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Karthus Build Guide by DingDongGaming

Middle [70% Winrate] Rank #84 Karthus In The World Guide

By DingDongGaming | Updated on January 10, 2020
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Summon Aery
Manaflow Band
Gathering Storm

Presence of Mind
Last Stand


LoL Summoner Spell: Flash


LoL Summoner Spell: Exhaust


LeagueSpy Logo
Jungle Role
Ranked #26 in
Jungle Role
Win 52%
Get More Stats

Ability Order

Threats & Synergies

Threats Synergies
Extreme Major Even Minor Tiny
Show All
None Low Ok Strong Ideal
Extreme Threats
Ideal Synergies

Introduction [Person]

Hi guys!

I'm Ding Do ng Gaming(Do ng without a space between the o and the n) and I play on Europe West. Right now I am the #84Karthus in the world and I decided to make a guide for him since I know him quite well. I am in Diamond 5 and planning on climbing to master or even challenger this new season! I've started playing Karthus since season 2 where PhantomL0rd trolled with him and ran TP & Revive. Since then I fell in love with the champ. I've played over 1000 games with him over 4-5 different accounts with an average of a 70% winrate. I've studied Karthus after PL's stream and mastered him. Right now it's your turn!

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Champion Introduction & Skills.


is a low mobilty, high damage output champion who can burst people down in seconds. (If played right.)

Let's start with his passive.


"Upon Dying, Karthus enters spirit form that allows him to continue casting spells for 7 seconds."

This is one of the reasons why Karthus is overpowered. Even when you get killed in teamfights, you still have 7 whole seconds to continue casting spells and trust me. They hurt.


"Karthus unleashes a delayed blast at a location, dealing damage to nearby enemies."

One of the strongest abilties in-game in my opinion. If you hit Lay Waste on a single target, the damage is doubled. That's why he can poke and burst champions really quickly.


"Karthus creates a passable screen of leeching energy. Any enemy units that walk through the screen have their Movement Speed and Magic Resist reduced for a period."

This ability is really amazing. No matter how much magic resist the enemy has, you can always damage them in combination with Sorcerer's Shoes, Void Staff and Morellonomicon.


"Karthus passively steals energy from his victims, gaining Mana on each kill. Alternatively, Karthus can surround himself in the souls of his prey, dealing damage to nearby enemies, buit quickly draining his own Mana."

Great ability to sustain in lane! The Mana you get back after killing a unit is +- enough for 1 extra Q. In teamfights you have to activate this ability and keep it activated. Only turn it off if you are low on Mana. I wouldn't recommend turning this ability on in early game since it will drain out your Mana quickly.



"After channeling for 3 seconds, Karthus deals damage to all enemy champions."

An ability that deals 250 damage on it's first level to all five players at the same time? This is a game changing ultimate. In combination with your magic penetration you can basically deal true damage on carries in late game. You have the possibility to one-shot them.
Don't use your ult just to secure a kill. If your botlane gets ganked by the enemy jungler or your midlaner, activate it! There is a high chance that the enemy team will back off since you dealt a lot of damage to them. This way you saved your botlane and maybe secured an assist for yourself! Or you can use it when you see your toplaner / botlaners fight. Either way, teamplay is important!
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Precision can also be replaced with Inspiration. Then you should get Cosmic Insight and Perfect Timing. By picking Last Stand, when you are at 30% hp you maxed out the increased damage of 12%. But even if you die, you still have 7 whole seconds to use this increased damage. Or in combination with Zhonya's Hourglass you can deal 2.5 seconds more damage to the surrounding enemies. It works a lot better than Coup de Grace and Cut Down since their max damage increase stops at 10%.
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Skill Sequence

Abilities wise, you should always start with your Lay Waste. No questions asked.

Your second ability should also be a no-brainer: your Defile.

From now you got an option. You can put a point in your Wall of Pain but only if you know that you can get a secured kill out of it. Or if your jungler does a lvl 3 gank. If this is not case, put a third point in your Q Lay Waste. The damage boost will reward you anyway.

Now on every single skill point should be placed in Lay Waste, followed up by Defile and at last Wall of Pain. Your ult Requiem on lvl 6,11,16 ofcourse.
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Summoner Spells

There are a lot of options for Summoner Spells.

Flash is a must on Karthus though. But your second Summoner Spell slot is customable.

I would recommend picking Barrier just for the early game. This way you can survive enemy ganks, enemy burst, ignite etc.

The second option is to pick Exhaust. I would recommend this when you're playing vs an assassin champion just like Zed or Talon. The slow will also help you land your Q's better.

The third is to pick Teleport. This way you won't miss a lot of farm. There is no real other reason to pick this Summoner Spell.

The fourth and last option to pick is Ignite. I would only recommend this if you"re playing vs a healing enemy teamlaner just like Gangplank or Soraka.
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Pros / Cons

Just like every single champion, Karthus has some strenghts and weaknesses.

+High Damage
+Global ult hitting all enemies at the same time
+AoE damage
+Has CC (Crowd Control)
+Even when you're dead you can participate in teamfights with your passive
+Strong early game

-No mobility
-Gets countered by a lot of champions
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We buy a Tear of the Goddess as soon as possible to stack it really quick! Followed by a Lost Chapter into Archangel's Staff. This will provide you a shield (when fully stacked) which let's you initiate teamfights and lets you survive. Followed it up with a Morellonomicon. It excells versus an enemy team who can use healing abilities just like Soraka, Taric, Janna thanks to Grievous Wounds.

In this guide I've said many times that magic penetration is a must on Karthus. So Sorcerer's Shoes, Morellonomicon are a must. Only if they haven't bought magic resist, then you can replace Void Staff with something else. In case you've picked Abyssal Mask over Zhonya's Hourglass, grab Zhonya's Hourglass as well.

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When the first creeps are in lane and when they are fighting eachother, use your Q Lay Waste on the caster minions (single hit them). Do it until all 3 of them are dead. This way you can push your wave and try to poke the enemy midlaner down. Try to deny him experience and cs as well. In all cases you shouldn't use your Q Lay Waste on multiple enemies, only if you can kill them all at the same time with just one Q Lay Waste.
Try to take the raptors as well after you've pushed your wave into his turret. A little bit more farm is always welcome.
As soon as you reach level six, you should look at top lane and bottom lane to look at the enemy players their health bar. Maybe you can secure a kill.
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In teamfights you should be the one who initiates. Since you have your Zhonya's Hourglass in combination with your other items, you should be good to go. But before you go into your Hourglass, dont' forget to activate your E. It's literally free damage. Don't use your ult if you're alive in the teamfight, leave if for when you're dead. Don't use it too quickly either, try to land some Q's and try to time your ult.
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Karthus' Performance in ELO's.

Allright. Let's top it off by saying that Karthus isn't viable in every single ELO. In higher ELO's he will be countered and outplayed 95% of the times. Hitting your Q's will be a real pain in the *ss and you will probably get oneshotted by the enemy. In lower ELO's (plat 2 and lower), he is an overpowered champion. Most of the players don't know what to build or rush against him. Try to use that to your advantage.
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If you have any questions, go ahead and ask me in the comment section! You can also add me on League of Legends too! My in-game name is Ding Do ng Gaming (without a space between the o and the n: the word D o n g has been banned on this site, that's why.)
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Screenshots season 8

So far I've been doing great with the same build as I've shown you guys in my guide.
I ended up in Platinum 2 with a 8-1 win ratio with


These are my statistics so far.