IntroductionMy evidence for this strategy works is not only myself, but several other players such as Hanyuyu, or PhantomL0rd.
PhantomL0rd is a 2300+ Karthus player who uses Teleport Revive. He has a 71% winrate and is still keeping his ELO strong through his strategy.
It isn't exactly a zombie karthus but a karthus who has those most efficiency to give out to his team. Once you die doing as much damage as possible, you come back with even more HP, and a full mana bar to use. Zombie karthus is super irritating and I believe it can be used in competetive play if players chose to do it. He is extremely hard to gank because he can sit back with his Q, and once he gets you with his wall, there's no turning back against a good karthus player, and if you do turn back then you can say hello to death because he is just gonna walk all over you laughing at your dead corpse. If you don't turn back, you're still fucked because once you kill him, he still has a chance to kill you, and your teammates.
TL:DR: This guide will be on Teleport Revive Karthus.
I will not be making a guide for ScarletDoom's Flash Clarity Karthus. If you want to play like his 90% winrate karthus, then go ask him.
MasteriesYou can go 0/9/21 or 9/0/21 or 21/1/8 It's all user preference on what you believe works best. But for these masteries that I choose for this guide, allows me to get the utility mastery for my summoner spells and my summoner spells mastery while still getting cooldown. I believe the 15% will be made up with void staff, and sorcerers boots.
Teleport: Gives you defensive and offensive map control, when pushing on the opposite side, or when a team fight breaks out and your team needs your help. Allows you to get back to lane faster with the combination of revive.
Revive: Takes up a summoner spell slot for you to have two of yourself in total given into the fight of your mana, and health bar. Very effective late game.
RunesThese are standard late game Runes for AP. Whether you decide to build different runes is entirely up to you.
Movespeed quint's are also very good for karthus.
Red: Magic Pen
Yellow: AP per level
Blue: AP per level
Quint: Flat AP (more effective then per level)
Passive: Death Defied
Upon dying, Karthus enters a spirit form allowing him to continue casting spells while dead for 7 seconds.
This passive alone makes you really deadly in every team fight. If they don't kill you, you do damage. If they kill you, you still do damage.
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
Your main sustained damage, a skill shot placement. It's very difficult to use at first, so I suggest practicing with it, and having a strong mental game to be fully effective.
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 7 seconds.
This wall decides how most fights go. If you catch their entire team in a wall that they have to go through to get to their goal, it slows them and reduces their MR by A LOT. This skill can make it or break it for your team, and is a huge threat to any enemy team comp.
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.
Get E at level 2 for mana regen.
The skill that drains your mana, but allows you to do AOE circle damage. It is ridiculous strong seeing how it constantly does high damage to your enemies in a circle, which means if they get close to you they will always take damage no matter what. This skill makes karthus so ridiculously powerful in team fights, and forces you to get MR no matter what.
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
Gives you HP for spell vamp.
Can turn the tide of the fight at the end or at the start.
Cleans up nicely against low HP enemies.
End games does like 800-900 40% spell pen, damage which is like 3000-4500 damage given, every 120 seconds or so.
Skill OrderMaxing Q is your main damage obviously, there is no other way to building this.
Level 1 W for slow/vision/reduceMR/wall.
Max E 2nd for more damage.
Max R as anyone else would.
Item BuildsStarting : OR OR OR
This is all user preference but, I suggest cloth+5 vs garen/ashe/panth/AD
Gives you a item to regain your health, and high mana storage.
Item Goals :
Gives you the most AP possible realistically.
Optional Items: Any other Defensive/AP Item, use it as according to your own user preference or enemies.
Note: Sell your starting item, when buying your late game items. (Dorans)
This is Karthus. There are many item builds for him. But this one is the one I use.
Early GameFarm, try not to get caught by level 2 jungler gank. Get to level 6 and use ult when needed.
Mid GameFarm more, get blue buff. Gank when necessary use summoner spells effectively meaning if there is nobody at the tower you're attacking, and something else is going on across the map. Go suicide into that tower and revive teleport to that fight. You'll have movement control, and you'll have 400 more HP.
Late GameFarm until you're maxed, then just follow your team around. Be a good team player and help everyone out, also get blue buff still. Triple pot+Oracles when you're maxed and have nothing else to buy. Switch to defensive items like banshee's veil or GA when you feel it'll be more effective.
There's no much to say for early,mid,late because it can mostly only be explained through your own experience as a player. There is no main godlike guide item build or anything, standard to use. Use your head and play smart.
Team FightsUse Q to do damage.
Use W to catch or run away from people. Use it in teamfights in different directions to get the most out of it, a well placed wall can be very deadly.
Use E when people are near you.
Use R when people are almost dead or close to dead. Use your own judgement.
When you die, activate E, spam Q, use W, and make sure you ult before your passive wears off. The timer is about 3 or 4 seconds.
Final Comments / VideoKarthus is a very effective caster that can change games. His precense throughout the game is not to be ignored. He doesn't have a lot of burst, but his Q does ridiculous sustained damage. With a little practice karthus may just be one of the best casters in the game.
Soraka does counter your ult, but when she's on your team it really shows how effective global ults that damage or heal can be.
This a short but should give you an idea demonstration on how to play him. It's really basic, and not hard to understand. Just sit middle all day farm, press ult, use summoner spells, and play karthus where he is needed.