Not Updated For Current Season
Katarina is easily my favorite champion in the game, and if she wasn't a joke to counter in ranked I would be writing a guide on that...nonetheless, if you are looking to reroll a smurf account, and want to get minimum 20+ to 1 K/D ratio each game, Katarina is by far the greatest carry.
Pros / Cons
-Not hard to learn
-Amazing mid/late game
-Shunpo (do I say more?)
-Weak early game (sort of)
-Ultimate is easily countered
Let's discuss some abilities...
Bouncing Blade (Q) -
Bouncing blade is a great harass spell early game, and is an amazing farming spell mid/late. I usually only get 2 points pre level 11, due to the damage shunpo can do early game. If you notice a champion next to a minion, you can use this on the minion and it will bounce to the champion (depending on how many other minions are in the vicinity).
Killer Instincts (W) -
This is a great spell, yet why don't I max it til the end? I feel that the abilities it gives are only necessary end-game. If you use it with the healing debuff is enough at rank 1 to do it justice, and the damage mitigation when used with should suffice until late game.
Shunpo (E) -
My favorite spell in the game, use as a teleport for burst damage or as an escape mechanic. It has many uses and I will go into more detail later in the guide.
Death Lotus (R) -
Katarina goes into a state of extreme focus, throwing 10 daggers over 3 seconds at the closest 3 enemy champions. Each dagger deals 50/65/80 (0.25 + ) magic damage.
Voracity (Passive) -
After a kill or assist, Katarina gains 25 gold and her cooldowns are reduced by 15 seconds...it might not seem as useful early game, but trust me, this is so powerful to the extent of using three Death Lotus within a 10 second fight...
-The reason I max out shunpo first is because it will be your main damaging attack, and I will go in-depth with this pro ability later on. It is a nuke, the rotation usually being W-E-Q-E, activating (W) as much as possible for bonus effects (depending on your situation).
-Using killer instincts with bouncing blades is a great tool when an opponent is using a potion or healing in some way. I use (W) whenever it is available.
-Death lotus is pretty straight forward, yet there are some tricks you can use to get the last couple blade ticks for a kill. If you are dominating the jungle and map, as you should be with this guide, you can use flash to seemingly jump IN FRONT of your opponent, followed by death lotus. This will force them to continue on their path while you get blade ticks the entire way, instead of just using shunpo to teleport to them and activating death lotus behind them. This is very effective mid game, where shunpo might not be at a low cooldown yet and you can use it after they pass for a killing blow if needed. Death lotus will also continue if an enemy enters a bush, so don't move your champion to cancel the effect until you know they have passed taking damage.
This is easily THE BEST SPELL IN THE GAME (in my honest opinion). It is at least the most versatile, being that it is your main nuke, as well as your top escape. It has many tricks up its sleeve as well, and can really piss off the enemy.
Shunpo Tricks -
Ward and thwart: I always wondered if this trick would actually be viable in a game, and it really is. If you start to get ganked, and you have no minions or friendly champions to shunpo out of the fray, you can drop a ward in the direction you are traveling and shunpo to it. Of course this trick is very situational, yet I have used it to escape death on a few occasions.
Reverse Juke: This is my favorite shunpo trick; if you are being chased by multiple enemies, they most likely have their path set on chasing towards the direction you are currently running. Target the enemy in the back (best when first entering a bush so they don't see you executing the maneuver until it's over) and shunpo behind the line of enemies. It works great, the enemy usually won't notice it until it's too late, as I will demonstrate below.
Hot on the chase: Shunpo is my favorite chase ability in the game. Not only can you use it on enemies to catch up to them, but you can use it on minions too. Below I demonstrate how to use shunpo on minions to catch up to an enemy, due to them being far enough to where I can't catch them normally.
SHUNPO WILL SAVE YOU AND GET YOU FREE KILLS THAT YOU DIDN'T DESERVE! Yes, I really mean this. with shunpo gives you so much damage mitigation late game that you can even comeback from a devastating loss, using all the tricks in the book as I did below.
Masteries and you.
Neutral monster buffs...blue and red past pokemon
Yes, the neutral monster buffs are amazing for Katarina, and blue is crucial for my playstyle. At the start of the game, unless there is a jungler (which there rarely is until around level 20) I will inform my team of saving blue for me past level 11.
