Katarina Build Guide by Kurodean
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.
Welcome to the Deadly Lotus
Heya everyone, Kuro here and I will be posting my first guide to a deadly Katarina. In order to make this work you have to be able to read your opponent well and know when and when not to advance. Always assess the enemy before jumping right into a fight and getting yourself slain.
This build is highly helped with the aid of brush to get that nice jump onto your enemies. Surprise is key to winning many battles. It's not always the stronger one that wins. Sometimes you have to use your wits to get the upper-hand on your opponent(s).
(Constructive criticism is gladly welcomed and enthused.)
Acronyms and Abbreviations
AP = Ability Power
AD = Attack Damage
CC = Crowd Control
CD = Cool Down(s)
CDR = Cool Down Reduction
Dmg = Damage
DoT = Damage Over Time
HP = Health Points/Hit Points
Mag Pen = Magic Penetration
MR = Magic Resist
RDC = Rabadon's Death Cap
Ult = Ultimate Skill (R)
Pros and Cons
As everyone knows, Katarina isn't one of the tankiest types by any means. Therefore, you need to give a little helping hand from your runes and masteries pages.
•Great early game survivability
•High late game dmg
•Easy to learn champion
•Surprise attacks to gain the upper hand on your opponent
•Kat has no form of energy consumption for skills (Mana/Energy/Rage)
•Very low CDs
•High gank capabilities
•Massive dmg in team fights
•Stuns and silences will end your dmg
•If using Death Lotus your ulti will be ended and the CD will commence
•Dmg is moderate til you gain your ulti
•Focused easily if you are not careful
Shunpo is Legendary
Shunpo can be used as either an offensive of a defensive skill. If things get really bad you can use it as a means of escaping the fray. It offers high dmg if you have built AP as well as being a handy way of getting out of a sticky situation.
Shunpo can be used on enemy as well as friendly targets. If you need to catch an enemy it can close the gap so you can dish out some much needed dmg. As well as the opposite; if you are being chased and the enemy is close to being within range to deal you a deadly dose of dmg, you can use this to escape by using it on a minion or an allied player or even wards to make for a quick escape.
I have included a second set of items for Dominion game-play. The Force of Nature and Thorn Mail are not supposed to be worn together. They are interchangeable depending on your opposition. Of course if they are primarily AP you will use the Force of Nature and if they are heavy in AD you should go with the Thorn Mail.
No Gunblade? No Gunblade, and here is why...
There isn't enough minions to leech hp from and the fights don't last nearly long enough to take a considerable amount of hp from anyone. This being a factor, the cost of a gunblade over-extends its use. You are much better off going with another RDC in place of the Gunblade. Dominion is all about doing more dmg then your opposition and holding points. It is very often you will find yourself defending a point by yourself so being able to extinguish your enemy quicker then they can do the same to you is key.
Speed 3s? Yes
Getting from point A to B is very important. You must hold multiple points and getting from place to place is achieved greatly with speed 3 boots. Yea, speed 5s are better, but that only occurs outside of combat. And the effect does not kick in until you are outside of combat for a minimum of 5 seconds. Within the 5 seconds you run at speed 2 rank, you could be over half way there with speed 3 boots. 5 Seconds is a long time in Dominion.
Shunpo will be your main staple for dmg until you unlock your Death Lotus. Since there is a lot of fighting going on you should have no problem keeping your Death Lotus on CD.
Max out Shunpo first, then immeditely start working on your Bouncing Blades for max dmg output as soon as possible. Of course working on Lotus any time you are allowed to place a point into it.
Death Lotus for the Masses
Death Lotus will be your mainstay for dmg in team fights. This can devastate most of an enemy team.
The most effective way of placing yourself in an effective position for a Death Lotus Surprise Special is knowing your terrain. If the fight is near the brush, use that to your advantage to get into the middle of the fight. Try to get as many opponents in the wake of your ult as possible.
To get as much of that dmg as possible into the fight before you are focused is to start out with Killer Instincts or if you can get in a cheap shot with it use Bouncing Blade followed by the combo stated before.
Why These Items You Say?
Lets face the facts here. We all know every AP user loves their Spell Vamp and Mag Pen. Neither of which Kat has built within her so we must assist her in obtaining what we want. Hextech Gunblade can keep you alive, but you need enough dmg to leech off your opponent(s).
