The Best Karthus Skins in League of Legends, Ranked

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Ever since First Strike came out, Karthus players have been drooling over their newfound wealth.

And I don’t think they’re going to stop any time soon.

So we might as well make it even more enjoyable by picking up a badass skin to go along with all that R pocket change.

I’m going to look at all of KArthus’ skins here, and based on both overall appeal and price, rank them from worst to best. Let’s go!


8. Fnatic Karthus

Fnatic Karthus Skin Splash Image from League of Legends
Credit: Riot Games

Released: September 24th, 2014
Price: 750 RP

Skins dedicated to E-Sports have always been a hit or miss for me – and I have to say that this one is definitely a flop.

It only changes your character model. And even that change is rather iffy.

I guess it’s cool that your staff now holds the Worlds’ cup, but the outfit just doesn’t suit Karthus at all if you ask me.

Although his half-open mouth, headset, glasses, and beanie combo is an absolute mood whenever I play League for more than a few hours. But from a distance the skin just looks bland.

Plus, he has a goatee. So automatically minus a hundred points.

Overall, if you’re a big E-Sports fan (or you just want your champion to reflect your mental state) then I guess this skin will scratch that itch.

But I think there are better picks out there.


7. Statue of Karthus

Statue of Karthus Skin Splash Image from League of Legends
Credit: Riot Games

Released: July 3rd, 2010
Price: 520 RP

Statue of Karthus is just goofy as all hell – and I honestly kind of love it.

Why are you the Statue of Liberty? Who knows and who cares!

Sure, the character model can’t really compete with modern skins, as it definitely rocks those PS2 graphics. But that just makes it even funnier.

The skin doesn’t add almost anything new to the mix in terms of effects, except an eagle screech for your dance emote.

And fun fact: this screech used to be global.

Can you imagine the shenanigans one could pull off with a global eagle screech? Those were truly simpler times.

Overall, this skin isn’t all that good – but it is definitely the goofiest of the bunch. So if you just want to mess around and look stupid, there isn’t any better skin to do that job than Statue of Karthus.


6. Karthus Lightsbane

Karthus Lightsbane Skin Splash Image from League of Legends
Credit: Riot Games

Released: November 17th, 2016
Price: 975 RP

I really don’t like it when Riot takes monster champions and turns them into the next TikTok star. So I wasn’t overly fond of this skin from the get-go.

But let’s see what it brings to the table.

Karthus Lightsbane is one of very few skins to actually change your abilities and give you both a new death and backing animation. Plus, it’s only 975 RP, meaning that it’s the best value skin you can get for Karthus.

That being said, it has a few major flaws that kind of hold it back.

Most notably, your abilities (although new and fresh) are also way easier to see and dodge, effectively nerfing you in-game.

Every Q counts late game. And the fact that yours will be bright pink does not bode well for you.

Secondly, the character model here looks a bit bulky. And that’s definitely not an adjective one would usually associate with a Grim Reaper character.

So I can definitely see why some people really dig this skin – but I personally think there are better ones out there.


5. Pentakill III: Lost Chapter Karthus

Pentakill III: Lost Chapter Karthus Skin Splash Image from League of Legends
Credit: Riot Games

Released: September 9th, 2021
Price: 1350 RP

Although this has some of the same faults as Karthus Lightsbane, I have to say that Pentakill III: Lost Chapter Karthus is a huge step up overall.

Yes, the character model is another hot dude. But he looks way more metal than in the previous skin, so I can get past it.

This skin also has some pretty neat features, like a guitar riff whenever you hit your Q, making it the best choice if you rely on audio cues more than visual cues.

All of that being said, this skin is still slightly disappointing.

The community was incredibly bummed that the first Pentakill Karthus didn’t have a unique voice over. So the fact that this one also doesn’t have it, plus it doesn’t even have any additional quotes, is just saddening.

Sure, all of the bells and whistles are great (like your new backing animation or your cool new W).

But this skin really needed a new voice over to be worth the high price.


