Karthus Build Guide

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Karthus; Fantasmagore's guide v1.01a

written by Fantasmagore

Karthus Build

Table of Contents

  • Introduction

    Just wanted to start this out by introducing my self. My name is Fantasmagore (phantasmagore) I have played lots of games in the past such as WoW, Dota, CS, halo, Smash bros and tetris. I started playing this game when Blizzard started killing WoW when 30% buff came out in ICC =] I am making this guide cause im tired of seeing shitty AA Karthus builds {Shitty Archangels staff Karthhus builds} I have beat all other karthus's with this build It give you early mid and late game AP advantage over 90% of the builds out there. I will try to keep this updated with patches and such. Please read everything I have typed not cause I typed it, but cause it offers some nice insight on the champ. Thanks and I hope you enjoy this build. Please read all SECTIONS in order for this guide to be 100% effective.

    Released guide----------------------------------------------v1.00
    Added info on why you get these items-----------------------v1.01a
    AP ratio got changed a while back. Nothing ground breaking--v1.02a

  • Abilities

    Death Defied
    This is another skill that really defines Karthus as a OP champ. When you die you can still cast spells for 8secs during this time you want to pop your defile and try to put up a wall to mess people up and try to aim your lay waste at the lowest hp champs, or people that are by themselves to maximize your dmg while your dead. I have killed many full hp champs all cause they stood in my AoE and my lay waste. This is another skill which makes karth a very good teammate. Many people don't understand the concept of this passive. I use it for more of a suicide bomber. I flash in die... then my team jumps in for the ace. When flash in the other team blows all of their CD/Ults on me, and when i die i can still cast spells and even ult. So please don't be scared to die.. another good thing to do is if you are trying to protect a tower and u are about to die and the other team is low also. just get in front of the tower and let them ill you.. if they dive u. The tower will kill them if you arnt bad...

    Lay Waste
    This is Karthus's bread and butter imho.. You don't know how many times people underestimate this ability. Once again I can not stress this enough. IT DOES DOUBLE DMG TO SINGLE TARGETS. Take advantage of that. This skill also uses very little mana so by all means spam the shit outta it. Many people say not to, but trust me even at level 1 you can spam like crazy, just don't do it and not hit anything.. Try to focus on last hitting creeps and keeping the enemy at range so they cant last hit. Learn to use this skill and you will surely rape anyone. End game it hits for an easy 600-700dmg. Don't forget to lead it when people are running. This skill can also be used for seeing into bushes.

    Wall of Pain
    Another good move, It slows anyone that walks through it, also reduces their resists and armor. Always start a fight with his skill it will let your Q hit a lot harder. Also helps for a gank/team fights. A lot of people might get mad about with what im about to say, but it takes skill to place this wall good. I have seen lots of karthus's not even use it, or just suck with it. Only drawback on it is the long CD on it. DON'T FORGET YOU CAN PEEK INTO BUSHES WITH IT. I really cant stress this enough you don't know how many times I have avoided a full team gank and a team fight or even started a team fight cause the other team was hiding in a bush and I through the wall in it to reveal the area. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF IT. Also very good gank skill.

    Really good ability. Try to activate this before team fights. The passive on this is alone worth putting points in. Just think of this of a fiddle ult that has no real cd. How ever this skill eats mana early/mid game. I only use this in team fights or to farm creeps. Do not turn this skill on if you are below 25% mana I can not stress this enough you will go oom fast and with casting your wall and then your Q you wont have enough to pull the trigger or even ult when needed..

    This is what makes Karthus, Karthus. This will make people QQ and rage in all chat. First thing is first. This does 250 dmg at level 1. This how ever does not mean it will do 250 dmg. You haft to take in account of resists/heals/shields. Always reduce 50dmg from the main dmg. So it does around 200dmg.. again it doesn't do 200dmg just around it.. give or take.
    When you hit level 6 let everyone on your team that you are level 6, and DO NOT RELY ON YOUR TEAM TO CALL FOR AN ULT. That is another huge fail that I see other players who play karth. "you should of told me" No you're mid and you're karthus l2map. Try to save this for the end of team fights or low hp foes.

