Katarina Build Guide by LDrago123456
Not Updated For Current Season
Starting Item options
Not Updated For Current Season
Why.. Hello there! I am LDrago123456 A Katarina Main, and through experience and learning from professionals (Namely TiensiNoAkuma) I have created this guide for everyone! If your a beginner Katarina player, This guide should help you with your basic needs. For the people already playing Katarina and wish to get better, see my items, masteries, runes sections for more detail.
Why play Katarina? Pros and Cons
When do I play Katarina?
Well, here is my opinion, you can play her ANYTIME. As long as you are confident with your skills with her. If your confident with picking Katarina when you are first pick in Ranked, be my guest. Make sure you can beat your lane opponent though.
Also, you will probably need an AP Carry on your team, since majority of champions in the game are AD. Your top lamer is probably a top lamer or a non-damage pure tank. While your junglier is most likely a Lee Sin or something along those lines.
Or maybe your team lacks AoE damage and would lose in a team fight, Katarina easily fills that role.
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
Greater Seal of Scaling Health
Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power
Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed
These are my runes and I picked them up from the Worlds Best Katarina Player "TiensiNoAkuma". The Quints of Movementspeed are really the only quints you would need on Katarina because her kit is designed to hunt down targets, the MS benefits you greatly. 3 Ways that these would help you: Chasing, Escaping and Getting into Lane.
Magic Penetration Marks are important, as they allow you to hurt the enemy a lot more then flat AP. If you have flat AP with no Magic Penetration, how are you going to kill tanks? You need that Magic Pen.
Seals of Scaling Health are helpful for Katarina because it allows you to be more tanky come late game, so it helps you get more resets. The armor in the core items make up for not having armor runes, so it is fine.
Glyphs of Scaling Ability Power are in my opinion, better then Flat AP. Why? Because come late game and the ability power from scaling AP give you way more then flat ones. Plot over Justice (For all you Otakus out there, do you get that reference?).
These are my masteries and it's a standard for any AP assassin. Double-Edged Sword gives you more burst; the CDR is always good on Katarina because she's only restricted by CDR; AP is… well… you can guess why by now. Executioner is a staple for all assassins as it allows them to deal more damage to people who have less then 50% HP. All the Magic Pen and Armor Pen later on is a staple because it allows you to penetrate their defences. The Spell Sword is essential because it helps you last hit.
Q: Bouncing Blades
Damage per level: 60/85/110/135/160 (+45% of AP)
When to Max: By Level 9
Why: You max Q for various reasons. Reasons such as Farming, Poking and trading. In lane, Katarina's Ability to last hit is really poor and has to rely on her skills to help her. Because you have no mana, it is completely fine to use this to farm and poke all day everyday. The damage scales pretty well with level and can catch your enemy off guard if you throw it to a nearby minion and hit them with it.
Sinister Steel W: Sinister Steel
Damage per level: 40/80/120/160/200 (+25% AP)(0.6 Bonus AD)
When to Max: By Level 13
Why: This is your only way to pop your Mark from Bouncing Blades besides your Autoattacks. This is a major part of your burst and if you don't max it first, you will deal literally, no damage. You can use this to harass in lane by using Shunpo to a minion close to the enemy Champion, and quickly casting Q + W and backing off. The speed is really fast so your enemy will have a hard time countering it. Also, the bonus MS it gives increases, making ganks harder for the enemy and escaping harder as well.
Damage per level: 60/85/110/135/160 (+40% AP)
When to Max: By level 18
Why: This spell is mainly used for 1) Closing the gap 2) escaping. Because of this, it does nothing else and has an insanely long cool down compared to her other abilities (excluding the ultimate). The damage it deals is not that good, and the damage reduction doesn't scale with level.
R: Death Lotus
Damage per level: 400/575/750 (+250% of AP)(+3.75 Bonus AD)
When to Max: By Level 16
Why: This is your ultimate, the ultimate AoE Killer. Targets up to 3 enemy champions and does a **** TONNE of damage. I mean, look at that, 250% of your AP. If you have 100 AP, it will deal a bonus 250 AP. This is your way of getting instant resets and at max level, a triple kill will allow you to use it once again, making her a serious threat to the enemy. The bad thing though, is that zhonyas cancels your ultimate, so make sure you don't do that. Use this in the middle of a fight, because once one person dies, another target will be hit so you can get a pentakill. This is one of the main reasons people play katarina, her large AoE damage is so great, pentas are really easy to get with her. Don't be afraid to use this to deal extra damage, it has a really low cool down so there really is no consequence in using it.
