Mar 21, 2018

Weird Picks #97: Bot Lane Karthus

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Tired of the meta and looking for something nobody plays but still works? Try out Karthus bot lane for a try! He's not your traditional marksman, but can still cheese out some clean wins in normal games. Check out how it works below!

Introduction

Tired of the meta and looking for something nobody plays but still works? Try out Karthus bot lane for a try! He's not your traditional marksman, but can still cheese out some clean wins in normal games. Check out how it works below!

How to Play
Abilities: Q, E, Q, W then prioritize R > Q > E > W
Summoner Spells: Flash + Heal
Starting Items: Doran Ring + Health Potions
Core Items: Tear of the Goddess (Upgrade after Luden), Luden's Echo, Sorcerer's Shoes, Rabaddon's Deathcap, Void Staff, Zhonya's Hourglass

Rune Setup

How It Works

Low Magic Resist Bot Laners
Ever since the change to magic resist via runes and masteries in Season 8, bot laners are more susceptible than ever to some heavy magic damage. Playing Karthus bot lane along with another aggressive support like Brand leaves them open to massive damage early game.

Difficulty Dodging
Karthus is a champion that's rarely played anymore, much less played bot lane. This means that most players are going to be unfamiliar with the massive damage that his isolated Lay Waste [Q] dishes out. This allows you to land a ton more damage than you would otherwise.

Consistent Damage
The core purpose of bot lane is to have a glass cannon that can deal sustained damage. With the cooldown on his Q, Karthus fulfills that role easily. Better yet, if the enemy tries to dive him and succeeds in a kill, Karthus is still able to dish out damage via his passive.

Potential Pitfalls

Low to no Tower Damage
When it comes to auto attacks, Karthus has the most pathetic ranged attack in the game, hands down. Even Janna's is better than his. This means that when it comes to hitting turrets, Karthus is severely lacking for a ranged champion. This makes it difficult to get first tower without assistance, and results in a kill lane with little follow-up on success.

Low Escape Power
Although Karthus has a good wall to slow down enemies, if he actually gets engaged on early game, then it's lights out for this guy. At range he can duel with almost anyone, but up close and personal is where things get hairy.

Difficult Maintaining Mana Early
Before you pick up Tear of the Goddess and Lost Chapter, simultaneously clearing minions and harassing the enemy champions will easily leave you out of mana. Getting your second skill point in Defile [E] definitely helps you to keep your mana up, but make sure your support is also someone with good kill potential/wave clear (BRAND).

Conclusions

As a bot laner Karthus is definitely able to do a lot of the same things you've come to expect from your glass cannon marksmen. However, he doesn't do all of the objective taking requirements that other marksmen are capable of, thus landing him in Tier 3.

Suggested Tier: Tier 3

What do you think about Bot Lane Karthus? Comment below!

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