• 9
    Greater Mark of Magic Penetration (+0.87 magic penetration)
  • 9
    Greater Seal of Armor (+1 armor)
  • 9
    Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power (+0.17 ability power per level (+3.06 at champion level 18))
  • 3
    Greater Quintessence of Ability Power (+4.95 ability power)
Skill Order
1 1 1 1
2 2 2 2
3 3 3 3
4 4 4 4
5 5 5 5
6 6 6 6
7 7 7 7
8 8 8 8
9 9 9 9
10 10 10 10
11 11 11 11
12 12 12 12
13 13 13 13
14 14 14 14
15 15 15 15
16 16 16 16
17 17 17 17
18 18 18 18

[youtube][/youtube] Hi guys, I'm MushroomStampede from the NA server and today I'd like to talk about Jungle Karthus. Karthus is a strong mid-laner and strong late game champion who offers quick Baron and Dragon killing speed, and is infamous for his global damage ultimate[imgsmall=skills/karthus/r.png]. With his unique passive and skills, Karthus has a unique and fun play style. We aren't here to talk about mid-lane Karthus, however. This is jungle Karthus. [imgext=] [highlight]Pictured Above:[/highlight] Custom games to practice jungle Karthus are your friend. Here is a list of High ELO players who have played or occasionally play jungle Karthus, just in case you think this is a joke: [number]Unaffiliated:[/number] [highlight]PhantomL0rd[/highlight] - North America [number]Team Solo Mid:[/number] [highlight]TheOddOne[/highlight] - North America / [highlight]TSM Renegade[/highlight] Europe-West [number]MTW:[/number] [highlight]Atlanta[/highlight] - North America [number]Unaffiliated:[/number] [highlight]FresHkimo[/highlight] - Europe-West [number]Counter Logic Gaming Europe:[/number] [highlight]Snoopeh[/highlight] - Europe-West

[highlight]PROS[/highlight] [number]1[/number]. Fast Jungle Clears Karthus is one of the fastest Junglers right now, with speeds rivaling those of Phoenix Udyr[imgsmall=champ/udyr.png]. Because of this, Karthus is able to essentially farm the jungle as if it was a lane, often staying just a hair behind solo lanes in experience, and has a respectable amount of income as well. [number]2[/number]. Strong Ganks With his 40% AOE slow [imgsmall=skills/karthus/w.png] on a magic resistance and armor shred, and high damage, Karthus ganks can cripple lanes well, causing blown summoners and kills galore. [number]3[/number]. High Team Utility Karthus' potential for damage is one of the highest of AP champions. Wall of Pain[imgsmall=skills/karthus/w.png] allows Karthus to help out his teammates by potentially slowing and lowering the resistances of an entire enemy team. Karthus also has an ultimate that deals damage globally after a short channel[imgsmall=skills/karthus/r.png]. This gives Karthus a great presence all over the map. [highlight]CONS[/highlight] [number]1[/number]. Easily Counter Jungled Karthus is very reliant on Blue Buff, so he is very susceptible to invasions at level one. Karthus also can be killed easily in his own jungle early in the game, by champions such as Udyr[imgsmall=champ/udyr.png], Lee Sin[imgsmall=champ/leesin.png], and Shaco[imgsmall=champ/shaco.png]. [number]2[/number]. Only Deals Magic Damage Karthus will not fit on every team because he can only deal magic damage. Karthus can not viably be built to do Physical damage, unlike some junglers such as Udyr[imgsmall=champ/udyr.png] who can deal somewhat hybrid damage. AD Karthus OP need nerf. OP Build [imgsmall=items/berserkers-greaves.png][imgsmall=items/infinity-edge.png][imgsmall=items/last-whisper.png][imgsmall=items/phantom-dancer.png][imgsmall=items/the-bloodthirster.png][imgsmall=items/guardian-angel.png] [number]3[/number]. Is not a tank It is very popular right now to shove a very tanky champion into the jungle, such as Shyvana[imgsmall=champ/shyvana.png], Amumu[imgsmall=champ/amumu.png], and Maokai[imgsmall=champ/maokai.png]. These champions have high team utility in the form of abundant Crowd Control, and are able to deal moderate damage with minimal damage items. Karthus is not a tank.

