Katarina Build Guide by Ur Little Sister
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Mastery Tree Is Outdated
WARNING: These masteries are still using the old tree and have not been updated to the new tree by the guide author. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.
Do not read this section if you're just here for a good Kat guide. This is just going over future additions to this guide.
I've seen that TiensiNoAkuma has changed his setup. Now him being the n1 Kat player in the world, and my setup being quite similar to his, it would be weird of me not to go over his changes. Problem is, I don't have the time at the moment.
I NEVER update a guide with stuff I haven't tried out decently myself. Therefore in the future I will be testing out his new setup (it includes more early game power), and if I like it, I'll be adding it to this guide in the future. I will NOT delete the build I've posted here because I have tested it, and it works amply. I'm also convinced the other setup has disadvantages over this one, meaning that both builds could be relevant.
Greetings reader, and welcome to my Katarina guide.
This guide is under construction. I will update it IF it gets some attention / if you ask me about specific subjects.
Katarina is my best and most played champion. I feel that she is widely misunderstood, and many guides on her are outdated, or don't mention what type of champion they're really building.
The guide I offer you is for an assassin Katarina. The goal in this guide is maximizing early and midgame potential, as well as teamfight contribution. I will go in-depth explaining my choices and elaborating alternatives. If you feel I did a bad job here, or left something out, feel free to leave a comment!
Pros/Cons and general feel
These pros and cons are relative to other magic damage assassins ( LeBlanc, Akali, Kassadin,...). So keep in mind that on top of these relative pros and cons, Katarina shares pros and cons with the champion type "assassin".
- Manaless + Voracity allow you to keep assassinating without mana or cooldown restrictions
- Very strong escapes, very slippery champion
- High AoE damage potential
- Strong overall teamfight potential
- Snowballs hard
- Good lategame
- One of the weakest early laning phases in the game
- Her damage potential is somewhat unreliable. The difference between her max and min damage is huge
- No inherent cc whatsoever
- Depends more on allies than other assassins
- Bad against tanky champions
- Situational pick, relatively many champions inherently counter her
Katarina is an odd assassin due to her having a bad laning phase. She compensates this by snowballing harder than many of her peers, and by not falling off lategame but staying strong. Like any assassin, she shines in the midgame, but due to her good teamfight potential she doesn't fall off that hard after it. Mind I said teamfight "potential". She does NOT have guaranteed strong teamfights. More on this in later sections.
When given free roam in a fight, Katarina play is the most fast-paced of all assassins. Her burst potential in terms of amount of damage in a short timeframe is ppb the highest of all assassins if she can succesfully proc Voracity several times. This requires fast thinking and acting.
Katarina as a true assassin is based almost entirely on 2 things: timing and positioning. Timing your spells and calculating your damage is essential to maximizing your damage output (due to Voracity), and both timing and positioning are essential in avoiding having Death Lotus cancelled. As a rule of thumb: Katarina punishes ennemies with bad positioning HARD, but gets punished hard if her team has bad positioning.
Ignite is a must. Since your damage output and mobility depends almost entirely on getting kills/assists, using that kill securing summoner spell is a good idea. Can be cast during Death Lotus without interrupting it.
Flash is a great idea. It synergises with Shunpo increasing your effective killing range to 1100, and your escaping range to slightly above that (due to Shunpo teleporting you behind whatever you jump to).
Exhaust used to be taken to prevent people from running out of Death Lotus. This is useless if they can dash or blink however, and does not offer you the Voracity proccing power that Ignite offers you. Therefore I don't like it. IF you want to get it, at least get it against ennemies that have no defence against your ultimate, and never use it if their flash is off cooldown. This summoner spell becomes essentially useless after your first major item (since slows don't stack). Can be cast during Death Lotus without interrupting it.
In Depth skill explination
Voracity: (Innate): After a kill or an assist, Katarina gains 25 gold and her cooldowns are reduced by 15 seconds.
Katarina's most defining skill. Katarina's passive is the main reason she's such a succesfull assassin, as well as the main reason she can be unreliable. In group fights, you can pretty much chain-assassinate ennemy champions due to your spells refreshing on kills/assists.
