Build Guide by Furber

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Furber

Karthus - Destruction Incarnate

Furber Last updated on March 24, 2011
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Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
Ability Key R

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.


Brute Force
Improved Rally

Offense: 9

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 0

Expanded Mind
Mystical Vision
Presence of the Master

Utility: 21

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Hey guys, back again with another build. I've been playing Karthus recently, and I decided to make a build for him. Once again, it's not as fancy as my other builds, but I'll give a run through of his abilities and how to utilize them, as well as explain my item build and give other suggestions for situational items. Eventually I'll make the format like my other builds so it'll be much prettier, but for now it'll be kinda bland white :/.

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Passive - This will only come into effect if you die (obviously), which is not your goal, but if you do get killed, you'll get to use abilities for a little longer after you get killed. Lot's of people will forget that you can be using abilities, and there is no mana cost for them either. Always have Defile on while in your half-dead stage, and be spamming , throw a if it can help your team out. There is a certain point where it will not let you use because the channeling time will take too long before your passive runs out. Make sure if you plan on using that you don't wait too long. Also, your death timer is reduced, which is nifty.

Q - This is probably my favorite of Karthus's abilities. It's a little mini nuke with a 1 second CD. This ability separates the bad Karthuses (Karthi?) from the good ones. While using your Q right under an enemy usually ends in them getting hurt, more experienced players will see it coming, and move away. I typically find that leading some one backwards, as in aiming Q behind your enemy, will cause them to run back into your Q. Remember that if you hit one target with Q, it does more damage, so if you can aim it where it only hits the enemy champion, you'll harass a lot better. Q is also excellent for minion farming. While Q doesnt cost much mana, if you spam it too much you'll end up oom. I bring to help with this problem, but Defile's passive should help your mana. Also you can check bushes with Q.

W - This is a very effective lane blocking slow. With a huge width and an impressively strong Slow, this can wreck team fights. Hit as many enemies with it as you can, keep in mind that it lowers enemy MR too so they will get hurt more. Not much else to say about this ability, good for chasing and escaping.

E - Passive from this is great, makes your mana troubles a little less bad. The active works as somewhat of a weaker Crow Storm. When enemies run up to attack you in melee, turn this on and spam them with to turn the tables in your favor. Remember to keep this on when you're in your half-dead stage, because it doesn't cost any mana while you're dead. Try not to leave this on too long though, because it will eat up your mana fast.

R - Ahhh...the Karthus ult. Probably one of the most hated ults in the game is now at your finger tips. Having the global damage ult, you need to be looking around the map for an opportunity for a kill. I don't encourage deliberate kill stealing, but if some one makes it away with low HP, get them with your R if you decide it's worth it. Remember, Requiem is a channeled ult. If you get stunned or silenced, you will be very sad. It will end the cast and you'll be stuck with a long CD. Note that you cannot be CC'ed while in your half-dead stage, so there shouldnt be a problem getting the ult off. I typically move back away from danger when I'm going to ult, so there's not as much of a chance of me being interrupted. As much as this ult is hated, it is countered by many champions. Heals, Sheilds, MR boosts and Sanguine Pool will block your Requiem from killing some one potentially. Remember this before you decide to ult. Many people will buy MR to counter, that is why I get a Void Staff, which also makes up for not having Magic Pen boots.

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Summoner Spells

I take flash and Ghost, other things like Ingite work well too. Any other choices are fine, but these are the ones I like.

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Magic Pen from offense then Utility for mana and things. Experience mastery is important so you can get that ult asap (thanks DEWO for the tip)

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Item Choice

I'm not a big fan of the AA spamming build. Sure, you get to be a really hard hitting guy, but your role ends up being: Run into enemy team with Defile on. Die instantly because you have no health. Then Ult....boooorrriing. First get Tear so you can start stacking mana with it. It's good to have mana regen soon. Then I build RoA for some survival and AP. Next, I get Ionian Boots so I can use my ult more often. Sorcerer's Shoes are also good. Next, I get Death Cap for awesome amounts of AP. After that I get Rylais for slowing AOE with [icon=Defile and , which adds to your slow. The AP helps and HP makes you decently bulky for a caster. By this point, your enemy might be stacking MR to counter you, so I build a Void Staff to counter them :P. Gives AP and Magic Pen. However, if by chance your enemies are not stacking MR, you can get a different item instead. Then I finish my Tear into AA, for lots more AP. Other potential items include things like Abyssal Scepter, Zhonya's Hourglass, and Evil Tome.

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I get Magic pen Marks, mp5 seals, CDR glyphs, and either AP quints or Mpen quints.

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What did the last patch do for Karthus?

.112 - Evil Tome is a more viable choice, it gives very high CDR, which can mean more frequent Requiem.