get
prime

Katarina Build Guide by PriestRSC

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.


17K
Views
16
Comments
7
Votes
League of Legends Build Guide Author PriestRSC

Katarina-THE Mage Assassin

PriestRSC Last updated on November 30, 2012
Like Build on Facebook Tweet This Build Share This Build on Reddit

Ability Sequence

1
4
5
7
9
Ability Key Q
2
8
10
12
13
Ability Key W
3
14
15
17
18
Ability Key E
6
11
16
Ability Key R





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.



Masteries

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sunder
4/
Archmage
 
 
 
 
 
 
1/
Executioner
 
 

Offense: 21

 
 
 
 
 
4/
Durability
Vigor
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Honor Guard
Mercenary
 
 
 
 
 
 
Juggernaut
 
 

Defense: 9

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Strength of Spirit
Intelligence
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Mastermind
 

Utility: 0


Guide Top

Introduction


Hello everyone! I am Priest and am here to show you how I play Katarina! So let's just simply jump into it!

Sinister Steel

The Story

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.''
-- Katarina

Katarina

Katarina is an AP 'assassin' based champion who recently was reworked and gained a lot of popularity. By being an assassin it is her job to quickly kill who ever the biggest threat on the team is and then proceed to kill others. She also fufills a unique role because of her ability to roam. A stationary Katarina is a bad Katarina. It is your job to roam up and down the lanes and get as many kills as possible to snow ball you into mid/late game. Katarina is the perfect champion to fufill this role. Her kit is perfectly set up to do the assassin job like no other champion. The biggest issue with her is the general playerbase's lack of knowledge in relation to Katarina. I am here to try and remedy that. So, without further adieu! let us begin.


Guide Top

Guide Structure

I feel that it is important to add here that the first few chapters give a very brief overview on Katarina and her abilities. I highly suggest reading the first few chapters to get a good overview and then reading the more 'in-depth' stuff.


Guide Top

Pros / Cons


Katarina, as stated above, has many pros and cons. This makes her a very high risk and high reward champion. Making the best out of her pros and the best out of her cons is what will make you a good Katarina player.


Pros:
Very high mobility
Insane potential burst
Strong Team Fight Presence
Excellent Dragon/Baron Control
Easy Farming (Mid/Late Game)
Unstoppable Mid-Game
Snowballs Easy
Easy to play
Mana-Less
Very Fun



Cons:
Countered by any form of hard CC
Countered very easy in lane
Incredibally farm dependant
Falls off super late game
Easily gankable without Shunpo
Hard to master
Very difficult farming early game
Melee auto attack champion


TL:DR? The long and short of it is: Katarina starts out very weak, gets progressively stronger as the game goes on and finally falls off at the end. Her potential damage is RIDICULOUS but, as stated, it's only potential. Any form of hard CC such as silences, stuns and etc. can turn her damage from ridiculous to all right. So, the main question becomes: How do you reduce the effects of the cons and further the effects of your pros? That is exactly what my aim to do in this guide is.


Guide Top

Katarina's Toolkit (Overview)

sinister steel

So now let us take a look at Katarina's kit. This is split into two sections. I feel it is necesarry to discuss the abilities entirely before giving tips and tricks on how to use each individual skill.



Voracity: Champion kills or assists reduce Katarina's cooldowns by 15 seconds.

Explanation: Due to contrary belief, this is what makes Katarina borderline over powered. NOT her ultimate. If you can successfuly get a reset and use it properly, you will quickly see yourself becoming an excellent Katarina player.

___________________________________________________________________________________________


Bouncing Blades:Katarina throws a dagger that bounces from enemy to enemy, dealing magic damage and marking them. Her next spell or basic attack against a marked target will consume the mark and deal additional magic damage.
Throws a dagger dealing 60/90/120/150/180 (+0.45) magic damage. The dagger bounces to the 4 closest enemies dealing 10% less damage with each bounce.

Enemies hit are marked for 4 seconds. Katarina's basic attacks or spells will consume the mark dealing 15/30/45/60/75 (+0.15) additional magic damage.

Explanation: This is your bread and butter harrassment ability. And, oddly enough, it is also your bread and butter BURST ability in lane. The 'explosion' so to say is where quite a large amount of your burst comes from in lane. Use this ability to harass that pesky Ryze. Use it to start an effective burst on Lux. Just make sure you are aware this is your CORE ability.

___________________________________________________________________________________________

Sinister Steel

Sinister Steel:Katarina whirls her daggers around her, dealing magic damage to all enemies in the area. If she hits an enemy Champion, Katarina gains a burst of speed for a short duration.
Whirls daggers in a circle dealing 40/75/110/145/180 (+0.6) (+0.25) magic damage. If she hits an enemy Champion, Katarina gains 12/20/28/36/44% movement speed for 1 second.

