Karthus Build Guide

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Karthus, The Legendary Lich

written by Desia

Karthus Build



Table of Contents

  • Introduction

    External Image

    Karthus, The Deathsinger, an amazing hero for the simple fact that if a spammable nuke, an 80% slow + Magic resistance debuff, and an ult that can finish off any hero on the map from anywhere. Sound OP? well yea he is, IF you can play him well. This is my attempt to teach all the people who might want to play Karthus how to play him well, and all the people who have played him and failed how to not fail. I am so very sick of seeing people play Karthus terribly, so i am here to try and stop people from ruining Karthus's good name as the OP Lich (at least that's what everyone who plays against me calls him ^.^). For the sake of my Favorite Hero i write this guide!
    & Please rate + comment this guide XD

    I Will be Working on Alternate Item Builds & In depth game play for Early Mid And Late Game as well as video's & Screenshots

    --Special Thanks to Sylvanas for the Image

  • Abilities

    Death Defied
    An ok and in some situations very useful passive (everything will be explained how to use later in the guide)
    ~If you run OOM before you die you won't be able to cast while in this form.
    ~You can't move, but you can use all your abilitys until the time runs out or you go OOM.
    ~If you use your ULT right after you die, you can't use any other spells afterwords.
    ~After 5seconds in this stance, you cant use your ult due to the time it takes to cast your ult.


    Lay Waste
    Your bread and butter, a spammable nuke, as well as a decent AOE
    ~This takes skill to place, and skill comes with practice.
    ~This is a nuke when it hits a single target, and an AOE when it hits multiple targets.
    ~Double Damage stated to single target & spread damage to multiple targets.
    ~Spam this if you go in with defile up!, many Karthus's i see rush in and use defile w/o using Lay Waste At all.
    ~When casting stops movement momentarily.
    ~Visibility for a short period at the placement of LW (In Bushes & Fog of War)
    .3 Ratio


    Wall of Pain
    Simply an amazing spell, it's slow, along with magic resist debuff make it a necessity.
    ~The wall is placed relative to your position. (Shown in Screen shots below)
    ~Length, Slow, & Magic Resist Debuff increase w/ rank.
    ~Lats 7 seconds, Debuff lasts 5s,& if people pass through multiple times the Debuff is refreshed.
    ~When casting stops movement momentarily.
    ~The Entire wall when placed provides Vision for the length of the Wall. (In Bushes & Fog of War)


    Defile
    Very nice, this is a good amount of mana regen for early game, and later levels an amazing AOE Dot.
    ~No pause while activating.
    ~AOE range is slightly less than the range of Lay Waste (Shown in Screen shots below)
    ~When activated deals initial damage, Useful for if you want to last hit creeps, or finish off a fleeing champion you cant seem to hit with Lay Waste.
    .25 Ratio


    Requiem
    For the obvious hero farming, and a little bit more.
    ~3 second Cast (Take this into account when debating weather or not to use it.)
    ~Costs a fair amount of Mana. (be sure to have enough to use it whenever its up, or soon to be up.)
    ~Can be interrupted so Think also about where your using it before using it. (Can you be stunned if you attempt to ult in your current position?)
    .7 Ratio


  • Pros / Cons

    Pros:
    1.Spammable Nuke
    2.Massive (In both damage, and AOE) DOT
    3.Can kill any low health champion from anywhere on the map
    4.Can help kill heroes from anywhere on the map
    5.80% slow
    6.Can stay alive after death to assist in more kills, or helping teammates in fleeing
    7.Amazing Hero when mastered

    Cons:
    1.Overall a Difficult hero to Master
    2.Slow Movement speed
    3.Ult can be counted by a healer, and can be interrupted

    I can't Really think of anything else atm, but if i do i will add.

