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.
INTRO: Mastery's, runes, items, etc;
Ghost is great for Kat mostly because in an emergency she can get away or chase someone down for a kill. I use this as a main spell mainly because i don't like to use flash, but flash can come useful too.
Exhaust would be a skill i recommend everyone to use mainly because of Death Lotus (ULTY). While shunpo'd to your enemy you can use exhaust, run in front of them then death lotus and get a kill. I recommend it also as a way to get away if you really need to and Ghost is on cooldown.
Flash can replace ghost if you prefer it. Personally I dont like it mainly because it just is a quick teleport, but it can be great to get away like going through walls mainly r just to get ahead to someone to kill them.
Ignite can replace exhaust if you'd like, but i don't recommend it. There's not much to explain about ignite. Just throw it on them when they're low or just to help for some DPS. This is extremely good if you're going against a Tryndamere since his ult makes him unkillable.
Quick explanation of why i selected these masteries. I mainly chose offense because you want to be doing as much damage as possible, but at the same time you don't want to die, which in that case you can reverse it with a 9/21/0, or whatever you'd like.
going 21 in defense is also good just so that you don't die since Katarina is a very soft champion and can be killed fairly easily by a lot of champions.
Runes can be varied, and really depends on how you play and what you like. I suggest getting a lot of magic penetration since AL of Kat's abilities are magic damage. This way you get the most out of your abilities and they won't be wasted. I also suggest some dodge runes only because it's good to play defensive and some extra dodge can be helpful, but if you don't like that then health runes are always an alternative. I normally play with health and magic pen runes, but that's mostly just my play style since i don't like to get up close and personal with the enemy. After playing Kat for a while, you'll be able to pick up your strengths and weaknesses, and if dying if one thing that just keeps happening, you might want to get some health runes more than dodge, only because dodge isn't exactly necessary, but it can still be useful if you don't have an issue with your health as much in game.
In this section I'll be going over why i chose every item and its alternative, since I'm sure this build looks a little silly to people.
For your first items you basically have a choice.
Either go with Doran's Blade with health pot, or Doran's Shield with a health pot. Since this is a damage build, i suggest you get the blade instead of the shield, mostly for the little lifesteal, and for the damage. Shield is also just as good since Kat is a very soft champion. they both can be great starting items but a little extra damage is always great for bouncing blades.
Sorcerers boots are a must! For those who have seen or heard that Mercury Treads are better, you heard wrong.
Mercury treads are great for its passive, but why would you really need it? It would be good for your ulty, but a stun, knock airborne, or anything like that instantly stops it and it goes back on cooldown. Great, you last less time in the stun but what's the point if you can't cast your ult again? I suggest buying sorcerers shoes because all of Kat's abilities are magic damage, and with these boots you'll be doing more damage, which basically is what everyone wants, lol.
If you wish to get merc treads anyway, go for it. They're a great item either way and they can be just as good as sorcerers shoes.
Four B.F. swords.. what a stupid idea..
B.F. swords give great attack damage as a non-built item and aren't as expensive for the amount of damage it gives. you should start off buy buying just one first after your boots, then warmog's, then 3 more.
But why 4 B.F. swords?
Well since you're going AD Kat, you need to build up as much attack damage as possible. Starting off with these swords is great and as soon as you get your first one, you'll be doing great damage with your abilities!
Warmog's supplies a great amount of health just off of its base health, and along with its passive, you'll have over 3k health in no time.
Once you get your warmogs make sure to kill minions a lot so you can build up more health for your Warmog's.
Now the reason i chose warmog's is because Kat is just plain squishy. She can die very easily, and to prevent that why not stack health? You normally wouldn't even have 2k health without warmog's, but with it it can give you such an advantage and a lot more survivability.
Oh, the bloodthirster. One of the best damage/lifesteal items in LoL. It's passive, once fully reached, can add 30 (i belueve) bonus attack damage, and 15% (i believe) bonus lifesteal from killing. Once you have accumulated all of your B.F. swords, you'll want to work on the bloodthirsters immediately. They might be a little expensive, but trust me, they are completely worth it. With all of them you'll have 100% lifesteal and over 400 AD. At this point once you've used your skills, you can just auto attack to gain life back easily. You can really take down some champions just auto attacking.
This item can replace a Warmog's. The reason you might want to be getting this is because of its passive. This can come very handy if the other team has disables that can interrupt your Death Lotus. When using this item, make sure the passive is ready before you go in and use your ult. This way it will ignore (most likely) the disable making your ult successful.
