The Best Karthus Tips & Tricks For Beginners

Karthus is a popular jungle champion for players who like to play for the late game while avoiding to engage in early skirmishes. As a jungler, he has a pretty weird champion design but his identity is already established within this role. However, beginners may not understand how to play this champion at first that’s why we’re giving out some Karthus tips and tricks that will help new players get a better feel on this hero.

Karthus Tips and Tricks

Karthus is a champion that likes to get into the middle of a fight and doesn’t mind dying since he utilizes his unique kit to scale in the late game and become an incredibly dangerous global threat that enemies won’t be able to run away from. He has no redeeming features in the early stages of the game, but once he manages to get a lot of kills and assists, he’ll be able to carry the entire game and make it annoying for enemy carries to move freely.

Karthus Montage S11 - R FOR PENTAKILL
Learn the best Karthus tips and tricks!

The biggest problem with Karthus is that he is extremely immobile, that’s why it’s almost always a death sentence for him to get within an enemy’s range. Luckily for this champion, dying is somewhat a part of his playstyle so players who get blamed for dying so much in game may want to choose this champion. We’ve prepared a few Karthus tips and tricks that should help any player get started when they pick him up.

1. Play A Little Passively During the Laning Phase

Junglers are always expected to gank, but Karthus doesn’t really offer anything as a ganking champion so he prefers to play passively and farm up. That being said, we’re not saying you should totally avoid ganking your lanes because that might cause them to get pushed far due to enemy pressure. Instead, you should gank for the purpose of pushing the enemy away and with very low expectations that you might get a kill.

Karthus farming in the jungle - Karthus tips
Know your champion’s limits!

Karthus also has very low dueling capabilities, so it’s not a great idea to try invading the enemy jungler without information about where they are. Early objectives such as Rift Heralds and Dragons are usually forfeited unless you have the support of your team and have good lane priority. Giving enemies early kills can be devastating for your team, so never give them a chance to snowball early by using your passive as an excuse to give away kills by playing aggressively.

2. Teamfighting as Karthus

Karthus’ playstyle goes full 180 once he reaches level 6. This champion basically loves teamfighting whenever his ultimate is active because he can rend the enemy’s lineup by diving into the middle of the enemy team and activating his W ability. As we mentioned, don’t be afraid to die as Karthus because his passive allows him to stay in the fight as a ghost for a few seconds and is able to use his Q ability to deal extra damage.

Karthus attacking 4 dummies at once - Karthus tips
Get into the thick of it!

When you’re teamfighting as Karthus, spam all your abilities while standing in the middle of the team. Once you die, you’ll be able to do a few more actions so you should take advantage of this time to hit the enemy carries using your Q ability. Finish the teamfight off by using your ultimate ability to deal a ton of damage to the enemy team. Of course, you should do all of this if your allies are able to follow up on your play.

3. Don’t Be Afraid to Steal a Kill

Kill-stealing is often considered rude in League of Legends, but any Karthus player would tell you that you NEED to steal kills as often as you can. One of the best Karthus tips is using your watching the map for fights that are happening around the map, always use your ultimate ability to contribute to the fight with the aim of getting the kill. However, don’t let the enemy’s HP get too low because your ally might end up getting the kill before you’re even credited an assist.

Karthus using ult on Ashe - Karthus tips
Get some much-needed gold!

The main reason that you want to kill steals is because Karthus doesn’t really have any dueling capabilities and is not the most powerful ganking champion in the game. That’s why he mostly waits until level 6 before he really gets the chance to kill off enemies with his ultimate ability. Be conscious of the of the map state to see if your allies are in a fight, time your ultimate to get a steal or at least an assist. Although, you should expect a lot of angry people.

4. Proper Usage of Ultimate While Passive is Active

The most common mistake that beginners make is activating Karthus’ ultimate ability immediately after their passive is proc’d. The proper usage of this ability combo is to use your Q ability 3 times consecutively before using your ultimate ability. As your ability haste increases throughout the game, the number of Lay Waste (Karthus’ Q) you can do before the timer of your passive expires increases as well.

Karthus' passive activated - Karthus tips
Maximize the damage you deal!

One of the most useful Karthus tips and tricks that players need to learn about early is understanding that they are most powerful when they are in their undead state. This is because they are basically in an unstoppable state and don’t have to worry about spending mana while the passive is activated. You can test out all the combos that you can do in the practice tool to better understand how this champion works.

5. Refunding Mana using Karthus

You’ll notice quickly that Karthus is a champion that quickly burns through your mana pool when you use his abilities constantly. The problem is that there really isn’t an option where you can simply stop using your abilities just to save mana, so you should learn about his mana refund mechanic on his E ability – Defile – which allows Karthus to refund a portion of his mana whenever you kill a unit, which includes minions and jungle monsters.

Karthus hitting the scuttle crab - Karthus tips
Manage your resources!

The mana refund mechanic is a passive ability, so you don’t have to kill units using your E ability just to refund mana. Auto-attacks and the usage of the Q ability can also help him refund mana. That’s why you should try last hitting multiple enemies with one instance of Lay Waste to maximize the refund if you’re very low on mana. Even though you’ll get more damage from isolating each target, it’s a good idea to do this when you need to manage your resources.

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