  • Summoner Abilities

    I Suggest
    Ghost
    Ignite
    These are the spells that my Mastery build will focus on, but if you prefer others go for it.
    If you do choose these, i will explain how to use them, and why they are useful

    Ghost
    This is a very versatile spell, can allow for kills by moving faster to allow for easier, and better placement of Lay Waste, and can save your life by letting you escape your enemy with speed.
    Ignite
    This is more for the pure hero killing ability, but here is how you use it...
    First of all think to yourself "can i kill my opponent by using Ignite and then rushing them?" if not then ask yourself "can i do this relatively soon?" if your answer is no to both questions, then use it to harass. Now you may be saying "WTF? use a summoner spell to harass? what is this guy retarded?" well here's why... Ignite has a relatively low cool-down for a summoner spell, and if your not actually going to kill a hero with it, you should have the extra 10AP from it being on CD, and yes this counts throughout the entire game (sooner or later ill forget to use ignite on heroes for the AP but past LVL 15 the extra AP may not benefit you as much as the hero killing ability of ignite would)
    If you Can kill an enemy hero with Ignite, then rushing them, well why the hell haven't you done it yet?

    --Head to Tips& Tricks # 16 for a nice little trick for ignite! (And yes i feel that i must put it in Tips&Tricks so that you go over there and look at the other Tips&Tricks not to mention i have an odd urge to keep tips in that section rather than scattering them around the guide.)

  • Masteries + Runes

    External Image

    Here is what i go for my Masteries: http://www.leaguecraft.com/masteries/1003421132300100000000000000003140100000000

    Yes i know it is a 21/0/9 and to explain i decided to do a Pros/Cons list.

    PROS
    -Increased AP from [spell_text=Burning Embers] and [spell_text=Archmage's Savvy]
    -Increased Magic Pen from [spell_text=Archaic Knowledge]
    -Increased Last Hit chance from everything else in the Tree
    -Increased Damage from [spell_text=Havoc]

    CONS
    -No Mana Regen
    (shouldn't need this with last hits, and Defile)
    -No Movement Speed increase
    (don't need this with ghost + the MS added is pretty minuscule)
    -No CD reduction
    (Karthus Doesn't need CD reduction, even from masteries)
    -No Summoner Spell CD reduction
    (unless you use your summoner spells off CD, then this is not worth it)

    You weigh the Pros and Cons and decide for yourself, but i will stick with my good 'ole 21/0/9

    RUNES
    Runes are pretty straight forward, Magic pen.

    x9 Greater Mark of Insight

    Anything after this is your choice, but i pick

    x9 Greater Seal of Vitality

    x9 Greater Glyph of Force

    x3 Greater Quintessence of Potency

  • Items

    These are all the items you get in order.
    STARTING ITEMS

    Doran's Ring or Boots of Speed
    This has everything an caster will need early-game HP, AP, regen
    If you're against buying non progressive starting items, then pick up boots if you must.

    Health Potion x1 or Health Potion x2 Mana Potion x1
    Depending upon your first starting item

    CORE ITEMS

    #1: Sorcerer's Shoes
    Sorc Boots are amazing for the fact that on Karthus you NEED Magic Pen
    (Do not skip out on these)

    #2: Rod of Ages
    Start with the Catalyst, and then finish it ASAP
    This is an obvious choice so you aren't destroyed in a second and you don't run out of mana quickly

    #3: Mejai's Soulstealer
    skip this if you don't believe in your killing ability
    The Mejai's is an amazing item with a massive AP gain IF you can stay alive
    If you're confident in your killing ability, and survivability pick up the Mejai's before the Rod of Ages

    Note: I highly recommend picking up the Mejai's Soulstealer Due to the fact that the AP gain is unbelievable.
    (You will have 2 play more conservatively, but when i get it i always find myself having it almost maxed by the end of mid game)

    #4: Void Staff or Abyssal Scepter or [item=Rylai's Scepter]

    This will work amazingly with your ult to ensure you bypass as much Magic Resist as possible
    Get the Rylai's if you are facing more DMG carries than AP! + the Rylai's slow works w/ defile!!!
    NOTE: IF AND ONLY IF you picked up the Mejai's in place of the Scepter then you can chose which one of these you want depending upon the enemy team. (more casters? get the Scepter)
    NOTE: I realize that it is highly unlikely that games will go past this point, but in case it does here are the items you should get

    #5: [item=Zhonya's Ring]
    A massive raise in AP, whats not to love? (Sell your Dorian's when buying this item)
    NOTE: For #6 you have a few possible choices, and i will go over them after listing them.