[imgext=] [highlight]For Runes, I generally take the following:[/highlight] [.]Flat AP Quints [.]Magic Penetration Marks [.]Flat Armor Seals [.]AP Per Level Glyphs AP per level or Flat AP reds are somewhat acceptable because they allow you to do more damage to jungle monsters as the game goes on, but they will greatly decrease the damage you deal to champions, causing ganks and teamfighting for Karthus to be weaker. I take AP per level Glyphs over Flat AP for two reasons. Flat AP Glyphs give a lower bonus starting at level six, which Karthus hits quickly. Flat AP Glyphs also negligibly increase level one - five power, and don't noticeably increase Karthus' jungle speed or his gank potential. Armor Seals are mainly so that you don't die in the jungle. Without some armor from runes, you will die in the jungle. [.]Flat AP Quints [.]Armor Marks [.]Flat Mana Regen Seals/Mana Regen per Level Seals [.]Magic Resist Per Level Glyphs This is an alternate set of runes you could use. You will have extra mana in the Jungle without sacrificing too much armor, and will be more resilient against Magic damage. When using Armor Marks, Seals can be whatever you want, from Mana regeneration, to Armor, to Health per level. Most choices for seals are viable, use what you prefer. [highlight]Note:[/highlight] Spellvamp Quints would probably work fairly well, but because I don't have them, I can't test them. [imgext=] These are the runes that FresHkimo uses on EU-W for Karthus Jungle. As of April 23th, 2012 I am not really sure at the moment how this works because he has no armor runes. This rune set is more powerful than in the picture due to the recent buffs of AP runes. However, I do not have an updated picture yet. Expect one soon. The actual values that Freshkimo's rune set gives: AP: [number]20.97[/number] (Rounds to 21 in game) Health: [number]52[/number] Magic Pen: [number]8.5[/number] Actual values attainable with 3 AP Quints and 9 Flat Health Seals instead of FresHkimo's runes: AP: [number]25.6[/number] (Rounds to 26 in game) Health: [number]48.15[/number] (Rounds to 48 in game) Magic Pen: [number]8.5[/number] [highlight]This change trades 4 health for 5 AP.[/highlight] [highlight]ALTERNATE RUNE SET[/highlight] [.]Flat AP Quints [.]Magic Penetration Marks OR Armor Marks [.]Armor Seals [.]Armor Glyphs If you have a ton of armor runes, they can be very effective on jungle Karthus, and from what I have seen this is somewhat like what [highlight]Atlanta[/highlight] uses on jungle Karthus. These runes with a minor investment in defensive masteries will give you a great amount of extra health in the jungle. Also very strong against AD heavy teams. This is best used if you have a lot of rune pages because you're going to have to devote at least one page to only jungle Karthus. FROM: [highlight]A2ZOMG[/highlight] "So spellvamp quints, my initial impressions of them (my runes are mpen red, armor yellow, flat AP blue, spellvamp quint). The biggest problem with spellvamp quints is that your ganks are noticeably weaker early on given you're missing out on some earlygame AP. They do let you stay at slightly higher HP during your first clear, but this is by a fairly small amount, and really only makes a difference if you intend to continue jungling after reaching level 4, because you're still probably going to be low enough that ganking is risky if you get caught. However they shine midgame and let you rush bigger AP items other than Wota and RoA. The 6% spellvamp when combined with blue buff is juuuust enough to keep you pretty decently sustained in the jungle after you have at least a Blasting Wand. Rushing deathcap from what I can tell seems to be viable on Jungle Karthus if you run spellvamp quints as long as your team lets you get blue."

[highlight]Skill Order[/highlight] [highlight][img=skills/karthus/r.png]-->[img=skills/karthus/q.png]-->[img=skills/karthus/e.png]-->[img=skills/karthus/w.png][/highlight] [imgsmall=skills/karthus/q.png][imgsmall=skills/karthus/e.png][imgsmall=skills/karthus/q.png][imgsmall=skills/karthus/w.png][imgsmall=skills/karthus/q.png][imgsmall=skills/karthus/r.png][imgsmall=skills/karthus/q.png][imgsmall=skills/karthus/e.png][imgsmall=skills/karthus/q.png][imgsmall=skills/karthus/e.png][imgsmall=skills/karthus/r.png][imgsmall=skills/karthus/e.png][imgsmall=skills/karthus/e.png][imgsmall=skills/karthus/w.png][imgsmall=skills/karthus/w.png][imgsmall=skills/karthus/r.png][imgsmall=skills/karthus/w.png][imgsmall=skills/karthus/w.png] [title][img=skills/karthus/p.png] Passive: Death Defied[/title] [number]Upon dying, Karthus enters a spirit form allowing him to continue casting spells while dead for 7 seconds. [/number] [title]Explanation:[/title] This passive is easily one of the best in the entire game, and Karthus wouldn't be Karthus without it. Upon death, Karthus effectively gains infinite mana, can't be targeted, and loses the ability to move, for 7 seconds. This is ridiculously strong, as it allows Karthus to build almost pure damage and still stay in fights, even as he is bursted down in seconds. A dead Karthus is untargettable, stopping the opposing team from shutting him down in any fashion. He can't be killed because he is already dead, and he can't be exhausted or stunned or silenced. Karthus can use his channeled ultimate in safety while dead, with no possibility of interruption. While in Death Defied, Karthus also does not need mana for anything; every spell is free. This means that he can use Defile for the entire 7 seconds, even if he died with 0 mana left. [title][img=skills/karthus/q.png] Q: Lay Waste[/title] [number]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. Cooldown 1 second Cost 20 / 26 / 32 / 38 / 44mana Range 875[/number] [title]Explanation:[/title] This is your main damage ability, as well as your main jungling ability. You want to max this as quickly as possible to keep your jungle clearing speed quick, and so that you can kill EVERYTHING!!!!!! Make sure to position the spell correctly, as it can hit every monster in a camp at once. This skill is the main reason Karthus uses mana so quickly in the jungle. [title][img=skills/karthus/w.png] W: Wall of Pain[/title] [number]Creates a 800 / 900 / 1000 / 1100 / 1200 distance wide wall through target point. Reduces enemy magic resistance by 15% and reduces movement speed by up to 40 / 50 / 60 / 70 / 80%; debuff lasts 5 seconds. The wall lasts 5 seconds. Cooldown 22 seconds Cost 100 Mana Range 1000 [/number] [title]Explanation:[/title] This skill is fantastic because of its extremely high utility. It does all of the following: [.]Slows Anything hit by the wall, or that passes through the wall. [.]Reduces the armor and magic resistance of anything that is hit by or passes through the wall. [.]Provides Vision in the area that Wall of Pain is used, including vision in bushes/brush/weeds whatever you want to call them. I max this skill last not because it isn't useful, but because one point typically does its job until very late in the game. This skill will no longer help you clear camps faster because of the change. [highlight]It is very important to note however, that this skill does not work on Dragon or Baron.[/highlight] [title][img=skills/karthus/e.png] E: Defile[/title] [number]Passive: 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. Cooldown 0.5seconds Range 550[/number] [title]Explanation:[/title] This is the skill that allows Karthus to deal such an absurd amount of damage, but it has an extremely high mana cost to maintain. This skill is the main reason why I strongly recommend rushing Rod of Ages[imgsmall=items/rod-of-ages.png] on Karthus. The passive ability on this skill helps with Karthus' mana with just one point invested. Get this skill at level two, then max it after Lay Waste[imgsmall=skills/karthus/q.png]. Use this skill sparingly to clear the jungle faster, mainly at Wraiths and at Red Buff. [title][img=skills/karthus/r.png] R: Requiem[/title] [number]After channeling for 3 seconds, Karthus deals 250 / 400 / 550 (+60% of ability power) magic damage to all enemy champions (regardless of distance). Cooldown [number]200[/number] / [number]180[/number] / [number]160[/number] seconds Cost 150 / 175 / 200 Mana Range - [highlight]INFINITY[/highlight] [title]Explanation:[/title] Requiem is one of the strongest ultimate abilities in the game, dealing a completely broken amount of global damage after a three second channel. This skill is why Karthus gets lots of kills and assists; he can kill people from anywhere. No one is safe. This skill is the best execution skill in the game, securing kills on those pesky runners like nobodies' business. This skill is channeled. This is very important to remember because while Karthus is alive, it can be interrupted by any ability that can suppress, knock up, silence, knock back, or stun. If killed while using this ability, the ability will go on cooldown and no champions on the opposing team will take damage from it. One nice thing about this ultimate is that it is a global slow with Rylai's, the only CC in the game that will hit everyone on the opposing team and slow them regardless of positioning. Use Requiem sparingly, because it has a very long cooldown, especially with the most recent patch Certain champions have skills they can use to nullify Requiem, so using it on them is often a waste unless they have those skills on cooldown. Champions that can dodge or take zero damage from Requiem in some way are as follows: [imgsmall=champ/fizz.png] [highlight]Playful/Trickster[/highlight] [imgsmall=skills/fizz/e.png] [imgsmall=champ/kayle.png] [highlight]Intervention[/highlight] [imgsmall=skills/kayle/r.png] [imgsmall=champ/masteryi.png] [highlight]Alpha Strike[/highlight] [imgsmall=skills/masteryi/q.png], [highlight]Meditate[/highlight] [imgsmall=skills/masteryi/w.png] (AP Build) [imgsmall=champ/pantheon.png] [highlight]Grand Skyfall[/highlight] [imgsmall=skills/pantheon/r.png] [imgsmall=champ/poppy.png] [highlight]Diplomatic Immunity[/highlight] [imgsmall=skills/poppy/r.png] [imgsmall=champ/nocturne.png] [highlight]Shroud of Darkness[/highlight][imgsmall=skills/nocturne/w] [imgsmall=champ/shaco.png] [highlight]Hallucinate[/highlight] [imgsmall=skills/shaco/r.png] [imgsmall=champ/zilean.png] [highlight]Chronoshift[/highlight] [imgsmall=skills/zilean/r.png] [imgsmall=champ/vladimir.png] [highlight]Sanguine Pool[/highlight] [imgsmall=skills/vladimir/w.png] [imgsmall=champ/tryndamere.png] [highlight]Undying Rage[/highlight] [imgsmall=skills/tryndamere/r.png] [imgsmall=champ/sivir.png] [highlight]Spell Shield[/highlight] [imgsmall=skills/sivir/e.png] Items that can block Requiem are as follows: [imgsmall=items/banshees-veil.png] [highlight]Spell Shield[/highlight] [imgsmall=items/zhonyas-hourglass.png] [highlight]Item Active[/highlight] [highlight]Note:[/highlight] [imgsmall=items/quicksilver-sash.png] Quicksilver Sash can not remove Requiem while it is being channeled.

