Build Guide by thejast
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Not Updated For Current Season
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Karthus, the ultimate game changer, no can do what karthus does, even if you kill him it's likely he'll take one or more with him. he's an unstoppable force team comp rarely matters if you have a well played karthus as long as the game goes on long enough to build it's game over karthus wins either by pure frustration or by getting so many triple, quadra kills and aces that you just over run the other team despite how far behind you were.
I'm new to build making on this website so i'm not sure how people add the pictures and everything yet when i find out i'll try to make this a more comprehensive guide. in the mean time i'll try to give an explanation of how it works.
For the first 5 levels karthus is a little weak even up to about level 9 he's not really ready to fight. you start out with the meki pendant and two health potions so you can lane longer. the meki pendant also builds into tear of the goddes and eventually you're first archangel staff, you're stacking archangel staffs because of the 3% non unique pasive it gives. you buy your boots second for the small movement speed increase which personally i'd prefer to skip but people complain but you will end up selling them if the game goes on long enough. if you do make it to having 5 archangels staffs and the zhonya's ring you should end up with around 1300+ ap which is crazy it makes your ultimate hit for like 1200 each person so quadra kills happen multiple times a game and even the occasional pentakill. the zhonyas ring works nicely because it gives the 25% boost and has the activate that makes you invulnerable for a couple of seconds. if you have your defile going when you activate it'll still do damage.
early game grab lay waste hopefully head to the mid and pray it's not miss fortune. there are a few others that are a pain in the *** but miss fortune seems to be my nemesis at the moment she doesn't matter later in the game but she can be troublesome early on. you can do some harrassing if you'd like with your lay waste to keep them on their toes, but primarily focus on minions you want those minion kills since you're gonna need a lot of gold. level 6 look around see if anyone needs help or has a runner with low health, i'm not big on kill stealing, i see karthus's ultimate as a way to turn the tides in a team fight your team is losing if their intire team loses 6-1300 health instantly it can make it very easy to for your team to finish them off. after about level 9 you will be getting a lot of kills people will try to gank you and you'll probably die karthus is expected to die thats why he has the passive he does, but when you die you're going to take atleast one person with you if not 2 or 3. don't go looking to die but don't waste your time running if you know it's futile take as many down as you can. put down your wall throw out defile and start spamming lay waste and watch the bodies hit the dirt.
I play karthus a little more kamikaze than some people may like but i find him to be the ultimate turret tank, you turn on defile and run directly into a turret with your team and start spamming lay waste on the enemy's they will back up leaving your team free to kill the turret you'll probably die but a worthy death in my opinion. with this build i average 25/12/15 with fluxuations depending on weak opponents, squishy opponents, heavy tank teams, and people who adjust magic resist just for me, but i still very rarely kill less than 20 people or go without a quadra kill which is just fun to hear. a lot of this build won't ever get finished due to surrenders or just pure domination but it's strong the whole way through and gets exponentially stronger the longer the game goes. make sure you're always casting lay waste even if you're just standing at a turret, this increases your mana due to your tear of the goddess/archangels staff and in turn increases your ability power.
if you do get stuck laning due to a pushy summoner who thinks he's more important than you are though their ultimate just makes them run fast i.e. sivir. just play defensively stick to the same plan don't get to close early on harrass when they close, but primarily focus on minions you're not going to get first blood on a regular basis, you just don't have the single target or targeting capabilities you get your kills mid to end game when people decide to go toe to toe with you. toe to toe with karthus is always a mistake.
again remember your ultimate is for the team not just for kill stealing if you can give your team an advantage give it, you make money from ***sist too.
summoner spells are flexible i have tried most of them, ghost flash are kind of a waste since i rarely run away when faced with conflict i'd rather trade my death for 3 of theirs. you have a slow wall with a longer range than exhaust so that really isn't necissary and you're defile and lay waste do more damage than ignite. teleport is decent but i've been shifting towards heal and clarity mostly for early game laning it gives me that edge against the miss fortunes out there so that i can stay in the lane and not lose a turret.
last but definitetly not least at level 8 the golem is easily soloable so you should be grabbing them every time their up even enemy golem, just spam lay waste and it'll die pretty quickly the reduced cd gives your ultimate a very quick cd. umm i hope i didn't leave anything out, and this is just how i play karthus there may be better ways to do it. but i've found it pretty succesful as i very rarely lose when i play him.
Constructive feed back is always welcome and any ideas you have to add would be great. i'm sure theres gonna be people out there slamming my build but again these are just my opinions that i've formed in my travels if yours differ from mine feel free to leave them off of my builds page. kthxbai