Due to this spell, maximizing your damage potential means trying to proc Voracity as much as possible! Chain-killing stuff is what unlocks your amazing damage potential!
This skill can actually be viewed as a damage multiplier where damage starts scaling with itself. Anything that gives you a higher chance to proc Voracity (most notably damage) refreshes your damage output and mobility instantly.
Bouncing Blades: (Active): Katarina throws a dagger that will bounce from enemy to enemy, dealing magic damage. Each subsequent hit deals 10% less damage. The blade won't bounce to hit the same enemy more than once on the same cast.
Your bread and butter in the lane. This is your main harass skill, as well as your ranged minion farming tool. The bounces on this spell all count as individual single-target spells when spell vamp and Rylai slows are calculated.
The spell is sadly also bugged: if a targetted ennemy walks out of Katarina's line of sight during the travel time of Bouncing Blade, said ennemy will not receive any effects from it, but the spell will go on cooldown.
Sinister Steel: (Passive): Each of Katarina's autoattacks and abilities will deal extra damage per hit. This gives extra damage to each Bouncing Blade bounce and each Death Lotus dagger.
(Active): Katarina's next basic ability within 15 seconds will have a bonus effect:
Bouncing Blade: Deals full damage to every target it hits and applies 50% healing reduction for 5 seconds.
Shunpo: Katarina takes reduced damage from enemy attacks for 3 seconds.
This spell is meh-ish. I take one point in it at level 4, but that's it. Note that the active portion of this spell triggers on the first spell that hits something. This means that if you use Killer Instincts, Bouncing Blade and then Shunpo, KI will likely trigger on Shunpo due to it's instantaneous nature.
I mostly use this spell with Bouncing Blade to increase my damage output (and thus spellvamp), push a lane faster, or get the healing debuff off on an opponent. This last thing can be done at any time during Bouncing Blade's cast, even when it's already bounced. Thus, you can quickly press W if you see a blade is going to bounce on an ennemy champion and apply the healing debuff.
Shunpo: (Active): Katarina moves to her target's location, appearing behind it. If the target is an enemy, she deals magic damage to the target.
This spell is your main escape and juke spell in the lane. At later ranks it is a potent nuke, as well as a strong escape on a low cooldown. This spell can be used on ANY targettable object (ally, ennemy, minion, ward, mushroom, JiTB,...) and will always teleport you behind it.
Also, due to Voracity, this skill instantly refreshes upon geting a kill or assist. This means that if you can kill somebody fast, you can almost always escape. Pro towerdives!
Death Lotus: (Active): Katarina channels for 3 seconds, throwing 30 daggers over the duration to the 3 closest enemy champions in a nearby area around her. Each enemy champion can be hit by a maximum of 10 daggers.
This spell deals a large amount of damage to up to 3 ennemiez. It is channeled, so hard cc's will interrupt it and greatly lessen your damage output. The maximum damage this spell does is 3 times 1040 + 5*AD + 2.5*AP (incorporating the passive on Killer Instincts).
This spell becomes active when it's usable. It can target and damage stealthed units. Like Morgana's ultimate, this spell is effectively a stealth detection tool, as well as brush checking tool. Make sure to Shunpo out FAST if it surprises you though, because the range is only 550.
Like Nunu's ultimate, this skill also does not give you away when used from outside vision range.
Marks: Flat magic penetration marks are essential. I don't think there are any alternatives, all of Katarina's damage is magic damage.
Seals: Health/lvl is a logical choice. She has no mana, no energy or w/e; so these runes are pretty standard. The survivability is nice.
Glyphs: I prefer flat MR runes. Like all caster assassins, Katarina is very squishy. AP or AP/lvl is an option, but it just pays off less for me.
Quintessences: Here you have some options. The most common viable runes are: flat AP, flat AD, flat Health and Movement Speed.
Flat AP runes give you the largest burst damage. If you can go for very early kills, these are the best, but against competent players this should be rare.
Flat AD runes give you the highest harassing damage (due to your AD scalings). They also help slightly with lasthitting.
Flat Health give you a nice defensive boost.
Movement Speed are my preferred ones. They are good throughout the entire game, helping you in chasing, escaping, juking, positioning (and thus also lasthitting).