You can't really stick jungle Karthus on any team. There are a few important factors in determining if he is a good pick or not. [.][highlight]Do I have a manaless or blue buff independent mid?[/highlight] Champions such as Rumble[imgsmall=champ/rumble.png], Mordekaiser[imgsmall=champ/mordekaiser.png], and Kennen[imgsmall=champ/kennen.png] all work well in Mid Lane without requiring blue buff to perform correctly. Nontraditional mids such as Tryndamere [imgsmall=champ/tryndamere.png] and Talon [imgsmall=champ/talon.png] that counter some AP mids also work well with Karthus jungle because they don't need blue buff to perform well. Karthus should literally be taking blue buff as often as possible. [highlight]Note, this problem is solvable.[/highlight] If you have a blue reliant mid, replace your Rod of Ages [imgsmall=items/rod-of-ages.png] with Archangel's Staff[imgsmall=items/archangels-staff.png]. You'll be a lot easier to kill, but you will be much more beneficial to your team. [.][highlight]Do I have some sort of initatior/tank top lane or mid?[/highlight] Champions such as Malphite [imgsmall=champ/malphite.png], Wukong [imgsmall=champ/wukong.png], and Rumble[imgsmall=champ/rumble.png] all make great top lane champions that can initiate fights. Because Karthus does not always want to initiate a fight himself, it is great to have a champion with a strong initiation skill. [.][highlight]Do I have enough AD damage?[/highlight] If your team is 3 AP and one AD, you are going to have a major problem. Your opponents are just going to buy a few Negatron Cloaks [imgsmall=items/negatron-cloak.png] and laugh at your teams pitiful damage while they focus down your AD carry. You absolutely need a top lane or a mid lane that deals Physical damage to keep things balanced nicely.

