phase is to use these skills mainly for defensive/utility purposes, although use it offensively when you need to. (IE: chasing people down, adding additional damage.) This brings me to another point about the way I see many bad Karthus do and that's farming with Defile early game. NEVER EVER use your Defile for farming unless you are able to last hit 4-6 minions simultaneously with it. (even then, you should leave it on for no longer than 1-2 seconds.) Generally speaking, there should be no reason for you to ever farm with Defile during the early game phase because you'll be getting plenty done through Lay Waste which is less mana intensive than Defile.
As for your Wall of Pain, be careful when using it. Early game, the range is fairly small so it's less forgiving if you misposition it. With that said, it's usually a good idea to save the wall for defensive purposes (IE: when enemy champions come charging at you, enemy jungler chasing, a gank, etc.) although never neglect to use it for offense as well. (IE: enemy retreating, overextending, set up for team gank, etc.) Because Wall of Pain is the spell with the 2nd longest cooldown, next to your ultimate, you can't afford to spam it as much as Lay Waste or Defile. Determine where your opponents are going before you set up your wall. If they are retreating, set it up behind them. If they are incoming, set it up ahead of them. Position is key. Learn to read your opponents' movements and use it accordingly. (Naturally, once they are debuffed with Wall of Pain, use a few Lay Waste to deal some damage and, if your going on the offense, use Defile if it's needed. Just remember to turn it off and don't let it run too long.)
Once you get your Requiem, it's time to crack a few skulls. As a solo lane, you should be getting Requiem faster than your allies/enemies with their ultimates. This gives you an advantage in killing power, something you should definitely take advantage of. I'll explain more key ideas, tactics, and more in depth specifics about Requiem later on in this guide. For now, just follow the rules of thumb again.
-DO coordinate with your teammates. (Make sure they are AT LEAST lower than 200 hp due to base magic resistance and other interruptions such as spell shields and heals.)
-DO get into a safe zone before using. (Get into the clear before you use your ultimate. Any disruption will render your efforts moot.)
-DO attempt to personally scout the enemies' status before using. (Click on their champion, take a look at their HP. Ask yourself: is it low enough? Will their Soraka heal them right on impact? Is their spell shields on cooldown?)
-DO use it if you KNOW it'll help. (If your Sion and Taric just double stunned an enemy champion(s), use your ultimate to lower their HP enough for them to deal the killing blow. You might not get the kill, but you will get assists and be helpful to your lanes overall. Just be careful about this though and assess the situation carefully. Sometimes using Requiem this way is very riskly and, ultimately, end up with nothing.)
-DON'T recklessly use it. (really simple: if it doesn't help anything, don't use it.)
-DON'T use it to simply damage enemies. (If you see your allies blue pilling back to base, don't use your ultimate expecting them to do a successful follow up.)
The does and don't are fairly simple to understand. Proper usage, however, is a little bit more difficult because it requires a lot of micromanagement and precision for success. That's not to say it's an impossible task to get good with. Practice makes perfect and hopefully you'll learn more about what to keep an eye out for by the end of this guide.
Two vs. One
Two vs. One is a bit trickier for Karthus. This situation usually occurs if someone on your team is afk, their team has no jungler, or a pair really wants to duo in a non-typical duo lane. (usually top lane.) This does not imply that Karthus is a bad laner against a two person situation as you'll still be able to harass plenty with your Lay Waste and you'll get Requiem faster than most others in the game with their ultimates.
Use your Lay Waste, Defile, and Wall of Pain as you would use in a One vs. One situation: aim for multiple last hits when farming, aim for open space when harassing. Keep in mind as there are two players, it might be harder to find opportunities for your Lay Waste bonus. With that said, take priority on opponents. Aim for the squishier enemy or the one that has less ability to render your efforts useless. Aim for that Teemo over their Malphite. Aim for that Sona over Singed. Just be careful not to overextend as more champions means more damage can be done against you as well. Especially if the lane is good with pushing and healing, (IE: Taric and Sivir, Alistar and Tristana, Soraka and Miss Fortune.) you might want to play more passively to reduce the risk of getting killed and losing your tower first.
Upon getting your Requiem, use it as you would normally use it. Use it if you believe you will kill or assist easily. Don't use it if you or your allies are unsure. Follow the rule of thumb as you did before.
Generally, there isn't too much difference in a One vs. One and Two vs. One lane. The real difference is that you might need to play more defensively than you would in other situations.
Two vs. Two
This is the last typical situation and the Karthus's least favorite. The reasoning is simple: you can't get you Requiem as fast, making kills harder to get since enemies will be more "buff" than before. Nevertheless, Karthus is not a bad laning partner either as he can still put on a world of hurt despite having a stalled ultimate.
Maintain your harass and farm with Lay Waste as you would do in any other situation. Just make sure not to harass too much in case your ally has a plan to get a kill or two.
Coordinate with your partner to time your Wall of Pain with their attacks. Ping (G button) at the target to aim for, give them some kind of signal to focus on a single target or targets. Likewise, if they have an acceptable plan, follow up with them as well. Coordination is key and Karthus has the necessary buffs and debuffs to make your jobs much easier.
Upon getting your Requiem, use it as you would normally. Seek for opportunities to get kills or assists and use it in a safe spot. The chance of landing killing blows are going to be harder since all (generally) of your enemies are going to be at the same or higher levels than you.
Naturally, be careful not to over extend. If they're all missing or you see opponents coming for a gank, use your basic knowledge and back off until it is safe to continue again.
At this point, you should have your second item done and should be working (or starting to work) on your third item. Middle game is where big team fights start to break out. It's also when you start utilizing your passive to rake in kills and assist for your team.
As always, try to harass and farm with your Lay Waste whenever possible. Around this time of the game, your mana problems should be near gone or less impacting so feel free to spam it more. Likewise, aiming at specific targets is always important. But in a middle of a teamfight, this tends to be hard. So if you can't at your top priority opponent, shift to the next best opponent and go down the list from there. Again, try to get the double damage bonus, regardless of opponent.
Your Wall of Pain will be more versatile in usage too as you can use it as an initiating spell to kite enemies into position for your tanks or initiators to do their job or as a follow up to theirs. Remember you can change the angle of the wall as you rotate it within the casting range so make use of that if needed.
Using Defile is also going to be more flexible than earlier as your mana will be less problematic so you can leave it on for longer durations. (Do remember to turn it off after a certain period of time. Your mana pool IS STILL limited so be careful.) During a big team fight, turn on Defile and aim to hit as much opponents as possible. Although it's best to try and keep yourself alive, don't be afraid of dying. You'll still be plenty useful in your passive state. Just try to position yourself in the middle of the fight if you plan on dying as it'll help keep people in range of your Defile.
Keep in mind when you are in your passive state, ALWAYS leave your Defile on and set up your Wall of Pain immediately. Throw a few Lay Waste down right after and, if needed, you can use your Requiem to finish enemies off. Keep in mind, your Requiem has a 3 second channel time and your passive only last for 8 seconds. This means you must cast your Requiem before the 5th second, otherwise it will not activate.
Your end game is pretty much the same as middle. The only difference is that you are more powerful and should have absolutely no mana problems. Continue to do what you've been doing for most of the game and pick your targets carefully.
Whenever possible, you should always try to help your team with ganks. This is particularly favorable early on with Karthus's Wall of Pain which makes the job much easier. Place it so it blocks wherever your opponents are heading towards. From there, continue with Lay Waste and Defile when you are near. If necessary, use your Requiem to finish the job if it'll ensure some kills. Remember to coordinate with your teammates. Discuss who to target and who to focus. Give signals via pinging or through chat. Never ever go without giving some notice. (Unless your teammate insist through a stun/snare/something of that sort which gives you a good opportunity to jump in.) Do be careful about chasing however. Sometimes it's better to give up a kill or two as opposed to risk dying and getting nothing.
Secret Weapon #1
When playing Karthus, THE most important factor to determine success and failure is the ability to properly utilize your Lay Waste. (aka: The Carpet Bombing ability of League of Legends) In fact, this is so important that I think Lay Waste deserves it's own section because there is a lot to go through, and it's not simply just "press qqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqq". Before I go into the main points, let's take another look at what Lay Waste does:
Creates a delayed blast at Karthus' cursor position. After 0.5 seconds, deals (40/60/80/100/120) (+(0.6 per ability power point)) magic damage to each nearby enemy. This deals double damage if it hits only a single unit.
Cost: 20/26/32/38/44 Mana
Cooldown: 1 second.
Spell Range: 875.
Right off the bat, we can understand that:
1) It has low cooldown. (with your masteries, it should be around 1/2-3/4th of a second)
2) It has low cost. (self-explanatory)
3) It has long range (something to take advantage of)
4) It does double damage when hitting single targets. (same as above)
5) Most importantly, it "creates a delayed blast at Karthus' cursor position".
That's right, it's as you read. Karthus's Lay Waste is default to what some people call "smart-casting". What this mean is that unlike most skillshots, (IE: Mystic Shot, Duskbringer, Dark Binding) it does NOT require you to click on the ability AND click on it again to activate. Simply point to your location, click the ability, and it will activate itself. For a spell with such low cooldown, this is ideal and learning how to take advantage of such a casting system is key.
So let's get to it. I'm going to divide this section into multiple parts:
Good positioning is the key to landing a good Lay Waste. Despite having a long range, you want to keep in mind that your first priority when harassing is to achieve that double damage bonus. This means nothing if your opponents simply camps near his own minions all day. Instead, you can be the dominant member of the battle by constantly finding open space and playing mind games with your opponents. This is where you can and must utilize your high range, low cooldown and cost to "kite" your enemies into where you want them to be. Let me try to illustrate a few examples:
The picture below shows a solo mid duel between an Ashe and myself in my sexy Statue of Karthus skin. (which might I add is THE BEST KARTHUS skin out there. YES IT IS BETTER THAN THE GRIM REAPER SKIN. NO, I AM NOT MAD AT THE FACT THAT I GOT THE STATUE SKIN ONE DAY BEFORE GRIM REAPER WAS RELEASED!!! IF YOU THINK I'M MAD BECAUSE I'M TYPING IN ALL CAPS LIKE THIS, YOU ARE VERY VERY WRONG!!!)
Orange Dots indicates where you should move to and Red Dots indicate where you should land your next Lay Waste. So here's some options:
- Red: B, Orange: D
- Red: D, Orange: C
- Red: E, Orange: A
- Red: C, Orange: E
- Red: A, Orange: B
Red: B, Orange: D -
Although B is not a bad option to use Lay Waste, the fact that Ashe is heading in the opposite direction makes it less prone to hit. Additionally, since it's positioned fairly close to minions, procing the bonus damage will be more risky. As for D, you are making yourself more vulnerable by standing too far to the sides of the lane and away from your minions.
Red: D, Orange: C -
Granted you can use Lay Waste here to farm up more kills, you're wasting a good opportunity to deal some major damage onto Ashe. Capitalizing on opportunities to get a clear shot usually beats farming since they don't come as easy but pays off well if it manages to damage the enemy. As for C, it's never a bad idea to stay within a safe distance of your turrets. But point C is simply too inward and there's really no reason why you need to go that far.
Red: E, Orange: A -
Point E is not a bad choice. In fact, it would be my second or third option of landing a Lay Waste. However, the problem lies in the issue that it's closer to minions then other options. Additionally, it's a bit too far to the sides from Ashe thus it has less potential of landing near her path trajectory. Point A, however, is NOT somewhere I would go to. Like Point D, it's pretty far off to the side and there's lots of open space. It makes you too vulnerable to attacks and you're putting yourself farther away from your safe zone.
Red: C, Orange: E -
Frankly, I'm not sure what you're trying to accomplish by landing Lay Waste in the opposite direction of Ashe. As for E, have fun feeding.
Red: A, Orange: B -
This would be my ideal set up. Point A satisfies 3 objectives: it's far away from minions, making the bonus almost guarenteed to proc; it's set in front of the target's movement trajectory, meaning the chances of her walking on it is higher; and it's placed closer to her side of the lane, making it more prone to damage in the event she decides to retreat or pressures her to move closer towards your side thus positioning her farther away from her turret which allows you to land more attacks. Position B is probably the best place to go as well. It places you in a good proximity to your turrets and gives you protection through the minions. Against champions like Ashe, this will block attacks like Volley thus reducing chances for damage to be dealt against you.
Going into more details, let's analyze and debrief the conditions of the winning scenario:
-Point A is placed in front of the target: This is very standard and reasonable. You want to place it where the target is most likely going to walk over. As such, laying it front of her trajectory should be an obvious thing to do.
-Point A is placed away from other units: If your aim is to proc the double damage bonus, this is also something important to keep in mind. Since there is a very slight delay with the animation, putting your blast too close to other units might risk having them walk over and effectively reduce the damage. Finding open space to lay your blast will reduce the chances of ruining the bonus which is something you should ALWAYS do when trying to damage enemies individually.
-Point A is placed towards their side of the map: Placing your Lay Waste in proximity to other things is also an important factor. Notice how the blast is placed slight towards her left and not directly in front of her. It's because this acts as a safety buffer. If it was placed directly in front of her, she can simply walk towards her turret and ignore the blast. However, since this Lay Waste is placed slightly towards her side, she will risked getting damaged even if she were to turn back. This puts pressure on her to move into places that are more favorable to you, such as closer towards your turret and further away from hers.
What I want you to leave with is pretty simple actually: place your Lay Waste in FRONT of your target, place it in open areas if you're trying to deal bonus damage, and prioritize landing the blast closer towards their side of the map.
Making such decisions are not easy. It can be hard to find perfect opportunities and it only gets harder as the game progresses with people becoming more mobile, more tanky, and simply moving all over the map as opposed to a single lane. However, keeping these ideas in mind should help ease your decisions and allow you to understand what kind of priorities you should keep in mind when attacking.
Some players are stubborn. They will know that playing against a Karthus require agile movements to constantly dodge your Lay Waste. Annoying as they may be, you do have ways to counter their tactics. Since Lay Waste's effectiveness is largely due to positioning, understanding your enemies' position inversely helps your positioning.
First and foremost, analyze for movement patterns. This is the most typical and essential method to ruin enemy counter tactics. Pay attention regarding details about how the enemy likes to move around, be on the lookout for certain spots or areas that the enemy tend to leave and return. Ask yourself: where has he/she been going. Where might he/she be going again? How can I bait him/her. Keeping these details in mind will help you move into better positions which ultimately makes Lay Waste much easier to land successfully. Does this Katarina like to come close and use Bouncing Blade before retreating with Shunpo? Maybe it's a good idea to stay out of Bouncing Blade range while finding a good spot to attack after Shunpo. Does this Ashe always move to the sides after hitting a minion? Maybe it's a good idea to attack her after she hits something. These are just examples of what might happen in game, but the idea is that your approach to deal with the situation should be similar in that analyzing the way your enemies move makes your job much easier.
Second, observe enemy actions. When I say this, I mean pay attention to anything they've done in the last few seconds. The window of opportunity for Lay Waste is very fast. And while it's much less punishable compared to other skillshot-like ability due to the low cost and cooldown, it's much better to be accurate with your attacks and take advantage of your enemies' weaknesses. Pay attention to when enemies use certain abilities or has certain item effects. Did Vladimir use Transfusion 3 seconds ago? Did Ezreal use his last Arcane Shift to retreat to safety? Did Twisted Fate waste his last Stacked Deck bonus with a last hit? Knowing these little information might seem pointless, but it's important to take advantage of your opponents during the times when they are most vulnerable. Each champion has different situations and times of vulnerability. Learn to adapt to different champions' playstyles and counter accordingly.
