Katarina Build Guide by Teeyee
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.
Katarina Mid (Burst/Assassin)
Early Game to Mid Game
Mid Game to Late Game
Late Game Potential/Situational Items
My Usual Full Build
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.
Threats to Katarina with this build
|Nidalee||Katarina should be able to dominate Nidalee. Nidalee has no CC in lane phase, so you will be able to harass her and Katarina can dodge Nidalee's abilities pretty easily farm well. When Nidalee is in cougar form and is charging at you, use your sinister steel to speed yourself up and get away from her unless you are strong enough to burst Nid down.|
|Karthus||In lane Karthus is very weak and only has 1 slow ability. Zone him out from farming and harass as much as possible. Also, A cool thing to know is that when Karthus ults, shunpo right when it deals the damage because Katarina's shunpo reduces damage by 15%, so Karthus ultimate won't do as much damage to you. Just be careful of the jungler ganking.|
Hi guys my name is Tim and my summoner name in League of Legends is teeyee. this is my Katarina guide. I am currently Diamond Division V and I main Katarina mid lane. I played 353 ranked games as her in season 4 and 49 ranked in season 5. I wanted to show people this guide to see how I play Katarina and different techniques on how to play her. I frequently update this guide, so it will always be fresh based on each patch. I hope you enjoy this guide and comment if you have any suggestions or questions!! <3
Katarina's Abillity Combo
Some people might not know what the Katarina combo is or just think there is one combo. However, there really are many ways to combo her abilities. The first and main combo everybody may know is Bouncing Blades, Shunpo. then sinister steel. But, if the enemy champ is playing passive and/or is ranged, then you can use Shunpo first, then Bouncing Blades and sinister steel. Also, if the enemy champion is melee and/or is going closer to you can farm or harass, then you can just use Bouncing Blades then sinister steel so you don't have to waste Shunpo because that's your only escape ability.
Pros / Cons
+ Decent Escape
+ Has a ton of burst and deals tons of damage
+ Good at roaming
+ Can burst squishies very fast
+ Nice AP scaling
+ Shes Hot <3
+ Her resets are very useful
+ Fairly low cooldown abillities
+ Can ward jump
+ Can dodge well with Shunpo
+ Her Death Lotus is a fairly short cooldown
- Fairly Squishy
- Item dependent
- Vulnerable when her abillities are on cooldown
- Allergic to CC
- Melee champion
- Easily countered
- Weak against tanks
- Not the best farmer (especially early game)
- Can get poked down fairly easy
I know quite a few people who think Katarina needs kills and doesn't need to farm. However, you need as much farm as possible with Katarina, especially early game because Katarina is a little weak in lane phase. Early game you will find it pretty difficult to farm while getting poked by the enemies. Last hitting is the best way to farm as Katarina with her auto attacks, Bouncing Blades, or sinister steel. However, if u are beating your opponent in lane then zone them out from lane and don't let them farm. If their jungler ganks, use your Shunpo to get away, or try to assassinate your lane opponent and then Shunpo away with the resets. Katarina is very item dependent, so do not ever forget to farm with Katarina. Don't be afraid to spam your Sinister Steel while farming which is ideally used middle to late game when it has a very short cooldown and deals tons of damage. In the middle part of the game, to clear out a minion wave as fast as possible, you Bouncing Blades the approaching minions, Shunpo in the middle of the wave, and then sinister steel to deal tons of damage and if you are fed kill most of the wave.
I usually take my Bouncing Blades first so i can last hit with it or harass early and so i can at least leash a little bit. Next, I usually get sinister steel so I can deal the extra Bouncing Blades damage on the minions. Although, if the enemy is harassing you a lot, you can get your Shunpo second instead of sinister steel, so you can try to dodge their abilities.
I upgrade my sinister steel first because the damage scales the highest and the movement speed scales up too which is very good for harassing with your combo and clearing minion waves fast. Then, I take Bouncing Blades for the higher mark damage and shorter cooldown. However, if you are getting harassed hard or zoned from farming, then upgrade your Bouncing Blades first and then sinister steel. Finally take your Shunpo last. And of course you take your Death Lotus whenever you can.