[highlight][center]Counter Jungle[/center][/highlight] Jungle Karthus is powerful, but has a lot of potential counterplay. Jungle Karthus really doesn't want to get counter jungled before he hits level 4 because this will slow him down significantly, keeping him off the higher ranks of Lay Waste that make his jungle clear so fast. Slowing down a champion who's main attribute is speed is a very effective counter. Counter jungling karthus works on a similar principle to keeping an AD based jungler from getting Madred's Razors[imgsmall=items/madreds-razors.png]. Madred's Razors[imgsmall=items/madreds-razors.png] significantly increases jungle speed by such a degree that if you can stop the champion from getting it early, it will slow them down significantly and will have a lasting impact on their ability to jungle. In this twisted analogy, Karthus' "Madred's Razors"[imgsmall=items/madreds-razors.png] is his Lay Waste[imgsmall=skills/karthus/q.png]. The longer you can stop him from getting to level 3, 5, and 7, the slower his overall jungle will be because he won't have levels of his critical jungling spell. [center][highlight]Knockback/Displacement[/highlight][/center] Positioning is very important for Karthus. He needs to be right next to a team to be at his full damage potential, and Karthus really wants to die in the correct position in a fight (typically right on top of an enemy team). Displacement and knockback abilities not only deal significant damage to Karthus because he is pretty easy to kill, but put him in a position where he can't effectively do anything except use [imgsmall=skills/karthus/r.png], heavily lowering his usefulness and damage. [center][highlight]Silence[/highlight][/center] Some AP champions are still at least somewhat useful when silenced, like Sion[imgsmall=champ/sion.png], Akali[imgsmall=champ/akali.png], and Twisted Fate[imgsmall=champ/twistedfate.png]. However, Karthus is not one of these champions. Not only does he lack any abilities that work while silences, he has a channeled ultimate that can be interrupted and rendered useless by silences. With his horrible attack speed and attack range, his auto attacks are useless even by AP standards. Silences can also be a mana-burn like skill when used on Karthus with Defile[imgsmall=skills/karthus/e.png] on. This is because he will be unable to turn off Defile while silenced. If silenced in a bad spot, Karthus can lose upwards of 234 mana just for putting Defile on too early. Karthus also does not want to get knocked up and stunned, but neither last as long as silences can. [title]Karthus Counters[/title] These champions are good against Karthus for a lot of reasons, good enough to be called Karthus counters. [img=champ/kassadin.png] A spamable silence and 15% reduction against magic damage, which is all of the damage Karthus deals. Also, Kassadin is very strong at killing you in your own jungle and stealing it; he can Riftwalk in, and Riftwalk out easily. I suggest you ban Kassadin in ranked if you want to play Karthus. [img=champ/soraka.png] She can completely nullify your ultimate's ability as an execution because her ultimate does the same thing yours does in reverse, at a lower cooldown and for more HP. Until late in the game, your ultimate will just cause her to use hers. Also, she can silence you for 0 mana. Her silence has a long duration, and a low cool down. Karthus HATES getting silenced. [img=champ/tristana.png] Tristana has one of the most powerful knockback abilities in the game, and often runs Summoner Heal[imgsmall=summoners/heal.png]. Karthus wants to be in the middle of a fight, so if he's knocked out of the fight, he does significantly less damage. Also, Tristana has really long range late in the game, which allows her to stay relatively safe from Karthus. [img=champ/shaco.png] Shaco is the bane of your existence. He counterjungles like a boss, and can gank your stupid teamates easily. Often against Shaco you are forced to invade, and with a group of random people in Solo Queue or Normals, this is very difficult to coordinate. He can trap your jungle, which can kill you easily as you often end up with low hp while getting to level 4. Also, his ultimate basically makes him immune to your ultimate as long as it's off of cooldown. Basically Shaco can time his ultimate in such a way that right when he is hit by [imgsmall=skills/karthus/r.png], he uses it, removing him from the map long enough to take zero damage. Vladimir, Master Yi, and Fizz all can do the same thing, but it really seals the deal with Shaco. [img=champ/shen.png] Shen is a real annoyance, but is frequently banned in ranked games. He is very good against your ultimate, can kill you in your jungle, and is amazing late game. His taunt makes you useless and can make you walk out of position as well. [title]Champions with strong abilities against Karthus[/title] The following champions have skills that are especially good against Karthus. [highlight]Counter Jungling Champions[/highlight] [imgsmall=champ/shaco.png][imgsmall=champ/jarvaniv.png][imgsmall=champ/leesin.png][imgsmall=champ/skarner.png][imgsmall=champ/udyr.png][imgsmall=champ/shyvana.png][imgsmall=champ/drmundo.png] [highlight]Knockback/Displacement Champions[/highlight] [imgsmall=champ/vayne.png][imgsmall=champ/anivia.png][imgsmall=champ/blitzcrank.png][imgsmall=champ/gragas.png][imgsmall=champ/janna.png][imgsmall=champ/leesin.png][imgsmall=champ/shyvana.png][imgsmall=champ/skarner.png][imgsmall=champ/alistar.png][imgsmall=champ/fizz.png][imgsmall=champ/poppy.png][imgsmall=champ/tristana.png][imgsmall=champ/ziggs.png][imgsmall=champ/nautilus.png][imgsmall=champ/jayce.png][imgsmall=champ/draven.png][imgsmall=champ/darius.png][imgsmall=champ/diana.png][imgsmall=champ/hecarim.png] [highlight]Silence Champions[/highlight] [imgsmall=champ/blitzcrank.png][imgsmall=champ/fiddlesticks.png][imgsmall=champ/leblanc.png][imgsmall=champ/malzahar.png][imgsmall=champ/talon.png][imgsmall=champ/chogath.png][imgsmall=champ/soraka.png][imgsmall=champ/kassadin.png][imgsmall=champ/viktor.png] [img=items/maw-of-malmortius.png] [title][center]Maw of Malmortius[/center][/title] Maw of Malmortius' honeymoon period is certainly over, but it has stayed relevant. It's a fantastic item against Karthus especially against his ultimate, but is only good on certain champions.

