Karthus Build Guide by TheAnnoyingHans

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 TheAnnoyingHans

Karthus the Deathmachine

TheAnnoyingHans Last updated on April 6, 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: 21

Honor Guard

Defense: 0

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 9

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Try it out and you will see that this isn't troll or a bad build. To all haters , **** YOU !

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This the one and only AD Karthus build.
It seems so ****ing worthless but actually it's epic !
Due to his short range he might have trouble to kill som ranged ad carrys but everyone else dies instantly.
And his laning and farming is so good because of that his Lay Waste doesn't need ap to deal lots of damage.
IMPORTANT !!!The Attack Damage And The Movement Speed Is Not True. The Attack Damage Is MUCH Higher Because The Attack Damage From Atma's Impaler Or Manamune Does Not Show And Neither Do The Movement Speed From The Boots. You Really Have 410 Movement Speed With This Build.

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Pros & Cons

Pros & Cons

Why you will love to play Karthus:
awesome damage dealer
all abilities can hit more than one target
definitely the best passive in whole game - Death Defied
spamming ability with one second cooldown - Lay Waste
debuff and cc in one spell - Wall of Pain
great dps around - Defile
everybody will hate you due to your ulti - Requiem
you can make enemy angry; instead of playing he writes about noobs/OP chars - so you can kill him again
he is the king of teamfights
even if squishy carry, he can initiate (in some specific cases)
insane farmer
restores mana by farming
long spells' range
specific playstyle
his joke is funny
he is undead
Can kill almost anyone very easy even ranged AD/AP carrys
You'll be the carry in your team

Some imperfections you might notice at divine Karthus:
with full build is weaker than many carries with their full builds.... but he can own them many times before
quite slow.... but his ulti can damage enemies wherever
item dependent.... but he can afford that xD
bad escaping ability when Wall of Pain on cd.... but good otherwise
very squishy.... but which mage is not? (Forget Cho'Gath etc. - I mean TRUE PURE mage xD)
focused in teamfights.... but fights even with activated Zhonya's Hourglass AND kills after his own death
many chars and items can counter his ulti.... but most of them can't
it's hard to master.... but easy to play quite good
Can't deal any significant damage with his short range

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Different Champions To Face Mid

facing other champions in middle, i have faced just about every champion in middle and i will tell you how easy or hard they are.

Akali - not many times have i seen her go mid but the few times i have, she never did to well, mind the burst damage, so if you are in a fight with her, and she throws he smoke up, by you. throw your defile on and use your q around it or if you know were she is.

Anivia - many times i have faced anivia, there are a few that are very good, so be careful until you know their potential. if they are good, you mush shut them down early or you will be having trouble later game, and even later gamer do not 1 v 1 any anivia their burst damage is too high for you.

Annie - Annie is usually very easy just be careful about her ult + stun.

Ashe - Ashe is a very easy target she is very squishy and you don't have to hit her but a few times with your q. BUT after she has her ultimate, beware of that stun. if you do get stunned best thing to do is to flash away, or depending on your health and their health keep attacking her.

Caitlyn - very very annoying she is, be ready to dodge her little line of AOE she does, it hits you hard. she has a better range than you so if u want to kill her start up close and personal or you will die to her.

Ezreal - very annoying i have faced many and best to take him down fast. once he can use his little flash he can evade your Q very easily best to wait to gank him after early game.

Heimerdinger - very easy early game each time he puts a mini turret up shoot it down with your Q without a turret he is easy prey.

Karthus - versing another Karthus is all about who's better even ganks are needed just to make sure he will not be the better one.

Kassadin - *CAUTION* very annoying you cant do anything to him when he gets his ultimate, if you do go for him you must kill him before he has his ultimate, if not make sure you have ganks. and a lot of them.

Katarina - not too bad, but must be taken down early game so wont be annoying late game. if you are ulted by her not to worry turn on your defile and q until dead, but if she has a lot of health you may want to flash out of there asap.

Kennen - can be very annoying must be ganked or will kill you a lot early game.

Kog'maw - very easy until he has ultimate, you must be able to dodge very well to keep him on his toes either AP or DP.

