Karthus Build Guide by Drakinite
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Not Updated For Current Season
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Hey there, this is my first guide on this website, so any tips or criticisms are not only welcomed, but encouraged.
So yeah I finally got around to making this guide look nicey-nice. Basically all credit goes to jhoijhoi and her incredible guide for teaching me how to code, and insert images, etc. THANK YOU!
Here is a link to her guide so all you aspiring build writers out there can make your guide look all spiffy.
So without further ado, I present to you my way of playing one of my favorite champs:
KARTHUS THE DEATH-SINGER
The way I play Karthus changes as the game goes on. In the Early to Mid game phases, I stick mostly to farming with Lay Waste, and possibly some harass if an opportunity arises. In the Late game phase, my play-style completely switches. Once you purchase your Zhonya's Hourglass, you can become a very potent initiator for your team, if you know what your doing.
So basically I play him semi-passively Early on, then switch to very aggressive once I pick up my core items.
Pros / Cons
Karthus is in my opinion medium difficulty to play, very hard to truly master and shine with him. I've had plenty of games where I get fed and TROOLOLOL all over the other team, and I've had plenty of games where my passive, was active more than I was alive >__>
So I can confidently say these are his Pros and Cons.
-Great damage all throughout game
-Amazing passive if used correctly
-Ability to initiate a full scale late-game fight (pretty rare for an AP caster)
-Able to get up close and personal with enemies and come away with kills (also rare for an AP caster)
- Requiem, need I say more?
-Pretty squishy, wait no, REALLY squishy D:
-If you don't play kinda conservative early game you'll exhaust your mana pool early on, which will greatly reduce your presence in lane
-Sort of requires teamwork to use your Requiem so as not to waste it
-Cannot initiate unless you are very coordinated with your team
-Will be focused
So all in all, not a champ to play if: you cant last hit, conserve mana, aren't very experienced with AP casters or you bought him only for his ultimate.
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
Greater Seal of Scaling Mana Regeneration
Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power
Greater Quintessence of Ability Power
Greater Quintessence of Magic Penetration
I use a pretty standard set up, not really too much to explain here, but for anyone who doesn't know which runes to use on Karthus, or to people who will suggest different runes, I'll explain why no other runes should be used.
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration: Nothing will increase your early-mid game damage as much as magic pen, trust me. I've tried Greater Mark of Ability Power, and they just don't compete. Sure you have a little more AP early game, but your damage starts to fall off as you level up, and Karthus doesn't have a strong early game. Along with your Sorcerer's Shoes you will have 30 magic pen, which will bring anyone's MR down to 0 if they were foolish enough to not build any MR against you. Besides AP marks, there are literally no other runes that should even be suggested, much less used.
Greater Seal of Scaling Mana Regeneration: Trust me, nothing is worse when playing Karthus than too get into a scuffle or teamfight, see a low life enemy running for his dear life and guess what, 00M!! D: No Requiem for you. I use per lvl instead of greater seal of replenishment because early game you SHOULD NOT SPAM SPELLS. Besides these, I suppose only Greater Seal of Ability Power could be used, but again, early AP isn't important for Karthus.
Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power: These are fantastic for ramping up your damage mid-late game. These also stack fantasticly with Blast and Archmage , and you don't need to rush an
Rabadon's Deathcap, or another large AP item. With these, masteries, and your early Archangel's Staff your Early and Mid game AP will be respectable, and you can build important base items like catalyst the protector, and Sorcerer's Shoes.
2 Greater Quintessence of Ability Power-- 1 Greater Quintessence of Magic Penetration: I used to use 3 Greater Quintessence of Ability Power, but I tried adding 1 Greater Quintessence of Magic Penetration, and I haven't gone back. I'm kinda obbsessive-compulsive, so a flat 10 magic pen is appreciated :3
Also like I've explained above, this brings your total magic pen with Sorcerer's Shoes to 30, which is the base MR of all champions (I COULD be wrong here, but I know that all squishy DPS champions will have 30 base MR)
But alas, on the rune page it will show a frustrating 9.9 AP!!! >:(
I mean cmon RIOT, GIVE ME A BREAK! But with masteries you start off with an acceptable 14 AP; as long as its a whole number I'm fine with it :D
Plus early AP doesn't really do that much for Karthus who is mostly a late-game champion.
