Karthus Build Guide by N I K O L A

Not Updated For Current Season

This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.

League of Legends Build Guide Author N I K O L A

Karthus? "R" oh that Karthus

N I K O L A Last updated on January 14, 2012
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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.



Offense: 4

Honor Guard

Defense: 0


Utility: 26

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Zombie Karthus by N I K O L A
Hi and welcome to my Karthus build!
This time we are focusing on my main champion KARTHUS!
I played karthus since i started with LoL.
I am going to learn you how to become the master of Karthus.
The goal of Karthus is to enter a teamfight with your AoE and do as much damage as possible and when you die BAM! Ulti and pentakill!

Oh and Thanks to jhoijhoi for the line dividers/separators.

Lets get started!

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Pros / Cons

-powerfull caster
-good ganker
-uncommon champion so many people don't know his skills
-great teamplayer
-his ultimate (requiem)
-after Heimerdinger and Janna Karthus has the most base mana.

-Karthus is very easy to kill
-In the beginning he is hard to play
-Very weak against DPSers. (especially carrys!)

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passive This passive allowes you to cast spells for 7 seconds after your death
Best used to cast your ultimate and help your team win a teamfight. If you have the mana just toggle defile on and the enemy will drop health fast! They removed the 20% time less dead after the nerf 05/11/2011

Creates a delayed blast at Karthus' cursor position. After 0.5 seconds, deals 40 / 60 / 80 / 100 / 120 (+35% of ability power) magic damage to each nearby enemy, this deals double damage if it hits only a single unit.
cooldown: 1 second
Low lvl farming tool and burst damage in PvP fights

Creates a 800 / 900 / 1000 / 1100 / 1200 distance wide wall through target point. Reduces enemy armor and magic resistance by 15 / 20 / 25 / 30 / 35 and reduces movement speed by up to 40 / 50 / 60 / 70 / 80%; debuff lasts 5 seconds. The wall lasts 5 seconds.
cooldown: 22 seconds
One of the best gank tools / debuffs in the game. Set a gank or escape from enemys. This ability makes the difference in teamfights

Toggle off: When Karthus kills a unit, he restores 20 / 27 / 34 / 41 / 48 mana.

Toggle On: Drains 30 / 42 / 54 / 66 / 78 Mana to deal 30 / 50 / 70 / 90 / 110 (+25% of ability power) damage to nearby enemies each second.
cooldown: 0.5 seconds after toggeling off
Very strong AoE spell. Your late game farming tool as well

- Ultimate After channeling for 3 seconds, Karthus deals 250 / 400 / 550 (+70% of ability power) magic damage to all enemy champions (regardless of distance).
cooldown: 180/150/120 seconds The tool to finish off enemys that get away with 10HP. With this skill the line "What a lucker" will be completely banned out of the chat! It is also great to use in teamfights right before initiating. It will be a good start for your team and waiting to use your ultimate might cost you your life.

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Summoner Spells

Karthus will get mid very often and in order to stay on the right amount of mana, or you have to come back for items, teleport will be very usefull. Another way in which teleport stands out is tactical map usage. Sounds strange? Let me explain it to you. Often you and your team push a lane and find yourselves blocked by the enemy. Everyone is just standing there doing nothing. With teleport you can swap lane fast and go for a turret kill or force the enemy to split. With the ability to devastate turrets (explained in the item section) and superb push capabilities this is an excellent spell for Karthus.

Karthus is a squishy champion and gets focused very often, so you better use flash to escape.

This works pretty fine on Karthus, if you want to 1v1 a ad carry just use the exhaust on him and own him.

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Masteries (4-0-26)


I go 4 in offense just because of the ability power.

And 26 in Utility because hp/mana regen, cdr, keeping buffs longer, some spell vamp, and more experience

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Tips / Tricks

The goal of zombie karthus is to enter a teamfight with your and and do as much damage as you can until you die and press
Let the tank/offtank engage so they focus him, then you rush in with your and spam (try to do as much damage as possible) if your team is good you will ace them in no mater of time.

