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Karthus - The Ultimate Troll
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Death Defied (PASSIVE)
Karthus Passive Ability
Threats & Synergies
Annie is the Devil incarnate to fight as Karthus - as soon as she gets six you're going to have a rough time, as a full combo from this little girl will without doubt send your twisted little soul back to the grave.
Zed is similar to Annie in the way that as soon as he gets six, you're going to have a hard time not feeding him every time his ultimate as up, as you cannot even utilize your passive against him after he teleports back with his shadow.
Katarina is a rough lane, but not impossible, as her range falls short of yours, you can farm safely and whenever she tries to engage, you can back off. However if she catches you you're most likely dead if you don't have Seraph's to save your un-dead hide.
With her nerfs she has not only become a lot less popular, but a lot less intimidating. When she hits six you still have to be careful, but not too careful, as her range is shorter than yours and if she does manage to kill you, your passive can still come into play against her.
Ahri will destroy you if she is given the opportunity - she is actually the reason I began starting boots on Karthus, as if she catches you with her Charm, even your undead charisma won't be enough to save you from falling into her seductive grasp.
Teleport - I believe teleport to be the next best spell, as Karthus' strength comes from how well he farms and how quickly he can stack his tear, and teleport is just the spell to ensure you don't miss much farm, and that you can go to base and quickly be back in your lane with an edge on your opponent.
Exhaust - This spell is also viable on Karthus, but it's a matter of preference in my opinion, you can either reduce the damage one enemy team member deals or be able to constantly farm and put in tremendous pressure with your teleport being up. Both spells have their merits, but I prefer teleport.
Ignite - No, i'm sorry, but no. Karthus has little use for ignite unless you're smurfing and want to get easy early kills. His lane is not meant to get kills on the enemy laner, but to farm safely. Ignite is an aggressive spell, save it for champions like Zed or Leblanc.
Barrier - I understand how this spell could look decent, but I believe the usefulness to be outshined by both Teleport and Exhaust, this provides a small amount of versatility compared to the other spells out there.
Cleanse - I see the merits of this spell, but just as with barrier I believe it to be inferior to Teleport or Exhaust, if you get caught in the first place you're pretty much dead anyways.
Ghost - You will not be alive long enough after you use this spell to get into the enemy team for it to prove very useful, go with Teleport or Exhaust.
Heal - Eh,as with Barrier and Cleanse, it has its uses, but is not as useful as the other spells available.
Smite - This is not a jungle Karthus guide - though you could find those. So do not take Smite in a ranked match if you're going mid or top.
In Mid-Game, farming is a simple matter of walking into the minion wave, pressing E, and doing "/d" while in said wave.
[*] Archangel's Staff/Seraph's Embrace - This item should be purchased as soon as you can after Rod of Ages, as the power spike from Seraph's is massive, and you should have almost a fully stacked tear (600-700) by the time you can purchase this item.
[*] Sorcerer's Shoes - I honestly don't see much viability for anything other than Sorcerer's Shoes, with the all-important MPen you need to send the little carries on their team scurrying away with their meager MR, I believe this item to be better than any other boots.
[*] Void Staff - Now here it comes down to how the game is played out, if the carries and/or tanks have bought a decent amount of Magic Resist, this item is to be bought before Rabadon's, as the penetration spike allows you to laugh as the carries wonder exactly why 1/2 of their life is gone right as a teamfight begins.
[*] Rabadon's Deathcap - This item makes Karthus' late-game, as the power-spike it provides is just astonishing, not only does it provide 120 AP, but it provides 30% additional AP on all the AP you already have, which will send your AP rocketing up towards 600-700, and around 800-900 after you finish your build.
[*] Zhonya's Hourglass - This item is amazing, but it should not go before the other items in this build unless you're fighting something like a Zed. This item allows you to have tenseconds of invulnerability on top of the time you managed to stay alive, which is massive when your Defile is constantly active, dealing major damage to everyone in the area, leaving your foes to tremble when they hear the song of the dead coming from above as they flee the scene of the massacre.
[*] Wall of Pain - W : This skill is your only "escape" as it has a decent slow attached to it, and later in the game you will want to aim this skill on as many people as possible, because it will leave them wondering why the Banshee's and Spirit Visage they just bought don't seem to help any - this has a built-in MR shred. You max this last, but grab a point at level four.
[*] Defile - E : This! This is what makes Karthus' damage so devastating in fights, not only does he have his 600-900 damage ultimate, but he's constantly dealing 150-250 damage per second to everyone in his radius, plus it regenerates mana for you every time you kill a minion with it deactivated, which is perfect for us in lane as we practically never have to worry about going OOM if we're farming properly. You max this second, grabbing a point at level two.
[*] Requiem - R : Now this is probably one of the most dreaded abilities in the game, a global-damage nuke that will tear your opponents apart in the later phase of the game and is great to pick up kills that your laners missed in the early stages. Despite all of this skills usefulness, it can be countered by a Banshee's Veil or a Zhonya's Hourglass, which renders the damage null and void. You max this whenever you can, which are levels six, eleven, and sixteen.
Anyways, thank you for reading this huge bundle of text, and feel free to comment, vote, or leave suggestions. Goodbye, and I hope you've learned something about Karthus!
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