Oh how I hate when players say this to me in game. If you are using Crest of the Ancient Golem solely because of infinite mana, you are using it improperly. The reason this buff is so crucial is the CDR. As Katarina, when I grab this buff at level 11, I have shunpo on an almost instant cooldown. I can continuously chase and spam shunpo as much as I want, and use (W) almost everytime as well for the damage mitigation.
- Flash is an obvious first choice. Any way that helps you get in/get out of the fray will help you in the long run. I usually use flash for chasing rather than escaping, when shunpo is on CD or when I reed to ninja a wall. It is extremely necessary for this build.
The second summoner spell is up to you to pick, between ghost and exhaust.
Ghost - Many other Katarina guides fall short of emphasizing the actual bonus that ghost gives you. It is pro for chasing, running, or even just to save a turret. I use it all the time, mostly for chasing, yet sometimes when you shunpo out of a gank you need that extra boost of speed to survive. I almost always use ghost as my second spell.
Exhaust - This spell is also very nice for Katarina. Popping exhaust while leaping onto an enemy will almost guarantee you a kill with death lotus, seeing as they will receive every tick of your blade whirl.
Ignite - I have seen some use ignite, and it isn't a horrible idea, but I find it to be not as effective late game. If you believe in using it, be my guest.
Rally = You are not AD
Fortify - You are not support and are looking to carry your team to victory, not help defend turrets that won't need defending when you're in the match!
Heal - This is not necessary. If you are struggling to stay alive as Kat, buy some health pots.
Clarity - You don't use mana, silly!
Clairvoyance - Though a great support spell, it is not meant for you.
Revive - Let's pretend you're not looking at dying, ever. Also, you aren't a TF or Panth who can leap right back into a battle where this might be effective.
Teleport - If no one on your team is using this, it could come in very handy. It will get you back into a lane quick, yet the long CD and situational use tends to not be my thing, and I find myself not using it more than I should when I actually choose this spell.
Smite - We are not jungling as Katarina.
First off, this is not a "the only way to play Kat" section...this is just personally how I play, and I will describe my scenarios to the best of my ability.
I usually start off with and a health pot, yet if I am solo mid or top with an ashe, lux, someone I need to sprint quickly from with a larger range than my blades, I will choose boots and 3 health pots. I start off with Q, using it to last hit minions and maybe hit a champion if they get near. By level 4 I will have shunpo with killer instincts on deck for semi harassing, nuking shunpo on the enemy when I can get away easily. At level 6 I usually sprint in for a kill, assuming I have them low enough from harassment and they are pushing. If the time is right, I will sprint top/bot looking to snag a double kill with my ult now ready for pwning.
At this point I will have gone back to base, hit level 7 with a Mejais soulstone and some boots or another amplified tome...If you don't have gold for boots, which I usually do, take Mejai's over it. I will farm and gank as I can, being the leader of the jungle. AT level 10-11 I will grab a quick blue, and then its GG for ganking side lanes. Make sure your team knows you are getting ready to burst your ult when ganking, so they have time to stun and get some hits off while you toss blades for guaranteed kills. Mid game I am the ultimate harass and jungle leader. I control the jungle on both sides of the map, stealing red and blue before I go back to take our own. Follow the item build posted and you should be smooth sailing.
From here on it's pretty much up to your team to keep you alive while chasing around noobs. If the enemy gets smart and starts running around as a 5 man gank squad, you need to do the same with your team. I find myself usually initiating even when tanks are about, seeing as at low levels most people are afraid to initiate. At 20 stacks you will be legendary and unstoppable, initiating EVERY fight and basically carrying your team to victory. I am a neutral monster hog and a KSer, yes, it's true...but who minds when they win a free game with relative ease?
A final word
I did not write this guide as a professional LoL player, I wrote it for the masses of interested people who want to solo carry teams with my favorite champion in the game while leveling up a fresh account or any normal play.
Katarina is a beast, yet be careful when ulting...matched up against a smart player and the wrong champion, and they can interrupt your ult without you even noticing it.
If you fail early game, can't last hit minions, or are having trouble keeping up with the enemy's skill...no worries! Play the good ol' farm the jungle and wait for a team encounter trick. Sit in a bush and wait for an unsuspecting clothie to roam past for a quick kill. Katarina is a great champ to come back from a losing streak.
Teamwork is key for LoL, yet this build is designed for smurfing a new account and carrying teams solo. If you are a decent player, pretty good at some champions, and know the general goal of the map and game, then this guide will be perfect for you! If you are new to the game and are still learning the ropes, come back when you pracitce a bit and try out the build yourself. Thank you for reading!