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Previous Lore

"There is no sweeter song than the last breath of the dying." - KarthusSquare Karthus

Karthus is a terrible creature who was once a mortal so obsessed with death that he eagerly embraced the gift of undeath. Now in his unlife as a lich, Karthus is closer to his beloved grave than he ever imagined. He commands magic with oblivion as its source, and seeks to bring his grim truth to the rest of the world: only in death does life gain clarity and purpose.

Even as a boy, Karthus was different. There was a darkness within him that could not be denied. The young child clung to the shadows and shunned the company of others. He snuck into the funerals of strangers, and spoke to their tombstones in the cemetery. He sought out corpses of animals to preserve and memorialize them, creating a grim collection of morbid art.

Karthus volunteered to tend to the sick and dying, though his intentions were not to help, but to closely witness the passing of those who were beyond help. Ultimately, he went so far as to elaborately stage his death, and he secretly observed his own funeral with intense fascination. When others discovered what Karthus had done, they were so shocked and disturbed that, in a way, he became truly dead to them. Karthus found himself fully rejected by the living. His isolation only served to fuel his obsession.

Karthus delved further into his exploration of death, and became fascinated by the legends of the Shadow Isles. There, it was said, the specters of the deceased continued on in unlife everlasting. Possessed by these tales, he knew he had to discover for himself if they were true. Journeying to those dreaded isles, Karthus soon found himself wandering through the mist, overcome by the surreal beauty of the place. He felt as if he had finally come home.

He had always chased the elusive purity of the moment of death, when life passed and in a single instant achieved meaning. Karthus saw that undeath was like that moment, preserved in dread stillness forever. He had discovered his destiny, to cross over the veil and leave the living behind for eternity. Something awoke in the Shadow Isles that day, when Karthus did something no other creature had ever done: he willingly gave his life over to undeath.

When he reentered the world, Karthus had become the embodiment of his own obsession. An undying lich with the keys to life and death, he seeks to bring his dark Requiem Requiem to the world.


"Come visit my home, and I shall sing a dirge of your life as it once was." - KarthusSquare Karthus
Karthus Render old

The vast quantities of physical magic that were consumed and destroyed during Valoran's numerous Rune Wars have scarred much of Valoran. Many locations far from civilization have been morphed into hazardous and dangerous locales.

The Howling Marsh is one of these places, and the self-appointed overlord of this land is the lich known as Karthus. It is thought that Karthus was a mage who, in life, was foolish enough to enter the fetid waters seeking his fortune, and that he was forever transformed by whatever dark magic permeates the swamp.

Karthus now rules over his swampy dominion with an iron (albeit skeletal) fist. Visitors are not welcome, and those who are not scared away by the lich's terrible power most likely end up as one of the undead themselves... skeletons and zombies in Karthus' growing army of eternal servants. On the darkest of nights, Karthus is said to sing the tales of those who have succumbed to the swamp, past and present.

Karthus' tenure in the League of Legends is one of the more unusual ones in the history of the League. First, it is highly unusual that a lich who was known for isolation and hatred of life would even be a willing part of an organization which promoted the preservation of life. Next, Karthus specifically eschews the accrual of power and influence gained through service to the League; he is essentially an unpaid volunteer.

This behavior is completely different than what his life outside of the League would have onlookers believe. Karthus has never spoken about his intentions in being a champion of the League, and in fact becomes quite agitated when asked about it. In the interests of not aggravating a lich, most sensible people subsequently drop the issue.


Previous Abilities

Previous Quotes

Upon Selection
  •  
    Karthus Select
    "Do you... feel a chill?"
Attacking/Movement
  •  
    Karthus.attack1
    "Share... my curse!"
  •  
    Karthus.attack2
    "Their pain... is my pleasure!"
  •  
    Karthus.attack3
    "I... obey."
  •  
    Karthus.attack4
    "Float... on..."
  •  
    Karthus.attack5
    "Your wish?"
  •  
    Karthus.attack6
    "For the unliving!"
Taunt
  •  
    Karthus.taunt
    "I'll put you... in my book!"
Joke
  •  
    Karthus.joke
    "I cannot use your skull. You have a misshapen head."
Laugh
  •  
    Karthus.laugh1
    Karthus laughs.
  •  
    Karthus.laugh2
    Karthus laughs.
  •  
    Karthus.laugh3
    Karthus laughs.

