Are there items or rune sets that would be good to negate or mitigate Karthus' ultimate or any other champions with high burst AP damage?

  • I belive your question should be "How can I nullify Karthus ultimate ?" so you could check on Skills, Spells, Champions and Equips, and help more the community =)
    – Michel
    Mar 25, 2012 at 21:11
  • 2
    Is there anything else you'd like to know from the answers? If one of the answers solved your problem (or satisfyingly quenched your curiosity), then remember to accept it.
    – Atav32
    Jul 17, 2012 at 5:57

14 Answers 14


The only complete item-based negation of Karthus' ultimate ability comes from Banshee's Veil and Zhonya's Hourglass. Even Hexdrinker will only mitigate (though, early game, the difference is moot) the damage dealt.

You can successfully mitigate the effects of Karthus' ultimate with items, runes, and masteries geared toward magic resist, however, since it's exclusively magic damage.

Champion abilities such as Nocturne or Sivir's spell shields can negate the effect. Morgana's Black Shield will mitigate the effect. Additionally, Soraka's ultimate, Wish, can mitigate the impact or save an impending death. A properly timed Hallucinate from Shaco (his ultimate), Elise (her Rappel) or Fizz's Playful Trickster can dodge the effects. Essentially, anything that makes you untargetable, when timed correctly, can negate the damage.

A properly timed Waltz of Blades (Fiora's ultimate) or Yi's alpha strike could potentially do it, but timing it would be very tricky. Someone should confirm those last two, however.

Quick Silver Sash will not stop Karthus' ultimate from hitting you. There used to be a glitch where it would remove the red animation, but it wouldn't actually prevent the ability from landing.

  • 1
    Anything that makes you untargetable should negate the effects of the ultimate. Including Fizz's E.
    – F1234k
    Mar 25, 2012 at 19:29
  • Indeed you're right. Updated the answer. Thanks :)
    – Deotronic
    Mar 25, 2012 at 19:33
  • fiora-ult and alpha strike do not make the target immune to damage, given the damage is set up, before the ability is initiated. it can also happen, that both are interrupted by something like ali's pulverize or cho's rupture
    – Vogel612
    Apr 9, 2013 at 19:57
  • @Vogel612, that's incorrect. Yi and Fiora disappear from the map for the duration of their abilities, and as such cannot take damage nor can they be knocked up by rupture or pulverize. Jun 27, 2014 at 16:58
  • @Devon I died too often while performing both spells to believe that. Please provide some reference that they become untargetable
    – Vogel612
    Jun 27, 2014 at 22:39

The best way is Silence/Taunt/knock back/Kill Karthus, before he finish his ultimate. But if that is not possible, here a list of items and champions that have the anti-karthus mojo.



  • Zhonya's Hourglass: Places your champion into stasis for 2 seconds, rendering you invulnerable and untargetable but unable to take any actions.

  • Banshee's Veil: Blocks one negative spell every 45 seconds.

Damage Reduction

  • Hexdrinker: If you would take magic damage which would leave you at less than 30% of your maximum health, You gain a shield which absorbs up to 250 magic damage

  • Maw of Malmortius: If you would take magic damage which would leave you at less than 30% of your maximum health, you first gain a shield which absorbs up to 400 magic damage

  • Magic Resistence: Incoming magic damage is multiplied by a factor based on the unit's magic resistance:




  • Shaco's Hallucinate (Active): Shaco stealths for half a second and creates a clone of himself next to him... (When used in the right moment can avoid it)
  • Sivir's Spell Shield (Active): Creates a magical barrier that lasts up to 3 seconds which blocks a single enemy ability used on Sivir. If an ability is blocked by the shield, Sivir regains 150 mana.
  • Nocturne's Shroud of Darkness (Active): Nocturne creates a magical shield for 2 seconds which can block the next enemy spell that hits him.
  • Kayle's Intervention (Active): Kayle bathes a target ally champion (or herself) in holy light, rendering them immune to all damage for a few seconds.

Damage Reduction

  • Akali's Twilight Shroud (Active): Akali throws down a circular cover of smoke that lasts for 8 seconds. While inside the area, Akali gains armor and magic resistance
  • Janna's Eye Of The Storm (Active): Janna conjures a defensive gale that shields her target from incoming damage for up to 5 seconds.
  • Morgana's Black Shield (Active): Places a shield around target friendly champion, absorbing magic damage and preventing disables while the shield holds.
  • Blitz's Mana Barrier (Innate): When Blitzcrank's life is brought below 20% health he activates Mana Barrier, creating a damage shield that lasts 10 seconds. The shield strength is equal to 50% of Blitzcrank's current mana
  • Lux's Prismatic Barrier (Active): Lux shields herself for up to 3 seconds and throws out her wand to a target location
  • Malphite's Granite Shield Malphite's skin innately produces a layer of rock as a shield which absorbs damage of up to 10% of his maximum health.
  • You forgot kennen's Lightning rush (Movement speed, Armor, MagRes), and the bonus magic resistance from Nidalee's kitty form. Aug 19, 2012 at 7:40
  • @ChaosPointDK Thank you, you are right. I can't update right now. But as soon as I get home I'll do it.
    – Michel
    Aug 20, 2012 at 12:29
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    Update with lightyouning rush? Could be good info, but long story short, its still "Who ever has a way to increase their magic resist can reduce incomming magic damage". (Man, who could have known, lol) Aug 20, 2012 at 20:08
  • We can add the initial dash component of Zed's ultimate ability to this now, as he's untargetable at that point.
    – bbodien
    Nov 26, 2013 at 15:38
  • Adding damage reduction skills/passives is a bit silly. Over half of the champions in the game have some form of damage reduction skill/passive. One thing that was forgot however though... Zilean Ult. Jun 27, 2014 at 14:22

