Sep 272012
Karthus, the Deathsinger
Karthus, the Deathsinger

Karthus, the Deathsinger isn’t just an eccentric undead singer as he’s prone to be found dressed in more spectral or coppery apparel. When in need of guidance to choose the right robe, staff and book for the League of Legends’ death-defying lich, his skins’ review will give you a helping, skeletal hand.

Phantom Karthus
Phantom Karthus Splash Art Phantom Karthus Model
Category: Legacy
Price: 460 RP
Concept: Karthus wearing a black robe and a mask.
Model: New textures for Karthus, his staff and book.
Particles: No new particles.
Animations: No new animations.
Sounds: No new sounds.
Splash Art: Phantom Karthus’ splash art barely serves as a representation of his in-game look and definitely nothing more. To start with, there’s no background and Karthus’ black robe hardly stands out from the black patch in its place. Karthus portrayal is passable as the robes don’t look very good: they are difficult to see and show problems with the use of perspective. Besides, the bone appears muddy and the book sketchy while the staff is the only part that is passable; thanks to its light effects. Overall, a splash art that is so ineffective that doesn’t even work as a good depiction of the champion.
Rating: Star clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZero
Conclusion: Effectively, Phantom Karthus can be considered Black Karthus. The colour changes are a mixed bag: the robe’s plain greyscale colouring seems like a step backwards while the staff and book just look a bit brighter; which isn’t much of a change. The last set of changes is a flesh-like texture for his face and a mask. As a result, The Phantom of the Opera reference is reduced to the minor mask and name. In conclusion, the idea behind the skin appears much more ambitious than its actual execution. The concept might’ve been a homage to the Phantom of the Opera but the result is just a simple re-texture.

Statue of Karthus
Statue of Karthus Splash Art Statue of Karthus Model
Category: Regular
Price: 520 RP
Concept: Karthus styled as the Statue of Liberty.
Model: Major model changes for Karthus, new model for his staff and book.
Particles: No new particles.
Animations: No new animations.
Sounds: No new sounds.
Splash Art: A bit of a cloudy sky with some fireworks frame Karthus recognizable pose. While the fireworks’ light has an effect on Karthus’ metallic robe the effect looks terrible: instead of nice reflections on the metal plates the whole surface takes on a lighter shade. This coupled with the wooden aspect of the robe, dough-like texture of the book, sketchy staff and unconvincing visage make for an extremely disappointing piece.
Rating: Star clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZero
Conclusion: Statue of Karthus is a skin that enjoys a good execution applied to a concept with limited appeal. Styling Karthus as the Statue of Liberty is surprisingly fitting and even funny for the stiff lich. Besides, his metallic robe is quite well designed and textured; even if the book, torch, hands and face are merely passable. Overall, the skin looks good but as it’s based on an American symbol it may lack worldwide attraction; even though it actually represents Libertas, the goddess of freedom. On top of that, not everybody will fancy Karthus dressing as a Roman goddess. All things considered, the skin is cheap and well done so if it does interest you, you may like it but if you don’t there’s little reason to change your mind.

Grim Reaper Karthus
Grim Reaper Karthus Splash Art Grim Reaper Karthus Model
Category: Regular
Price: 975 RP
Concept: Karthus dressed as the personification of Death.
Model: Major model changes for for Karthus, new model for his staff and book.
Particles: No new particles.
Animations: No new animations.
Sounds: No new sounds.
Splash Art: More than showing an actual background this piece hints at it: tree branches cover a full Moon and the darkness of the night surrounds it all. Karthus stoops into the piece from the right though instead of looking like a sudden apparition, his placement seems like a way of drawing less of him. The ragged robe covers Karthus bony self while aptly reflecting the moonlight while his face looks as crooked as his back and the book goes along well with the style. However, the scythe’s snath appears too wide, the blade too small and the skull decoration deformed. In the end, the piece gives a sense that a good idea was laid out but didn’t come out well.
Rating: Star clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZero
Conclusion: There’s little more fitting for a powerful lich than to dress like the Angel of Death. The open robe is simple but appropriate with multiple, perhaps too many, folds over it. The visible ribcage matches Karthus empty eye sockets, despite his hands appearing too fleshy. Still, the book is attractive with its hideous cover as well as the bone scythe. Unfortunately, the scythe’s need to accommodate to the staff’s classic model limits its size as well as its design. This results in the staff being unrealistically small and the skull decoration being deformed over a simple polygon. Regardless of its problems, Grim Reaper Karthus is a great skin thanks to the confluence of an excellent concept with satisfactory, albeit imperfect, execution.

Pentakill Karthus
Pentakill Karthus Splash Art Pentakill Karthus Model
Category: Regular
Price: 750 RP
Concept: Karthus outfitted as a heavy metal singer.
Model: New model for Karthus, his staff and book.
Particles: No new particles.
Animations: No new animations.
Sounds: No new sounds.
Splash Art: There are ways of making an unclear background work, sadly this splash art isn’t an example of that. The background does show a stage and undead fans to frame Karthus’ singing yet where the action is localized remains a mystery due to a lack of clarity. At least, the light effects are quite good: not only they add much needed depth to the background but they also brighten Karthus. The reflections on his clothes look good and are the sole way of appreciating their design; due to the lack of additional light sources. Karthus undead figure looks alright while the representation of his thunderous, deadly singing is a good touch. On the whole, the piece has good ideas but they don’t seem to have come to fruition as they deserved.
Rating: Star clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZero
Conclusion: Pentakill Karthus is a skin mostly dedicated to heavy metal or music fans. The robe gets covered in belts and decorated with a mesh and ample shoulder pads. The staff becomes a fitting and well designed microphone while the book simply gets a new cover. The fashion changes don’t stop there: Karthus’ face gets heavy makeup and he also sports long hair. The look isn’t bad yet isn’t striking either; despite having the musical base firmly planted. Therefore, if you want to make the title of Deathsinger more explicit then Pentakill Karthus delivers but not in an impressive way.