Also standard here, If you need masteries explained, get your eyes checked 0_o
Or learn to read either way you want is fine.
Jk, Jk, I'll explain them just for you :D
In theOffense Tree, I take 4 points in Mental Force because it's practically another Greater Quintessence of Ability Power, which makes up for the fact that I only use 2 of those. I then take 4 points in Sorcery because cooldown-reduction, while important for any Champion, is more required for AP casters, because their main damage source is their spells, therefore lower cooldowns on said spells is great. Karthus has the awesome advantage of having 0 cooldown on his Defile and basically 0 cooldown on his Lay Waste. But we take Sorcery anyway, because, there's nothing else and it helps with the long cooldown on Requiem. I then take the 1 point in Arcane Knowledge because the more magic pen the better! On the same row I take 3 points in Havoc because while 1.5% may not seem like much early on, late game when your spells will deal hundreds of damage, it practically adds a whole other AP item in damage increase. Albeit a small one like Amplifying Tome, but what else will you take? D:
Then I take the 4 points in Blast because they are basically free Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power. Following that, I take 4 points in Archmage because it then basically makes your Rabadon's Deathcap give 35% more AP instead of 30%, which is a big difference late-game. Lastly I take Executioner for the damage increase to low life targets, which will more than likely be the poor souls targeted by Requiem, and it will help to finish them off.
In the Utility Tree, I take the 1 point in Summoner's Insight for the reduced cooldown on Flash, always nice. I then take 3 points in Expanded Mind to help with mana issues, but mostly so I can then take 3 points in Meditation , which makes up for me taking per/lvl mana regen seals instead of flat mana regen seals. I also take 1 point in Improved Recall because picture this:
After taking Baron, you have pretty low HP, and you decide it's better if you recall, then help your team push to victory. But OH NOES!!, the other team came to intercept your team and your still recalling! They run to the bush your hiding in....and.....FWOOOOOSH, your outta there with only 1 second to spare :D
I can't tell you how many close calls I've escaped with a faster recall time, most of them happening right when the enemy steps into the bush I'm recalling from.
: Ok, ok I know what your thinking, REVIVE HOlY **** TRoLL! OMG Q DOGE NAO! (more rage, curses and such), but Revive is in fact NOT A TROLL SPELL........
Ok, ok on Karthus and with my advice Revive is NOT A TROLL SPELL!
I'll devote a whole section on explaining how to use Revive properly, so stick around if you haven't already left because I picked Revive.
: Standard escape mech; needed on Karthus because your Wall of Pain is NOT hard cc, you WILL get ganked good and hard by that jungle Rammus, Lee Sin or Shaco, and you WILL rage because of it. Just pick Flash and save yourself some stress. I cannot count how many times I've escaped death with Flash, and also I cannot count how many times I've flashed AT a wall instead of OVER it and died....
So be careful when using this, not EVERY wall is able to be flashed through, and be aware of it's limited range. I sometimes use this for chasing, but it's way more useful to escape, use your Wall of Pain to chase and if you can't do that, don't chase, Karthus isn't a chaser.
Ugh, I DREAD making this section because it will be long, boring and factual, but it must be done. T__T
+ 2 :Ok, so I start with a Meki Pendant and 2 health potions. I do this because I've tried Doran's Ring, I've tried Amplifying Tome, I've tried Sapphire Crystal, and nothing else keeps you in lane longer than this start up, which is what Karthus is going for in early game, get to 6 ASAP, for pretty obvious reasons. Plus it builds into Tear of the Goddess, a MUST-HAVE on any Karthus.
