Sinister by Choice
Situational Items (Notes)
Threats to Katarina with this build
|Karthus||Not a tough matchup at all, his early is very weak and your early is very strong. He can be killed at level 2, he needs to hit level 6 to be effective. Even then, he has nothing to cancel your ult and this matchup is just really easy to deal with as you overpower him in damage in almost every way. Buy a Zhonya's to avoid his ult damage. All in him at level 2 or 3, you'll either force him to flash or simply kill him, he can literally do nothing about it.|
|Teemo||I put him here, because I hate him, and because he's super easy to burst, you won't ever see a teemo mid but if you do, just know this is probably the easiest laning phase. Kill all Teemo mains. 8)|
NEW Champion Matchup Counter-play Series Ep. 3 Video added!
Added new threat matchups/Gunblade nerf & Shunpo nerf thoughts & Discussing Long sword start/dark seal - 7.2
(No major changes in 7.3 that effect Katarina)
NEW style of Rune Page vs AD in the chapter "Runes"
NEW Video for Shunpo & Dagger Combos.
FAQ for Patch 7.2 NERFS on Gunblade & Shunpo
The Hextech Gunblade and Shunpo nerf doesn't hurt Katarina all that much as you still can do plenty of damage in the early laning phase. It's a mere scratch, and doesn't hurt Katarina's all in potential in the early stages of the game.
Is early Long Sword start still good?
The answer to that would be yes, since your passive spin damage is based on 100% bonus AD and the AP parts of it starts with 55% and scales upwards as you keep leveling.
Noticable early, damage just overall seems less, like I said, nerf was justified. I think she's in an okay state for kat mains to play her again after the hell on earth with the 79% ban rate in EUW.
WITH THAT BEING SAID.. - I was able to kill a kayle at lv 2, I had to all in twice however, My first combo was E > AA > Q - back. Then I do it again. E > AA > Q > Flash into dagger, ignite, and that killed. before I would just flash in at lv 2 dagger and win the out trade but I was sure my dmg wouldn't kill her there in my first all in.
Thoughts on Hextech Gunblade nerf?
This item remains fantastic, still great overall, still dealt a lot of damage. AD marks would still be good aswell, I don't think gunblade kat is dead, nerf didn't hit her too hard. gunblade still has damage based on how much AP you have, if on the other hand that was removed/tweaked things would be different.
What about The Dark Seal?
I see no reason why it would be a bad start, it's your standard first item if you are looking to sustain lane or not play aggresive early against certain matchups.
Overall, I think she's still in an okay spot, Still beasting it even with the gunblade nerfs.
TL;DR - weaker early all in damage, still in a good spot, gunblade nerfs don't hit her that hard, long sword start is still good.
Season 7 Assassin Update Changes
I'd like to keep the changes to Katarina here incase you haven't caught up with the assassin rework.
Remains the same with her resets on assists/kills.
Her spin damage on Voracity is one of the most important things in her kit as it adds a lot to your damage, try not to miss it.
Spin damage scales up per champion level.
Bouncing Blades (Q):
Now bounces few units behind the enemy target/minion, dagger lands exact same time even if it doesn't bounce on 3 targets.
The dagger bounces 3 times instead of 5.
You can Shunpo on Bouncing Blades before it lands on the ground.
Takes a little bit of time to land on the ground.
Gives movement speed/scales up with every point in it.
AD % gone down from 65% to 55%, she still remains very solid with her early damage.
Can Shunpo directionally on daggers/enemies.
Shunpo is refunded a certain amount of %CD when she uses Shunpo on a dagger on these levels: 1/6/11/16
Death Lotus (R):
Still had AD/AP scalings.
Daggers thrown per second is noticeably faster.
Here is my video rundown on Patch 6.22, the Patch when the Assassins got reworked to help you catch up on Katarina and note on the important things you need to know.
I have been playing Katarina for well over 6 years and have played her throughout many games. Her rework redefines her in many ways and so a new era arises for her. I started streaming Katarina games in 2013 and grew a fan base ever since.
Here are the 6 reasons why you should play Katarina, a video that helps you see what makes Katarina a blade-wielding beast and why you should play her.