Previous Splash Art



Patch History

V7.24
  • Requiem Requiem
    • AP ratio increased to 75% AP from 60% AP.
V7.22
  • Stats
    • Base health increased to 528 from 516.
    • Health growth increased to 87 from 75.
V7.9
  • Stats
    • Magic resistance growth increased to 0.5 from 0.
V7.8
  • Lay Waste Lay Waste
    • New Effect: Can now be buffered. Casts input as Lay Waste explodes will now automatically fire once Lay Waste comes off cooldown, unless Karthus cancels the command.
V6.4
  • KarthusSquare Statue of Karthus [S|L]
    • Bug Fix: Eagle screech being heard globally by allies when Karthus dances.
V5.24
  • Wall of Pain Wall of Pain
    • New Effect: Wall slow is reduced to 20 / 25 / 30 / 35 / 40% after 1 second.
V5.6
  • General
    • Basic attack frame improved.
V5.5
  • Wall of Pain Wall of Pain
    • Bug Fix: Enemy champions sometimes dashing through wall and not being slowed.
V4.11
  • Requiem Requiem
    • Bug Fix: Allied-ultimate HUD indicator displaying as available when it wasn't.
V4.10
  • KarthusSquare Statue of Karthus [S|L]
    • New Effect: A certain bird of prey screeches when Karthus dances.
  • Lay Waste Lay Waste
    • Bug Fix: Fixed a bug where Lay Waste appeared to give more vision than it actually did.
  • Wall of Pain Wall of Pain
    • Bug Fix: No longer interrupted by movement commands.
  • Requiem Requiem
    • Particle updated for visibility.

