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Karthus Build Guide by Molotov

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Molotov

Karthus - Requiem Time!

Molotov Last updated on February 21, 2014
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Middle Lane
Ranked #13 in
Middle Lane
Win 50%
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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.



Offense: 21

Legendary Guardian

Defense: 0


Utility: 9

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Welcome to my first League of Legends champion guide! This is the guide that works best when I play Karthus, feel free to comment about how you think!

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Pros / Cons

So, what are the aspects of our Lich?

+ Excellent farmer
+ Zones lane opponent well
+ Good chasing ability due to his spammableLay Waste and Wall of Pain
+ Enemies scattering around with low health will be spanked by Requiem!
+ Defile is a valuable tool in teamfights and 1v1 engagements
+ Huge damage dealer in teamfights

- Squishy
- Slow movement speed
- Mana hungry
- Extremly item dependant
- Somewhat easy to counter
- Prone to ganks

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Death Defied Passive

Upon dying, Karthus enters a spirit form, becoming immobile and untargetable. Death defied lasts for 7 seconds and his abilities costs no mana for the duration.

Lay Waste Q

After a 0.5 second delay, Karthus creates an explosion at the location of his cursor. The damage is doubled if Lay Waste only hits one unit.

Wall of Pain W

Karthus creates a wall between two obelisks that slows movement speed by 40/50/60/80 % and reduces magic resistance by 15 % for 5 seconds on enemies passing through.

Defile E

When toggled on, Karthus surrounds himself with souls that deal damage to nearby enemies each second at the expense of draining his own mana quickly.

And finally, the trademark and ultimate ability of Karthus:

Requiem R

After channeling for 3 seconds, Karthus blasts ALL enemies alive, dealing magic damage.

Death Defied is very useful to finish off enemies in 1v1 engagements and teamfights in case you died, or to get multiple kills with Requiem.

Lay Waste lets you farm safely, while you can deny your opponent of their farm by constantly spamming this skill.

Wall of Pain is a valuable tool to chase, escape and save teammates.

Defile gives you an advantage in teamfights and 1v1 engagements.

Keep your eyes on all lanes to find enemies with low health, then use Requiem if your allies could not secure the kill themselves.

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As with most AP mid mages, we will start out with Doran's Ring and health pots. You can buy Stealth Wards if you want.

Our first item will be Rod of Ages, as it will provide Karthus with health, mana and AP.

Next, we will buy Archangel's Staff. We can easily transform this into Seraph's Embrace by spamming Lay Waste.

Rabadon's Deathcap is a must have due to its extreme AP increase.

Zhonya's Hourglass gives us more AP and armor + a very useful activation ability.

You can buy boots if you want but then you can only buy one more item.

Enemies buying Magic Resistance? - Void Staff
Opponents with strong spells? - Banshee's Veil
High AP opponents? - Abyssal Scepter
You can buy Rylai's as a good source of health and AP + Your spells slow enemies.

Boot Options:
Sorcerer's for cheap Magic Penetration
Mercury's for enemies with strong CC abilities
Ninja Tabi for strong AD opponents
Ionian for increased CDR

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WithLay Waste and Defile, Karthus is an minion wave clearing beast! Farm as efficiently as you can to get as much gold as possible to provide Karthus with the items he so desperatly needs.

Remember in early game that your Lay Waste deals double damage if it only hits one unit.

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Team Work

Karthus is a huge damage dealer in teamfights as long as you are protected by tanks or allies with CC abilities.

Sometimes, it is beneficial to die a strategic death with Karthus:
Go in with yourDefile toggled on and spam Lay Waste, activate Zhonya's to let Defile tick longer and finish off with Requiem.

Always position yourself to affect as many enemies as you can with your Defile.

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I use my runes like this to maximize Karthus AP effects. If you do not feel comfortable using these runes, you can definitely use your own mage runes.

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Skill Sequence

KarthusLay Waste is his most important ability, therefore we max it by level 9.

Wall of Pain is a utility spell, therefore we max it last.

Defile is a valuable ability, we take it early and max it second by level 14.

As with all ultimates, we upgrade Requiem at the levels 6, 11 and 16.

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So that is my Karthus build, thank you for reading and i hope this was useful!