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Build Guide by Pragz

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Pragz

Karthus - The Ultimate Lich

Pragz Last updated on September 25, 2010
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Middle Lane
Ranked #25 in
Middle Lane
Win 52%
Get More Stats

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

Blink of an Eye
Mystical Vision
Presence of the Master

Utility: 21

This is my first build ever! Constructive criticism encouraged. :)

[The Build]

This build is not something that will instantly make you win. You will not find your team completely slaughtering the other team just because you're on it. This build requires a lot of skill and ability. It flat out will not work without being on a good team or being under the hands of a good player. So don't come QQing in here when you lose 0-18-0 because you thought you could run into the enemy base, tank those turrets, and kill all enemies at the same time. >.>

However, this build won't make you lose either. It's a strong carry and you'll find yourself pushing most lanes solo, backdooring, and all-around raping while your teammates gank the other lanes. Late game you'll be an incredibly destructive force because the minion farming has equipped you well.

Now then, let's move on to the good stuff:

[Summoner Spells]

Teleport - If your team knows what's good for them, you'll take mid. Anyone in mid should always have teleport because leaving it alone for even one minute can be devastating. Early-game it will keep your towers safe, mid-late game it will work wonders for ganks. It's just a generally, all-around perfect choice. I'm never without teleport.

Clarity - Early-game, mana is your biggest enemy. Clarity will keep you in your lane longer and possibly save your butt by giving you just enough mana to cast *** and escape that gank. Mid-late game it's really useful when you get ganked. Just before you die, use it, then keep casting in death. It'll probably get you some easy kills, especially if you need to use Requiem immediately. I highly suggest you get this.

Others - I can't really suggest any others. There's nothing else as useful as these two. Ghost is good for escaping ganks, but *** is just as good. I just... if there's any you think will work better, try it and report back to me. I'm just unable to suggest anything that can be better than Teleport and Clarity.

Masteries are pretty open. I used a pretty basic 9-0-21 setup that just suits my play-style. This is a good option if you're me, but I assume you have your own tastes as well. Just make sure to hit up the AP mastery and Mana Regen mastery.


Lay Waste (LW) - The ultimate harass. Super long range and decent damage. Damage is doubled if you just hit one target, so make sure to use precise placement! Watch how your enemies react to it early game to know how to place it for most efficiency. Most run away from you when they see it, so placing it a little behind them usually ensures a hit.

Wall of Pain (***) - One of the best CCs in the game. Maxed out it has 80% slow and awesome MR reduction. If someone overextends, place this behind them and hit them with LW as they run. If you're being chased, lay this down and completely nullify them! This is a great support for your team in lane pushes.

Defile - It's a decent AoE and the passive is useful early game, but it's certainly not the best thing out there. It's great against anything melee, though. Just make sure to save this and use it only when needed; it seriously drains your mana.

Requiem - Holy God is this epic. It hits every single enemy champ in the game after 3 seconds of channeling for crazy damage. End-game it will deal upwards of 1k damage to everything (that's counting typical low MR). Use it to pick off enemies who just narrowly got away, aid your team in a gank from all the way across the map, or even (and this is the best/cheapest) 1-hit any level 1-3 leavers ON THEIR HEALING PAD! I actually did this one game to feed my KDA for no particular reason; every use got me at least a double-kill because of their two leavers.

I'm pretty sure I screwed up the order in the little chart up there. So make sure to read this for clarification:

Start by putting one rank in all 3 abilities. Then, max out Lay Waste first. It is the best harass in the game and it will really piss off the people you're laning against. The range is so impeccable that only Ezreal can hit you with max distance between you and the attack. But a note: This skill does not equal "Spam spam spam for minion kills." At early game you have low mana and need this to keep your enemy back. Use it only to harass your enemy to save mana.

After LW (Lay Waste) is maxed, put 3 ranks in your wall. This is one of the best slows in the game and maxed out it spans the entire lane. Use it as a support when fleeing, keeping people from running from ganks, your turret is being pushed and you need to stop their minions, etc. Always have this cooled down before you go into any kind of gank.

After you have 3 or 4 ranks in *** (Wall of Pain), start staggering ranks between it and Defile. Defile isn't really that useful until late game when you start team ganks. If you find yourself getting ganked early on, put ranks in this sooner. It will definitely help bring everyone down when you get ganked and, even if you die, they're so low you can probably kill them with Requiem.

