Katarina Build Guide by SolitaireUS
Not Updated For Current Season
Carry me, Katarina!
Ideal Situation/Core Items (Read Notes)
Sh**'s gone down (Read Notes)
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.
So, why Katarina?
"If you run, you won't see me stab you!" - Katarina
(WARNING: THIS GUIDE GOES INTO DEPTH ABOUT HOW TO PLAY KATARINA MY WAY! DO NOT EXPECT GREAT RESULTS WHEN PLAYING YOUR FIRST GAME WITH THIS GUIDE, THIS REQUIRES PRACTICE AND PATIENCE TO PERFECT. RESULTS, HOWEVER, WILL BE WORTH IT.)
So you're probably here because you're thinking: Why should I play Katarina? Two words. Hyper Carry. All champions in league can carry, but only a few can Hyper carry. So what's the difference between a carry and a hyper carry? A carry relies on their team. This means that the whole team must all be somewhat well off in their lanes, and not feed their opponent too much. Towards late game, a lot of champions like Nasus or Kog'Maw eventually start getting overpowered, and just carry naturally. On the other hand, a hyper carry is someone who will win for their team, themselves. It doesn't matter how badly the other lanes are doing, just make sure you're fed, and carry the team solo-style, like a boss. Why is Katarina such a good Hyper carry? Because of her Clean Up Potential
In a League of Legends dictionary, here's the definition of 'Clean Up':
Clean up (kliːn/ʌp/)
1. Katarina's Death Lotus (Dafuq, I just evaporated.)
2. Darius' Noxian Guillotine (Who introduced Michael Jordan to League?)
To those of you who are newer to League than others, clean up literally means what it sounds like: The finishing touches to a team fight. In my opinion, there are two champions with great clean up potential. Darius: Michael Jordan in disguise, and Katarina: the master of the art of Kill Stealing. When playing as either of these two champions, forget your team. Just kill steal all day long, don't farm minions. That's too normal. Farm Champions. Seriously, in desperate situations, you have to take desperate measures. (Like having a noob team for instance.) This is just an example of a game I just played today, showing how hard she can carry:
Ups and Downs:
Before we get into more Katarina, it's important to know if she fits your play style. You see, Katarina is a nuclear bomb in disguise, both in looks and power. (Who does not like that Kitty Kat Katarina splash?) One press of a button, and BOOM, PENTAKILL! It happens so fast, that the announcer goes straight to saying those words of pure orgy instead of slowly going double... triple... etc. However, you must be patient and focused. If you're not, you will get raped so hard your computer will freeze. Trust me, you will be flattened.
+Very Mobile, roaming around the map is quick and efficient
+Huge Burst output with Ult. Q and W combo is also a solid amount.
+An instant teleport to any unit within the radius of her E, makes her very hard to gank
+Passive is ridiculously strong and enables her to snowball, best passive in game by far
+Easiest champion to get a Pentakill with if timing is correct
+Strong during all phases of the game, if not countered
-Timing of her Ult is extremely important
-Ult can be interrupted
-Very squishy, very prone to Crowd Control
-If not fed early game, can become useless mid and late game
-Very likely to get focused during team fights
-Countered hard during laning phase if against an unfavorable champion
Katarina's kit is made for a very aggressive play style and therefore, to utilize the full potential of her kit, you must play aggressive during the laning phase.
Voracity Voracity is arguably the best passive in the game. It resets your Q,W and E ability cool downs instantly after assisting or killing a champion. Your ultimate's cool down, even though it will not reset, will significantly reduce as well. Always remember that you have this passive, as naturally, your mind might think that since I have just used this ability, I have to wait. NO! FACE ROLL DAT KEYBOARD! Use your E, W combo to keep on teleporting to the next champion who happens to stand in your way!
(Scoring a kill or assist will reduce the cooldown of Katarina's abilities by 15 seconds.)
