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KARTHUS BUILD GUIDE: It's a sad thing that your adventures have ended here!! by Feni007

by Feni007 (last updated 7 months ago)

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9
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration(+7.83 magic penetration)
9
Greater Seal of Armor(+12.69 armor)
9
Greater Glyph of Magic Penetration(+5.67 magic penetration)
3
Greater Quintessence of Ability Power(+14.85 ability power)
View Rune Details
Summoner Spells
View Summoner Details

Starting

2
2

Full Item Build

View Item Details
21
0
9
mastery 1 1/1
mastery 2 0/4
mastery 3 4/4
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 1/1
mastery 2 0/3
mastery 3 3/3
mastery 3 0/1
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/1
mastery 3 1/1
mastery 3 3/3
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/3
mastery 3 3/3
mastery 4 1/1
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 3/3
mastery 3 0/1
mastery 2 1/1
21 Offense
mastery 1 0/2
mastery 2 0/2
mastery 3 0/2
mastery 4 0/2
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/3
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/1
mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 0/3
mastery 1 0/3
mastery 2 0/1
mastery 3 0/1
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/4
mastery 3 0/1
mastery 2 0/1
0 Defense
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 1/3
mastery 3 3/3
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 2 2/3
mastery 3 1/1
mastery 4 1/1
mastery 1 0/3
mastery 2 1/1
mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/1
mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 0/2
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/3
mastery 2 0/1
9 Utility
View Mastery Details
Player Level 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Death Defied
QLay Waste
WWall of Pain
EDefile
RRequiem
View Skill Order Details

Introduction

Welcome to the underplayed but still feared death singer guide. This isn't for high elo and I will in no form be suggesting using your ulti for objectives or assists. We will be discussing the fine art of suicide Karthus and how you can be as annoying as humanly possible while stealing all the kills. Although lets be honest, the term stealing here is just a formality for the other 4 people on your team. We all know the aces will be done through you and you alone. The others are just glorified meat shields there for the sole purpose of watching you dominate.

Alright enough of that, in reality suicide Karthus doesn't work well if your team has no coordination. I'll go more into detail later on this.

Runes

3 static AP runes to help you out with your early farming(rank 1 Q can sometimes be a pain in the ass to last hit with if you aren't use to Karthus). One thing I like to do differently from other Karthus players is using Magic pen on my glyphs. With this setup you're at 13.5 which is very nice and helps once you get your Requiem or for harassing the enemy mid. The 2nd item you will be rushing is Sorcerer boots(or Haunting Guise if you prefer using Liandries) and that early 28.5 magic pen is actually very important for early dominance. With masteries you'll be ignoring more than the base MR of all ranged opponents. Odds are they'll have some MR from runes/masteries anyways but even with all the flats from glyphs they'll only have about 9.5 MR.

If done right you should be feeding off the enemy adc and support(preferably enemy AP but they'd have to screw up for that to happen). Feel free to toss in more AP over MPEN if you need help farming. You can also use flag magic resist if you're having trouble dodging skill shots while Q farming. Since anyone who sees you picking Karthus will most likely be going hard on you with someone like Ziggs or Leblanc.

As for the armor I use it for two reasons
#1: When the enemy jungler comes. If you play the early lane like I suggest then odds are you'll always be at your own turret and don't need to worry about this, but not everyone likes playing passive so the extra armor is a safe bet.

#2: This is mostly why I take armor. You will be teleporting bot every chance you get when the enemy adc and support push up to tower. You'll need the extra armor from all the creep hits and the enemy adc+support doing their best to kill you first. Odds are you'll die anyways but trust me that extra armor is VERY important for this part. An un-farmed Draven can still blow you up fast with base armor values.

Again though this is personal preference. If you don't even use TP or plan on ganking at all for that matter then I suggest using mana regen yellows.

