Katarina Build Guide by

Not Updated For Current Season

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League of Legends Build Guide Author

Katarina Dominance by Tiendo _

Last updated on November 30, 2011
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Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
Ability Key R

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.



Offense: 13

Honor Guard

Defense: 0

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 17

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I am sorry for typos I often make a lot.
I only ment to spend a few min on this guide to provied the build. ROFL. I've spent more time then I wanted to.

Katarina ROCKS and I fear a nerf from publishing this guide.

Kat can not get much more pwerful (early and mid game) then this guide.

Awesome Picks at the bottom hopfully comming
Useful Link:

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(Greater Glyph of Celerity)so you hit 40% cooldown reduciont at full build with blue buff and blue elixer
ALL other runes are flat AP to secure your early game that you must have.

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I move between 2 mastery builds:
build 1 focuses on experience gain (since Kat is not a late game champ she is an early and mid game champ) Late game belongs to the ad carries who 2 shot squishes and 4-6 shot tanks.
The other maxes damage out put from offense.

Build 2 takes all AP bonuses in offense and take damage bonuses for minion hitting and my first melee engagement (initial lvl 1 nuke)+ exhaust + red elixir + hp pot active.

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Summoner Spells

Ghost (speed is every thing it is life and death - invaluable all game)
Exhaust (Helps you 1v1 and secure the kill at lvl 1 and helps you do what you do at all stages of the game)

Other Viable choices:
Ignite to get that early kill more often and to reduce healing
Cleans if you are to lane against a cc champ so that you can cleans and get your kill (alto I never use it)
Flash if you need more help dodging cc or knock ups (I never use it because if I need it once I will need it again and it will be on cool down so I just adjust my play style)
Surge Bonus AP? (a waste of a valuable spell imo)

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Build order 1 (when you have lane dominance - Time to gank)
Boots of mobility
Wards to shunpo to after you get a kill on a turret
Hp pots till you have WotA (Willof the anchients)

Build order 2 when your stuck in your lane at lvl 6 and can not leave to gank
1 - WotA (Will of the Ancients)
1.5 - ward for shunpo (replaces flash)
2 - boots / boots of mobility
3 - death cap for 30% AP boost and is cost effective for AP
4 - maji's soul stealer - gives 15% cool downs on full stacks and is worth 208 AP with a death cap's 30% boost
blue buff + blue elixir for 40% cool-downs

Early/mid game:
Get those boots of mobility to get tho those kills (watch the map for expended players or half hp players on their turrets)
Will of the Ancients (WoTA) for spell vamp (indefinite sustainability).
Wards for shunpo
Red elixir (to be used a a heal) if you want and hp pots if you want.

Late game:
"Hex gun" might replace WoTA but it has less spell vamp after a recent LoL update
"Stack Death Caps" for AP (death cap = 130+39 AP) to be able to kill the tanks and to increase your heal off spell vamp
"Void staff" who's 40% magic pen basically only improves you dmg out put by 25% vs 100 magic resist and 33.3% vs 200 magic resist because of how armor works
"A spell shield," I tend not go get a although it could make a huge difference.

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Skill sequence

E Shunpo level first is is your hardest hitting spell
- Tip Shunpo makes Katarina the best dodger and most mobile and agile champ in LoL it has the best cool down the fastest reaction time and the best range for it's class
- Tip Learn to use this as your main harass and you will be come one of the best (nto because you can use it on the enemy but because you will know how to make shunpo work for you to it's fullest potential)
- Always hope to lvl this first because it is the highest damage
Q Bouncing blade (BB) your mid rage spell and finishing spell after your ult

W Killer Instincts (KI) 1. Gives you bonus melee dmg for last hitting minions
2. Used with BB 1. causes 50% heal reduction
2. BB does full dmg to each target hit
3. Used with Shunpo reduces damage taken by 30% for about 2 secodns IIRC
- Tip Only lvl early if you need to reduce the enemie's healing or if your enemy has been harrased out of laen and you can use the help last hitting

R ULTI - lvl 1 hits 1 target 10 times over 3 seconds IF you do ANY THING your ULT will STOP! but the animation will still be spinning
- lvl 2 hits 2 targets 10 times over 3 seconds
- lvl 3 hits 3 targets 10 times over 3 seconds
- Tip: you can ult next to 2 enemy towers but if your hitting 3 enemy champs you can live if you have enough dmg and spell vamp. I have done it at lvl 12.