Bouncing Blades Bouncing Blades has two parts. It is primarily a poking ability, since the blade can travel and poke 5 opponents in total. You can easily control the blade to bounce on to the enemy champion if you are careful enough to make sure that he/she is align with the minion wave, as the blade bounces down a line rather than hitting minions in a random order. Hitting multiple targets with the bouncing blades leaves a mark on them. The mark can be consumed by Katarina using an ability or an auto attack on the champion or minion, dealing extra bonus damage. This is the primary source of activating her insane burst, so make sure that when bursting a champion, they have a mark to detonate.
(Katarina throws a dagger that bounces from enemy to enemy, dealing magic damage and marking each enemy hit for 4 seconds. Bouncing Blades hits a total of 5 unique targets (4 bounces), each striking the closest next target. Each subsequent hit deals 10% less damage. Striking a marked target with an ability or basic attack will consume the mark on the target and deal additional magic damage.)
Sinister Steel Sinister Steel is a very self explanatory ability. It is a small Area of Effect Ability which instantly damages all enemies around her. The cooldown for this ability is extremely short (4 seconds), so use it to constantly farm and harass whenever your opponent gets too close. Hitting an enemy with this ability also grants a movement speed bonus for 1 second , which you may think is a little, but in reality, is extremely useful for your E, W combo which is your main way of cleaning up low health enemies.
(Katarina whirls her daggers, instantly dealing magic damage to all nearby enemies. If she damages an enemy champion, she gains movement speed for 1 second.)
Shunpo Shunpo is Katarina's only utility ability which can be used for offensive or defensive situations. She instantly teleports to any unit within a 700 range radius around her. This means that if she is getting ganked, and a new wave of minions happens to arrive, she can quickly shunpo to a minion within turret range, now causing her to be safe from harm. (Unless they dive you, of course.) To use Katarina to her full potential, you must choose when it's right to use shunpo to harass or not. Using shunpo on your opponent can be very surprising, especially on champions which harass using skill shots. This puts them immediately in range of your W, Sinister Steel. Using your Q, E and W combo to harass your opponent in lane is an effective way of lowering their health quickly so that they have to recall sooner, making them loose big amounts of minion gold and experience. However, when playing against more intelligent opponents, the enemy jungler, after seeing you use your Shunpo to harass, will immediately try to gank as you have lost your only form of escape. Make sure you use shunpo to harass ONLY when you feel it is safe or necessary to do so. Also, shunpo enables you to use your ultimate right in the center of the enemy team, using it to it's full potential.
(Katarina teleports to target unit and gains 15% damage reduction for 1.5 seconds. If the target is an enemy, the target takes magic damage.)
Death Lotus Death Lotus is the reason why all of you are reading this or wanting to learn Katarina. Since there are God of God's, we can simply say this is the Ulimate of Ultimate's. Katarina, once activating this ability, is literally a damn nuclear bomb, and starts melting and evaporating all her opponents around her at the same time. Within 2.5 seconds of spinning around furiously, Katarina throws 30 daggers at 3 opponents around her, making 10 daggers hit each champion. If you were thinking that all 30 daggers would hit one champion if there was only one opponent within your Ult's radius around, unfortunately, you would be mistaken. If this was the case, her 1 vs 1 potential would be too immense. This is why her ultimate should be used in the middle of the enemy's team, so that you can use this ultimate to it's full potential. The scaling of this ability is huge, ((400 / 575 / 750 (+ 250% AP) (+ 375% bonus AD)), and with a complete build, with your Ability power being well over 600, you deal well over 2000 damage to each enemy champion around you! This is not including your Magic Penetration, so you could potentially do much more damage depending on how squishy the enemy composition is. Even Darius is jealous of those numbers! However, their is a huge downside to her ultimate. It can be stopped by stuns, knock ups, silences, fears... Any form of hard crowd control can stop her ult, making her overall damage output significantly less. So, when you do plan on using it, make sure that your team helps you absorb all the hard CC first before coming in. Do not worry about your team mates raging at you if they complain about your late entrance to a team fight, trust me, they don't know how to play Katarina as well as you do if they do.
