Katarina Build Guide by Carrie
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.
This will be my very first guide on Mobafire.com, and I wanted to do the guide on my favourite and most played champion, Katarina. I watch tons of streams and videos of High ELO Katarina players such as; Scarra, Westrice, TiensiNoAkuma, and I set up my runes and masteries according to them. I felt the need to do this guide because, I didn't see any good guide for Katarina that is also up to date on Mobafire.com. Westrice's guide is really good, however it is not up to date. I also want to make people understand that Rylai's Crystal Scepter is a non cost-efficient item on Katarina. I am looking forward for your positive/negative criticism. Thank you!
Pros / Cons
!She doesn't use mana.
!Highest damage output in the game. (Her ulti does 1040 + X AOE damage at level 16 [Raw damage])
!Can carry a team if played right.
!One of the best mid game champions.
!Built in ignite.
!Easy to learn.
!Vulnerable to crowd control abilities.
!Hard to master.
!You will get flamed for picking her and you will take the blame if you lose even if you have a good K/D/A.
!Very hard early game without ganks or kills.
!Melee auto-attack range.
Reliant on ultimate.
Katarina is an assassinating goddess. Her passive Voracity is what makes Katarina the assassinating goddess she is. My build is set around this passive. Your job as Katarina is to get lots and lots of kills. Your passive resets the cooldowns of your three non-ultimate abilities and decreases the cooldown on Death Lotus by 15 seconds, each time you get a kill or an assist. Also it gives you + gold for each kill or assist, but the cooldown reduction part is what's important. Because your passive reduces your cooldowns, you don't need cooldown runes, cooldown shoes or cooldown masteries. That means I shouldn't see , or CDR runes when you are playing Katarina.
Explanation: Champion kills or assists reduce Death Lotus's cooldown by 10 seconds and refresh basic abilities.
Your bread and butter.
After each kill your cooldowns reset for your normal abilities.
After three kills, your ult cooldown resets.
To abuse this passive get lots of ability power, so you can kill more people in a team fight.
This skill requires you to have fast reflexes, when playing Katarina.
Explanation: Katarina throws a dagger that bounces from enemy to enemy, dealing magic damage and marking them. Her next spell or basic attack against a marked target will consume the mark and deal additional magic damage.
Range of the first Bounce: 675
Your harassment skill.
If you cannot auto attack minions, last hit with this.
Can be bounced off from a minion, in order to harass without going near the enemy and taking damage.
Explanation: Katarina whirls her daggers around her, dealing magic damage to all enemies in the area. If she hits an enemy Champion, Katarina gains a burst of speed for a short duration.
Whirls daggers in a circle dealing 40/80/120/160/200 (+0.6) (+0.3) magic damage. If she hits an enemy Champion, Katarina gains 12/20/28/36.5/44% movement speed for 1 second.
Your wave clearing skill.
Speed buff will help you escape ganks.
Can have more burst than your ultimate if you can get the reset.
Explanation: Katarina instantly moves to her target's location and takes reduced damage from enemies for a few seconds. If the target is an enemy, she deals damage.
Moves to a target's location. Deals 40/70/100/130/160 (+0.4) magic damage if the target is an enemy.
After using Shunpo, Katarina takes 20% reduced damage for 3 seconds.
Your surviving tool.
Always carry a ward with you so you can put it down and Shunpo to it, this will have a Flash effect.
Always try to execute your enemies with Shunpo, so you can have a quicker time killing the others.
Explanation: Katarina becomes a flurry of blades, throwing daggers with unrivaled speed at up to three nearby Champions. Daggers deal magic damage and reduce incoming healing on targets hit.
Becomes a flurry of blades, throwing daggers at the closest 3 enemy Champions dealing 400/500/600 (+3) (+1.75) magic damage over 2 seconds.
Daggers apply Grievous Wounds, reducing incoming healing by 50% for 3 seconds.
Hits three different champions, 10 daggers each, adding up to 30 daggers in total.
You can use this ultimate more than once in a teamfight, this will help you wreck up kills.
