Katarina Build Guide by PLShadoV
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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.
Katarina AP vs AD
Although AD is viable for the larger bonus damage ratio on your Bouncing Blade and ulti, Shunpo in my opinion is a much worthier ability to improve. Also, think of this: With a full build for Kat, AP vs AD, you can get around double the amount of AP than AD for a similar gold cost.
Here's the math to that. I took my build, total gold cost around 17000 (everything minus the pots), which, including masteries, runes, and blue pot, puts you at about 675 AP.
Then I took a full on AD build for Kat, courtesy of HeAt (Katarina - Attack Damage Style). Since stacking items are not very reliable, I replaced his Sword of the Occult with a more stable item, another Bloodthirster. Not including pots, the total gold cost is around 17200. Without the masteries, around 400 bonus AD is gained with full Bloodthirster bonus AD (max 40 per Bloodthirster). This is, keeping in mind, you can keep ALL of those stacks up.
That's almost double the amount of AP than AD for slightly less gold, and the AP:AD bonus damage ratio for both Bouncing Blade and her ulti is 1:2 (double the amount of bonus damage from total AD than from total AP) (exception for Bouncing Blades, AD adds slightly more than double AP: 0.35:0.8) (+0.35 of total AP and +0.8 of total AD for Bouncing Blade and +0.25 of total AP and +0.5 of total AD for Death Lotus). This means that in the same amount of time, since one unit of AP is cheaper than one unit of AD, you will get around the same bonus damage add-on with both your Bouncing Blade and ulti. So, although people think AD will make your Bouncing Blade and ulti more powerful than AP, in essence, you are gaining the same amount of bonus damage, only difference being your standard attack and only a little less damage on your Bouncing Blades. Think about it: with 700 AP it would deal +245 damage, with 400 AD +320. That means you are ditching Shunpo's nuking ability for around 75 more damage on the INITIAL hit of the Bouncing Blade, which has a higher cooldown than Shunpo and less range. Cmon. Also, keep in mind, that those AD values are based on stacking items that you have to keep up and lose upon death, whereas the AP items grant you what they say they do from the start, and don't reset upon death; if you were to get, say, a Mejai's Soulstealer, the numbers would be even more extreme.
Which leaves Shunpo . If you are building Kat AD, you are not adding any damage to your Shunpo. And, as explained above, you get around the same bonus damage on your Q and ulti in the same time frame with both AD and AP. So, why leave Shunpo all alone? Below you will find a whole section on Shunpo, one of my favorite abilites in League of Legends.
And in case you are curious as to why I am not talking about Kat's W, Killer Instincts, in this section, it is because AP and AD both have no effect on it. It only adds a base benefit, which will be described later.
Hey guys! I decided, since some people were challenging me, that I would show you the actual numbers that I obtained when calculating everything Katarina. What follows proves mathematically why AP > Hybrid > AD.
With my build, factoring in runes and masteries, but not including blue elixir which you should always be picking up as well as magic pen/resist,
the initial hit on your Q does: 482.5 damage.
Each Shunpo does: 742.5.
Each ultimate dagger does: 277.5 damage, meaning 2775 maximum per target up to three targets.
This is not using a Mejai's, with Mejai's the results would even be more extreme.
Now, taking the aforementioned AD build with around 400 AD, considering you ALWAYS keep up ALL Bloodthirster stacks, you would get:
Q: 520 damage on initial hit.
Shunpo: No added damage, so 240 on that...COMPLETELY neglecting your low cooldown long range NUKE.
R: 280 per dagger, 2800 per target up to 3 targets.
That is SLIGHTLY more damage on your Q and R, but not utilizing your, imo, MOST DEVASTATING AMAZING SPELL IN THE WORLD...
And hybrid is lower damage on ALL spells, the only reason it is more viable than AD is because it doesn't totally neglect Shunpo.
I did calculations to prove this as well, and here is just one of many:
With 2 gunblades, deathcap, void staff, boots, and Guardian Angel:
120 AD, 507.28 AP
Q = 473.55
E = 620.46
R = 266.82 per dagger, 2668.2 max per target.
You could of course replace the GA (not a great item for Kat) with a nice defensive item that provides good AP too, such as Zhonya's Hourglass, but then you have a build similar to mine, with slightly less AP and a little more AD, but completely neglecting a Rylai's which you NEED for the HP and slow with Kat.
No arguments, AP is the most viable and damaging way to play Kat, the other ways are just worse.
If you have a build you think can prove me wrong, message me it and I will be glad to prove YOU wrong :)
And if somehow it is better than my build with all abilities and survivability, I will be glad to make changes accordingly :)