    #6: Abyssal Scepter Void Staff Lich Bane [item=Rylai's Scepter]

    -- Abyssal Scepter , Void Staff [item=Rylai's Scepter] Whichever you didn't get before, you could get as your 6th item

    -- Lich Bane If you want your melee to hit as hard as your spells then this is the item for you! psst! (Its also nice for taking down turrets and inhibitors if that interests you)

    Final build Should look something like this (if the game lasts long enough):
    [builder=Karthus/178134d3ee674791dbe6842c2869b55f]

    TIP: Assuming The Game lasts forever, and you are dieing with the overflow of cash at your disposal, you should do what everybody does, and sell your boots, buy all 3 pots, drink them, then repurchase your boots!

    Survivability #6 Items: Those were your possible #6 items for purely damage, Here are some other possibilities!
    (These will be for pure survivability near the end game, and if you need too get them earlier)

    -- Sunfire Cape This is actually very nice, an extra 40dps along w/ defile + HP&armor for survival, this is what you should get if team fights are lasting forever & they're focusing you!

    -- Banshee's Veil This is an amazing item against casters and even some melee! Get this if they have a fed Annie, Ryze, or any other AP carry that is just fucking you up. (this will also act as a deterrent for those AP casters focusing you, allowing you to burn the shit out of them W/ defile & LW.)
    Gotta Duke Nukem Bringing you down? Don't Fail.. Get a Banshee's Veil!

    -- Guardian Angel If you want... get this for the hell of it!

    --Contrary to Popular belief, CD reduction is not what you need on Karthus! The only ability it would really be useful for would be your ult (and possibly spamming LW a lot) and even though having your ult up ASAP after you use it would be useful, i believe that there are better items you could get instead of CD reduction items such as the ones listed above. BUT if you really really want CD reduction, then Look at the enemy team and pick out either

    -- Deathfire Grasp Get this to help you grab an advantage over an enemy, or give your team an advantage in a fight + the CD reduction.

    -- Frozen Heart The massive CD reduction is very nice, and if the enemy team has some melee giving you a hard time + you don't mind the drop in possible AP Get this item.

    -- Nashor's Tooth Get this item ONLY if you want a Cheapish CD reduction item ASAP, the Attack Speed is not needed, but the generous AP gain + Massive CD reduction are the reasons its on my item list.

    -- Haunting Guise This would be a Good starting CD reduction item, get it early (possibly before boots) as the magic pen is nice also. But sell this when you come into late came as there are WAY better items you can pick from.

    There you go Those are the CD reduction items you should get if you really want CD reduction, BUT i highly recommend you don't touch the stuff.

    More possible item builds coming soon!... (WTF a tank Karthus!?!?!?)

  • Archangel's Staff

    Ok so it has come to my attention by the people who bother to leave comments (Thanks :D) that i left this item out of my guide completely! well umm i have an excuse!!! its because i umm er... mflrem... err uhhh yea umm yea! so... Here is why i choose NOT to get it.

    Archangel's Staff

    So, Many many many many many many many many many many people believe that this item is an ABSOLUTELY FANTABULOUSE item for karthus, and i say nay.
    REASONING: The simple answer, The Cost outweighs the Benefits. You spend around 2800g on an item with I'll admit pretty awesome stats BUT for this to be viable you would have to have been spamming your abilitys for a decent amount of time in order to get a decent increase of AP. but the problem is there isn't a right time to get this item, think about it if you get it early, you spent close to a Rod of Ages on pure AP and spammability with no survivability. What does this mean? it means that you will die and you wont cast jack shit unless you spam like crazy for the 8 seconds you have before you really die, and if you get it too late you won't have the time needed to fill up this item with the mana needed to make it viable.

    --Another option, (other than skipping it all together) is to get the Tear of the Goddess after your rod of ages, then play the game through after making another one or two items, save up for the Archangel's Staff. When you finally get it, you should have a decent amount of mana stored up, and assuming the mana gained carries over, a decent amount of AP to boot. Other than this, i can't think of a better time to get this item without straying from survivability, or power for too long.