(Katarina rapidly spins in place and channels for 2.5 seconds, throwing a barrage of up to 30 daggers at the closest 3 enemy champions within range. Each dagger deals magic damage and applies Grievous Wounds for 3 seconds, reducing regeneration and incoming healing by 50%. Death Lotus can hit a single enemy champion no more than 10 times.)
Knowing your Combos, being the difference between a Nuke and a Noob.
If you play Capcom's Street Fighter, and you remember your insane 55 combo streak, or some other crazy number like that, I can guarantee you can remember Katarina's combos. It's easy to memorize, easy to understand, and easy to apply.
Standard Farming combo:Q Bouncing Blades==>W Sinister steel
Apply a mark on five minions, walk to the center, and do sinister steel. After getting Sorcerer's Shoes and Void Staff, minions around you should melt instantaneously. Beforehand, maybe another auto attack for the final blow will do the trick.
Standard Harass combo:Q Bouncing Blades==>E Shunpo==>W Sinister steel
Make sure a mark is on the champion before you shunpo to him/her. Once you activate Sinister Steel, don't engage any more and back off behind your minion wave with your 1 second enhanced speed, or else the opponent's minions will start to focus you, and you will be surprised about how much health you could lose from just minions. Only continue the engagement if you know you can kill him/her with minions shooting you with their guns. If you think that you will need to save your shunpo within the next 12 seconds because of a gank or anything else that makes you feel uncomfortable for engageing and just simply running away ( Kassadin's Riftwalk for example), then walk up to the enemy only after applying your Bouncing Blades mark on him/her, and then use sinister steel, so that you can Shunpo away if necessary.
Finishing Low Health Opponents Combo:1. E Shunpo==>W Sinister steel==>Q Bouncing Blades
2. Q Bouncing Blades==>E Shunpo==>W Sinister steel
Choosing whether to use your Q Bouncing Blades to engage or not is quite important. When killing off a Hecarim or a Kassadin, for instance, since these champions are obviously a lot more mobile than Katarina, it may be a better choice to use the second option so that by Shunpoing to them after using your Bouncing Blades, you can detonate the mark and do more damage than a normal Shunpo. However, for champions with a short dash like Lucian or Graves, it may be better to use the first option, so that after Shunpoing to them and using sinister steel, if they did dash away, you could use your Bouncing Blades to finish them off from afar.
The Final Combo is by far the most difficult to do correctly. It's all about timing. It's easy to apply, but be patient, and only engage after you know the opponent's have used all their forms of Hard CC.
Nuclear Bomb Detected Combo:Q Bouncing Blades==>E Shunpo(To a minion or a champion in the center of the enemy team)==>R Death Lotus
Remember that because of your passive Voracity, after getting a single kill or even assist after your ultimate is finished, use your combos to kill off all the remaining enemy champions. You must be quick with your reactions to do this, and keep on face rolling on your keyboard after getting kills and assists. It is that simple to Hyper carry with Katarina.
Katarina truly benefits from only a few Summoner Spells. It would be unwise to use, for instance, to equip Katarina with Clarity, as she does not use mana. Here are some Summoners she would NOT benefit from:
Clairvoyance. (Reveals an area of the map for 5 seconds.) No point using this summoner with the invention of wards and the trinket system. Pretty self explanatory.
Cleanse. (Restores 40% your champion's maximum mana. Also restores nearby Allies Mana by 40%.) Katarina don't even use mana. You might as well uninstall the game if want to use this summoner spell.
Ghost. (Your champion passes through any unit and moves 27% faster for 10 seconds.) Why run when you can Shunpo and Flash away?
Teleport. (After 4 seconds, teleports your champion to a non-champion, friendly target. Cooldown is shortened to 200 if you teleport to a turret or if you cancel it by reactivating.) Teleport is primarily for champions who need minion farm or objective dominance ( Dragon and Baron )to excel late game. But you don't farm minions as Katrina, you farm champions.
