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Karthus Build Guide by Loltrollolol

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Loltrollolol

Dominion Karthus

Loltrollolol Last updated on October 29, 2011
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Middle Lane
Ranked #13 in
Middle Lane
Win 51%
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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.


Brute Force
Improved Rally

Offense: 9

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 21

Expanded Mind
Blink of an Eye
Mystical Vision
Presence of the Master

Utility: 0

Guide Top


Welcome! This is my guide to Karthus: The Deathsinger, for Dominion. With this guide, you will have a ton of health (3000+) and a ton of AP (800+). Your role with this guide should be defending and securing kills with your ultimate. You can also dish out a lot of damage with your team as you will have over 800 AP late game (~25mins) with this build.

I personally have found a lot of success with this guide and the only loss I have had with this was a 4v5 (~10 games total at the time). I hope that this guide will help you and your team achieve victory, in the same way in which this guide has worked for me.

NOTE: I will be formatting this guide to make it a lot more appealing but I feel that the community needs a good Dominion Karthus Guide out ASAP, and making this guide look pleasant is not a priority. I will be doing a base guide which I will edit into the complete guide, so please be patient until the guide is complete, and use the resource as it is, until it is finished.

Guide Top

Pros / Cons


  • Requiem allows for cross map assistance, kills, and/or turret cap interrupts.
  • Great Defender with 3000+ health, 4% damage reduction, and a ton of damage to deal.
  • Death Defied allows for 6 seconds of extra defense around a turret while your teammates are on their way.
  • Ton of Damage and Survivability
  • Fun Requiem Kills
  • Wall of Pain + Defile is quite useful in team fights.


  • Movement speed is quite slow
  • Silences Hurt, not as much if you already had Defile on.
  • Requires you to hit your Lay Wastes, it takes some getting used to
  • Being targeted first in a Team fight is quite common

Guide Top

General Guide

Here is a summary of my guide as a place-holder while I make the complete guide.

Summoner Spells

SPACE Ghost allows you to get back to defend that turret before it is too late. It also can be used to come back into a team fight before it ends, turning the table towards your side. Ghost is also great for securing a kill when Requiem is on CD and for escaping certain death. This works very well with Flash. SPACE Flash is a standard spell I get for its many uses. You can Flash to escape, flash to secure a kill, flash to save a turret, flash to save a team-mate, etc. There a ton of uses for flash and I find it very useful in many situations. Flash is also good for kiting along with your Wall of Pain under a turret, while defile and the turret are damaging them, along with your Lay Wastes. SPACE



Greater Mark of Magic Penetration

Greater Seal of Scaling Ability Power

Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power

Greater Quintessence of Ability Power

I will explain the runes better in the future, basically use any runes you would for an AP caster.



Why the 9/21/0?

We take the standard 9 into offense for the AP, CDR, and Spell Pen. The 21 in defense makes all the health you are getting from your Rod of Ages more worthwhile. You get MR, Armor, health, and you receive 4% less damage. You also get 4% more AP, and 1% of your max mana in Health Regen. With this build you have over 4k mana which gives you 40 more health-regen per 5 secs. All of these things are a lot more useful in Dominion than a utility tree spec.


Okay, once you enter the game immediately pick two points in Lay Waste and one in Defile. Then buy Tear of the Goddess and Boots of Speed as quickly as possible. Then exit the shop and begin spamming Lay Waste. With your Tear of the Goddess you should be able to build up an extra 100 mana before the game even begins. For me this takes me from 800 to 900 mana.

Early Game

You want to go BOT or MID -> TOP as Karthus. You shouldn't be going Top immediately because you should have someone faster on your team. If you have a good Bot champion on your team such as Heimerdinger, then you want to cap the Mid Turret, then transition up to Top Tower and help your team.

