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[GUIDE] AP Karthus

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Cold Fusion

Recruiter

10-24-2009

This guide is one I've written for Karthus, whom I've taken a liking to in this past week. He is widely regarded as underpowered and weak by most of the community, but he can be one of the most dangerous champions if you play him right. Anyways, to the guide.

I. Skills

Karthus has some of the most interesting skills in the game. They are:

Q - Lay Waste: Karthus unleashes a delayed blast at a location, dealing damage to nearby enemies. Creates a delayed blast at Karthus' cursor position. After 0.5 seconds, deals 35 / 55 / 75 / 95 / 115 (+0 per ability power) magic damage to each nearby enemy, this deals double damage if it hits only a single unit.

W - Wall of Pain: Karthus creates a passable screen of leeching energy. Any enemy units that walk through the screen have their move speed, armor, and magic resistance reduced for a period. Creates a 800 / 900 / 1,000 / 1,100 / 1,200 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.

E - Defile: Karthus passively steals energy from his victims, gaining mana on each kill. Alternatively, Karthas can surround himself in the souls of his prey, dealing damage to nearby enemies, but quickly draining his own mana.
Passive: When Karthas kills a unit, he restores 20 / 27 / 34 / 41 / 48 mana.
Active: Defile drains Karthas' mana to deal 30 / 50 / 70 / 90 / 110 (+0 per ability power) damage to nearby enemies each second.

R - Requiem: After channeling for 3 seconds, Karthus deals damage all enemy champions. After channeling for 3 seconds, Karthus deals 250 / 400 / 550 (+1 per ability power) magic damage to all enemy champions (regardless of distance).

Passive - Death Defied: On Death, Karthus enters a spirit form where he can cast spells while dead.

My typical spell lineup is this:

Q
E
Q
W
Q
R
Q
E
Q
E
R
E
W
E
W
W
R
W

Most people that play Karthus like to go Wall of Pain before they max out Defile, but the way I build Karthus gives him alot of mana, so he can use Defile at will. I use Wall of Pain for the slow at first, and don't rely on it's magic resistance reduction until later. This allows me to cast Lay Waste and slow with Wall of Pain without running out of mana early on.
An important part of this build is knowing how to last hit minions. When you kill a minion, Defile will give you some mana back, so if you're not last hitting with this build it's a waste.

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II. Summoner Skills

Heal and Teleport - Works really well. Since you have Defile to give you mana back, if you get Heal you will have to recall less. Teleport works well too because it helps you get back to the fight fast, important because Karthus needs to get kills early on.

Heal and Flash - Never tried this one, since Flash was put up at level 30, but in theorem it would work. You have a slow with Wall of Pain, but Flash is useful for getting in to get a couple extra hits in order to not use your ult, or escape, which is important since Karthus is so squishy.

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III. Item Build

Karthus' reccomended items work very well for Karthus, but you can do a bit of branching out, depending on what you're playing.

1. Doran's Ring - A good starter item. Some nice mana regen to help along with Defile, a bit of AP, and some Health to keep you from being too squishy early on.

2. Sorcerer's Shoes - Good AP with Movement Speed. Good because you can catch up to slowed enemies quickly, and keep enemies in your Defile circle.
-or-
2. Tear of the Goddess - You're going to be using Lay Waste alot, so this is a good way to get alot of quick mana.

3. If you got Tear of the Goddess, move up to Archangel's Staff. Very good item, and the 2% mana to AP is good later on. It's ok to get this item before the boots because you can use your Teleport (if you have it) to stay in the battle if you need to port out. If you started with boots, get Tear of the Goddess up to Archangel's Staff from here.

4. Here's where you can change it up a bit. If you're playing a Tank heavy team, I like to go Glacial Shroud for the armor bonus / Cooldown Reduction. If you're playing a Caster heavy team, I would go for the Abyssal Scepter. If it's balanced, I like to go for Abyssal Scepter because of the AP and the enemy magic resist reduction aura.

5. Start building Zhonya's Ring. Usually you can't finish it time before the game ends, but I like to go one Blasting Wand and the Sage's Ring first, then get the other Blasting Wand up to Zhonya's Ring (if i have time.)

6. Typically the game will never pass the point you get Zhonya's Ring, but from here it is your choice. There's alot of options, but it's probably best to go anything with AP (Deathfire Grasp, Lich Bane, Guinsoo's Rageblade, etc..)

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IV. Runes and Masteries

--Coming Soon--

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V. Other Champions

a. Who you have an advantage over:

Melee Champions, a few ranged heros.