[imgext=] [highlight]THIS IS YOUR PATH. WHITE NUMBERS ARE PURPLE SIDE, BLACK NUMBERS ARE BLUE SIDE.[/highlight] Start with [img=items/cloth-armor.png][img=items/health-potion5.png] Run to Wolves, and take Lay Waste as your first skill. Ask your team to do some damage to wolves after you pull them, so that you can clear them before 1:55, which is when blue buff spawns. Use one health potion while doing wolves. [imgext=] This is how you hit wolves with Lay Waste[imgsmall=skills/karthus/q.png]. Make sure you ask for a leash at blue at [highlight]1:55[/highlight], because you will die otherwise. Aim lay waste so that it will only hit Blue Buff. This is especially important to do if your teammates are too stupid to leash for you, or you are trying this out in a custom game. This will slow you down by a few seconds, but it will save you a bunch of hp. Use smite[imgsmall=summoners/smite.png] on blue when it has less than 445 health remaining. After doing blue, use another hp pot if you took more than 120 damage from blue. [highlight]SUPER IMPORTANT NOTE. YOU REALLY DON'T WANT A REGULAR LEASH ON BLUE, YOU NEED A STRONG ONE.[/highlight] This means that you need to get some damage on your blue, in addition to the leash. Typically, your "help" needs to deal about 250 damage in addition to leashing it. This typically should mean that your mid and top laner each use 3 auto attacks on it if you are Blue side, or your two bot laners should each use 3 auto attacks each to it if you are purple side. Without a reasonable leash, you will not be able to gank at level four, and you will have to go back right after killing your wolves for the 2nd time, which you will survive with about 80 hp. Run as fast as your undead legs will carry you to wraiths. [imgext=] This is how to hit all of the wraiths, and where to position yourself, while killing them. Use Lay Waste[imgsmall=skills/karthus/q.png] to hit all four wraiths at the same time, and turn on [imgsmall=skills/karthus/e.png] for two seconds. Use a health potion [imgsmall=items/health-potion.png] while doing wraiths. Go to where the two golems spawn and start murdering them with extreme prejudice. [imgext=] This is how to hit both Golems at the same time with Lay Waste[imgsmall=skills/karthus/q.png]. Lay Waste[imgsmall=skills/karthus/q.png] and Defile[imgsmall=skills/karthus/e.png] combined is the fastest way to kill both Golems. However, for a significant increase in health (which is much more noticeable if you have some form of spellvamp) kill the larger golem first, ignoring the smaller one. Kill the smaller golem with Lay Waste[imgsmall=skills/karthus/q.png], and proceed to run to Red Buff. Make sure you use a health potion [imgsmall=items/health-potion.png] while killing small golems. [imgext=] [highlight]This is a picture of a cat. He sleeps soundly because you are reading this guide.[/highlight] The Lizard Elder holds the red buff you seek, so it is time to murder him for it. [imgext=] This is how to hit all three Lizards with Lay Waste[imgsmall=skills/karthus/q.png]. Aim your Lay Waste so it hits all three lizards. The small lizards will die very quickly, leaving the Lizard Elder to take double damage. Smite[imgsmall=summoners/smite.png] the Lizard Elder when it will kill him, your smite will come off of cooldown from when you did Blue right as the Lizard Elder's hp nears the range where smite will kill him. Make sure to use another HP pot while doing Red Buff (Lizard Elder and Red Buff are the same guy). [highlight]Now you have a few options.[/highlight] [.]Kill your wraiths again, and then kill your Wolves again. I like to call this the "Ballsy" route because you will end up with really low hp afterwards. [.]Kill wraiths to hit level 4, and then attempt to gank a lane afterwards. You will be the same level as mid lane and top lane, so they are both very good to gank right now. The main problem with ganking now is your hp will be roughly 50%, so anyone you try to gank can potentially kill you if you don't play it correctly. DO NOT TRY TO LEVEL 4 GANK LEBLANC [imgsmall=champ/leblanc.png] UNLESS HER IGNITE OR FLASH IS DOWN. YOU WILL BE A FREE KILL OTHERWISE. [.]Kill your wraiths, and then go back. This is called the being a gigantic bitch route, because that is exactly what you're doing. With all of these options, you should be able to buy boots[imgsmall=items/boots-of-speed.png], Meki Pendant[imgsmall=items/meki-pendant.png]/Sapphire Crystal[imgsmall=items/sapphire-crystal.png], and some hp pots[imgsmall=items/health-potion2.png]. [title]COUNTER JUNGLING[/title] Your priority for camps should be Blue Buff > Red Buff > Wraiths > Double Golems > Wolves. If you think you can counterjungle the opposing jungler, be sure to leave one small minion left over, or you effectively wasted your time. The best time to counter jungle is when you know where the opposing jungler is. Opposing jungler went to go gank bot lane? Steal his wolves/Double golems depending on your side of the map. Karthus is fragile if found counterjungling, but he kills camps so quickly that he can often counterjungle safely. [highlight]GOOD MAP AWARENESS IS KEY. LOOK AT YOUR MINIMAP OFTEN.[/highlight] [highlight]If you think you're going to get invaded at blue, you have to mix things up a bit. Try this:[/highlight] [imgext=] [highlight]WHITE NUMBERS ARE PURPLE SIDE, BLACK NUMBERS ARE BLUE SIDE.[/highlight] Start wraiths, and ask for some damage on them while you do them. Use an hp pot [imgsmall=items/health-potion.png] while killing them. After wraiths, do Red Buff with a leash, and smite it when it gets to 445 hp or lower. Now you are level two with red buff. If you think you can go gank a lane now, get Wall of Pain at level two and Defile at level 4. Otherwise, stick to Defile at level 2 and Wall at level 4. You will run out of mana ridiculously quickly with no Blue Buff. To save mana, space out your Lay Wastes[imgsmall=skills/karthus/q.png] so that you can get one auto attack in between them. This doesn't work while you have blue because the cool down of Lay Waste[imgsmall=skills/karthus/q.png] will be too low, but it will work without it. After Red and Wraiths are cleared, do double golems and then wolves, then do Wraiths for the second time once they come back. GO BACK BEFORE YOU DO BLUE BUFF. The entire reason to not start at blue buff is so that you don't get invaded, so you do not want to get caught doing it with low health. When you go back, if you made a successful gank you can probably afford boots, a mana crystal, and two health pots if you sell cloth armor. However, if you did not net a kill for your self, just hold onto your cloth armor, buy some boots and as many hp pots as you possibly can. Run to blue and continue jungling normally. [youtube][/youtube] In this video from Stonewall008, he uses 21/0/9 Masteries, AP Quints, Magic Pen Marks, Armor Yellows, and AP Blues. This video nicely illustrates how Jungle Karthus goes without a leash (quite poorly) as he gets to around 90 hp at the end. The path is still the same one I would use when starting at blue, and with a leash will save you a few hundred health.