I go 21/9/0.
The 21 in the offensive tree is relatively standard. You can choose to take Brute Force over Mental Force or the other way around. As with the runes, the AD gives you better sustained harass and lasthitting, the AP gives your more burst if you go for a kill. I'd call it preference.
The points in the defensive tree I feel outweigh going into Utility. The mana regeneration and mana/lvl is useless on you, and I prefer masteries that help out early game, since that's when Katarina is at her weakest. ( Good Hands , the only useful Tier1 utility mastery for you, is a lategame mastery).
I level Bouncing Blades first because it's your main harass spell, farming tool and sustain tool once you get spellvamp.
People used to level Shunpo first sometimes and harass with it, but that was when:
- Junglers were less common. If they ganked, it was often top lane cause that one was 1v2.
- Junglers were more about sustaining themselves and the overall XP advantage. Early ganks were rarer. A lot of junglers just wanted to rush lvl 6.
- Junglers were less mobile.
- Ennemy laners on average had less mobility and a shorter range, thus they could retaliate less.
- Average laners had less cc. Nowadays if you try to harass with shunpo you risk getting stunned and nuked more.
I only listed the core items in this build. Everything after that is situational. I'll explain the interesting items for her here.
Boots of Speed and 3 Health Potions is flat out the best start for Kat. Some people get Doran's Blade or Doran's Shield to start, but I feel the movement speed is essential if you want to lasthit without taking too much free harass. The pots are also just plain better for lane sustain.
Since proccing Voracity is the key to unlocking your damage potential, and Katarina is a burst assassin, for boots I definately recommend Sorcerer's Shoes. Some people opt to get Ionian Boots of Lucidity. Whilst these guys are better for farming in a lane that's getting pushed to your turret over and over again, they are by far the worse choice outside the lane. Missing out on a kill = not proccing Voracity = no cooldown reduction. So if you're not getting utterly destroyed and becoming completely useless, Sorcerer's Shoes give you more cooldown reduction than Ionian Boots of Lucidity during teamfights.
I basically rush a Hextech Gunblade after that. It's Katarina's main damage item, giving her the largest damage boost possible. The way Bouncing Blades interacts with spellvamp is amazing, and every component of the gunblade just shouts "buy me Kat!". This offers you:
- The most single-target damage Katarina can get from a single item (Deathcap is better if you're getting full AoE ults off, but let's stay realistic)
- The most sustain you can get off of any item
- The strongest single-target slow you can get. It has the same range as Shunpo (700), and is on a similar cooldown as Death Lotus (60 seconds, vs 60/55/50 seconds).
Now for some interesting followup / filler items:
Sight Ward: You can Shunpo to it. 75 gold for a 700+ range flash. They even keep giving vision of the area you jumped to AND remain usable shunpo locations for 3 minutes. Most gold-efficient item on Kat.
- Elixir of Fortitude: Defensive consumable that makes you tankyer and somewhat increases your damage. This item can compensate Katarina's bad early game. You can use it at any time, it activates instantly. It's like having a mini-heal ready at all times. That buffs your damage.
Rabadon's Deathcap: Highest damage boost you can get next to Gblade. Usually not the best item to rush after Gblade against organized teams unless you're fed OR your team is failing horribly completely. In the first case you can just roflstomp them before they can do much, in the second case you just need to get big plays off or it's over anyway.
Abyssal Scepter: A very good item on Katarina. Makes you tankyer, but increases your damage by a lot too.
Zhonya's Hourglass: The big AP boost is nice, but let's face it: you're getting it for the active ability and the little armor boost. This item is very potent if you can rely on your team to have your back once you activate it. Remember to activate when you get focussed. Not earlyer, not later. And yes, activating this item does stop your ultimate.
Void Staff: Best damage item in the game after you get deathcap. The synergy with Abyssal Scepter is poor though, and I would not recommend getting both items.
Rylai's Crystal Scepter: Makes you generally tankyer, and procs a slow on your spells. This item gives you a decent overall boost after you have your main items. I find it very situational, but it's one of my go-to items if my frontliners are doing badly. A little bit more kiting power and survivability goes a long way in helping your team if your frontliners are having trouble, and you don't sacrifice much for getting this once you have your main items.