Masteries

mastery 1 1/1
mastery 2 0/4
mastery 3 4/4
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 1/1
mastery 2 0/3
mastery 3 3/3
mastery 3 0/1
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/1
mastery 3 1/1
mastery 3 3/3
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/3
mastery 3 3/3
mastery 4 1/1
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 3/3
mastery 3 0/1
mastery 2 1/1
21 Offense
mastery 1 0/2
mastery 2 0/2
mastery 3 0/2
mastery 4 0/2
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/3
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/1
mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 0/3
mastery 1 0/3
mastery 2 0/1
mastery 3 0/1
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/4
mastery 3 0/1
mastery 2 0/1
0 Defense
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 1/3
mastery 3 3/3
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 2 2/3
mastery 3 1/1
mastery 4 1/1
mastery 1 0/3
mastery 2 1/1
mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/1
mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 0/2
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/3
mastery 2 0/1
9 Utility
The only thing worth explaining here is double-edged sword. Alot of Karthus players don't use it because you already die too fast as it is and they play relatively safer. Suicide Karthus however doesn't give a damn. It could be +50% dmg taken / given and I'd probably still grab it.

Summoner Sets

Primary Set
Flash is necessary but not in the usual way. You'll want flash later on for when you have enough AP to begin your suicide Karthus dominance.

Teleport is also a must to me. You may need it if you have to go back to base early on before you hit 6 but most importantly you'll want it to gank bot when they overextend. Of course this is dependent on your support warding the bushes. Remember this guide isn't for high elo so god only knows if your support will properly ward in normals or silver.

Item Builds

Starting Build(s)
Default Starting Build
2
2
Build 2
2
Build 3
2
Build 4
3
2
Lane Phase:

crystalline-flaskhealth-potionmana-potion This is a pretty standard start. Get this if you just want to feel comfortable during the lane phase.

sapphire-crystalhealth-potion2 Now this is for when you feel safe with the current lane/jungle and just want to rush a Cata/Roa.

boots-of-speedhealth-potion3mana-potion Also not a bad start since you can jump right into Sorc boots after finishing your Cata.

cloth-armorhealth-potion3mana-potion2 Didn't ban Zed eh? Not saying this is a must against Zed, you could always do the flask or boots start. Still this is an option if you want to rush seekers-armguard instead of Cata.
Final Build(s)
Standard Final Items
Mid Game:

rod-of-ages Is an absolute must, all of the stats are important to Karthus early/mid game. Next you'll want to grab sorcerers-shoes. With your runes you will be up to 26 Mpen almost completely negating the base 30 ranged champs have. That's not even counting the Mpen mastery which should reduce them to 1-2 magic armor.

After Roa I like to immediately go for a needlessly-large-rod and eventually turning it into rabadons-deathcap.

Late Game:

void-staff Start working on this when at least 2 enemy champs have 70+ MR. If for some strange reason none of them are building MR, don't bother with this. In fact I'm pretty sure the game is going to be over soon since you'll be nearly one shotting the glass cannon enemy team.
zhonyas-hourglass All around good stats even excluding the active. I consider it a must have because you will be diving team fights by flashing behind the enemy and walling them in.

rylais-crystal-scepterabyssal-scepter These two are important to switch up based on the enemy team. If you're taking too much magic dmg and want even more mpen grab that Abyssal. Is someone like Jax/Trynd/Rengar always diving you? Grab Rylais. Not saying the slow will make a huge difference against Rengar but the extra hp could be just enough for you to get into position before dying. Also with Rylais you're giving off a constant -15% slow to everyone which is always useful. Not to mention all your single target Q's will be doing the max -35%.

archangels-staff I almost never get this which seems to have alot of Karthus players questioning me. It's only 700g for the tear blah blah blah. You have to understand that rushing the sorc/abaddons at mid game is VERY important. Practically everyone I see making guides or talking about Karthus says his job is just to afk farm. This is only true for the lane phase before you have rod-of-agessorcerers-shoes. After you get those two you want to "afk farm" until your ulti is up and then either A: Gank, or B: Force a confrontation. I suggest B if possible, have your team start dragon and just wait behind for the enemy to show up.

It's also worth mentioning that Liandries is a very good choice as well. When the enemy is walled and stuck inside your E you will be damaging them all for a high static amount. In fact it might be a better choice than Abyssal. I've just always had a use for the MR on Abyssal. If you think you can get away with base MR values then go ahead. Plus once you have 6 items you can always just sell your boots and grab an Abyssal then.

Lastly if you are feeling like you're on the top of your game and want to make the early game as painful as humanly possible for the enemy, rush Rabadons instead of RoA. A first item Rabadons coupled with Sorc boots is devastating if you don't get one shot out of position before laying down the pain. Void will be a better choice if most of the enemy team already has 50+ MR but that's unlikely unless the support is Galio and mid is Vlad.