Explanation: This, with conjunction of Bouncing Blades is what makes Katarina an excellent farmer. This is your 'sustained' damage ability. It has the lowest CD of your four abilities. This ability is also great for an escape. Using Sinister Steel's movement speed boost against someone like Lee Sin could be the difference of you living or dying.
___________________________________________________________________________________________



Shunpo: Katarina instantly moves to her target's location and takes reduced damage from enemies for a few seconds. If the target is an enemy, she deals damage.
Moves to a target's location. Deals 60/85/110/135/160 (+0.4) magic damage if the target is an enemy.

After using Shunpo, Katarina takes 15% reduced damage for 3 seconds.

Explanation: This is what makes Katarina mobile. This ability has SOOOOOOOOOOOO many uses that it is unreal. To give you a quick run down of them: Can use it to successfully escape a gank. Can use it to join a fight. Can use it to leave a fight. Can use it to hop over walls when combined with a Sight Ward. This ability is a huge part of what makes Katarina... well Katarina.
___________________________________________________________________________________________



Death Lotus: Katarina becomes a flurry of blades, throwing daggers with unrivaled speed at up to three nearby Champions. Daggers deal magic damage and reduce incoming healing on targets hit.
Becomes a flurry of blades, throwing daggers at the closest 3 enemy Champions dealing 400/500/600 (+3) (+1.75) magic damage over 2 seconds.

Daggers apply Grievous Wounds, reducing incoming healing by 50% for 3 seconds.

Explanation: This is the ability many people relate Katarina with. Death Lotus is known for it's relation with Penta Kills. Though this ability is promising, it is largely the reason why Katarina is difficult to play. Let's give you a quick example: let's say you go bot lane to kill Graves and Soraka. Your Ezreal has given up three kills to their enemy Graves. But eh, what do you care?! You're 5-0! This Graves has no chance of stopping you! So you run in, combo into them, use your ultimate under their turret when they are both at 25% aaaaaaand... BOOM their Soraka used Infuse, you totally wasted your Death Lotus and Graves proceeds to two shot you under the turret since you have no form of sustain damage. This is what I mean when I say Katarina has huge POTENTIAL damage. Do not worry though, I will give insight on this in a following chapter! Whoops, I skipped a huge part. Did I mention that this ability does RIDICULOUS damage if it goes for its' full duration? This ability lets you become extremely lane dominant (most of the time) at level 6.
___________________________________________________________________________________________

Skill Order:


Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

I take R>Q>W>E inEVERY game. The reasoning for this is very simple: Bouncing Blades does more damage than Sinister Steel IF YOU FACTOR IN THE EXPLOSION. Not to mention, the harassment from Bouncing Blades in lane is very very strong. The one thing I would suggest doing is not choosing your skill at level 2 right away against some junglers such as Lee Sin or Nocturne as they might very well gank you early and you will want your Shunpo to escape.
___________________________________________________________________________________________

NOTE:

For more information on these skills PLEASE see my 'in-depth' toolkit section. There I discuss combos/in-depth ways to use her abilities.


Guide Top

Masteries

Masteries
1/5
3/5
4/5
1/1
3/5
4/1
4/
1/
3/5
1/1
4/1
1/1

Let's run through these masteries one at a time shall we?

Offensive tree:



1/30: Summoner's Wrath : Good bonus ability power when Ignite is on cooldown. And at the rate Katarina gets kills, it'll be on cooldown a lot :)

4/30: Brute Force : WHY AREN'T YOU GETTING Mental Force ?!?!?!?! Because the majority of the laning phase, you will be CSing with your auto attacks. The extra 3 AD at the start truly does help a lot with your auto attacks. I take this over Butcher as well because Butcher only awards two damage to minions whereas Brute Force adds three.

8/30: Sorcery : Because this is a pre-requisite to the next point, and the fact it rewards 4% CDR does not hurt either, this is a no brainer. Do not take demolitionist, you will be roaming far too much to take towers.

9/30: Arcane Knowledge : This adds 10% Magic Penetration. For those that do not know, the order goes: Flat Magic Resist->Percentile Magic Penetration in the reduction. So that means, with Sorcerer's Shoes and +mpen (roughly) from your runes against someone with 40 MR, you will only be fighting 9 MR instead of 10. Obviously this scales better into late game.

12/30: Havoc : Increases damage dealt by 1.5%. Not much to say, unless you want the extra attack damage from Deadliness , take this. This also scales better as the game goes on.

