Match up Analysis
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.
Who am I?
I am autoswitched, diamond on EUW, and I main Master Yi and played Katarina quite a lot in season 4.
I play casually and sometimes rank, i do stream sometimes feel free to follow on
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Guides I also made, or in the making of:
Master Yi: http://www.mobafire.com/league-of-legends/build/wuju-need-a-guide-indepth-5-19-lane-yi-included-diamond-411808
I main Katarina, and felt like making a mini guide along with an indepth matchup guide, this guide will focus on mainly match-ups and a few tips.
I highly recommend you do not play this champion unless you;re very good with her and have high game knowledge. This season she is a lot weaker compared to other assassins such as Zed who recently gotten buffed whereas Katarina has only received nerfs. Katarina has hardly any favorable matchups.
She is very strong, but also very risky. Always try to focus on cs, but make sure you use your Bouncing Blades effectively to cs and harass opponent at the same time if possible, focus on getting siege minions. Harass doesn't mean anything if you miss all the cs, and they get gold advantage.
Who is Katarina?
She is a mobile burst assassin champion who is able to assassinate targets, and get out with the use of her resets, or go ham and kill the whole enemy team if left alone. Her Death Lotus will be able to destroy eveyone with its massive AOE damage. Katarina can be played in many ways, but I like to roam with her due to the fact she has quite a decent amount of movement speed at 345, and the fact her E is instant. Even if the enemy lane signals you're missing, chances are it's too late. Katarina has a lot of aoe damage, making her an excellent team fighter and a scary lane opponent if the enemy doesn't know how to deal with her.
Mini guide on what to do:
Poke as much as you can with Bouncing Blades so you can force your lane opponent out, or secure a kill. Remember, don't be afraid to tower dive if you can kill them as you can easily use your Shunpo on a ward and jump out without even taking a tower shot if you're quick enough. Use Bouncing Blades to farm the caster minions, or minions which are out of sinister steel reach, and hopefully you'll also poke the enemey laner at the same time.
This is her passive and makes her one of the most scariest champions in the game for team fighting, as she already has a lot of aoe damage to begin with, now imagine doing it all over again, and again. This passive also allows diving in and out of a team fight easier when compared to most champions who have to commit such as a Talon
This is her Q - Main poke and farm tool. This can hit up to 5 different targets, however the bounce path is usually linear, and deals less damage per enemy hit. Use this to poke as much as you can, but try to make sure you can also get farm at the same time. If you can without taking much damage, try to detonate the proc it leaves as this deals a lot of damage, use your Shunpo or sinister steel to detonate it, auto attacks also detonate it along with Death Lotus Max first. This ability can hit stealthed targets if they're near the target that got hit. Do not Shunpo onto an enemy who has hard engage or damage tools as they can punish you hard for it, examples - LeBlanc level 6 Kassadin Annie Yasuo Zed etc.
sinister steel Her W - Used as a farm tool as it is much quicker to cast then an auto meaning you can farm safely. Use this to trade if they're near you. Also don't forget to spam this if you're getting chased as it will give you a movement speed buff if you hit enemy champions. Max second.
Her E - Interesting ability. This can be used on enemies, wards and allied champions to teleport to them, this can also be used on ENEMY BLUE TRINKETS, NOT YOUR OWN. Use this to either reduce the damage of an ability by 15%, to engage, to last hit a minion which you will miss otherwise as this ability is instant. Master ward jumping in custom games, and eventually you'll be able to do it so quick, you can activate Zhonya's Hourglass and jump out without getting cc'd. Max last, consider max second if you're jumping a lot to avoid abilities.
Her R - High damage aoe ability. Remember this ability can be used to identify invisible units as it will glow if they're nearby, you can also activate it if they're invisible to kill them i.e. Akali you will still hit her. Also you can cancel this ability by moving so if they run out of range, remember to cancel it so you can continue the chase. Max as soon as you can. Actions will also cancel it, so flash, spells etc. However summoners such as Ignite Barrier etc will not cancel it.
Useful spells to take
|Use this 100% of the time as it's too good. Being able to escape bad situations or secure kills.|
|Use this if you feel you don't need any other defensive summoners, and you want to play aggresive, this gives you kill pressure and can also secure those much needed resets to ace a team.|
|Good against match ups where you'll be forced out of lane a lot, and can be used to roam even more effectively by Teleport ganking bot for example. Adds a lot of pressure.|
|Useful against high burst assassin type champions such as Kha'Zix Fizz Rengar Zed and a few more.|
|Not really that useful, but good for baiting under tower, or useful for tanking Ignite|
|Same as Barrier, but the movement speed can be useful. Heal isn't as good due to a lot of laners running ignite, and if you're ignited, half the effectiveness of heal along with Barrier able to shield for more damage|
Bad spells, but not useless.
|Rubbish, Flash is better, there's no situation where Ghost would be better then Flash, and if you need movement speed, your sinister steel gives you enough, along with ward jump + Flash to cover a large distance instantly.|
Completly rubbish, and never use:
All other spells.