Skill Order

Player Level 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Death Defied
QLay Waste
WWall of Pain
EDefile
RRequiem
Not much to say here. You can get wall at level 2 if you want it all depends if your jungler plans on ganking early and needs some form of CC(Shyvana).

Skills

Death Defied
This is what makes suicide Karthus such a pain and yet so fun at the same time. Coupled with hourglass that's a total of 9.5 seconds of pain that you will be dishing out if your team is keeping the enemy team locked down properly.
Lay Waste
Point and click self-detonating land mines. You will be spamming these all game. One thing to note is that I've seen people saying Karthus should push to turret and then farm the jungle, the part I disagree with on this is the *should*. It's insisted that you must farm this way but Karthus has the easiest under-turret farming in the game once you get use to him. Just play it safe(odd thing to say since this is a suicide guide) and only push when you know the enemy mid is gone or you plan on leaving mid soon for the most stable cs amount that can only fail if they tower dive you and somehow come out on top.

I mean if you really feel comfortable pushing and know exactly where the enemy jungler is then go ahead, you'll definitely get more gold/exp that way.
Wall of Pain
An instant cast wall that covers a large area which slows down everyone it hits and removes 15% magic resistance for the duration. How can you go wrong?
Defile
The ratio was hit on this a few months ago but even so it still does a high amount of damage. This spell is the reason you want to flash behind or into the enemy team. In the future if they decide to kill the ratio again Liandries will become a must have.
Requiem
Always save this for after you are dead. For a normal Karthus you'll want to use this before engagements to secure objectives but pfft this is suicide Karthus. Objectives are for the weak, you want kills. Dive the enemy team with Defile on --> Wall of pain them all in --> Activate Hourglass --> Die --> Spam Q then R to finish. Suicide Karthus complete. Enemy team rage etc.

Champion Matchups

Ahri
Difficulty
Favors Enemy
If you get hit by her charm then you will most likely be going back to base and blowing your teleport on mid instead of ganking. What makes this really difficult is later on when you try and jump into team fights with your superior suicide Karthus presence, this damn fox will probably 100-0 you. Normally dying isn't an issue on suicide Karthus but if you die THAT fast and before you get into position then you are useless. So if your flash is down and you can't get into position just do your best to use the people on your team like meat shields. Have someone else eat the charm then go in.

You can't just walk in with the rest of the team after the tank initiates(unless it's someone like Malphite who ulti'd onto her). She will IMMEDIATELY focus you down before you get into position.
Akali
Difficulty
Favors You
Pre-6: 1 Skull, so easy. Really I think cannon minions are more deadly than her.

6+: 5 Skulls, dear god somebody get her off of me. This large breasted ninja can destroy you if you don't have an hourglass. Either grab an hourglass or an abyssal after your RoA/Sorc boots. Whichever you feel will help you out more. I suggest a mantle and then hourglass, just finish the abyssal after. Of course an hourglass doesn't mean anything against her if you get caught out by yourself, that will just delay your death 2.5 seconds. Team fight and skirmish purposes only.

Not to say she immediately becomes a threat at 6 though. Just keep farming under turret or close to it. Odds are she will save up 3 stacks waiting for you to push up before she jumps you. If for some reason she overestimates herself and decides to tower dive you just do your usual wall+q combo.
Anivia
Difficulty
Favors You
Lee / Lux: Don't get hit by Q's again. If you get nailed by a Q then doubled up for an E it will do a ridiculous amount of damage. If you are pushed up out of turret and she seems overly anxious but not using Q on you, then that means she is planning on walling you in and trying to all-in you. Best thing you can do is stay slightly out of her wall range and punish her with Q's when she tries to get in range. She'll eventually go back to her old tactic of pot shots with Q's.
Annie
Difficulty
Favors You
The range on her Q and W is rather small. If she tries acting like Lee just standing off to the side trying to zone you punish her with the Wall + Q's . She'll learn pretty quick that her only option is to all-in with stun up. Try and hit her with Q's when she is intently trying to get into range of you with her stun up. Hopefully you can hit her a few times and make her more cautious.

At 6 you need to be careful of the Flash Tibbers combo. You may end up dead before the stun wears off. Probably best to not push the lane and just farm safely under turret.