Third, be aware of proximity. Since positioning is very important, it's also important to know how close/far away you are from other things aside from your opponent(s). The primary objective is to kill and not get killed. Even though you have a last stand in the form of Death Defied, this doesn't mean it's ALWAYS a good idea to die and expect a bunch of kills to fall out of the sky. As such, pay attention to how close or far away you and your opponent(s) are from their "safe zones". If Mordekaiser is standing fairly close to his turret, is it a good idea to extend that far? Kogmaw is far from his turret, standing near the edge of the brush. Does it mean it's a good idea for you to stray away from your turret and do the same? Knowing these information is pretty essential for any champion you play. As a result, I felt it's particularly important to offer a reminder for everyone about how to play successfully while playing safe. Going on the offense and being aggressive is important. But it's nowhere worth putting yourself into unnecessary danger and getting nothing out of it.
Lastly, Karthus's Lay Waste hitbox is actually slightly bigger than the seemingly small dot displayed in the animation.
If you manually press Lay Waste instead of the Q button, you can see details about how big the hitbox actually is and how far you can cast it. The size of the animation is outlined in the red circle while the actual hitbox size is outlines in the orange circle. As you can see, the hitbox is a lot bigger than the animation implies. This means you don't have to aim exactly at your opponents in order to damage them which gives you an idea that Lay Waste extends a little farther than it implies. Alternatively, this also means you need to be more careful when aiming for the double damage bonus since the hitbox is big enough that it might unintentionally collide with other units.
Farming with Lay Waste is fairly easy and very rewarding. However, I want to cover some strategies and ideas to keep a lookout for. (This is specifically pertaining to early-early mid game. After that, it's pretty straight forward Q-spamming.) When I play with/against a lot of Karthuses, I tend to see a lot of them just spamming Lay Waste at the biggest clusters of minions. While this seems like a good idea to abuse the low cooldown and cost, it is actually less productive and inefficient. Particularly early game, low mana is still mana. If you spam Lay Waste too much, the costs adds up and you'll run dry of mana. "But Defile will replenish my mana..." is the response you might be thinking right now. While it is true that Defile will replenish mana, it will only replenish a portion of what you spent. This means the more you recklessly spam, the overall cost adds up and you will be at a mana deficit. Simply put, Defile will only replenish mana completely if and only if one Lay Waste can kill 2 or more enemies. So how do we maximize our farm while conserving cost as much as possible? Let me show you an example:
In this picture, (terrible example, I'll be honest. I'll try to retake a better example to prove my point) I have a few minions left to kill. Should I -
A: Spam at any random location so long as it hits the minions.
B: Spam around the middle area, where the wave is clustered and the damage is disbursed to each minion.
C: Turn on Defile.
D: Even out the health differences via no cost damage.
If you picked C, your either trolling or missed a good chunk of this guide. If you picked A, you're not quite there yet. If you picked B, you're getting there. If you picked D, you are correct.
When I refer to no cost damage, this usually inquire auto attacking. Yes I know, Karthus has absolutely horrible auto attacks. But damage is still damage and, especially during the laning phase, it does actually matter. It should turn into something like this:
Generally, the idea holds that you want to even out the health differences among multiple minions, usually through a few auto attacks, and wipe them out with a single blast. As you can see in the picture, the three minions I circled are going to be my targets because they are around similar health percents. With one Lay Waste, I can ensure last hits on all 3 AND no mana charge. Now isn't that a better deal than mindlessly spamming away and potentially getting nothing? Granted, I had no enemies to harass me in this image, but the general concept still holds true if there was one. Simply put, aim for last hits and aim to last hit multiple targets at once. Whether it's 2 or 4 simultaneously, it will still be better than 1 or none at all.
Aside from gold assurance, this is very important for mana conservation. Particularly during the laning phase, you won't have as much mana to burn through so keeping that blue bar nice and healthy is key. Because you never know when that extra Lay Waste can cost you a kill or when that Wall of Pain can save your life.
Utility wise, Lay Waste is best used as a scouting ability. With the decent range that allows it to peer over obstacles and into brushes and such, Lay Waste is amazing for killing through the fog of war. If you're playing Karthus, NEVER EVER EVER go into a brush, check baron/dragon/other minions, walk around the corners of the jungles, or anywhere deemed dangerous without using a Lay Waste unless enemies are in clear sight without them. (IE: invisible units, wards, Clairvoyance) Make it a habit to check dangerous areas with Lay Waste before you or your teammates dive into dangerous areas. The reason is simple: it can mean the difference between getting an ace or get aced.
Secret Weapon #2
Requiem: (noun) A Mass celebrated for the repose of the soul or souls of one or more deceased persons.
How very fitting for an ultimate like Karthus's. Just like a real Requiem, Requiem can write the songs of death for the entire enemy team.
*ahem* Jokes aside, Requiem is your "press R and win". Contradicting myself, this phrase should not be taken too literally as using a successful Requiem takes careful judgment, timing, and positioning. Earlier, I mentioned how Karthus requires a lot of micromanagement in his playstyle. Well, a good portion of the reason goes to casting Requiem. In the end, it's not simply "press R and win" but more like "press R and win because you know when to do it.".
Let's take a look at some numbers first:
After channeling for 3 seconds, Karthus deals (250/400/550) (+(0.6 per ability power point)) magic damage to all enemy champions (regardless of distance).
Cost: 150/175/200 Mana
Spell Range: Apparently, the map is 10000 units big.
Right here, we can see it's got:
1) High Cooldown. (at least 2 minutes)
2) Rangeless and Targets all enemy champions.
3) High Damage and Ratios.
TL:DR - USE WHEN YOU NEED TO.
When using Requiem, there are a few important factors to keep in mind. Let's go through each individually with more in-depth analysis:
When I say Natural Resistance, I am usually referring to Magic Resistance. Whether it's through base resistance, items that boost resistance, or skills that temporarily/permanently offer resistance; magic resistance is often a common factor for miscalculation and, usually, there is no way to specifically calculate the safe and not so safe area. (Unless you are a math genius who can instantly calculate how much 35% resistance will block a 700 magic damage nuke, answer's 245 btw. If you can, I congratulate you for such skill and please do my math homework for me.) The best you can go is with a solid estimate which can still fail but will reduce the chances.
In more practical applications, I would usually allot myself up to 20-25% difference between target(s) HP and actual damage dealt. This might still be a hard task to do so an easier method is to simply scale based on target(s) total health. For example, if you see a Tristana with 2200 health, this usually surmounts to about 10-12 bars of health visually. Assuming she only has about 25% magic resistance and your Requiem does a total of about 680 magic damage. (680 x .25 = 170 damage blocked.) This means the safe zone to activate your ultimate would be around 4 - 4 1/2 bars of life remaining. Of course you won't have the luxury to casually check every target you want to ultimate, but this is simply a reference to whenever you can.
Lastly, some champions might have items or abilities to temporarily increase magic resistance. When targeting someone like Garen, Jax, Master Yi, or Rammus, keep in mind that they do have potential of decreasing your damage by a lot. When killing opponents like those, it's sometimes safe to even go as far as 35-50% of health - actual damage ratio before using your Requiem. A neat trick to keep in mind is to try and glance at your enemies' stats before you go attack them. Simply click on their champion and look at their stats window near the top of the screen. You will be able to see what's their max HP, how to scale appropriately, how much resistance do they have, what they are building, all that good stuff that will help you greatly.
2)Healing or Spell Shields
This is probably the most annoying and, sometimes, unexpected (or expected but unanticipated) way to ruin Karthus's ultimate. When killing champions with any of these perks, this is where your micromanagement skills begin to shine. Observe your enemies, pay attention to their last few attacks. Did that Morgana use her Black Shield to protect their Veigar from your Annie's stun 3 seconds ago? Did you pop Sivir's Spell Shield with your Lay Waste 5 seconds ago? Did Nidalee just heal Akali 4 seconds ago? All of these situations has one thing in common: taking note of recent "disruptions". It's always important to hit your opponents when they are most vulnerable. For champions that can heal or block spells, this case usually occurs when their spell is on cooldown or if they don't have enough mana/energy/w/e system to cast their disruption. Again, you won't have the luxury of obtain this information every single time. But simply keeping in mind about what to keep a lookout for will certainly help pick kills from champions that can ruin your day. This is why micromanagement is crucial for playing a successful Karthus. You must keep your eye on the map at all times. Be aware of enemies recent actions and their current status to make a successful judgment. Of course, sometimes your teammates can be reliable and will provide the information for free. This, however, is not always reliable and it's best to train yourself to continuously be aware of the status of enemy champions.
Like most spell shields, invulnerabilties are also targets of rage. Luckily, this is not as common and only applies to a select few champions such as Vladimir, Tryndamere, Kayle, Zilean, and anybody with a [spell_icon=Zhonya's Hourglass] [spell_text=Zhonya's Hourglass]. Countering is fairly similar with spell shields and healing: simply wait for the duration to end and spell to go on cooldown. Keep in mind, some moves like Sanguine Pool, Bloodlust, and Divine Blessing can heal the target with more HP prior to their invulnerable state. So keep this in your calculations when activating
4)Out of Action for too long
This is fairly simple. If you miss your target(s) for more than 5-7 seconds, let it go. With the channel duration as an additional factor, all the more reason to hold off your Requiem instead of activating it...only to find your opponent nestled safely in their base.
5)Check your I.N.F.O.R.M.A.T.I.O.N
Frankly, this is a very simple task that's ALWAYS a good habit to get into. (regardless of champion, but it's particularly useful as Karthus) Let me demonstrate:
Let's start with the basics:
1) move your mouse to enemy champion
2) click enemy champion with left mouse button
What does I.N.F.O.R.M.A.T.I.O.N stand for? I.N.F.O.R.M.A.T.I.O.N stands for Important News Featuring Opinions that Really Matters About Team Intellegence Over the uNknown. (yes, it's a bad acronym. Tell me if you have a better one.) I.N.F.O.R.M.A.T.I.O.N in League of Legends is IMPORTANT.
-Why do good players buy wards? Because they want I.N.F.O.R.M.A.T.I.O.N about enemy presence.
-Why do supports use Clairvoyance? Same reason as above.
-Why did Ezreal shoot his Essence Flux into that brush? Because he wants I.N.F.O.R.M.A.T.I.O.N.
-Why does Riot release details about new champions? Because players want I.N.F.O.R.M.A.T.I.O.N. -Why do abilities give details about its effects? For the sake of I.N.F.O.R.M.A.T.I.O.N.
-Why are you reading this guide? (To be honest, I don't know the answer...) For I.N.F.O.R.M.A.T.I.O.N.
Returning back to the picture, let's see what we can deduce:
A: Offensive and Defensive Stats - pretty simple actually. This tells us how threatening they are to you and how threatening you are to them. In this situation, we can see that Ashe has higher defensive stats and mobility than Karthus. Based on this, we can expect her to survive better than you can if you were to her head on. This is particularly important when analyzing how much reduction will take into effect with Requiem. For champions like Ashe, she probably won't reduce too much damage so your chance of dealing a killing blow is much higher.
B: Available Options - we can see that Ashe is starting to run low on mana. Knowing the precise number can help you predict how much more abilities they can afford to use if any at all. With Ashe at 105 mana, this means she will NOT be able to use her Enchanted Crystal Arrow anytime soon. This means you can play a little more aggressively as she just lost one of her greatest asset of Crowd Control.
C: Abilities and Effects: Pretty standard info. This shows what kinda of additional effects, bonuses or reduction, are applied onto them currently. Such info should let you understand what kind of position you are in and thus tells you how to you handle the situation. In this case, Ashe has her Frost Shot active which means any of her attacks will slow me down so I have to keep my distance to remain safe.
D: Abilities and Effects (Cont.): Frankly, I dunno why I didn't merge this with the above. It's pretty much the same deal where they describe stat effects that are active at that moment. Some effects will show stacks which indicates how effect they are to you and your opponent. For this instance, it would be Ashe's Focus which grants her bonus crit the longer she doesn't make an attack. Hovering over such information with your mouse will give more specific details and how you should prepare yourself.
As you can see, this small tab provides a lot of I.N.F.O.R.M.A.T.I.O.N about enemy champions which should tell you a lot about what you're up against and how to deal with it. I can't emphasis how important it is to get into the habit of constantly checking your opponents stats as knowledge will tell you a lot about yourself and your opponent(s).
If you didn't bother reading my long wall of text, you're missing out. But I will simplify:
1) Keep resistance as a factor. (Chances to inflict 100% or more damage is low.)
2) Allow 20-25% difference between your ultimate and target(s)' hp. (35-50% for those with resistance boost/heals/etc.)
3) Be on the lookout for when your enemies used their defense spells. (Did that Sivir use her shield lately? Did Vladimir pool 3 seconds ago? Did Morgana use her spell shield recently?)
4) Don't use your ultimate if the target is out of sight for too long.
5) Take note of your enemies' stats. (Click on each enemy champion now and then. Observate who has more health, who has less resistance, what items they are building.)
6) Information is Key. (ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS update yourself with enemies status. Check your scoreboard. Check the overall team statuses. Do whatever to keep yourself updated with the current situation.)
Again, this is all simply reference. Miscalculations will happen. You can't be expected to kill people everytime with your Requiem simply because there are a lot of "cockblockers" out there. The best you can do is learn to guess a good opportunity and time. This can be made easier through cooperation and important factors to keep note of.
For additional entertainment purposes, try listening to Lux Aeterna By Clint Mansell based off the movie Requiem of a Dream. As overuse as it might be sometimes, it's an extra kick in the juices when you feel like scoring pentakills among pentakills. Feel the carnage, one Requiem at a time. :P
Those fools dare challenge a legend?!
BIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIG LONNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNG WALL OF TEXT INCOMING. BRACE YOURSELVES
Finally, I want to discuss about Karthus and his match ups with different opponents. In this section, I will order each match up based on MY opinion and observations about how well the two champions will fare if pitted against each other, assuming they are at similar skill levels and know how to use their champion. Let me add that most of these are mainly used to compare the laning phases and these characters are faced respectively in a LANE. (therefore, it does NOT reflect what happens in team fights or outside laning phases.)
Before I continue, I would like to say that I do NOT main every character in this game. I am writing this section based on my own judgment and knowledge on how well Karthus fairs against other champions. Naturally, I am expecting people to agree and disagree with my decisions. If you're compelled to go against my selected match ups, please comment with legitimate reasons as to why you think otherwise.
NOTE: Everything I say here is NOT guaranteed to occur in the game. Factors such as team cooperation, player skill, partner, chance, etc will differentiate the points I say here and what actually occurs in the game. This section is simply to give people an idea to what to pay attention to when fighting against certain champions. Use your own skills and judgments when fighting against them personally.
Kassadin is notorious for being a great "anti-caster" and he might be Karthus's most difficult opponent. Defensively, his Void Stone will block off some of your magic damage, which is always painful to see. His Null Sphere is easy to harass with and is very painful. His Force Pulse also does a lot of damage and has quite a slow. Additionally, the passive on his Nether Blade allows him to replenish a bit of mana, raising his laning potency. The big problem comes when he get his Riftwalk because it greatly increases his harassing and escaping capabilities.
Keep Kassadin at a distance. It's the only advantage you have against him. If you can't reach him, farm up. He is nowhere near the farmer as you, which is something you can take advantage of. Anytime he comes near you, try to read his movements and carpet bomb a few Lay Waste. I highly discourage EVER using Defile against Kassadin because his Null Sphere will cause lots of trouble. If, at any time, his Null Sphere is on cooldown, take this opportunity to bomb away and harass as much as possible. Once he gets his Riftwalk, lay low and play passively. Turret hugging is probably the best idea. Though make sure you stand BEHIND your turret and not parallel to it because his Null Sphere has ridiculous range.
Like Kassadin, Leblanc is also another troublesome "anti-caster". She too has a silence, ( Sigil of Silence) insta-blink, ( Distortion) and a slow-snare. ( Ethereal Chains) A lot of Leblancs like to combo their Sigil of Silence and Distortion early on and it does a TON of damage if it connects. The biggest problem comes when she has her Mimic because they can double cast Sigil of Silence for an easy silence and increased damage increments. Not too much to comment about her passive.