This ultimate doesn't need line of sight to be activated. Even if your enemies are against a wall, you can still channel this ult, and it will hit them. This will surprise your enemies, and can lead to you getting kills.
It has a small range so be careful to not waste it.
RIOT'S RECOMMENDED ITEMS FOR KATARINA:
My opinion on this: I think there are several major issues in that build that needs to be addressed. First of all, you should never start with a Doran's Shield. It is a waste of 475 gold. It builds into nothing and the stats it provides is negligible. Instead if you are going against a strong AD champion, pick up Cloth Armor + x5 Health Potions. Second of all, it tells you to build Rylai's Crystal Scepter. The reason why you shouldn't build Crystal Scepter is stated in the section "Why U No Build Rylai?". Instead of Riot's recommended item list, let me show you guys my recommended item list:
Get cloth armor only, if you know you are going to face a really hard Attack Damage carry, such as Talon, Tryndamere. You can then turn the cloth armor into a guardian's angel.
In these matchups you will need the extra armor and hp regeneration to survive during the laning phase. Other than that you should be getting Boots x 3 Health Pots. This gives you mobility in lane, faster ganks and makes you avoid ganks because of your high movement speed combined with Movement Speed Quints.
Early Game Goals:
+ or +
Explanation:: Katarina works really well with Magic Penetration, so rushing a Haunting Guise will make your early game phenomenally strong.
Mid Game Goals:
Explanation: Rabadons Deathcap should be insta rushed in the reworked Katarina because all of her skills have Ability Power ratios and Deathcap is the item with the highest +Ability Power. We no longer rush Hextech Gunblade because Katarina's AD ratios got lowered. Abyssal works extremely well on Katarina because all of her skills have close range so she can benefit from Abyssal Scepter's debuff.
The DFG buff made DFG viable on allmost all of the mages. However on Katarina, I consider DFG as a core item. DFG will allow you to transition from a DPS mage into a Nuker. You will be able to grab kills easily which will help you to snowball into victory. The range on it is huge, so you can use it before your Hextech Active in order to get the highest burst. Plus DFG is cheaper than Rabadons and gives you higher damage output with the awesome passive.
Deathcap provides the highest Ability Power in the game. Buying it will increase your Bouncing Blade, Shunpo and Death Lotus damage substantially. The only downside of it is that it doesn't provide any defense. This is a high risk high reward situation.
******IMPORTANT: Buy when you have extra gold. Popping this elixir immediately gives you +100 - 200 HP. This can help you escape with very low hp, or bait your opponents. You can also survive clutch skills with this, such as Requiem or Mega Inferno Bomb or even Finales Funkeln.
Late Game Goals:
For survivability (Against AD)
This is the item I usually get after my Hextech Gunblade, due to the awesome passive it provides. Use Zhonya's Hourglass if you get caught out of position in a team fight, or if you went in in a team fight and all your skills are on cooldown. Zhonya's Hourglass also allows you to initiate team fights and still be safe due to the awesome passive it provides.
If at least 2 enemies have over 100 Magic Resistance
Void staff will give you super duper omega damage output combined with Rabadon's Deathcap and it will also allow you to shred through your opponents magic resistance.
Get this if the opposing team has lots of crowd control abilities that can be removed by Quicksilver Sash for example or or . Keep in mind that knock ups or knock backs cannot be stopped using Quicksilver Sash such as or .
If you have Guardian's Angel, and die, and your team mates kill someone while you are reviving your passive will proc and you will be able to cast all of your skills after you revive, which makes Guardian's Angel extremely good on Katarina.
If you wanna go Korean style, these boots works too. But if you plan on building these, you should get MPen marks.
Get this item if someone else on your team is building it also. They stack together and end in a %40 Spell Vampirism increase.
If you started with Cloth Armor, turn your Boots of Speed into a Ninja Tabi. Although I never get this item. It's still viable. I usually turn my cloth armor into a guardian angel.
If you want mobility. I prefer this in solo queue games so you can be everywhere on the map.
If you didn't buy Mercury Threads but suffer from CC's get Moonflair Spellblade to make up for the tenacity you lack.