:I get them fresh Boots of Speed next cuz, fuh-real mang, Karthus gotta stay fresh all day, he a g.
:Next on our shopping list is Tear of the Goddess, one of Karthus' core items. This also adds to his ability to stay in lane for as long as possible and farm, which is necessary when playing Karthus. It synchronizes amazingly well with his spells and here's how: You use Lay Waste to last-hit a minion........
It gives you mana back because of your Defile passive, and gives you even MORE mana because of the tear's passive. After buying this item, Karthus might as well have no cost on his abilities. Mana is almost like a second thought at this point, but it's really more of a third or fourth thought. Ontop of all of that, it's fairly cheap and very obtainable early on. I get this early to start stacking up as much mana as possible, while not spamming spells for no reason.
:Next is Sorcerer's Shoes. I buy these sooner rather than later because they are best used Early Game before opponents start buying HP or MR items. You will absolutely DISSOLVE people with your Defile on and your Lay Waste going off. Magic pen is a must have on Karthus, so I also include these in his core items.
:Next up is Archangel's Staff. If you find yourself with enough gold to buy Archangel's Staff after purchasing your Sorcerer's Shoes, do it up! If not buy a Blasting Wand and farm up. Get Archangel's Staff asap, so your AP will start going up along with your mana and farm, yay!
catalyst the protector:After buying Archangel's Staff I usually buy a catalyst the protector to make Karthus not so squishy, and to add to his already impressive lane sustain. Plus this builds into Banshee's Veil which is a must have with this play-style.
After buying your core items, Sorcerer's Shoes, Archangel's Staff and catalyst the protector you will be a force to reckon with, and can more than hold your own in a 1v1 fight. That doesn't mean you can superman Baron at 20 mins, but it does mean that your no longer an easy target. You aren't AS squishy, and your AP should be up there so early on. Also your magic pen will punish anyone foolish enough to fall for your Standard Harass Combo, which is described below.
:Ok now after buying catalyst the protector drop everything your doing and FARM,FARM,FARM! Farm your way up and rush a Zhonya's Hourglass. Do this because after purchasing your Zhonya's Hourglass, you just hit late game with Karthus.
Yup I believe late game for Karthus starts when u get this item because your whole playstyle and focus will shift. This will up your AP by a lot, and add some armor which will up your survive-ability. Plus it's fairly cheap compared to Rabadon's Deathcap, which I believe delays your build. Deathcap is a Late Game item, which is why it's so expensive. Waiting until you have 3700 gold or w/e means that you passed up buying Zhonya's and practically another Blasting Wand. Derp?
:Next up is Banshee's Veil, a fantastic item which will give you HP, mana, magic resist and..... SPELL SHIELD!
The passive on Banshee's is almost too good to be true with this build, because after purchasing Zhonya's Hourglass you turn into an initiator for your team, and this allows you to get into the thick of things and live to tell the tale. Ashe's arrow coming your way? Type "derp!" in all caps, in /all chat when it harmlessly pops your shield. Xin Zhao recklessly dives out of the bushes towards you? Guess what you OP bastard, no slow for you! Enemy Karthus? Lol your *** off (I guess lmao would've been better to use there but w/e it's too late now) when he can never land his Requiem on you. Banshee's usage almost warrants a whole other guide, but that's not what I'm going to do.
:After Banshee's Veil, NOW you get your Deathcap; there is nothing else that will increase your AP by so much, and nothing fits more into the whole more-mana-more-AP thing. Trust me with Archangel's Staff and Rabadon's Deathcap your AP will skyrocket.
:To top it all off, buy Void Staff. If the game has lasted this long I would be surprised, because if your getting fed trust me they will surrender or quit, people HATE Karthus with a passion even if he's not fed. Void Staff will make your spells cut through the enemy team like butter, your now a threat to even the most tanky champs. It also adds AP which isn't missed
So FINALLY finished with this burden of a section, on to the fun stuff!
