Katarina Build Guide by Soleannis

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 Soleannis

Katarina - Fun with Knives

Soleannis Last updated on June 30, 2012
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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: 21

Honor Guard

Defense: 9

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 0

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Katarina - Fun with Knifes

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Katarina de Cousteau - The Sinister Blade

SPACE ''The Sinister Blade of Noxus is like a black widow - beautiful, but deadly.'' - Garen, the Might of Demacia, following a skirmish in the field

As a militaristic state, it would perhaps come as no surprise that the primary responsibilities of Noxian women are raising strong children and providing succor for husbands who walk the path of soldiery. There are some, however, for whom nurture is not nature, and Katarina is just such a creature. Born the daughter of the feared Noxian General Du Couteau, the girl was always more interested in her father's knives than in the dresses, jewelry, and other trifles that her sisters spent so much time fussing over. A childhood dispute soon unveiled her uncanny knack for bloodshed, and her father, ever the opportunist, happily fostered her killer instincts. After training under the tutelage of the finest assassins the mighty city-state had to offer, Katarina first cut her teeth performing assassinations in the Ionian War. There, her ruthless mastery of the knife and dagger combined with her sadistic temperament to earn her the title Sinister Blade, a moniker that would follow her for the remainder of her career. She is most famous, however, for her exploits in the campaigns against Demacia, especially those surrounding her engagements with the nation's champion, Garen; a rivalry that began when she recovered the remains of Sion from a vanguard under his protection.

With the demand for warfare somewhat arrested by the tenuous peace settling over Valoran, Katarina sought the allure of violence in its last remaining haven: The League of Legends. Some might say it was an inevitability that Katarina's chosen path would draw her to become a champion of the League, continuing to enforce the will of Noxus and bring prestige of war to her noble family. There, she continues to perform her bloody work - esteemed and reviled, feared and adored. SPACE

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Hi, my name Soleannis. I've been playin with Katarina basicly since level 9 so I would like to tell you guys some of my tricks and tips to own with her.

Katarina is a AP Assassin, wich means a AP based build will grant you massive tons of damage and at the same time be able to whitstand medium ammounts of damage. I hope you enjoy this guide, so pls, rate & comment if you liked it.

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To start owning since early levels, I higly recomend you to start with max ap possible but at the same time some magic pen. Don't worry about being to squichy because the masteries will take care of that. For a massive headstart in AP i recomend Greater Mark of Magic Penetration, Greater Seal of Ability Power, Greater Glyph of Ability Power and Greater Quintenssence of Potency. Cooldown reduction is not really necessary in Katarina because her passive, Voracity, gives you the ability to be constantly using all of your abilities, if you play your cards right.

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SPACE Mental Force for the extra AP;

Summoner's Wrath for the bonus 6 AP after using Ignite;

Sorcery for the 4% cdr;

Arcane Knowledge for the 10% bonus MP;

Havoc for the plus 1.5% damage dealt;

Blast for the bonus AP per level;

Archmage for the bonus 5% AP;

Executioner for the bonus damage to low hp targets;
Hardiness for the bonus 4 Armor;

Resistance for the bonus 4 Magic Resistence;

Durability for the extra hp per level;

Veteran's Scars for that GODLIKE bonus hp;

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Summoner Spells


This is indeed one of the ideal picks to use on Katarina because sometimes you will not be able to use Shunpo, either because it's in cooldown or simply because you have nothing to Shunpo to. Also, this is perfect for quick escapes through the jungle walls.

Another exelent pick for Katarina. After you've done enought harassment to the targeted champ. with your Bouncing Blades simply finish him with killer instict Shunpo Bouncing Blades and Ignite and you'll get the kill.

Even tought I personaly don't like it, you can use Cleanse to remove all imparing effects on you simply your shumpo to jump away from tight situacions and disasterous team fight situacions.
tp ghost surge





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Starting Off

Generaly, being a AP Carry Assassin, people will ask you to mid with Katarina. You should either start of with Boots of Speed and 3 Health Potion if you prefer to last longer mid or, if you're confidant enought, you can also start with Amplifying Tome and a Health Potion. I wouldn't sugest buying any of the Doran's items because none suits Katarina play style : Doran's Ring might give the bonus health and AP but you don't benefit from the mana regen; Doran's Blade gives you AD, wich you'll only need late game; and Doran's Shield, even tough seems suiteble, is not really that usefull.

