Katarina Build Guide by CameronCrazy
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The Penta Master
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.
Well, first off, I better introduce myself. I am CameronCrazy (at least that's my MOBAFire name). Anyway, the reason I'm making this guide is because I love Katarina, I wreck with Katarina, and I'm here to show you how you can too. Usually, you should use the offensive part of this guide if you're playing normal games, and the more defensive part if you're playing ranked. But that's beside the point. Try out my build and see if it works for you, as it works for me.
For all you guys know, I could be terrible with Katarina. Why should I be qualified to teach you how to use her? What have I done with her that others cannot say they have? Well, most of you probably won't believe me, and honestly I have no proof of this, but in one normal game I got three Pentakills with her. One game, three pentas.
Anyway, here are some of my recent games:
Pros / Cons
AbilitesWhen Katarina scores a champion kill or assist, she reduces the cooldown of all her skills by 15 seconds. This skills is amazing during teamfights as it allows you to keep going from one champion to the next. Shunpo into a group of low enemy champions, kill them with Death Lotus, then use a combination of skills to pick up the last two kills. During a good team fight, you should be able to use your ult twice. This passive is the reason Katarina is the Penta master.
"Q" This skill is Katarina's best harass skill. Katarina throws a blade at an enemy which bounces to up to four other enemies, leaving a mark, dealing 60 / 85 / 110 / 135 / 160 magic damage plus 45% of Katarina's AP. If Katarina attacks an enemy with the mark, she consumes the mark, dealing 15 / 30 / 45 / 60 / 75 magic damage plus 15% of her AP.
"W" This skill is great when combined with Bouncing Blades. Upon triggering, katarnia deals 40 / 75 / 110 / 145 / 180 plus 25% of Katarina's AP and 60% of her bonus AD in magic damage to nearby enemies. If she hits an enemy, she gains a 15% / 20% / 25% / 30% / 35% movement speed boost for 1 second.
"E" This skill deals damage, but is mostly used for mobility as you can jump to friendly or enemy units. Katarina instantly appears behind her target. If it is an enemy, she deals 60 / 85 / 110 / 135 / 160 plus 40% of her AP in magic damage to her target.
"R" This is Katarina's ultimate. It is great as it deals insane damage to multiple champions. Katarina throws 30 daggers at up to 3 enemy champions dealing a total of 400 / 500 / 600 plus 200% of her AP and 300% of Bonus AD in magic damage.
Bouncing Blades will be your harass and most used damage output. You wanna take that first and max it by level 9. At level 2, take Shunpo just for the added mobility in case you get ganked/burst harassed. After that, take Sinister Steel and max it second. The best way to poke people in lane is to hit them with Bouncing Blades, jump to them with Shunpo, then use Sinister Steel to get some extra damage and the speed boost it gives you.
Greater Glyph of Magic Penetration
Greater Seal of Ability Power
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
Greater Quintessence of Ability Power
The reason I choose the flat MPen is because of Katarina's AP scales. She has relatively low scales compared to other AP champions, and therefore building flat MPen will give her more damage output. However, I like the flat AP runes because it gives her a leg up in the early laning phase to secure a couple kills because of the AP she immediately has.
Obviously, you wanna pick all the AP and CDR masteries in the offensive page. But you might notice that I run 22/0/8 instead of the usual 21/0/9. Most AP champs run the 21/0/9 because they want the mana from utility. However, Katarina does not use mana in the utility, therefore I can take the movement speed masteries and have an extra point in Havoc .
Rylai's Crystal Scepter
Boots of Mobility
Starting with an Amplifying Tome will give you a leg up because of the AP it provides early on. Katarina has decent movement speed early on and the boots are not essential to start with. If you can secure the kills at the beginning, it will be easy to get fed from there to start roaming. Whenever you recall or get killed, always restock your Health Potion so you have three.
Rylai's is great on Katarina as it gives her good sustain and AP damage. But the reason I use this is mostly because of the slowing passive. It is great for chasing especially and is decent for escapes. Escape by throwing your Bouncing Blades and running, and chase by using your Bouncing Blades, catching up with slow, then using Shunpo and Sinister Steel for the movement speed.
/league-of-legends/ability/bouncing-blades-178 These boots give you amazing roaming and ganking possiblity, which is great for Katarina because her ganks are epic. You can run easily to take out both the squishy ADC and support, or go help your bruiser top deal with the enemies. After that, these boots will help you get back to your lane. Another good pair of boots are Sorcerer's Shoes, as they provide MPen.
Get either this item or Abyssal Scepter after you buy your boots. Rabadon's Deathcap gives you insane flat AP plus the passive which scales epicly once you have your full build.
If you are struggling against the enemy mid lane or you want the MR and MR Reduction, get this before the Rabadon's Deathcap. This item gives you a nice chunk of AP and flat MR Reduction plus some MR for survivability. Reducing enemy magic resistance early on will make it so you are basically dealing true damage.
In the rare case you are facing a tough AD mid champ, like Pantheon or Talon, take this item before you buy either your Rabadon's Deathcap or the Abyssal Scepter. Even if not, buy this item after those two because of the armor, AP, and the nice passive. This passive comes in handy during team fights because you can Shunpo to a group of enemies, use the passive to draw their stuns, then use Death Lotus and they will not be able to interrupt it.