There is a whole other style of playing jungle Karthus because all of his damage is ranged. Basically, you stand as far away from the jungle monsters as possible in order to take minimum damage. For anyone who has good mechanical skills, kite the monsters back and forth while using Lay Waste to get even more HP at the end. [highlight]HOWEVER!!![/highlight] this style slows you down significantly, you lose about 10-15 seconds on your jungle time for about 100 extra hp at the end. Best used if expecting to get counter jungled, or getting counter jungled. [highlight]Wraiths[/highlight] [imgext=] [highlight]Golems[/highlight] [imgext=] [highlight]Wolves[/highlight] [imgext=] These are not the only possible places to stand. Just remember, you want to stand at maximum range against the camps to give them the longest possible travel time to you, saving you damage. If using this method, you better know how fast the enemies move or they will dodge your attacks.

Karthus is not the best initiator, but he can certainly do so in a pinch. His main tool for initiation is Wall of Pain. If you hit at least two members of the opposing team, it is often a good idea to start fighting, especially if they are not near a tower. If they are near a tower, you need to wall 3-5 people for it to be an effective initiation, unless your team is far stronger than the opposing team. The most important thing about picking fights with Karthus is to gauge the opposing team's strength against your own team's strengths. [.]Are they down a member? [.]Is my team down a member? [.]Is their team low in health? [.]Is my team low in health? [.]Does their team have a significant gold/buff advantage? [.]Does my team have a significant gold/buff advantage? If the opposing team is equal in strength to your team, your best bet is to use Lay Waste[imgsmall=skills/karthus/q.png] to "poke" the other team until your team has a significant health advantage, or someone is forced to return to base. Lay Waste is a strong poke, dealing high damage at a long, often safe range. However, while poking, don't stray too far from your teammates. You will need their protection in case someone on the opposing team tries to initiate on you. When a fight inevitably breaks out, this is what you want to do with Karthus. You have two main options. [highlight]Option 1[/highlight] Stick to the back of the fight, trying to remain as safe as possible, using Lay Waste[imgsmall=skills/karthus/q.png] on whatever is in your range, and hitting as many people on the opposing team with Wall of Pain[imgsmall=skills/karthus/w.png] as you can. [highlight]Option 2[/highlight] Run in like a mad skeleton (flash in if you can't close the gap easily) and immediately use Wall of Pain[imgsmall=skills/karthus/w.png] on everyone near you. Turn on Defile[imgsmall=skills/karthus/e.png], and run toward whatever you can hit while using Lay Waste[imgsmall=skills/karthus/q.png]. When you inevitably die, use Requiem[imgsmall=skills/karthus/r.png] in order to deal as much damage as possible, and then use any of your skills that aren't on cool down, and leave Defile[imgsmall=skills/karthus/e.png] on. [highlight]Option 1[/highlight] is preferable if you have someone else to initiate the fight for you, and don't have a whole lot of defensive items yet (No Rod of Ages[imgsmall=items/rod-of-ages.png], no Abyssal Scepter[imgsmall=items/abyssal-scepter.png], No Rylai's Crystal Scepter[imgsmall=items/rylais-crystal-scepter.png], etc.) [highlight]Option 2[/highlight] is preferable if you have some form of defense (Rod of Ages and Rylai's Crystal Scepter especially) and have no real initiator on your team. Option 2 is also preferable when someone on the opposing team is in a massively unsafe position.

[center][title]The Oil in the Machine that is Karthus[/title] [/center] [center][img=items/catalyst-the-protector.png][/center] This item is what helps Karthus stay in his own jungle due to its passive. Because of Karthus' quick leveling, this passive will activate often, and give you a sizable chunk of both HP and mana. You really need to rush this as fast as possible. If you can't afford to complete it right away, this is the correct order in which to build it: [img=items/sapphire-crystal.png]-->[img=items/ruby-crystal.png]-->[img=items/catalyst-the-protector.png] This is because Sapphire Crystal[imgsmall=items/sapphire-crystal.png] greatly increases your mana pool for a low cost (2 gold per mana), allowing you to stay in the jungle for longer and increasing your mana regeneration while holding blue buff. Also, Sapphire Crystal is significantly cheaper, allowing you to buy Sapphire Crystal and two HP pots[imgsmall=items/health-potion2.png] for the same cost as a Ruby Crystal[imgsmall=items/ruby-crystal.png]. Alternately, you can rush Tear of the Goddess. [center] [img=items/tear-of-the-goddess.png][/center] If you're building Tear of the Goddess, you want to build it in the following order [img=items/meki-pendant.png]-->[img=items/sapphire-crystal.png]-->[img=items/tear-of-the-goddess.png] Although Sapphire Crystal gives more mana at the start, the longer you stay in your jungle, the greater the bonus mana you get from Meki Pendant. Meki Pendant is also significantly cheaper than Sapphire Crystal, (hey, 10 gold is a big deal! It's almost a 3rd of a health pot!). The problem that Tear of the Goddess doesn't fix is the fact that you will slowly die in the jungle. There is no way around this without spending some money. You could buy a million health pots, or you could buy this fancy thing... [img=items/hextech-revolver.png]-->[img=items/will-of-the-ancients.png] What!? You say. But Skeleton men don't use guns! Well too bad, Karthus does. Hextech Revolver into a Will of the Ancients gives Karthus really high sustain in the jungle. Will of the Ancients will allow Karthus to be a real team player, helping out anyone on his team that can make use of Spellvamp, AP, or both. Despite the recent nerfs, Hextech Revolver and Will of the Ancients are still viable, but I prefer Catalyst.

