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Build Guide by lolo855

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League of Legends Build Guide Author lolo855

Karthus and how to make your enemies cry

lolo855 Last updated on February 7, 2011
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Middle Lane
Ranked #25 in
Middle Lane
Win 52%
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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: 0

Mystical Vision
Presence of the Master

Utility: 21

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Hello, so i've been playing karthus quite a while now, and I decided to share my itembuild with you guys.
I hope you like it.
Comment and rate !

I don't see a lot of good karthus around, and i hope people will try out this build and see how awesome Karthus can be :)

To start i ll give some tips and tricks with karthus.

First thing, communication is very important in your team. because when some lucky guy escapes from a gank with low hp, you are the finnal weapon to still blow him up. ( this is what enrage's a lot of player, they pop everything to survive, just to get killed 5 sec later by your ultimate.

Second thing, your wall is awesome, it's prob one of the best escape's for your entire team.
Also, your wall at lvl 5 will be HUGE ! you can use it to scout entire area's, checking bushes etc...

Your ultimate is not a skill to finish opponent with, if you can get a kill without using it, don't use it. I othen see a karthus following a champ and dmg'ing him untill he can pop his ulti and get the kill for sure and stop's following at that moment. Your lay waste does huge dmg 1 vs 1 and you can easily 1-2 shot that remaining hp, and if you got rylai's scapter. It's very unlikely they will ever escape you.

Your ultimate is great to initiate. With the right timig you can pop your ulti just hen ur team charge's, giving you a good advatage and making a ace very likely.

I think that's pretty much all for now.
I ll discuss my runes, masteries etc now.

If you see any mistake's please tell me or if you have an oppinion about certain things tell em, i want to know your oppinion !!! :)

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Death defied - passive This passive allowes you to cast spells for 8 seconds after your death

Even death won't stop you, once yu are fed it's easy to take down 1-2 champs before the 8 sec is over.

Lay waste Creates a delayed blast at Karthus' cursor position. After 0.5 seconds, deals 40 / 60 / 80 / 100 / 120 (+35% of ability power) magic damage to each nearby enemy, this deals double damage if it hits only a single unit.
cooldown: 1 second

Your main nuke, hard to know where to put it when your new with karthus, try to only hit one person with it for double dmg ( hits up to 1k late game )

Wall of pain Creates a 800 / 900 / 1000 / 1100 / 1200 distance wide wall through target point. Reduces enemy armor and magic resistance by 15 / 20 / 25 / 30 / 35 and reduces movement speed by up to 40 / 50 / 60 / 70 / 80%; debuff lasts 5 seconds. The wall lasts 7 seconds.
cooldown: 22 seconds

Aweomse ability, allows you to look in bushes to avoid ganks. Great escape ability because the slow is very strong. Also when you are ganking be sure to use it since the magic resistance reduction will help your damage too :)

Defile Toggle Off: When Karthus kills a unit, he restores 20 / 27 / 34 / 41 / 48 mana.
This is very good in the beginning if you just use kay waste to last hit minions because then you'll alwawys have full mana. Don't spam lay waste at the start and keep this mana reg in mind. allows you to stay in lane for a very long time.

Toggle On: Drains 30 / 42 / 54 / 66 / 78 Mana to deal 30 / 50 / 70 / 90 / 110 (+25% of ability power) damage to nearby enemies each second.
cooldown: 0.5 seconds after toggeling off

This one is awesome, If people stand in it they willg et destroyed, it does huge damage and combined with rylai's scepter you can kite champs with this, just keep em in it but out of range :) This is also used to farm late game because 2 ticks should be enough to kill an entire wave of minions.

Requiem - Ultimate After channeling for 3 seconds, Karthus deals 250 / 400 / 550 (+70% of ability power) magic damage to all enemy champions (regardless of distance).
cooldown: 180/150/120 seconds

No one will ever escape on low hp with this. It's just awesome, and because of this Karthus is othen called noob and 'easy' to play. Well it's not this ultimate rocks but there are plenty of ways to counter it. Great initiator too, read up lower if you want to know more !

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So my Runes,
seal: ap / lvl runes seem quite straight forward.
The more ap you got end game the better

mark: magic pen, seems quite obvious, a lot of people done the math's and magic pen is better then anything else for casters. Also against people without magic res, you can get negative and you'll blow them up in a mtter of seconds.

glyph: cooldown reduction, faster wall faster lay waste faster requiem, what more to say, i hate when people run away with 100 hp and my ulti just has those 5 sec cooldown and i miss a kill :(

Quintessence : HP * 2 : I go mid mostly and i like thgat extra hp so I can get first blood asap. pretty much depends on your playstyle, most people will prob take magic pen here too, which is good.

xp : now i took one of those, because when i am mid, i ll lvl straight afther the first wave, if i am fast i can sometimes get a quick kill whiel my opponent is still lvl 1. Also gives you a little lvl advatage later game which I like a lot :)

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Pretty much stadard caster build, except for flash.
Nothing special to say here, except you really need the 15% magic pen.

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okay my item's, I always start with doran's ring when I go mid for the extra hp, the ap an regen.

I try not to recall before i can atleast buy +1 boots and tear of the goddess. and try to only recall when teleport is not on cooldown so you can keep mid on pressure and not let him outlvl you.

Only but mejaj's if your are doing good, or if you are sure you will do good. ( I got 2-3 kills when i am lvl 6 )

I rush rylai's scepter asap (mostly i take it before archangel ) because the slow is just so great to keep your target's in your bombss and to escape.

I finish with abyssal scepter because the AoE magic res reduction is just awesome especially when you are fed and can flash into their team with defile on, you will destroy them like this :)

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Summoner Spells

Flash : Flash is just awesome on any champion, helps you survive a lot and helps you get some easy kills quite soon unless they really towerhug all the time.

Teleport: being able to get back into the action asap is just very important, if you are doing well, you are probably the biggest DPS of the team. and so if your not in the team your team is vulnerable.

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Don't forget, when you play Karthus you will be called a noob a lot, especially if you get a kill with your ultimate. But no worries, Karthus is hard to play and even harder to master.
and any decent player know's how to counter your ultimate.

There is just nothing better then getting insulted afther you just killed someone with your ultimate, because then you know he is gettign angry and pissed :)