    --There is also a possibility of getting the Tear of the Goddess as your First item, & getting the
    Archangel's Staff later in the game, but along with the my first option is i find that spending 1k on Mana & mana regen is not worth it.
    --(I will be testing both of these ideas)


    (Here is a slightly more in depth look at why i do not get Archangel's Staff)
    [builder=Karthus/178134d3ee674791dbe6842c2869b55f]
    This is my typical item build (Note: This will vary depending upon the game)
    [builder=Karthus/c8b64a666c9db1c103957ddb4af7b119]
    This would be my assumption on a typical item build containing an Archangel's Staff

    Notice the Difference?

    OMG YES THE Archangel's Staff BUILD HAS MORE AP& MANA! GET IT GET IT GET IT GET IT!!!

    If you responded in this manor... you should go jump off a bridge...

    Notice anything else? the fact that with my item build you have MR to stop those nasty AP carries from ripping you to shreds w/o sacrificing too much DMG?, notice the Aura w/ 20 reduced MR to help you down your opponents faster?, or how about the little fact that it is an AURA so it helps not only you but the other AP hero's on your team?!?! and lets not forget that since you are support late game, you maxing out your damage for the sake of survivability/support items is not only idiotic but a waste of an item slot.Plus The increase in mana will take forever to achieve & if you ever need to use that much mana your not doing something right. If you want an infinite mana pool, you should just go grab a blue buff instead of wasting your money on Archangel's Staff (You also get 60 for grabbing that blue buff).

    If you have a problem with my reasoning, leave it in a comment & i will answer it ASAP (i think i covered this pretty well though)

  • NOTE

    The following Explanations will contain a lot of text, i will soon work on bringing photo links, and youtube videos to help explain how to do most of these types of harassment.


    Also This is a Wall of Text, and i Apologize but hopefully it will help people who really want to know how to use all of Karthus's abilitys efficiently use them efficiently. BUT if your like me and hate reading WALLS and WALLS of text, i can direct you to the Tips&Tricks which will give you the basics of using the abilitys. (obviously wont cover all the situations though) I do however suggest that you take the time to read this if you want a more in depth understanding of how Karthus's abilitys can be used.

    For Lay Waste the Explosion will be referred to as LW
    Iff: IF and only IF

  • Skilling Order



    The reason i pick Defile Forth is due to the fact that you shouldn't be OOM at level 2 or 3, but you should be around 1/4 mana by LVL 4 (even if you play aggressively) so Defile that early isn't really needed, but The slow could ensure a kill at LVL 2.
    Explanation of Spells:
    Q) Lay Waste
    Well First and foremost Lay Waste is your top priority, for the simple fact that it is a massive nuke at low levels, its spammable, it costs a minuscule amount of mana, and did i mention its spammable? its 1 second cool-down is AWESOME

    W) Wall of Pain
    I see a lot of Karthus builds that decide to put Defile in front of Wall of Pain, and i decided that this was a stupid idea (with help of a different guide of which i can't remember or seem to find) Not only does this slow put people in range for your Lay Waste, but it also reduces their magic resist so you can hit them harder! it is also very useful for helping teammates escape the cold clutches of your enemy team, and saving your life to once in a while. At Max it has an 80% slow so their is virtually no possible way for any enemy to dodge your Lay Waste

    E) Defile
    The reason that this spell comes last is simply mana issues, HOLY crap does it cost mana, we put one point in it for last hitting creeps and getting mana back, but if you activate it in team fights pre LVL 11 you are sure to run out of mana before you kill your enemy, the precision that Wall of Pain gives you in targeting an enemy with Lay Waste, and its relatively low mana cost makes it vastly superior to Defile in the early game, BUT WAIT when you do get into the higher levels, and you can afford to keep this spell on throughout team fights it is a massive AOE dot, and becomes unbelievably useful ticking at around 200dmg per second with only Boots, Rod of Ages, and a Scepter.

    R) Requiem
    Yes a very very very OP skill IMO, i personally love the feeling that i can kill anybody on the map as long as they're low enough, and once you use to rack you up some kills you will too. I will explain how to use this a little later, but You want no... Need magic pen for this spell.

    If you must rank up Defile because you can only find faults in Ranking up wall Here is another possible Skill build.



    You may switch this up a bit Depending upon the game, but the basic idea is that if you Max out Defile first w/o any points in Wall, you will run out of mana Much to quickly & that if you pick up a couple points of wall, you will have a decent slow w/ a decent AOE DOT @ earlier levels (Although i believe maxing 1 out first is better in most games.)