So you've read this far (Wow awesome ^_^) and your like WTH I HAVEN'T PRESSED R AND GOT KILL YET
Well I'll tell you, if you play Karthus and you HAVEN'T got any kills besides from Requiem, PLAY SOMEONE ELSE, your giving Karthus an undeserved bad rep and making him seem easy to play, which makes people buy him for his ult and the cycle continues..... SO STOP IT!
He is more than capable of getting kills using his other spells, and I'll tell you how.
: One of the best spells in the game imho. Has great range, practically 0 cooldown, low mana cost, and deals DOUBLE damage to single targets, wow! If you get good at harassing with this, which I haven't even done yet, you'll be a god. But practically speaking, nobody will let you hit them with single target
Lay Waste, and you'll more than likely run out of mana if you try to harass with this early on.
So basically this is your proverbial bread and butter, your farming tool, late game harass(under specific conditions early game harass), brush checking (yes it gives brush vision) and that's why we level it up first. What your main focus is with this spell changes as the game goes on but early it's farming, mid and late game it's damage.
: Defile is the spell that I believe makes Karthus who he is. Yeah, Requiem is his best known spell, but how I play Karthus is a get-in-your-face-and-deal-big-magic-damage champion, and he excels at that, because of this spell. Early on it has very little use because it will drain your mana so quick it will make your head spin. However the passive on this spell is almost better than the active, it rewards you with mana for farming, which you use too farm :D
If your decent at last hitting, which is made even easier as you level up your Lay Waste, you'll have practically 0 mana problems along with your Greater Seal of Scaling Mana Regeneration.
But alas, the active is nonetheless better obviously, lol. It has great damage, and after my tutelage, has the ability to wipe entire teams in seconds, while you sit in their face and LOLOLOL in all chat. All in all, amazing spell in both damage and sustainability, so I max it second.
: Oh how I love this spell, the first time I saw this spell in game I said "I'm buying Karthus next". It's true, check my chat history in Tribunal. Not only does it look BADASS, it slows, reduces armor and magic resist, has great range and instills a psychological fear in your enemies. After hitting them once or twice with your Standard Harass Combo (see below), they will not, I repeat NOT EVER go through your Wall of Pain again. I mean literally, I've never seen someone run through my Wall of Pain willingly after I get my combo on them. No allied minions around and the enemy pushes to your tower? Drop this and watch them give up on doing damage to your turret for no reason, because your only interested in farming, luls.
This is also your semi-escape spell, because, like I said above, if you drop this bad boy (unless the enemy is Master Yi or Olaf) they're not chasing you through it. Even if they DO chase you through it, you'll more than likely get away due to Flash. I max this last because well, there is really no other sensible way to level up Karthus' skills, lol
: The moment we've all been waiting for ladies and gentlemen, the place where we talk about what might be the most infamous of all the spells in game. But you might be surprised, this will be the shortest spell description. I don't think this spell is what defines Karthus, it only defines how Karthus can be abused by noobs who think they're good with him.
Basically if you see a low life enemy, and your team CANNOT KILL THEM IN ANY WAY, SHAPE, OR FORM, use it. Use it to turn a team fight that can go either way in your team's favor, and that's about it. Use this conservatively. And DON'T brag when u get kills with this, it's really not all that special.
No, this isn't a tasty, death-filled pretzel treat you can pick up at your local gas station, it's a section in which I describe how you should use your spells EARLY GAME in combination with each other.
Late game this changes; however if your in a 1v1 fight feel free to use these combo's, just don't expect it to work as well as in the Early Game. I'll describe how you should be using your spells Late Game in the play-style section below.