Le Blanc - be careful after about lvl 3 will kill you easy after they have ultimate.

Lux - very easy just be ready to dodge lazer..

Malzahar - can be very easy or hard, depending how aggressive they are chase them off early game.

Miss Fortune - can be easy, can be hard but most of the time easy. just be ready to move out of her ultimate at fits second put up do not sit in it and think you will kill her can be turned around.

Mordekaiser - *CAUTION* he can be easy early game until he gets a lot of health. you must be very aggressive to him because of his shield. if you keep on him he will die, if he turns and chases u put up wall wait for him to hit it and turn back and let loose.

Morgana - be aggressive till lvl 6 then stop or you will die from her ultimate.

Sivir - must be aggressive early game. after a few lvls she will push you hard so beware.

Soraka - very easy just heals a lot so just annoying.

Swain - again early kills make it easy later game he heals and messes it all up so be careful unless you know his limits.

Teemo - very very easy let loose on him just watch his shrooms and don't run through them.

Tristana - very easy push her early and late game depending on health.

Twitch - super easy just can be annoying and sometimes can catch you off guard, set a ward and wait.

Urgot - very annoying with his long shot blades but unless he has health pretty easy.

veigar - you must be aggressive early game so he cannot let his passive get too farmed, his passive is that if he uses his q on a minion and kill it he gains 1 AP. that can stack very high.

Vladimir - can be easy but you want to be careful around him by level 9.

Zilean - his bombs will mess you up if you attack him and he hits u with them do not fear thats all he has. for defense.

and thats all the people i have faced mid as Karthus.

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In teamfights you should be very passive and not go in first 'cause you can't play the normal Karthus when you suicide and then deal all your damage because when ''dead'' you CAN'T attack with basic attacks.
When you've got you'r Atma's Impaler and Frozen Mallet you have pretty much hp and damage so you can go in and deal lots of damage with your basic attacks while you're still dealing tons of damage with Defile.
It's quite hard to play AD Karthus 'cause of his short range but you'll learn eventually.

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Farming is just to easy on Karthus doesn't matter if you play AD or AP.
Just try to last hit with Lay Waste or with basic attacks but that is risky 'cause of his short range.

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When should I hit that ult ?

Well that depends, if the other team has full health you should wait to use it until you die or when you can't chase anymore. Or you could use it before the fight to take out champions with low health and just deal some damage on them so that you and your team can kill them before they kill you.

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Early Game

Early Game your damage output will be only from your Lay Waste and Defile.
So that's the reason why you get the Tear of The Goddes for that extra mana that you need.

And now you wonder why I get Boots of Swiftness instead of Berseker Greaves.
That's because Karthus movement speed isn't the best and low movement speed plus short range will get you outranged and outrunned.
You could get a Phantom Dancer but there's so much else that's better than that item.
So i decide to take those boots instead of the Phantom Dancer.

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Mid Game

Still most of your damage is from Lay Waste and Defile but your starting to deal some more basic attack damage.
The things you buy are yours to decide depending on what's needed.
This is just my opinion of what items that are the best and in what order.
In late mid game you'll dominate. Your damage will be so high with abilities and attack damage will kill almost anyone.
Here's the best time for AD Karthus.

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Late Game

In late game when most people are startinh to get full build you might having trouble to survive.
That's the reason why I buy Frozen Mallet and Atma's Impaler.
In late game you should not use your Lay Waste as much as you did in Early or Mid Game.
Here you are just going to attack them and have Defile on in any fight.

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Stats for this build

Health 2676 at 18
Mana 2784 at 18
Health Per 5 sec 18 at 18
Mana Per 5 Sec at 18
Armor 144 at 18
Dodge at 18
Magic Resist 30 at 18
Damage 354 at 18
Critical Chance 20 % at 18
Ability Power 0 at 18
Armor Penetration 6/10% at 18
Magic Penetration at 18
Movement 408 at 18

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Also good items

Infinity Edge, Bloodthirster, Trinity Force, Wits End, Ionic Spark and Phantom Dancer.