I made an entire section explaining why I do not get this item early.
Doran's Blade: If you're having a lot of trouble in lane, and fights to the death are a bit TOO close to your liking, then this item can help you out. Increases your overall damage somewhat and makes you tankyer. It's basically a lasting version of Elixir of Fortitude. I get this sometimes if I'm in a difficult lane.
Deathfire Grasp: Since the remake, this item has no useless stats for you whatsoever. I've been going through phases of liking and disliking it, and I can't make my mind up about it. On one hand you have the active damage burst which can help you proc Voracity in more versitile ways, but on the other hand I feel a Rabadon's Deathcap and Void Staff are downright better if I want overall damage, and I have trouble placing DFG in my inventory in a place where I actually don't already have activatables to smartcast. I've tried it, and it tends feeling clumsy. I usuaolly don't get it anymore. But by all means try it out yourself. If you want to build it, I suggest 2nd or 3rd major item.
Quicksilver Sash: Great item allround. Getting cc-ed much (obviously not during your ultimate, cause you timed it right)? Eating a lot of magic damage? Get this!
Guardian Angel: The great Katarina item! Hardest hardcounter against her, as well as a great item to get on her if you need an overall defensive item.
Rylai's Crystal Scepter: Katarina's downfall.
Disclaimer: Please read this section carefully. I am NOT claiming that Rylai's is a bad item, or does not synergise with Katarina. This section explains why it is a horrible idea to get it early if you are playing Kat as an assassin.
Many people think that Rylai's Crystal Scepter is Katarina's main item and get it early. If you are playing Katarina as an assassin however, this is a bad mistake:
It offers you A LOT less damage than Hextech Gunblade (300-500 less single-target burst damage depending on your ultimate, up to 400 less additional total burst due to Death Lotus being AoE, and 29 less damage per Bouncing Blades first bounce), thus giving you A LOT less chance to proc Voracity, thus giving you even less damage potential against multiple champions. (Voracity makes damage multiply itself in a way. Weird skill.)
The slow it offers is strong. However, the slow Gunblade offers is stronger. The only thing Rylai offers in the slow department is an AoE slow on your ultimate. But that's only 15%! It barely makes a difference, especially since "people running out of your ultimate" is far from the main problem your ult has. If your ult doesn't do what it's supposed to do, it's because it got interrupted or they blinked/dashed out of it. Gunblade gives you a stronger single target slow on an equivalent cooldown as your ultimate.
The only thing Rylai offers over Gunblade is 500 health. With 15% lifesteal and 20% spellvamp, I think this is meagre. This amount of health takes about 3 minion waves of throwing bouncing blades and lasthitting to regain with a gunblade. The health only really helps against ennemies that burst you down from full health consistently. Though there are a lot cheaper options ( Elixir of Fortitude, Doran's Blade, Negatron Cloak) that do this too. The only times I've ever had to deal with that anyway was when I was failing horribly in lane for whatever reason.
Playstyle: Laning phase
Your early laning phase is downright horrible. Farm what you can. You'll ppb get denied some creeps, and you'll have to rely on Bouncing Blades for a lot of your farming. Most champions flat out outdamage, outtrade and outharass you.
As the laning phase goes on, you become stronger. You're difficult to kill or harass due to high movement speed and Shunpo being a relatively low-cooldown "nope!" button. You probabely won't get a kill pre-6 unless you get jungler ganks.
You can generally harass with shunpo and a bouncing blade if your opponent misses an important skillshot and is out of position. If you can pull this off (don't do it if they have a huge minion wave, or a MIA jungle Shaco), you can usually get ahead early in lane. But it takes a special kind of stupid for your opponent to do this.
Once you hit level 6, your maximum damage output is pretty freaking big. Nuke somebody down from 60+% HP? No problem! The only real problem is... Ennemies can interrupt or dash/blink out of your ult. But the fact that your ultimate is there means that they can't use their cc anymore. If they blow whatever it is they use to stop you at any time, you have the advantage (as long as you're not fighting a hardcounter that is). Go for that kill when their significant spells are on cooldown.
