Katarina Build Guide by AdamSS

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.

League of Legends Build Guide Author AdamSS

Katarina - The Pubstomper

AdamSS Last updated on June 9, 2013
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Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
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.



Offense: 21

Honor Guard

Defense: 7


Utility: 1

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Hi it's adamSS and this guide is a pretty basic guide, of how to play Katarina. I hope you enjoy the guide and your welcome to add me on both my accounts adamSS and supaturkk so we can duo :D

Do you like Katarina? Do you like her unique play style but are new to her? Well then read through and understand in depth knowledge about her play style thoroughly :D

There are bad katarina's as well as good ones, depending on their item choices, enemy laner, CC and experience with Katarina.

I've played Kat, a fair bit, been playing LoL almost 2 years now and i had very much enjoyed Katarina before her remake, after the remake i didn't play much of her, i found her weak, due to the massive nerfs to her ratio's and base damage.

But i moved past that and recently been thrashing her in use and I gotta be honest i have never won as much as i did in the past, she is sorta like pre nerf Tryndamere, a pubstomper, if played with the right hands.

Now im no Scarra, but I am pretty dam decent with her, not that it takes extreme skill to use Katarina, more like experience.

Although to master her, that's in the hands of 2k elo professional players.

The guide is to represent how to play Katarina in the simplest of forms, the rest you need practise to master :)

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Pros & Cons

+ Resourceless
+ Spammable abilities if chained
+ Excellent clean up champion
+ Pretty darn good in mid for a melee champion
+ Almost ungankable/safe pick
+ High mobility
+ Can dodge skillshots easily
+ Her character, kit and skins are all beautiful

- Squishy as
- CC could make your day a living hell my friend
- Other assasins can give you big trouble, looking at you Diana -_-
- Has a fair bit of counter picks
- Need experience to use her ult to maximum potential
- Can pubstomp, but can utterly fail as well
- Needs to have great early game or somewhat becomes irrelavent

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Who is Katarina & What does she do?

To put it simple, Katarina is an assassin who basically does Short bursts of AOE magic damage, she cannot 100-1 people but she isn't designed for that, she is designed to maximize her total damage output by chaining up her abilities with kills and assists to devastate the enemies. This is very important, most people don't understand her concept, building her tanky does not make her useless, if she chains, her damage output would be enormous regardless.

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."



Okay her passive is amazing first of all. Second of all, this is what makes Katarina, well Katarina. Basically if you gain an assist or kill all your abilities refresh completely other than your ultimate, which only cooldowns by 15 seconds.

Chain another assist or kill and your ultimate is seconds away. This is what makes Katarina powerful, this is the reason why when you stomp on people, they will call you a noob for usiin a "cheap" or "easy" champion. But don't let that get to you, it actually takes a lot of skill to position your ultimate Death Lotus and on top of that if she was as good as they said, she would be picked and banned in tournaments, at the moment shes only been picked once. She has a lot of counters and numerous nerfs have hit her hard.

Your strongest ability other than your ultimate. This is what will get you kills in mid lane, it has massive range, on top of that you could hit it on a minion to bounce to the enemy to deal 'safe' damage. It is amazing to say the least. Max it first and harass with it in lane, level it fast as you can.

her new ability Sinister Steel. It is a AOE spin which deals pretty decent damage to be honest. But it is amazing to farm with and in the end it contributes a fair bit to your bursting combination as well as getting rid of Katarina's awful farming abilities pre-remake.

Completely nerfed compared to pre-remake Katarina, but considering she got another damaging ability ( Sinister Steel), its forgiving. But it really isn't for the damage, its utility, makes you mobile, makes you dodge skillshots easily and makes you ungankable. The damage is just a bonus really.

Lastly, Katarina's ultimate, an AOE (Area of Effect) spell, which deals insane damage. Not sure if pre rework Katarina dealt more damage in her ult, but this sure is still strong.

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Easy to do well with Katarina

Got two penta's within 5 games :D (yes this was very important to me ^^ even if it is normal -.-

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Greater Mark of Magic Penetration: Ordinary magic penetration runes nothing special. your abilities act as if they have 8.5 less magic resist. DO NOT SWAP FOR ANYTING ELSE.

Greater Seal of Armor: Helps against Katarina getting belted by AD assassins :P. It will make you more durable in lane phase. Any other substitute other than this I would prefer health scaling yellows :).

Greater Glyph of Ability Power: Flat AP runes, for more damage early game since you lose some AP from Quints.

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist: Some extra magic resist to help you out in lane since you are after all a melee champ.

Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed: I have fallen in love with this, with level one boots you have 393 footspeed, that is amazing. Secondly, these runes are for getting away if im being chased or to roam around fast, Katarina should be roaming around the map once her lane is pushed and get some kills, you are an assassin after all. This is if you have 3 movement speed Quints although. With two you gain a little less.

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Standard 21 points in the Offensive tree and any assassin and high damage dealing champion. The other 8 points are put in magic resist and health, scaling and flat. It pretty much gives the best results. Lastly 1 point is put in the utility tree to give you 15 seconds taken off your flash :D


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Okay Katarina can build MANY items, and I am not kidding here at all. She can be built in a variety of ways. So do not follow the items blindly, I have only used these as a basic guideline, the most items I have used overall.

