Karthus Build Guide by Rampage Quit
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Rest of build
Not Updated For Current Season
The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.
Hi, my name is Rampage Quit and I main mid characters. Now grinding my way to 30 I played mostly Karthus. So I know my way around him pretty well. I would not say I know him well enough to become a pro, but I feel like my loads of experience with him was good enough to post a guide on how I build him in games.
Now I go for 21-9-0 because Kathus is squishy (like most mages) early game and not until you start building your Rod of Ages will you be getting any form of health. So I opt for getting 9 points in the defense tree making sure I pick up veteran scar for the early game health boost.
Now most mid players will pick up the 9 points in utility making sure to get the runic affinity. For Karthus, your Q and E are already low cooldown times, so there really isn't a need for the cool down there. And even with max CDR, his ult is still a long cool down. PLUS your mana regen runes and tear of the goddess should help your mana regen situation when you do not have blue buff. But blue buff is still a good thing to have on Karthus when offered by your jungler.
Now I am not saying the getting 9 points in the utility tree is a bad option, I personally like the extra health early game when Karthus is still pretty weak.
So it may seem a little silly to not go with any defensive seals or glyphs on Karthus, but here is why I do not play with armor seals or magic resist glyphs. If you are being bullied in lane, you still have your Q to long range farm, and as long as you can hit your "skittles" you should be able to stay in a defense manner (behind the caster minions) and farm like crazy landing your Q.
And for that reason I go for the scaling mana regen seals to help Karthus out when he does not have blue buff for his E, as well as scaling AP glyphs. Late game Karthus R with scaling AP with a nightmare for any player trying to escape a team fight or a great way to initiate a team fight with the enemy team already at third-fourths to half health.
You can play standard runes with Karthus, but I feel it can take away from his mid to late game potential.
When it comes to what summoners to run with Karthus, you go with the standard FLASH.
The second summoners is a toss up between EXHAUST and IGNITE.
Why exhaust? Well you through down the exhaust on your lane opponent, turn on your Defile (E) and just follow him will landing Lay Wastes (Q) and kill him/her. I usually go exhaust with Karthus when my lane opponent had some good escapes.
Either IGNITE or EXHAUST is fine to run on Karthus, but if you are fairly confident that you can land your Wall of Pain (W), turn on your Defile (E), because your laning opponent does not have that great (if any) escapes, then I suggest running ignite.
SKINS (optional obviously)
ONLY ACCEPTABLE SKIN TO PLAY WITH IS GRIM REAPER KARTHUS.
(Default is fine if you do not buy skins for champs.)