Again, keep your distance. Leblanc can't hit what she can't reach. Like Kassadin, she has less farming potential than you do so capitalize on this. In a sense, Leblanc is a slightly stronger version of Kassadin when it comes to single target nuking. Luckily for you, most of the CC is applicable only on the second hit. So if you manage to dodge the second blow on her moves, you can set up for a hasty but short counter attack. Once she gets her Mimic, stay passive. Like Kassadin, it might be a good idea to camp near your turret and farm while harassing whenever possible. Keep in mind, her range is nothing to scoff at and will cost you dearly if you're not careful.
Notice something in common with Karthus's worst match ups? You guess it: Silence. Malzahar is another champion with hefty damage output and good silencing spells. His Malefic Visions is his main farm ability and keeps him mana fresh. His Call of the Void is his silencing ability and has a VERY long range. It can also deal double damage if positioned correct (near the sides of the beam, if I recall correctly.) so be careful of that. His Null Zone is another painful spell and you want to leave the area as fast as possible. His Nether Grasp is absolutely devastating against single targets so don't get into range for that. Not much to comment about his passive, just make sure you don't get hit by Malefic Visions when he has a voidling.
Once again: keep your distance. Malzahar is a tricky opponent because he has a lot of long range abilities as well and Malefic Visions is like little termites slowly munching away at your wave to come to you if you're too close. Luckily for you, he is NOT as mobile so you will have an easier time harassing him. Dodge his attacks and pop a few Lay Waste when his abilities are mostly on cooldown. When he reach level 6, this is when you need to play much more passively. His Nether Grasp is like a single target version of your ultimate. Combined with all his other abilities, it is almost a guarantee kill if he lands it. Simply prevent this by keeping your distance and keeping your farm healthy.
Vayne has, as we say, DAT DAMAGE. Her ability to harass and deal damage is extraordinaire and much more threatening than most carries. Tumble is her main positioning spell that also deals extra damage on her next attack. Silver Bolts is Vayne's deadliest ability where you should always prevent her from landing the 3rd strike. Condemn is Vayne's main CC ability that will stun and deal bonus damage to you if collision with an object happens. And finally, her ultimate Final Hour and her passive Night Hunter gives her absurd chasing and finishing power.
Keep your distance and harass carefully. Vayne's Tumble provides her offensive and defensive capabilities. It can help her advance to a suitable attacking position or it can position her away from your Lay Waste. With the low mana cost and short cooldown, this will make her very mobile most of the game. Using hit and run tactics is probably the safest way to deal against Vayne in a lane. This'll make it harder for her to fully land Silver Bolts as well as her Condemn. If she advances too far, slow her down with a Wall of Pain and hurt her a few times. Vayne is very squishy and will fall after a few successful Lay Waste but remember not to overexert. Vayne's kit, in general, makes her very deadly and unpredictable. Keeping your distance and thinking ahead is the key to beating her in a lane since she has greater sure-fire damage. And although you can deal more damage ultimately, it's more of a risk on your part over hers. So play safe, play smart, and stay alive.
While Annie does not have any silences, her Pyromania makes her very hard to deal with. Her Disintegrate has a very long range and does painful amounts of damage. The range on Incinerate is not as long but is still longer than it seems and hurts pretty badly as well. Molten Shield is usually used for charging up Pyromania or temporary stat defense and, it's possible, slow farming. (last one is rare though.) Possibly Annie's most harmless spell, just don't auto attack her. When she gets Summon: Tibbers, this is one bear you'll regret messing with because it WILL make you pay.
Whenever her Pyromania is down, this is your cue to start harassing her. Try to predict her movements and Lay Waste accordingly. Annie is not too mobile so she will have a harder time dodging properly placed ones. Keep your distance though because her Disintegrate is a decent harassing spell and it has crazy range. If she ever uses Disintegrate, go on the offensive immediately. Take advantage of your range during it's cooldown interval but remember not to harass for too long. Anytime her Pyromania is active, she will have a glowing ring around her. When this happens, it's best if you play more passively. Her burst Disintegrate and Incinerate is very deadly and can cost you a lot of health if used correctly. When she gets Summon: Tibbers, be very careful. Anytime Annie runs close to you with Pyromania active, it's usually a sign she coming after you. Simply keep your distance, keep your farm going, and try to harass whenever possible. You can try to kite her if she comes running towards you to get into range.
Urgot is, hands down, one of the strongest laners in the game. His Noxian Corrosive Charge + Acid Hunter combo is very very deadly and, when combined with Terror Capacitor, can kill almost anybody due to his ridiculous range. His ultimate Hyper-Kinetic Position Reverser is very disruptive and can make life much easier for him by zoning you farther away from your side and allowing his combo to land much easier. Overall, Urgot is a formidable opponent and you must always stay moving to stay alive.
The best way to deal with Urgot is simply avoid his Noxian Corrosive Charge. Easier said than done because it has huge range and area of effect, making it fairly easy to land. One strategy is to be aggressive early on. Harass him with Lay Waste and force him to misposition himself from landing
Noxian Corrosive Charge. Just make sure you try and stay behind your minions because he can still hit you with Acid Hunter if you're too open. When he gets his Hyper-Kinetic Position Reverser, this is where you must play more passively and chase less. The spell is very unpredictable and will cost you dearly if he lands it properly. Keeping your distance and dodging Noxian Corrosive Charge is key. Anytime his Noxian Corrosive Charge doesn't hit you and is on cooldown, use that duration to harass him because he won't be able to counter as easily.
Caitlyn can be a nightmare to lane against. She has a large arsenal of long range abilities, particularly her Piltover Peacemaker and auto attack. Her Headshot gives her auto attacks more punch which is deadly if she keeps her harass going. Her Yordle Snap Trap and 90 Caliber Net are her main supplementary abilities but can help her land her other combos if used correctly. Lastly, her Ace in the Hole is a very deadly finisher move. So make sure you don't hurt yourself too much early on, otherwise she WILL punish you for those mistakes.
You and Caitlyn are both very fragile champions with high damage potential early on. Make sure you're the one coming out on top. When she tries to auto attack you, there will be a small orange outline around her. Keep your distance and try to attack her with Lay Waste when she's attacking minions. Pay attention when she holds her gun in one hand, this is a sign she's charging her Piltover Peacemaker which you should always try to dodge or at least minimize damage by standing behind a group of minions. Be careful when she uses her Yordle Snap Trap. It can be surprising if you're not careful and most Caitlyns likes to use this when you're retreating or advancing. Lastly, you want to keep your HP nice and healthy against Caitlyn. Her Ace in the Hole is similar to your Requiem with more damage and is single target. If you're soloing against her, be careful not to get too low since she can pick you off very easily.
Like Caitlyn, Ashe can be very annoying to lane against. She has good range from Volley that hurts pretty bad if it lands. Her auto attacks has a natural long range and she has a strong slow through her Frost Shot. Her passive Focus gives her an automatic crit with her first attack in the game, which some Ashes uses on champions and can deal massive damage at level 1. Her Enchanted Crystal Arrow does pretty hefty damage early on and the stun allows her to chase/set up for ganks very easily. Ashe is a strong ranged DPS with lots of utility so play carefully.
Ashe is very squishy. If you can get a few Lay Waste on her, she will drop very fast. Her Volley is a bit different from Piltover Peacemaker because it is blocked by any unit it doesn't kill. Meaning it's always a good idea to stay behind your minions when fighting against her. Additionally, the spread on Volley increases by distance so staying farther back makes it easier to dodge because of the bigger gaps. One advice I would highly recommend is to keep an eye on her stats. (By clicking on her champion) Pay close attention to her mana because anytime she is below 150, her Enchanted Crystal Arrow is useless; meaning it's an opportunity to go on the offensive.
For a tank/tanky caster, Cho'Gath is a tough nut to crack. His Carnivore allows him massive regen during the laning phase, allow him to sustain his presence and making him harder to kill. On top of that, his Rupture and Feral Scream combo is an absolute nightmare for Karthus because it puts a lot of CC AND deals a lot of damage. Vorpal Spikes is his least threatening ability that's mainly used for extra farming and supplemental damage. Despite the terrible range, Feast can help Cho'Gath reel in the kills if you're not careful.
Rupture is Cho's only ranged ability. Prevent him from landing one on you successfully can greatly ruin his day as it'll make it harder for him to follow up with his other abilities. Adding onto the point, use your harass and distance to your advantage. He is fairly slow and so long as you dodge his Rupture and stay away from Feral Scream, he will run out of offensive options. Alternatively, try laying down your Wall of Pain so it might possibly prevent him from following up with other attacks. Lastly, keep in mind Feast does TRUE damage. It bypasses all resistance and gives him additional health if he kills a unit with it. Some Cho's are clever and might use this to weaken enemies rather than finishing, simply because of the terrible range. All in all, play carefully and keep a good distance. You have much greater harass than him, which you must take advantage of in order to stay on top.
Swain is a monster laner with a lot of Crowd Control and damaging spell, especially toward single targets. Using Decrepify and Nevermove are interchangeable depending on whether it's easier to land one after the other or vice versa. Torment is his main "sure-fire" spell that amplifies damage from any of Swain's attacks, including auto attacks which can hurt pretty bad early game. With his Carrion Renewal, he has mana regeneration comparable to your own, giving him very high sustainability. This is further increased by his Ravenous Flock which is his main farm and healing ability that makes him very very hard to kill during the laning phase.
What Swain boast in utility, he lacks range. His Nevermove has the longest range at the cost of a very long cooldown. Make sure you dodge this spell because he will usually follow up with his other spells and the full combo is very punishing. Additionally, some Swains might use Decrepify first to get into range for his other spells. Make sure you keep a safe distance and harass him well. He is fairly hard to zone with Karthus because of his strong crowd control and sustainability that makes him fear nothing. Put the pain on him early, because he will simply heal out of it with Ravenous Flock later on if he was not pressured. All in all, keep your distance and give him lots of pain. Swain is not very mobile so he might have a harder time dodging Lay Waste which is something you must take advantage of if you want to come out on top.
Match-up Ranging (35-65) - (40-60):
Since her rework, Katarina is one of Karthus's most difficult matchups. She has high mobility making it easy to dodge your Lay Waste while her abilities let her harass and farm at no cost while being very unpredictable. Bouncing Blade is her primary harass tool which she strike her target and up to 5 nearby enemies. Sinister Steel is her dominant fighting/farm ability. With a very low cooldown, she can use this very often in a short period of time. Shunpo is her nuke/gap closer ability where her main form of mobility comes into play. It also provides her with temporary resistance to damage so be cautious when fighting back after she use this ability. Her ultimate Death Lotus is a channel spell much like Requiem where she damages the 3 closest champions heavily as long as they stay in range. With her combined kit, Kat is able to drop targets in seconds while potentially staying safe from damage herself.
When playing against Kat, you want to keep you distance and play safe. Focus on farming, she absolutely cannot outfarm you unless she gets the advantage and has more damage to clear the minions. Remember to space yourself between your minions because she can still harass you easily with Bouncing Blade by using friendly units. She can also follow up with her other abilities on minions to close her gap towards you if the can't get to you directly. Bottom line, you want to space yourself so she can't reach you easily and you can safe harass her from a distance. Anytime you see 2 (especially Shunpo or Sinister Steel on cooldown) or all her non-ultimate spells on cooldown, you want to use that window of time and press for some damage. Put down a few Lay Waste in that time frame to deal some serious pain onto her. Kat is a frail champion, like yourself, and will drop easily when exposed to too much damage.
My least favorite champion. Not because she's a bitch to lane against, more or less I just hate her character in general. helps rid of your harass efforts and gives her more "farm" via higher dps. Javelin Toss / Takedown is her main damage spell and does insane damage if shot from a long distance. Bushwhack / Pounce is her main utility ability that's more about revealing position in the fog of war and slight debuff rather than damage. Aspect Of The Cougar allows her to change into her cougar form, giving her new abilities to use and increasing some base stats in exchange for range.
Nidalee is a hard champion to take down in the laning phase because her gives her lots of sustainability early on. Additionally, she can take off fat chunks of your HP with Javelin Toss / Takedown if she manages it land it. It has a pretty decent range so try to have your minions block it or read the trajectory upon dodging it. Typically, Nidalees tend to max out their or Javelin Toss / Takedown first or second. Keep in mind, one more point in survivability means one less point in offense, and vice versa. Use this knowledge to decide whether it's better to farm or harass her, depending if she can heal enough. Her Bushwhack / Pounce gives her and her team sight of units that lands on it. It doesn't do too much damage but try to avoid it whenever possible. Lastly, her Aspect Of The Cougar turns her into her cougar form, giving her high burst at melee range and more mobility. Make sure you keep your distance when she turns into this form because she can deal lots of damage if connected. All in all, keep your harass up with Lay Waste to force her to use her mana. Nidalee does not have any additional passive mana regen as opposed to you so take advantage of that.
I absolutely hate this guy. No matter who I use against him, he's still very annoying to play against. His Time Bomb is a VERY painful ability to face against. His Time Warp makes him harder to hit with Lay Waste and his Rewind allows him to do all of the above...again and again. His Chrono Shift is something to be careful for because it gives him a second chance in battle in case you finished him off the first time.
As always, keep your distance. His double bombs are an absolute bitch to deal against and the last thing you want is for them to be on you. If you see him approaching your direction, back off and leave a few Lay Waste in his path. If he ever uses Time Warp to retreat, use your Wall of Pain to neutralize it. If he ever manages a Chrono Shift on himself before dying, wait for him to revive and then immediately Wall of Pain and Lay Waste to finish him off. Zilean is annoying to handle but he is a very big mana hog with little passives to regen. Use this to your advantage and attack him when he gets low.
Anivia is another hard burst mage that has ridiculous range. She, technically, has TWO double damage abilities: Flash Frost and Frostbite. Flash Frost's double damage comes from the first tick as the ice passes through the opponent and then deactivates immediately after.Frostbite is usually the follow up ability after Flash Frost or Glacial Storm which applies the frost effect. Her Crystallize is somewhat unpredictable and can make or break you depending on how it's used. Lastly, her Rebirth is similar to a free Guardian Angel, allowing her to play a bit more aggressively whenever it's up.
To fair well against Anivia, make sure you dodge her Flash Frost. This is her main start up spell for other combos when she doesn't have Glacial Storm. Stay at a distance so it's easier to see Flash Frost coming, and thus, easier to dodge. If she moves closer to you, this is usually a sign she's preparing to launch her combo. Use Lay Waste to punish her but make sure you keep moving and distance yourself. If she overextends, use Wall of Pain to burst her into her Rebirth state. (which is easy to take down so long as you're clear from tower range or other enemies) When she gets Glacial Storm, this is when distance is very important. She can easily use Glacial Storm + Frostbite to deal massive damage if she can't land her Flash Frost first. Rule of thumb is to keep your distance and don't overextend. Anivia can be very unpredictable and will punish your severely if you make mistakes.
Straight off the bat, we can see Corki has immense damage capability. His Hextech Shrapnel Shells gives his attacks a bit more kick against your HP. Phosphorus Bomb is his main damage ability that hits pretty hard early on. His Gatling Gun is his supplemental damage ability that has a pretty good debuff which further boosts his auto attack damage capabilities. Valkyrie is usually used for escaping. In Karthus's case, it's ideal whenever Wall of Pain slows and debuffs him. Lastly, his Missile Barrage is a skillshot that does AoE splash damage upon impact. Try to avoid getting hit by these as they can hurt badly.
Use your range to your advantage. Corki has some of the worst auto attack range for range dps and he needs to get close to deal a lot of his damage. Zone him away by harassing with Lay Waste so he can't get into range to auto attack or use his Phosphorus Bomb. If he gets too close, remember to use Wall of Pain against him. Despite having Valkyrie which allows him to distance himself, Valkyrie has a fairly short range and duration which allows you to continue chasing for a few seconds after the ability is used. Gatling Gun has a trickier range but is fairly easy to dodge so long as you avoid standing in front of Corki when it's active. Lastly, be careful of his Missile Barrage. It's very similar to your Lay Waste as far as cooldown, range, and costs goes. The big difference is that it hits the first unit so use your minions as shields. Pay attention whenever Corki has a "Big One" (shown as a red rocket icon on his champion information.) stored because it has slight longer range but has a much bigger splash and does 60% more damage.