  • How To Play Karthus

    This is what I've been Waiting for, a chance to help explain to people how to play Karthus right, as i have said earlier i am so sick of seeing Karthus's that don't live up to their true potential as an amazing hero.

    Most of the following will work with both 1 opponent, and 2 opponents in a lane and weather your soloing or not doesn't really matter, what matters is you get your money, and they don't


    --Lay Waste
    This is your spammable nuke that i have been raving about for so long, it's about a 300-500dmg nuke on a single target (a lot easier than you might expect to hit a single target, so always attempt to hit just them). The real trick to this spell is tho anticipate where your enemy will be heading, how long it will take him to get to that point and then place lay waste accordingly. Now i know that sounds confusing, but its really quite simple, and you just have to learn to read people. I have found in most pug games that people are overly aggressive and will run towards you, so pop LW slightly in front of them depending upon their movement speed and watch their health drop. When they run away, do the same thing, sooner or later though even if they are pugs they will grow smart! this means they will attempt to avoid your Lay Waste, and people have tried many different ways to prevent me from hitting them, the most frequent ways are what i will list below.

    #1: The Fake Walk: This is an attempt for them to walk in an obvious direction, then switch when they see you moving forward, or raising your staff to place the LW.

    COUNTER: This is easily countered, when you place your explosion place it slightly behind them! they will most likely turn around before they realize "oh! he placed it behind me", and by the time they realized that it will have been to late

    #2: The Run Back and Forth: This is when an enemy will maneuver in place only to watch you place your Explosion slightly outside of them, and since they are constantly moving back and forth they will be able to easily avoid walking into it.

    COUNTER: Simple as it is, i have been able to screw up an opposing Karthus using avoid method #2, the easiest way to hit them is to time when they are about to turn, then right before they do place LW slightly behind them but basically right on top of them (if that makes sense) the typical result is they will turn back on top of LW and take the damage.

    #3: The Stand Still: This is When the enemy stands next to the ranged creeps thinking that he wont be hit because he isn't aggressive, and your not an aggressive player.

    COUNTER: BULLSH*T You get your ass in range of those ranged creeps and pop LW as many F**king times as you can until the enemy dies or stops being retarded for thinking you wouldn't harass him.

    #4: The Where did he go?: This is when your lane opponent cant take the harassment, and either sticks near the turret until you push your way to him or he switches lanes.

    COUNTER: If your enemy decides to let you push to the turret, stop attacking the creeps, focus last hitting and wait till they push back into range where you can harass him freely again also if he stays by the turret, that's a good thing! hes not getting any XP standing next to a turret, and your free to farm what you can.--If your enemy switches lanes with one of his teammates, i suggest you f**k them up. :)

    #5: I just flat out can't Hit him: Ok so this will happen to the best of us, they will buy boots first, or have MS quints

    COUNTER If you find yourself in this predicament then just sit-back and let them push (don't stop last hitting, and using your LW to last hit too) + try every so often to hit them, you could probably get 1 or to hits in when and if they try to hit your turret or attack you.

    *#6: They're harassing me more than i can to them: Well yes this will happen too, just stay back and last hit don't stick around if you get too low and don't forget about your health pots. the main thing when this is happening is to keep up the farm, and don't die!

    Some more Tips:
    When using LW it is effective to hit a solo hero doing your maximum Damage to that hero, but if you can't get them away from their creeps, don't be afraid to hit them while they're standing next to their creeps. The damage is little, but it is still damage.

    That was Harassing, When it comes to hero killing i will go over some possible situations...

    NOTE
    Although I Don't get defile as my second ability maxed out ASAP, This DOES NOT MEAN that you shouldn't use it when somebody is in range! Make sure to keep it up as long as people are within range of your defile.

    **--How to gank your lane opponent(s):
    First make sure you can kill them, does your LW do enough damage?, do you have enough running space?, is there anybody MIA that could ruin your gank?, if you think you can kill them, then start by throwing a LW down underneath them, do this until one lands, then immediately after with a teammate (or not) place down your wall so that they will have to run through it to get away, and then move in (This is where you would use ghost if you want). Place LW in front of where they are moving so when LW explodes it will hit them, do not stop hitting LW until you've killed them, or you come into whacking range of the turret, slightly before you come near the range of the turret they should be low enough for you to use your Ignite if its up, and get the kill, unless you can kill them with LW then save it for someone else.