These are the only two spells I would take on Katarina. Flash allows for Chase, Escape and instant repositioning, and ignite allows you to secure kills for more resets.
Items - Early Game
This is your early game core and this is what I think is best for Katarina in any situation. If you had to choose between AP or Magic Penetration, go for magic pen. So if you find yourself with 820~ gold, don't use it on Fiendish Codex, use it on Sorcerer's Shoes. Why? Because Magic Penetration helps you deal more damage then flat AP. But if you are really stubborn, get regular Boots of Speed and a Amplifying Tome, or just get a Fiendish Codex.
Let me explain why Fiendish Codex instead of items such as Blasting Wand. Items like Blasting Wand only give flat AP, and if your enemy has magic resist runes/masteries, it's not going to help. So if you get Cool Down Reduction, it will help you even more by allowing you to poke, trade and escape better. Katarina has no Resource bar and is only restricted to Cool Downs, therefore it is logical to make her stronger by allowing her to spam abilities more often.
Items - Mid Game
This is my purchase order for any mid laner. Only exception is when your against an AD mid like Pantheon or Talon, where you rush Zhonya's Hourglass.
Let me explain why I get Deathfire Grasp and Zhonya's Hourglass before Rabadon's Deathcap. DFG lets you deal more damage early-mid game and zhonyas allows you to survive certain death if need be, rabadons is only helpful once you get a decent amount of AP. Rabadons isn't that early to mid game, since you get no other stats from it, it doesn't help you lane or escape so I don't get it until the 20 minute mark.
Why does DFG deal more damage? The active is brilliant on a quick burster such as Katarina. Set the item to quick cast on a random key you find comfortable clicking on while allowing you to quickly press your abilities, for me it's the "x" key.
The Active on DFG makes you deal more damage to that enemy for 5~ seconds, your burst is around 3-4 seconds, thats enough time for you to kill them.
Now why do I get a Guardian Angel so early? Because without it, you might either 1) die too quickly without dealing damage 2) The enemy is crazy fed 3) you keep diving under turrets. Guardian Angel encourages a bit more reckless play with a little consequence, as long as you get a kill you can escape via Shunpo+ Stealth Ward. Also, the armour and magic resist never hurts.
Items - Late Game
These are my last item options and I like them well. They all either grant me: HP, Resistance, Magic Penetration or a Unique Passive. These should be your final touches to how you will carry the game. If you are really fed and confident that you can kill at least one person to get a reset, then go for more AP. But if you think that the enemy ADC is REALLY fed, maybe a Randuin's Omen is good. I can't help you much out here, it's up to what your team needs and what the enemy doesn't need.
Gameplay - Early Game
Early game you want to focus on farming rather then harassing the enemy. Your poke at level 1 is not the best and it only deals enough damage to secure minions. once you hit level 2 and get Shunpo, you can do a simple harass combo: Shunpo to a minion closer to the enemy champion + Bouncing Blades. This is great harass because you can potentially dodge skill shots and answer with a targeted ability. Once you unlock Sinister Steel, repeat the level 2 combo, but hit them with Sinister Steel and back off. The movement speed is brilliant because it allows you to poke + escape without retaliation.
Once you unlock your ultimate, wait for opportunities such as 1) your jungler is ganking or 2) the enemy wasted an ability and is on cool down. These windows are precious as it allows you to trade indefinitely. Your quick movements make it impossible for the enemy to deal the same damage to you because your burst is so quick.
MAKE SURE TO FARM. Plus, if your lucky you can take drag. Try to make the landing phase last as long as possible, i mean, let the minions kill it you don't want to be around so long where the jungled can gank you out of no where and you have no escape. Kill wolves or wraiths instead.
Gameplay - Mid Game
This phase of the game is brilliant for Katarina. you should have build your core by now and taken a few turrets, now it's time for you to roam and ward. Ward dragon, Ward river, heck ward their jungle. Thats why you have MS quints, your roaming power is incredibly strong. Your AoE is also great because small skirmishes are more likely to fall in your favour. your AP should be well into the hundreds so you can force team fights. Take Dragons and turrets if possible and push to win. If your lucky, you can go nor Baron. Remember FARMING IS STILL IMPORTANT.