Voracity | Passive
Whenever an enemy champion dies within 3 seconds of Katarina damaging them, her cooldowns are reduced by 15 seconds.
DAGGERS: Whenever Katarina touches a Dagger on the ground, she uses it to slash through all nearby enemies, dealing 75 - 285 (Based on levels 1/6/11/16) (+ 100% bonus AD) (+ 55 / 70 / 85 / 100% AP) magic damage and consuming the Dagger.
Daggers last 4 seconds before disappearing.
Bouncing Blades (Q)
Katarina throws a Dagger to the target enemy that bounces to up to 2 nearby unaffected enemies, dealing magic damage to each target.
After bouncing to its targets, the Dagger then lands on the ground opposite from where it struck the first target. The Dagger always takes the same amount of time to land from the time it was cast.
COOLDOWN: 11 / 10 / 9 / 8 / 7 (Seconds)
RANGE: 675 Units
MAGIC DAMAGE: 75 / 105 / 135 / 165 / 195 (+ 30% AP)
Katarina tosses a Dagger into the air at her current location, which lands after 1.5 seconds, and gains bonus movement speed that decays over 1.25 seconds.
COOLDOWN: 15 / 14 / 13 / 12 / 11 (Seconds)
RANGE: On-cast ability where you're standing.
BONUS MOVEMENT SPEED: 50 / 60 / 70 / 80 / 90%
Katarina blinks to the target location around the target unit or Dagger.
If the target is an enemy, Katarina deals them magic damage. Otherwise, she deals the same magic damage to the nearest enemy in range.
Picking up a Dagger reduces Shunpo cooldown by 78 / 84 / 90 / 96%.
COOLDOWN: 10 / 9.5 / 9 / 8.5 / 8 (Seconds)
RANGE: 700 Units
MAGIC DAMAGE: 25 / 40 / 55 / 70 / 85 (+ 25% AP) (+ 65% AD)
Death Lotus (R)
Katarina rapidly spins in place and channels for 2.5 seconds, throwing a dagger every 0.166 seconds to each nearby enemy champion, up to a maximum of 3 at a time, dealing them magic damage and applying Grievous Wounds icon Grievous Wounds for 3 seconds.
Moving or reactivating Death Lotus immediately ends its effects.
COOLDOWN: 90 / 60 / 45 (Seconds)
RANGE: 550 Units
MAGIC DAMAGE PER DAGGER: 25 / 37.5 / 45 (+ 19% AP) (+ 22% bonus AD)
PROS and CONS
- One of the strongest assassins in the game.
- No MANA! :D
- Can escape scary situations with shunpo, can be used on minions or allies
- Has the most amazing skins<3
- Snowballs hard
- Lots of AoE damage
- High mobility
- Healing/Damage reduction ability
- An aggresive laning phase.
- Countered by CC, Tanky Champions, and Champions with high mobility
- Needs time to master.
- Brings nothing to the team aside from damage
- Melee attack range
Short Version Of My Katarina Guide | Video
For those who just want to see me explain all the most essential points of this Katarina guide, I have an updated video on that, explaining everything from build paths, Runes, items, masteries, when you should buy a certain item etc etc.
Here is everything you need to know about Katarina
Gameplay | Shunpo & Daggers
In this video, I explain the usage of Shunpo and daggers, how to use each technique in certain situations. This is super fundamental to every Katarina player and it's something every Katarina player needs to know.
In this next video, I explain how to properly wave clear using Shunpo, Preparation and Bouncing Blades. Where you position with Shunpo matters a lot and it pretty much results where your Bouncing Blades will land depending where you Shunpo.
Greater Mark of Attack Damage
The first thing you might've been wondering is why Greater Mark of Attack Damage? Well, let me explain. Having Greater Mark of Attack Damage early on means you are not only able to last hit minions effectively, you also have a strong presense in lane when jumping on your enemy laner at level 2. Since I also go for the Hextech Gunblade rush, it overall just makes it that much more threatening.