16/30: Blast : This gives you 13.5 ability power at level 18, and scaling ability power as the game goes on. Katarina is an AP champion... this is the obvious choice in this tier unless you want the lifesteal from Vampirism to make up for your lack of sustain. No... really... just take Blast .

20/30: Archmage : Gives you 5% ability power. Once again, this scales better as the game goes on. Also, once again, armor penetration is useless on Katarina unless you want to melee them to death. Just take this instead.

21/30: Executioner : With your combo... you will be dropping people down to 40% health pretty quickly and the 6% damage can do nothing more than help. This is the ultimate mastery for Katarina. Take it. Or leave this guide... now...


Defensive Tree:



24/30: Resistance : Unless you are laning against surprise butt-sex Pantheon mid or another random AD champion, pick this up for help in laning phase.

25/30: Hardiness : +1 armor from this, the other 'best' option in this tier. Saves you from auto attack harassment and... I guess kind of helps you out late game. You might live with '1' health from some random Graves Buckshot. Just... take this.

29/30: Durability : 108 health at level 18 with scaling health per level. I rely on this, the next tier mastery point and my runes to give me ALL of the survivability I get on Katarina.

30/30: Veteran's Scars : +30 base health. A cool tip, health will outscale armor and magic resist once you have acquired enough of it. I take this over any other mastery in this tier because it's simply better. Take my advice on this :)
___________________________________________________________________________________________

Why These Masteries?



Again, Katarina is a squishy manaless assassin champion. Her mobility is already high enough with Shunpo that she does not need the extra movement speed provided from the utility tree or any of the other useless mana abilities for Katarina. As stated, your main goal as an assassin is live just long enough to either A.) kill the entire team or B.) do most of the work for your team. I find these masteries work best for me and many other high rated Katarina players.


Guide Top

Runes

Runes

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
9

Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
9

Greater Quintessence of Ability Power
3

Greater Seal of Scaling Health
9

These runes are optimized forLANING on Katarina. As the game progresses, runes become much weaker as they provide less stats than any 1200+ gold item.

Greater Mark of Magic Penetration: I use these for the magic penetration that allows me to essentially deal more damage as the game progresses. You could substitute in AP reds here, but I do not recommend them. These help you at all stages in the game, and coupled with Sorcerer's Shoes they allow you to deal near true damage to anyone who is not buying magic resist.

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist: I use these 99% of the time. They give you enough magic resist that you will not be bullied out of lane. However, these can be changed to Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Powers. I do not recommend this unless you are against a lane that you can absolutely CRUSH. For more on those types of lanes, check out the lane-match up sections.

Greater Seal of Vitality: These add up to pretty substantial amounts of health late game. Very close to '175' and they help give you just that extra bit of survivability that makes you dominant mid game. If you are against Pantheon Lee Sin or even random high flying Corki in mid... you can take Greater Seal of Resillience over these.

Greater Quintessence of Ability Power: These give you enough flat AP to bully your enemy laners early. This is totally preference however. I take these because I have the ability to manuever around skill shots well enough. If you want even MORE mobility, pick up Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed.

As of right now, I only consider three rune pages (movement/ap quints interchangeable on all three) right now. They are:
Runes

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
9

Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
9

Greater Quintessence of Ability Power
3

Greater Seal of Scaling Health
9
General Runes
Runes

Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
9

Greater Quintessence of Ability Power
3

Greater Seal of Scaling Health
9

Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power
9
Very Weak Lane

Runes

Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
9

Greater Quintessence of Ability Power
3

Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power
9

Greater Seal of Armor
9
Against Physical Laners
___________________________________________________________________________________________


Guide Top

Summoner Spells

These are the two main summoner abilities I consider for Katarina right now. Flash gives you the extra mobility (and allows you to get some sick escapes with Shunpo) needed to A.) secure kills and B.) escape from bad situations. Ignite helps you finish enemies off and is a direct counnter to champions such as Soraka. Do not replace Flash no matter what.

Viable Summoner Spells

You could take this if your team lacks one of if you are against a strong physical laner such as Corki or Pantheon.
Cleanse should only be taken if you are playing against an incredibally CC heavy team such as: Skarner Morgana Taric Varus Sion. This is the only time I could potentially see this being useful.
You can take this if you want to bait fights. Be warned however, this is directly countered by Ignite which most mid laners take.

Any other summoner spell is not worth it under any circumstances. Again, I will update this when I have more time.
___________________________________________________________________________________________


Guide Top

Item Builds

Now that we have a general knowledge of Katarina it is time to discuss what items to buy and not to buy. This is arguably the most important section here for beginning players. I will go over my general build order and then I will discuss some other very situational items and then what items are bought that should not ever be bought on Katarina.

