Katarina Build Guide by Njoror

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.

League of Legends Build Guide Author Njoror

Katarina - Dominating Mid Lane

Njoror Last updated on February 3, 2013
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Mid Lane/Spell Vamp Mid


Non-Stacking MR for team build

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: 21

Honor Guard

Defense: 9


Utility: 0

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Hello All, My Reason Behind My Build.

Hey guys I made this build because I enjoy playing Katarina mid and will be explaining why I have the items I have, the abilities, runes, and masteries. Starting with the abilities for Katarina.

I made another guide for people who like to have spell-vamp in their lane when taking mid as Katarina. I hope my guide is helpful and give me some feedback on your play-style I will make more guides based on the info to help any player with Katarina mid.

This is a guide if you feel that it doesn't suit your play-style or some of it does you can modify it go for it. Give me some feedback I would love to hear your guys/girls play style.

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Abilities And Why I Do It This Way.

Bouncing Blades- because you want the farming ability in lane also you can poke your enemy with it as well since it bounces. I choose to max this ability 2nd because the ability does as much (base) as sinister steel the only reason I don't max this first is because it is on a longer cool-down then sinister steel. In all I can get sinister steel in twice and this only once.

Sinister Steel- Get this at level 3 and max it out as soon as possible. The reason being is that Katarinas W is her most damaging move so I tell people to max this first. Her Q does quite a bit of damage but is on a way longer Cooldown then sinister steel. This starts at a 3.8 sec CD while her bouncing blade starts at a basic 9-10 second cooldown. This is also a good ability for farming as well to clear out all minions that are weak around you. Plus the movement speed from this when hitting enemy champions gives you great mobility to close distances or get away from gankers

Shunpo- for the ability to move away from any skill shots from my opponent or close the gap. It also helps with taking reduced damage from your opponent as well

Death Lotus- Get your ultimate at level 6,11 and 16.

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My Item Build.

- Sorcerer's Shoes first because 1. the extra magic pen allows you more burstyness for Katarina. By the time you get these you will be level 4 or 5 and your sinister steel does a pretty good amount of damage.

- Abyssal Scepter I get this because you are mid lane vs. another AP character. I get the Negatron Cloak for the sustain so I can take more damage from my opponent in the lane. After that my Blasting Wand for more damage and by this time your burst damage is quite high and then after finish the scepter.

- Void Staff (interchangeable depending on how the other team is building) I did a-lot of research and played a-lot of game with these items and even when people built MR they couldn't stop my burst damage so my only assumption is that the percentile based reduction goes through then your flat rates (My assumption outta the loads of games I've played with Katarina).

- Rylai's Crystal Scepter is next for the AP, health and slowing ability.

- Rabadon's Deathcap for more burst damage.

- Liandry's Torment This item is extremely helpful early just due to the fact that is burns a % based on their current health so poking with katarinas bouncing blade can cause some serious damage to your opponent. Also the magic pen on this item is helpful if the opponent you are facing is building MR against you.

Or Swap Void Staff for Zhonyas (depending on what the enemy team is building)

- Zhonya's Hourglass because you will be focused the moment you use your ult so click it and hold still while the other team gets attack by your teammates.

The reason why on my main build I have no spell-vamp is because the amount of health you gain from Katarinas abilities is rather small. You would rather get spell-vamp on people whose abilities have MASSIVE damage or people who already have a spell-vamp like ability (Aka Vladimir or Morgana). Since Katarina abilities do moderate damage and on a low end cool-down again the damage done and the life gained from that is very minor. So I take the ability to be somewhat more tanky and the ability to be un-targetable can save you as well. Like if a vlad ults you and you toss Zhonya's Hourglass at the end of his ult it does nothing to you. There are pros and cons to all builds but this one has more pros then cons which is why I run this as my main build.

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My Rune Page Setup.

For the runes I have set up for Katarina.

Greater Mark of Magic Penetration is for early to late game burstyness.

Greater Seal of Vitality because you get the most health out of the runes instead of just a flat rate plus it goes well with the masteries as well.

Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power instead of flat AP runes is because 1. I noticed Katarina falls off a little end game with flat AP runes. 2nd. The AP runes per level I usually catch the people I am facing mid in AP with them plus I can keep increasing my damage throughout the game instead of having areas where I might not spike in damage because of the flat rate runes.

Greater Quintessence of Scaling Ability Power x2 - For more AP when leveling up. This also helps keep you on par with the AP mids especially if they go flat AP runes.

Greater Quintessence of Magic Penetration - For the extra magic penetration for Katarina it is a great balance with the build.

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My Mastery Build.

The mastery build is pretty standard. On the offense it is pretty standard due to the fact she is a AP character and they go well with the AP per level runes. The defense tree I did health to go with the Health per level runes which gives her the ability to take more damage in lane. This gives her damage and the ability to sustain in lane in-case someone decides to build dorans rings for the health, ability power and mana-regen.

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Summoner Spells.

Alright to go through summoner spells that you might want to use on Katarina and some spells you should NOT use. I will explain the reasons and the pros and cons behind them.

Most Beneficial Summon Spells

Flash -

Pros: Flash is a great mechanic to close the distance on your opponent since Katarina has shunpo as one of her mechanics so she can close a great distance very fast especially someone who has low hp. Flash is also a great escape mechanic on her as well. You can flash over a wall and shunpo to a minion or to a teammate to escape from gankers.