    --Ganking Other Lanes:
    This is pretty much the same as ganking your lane, but this time you will be coming in at a different angle, this will cause your wall to face your enemy as a line instead, so to hit them drop the wall right on top of them, then rinse and repeat with LW.

    **--Ganking out in the Open:
    Ok first things first, WATCH OUT FOR LURES!, (A lure is any one person getting caught then pulling you and your teammates near his teammates of whom you can't see only so that you will be jumped by their team and get destroyed.)
    After this then you want to place your wall strategically so that it will hit your target, along with as many other targets that you can hit, then move in closer so that the edge of defile will tick on them, and hit them with LW. Make sure to study your enemies running habits so to best place LW once your slow comes off. (because when your slow is on you have to be an idiot not to be able to hit somebody moving at 20% MS.

    --How to Use Defile:
    Even though this costs a lot of Mana early game, remember to have it on whenever it will hit someone late to mid game. since the DOT does massive damage, and if you can get 2-3 people in its AOE without risking your life, it makes it of amazing worth to keep on. Don't turn it off as long as somebody is being hit. But remember to turn it off once your done less you become worthless if you forget and drain your mana to oblivion.

    --Killing Late Game:
    When killing late game, it is once again almost exactly the same as when killing your Lane opponent. First you will pop your wall, then turn on defile, (before this step, make sure your enemy is in range of defile) then start up with the spamming of LW until you have either killed your opponents, or you find it a fit time to run for the hills. (if your enemy escapes into the turrets, and you can kill him with your ult, then ult him iff you think hes worth your ult.

  • Using Your Ultimate

    Yes i believe that this Deserves its own Section...
    Requiem
    This Spell is simply amazing... Assume a gank goes wrong, and you let your enemy escape with low HP due to a LW placement error, or a missed Wall, well that doesn't matter because you have Requiem!!! just press "r" and that enemy will be dead in 3 seconds flat!!!

    Ok so it pretty much is that simple, but these few tips on using Requiem could help make sure that nothing goes wrong!

    #1: Ok so i know many people are lazy, but this will help you get the kill, simply check in the beginning of the game what summoner spells your opponents have! yes this simple check will help ensure kills. Do they have heal?, if so do you know if its on CD? if they don't have heal use your ult!, if they do and you don't know if its on cool-down or not it would be best to play it safe.

    **#2: Keep YOUR keep YOUR eyes on the game! Listen to me... there will be many times when people will say "KARTHUS ULT NOW!!!" and then you ult only to have your hopes dashed down when there is no kill to be had! When using your ult at LVL 6, look for the people who have 2 bars (In case you didn't realize this already each bar = 100 hp) I know your ult says 250dmg and you have AP, but they have magic resist BASE magic resist, and this takes a lot of damage away from your ult. {It takes some time before you are able to tell how your magic pen and AP will effect the enemy at their current HP so its best to play it safe and make sure you get kills with your ult by makeing sure their HP is about 50-100 below what your ult says it can deal (including AP) before you start trying at people with higher health}

    --Remember your Ult is not only for getting kills though! its to help get other people kills.. for example if your in a team-fight, and your both even pop your ult, then while its casting have your teammates rush them, it is pretty good initiator and at LVL 16 it does close to 800dmg.

    --Remember if you run into a situation where you can assist your Allie with a kill by using your ult, then use it.
    (Iff its life and death)

    #3 Time your ult: This can be amazing if you can do it properly, BUT it is difficult, and confusing since u don't know what will happen and when... BUT if you can time your ult you can pull off Triple-Kills, and I've even once pulled off a Penta-Kill with my ult. But if you want Multi-Kills then you should attempt to learn how to time your ult.

    **#4 Make sure your enemy doesn't have something like... Spell shield, A Heal, or something of the sort that would prevent your ult from landing a kill. If they have one of these, check there mana to see if they have enough to cast the spell, and if they do, then don't ult!