[center][title]GOOD ITEMS[/title][/center] [img=items/athenes-unholy-grail.png] This item is very strong and is a good alternative to help you restore mana over Tear of the Goddess and Rod of Ages because of its early game base [imgsmall=items/chalice-of-harmony.png] Chalice of Harmony. Great against an AP heavy team, and helps Jungle Karthus fit into more possible team compositions because it lowers his reliance on blue buff. [img=items/abyssal-scepter.png] Abyssal Scepter increases your survival ability greatly against AP heavy teams, and helps you do a lot more damage to jungle monsters. Also really nice if your team is AP heavy, because it reduces opposing magic resistance. Be wary of this item however, as an observant opponent will see you inside bushes because of the debuff they get. TL;DR: Not great for ganks but shreds jungle monsters to bits. [img=items/archangels-staff.png] If you want to build one of these, it would probably not be a great idea to get a Rod of Ages[imgsmall=items/rod-of-ages.png] as well, because both together are not only extreme overkill to solve Karthus' mana issues, but delay his ability to deal high damage by a great amount. If you plan on getting an Archangel's Staff, substitute Catalyst the Protector[imgsmall=items/catalyst-the-protector.png] for Tear of the Goddess[imgsmall=items/tear-of-the-goddess.png], and do not buy a Rod of Ages[imgsmall=items/rod-of-ages.png]. Rod of Ages + Archangels can work, but you are going to be REALLY reliant on your early game if you decide to go for both. [img=items/banshees-veil.png] Banshee's Veil is a decent defensive item that gives significant Health and Magic Resistance. It gives a great sheild that blocks one spell, too. However it is very expensive for a defensive item, and is not worthwhile every game. However, against certain champions like Ashe where you can block a game changing spell, Banshee's Veil is fantastic. A very situational item, but very strong. [img=items/quicksilver-sash.png] If you see that opposing crowd control is stopping you from doing anything, buy this. Also great against Malzahar[imgsmall=champ/malzahar.png] in general, and removes skills such as Ignite[imgsmall=summoners/ignite.png], and Children of the Grave[imgsmall=champ/mordekaiser.png]. Quicksilver Sash will also remove Exhaust[imgsmall=summoners/exhaust.png] and Ignite[imgsmall=summoners/ignite.png]. [img=items/rabadons-deathcap.png] Allows you to deal stupid amounts of damage. Buy this thing every game. [img=items/rod-of-ages.png] A fantastic item that gives you a huge HP and mana pool, and gives a nice chunk of AP. Rod of Ages must be built early in the game to get full value for the gold spent. This is because it takes ten minutes to get full stats on Rod of Ages. Also, a level 18 Champion gets no use whatsoever from the on level up passive of Rod of Ages. Either get this item early on, or don't bother. [img=items/rylais-crystal-scepter.png] It gives you a global slow, and makes running away from you nearly impossible. Also greatly increases your health, making you a lot harder to take down. Rylai's Crystal Scepter does not replace Rod of Ages, but it will make up for the HP you lack without one. [img=items/sorcerers-shoes.png] These boots greatly increase your damage against opposing champions. I would buy these every game as jungle Karthus. If you are worried about opposing crowd control, buy Quick Silver Sash[imgsmall=items/quicksilver-sash.png]. [img=items/mercurys-treads.png] These boots are for the rare game where the opposing team is just full of crowd control machines such as Nautilus[imgsmall=champ/nautilus.png], Sejuani [imgsmall=champ/sejuani.png], Fiddlesticks [imgsmall=champ/fiddlesticks.png], Rammus[imgsmall=champ/rammus.png]. Blitzcrank and Alistar are Champions that are crowd control machines as well, but Mercury's Treads [highlight]DO NOT REDUCE THEIR "STUN" DURATIONS![/highlight] Knock ups and knock backs are not effected by Mercury's Treads. [img=items/boots-of-mobility.png] Buy this if you want to gank EVERYWHERE AND EVERYTHING FOREVER AND ETERNITY. An extremely strong item if you gank over and over, but completely useless otherwise. At around the 30 - 40 minute mark, sell this and buy different boots, but until then Boots of Mobility gives you insane map presence. [img=items/void-staff.png] Allows you to deal much greater damage to anyone with high amounts of magic resitance. Buy this every game. I like to buy this every game because enemies will always have some form of magic resistance. Buying this item before your opponents build any bonus magic resistance is not always a bad thing, because you will be prepared once they do buy some. If your enemies do not buy any magic resistance, congratulations and enjoy your free kills! [img=items/will-of-the-ancients.png] A fantastic item that gives you a great amount of hp from each spell you cast. Greatly increases survival in team fights, as well as giving a nice bonus to anyone else on your team that use spell damage, such as [imgsmall=champ/kennen.png][imgsmall=champ/vladimir.png][imgsmall=champ/riven.png][imgsmall=champ/rumble.png][imgsmall=champ/ezreal.png]. [img=items/zhonyas-hourglass.png] This item gives a large chunk of AP, as well as 50 armor, making it a great item when worried about opposing AD carries and bruisers. It also has an amazingly powerful active, allowing you to be untargetable for 2 seconds. Defile[imgsmall=skills/karthus/e.png] can be left on while using this item active, allowing Karthus to still do something while untargetable. [center][title]BAD ITEMS[/title][/center] [img=items/atmas-impaler.png][img=items/warmogs-armor.png] DO IT YOU WON'T. [img=items/deathfire-grasp.png] Can be decent against an opposing team that stacks HP, but mostly is outclassed by every other item that is strong on Karthus. If you had 8 item slots, maybe as your 8th item this might be good. The main redeeming factor of this item is that it builds from Kage's Lucky Pick [imgsmall=items/kages-lucky-pick.png], the only gold generation item that helps Karthus Jungle. Not really a bad item per se, but not exactly fantastic. [img=items/haunting-guise.png] This item has gained a lot of popularity recently. See the next section if you'd like to use it, but in a typical build this item is very weak. [img=items/lich-bane.png] Karthus has one of the worst ranged auto attacks in the game, with horrible range and a really unresponsive animation nearly on par with Soraka[imgsmall=champ/soraka.png]. Also, Lay Waste's cool down is so low that it is unlikely that you will be able to auto attack in between uses of Lay Waste[imgsmall=skills/karthus/q.png]. [img=items/trinity-force.png] Unless you are Phreak, do not buy this on Karthus. [img=items/wriggles-lantern.png] You are not the type of jungler that can make use of this item. [img=items/mejais-soulstealer.png] It's easy to see why people build this on Karthus. He can pick up stacks while sitting in safety, and can be very difficult to kill because he is often quite tanky. However, Mejai's has two main issues [number]1.[/number]You will become worse at Karthus, not better or more effective. Mejai's teaches you to avoid dying. This is a huge waste on Karthus. I can't emphasize this enough, but KARTHUS WANTS TO DIE. If you play a game of Karthus where you go 2/0/1, and the game lasted longer than 15 minutes, you have failed. It doesn't matter if you won or lost, you still failed. You had opportunities to utilize your strengths as Karthus, and you did not take those opportunities. I see lots of people complain about how they have a fantastic kill/death ratio every game but they can't break out of a 50/50 win loss ratio. This is because this player doesn't take any risks at all. I could write an entire book on this concept, but that doesn't belong here. Just remember, this is not a game about killing other players, it's a game about Killing a structure in the opposing base. [number]2.[/number]This item is heavily inefficient. Mejai's as an item is not strong on Karthus. With full stacks, it gives you good stats for the cost, but not for the item slot. Mejai's doesn't do anything for Karthus but add to his damage until it hits max stacks. That means one death, or not coming up with the ten kills/20 assists needed makes the item not worth it. Without the CDR, you are taking up a slot that could help your survivability, your utility, your mana, and even your damage. Mejai's is outclasses by Deathcap when you want damage, and Morello's Evil Tome if you want CDR. Assuming 10 kills for 300 gold each, Mejai's requires you to gain 3000 gold from champion kills before it becomes strong.

