Build Guide by SangreDemonio
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Not Updated For Current Season
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Karthus, the diving bomber. (5v5 solo lane, High AP, Suicide Build)
So, this is Karthus, he is my favorite hero, as he matches my play style perfectly. I love to burst out of the bushes, run around naked and strike fear and death into the hearts of everyone, and die quietly, and by quietly I mean in a horrible awful explosion.
Let me explain. I am a player who doesn't mind dieing, but if I am doing to die, I want to break even. I want to take 1-4 with me at any given time. I regularly get quadrakills with Karthus, though I will admit, he is a hero that will make people call "Kill Steal!" from time to time. Understand, as long as you are not aiming to KS, and it just happens, that is not you KSing, its you being a good player. But seriously, don't be a jerk and KS, its no fun.
Step One- Summoner Spells.
The only two spells I use on Karthus are Teleport, and Clarity. Clarity is really an early to mid game ability, that often I forget to use late game. Reason being, clarity will allow me to lane longer without going back, and sometimes give me that umph I need to push into Death Defied and cause some major hell. Teleport is the leading cause of double kills, and rage quits next to Requiem the master itself. I use teleport to jump back after a recall early game, and often times later game, I will use it to teleport behind enemies who think its fun to rush my tower or teammates, and give them a big hug of surprise.
Step two- Runes
Runes for me are very simple. AP. AP AP AP AP. I run a build that not including runes will get you 1000+ AP at the cost of speed and survivability, your requiem will hit for around 1200 damage without trying. Now you can deviate a bit from this. Other good choices are cool down reduction, and if you are more like me, Death time reduction quintessences. Either way remember, this build is about causing as MUCH damage as possible, and wrecking havoc on the enemy lines, no survival, and you will find yourself a team carrier if you do it right.
Step three- Masteries.
My masteries are also very simple. 9 in offense for the quick 15% spell pen. And then 21 all the way down the Utility tree. The 10% time dead is great with karthus's passive which already has 20% time dead, and the other abilities like better teleport, more mana and regen, and cooldown reduction all add up to more time to defile, and quicker requiem. It is all key.
Step four- Skills
Passive- Death Defied
Bread and butter for this build, without this passive I would be useless. This passive gives you 20% your death timer (for people bad at math when everyone else is waiting 1 minute, your only sitting out for 45-50.) Combined with runes and masteries you could have easily 45% death reduction. As Karthus I like to charge in and inevitably die. The secondary on this passive allows Karthus to survive for 8 seconds after dieing, leaving any mana he has left in his pool free to cast. In this time you can wrack of kills, gold, and everything you can while alive, and then die to whoever last hit you 8 seconds later. I love the rage in people's voices when they kill me for a killing spree, and then die to me and I get that sweet bonus gold for the kill.
First to 5- Lay Waste
This skill is how you will make your money and kill people early game. With its really powerful AOE burst, you will light up mob packs, and clip heroes. When you can lead a hero properly, you will be doing 200-400 damage to heroes at a time when they really can't handle that consistently. Early game you should use this skill to do nothing but last hit mobs and kill a cocky hero. When you feel more comfortable with the skill, then you start charging people, tagging heroes and ganking. Till then, just make sure you last hit everything you can, as you should have your first 2 items by 14-16 minutes in, and to do that, you need this. Late game, this ability will explode on single targets for 600-900 damage and that can NOT be ignored. Even the aoe will do 400 to everyone near by so, in conjunction with wall of pain and defile it is another potent killer, and throwing it infront of a running opponent will get you so many last hit kills, they will hate you for it.
Second to 5- Defile
The passive of defile can not be ignored. When you are early game laning using clarity to keep mana and lay waste to keep heroes off your back, and gold in your pocket, clarity alone will not be enough. You will need defiles passive to keep mana in you till late game when you are stealing mobs from the enemy team and keeping the golem buff up. Late and mid game however, defiles toggle on, the massive AOE, is how you mop up mobs for quick gold, and farm like no ones business. It is specificity how you kill heroes in big 5v5 games, and how you make people fear you. After you die, as long as you have the mana, leave it toggeled on and try and die in the middle of a lane or pack so as to force people to run through it. This move will kill dealing up to 250 damage a second if not higher.