Cons: It is a one time use and on a pretty long cooldown so use it when you know you can get away or you know you can get the kill on someone. Once used if you have no minions around you are stuck to running away so keep your eyes open

Ignite -

Pros: It works great stacked with katarinas ult because if the person you jump is low, shunpo cast your W, ult and ignite the moment you ult if they flash you will have already hit them 2 or 3 times with your ult and the ignite will finish them off. Great utility even against healers and people low on health.

Cons: The cooldown on ignite is kinda long and if your ult is down and this is as well any healer can take advantage of that and turn the tide in a fight so just keep that in mind.

Summoner Spells That Can Come In Handy If Played Right

Exhaust -

Pros: If you are being bullied by someone mid extremely hard this can come in handy if played right. If you can cast this as people are throwing their rotation at you it will cut the damage significantly done to you. While all your moves are on a pretty low cool-down it will give you the advantage quickly in a fight. This is also a great escape mechanic to slow down a pursuer who is coming for you.

Cons: The cons are just as devastating if you cast this to early or misjudge their rotation you are down this ability and the effect you were looking for is no longer there and can cost you a fight. If you are going to replace ignite with exhaust make sure you time this right.

Ghost -

Pros: This is a great escape mechanic and a chase mechanic when chasing someone with low health. Although this is not a quick gap closer like flash but having a sustained speed boost is a definite plus when chasing opponents or closing the gap on someone from the jungle. Using this in conjunction with shunpo she can escape from gankers quickly and effectivly this is also the same when chasing down enemies.

Cons: This is a speed boost and not an instant teleport so be weary of your surroundings when running this spell. Junglers who run flash will close the distance on you rapidly since yours is a speed boost and not an instant teleport so just be careful when running this spell.

Heal -

Pros: If you decide to use this ability as much as most people disagree on this ability it can come in handy. You can use this to bait people into attacking you or blowing their biggest spells first on you. Pop this and return fire as because your abilities are probably on a lower cool-down then theirs. This can screw your opponent up and probably make them extremely frustrated thinking they had you. This is a great team fight saver mechanic as well since this ability does have an AoE effect.

Cons: If someone ignites you this abilities effect is reduced by 50% and is pretty much useless if cast while any healing reduction abilities are on you. That is a huge draw back of this ability a once bait can turn terrible pretty much in an instant against you.

These abilities have great attacking/defense abilities but can come at a great cost but if used correctly in the right situations you can turn the tide of any battle in your favor so always keep that in mind.

Spells You Should Never Use

Clairvoyance - You are not a support character don't ever get this

Clarity - You have NO MANA. So there is no reason you need this

Promote - Don't need this you don't need minions pushing your lane early.

Fortify - Your turret does a-lot of damage to begin with early game. You will also help other lanes if your lane is pushed anyways plus this spell doesn't have as many benefits as other summoner spells when playing Katarina.

Revive - This cooldown is far to long and not really beneficial to Katarina since most people will try and focus her down in team fights.

Surge - You already have high end burst damage, no reason should you get this.

Optional Summoner Spells (If you must)

Teleport - This can come in handy if you are at base and someone can drop a ward you can teleport to and jump immediately in a fight. Also comes in handy when defending your turret.

Smite - I have seen jungle katarina and this person did really well if you just wanna goof off and have a good time in a normal game go for it. In a ranked game try not to use this spell.

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Farming With Katarina.

Farming with Katarina in the beginning is kind of slow but be patient with her she pays off in the end.

With Katarina start with Bouncing Blades at level 1 and use it to kill minions that are low on health and if you can auto-attack to kill low minions as well. At level 2 pick up Shunpo for mobility when facing your opponent. You can use Shunpo to kill minions when you know you can not get poked by the enemy. By level 3 pick up Sinister Steel this is used to kill groups of minions which will rack up the CS for Katarina use it in conjunction with Bouncing Blades since Bouncing Blades procs off auto-attacks or abilities. Keep your eyes open for their jungler because when doing this your lane is going to be constantly pushed so be on your toes to get out.

If you follow these simple steps and your CS with Katarina will be pretty high take it slow and play strategic with her.

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Harassing The Enemy.

If you are going to harass your mid lane as Katarina follow these simple rules and you should come out alright or basically dominate your lane.

First - Look at your opponent and see who you are facing. Anyone with any sort of a stun you will probably have a hard time with because they will save that stun for your ult or if you aren't level 6 they will stun you when you Shunpo. If you have an opponent that has no CC to stun or root you, you will walk all over them when you hit level 6. People with roots can be quite annoying when facing them, like zyra that root is long enough for her to damage you and for her to get away from you before you can Shunpo so always keep these things in mind.

Second - Pick up your Bouncing Blades for early poke and taking down weak minions for CS. Take Shunpo at level 2 for mobility at level 3 pick up Sinister Steel and max this first for taking down groups of minions and also poking the enemy. For advanced tactics for people when facing a stunner/rooter jump to the minion closest to them and Sinister Steel immediately and run back with your speed boost from Sinister Steel. Do this a couple times to ware down your opponent. After a while they will tower hug knowing what you are going to do and that is okay. If they tower hug just auto-attack the weak minions and hold the lane away from their tower and watch them lose CS. If you can cause them to lose exp even better but the more CS they lose the better for you.

Third - Be patient I always say this but it pays off in the end, know when you can get a kill and know when you are just being greedy. Everyone wants to kill their opponent in lane but sometimes that doesn't always work out sometimes just out CSing them and zoning them wins you your lane as well. So keep this in mind when playing Katarina and you will almost always do well. Knowing what can and cannot be done gives you huge leads as Katarina.

Follow these simple steps and you can do pretty well in lane or even dominate your lane.