Revive. (Instantly revives your champion at your team's Summoner Platform and grants 125% movement speed increase which decays over 12 seconds.) This summoner can only be used when you die. But that's exactly what you're trying not to do, so don't even bother.
Smite. (Deals 390-1000 true damage, based on champion level, to a jungle monster, enemy minions, or pets.) YEAH! Katarina JUNGLE FOR THE WIN!!! NO. Just... NO.
Here are some Summoner Spells which would actually be useful:
Barrier. (Shields your champion for 95 + (20 × level) for 2 seconds.) Shielding yourself so that you can finish off your final execution combos can be extremely useful, especially while doing your Death Lotus, and you're getting focused on. Could also save your life from a Caitlyn's Ace in the Hole, Ezreal's Trueshot Barrage, or even a turret shot after diving an opponent.
Cleanse. (Removes all disables and summoner spell debuffs affecting your champion and lowers the duration of incoming disables by 65% for 3 seconds.) Since Katarina's huge weakness is proneness to CC, this summoner can be extremely useful for getting out of a slow or stun, and then using Death Lotus right in the heart of the enemy team when they thought they had you for sure. Or you could run. Either way works.
Heal. (Restores 90~495 Health [approx. 66 + (lvl x 24)] to your champion and the allied champion nearest to the caster's cursor (or the most wounded ally if no target is near the cursor). *Removes healing reduction effects on affected champions. *Affected champions gain +30% movement speed for 2 seconds.) This is the perfect Ignite counter, and after using it, you gain a 30% movement speed buff. This means that you can easily get out of very sticky situations, unscathed. Similar to a Barrier, but probably meant for defensive use instead of offensive use.
Flash. (Teleports your Champion to target nearby location under your mouse cursor.) Extremely useful. Should always be one of your summoner spells, even though you have a Shunpo. You see, Flash helps you cross through terrain such as the Dragon pit or baron pit, which Shunpo cannot do. You could also use it to chase down opponent's to score an Ace or even get that orgy PENTAKILL.
Ignite. (Targets a single champion dealing 70~410 [50 + (lvl x 20)] true damage over 5 seconds. *Also reduces the target’s healing and regeneration by 50%.) Another extremely useful summoner ability, which should ALWAYS be used to finish a low health opponent. NEVER USE IT when your opponent has more than a quarter health. Ignite was made to finish you opponent while they run away. Use it that way, and only use it after finishing a complete combo.
Laning against Different Mids:
When getting Ganked: Do not panic. If you have been looking at how I use Shunpo properly, then you should have a Shunpo ready to save your as*. Be calm, and either:
1. Shunpo to the jungler himself/herself. This is a very risky thing to do, but for junglers like Vi, Wukong or Jarvan IV (those who will gap close to you), as soon as you see them jumping to you (this requires quick reactions), Shunpo to them. This makes you land on their initial starting position if done very quickly, and you can simply walk away from there. This should only be used if they have attacked FROM YOUR TURRET. It would be quite silly if you Shunpoed to them if they were attacking you from their turret.
2. Shunpo to the minion closest to your turret or safety. Easy enough to understand why.
3. If all minions are mid and you don't want to waste a Flash, use your trinket and as I like to call it, ward Shunpo to safety.
4. If you have used your Shunpo and it is on cooldown, you can run like a man, (even though Katarina is a woman, she's still got balls) and hope for the best, or Flash away. If you have chosen to use different summoners like Barrier or Heal, you can use those too to re compensate for a Flash. DON'T WASTE YOUR FLASH IF YOU'RE GUARANTEED TO DIE. If you're getting ganked from all corners, you might as well die like a man, and feel good that a team is so desperate to kill you. (It happens if you're that fed) Use flash only if you know you have a chance of survival.