Morgana can be a easy or difficult to deal with depending on how well you can outdamage her sustainability and damage. Soul Siphon allows her to slowly regenerate health in lanes, making her slightly difficult to kill since she will be constantly healing from Tormented Soil farm. Dark Binding is her main single target CC and damage spell that has a fairly long range and is often followed up with Tormented Soil for massive damage early on. Black Shield protects her from any of your abilities, including the debuffs on Wall of Pain so it will be hard to put good CC on her. Her Soul Shackles will do massive amounts of damage if you stay long enough for the second tick to land. (First tick is pretty painful already.)
While Morgana continues to regenerate health via Soul Siphon, you have the ability to regenerate mana faster than her. Take advantage of this and pull the harassing early. Morgana does not have any harassing abilities so make sure you keep moving to prevent from being burst down through the Dark Binding + Tormented Soil combo. Try to pop her Black Shield with Lay Waste whenever possible as it is fairly weak early on. Keep your distance and prevent her from landing an ultimate. If you are able to harass better than she can heal or do the same to you, Morgana will be a fairly easy opponent.
Vladimir's grows more threatening as the game goes longer. His Crimson Pact gives him a extra survivability and power which scales better as the game continues. His Transfusion is his main damage spell against single targets with a decent range. Early on it has a very long cooldown but as the game goes further, it's slightly longer than Lay Waste but the damage scaling increases by a lot. Sanguine Pool is his main escape ability as well as his chase under certain situations because of the slow. Tides of Blood is probably his least threatening ability which most Vlads use to farm minions or maybe get a few hits off nearby champions. Hemoplague is his ultimate which is very dangerous if used correctly. It amplifies damage and deals a pretty hefty amount near the end.
Despite all the grief and incessant QQ, Vladimir has a VERY weak early game. Transfusion has a VERY long cooldown with fairly weak heal and damage output. The duration of which the spell is on cooldown, you can throw at least 3-5 Lay Waste on him. A good trick to waste his Sanguine Pool is to use Wall of Pain. The slow is not cancelled in his pool state. And while a good portion of the debuff will be lost when he returns to normal, this gimps him of a certain escape ability for at least 10 seconds. Make sure you harass Vladimir early on. He has very long cooldowns which only start diminishing around late early-early mid game. Also, keep your distance. Despite having fairly long cooldowns, Vlad has strong damage output that will punish you dearly if your not careful. (particularly with his Transfusion) This is particularly important when he gets his Hemoplague which can kill anybody if they get too low. Overall, take advantage of your range. If you can use Lay Waste well against him early on, he will drop very fast.
Miss Fortune can be a dangerous opponent that will drop you fast if you're not careful. Strut makes her very mobile and hard to hit with Lay Waste. Double Up is her main single target ability where the damage is emphasized on the second hit, a strategy many MF takes advantage of when using against enemy champions. Make It Rain is her main AoE/Crowd Control ability that is used for chasing/retreating. Impure Shots grants her bonus attack speed, damage, and healing debuff which can be dangerous if she's in range. Bullet Time has slightly longer range than it seems and does a lot of damage if every hit connects.
Playing against Miss Fortune requires accuracy. Strut makes her very hard to harass but if you can hit her once, it will make every other hit afterwards much easier to land. Make sure you stand closer to clusters of minions rather than spreading out. Double Up is very unpredictable and by standing near more minions, you reduce the chances of the second hit landing on you. Again, take advantage of your distance. Miss Fortune has very good chase and damage output that is amplified with Make It Rain following up with Impure Shots. Lastly, when she uses Bullet Time, you want to make sure to get out of the AoE as fast as possible. If you're close or around the middle of the effect, it's best to leave through the sides. If you're far, simply walk back. Miss Fortune can be dangerous but she's very squishy. Accurately hitting her with Lay Waste will drop her very quickly.
Gragas's damage output early on can be formidable to go against. Barrel Roll is his main ranged ability with a long casting range and Area of Effect. With an AP ratio of 1:1 and high base damage, this ability can easily take away large chunks of your HP. Drunken Rage is his main utility spell that grants additional protection, damage increase, and replenishes mana. Body Slam is Gragas's main chasing/escaping ability that does devastating amounts of damage when combined with the effects of Drunken Rage. Explosive Cask is Gragas's make it or break it spell. It can either save from danger or put you into greater danger, with really hefty damage output to go with on the side.
Most Gragas players usually max out Barrel Roll or Body Slam as they are his main offensive spells. Make sure you dodge his Barrel Roll as they can deal lots of damage if it connects. Keep in mind, the barrel is manually detonated so be careful not to get kited or mispositioned because of it. Keeping your distance is the key. Body Slam has a small range and can be blocked by minions so make sure to shield yourself often. Drunken Rage makes him a little bit harder to kill early on, but if you can hit him accurately with Lay Waste, the reduction is hardly noticeable. Keeping your distance is particularly important when Gragas gets his Explosive Cask because it has a long range and can easily misposition everything into his or his allies' favor. Staying away will make it harder to him to move you into a spot you don't want to be in. All in all, keep your harass up and avoid his attacks. Gragas is nowhere near as mana sustainable compared to you so he is easily punished if anything goes wrong.
Tristana is another one of those champions who's presence is stronger late game. However, this does not mean she's weak early on either. Explosive Shot is her main farming ability that does splash damage to nearby units. If used properly, she can hurt you simply through the ability's passive. Rocket Jump is her main chasing/escaping mechanism, making her a hard champ to use Wall of Pain on. Rapid Fire is her buff ability that gives her burst amounts of attack speed which often use upon chasing down enemies. Her ultimate is Buster Shot which is a single target nuke that also displaces enemies. Be careful when she has this as she can easily push you into her tower's range or push you away from a kill or cancel your ultimate channel.
Playing against Tristana, you want to take advantage of her low movement speed to harass with Lay Waste. Be careful not to overextend or harass too much as she has very long range and can harass you to the same extent. Don't stand too close to your minions as the splash damage from Explosive Shot will eat away your HP if it hits too much. The best way to deal with Tristana is to use a Lay Waste, back off, and repeat. That way, you can harass her and she will have a harder time to harass you. Make sure you keep your HP moderately high and health because she can easily nuke you with Buster Shot if you're too low. Additionally, some Tristanas love to use Rocket Jump to get behind you and follow up with Buster Shot to get you further away from your safety zone. Keeping your distance will help reduce her opportunities greatly as she does not have much mana to spare and if she messes up once, she will pay dearly.
In a sense, Veigar can be an anti-caster similar to that of Leblanc, Kassadin, or Malzahar. While he doesn't have any silences, he does have Event Horizon which is an AoE stun that has a moderate range. Most Veigar's like to follow up the stun with Dark Matter which deals a lot of damage if it connects. Baleful Strike allows Veigar to passively increase his damage as the game goes on. Do be careful of the damage though, it can hurt pretty bad early on. Lastly, his Primordial Burst is the "stop-killing-yourself" ability for casters. It steals some of your AP to further increase the damage. This is the main reason that makes Veigar a strong threat to Karthus.
The best way to fight against Veigar is to harass at a distance. Your DPS potential is much higher than his so you are less punishable than him if anything goes wrong. Be careful of his Dark Matter as some Veigars are skilled enough to kite you into position and using Event Horizon to ensure the hit. Make sure you keep your HP nice and healthy because Veigar is more punishable than most other enemies due to his Primordial Burst. Taking advantage of your range is the most important factor to winning against Veigar. He does not have your level of mana regeneration so mistakes will cost him and make everything much easier for you.
Kogmaw is an interesting ranged champion whose range can be par to your own. Like yourself, his Icathian Surprise serves as a last stand move that allows him a second chance to kill during death. Void Ooze is his main form of CC and AoE damage early on and does hurt quite a lot if it connects. Caustic Spittle and Bio-Arcane Barrage are his main buff abilities, granting him extra range and damage for the most parts. His Living Artillery is very similar to your Lay Waste in that it's a long range, "carpet bombing", low cooldown ability. The main difference is that it has a longer range, deals 50% more damage, and temporarily reveal units through fog of war in exchange for higher mana costs.
Despite his big arsenal of long ranged abilities, Kogmaw is very squish. He has very low sustainability early on, both HP and mana, do he will drop quickly if damaged enough. Hit and run tactics are very good against Kogmaw as this makes Void Ooze harder to connect and allows you to keep a safe range against his attacks. Since Kogmaw has low mobility, he will have a harder time dodging Lay Waste which makes him much easier for you to deal with. Upon getting Living Artillery, try to dodge his attack. A faint red line shows the location where the spell will lands. Be careful though as Living Artillery has very very long range and the hitbox is slightly bigger than Lay Waste and does an extra 50% damage to champions as long as it hits. The key to winning against Kogmaw is to harass him well without getting harass to the same extent. He is fairly slow so it will be hard for him to dodge your abilities if used correctly.
How well you fare against Twisted Fate will depend on how well you can read his moves. Pick A Card is his main Crowd Control/Sustaining spell whose effect varies on color. (Blue = restore mana, Red = Slow, Gold = Stun) Stacked Deck is his main damage amplifier throughout most of the game and early on is no exception. Wild Cards is his main, long range, skill shot ability that can do exceptional damage early on. Destiny is his global ultimate that allows him to see all enemy champions and teleport to anywhere on the map. Make sure to be careful if you see TF missing.
As stated before, how well you fare against TF depends on how well you read his moves. Essentially, this means how well you can attack him without getting hit by his bonuses and effects. For Karthus, your range and low cooldown is your main advantage. Because Twisted Fate is fairly slow and has only moderate range, he is fairly easy to kill if you can maintain your distance and harass him from afar. Just make sure to stay away from him when he has a Red or Gold card from Pick A Card as those will help him turn things into his favor. Additionally, his Wild Cards spread as it travels farther. So keeping yourself distanced will help with dodging this attack. Lastly, make sure to tell your teammates and keep a lookout for yourself when he gets his Destiny. This ability can make him an excellent ganker on top of his crowd control abilities, which can be bad for your team if used properly.
Lux is a unique bag of tricks that combines Crowd Control with damage and a little bit of support. Light Binding and Lucent Singularity are her main damage spells both of which has crowd control to help each other land in succession easier. Prismatic Barrier is her main support ability that shields her and all allied champions it touches. Early on, it's fairly weak but can be enough to negate a kill from Requiem so be careful of that. Lastly, her [spell_icon=Finales Funkeln][spell_text=Finales Funkeln] is the lazor of death which has ridiculous range and can easily kill low health targets.
The key to winning against Lux is avoiding her damage spells. Light Binding and Lucent Singularity are somewhat intertwined with each other in that one will benefit usage of the other. By dodging one, it makes it harder to land the second. Additionally, her Illumination only applies if her abilities damage the targets so dodging her abilities will nullify activation. Furthermore, your range is much higher than hers so harassing at a distance is the main idea. She's fairly squish throughout the game so dropping her health is cake if your attacks manage to connect. Most importantly, keep your health moderate. [spell_icon=Finales Funkeln][spell_text=Finales Funkeln] does a lot of damage and can almost ensure kills to near death champions. Another reason to keep moving against her other spells is simply to make it harder for her to use spell_icon=Finales Funkeln][spell_text=Finales Funkeln] successfully.
Many Ezreals tend to be fairly aggressive early on. This is understandable as do many carries tend to do. His Rising Spell Force is his pseudo-farming ability in that it increases his attack rate of hitting minions. Mystic Shot is his main damage ability which most Ezreals will look for opportunities to land a successful blow. Arcane Shift is his main chasing/escaping ability that follows him to get in/out of positions for various purposes. The damage shouldn't be scoffed at either despite the fairly random targeting. Essence Flux is his main buff/debuff spell which some might use as a damage spell at times. Lastly, his Trueshot Barrage is a moderate-size global ultimate that does pretty hefty damage but deals less as it collides with more units. Stay out of the trajectory when he's using this spell.
Ezreal's auto attacks have very low range. This is something to keep in mind as a typical strategy early on is to harass with Mystic Shot and auto attacks. While Mystic Shot has longer range, it is hard to successfully land a blow if you are constantly using minions as shields. If he tries to get too close to attack you, punish him with some Lay Waste. He is very squish so he too must be careful if he wants to survive. Since Ezreal is 100% skillshot based, the key to keep out of open trajectories and use units and shields. Doing so will ruin a majority of his abilities as many do damage towards the first unit it collides with. Abuse your superior range through Lay Waste to harass him. Ezreal has very low mobility and while he does have Arcane Shift, the ability has fairly low range and long cooldown periods. All in all, keep yourself well shielded and continuously attack him. His survivability is very bad and he'll drop very easily after several well-placed attacks.
Teemo is another one of those "tricky to deal with but rips like paper" champions. His Move Quick gives him enough mobility to dodge your Lay Waste early on. His Toxic Shot makes him a fairly hard hitter early on due to the small extra damage. Blinding Dart is Teemo's single target attack which is affects DPS moreso than casters so it's less threatening against Karthus but, nonetheless, do be careful. Noxious Trap is what makes Teemo a unique character. His ability to plant mushrooms in different formations gives him incredible kiting abilities so be careful when chasing the little badger.
Be on the lookout if Teemo goes into Camouflage state. He cannot move when stealth so use Lay Waste to force him out. Use your range to your advantage. Teemo has very low range and needs to get close to do his attacks. Although Move Quick makes it easier for him to get close, you can easily punish him with Wall of Pain if he gets into a bad position. Once he gets his Noxious Trap, be careful not to chase him too far. A good Teemo will know how to kite and counter attack well with Noxious Trap which does pretty hefty damage early on. Try to take note of places he trapped as this will make it easy for you to spot "danger zones". All in all, deal with Teemo as you would with Miss Fortune. Hitting them once with an attack with make following up much easier. Make sure you don't put yourself into danger.
Kennen has very high damage output that will punish you if you're not careful. Mark of the Storm is his main source of crowd control that applies to every ability he uses. Thundering Shuriken is this single target skillshot that has fairly long range and high damage. Lightning Rush is Kennen's main chasing/escape ability. Make sure not to collide into him as it will apply his passive ability. Electrical Surge allows him to deal more damage to targets with Mark of the Storm and boost his basic attack damage after a few attacks. Make sure to keep your distance if you get a Mark of the Storm on you. Lastly, his Slicing Maelstrom is a large AoE ability that strikes enemies at random and applies his passive ability per tick. (meaning it is possible to get stunlocked with Slicing Maelstrom active.)
As another fast mover, playing against Kennen requires accurate attacks. Lightning Rush allows him to be unexpected at times. A good idea is to take advantage of him when his Lightning Rush is on cooldown. This will make him much easier to harass as he has no escape or ability to chase. Use your minions as shields and keep your distance. Kennen has many opportunities to apply Mark of the Storm through Thundering Shuriken and Electrical Surge. Denying him of opportunities will make it much harder for him to deal damage to you. When he gets his Slicing Maelstrom, be careful not to overextend. As Kennen can be very unexpected at times, Slicing Maelstrom only buff his offensive capabilities and makes his work much easier to finish. If he ever has Slicing Maelstrom active, a good idea would be using Wall of Pain to slow his advance and/or ease your escape if you're in striking distance. Go against Kennen with care. He has as much killing potential as you and the winning is often decided by who can aim and time their attacks better.
Nocturne is another champion with high damage output in his early game phase. Duskbringer is his main range spell which is often used to chase and retreat as well since it gives him substantial damage and movespeed buffs. Unspeakable Horror is his main source of CC which is often used as a supplemental chasing ability. Shroud of Darkness is Nocturne's spell shield that blocks one damage or debuff ability and grants him temporary bonus stats. The shield blocks every one of Karthus's spells except for Defile so try not to pop the shield unless necessary. Paranoia is Nocturne's ultimate which narrows enemy sight and allows him to get close to a single target. Be very careful when he gets Paranoia as he can become very unpredictable and will have the ability to close in on targets to set up his combos.