These are pretty normal and self explanatory, but if you have any questions about these masteries please ask in the comment section.
Greater Quintessence of Ability Power
Greater Seal of Health
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
I get 3 Ability Power Quints for the extra damage early game. Next, I get 9 health seals because the extra health won't make Katarina as squishy and you won't need armor in lane phase when you're against a mage. However, if the enemy mid laner is AD like Zed or Yasuo, then instead of health seals, you can get armor seals. Finally, I get 9 magic resist glyphs, so Katarina won't get poked as hard in lane by mages. If the enemy team is all AD then feel free to get scaling AP glyphs instead. If you have any questions about these runes and suggestions about other runes to use, feel free to ask in the comment section!!
Teamfights are vital to affecting the outcome of a game especially Katarina. The main skill to hone is your timing in fights. You need to have supreme awareness when exactly to Shunpo into teamfights. This decision could change the outcome of the teamfight. It really depends on the champions on the opposing team and the allies on your team, but the main things I look for in order to Shunpo into the battle at the correct time is whether or not the enemy team has any of their crowd control abilities up. For crowd control I mean abilities that can stop the channel of your Death Lotus because it is your main damage ability and can deal massive damage to 3 champions at once. If you are fed as Katarina or if your enemies are smart, then most likely the support or one of the carries will save their crowd control ability for when you go in, so be aware of this and be careful. People might wonder, how can you counter crowd control? One thing to do is to wait it out. For example, wait for the enemy Taric to Dazzle some other ally on your team, then go in.
As Katarina you want to look for enemies that are low. If the enemies are low, you might not even need your Death Lotus because if you are fed enough, you can just Shunpo from one opponent to another and pick them off in the fights. Make sure that you can kill them because if you can't then they might be able to capitalize on your mistake. The next thing to look for is if a squishy opponent is caught out of position. If you are fed enough you can probably burst down a squishy opponent from a teamfight. Use everything you can on that enemy champ to kill them. Trust me, it will be worth it, especially if each team is equally as strong. You may have your Death Lotus or item abilities on cooldown, but the teamfight will become a 5v4 and that will probably force the enemy team back to defend or lose the fight if they try to help. However, if you are not able to kill the opponent out of position, then you are probably screwed because you won't get a reset to Shunpo out of the area and your enemies will be able to jump on you and maybe kill you, unless you Zhonya's Hourglass in time, but you still might not be able to make it out alive. If you die first from that, then there's a good chance that your team will lose the fight, so it is quite the gamble to take. It's better safe then sorry, so if you aren't sure that you can burst down the out of position enemy, then DO NOT DO IT.
Now that we got that over with, I need to tell you two very important things that are under estimated and are ignored frequently that are very vital into going into a fight. The first one is the simplest spell yet so deadly to Katarina which is Exhaust. People maybe thinking, why??? Well some people might not know, but Exhaust reduces any damage dealt by 40% and shreds 10 armor and magic resistance. Yes it does reduce movement speed too, but the reductions are so strong against Katarina, that it will make you absolutely useless in fights no matter how fed you are. Exhaust pretty much makes you squishier and it would feel like that it took away your items for 2.5 seconds. The best thing to do in this situation is to use Zhonya's Hourglass.
Now, the final and best technique to destroy and completely wreck in teamfights is using THE ELEMENT OF SURPRISE. Yes people are probably saying wtf right now, and then think why am I wasting my time reading this? Well, watch this video to find out why the element of surprise is so important: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4PLgn_5mNxg As you can see, the team was not ready to crowd control her because they just weren't ready for the Katarina Death Lotus. Teamfights are very important for Katarina and you must be very attentive and aware of your surroundings.
The starting items you could get are Boots of Speed and 4 Health Potion or Cloth Armor and 5 Health Potion. you get Cloth Armor if the enemy laner you are facing or their team is AD. You usually get Boots of Speed for everything else.
For your first back, you need to decide what items you are going to get first. If you are losing to an AP carry mid lane, then usually you would start getting items for an Abyssal Scepter. If you are dominating lane against an AP carry then you probably should start getting items for a Luden's Echo. Against an AD carry mid lane like Zed or Yasuo, I would rush a Zhonya's Hourglass.