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Karthus Build Guide by Isithael

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.


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League of Legends Build Guide Author Isithael

Karthus- The Power Lich

Isithael Last updated on August 11, 2012
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Ability Sequence

1
4
5
7
9
Ability Key Q
3
14
15
17
18
Ability Key W
2
8
10
12
13
Ability Key E
6
11
16
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.



Masteries

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sunder
4/
Archmage
 
 
 
 
 
 
1/
Executioner
 
 

Offense: 21

 
 
 
 
 
Durability
Vigor
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Honor Guard
Mercenary
 
 
 
 
 
 
Juggernaut
 
 

Defense: 0

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Strength of Spirit
Intelligence
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Mastermind
 

Utility: 9


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My Karthus build...

This is simply my own custom Karthus build... focus power and destroy.


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Runes

The quintessences, marks, and glyphs should be obvious. The magic-per-level seals are primarily for end-game Karthus, benefiting the three Archangel's in the build.


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Masteries

I went 21/0/9, focusing offensive. Follow the ability power related tree. Utility points compliment the build by giving bonus mana (again, useful for Archangel's) and granting some mana regen for mid-lane sustain. Furthermore, taking the Summoner's Insight allows you to use flash more often, which you can use for tactics, to pick up kills, etc. Finally, the point in Good Hands relieves a small bit of the burden of playing Karthus, who picks up those pesky runners after he "dies."


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Items

It is highly important to focus on getting the Tear first, to benefit from the bonus mana. Holding off on finishing the first Archangel's is actually beneficial, as Rabadon's and the Sorcerer's Treads do more for you (since you don't have the mana for AA to be useful quite yet). After you finish the first AA, you want to get some magic-pen in the mix. The Abyssal Scepter can be substituted with the Void Staff if the opposing team lacks substantial AP users. The final build caps out with 1086 AP.


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Skill Sequence

Max Lay Waste as soon as possible. Take your ult whenever available... You need your second point to go into Defile or you'll quickly run out of mana in the beginning. Take the Wall of Pain as your third point to help you pick up a few kills, early on.


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Summoner Spells

This will help you the most in picking up kills, as far as summoner spells go. 90% of players use this... don't be different, they use it for a reason. Possible alternatives include taking clarity instead of ignite to gain more sustainability (because those mana potions just don't do enough for their cost). Take ghost instead of flash if you really, really like ghost, but I recommend staying with flash--it's more useful.


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Summary

Playing Karthus is relatively easy! Spam Q, benefit from your Archangel's staffs. Catch them with Wall of Pain, flash up to them, activate Defile and, again, spam Q. When at max build and, assuming that your opponent has no magic resist, your Lay Waste can do upwards of 1200 to a single target every hit.

Fun fact! With base MR being 30 on an opponent... 30 - 20(sorcerer's treads) - 20 (abyssal scepter) - 35 (wall of pain), gives your opponent a beautiful -45 MR. Meaning you do 20% more damage to them with magic.