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Learn to play Shunpo

Secion: "Lane control and Zoning Required" tells how to shunpo in lane.

Shunpo is what makes Katarina

Katarina's ult is what scares people but it is shunpo that lets Kat be fearless and find her kills.

Shunpo is the best escape in the game because it is off cool down faster then any thing else and has the range Kat needs to get her distance.

Shunpo is instant which means there is no opportunity for the enemy champ to react which most often lets you start running away before they react or lets you channel at least a portion of your ult.

This lets you 1v1 Alister + your cool downs are better then Alister and your AP scales better. Shunpo, start running away, throw a Bouncing blade with KI as you leave range. Shunpo again and run the other way. Alister's knock-up would only work if it was cast in anticipation of your shunpo in which case you should have been feinting a shunpo to get him to waste it. If Xin jumps you and your out of position you can shunpo over him and run before he lands his stun. You would have to let him cast his gap closer.

Katarina's passive takes 15 seconds off cool-downs when she helps kill a champion.
Kat is made for turret diving as a result since her shunpo has a cool down under 15 seconds. as you approach the turret drop a ward just in turret attack range Murder your target and shunpo to your ward you may never eve be hit by the tower in the best conditions. (your shunpo lands you on the far side out of range of the turret)\
For sloppy dives you should practice placing a ward and shunpoing to it as one button mash so you can get out.

In team fights Your KI on BB can help a lot. Learn to play your passive: line up champion kills like dominoes so that your skills are always off cool-down and the fight will end as fast as you can click all the enemies.

In Public game I am often closest to the enemy throwing BBs because I have shunpo to escape they may blow (waste) a lot of cc on me before we do our actual fight. Taric and Sion stuns will still hit you if you shunpo out of the way but you will be far enough away that the enemy can not act on it unless they want to meet your whole team and Kat who's stun just wore off.

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All out early game start

You do not need to do this and should not if your in a duo lane. It is my start and since I support aggressive shunpo play I thought it was only fair to include my start
Common alternatives are boots and 3 hp pots or a Dorian's shield
(If I am cocky tho my alternative to My Normal start would be to buy the first item in Will of the ancients and take a pot.)

I only play Kat in a solo lane. Kat is an early game champ and needs to get out ahead to do her job. Other Kats start in duo lane because they say they can get more gold from champ kills, but I find farm better and enemy ganks give me a lot of gold often.

My Start
I find that I often need a lot of help as Kat at the start so I take a red elixir (to use as a surprise heal in combat or to get the damage I need to finish a champ with melee I would rather not use it before minions are in lane but if I get first blood as a result then hey it's ok) and hp pots.

This large amount of hp through pots and elixir will get me through nukes most of the time to lvl 6.

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Lane control and Zoning Required

Kat is one of the best zoners in the game because f the mobility shunpo give her she can push some one out of lane when always have the minion wave within reach do to shunpo. Also Shunpo lets her be an aggressive zoner because she is rarely in danger duo to shunpo 's escape ability.

Establishing lane control control is # 1
lvl 1 Depending on my opponent I will morally nuke them if they show themselves before minions are in lane but not so early that they can back unless I can kill them. blow every thing to do so if it gives you lane control. As Kat you need lane control at all costs or you just became useless. Learning to Harass almost every time your harass spells on off cool-down and get your last hits is crucial.