As for killing stuff... Your combo is ( Hextech Gunblade)--> Shunpo Death Lotus Ignite Bouncing Blades. NEVER lead with Bouncing Blades because it has a longer range than your ultimate. So as soon as your ultimate stops throwing daggers, throw your Q. This way you deal your maximum amout of damage, and from the longest range. Oh, and you can use Sinister Steel to make that last Q apply a healing debuff so they don't get away with 1hp by using a hp pot.
Your harassing becomes really strong by the way. Bouncing Blades has a deceptively long range as it can bounce off of minions through an entire wave and hit your opponent from way back. Combine that with the fact that skillshot-reliant champions can't hit you due to Shunpo, and you become a freaking nightmare. Don't get me wrong, almost all champions can still outplay you. The thing is, if you make a mistake, Katarina will punish it hard.
- If they position themselves wrongly, bouncing blades will hit them --> Free Harass!
- If they are ever cc-less, they will either burn their escapes AND take a lot of damage, or die. (Or it's a bait into a gank.)
- Once Kat starts pulling the strings in a lane, she starts snowballing. Often getting ahead with Kat is staying ahead.
Roaming and chasing roamers
Do NOT roam if it means you're going to lose a lot of minions.
Roaming is the act of leaving your lane to go gank a sidelane. This generally only works if they don't know that you're coming, so taking b-routes, or routes you know aren't warded is advised.
Katarina is a strong lane ganker. Either they will have to focus their cc on you, allowing your lane mates to destroy them, or they will eat "tons of damage" to quote Phreak. Due to Shunpo, and my love for movement speed Quints, you can gank from almost any route. The fact that you're a strong towerdiver helps too.
If your laning opponent roams, you have 3 choices:
- Follow him and counterank the lane he is ganking
- Go gank the lane he's not going to
- Stay in lane, freefarm and maybe push his turret down
Option 1 is dangerous because the whole act of going to roam could well be just a bait to gank you. Realize this, and don't do anything crazy without map awareness / proper ward coverage.
Option 2 is a good alternative if you're suspecting that it's a bait. Katarina is vulnerable when she's alone in the open (nothing to shunpo to).
Option 3 if your measuring stick. Estimate the payoffs of options 1 and 2. If they're not too big (which is usually the case), stick with freefarming / pushing. If you have proper ward coverage and your allies aren't being stomped, chances are the roamer will fail his gank anyway. Staying and freefarming puts you ahead of him. This is VERY often the case when you're far ahead in your lane, especially against other assassins (who have a tendency to REALLY want kills).
Also realize that if there are 2 minion waves pushing your turret and your opponent leaves lane, if you chase or gank the other lane, you're certain of losing about 250 gold to MAYBE get 200-325 gold.
Timing and Positioning!
If ever you can chain- Shunpo ennemies to death, you unleash Kat horror. When I say Voracity refreshes cooldowns instantly, I do mean INSTANTLY. 5 low health ennemies + planning and good reflexes = pentakill in under 2 seconds. Not even exaggerating.
Step 0) If you can secure a kill on anything, secure it. Voracity ensures you it wasn't a waste, ever. Step 0 is always the most important step.
Step 1) Keep track of the amount of active cc's the ennemies have, the ranges and travel times of those cc's, and said ennemies' positions. At ALL times!
Step 2) Let the teamfight commence
Step 3) When people have committed, keep track of WHERE all the CC's are.
Step 4) If there is ever a location and time where you can pull off your ultimate without it getting interrupted, GO!
This is why Katarina punishes bad positioning. If the ennemy Alistar decided he wants to Headbutt your Irelia off of their Brand, and he left his Ezreal unattended, you just killed their AD carry. And got a 700+ range 600-ish damage blink ready to get out or keep killing.
Note that you don't have to pull off your entire ultimate. Your burst is pretty huge and is applied insanely fast. Getting off half of your ultimate is often more than enough to melt 2-3 squishies.
Now this might be your "standard teamfight", but you have other options!
Picking teamfights in the jungle is a good idea
You can quickly reposition yourself with shunpo (and a ward) to any location over nearby walls. Death Lotus works over walls. I think you can figure this one out.