Nidaleethe Bestial Huntress
EASY.Very, very easy lane in my opinion. All you should fear is her spear. Dat Javelin Toss is one of the most annoying things in the world! But it can easily be countered. Simply stand behind minions constantly, and use your harass combo after she has thrown one. If you see one flying at your face, you have a few options:
1. Shunpo to her face. I can bet she wasn't expecting that.
2. Shunpo to a minion that's out of range from her spear.
3. Dodge it like a boss. Play with light feet, constantly.
Fizzthe Tidal Trickster
Medium. Definitely could go both ways. Fizz has two gap closer's with his Urchin Strike and his Playful / Trickster. This could mean that when you thought you Shunpoed to safety, you're still gonna get raped. His Chum the Waters is also extremely annoying to deal with, especially if the Fizz is good with his skill shots. However, there are a few things you can do to counter him back (Counter the counter):
1. Farm passively at first. Fizz has a damage advantage over you early game, so it's not wise to harass him as much as a Nidalee, for instance.
2. However, if he has used his Urchin Strike and his Playful / Trickster to harass you, make him suffer back and use your harass combo to show him who's boss (Unless you're low, then you should probably back off because of his Seastone Trident. Play with light feet, constantly. Don't use Shunpo offensively, make him waste his combos. He uses mana, so he can only harass you a limited amount of times early game.
3. After reaching level 6, remember to NEVER ULT FIRST. You must wait for him to ult, because once you ult, it just make his Chum the Waters so much easier for him to land. Make him ult first, use Shunpo to dodge it if he does, or dodge it normally, either way works.
4. After he has used his ult, you must bait his Playful / Trickster if he hasn't used it yet. Start playing closer to him. Once he uses Playful / Trickster and Urchin Strike to attack you, use your Q Bouncing Blades to apply a mark to detonate, and then unleash the Death Lotus. All he can do is walk away from it, and when he is just out of range, Shunpo and sinister steel that fish's face.
Runes, Skill Sequence, Masteries (READ THE NOTES FIRST!):
If you have read the notes, and you're still puzzled by a few of the reasons I have given, I shall try answer them here. Here are some questions you may ask:
1. 'Why do you think these are the only viable runes on Katarina? Why not Quint of Movement Speed instead of more Quint of Ability Power?
Firstly, there is no point having movement speed Quints if you already have an additional 1.5% movement speed from the utility tree. Also, since I always buy boots first, I am already more mobile than most champions. Katarina needs more damage early game, however, as her ultimate is the only ability which has insane scaling with her Ability Power, and that can only be unlocked at level 6. Her Q's ( Bouncing Blades ratio is only 60% of her AP, which includes detonating the target, and her W's ratio ( Sinister Steel) is only 25% of her AP. These ratios, to be honest, are not ridiculously high, which is the reason why if she isn't fed, she falls off mid to late game.
2. Void Staff as your second item to purchase? Really?
I can assure you that the benefits of doing this are immense and I can guarantee you will see the difference in your huge damage output of your ultimate. Tanks are always either as support, top or jungle. The support tank will always build armor as he needs to try counter the continuously growing output of the AD carry. The jungler will always go for his jungle items first, like Spirit of the Ancient Golem or Feral Flare. None of these jungle items grant Magic Resist. Top tanks like Singed, Malphite or Shen will usually start building Armour items first, as Spirit Visage and Banshee's Veil are usually the third, forth or fifth item they buy. This means that all tanks will start off with low base Magic Resist stats, only a bit higher than an AD carry or an AP carry due to their scaling MR blues (most likely). By having so much magic penetration early, even tanks will not be able to withstand the full rage of Katarina's Death Lotus. This means that you get more kills early on, and when the tanks start to then build their Magic resist items, you will already be getting your Hextech Gunlade, which means that you gain health as you use your ultimate, making it almost impossible for them to kill you. Choosing to get it as one of your final items to counter the opponent's tanks Magic Resist may already be too late, as your damage output will be reduced by a lot during the time you are trying to get your Void Staff, which will lead to many deaths and failed attempts to carry your team.