Gameplay - Late Game
Here is when it is dangerous to be alone. Walk with your team or at least in pairs. Try to take baron or inhibs and win the game. Don't be stupid and take baron if you could have won the game, remember, objectives are more important. Ward baron just in case the enemy tries something stupid and take it. Your AoE damage should result in 1) killing whoever is tanking baron 2) get multikills 3) ace. Of course everything could go wrong but worse case scenario, they only have one person alive that can't do much. Good luck!
she is quite literally, all skill shots. Your shunpo is extremely annoying to her and she can't do anything to you. Make sure to time your shunpo correctly, as a misplacement can lead you to her charm. ;)
Her Harass is a lot weaker then your and has no damage reduction. She can't hide from your ultimate either. Plus, in order for her to deal maximum damage, she needs to way after one Q. You don't, so just go in and take her life. your AoE is the same size as her shroud, so you will hit her regardless. Your Q also bounces to her in the shroud, so basically you win the lane.
She can be kind of annoying because her ultimate is "on-the-spot" and her E is a targeted ability. But you can jump her wall which makes it useless and her harass is SUPER easy to dodge.
Her harass is all a target or AoE. Her level 6 is stronger then you because Tibbers… just hurts… Wait for her to blow her stun and then go in. Make sure you don't feed her, she can and will carry her team. Anticipate her stun, and time your Shunpo, she might miss.
He has a guarantee stun with EQ and his W will hurt a tonne if you get caught out. Although he is all skill shots besides his E and R, it is extremely painful to bear with his whole burst. you can dodge his stuff with Shunpo but pray to god he doesn't get a lucky stun off of you.
Much like Brand, you need to dodge a lot of stuff and avoid her stun. Her damage is really annoying if you get caught in her poison so try your best to run out of the way. *wink wink* MS quints. Like Annie, time your shunpo and anticipate her ult, she might miss.
She can disrupt your ultimate and block your harass, but her burst doesn't hurt as much as yours. Plus, she can't always block your harass because she will eventually run out of mana. When your engaging, try to wait for her pull so you don't get interrupted, then ult. You can shunpo away from her Q but make sure you don't get ganked doing so.
Pretty rare nowadays, but you might see her from time to time. She has a stun that is a skill shot, so you can shunpo it. BUT, if she didn't use it yet, Hit her with W and walk a little to the sides so she misses it, then use your ult, it would suck for you to get interrupted.
Remember, use your ult freely to hurt her, she will eventually have to keep dodging but with nothing to fight back with. You can bait her Rappel and just wait for her to come back down, then ult. It's all patience.
A MAJOR PAIN IN THE ***. He has a silence, A fear, a health regen, and a flash in Ult to catch you off guard. Farm with Q often and try to make him run out of mana. Always know you will never get a full ult off, much less half of it, so wither him low enough to kill him with QEW.
Harass him hard early, you will out damage him. Dodge his Ultimate with Shunpo and trade back. If he does land his ultimate, Ward and shunpo away to get out of range of his WQE combo. he can and will dodge your ultimate, but not to worry, you don't' have mana while he drains his.
you can dodge almost everything and you can take cleanse if you want in this match up. remember, ult after he ults, your ult does not count as attacking him when he ults. It will be interrupted. he most likely won't me maxing his shield first or second, so your harass will still hit him.
It is really annoying to face this guy, his passive pretty much nullifies your harass and trade early game, and you can't hit him without having 3 turrets hitting you. Wait for ganks, and wait for him to miss his stun. Don't let his missiles hit you as they will really hurt. He will most likely build tanky, and make sure you don't let him do that.
Match Ups K-R
You can dodge her spells except her snare, you also out damage her. Her shield will nullify your harass, but not your burst. She has nothing to stop you from ulting and her escape is limited.
Thanks to his nerfs, he is a lot easier to deal with. he can't silence you anymore and only stops your ultimate, he will rarely do that though, he needs his shield to stop your poke. Make him run out of mana, since he can't counter you anymore, when he ults, shunpo behind him and attack, he missed a spell and can't really retaliate anymore. if he pokes you with Q, just go in and ult, his Q doesn't have the cool down to stop you.
Difficulty: Battle of Skills
If both of you read this guide, it's now a matter of reaction time and understanding of mechanics. Good luck facing your mirror!
You should have banned her in champion select, but for whatever reason if you didn't heres the advice. She will harass you heavily, so farm with Q. Bait her ult with your standard combo QEW, then answer with your own ult. Thats it.