Greater Quintessence of Ability Power
Should be used when up against AD laners as you'll need to be able to trade effectivly. The champions I take AP quints are usually: Zed Talon Riven Wukong etc. The reason why Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed isn't as useful is because a lot of AD laners have unavoidable abilities such as basic attacks, meaning you need to trade well.
Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed
Should be used against AP laners who rely on skill shots. The reason is you will be able to poke them down with Q easily, and also be able to avoid a lot of their abilities. Also this helps in general mobility, and is used for effective escaping/chasing.
Greater Seal of Armor
Will 90% of the time be used, even against some AP match ups due to their basic attacks. Examples being: Orianna Syndra Annie Xerath and more. Even against some laners such as Fizz armor is more useful as some fishes tend to run attack damage marks, and even then his auto attacks do quite a lot of damage due to him having quite high base AD.
Greater Seal of Scaling Health
Will typically use this against AP heavy teams. Match ups where this can help would be Kassadin Malphite Azir Fiddlesticks . You may think, hold on there's a few who have range attacks, yes, Azir has range abilities but he will not be auto attacking much due to him having one of the lowest base AD, and his soldiers deal 100% magic damage. Fiddlesticks will be focusing more on using E as he will lose the trade if he goes for a basic attacks.
Greater Seal of Health
Never use flat as Greater Seal of Scaling Health is much better in the fact that at level 6, Greater Seal of Scaling Health start to become much better than Greater Seal of Health and 6 is so easy to get.
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
Standard, and should use 9 of these badboys if against a high burst lane, or unavoidable poke lane such as Ryze
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
Throw switch out 3 flats with 3 scaling if you can avoid the poke, or if the burst that the champion can do isn't too high. Gives some durability. You can switch out 9 of flats for 9 of these if you're up against an AD laner and they have a strong AP pick i.e. Fiddlesticks jungler
Greater Glyph of Ability Power
Use only if they have no AP whatsoever, or no threating ap i.e. Thresh Alistar supports in general. You can run x3 Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist if they have some AP, but you're up against an AD lane.
Masteries: I find these masteries to be the best, resets give health thanks to
and thunrderlords decree procs instantly if you manage to Bouncing Blades and detonate it with sinister steel
Why no spellvamp/life steal? The healing is so little it isn't even worth it due to your abilities being aoe, and your only single target spell doing little damage. Your aim is to roam and get kills, that extra ap can make the difference between getting a kill or not as 6 ap is equal to 22 extra damage on your ultimate alone mid game.
The build for every single game is EXACTLY the same however the order is difference with matchups and skill level of the opponent, with the final item being situational, and the Void Staff being switched out for an Abyssal Scepter. The reasoning is that this is the best build for Katarina as she is not a poke champion so items such as Liandry's Torment aren't as good, and rushing a Haunting Guise in my opinion is a waste of gold as Sorcerer's Shoes give movement speed and pen, whilst costing less. Haunting Guise is just too weak for it's cost as a Needlessly Large Rod costs less. Always buy one vision whenever you go back in case you get ganked as you may not always have trinket available, or you may be forced to use it in lane. Typical item build at end of game:
Order of items:
Luden's Echo rabadons deathcap Zhonya's Hourglass Void Staff and boots somewhere in between. Final item can be a range of items such as Banshee's Veil
Opinion on items which are used on kat, but why I don't use them much.
Hextech Gunblade: The cost is a bit too much for its reward. Spellvamp isn't as effective as she has aoe abilities. The slow active is decent but, once again it's an active and the Luden's Echo is better.
Rylai's Crystal Scepter: Excellent item due to it's tankiness, and slow, however you need to give your defensive item, and that's a bit risky, but I do sometimes build this if I feel I'll die to quickly, but don't want to give up damage as the slow can help keep people in your ultimate.
Liandry's Torment: poor item on kat, she's not a dps champion, nor a poke champion. The item did recieve a small buff so it is viable as a final item if the enemy team has a lot of magic resist, however Rylai's Crystal Scepter is a better item if you're looking for tankiness whilst having some ap.