Learn to Shunpo Learn it learn it learn it. Use shunpo as a harass ability and as an escape try to use it every time it is off cool-down as either a retreat or the main harass. Once you have spell vamp shunpo is even better.
How to Shunpo in Lane:
Ideal: shuhnpo from the minion block so when you land on the far side of the target your already well on your way out of minion "aggression range" (argo.) In other words shunpo to land towards less argo. I most often shunpo across lane, not up the lane.
Unlike other champs Katharina owns and walks all over the lane except for the space in between the enemy champ and their turret. Kat is able do dance all around this space because she has shunpo on a very low cool down making it easy to position her self well.
Ganks hardly ever work since kat is so nimble. Boots can be neglected for a while in some situations especially if you have ghost.

Do not fear taking damage you will do more and most often you have a lot more lane sustain then the enemy with hp pot or with spell vamp.

Zoning and farming
Proper zoning:
the enemy champion is so far way from the creep wave that they do no gain exp and they diffidently cannot get minion kills. The minion wave does not move because the champ zoning keeps the enemy minion number high enough to kill his own minions at an equal rate.
If you threaten your opponent and they back off you can use your spells to lat hit that minion you would miss because your so far away. Do not always cast your spell instantly, make it unpredictable. You want them to back off when you wont even decide to use it on them. Establish that you will punish them for coming near minions. Forgo lat hits to make sure they stay in line.
Keep the minion wave near your turret so that your fairly safe why you work. And because it creates the distance needed for skimming with the enemy champ to keep the enemy champ zoned.
Zoning: Wave Control:
let the enemy champ off balance the minion wave so your minion wave will lose resulting in his minion wave pushing. Caster minions are your priority target because they support the enemy champ if they are in range of your engagement which they often wont be but they are still not your friend. Ranged caster will only attack you if the enemy champion your attacking is close to them or if they would have to move to attack a new minion. A good opponent will know what your trying to do with your minion wave and will try to mess you up and that is when it gets really fun. When people push minions fast you need to be careful to keep things under control. Anticipate the arrival of the next wave and also what the other champ can do.

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How This style of Katarina is played

First and foremost is dominance.
Every thing my play style has is to try to get control of my lane so I can have a good lane phase. As a result get gold and level quickly.

I do not want to leave lane till I can buy boots of mobility + wards + hp pots for ganks OR
until I can get Will of the ancients (WotA) for lane sustain

Once I have WotA and boots I can go where ever I want and do what ever I want. At this point I some times start to jungle so that I,the team's main ganker is MIA at all times

Kat's kit needs to be small and packs a punch so that she can play the part of the game she is made for early and mid.

Turret dives are most of my kills plain and simple. That is where the enemy team chills out. So care vs jax who has dodge (lol you did not kill me you cannot shunpo out now) and any one with a point and click stun or an unavoidable silence. Kat is a fast ninja she is not God, but do not tell her that. :p

Wards give kat the best flash in the game but not if you have to place them imediately when you want to shunpo because ward placement range is not huge.

Shunpo lets you hang out in the face of danger, no need to be a Kill steal Kat. Kat deals a lot of damage Do Not wait to KS Use your damage... unless it is a big team fight and you can use it to end the fight with your passive (15 second cd reduction on champ kills). Kat's passive grants extra gold on assists!

My build for Kat is focused on Spell vamp during ult channel.
Stack AP and spell vamp because the 2 make you a tank when your ult is on. Bouncing Blade + KI is a very fast way to heal as well later game. I tend only to care about more AP then any thing else since it kills the enemy faster and heals me faster. any thing else means less heal while I ult. I have gotten HP items on Kat or CC counter items on Kat and % magic penetration on Kat before. Normally I strait AP and Spell-vamp.

A ridiculously fed Kat can penta kill with her ult under enemy 2 towers LOL.

none of Katrina's items give her speed bonuses Most champs have builds that give them speed. Kat needs boot of mobility to get away and to catch up until she is in shunpo range boots of mobility are often not enough or are not at full speed and ghost is invaluable. Ghost can also help with certain turret dives.

