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All Guides Karthus Guides [6.5] Climb quickly with Karthus [Mid / Top]
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Karthus Statistics for RarityLuna

Author's performance with Karthus compared to the ranked average.

Value
Average
Games Played
4
Win %
44
Kills
7.1
Assists
8.9
Deaths
7.6
KA:D Ratio
2.1
Gold Earned
12.6K
Creep Score
174.0
Average

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  • Author Champion Statistics
  • Guide Details

Summoner Spells Back to Top

4.png The usual spell, allows you to make plays and gives you an escape.

14.png Great for snowballing in lane and for dealing with tanks. I like to take it most of the time

3.png Useful for dealing with AD assassins or for dealing with strong AD carries. Allows you to kite with Q easier as well.

12.png Good to keep up with roaming mids like Katarina, LeBlanc and Twisted Fate. Sometimes useful when you're playing Top but I prefer ignite top.

2.png Lets you scout out the jungler and kill them at their buffs during their first clear (jokes, RIP old League).

New Runes Back to Top

Masteries Back to Top

Explanation of masteries.


Pretty standard.

Savagery helps with early last hitting.
Biscuiteer helps with your early mana issues

As of 6.4 Thunderlord's is still the go to mastery.

Situational Top Lane Page.


zidtid.PNG

Ive been trying the page above in the top lane against match ups where I won't be able to burst down the top laner easily. It's not too bad actually, Piercing Thoughts is quite helpful early on as Precision takes time to scale. Consider switching Assassin to Biscuiteer if you have an early ganking jungler or think you'll need the extra sustain.

Abilities Back to Top

Q
E
W
Q
Q
R
Q
E
Q
E
R
E
E
W
W
R
W
W
Passive
Q
1
4
5
7
9
W
3
14
15
17
18
E
2
8
10
12
13
R
6
11
16
karthuspassive.pngDeath Defiled

Don't make the mistake of running in just to pop your passive. It's always better to live and you'll always get more damage off by living. Sometimes in a lane where I can snowball by getting a kill I don't mind using it to get a kill in death.

laywaste.png Q

Take it level one always as it lets you get early kills if you can get the crits off. Good for wave clearing by using 4 of them on the casters early on.

wallofpain.png W

Boring ability, just use it when kiting, trading, or when someone else is initiating. Some people take it at level 4, I think this is a bad idea as it leaves you more vulnerable to early ganks, unable to assist in early ganks and lowers your kiting.

defile.png E

Kathus' most underrated ability. It allows you to trade damage early against a lot of difficult lanes like LeBlanc or melee champions. Plus the wave clear on it is good once you get a few points into it.

fallenone.png R

Your signature ability.
Allows you to snowball off of the side lanes and makes it easy to carry the other lanes without being there.
Try not to use it too early on low HP targets as its early damage is rather low.

If you see your bot lane and jungler going in for the 3v2 gank use it just as the jungler goes in so that they can get the kills easier.

Early on two Q's ignite and ult is usually enough to kill someone.
Mid game use it when the enemy is doing dragon and your team is about to engage on them.
Late game It will do about half a squishies hp and 1/6th of a tanks. Its good late to stop baron attempts with.

Items Back to Top

Starting Items

    1. Always

Core Items

    2. Your core item(s).
    3. Against AD or burst assassins. Get the Zhonya's first.
    3. Against AP assassins or high AP comps.
    4. Get Rylai's now if you didn't already.
    5. Your power spike. Makes your damage insane.
    6. Example full build.

Situational Items

    Explained below.
    Against lots of tanks.
    Explained below.
    Enhances your crit damage.
    Interesting combo (explained below).

Starting Items.


1056.png + 2003.png

It's the optimal choice and gives you alright laning

1029.png

It really gives you nothing and you don't have too much of a problem with AD assassins. Plus you lose some early pressure. Rushing Seeker's or Zhonya's delays your ROA.

1082.png

Your AP scalings aren't that good so even with a full stacked one its not that good. The risk isn't worth the reward.

Everything Else.


3027.png 

Karthus : The item. The stats work perfectly with you. Sometimes get two or three even!

3003.png

Sometimes I get this when I'm against Fiora. Since the shield doesn't count as HP against her %Hp damage. Plus you can stay in lane longer.

3165.png

Only against Dr.Mundo as a 4th or so item. Completely shuts him down combined with ignite and Rylai's. Passive might be usefull against others like Xin and Aatrox as well.

3151.png

Good against 3+ tanky champs. Passives damage is decent.

3001.png

Against LeBlanc or similar consider this as a second item. I usually sell it later on though as the teams get tankier.

3031.png

Karthus single target Q is coded as a crit, so if you want build IE for insane crit damage!

Boots

3020.png

The best choice due to the scarcity of penetration.


3009.png

They don't give you much and have been nerfed to make them less appealing


New Interesting Tactic [6.4+].