Abyssal Scepter: Pretty good item on Katarina reducing the whole enemy teams MR if used correctly. Also helps in laning phase by being able to survive burst, whilst also dealing damage. I don't build this too often as the Luden's Echo is just too good for bursting people down as well as giving some poke with a lot of mobility, and a veil in my opinion is much better for surviving burst. You can switch out the Void Staff for this if the enemies haven't built much magic resist, and you feel you'll need the extra MR, if that's the case, do not build a Banshee's Veil and go for a Guardian Angel Remember, if they have little magic resist, it is more efficient to have flat reduction than percentage.
Defense items I use, and why
Guardian Angel Survive a team fight, clean up. Allows more aggressive plays. Guardian Angel provides invincibility on death, allowing resets to rack up, and giving you a chance to kill them again. However note that if you do not recieve the assist within 3 seconds of dealing damage, you will not get the reset. You can hourglass after you come alive to buy more time.
Banshee's Veil means you can tank one cc ability which can make all the difference in a team fight, it also provides some tankiness with it's mr and hp, along with sustain with hp regen. ng you a second chance to kill the enemy team, giving decent resists at the same time.
Pros / Cons
+ High AOE damage with Death Lotus Bouncing Blades sinister steel One of the best team fights for an assassin.
+ Her ultimate scales very high with a whopping 2.5:1 ap ratio.
+ No costs on abilities
+ No skill shots
+ Mobile with Shunpo and sinister steel along with high movement speed
+ Quickest blink ability in the game tied with flash and talon e.
+ One of the best champions in the game for cleaning up
+ She can trade extremely well due to her Shunpo reducing damage by a whopping 15%!
+ Not item dependent in terms of poking, or trading
- Weak to cc
- If abilities used incorrectly, can be left vulnerable
- Can accidentally cancel ult too early.
- Has no built in cc
- Needs a ward/minion to use escape effectivly.
- Nerfed, so now Death Lotus deals less damage early, meaning item dependent for burst As well as lower damage on Shunpo and lower health regen making laning harder.
- Hardly any favorable matchups season 6.
Mid Katarina has 3 methods of play. Farm passively and no engagements as the match up you're playing is very difficult, and all trades are in their favor. Push, and roam as much as possible to get fed, and snowball other laners. And killing your laner, although you should note you can do all three i.e. Difficult match up, so you farm but then laner makes mistake, you kill, roam bot after. Her Bouncing Blades = best harass/farm tool, you can kill a minion and get poke at the same time. Try and make it so you can get multiple cs at the same time with Bouncing Blades, and walk up and sinister steel.
Your overall aim should be to roam bot lane and get fed as generally her laning phase is weak however this is playing her in diamond, in low plat you can stomp with her if played correctly.
Use sinister steel to farm minions which you can't auto attack for without taking damage. Use Bouncing Blades to get creeps which are too far behind that you'd take too much damage to get. 100% use Bouncing Blades on the siege as it gives the most gold. to farm creep at tower, let the tower hit the melee minions 2x, then basic them, use abilities to farm them if the second shot will kill it. To farm casters, let tower hit once, and auto and use sinister steel / Shunpo. sinister steel will also lower the other casters making them also easier to farm. The buff on her auto attack completing quicker makes it far easier to cs on her now, so take advantage of it.
Bread and butter combo
Harass combo when enemy laner has either cooldowns, or generally hasn't got an answer:
Bouncing Blades , Shunpo sinister steel auto attack, walk away.
All in sure to kill combo: Bouncing Blades Shunpo sinister steel Death Lotus
Not bothering to go into other ones as they're common sense like throwing a Bouncing Blades and using sinister steel to pop the proc, and whatnot.
The enemy team composition is important. If they have the following champions, I highly advise against Katarina unless you main, and play her enough that the champions don't mean much.
champions who will seriously shut you down: Warwick Kassadin Malphite Riven Wukong Blitzcrank Annie Malzahar Why Blitz? Because he can save his R just for your ultimate, and having 3 forms of cc to stop your Death Lotus is a heartbreaker. Thresh isn't much of a problem as him saving his E means your team has less worry, and him saving a hook means he's useless.
champions which are difficult to deal with: LeBlanc Malzahar Fizz Annie Yasuo You will need to make sure to capitalise on their mistakes or beg for jungle ganks.
Overall, Katarina has hardly any favorable matchups, and you need to be able to use her tools to overcome them. Roaming can help you in a losing match up, and getting another lane fed, whilst also helping yourself is nice. Katarina can farm in a very safe manner, and can harass at the same time, so use that to your advantage.
She is a high risk high reward assassin however, unlike most assassins who focus on single target burst, she can do single target burst quite well thanks to Death Lotus but also has a very strong team fight.