A fun game recap: I as Kat mid vs heim - saw WW leaving your blue buff headed for his red I warded at lvl 5 after I forced heim to B. I TP'd home soon after WW was laying into red. I popped ghost + with my boots of mobility and got to WW, gleefully watching his mana drop from my bush as he finished killing red buff. I got my kill and red buff, Nocturne came in for an assist near the end of the short chaise. This is now at all why I carry ghost but it was a fun kill because of it.

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How to counter Katarina

It is actually very easy to counter Katarina.
One warmogs and she will never kill you unless your teem are Pro feeders.

If she is packing a lot of HP regen play careful and do not let her benefit by it, or Nuke her and make her waste it. really early ganks are more effective to really ruin her whole game. If she has to back twice you wont see her ganking for a LONG while. You basically took her out of the game.

Never chaise an aggressive Kat player if your hp is low it will only back fire she could kill you with your team mates around you and be out before your corpse his the ground.

Most Kats do not know how to bait and do not know their potential (or are just not daring) so they are not nearly as much a threat as you would think after reading this guide.

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Team Work

In a Duo lane Alister is a great support for Kat since Kat can shunpo and BB to hearts content while Alister covers her with knock up and head butt.

Morgana's spell shield on Kat becomes very scary.

Akali and kat who both rush WotA is a ROFL combo.

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How to fight OP champs

Do not... OR try this:

Vs ranged harass and cc that will just butcher you use BB as your main harass and shunpo out immediately. threaten to use BB and last hit minions instead, then throw bb if they do not like you getting your minion hits. Watch their health if it drops low enough for a shunpo + combo to finish them, even if they are a heavy cc player 19 out of 20 times you can get your combo off and get the kill.

Normally Kassadin will dominate Kat in lane Never shunpo to him unless you have some crazy plan that might work In which case you should do it for great justice just to say that you did it.

Malzar does has mostly skill shots and if you zone him well (keeping him away from the minions) his ult wont rape you unless his other spells are off cool down which they should not be if your harassing well. but really you should not try to lane vs malzar unless you have cleans for his ult in which case he is dead unless he has exhaust and flash.

Morgana Dodge her Bindings (by making feints - change your direction do not use shunpo do dodge unless it is to attack her and dodge her binding at the same time) and you got her. her shield is good but you can still get damage in if your relentless + she needs mana you do not.

Pantheon is a nuker just like you but he nukes better since he has a stun (1 second iirc) and heart seeker cone shaped channel (shunpo him after the stun wears off and you will dodge a good portion of his channel). Pantheon does not have good heal so he has trouble staining in lane his block does not block spells.

Brand... too dangerous after he lvls unless your very confident. His stun is dodge able but your wont live if he lands it. Early game brand is very squishy and very kill-able.

Vegar: a little pile of gold early game with a semi jukeable stun. Learn to play funky so he misses his stuns and you can shunpo harass him. you can do enough dmg to him in a skirmish to force him to back or die. You must have hp pot against Vegar because there is a good chance you will get nuked and you need to heal to finish what you started.

Xin Situational: have enough hp to live through his nuke cast your ult only after he has knocked you up. Normally you do not want meet to 1v1 him.

VS a stun heavy team you really are best as a threat provided you play like it. Too many stuns are just too many tho. Kat has bad day. Forget your ult and capitalize on your passive vs a stun heavy team. You defiantly should not KS (kill steal) team mates when you wont be able to carry them against a stun heavy team. But if you know that you can carry your team, get to it.

Twitch is easy because if he wants to last hit you can harass that squishy boy Use a ward when you expect him to use invisibility. If your cocky you could wait for him to attack, shunpo to him and cast your ult. When fighting champs that have dot (damage over time) you can heal your self if you near a minion wave with your spell vamp.
Just yesterday I played vs Karthus how tired to alt me after I killed him but I regained my hp on minions through spell vamp. I did the same with twitch and his poison, also teemo. Pay special attention to ignite opponents.

Teemo AP - a nightmare.

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Wow Katarina is the most fun I have ever had whether I win or lose.

Riot I want more champs this fun!