3060.png + 3165.png + 3158.png

This is actually an interesting CDR build you can go for if 1) someone else has an Aegis (Banner or Locket) and 2) your team has a Zz'Rot Portal. Switch the Precision mastery to Insight for 45% CDR so that you have an interesting siege comp (use your Q's for fast wave clear and use Banner on the Cannon Minion. Of course don't do this against an AD team. Under the right circumstances it becomes quite difficult to stop your teams siege however this build takes a while to get as you still need the ROA and it scales poorly



Everything else is pretty much explained or straight forward.

Matchups Back to Top

Click on a champion below to see the author's notes on that particular matchup.

  • Aatrox
    Easy
  • Ahri
    Medium
  • Anivia
    Easy
  • Annie
    Easy
  • Brand
    Medium
  • Cassiopeia
    Easy
  • Diana
    Medium
  • Dr. Mundo
    Easy
  • Ekko
    Medium
  • Ezreal
    Easy
  • Gangplank
    Medium
  • Heimerdinger
    Easy
  • Katarina
    Medium
  • LeBlanc
    Medium
  • Lux
    Medium
  • Malphite
    Hard
  • Malzahar
    Medium
  • Nasus
    Medium
  • Pantheon
    Easy
  • Poppy
    Medium
  • Quinn
    Hard
  • Rammus
    Easy
  • Rengar
    Easy
  • Riven
    Hard
  • Singed
    Easy
  • Talon
    Easy
  • Veigar
    Medium
  • Vel'Koz
    Medium
  • Vladimir
    Easy
  • Warwick
    Easy
  • Wukong
    Medium
  • Xerath
    Easy
  • Yasuo
    Hard
  • Zac
    Easy
  • Zed
    Medium
  • Ziggs
    Easy
  • Zyra
    Easy

VS

Aatrox

Easy

Easy to win, just bully and use W when he Q's.

Consider Morellono's if he's doing well.

VS

Ahri

Medium

She out damages you early but as long as you dodge the return Q and charm it should be fine.

VS

Anivia

Easy

You out range her and she is also weakish early.

You definitely out scale her in terms of damage

VS

Annie

Easy

You can kill her at level 1 with ease especially with the range advantage.

As long as you don't get 5 man tibbered you are stronger in team fights as well

VS

Brand

Medium

As long as you don't get hit by the circle thing the match ups not too hard.

Consider Zhonya's just to dodge the ult later on.

VS

Cassiopeia

Easy

You out range her by a lot.

VS

Diana

Medium

Shes easy for the first few levels but her shield is annoying. Try to only trade when her shield is down or when you can break it with thunderlords before level 6.

At 6 she becomes pretty difficult to beat. Look to out roam her at this point and be careful of her jungler as ganks will result in kills.

Careful of her trying to Misaya you, it makes her burst inane.

VS

Dr. Mundo

Easy

Boring to lane against but easy to verse.

Once you have Morello's and Rylai's he becomes useless. Even worse when you have ignite.

Be a bit careful before hand as he can kite you decently early on with cleavers. He's not as monstrous as a few patches ago.

VS

Ekko

Medium

Easy if you can dodge the Q but you should never really kill him due to his ults invulnerability.

VS

Ezreal

Easy

Mid Ez has decent poke against you but you beat him outside of laning.

VS

Gangplank

Medium

His nerfs have been meaningless, he still just plays passive and farms to the late game.

He'll probably get kills from his ult on the side lanes.

Just farm and try to kill him early.

VS

Heimerdinger

Easy

Just destroy the turrets with ease.

VS

Katarina

Medium

Pretty fast so landing Q's is hard early on.

If she uses skills well she will win the lane and just kill you whenever you get close. Definitely Abyssal and Rylai's in this lane as well as exhaust.

When she's channeling either walk away or Q her a lot.

Possibly Zhonya's with E on when she ults to try and outplay her.

VS

LeBlanc

Medium

With correct E usage and prediction of her W you can win lane, otherwise she beats you early.

Get an Abyssal.

VS

Lux

Medium

Her early burst is enough to kill you at lvl 2 - 3.

Dont ult her unless shes oom because of her shield.

VS

Malphite

Hard

Nah screw the old advice, you cant do anything to him and he just builds tanky.

VS

Malzahar

Medium

Hard to deal with early unless your jungler camps him for overextending as he always does but no one ganks for Karthus.

Kill him when he ults your ADC in team fights.

VS

Nasus

Medium

You have to poke him early to get him to use his pots but it won't win you the lane, it will only make it a farm fest.

Look to team fight around the mid game as you're stronger than him here.

VS

Pantheon

Easy

Easy level 1 kill.

He can't do much against you.

VS

Poppy

Medium

You can kill her early but her damage is crazy and she's super tanky because of her passives.