Finally, Requiem. Rank it as soon as you can. It is a great ulti and will really help your team. As soon as it's ready, announce it to your team. If they're smart they'll tell you to use it when someone has just narrowly gotten away. However, a bunch of people get really pissy about KS and whatnot. Map awareness is key; if you see an enemy being chased by two allies, take a gander over there. People may get mad if you use it and take the kill but in all honesty, who cares? Assists are just as great because you get 70% gold.

And by the way, Karthus's Passive ROCKS! If you see there's no viable way out of a gank, stand there with Defile on, die, then spam spells and you'll likely get kills. Seriously, the Passive is one of the best out there. 8 seconds of invulnerability ftw!


Greater Mark of Scaling Mana

Greater Quintessence of Health

Greater Seal of Scaling Mana Regeneration

Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction
Again, Runes are subjective. I go for Mana Regen, Mana per level, CDR, and flat Health Quintessences. If you have your own setup to try, feel free. I bet getting some AP in there would be useful.

My items focus on three things: AP, mana, and HP. While it sounds diverse, I've actually worked it out to get over (ignore the BS pre-calculated stats up top) 750 AP endgame, 4k mana endgame, and almost 3k health endgame.

Void Staff - Good AP and Magic Pen. Solid starter item.
Rod of Ages - Winds up giving you great AP, Mana, and HP since you get it so early.
Archangel's Staff - Since you have over 4k mana endgame, this gives you a great AP bonus.
Zhonya's Ring - The core of all AP builds. Superlative AP bonuses and the 2 second invulnerability works great in ganks. (Say it's an obvious 3v1 gank on you, no chance of escape. Pop Defile, wait till they're all on you, use Zhonya's, bring them down super-low, die, then use Requiem. Killed many a' cheap ganksters this way.
Ryalai's Crystal Scepter - We like this for the HP and AP bonus. Mainly the two together. Survivability > 9000 with this baby.
Lich Bane - Eh, it's useful. I've never actually made it to the 6th item before, so I can't really comment. Just get whatever suits the battle, be it more AP, more health, mana, etc. Use your own good judgement for this.


Early-game - You will take mid. Don't let any nubs tell you otherwise; you WILL TAKE MID if you want to succeed. Your harass will help you push like no one else and you'll overlevel with the minion farming you get to do. Your team wants Requiem up ASAP, whether they know it or not. Just make sure to take mid.

Keep your lane enemy off you. Unless it's Ezreal, you can't get hit if you stay far enough back. Harass the hell out of them and keep them from getting kills; you want to level before they do. If you're smart and lucky, when you hit level 6, you might have them down enough for an instant kill.

Due to your minion farming you'll likely have Void Staff and be making Rod of Ages by level 7-8.

Mid-game - Push push push. Stay in your lane and rape those turrets. Don't overextend, let the minions push back a while, and keep your eyes peeled. With Requiem you'll hopefully be sporting a positive KDA and really be pissing off the enemy. Hopefully by level 13-15 you have Archangel's Staff and maybe have started working on Zhonya's Ring. Depends on your teammates. (I.E. - they destroy turrets, get kills with your help of Requiem, etc. Remember, assists give you 70% gold too. Use this to your advantage.)

You've likely been ganked by now. To do maximum damage in a gank, do this:

Defile > *** on them > Spam LW. If you're about to die, hit Clarity. You can probably pick off squishies in your 8 seconds of casting.

That is for 3v1+ ganks. In 2v1 you can likely direct with *** and LWs well enough to not even lose a bar of health. If Requiem is fully cooled down, you might even get some easy kills with good LW placement beforehand.

Late-game - Do what you please. By (or just after) level 18 you'll most likely have Zhonya's Ring and be working on Ryalai's. You can tank most ganks (which they won't expect) while dealing fudging epic damage at the same time. Pushing lanes is simple and you'll be taking out those last few turrets with a flick of the wrist.

Move around the map and gank, use Requiem to get easy kills, and generally screw with the other team. A slow win is fun, but you can easily pinch them and end the game fast if you so choose. Just be wise with your spell usage. You'll still need *** a bunch because you're likely going to get focused on due to your rapage. Remember, you're not invincible.

Killing people is simple: *** to slow them, spam LW as they flee. Most everyone will die in 1v1. Your only fears are long range champs with high damage output (MF, TF, Kog'Maw, properly built Teemo, etc.). Focus on them in a fight; leave the melees to suffer under Defile.

And remember, your own judgment will make you victorious. Don't assume this build will make you win; that will be your ultimate demise. Play it just like you're a regular ole' squishy caster and leave the CC to you. You have total control over the field and don't let anyone change that. Key to success: Be aware.

Now go out there and make people ragequit!