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All Guides Karthus Guides Mid game MONSTER
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Karthus Statistics for Karthusexual

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

Value
Average
Games Played
42
4
Win %
43
45
Kills
6.4
6.5
Assists
7.9
8.3
Deaths
5.0
6.9
KA:D Ratio
2.9
2.1
Gold Earned
11.4K
11.8K
Creep Score
151.4
184.7
Average
  • Author Champion Statistics
  • Guide Details

Summoner Spells Back to Top

Flash is pretty self explanatory.

Lets talk about the best summoner Exhaust. This spell when used correctly provides more kill pressure than ignite early game, and allows you to peel for yourself or another carry with ease mid/late game making it almost a must pick.

Next is TP, this spell is good to bring against laners you think you may fall behind against or laners who you'll need to match roam pressure with if you intend to save your ultimate for only executes. It also synergizes well with the Sapphire Crystal start.

Ghost is situational and mostly only used for tank Karthus which i wont be covering in this guide, if you have questions about tank Karthus you can message me ad i would be happy to elaborate further.

New Runes Back to Top

Masteries Back to Top

Only reason you take merciless over meditation is for your ultimate and the fact that you can sustain with proper mana management with your E passive.

Abilities Back to Top

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

Obviously R>Q>E>W
Unless tank Karthus in which case R>E>Q>W
But as i mentioned earlier thats for another day.

Items Back to Top

Starting Items

    Starting items

Core Items

    CORE

Situational Items

Starting items are pretty standard, against a normal lane you want 1056.png and against a poke heavy lane or a lane where you want to go really aggro for an early lead and a stronger mid game(the start i usually take) 1027.png
and spend the rest of your starting gold on pots.

As for the core, and this is where the guide gets interesting!
For standard build you want to go 3070.png into 3116.png for a MASSIVE lane power spike and roam potential.
Ideally on first back you get 3070.png and a component of 3116.png and refill your pots OR get 2031.png.
After that finish Rylais and 3003.png. By the time you pick up 3040.png you should have tier 2 boots3020.png.
Now assuming youve run the full penetration rune set listed above once you pick up your 3136.png you will have 44 magic penetration, enough to deal true damage to almost anyone on the map. THIS IS HUGE since you also already have the utility of 3116.png you are an 875 range kiting machine dealing ridiculous DPS.

You can of course finish your 3136.png into a 3151.png but i don't recommend it unless they are a tankier than average team or you have a lot of extra gold, at this point a 3157.png is probably your best pick up for the active and bit of armor. The 3157.png active is your outplay button, you use it to win teamfights, you use it to bait fights, its a core item for Karthus no matter what the enemy team looks like and you should ALWAYS pick one up after you get your core. The cdr 3157.png gives is nice but not needed on Karthus.

Lastly is the item that prevents tanks from outscaling you no matter what, 3135.png when combined with your already absurd amounts of pen will make it so the enemy can stack multiple mr items a piece (which they wont) and STILL think twice about fighting in your presence.


~~ SITUATIONAL ITEMS INCLUDE BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO~~
3089.png I dont put a high priority on this item as Karthus doesn't have the best scaling in the game, its certainly not bad ESPECIALLY if you are ahead it helps you snowball even harder, but overall pen gives you more damage late game and makes you less squishy.
3026.pngSuicide Karthus has always been a viable strategy, why not live twice, erm i mean 3 times.
3158.png Forced to get an early zhonyas? Behind in lane? Become the Requiem Bot we've all dreamed about and make sure that ultimate is aways available pick up assists at every moment, swap out later if the situation changes.
2139.pngIf you have your core items, this is NEVER a bad pick up. Don't underestimate how much damage/seige potential this elixir gives you mid game, if you have 500 gold, its not a bad pickup. Especially if you're about to fight in a pit or group and seige.

Matchups Back to Top

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

  • Anivia
    Medium
  • Aurelion Sol
    Hard
  • Cassiopeia
    Medium
  • Fizz
    Hard
  • Karma
    Hard
  • Karthus
    Easy
  • Katarina
    Easy
  • LeBlanc
    Easy
  • Syndra
    Hard
  • Viktor
    Medium
  • Zed
    Medium

VS

Anivia

Medium

As much as  Id like to say this is a skill match up, Anivia wins it hands down, dodge her q and you cn win that fight tho, be weary of ganks her wall is a huge ock block to your ability to position well.

VS

Aurelion Sol

Hard

You cant outroam him and his lvl 1 is stronger, ping when he mias and shove him back in, try to focus more on setting enemy jg behind by warding his red/blue and taking his raptors if you can.