Furthermore, your abilities Shunpo, Voracity & Death Lotus all have a % of AD scalings, so you're still super threatening not just with auto attacks, but even your abilities. Keep in mind when I say Voracity I mean the sinister steel spin part of the passive.
In lane when you hit level 2; given the chance, your engage combo In melee range would be Auto attack -> Shunpo -> Auto attack. This will reset your AA timer if you do it in quick succession. If you're a bit further away, you'd typically Shunpo -> Auto attack -> Bouncing Blades -> pick up dagger -> Auto attack keep in mind all of this is when you engage on the enemy champion at LEVEL 2. AD marks help out a ton early, flat stats mean more early. I start 2x Long Sword and then finish Hextech Revolver. DON'T rush Bilgewater Cutlass because it's a horrendous. Hextech Gunblade recipe isn't as good as having one Needlessly Large Rod but the final item Hextech Gunblade is absoloutley phenominal and really makes a difference.
Greater Seal of Scaling Health
This is your typical seal against AP champions, it gives you more health as the game goes on and it's pretty standard seals on all mid laners. You have no reason not to grab this. AP assassins/mages all need to have good amount of health late game. With Rylai's Crystal Scepter you'd also have a very good amount of health later on, however I don't prioritize this item as much but it's a good place to start if you're just learning to get into Katarina. Rylai's Crystal Scepter is still a good rush item if you're not a fan of the Hextech Gunblade rush.
Greater Glyph of Magic Penetration
Since you lose out on Greater Mark of Magic Penetration by going Greater Mark of Attack Damage, having magic penetration in your kit is neccesary, which is why I go for Greater Glyph of Magic Penetration.
Your masteries also give you a quick boost in magic penetration aswell. It's also extremley powerful to have magic pen on Katarina as it's very valuable when all her abilities do magic damage.
Greater Quintessence of Magic Penetration
It's pretty fundamental to make sure you don't lose out on the magic penetration that otherwise you would have on Greater Mark of Magic Penetration so put in some extra Magic penetration in your runes to give you a total of 7.7 magic penetration, so you're only losing out on 0.1 magic pen when going full magic pen reds; which is completley fine.
Greater Quintessence of Ability Power
Going for these give you extra AP and it's fundamanetal to have in lane to make sure you don't lack the early damage since Katarina is a lot stronger in laning phase than ever before. Since you don't go AP glyphs, it's ideal to have two Quints for AP.
I have a video here explaining PRECISELY why I build my rune page vs AD this way.
Greater Mark of Attack Damage
Same explanation as before, it synchs well with Hextech Gunblade and against AD champions you have no reason not to take this aswell and go the Hextech Gunblade route. After Hextech Gunblade you can go for Zhonya's Hourglass or Luden's Echo. I personally would go Zhonya's Hourglass after Hextech Gunblade simply because you can't delay Zhonya's Hourglass against AD champions, it's also really good for Katarina.
Greater Seal of Scaling Health
The reason we don't go Greater Seal of Armor is because losing out on Greater Seal of Scaling Health hurts AP mid laners HARD generally speaking, you need late game health as a squishy burst champion and going Greater Seal of Armor hurts Katarina in that sense of late game, making her an easier target.
Greater Glyph of Magic Penetration
As explained in the rune page above, they are super useful even against AD champions because people tend to build Hexdrinker and it's generally good to have the magic penetration. I get it against AD champions for the exact same reason as I explained in the rune page above.
Greater Quintessence of Magic Penetration
same explanation as above, the magic pen quint will help you get a total of 7.7 magic penetration since you're losing it out on marks by going Greater Mark of Attack Damage.
Greater Quintessence of Armor
Since you're against an AD champion, armor works wonders here. With a mix of both Greater Seal of Scaling Health and Greater Quintessence of Armor you have generally a strong early game. Your Greater Mark of Attack Damage will help you with the early damage, so you don't have to worry too much for losing out on AP, you build AP on Katarina anyway, your goal here is to fight your lane opponent with ease and these quints help with that.