On top of that, Death Lotus also works similar to Absolute Zero in that it does not reveil Katarina when she uses it. If you're in a brush and ennemies are running by, the only thing giving away that you're using DL is their health bars going down. I have NEVER been interrupted whilst doing this from a brush that wasn't warded.
Having a bad game? Here's my opinion on how you can try to recover from it.
Too bad you're an assassin
Asassins in general have a hard time reovering from getting beaten in lane. I feel Katarina is ok-ish at it, but her lack of utility means that other champions still have an easyer time doing it. Your best bet is to prevent getting stomped completely rather than trying to recover once it's already too late.
Realize it early
The earlyer you realize that you're screwed, the earlyer you can actually do something about it or prevent it from escalating. Buying GP5 items like Kage's Lucky Pick is a good option to minimalize the harm done. Though obviously they work better the earlyer you get them. This does close off a lot of your assassination potential, so getting GP5ves should be a very last resort only. I can justify doing it against LeBlanc. That's about it.
Realize WHY you are getting stomped.
There are several possible reasons you might be getting destroyed. Some problems have obvious solutions.
- You might be getting outlaned strongly. Getting assistance from your jungler can make almost any lane managable. Ask for help early, because the chance that your jungler can INSTANTLY help you is slim.
- You might be getting focussed by strong ennemy gankers. There are only so many situations Shunpo can get you out of, and a flash + Infinate Duress isn't one of them. Good warding goes a long way with this one.
- You might just be getting zoned and denied. Look around, see if any ennemies make stupid mistakes or play very agressive by nature. Katarina is a good sidelane ganker, and some succesfull ganks can snowball you right back into a game. Do consider the stuff I mentioned in the roaming section of this guide though!
What about teamfights?
Imagine: it's lategame, you're a denied assassin, and teamfights occur. You're essentially useless.
Katarina's lategame potential comes from the fact that she's not that reliant on her ultimate. You can burst down an ennemy squiqhy from full health with only half or less of your ultimate. However, if you got hindered, you'll need to get off more damage from it. That means spinning longer without getting interrupted. There are a couple of ways you can cope with this:
- Look for that perfect opening. Getting full ultimates off against an organized team is difficult. But let's face it: how many teams organize thmeselves well? Keep doing what you do best: exploiting positioning errors! Kill the squishy that got out of position.
- Set up teamfights in favorable locations. As discussed, Katarina does extremely well in jungle fights. Set up jungle ganks/fights, and take an Oracle's Elixir to guarantee that you're not standing on a ward.
- Killsteal. Katarina snowballs HARD at any time in the game. If your far behind, it CAN be a good idea to be an ******* and clean up like a cowardly weasel. Knowing when this is beneficial and when not is something even I'm not knowledgabe on. I've honastly only been in a situation where the game was so dire that this was an option once.
This is a difficult subject because Katarina's optimal itemization already depends on how well the teams are doing as a whole relative to each other. Generally the more extreme you're doing (horrid or fantastic), the more I prefer to go for pure damage. My view on the matter is that if you are far behind, you either need 20 minutes of undisturbed farm time or you need to make some higher reward (which generally involves higher risk) plays.
1) If there are recurring patterns that kill you, you have to counterbuild to them.
- If they are locking you down with hard cc or surpresses, rush a Quicksilver Sash
- If they have anticarries chasing you around, Rylai's Crystal Scepter can help give you kiting power and survivability
- Any specific ennemy getting fed? Zhonya's Hourglass or Abssal Sceptre are often good items to counter this before it gets out of hand.
2) If there are no recurring bad situations and you're feeling useless, I like getting full damage
Hextech Gunblade into Rabadon's Deathcap into Void Staff.
There are potential downfalls of Katarina's playstyle that you need to be aware of. Let's take a look:
A lot of Kat players tunnelvision. Getting a kill is so powerful on you because of Voracity, and getting multiple kills almost instantly is a realistic scenario. But you MUST try not to let this influence your positioning. If the ennemy that's "out of position" is moving or positioning himself oddly, chances are you're getting baited.