  • Working in the team

    **When Working with your team, it is about the same as when you attempt solo ganks, BUT unless your so fed that their entire team can't kill you DON'T initiate, stay back hitting your enemies with LW until your tank or somebody initiates, at this point pop defile and move in range, with defile up spam LW, and use your wall where it will hit the most enemies. Remember to pull out if you cant take the pressure... HAHA...(but they shouldn't be focusing you) or! you could rush in! (more on this in Tips & Tricks) Remember who to focus first, determine the focus order by collaborating with your team, if everyone attacks random people, and the enemies are coordinated then you will most likely lose. If you are being focused USE THIS TO YOUR ADVANTAGE! Use your wall so they will have to rush you & while staying in range of defile, spam LW & kite like crazy. This will allow your Carry to whip out their team while they attack you. (hopefully you can survive this)

  • Creep Jungling

    When Jungling it is less efficient to use defile, instead just spam Lay Waste (If you find that the jungle creeps are alive w/ a fraction of the HP bar, pop Defile for the initial dmg to kill them & then turn it off again.
    (Yes I Just had to put this)

  • Farming

    When Farming the massive amount of lane creeps that can pile up, all ill say is Defile...Lay Waste...Lay Waste... Lay Waste... and see the cash pour in.

  • Tips&Tricks

    There are quite a few T&Ts that can help you kill your enemies with ease& there are some basic game play tips which will let you become a better player as a whole.

    #1: This is a technical tip, increase the DPI of your mouse so you can move your cursor where it needs to be ASAP (if you can)

    #2: Karthus has multiple ways to kite somebody to death! here's how to kite...
    (a).Place your wall and then run away, as they rush you place your LW so that they will run into it (this takes practice, but is amazing when fighting an annoying melee hero.
    (b).If your wall is down, then place Defile on, and run so that they sit in defile, but you don't get hit! Works all the time (can be difficult if they run faster than you or have a slow, if your in a life or death situation, run for the hills.)

    #3: Constantly check other lanes for heroes to kill with your ult, (Remember to make sure you can kill them)

    #4: If you are close to dieing, and don't think you can get away... rush them!!! this is where your passive comes into play, try to die in a position where you can hit the enemy with LW and Defile.
    --MAKE SURE you re apply Defile after you die if you had it on when you died, this is because obviously it is turned off when you die.

    #5: Watch your opponents lanes for any MIAs and when playing with pugs call your lanes MIAs (because some people are to stupid to look for themselves and you will be blamed if its your lane, ALSO its best to not have your team dieing unnecessary deaths), and buy wards for your lane if their is a roaming stealth hero. (If you have enough money, after your Rod of Ages, i suggest purchasing an [item_text=Oracle's Elixir]

    #6: Use the Wall and LW combo whenever fighting, this is a basic drop wall so they are hit by it, then hit them with as many LW as you can before they are out of range, or you have to back up.

    #7: When using LW, remember to place it where they are heading, and try to single your target out for maximum damage.

    #8: Don't forget to use your summoner spells, and utilize them with your wall and LW combo to destroy high dps heroes

    #9: You are a Great Lure!, many many heroes will chase you at full mana&hp, the best tactic is to let them chase you down while you harass with LW, and when they realize that they can't catch you, or they wont survive even if they catch you. Turn Around, and pop Wall and LW. This should ensure a Kill.

    #10: When kiting make sure to use the bush to your advantage, run in to lure ranged heroes closer, so you can LW them without creep interference if you're in a lane, or with chasing room if your wall is on CD.

    #11: Be sure to use the visibility gained from placing LW or Wall to your advantage!, Example: Their enemy team is hiding, and you're heading out into the Jungle, Be sure to LW in all the bushes you pass by at least once to be sure that there are no possible ganks waiting for you.

    #12: Baron Baiting. You might ask... What is that!?, Well ill tell you... Baron baiting is the act of hiding in the bush right next to Baron with your entire team, then when their team thinks "I WONDER IF THEIR DOING BARON DURRRRR..." and come to check it out, you kill them! Then grab baron & push for the win. It's very simple & effective.

    #13: I Understand that Shaco can dodge Karthus's ult via his ult if he times it right, so to prevent from any screw ups in a game make sure his ult is on CD before ulting to kill him specifically.