4. Phantom Karthus

Phantom Karthus Skin Splash Image from League of Legends
Credit: Riot Games

Released: January 13th, 2010
Price: 460 RP

I honestly had no idea this skin even existed. And that’s saying something considering writing about League skins is literally my job.

Phantom Karthus is one of the cheapest skins in the entire game. And it honestly kind of slaps considering what it is.

Sure, you don’t get any new particles or animations. But the character model change is quite substantial.

It makes you looks like the bad guy from every arcade game in existence. And it suits Karthus rather well.

The red sphere in your staff makes you look a bit more ominous. And nothing says “dark mage” like a full suit of armor and head spikes.

The splash art is admittedly kind of weird – but in a weird way that’s almost a plus, since no one would know what to expect when they see this bad boy in the loading screen.

Overall, this design gives you a good bang for your buck. And you’ll likely blow people’s minds because this skin feels rare as hell.


3. Infernal Karthus

Infernal Karthus Skin Splash Image from League of Legends
Credit: Riot Games

Released: July 16th, 2020
Price: 1350 RP

Taking a character and making them on fire is not usually my favorite concept in the world.

But when it works, it just works.

Infernal Karthus makes you look like the warden of Hell. And I never knew how perfectly that fit Karthus until I saw this bad boy.

The character model is simply impeccable, with your body being composed of flames with a suit of armor on top.

Your abilities and auto attack also follow the theme, making your Skittles have that distinct burnt smell, with your W becoming a firewalking activity the enemy team is forced into.

You also get a new backing animation (which is just okay), and a death animation that really sells the demonic theme & makes you feel like evil incarnate.

It’s worth pointing out that just like with Lightsbane, your Qs are a bit more noticeable here, and thus this skin does nerf you a bit.

But I personally don’t mind it as much this time around.

Overall, this is a really solid skin that unfortunately does come with a slightly higher price point, and a slight nerf to your Q accuracy.


2. Pentakill Karthus

Pentakill Karthus Skin Splash Image from League of Legends
Credit: Riot Games

Released: August 29th, 2011
Price: 750 RP

Okay, the exact placement of these top two skins heavily depends on what you like more about Karthus: his metal background or his death aesthetic.

If you’re into the metal design, then Pentakill Karthus is an obvious choice.

And yes, the skin is somewhat disappointing, as Riot could have easily made this the most badass legendary skin in the entire game – but that still doesn’t mean this skin is lame.

The character model here is honestly everything I could have ever wanted it to be, with your body and getup still saying true to the whole death thematic, while the mic stand is a reminder that you’re dealing with a heavy metal star.

I mean, the model alone is worth 750 RP if you ask me.

But if you’re a real metalhead, it only gets better, since this skins nets you dozens of new voice lines, a few of which might just be references to all of your favorite bands.

So like I mentioned above: if you like Karthus for his music, this is the perfect skin for you.


1. Grim Reaper Karthus

Grim Reaper Karthus Skin Splash Image from League of Legends
Credit: Riot Games

Released: September 26th, 2010
Price: 975 RP

If you like Karthus because you want to be the embodiment of death (or at least one that doesn’t look like a wolf and lamb duo), then this is the skin for you.

Although I will forever be salty that your face isn’t an actual skeleton (thank you Tencent for that little censorship), I’ll admit Grim Reaper Karthus is still pretty dope.

Just having a scythe at your side makes you feel so much more powerful that you can almost endure the absolute agony of CSing under turret with no mana.

This skin might not offer any new particles or animations. But that isn’t too big of a deal, as the base particles fit in with this design perfectly.

You do get a few chromas, though, so at least there’s that!

And of course, we can’t forget that this has the best splash art ever.

Grim Reaper Karthus is rather simple in design. But sometimes it’s the simplest and most obvious skins that make for the best experience, so here we are!

Note: this content was created under Riot Games’ “Legal Jibber Jabber” policy using assets owned by Riot Games. Riot Games does not endorse or sponsor this project.

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Alec P.

A dedicated weeb and Isekai fanboy who's been stuck in Silver since 2013.