How well you fight against Nocturne will depend on how well you can attack him while avoid getting attacked. His Duskbringer gives him incredible chase potential and the damage is nothing to overlook either. Unspeakable Horror will allow him to kite you into position and Shroud of Darkness give him protection from your abilities while boosting his killing capability. Additionally, Umbra Blades gives Nocturne a little bit more sustainability, making him a tough one to kill at times. The key is to constantly harass and avoid his Duskbringer. He will have a hard time getting into range without the movespeed buff and his Shroud of Darkness has a very long cooldown as opposed to your abilities. Upon getting Paranoia, pay close attention to his actions. This spell will allow him to get close to a target and utilize his combo that can kill you in seconds if you don't react fast. A good idea would be to set up Wall of Pain immediately after he closes in on you as this will slow his chase down, breaking Unspeakable Horror and Duskbringer. All in all, play carefully and cautiously. Nocturne is not as easy to kill as others but will fall easily if you can catch him during his weak points.
Jarvan is a beefy champion with pretty beast damage output. Dragon Strike and Demacian Standard are his main offensive spells that, when combined together, acts as Jarvan's main escape/chasing combination. Golden Aegis is his defensive spell that also provides him with a little bit of crowd control. His passive Martial Cadence gives his auto attacks extra power every few seconds. Cataclysm is the ultimate to be careful for as he can easily trap and deal plenty of damage within the duration. Don't overlook the damage on the ultimate either, it can do quite a lot throughout the game.
Dodging his Dragon Strike will hurt Jarvan's damage output pretty badly. Although some Jarvans like to priortize Demacian Standard over Dragon Strike, it still plays an important role in activating the following knock up effects and bonus damage. Consequently, it's important to move away from the gap between Demacian Standard and Jarvan himself as this will put you in danger of getting knocked up and damaged. Pay attention when he uses his Demacian Standard to dodge the attack altogether or at least move to a safe location to prevent the follow up from landing on you. Take advantage of your distance to harass him. Despite having a Golden Aegis, Jarvan cannot afford to use this too much early on if he wishes to save mana for his other spells. Upon getting Cataclysm, distancing yourself from Jarvan becomes critical because he can now trap and output a ton of damage to you with ease. All in all, keep your distance and try to dodge his attacks. Jarvan has low mana capacity early on so he doesn't have too much chances to land his attacks.
Sivir is a unique ranged DPS who has an array of offensive and defensive abilities. Her Boomerang Blade is her main ranged ability can strikes twice with reduce damage as it travels through more units. Ricochet is her main farming ability that allows her to attack enemies at a distance. So try to spread yourself out when she has this turned on to prevent it from hitting you. Spell Shield is her main defense ability that blocks spell damage and refunds mana. Be careful not to pop the shield as it will only benefit her. On The Hunt is her main chasing/escaping ability that gives her and nearby allies movement and attack speed buffs which synergies very well with her other abilities under different situations.
Dodging Boomerang Blade is the key method to lane against Sivir. As her auto attacks have low range, Boomerang Blade is her main and most reliable ability for long range harassment. Ricochet is her second alternative, but it's very hard for her to land blows if you distant yourself properly from nearby allied units. If she gets too close to attack you, use your Lay Waste to kill off some HP. Stay sharp though as some Sivirs like to bait you into using an attack only to block it with Spell Shield. Alternatively, if you manage to throw off her timing and positioning, this is a bonus for you as she puts herself in a dangerous situation. In her On The Hunt, you want to counter with Wall of Pain since this will completely negate the movement speed buff for about half the duration. All in all, play smart, dodge her attacks, and faking her out is the key to success.
Depending on how well you can hurt him, Xin Zhao will either be food or a big threat. Audacious Charge allows him to be unpredictable at times and is usually his initiating ability for a chase. Combined with Three Talon Strike and the active on Battle Cry (which also gives him sustainability), Xin Zhao can almost attack enough for the combo to be executed twice within a short duration. Nonetheless, the damage output is very devastating if it connects. His Crescent Sweep simply gives him more damage to his palette making him a force to lookout for.
Take advantage of your range. This is especially important against Xin Zhao as he can close up on you very easily and deal massive amounts of damage in very short durations. Hurting him early with precise Lay Waste will put you on the upper hand and often force him to play more passively. Be careful though as his his Battle Cry will heal a lot of HP off overtime if you don't harass him enough. Zoning Xin Zhao from your minions is a common tactic to prevent him from healing as much. Using hit and run strategies is very effective as this will allow you to harass him while keeping yourself safe. Lastly, if he does manage to connect to you, use your Wall of Pain as fast as possible. It will make it very hard for him to land his Three Talon Strike successfully.
Irelia is fairly similar to Xin Zhao in certain aspects. Bladesurge allows her to close in on opponents from which she often uses Equilibrium Strike to slow or stun them Hiten Style gives her sustainability and additional damage on her basic attacks. Ionian Fervor reduces the effects of Wall of Pain by a little bit and Transcendent Blades is her main ranged ability that gives her additional healing and damage. She's a fairly well-rounded champion who can be very dangerous at the right hands so play carefully against her.
Like Xin Zhao, you want to take advantage of your range. Zoning against Irelia might be a little big easier but don't expect too much difference. As her health gets lower, be careful for a stanch counter attack. Her Equilibrium Strike will proc stun instead of slow from which she can slowly deal more damage and heal from Hiten Style. Irelia has more options of healing than Xin Zhao, so it's all the more important to keep your harass healthy and strong. As always, keep yourself in a safe position and don't overextend. The fight will go into her favor if you go too far or attack at very low health.
Malphite is a tanky bruiser who also has decent damage output. Granite Shield is his main form of defense early on. Seismic Shard is his main harass ability that also increase his chase potential. Ground Slam is hit close range AoE attack that scales off armor, so it's a good combo to use with Brutal Strikes to deal extra damage and give extra protection. Upon getting Unstoppable Force, this is when you should start playing more carefully. It's Malphite's main positioning ability that gets him into places he wants, meaning he can easily charge into you and pull off his full combo which does devastating amounts of damage early on.
Generally, Malphite doesn't have as much range or mana sustainability as you do. Take advantage of this to harass him from a distance. Constantly attack him with Lay Waste to keep his Granite Shield, making him much more vulnerable to attacks. Maintaining a good distance is very important as Seismic Shard has fairly long range and does a lot of damage if connected. It also gets Malphite into position to use his other abilities on you. Anytime he gets too close to harass, use Wall of Pain to slow his retreat and increase your damage output. Harassing him early is the key to keep him from biting you hard later on. Also,take Granite Shield as a factor when using Requiem to kill him as it can save his life in the most unexpected times.
Despite his fragile nature, Heimerdinger has great burst capability that can eat away your HP very fast. H-28G Evolution Turret is his main source of consistent damage output. (aka Heimer's source of DPS) Hextech Micro-Rockets is Heimer's main harassing ability that has pretty long range and damage output despite the lack of auto targeting. [spell_icon=CH-1 Concussion Grenade][spell_text=CH-1 Concussion Grenade] is Heimer's main Crowd Control ability and only skillshot. It has slow travel speed but enemies caught in the middle of impact can get stunned up to 3 seconds which is very good news for him. UPGRADE!!! is Heimer's passive which mostly serve as a buff to his previous 3 abilities. (Restores Turrets to full health and applies slow effect, shoots 5 rockets, and launches grenade faster.) Lastly, heimer's passive Techmaturgical Repair Bots is a neat little ability that allows him to repair his turrets as time goes on. The amount is very miniscule but does make your job a tad bit harder.
Facing Heimer will depend on how your opponent builds his champion. If he builds with emphasis on Hextech Micro-Rockets, make sure you keep yourself at a save distance and at least behind 3 minions. The ]rockets have high damage output early on and has tricky targeting. Grouping yourself near minions will reduce the chance of hitting you. Just make sure u keep moving to avoid getting hit by [spell_icon=CH-1 Concussion Grenade][spell_text=CH-1 Concussion Grenade]. Occasionally, Heimer needs to walk close to you in order to land his Hextech Micro-Rockets. In this event, hit and run with Lay Waste to punish him for his mistakes. Alternatively, if Heimer decides to focus on his turrets first, (which is the usual scenario) your objective is to take down the turrets as fast as possible while putting on as much harass as you can spare. Be aware that the turrets have high magic resistance which scales higher as the ability levels up. However, with your range, you should have no problem tearing apart the turrets from a range. Like before, avoid his Hextech Micro-Rockets and [spell_icon=CH-1 Concussion Grenade][spell_text=CH-1 Concussion Grenade] even if they don't hit as hard in comparison. Using your range against Heimer is the key to winning.
With the new Ryze rework, he turned more into a tanky DPS-caster much like yourself. Overload is his main single target ability. With the low cost and passive cooldown and Arcane Mastery, he can harass enemies very well with this ability. Rune Prison is Ryze's main Crowd Control ability which does a lot of damage after the rework. Spell Flux is his main debuff ability which increases his damage by lowering your resistance. Lastly, Desperate Power gives Ryze temporary spell vamp and AoE damage, making him slight more sustainable in the lanes.
The biggest problem with Ryze is his Overload. The cost, damage, and range of the spell makes him a strong harasser. Along with Rune Prison, Ryze has the ability to trap you while dealing heavy damage. The best way to deal with Ryze is to constantly use hit and run tactics. Your range is longer than his so you still have higher harassing ability. Keeping your distance is the key to beating Ryze since he can't attack what he can't reach.
Despite being a melee dps, Master Yi has ways to get into range and deal lots of damage. Double Strike is essentially a free crit every 7 attacks, something many Master Yis would save for champions since it does very high damage early on. Alpha Strike allows Yi to get close to you without getting hurt in the process. This is usually his initiating spell to get close to opponents. Wuju Style passively gives Yi high attack damage early on which stacks every well with Double Strike. Meditate allows Yi to be more sustainable during the laning phase. And Highlander is Yi's main escape/chasing ability which bypasses all slows, such as Wall of Pain.
One way to deal with Master Yi is to zone him away from minions. This will prevent him from getting stacks on Double Strike and prevent him from getting farm with Alpha Strike. Keep an eye on Yi's Double Strike counter. If it's charged, you might want to consider backing off a bit until he has used it. Yi is a very mana hungry champion. He doesn't have the ease to continuously use his spells so if anything goes wrong, he will be very vulnerable. If he gets too close, use your Wall of Pain and Lay Waste to pour out the damage. If it tempts him to use his Highlander to escape, this is ok as he will not have any escape abilities for at least a minute making him much more vulnerable for future attacks.
Nunu can be an annoying opponent to deal with due to his harass and healing. Visionary allows Nunu to be slighty more conservative about mana usage by reducing the cost of a single ability. His main harass ability is Ice Blast which has a 1:1 AP ratio, slow, and fairly low cooldown and cost. Consume gives the Yeti sustainability to stay in the lanes, making him somewhat hard to kill. Blood Boil allows him to dodge Lay Waste easier as well as proc Visionary faster. Lastly, Nunu's ultimate is Absolute Zero which does the highest amount of damage in the game if you stay through the full duration of the spell.
Zoning Nunu is the best way to play against him. He has very low range compared to you so forcing him away from minions will prevent him from activating Visionary. Additionally, it'll make it harder for him to Visionary minions to heal himself in the lane. Make sure you keep a safe distance against him however as Ice Blast does a lot of damage early on and allows him to chase you easily. Use your Wall of Pain whenever he goes too far to make it easier to attack him, especially if Blood Boil is active. Lastly, whenever Nunu activates his Absolute Zero, you want to make sure to get out of range with any means possible. Karthus has no way of disrupting his ultimate so leaving the range is the only method of going unharmed. If the situation comes down that you can't escape, get into a good position in case you go into Death Defied. It's better to leave with a kill than empty handed.
Your performance against Janna will depend on how well you can deal damage while avoiding hers. Howling Gale is her long ranged skillshot that gains damage and range over time. Depending on the situation, Janna can choose to activate the spell earlier or later so be weary of the timing as it can be unexpected at times. Eye Of The Storm gives her a slight defense boost which is also a factor to take note of when using Requiem. Zephyr and Tailwind makes Janna naturally mobile and thus harder to hit with Lay Waste. The active on Zephyr should not be overlooked as it's pretty damaging early on and can easily be combined with Howling Gale for a devastating combo. Monsoon is her main healing spell that also misposition targets. Some Jannas might use this to push you within their tower range, away from dealing a killing blow, or disrupt your Requiem.
Dodging Janna's Howling Gale will cut a large portion of her early game offense. The projectile speed is fairly slow and obvious as it grows stronger so try to spot it as it comes. Keeping your range against Janna is important though it will be harder compared to most other champions as Janna is naturally speedy. If you find yourself troubled with her mobility, use Wall of Pain to slow her down for easier targeting. You can use it defensively as well in case if one of her abilities connect as Janna can easily combo with other abilities immediately after. Lastly, be careful of Janna's two defensive spells Eye Of The Storm and Monsoon as they can deny you kills if used appropriately and correctly. All in all, dodging Janna's abilities are the key to winning. She is also very mana hungry so she can't afford to waste her spells too often.
Maokai's early game threat comes from his ability to snare and harass at long distances. Sapling Toss is his main harass ability that deals damage upon impact and explosion. Twisted Advance and Arcane Smash are two abilities which many Maokais like to combo one after another. Be aware of getting his by Arcane Smash when up close as it will cancel any channeling ability, including Requiem. Vengeful Maelstrom is a large AoE ability that reduces damage dealt to him and allies and accumulate parts of the damage as bonus damage for the spell. Lastly, Maokai's Sap Magic encourages him to use his spells more often as it promotes his sustainability in return.
Keeping Maokai at a distance is the best way to fight him. Although his Sapling Toss has longer range than your Lay Waste, it's easier to dodge and will explosion upon the first unit it collides with. By standing behind your minions, they tend to act as shields to absorb damage. Make sure to keep your distance against Maokai as Twisted Advance makes it very easy for him to get into range to follow up with Arcane Smash. Using hit and run tactics is useful because gives u higher harassing ability while preventing him from getting close. Just make sure to dodge his Sapling Toss as it is his main ranged spell that will take off lots of damage if used correctly. Lastly, avoid staying in his Vengeful Maelstrom for too long as accumulated damage turns his attack into bonus damage. All in all, keep yourself moving and stay at a distance. Maokai has ways to get close to you so preventing him from getting opportunities will greatly lower his damage output.
Amumu has great crowd control abilities that also does a lot of damage. Cursed Touch gives his abilities more damage by lowering your defense. Bandage Toss is his skill shot stun that also serves as his ability to close in on targets. The range is very long but will only apply to the first target it hits so moving or using minions as shields will make it harder for him to land it. Tantrum is Amumu main source of damage and defense which can hurt pretty bad if he gets too close into range. A common combo is to Bandage Toss followed up by Tantrum and Despair. Curse of the Sad Mummy is Amumu's second source of Crowd Control which many use as a last resort to secure kills or prevent enemies from chasing.
Amumu is not the most difficult match up but is still be a threat to Karthus. Bandage Toss alone has a lot of damage. With the added effects, Amumu can easily set up his combos to deal tons of damage early on. Hiding behind your minions will keep you safe from being closed in which ultimately allows you to harass him much easier. The idea is to zone Amumu away from minions. Make it so that he won't get close into range to damage you and possibly become unable to farm up sufficiently. Play carefully however as Amumu can be unexpected and with his Bandage Toss and Curse of the Sad Mummy, he can keep you in place for a very long time. Make sure not to overextend when fighting against him, he has the means to punish your mistakes severely.
Evelynn is a strong assassin who has great burst and chase potential throughout most of the game. With her rework, she is commonly seen as an AP mid with burst and damage potential similar to your own. Shadow Walk is her passive ability which stealths Eve after a period of not attacking or taking damage. When stealth she can only be detected by nearby enemy champions, towers, or Vision Wards. Hate Spike is very similar to your Lay Waste in that it's short cooldown and can deal a lot of damage. This is Eve's main spell which she uses to whittle down HP and to farm. Dark Frenzy is Eve's main mobility spell which allows her to break free from slows while massively increasing her movement speed for several seconds. Ravage is Eve's main burst ability which also grants her bonus attack speed for a few seconds, making her a potent fighter as well as a AP burst mage. Lastly, Eve's ultimate Agony's Embrace is a high power nuke which also slows enemies and shields her based on how many champions were afflicted by the spell.