Brand
Difficulty
Favors You
Get boots, dodge those W's. That's it match-up over. He may try and harass with E but the range on it is so bad you can punish him easily.
Cassiopeia
Difficulty
Favors Enemy
Cass is such a pain...even wall of pain considers a name change in her presence. She will zone you hard which honestly deserves some applause since zoning Karthus is surprisingly difficult. Now here you have the option of rushing a mantle after cata. This is also the one matchup where I might suggest pushing the lane and actually grabbing a tear for a change despite my dislike for it. Spam those Q's and get her on the defensive. Otherwise like I said she'll just be hanging out around your ranged creeps potshotting her own Q's on you all day long.

Even worse is she plays out like Ahri late game as well. Following the tank in to do your usual suicide routine and OH LOOK YOU ARE NOW STONED / DEAD. Need flash or to come in from a different direction while she's busy issuing pain onto your ADC. I'm sorry Ezreal, sacrifices must be made(preferably you).
Chogath
Difficulty
Favors You
Eh...he farms....you farm....that's it.
Dodging Q's so easy.
Beware of the flash om-nom-noms.

I've been informed that this matchup is harder than I'm letting on. I'll have to see a good Cho then because I really don't see how this lane could be difficult unless you're pushing for him.
Fizz
Difficulty
Favors Enemy
Fortunately you can still farm from afar but make sure you don't push the lane at all. In this match-up you want to be under tower as much as possible. Sadly you can't really prevent him from farming which means this could go south fast if your team allows themselves to be ganked by him. Just make sure you pop your hourglass after you dive in cause Fizz will try to one shot you(and be very successful at it).
Galio
Difficulty
Favors You
This is basically just a farm lane until he hits 6. Even then it remains the same but if you push out from the turret even a little he can flash in + ulti you. Still not a huge issue if you still have your flash ready. UNLESS the enemy jungler is there or you were at 60% health or below, then you are most likely dead.

Same as gragas as far as ganks are concerned. When you teleport bot make sure your jungler is covering for you or say bye bye turret because of his instant wave clear.
Gragas
Difficulty
Favors Enemy
This can be very easy or extremely difficult. It all comes down to whether you can dodge his barrels under your own turret. It's almost guaranteed you'll be pushed to tower constantly and if you can still farm while dodging his barrels then this will be simple. Of course at 6 you need to be veeeery careful of his ulti. Don't get in any sort of position that would get you knocked towards him.

Also when you teleport bottom to gank make sure your jungler knows to hold down mid. Gragas can probably destroy your tower before you make it back.
Heimerdinger
Difficulty
Favors Enemy
Odds are he will be pushing you hard to turret(successfully I might add) which will make the jungler try to gank him. Before the jungler gets into position do your best to blow up the turrets while not eating rockets. His ultimate + rockets can pretty much one shot you so do your best to not eat that combo.

Same as Gragas / Galio, when you gank have your jungler come farm mid. Actually Heimer is even worse than those two. Heimer can destroy your tower very fast if nobody is there.
Karthus
Difficulty
Favors You
I've actually done this match up one time. One of the few times I did blind match and the enemy just happened to also pick Karthus what are the odds. I'd have to say this is one of the most ridiculous matches I've ever done. At one point we both died in the same spot with everyone fighting on top of us. We both ulti'd at the same time and it was....beautiful.
Kassadin
Difficulty
Favors Enemy
You didn't ban him? Brutal.

This is like Akali though. Very very simple pre-6 so you can just farm uncontested. However I cannot stress enough that when he hits 6 you MUST be under your own tower or very close to. When you're pushed up a little and he's moving towards you make sure you're slightly out of range of him at all times(taking his ulti distance into consideration). He will gladly tower dive you should you be chilling there with 60% or below hp. Best thing I can tell you is don't sit there with low hp or you can immediately wall+q him as much as possible. His silence won't mean a damn thing since you'll be dead soon after he teleports into you anyways. Just pray you land enough q's to get him low enough for an ulti finish.

Same as Akali / Ahri / Cass / Zed. Wait for him to ulti and blast someone else or just straight up flash in and hourglass when you see him coming for you.
Katarina
Difficulty
Favors You
It's been said again and again that Katarina counters Karthus. Idk maybe challenger Katarinas can but despite at least 60% of my matches being vs Katarina, I've NEVER had issues farming. I get the theory behind it though. Manaless, has a free flash, high burst etc.