Gunblade offers both of the things you will need for farming as well as fights. AD/AP, life steal as well as spell vamp, and the added in slow from the active of the Hextech Gunblade helps for catching enemies that are retreating.
Sorcerer's Shoes, movement 2 as well as some flat mag pen, not much else to say on this item.
[If you need more defensive capabilities, as stated in the next chapter, you can replace the use of Sorcerer's Shoes with Ninja Tabi to gain a little more dodge. Coupling them with dodge runes can take quite a load off of the dmg you take in early game fights.]
Void staff, you get a flat 70 AP and 40% of your spell dmg will ignore their MR.
Rabadon's Deathcap, Mass amounts of AP, not really much other use. But really handy for raising your AP.
The last two slots the items can be replaced. If you don't want more dmg you can go for a Rylai's Crystal Scepter, a Zhonya's Hourglass, Abyssal Scepter, Banshee's Veil... Anything needed really. It depends on the situation and what you are up against.
Runes to Keep your Sanity
Mag Pen runes will help you deal a considerable amount more dmg at the start of a match. Coupled with the flat AP Quintessences, to raise your early game dmg also, can prove to be quite deadly to enemy champions.
CDR glyphs, the more you can spam those skills, the more dmg that can be put out there for lane pushing or early game farming.
Armor Seals, these are usually the most questioned but you could also check out the use of dodge runes instead. The masteries page is versed at both defense and dodge so either choice is not a bad combination.
Masteries, Why so Defensive?
Kat is quite squishy, both early game and late game. This build is mainly comprised of the early game focus. If you are doing really good early game, there is no reason you shouldn't be doing great late game.
4 Points into Mental Force - More AP = More dmg.
These numbers are small but it helps, again as stated before, for early game dmg to help you get started dealing out some much needed dmg for farming and dealing deadly blows to enemy champions.
4 Points into Sorcery - CDR, again as stated before in the runes section, lower CDs mean more dmg you can dish out.
1 Point into Archane Knowledge - We all wish we could put more points into this one. Am I right? But yes, more mag pen, more dmg. This one is not just early game either. This stacks with Void Staff to deal out more magical dmg later into mid-late game as well as assisting with your early game farming.
Now to the reasons behind the defensive Kat mastery build.
3 Points into Hardiness - Defense will help your early game survivability. This coupled with the flat armor runes can help with how squishy Kat is during the Laning Phase.
1 Point into Resistance - Mag Res for the same reasons as the points into Hardiness, a little more sustainability in your lane.
4 Points into Durability - This will give you health per level. The more of this you have, the harder it will be for your enemy to shoo you off.
1 point into Veteran's Scars - You gain 30 more hp from this mastery. Early game, coupled with the high defensive capabilities it can make you considerably more durable early game.
3 Points into Evasion - There are a ton of champions with area effect abilities, this will reduce the dmg you take from such abilities by 3%.
3 Points into Enlightenment - CDR per level (If you have read this far you already know what this is for)
1 Point into Initiator - A little extra speed while you are above 70% hp. This can get you back to your lane faster or get to those team fights.
3 Points into Mercenary - Coupled with her passive you should have no troubles getting gold for assists or kills.
1 Point into Honor Guard - Again, you take less damage so you can sustain for much longer.
1 Point into Juggernaut - 3% added onto your maximum health as well as reducing the duration of disables by 10%. Just a little Tenacity for you in form of stuns and snares.
Burn with Ignite, Escape with Flash
Summoner spells are usually a preference per player. Ignite can help with the lower early game dmg you produce. It is very helpful for getting those early game champion kills to get your items. Late game it can score those kills on champions that are trying to run away with very little HP if your gunblade active and your Shunpo are both on CD.
Flash, everyone loves flash, and with good reason. It can help you catch and enemy, conjointly it can help you escape, what could be, impending death. Flash, coupled with Shunpo, can help you close the gap on enemy champions to score those much needed kills.
What is this blue aura?
Blue buff... Yes you may not use mana, but blue buff also has that lovely effect of CDR. But because of how this buff reacts with your death, you cannot act rashly and rush at enemies hastily. If you die your opponent (If enemy champion) will gain this buff and give them the advantage instead. Be careful and read your opponent well before engaging them.
Lay Waste to them ALL
Thank you for taking the time to review this guide. I hope you can take use in the information I have included. Again, constructive criticism is much welcome and I will take it all into account. Testing, trial and error, learning... It all helps. Feel free to rate and comment.
Now go, go forth and slay your enemies.