Starting Items:

Always always always start Boots of Speed. They give you the extra mobility you need to dodge skill shots (fairly) easily. This item is also upgraded later so you may as well buy it now. With your left over gold, pick up 3x Health Potions. These allow you to sustain in lane. You will be buying a lot of these as the game progresses since Katarina has no way of sustain and we will NOT be building Hextech Revolver as two of these little puppies provide you the same effect as Revolver. Buy these all through out the game. If for some reason you have to back early (around 500gish) pick up an Amplifying Tome and more Health Potions. You will use this later.

Next Items:

Kage's Lucky Pick
Kage's Lucky Pick Grants you 25 AP and 5 gold/10 seconds and can be used to build into Deathfire Grasp later in the game. I always try and get this item on my second back. You will be shocked how much this little tiny toothpick increases your damage. Take my advice and pick it up.
This item gives you +40 Ability Power for the price of 860 gold and is used to build into... well everything. This one in particular will be built into Rabadon's Deathcap which will be your first major item. This will give you your increased movement speed and allows you the ability to roam and deal a bit more damage. These are 100% inarguably the best boots for Katarina. I will dicuss the others more in depth shortly.

THE ITEM:


This mystical magical hat is what you want to rush the ever living hell out of on Katarina. This is the holy grail (and I don't mean Athene's Unholy Grail) item for you. Once you have this item, you will find your damage absolutely SKY ROCKETING on Katarina. If you got this item in a timely fashion (I usually get mine at around 18 minutes) start to make fights happen. This is when Katarina gets fun.

Defensive Items:


After getting Rabadon's Deathcap I like to choose a defensive item. Your two main choices are: Zhonya's Hourglass and Abyssal Scepter.

I find myself picking this item up most of the time. The only time I do not pick up Zhonya's Hourglass over Abyssal Scepter is when I am laning a Kassadin or another champion who I fed due to being countered. Pick up Zhonya's Hourglass when the opposing top lane Darius, jungler Lee Sin or bot lane Graves are doing well. Zhonya's Hourglass allows you to quickly get the entire team low, you use the on-use ability and wait for a reset. If you get that reset while the on use from hourglass is active... their team is in trouble.


I get this item when I am having issues with my lane or I am against triple AP. The magic penetration effect is very nice but overall, Zhonya's Hourglass is better than this. Pick this up if you fed your lane hard or you are versus a very heavy AP team composed of: Vladimir Kassadin Ezreal Sona Evelynn.

Deathfire Grasp:


This item builds off of your Kage's Lucky Pick and is not an item that you want to rush. You want to get this item usually near the end after you have quite a healthy amount of Ability Power. Another alternative is getting this right after Rabadon's Deathcap if you are really really fed and nothing can go wrong. This item is usually built after my defensive items if they have not built a lot of magic resistance yet. This item late game however does a significant amount of damage and should not be overlooked.

Void Staff:


This item eventually becomes needed. Once the enemy team breaks about 150 MR it is time to look into buying this item. This is your only prayer of keeping up with them late game.Building this early can actually completely snowball you but I truly do not recommend it as it is a gamble and AP will always outscale magic penetration unless they build an abundance of it.

Guardian Angel:

I love this item. I will either get this item last or before Void Staff depending on enemy team's Magic Resistance. This item lets you run in to help your team... die... while dead get the reset and then proceed to clean up. Coupled with Zhonya's Hourglass you become a reset machine.

___________________________________________________________________________________________

I consider what I wrote above to be core items on Katarina. This build's purpose is to give you just enough survivability that you can get a kill, wait for perhaps another reset and get more kills. Katarina is an assassin, not a tank. My typical end game build looks something like:
Item Sequence











Rabadon's Deathcap
3800

Zhonya's Hourglass
2900

Deathfire Grasp
3100

Void Staff
2650

Guardian Angel
2400

100% Needed Items At All Stages

sight ward
You can Shunpo to these and warding helps your team! If I have 200 some gold sitting around I ALWAYS will buy 2x sight ward and put one of them down. ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS build these.
Did you know that if you use this item, it will immediately increase your health? Buy this. Elixr baiting is a terrible terrible terrible thing but it will dramatically increase your performance. I am serious. This will save you from a turret a lot. Did I say buy these already? Yeah I did. Just reminding you :P