3. Why Rylai's Crystal Scepter? You said in your Masteries Notes that there is no point putting points into Katarina's defense tree because she is so naturally squishy, and yet Rylai's is an AP tank's item. Also, Hextech Gunblade is for AP/AD hybrid champions, why is it part of your core build?
I did also say in the notes that Rylai's Crystal Scepter passive is the main reason why I would use it. Even though the slow will be reduced to 15%, (because Katarina's ultimate is an over time effect ability) a 15% slow, for up to three champions around Katarina for a solid 3 seconds is hugely beneficial for your team, and can be used to open an engagement. ONLY BUY THIS ITEM IF YOU'RE BEHIND! Hextech Gunblade is mainly useful for it's Spell Vamp, which means that 20% of the damage you do in your ult is converted in to health. That means that with a full build, you can potentially gain back 400 health from one ultimate, which is a huge amount (considering Katarina is so squishy.) Also, since Katarina's sinister steel scales with 60% of her bonus Attack damage as well, the Attack damage from Hextech Gunblade is not wasted.
4. Culinary Master is definitely a weird choice for Katarina, also because Ignite will reduce the healing, maybe Runic Affinity or even Vampirism would be a better choice for me. (Wicked Eye)
Culinary Master is there because it gives an instant 20 health, which could definitely mean the difference between life and death, especially in the early phase of the game. If you do the math, the Alchemist point in the tree actually only restores an additional 15 health, as it only increases the duration of a normal Health Potion by 10%. Culinary Master restores 20 health instantly. Let's say that if you were panicking and you're close to death, if you ate 4 of the cookies while being under an Ignite, it restores 60 health. (I don't think ignite affects the instant health gain, but it does affect the gradual healing of the cookie.) Runic Affinity is not very useful on Katarina to be honest, as she would basically never need the blue buff (doesn't use mana and she has resets). The Red Buff is definitely more useful on a ranged AD champion, so you might as well let your AD carry have it. Vampirism is only useful if you put 3 points into it to get the full 3% of spell vamp. 1% is useless, and you won't even see a huge difference until you get your Hextech Gunblade.
5. Don't you think that Greater Mark of Hybrid Penetration would be better? Specially because you are building some AD as well, besides you only lose 0.2 magic pen but gain a lot of armor pen. Also, you are already building a lot of ability power on Katarina but almost no magic resist. I think that Greater Glyph of Magic Resist would be a better choice because Katarina will often find herself in a hard time early game laning against ranged APCs. (Wicked Eye)
Katarina definitely does not need Greater Mark of Hybrid Penetration, ever. Even though her sinister steel and Death Lotus scale with her bonus AD, all the damage she deals with her abilities are still AP. The only AD damage you will ever do with Katarina are your auto-attacks. If you're slicing your enemy with auto-attacks as Katarina too often, you're not playing her right at all. Consider playing an AD champion if you find yourself in this position. Also, the Greater Mark of Hybrid Penetration penetrates 0.62 of the enemy's MR. A normal Greater Mark of Magic Penetration penetrates 0.86. If you times both of these numbers by 9, you can see a huge difference in the amount of magic penetration. As I said in the notes for the mastery tree, there is no point putting defense on to Katarina, both in Masteries and in Runes . Why? Because if she did get caught by a ranged AP carry like Ahri or Veigar, she's basically dead, even with the MR runes. Don't waste you time making Katarina bulky, it's a lost cause.
