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Ahead of the release of League of Legends Patch 9.11, Karthus is receiving a big nerf to his ultimate on the Public Beta Environment (PBE).
Karthus is one of the best performing junglers in his current form, with his strong jungle clear and his late game damage potential. To balance this, Riot has lowered the damage of Requiem (R) from 250/400/550 (+75 percent AP) to 200/350/500 +65 percent AP.
He’s a heavy hitter at the moment, and something had to be changed. But the nerf to his ultimate could be too far. When Karthus leaves the jungle at level six, he would normally deal 205 damage with Requiem, but with its impending nerf, it will be reduced by 50 damage. That means he’ll be almost useless in the mid-game, completely negating his kill-potential.
He’ll still have the ability to scale, but the journey to the late game will be an uphill struggle. Instead of pressuring his lanes, he’ll have to rely on farming alone. This works fine for some junglers, but for Karthus, he’ll likely fall behind.
Rather than nerfing his ultimate, Riot could have reduced his damage to jungle camps or even his mana. But instead, not only will Karthus become obsolete in the jungle, he’ll feel the hit in the mid lane. His win rate is already much to be desired in mid, and his upcoming nerf will only diminish it further.
That being said, the change to his ultimate isn’t final, and there’s a possibility that it will be reverted in time for Patch 9.11