Notable Items

This is a sometimes overlooked item and you might very well get trolled for buying it. That is not the reason I do not buy it. This item delays your Rabadon's Deathcap for the price of survivability. This takes away the risk and therefore takes away the reward. Though there are benefits to it! With this item+ Sorcerer's Shoes and your marks, you will be doing true damage to anyone who has magic resist glyphs. This also comes with the survivability factor attatched to it. This item can be bought when their team is very bruiser heavy. As they will be able to live through your damage and do more damage back to you.
Pros:
Gives a decent amount of ability power
Gives you a survivability component
Essentially gives you the ability to do true damage
Cons:
Can not be upgraded
Takes away the 'reward' factor
Not as cost efficient as kage's lucky pick or Blasting Wand.
If you lose your lane (badly), consider picking one of these up. They are incredibally cost effective and can build into Abyssal Scepter which you should be getting if you are getting crushed in lane.

Viable Boots

I only consider three types of boots right now besides sorc shoes
I have not tested these as much as I would have liked to. How ever I can tell you from past experience (on Evelynn) that these boots help quite a bit with your roaming potential. The only issue becomes is you have only your base 10 magic penetration from your Greater Mark of Magic Penetration and will not be doing as much damage. Buy these if you know you will be doing nothing but roaming. The CDR provided by these are really really nice... but if you are doing your job correctly Voracity should be getting you resets and therefore... you should have no cooldowns. If you are having issues with getting your reset (which means you are also losing the game) pick these up... these are worth looking into, but I do not suggest them. The other possibility is picking them up late game after you already have Void Staff but again... I would not recommend it. You better have a good reason to get these. I mean... you have to be against a very very CC heavy team and lost your lane in order to justify picking these up. The other time I will pick these up is if I am crushing an OKAY Kassadin and want to continue my dominance on him.

Alternative Build

Item Sequence











Haunting Guise
1600

Abyssal Scepter
2750

Guardian Angel
2400

Void Staff
2650

Rabadon's Deathcap
3800
Katarina is a high risk/high reward champion. You can do various things to decrease the risk and therefore you will also be decreasing the reward. This build allows you to pick up a lot of early magic penetration, get Guardian Angel and Abyssal Scepter for defensive stats and then pick up Rabadon's Deathcap later. Void Staff is still needed here. This build is great for new Katarina players who do not know what they can do yet. As the game progresses, you can sell Haunting Guise for a Deathfire Grasp or another defensive item.

Items to Not Build:




Hextech Revolver

This item gets its own section. Many people who do not see Hextech Revolver in the item list will simply just leave. I suggest reading this before you do. Hextech Revolver gives you okay sustain but it does not give you enough sustain to warrant it a need. Actually, you can build items with more AP much faster kage's lucky pick+ Blasting Wand only cost 400 gold more and give you more ability power+you build Blasting Wand into Rabadon's Deathcap and kage's lucky pick into Deathfire Grasp. Of course this brings up, "well you upgrade Hextech Revolver into Hextech Gunblade." I have tested Hextech Gunblade. It is horribly cost inefficient for the mediocre sustain it provides and the on use is not that great. Your job is to do as much damage as possible and get your reset. Failing that, you hope for a second chanse with Zhonya's Hourglass or Guardian Angel. The sustain on this item along with the on use WILL NOT help you get the reset. I truly promise that. Do not buy this item. It is the biggest noob bait I have ever seen in my life.

Rylai's Crystal Scepter:

I see this item built a lot. The reasoning behind it is sound (all though that reasoning does not justify the price or the buying of Giant's Belt) but think about this. Your Shunpo is your only single target ability. It slows them by 35% for 1.5 seconds, enough to do quite a bit of damage with Death Lotus right? Here is the thing though. Better teams will either CC you, or not stand in it. Many players WILL save Flash just for your Death Lotus. Plus, buying Giant's Belt gives you a nice health increase but does not help you stay in the fight as long as say Zhonya's Hourglass or Guardian Angel. This item is another one of those 'lower the risk' items. The 80 AP, granted, is nice. It adds a really nice survivability component to it. But it will not help you with your ultimate's damage. When most late game fights break out, it is all in. People will not be able to reposition themselves to get away from your ultimate unless they blow major cooldowns such as Flash. This item is NOT worth it.

Lich Bane:

This item gives you everything you could want right? Ability power, magic resist, movement speed and a kick *** passive? What?! The extra mana is what is turning you off? Actually no. If an item has a wasted stat but the extra stats on it out weigh it (in example Guardian Angel in my opinion is nothing but wasted stats with a kickass passive) I will buy it. Here is the issue with Lich Bane. To get the full effect out of this, you need to be able to use an ability->auto attack->use an ability after timer->auto attack and blah blah blah. That's why you see champions like Irelia using Trinity Force (this is the same concept). Katarina uses all of her abilities in high succession and will (most likely) be channeling her Death Lotus for her first one or two kills. This item does not bring enough of a reward to the table to justify the insanely high price cost let alone the effective use on it.