Typically, you want to start with Long Sword and the main reason for this is because Voracity spin sinister steel damage is A LOT stronger early game in terms of AD over the AP part of it, AP becomes better as the game goes on and you hit the levels 1/6/11/16 to which the scalings of AP on Voracity start to go up. Starting Long Sword allows you to be A lot more aggresive early pre level 6 and first blooding with this item is a lot stronger than The Dark Seal but by no means is The Dark Seal a bad item, it's still great as it gives 25% increased healing from potions, but Long Sword is monstrous and it's also a recipe for your Hextech Gunblade making it a very good starting item.
This is your next item, which I consider CORE on current Katarina when running this rune page. the Greater Mark of Attack Damage along with 2x Long Sword start helps out a ton when dealing damage. your Shunpo, Voracity & Death Lotus all have % AD scalings which makes Hextech Gunblade a much better item than before. Luden's Echo used to be pretty much your go-to rush item, but Luden's Echo rush feels a lot weaker now compared to Hextech Gunblade for the simple reason that your Bouncing Blades poke damage in lane is not what Katarina does anymore and you can't drop their health hard enough. You have to be more 'up close in your face' now by catching daggers and dealing damage, making Hextech Gunblade an ideal choice.
Here is how you build Hextech Gunblade properly to deal the best amount of damage possible before the item is completed with it's recipe that benefits your kit the most:
The reason you don't rush Bilgewater Cutlass is because Hextech Revolver basic attack is crucial when it comes to trading against your opponent. Double Long Sword helps with your Voracity & Shunpo damage but completing it to Bilgewater Cutlass doesn't help you as much with trading as Hextech Revolver does. Build smart, and you'll see a difference in your overall damage.
The situational items, here buy accordingly to the flow of the game.
You want to build this item when against an AD champion like Zed, Yasuo or Talon. The active helps and you really don't lose out on much damage because Zhonya's Hourglass is both a good aggresive/defensive item, allowing you to jump in fights and zhonya afterwards when you're in trouble. It's also a SAFE item purchase, suitable in every situation and NOT only against AD champions. This item is both good when snowballing and when losing as it's guaranteed safety active is phenomenal to have on a champion like Katarina. This is easily one of the best items on Katarina.
Buy this item if you're snowballing/carrying or when against an AP champion or when your team is ahead. I'd always go for this after Hextech Gunblade when I'm snowballing because I love the mobility it gives, if the mobility part wasn't in this item there would be no reason for me to get it. You are able to catch up to daggers, chase, escape, get away from ganks and much more.
Buy this item if you're worried about a burst mage such as LeBlanc, Annie etc etc. I personally don't get Abyssal Scepter simply because the defensive stat of MR isn't how I'd like to play Katarina and Zhonya's Hourglass overall does a lot of the job for you when it comes to a defensive stat, although if you really want this go for it. It also has %10 increased magic damage so it still deals a good amount of damage at this stage of the game. Keep in the mind the 10% increased magic damage is based on how much AP you have - the more AP you have the better it is to buy this item.
Grab this item if you feel you need the HP/slow. This is an ideal choice to go for on reworked Katarina because it honestly compliments her playstyle really well with the constant daggers on the ground, keep in mind however that it has been nerfed but as for compensation, it's cheap, which makes it an ideal pick when behind or when you're simply not getting enough farm. I wouldn't consider it a rush item anymore because of the AP nerf on the item, but it comes in handy with the HP it gives and I'd buy this way in the late game as a last item or after my 2nd item if I despartley need the HP and I can't get much done in the game, you can buy this item whenever you feel like you need it.
Grab this item if you don't care about Luden's Echo movement speed, as that's the main reason I'd buy Luden's Echo. Keep in mind that Rabadon's Deathcap costs more and it's also a fantastic item when you are snowballing/when your team is ahead. I would absoloutley not recommend this item when you are behind, and you'd be better off with a Zhonya's Hourglass. I usually find myself buying Rabadon's Deathcap as a 3rd item after purchasing Zhonya's Hourglass as my 2nd item if they aren't building MR. I wouldn't need to prioritize Void Staff as of yet.
You most certainly need this item in every game because it penetrates Base MR/MR from runes/masteries etc etc. Don't delay Void Staff too much, this would be your 3rd or 4th item at most because it's %35 magic penetration is too much to pass on.