Bottom Tower

If you are bot, spam Lay Waste on minions to farm up your mana. If you see everyone on the enemy team is top, then feel free to try to backdoor-cap their bot tower. Your Top Priorities at Bot are:
  1. Stay Alive (Obiviously)
  2. Defend Bot Tower
  3. Farm your Mana (Spam Lay Waste as much as possible, preferably on minions for gold)
  4. Capture Enemy Bot Tower
  5. Kill Enemy Bot Champion

Mid -> Top Tower

If you are not Bot, then you should be capping Mid tower, then moving up to Top. You want to cap Mid as fast as possible, then move up to help your team at Top Tower. Your Top Priorities when you are going from Mid to Top are:
  1. Stay Alive (Obiviously)
  2. Help your team in the Team fight at Top tower that usually occurs at the beginning of the game.
  3. Capture Top Tower
  4. Farm your Mana (Spam Lay Waste as much as possible, preferably on minions for gold, if not champions)
  5. Kill Enemy Champions

Mid Game

This part of the game is quite chaotic and everyone is running around trying to cap towers while defending backdoor pushes. You should have your Rod of Ages, Sorcerer's Shoes, and Tear of the Goddess at this stage of the game. During this part of the game, you want to be Defending hard and trying to assist your teammates whenever you can. Also if you have any time idle, you want to be spamming Lay Waste as much as possible assuming you have the mana for it. You want to get your Tear of the Goddess/ Archangel's Staff stacks up to 1000 ASAP.

Late Game

This part of the game is extremely chaotic, the losing team is desperately trying to get the turret advantage before its too late, and the winning team is trying to hold off the mass pushes while trying to relieve pressure by backdooring. You should have your Rod of Ages, Sorcerer's Shoes, Archangel's Staff, Rabadon's Deathcap, and be starting on your second Rod of Ages (or Void Staff if the game is going to be ending soon), at this stage of the game. During this part of the game, you want to be Defending hard and trying to assist your teammates whenever you can. Again if you have any time idle, you want to be spamming Lay Waste as much as possible assuming you have the mana for it. You should have your Archangel's Staff stacks at 1000 by now.

Item Build Discussion

You get Tear of the Goddess first because you can be gaining up to 100 mana before the game even begins, so you are 100 mana closer to max "mana stacks". You pick up Boots of Speed because you are extremely slow without them, which makes you very vulnerable. SPACE
Catalyst the Protector
You get Catalyst the Protector next because it helps you stay out on the field and defend longer by giving you health and mana regen every level-up. You pick up Sorcerer's Shoes because you are very slow compared to other champions with Boots of Speed and the 20 magic penetration helps quite a bit. Move-speed is quite important in Dominion.
SPACE You want your Rod of Ages as early as possible because it takes 10 mins for it to get to its' maximum potential. You want this item for the AP, Mana(which turns into AP with Archangel's Staff), and the survivability that comes with 810 extra health. You get Rod of Ages before you finish your Archangel's Staff because you can still gain your mana stacks with Tear of the Goddess, and you need time to gain stacks on Rod of Ages.

You get Archangel's Staff next because you want to benefit from all the mana you have and your Tear of the Goddess isn't doing much on its own. Archangel's Staff also gives you a nice amount of mana-regen. SPACE You get your Rabadon's Deathcap next to improve your AP from your Archangel's Staff and Rod of Ages. This means you get even more AP from your mana, runes, and other AP items ofcourse. At this point you should have about 600 AP.
You want some sort of defensive item that still gives you AP at this point in the game. Basically you can get Rod of Ages for an even enemy team composition in terms of physical and magic damage or any situation. You could get Zhonya's Hourglass if there is a lot of Physical Damage being dealt, and the active is nice too. Odyn's Veil is also an option if there is a lot of magic damage as this gives you health and magic resist, along with more mana (and AP), and a neat active to deal damage too. SPACE You get your Void Staff next to maximize your damage by removing 40% of your enemies magic resistance. This also gives a nice amount of AP that is also increased through Rabadon's Deathcap. If you feel that the game is going to be ending soon you should get Void Staff before your defensive item. However, I placed Rod of Ages before Void Staff because it takes 10 minutes for Rod of Ages to reach its maximum potential.

Guide Top



  • Guide Started
  • Basic Guide Completed
  • Guide Published
  • Replaced Revive with Ghost

Guide Top

Final Notes

In Conclusion, Karthus is a great champion for Dominion, because of his global ult and great defending capabilities. This Build provides Karthus with a lot of survivability without taking away from his damage at all. This build is great for defending and for Dominion in general, however I am in fact open to suggestions about runes, masteries, summoner spells, or items.

Please leave a comment below with any ideas or suggestions that you have for my guide. Thank you for your time!