BOOTS: Magic penetration. Why? because more penetration means more damage? There is nothing else to choose, I would argue CDR boots, but ever since penetration changed and how it works, it is no match for penetration boots. I have said the word PENETRATION I bit too much I think :P

ITEMS: Now there are A LOT of items that can be purchased for Katarina, depending on the enemy team comp, mid laner, how well your doing, if your snowballing or not and it just goes on and on and on.

Hextech Revolver: Gives lane sustain, when you ult and the enemy champ attacks you, you will see that your health isn't going down much due to the massive amount of life you gain back. In the end, its a must, sustain throughout the game is needed.

Rylai's Crystal Scepter: You need this item, why? Because it gives health, AP and most importantly makes them not be able to leave throughout your ult, thanks to its slow. But do not rush it, rush your Rabadon's Deathcap.

Rabadon's Deathcap: This needs no explanation

Void Staff: Gives 40 percent magic penetration, simply a must late game.


Hextech Gunblade: Most people use this all the time, I see that as faulty, it costs so much and gives back so little in return. if you buy this you gain 24 AD damage for Sinister Steel and 120 for your ultimate, that is all? And look at the price you pay for it. trust me, stay away. Only helpful late game once you have red Elixir and Baron buff.

Zhonya's Hourglass: Gives armor I you really need it plus god mode for 2.5 seconds, which could refresh your abilities, which could kill someone or save your life or better yet make them focus someone else.

Abyssal Scepter: Magic resist, AP and lowers the magic resistance of enemy champs near by. AWESOME for hard ap mage enemies.

Haunting Guise: A must, early game item, more penetration, more damage, a bit of health and ap, wonderful item. BUT! Please, and I do meant PLEASEEE!!! Do not rush finishing off this item, it can wait till late game, I see this too many times, its NOT WORTH IT!


Seeker's Armguard: rush this asap, start off with cloth armor and get this item done, it will help so much.


Glass Cannon: Boots+ Will of the Ancients+ Rabadon's Deathcap+ Void Staff etc

Tanky: Boots+ Abyssal Scepter+ Zhonya's Hourglass+ Rylai's Crystal Scepter+ Rabadon's Deathcap+ Guardian Angel Whilst running 21-9 runes.

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Okay game has started, buy boots and get three health pots. Don't try anything unique, different etc, only mid lane works for Katarina sadly. So protect the jungler and leash him blue or red and head down to mid lane.

Now depending on who you are vsing your playstyle changes. If its a enemy champion such as Ryze which has a bearable distant range, you could melee farm and last hit minions, while harasssing with Bouncing Blades, or alternatively if you are against someone with far range like Ziggs, you could farm using Bouncing Blades.

Now when you hit level three this is were you really harass your opponent, have your ward in bushes for the enemy jungler. You should Bouncing Blades the enemy, Shunpo in and use Sinister Steel. This three hit combo will definately hurt if you repeat, and remember due to the armor runes and movement speed buff gained from Sinister Steel you should get out of there without getting hurt to badly (minion damge).

A tip in laning mid lane, lets say your up against Lux. And she does one of her abiltiies, dodge, with your shunpo onto her Bouncing Blades her, then Sinister Steel and run side ways to dodge her Light Binding. If your caught in that her passive and minions will destroy your health, remember you have heaps of movement speed at level 1 thanks to movement speed quints! So you should be able to easily dodge skillshots.

Now in addition to all of this, either do two things in lane.

For one harass her non stop keep the enemies health about a quarter, push her to tower, even if you have no ult, Bouncing Blades them, Shunpo and use Sinister Steel, Ignite, then shunpo back out with success. You can tower dive amazingly, if you get the kill of course.

Secondly, push the lane insanely, keep the enemy on tower, remember you have Flash and Shunpo, to use on your minion or ward, if enemy jungler ganks. let the enemy be pushed and try to farm from tower, while you go and quickly collect farm from wraiths and wolves. Or you could roam around with the mass movement speed and gank ally lanes and pick up kills, OR you could invade enemy jungler while they are on low health whilst jungling and pick up an easy kill and return to lane without missing much on anything. You can afford to push your lane hard because Katarina is very flexible to get away from ganks.

Once laning phase is over, do your team objectives, farm up, get dragon or baron if possible and so on.

When team fights start, depending on who is on the enemy team your playstyle should change.

If they have AOE CC ults like Galio, Kennen etc, you are in trouble. you must poke with Q and wait till they blow off their CC's, and make them use it on tank or additional team members, now when this all goes on, your team must've atleast taken half the health of just about every enemy champion, while theirs being low to of course. Once your confident the enemy has blown all their CC, or most, Bouncing Blades, Shunpo in, Sinister Steel and use your ultimate Death Lotus. Your should get a kill, and with that kill or assist, chain up your abilities and repeat as said earlier.

This is what you must do with Katarina, to successfully, use your ultimate twice in one team fight and to decimate the enemy team.

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In Summary, go to mid lane. Do not counter pick yourself, vs champs like Ziggs, Akali and Lux. Do not vs champions such as Diana or Galio.

Farm up, try o reach 70-90 by 10-11 minutes.

stay behind your team all ways, place ward in middle of lane so you can shunpo to it if you get ganked and there are no minions.

Wait till the enemy focus's someone from your team, make sure your in the clear, and that they're CC abilities are on CD, jump in Ulti, get a kill, Q, Shunpo, E, repeat, and get those kills.