Archangel's Staff:

You don't use mana you silly goose! ...Wait you really want to build this?...Why? I have seen a few Kat players pick this up. It is the biggest waste ever. Do not build this under any reasons. Why? You do not use mana. This item gives zero effect to you except for the +40 ability power component from Blasting Wand. Save this item for a really fed Ryze.


I will add more items as the questions arise about them. Until then, I am justified with keeping the item section the way it is now.
___________________________________________________________________________________________


Guide Top

Katarina's Toolkit (In-Depth)

sinister steel

Now that we have a general idea of Katarina's item build, masteries, runes and skill order it is time to discuss some various mechanics. (I will add .gifs for every single one of these combinations once I get enough time)

Combos:



What makes Katarina Katarina is her ability to perform multiple combos. I will not include Death Lotus in any of these combos, but it can be added at the very end of any of them unless noted otherwise.
sinister steel

This is your very standard damaging rotation. Once you have even kage's lucky pick or even at level 5, this combo does a scary amount of damage. If you tack Death Lotus on to the very end of it, you will find yourself doing a crazy amount of damage. Even enough at lower levels to kill the opposing mid laner.
sinister steel

This combo is uses when your opposing mid laner is right next to you. I use this combo a lot against Ryze or another champion that can potentially snare you. The main goal of this is to use Bouncing Blades sinister steel and then Shunpo to a nearby minion.
sinister steel

Remember that Shunpo has a larger range than Bouncing Blades. This combo is used sometimes in conjunction with Flash when you are chasing down a low health enemy. Shunpo in and proceed to do your normal combo on them. Do not do this unless you are sure it will result in a kill.

Tips and Tricks

Using Death Lotus to its' full potential is very difficult. This is a staple in this guide and unfortunately will be very long. If you want to come out of this guide learning anything, it is right here.
Pros:
Does ridiculous amounts of damage
Provides excellent baron nashor and dragon control
Makes you very scary.
Cons:
Can be stopped with a simple stun or silence such as Infuse or Dazzle.
Makes you a huge target.
Can just simply be walked out of.

Using this ability is two fold. The best way to use this I have found is simply wait for the fight to break out. Because of this one ability you want to make sure you are never the first person to enter the fight. Wait for cooldowns to be blown... count how many CCs were used... maybe people are taking dama- holy **** Soraka just used Infuse

Q->E->W->R

PENTA KILL!

Just be smart with this ability. Learning to use this ability properly will ultimately get your reset from Voracity and lead you to killing more people. Remember, Death Lotus is not what makes Katarina good. It is Voracity that makes Katarina good.

Using Death Lotus in the bushes:


If an enemy is in the fog of war while you are in a bush or close to a ledge, you can still use Death Lotus. You can even use it to get an idea where the enemy team is. If you see your Death Lotus light up and you see no one around you... USE it. I have killed many an escaping Teemo because they thought they were safe. Using this, it makes it worth it for you to fight near bushes. Hence why Katarina has such amazing baron Nashor and Dragon control. If you fight near bushes, they will not be able to tell where all the damage is coming from.

Using Death Lotus to harass in lane:


You guys must think I am joking. No I actually am not. If you are against a lane that you know you cannot beat in an all out fight (say Diana who will absolutely crush you in a pure all in fight early game), use your Death Lotus to harass them out of lane. I have made many many many people back out of a fight that they could win because they see how much damage my Death Lotus does.
___________________________________________________________________________________________
This neat ability is what makes Katarina fun. This is the main reason I like to buy a sight ward on every back. Let me give you a quick list of its uses:
sight ward

    Is used in every effective combo
    Can be used on allies
AND wards to escape
Can be used to escape over walls
Can be used to join a fight, get a kill and then escape immediately.