Standard Harass Combo: ----
-This is what I meant by only sometimes using Lay Waste early game. After you hit level 4, you can start seriously poking at your lane opponents HP. What you do is wait for them to be slightly behind their caster minions, run towards them, then drop your Wall of Pain slightly (I mean SLIGHTLY, like barely more than a centimeter) behind them. One of two things just happened:
-1- They turned and ran through your wall
-2- They run towards you
If number 1 happened, follow them and place your Lay Waste a little bit ahead of them. Because of the slow from your Wall, it will be ridiculously easy to hit them with your Lay Waste. You should be able to get off 2 or 3 before the slow ends, and when they aren't slowed anymore turn around and proceed back to farming.
Congratulations they will now not ever, ever run through your wall of pain again and they will give you a lot of space in the lane, because you just took down 1/3 of their hp and you were barely trying :D
If they do keep running through your Wall of Pain even after you get a clean combo on them, then congratulations, know it will be very easy for you to get kills in your lane and you can be more aggressive if they repeatedly fall for your Standard combo.
If number 2 happened, well, BACK OFF! Your squishy, and will probably die if you try to stand toe to toe with someone early game. This isn't a bad thing, in fact they just helped you! You now know that they will not easily fall for your standard combo, so you should focus ENTIRELY on farming, don't even think about harass unless they let their guard down and you can clearly land your standard combo on them. Just have your jungler gank your lane frequently, or just wait until the laning phase ends and the teamfight phase begins, by which point you should have a ton of farm because that's what you were only doing.
Going in for the kill, by La Roux: ---- ----
Jk, jk, La Roux didn't write that song, everyone knows Skrillex remixed it first, then La Roux stole it..... wait........... who the **** is La Roux? 0_o
This is your "I'm gonna kill that sucker" combo. This should only be used after bringing them down below 40% HP with your standard combo. If you HAVEN'T done so, don't expect any kills, just keep farming. If you HAVE brought them down below 40% HP, just bide your time.
For some odd reason people severely underestimate Karthus in lane, so you run towards them and drop your Wall of Pain behind them. Immediately turn on your Defile when they are in range of it, which will surprise them because until this point you haven't used it yet (and if you did your an idiot and will not benefit from reading this guide because you made the number 1 early game mistake when playing
Karthus, your not conserving mana, go play op-***-no-resource-havin' Katarina and leave us all alone).
So surprised by your Defile, they run away through your Wall of Pain. Now CHASE THEM! Keep your Defile on and stay on them while placing Lay Waste a little bit ahead of them, same as the standard combo. Do not, I repeat DON'T EVER try auto-attacking when your doing this, and be VERY CAREFUL not to right click a minion because due to Karthus' EXTREMELY exaggerated auto-attack animation, you'll be delayed and they might escape. I can't tell you how many times I've done this on accident, and trust me this will happen to you, so be prepared and keep this in your mind, NO AUTO ATTACKS!
So if all went well you will have gotten a kill, and your reign of terror begins! >:D
If you didn't get a kill, don't fret, you'll get your chance again. Keep looking for opportunities to land your standard combo and take them down.
Ok, the OTHER moment we've all been waiting for, this is where I fully describe how I play Karthus to my hearts content. This is also where I describe the differences in his spells in Early and Late game.
This is Karthus' weakest stage, so don't expect any flashy Firstbloods, because I don't use Ignite with this build which pretty much makes a Firstblood impossible with Karthus unless your lane opponent went to get a drink of water under their turret and they're in range of your Lay Waste (I swear I've done this before, oooh the rage)
So basically what your goal is in Early Game is to farm up for an early Tear of the Goddess and get to 6 ASAP. Don't worry about leaving lanes to gank, you have your freaking ult to get assists and kills in the other lanes! Seriously if you leave lane to gank top or bot and your Karthus, uninstall please. That's why I go for maximum early lane sustain, to power farm your way to 6. Don't ever use Defile in this stage unless you can go for a kill, using the Going in for the kill combo described above. Just farm farm farm.
