Katarina Build Guide by icemanSXSC2
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.
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.
Hello, and welcome to the Katarina chapter of my attempt to create 10 guides for champions that I would like to be able to use in ranked games. The link to the main page of my guide can be found here. As this build and my full guide are under construction, I would appreciate everyone's patience and advice as I work to make this better.
The main purpose of this build is to make the combo I describe better, and find good times to use it. One of the best times I've found is team fights.
Cripple - slow and magic penetration - important for your combo
Archmage's Savy - ability power
Sorcery - cooldown reduction
Archaic Knowledge - magic penetration
Resistance - magic resist
Hardiness - armor
Evasion - Dodge
Nibleness - move after dodge see killer instincts shunpo combination
Harden Skin - basically armor
Veteran's Scars - Health
Ardor - attack speed and ability power
Tenacity - survivability
Flash - This is a great summoner spell that almost all champions can use well. On Katarina it is best for when Shunpo does't work because no one is around either to escape or to chase
Exhaust - Use it in you combo because it keeps them in range of Death Lotus longer and it reduces their magic resist making you deal more damage.
Items are harder to define an exact build for, because what you get when really depends on how much gold you have when you need to go back, and how things are going. I start with Boots of Speed, and 3 Health Potions, the reason being that Boots of Speed are good early game for staying alive as are Health Potions. What I get after that depends on how things are going. Really you want Mejai's Soulstealer as soon as you can without dying. If you are having trouble in lane, don't go for this item, go for the Giant's Belt in the Rylai's Crystal Scepter first. As it is, often times right after I get my Myjai's Soulstealer, I get the Giant's Belt to make sure I keep my stacks. I have the Hextech Revolver before Mejai's because often times I don't feel safe enough to go for is immediately. The Hextech Revolver is skipable though as I don't build it into anything, I wait until all my slots are full and then sell it for the space to buy a Zhonya's Hourglass. I like this item because it allows you to initiate more, you can go in with your combo slightly ahead of your team and then immediately afterwards use Zhonya's active to become invulnerable while your team cleans up the rest of their team.
- The Spam Skill
I say that, but that doesn't mean that it's good to use all of the time. It is very useful during the laning phase for last hitting either single enemy creeps or groups of them. Also, what I like to do when I can is aim for a minion near an enemy champion to get it to hit them, this way you don't have to be quite as close, and you can keep their health low enough to be susceptible to your combo. Once you get into team fights, I haven't found this as effective. It is however good for getting that last bit of health on fleeing enemies if your Shunpo is on CD.
- The Helper Skill
Yeah the passive is useful, but not noticeably so. The great part about this skill is it's active. If you use Sinister Steel before Bouncing Blades or Shunpo it enhances them.
When you use Sinister Steel before Bouncing Blades instead of the damage dealt decreasing per bounce, it stays the same. It also applies a 50% healing reduction to the hit enemies. I have used this most for last hitting groups of creeps or trying to get full damage on an enemy champion by bouncing it off creeps.
This is the way I choose to use Sinister Steel the most. When you do this after you have shunpoed, you take reduced damage from enemy attacks for three seconds. This is very useful for when you combo into a bunch of enemy champions because it makes it harder for them to focus you down before you kill them.
- The Flash Skill
This skill works a lot like flash in that you instantly move to the specified location. The difference is that the location must be a creep monster or champion. If it is an enemy or neutral that you target, you deal damage to them. This is great for chasing, and harassing enemy champions. It also provides you with a mechanism to set up Death Lotus as you need to be close to enemy champions for it to do any good.
- The Awesome Killing Skill
Once activated, Katarina deals damage to the three closest champions within range for 3 seconds. This skill can deal massive amounts of damage when Katarina is built and positioned correctly. All of your other skills are just mechanisms to making this one better.
I do slightly different things based on what lane I'm in. If I'm on top or bottom, I do the skill sequence shown above which is basically prioritizing Death Lotus, Shunpo, Bouncing Blades and lastly Sinister Steel. The exception is at level 5 I get Sinister Steel so that I can combo (more about that later). When in mid (yes Katarina can mid, you just have to be careful and not go for a kill unless they are really asking for it), I typically switch the priority of Shunpo and Bouncing Blades, because I am playing more passively. Still go for Sinister Steelat level 5 though to be ready to Combo. (See Combo Section)
This is basically all I am aiming for in this build is pulling off well timed combos by which I mean when I get level 6 using Q W E Fatigue R, and sometimes if they are fleeing with a little health left, all you need is another Q or E to finish them off. Caution: Do not attempt on any champion at full health (unless they just stink, or you have a good amount of backup from your team). Katarina is not a great initiator until the very end of the game. Even at the highest level and items, she typically won't kill from full health.
Sometimes it takes a while after level 6 for an opportunity to present itself, be patient and wait.
The best time to pull this off is obviously a gank or team fights, but look for other good times, like when you notice an opponent in your lane being aggressive, play more passively, and try and get them away from their tower and slightly down on health by using Bouncing Blade on minions close to them.