Secure every kill. But don't steal every kill. If the kill is already guaranteed, then your Voracity proc is already guaranteed. Katarina generally cannot carry games alone. If you're getting fed, it's usually a great idea to split the kills with allies, especially if you see that they are competent. So don't steal them all, but don't give them all away either.
Rushing Rylai's Crystal Scepter
I think I've bored you enough with this point already
Itemizing for CDR
A lot of Kat players like rushing as much cooldown reduction as they can get. This is not an assassin Kat playstyle. These builds tend to be more about playing her as a tanky sustained damage mage like Vladimir or Mordekaizer. I dislike this, because I think Vladimir and Mordekaizer do it plain better. If you're playing Kat as an assassin, your goal obviously should be to kill ennemies with your huge burst potential. Said burst potential procs Voracity and instantly refreshes your cooldowns faster than the 40% cdr cap will do. So as an assassin who gets huge cooldown reduction from building more damage, why would you spend gold on a stat that you don't benefit much from outside the laning phase?
Combo's and Shunpo Tricks
This stuff is all pretty self-explanitory, but I felt it had to be included in the guide.
Basic combo: Hextech Gunblade Shunpo Death Lotus Ignite Bouncing Blades Sinister Steel. Maximum single-target damage Katarina has. Range = 700 (1100 with Flash).
Pocket flash: Sight Ward Shunpo. The ward's cast range is 600, but you shunpo behind it, and shunpo's range is 700. This means that you can cross really thick walls with this one. Playing Kat has made me start putting wards in item slot 3 and smartcasting them.
Harassing scaredycats: Shunpo onto their caster minion, Bouncing Blades. Because when ennemies are zoned like hell, they still try to get within XP range. Show them that you don't like that.
Surprise turnaround: Sight Ward behind a wall or into a brush, Shunpo, wait for it... Death Lotus. Use your other skills/spells/items when you can finish them off. Remember, Death Lotus does not reveil you from said brush. I've had ennemies ganking an ally who were coing around a tight corner (I couldn't see them). They were at 60% health. They kept chasing him, and once they got out of their brush and into my vision range, they were both at 120-ish health. Double kill + applause from all non-kat players.
These guys should be food for Kat
Your n1 dinner guy. Your high mobility means you can dodge all his spells. His low mobility means it's hard for him to position himself out of Bouncing Blades's range.
Oh, and Voracity + Shupo pretty much counters his "ima kill you anyway" passive.
Yes, she outdamages you hugely. But everybody does. Dodge ALL the Q's, and you'll win.
Oh, and Death Lotus preserves the direction in which your hitbox is facing, so Shunpo, 1 mouseclick away from her, Death Lotus means she can't interrupt your ultimate without flashing over you and smartcasting it. Haven't seen any Casses pull that off yet.
A bit controversial, but in my mind Katarina does counter him. Your grievous wound does mess with him a bit. You can whittle him down pretty hard. This lane is a bit riskyer than the other ones, because it's way more managable for Vlad than for Cass and Karthus.
This should be difficult...
Triple blink on her ult means that she can blink out of your ult, wait till it's over, blink back in and kill you. And even if it's on cooldown she STILL has Charm. She also has built-in sustain on her passive, easily hits you with Fox Fire if you try to harass her directly and has long ranged farming capabilities which means hitting Bouncing Blades is difficult. You can live against her, but she will outfarm you if she's smart.
Yeah... Who doesn't hate this guy? :(
Multiple blinks + a silence means you can't really ever pull your ultimate off, he can escape everything, and he has strong harass. Not to mention you using BB to lasthit procs his E.
The absolute worst and most horrible
This lane can't ever even get managable. You will lose.
Just everything about her kit outdoes yours in the lane. You WILL get denied and suffer. I would not suggest ever picking Katarina against a Leblanc.
Thank you for reading this guide.
Feel free to comment and rate. If you have suggestions, don't hesitate to pose them.
As for matchups, which I guess is a fairly obvious lack in this guide, I'll get those going if this guide actually gets some attention first.
Your AP Katarina Du Couteau Resource (dont play with knives)
[S3] Katarina - The Shinigami
Katarina - Here, have another blade.
[S3] French Killing - Pentarina