This item is probably your last buy unless their team is so squishy it's laughable. This item will give you enormous AP plus some CDR, which is always nice on Katarina. Also, the passive nuke will help you secure the kills on any escaping stragglers.
Now, some of you are probably saying "But two of Katarina's skills scale of of AP and AD! Shouldn't I buy things like Hextech Gunblade or Guinsoo's Rageblade?" Well, no. Only Katarina's Sinister Steel and Death Lotus scale off of AD. Additionally, they only scale off of BONUS AD, meaning that the AD you start with does nothing. The scales are fairly low on her skills for AD as well.
When you buy items like a Hextech Gunblade, Guinsoo's Rageblade, or Trinity Force, you get a nice amount of AD and a nice amount of AP. However, if you were to spend that money on only AP, you will get more total damage than the hybrid items, all her skills would scale instead of just two, and the overall damage would be greater on the two that do scale off of AD because of the low AD scaling.
Flash is a great spell on Katarina as it gives her a great escape combo with her Shunpo and a great chase combo with Shunpo, Sinister Steel, and Rylai's Crystal Scepter.
Ignite is also great on Katarina as, during laning, you will hopefully be able to burst down the enemy APC in one use of all your abilities. Ignite will secure the kill as they try to run.
Ghost is an OK pick on Katarina as it will help her roam faster and chase/escape better. However, it is less useful to use than Flash, so I always run Flash.
Katarina is very good at roaming and ganking as she can jump in quickly and burst down groups of enemies with Death Lotus. Being able to Teleport to wards and minions in other lanes will help her secure kills on them. However, this also is not as useful as Ignite, so I don't use it.
Katarina has great harass with her Bouncing Blades and Sinister Steel combo. She performs greatly against squishy AP casters like Veigar and Ryze, however has trouble against tanky champions or ones with dodges, like Pantheon or Fizz.
However, Katarina has no sustain in her lane and will likely have to recall often. Do not be ashamed of this. Recalling does not mean that you are failing your lane, it just means the other person is hitting harass on you.
When laning with Katarina, you will probably be picking up kills with either full health, or little health. In either case, you want to recall after the kill. The enemy's trip to spawn will give them a chance to buy items, which can put them ahead of you item wise. If you recall, you can also step up your items and still have an advantage.
Good/Bad Team Compositions
Katarina thrives off of squishy, AP, ranged casters, like Veigar and Ryze. If you're in a ranked game and see a squishy AP champ picked during draft mode, go with Katarina. However, some champions that are squishy give her a lot of trouble, like Lux. Avoid her and others with abilities that stun and tanky mid champions, like Pantheon.
Having teammates with area stuns, like Amumu are great with Katarina. If Amumu uses his Bandage Toss to join the fight, and then ulti's, you're Death Lotus will be uninterruptable. Another is Jarvan IV. His ulti doesn't stun, but it distracts enemies and keeps them in range of your Death Lotus.
On my team I like to have:
Jarvan IV is great to use with Katarina as his ult traps enemies in the range of Death Lotus.
Amumu is another champion that combos well with Katarina as his ulti stuns all surrounding enemies, keeping them in range of Death Lotus and making it impossible for them to interrupt it.
Kennen's ult stuns surrounding enemies similarly to Amumu's. However, the stun is not immediate and it is harder to control.
Enemies I try to avoid:
Pantheon's jump/stun and his spear flurry combo are terrible during laning for Katarina. She has no harass against him and you will lose your lane against a Pantheon.
Lux isn't as bad as Pantheon, but her stuns are still trouble. She can burst you down easily with her stun and area damage, and then finish you easily with her Final Spark. Lux is squishy though, and her stuns are avoidable with Shunpo. Try to shut her down early.
Blitzcrank is just annoying. He's got two stuns that interrupt Death Lotus and will shut you down easily. Try to get others to jump in before you do to attract his knock up, then Shunpo in and use your Death Lotus while his stuns are on CD.
During the late game, you will probably be doing more team fighting than fighting 1v1. Generally, as Katarina is an assassin, you will want to join the fight late, as you don't want to attract attention. The best thing to do is either run from behind and assassinate the ADC early on, or find two or three enemy champions that are close that you can Shunpo to and kill with Death Lotus.
If you are at the team fight when it starts, stay near the back and poke with Bouncing Blades, occasionally jumping in and out. If your team starts to win the team fight, jump in and secure the kills with Death Lotus, setting up a chain reaction of CDR because of Voracity. If your team starts to lose the fight, run away, as there is nothing you can do against an Olaf and a Pantheon with 4,000 health.
Thanks for reading this guide!
Well, that's all I have. I hope you enjoyed my guide and I also hope it helps you to be a better Katarina player; I know this build helps me!
evdoke (the Ryze in videos)
gnsed/gnsid (screaming " Veigar OP" in videos)
BSR Screen Recorder
All of you for reading this guide!
Anyone who bans Blitzcrank during ranked games.
And Riot for making this amazing game!