    #14: This is very simple & very very very effective!, BUY WARDS!, don't buy the 150g Vision Ward (unless they have stealth heroes and your placing them in your lane) Buy the Sight Ward! They cost 90g, & that's a very small price to pay for complete map control.
    External Image
    The Black Marks are possible Ward locations & the White marks are places you need to put wards. [Don't put wards inside dragon or Baron due to the fact that you can see inside & outside w/ 1 ward giving better river control w/ less cost.(I didn't put any positions on stealth wards due to the fact that you should be able to place them using common sense)] + This map is outdated for the bushes & such, but i placed the wards relative to where bushes & such are now. + depending on how your team is doing in the game the positions of the wards will change & since they last 4.5min you will need to replace them often. (Like if your doing well, you should put wards on their side of the river& if your doing not so well, put them on your side of the river.) + ALWAYS have wards at Baron, Dragon, & mid Bushes.

    #15: OMG is everybody getting a fucking Banshee's Veil? Well if the answer is yes than my advice is Burn their Spell block w/ LW, yes it's removed w/ LW & it costs little to no mana to burn it! + since LW is an AOE it can burn multiple spell shields at a time! Also make sure to not waste your ult unless they don't have a Their spell block up!

    #16: Ok so now that i have you down here :D! There will be many time when you will run into a game with TONS of healers! & this pisses me off alot due to the fact that even if i ult (yes i make mistakes too, I'm not perfect... but I'm much closer to perfect than you! :D :D :D) they will still somehow survive due to some fucking healer who decided to sprint from top all the way to mid and heal the rat bastard just so that he wouldn't die from my ult... How do you prevent this you ask? Well here's the thing... & it will be kind of tough but if you pull it off you will look like a pro.

    --What To Do Ok you will only have some situations to use this, but the basic idea is to use ignite on your target when the fight is almost over. Right after using it you will want to ult SO all heals are reduced on that target by 50% by the time your ult goes off. this way you have a much better chance of killing whomever you ignited with your ult. [Just make sure that he is low enough so that you can kill him with your ult & he wont die from your ignite (cause you don't want to waste your ult if you don't need to)]

    Yes this is a lot of text for a Minor& very very situational tip, but It can help in kills and it needed to be said!)

  • Annoying Enemies, and Dealing with them

    Annoying Enemies,
    Soraka
    Sivir


    Dealing with Soraka,
    The best advice i can think of is to focus her (unless there is somebody of higher priority)
    once she is dead (or you, but you wouldn't stick around that long because your not an idiot, right?), you can feel free to unload your ult on enemies who are low HP and focus other targets.

    Dealing with Sivir,
    Ok so her spell shield will save her life a lot, but NOT from YOU!!! In order to kill her a very simple tactic is put into use. Its called the... make sure she has used spell shield before you use your ult tactic. An easy way to do this is if during a team fight, or if she is in your lane is to slow her with your wall, then spam LW until she uses spell shield to block one, or to run away from you, once that is done and you can hit her with your ult (and you can kill her) use it. (yes i know that its just 1 kill with your ult, but its always fun to stick it to a cocky Sivir). If you can kill her without using your ult, than do that, BUT i highly recommend that you use your ult and then say in chat... HA!. It's always fun :D.

  • Worst Enemys/Best Allies

    Worst Enemys/Best Allies
    My favorite Allies are people W/ stuns & slows for the fact that they can stun them in your LW, or they can slow them so you can have a better chance at hitting them w/ LW.

    Your worse enemies are carries that focus you. Be cautious of stealth heroes!

  • Summary

    In Short, i hope anybody aspiring to play Karthus learned something from this guide,and i would like everybody to remember that a good Karthus must learn to place LW and hit with it, along with timing your ult. If you liked my guide or have any comments on how to improve the guide, please let me know!

    I am currently working on making videos for this guide to help explain my harassing/hero killing methods!
    If anybody has any questions or anything of the sort my in-game name is Fiddlesticks3537, (yes i know the irony) and i will update this guide as frequently as possible.

    I would also like to state... People with #s in their name DON'T SUCK, and people named after hero's with #s in their name, although vastly uncreative DO NOT SUCK :D. Please use this guide help you in anyway possible, and please rate it :).



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