Are you having troubles carrying nubs in Solo Queue? Are they holding you down in elo hell? WELL FEAR NO MORE, because this guide will carry you out of ELO HELL along with your teammates. This guide will teach you the ins and outs of karthus and how to carry nubssrubs. Karthus can single handedly carry 4 nubs =D.
Flash/ Exhaust is the most common set of summoner spells on Karthus because it matches so well with his skill set.
Exhaust can be used both defensively and offensively. In the early stages of the game, it is best to use exhaust to survive ganks, because your ultimate goal is to farm. However there are circumstances where you are able to kill your opponent by using Exhaust. It is common to use your wall first to land 2 lay wastes and then exhaust them to combo another few lay wastes as well. Chaining up exhaust and wall of pain will make it very easy to land lay waste which will help you result in getting early kills. If you're playing against a strong lane match-up... you can survive ganks by using exhaust on high damaging enemies like lee-sin or cassiopeia. Make sure to exhaust the champion that does the most damage. Exhaust is also very effective in team fights as well.
There are two ways to fight team fights with these summoners; engage or disengage. You must be able differentiate the difference between each and every individual composition. Sometimes it is better to kite and hit the closest target with lay waste, while exhausting the enemies that charge in. However in most cases, you can just flash in and exhaust the AD carry and try to do as much damage as possible. It is almost always better to focus the AD carry, unless their AP carry is fed.
I generally go with this rune build because the ap quintessences help so much early game. AP carries ussually run with mana regen seals , however karthus is not very reliant on them because the passive on his defile. Karthus is able to get mana for every creep he kills. Because you don't really need any mana regen , I go with health per level seals because it gives me survivability and a much stronger late game. I only go this rune build when they don't have a threatening jungle/mid lane that can kill me. When you play passive on karthus, it is very hard to kill you. I generally combo this rune page up with my first page of masteries below in chapter 4.
This rune build is all about survival. I go this when im facing the toughest lanes like ryze and a rammus jungle or ryze and lee sin jungle. Any Mid that can snare you, while the jungle also does massive damage. It is important to understand which compositions can kill you and not kill you. Going the first rune page means you'll be able to do much more damage early. This page helps you survive ganks and helps you achieve your ultimate goal ( FARM FARM FARM). I usually combo this up with my second mastery page in chapter 4 for more survivability.
This is really standard on all AP carries, you either have this or the one below. Going this mastery page means you dont need the extra hp/defense early on. Assuming your lane/jungle is a weak combo that cant instantly kill you... then go this page.
If.... they have a strong mid/jungle... get this page. SURVIVAL IS KEY. League isnt about killing, but farming ;)
Item BuildsThere is never one set build in league of legends. If you want to be a good player, you must learn and understand when to buy certain items situationally. Being able to do that, you'll get much much better at the game instantly. Just by buying the correct items, you can easily win your lane and survive certain fights as well. LEARN to think about the game. Sometimes it is worth it to buy a negatron cloak or a chain vest when you're an ap carry.
My Logic : " If they can't keel me, then i'll keel them"
You only get this item if you really need the survivability and you're getting shit on... Thats pretty much it. Unless... you have a catalyst, sorc boots and have an extra 475 gold when you went back to buy and if they have insane burst damage.
Very very strong item on karthus because catalyst is a very strong item and catalyst builds into ROA. Karthus has no escapes, so he really needs the tanky items that gives him health early on . He is also very very mana reliant when fighting champions as well, however not mana reliant when farming.
A possible choice on Karthus, when the opposing team is AP stacked. I will put multiple possible builds below that fits with this item. Abyssal is a strong choice when you have double AP or playing against double AP because when you play against the double AP composition, it is safe to assume that they have high burst. Getting bursted down is never g00d.
A must buy on karthus because he does sooo much damage with Karthus. Deathcap is always good on any AP carry rawr.. besides ryze.
Buy this if they have alot of CC or even magic damage. You only build this when you're going with a more defensive and tanky build.
Buy this if they have more Physical damage than magic damage. You only build this when you're going with a more defensive and tanky build.
Usually the best boots to buy on karthus, because there are two ways to fight.. disengage and engage.. If you engage... you're gonna die anyways.. so do as much damage as possible.
Very strong on Karthus as a 5th or 6th item.
This item is usually strong on all AP carries. Very strong when you have two aps on your team. Usually bought anything after ROAs.
You buy this item when the opposing team is melee stacked and you can kite them around with your slow. You usually combo with rylais.
Strong item on all AP carries. You get this item, when you see people go over 100mr. Your boots have 20 magic pen, you get 10 magic pen from runes. It is a good item to get when ppl start to get mr.
Very very situational... I usually never get this item.
Strong item, it builds into abyssal. Buy this item if you're playing against double AP or Leblanc.
Strong item, if you're playing against like 3 AD champions, buy this. You can always build into hourglass.
Items that are a must buy on karthus eventually:
Those are the must buy items. You have the option of chaging catalyst into banshee or rods of ages.