If you are sure you are going to get fed, and you will be able to hold on to your stacks, Mejai is a good investment. But if you can't get past 10 stacks at least, it becomes non-efficient.
Same reason as above, since Katarina benefits both from AD and AP, you can get both Sword of The Occult and Mejai Soulstealer. However doing this is a really risky move, but if it pays off, it will pay off heavily.
Greater Mark of Insight (Magic Penetration): Magic Penetration is really really good on Katarina, as on other mages. Either get these or get AD per level marks.
Greater Mark of Might (Attack Damage Per Level): These runes are awesome. They give you 23 AD at level 18. Since you won't get many Attack Damage items, this Attack Damage boost will be good. Also, these runes allow you to last hit under tower at level 4, because of the small boost that they give. Last hitting is core on Katarina as in many other champions. I have seen these runes from TiensiNoAkuma's Katarina guide and tried them. They seem to work out so far. The lost magic penetration isn't a very big problem because you will be getting a Void Staff in the lategame.
Greater Mark of Strength [Attack Damage]: Use this rune page, only if you are bad at last hitting minions. It gives you a better early game, but a worse late game. I would suggest using attack damage marks, if you are going against a strong melee ad champion.
Greater Seal of Vitality (Health Per Level): Katarina is a really squishy champion and we will not be buiding any health item in our build(Besides Haunting Guise and +HP on Haunting Guise is minimal), so the extra health will be helpful.
Greater Seal of Resilience (Armor):
Armor seals are by far the most efficient seals in the game. Armor seals make your opponents auto attacks deal way lower damage. Most of your opponents in mid-lane will be ranged auto attackers, so armor seals will help you a lot, during early game. Late game, these seals will make enemy carries deal way less damage to you. Also if you are going solo top against an AD bruiser or carry, these seals are a must.
Greater Seal of Warding (Magic Resistance): Use Magic Resistance Seals, if you are going against a strong mage in the laning phase, such as Le Blanc or Veigar or Kassadin. It will provide you with +7 Magic Resist. Also use magic resist seals when you are facing a melee mage, such as Gragas, Fizz, Kassadin, Mordekaiser, Akali, Chogath, Malphite, Rumble, Sion and Galio, because their only harass will be through skills, not auto attacks.
Greater Seal of Force (Ability Power Per Level): Use these runes if you are %100 sure that you are going to win your laning phase. These give you better late game damage, but less late game survivability.
Greater Glyph of Force (Ability Power Per Level): After the Katarina rework, Ability Power became really important on Katarina and these runes will provide you with AP.
Greater Glyph of Warding (Magic Resist): These runes are nerfed, but they are still on of the best options for glyphs. They give you enough tankiness in order to survive your lane.
Greater Glyph of Shielding (Magic Resist Per Level): Almost all the time you will be facing a magic damage dealer in mid. These runes will decrease the damage you take from these magic damage dealers. Also after the flat Magic Resist rune nerf, these runes are viable options.
Greater Glyph of Resilience (Armor): Only usage of these runes is against: Talon mid, Gangplank top, Riven top, Fiora top and Renekton top, because you want to be able to stay in lane against these champions. I also highly suggest starting with Cloth Armor + 5 Health Potions against the champions listed above.
Greater Quint of Swiftness (Movement Speed): These quints are really good, they give you mobility, which is key to Katarina. These quintessences will allow you to outrun opponents who aren't using them, allow you to catch them with your Shunpo and finish them off.
Greater Quintessence of Potency (Ability Power): After the Katarina rework, Ability Power became really important on Katarina and these runes will provide you with AP.
Greater Quint of Warding (Magic Resistance): Use when you are laning against, Le Blanc, Veigar, Kassadin and Ryze, in order to lane against them.
Greater Quint of Insight (Magic Penetration): Katarina's Quintessence choice is not really that important. I find Magic Penetration optimal. It boosts all of your skill's damages, and you want to deal high damage as Kat.
Greater Quint of Resilliance (Armor): Use against AD Bruisers and AD carries such as Gangplank, Talon, Fiora, Olaf, Nasus, Tryndamere.