Eve is a very dangerous champ to face against so play very carefully. Her spells are all very low cooldown and cost, allowing her to continually spam and pour out damage. Keep your distance from minions, her Hate Spike has a deceptively moderate range where she can utilize nearby minions to proc the ability which can also hit you if you stand too close to the spell range. Dark Frenzy allows Eve to completely negate your Wall of Pain slow so be sure to use it only if she has already used Dark Frenzy first. Overall, you want to keep your distance and press on the farm and harass. That way, she will have a harder time to hit you with Hate Spike and Agony's Embrace which also makes Ravage almost impossible to land as well. Range is the one thing you need to take advantage over Eve as she has comparable damage and farming capability as yourself so this match up will highly depend on who can position and outplay the other better with their respective spells.
Blitzcrank is a stronger bruiser whose performance will depend on how well he can connect his attacks. Rocket Grab is Blitz's special ability that forces enemies to come to him as opposed to the other way around. A common follow up to Rocket Grab is Power Fist which deals a lot of damage early on. Overdrive is Blitz's main chasing/escaping ability that also gives him higher attack rate. Be careful if they use this ability to close up on you as it can make his other abilities easier to land. When he gets his Static Field, make sure you keep your distance. The spell has a split second silence in addition to the large damage output which can be enough for him to secure a kill.
Avoid Rocket Grab will gimp Blitz's early game damage by a lot. He often relies on this as an initiator spell to land all his other attacks. Occasionally, he might use Overdrive to get himself into position for his other abilities. In this case, use your Wall of Pain to slow his advance and keep yourself shielded by minions. If the situation goes where you have no units to protect you, the best way to counter Blitz's Rocket Grab is to constantly move around in different directions. Walking in a straight line makes it very easy for him to land his grab so by moving unpredictably, you can reduce the chance of having the skill connect. Although this is a bit hard, it's still better than walking in obvious patterns. Keep in mind that Blitz also has a Last Stand passive through Mana Barrier which might prevent you from getting kills at times, especially with Requiem. All in all, stay out of open areas and harass Blitz from a distance. He is very mana hungry and will run dry if he fails to land his combo 2-3 times early on. Take advantage of him during the times when he's particularly low.
Akali's extremely dangerous if she manages to connect her attacks. Mark of the Assassin is her main harass ability that deals double damage if she strikes you twice. Twilight Shroud grants her temporary stealth which is revealed anything she makes an attack. Crescent Slash is her main AoE/farming ability that deals pretty hefty amounts of damage. Her ultimate Shadow Dance is her main chasing/escaping ability. Be very careful when she gets this as it allows her to play very aggressively and gives her easy chances to combo with other abilities to deal massive amounts of damage.
As said before, Akali is extremely dangerous if she gets close enough to deal damage to you. She has great burst potential that will eat up your HP very fast if you're not careful. Using hit and run tactics are useful against her as it allows you to hit her with little consequence. Putting pressure on her early is extremely important because it will force her to play less aggressive when she gets her Shadow Dance to chase you down. If she does manage to close with Shadow Dance, always lay your Wall of Pain to slow her advance. Usually she will simply follow up with another Shadow Dance, but at least it will slow her enough for you to get some distance. Anytime her Shadow Dance is on cooldown, make sure you attack her nice and well. It's important to capitalize on that opportunity as it has moderate cooldown so it doesn't occur often. All in all, keep your distance and harass. If her Twilight Shroud is giving you trouble, buy a Vision Ward.
Taric can be slightly tricky to deal with since he has high sustainability and crowd control early on, making him slightly harder to take down. Imbue allows him to heal him or his allies out of damage over time and the cooldown is reduced eveyrtime he auto attacks a unit. Dazzle is Taric's main form of CC that can deal high amounts of damage if he gets too close. Shatter is Taric's main AoE spell that provides him with extra armor, possibly his least threatening ability against Karthus. Radiance is Taric's ultimate that gives grants him additional healing over time as well as increased damage. This is his main supplement ability to further boost his survivability and offensive power. Lastly, Gemcraft gives Taric more sustainability regarding his mana, allowing him to cast his spells more often.
Zoning Taric from minions will hurt his laning phase a lot. This will prevent him from regenerating mana from Gemcraft and reducing the cooldown from Imbue. Essentially, this makes his heal much harder to use. Additionally, this will force him to play more passively, thus giving him less opportunities to use his Dazzle and Shatter combo. If he does happen to get into range to use the combo, lay down your Wall of Pain and hit him with Lay Waste. Although you have a big range advantage, don't overextend. As Taric can stun you, he can still pull off a hard-hitting counterattack if you go too far into his side.
Olaf is one of those champions who would benefit much better in the jungles rather than laning early on. Undertow is his only ranged ability that also slows enemies down. This spell can hurt pretty bad early so be careful. Vicious Strikes allows Olaf to stay in lanes a bit longer due to the heal. Reckless Swing is probably Olaf's most dangerous ability and all the reason to make sure he stays away from you. Ragnarok is his main source of chasing/escaping. When active, he bypasses all crowd control and reduces damage which allows him to survive longer and bring in a world of pain. Berserker Rage makes Olaf "stronger" as he gets weaker. So be careful if he's too low as he can come back and bite you.
Undertow is probably what makes Olaf particularly more threatening compared to others despite his lack of range. The spell has fairly long range and damage along with a nice slow to go with it. Particularly with the slow, it allows him to get close to you and deal lots of damage through Reckless Swing and Berserker Rage which gives him passive buffs. Because
Undertow is Olaf's only ranged ability, dodging it will gimp his chances to follow up with other attacks. Use your range to your advantage by constantly pressuring him from getting close. Olaf can do lots of damage if he can reach you so keeping him away is key.
Twitch can be unexpected and very dangerous if you don't play carefully. Ambush allows him to go into stealth temporarily and grants him bonus attack speed which makes stacking Deadly Venom much easier to accomplish.Venom Cask is Twitch's slow abilit which applies two more [spell_icon=Spray and Pray][spell_text=Spray and Pray] grants Twitch temporary attack range as well as piercing shots which applies the Deadly Venom as well. Be careful not to get attack by him too much as Twitch's damage is particularly based on how badly he hurt you prior to activation.
Despite being able to go stealth and attack at a distance, Karthus can handle Twitch fairly well. Firstly, he is very squishy so he will rip like paper with a few well-placed Lay Waste. Secondly, he is not very mobile so getting debuffed with Wall of Pain will make him VERY vulnerable to other attacks. However, he should not be underestimated as he can easily outdamage you under the right conditions. If you feel that you're having a hard time dealing with Ambush, buy a Vision Ward and use it as I suggested earlier with Evelynn. So long as Twitch is unable to land basic attacks, he won't be able to use his abilities either. Be careful when he's using [spell_icon=Spray and Pray][spell_text=Spray and Pray] as his arrows allow him to bypass all units and gives him extended range. Keeping a good distance will make it harder for [spell_icon=Spray and Pray][spell_text=Spray and Pray] to land any or a good amount of damage on you, which is important since keeping his Deadly Venom stacks low is the key to winning against the rat.
Gangplank will either be a big threat or cake for you, depending on a little bit of luck. Raise Morale is his buff that grants him extra stats as well as his "denying" ability. Denying means he kills ally units so you get less exp and gold for the short run. This allows him to be ahead in levels by 1-2 at times, but depending on how well you perform, the difference might not even occur. Parrrley is Gangplank's main offensive ability and single target nuke. Since it scales with critical damage, there's a chance Gangplank can kill you with one shot if he's lucky. Remove Scurvy heals Gangplank and removes all Crowd Control effects on him. Effects such as Wall of Pain will be removed as a result. His ultimate is Cannon Barrage is a large global AoE that shoots cannonballs. The shots land randomly so there is a chance you can walk through the whole thing unharmed, though this is very unlikely.
Many Gangplanks start off with Raise Morale to kill minions early and deny you of exp. As such, he will have no ranged or real offensive ability until he gets Parrrley so use this opportunity to damage him as much as possible. Once he gets Parrrley, you want to keep your distance and use hit and run tactics. Gangplank is more mobile than most champions early on so he can get close much easier. (With Remove Scurvy to help against CC as well.) However, he lacks your level of range abilities so take advantage of superior harass and farming. When he gets his Cannon Barrage, notify your team. The reason is the same as most global ultimates (you own included) in that they can easily turn the tides of a fight on the side lanes. Lastly, zoning Gangplank is a good idea. His Parrrley allows him to farm gold particularly fast and Gangplank is very item oriented. By stalling his ability to finish his builds, it will make him less of a threat.
Jax is a melee DPS whose largely reliant on dealing magic damage. As such, he had good burst abilities as well as mobility. His Leap Strike is his main escaping/chasing ability which is also his main offensive ability. When combined with Empower, Jax has huge damage output early on and is capable of taking out big chunks of HP per go. Counter Strike is Jax's main crowd control ability that gives him an AoE stun everytime he dodges an attack. This ability is usually used as a combo after Leap Strike, making his chasing capability much stronger. Relentless Assault is Jax's ultimate that boosts his attack speed and damage after every few hits. It also grants him a burst amount of Magic Resistance when activated, making him unpredictable for spells such as your Requiem.
Although Jax has good abilities that allows him to close on targets, he can only use that to chase OR escape. As such, punish him offensively if he gets too close into range. Zoning Jax away from units will help prevent him from getting to places with Leap Strike thus preventing him from altering his position too easily. Additionally, this will prevent him from farming and thus gimping his gold count. Be careful, however, as some Jaxs might intentionally jump into the fray of things just to draw minion aggro in order to activate Counter Strike. Anytime you see a light circle around Jax, it's a sign that his Counter Strike is ready to activate, meaning you should back away until the effect wears off. Lastly, his ultimate Relentless Assault has an active that gives him a burst amount of Magic Resistance at a time. Because of this, you need to take his active into consideration when using spells like Requiem. All in all, abuse your range. Jax has very bad range and, although he has high mobility to get into position, he's easily punishable for mistakes.
Shen is a tank whose damage output is pretty stable throughout most of the game. Vorpal Blade and Ki Strike are his main offensive abilities, with Vorpal Blade acting as his harass/ranged ability and Ki Strike for burst damage.Shadow Dash is his main chasing/escaping ability that also taunts enemies he passes through. Feint is Shen's supplementary defensive spell that allows him to block some damage from attacks. Keep this in your calculations when using Requiem. Lastly, his ultimate Stand United protects a nearby ally from damage and ports him to the location. It's a channel spell so try to put some crowd control on him to cancel the ability.
Shen has very low range and farming ability compared to you. He also needs to have better management with abilities as his energy pool is very low and will run out after using 2-3 abilities continuously. Use your range to your advantage to harass him well and prevent him from farming. Everytime he uses Feint to block your attacks means less chances for him to use other spells. Be careful, however, as Vorpal Blade has decent range and provides Shen with slow but steady heals. The damage shouldn't be overlooked either as it can hit pretty hard and the cost is very low, allowing him to spam it moreso than his other abilities. Make sure Shen doesn't get into range as he can easily deal his Vorpal Blade + Ki Strike for lots of burst damage and run away with Shadow Dash. Use your Lay Waste to keep him at a distance but be careful not to overextend. Lastly, notify your team if he gets Stand United. Timing his ultimate right can make everything more favorable for his team and Karthus has no crowd control to stop his channel so it's important to let your team know about incoming danger.
Sion is a heavy bruiser-type champion that deals devastating amounts of damage if he gets into range. Cryptic Gaze is his single target nuke that stuns the target while dealing massive amounts of damage. Ideally, many Sion follow up with Death's Caress if they go AP as their main combo throughout the whole game. Enrage gives Sion more health by killing more things, a very easy task considering how he's a very competent farmer. It also gives his auto attacks more damage which will hurt regardless of how he builds. Lastly, Cannibalism allows Sion to stay in lane for a very long time. The ability also allows him to slight sustain pushing as well so be careful not to get too close when he has it active.
Sion's biggest weakness early on is range and mana consumption. He has one of the worst starting mana pools early on so he can't afford to use too many abilities at a time. Use this to your advantage to harass him well early on as he also has fairly low mobility. Popping his Death's Caress will prevent him from getting lots of farm which prevents him from getting too much bonuses from Enrage. Keeping your distance will also make it hard for him to land Cryptic Gaze which is considered his main chasing/escaping ability that allows him to close in on targets or force them to stay away. Zoning him early on is an effective way to shut him down because he will have no way to get close enough to attack. However, don't underestimate his survivability as he has a lot of ways to keep himself well and alive.
Facing against Mundo will depend on how well you can dodge his attacks. Infected Cleaver is his only ranged ability which is his main harass ability. Burning Agony is Mundo's main source of AoE damage which also reduces some Crowd Control. Masochism grants Mundo more damage has he becomes weaker, so be careful not to get too close to him when this is active. Sadism is Mundo's main survivability ability that also grants him additional chase/escape capability. His Adrenaline Rush is his passive which gives him slightly more survivability but it's not too noticeable.
Mundo is not as threatening as other champions but can put out a lot of damage if you're not careful. Infected Cleaver allows Mundo to harass aggressively due to the long range and high damage output with low cost and cooldown. Stay behind minions so they can shield you. If Mundo tries to zone you out or push you back, use Lay Waste to counter him. Your range is much higher than his and he will drop quickly early on if you can pull off several good Lay Waste. Keep your distance as Mundo can do lots of damage up close while also making his chase much easier. Once he gets Sadism, he will be a bit harder to take down due to the constant health regeneration. Just keep your harass and farm up while maintaining good HP status and he will slowly fall.
Fiddlesticks is a caster who has lots of Crowd Control that can render you useless if you're not careful. Terrify is a single target fear which is often used with Drain as his main combo spells. Needless to say, Drain gives Fiddlesticks sustainability to stay in the lane longer due to his high life leech proportions. Dark Wind is his silence that bounces off targets and can hit the same target multiple times. Make sure you stick close to clusters of minions to prevent this spell from hitting you. His ultimate Crowstorm is like a burst version of your Defile which ports him to a nearby location allowing him to close in on enemies to combo with his other abilities.
Despite his large array of Crowd Control abilities and sustainability, Fiddlesticks is very squishy and will die under a few Lay Waste. Although he can heal with Drain, his mana sustainability is much worst than yours so he can only rely on healing the damage through a certain amount of times. However, it's important to keep your distance. Getting close to Fiddlesticks allows him to pull off his combos which will hurt you badly while healing himself. Additionally, Dark Wind will make it hard for you to counter attack so all the more reason to stay away. Anytime Fiddlesticks is missing, you should expect him to pop in with Crowstorm active. Check nearby brushes and areas covered in the fog of war with your Lay Waste. You might be able to foil his plans before he begins, giving you an upper hand advantage.
Galio is a tank whose main sources of damage come from his ranged abilities. Resolute Smite and Righteous Gust are his two main offensive spells that also slows enemies down while speeding him and his allies. Runic Skin grants Galio a little bit more offensive power so be careful for his abilities. Bulwark grants Galio or an ally extra defense along with potential heal and offense if Galio uses it on himself. (due to his passive's effect) His ultimate Idol of Durand is probably his most threatening ability thus far. He can easily trap you in place for him or his teammates to burst you down for a lot of damage.
Despite being a tank with a good amount of harass capability, Galio's offensive power is pretty low. Early on, he's very mana hungry and failure to land a few Righteous Gust or Resolute Smite will punish him very hard. Using Bulwark after that only makes his situation worst. Keep your distance. Galio's range is nowhere near yours so you can easily outrange him, staying at a safe distance from his attacks. When he get his Idol of Durand, be careful and make sure he doesn't get close to you or to overextend too far. He can force you into one place for a long time with his ultimate which gives him opportunities to deal lots of damage to you. If he ever misposition his ultimate, make sure you don't walk into it.
