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Katarina Build Guide by Btln Touchdown

Not Updated For Current Season

This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.


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League of Legends Build Guide Author Btln Touchdown

A Deadly Kitty - Guide to Mid Lane Katarina

Btln Touchdown Last updated on October 14, 2014
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Team 1

Ability Sequence

1
4
5
7
9
Ability Key Q
3
8
10
12
14
Ability Key W
2
13
15
17
18
Ability Key E
6
11
16
Ability Key R





Not Updated For Current Season

The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.



Masteries

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
1/
Havoc
 
 

Offense: 21

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Legendary Guardian
 
 

Defense: 9

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Bandit
Intelligence
 
 
 
 
 
 
Wanderer
 
 

Utility: 0


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Pros / Cons

Pros
High damage
Very mobile
Tons of resets
Good escape
Easy to snowball with
Cons
Easily shut down in team fights with cc
Somewhat squishy
Risky


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Introduction

Katarina


Katarina is a very mobile champ with a large amount of damage potential. Using her cooldown resets on kill or assist passive correctly and hitting a fully-channeled Death Lotus is very rewarding. Katarina is extremely fun and makes for a hard hitting, durable assassin. Katarina does not use mana and cooldown resets allow her to output a lot of damage and clean up fights.


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Runes

Runes

Greater Seal of Armor
9

Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
9

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
9

Greater Quintessence of Ability Power
3
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Marks


Magic Penetration marks are necessary as Katarina benefits the most from the penetration opposed to any other rune.
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Seals


Armor seals are necessary to mitigate early auto-attack poke especially vs ranged champions in lane as well as providing some resistance to AD carries' and bruisers' damage later on when teamfights start.
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Glyphs


A mix of Flat Magic Resist Glyphs and Glyphs of Scaling Magic Resist works great because you will be able to stand taking more magic damage in lane and could save your life in all in situations. Having some Scaling Magic Resist allows you to resist more damage in the mid and late game against magic damage champions.
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Katarina wants to scale up and blow people up with overwhelming amounts of damage, so Glyphs of Scaling Ability Power can work very well if the enemy team does not have too many magic damage threats.
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Quintessences


Ability power Quintessences add some raw damage to your abilities which can help to trade and last hit early game.
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Movement speed quints are also great if you know you will be roaming around the map.


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Masteries

Masteries
1/5
4/1
3/5
1/5
3/5
3/1
1/
3/
1/
1/
2/5
2/5
1/1
3/5
1/1
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21-9-0 gives you the necessities to being able to assassinate other champions. You can play a tankier role however and run 9-21-0, which can be better in certain instances, and is also very effective. You will generally not want to go into the utility tree as Katarina does not benefit from mana regen and buff duration is not important as Katarina will not be picking up many buffs as they do not help her as much as it does others.


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Items

Starting Items


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Katarina is weak early levels, so if you know you are going to get harassed very hard in lane, use the 5 Health Potion start, however you do not need all 3 sight wards at the beginning, but you will eventually use them. I recommend getting at least 1 or 2 sight ward to start. Alternatively you can start Boots of Speed and Health Potions if you are against someone with skillshots, as the boots will allow you to dodge more effectively.
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Early/Mid Game Items


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It is very effective to build magic penetration on Katarina. Sorcerer's Shoes give you the move speed and the magic penetration that Katarina benefits a lot from. Unless you are against a very bursty lane opponent like LeBlanc or Veigar, you should be getting Sorcerer's Shoes over Mercury's Treads.
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Situational Items


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Negatron Cloak and Abyssal Scepter are only necessary to build if the enemy has a double AP comp or your laner is very bursty. A Hextech Revolver is great if you need to survive a lot of poke in your lane to avoid having to back as often, missing out on less cs.
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Haunting Guise is a really good early game item that allows for the bonus percent health damage every time you cast an ability. Also, the stats it gives are great, giving both ability power and health. With AD casters mid being very popular, Seeker's Armguard is a very effective item to get early on to mitigate damage taken in lane. Randuin's Omen is a great item as you can slow everyone once you Shunpo into a teamfight before casting your ult, keeping enemies in range for the full duration, very strong against ad teams. Now that Banshee's Veil does not build from a Sapphire Crystal, it is more than viable for Katarina, giving an awesome amount of health regeneration and magic damage mitigation as well as the awesome spell shield every 25 seconds or so.
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Core Items


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I like to build a Zhonya's Hourglass fairly early as it builds from the Seeker's Armguard provides a good amount of ability power, and not only that, but it's 2.5 second invulnerability active is extremely useful. It is great in team-fights when you are in a bad position, as you can divert focus from the rest of your team. Katarina has great AP scaling. Along with cooldown resets, allows for you to put out an incredible amount of damage in a short amount of time. Rabadon's Deathcap makes sense for that reason, and can be bought after a few core items if you have a good front line. If you do buy it early on opposed to a Zhonya's Hourglass, you are left fairly vulnerable if you ever get caught out.
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Defensive Items


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Rylai's Crystal Scepter helps you obtain some survivability and AP. You also get the slow which can be great if your team lacks cc. Warmog's Armor is a great fifth or sixth item, as Katarina wants to be able to survive long enough to obtain resets and snowball a teamfight. Hextech Gunblade is a great late game item that allows for good sustain, while giving you a good slow on the active. As both Sinister Steel and Death Lotus have dual scaling, with both ability power and attack damage, Katarina fully benefits from the stats it gives you.
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Offensive Items


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Void Staff is a great offensive item to get late in the game when people begin to build magic resist against you, it gives you a great amount of flat ability power, but more importantly ignore's 35% of enemies magic resist. Liandry's Torment can be very effective if it is late into the game and the enemy team is very tanky. Deathfire Grasp can be great if you are rushing it early on. It is great to pick people off mid game when you start to roam. It can also help you kill a priority squishy target quickly to proc your passive Voracity to get the reset on ability cooldowns. Hextech Gunblade is an OK item choice as a final item as both sinister steel and Death Lotus scale quite well with both ad and ap. It also provides you with a good active that can help you chase down targets or escape from enemies.