The important thing to remember here is that Katarina "knows" she counters you, which means she'll be on the offensive. At level 4(preferably 5) when Katarina Shunpo's into you IMMEDIATELY wall her and start raining pain upon her. If you're level 5 then she will be surprised by your damage output and have to flash away. She may be more cautious from here on out but some of them will immediately go for a kill at level 6. At this point it's just a matter of whether you believe you can kill her or not. You can either a: Flash away and wall/rain pain again, or just sit there and spam q's on her hoping you die with her low enough to finish with a Requiem.
Leblanc
Difficulty
Favors Enemy
She will advance in the same manner that Lee sin and Lux do. You'll constantly see her coming up through one of the sides at which point it is very important that you punish her with Q's. If you miss too many and end up with low mana you'll be in a bad position. Without the ability to scare her off she can advance on you freely which = dead Karthus. You want to die on suicide Karthus but not in the lane phase merely feeding a Leblanc.

I suggest getting a null mantle after cata unless you are very comfortable on Karthus and are properly inflicting pain upon her when she advances on you. After RoA/Sorc boots you can actually kill her in only a few Q's. Literally 3 makes her passive pop unless she for some odd reason bought magic resist. At which point you can finish her with your ulti. Don't misunderstand though this doesn't make her easy to kill. She can still one shot you if you eat her full combo at 6.

Same as Akali /Ahri / Cass / Zed. Make sure you don't get 100-0 while trying to initiate. Flash in or blow your hourglass after she puts the sigil on you. It sucks to use it before you get into the fight but it's better than dying.
Leesin
Difficulty
Favors Enemy
Dodge Q's, not much more to it. Lee will constantly try to walk up to you on either side of the minions. Just go around to the other side of the creeps and slightly back towards the tower. I mean if he's stupid enough to dive you pre-6 then congratulations you now have first blood.

At 6 he is going to try and kill you which is entirely possible with his combo+ignite. He may ward behind you and kick you in the other direction, he may just flash behind you instead, or he might just tower dive you altogether.
Lissandra
Difficulty
Favors You
3 skulls but still favors you. She reminds me of Katarina, always Shunpo'n in thinking she has the upper hand. 5 seconds later she's fleeing in terror(slowly thanks to wall) from the barrage of skittles. Best case scenario is Lissandra using her claw into you after you hit level 4(preferably 5 again). After she hits 6 though I'd be careful because she can combo you down easily in the same manner Zed does.
Lux
Difficulty
Favors Enemy
Same as Lee sin just dodge those Q's. Her E is relatively weak early on so you can eat that but make sure you don't get hit by auto's every-time as well. If you do get rooted though you will take a hell of a beating before moving. Make sure to wall/q her while you're stuck. It might scare her off if the Q's hit only her and no creeps(unlikely, damn creeps).

Always do a missing ping sooner for Lux than you would against other mids. Even if she's only gone for 2 seconds. The other lanes don't have much time before she gets into ulti range.
Malzahar
Difficulty
Favors Enemy
The range on his Q is ridiculous and if you don't properly evade them this lane can turn bad fast. The good ones will Q you as you go to farm and then immdiately apply an E onto you.

The only way to win this lane is learning through experience. Just telling someone how to play in this lane doesn't cut it. I know experience is important in all things, books can only get you so far. But this lane....it's just so difficult to explain. That ulti coupled with all his zoning and those stupid little critters chasing you. This lane can easily become a 4-5 skulls if allowed to be.
Orianna
Difficulty
Favors Enemy
I originally thought this lane to be harder than it actually is. The range on her Q isn't that great and it's delayed like your own Q spell. You'll be spending a bit more mana than usual pushing her back especially since she'll be shielding herself when she comes in. You can always just back off until the shield wears off but odds are you'll miss out on cs that way.

When she gets 6 though you definitely need to be wary of her ulti. If a J4 comes launching himself onto you with the ball attached to him, flash away immediately. If not you're just going to get one shot.
Ryze
Difficulty
Favors You
The only way this lane can go south is if you manage to get rooted out of position while the enemy jungler is barreling down upon you. If you're the type that likes to push to turret and then farm the jungle then this could happen. But if you're a coward like me always farming under turret then this lane is perfect because it turns into a farm fest.
Syndra
Difficulty
Favors Enemy
Dodge the Q's, Dodge the W's, Dodge the E's. If you manage to pull this off while still farming then you can drop this to 2 skulls.

