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Build Guide by Guest
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The title pretty much says it all; this itemization of karthus is extremely one sided. You will either do extremely well with him, or extremely poorly. Either way, I think you'll have a lot of fun with it.
Now, for explanations of each:
Because of the itemization of this build, we will NOT be buying any items with magic pen, which means all of our magic pen will be from our masteries and runes. These are practically a must.
Because we are still trying to be as one-sided as possible, I chose the solid ability power runes just because in the early game we want to be as threatening/harassing as possible. This solid buff to ap will make our lay waste hit even harder. I also chose solid ability power because of the summoner skills I take, and the fact that we take lay waste and defile at practically a 1::1 basis, so we won't need mana regen, and the items we take allow us to not need mana from our runes.
Cooldown reduction is not to be underestimated, though these runes are probably our most flexible ones to fiddle with. If you don't think you need the cooldown reduction (or just don't have them yet, as is my case), then feel free to experiment with different ones. If you think you won't have enough magic pen, you can grab them, or if you want even more ap, take either of those. Either way, go with whatever direction you feel, but the cd reduction I should think would be the best.
As stated above, all of our magic pen is through our runes and masteries, so we're going to want as much magic pen as possible.
So, with these runes, we have more ap, cd reduction, and lots of magic pen. With the masteries and runes, it should come out to close to 30% magic pen right off the bat. That should be about all we need.
A couple of other considerations would definitely be Flash. By far, the best escape mechanism LoL has to offer, specially for a champ who doesn't have any CCs, and definitely the only option to take for this build before level 13. I prefer the heal, but I can definitely understand someone taking flash and clarity, or even heal and flash with this build.
Exhaust is another really good option for Karthus, and can even be taken in the masteries in place of the crit chance. For a character without any CC, and not taking wall until 13, exhaust is another one of those 'oh ****' buttons, even with the changes to it. Also, it can be used to catch those that you don't want to use your ult on.
After the hat, I will always go for movement speed, which means boots. Before the patch that introduced the cd boots, I always grabbed boots of mobility. Boots of mobility, you ask? Why would we need those if karthus can use his ult anywhere on the map and still effect gameplay? Because it's still an extremely important factor to be present in team fights, or getting to that minion wave to farm gold. Plus, those boots may be the key to chasing down that champ for the lay waste kill...enhanced movement speed of 5 is pretty hard to escape from. I now, however, almost always take the cd reduction boots, but that may also have something to do with the fact that I don't use cd reduction runes. But, feel free to take either.
After you have your boots, hat, and staff, it's time to start stacking! Grab any mats you feel fit for more archangel's, as long as you only go for them next. If the game lasts any longer than 40 minutes, you should have your initial staff, your hat, your boots, and then at least two more staves. People will wince when you have over 1000 ap, and your ult will start to hit for almost half of your enemy's health total. If you feel so inclined (as I usually do), and if the game goes on for this long, you can sell your boots for another archangel. I have reached 1438 ap doing this, and the ult will hit for 1557 (550 + 1007). This will surprise the ever-loving **** out of your enemies when you use your ult when they're only at half life, and kill them anyways. LOL
Do keep in mind that this build is truly meant to have fun with, and I don't expect it to be the best, but just an option for any experienced players out there to toy around with. Any suggestions or constructive criticisms are always welcome.
Oh, and one last thing. Please don't try to tell me that stacking deathcaps will give more ap than stacking staves. I did the math; the caps fall about 150 ap short of the staves, and we want as much as possible. Plus, the extra mana is extremely useful. I usually cap out at around 4436 I think.