This ability is how you set up your usages on Katarina. Differentiating when to Shunpo in during a Team Fight is what will drastically make you better. Learning the effective range of sight ward and what walls (image pending) you can jump over will also make you nearly unkillable. Remember also that this gives you huge turret diving potential. The 15% damage reduction really really shines in that aspect. But be warned, only turret dive a champion you know that you can kill. Learn the range and possibilities of Shunpo and you will find yourself increasing by mountains in skill.
___________________________________________________________________________________________
This gets it's own section where sinister steel does not. This ability is three pronged. In laning phase, you will use it to HARASSS the enemy so that you can create an opportunity to then use this to combo them down. Late game it is used to harass before team fights. If you land two or three of these on their whole team, you'll be surprised how much it helped out. This ability should be used to get the kills only after you have used it to harass them properly.
___________________________________________________________________________________________
sight ward
Do not even complain that this should be in the item section. It belongs here in relation to Katarina's toolkit. Aside from using Shunpo to ward jump you should be buying at least one of these to ward your lane. Or you buy them if you see a lane lacking wards and you plan on roaming there soon. Ward objectives. Ward your lane. Ward the enemy's jungle. Ward your jungle! Map vision is power and on Katarina it is even more so. A quick scenario here, let us say you are roaming bot lane after an unsuccessful gank top because their Lee Sin interfered. You warded your bush going into the jungle and see Lee Sin trying to steal your red. Ping your Amumu, go back and enjoy the free kill. League of Legends is a team game. As an assassin the effect of helping your team out will really show. Remember, you are only holding their hand until late game.


Guide Top

Early Game

Levels 1-5:


Katarina starts off very rocky. Her farming is difficult and she is very susceptible to harass. For the first two levels I suggest playing very passive. Use your Bouncing Blades and Sinister Steel to farm at low levels and auto attacking to get CS when you KNOW you will not be put in a bad situation. Be very careful of the enemy jungler. Do not use Shunpo without reason. It will lead to disaster. Focus on farming and not getting harassed while using Bouncing Blades to harass the enemy a little bit with your QEW combo when you feel appropriate and you will be fine.

Levels 6+


If you made it to this stage you are doing good. Now is when things start to shift into your favor. You have two major choices here.
Roam:
Push your lane out
Choose either top or bottom (depending on how they are pushed)
Roam down and try to get a kill or simply force them out of lane
Kill Opposing Mid Laner
Have knowledge of their jungler
Use Bouncing Blades to harass
Fully commit to the engage
Enjoy your gold!

If you are having issues in lane ask your jungler to come help out. They will, I absolutely promise you. It is not a bad thing to simply let the enemy CS and you sit back and use Bouncing Blades to farm. Just remember to avoid fighting as much as possible pre-6. Then choose to either roam or fight in mid.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________


Guide Top

Mid Game

This is the stage in the game where minor skrimishes start to break out, dragon is being contested and towers are starting to get knocked over. Oh, did I mention tahat this is when Katarina becomes an ANIMAL?!?! At this stage in the game, it is your job to essentially roam where ever there is major action happening. Once you get Rabadon's Deathcap you are going to want to be where ever the action is. Take advantage of this point right now. This is when Katarina is at her strongest and when it is your job to feed kills to your team and allow them to carry you on a plush cushion from heaven into late game. This is usually where I make the choice between Zhonya's Hourglass/ Abyssal Scepter and Deathfire Grasp. If you had a crazy early game, you'll want to go with Deathfire Grasp to keep the pressure up. If not, it depends. Is it a normal game where Darius and Vayne prove the biggest threat? Pick up Zhonya's Hourglass. Did you feed that Diana? Pick up abyssal. Also remember, this is the time when you need to make calls. Who is the biggest threat on their team? Is it the Ryze? Or is it Vayne? Maybe it's that Darius. Who ever it is, it is your job to deal as much damage to them as possible.


Guide Top

Late Game

This is where Katarina is no longer able to carry the game. This is the point when you are all moving as a team and finishing up those last items. This is when nexus turrets and Baron Nashor are being contested. Your job is the same before, allthough invariably you will be targetting the AD Carry ( Ezreal Corki Graves Vayne Kog'Maw Ashe Sivir). In team fights wait for cooldowns to be blown. Hide in the back and wait for the opportunity and then BOOM. Unleash your full combo on them, get that reset, and continue killing. If you can successfuly get a third of your Death Lotus off after using Deathfire Grasp-> Bouncing Blades-> Shunpo-> sinister steel-> Death Lotus on their Vayne, the fight might already be over. Remember to watch the opposing team's build very carefully. If you see Aegis of the Legion along with Quicksilver Sash and Force of Nature, pick up your Void Staff. Trust me, it will be your best friend.