6. Seriously, no Liandry's Torment? This is one of the best items in Katarina, it provides her both magic penetration, what you said is great early game against tanks and also gives her health making her harder to kill, and the passive... especially if someone flashes your ult or try to get away almost dead. I would choose to finish this item first over Void Staff because you don't need that much magic pen early game, the amount Sorcerer's Shoes and Liandry's Torment provides is enough. (Wicked eye)
Liandry's Torment is ideal for champions who deal damage without being close to their enemy. Karthus, Singed and Teemo are great examples. Teemo's Noxious Trap, Singed's Poison Trail and Karthus' Requiem need Liandry's Torment so that the final burning effects from it's passive can finish off opponents without needing to be close to them. However, Katarina always needs to be up close and personal with her opponents to make full use of her Death Lotus. Her Ultimate isn't global, but if it was, hell yeah I would recommend this item! But Liandry's Torment's main purpose as an item is to increase the effects of poison or AP global ultimates. (It works, basically, as a small ignite.) If Katarina ever needed to finish off low health opponents, just use your Shunpo and Bouncing Blades combo. (If they are in range of your Death Lotus, they will always be in range of your Shunpo.) You also said that the combination Liandry's Torment's magic penetration and Sorcerer's Shoes will be enough for the early stages of any game. You are gravely mistaken. Katarina is a hungry girl. There is never "enough" magic penetration for Katarina. You need more. More the better. (Except for deaths, that's pretty noob.) But on a serious note, why go for an item which provides second most Magic penetration when you could easily go for the one which provides more magic penetration for a much cheaper price? ( Liandry's Torment=2900| Void Staff=2295) (Katarina does not benefit from 300 health. If she's caught, she dead. Simple as that.)
7. Thought the Hextech Gunblade and Rylai's Crystal Scepter are dead on Katarina since the rework... (the chaos bringer 00)
Hextech Gunblade is really only there for the spell vamp and active. If you constantly keep on forgetting to use item actives like Blade of the Ruined King or Ravenous Hydra, then it's probably a better option to start building a Will of the Ancients after buying the Hextech Revolver. The active on the Hextech Gunblade Deals 150 + 40% of your ability power as magic damage and slows target champion's movement speed by 40% for 2 seconds. This active is hugely beneficial for Katarina, especially when taking down very tanky, mobile targets who troll the sh** out of you. (*cough* Singed) Question 3 answers the second part.
8. If not fed early game, can become useless mid and late game...Hypercarry ( mastrer1000)
This is called balance, and this is why League of Legends is such a great game. Every champion is balanced extremely well. (Except for Teemo. Dumb squirrel.) If Katarina could catch up easily after being behind during the laning phase, like a Vayne, Kog'Maw or a Nasus, she would be too overpowered, especially with her passive ( Voracity) and ultimate ( Death Lotus). This is why I would recommend you to play aggressive, because you have three options as Katarina:
1. Play aggressive and you succeed in getting obese. WIN AND HYPER CARRY
2. Play aggressive and fail becoming obese. At least become a utility for your team.
3. Play passive and never harass. Just farm like a Nasus, and slowly deteriorate.
There is no win situation from playing passively as Katarina. If you're really having trouble against your mid opponent, then there is still hope. ROAM to different lanes, and kill the top/jungler/bot lane opponent's.
9. 1. Starting items - nope. Boots of Speed start offers you nothing and your laning is already weak against some certain targets.
2. Void Staff first - nope. You don't need percent penetration. Flat is superior in the early game. You could also get something actually useful to do something in the early-mid game and get even more fed.
3. Hextech Gunblade - nope. You have 4 AoE skills which reduce the healing. You could also just increase your burst or survivability for less money and more useful stats.
4. Rylai's Crystal Scepter - nope. You honestly do NOT need the slow for anything. In the teamfights you very seldom get into chasing situations and even then it doesn't help because Shunpo has the highest range of your skills and Sinister Steel should do when you are chasing.
5. I also disagree with Alchemist and Culinary Master .
6. My ********-meter just broke. Let's compare these two items: Void Staff and Haunting Guise. Void Staff reduces the magic resist by 40% and Haunting Guise 15 FLAT. Let's say the enemy has that 30 base magic resist. In this case Void Staff reduces magic resist by 12 and Haunting Guise by 15. Haunting Guise's build path and stats are also far better in the early game anyways.