Soraka is a support who boast high sustainability potential throughout most of the game. [spell_icon=Consecration][spell_text=Consecration] will give her and nearby allies a bit more defense from your attacks, making her a little bit harder to take down. Astral Blessing is her main healing ability. Along with Infuse, she is able to stay in lanes for long periods of time. Starcall is Soraka's main farming ability which is also used for attacking. It lowers the targets magic resistance which also stack so be careful not to get hit with it too much. Wish is Soraka's secondary heal which also serves as a global heal. It's a a strong counter to Requiem when used correctly so keep this in mind.
When playing against Soraka, it's very important to keep your distance. Her Infuse can also act as an offensive spell, damaging you and silencing you. The range of the spell is pretty big as well so be careful. Soraka tend to use Astral Blessing a lot after getting moderately low to keep herself high and healthy. It's important to harass her precisely through the bonus damage in Lay Waste otherwise she will simply heal off all damage. Also be careful of Starcall as the targets are somewhat random and unexpected. The more she use it consecutively on the same target, the more damage it will due since it reduces resistance. When she gets Wish, don't be too hasty to chase her down as she will simply heal herself back to full health. This is particularly important when using Requiem as Wish will almost completely negate the damage. Harass her early to make her go low with mana. She has poor offensive capability so doing a lot of damage is key as your damage output has higher potential than her healing abilities.
Strangely enough, Cassiopeia and you both share very similar playstyles. Her Noxious Blast functions similar to your Lay Waste and the cost, range, cooldown, and base damage is also very alike. Like your Wall of Pain, Cassiopeia's Miasma also slows targets within the area while doing damage as well. Her Twin Fang is what seperates you and her. Twin Fang is her main offensive ability that becomes a lock-on version of Lay Waste when targets are poisoned, so be careful not to get poisoned too much. Her ultimate Petrifying Gaze can be pretty deadly when used correctly. It's her one spell that can cancel your Requiem when used in the appropriate situation while also doing similar increments of damage. Lastly, her passive Deadly Cadence helps her maintain her mana better and encourages her to constantly harass and attack to keep the stacks up and alive.
Despite your similarities, there's one thing the greatly distant yourself with Cassiopeia. The fact that her main offensive spell Twin Fang requires poison to turn it into a strong chaining ability is a downside. This means if she can't proc poison in any way or get within range, she will have a hard time bursting you down. Easier said than done however, your match up against Cassiopeia will depend on how well you can position your Lay Waste while dodging her Noxious Blast. (Do so as you would expect others to dodge your Lay Waste. In other words, constantly move in different patterns to keep her guessing about your next move.) It should be known, however, that your range is still slightly larger than hers. Meaning she needs to get closer to you in order to land her attacks. Take advantage of this to constantly use hit and run tactics to get her low. Cassiopeia is not very mobile unless she hits a champion with Noxious Blast or has the unit slowed with Miasma thus it will be easier compared to other champions. Needless to say, it's important to keep your HP high and health because she as great burst damage early on if she manages to connect her attacks. Don't let her get near you and dodging her attacks will make it much easier for you to kill her off.
Sona is a unique support who boast a little bit of everything. Hymn of Valor is her main offensive ability that targets the closest two targets and boost her and her allies ability power and damage. Aria of Perseverance is her healing spell that also grants a little bit of defense. Song of Celerity grants her and her allies additional movement speed. Her ultimate Crescendo is her main form of Crowd Control that essentially deals damage to all targets in front of her and stuns then for 2 seconds.
Like many supports, Sona is very fragile. A few well placed Lay Waste will take away big chunks of her health. Although her Aria of Perseverance can heal her and allied targets, it's not a burst heal like Soraka or Taric so she'll have a harder time simply healing off the damage if she's severely harassed. However, be careful of her damage output as well. Hymn of Valor can do a lot of damage and, with the low cooldown, Sona can easily use this to harass if she manages to land her attack. This and Power Chord are her main offensive abilites with Power Chord apply an extra effect based on her last ability. Stand close to minions to prevent Hymn of Valor from targeting you. If she ever gets close, punish her with pspell_text=Wall of Pain] and Lay Waste. If done correctly, she will lose a lot of health thus forcing her to use a lot of her mana to heal up. She doesn't have the mana sustainability compared to you so for every spell she use to heal is one less spell used for offense. Lastly, be careful when she gets her Crescendo. This is when she can start getting a little more aggressive with her attacks as she can put strong crowd control to keep you in place. Additionally, Crescendo can stop the channel on Requiem so make sure you're at a safe distance.
Shaco is another champion who belongs in the jungle more than the lanes. Deceive is Shaco's main advancing/retreating ability that allows him to go temporary stealth and a free flash. Jack In The Box is Shaco's main warding ability that also gives him decent CC for a very short time. Two-Shiv Poison is Shaco's main ranged ability and single target nuke that slows enemies down. Hallucinate is Shaco's ultimate where he creates a clone of himself. The clone does less damage and is much weaker than the original. It also doesn't carry temporary buffs like the golem or lizard buff so looking for such signs are a big hint to distinguish which is the real one. A little side note about this spell is that it can pop Requiem if used at the right moment. (actually, I'm not too sure if this works anymore so if anyone can help me clarify.) Lastly, Shaco's passive Backstab gives him a little extra damage under certain situations. This is particularly potent against targets that are running in the opposite direction so keep this in mind.
Shaco is an assassin who is very squishy. Additionally, he has very low range making him fairly easy to harass. Despite having Deceive as his escaping ability, Shaco can't rely on this to save his life every time as his early game mana tends to be a bit weak and the ability has a fairly long cooldown. Use your range to your advantage to take him down. Attacks like Lay Waste can easily destroy Jack In The Box so it often to scout bushes or other areas where some Shacos might build up a large group of boxes for a surprise attack. Also, staying at a distance prevents him from getting close for Two-Shiv Poison thus gimping him a lot of chances to deal significant damage to you. If he ever gets too close, use your pspell_text=Wall of Pain] to slow him down and damage him as much as possible. Lastly, when he uses Hallucinate, keep in mind that the weaker Shaco is always the clone. The clone also tends to walk a bit slower and less fluidly. Also, any temporary buffs like blue or red buffs will not show up on the clone so those are your biggest and most common hints in distinguishing the real with the fake.
Pantheon is a very prime example of a glass cannon. He has great damage output mainly coming from his Heartseeker Strike that will eat up HP fast and guarentees him a kill once your HP falls below 15%. Spear Shot is his secondary offensive ability and also his main single target nuke. Aegis of Zeonia is Pantheon's stun ability that allows him to get close to targets to use his combo. Grand Skyfall allows Pantheon to port to any location on the map and appear during unexpected times. The damage and slow on the spell is also pretty hefty so don't underestimate the output. Lastly, Aegis Protection is Pantheon's main defensive ability that blocks one basic attack. Essentially, this can give him a free turret dive for an extra kill if worst comes to worst.
As a glass cannon, Pantheon will drop very very easily. If he cannot deal the damage he needs under a certain time, he can be easily punished. Heartseeker Strike will be the core of his damage combo so make sure you distant yourself to prevent him from getting into range for massive damage. Additionally, be careful of his Spear Shot as some Pantheon has enough mana regeneration to turn his spell into a harassing ability. As such, it's another good reason to keep him distant from yourself. If he does manage to get into range with Aegis of Zeonia, make sure you react fast and walk away because it's usually a sign for him to follow up with Heartseeker Strike and Spear Shot. Also, if he ever get his Aegis Protection, sometimes it's a good idea to use one auto attack to cancel the effect. However, don't go for it if it puts you into a dangerous position for him to jump and do his combo. Lastly, once he gets Grand Skyfall, make sure you alert your teammates. Grand Skyfall allows him to be very unexpected which can be very bad for your team if he can a lot of kills from your side lanes. If you see him about to land on you, get away from range as much as possible and put a Wall of Pain in the center. This will slow him down from closing in and potentially shut down his ability to pull off any big combos.
Karma is a unique champion who relies largely on empowering her abilities to do damage. Mantra is her unique resource system that empowers her existing abilities to deal bonus damage or additional effects. [spell_icon=Heavenly Wave][spell_text=Heavenly Wave] is her main offensive spell that damage targets within a cone shape and heals allied units if Mantra is active. [spell_icon=Spirit Bond][spell_text=Spirit Bond] is Karma's main utility ability that slows or increases the target's movement speed depending if it's an enemy or ally. The effect double if Mantra is active and the beam damages enemy units that pass through it. [spell_icon=Soul Shield][spell_text=Soul Shield] is Karma's defensive ability that shields the unit from damage and damages nearby enemies if Mantra was active. Karma's passive Inner Flame grants her additional AP as she grow weaker, which, in a sense, makes her stronger.
Karma's style is fairly different compared to most other champions and she has the ability to deal a lot of damage under the right conditions. Anytime [spell_text=Mantra is active, Karma begins glowing which is a sign her next ability will be empowered. It's a good idea to use your range to your advantage because Karma needs to get fairly close to you in order to deal damage so distancing yourself will help. The heal on [spell_icon=Heavenly Wave][spell_text=Heavenly Wave] is pretty powerful so be careful if you see her healing herself constantly early on. Another thing to note is that Karma can activate [spell_icon=Soul Shield][spell_text=Soul Shield] on any allied unit, meaning minion or champion. This means her shield can be used offensively or defensively all the while be fairly unexpected as well. Be careful if she activates the shield with Mantra active as the splash damage is pretty big and can hurt pretty bad. Avoid getting caught in Karma's [spell_icon=Spirit Bond][spell_text=Spirit Bond] because it can help her or her allies get close to do extra damage. If she tries to come close, counter attack her with Wall of Pain and Lay Waste. Karma is very squish and, despite having a shield and heal, will drop very quickly if she's severely harassed.
Kayle's role in the team ranges from her support to her offensive abilities. Reckoning is Kayle's main form of crowd control that also grants her bonus damage to the target for a short period of time. Righteous Fury is Kayle's main sustained offensive spell which grants her bonus range and damage. It also affects her attacks on turrets so keep that in mind. Divine Blessing is her healing ability that also grants the unit additional movement speed. This ability acts as Kayle's main form of sustainability in the lanes. Her ultimate Intervention puts an invincible shield on the target that protects them from all damage for an amount of time. When used correctly, it can prevent a kill from Requiem. Lastly, Kayle's passive Holy Fervor grants her magic and physical stats as she gets more of one or the other or both. Effectively, this gives her quite a hefty amount of offensive power.
Kayle's biggest weakness comes with the fact that her attack pattern varies depending on present abilities. Without Righteous Fury active, Kayle has horrible range and can only rely on Reckoning to deal damage from a distance. Take advantage of Kayle's weak points to do some major damage. Anytime her Righteous Fury is off, take this opportunity to harass a lot. Be careful, however, as Reckoning is Kayle's nuke which does a lot of damage and applies a pretty good slow. If you're not careful, she can deal a lot of damage to you while healing herself nicely. Another thing to mention is that getting her to use Divine Blessing more often means she will have less mana to spare on the offense. Like many other supports, Kayle doesn't have the mana sustainability compared to you so she can only use her moves so many times. When she gets Intervention, be careful about chasing her too far. This spell will block all damage for that duration thus some spells like Requiem might not work as planned. Always keep in mind that her Intervention can save lives before making the decision to go off with an attack or no
Match-up Ranging (75-25) - (20-80):
Alistar is a tank who has lots of crowd control and sustained pushing power. Pulverize is his AoE stun and knockup which he usually comboes with Headbutt to get targets to where he wants. Both of those spells has high base damage and AP ratios (1:1) so be careful not to get hit by it too much. Triumphant Roar is Alistar's main healing ability where the cooldown is reduced when nearby enemies die. Unbreakable Will grants Alistar bonus defense and attack damage for a short period of time. It is his Last Stand ability which many use to get themselves into or out of trouble.
Alistar is naturally tanky. His base stats are among some of the highest. As such, taking Alistar down will be a bit harder since he also has his Triumphant Roar. Keep Alistar away from you. His biggest weakness is his lack of range which is something you have plenty of. Pulverize + Headbutt is his most common combo which easily puts enemies into bad spots. The damage is also pretty hefty so that's another reason not to get caught in it. Keeping sharp and accurate attacks is the key as Alistar simply cannot outheal your damage output. If he comes close, use Wall of Pain to punish him and prevent his advance and retreat. When Alistat uses his Unbreakable Will, he will become much tankier than before. The damage reduction is immense so take this into account when using Requiem as Alistar has many options to ruin your plans.
Mordekaiser is a mage bruiser whose attacks provide him additional defense. Iron Man is his special passive that grants him temporary bonus defense from a portion of the damage from his abilties. Siphon of Destruction is his bread and butter ability that allows him to kill waves of minions very quickly as well as put on some nice damage. Mace of Spades is like a melee version of your Lay Waste where it does double damage to single targets. Creeping Death is like a temporary Sunfire Cape where it grants bonus defense and does damage to surrounding units. The damage is somewhat small but can hurt if he has a lot of AP. Children of the Grave is his ultimate that slowly drains your HP and turns you champion into his own puppet. Be careful when you are low on HP because it will make you an easy target.
Hitting Mordekaiser with his shield down is the key to doing mass damage to him. Since his abilities cost health, it will be more detrimental to him as he will use up more health in exchange. Use your range to your advantage and stay in open areas. Siphon of Destruction returns more defense by hitting more units. Since it's also his main farming ability, it's a good idea to stay away when he uses it. Alternatively, if Mordekaiser gets into range for his Mace of Spades, make sure you're close to other units to reduce the damage. The bonus damage is devastating and will take off big portions of your health. Keeping Mordekaiser zoned is a good way to shut him down offensively and defensively. He has no chase or escaping mechanism so he can be very easily punished if he makes a wrong move. Lastly, if he has his Children of the Grave planted onto you with very little HP left, it's better to get yourself into a good position for Death Defied rather than running away since this will give you a higher chance of taking him down with you. Of course, if you believe you have enough health to survive, by all means get yourself into a safe spot.
Poppy is a melee dps who relies heavily on her abilities to do burst damage. Devastating Blow is her main offensive spell that does a lot of damage if she manages to land it on you. It is often used in conjunction with Heroic Charge as her main Crowd Control ability to initiate and stun the target for an easier blow. Paragon of Demacia grants Poppy extra movement speed, armor, and damage to chase or retreat from enemies. The effect increases as she attacks more consecutively so keep that in mind. Diplomatic Immunity is her ultimate that protects her from damage from anything except for one target. This spell allows her to dive enemies or used as a defensive shield to make running away easier. It also gives her abilities bonus damage to the target unit so be careful if she uses this on you in order to finish you off easier. Lastly, her passive Valiant Fighter gives her slight "Last Stand" capability to tank through damage that would kill her at a certain threshold. This is particularly detrimental for spells like Requiem as it might, to your frustration, save her life by a very narrow margin.
Despite her great burst potential, Poppy needs to get very close to enemies to deal damage. Keeping your harass strong and zoning her away will prevent her from getting close, ultimately rendering her chances null. Make sure to keep yourself far away from any terrain as she can easily dive and stun you with Heroic Charge if you're too close to walls or other terrain objects. If she tries to get too close, do as you would with champions that has much lesser range than you and use your Wall of Pain and Lay Waste to slow her advance and ease your chase. Make sure you keep your health up as Poppy can easily eat up your HP in seconds if you go too low.
Nasus's strength depends on how well he is able to farm. [
spell_text=Siphoning Strike] is his main damage spell that increases the overall damage permanently every time he kills a unit with it. Wither is his main Crowd Control ability where the effect worsens overtime and causes the target to move and attack slower. Spirit Fire is Nasus's main farming ability that also reduces armor overtime for any unit that stands within the area of effect. Fury of the Sands is Nasus's ultimate that grants him extra health, damage, and turns him into a walking terror. Soul Eater is Nasus's passive that grants him slight sustainability. It procs with any physical damage so Siphoning Strike is included.