V4.9

  • General
    • Visual upgrade across all skins
    • A new voice over (new voice actor)
    • New lore
    • New icons
    • New classic splash artwork
    • Added team-color indicators to basic abilities.
  • Lay Waste Lay Waste
    • Added a new indicator that shows the full area of effect.
    • Added crit-style combat text and a unique sound effect for double-damage Qs.
  • Wall of Pain Wall of Pain
    • Added a visual debuff effect that marks affected enemy champions.
V4.5
  • Stats
    • Base armor increased to 15 from 11.
V4.4
V3.12
  • Requiem Requiem
    • Enemy warning buff duration updated to match impact delay.
V3.10
  • Lay Waste Lay Waste
    • New Effect: Casts at maximum range when targeted beyond max range during Death Defied Death Defied
  • Defile Defile
    • AP ratio reduced to 20% AP from 25% AP.
    • Bug Fix: Fixed a bug where cooldown reduction allowed it to be rapidly toggled, increasing its damage output.
V3.7
  • Requiem Requiem
    • Bug fix: Should not longer have a major FPS performance hit across all maps.
V1.0.0.152
  • Stats
    • Movement speed increased to 335 from 310.
V1.0.0.146
  • Wall of Pain Wall of Pain
    • Removed: No longer reduces armor.
    • Magic resistance reduction changed to 15% from flat 15 / 20 / 25 / 30 / 35.
V1.0.0.142
  • Requiem Requiem
    • Cooldown increased to 200 / 180 / 160 seconds from 180 / 150 / 120.
V1.0.0.131
V1.0.0.130
  • Dominion
    • Bug Fix: Karthus sometimes immediately awarding a double kill when affected by both Sunlight Sunlight and Storm Shield.
  • Wall of Pain Wall of Pain
    • Wall duration reduced to 5 seconds from 7.
    • Slow application changed to once from per-crossing.
V1.0.0.126
V1.0.0.118
  • Death Defied Death Defied
    • Duration reduced to 7 seconds from 8.
    • Removed: 20% death timer reduction.
  • Requiem Requiem
    • AP ratio reduced to 60% AP from 70% AP.
V1.0.0.105
  • Wall of Pain Wall of Pain
    • Tooltip updated to emphasize decaying slow effect.
V1.0.0.103
  • Death Defied Death Defied
    • New Effect: All abilties are free to cast while active.
    • Bug Fix: Various usability issues.
  • Lay Waste Lay Waste
    • Mana cost reduced to 20 / 26 / 32 / 38 / 44 from 20 / 28 / 36 / 44 / 52.
  • Wall of Pain Wall of Pain
    • Cooldown reduced to 18 seconds from 22.
V1.0.0.101
  • Death Defied Death Defied
    • New Effect: Grants 20% death timer reduction to compensate for active duration.
    • Code remade for bug fixing and for usability issues.
V1.0.0.100
  • Wall of Pain Wall of Pain
    • Bug Fix: Rank-up tooltip displaying incorrect slow increase.
V1.0.0.99
  • Requiem Requiem
    • Mana cost reduced to 150 / 175 / 200 from 200 / 300 / 400.
V1.0.0.86
  • Lay Waste Lay Waste
    • Bug Fix: Tooltip displaying incorrect AP ratio.
V1.0.0.75
V1.0.0.70
  • Stats
    • Armor per level increased to 3.5 from 3.
  • Lay Waste Lay Waste
    • Range increased to 875 from 825.
    • Mana cost reduced to 20 / 28 / 36 / 44 / 52 from 24 / 32 / 40 / 48 / 54.
V1.0.0.63
  • General
    • Basic attack projectile speed increased to 1200 from 800.
  • Lay Waste Lay Waste
    • Base damage increased to 40 / 60 / 80 / 100 / 120 from 35 / 55 / 75 / 95 / 115.
    • AP ratio increased to 30% AP) from 25% AP.
  • Defile Defile
    • AP ratio increased to 25% AP) from 20% AP.
  • Requiem Requiem
    • Removed: No longer reveals Karthus to enemies when cast.
V1.0.0.61
  • Lay Waste Lay Waste
    • AP ratio increased to 25% AP from 20% AP.
V1.0.0.52
  • Lay Waste Lay Waste
    • Bug Fix: Corrected AP ratio.
  • Wall of Pain Wall of Pain
    • Bug Fix: Slowing units 2 seconds after particle had faded.
V1.0.0.32
  • Lay Waste Lay Waste
    • Mana cost reduced to 24 / 32 / 40 / 48 / 54 from 25 / 35 / 45 / 55 / 65.
  • Defile Defile
    • Mana cost reduced to 30 / 42 / 54 / 66 / 78 from 30 / 45 / 60 / 75 / 90.
V0.9.25.34
  • General
    • Secondary/critical strike animations updated.
V0.9.25.24
  • General
V0.9.25.21
  • Death Defied Death Defied
    • Duration reduced to 8 seconds from 10.
  • Lay Waste Lay Waste
    • Mana cost increased to 25 / 35 / 45 / 55 / 65 from 24 / 32 / 40 / 48 / 54.
  • Wall of Pain Wall of Pain
    • Wall updated for visibility.
    • Bug Fix: Incorrect wall appearance.
    • Bug Fix: Targets sometimes not being slowed when crossing the wall.
    • Duration reduced to 7 seconds from 9.
  • Defile Defile
    • Mana cost increased to 30 / 45 / 60 / 75 / 90 from 30 / 40 / 50 / 60 / 70.
V0.9.22.16
  • Lay Waste Lay Waste
    • Mana cost increased to 24 / 32 / 40 / 48 / 54 from 18 / 26 / 34 / 42 / 50.
  • Defile Defile
    • On-kill mana gain changed to 20 / 27 / 34 / 41 / 48 from 15 / 25 / 35 / 45 / 55.
    • Removed: Mana regen on champion kill.
    • Mana cost increased to 30 / 40 / 50 / 60 / 70 from 25 / 35 / 45 / 55 / 65.
  • Requiem Requiem
    • AP ratio reduced to 60% AP from 70% AP.
    • Removed: Can no longer be disrupted by Cleanse Cleanse.
V0.9.22.15
  • Stats
    • Base attack damage increased to 44 from 39.
  • Lay Waste Lay Waste
    • Range reduced to 825 from 900.
  • Wall of Pain Wall of Pain
    • New Effect: Wall targeting cursor.
  • Defile Defile
    • Removed: No longer doubles cost upon casting.
V0.8.21.110
  • Lay Waste Lay Waste
    • AoE diameter increased to 200 from 185.
July 10, 2009 Patch
  • Requiem Requiem
    • Base damage increased to 250 / 400 / 550 from 200 / 350 / 550.
June 26, 2009 Patch
  • Wall of Pain Wall of Pain
    • Slow reduced to 40 / 50 / 60 / 70 / 80% from 80% at all ranks.
  • Defile Defile
    • Cooldown reduced to 0.5 seconds from 1.
  • Requiem Requiem
    • Bug Fix: Now correctly shows buff tooltips.
June 19, 2009 Patch
  • Lay Waste Lay Waste
    • Base damage increased to 35 / 55 / 75 / 95 / 115 from 30 / 50 / 70 / 90 / 110.
    • Corrected tool-tip to say that it deals double damage if it hits a single target (corrected numbers in tool-tip as well).
  • Wall of Pain Wall of Pain
    • Cast range reduced to 1000 from 1200.
    • Armor and magic resistance reduction reduced to 15 / 20 / 25 / 30 / 35 from 20 / 25 / 30 / 35 / 40.
    • Duration reduced to 9 seconds from (and it no longer lingers after the particle fades).
    • Cooldown reduced to 22 seconds from 25.
  • Defile Defile
    • Base damage increased to 30 / 50 / 70 / 90 / 110 from 20 / 40 / 60 / 80 / 100.
  • Requiem Fallen One
    • Ability power ratio reduced to 70% AP from 75% AP.
    • Can no longer be cast while dead.
June 12, 2009 Patch
  • Death Defied Death Defied (Innate)
    • When Karthus dies, he can continue to cast spells for 10 seconds after death. If he kills a champion in this time he respawns instantly at base.
  • Lay Waste Lay Waste (Q)
    • A 1 second cooldown spell which leaves a time delayed mine that deals double damage if it only hits a single target.
  • Wall of Pain Wall of Pain (W)
    • Stretches a perpendicular wall through the target location, enemies who walk through it are slowed and take increased damage.
  • Defile Defile (E)
    • While toggled on, Defile continually damages nearby enemies. While off, Karthus regains mana whenever he kills a unit.
  • Requiem Fallen One (Ultimate)
    • Channeled spell; upon successful cast, Karthus damages all enemy champions in the game.

References

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