7. Your explanation about Katarina not needing any defensive masteries/runes is just stupid. Of course they help. Ahri can't dish out that much damage without Spirit Rush and Deathfire Grasp.
8. Liandry's Torment explanation is also wrong. Liandry's Torment won't finish anyone off and it is good for melee mages, too. Also it's build path is in Katarina's favour.
9. The definition of "hypercarry" is that she/he is far more useful than anyone else if she/he gets fed and she/he will be useful even if she/he is behind.
To Janitsu: You seem to be disagreeing with my whole guide.
-I repeat from my first paragraph, this is MY WAY of playing Katarina. I cannot stress this enough, and I have even written it in bold, and underlined it as well, if you read the first paragraph again. I never said that this is the only way to play Katarina, these are my opinions, based on my experiences. If you really want to prove a point, do write your own guide on how to play Katarina your style, because clearly, we have very different opinions.
-My masteries are based on professional players like Scarra and Bjergsen. I too also found Alchemist and Culinary Master to be weird options at first, but after opting for the defensive tree, I thought it would be more beneficial to be more last longer in lane by the cookies.
- Boots of Speed as a first item works for me because I can buy 4 biscuits with it. I'm all ears if you suggest to me a better starting item with the same amount of sustain you get from 4 cookies. (around 800 health restored in total. That takes a long time to drop early game, especially if you're not getting ganked.)
-It's not all about damage during the very early laning phase with Katarina. You need to constantly harass and take advantage of her sustain from the cookies, the fact that her abilities use no mana, and that the cool downs are also quite short. She cannot instantly burst with a full combo like a Darius or Pantheon can. If she could, she would be using mana.
-You also mention that Defensive Masteries and Runes will also be useful on Katarina. They are if you like getting caught in the middle of enemy fire. I don't mind if you like walking into a team fight when it is about to commence, only that you will get focused with all the hard CC and abilities. If you don't die, that would be short of a miracle. Consider getting the Revive summoner spell if you're going to be suicidal like that. OR you could wait until all abilities and hard CC have been used on your team mates, and then use the full potential of your Death Lotus, knowing that you won't get interrupted. Also, since I recommend you to Shunpo in, you immediately have all damage reduced by 15% for 2 seconds, almost the full extent your Death Lotus and with the spell vamp from Hextech Gunblade, it's already that much harder to kill you without needing any defensive masteries or runes. Plus, it's your aim as Katarina to cause all the amount of pain possible. You need to be the main source of damage on your team, let the tanks tank for you, it's their purpose and job to protect the ADc and the APc.
- Liandry's Torment does provide solid Magic penetration. Yes, I'm aware that early game, the penetration from Sorcerer's Shoes with Liandry's Torment is more than a Void Staff. But when you continue building more core items like Deathfire Grasp and Rabadon's Deathcap, which do you think you will benefit more from afterwards? If you get Void Staff first, getting more and more items on Katarina will make you even stronger after each item than without Void Staff because of the percentage, not the base.
- Liandry's Torment makes ticks from Noxious Trap or Poison Trail stronger, therefore, making them lose more health. If you do the math, more health lost means closer to death, or death itself. Am I wrong here? Do you kill Champions in League now by increasing health? ( Soraka would be too OP in that new meta.)
-I keep on saying that Rylai's Crystal Scepter should be only obtained if in a bad situation... -__- You see, since if you're behind with Katarina and it's so hard to come back, you might as well help your team in any way possible now. 500 health, for a start, is larger than what Liandry's Torment provides. It also provides more AP than Liandry's Torment. Since you're getting a Void Staff later if you're behind (4th or 5th item), there is no need for the magic penetration, as you're trying to help the team, not carry the team. The Magic penetration comes later if you're behind.
- Hextech Gunblade. If you really hate that item that much, I did say you could buy a Will of the Ancients as another viable option.
-When I was defining Hyper carry, I wasn't being completely serious. Does League of Legends really come with a dictionary? And if it did, would it really just be a champion's name and an ability? Come on, I was just having fun when writing this.