Katarina is probably one of the hardest hitting champions when build and played correctly.
You can take down a champion from full to none in just seconds.
Like most strong champions, Katarina is a soft champion and can be killed somewhat easily. Nevertheless, using my build i can ensure you that you won't be doing very much dying!
Katarina's first ability is Bouncing Blades. This skill allows you to throw one of your blades at an enemy dealing normal damage, and bounce off up to 6 enemies, dealing 10% less damage per hit.
This ability is great for farming, and in team fights, and more importantly, great for harassing in early game.
I suggest you get this skill first mostly if you are going middle lane, but if you aren't i suggest getting shunpo, so that if they try to run away in an early fight, you can get to them easily and kill them. But you will definitely need to max this skill out first, since you're going AD Kat.
Katarina's second ability is Killer Instincts. It's good to get this ability at level three, and max it out second. This is a great skill. On active it makes your attacks better, but more importantly it can do two different things:
1. Killer instincts+Bouncing Blades: Using killer Instincts then Bouncing Blades will make each blade hit reduces the enemy's healing done, so this is great for people who have a heal or who can be healed.
2. Killer instincts+Shunpo: Using Killer Instincts then Shuno will allow you to take up to 30% less damage for a short time. This is GREAT for when you shunpo to someone and then ulty immediately. This way while in your ult, you can easily do your damage and worry less about dying!
Katarina's third ability is Shunpo. This ability is amazing. You can use it to teleport a short distance to an enemy, or even an ally! This ability is great for getting to someone, or even just to get away. This is probably one of the best ways to get away.
Katarina's Ultimate is Death Lotus. Deadly, but can easily be interrupted by a stun, knock airborne, or anything like that. If used properly you can easily kill someone or just get them very low.
This ability makes you go into extreme focus, spinning you and making you throw blades extremely fast for a few seconds at three nearest enemy champions.
This ability works good with Ad because of the ratio it uses and how much damage you'd have.
Be careful not to use it wastefully, or by people who focus you, or have disables that can interrupt it or else it's useless.
Going mid is very easy as Kat, seeing as you do great damage, and most of the champions that go mid are also very squishy.
While playing mid, you want to stay back from your enemy champion, and wait till you at least are level two and have shunpo and bouncing blades. A great way to harass is to shunpo to an enemy minion, making you just in range to use bouncing blades on your opponent. Another way is to run over and use bouncing blades, then immediately use shunpo to get away and out of range of them.
This way can also be used to harass your enemy while they are next to their tower. If they are tower hugging, run over to them, use bouncing blades then as fast as you can use shunpo to get out of tower range. This way can be a killer move and is very annoying. Always watch for your enemy and make sure you know your enemies capabilities. They could in fact stun you and kill you since the tower is there.
Being aggresive mid is good because most champions mid will be soft and won't be able to do much in close range. Once you have your ulty, you can shunpo to them, use exhaust to slow and blind, ulty, then if they're not dead bouncing blades on them, or shunpo with some auto attacks.
ALWAYS be sure to know about your enemies disables and their damage output. It's possible that engaging can backfire but it's a littler possibility.
Top or Bottom Laneing
When in normal lanes, be careful, because these lanes are where the good DPS and tanks are. I recommend laneing with someone tankey and with disables like Blitzcrank. This way after some harassment, you can get yur partner to disable them while you ulty and get a sweet double kill!
Remember to always play defensive as Kat, though. You never know what may happen and always watch your map.
If engaging a small gank/fight, use killer instincts then shunpo to get to them, so you take less damage.
Watch their minions. If you have bouncing blades maxed, you can hit a minion with it and it may bounce off to the enemy champion and hit them. Always watch for a line of minions to the enemy though; it can come extremely helpful for harassment or even to get a lucky kill if the enemy is running away.
ALWAYS use killer instincts and Bouncing blades when fighting someone like Mundo or Taric. This way they cant heal and you can just go straight to killing them.
Experiment with other builds/runes/masteries you like and branch off from this if you don't like it as much.
I hope this build was very helpful to you and I hope to be seeing more Katarina's using this build in game. Enjoy Kat, and like it says in the build name, i'm the real SCRAX in game, so add me if you'd like, and don't get fooled; I'm not SCRAX on mobafire, he's someone entirely different.