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Skill Sequence

Bouncing Blades

Leveling your Bouncing Blades first lets you farm safely at early levels so that you can start wracking up some big items. Bouncing Blades has a regular cast time of .25 seconds opposed to Sinister Steel which has an instant cast. It is also okay to get [[help to get a couple points in it early, then max [sinister steel].
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sinister steel

Sinister Steel


Sinister Steel is very weak early on. Until you scale up, you can max it out in time for team fights, you mostly last hit with auto attacks and your bouncing blades early on.
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Shunpo


Shunpo offers great mobility, allowing you to escape from a bad situation. Shunpo instantly teleports you to a champion, monster, minion or ward. It keeps you fairly safe against jungle ganks so it is good to level second.
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Death Lotus


Death Lotus is very strong, so you should always get points in it level 6, 11, and 16. it when you can. It needs to be channeled, but you can stop it at anytime if you see they will go out of range of your ult before it kills them. A correctly timed Death Lotus in a team fights is very strong as long as you do not get hard crowd-controlled. The base damage and scaling is really high. With resets you can clean up effectively. It takes 3 cooldown resets from your passive Voracity to bring Death Lotus back off cooldown, so you can use it even twice in a team-fight if all goes well.


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Spells

Ignite and Flash is the best setup for Katarina.
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Flash

Flash can be used defensively to get out of a bad position when you do not have Shunpo available, and can also be used offensively to catch up to someone to secure a kill and acquire ability cooldown resets, as well as to get in the middle of a fight to put down a good ultimate.
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Ignite

Ignite can be cast while you are channeling Death Lotus, and will help to secure a kill in your lane, as well as later on in team fights to get the cooldown resets needed to win a teamfight.
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Teleport

Teleport is a good alternative and can be very effective. You can split push a lane, then Teleport midway through a teamfight and turn the tides of the battle. It also allows you to engage in teamfights once most cc has been blown, which takes away any possibility of you being focused down before you can confidently get a good combo off and clean up kills with your cooldown resets. It can be also very useful to defend against an enemy siege.
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Heal

Heal is a great summoner spell to have when you are in an unfavorable lane matchup. Barrier will help you survive through the lane phase if your opponent tries to all in you early on. Later on in the game Heal will help you to survive long enough in team fights so that you can possibly get the time or movement speed needed to get resets and change the outcome of a fight completely. Great defensive summoner spell.


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Ranked Play

Katarina has a weak laning phase being a melee champion. At about level 4/5 is when she can start to trade well with her laning partner. Trying to farm up early will reward you later on. This is why having Stealth Wards and Health Potions can allow you to sustain yourself in lane and farm safely.
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Past level 6 you can roam to secure kills for other lanes. With Katarina, try to wait for your lane opponent to waste a spell or miss an ability, and capitalize on the mistake by pulling off a full combo. For example, if a Lux misses a Light Binding, you can immediately combo her and bring her very low, at least pushing her out of lane, if not granting you a kill. When a jungler ganks, if you are able to kite enough, you can turn around a fight especially if they dive under the turret pre-level 6.
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Katarina's #1 counter is cc. Watch for your enemies to use their cc on other teammates before joining a figth. Make sure to engage later in a team fight to avoid being focused and do tonnes of damage. If you see a multi-person stun/knockup go off, like a Crescendo Unstoppable Force or Bandage Toss), make sure to follow up with a Shunpo Death Lotus combo, then focus down targets to get resets and continue laying down the pain.


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Team Work

Trying to co-ordinate your skills with your teams' cc will help your chance of winning fight. Make sure to ping and notify your team when you are roaming to their lane to pick up a kill.


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Unique Skills

Stealth Ward hopping and minion hopping is super effective. If you are able to place a Stealth Ward in front of you, you can immediately Shunpo to it. This can take some practice XD. Katarina can juke really well, if you run into a bush where they have no vision on you, you can wait for them to come close then Shunpo to them, then sinister steel for movement speed or immediately use Flash after your Shunpo.


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Farming

Katarina is fairly easy to farm with once you have a few levels in sinister steel, it only has a 4 second cooldown. You can also farm from a distance with Bouncing Blades. Farming wraiths and wolves is a good idea whenever your lane is pushed.


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Summary

Katarina is very mobile with the speed boost from her sinister steel and her Shunpo.It is good to use your Shunpo at the right time to go in on carries and high priority targets. Katarina can be very easily shut down if she is hit with hard cc. You need to be aware of any enemy spells that may interrupt Death Lotus such as stuns like Dazzle or knockups such as Unstoppable Force. You should engage once all cc is blown or away from those that can cc you.
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Positioning and timing in team fights are crucial. A well-timed engagement with a fully channeled Death Lotus will prove successful. As Katarina's passive Voracity gives cooldown reduction, focusing down squishy targets first and making sure they die will give you a large advantage in winning team fights, as it allows you to instantly try to focus down the next enemy. Also, Katarina is tons of fun! :D
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