I get this as my very last item because Katarina still struggles in the late game in certain situations so buying this helps out a TON. You can buy a Rylai's Crystal Scepter here as your last item if you want aswell or whatever item you'd like to purchase last that you didn't buy from your 5 items. Abyssal Scepter is also a great way to finish off your build if you wish thanks to it's 10% more magic damage dealt. I rarely go for Guardian Angel as much, but by no means is this a bad purchase.
Overall, this is how your build would typically look like if you were snowballing:
Keep in mind this is never a set order, this snowball method is very greedy as you don't have the active of Zhonya's Hourglass and you just go full-out damage. You can choose not to buy a Luden's Echo and simply go Rabadon's Deathcap in place of it and purchase a Zhonya's Hourglass afterwards.
This is how a SAFE Snowball Build would look like:
Katarina's rework is here, which means new guide videos! Here is where I explain what the best/worst items are on Katarina & Why.
Luden's Echo is easily one of the greatest items on Katarina. You should always have this item in your inventory when you are SNOWBALLING, It gives everything Katarina needs. Mobility? check. Burst? check. 100 charges initial burst? check. It has it all, it's also been buffed way back where it's movement speed went from 7% to 10%, more of a reason to pick this up. If you can't buy this item, go for Rylai's Crystal Scepter as there will be some situations where you have to buy Hextech Gunblade into Zhonya's Hourglass when you're against a Zed or Talon.
Hextech Gunblade is the new best thing on Katarina. Since her abilities now having AD scalings on her Shunpo, Death Lotus and Voracity it's more of a reason to buy this item. With the correct rune page, this item is a monster. This is why I go for the Greater Mark of Attack Damage as buying 2x Long Sword early can really help with the overall damage. I wouldn't rush into Bilgewater Cutlass because that's a horrendous item rush to go for, go 2x Long Sword then buy Hextech Revolver.
Hextech Revolver empowers your basic attack, so make sure you do give out an auto attack during laning phase or when skirmishing. This is my go to item at the moment because I love the burst damage it gives out and the other reason being is that Luden's Echo as a rush item is NOT as good as it used to be with old Katarina with that being said, a combination of both Hextech Gunblade AND Luden's Echo is extremley powerful since you have the active damage + Luden's passive damage for initial burst. You already do so much damage before you even lay out your full burst damage!
Abyssal Scepter gives additional 10% more magic damage, making it a solid item when you have enough AP. I wouldn't recommend buying this item early because you'd be wasting it's unique passive potential. Make sure to get AP before buying this item, typically you get Abyssal Scepter in the late game or as a last item because it's effectivness is fantastic as a last item, it's essentially a mini Rabadon's Deathcap. The MR given is also a definite plus. This is a powerful aggresive/defensive item that works in many situation.
I usually would never go for this, it's WAY too risky of an item to go for and it's usually not worth it. It's mostly an unnecesary risk to take because in LoL, mistakes tend to happen. just stick to your main crucial items and you'll be fine. This item is good however if you play in the lower elos and you're confident with Katarina.
This item is super effective with the reworked Katarina. The new Death Lotus unleashes daggers every 0.166 seconds where as the older Death Lotus threw daggers every 0.25 seconds. More DPS means faster slows, so overall it's a solid choice. Katarina's new kit overall allows her to constantly stick to enemies and slow them due to her nature with Shunpo's reset, making it so that each time she picks up a dagger she sinister steels. Overall, a fantastic item and definatley worth picking up, it's also cheaper, wouldn't consider this a rush item because it doesn't help with bursting like Hextech Gunblade does but it doesn't mean it's a bad item on Katarina and it can work in any stage of the game after buying Hextech Gunblade
Haunting Guise is a decent early game item and it's main strength comes from it's 15 flat magic penetration. Flat stats mean a lot early, so if you'd like to go for this it's really not that bad of a choice, Overall a solid item choice. Upgrade to Liandry's Torment ONLY when they are all stacking a ton of HP and it's hard to burst anyone, don't upgrade it to Liandry early game and don't prioritize this item in your games. Liandry's Torment is a horrendous item on Katarina, you are NOT a tank killer. If you're ever forced to get this item in a game, things are simply just not going well in your game.