[title][highlight]In light of recent meta game changes, you can totally ignore the above section of this guide if you want to go for a build with a totally different mindset.[/highlight][/title] [img=items/sorcerers-shoes.png][img=items/haunting-guise.png][img=items/abyssal-scepter.png] [highlight]This is your core.[/highlight] Combined, you obtain 60 Spell Penetration. Because this is applied after the 15% MR reduction on your Wall of Pain, you will be dealing true damage or near true damage to almost any opponent even if they have a Magic Resistance item. With this build, you have to gank CONSTANTLY or you will fall really behind. As a trade off, you will kill people in 3 or 4 Lay Wastes from full HP, which is pretty ridiculous. Remember, you also need some form of Mana and HP sustain, you will probably have to hang onto a Catalyst or something... or you can buy millions of these! [img=items/health-potion.png][img=items/mana-potion.png] 35 Gold is a pretty small price to pay for this much HP and Mana sustain, just try not to buy too many as it will add up quickly and delay your items. You have to find the perfect balance of buying pots and buying real items which can be [highlight]very difficult[/highlight].

This is a video of Atlanta playing Jungle Karthus. He is a pretty high ELO dude, usually well known for any team he's on being nicknamed "Atlanta's Team". He uses the Tear of the Goddess/Will of the Ancients jungle Karthus build. [imgsmall=items/tear-of-the-goddess.png][imgsmall=items/will-of-the-ancients.png] [own3d][/own3d] [highlight]If you find any other High ELO Jungle Karthus Videos, let me know![/highlight]

Jungle Karthus can be a very strong pick for an AP jungler, and levels and farms like no other. Expect more pictures and a section on warding eventually. I used Stonewall008's League of Legends - S2 Jungle Karthus video in the guide. All credit for this video goes to Stonewall008, I had nothing to do with making it. You can find more stuff from him at and he also posts blogs on I also used Youtube user Sweetiebutt 's video Natsumiii - Don't Lock-in Jungle Karthus [Brokenhearted Parody] which I just found today (October 1st 2012). You can find more from her at: I know that no one reads this section so I just want to include something a little personal. I was recently banned for a week, until 12/14/12. I received this ban because of games that I played before my previous ban. As far as I'm concerned right now, Riot doesn't care about their players whatsoever who have had toxic behavior in the past. Once you hit the tribunal once, you're marked for life for some reason. To make matters worse I can't even e-mail support on if the same thing will happen when I am "unbanned", so it looks like my account it essentially toast. I tried to e-mail them and all I got was a stock response about how I am banned, with no one even reading what I had to say. After all the money and time I spent playing this game, it really saddens me that I'm not even worth someone reading one e-mail.

This guide is never going to get updated again. [highlight]For more from me, go to for "Outback in the Jungle, a Jungle Renekton guide".[/highlight] My next guide is going to be for [highlight]Miss Fortune[/highlight]. That guide is about 50% completed at the moment, but I am trying to hit 1700 ELO before I release it so that it isn't just a load of crap. Expect it by the end of August! [highlight]Thanks,[/highlight] Mushroom Stampede

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