Master Karthus Guide patch 13.21
Your votes and comments encourage our guide authors to continue
creating helpful guides for the League of Legends community.
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
Ability Order Abilities
Threats & Synergies
Champion Build Guide
Table of Contents
Pros and Cons
Runes and Masteries
Mid and Late Game
Karthus in the bot lane is a non-traditional ADC pick that brings powerful AoE damage and global map presence to your team. In Patch 13.18, his role in the bot lane can be impactful if played correctly. This guide will help you understand how to make the most of Karthus as a bot lane champion.
High Sustained Damage: Karthus can deal consistent AoE damage with his Q, Lay Waste, making him a late-game powerhouse.
Global Pressure: His R, Requiem, allows him to assist in teamfights across the map, securing kills or providing damage.
AoE Slow: Karthus's W, Wall of Pain, provides utility and can be used to control teamfights.
Non-Meta Pick: Surprise factor can catch opponents off guard.
Squishy: Karthus is very vulnerable to assassins and divers due to his lack of mobility and low base stats.
Mana Hungry: He can struggle with mana early on, so careful mana management is crucial.
No Crowd Control: Karthus lacks crowd control abilities, which are typical for bot lane carries.
Positioning-Dependent: Staying safe in fights while dealing damage requires excellent positioning.
Passive: Death Defied (P)
Upon death, Karthus becomes a stationary spirit, allowing him to cast spells for a short duration. This can be used strategically to contribute damage even after dying.
Q: Lay Waste (Q)
Karthus's main damage ability. It deals AoE damage in a small area. Hitting a single target deals bonus damage.
W: Wall of Pain (W)
Creates a wall that slows enemies who pass through it. The slow effect is increased if enemies are inside the wall.
E: Defile (E)
Toggle ability that deals damage to nearby enemies over time while active. It drains mana per second.
R: Requiem (R)
Karthus's ultimate ability. It deals massive damage to all enemy champions across the map. Ideal for securing kills or assisting in team fights.
Doran's Ring: Provides bonus AP, mana regeneration, and extra health for sustain.
Liandry's Anguish: Grants bonus AP and applies a burn effect, synergizing well with Karthus's sustained damage.
Sorcerer's Shoes: For increased magic penetration.
Zhonya's Hourglass: Provides a stasis effect, allowing Karthus to survive longer in teamfights.
Rylai's Crystal Scepter: Adds crowd control utility to your abilities with a slow effect.
Void Staff: Increases magic penetration to deal with tanks.
Rabadon's Deathcap: Boosts your overall damage output significantly.
Morellonomicon: Essential against teams with heavy healing.
Banshee's Veil: Adds survivability with its spell shield.
Laning as Karthus in the bot lane can be challenging:
Farming: Focus on last-hitting minions with Lay Waste to stack Dark Harvest and gain gold.
Poke: Use Lay Waste to harass enemies from a distance. Watch your mana pool, though.
Warding: Place wards to protect yourself from ganks, as Karthus has no reliable escape.
Coordinate with Support: Communicate with your support to coordinate engages and disengages.
As Karthus, your role evolves as the game progresses:
Objective Control: Use your R, Requiem, to assist in securing objectives like Dragon and Baron from afar.
Teamfight Presence: Position yourself at the back of fights to deal sustained AoE damage. Use Wall of Pain to control fights and provide utility.
Global Impact: Pay attention to the map and use Requiem to secure kills or turn the tide of distant skirmishes.
Map Pressure: Push lanes with Defile and Lay Waste, creating map pressure and forcing enemies to respond.
Teamfighting is where Karthus excels:
Positioning: Stay at the back of fights, using Lay Waste and Defile to deal damage while maintaining a safe distance.
Ultimate Timing: Time your Requiem for maximum impact, ideally when multiple enemies are low on health.
Wall of Pain: Use Wall of Pain strategically to control the battlefield, slow down enemies, or cut off escape routes.
Death Defied: After dying, continue casting Lay Waste and Requiem if it's up. Your death can turn fights in your team's favor.
Karthus in the bot lane can be a surprising and impactful choice when played correctly. His ability to deal consistent AoE damage and influence fights from afar makes him a unique pick. Remember to communicate with your team, manage your mana wisely, and make the most of your global ultimate, Requiem, to maximize your impact in Patch 13.18.
As always, adapt your build and playstyle to the specific game and team compositions you encounter. Enjoy the power of Karthus in the bot lane and embrace the chaos he brings to the Rift!