    Things to not do, which i see lots of other karthus players do.
    1.)Never cast it just cause.
    2.)Never cast it mid fight.. and cc or death will cancel it.
    3.)Never cast it if you see an enemy going "B"
    4.)Never cast it cause you thought it might of killed him.
    5.)Do not hold it and never ever use it.
    6.)Do not rely on this skill to kill people, use it to secure the kill.
    7.)Don't use it just cause you died.. waste of ult its just stupid.
    8.)Do not cast it cause one of your teammates call for it. I know this sounds stupid, but you have no idea how many times teammates has called for my ult and to find out the champ has WAY more hp then what my ult can do at level 1. Again L2MAP.
    9.)Never go full oom, always have enough mana to cast this.

  • Summoner Abilities

    I have tried to use many summoner abilities but I have had the best success with these 2
    Good for ganking and end game, also very good for mid. This how ever can be substituted for something else. I strongly recommend it.
    This is a must have. Do not ever get rid of this. Good for escaping and good for chasing and tower diving

    Here are some other choices.
    Always good if they have a jungler, also good to scout out on champ for your ult. I however do not suggest this. Imo its a waste cause end game you probably wont use it but twice, if that..
    This one if good if you dont have good mana regen or dont want to get the masteries for it. How ever mid to late game this skill doesnt get used.. But it is still very good.
    Many people underestimate this spell. I used it a couple times and its funny to revive, teleport then get a quad kill cause they all thought i was still dead, This with your ult is deadly. This is arguably an odd spell to use on karth cause of his passive.
    This is a good one if you are going to put the extra masteries into it so you can get that extra ap early game. Also good on regen heavy champs.

    Here are some that should never be used.
    Shouldn't ever really need to run, just flash wall and you're safe.. so this is pointless on karth
    again this is rather pointless.. just wall
    Heal is meh.. on karthus
    [spell_icon=Fortify] Save it for the tanks
    If you are going to need cleanse you either are bad or are going balls deep which is a good thing on karth so just die.
    [spell_icon=Rally] I still think this was a troll spell created by riot.

    Only for jungler karth, this is not a jungler guide. I plan on making one soon but for now don't use smite


    External Image


    Nothing to insane. I have used other runes but these seem to give me the best early/mid/late game.

    x9 Magic pen for your ult and other abilities
    x9 For mana regen
    x9 really good around level 6-10 makes people hate you.
    x3 Good early game, makes your "q" hit really hard.

  • Skilling Order

    nuff said. Although if you feel like you need more CC for your team then swap out taking your wall over defile first.

  • Items

    Start the game with aWhen you get enough gold, which should be around level 6, or even sooner depending on your last hits and champ kills. Get a .

    After that you can ether push mid or gank the side lanes I perter to gank but if mid is aggressive then stay mid. When you get enough gold get .

    Depending on if you are getting kills or not, when you get enough gold rush

    Now you should either be getting alot of assist or kills either way you are going to have lots of stacks, now go back and finish your . Please note this, if the game is pass 25mins DO NOT get rod of ages it will a waste of gold. I usually get this item at the 17-19min mark.

    Now you should have

    Now at this point in the game, you will have a steady flow of gold income from assist, kills, jungling and pushing/clearing lanes. If they have lots of MR then finish your .The reason we dont rush to get Sorce shoes is cause after doing the mast 20% magic pen is nothing that's going change from a kill and a close call. When you get enough gold rush and get then get a Right now you should have around 200-300 ap easy sometimes more, and the game should only be near 25-35mins. After some kills rush back and get your final pure ap item.

    Now your items should look something like this. This is your core item build. From here you can either go glass cannon pure AP or get some tanky items.

    Im not going into detail on which item to get, cause like I said you have your core, you should be able to carry with just these 3 items. I will how ever post some item builds when facing teams with high MR/HP/CC/escape.