Rammus
Sion
Singed
Cho'Gath
Tryndamere
Katarina
Jax
Evelynn (if you have oracle's elixir / vision ward)
Kayle
Mundo

b. Who to watch out for:

Long ranged champions / dangerous burst / immune to slow / slows and stuns

Ryze
Veigar
Tristana
Ashe
Gangplank
Alistar
Blitzcrank
Kassadin
Master Yi
Malphite
Nunu
Warwick

c. What can go either way:

Steady damage heros / short ranged / support

Teemo
Nasus
Fiddlesticks
Annie
Amumu
Taric
Janna
Zilean
Morgana
Twisted Fate
Twitch (if you have oracle elixir / vision ward)
Karthus
Anivia
Corki
Sivir
Soraka

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In summary, Karthus can be extremely dangerous or horrible. It all depends on how you play him. You always have to remember, even though you are squishy, if you die, the fight isn't over because you can still cast spells for 10 seconds after death (and sometimes finish off the enemy with your ultimate). Karthus is great at last hitting minions, and can take care of alot of champions fairly easily. I would reccomend Karthus for a more advanced player, but new players can do well with him too.

Keep in mind this is my first guide, so if you have any suggestions on how to better it, please post. Thanks for reading, hope you got something out of it.


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thegamenet

Recruiter

10-24-2009

nice guide bud - I have added you to the Lol Wiki list of guides

Cheers!


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xzymethx

Senior Member

12-15-2009

great, i just made my 9th win in a row 10min ago

what runes do you prefer?
in lategame i have around 1300hp~, so what about hp runes? :/


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Zakkeh

Senior Member

01-28-2010

I build Karthus a lickle differently. Rush Archangel, sorc boots, RoA and Zhonyas. Just stack AP, maybe Rylais if you need it. I had 2600 hp last match, and I don't even have hp runes.


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Waylan

Member

01-28-2010

I always end up with at least 3.4k health at 18, and I don't use archangels. Don't really need the mana by then. I use RoA, Mejais, Rylais, Sorc boots and my last 2 items are dependent on opponents, though I've been going with Guardian Angel and Zhonyas, or GA and Sunfire for some more AoE pain, quite often lately. I had more hp than a chogath in a game the other day rofl.


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Empyron

Senior Member

01-29-2010

Even if you don't build tear, Karthus gets 2k mana with full utility spec. I think it's overkill to rush it. I usually start with sapphire crystal and 2 health pots. Build up Mejai's next. Then depending on how things are going, go one of two ways. If you're having trouble last hitting (i.e. laning with someone that attacks faster and is stealing your last hits) then build for tear and archangels. If you're doing fine with last hits, go for sorc boots for the penetration and move speed. Whichever you didn't get 2nd, get third. After that, I go for Rod of Ages for the staying power and AP. Then Zhonya's ring and depending how things are going either Rylais', abyssal scepter or banshee's veil. Get the golem buff as often as you can from about 9/10 on.

I usually take teleport and flash. Teleport because you never know when you need to port to save a tower. Port, turn on defile, rack up fatty bank and go off to do your business elsewhere. Flash is good for escaping as well as for cleaning house. A lot of people underestimate flash for offensive use on karthus. Other team trying to run away from your group at 1/3rd life, flash into them, throw up a wall of pain, throw on defile, spam lay waste and clean house. Karthus is an awesome jungler believe it or not. Defile and a couple lay waste will kill most any creep spawn. Takes a little longer on lizard and golem but not horribly so. If you're movin between lanes and no one else is jungling, take advantage.

Karthus is a blast to play.


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CrankyPK

Member

01-29-2010

Quote:
Cold Fusion:
I like to go for Abyssal Scepter because of the AP and the enemy magic resist reduction aura.


This is a pretty fail choice to be honest. When you are across the map and your team needs your ultimate, Abyssal Scepter does nothing for you. Void Staff on the other hand, will let your ultimate penetrate 40% of their MR from anywhere. Also no Mejai's is a major fail - its cheap and you can get KB pretty easily.


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TrickyCat

Senior Member

01-29-2010

Don't get heal on Karthus it's bad. You should have exhaust with the cripple mastery and either flash or rally (rally if no one else has it, it's too good not to have. If there's a rally get flash.)

tear of the goddess is a crutch and unnecessary when karthus has e for mana back on creep kills.

Void staff > Abyssal sceptor like above person said.

the optimal build I've found for karthus is doran's ring and a health pot, then: Catalyst -> Sorc Boots -> Mejais + blue elixer -> RoA -> Void Staff -> Zhonyas (if game is not over.)


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Cold Fusion

Recruiter

01-29-2010

Hehe if you guys notice I wrote this October 24, way back in beta, ALOT of things have changed since then.


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ReWeZ

Junior Member

03-12-2010

I think buying meja's at beginning is a great choice, also archangel staff is required of his mana pool, gives a great AP boost


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