Surprisingly the most dangerous element to this lane is your own jungler. Didn't expect that eh? I'm sure a group of friends working together won't have an issue but when a jungler expects you to all in a Syndra then you in turn will die to her combo. It's just...not worth it. ASSUMING you even do manage to kill her too. If her flash is still up you won't be able to do anything outside of ulti which is ridiculously weak pre-Roa.

Later on just do your best to hourglass when she ulti's you. Either that or die out of position, whichever option you like more.
Twistedfate
Difficulty
Favors You
This lane is much more difficult in solo q than in 5v5's. Why? Same old TF story. He ulti's and ganks and then your solo q moron teammates blame you. Obviously since you have teleport you can always assist them but only under the right circumstances. By the time you realize he's gone then he is already on top of your adc/support.Your teleport will be too late and you'll just end up dying.

Solo q players never seem to understand or care for such explanations though so just push to turret when he leaves and either keep pounding the turret or go gank another lane. Fortunately he isn't much of a threat to you later on in team fights.
Veigar
Difficulty
Favors Enemy
2 skulls lane phase 4 for after he hits 6. Maybe you have the reaction time required to hourglass his ulti but I sure as hell don't. Lane phase is a breeze vs this guy but my god he is easily the worst champion to fight in team fights. Forget dodging Ahri's charms to get into position, this guy literally just point and clicks you to death. Rush an abyssal and you'll be able to live his initial ulti and Q. But if he blew his whole combo on you...well you're dead. If you live then that means he didn't farm very well.
Vladimir
Difficulty
Favors Enemy
Some vlads will rush a mantle before even getting spellvamp and it literally renders your damage to him useless until you have at least 2 core items. By which point he also has more items. The most important part of this match-up is that stupid blood pool of his. If you see a 1v1 is an even match then that means you are about to lose. You'll die and try to wall him in and he'll just flash over it. This is when you do your signature Requiem only for him to blood pool it. ONLY fight him when you feel that you are incredibly dominant over him or the jungler is coming.

Of course this could be 1 skull if you manage to kill him early on. Even once would be enough for that slight boost to make his lane phase difficult.

Zed
Difficulty
Favors Enemy
Nerfs or not this guy is still a menace. If you have faith in your dodging then grab boots, otherwise grab cloth and hp pots. Same as always farm from afar but if you can't dodge enough of the Shuriken spam things can go south quickly. Don't ever stick around below 50% hp cause he can kill you easily even before 6. Fortunately later on he isn't that big of a problem because you can just hourglass him. Just do your best not to die in the lane phase so he can't snowball.

He will most likely focus you in team fights so I repeat, hourglass. Actually it's probably a good thing that he focuses you. At least now his ulti went to waste.
Ziggs
Difficulty
Favors Enemy
Pretty much the same as Gragas. You'll always be pushed in trying to dodge his bouncing bombs while still farming. Another note of relevance is that after you get RoA / Sorc boots you still can't kill him cause just like how Gragas can dash away out of your wall, Ziggs can just blow himself away.

Basically do your best to farm while dodging all his harass. Same as Heimer when you gank make sure the jungler covers mid. Thanks to his passive he can destroy your turret fast.

Honestly you're going to lose the turret anyways even if you are there. Between harass he's going to be hitting the turret with his passive. Eventually it's just going to die and there isn't much you can do about it so don't blame yourself.

Final Notes

It's been said that Karthus can carry you out of elo-hell and I honestly have mixed feelings about this. I've had so many bad teams that didn't coordinate at all leading to losses. It doesn't matter if Requiem hits the enemy team for 60% of their health. If you have 4 morons that can't follow up on it then it doesn't mean a damn thing especially with all the lifesteal / heals going on.

The most important factor to suicide Karthus is positioning and coordination. The bane of your existence is "dancers". It's a term I use for people who just run back and forth never committing to anything. You need the team to properly dive with you or the enemy team will just focus you down and run away. If your team gives you a choice on what they pick I highly suggest someone like Sona or Alistar. Anyone with alot of CC to keep the enemy locked down on top of you. If you have a severe lack of CC and the enemy team has half a brain there is a chance you're about to have a really rough game.