    If they have lots of MR

    If they have lots of HP

    If you are getting killed way to fast.
    Guardian Angel really throws them off, when they kill you they will forget all about you, then when they kill you again you will have even more time to rape face cause of your passive. Also the WotA is for when your guardian angel gets proc'd I have gotten 50% of my life back just from turning on lay waste for about 2-3 secs.

    If your team is lacking in CC
    [item_icon=Morello's Evil Tome] The reason for the Tome is for the cdr, it also adds some nice AP and some much wanted mana regen.

    And everyone's favorite glass-cannon karthus
    If you dont have more then 10 stacks on SS then by all means sell it and get a 2nd

    My personal faviorte, Also I do get the AA last just for the AP boost.. I have gotten a total of 1010AP with these items.
    [item_icon=Morello's Evil Tome]

    Please note that if you manage to get any of these items builds 100% either your team is really bad or the other team is.. or the game is lasting way to long.

  • Why I get these items

    Lets start with the Ruby
    The main reason I get this is for the HP, being a mage, Karthus has very low HP and I have been killed at the start with him just cause I lacked 20-50hp. This also helps you build right into a very core item.

    The reasons I do not get a mana pend, is cause well.. I know how to manage my mana and never go oom if I do happen to go oom. It was for a kill or cause i'm about to recall.

    The other reason we dont go for any AP items is cause you get a pretty good boost from the runes.

    Next item is
    This helps you stay in the lane even longer which will surely piss off anyone who is mid against you. This item will save your life when you least know it.
    The reason you get this and do not rush a is cause you really dont need the AP this early, it wont hurt to rush this item I just dont recommend it. The only reason you get this item is to fix karthus's squishyness and to get a bigger manapool. The ap doesnt hurt either. Just all around feed good item for any caster.

    The reason for getting just boots of speed is to keep up not to catch up.

    Now this item..
    I use to be one of those karth players who use to make fun of other karthus's who get it. But now its a core item to my build. After playing karth more and more, even if you are doing bad. You WILL get assist and you will get kills.. I have gotten this thing to 20 stacks just form assist.. how ever if you arnt doing good and you have it for a while by all means sell it and get something else. How ever I still consider this a core item cause I have never got this item and told myself to get something else..

    Now its
    If you don't know why you get this item then please send me your address so I can some to your house and take a shit on your drive way.


  • How to kill someone

    Start with harassing them with . If they get close wait for the right time and either slam a down on you or just keep hitting them with your . Now they are going to do one of two things once they get hit with the .. they are either going to run away or go at you.. either way they are screwed. If they run keep up with them while spamming your , if they are low and get away dont be scared to ult. Also if they charge you just turn on and spam and you will you kill them even if you die.

  • Summary

    Levels 1-6 []Life sucks just farm and last hit.
    Levels 6-10 []You should leave mid and try to gank side lanes, you're not a single target nuke.
    Levels 10-13 []You can either help push lanes, or get your team together for teamfights. When they do happen make sure you're the first one in the fight, but DO NOT GO IF YOU ARE THE ONLY ONE THERE.
    Levels 13-15 []You should have your core item build and the game should be close to over.
    Levels 15-18 []You are now hitting harder then anyone else in the game, you can do a big 1k dmg per second. single target that is.

    Some side notes. If your team is scared to jump into the fight, then make sure you show them how to do it, DO NOT BE SCARED TO DIE. Yes it sucks to die, just dont be scared to. You have no idea how many times I went into a fight with 13 stacks of soulstealer and came out with 19 cause i died, but in the process killed most of their team and got assist with it.

  • Pros / Cons

    you hit like a truck single target
    You will always get kills
    You make the other team get MR items
    even when your dead you can still get kills.
    Can last hit like a boss
    Very good team player

    Hard to play good
    You die really fast
    eats mana like crazy
    gets raped by cc

Do you have your own
Build Guide?

Submitted by Fantasmagore

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