Katarina Build Guide by Apolloanubis
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.
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.
This guide is finished, but I'm nooby with the coding and stuff on this so there may be mistakes
Thanks, and enjoy! ;)
Driven by an intense killer instinct, Katarina uses her talents as an assassin for the glory of Noxus, and the continued elevation of her family. While her fervor drives her to ever-greater feats, it can sometimes lead her astray.
From childhood, Katarina displayed a natural gift for combat. As the daughter of a prominent Noxian general many paths were open to her, but she rejected them all for the path of the blade. Rigorously trained by the finest assassins in Noxus, her father the best among them, it was not long before Katarina demanded her first assignment. The task they gave her was aggravatingly simple: assassinate a low-ranking Demacian officer. As she set to her work infiltrating the enemy camp, Katarina discovered an opportunity too tantalizing to pass by – the arrival of a Demacian General. Stalking him to his tent, she quietly dispatched his guards and slit his throat. Pleased with her impressive kill, she disappeared into the night. Katarina’s elation faded the next day when her original objective, the Demacian officer, led his forces to ambush unprepared Noxian soldiers. Though the Noxians fought valiantly, they suffered heavy casualties. Furious at her mistake, Katarina set off to complete her original task. Returning to the camp, she spied her now heavily guarded target and realized a stealthy kill was no longer possible. Drawing her blades, Katarina swore the officer would die, no matter the cost. She leapt into battle, unleashing a whirlwind of steel. One by one blades flashed and guards fell, each strike bringing her one step closer to the officer. A final thrown dagger restored her honor. Bloody and bruised, Katarina barely escaped the Demacian forces, and returned to Noxus a changed woman. The scar she earned that night now serves as a constant reminder that she must never let passion interfere with duty.
"Never question my loyalty. You will never know what I endure for it."
Easy to play at a basic level
high lategame damage
Insane burst combo
Q - Bouncing Blades Katarina throws a dagger that bounces quickly from enemy to enemy, dealing 60 / 85 / 110 / 135 / 160 (+0.45 per ability power) and marking them. Each subsequent hit deals 10% less damage. Bouncing Blades hits a total of 5 unique targets (4 bounces total), striking the nearest target to their last.
Striking a marked target with an ability or basic attack will consume the mark to deal 15 / 30 / 45 / 60 / 75 (+0.15 per ability power) damage.
W - Sinister Steel Katarina whirls her daggers around her, dealing 40 / 75 / 110 / 145 / 180 (+0.25 per ability power) (+0.6 per bonus attack damage) damage to all enemies in the area. If she hits an enemy champion, Katarina gains Movement Speed for a short duration.
E - Shunpo Katarina instantly moves to her target's location and takes 15% reduced damage from enemies for 1.5 seconds. If the target is an enemy, she deals 60 / 85 / 110 / 135 / 160 (+0.4 per ability power)damage.
R - Death Lotus Katarina becomes a flurry of blades, channeling for 2.5 seconds throw up to 30 blades to nearby enemy champions. Katarina throws up to 10 blades at 0.2 second intervals, dealing 0 / 50 / 60 (+0.2 per ability power (+0.3 per bonus attack damage))damage and applying Grievous Wounds to the closest 3 enemy champions. Grievous Wounds lasts for 3 seconds and reduces incoming healing by 50%. An enemy champion can be hit by a maximum of 10 daggers over the 2.5 seconds for a total of 400 / 575 / 750 (+2.5 per ability power) (+3.75 per bonus attack damage).
Early farming is simple: basic attack on low hp minions. If you are being outlaned, hang back and grab farm by spamming Bouncing Blades on low hp minions. If not, basic attacks and Sinister Steel can help you gain an absurd amount of farm. By lategame, a Bouncing Blades into Sinister Steel is usually enough to farm a wave.
There isn't much Kat can do other than burst people down, so bursting is exactly what you should be doing. The standard Kat combo is: Bouncing Blades into Sinister Steel or Shunpo into Shunpo or Sinister Steel into Death Lotus. Not much else can be said other than carry wards until you have full build. Kat can Shunpo to wards, so they can be a lifesaver when you are ganked or caught out of position.
Skill sequences are mostly personal preference but the one in this guide is the standard one that I use all the time. Obviously I can't tell you what to do but that build is the one I recommend, as it is good for clearing waves and generally provides the most burst. Against a melee opponent and/or a counter, maxing Bouncing Blades isn't the worst thing in the world to do. Maxing Shunpo last is generally a staple on Katarina. This skill is a one-point wonder, and while it does do damage, the numbers are pitiful compared to her other skills.
These items are the ones that I feel are currently best on Katarina. However, there are some items, in certain situations, that are better. Again, these are the ones I feel are the best.
Sorcerer's Shoes- These are arguably the best boots on Katarina. The magic pen helps her damage more than you would think. Her ult gets a considerable buff early from this as well. If a game goes super late and you reach full build, you may want to consider selling these and buying something defensive like Guardian Angel or Zhonya's Hourglass
Rabadon's Deathcap- This item shouldn't need much explaining. Gives AP. AP good. Make other AP better. AP good. Generally any AP champion who goes mid buys this at one point, and Katarina is no exeption.
Rylai's Crystal Scepter- I love this on Katarina. It gives her a little bit of tank, so she can channel Death Lotus for longer if she is being focused (hint: she should be if she has or has used her ult). the slow is nice to chase stragglers, and it makes Liandry's Torment that much better.
Abyssal Scepter- This item has fantastic synergy with Death Lotus. The range on the debuff is about the same as the range on Death Lotus which means that if they get hit, they get hit that much harder. If they have a full AD team or you have a melee AD mid though, you shoul probably replace this item with Zhonya's Hourglass
Void Staff- This item has a pretty similar situation to Sorcerer's Shoes, but gets better with the AP. However, this item is good enough to keep all game, rather than selling it (unless you're in desperate need of a defensive cooldown).
Liandry's Torment- This item. Is good. In Season 2, people bought Haunting Guise early to begin with. Now, it transfers into lategame by having fantastic tank melting synergy with Death Lotus. If you have Rylai's Crystal Scepter the stupendous combo gets... stupendouser.
A Warmog's Armor can be purchased if you are falling behind or just being bursted too hard to be useful in teamfights, or if you decided to go top lane Katarina.
A Zhonya's Hourglass can be purchased to give free cooldown time, but generally isn't ideal as it interrupts her ultimate.
Ionian Boots of Lucidity are purchased for extra cooldown reduction, but aren't necessary due to her passive
Hextech Gunblade. In Season 2, this item was a must. Now, however, it is not only overshadowed by other items ( Liandry's Torment, I'm looking at you), but the ability power it gives is so low that a fully stacked Seeker's Armguard gives more AP.
Lich Bane. Probably the least useful of these items here, you will autoattack once, maybe twice during your full combo, making the passive subpar, and the mana is wasted on her.
Of course, you could buy a Mejai's Soulstealer, but the only situations where this would be useful are your imminent victories (or the odd proxy Singed).
Ranked shouldn't be much different from normals other than the fact that it usually isn't a good idea to go balls deep into a turret to get that 15 hp Ryze. The gist is to not get too greedy, but don't stay too passive.
I honestly have no idea why you would take Katarina jungle. If you're looking for an assassin jungle, bruisers like Xin Zhao or even bursters like Akali do better in the jungle than her.