Deathfire Grasp is the key to everything! it has 10% cooldown and.. and.. ah, I miss this item already, doesn't feel the same anymore ;_;
An important item for all AP carries, definatley grab this for maximum damage, this is a self explanatory item and is a must on Katarina.
Void Staff is an excellent item to get mainly because it ignores 35% of the enemy's magic resist dealing significant damage. this is a must get, it synchronizes really well with sorcerer shoes's magic penetration, this is your bread and butter late game when the enemy starts building MR.
Guardian Angel is a really good item and I prefer getting it late game, mainly because if I make a mistake I can still get back in there and deal some more damage. Since my kit and playstyle is super aggressive, you should still add some survivability to your kit so you don't get completely stomped. Guardian Angel would help me accomplish exactly just that, it gives me a second chance that I need after dying, this item is great for late game specially. In my opinion, this is a must get. Another alternative would be Rylai's Crystal Scepter if you don't want the Guardian Angel passive. This is a good item if you get caught and you see someone low health, you can kill him and if your team is with you, you can even finish off their entire team. the magic resist and armour is incredible, increasing your survivability chance significantly, the enemy team will find you VERY annoying to deal with because simply the presence of GA makes you very threatning.
A great item to have for those AD assassins like Zed or Yasuo but that's not always the reason we get this item. Zhonya's Hourglass active is what makes it what it is. Annie flashed in your range to throw her tibbers? pop Zhonya. Zed uses Death Mark on you? Pop Zhonya. Syndra uses her ult? Pop Zhonya. Zhonya's Hourglass just adds so much more flexibility to your kit allowing you to make risky plays worth it and saving yourself from that last tick of ignite. you'll have a decent amount of armour and a great amount of AP, definatley grab this item, it compliments Katarina's play-style in every way.
Warding Guide | Every LoL player needs to know.
If you are a ranked Solo queue player, this is by far the most important thing to keep in mind. EVERY League Of Legends player needs to know this, period. If you want to have better vision control overall, you need to understand how every lane manages their wards. Learning Katarina is not just understanding her mechanically, but understanding the entire game as a whole is truly mastering the game and allows you to perform at an extreme rate with Katarina as you begin to understand ward patterns and many other things such as the enemy player's behaviour, etc etc.
Mid Lane Warding | Indepth Precision
Here are my preffered warding spots when playing mid lane for both control wards and totems. It's a video showing the indepth precision with the warding and how it should be done inside bushes, even the placement of it matters and determines how much it actually reveals.
Text version of champion matchups are in the threat levels from 1 to 10 in the beginning of my guide.
I'm making an episodic series on how to deal with every champion in League Of Legends as Katarina in the mid lane, I'm featuring 6 champions per episode and how to deal with those champions accordingly in every situation and scenario - Laning/Teamfighting/when to ult etc etc. - All champions listed per episode are in the video's thumbnails on the left side where I showcase them from number 1 to 6.
My Katarina Montages!
I will post my latest Katarina Montage here when I do make them.
1/2/2017 - Katarina Montage #17 - 'If you don't fight, you die.'
Here is one example of my coaching session with a viewer on my stream who requested a coach session on Katarina. My coach sessions can take up to 3 hours as I really like to go in detail and explain all the mistakes that are done in the game, I only coach Katarina players.
And yes, the coaching is free. Here is an example of a coach session:
Katarina Full Ranked Games | My Episodic Series
If you guys would like to learn just how exactly I play Katarina, I have a full playlist dedicated to that on my youtube channel. I have ALOT of parts and ALOT of matchups, so maybe you'll learn a few things here and there.
Here is one of my episodes just to give you an idea:
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You can see me live, you can ask me questions on twitch chat directly and I will answer them on the spot. I pretty much play Katarina whenever she's not banned.
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Hope you guys found this helpful.
Thanks for reading!
Check me out on twitch livestream if you are interested in seeing more of me playing as Katarina, I can give you advice LIVE. All viewers can chat with me.