VS

Cassiopeia

Medium

your level 1 is better her level 2-18 is better ( in a 1v1 sense) as for jg help since shes so immoble, and fous on not letting her land her ultimate on you in teamfights and you can win since your damage is multi target and hers is single. Try not to fight her post 2 unless shes on cd, or you will lose HARD

VS

Fizz

Hard

This match up is hard for the same reason yasuo is, this guy is so DAMN slippery, you can trash fiz pre 3, but if you dont have an hp item back up he can kill you now. Also dont ult him unless he just used his e, same with vlad and lissandra (the list goes on)

VS

Karma

Hard

She has a better level one and she has a shield for her and allies, one of the hardest mth ups you can face.

VS

Karthus

Easy

Dodge hislaywaste.png land yours, only match up i reccomend getting abyssal and with aura removal may not be worth it anymore.

VS

Katarina

Easy

Dodge her q, poke the crap out of her, exhaust her ulty. Its really that easy

VS

LeBlanc

Easy

Okay a lot of people think LeBlanc counters Karthus so lets get this straight, you outrange her, when she gets in range of you her abilities are telegraphed.
Place a q where shes going to w to, auto her w on her w return get 3 free q's. you are capable of winning every trade no exceptions until she can 100-0 you nd at that poit dying is okay. So stay calm and think about wht shell do for a second.

VS

Syndra

Hard

Kill her pre 4 and never fight her again.

VS

Viktor

Medium

He can beat you post 6 and in short fights, make sure you show him whats what early when you have the advantage and try to get fights to be just long enough for him to not be able to one rotate you but short enoug to not get his e back.

VS

Zed

Medium

Against zed bully the CRAP out of him pre 6, Karthus absolutely demolishes most melee match ups before they get hexdrinker and still controls the lane well afterwards. Watch out for his ult dives at 6 and make sure you have exhaust ready to win the 1v1.

Basic Laning Guide Back to Top

Okay so a big misconception people have is Karthus is this really weak early hyperscaling late game monster.
I cant stress how WRONG this is, Karthus has potentially the strongest level 1 in the game aside from maybe Karma and possibly varius Marksmen like Cait (but you should never be laned against them anyway)
First blood is INCREDIBLY easy to draw with Karthus due to this and playing very aggressive early while last hitting with autos is VERY important.
Powerfarming until 6 is nice, but i dont recommend it unless youre in a match up or have been put in a position where you have to play passively.
Since you have such good wave clear roaming bot is a good strategy, HOWEVER following a roam will often result in your death due to lack of utility and escape, so be weary of false roams and the enemy Jungler.

You have a similar lane playstyle to every champ in the game, so your match ups are pretty even once you know their cooldowns and how they want to try and fight you, hardest part about playing Karthus is learning your opponents capacity to kill you and not letting it happen post 2-5 depending on match up.

ITEM EXPLINATION Back to Top

Im sure you noticed i dont get the "core" item on Karthus 3027.png.
Here is where i explain why.

Fully charged 3027.png gives you 80 ability power 400 health and 400 mana with a passive that when broken down is utterly useles in fights. 15 hp per spellcast back? that max 90  hp back in 3 seconds with 3 q's 2 e ticks and a wall.
 
On the other hand 3116.png gives 100 ap and 400 hp AND the best passive any items in your build will give you aside from maybe extra penetration. 
3070.png when fully charged into a 3040.png solves all your mana problems so the mana from 3027.png Can be ignored.
This leaves you a large window of both time and gold invested into this item where you have power that you wouldnt otherwise if you opted for 3027.png. Meaning your roams are more potent, you can 1v1 and 1v2 enemy laner(s) and Jungler better AND you are capable of peeling for yourself and teammates if you can actually land your Q.
NOW to addres the squishy worries people who say well what if i get both then im still missing hp right? Sure Sure youre missing about 100 hp as 3151.png gives 300 (where 3027.png gave 400) the difference is not only do you have MORE AP you also have more magic pen eaning for giving up 100 hp you deal almost that much more damage per q before its even max rank. Add this to the fact that unless youre suiciding you usually arent taking that much damage to begin with AND the scaling hp yellows you have MORE hp n the end (with scaling p yellows) and considerably more damage AND you dont have to wait for the damage to stack its all there immediately upon purchasing the items.

So go crazy my friends, use your gold efficiently and be an unstoppable monster mid game.
Friendly reminder that anyone who itemizes effectively means come the 40+ minute mark your ulty wont be nearly as usefull except for the enemy ADC only (if not sivir) so try to maximize your mid game spike.
You are strongest around level 11, make the enemy know it :^)
and remember kids "Dead eyes never blink" so death is the best cc, killem

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