Guide Top

Lane Match Ups

(Note: I will edit this as frequently as I can, but for sake of consistency I will only do one a day at most)

This match up was requested by zoso17, props to him! Anivia vs Katarina is entirely skill dependant. In an all out trade with Anivia you will lose. Your job in lane is to Shunpo away from her Flash Frost so that she does not get a free combo off on you. This is a lane that playing the roaming game is nearly impossible. Once she hits level 6 and has her Glacial Storm even Katarina can not out push her. You will almost be forced to stay in lane against this majestic bird. Her Rebirth makes it so that she is nearly impossible to all in with out a jungler to help you out. I highly suggest building Haunting Guise against Anivia since her ability to harass you with Glacial Storm is incredibally high and she will most likely build an Athene's Unholy Grail. Late game she dominates you in every possible way. This is one of those nearly impossible to win match ups. The only time you are able to go all in is when you have a jungler near you and know you have the damage to kill her egg. I am sorry for how hopeless this lane seems but it truly is impossible.

Against a bad Anivia It is possible to beat a bad Anivia though. If she wastes her mana and you can deny her blue buff, you can trounce her. Early game harass her after she wastes her Flash Frost and just QEW her for a lot of damage. If you force her egg pre-6, the game could be in your hands right here. This only works against a less skilled Anivia how ever.
finales funkeln
This is one of the easiest match ups for Katarina. Your kit entirely counters Lux. Early game harass her with your Bouncing Blades and make sure you do not get hit by her Lucent Singularity. Once you have Shunpo the game is in your hands. Bait her Light Binding and either walk away from it or Shunpo to a minion. Because all of her abilities are skill shots you completely counter her. At level 6, dodge a Light Binding and crush her with your Death Lotus. Her finales funkeln is only dangerous to you if you are low health from the start. The better you get with Shunpo the easier this lane becomes.

Pro Tip: When she uses Light Binding in your direction, just Shunpo to her. You will pass through the Light Binding and not get stunned by it. Proceed to QW her for free damage. Abuse how strong you are against this champion, it is a guaranteed snowball lane.
___________________________________________________________________________________________
This champion is very difficult to lane against as Katarina. That is not to say it is not doable. At lower levels he will absolutely crush you. Once late game hits... you better hope your Ezreal is fed or you have zero chance of stopping Mordekaiser. The largest thing I can advise you on is: DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES trade with him when his Iron Man is stacked up and he has even a single ability at his disposal besides his Children of the Grave. If you can wait his abilities out and successfuly use Bouncing Blades to poke down his shield, you can beat him. His ultimate can not out damage yours. I highly suggest buying Elixir of Fortitude against this guy as it will save your life from his ultimate. Use your Bouncing Blades to harass his shield down and only use sinister steel when he is next to you and you can Shunpo away. Do not get harassed by him or let him snowball in lane or it is over. Mordekaiser naturally pushes the lane. If you are playing defensive, you will find yourself at your turret very often. Ask your jungler for some help to make this lane much easier.
___________________________________________________________________________________________
Orianna usually builds two different paths. Those paths are: Rod of Ages or Athene's Unholy Grail. If you see her rushing moonwell chalice it might be a good idea to invest in Haunting Guise as she is a high harass champion with Command: Attack and Command: Dissonance. This lane is usually not winnable but you surely will not lose to her. Most Orianna players will waste their mana attempting to harass you. The only time you should be harassing with anything besides Bouncing Blades is when you know for a fact she can not deal enough damage to warrant a threat to you. Once she hits level 6 and has her ultimate+blue buff, it is a great idea to not fight her and just roam. If you can coordinate with your jungler to steal their blue buff, you can cripple Orianna. Your Shunpo allows you to dodge most of her abilities fairly easily. Play this lane smart, do not take unneccesary damage. If you can bait her ultimate, then it is your chance to kill her with your Death Lotus +full combo. Be smart.
___________________________________________________________________________________________
Vladimir is one of those champions that you are generally forced to play the roaming game against. This is essential because Vladimir can not beat you in lane early. But, you will not keep up in farm with him. If you and him are 0-0 and nothing has happened, he WILL crush you. His Hemoplague does a deceptive amount of damage and it will cause you to die. Do not get in range of his Transfusion there is really no need to. If you see Vladimir killing himself with his abilities, punish him for it severely. If you roam enough, this is a cakewalk lane. Also, do not use your Death Lotus unless his Sanguine Pool is on cooldown. This is a semi difficult champion to lane and can turn into absolute hell if you let it.


Guide Top

Conclusion

This is the very first revision to this guide! I promise you, as the lane match-ups continue coming and I add videos to this, it will quickly become one of the best Katarina guides out there. I hope you guys truly enjoyed my Katarina guide and I hope to see you in game!

Goals:
[x]: Game Stages
[x]: Redesign whole guide
[x]: Lane Match Ups
[ ]: Better Item descriptions
[ ]: Videos
[x]: FIX INTRO HAHA
[ ]: Finish Toolkit.