Karthus’ has quite distinct styles which suit, complement or challenge his existence as a lich. The recommended skin is Grim Reaper Karthus: it’s a concept that embraces his lethality into a unique and fantastic icon. Statue of Karthus may appeal to fans of funny skins or those that want to make a statement about freedom; still, cross-dressing isn’t for everybody. Finally, Pentakill Karthus is the skin for the music enthusiast: it gives a more direct meaning to Deathsinger but it hardly stuns with its looks.

  12 Responses to “League of Legends: Karthus Skins’ Review”

  1. A very good guide indeed. I personally think Pentakill Karthus would deserve 4 starts. It may not change particles, but the model and textures are wonderful and top notch for a 750 RP skin.

    • Glad that you like it.

      Actually, a re-model can reach four stars without additional extras but in the case of Pentakill Karthus we consider the skin to be good but not really impressive. Regardless, you shouldn’t consider the reviews more than a guide to help you decide your purchases. If you like the skin then chances are you’ll enjoy it.

      • Your point is indeed valid. I would totally consider, but y’know, the wallet is in danger of weeping.

        Also, just another side point: would you consider someday doing some kind of Top 10 Skins following your point of view and opinion? A bit like It would make my day if you did so! Seeing your analyses and opinions really make my day and helps me decide.

        • Aah, screwed the link. I meant to make the text “this one here” go to the page

          Sorry, not good with HTML >.<

        • Totally agreed, there are quite a few good skins and monetary resources tend to run low quite fast.

          We actually have in mind making a sortable table that allows to check all skins at each rating besides other criteria. For instance, you could check all skins with one star so as to run fast when you see them. As we have to do it by hand it will take a while but it’s something we’ll certainly do.

          A specific top ten article would be interesting but with the constant release of skins it would also need to be constantly updated and will leave skins out due to the quantity. Probably a full table will be more interesting and useful but we’ll keep the article in mind anyway. Thanks for the idea.

          • I agree. It must be so fun working at the blog, I once had two Weebly and one Blogspot sites used for RPG guilds and such, and it felt awesome. This blog is a very useful resource and I give kudos to you for it! Just the feeling that readers enjoy reading it and when they compliment it makes it totally worth it for all the work. At least for me, right. ^_^

          • Completely agreed, without doubt, it’s very satisfying to be able to help people make better purchases and enjoy the game and skins as much as possible. We appreciate your kind words and rest assured that we’ll continue working hard in our reviews.

  2. Hi zero,
    I was just wondering is Grim Reaper karthus is worth it? Also could you please tell me what you like about it, and what you dislike about it. Finally, which skin, buy itself would be better: Officer caitlyn, or Grim Reaper karthus….

    • Grim Reaper Karthus has the advantage of displaying the personification of death itself. However, the age of the skin is noticeable in the model and textures as well as some recycled parts like his hands. Overall, the skin delivers its theme well and is quite pleasing to use but there’s little doubt that a visual upgrade is in order.

      Officer Catilyn is a very different skin as it aims to display a sexy police officer with an execution that doesn’t embrace its objective. There’s re-use of parts, like her skirt, and also doesn’t seem to reflect an officer as well as it could, no badge but a tie instead, nor be as sexy either, low heels instead of high. The one saving grace is the elaborate and attractive rifle she wields.

      Which one is better may simply come to personal preference. We find Grim Reaper Karthus as a skin with a better implementation than Officer Caitlyn yet there is something to like from each.

  3. Why is Phantom Karthus 460 RP? Its he only 460 RP, so I was just wondering if you knew?

    • It could have to do with how similar it is to Classic Karthus as it’s just the black robe and mask. In fact, the same can also be said about many other recolours. For instance, Ashe has two skins that only affect her colour scheme: Freljord and Sherwood Forest.

      Another case is Assassin Yi, which used to be simply Yi in black. After the visual upgrade the skin is more interesting but the price of 390 RP remains. It could also have to do with some previous pricing plans.

      It seems probable that the skin was given a low price due its modest changes but we can’t find any official confirmation.

  4. We are open to criticism but we would like it to be constructive. How do you think we should approach reviews? What should we take into consideration? What kind of elements should be deeply analysed and which are too subjective for that?

    We try to review skins based on the amount and quality of changes with regards to the classic skins. In other words, are the changes distinct and do they communicate the theme of the skin? The splash arts don’t affect the value of the skin but there is a difference between a splash art that devotes a lot of work at giving a glimpse into the life of a champion and one that simply shows the new look. Some people feel that a nice splash art is a relevant part of a skin purchase and we thinks that, at the very least, we should mention if it is good as a spotlight of the champion and if it does more or less than that.

    How a champion should look is always open to debate but if you are paying for a skin it should feel like the expense provides something interesting with regards to the classic skin. Like any human being we are unable to be utterly objective yet all champions have something to like. Even if we don’t like an aspect of a champion or skin, if it is well done, it can be a valuable purchase as it offers something that fans of the champion or concept would like.

    We agree that choosing skins is something subjective but when we have skins with different amounts of work at the same price point then there is more than personal preference at stake. We surely don’t try to rate the quality of skins in a theoretical way. Instead we prefer to advice on how satisfactory a skin purchase could be: that’s what the rating reflects, the value. You may like a skin with few changes and a high price due to a personal interest but you also deserve to know what you are buying. That’s what we intend to do, we don’t tell you what to buy we try to provide you with as much information as possible to make an informed decision.

    If you have suggestions or ideas to improve the reviews we’ll gladly accept them.

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