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Karthus Build Guide by Aelius

Nuke them from orbit (it's the only way to be sure)

Nuke them from orbit (it's the only way to be sure)

Updated on January 6, 2012
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League of Legends Build Guide Author Aelius Build Guide By Aelius 6,663 Views 10 Comments
6,663 Views 10 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author Aelius Karthus Build Guide By Aelius Updated on January 6, 2012
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LoL Summoner Spell: Teleport


LoL Summoner Spell: Flash




A lot of people say that Karthus is a noob "R" skill char.
Although landing kills using Requiem is one easy thing, doing it in a way that can be useful for your team in order to turn the tide of battle is another completely different.
If you don't mind being called "noob","op champ","no skill just press R", etc, this is the guide for you, and even with an average/noob team you will have a chance to win, because you can "Nuke them from orbit"
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Pros / Cons

Pros / Cons



+ Awesome farmer with Defile
+ 7 secs of after death damage
+ Ranged with
+ Powerful slow/debuff with
+ Positive score most of the times
+ Ridiculous amount of AP/Damage
+ Can change the course of a Team Fight
+ Awesome base defender late game
+ Entices panic upon low HP enemies
+ Can induce range quits.
+ You can "Nuke them from orbit"



- Mana starved early game
if you use Defile
- Squishy as hell
- Needs to be mid
- A lot of enemy champions
can make your life hard in mid,
like , (superior nuke/range)
- There's a lot of ways to avoid your
"Orbital Nukes" like or
- Item dependent
- Slow moving
- No escape mechanism
(thats why is a must)
- They will call you "noob!!!"
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Why 21/0/9?
Well because you aren't going to be in the middle of the fights, so you don't need defense, and your main problem is early game mana and that is covered by your 9 utility (which will also add to damage once you have ).
What you need is POWAH and these 21 offense make your shine.
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  • : Extra early game AP
  • : Magic Penetration is Karthus friend
  • : Reduced cooldowns mean more nukes
  • : Extra mana for early game (recharge seals won't make much difference since your main mana reg comes from Defile passive)
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Summoner Spells

Summoner Spells

TELEPORT: Teleport is your friend because it lets you go to base and back in a blink of an eye, plus when lane phase has ended it allows you to teleport to big chunks of minions and kill them all for gold (it helps you and your team push at minimal risk).
FLASH: VERY IMPORTANT FOR KARTHUS since he doesn't have a escape mechanism, and he is slow as hell. Used with will let you escape most ganking situations.
CLARITY: You can use this instead of if you can't control your mana, but if you do you won't be as effective.
GHOST: Again, since Karthus is slow, you can use this instead of , but again if you do you won't be as effective.
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Ability Explanation

Ability Explanation

  • Death Defied: You died?! Not quite yet, you still have 7 seconds to make damage with no mana cost, so turn on and try to land some , it might land you some kills. If you see the opportunity to land a kill with do it, but make sure you do it in the first 3 seconds or it won't work.
  • Lay Waste (Q): Your early game tool of damage and harassment, with decent range/damage, use it to keep the opponent at bay, and to last hit multiple minions.
  • Wall of Pain (W): An excellent slow and debuff, use it early game to escape or to trap your opponent when your turret targets him or when jungler comes for the ganking. Late game use it to defend when your team is out numbered. Use it to save running away allies.
  • Defile (E): Early game ( Excellent passive that helps you manage your mana, but quite ineffective damage/mana when active)
    Mid/End game (Your personal minion vacuum cleaner that farms like no other, also if you die in a team fight it will do massive amounts of damage to enemies fool enough to sit on it)
  • Requiem (R): This is why Karthus is "Karthus". A massive, universal Ultimate that strikes all enemies on the map no mater where they are. This guide was made because of it, and it also means your team now has "Nuclear Launch Capabilities". This ,my friends, deserves the detail chapter coming next.
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The Requiem

"Nuke them from orbit. It's the only way to be sure"


One of the most feared and powerful ultimates in LOL, this guide was made around it. None of the Karthus guides I've seen delivers the true power deserves, the power of the atom.
But building and using such weapon of mass destruction is not as easy as the common known as "no skill, just press R" may seem. It requires patience and endless deaf ears to things like "noob Karthus you dont help", "Noob!!!", etc.
In the next lines i will try to explain how do you build and launch in a way it makes all the difference, and not just to KS or to have a positive score while your team loses the game. For this you need power... lots of it.

Early game (before )

Okay you don't have until Lv6, so what to do?
Simple. You start gathering the materials to build your nukes.

- Play mid and defense ALWAYS (unless you are facing real noob). Your main goal is to harass and last hit multiple minions with with caution and never over extend. Use passive to manage your mana. Map awareness is key since not all SS are reported.
- If facing a strong mid Champion like or , don't be shy, hug the your tower and work from there. You main goal is not to make damage but escape from it, and last hit minions. Don't worry and will pay dearly for that late game.
- In doubt, run, always run and stay back. Use and/or . Don't feed anyone and farm minions for precious gold. You need your before you reach Lv6.
- If you drop too low on your HP, pop the . Try to save your to buy , i said "try", do not hesitate to use it if your HP is too low. Again, do not die.

Early game (after )

Now you have but it's still a very small fire cracker. How you perform in this game stage is CRITICAL because you need to start stacks on your . Some of your team mates may call but you need to see the enemy HP in person, so again map awareness is key. In doubt don't press "R".

- Try not to KS with . This will make your team see that they aren't playing with a noob KS Karthus.
- Try to access if very low HP enemies champions have a way to escape your , things like , , , , etc.
- Manage your mana, so you can always launch
- In a nutshell try to farm to buy and , while insuring kills with .
- In this stage dying will drive you back, because you will lose stacks on your

Mid Game (after )

This is where you start to shine. Now with endless mana and alot more AP you can farm like a mad man using .

- Again stay back and secure kills with
- Teleport from lane to lane to farm juicy chunks of minions
- Spam to build your mana/AP.
- Rush

End game

Now, if all went well you should be almost with max stacks of , almost full bonus of (and building more) and making a real difference in team fights by using . But theres still some things to be done.

- Watch for NON tank enemy champions building MR. Immediately buy
- Watch out for enemy doing Baron, if your team goes to "defend" it pop a just before they arrive. With luck your team will wipe out the entire enemy team.
- If the game is not in favor of your team and you have one or several inhibitors down, your role is to clean and defend your base from the oncoming minion waves.
- With full stacks (or close) of your role is to initiate team fights with .
- Sell your and buy another
- In this stage its forbidden to die because you will lose a lot of stacks of (15% cooldown reduction is your best friend)
-If your stacks of drop too low, sell it and replace with another
- Stay way back in team fights, the enemy will be after for your blood and you will melt.
- Launch nukes, rinse and repeat.
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Final Notes

I would like to thank to jhoijhoi that made such an useful "guide to make a guide".

I will probably edit this according with positive suggestions made in comments.

This is my 1st guide and English is not my main language so be gentle.

Positive votes are appreciated.

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Aelius
Aelius Karthus Guide
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Nuke them from orbit (it's the only way to be sure)

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