League of Legends Champion Karthus Karthus is in the b tier of champions


Karthus is a mage Role mage
Difficulty Average
Power Spike Early-Game
Death Defied ability p
Lay Waste ability q
Wall of Pain ability w
Defile ability e
Requiem ability r

Karthus Build

based on 18,395 matches
Win Rate
47.3 %
Pick Rate
3.1 %
Ban Rate
0.7 %

How We Come Up with Our Karthus Builds

We process over 1 Million League of Legends games every day to bring you the most accurate Karthus build so you can destroy your enemies and improve you win rate. We've broken down our Karthus builds by rank, position, and enemy team type, so you can find the most accurate set of Karthus core items and runes for any situation.

Karthus Build Summary

Karthus is a a below average jungle champion in League of Legends. His best rune sets are Domination Precision. Adding the specific runes shown below into your Karthus build will help provide you with the additional stats to guarantee he plays well through the laning phase of the game and into the late game. Karthus players should start by leveling up his q ability first.

Best Build for Karthus


Starter Items

Time Target
EmberknifeRefillable Potion

Early Items

~5 Mins
Fiendish CodexLost Chapter

Core Karthus Items

~22 Mins
Liandry's AnguishRabadon's DeathcapDemonic EmbraceSorcerer's Shoes

Optional Items

Rylai's Crystal ScepterVoid StaffShadowflameZhonya's Hourglass

Summoner Spells

summonerflash summoner spell D
summonersmite summoner spell F

Skill Order

First skill for Karthus to level up q
Second ability for Karthus to level up e
Last skill for Karthus to max out w


Domination Dark Harvest Cheap ShotEyeball CollectionUltimate Hunter
Precision Presence of MindLast Stand
Adaptive Adaptive HealthScaling
Karthus's passive ability p
Karthus q ability q
Karthus w ability w
Karthus e ability e
Karthus's ultimate ability r

Karthus Matchups Overview

More Gameplay Tips for Karthus Players

Tips and Tricks

Lay Waste is a powerful skillshot that takes practice to perfect. It's worth it though because it can give you a significant advantage in mid lane.

Wall of Pain can be used to slow down enemies during teamfights or when someone helps gank your lane.

Karthus FAQs

Q: What is Karthus' greatest strength?

A: While many would argue that Karthus' greatest strength is his global Ultimate that can damage everyone, no matter where they are, we'd disagree. We believe his greatest strength is his ability to deal large amounts of AoE damage, even when dead. Karthus can continue to deal damage for a long time, even after his death. Adding <a href="/item/3116/" target="_blank">Rylai's Crystal Scepter</a> into your Karthus build can slow a large number of enemies and do more DoT. Because Karthus can deal damage even when dead, he's often not the priority of the fight. Killing him won't save them.

Q: What is Karthus' greatest weakness?

A: Karthus' Q is a powerful, offensive ability with low cooldown. However, it is very skill dependent and can be dodged. Furthermore, its damage increases if only one target is hit. In teamfights and in lane, there are often other nearby enemies that dilute his single target potential. Karthus' only reliable source of damage in the middle of a teamfight is his damage aura. Use your slow to keep enemies close. To reduce the danger of diving into the enemy's back line, include <a href="/item/3157/" target=_blank">Zhonya's Hourglass</a> in your build for Karthus.

Q: Is Karthus better in lane or in the jungle?

A: In the current meta, Karthus is best in the jungle. His powerful slow will help him gank while his global Ult allows him to participate in kills anywhere on the Rift. He's not just limited to a single lane or gank opportunity.

Additional Karthus Build Insights

LoL Karthus players will find him to be a difficult champion to build out properly. You will see that his build varies when he is playing against either diversified or highly focused team comps, meaning you should not take the same Karthus build every single game of League of Legends

The most important items to use in your champion's build are: Liandry's Anguish, Rabadon's Deathcap, and Demonic Embrace. Those who included these pieces in their gear had a greater win rate than those who worked towards other Karthus builds. Moreover, if you are battling a well-mixed enemy team comp, you should strongly consider getting him the Domination, and Precision runes. In recent games, he won the greatest fraction of his matches when using these runes.

We came up with our Karthus build guidance by examining 18,395 recently ranked League of Legends rounds with him selected. We only advise the highest winrate Karthus builds that have been built by ranked League players enough times for us to propose them. With so many matches in our dataset, we are confident in our recommended builds.