In early game game you can also get a red potion(elixer of fortitude,which gives you 140-235 health and 10 AD), and if you're low and karthus ults you just activate it and the damage of the ult won't do that much early game so you will survive it probably.


You can choose to stun, knockback/up, silence Karthus, which cancels his ult (unless he is in his resurrected mode).

You can build: Banshee's Veil which blocks 1 spell every 45 seconds.

Hexdrinker which blocks 250 Magic Damage when you go under 30% hp every 60 seconds.

Maw of Malmortius blocks 400 damage instead of 250 damage and is built from Hexdrinker.

Magic Resist, additional health makes it so Karthus' ult does less damage to your total health.

Fizz use his E to become untargetable which makes it so Karthus' ult doesn't hit him.

Vlad's W makes him turn into a pool, making it so Karthus' ult doesn't hit him.

Shields can absorb the magic damage that Karthus' ult does.

Tryndamere's ult prevents him from dying for a short duration, so you can use that if Karthus' ult threatens your existence.

Morgana's E is a shield which blocks a certain amount of magic damage.

Kassadin's Q interrupts any channelled spell, including Karthus' ult.

  • To add to this: Fiora's ult and shaco's ult provide a small invulnerability time, as well...quite a few classes do
    – Domocus
    Mar 26, 2012 at 1:54
  • Im pretty sure Vlad still takes damage from Karthus during pool. All it does is make him untargetable, not invulnerable. ie: Nocturne, Fiddle, Karma and LB tethers still affect him. Jun 27, 2014 at 14:20
  • Nope, vlad can dodge karthus ult after it has been activated. Jun 27, 2014 at 16:59

Magic Resist can stop some of the damage, and there are other shielding item that can stifle the damage such as Locket of the Iron Solari. Also, since Requiem is a channeled spell, assuming that Karthus isn't in his Ghost form, you can hard CC him and he won't finish using it. If you're trying to counter-pick Karthus, Soraka's Wish could work or you can pick a champion that uses a Spell Shield like Nocturne or Sivir. To stifle the damage, any shield will work such as Rumble's Scrap Shield or in the case of Requiem's magic damage you could use Morgana's Black Shield.


Zonhya's Hourglass is the only active item which can counter Karthus's ultimate. If Banshee's Veil shield is up then it will also stop the damage from the ultimate.

Otherwise the best ways to reduce the damage is with HP and Magic Resist.


yes, there are a few things you can do to counter karthus' ultimate. if he does it when alive, kill him or silence him and it will stop casting. or build a banshees veil under the magic resist tab, as it stops one spell every 45 seconds from hitting you. the hexdrinker also absorbs magic damage. Or just building health or magic resist based on what champion you are playing so that it doesn't have to hit you that hard.

  • 1
    Banshee's spell shield effect is once every 45 seconds.
    – Jay
    Mar 26, 2012 at 2:07

Be aware of the timing once its used, since Requiem has a long cooldown even with CDR. While its up, allow for that much hp as your minimum, instead of engaging with very low health without going back to heal. Also be more generous with pots - its not fun to die because you tried to save a 35g health potion.

As always, you need MR when looking to mitigate magic damage, some items to get depending on your role:

ADC: Hexdrinker / Maw of Malmortius
APC: Lich Bane, Zhonya's Hourglass
Any: Banshee Veil (more useful on mana casters, and esp. if other team also has strong stun/snare skills)

Simply increasing HP is also an option; tanks like Shen can just grab Warmog's as usual for an hp buffer.

Shields or going untargetable will help counter or avoid the damage on a per champion basis. Soraka's Wish mitigates it for entire team (except people on full hp, who won't die from the requiem).

If your team is close together (team fights etc.), you can heal with Janna's ultimate or shield using Locket of the Iron Solari.


Banshee's protects against it, I think Sivir's shield will stop the damage too.


Shaco's ult can if timed properly


Fizz e, Vlad pool, Hexdrinker and Maw, might be forgetting some but thats what comes to mind.


You can always try zhonya's hourglass on your mage build to avoid that ult, and many other ults for that matter.


You can use Flash, but it needs proper timing. I've done it once against the AI.

  • And what exactly is the proper timing? I'm guessing you need to be flashing exactly when the ult goes off. Doesn't seem like much of a window, is it possible to do this with skill or do you need a lot of luck?
    – PeterL
    Sep 28, 2012 at 20:19

If you're standing next to Malphite, his passive will lower the damage. You could also get a Banshee's Veil.

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