Kind of rare now, but if you do see him, remember, he will always be able to stop your ult, so try to harass him tonnes before fully engaging. Dodge his Q with shunpo if you must, but you can usually just walk out of it.
If you let him farm or get fed, he can out damage you, but thanks to turrets being a friendly, him diving you is really weak, since your Shunpo makes you take reduced damage. you hit him in his ult like Akali so theres really no threat to you.
Should have been banned, but whatever here. She is a pain to deal with, unless you dodge her QW combo with Shunpo. once she hits 6 though, she will 100% silence you regardless and her burst is more instant then yours. It also disables you to retaliate, so poke with caution.
Pretty rare to see, but her only means of stopping your ult is post-6. So if you hit 6 before her, engage. But after 6, bait her ult, then ult.
Stops your ult way too many times and her harass hurts more. You will be doing a lot of Shunpo-ing and waiting. Really hard lane to win and you might have to win the lane from gaining bot or top. ask your jungler to bank often.
You can dodge pretty much everything she has and answer with your own damage. Just don't get snared, as you will probably die.
He will stop you dead in your tracks and probably kill you. You can dodge everything but his ult, but it will stop yours as well. Beware, you can't escape him without quicksilver sash or cleanse.
His shield isn't strong enough later on in the game to nullify your damage, but early game it is. His damage is good and has a shield to reduce damage at the same time kill you. His ult is annoying as it makes your tower die faster if he does get your soul.
This is why you get zhonyas, you can completely escape her ultimate, she has no way of stopping you from ulting and her snare is a skill shot, her soil is messed up but doesn't hurt all that much come mid game.
She is all about her spears and cougar form, your ult stops her from healing the full amount. and her cougar form is forcing her to be in melee range.
Her ult is greatly annoying but the chances of her stopping you is low. She will most likely send her ball away before ulting, so just shunpo TO HER, then ult. you can dodge all her skills with shunpo and her shield is pretty weak and can't stop your harass.
His early game is ridiculously strong. His scalings are ridiculously strong. He has a 10 second Cool Down stun. This guy is hell in human. Farm with Q at all times (maybe with W as well) and don't trade too much, your Q is relatively the same range as his W.
Shunpo before he snares you, he can't escape your ultimate much less stop it. He uses mana heavily so make him pay for it.
Match Ups S-Z
Difficulty: 5/10 his ult makes him sustain your ult somewhat but not enough after you purchase DFG. You can dodge his snare with your Shunpo.
Her burst is technically stronger then yours, but only if given time. Your burst is quicker and
all you have to do is wait for her to use Force of Will before you ult. you can dodge pretty much everything else with Shunpo.
his burst is stronger then your and has a silence. You will have trouble laneing against him big time. wait for him to "attempt" to harass you with his W, then go in, because his main damage source is his W. Ask for ganks often and try to mooch off other lanes.
he has a guarantee stun, but his damage is not as high. Your burst will kill him before he kills you. Remember to wait out his gold card so your ult isn't interrupted. Warn your team when he hits 6. Dodge his Q with Shunpo.
his stun is really hard to land on you because of your shunpo. but that doesn't mean he can't outright kill you. His ult will hurt A LOT since your building AP as well. If your running from him, try to ward hop first, because his W will most likely just stun you if you run.
I've played against him twice, he is not hard to beat, you dodge everything he has with Shunpo and hurt way more.
Shunpo pretty much everything, try not to ult in his field. Hard to predict his laser, be ready for anything.
His troll pool counters you hard, and he can sustain your poke, don't expect to win this lane unless that vlad is horrible.
Dodge everything he has, only problem is you can't run from him, his ult has a really long radius.
He can block all your daggers with Wind Wall but it has a long cool down, so you can combo him right after your Q W E come off cd. his shield is not strong enough to block your harass until late game. Anticipate his Q, so you can shunpo behind it and avoid a lot of damage.
His ult avoids all of your damage, but your E reduces his damage. Thats the only trade off. Your burst is quicker but make sure you have enough HP to duel him, as his passive will hurt you tonnes.
Dodge his Q and E and you will be fine. His W is kind of easy to avoid, and you can use it against him. After you W, follow him and make sure he blows you along with him, so after you land, you use Death Lotus and kill him.
The only thing that can hit you for certain and stop your ultimate is her ultimate. Dodge all her skills using shunpo and avoid fighting her with plants on the field.