Items that work well together:
This is a strong defensive build that works very very well with blue. You build this item composition when you KNOW that the enemy only has burst damage but nothing after that. If they cant kill you with the burst, then they will die to karthus' heavy sustain damage.
Remember... buy items to WIN. NOT to DO MAD DEEPS MANG.
Passive: Death Defied
Upon dying, Karthus enters a spirit form allowing him to continue casting spells while dead for 7 seconds.
After people kill karthus in team fights, they usually forget about his passive. It is very important to position yourself in the middle of team fights right before you die. You generally see most advanced Karthus players flash into the middle of a fight before dying or even instantly engaging a fight with karthus by flashing in. Karthus is the only AP carry that should be played this aggressively because he does damage that is impossible to avoid. It is essential to use his passive correctly or you will not be effective as other ap carries.
Always remember to cast lay waste constantly right after you're dead because enemies will try to walk out as soon as possible. It is important to get as much damage out as possible, while saving enough time to cast your ultimate.
Q: Lay Waste
Creates a delayed blast at Karthus' cursor position. After 0.5 seconds, deals 40 / 60 / 80 / 100 / 120 (+30% of ability power) magic damage to each nearby enemy, this deals double damage if it hits only a single unit.
Cost 20 / 28 / 36 / 44 / 52mana
This is his bread and butter spell and you must be able to land this consistently to be a good karthus player. You will mainly use this spell for farming and harassing early game. It does massive damage when you're only hitting 1 target, however much less when you're hitting several targets. Karthus already has a strong aoe ( defile), so it is best to use lay waste as a focus spell in teammates. Pinpoint/ focus damage is always better if you can burst a target down.
W: Wall of Pain
Creates a 800 / 900 / 1000 / 1100 / 1200 distance wide wall through target point. Reduces enemy armor and magic resistance by 15 / 20 / 25 / 30 / 35 and reduces movement speed by up to 40 / 50 / 60 / 70 / 80%; debuff lasts 5 seconds. The wall lasts 5 seconds.
Wall of pain is his engage and disengage spell. You can easily win a teamfight with 1 good wall of pain. It is very easy to chase a whole team down wall of pain and very easy to disengage as well. You will usually find yourself dropping wall of pain and harassing with a couple Q's. It is important to use this spell wisely because when its down, you're open to being engaged on. When Wall of Pain is on cooldown, play very very cautiously ... or you'll just get caught and die. If you can drop a wall of pain on 5 people and engage, most of the time... you should easily win the team fight.
Toggle Off: When Karthus kills a unit, he restores 20 / 27 / 34 / 41 / 48 mana.
Toggle On: Drains 30 / 42 / 54 / 66 / 78 Mana to deal 30 / 50 / 70 / 90 / 110 (+25% of ability power) damage to nearby enemies each second.
Defile is a very strong aoe spell that helps karthus farm very fast and efficiently. The most important thing to remember is mana control. Most of your focus damage is always going to come from lay waste, so always remember to turn off defile when you're running low on mana. In team fights, you must remember to turn defile on and always activate defile when you're dead as well.
After channeling for 3 seconds, Karthus deals 250 / 400 / 550 (+60% of ability power) magic damage to all enemy champions (regardless of distance).
Cooldown 180 / 150 / 120 seconds
Cost 200 / 300 / 400 mana
Requiem is his ultimate which hits all 5 enemies for a set amount of damage. There are usually two ways to use his ultimate; when he is dead, or before a big engagement. Many advanced karthus players will cast the ultimate right before a big engagement, so they can focus their whole passive time on dealing more damage with lay waste. Although, you deal more damage casting the ultimate before a big engagment... there is also a negative factor to it as well. The enemy team can always back off and avoid engaging...which means your ultimate would have been for nothing. However, you'll usually see a karthus do this when they are fighting for an objective, so if the team backs off .. it means you've won and got the objective ; dragons, barons, buffs , towers.. etc.
Early GameAs a Karthus player, your sole purpose is to farm, carry late game, and apply pressure globally with your ultimate. Karthus does not have an escape, so you have to be very cautious when farming. Karthus does massive damage early game with his lay waste so ganks are always possible when your opponent is out of position. If you time your wall of pain correctly, you can easily burst an opponent down with jungle support. If you're a new karthus player, it will take a couple games to get use to the range of karthus' spells on smart cast.
Mid GameKarthus is fairly strong mid game, after hes farmed his . Mid game is when you start to fight for objectives and it is very important to get blue on karthus. After the early phase, karthus becomes stronger and stronger and stronger. It is important for you to always get your blue buff because it allows you farm wraiths,wolves and clear mid lane instantly.
Team FightsThere are two ways to fight team fights with these summoners(); engage or disengage. You must be able differentiate the difference between each and every individual composition. Sometimes it is better to kite and hit the closest target with lay waste, while exhausting the enemies that charge in. However in most cases, you can just flash in and exhaust the AD carry and try to do as much damage as possible. It is almost always better to focus the AD carry, unless their AP carry is fed.
You generally want to fully engage on a composition that has sustain damage that doesnt have much aoe. You want to kite around, when the enemy has high burst ... where they can easily instantly kill you.