Even if she rushes IBG you'll get killed by her in a 1v1. Don't kite forward against her during laning.

VS

Quinn

Hard

Pretty difficult lane, her damage is way too high for a ranged champion.

Not a whole lot you can do, just farm.

VS

Rammus

Easy

As long as you have Rylai's he should never touch you. Invest in high amounts of penetration since he will build thornmail and make your AD's kill themselves.

VS

Rengar

Easy

If he jumps on you you win the team fight.

If he jumps on your other squishies stay close to them so you can use your Q W and E on him and keep your team alive.

VS

Riven

Hard

If Riven lane swaps and goes mid it's going to be pretty tough. She dodges most of your stuff while out damaging you.

VS

Singed

Easy

Just kill him and roam.

Awful champion.

VS

Talon

Easy

Its a fairly easy lane since whenever he jumps on you he's going to take a lot of damage.
Try not to use E too much early or else it will take away your kill pressure and will turn into a passive kill lane as you'll only have enough mana to Q minions.

Actually he's easier to verse after the ult nerf (6.5) as he doesn't have as much roaming pressure or kill pressure anymore.

VS

Veigar

Medium

Fight close to him early on. You want to play very aggressive so that he cant stack.

Don't be scared to fight inside the cage but be careful as he gets decent 6 burst.

Get Abyssal and it should be fine. Maybe Zhonya's if he's ahead because of the ult

VS

Vel'Koz

Medium

Pretty passive lane until 6.

At 6 he can burst you down if he lands an E. You don't have an answer to his ult either so you'll probably have to flash it.

You start to out scale him later on though as long as you position well.

VS

Vladimir

Easy

Easy lane but boring as hell. Harass him heaps and consider Morello's if they have another healer that's doing well.

VS

Warwick

Easy

A killing machine with the right items, so it's our job to stop that happening.

If he ever shows his face pre 6 kill him instantly. At 6 predict his ult so you can toggle your E on before he uses it.

Get a Morello's as a third item and a Rylai's too. If he ults you press that Zhonya's key rapidly if his team is near by.

Why am I writing so much, just kite him easy kill.

VS

Wukong

Medium

Not too bad at lvl 1, a bit difficult to kill though, and they always run ignite. If he gets lvl 2 before you be super careful as his all in is crazy.

His clone is easy to spot but his E is quite annoying if he stealths then uses it.

Later on stay way back in team fights and act as peel for you team, damaging him when he tries to engage, otherwise your ADC will die.

VS

Xerath

Easy

Dodging the E will win you the lane. His early damage is weak but don't let him AA you or else he gets even more mana back.

VS

Yasuo

Hard

He just dodges everything.

Dodge his Q's to lane even, get hit and he wins.

VS

Zac

Easy

Your slow makes his slow useless and he will take huge damage trying to gank you. He does quite a lot of damage so consider Abyssal second if the mid laner is also AP.

VS

Zed

Medium

You'll trade 1 for 1 in all ins.

Dodge his Q and try to push him under early.

VS

Ziggs

Easy

Your pokes better than his, consider going Q W Q E as he will never really walk into close range against you.

Really he isn't too good anymore, haven't versed him in ages.

VS

Zyra

Easy

A bad Zyra will use her plants then roots so you can calculate the angle easily. A good Zyra will do the opposite, which is still predictable. Don't get caught by the ult, just stay way back.

How to play Karthus Back to Top

What to do at low elo.

Generally at low elo look to win lane. Going even in lane is a bad idea and I find that Karthus has pretty good early kill pressure, so at bronze - silver you can take ignite and snowball pretty hard.

At Gold you want to look at taking exhaust as people actually know how to play their champs a little better.


What to do during different stages of the game.

In lane try to get isolated Q's off early to last hit or if you can try to get your enemy with a Q while last hitting.

In team fights you want to stay quite far back. Kite backwards with your abilities and look to go aggressive once the enemy team uses key abilities. Don't ult until your either dead or they have one or two fleeing enemies. Its not worth it to just kill one enemy with your ult unless its for the ace.

You want to either use W to peel for your carries if your team is behind or in conjunction with your teams engage if you're even / ahead.

Late game you really don't wanna die at all since your ult doesn't do as much damage as you would think. Just look to siege or get 5 dragons. In dragon fights try to position away from the pit and not inside it so you can kite backwards if the enemy team engages.


Results so far! Back to Top

So far so good!

Lol king won't let me upload images ...

But here should be an 80% win rate match history.

Lolking.... Back to Top

I wrote this guide a few times but LolKing is so temperamental so it wouldn't save even though it said it did.

If you want any champs match ups just comment and I'll add them. 

ᶘ ᵒᴥᵒᶅ Back to Top

Well this is my first guide so I hope you liked it.

Feel free to comment if you want to or ask any questions.

Peace >w<

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