Tip: When you get your run in to the middle of the fight with your on and use the hourglass, this will make you unkillable for 2 seconds.

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Becoming the master

Some skills you need to master to become a karthus master:
- should touch the enemy (if it is a single enemy) only with the edges. That way you're a bit more save from close combat attacks.
-death is no problem for karthus. If you can use his passive in your advantage you can win the teamfight. Whenever your wall is ready to cast in a teamfight: CAST IT. Even if your passive kicks in.
-placement of the in teamfights try to get as many enemys debuffed as possible. If it's a started teamfight (engagement) then place the slantwise.

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How You Start
Buy your starter items and go to your lane - mid. Either harras your enemy champion with or hug your tower and wait for minions. If you want to harras the enemy, care for ganks, because you will have to go far away from your tower to harras.
When minions arrive, your farming starts.

How You Farm
Spam on the ranged minions - Timed right, this should give you at least 2/3 of the ranged minions. When the ranged minions are dead, try to last-hit the melee minions with or standard attacks. Later in the game, when your mana pool is bigger, you can use to kill minion wave after minion wave, in a matter of seconds. You can also go two the creeps in the jungle and kill them with

How You Brawl
Karthus does not use his fists (That's what she said). He uses spells. Harras your opponent with , if necessary. If not, simply outfarm them - Get more creep-fed than him/her. Don't get too close, since their damage output will be more than you can manage early game, since it requires your to hit 90% of the times. If you get attacked, spawn your on the opponent and spam on his/her ***. This should get them off your back. When you are level 6, wait for enemies to be nearly dead, and finish them off with . Make sure that your teammates tell you when to use it. This should get you fed.

How Karthus gets really hated
If the enemy team has a jungler, try and Sight ward the dragon. They will probably go low on hp, so when they are almost done, use your . Afterwards be ready to steal the dragon, if they die. Just don't get ganked, so have Flash ready.

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Team Fight

Karthus can be a tricky champions in teamfights. It can be hard to place yourself right, but try to wait for the tank or someone else to initiate and then spam and run near them with . You will probably be a main target now, so if you have Zhonya's active, you use it when you feel like you need the 2 seconds protection. Have active in these 2 seconds. It will do quite some damage and afterwards you can try and Flash out of the heat. If your team is struggling with winning you can make a kamikaze attack, where you do as much damage as possible before you die, and then you go ape**** with , or .

NOTE: Do only use , if it can grant your team kills. Do not waste it on nothing.
Try and slow the opponents before a fight. You can do some damage before the fight even starts. Karthus can change a teamfight, but if played wrong he can also be kinda useless in teamfights. After a teamfight you might be able to finish them off.

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Side lane gank : Karthus is really good at ganking in side lanes, since his will give a huge advantage, when you fight 3v2. The enemies can't defend themselves when they are slowed so bad. What you can do is to go to the bush, right before you enter a side-lane (You know which one) and wait for an opportunity, where they are in range of your . If you want to surprise them, go to the bush near their tower and Flash up behind them and spawn your on them. Try to hit both, but one will also do the job. Just make sure that your teammates are ready to gank and don't leave you with 2 enemies. Especially if you just used your flash, so you have no escaping possibilities. This will piss you off and feed the other team.

Ganking mid: This time you'll need a jungler or a teammate from another lane. Do not gank if your opponent has Flash ready, it will be a waste of time, unless your mate have stun and you can finish him/her off, before they can Flash away. Use your on the opponent and get your teammate to help killing the enemy, while he/her is slowed. Simply spam on them, while your mate also damages the target. They should die, but if they don't just push the tower when they are recalling, because they need hp.

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Thats all!
If you are going to downvote please leave a comment and tell me what to change.

I hope you enjoyed my guide!