Last to 5- Wall of Pain.
You should take 1 point of wall by level 4 or 5. And understand that one point may save your life a dozen times over. The ability keeps people off your back, gives you sight of bushes and such, and is a GREAT way to gank. Running up behind a pack of 3-5 people? Your team on the run? Charge behind them, defile blazing, drop the wall right behind or right in the middle of them for the magaic resist and the slow debuff, and run right over all of them while spamming lay waste. You will be outputting around 500 damage a second if not more as you do this in combination and all 5 people, even if they kill you, still have to deal with you for 8 seconds, or leave the rest of your team alone (or die to them depending on how good you do.) Late game this wall is key to your survival and to your ability to destroy the enemy.
Your Ultimate- The Rage quitter. (Requiem)
Karths's ultimate will make people quit, and will destroy your foe's moral. When they realize that they can not have anyone below 50-30% health or they will all die, it keeps the entire team on edge. When they have to make the decision to charge you or die to you after they kill you? You know you are in their head. Using this ability as a lead off is usually a bad idea. Early game, work with your team mates, or keep and eye out, and drop the big R whenever you see a hero low enough for it to hit them. Late game, charge the 5 man line with your team at your back. Drop the Wall of Pain, Defile on non-stop, spam the lay waste, and when you die, its time to drop the hammer. Hit Requiem and watch it cause untold hell and maybe net you 2-3 kills or at least 2-3 assists.
Step 5- Items
Boots of Swiftness- Karthus is slow, these boots will allow you to run back to a tower, and chase down people you are trying to rape with defile up. Without these boots karthus is an easy target and you will have a hard time causing anything to happen.
Archangels Staff- This item will be your god send several times over. Picking it up once early game will allow you to stack the item unique very early, and give you a lot of power by end game. The mana regen is needed badly as you will eat mana very quick mid game.
Z Ring- Another staple of your build. No need to ever buy more than 1, you really want it for the unique 25% AP, and of course the 120 AP doesn't hurt either. The on use effect can be a game changer for Karthus, but it is also easily forgotten do not fret to much if you never use it.
Lich's Bane- Final Bread and butter. This item will get you that extra speed you need to make the day save, it will give you the mana and AP you desire and other stuff is nice. The big boost is that passive. Karthus's spells except his ultimate are not channels, he keeps throwing out his ranged attack the entire time you are definling or lay waste or whatever. SO! When you are level 18 with all 6 items and about 1100 AP, when you cast Lay Waste and do around 700 damage with it, your next swing will do a truck load of damage, that works on turrets, inhibitors, heroes, or minions.
Here on out item building gets tricky. Those first 4 items are key. The last 2 and run on games however are choosy. You can just got raw AP, to do that, just buy more Archangels staves, and you will have more mana regen and AP than you know what to do with. If you are up against some heavy magic resist maybe pick up a Void Rod, I will never buy a defensive item simply because, I die on this hero, I am not interested in keeping him safe, as the only way to make Karthus safe, is to really dig deep the defensive items and forgo half the OMG PAIN portion of this build. Potentialy you may also go after the hextech gunblade. This is a good idea if you are good with on use items and can get that item off before you die. Otherwise, just stick to stacking the AP. WAAAY late game, games that go on to long. You may decide to sell your boots of swiftness, if this is the case. Make sure you have teammates able to back your slow *** up, and just buy another Archangel Staff. You will have 1300 AP and your Requiem will hit for around 1400, your defile will do 500 or so a second, Lay Waste will do 900 a hit, and you will be a walking time bomb.
This build is NOT for everyone. But if you love deaths from the grave, and rage quitters, it is a fun build to learn. Hope you all enjoy my first build, I regularly get 20+ kills on Karthus in games lasting anywhere from 35-50 minutes, and people hate me. Look me up mattaoh on LoL, have fun out there!