Zoning Nasus away from farming his Siphoning Strike will effect his performance greatly. Since it's his main offensive ability that relies on strong farm to get the most of it, using your harass to keep him away from your minions will make it much harder for him. Be careful not to overextend, however, as Wither will slow you badly enough for him to get close and deal heavy damage to you. If he uses Wither to slow you from chasing or retreating, use your Wall of Pain to counter him. If he uses Spirit Fire, make sure you walk away from the effect. Although it shouldn't do too much damage, it will take away a lot of your HP overtime and the armor debuff will aid him in killing you. Lastly, when he has his Fury of the Sands turned on, stay away. It will be very hard for you to take him down head on as he is stronger and tankier than his normal state. If you have a hard time running away, use Wall of Pain to aid your retreat and possibly counterattack if he gets too low or is simply using it to tank damage.
Renekton is a champion that uses a unique resource system called Fury to alter his damage and effects. Reign of Anger is his passive from where his Fury system is accumulated from normal attacks and abilities and then released when it reaches a certain threshold to deal extra damage and apply other effects. Cull the Meek is Renekton's main AoE ability which damages enemies and heals himself for a portion of the damage dealt. The effects are increased with Fury applied. Ruthless Predator is his main Crowd Control ability that stuns a target with his next auto attack. The damage and stun duration is increased with Fury Applied to it. Slice and Dice is Renekton's main chasing/escape ability that can be cast twice if he hits an enemy unit through the first run. Fury grants Armor reduction to targets it pass through. His ultimate Dominus is similar to his brother Nasus in that it grants him extra health and turns him into a walking pillar of damage. In this state, he regenerates Fury very fast so keep your distance when this is active.
Although less effected compared to Nasus, Renekton lacks good range abilities. Granted he does have abilities to get him into and out of trouble, he still needs to get close to deal good damage. Harass him from a distance to keep yourself safe from his abilities. Try to zone him from your minions to prevent him from building up Fury. When Ruthless Predator is active, Renekton's arms begin glowing red. This means his next attack will deal damage and stun the target for a certain amount of time. Usually, many Renektons will use Slice and Dice + Ruthless Predator + Cull the Meek to deal great burst damage over a short duration of time. As such, you want to keep him away from you with any means possible to stay alive and healthy. Use your Wall of Pain if he gets too close or is retreating. Without Slice and Dice, Renekton is not too mobile so this will make him fairly easy to hit with the various debuffs applied on him.
Warwick is another example of a good jungler who's potential is wasted by going into lanes. Hungering Strike is his main offensive spell that deals damage based on percent health or based damage and heals him for the total damage. Hunters Call grants Warwick and his allies temporary attack speed. Blood Scent grants him and his allies sight to champions with very low health. It also grants Warwick movement speed so it somewhat serves as his chasing/escaping ability as well. Infinite Duress suppresses a target and deals damage to him based on his attack damage and heals Warwick for a big portion of the damage. This is main crowd control ability that can only be negated with Quicksilver Sash or another teammate's channel disrupting spell within the duration.
The main reason why Warwick belongs in the jungles and not the lane rests with the fact that majority of his abilities are simply buffs to increase his present capabilities. However, this does not increase the one thing he lacks: range. Hungering Strike is his only ranged ability and might possibly be the only thing keeping him alive if you harass him well. Speaking of which, take advantage of your range to continuously damage him. Zoning him away from your minions will greatly hinder his ability to heal and damage. If he tries to get too close, use your Wall of Pain to prevent him from running away easily. When he gets Infinite Duress, this is when keeping your distance is important. If he manages to put you down with this ability, he can deal a lot of damage to you both normally and with his other abilities to follow up.
Rammus is a tank who has very high defensive abilities as well as offense and crowd control effects as well. Spiked Shell grants him bonus damage as he gets more armor. This is not too detrimental for Karthus but extra damage is always something to be on the lookout for. Powerball is Rammus's bread and butter. It serves as his main farming, damage, chasing, initiating, and escape ability. The ability turns him into a ball state where he accelerates overtime and deals damage in a small area to the first unit he collides with. Defensive Ball Curl is his main defensive ability that returns some damage dealt to him back to the attackers. This is usually used in combo with Puncturing Taunt as it provokes enemies to attack him while increasing his own defense and attack due to his passive and the armor bonus. Rammus's ultimate is Tremors where he generates a wave in the ground that deals damage to enemies around him. This ability also effects structures so it gives Rammus very strong turret wrecking potential.
Unlike many other tanks, Rammus has no bonus heal or health sustainable ability. As such, hit him during times when he can't defend well. This is usually when his abilities are on cooldown, especially Defensive Ball Curl as it grants him crazy defense stats. When Rammus goes into Powerball, make sure to stand near groups of minions but not too close. Since the effect is applied to a small area around the impact, being too close will still trigger the effect despite not being hit directly. Additionally, some Rammus will go around the group to reach you so make sure you stand on the opposite side between him and the units in the middle of his trajectory. Make sure to keep your distance from Rammus as he has a lot of Crowd Control to keep you pinned down to one place. Puncturing Taunt is his main single target spell that can keep a target in place up to 3 seconds. Lastly, stay away from his Tremors when it's active. Keep in mind, the effect does NOT wear off when he goes into his ball state as opposed to his other abilities.
Singed is a unique tank who's main damage output requires him to be in front of you. Poison Trail is his main constant damage spell which is also his farm. The poison effect refreshes every second you remain in the trail so make sure not to stand in it for too long. Fling is his main nuke ability that can either save you or put you in a very unpleasant situation. Either way, it can cancel your Requiem so be careful not to use it near him. Mega Adhesive is his slow that has comparable effects to your Wall of Pain with less diminishing effects so long as they stay in the pool. Insanity Potion is his ultimate which turns him into an absolute wrecking train. This spell grants him extra ability power, mana and health regeneration, armor and magic resistance, and cooldown reduction along with extra movement speed. Lastly, his passive Empowered Bulwark makes Singed naturally tanky as he puts on more mana items.
Keep him away and don't chase. This is the rule of thumb facing against Singed. He doesn't have much ranged so you can easily harass him. If he tries to get really close, use your Wall of Pain to slow his advance and possibly even counter attack. Singed Poison Trail is indicated by streaks of colored clouds that last for 5 seconds and damage any enemy that walks into it. Naturally, the best thing to do is to avoid walking into it as best as possible. Use your ranged to harass him. Singed doesn't have any healing burst healing abilities like Rammus so he's more easily punishable for mistakes. All in all, make sure he doesn't get near you and use your range to your advantage.
Tryndamere is a champion who depends highly on critical chance and damage. Battle Fury is his passive which increases his critical chance as he becomes weaker in battle. Bloodlust grants him additional attack and critical damage as well as a stackable burst heal. Mocking Shout is Tryndamere's main Crowd Control ability that reduces enemy attack damage and possibly movement speed if they're facing backwards. Spinning Slash is Tryndamere's main chasing/escape ability which also does pretty decent damage. Additionally, each critical strike Tryndamere makes reduces the cooldown by 2 seconds. Tryndamere's ultimate is Undying Rage which is his last stand ability that makes him unkillable for 6 seconds. This ability allows him to dive against weak targets as well as survive Requiem with the right timing so keep this within your calculations.
Tryndamere is a champion who relies heavily on chance to deal the core of it's damage. It is imperative that you keep him from closing in on you otherwise he can literally kill you in two hits in any phase of the game. Zoning Tryndamere is a good way to exhaust him from farming and getting Bloodlust stacks. Additionally, Tryndamere relies heavily on items to succeed. So by gimping his early game farming, you can essentially shut him down the whole game. However, do be careful as he has ways to get close to you and deal lots of damage. Spinning Slash allows him to get into range for his regular attacks. If he gets too close, use your Wall of Pain to slow his retreat and follow up with Lay Waste. Tryndamere is fairly squish so he will easily die after a few good attacks. Just be cautious when he gets Undying Rage as this can be his "get-out-of-jail-free" card if used correctly under the right timing and circumstances.
Despite his prominent early game presence, Garen is a fairly easy opponent for Karthus. Although his Decisive Strike can silence enemies, his lack of range makes it easy for Karthus to avoid. His biggest threat is probably Judgment which reduces slows when he's in that state. It can also apply critical damage so be careful to not let him too close to you. Courage passively raises Garen's defense and temporary grants him extra protection. This is his main defense against Requiem so keep that in mind. Demacian Justice is Garen's ultimate where the damage increases as the foe grows weaker. His passive Perseverance grants him slight sustainability at times.
Garen is notorious for his brush + Judgment combo that deals a ton of damage to unsuspecting players. Unfortunately for him, Lay Waste makes short work of his efforts. In fact, since the brush tends to be less dense, hiding in there is more prone for Lay Waste to deal the double damage bonus. If Garen activates Decisive Strike, stay at a distance and use Wall of Pain if it's necessary. Keep yourself distant and constantly harass him to prevent the activation of Perseverance. Lastly, make sure you stay away from him if you're too low and he has Demacian Justice ready. He can make short work of you with that ability alone if you go too low in health. All in all, keep your harass nice and strong and Garen will be food.
Once again, Trundle is another champion who excels in the jungles much more than the lanes. This is simply due to the fact he has NO reliable ranged ability to deal constant damage. [spell_icon=Rabid Bite][spell_text=Rabid Bite] is his main damage spell which requires him to go into melee range to activate. [spell_icon=Pillar of Filth][spell_text=Pillar of Filth] is his main Crowd Control ability that creates a large wall in the area and slows units around the area. Contaminate is a giant self buff AoE spell that grants him additional attack and movement speed and crowd control reduction. Trundle's ultimate [spell_icon=Agony][spell_text=Agony] is his only ranged spell. It steals the stats of your champion and gives it to himself temporarily.
As stated before, Trundle's biggest problem lies in his lack of ranged abilities. As Karthus, you have some of the best ranged spells in the game so the difference is on opposite sides of the spectrum. Zoning Trundle early on will affect his later game very much. If he tries to get close to you, use your Wall of Pain and follow up with Lay Waste to deal major damage. Trundle has very low mobility unless Contaminate is active so take advantage of him when it isn't. There isn't much to be said about facing Trundle. Just keep your distance and make sure he doesn't get close.
There's a good reason why Udyr belongs in the jungle early on. He has ABSOLUTELY no ranged abilities and, on top of that, requires him to get into melee range to deal damage. Phoenix Stance is his main farming/AoE spell that has slight range and deals damage to enemies in front of and around him. Turtle Stance is his main defensive ability that grants him a temporary shield to block damage as well as healing himself for a portion of damage dealt. Bear Stance is his main Crowd Control ability that also grants him additional movespeed. This stance allows him to stun all enemies once every 6 seconds. Tiger Stance is his main single target ability that deals strong damage against one target over 2 seconds.
Since Udyr has no ranged whatsoever, he might just be your easiest match up yet. Simply zoning him away from minions and harassing him will shut him down nice and well. If he tries to get into range, use Wall of Pain to hasten his advance. Frankly, there isn't much to add about Udyr. Simply making sure he doesn't get into range with you is all that's needed.
Lee Sin is an assassin bruiser champion who relies on chaining attacks and abilites to deal a majority of his damage.
Match-up Ranging Somewhere over 8999 but below 9000:
KARTHUS - 1000000-1000000
Karthus dittos can be particularly annoying. Especially when two good Karthuses duke it out, it's very agonizing since both should know each other's strategies, strengths, and weaknesses. As such, this is an even match and the Karthus with better positioning, better ability usage, and better management will ultimately win the battle. Just make sure you're the tog dog. There's only enough room for one...
Unknown/Not enough experience or info
Jax (I totally skipped out on this one...I'm an idiot. Will update soon)
As champions get added, buffed, nerfed, changed, reworked, etc. I will try to update match-ups as best as I can. Not everything I say here will be 100% accurate due to constant changes in champion numbers and meta game(s). Use your own discretion and knowledge to counter each champion appropriately.
Other Maps and Gamemodes
ARAM (All Random All Middle)
All Random All Middle (ARAM) is a fan-made game mode where all players randomly pick a champion and everybody fights in the middle lane. For first timers, the rules are simple:
If you haven't played ARAM, I suggest you try it out as it's really fun sometimes and very different compared to regular games. Lots of ARAM matches are hosted as Custom Games (for the time being...maybe someday it'll be official) so finding it shouldn't be hard.
If you happened to random Karthus, you are very lucky. Karthus is one of the best ARAM champions because of his ridiculous range that allows lots of harassment. And since people cannot return to base, this is a bonus for you.
Runes and Masteries are pretty much the same. Though you can also go with an alternate 0-21-9 set up with focus on sustainability masteries like Strength of Spirit Strength of Spirit. You can also choose to switch Greed Greed with [mastery_icon=Insight][mastery_text=Insight], but that's up to you.
For Summoner Spells, Heal and Clarity are the general norms and probably the best options. The key for ARAM is to get a strong and sustainable start since you can't return to heal up so you'll need to last long in the field. Other good alternatives are Teleport, Ghost, Flash, and Exhaust. Ignite deserves an honorable mention but isn't something to consider too highly in this mode.
Follow the standard skill order as you would in a normal match.
In ARAM, it's usually a good idea to stock on several Gold per 5 items. For one, chances are that you'll be in the field for a LONG time so they will help you maintain sustainability. And second, because everybody will be fighting over gold, it is almost impossible for you to monopolize the farm as you would in a normal match. As such, the Gold per 5 will make up for loss progress overtime and eventually generate profits:
Starting: Regrowth Pendant + 1 Health Potion.
NOTE: Discuss with your team if anybody is going to buy a Mana Manipulator. This item is VERY VERY important early on in this mode and will put your team at a big disadvantage if no one has it. (unless your whole team has non-mana champs, then I can't help you there. :\ ) If no one responds, buy one as your first item. In this scenario, make sure you're the last to buy an item in fear that you might need to get it in place of someone more suitable such as a support or tank.
Top Priority: (buy two if possible) This item will help you sustain your health and mana very nicely in this mode. Aim to get at least two early on. The more sustainability, the better.
Second Priority: If you feel too squish or pushed back by their harass, get [item_icon=Heart of Gold][item_text=Heart of Gold] (perhaps two if possible). Otherwise, get [item_icon=Kage's Lucky Pick][item_text=Kage's Lucky Pick](and one [item_icon=Heart of Gold][item_text=Heart of Gold] if possible.) Pick up Ionian Boots of Lucidity if you can, otherwise save it for the next run.
Your core items are pretty much set. At this point, you have several options as to how you'd like to itemize:
Rylai's Crystal Scepter: It's a great item in a regular match, it's an amazing item in ARAM. The slow, HP, and AP "steroid" is crippling for the other team. Since everybody will be clustered in a single lane, hitting anybody is very easy. Additionally, since they can only go up and down the lane, it'll make chasing and retreating very easy. This should be your first finished item because it provides you and your team sufficient and consistent CC which is very useful in this mode.
Archangel's Staff: Mana sustainability and AP. Never hurts to have more mana to spam spells away. And since bluepilling and buffs are out of the equation, this item has amazing sustaining power. The extra AP is always good too. In a regular match, this should be one of your first items to focus/complete. It is not much different in ARAM.
(More to come...)
Endless destruction brings empty nothingness
Everything good must come to an end. The same goes for this guide.
Seriously though, I really hope everyone leaves this guide learning a thing or two about Karthus. If you have any questions, comments, suggestions, feedback, etc, feel free to comment on my guide. I am far from being a perfect player. I too could learn a thing or two.
With that said, go forth summoners. Use your knowledge of the legendary lich to instill immense fear and destruction on your enemy and unleash havoc onto the Fields of Justice.
PS: Super Special Summoner and Grand Karthus Player BulalPwn has approved of this guide.
PSS: This one's for my buddy, Kefanza. Cat-Girl Ezreal needs your support.
Make this happen. Support the place where it all began.
Submitted by feelsgoodman
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