Build Guide by digifreak045
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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.
Karthus is truly a special champion, as at the moment, he is the only one that could potentially kill an entire team in one click. I've tried several different builds but to no true avail. So lets start with how I came up with this one and just how you can unlock the true potential of Karthus!
One thing I love about Karthus is making other champions play at YOUR speed. This is the reason I do not choose boots in my build. I know even with boots, I'm not going to get away from Miss Fortune, Ezreal or any other of those fast champions. I don't need to they'll be running away from you once you've removed a 1/4th of their health in one blow.
In the off chance you do get matched against a high hitter early game just hang back relax get gold and use ghost if need be. Dieing as a Karthus isn't the end of the world! it's only the beginning...
Beginning of the game I choose Sapphire Crystal and take a single lane. From here just last-shoot minions and harass the enemy champ(s) with laywaste. As soon as you have the money to get Tears of the Goddess grab it! Getting it in under 5 minutes into the game and you won't have to make any mana run's mid game. After this we should have Amplifying Tome and getting close to mejai.
*With this build mid-late game Karthus can easily take a tank and range combo so taking mid isn't always necessary*
By this time we have requiem and can do a bit of damage... But not quite ready to take on the world! From this point keep pushing your lane slowly going for ganks, buying mejai along the way and keeping an eye on the map for free points in mejai! Our biggest step next is becoming not so "squishy" so as soon as you get that 1110 gold recall and buy Giants belt!! At this point you should be around level 8 -9. Keep an eye on the jungle trying to get all the free gold you can By level 11 you should be finished with rylai and starting Lichbane for some speed.
At this point Karthus is a force to be reckoned with! With Wall of Pain and Rylai keeping his enemy's at his speed and practically defenseless to a barrage of nukes landing infront of them it time for the big guns, LICHBANE!~ Slowly buying the parts Lichbane is going to start paying off dealing massive not just magic damage but Attack damage now. As soon as you can finish off Archangel's staff for a nice little Ap Boost. Between Wall of Pain, Defile, Laywaste and Your regular attack Karthus is now able to do about 650/second with magic and another 400ish with his regular attack. Depending on magic resistance and there health most within Karthus range is not getting away...
By this time depending on deaths and just not getting that gold finish off all previous items listed and prepare start on Void staff. The extra Ability Power and Magic Penetration will truly devastate all who come within range! Once this is achieved Karthus can start on his big weapon Zhonya's Ring. Chances are you won't get Zhonya's Ring... They will either have surrendered or you will have clinched your teams victory all the way to the nexus with being able to 3 hit turrets with lichbane. In the off-chance they have held on, they're in for a BIG surprise! With nearly 1000 Ability Power and being able to 2 hit Squishy champions This is Karthus's Battlefield. Stick with your team to prevent the unfortunate gank. Karthus can take on 2-3 by himself and most-likely live, but will not be able to take all 5 (at least not yet ;)) At this stage in the game, try and get blue pretty often as if you have Mejai's stacks maxed having Requiem under 1 minute is just amazing :) Just keep pushing, and making an example of those "tanks" that think they can 1v1 You! Once you've gotten that 1 minute ace Take that nexus down in about 4 shots and just hold your head high!
Once you have truly experienced Karthus at his true potential you won't go back! He is ultimately the king of the battlefield and is not to be taken lightly. If you are having trouble with him in a 5v5 try a 3v3 and just see how easily you get that triple kill. Once you've mastered annihilating an entire team in 20 minutes flat on a 3v3 you should have no problem holding your own lane plus your neighbors in a 5v5. Best combo that works well with Karthus lane wise is someone who can stun slow and chase down. (Ashe or Taric are my two favorite lane partners.) The Blue Golem buff is not crucial to have the game so don't get discouraged if you don't get it. Only thing the blue buff is good for is quicker wall of pains or Requiem. But the cooldown on those are rather fast.
The biggest threats you will face is going to be anyone with speed, or anyone who happened to pick up Banshee's Veil. If you do find that half the enemy team has gone for the veil don't be discouraged it has a 30 second cool down! All you have to do is target one great laywaste as he is retreating and he is open for a hit with Requiem. Just pick your laywaste and drop accordingly those with speed don't have the greatest of range and getting within a Karthus's range is usually the last thing they do before they have to respawn.
So have fun with Karthus, if you do happen to make the most out of the build you will find a great champion that will take you to great heights! Just remember you don't have to go chasing after the kills they will come to you!