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Item Sequence

Health Potion

Health Potion

Health Potion

Amplifying Tome

Sorcerer's Shoes

Hextech Revolver

Bilgewater Cutlass

Hextech Gunblade

Chain Vest

Negatron Cloak

Giant's Belt

Zhonya's Hourglass

Abyssal Scepter

Rylai's Crystal Scepter

Rabadon's Deathcap

The item build showed before is indeed the best for Katarina. Even tough some might go for Mejai's Soulstealer in the begining, you would be putting aside other major important items. The first thing you should go for ( besides the boots ) is the Hextech Gunblade because in order to hold off agains other ranged champions and to survive longer in a team fight, you will need the adicional spell vamp and life steal. Another reason why you should build the Hextech Gunblade first is because both Bouncing Blades and Death Lotus give both magic and physical damage, therefore, you'll be healing ALOT with both this abilitys. Now that you can keep healing, you need to become more tanky, because Katarina is VERY SQUICHY, so, in order to counter that, you should buy Chain Vest, Negatron Cloak and a Giant's Belt, wich you'll upgrade later in-game to Zhonya's Hourglass, Abyssal Scepter and Rylai's Crystal Scepter. Don't worry about the lack off Ability Power ... if you play it right, you can and you will be able to still get kills 'till you buy the rest. And, to finish in style, Rabadon's Deathcap ( OH YEAH ), wich, let's say, gives you the ability to kill everything that moves. So, this is the item build for in game for Katarina.

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Pros / Cons


Massive Damage
Low Cooldowns
Exelent Carry
Strategic Tower Diving
Good Ambusher
Awesome Pentakiller


Really Squichy if Focused
Expensive Build

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Counter Champions

Katarina is a very good champion but generely other champions with stuns, knockbacks, knockups, charms, snares, etc ... will be a pain in the arse specialy for when you're going for the Death Lotus multi-kills.

Take for eg. Alistar ... He has at least two ability's, Pulverize and Headbutt, than can severely reduce you're damage in a team fight, not to mention champions like Fiddlesticks with Terrify and Dark Wind, or Rammus with his Puncturing Taunt, that's can taunt/fear/silence you for a few seconds, wich makes all the diference betwen a Pentakill and a SHUT DOWN !.

Besides, watch out for some other mid champs, because, let's admite, some ar better mid champ. then Katarina. Take it for me, once I made a 1vs1 against a friend of mine. I went Katarina and he went with Ryze. Let's just say that the result didn't went exactly my way. I scored 2 kills, he scored 6. I learned a very important lesson : DON'T GET COCKY. THAT GET'S YOU KILLED ! ( like the image shows ).

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Team Work

Has mentioned before, Katarina is a mid champion, wich means you'll be the back bone of your, so you'll need to take precousions in case of ganks : sight wards will provide you vision over the two mid bushes and can also provide, if timed corricly, a quick and easy escape.

Keep in mind that when mid, you shoul always level your Boucing Blade first to be able to sustain other ranged champions. Being the last champion to enter a team fight will result in a uninterrupted ( most times ) ulti, wich will result in massive damage over the entire enemy team. If possible, try to keep the blue buff for the cooldown reduction.

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Unique Skills

Ok, my favority part about Katarina. Basicly, Shunpo is one of the best abilitys in the game for me. The potencial is just amazing. Let's break down this way:

This is the ability that will enhance all other abilty's. Combine it with Shunpo and you'll receive 35% less damage at Rank 5 and combine it with Bouncing Blades to decrease healing effects on the targeted champions by 50%, wich i'll show the convinieance of both combos. Besides that, Sinister Steel also give you bonus magic damage per hit with auto attacks, wich combined with the bonus 70 AD from the Hextech Gunblade to make a decent enough auto attack.

Bouncing Blades will be your primary farm skill at latter levels. As I use it, Bouncing Blades is my main arrasment skill when miding. Imagine that you go agains Swain or Akali. Whiele most of their attacks and abilitys are ranged, you can and you should always use boucing blade, because above Rank 3, Bouncing Blades will almost always hit your target. Besides, combining with Sinister Steel will provide an exelent tactical avantage. During a team fight, Dr. Mundo excapes with low hp and uses his ulti, Sadism, you can chase him and still get the kill if you combine Killer Instincs and Bouncing Blades to reduce is healing effect by 50% and making possible the kill.

Shunpo will be the main source of Katarina's damage. Why, you say ? With this build, Shunpo get's a cooldown something between 3.5 to 4 sec. That is just amazing. Besides, with full build, shumpo can take up to 800-1000 magic damage to champ. with low magic resist. Also, combining your Shunpo with Sinister Steel will provide you with an incriesed survivability during team fights and, using it with Death Lotus will give you a very powerfull and yet susteinable ulti. Also, and I will post a video with this tactic later on, you can combine wards and Shunpo to make pro like escapes. For eg., if your using Q/W/E/R to play, i sugest that you make a keybind for your last item slot and buy wards so that when your being chased by faster champions, simply ward the jungle next to you and Shunpo to it.

Death Lotus ... Yeh ... I don't even have words to describe how AWESOME this ability is. I mean, you can get PENTAKILLS EASELY with this **** ! But, back to the guide : Death Lotus deals insane amounts of damage to enemy players if is not interrupted. I higly sugest that you are the last champion to enter a team fight because the other champions will probably use up all their silences and interrupts, so it will be easier to get the kills.

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Some of my best games while playing with Katarina

My best game ever, not just because I didn't die a single time, but also because it was a Ranked game ... It was my, how do we say ... Magnum Opus in League of Legends. Here you will find a link to League of Legends Replays where you'll be able to find the entire recorded match. I will try to record the entire match with FRAPS but that will take a wile. in the mean time, enjoy the match