Also look for opportunities to land your Standard Harass Combo, also described above. This is important, because if your 100% passive, you won't be a threat to your lane opponent and they will become very aggressive towards you, which isn't good for Karthus early because he's very vulnerable at this point.
So to sum it all up, farm farm farm - Try to use your Standard Harass Combo.
This is marked by you buying your catalyst the protector after purchasing your Sorcerer's Shoes and Archangel's Staff. This stage is where your farm should become easier than breathing; just Lay Waste into the caster minions 3 times and they die. Keep farming as it is still your main focus, if not more so than early game because now your rushing your Zhonya's Hourglass, but just know that your not SO squishy anymore and you can be fairly more aggressive. If your mana is near too full, you can harass with your Defile, although I wouldn't suggest it, it's better just to spam Lay Waste at them because once you purchase Tear of the Goddess you can pretty much cast Lay Waste constantly. Also your lvl 6 by now so look for opportunities to use your Requiem properly. I'll describe how to use your ultimate properly below.
This is where Karthus truly shines. He becomes an unstoppable force of destruction if you've played correctly and farmed up enough, or he becomes a joke to laugh at when his Death Defied activates. If the game ISN'T going well, there's really not much you can do besides play EXTREMELY passively, farm a lot and constantly look for kills with your ult. I hate to say it, but yes if the game isn't going your way, rely on your Requiem for kills. This is the ONLY time this is appropriate and your team will thank you for it, and your enemies will rage at you for it, a win win situation. If the game IS going well and your an unstoppable force of destruction, awesome! This stage is marked by buying your Zhonya's Hourglass, and now your main focus shifts from farming and looking out for Requiem opportunities, to initiating team fights.
You do this by dropping a Wall of Pain behind your enemies, get into the middle of all of them (either by flashing or simply running in), turn on your Defile, and activate Zhonya's Hourglass. Now watch as they sit, dumb as rocks, and stand there near you because they're clicking their spells, but they can't target you! D:
If your lucky they might blow some AoE spells on your un-targetable self! If this happens type "derp!" in /all chat, in all caps.
After you initiate and activate Zhonya's Hourglass, have your team swoop in and pick off squishies (because your Defile just raped them), and work your way down on the focusing ladder:
-Fed AD carries-Fed AP carries-Support-Fed tanky dps-Offtank/unfed tanky dps-
and finally kill their tank if you can. If the tank gets away, who cares they're not a threat and they fail at tanking. Because you (hopefully) dropped your Wall first, they probably wont get far if they do run, and when your Zhonyas wears off, chase down anyone who ran through your Wall and lead them with Lay Wastes, Similar to your Standard Harass Combo. If there are any low life enemies that somehow escaped, ult em! At this point your ult does a stupid amount of damage and can easily finish off any squishy. If you can do this a few times successfully, the opponents will probably surrender after a flurry of "REPORT___ PLZ" and "OMG TEAM SOOO NOOB! Sit back and enjoy your crushing victory of pain and suffering because your Karthus, and their pain is your pleasure >:) (lol so troll)
*NOTE* Do NOT initiate on your own if your in solo queue and your team is derping it up this particular game, wait for someone else to initiate, then do the same exact thing.
How to Use Your Ult Properly
Ok I know what your thinking, "WTH THIS GUY SUCKS HE DOESNT CARE ABOUT KARTHUS' ULT AT ALL!"
But that's not true, I just think it's incredibly easy to kill steal with this spell, which makes me a sad........
Karthus player (no not a panda, you stupid meme addicts :P)
When I see a Karthus use this spell for kill stealing it makes me so pissed because that is why people cry about Karthus' ult so much, the majority of people who play Karthus care only about his ult and rely on it for kills, which is SOOOOO NOOOOOB! Don't be THAT guy plz.
In order for you to use your ult a checklist should go off in your mind as follows:
1-Does the enemy in question have low enough HP? Look at the base damage on the current level of Requiem added to the current amount of bonus damage added from your AP. Is the enemies HP low enough? If so, CHECK, move on. If not, don't use it obviously...