There is one other major issue with coordination that I can't even get to work properly with friends. Once you get use to Karthus you'll know when to let people escape and focus on the other nearby champions. You've seen it time and time again in team fights or small skirmishes people running away at 100hp where you're left with the option to chase or focus on the direct threats still on you. The difference between other champions and Karthus is huge in this scenario thanks to his Requiem. Anyone who runs is just wasting their time....theoretically anyways.

The coordination issue comes here : Even if you inform your team to not chase stragglers like that, they do it anyways. Greed is what will destroy games for you. The other day I was teleporting bottom to counter-gank a Lee Sin and immediately melted the low health Lucian. It turned into me and Annie vs Leona and Lee Sin. I dropped Leona to about 70 health but I was also low thanks to Lee sin's ridiculous early offensive capabilities. Now Leona low on health did what she's use to on instinct, running away. So what did Annie do with her currently charged stun? Hit Lee and focus him down with me allowing this to turn into a 3 and 1 for us? Hell no. She FLASHES towards Leona to "secure" the kill leaving Lee Sin to finish me off, at which point he chases down Annie and kills her too. Please don't chase stragglers when you have Karthus on your team. I've watched quite a bit of Diamond matches with Karthus lately just to see if this was an issue at higher elo too, and it is. Pretty much all the coordination issues I have when I play Karthus were also running rampant in those Diamond matches as well.

Another point I would like to make is you should never use your ulti while you are still alive. If you do it is *VERY* important that nobody else is even remotely close to you. 3 seconds is a surprisingly long time. Plenty of time for someone to flash in and stop you from channeling. So if you're still farming mid and you see someone is low health in another lane then get a safe distance behind your turret before singing the song of death.

I planned on having videos all over this guide but sadly most the replays on my LoLreplay aren't working again after that snowdown patch yesterday.

I'm no Reginald, Dyrus, Phantomlord, or any other person who has been named to me every time I mention that I mostly play Karthus. I'm just a guy who loved Zeus on dota and came here last June because I heard LoL had a scaling Zeus. I really don't get why Karthus has a 1.5% pick rate, he is such an amazing champion. Hell I don't even play ranked so if me not being Diamond bothers you then ignore everything I've said up to this point. I get my kicks by playing 5's with friends after work.

Lastly if you farmed perfectly and felt like you weren't making too many mistakes despite dying horribly in team fights, well that's just Karthus. Some comps/people just don't work well with him. That can be said about any champion but Karthus REALLY suffers from this. Just dust yourself off and try again.

This is the most important thing I can say about solo q Karthus. If you have any friends that love Yorick, duo q with them. Or ask your top laner if he likes playing Yorick. Yorick + Karthus is.....I don't even think there are words out there to describe how amazing this duo is. At higher elo I'm sure the teams are smart enough to look for the revenant proc on Karthus then back off and wait for it to fade. But in normals and low elo? Odds are they'll just focus Karthus like always(DON'T USE YOUR HOURGLASS) which will effectively give you 17 seconds on Death Defied. And for 10 seconds of that you are able to move freely. It's absolutely devastating and makes you 3x as much of a threat on Karthus than we normally are.

Of course they can simply just kill you again in revenant form but even if you're only alive for another 3 seconds, that was still 3 more seconds and plenty of time to get into a better position.

I thank you on behalf of Karthus for reading this guide and showing even the slightest interest in an underplayed Champion. Also this title is from a Nintendo game called Shadowgate, the Grim Reaper said it every time you died. It's what I think of whenever I get Requiem kills.

Top Lane

I don't have much experience with him top but it can be done....carefully. Just be sure to ALWAYS ward the river and tri-bush if you're purple. I said before that I'm not a huge tear fan but for top lane I'd suggest getting it. You'll be burning through alot more mana up there. I'd also suggest rushing Rylai's and not even grabbing RoA. Tear->Rylais->whatever you want. The tear will cover the mana lost from no RoA, likewise for Rylais on the HP and AP. I say Rylai's because it's a safe bet for the long lane, that slow will be quite useful. Wall of pain only does so much and it can be dodged plus Rylai's stacks with the wall(not by much since it's multiplicative but just enough to help).
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