2-Does the enemy have any allies around who can shield, reduce damage or heal them? If not CHECK, move on. If so, then you probably shouldn't use it unless your team manages to cc said shielding/damage-reducer/healer.
3-Does the enemy in question have any abilities that they can shield/reduce-damage/heal themselves with? If so, then DON'T use it, they have probably saved that spell just for you, doesn't that just make you feel special? :D
If not, then CHECK, move on
4-Is the enemy recalling?
See now this is a tough one to call. If you saw them START recalling and everything else on the checklist checks out, then use it, it'll be hilarious! If you DIDN'T see them start recalling then don't use it, it's pretty hard to tell how much time is left before they port to base, and you will be mocked severely in all chat if you derp it.
5-Is it even worth it?
Let's say you spy a low life enemy jungler who is detected by a ward or clairvoyance, and they COULD be killed by your ult now, but also at that same moment your team mates are in a 2v2 or 1v1 lane fight and you might be able to help them out, or secure two kills instead of just one. So use your judgement on this one, it might be a good idea to spare them and save your ult for a more promising situation. Remember, DON'T RELY ON YOUR ULT FOR KILLS!
Now a certain situation calls for you to for-go all the points of the checklist and use your ult IMMEDIATELY and WITHOUT THOUGHT, and that 1 single situation is: A team fight your not currently participating in is looking like your team will lose, and or one of your teammates is ganked by the enemy jungler.
ONLY one of these two situations is where you will do this, otherwise you'll fail at Karthus because you waste your Requiem every time. If this happens, use your ult! The damage isn't ignore-able, and the enemies might just die outright or soon be killed by your teammates earning you an assist, or they will high-tail it out of there, possibly saving your teammates life. Trust me, nobody will care if you happen to "kill steal" an enemy with your Requiem, but they were ganking your team. In fact you'll be praised! Joy ! :D
How to Use Revive properly
You are fighting your lane enemy, get him to low life and he runs away. You chase him into the bush he ran too and lo and behold! IT'S A TRAP! ****, now their tank just cc'ed you, and the low life enemy and their jungler are punishing you for making such a noob mistake. But fear not! This is actually a good situation if you play your cards right. Immediately turn on Defile, drop your Wall of Pain behind them, and start spamming Lay Waste at the low life enemy. You kill the low life enemy, and get the jungler and tank to a little more then half, maybe even lower than half HP. You die, OH NOES! D:
But your Karthus, and you defy death! (god what a cool icon)
You come back to life with your Defile still going and you spam Lay Waste at the jungler killing him. The tank manages to haul his *** away from you with a little hp left....but, you are packing Revive! Pop it and use your Requiem and LOLOLOL in all chat when you get a triple kill in exchange for your 1 death.
Yes that's a very specific situation, but it HAS happened to me in that exact way. That probably wont happen every game, but once or twice a game opportunities arise where you can get triple, quadra or even an ace after you die and your passive expires. Just pop Revive and ult! Profit! This is why we save our Requiem mostly, because you can be a very deadly bait with both your Death Defied, Revive and Requiem. But this means you NEVER EVER use Revive to get just 1 kill. Suck it up, you wont kill them every time and everyone dies once or twice. Save it for the most perfect opportunity, trust me you'll know which 1 it is with a little practice.
*Note* Because the cooldown is sooooooo long though, it might be worth it to just take ignite instead if your not experienced with this tactic.
So all in all if you made it through my guide riddled with CAPS!, mild trolling ;P, questionable grammar, lame jokes, RAGE!!!!1! and taking Revive seriously, then wow, how awesome you are! <3
So PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE comment, vote, criticise, troll, lol, whatever you feel like doing, let me know what you think. As this is my first guide I put a lot of time and effort into this, and I'm not too sure of what I should add or take away. But other than that thanks so much for reading and taking the time to come to my guide!