Build Guide by Arzndragon

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Arzndragon

Katarina-The Sinister Blade (AD)

Arzndragon Last updated on January 3, 2011
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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.


Brute Force
Improved Rally

Offense: 21

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 9

Expanded Mind
Blink of an Eye
Mystical Vision
Presence of the Master

Utility: 0

Hey, Arzndragon here. Today, I will be showing you how I play AD Katarina. Personally, I like playing AP because AD is more expensive and in the end, AP ends up doing more damage. But AD helps take down towers and minion waves much faster, and bouncing blade does so much more damage so it helps a bit more with farming then AP Katarina. As usual, I will start with this writing format.

Pros and Cons
Runes Explanation
Summoner Spell Explanation
Masteries Explanation
Katarina's Skills Overview
Items Explanation
Tips and Notes

-Great mid unless there is a tank
-Easy harassment with Bouncing Blade
-Great Tower blowdowner (sounds weird, forgot how to say it) because of extremely large amounts of damage with Bloodthirsters.
-Can jungle better than AP Katarina.
-Best passive ever...period
-All her skills are based on cooldown and only cooldown so as long as you have high health, you're fine to stay in lane.
-Shunpo can be used as an escape method
-Can reduce healing with Killer Instincts + Bouncing Blade
-Earns money faster than others due to her passive only if you get kills and assists, which you will if you follow this guide.
-Her ultimate hits multiple enemies and you can scout brush since it only turns on if an enemy is in range
-Kitty Cat Katarina has to be the hottest skin ever, hence, the hottest champion ever.

-Cannot carry an entire team
-Squishy for a melee character.
-She's melee so that only means easy harassment for others.
-All of her skills are based on cooldown so while they recharge, she's practically useless.
-Shunpo does minimual damage.
-When playing AD, sometimes she seems to be acting like a carry since it takes a while to save up for a B.F. Sword early game.
-Her ultimate is hard to time sometimes.
-Much less survivability than AP until you get Frozen Mallet.
-No slow in her ultimates and spells.
-Using shunpo at the wrong time can get you killed.
-No CCs and is prone to CCs without Mercury's Treads or Cleanse.
-Items are much more expensive.
-All of her skills deal magic damage, so build on magic penetration!

I have armor penetration for my marks so physical attacks hit much harder. For Seals, I put health per level to help her stay alive since she doesn't get frozen mallet until late game. As for Glyphs, I have CD. It helps with the recharge of all her skills so you can farm minions more or just harass enemies. For my quintessences, I put more armor penetration.

Summoner Spells range between every Katarina player. For AD, I took Exhaust and Ignite giving you damage with Ignite and the slow in Exhaust which AD doesn't have as well as with AP. It's so that nemies stay in your Death Lotus longer (about an extra 2 or three daggers). If you feel you're dying too much and need a better escape method, I recommend the following:

Cleanse- Katarina has no way to remove CCs so cleanse is helpful.

Flash-Using Flash and then shunpoing away on a minion is a great escape tactic. Take this in mind.

Ghost-A decent summoner spell. Like I said before, it's not the greatests but it's another good escape method.
What NOT to use:

Clairvoyance-Let some other teammate take this, you're the nuker/assassin, not the guy who needs to know his surroundings.

Clarity-I...ughh...seriously, you've got to be an idiot to take this with you, no offense.

Heal-Katarina doesn't need heal since she can just take a few health pots. Just be careful and watch your health with her.

Fortify-A defensive spell...let a tank take this, as I said about clairvoyance.

Rally-It's ok but do you really want this spell?

Revive-About a 9 minute recharge...does a revived Katarina do much on the field with few teammates? Yes and no. I used to use this only for revenge kills, totally not worth it. Get something else to save your life, not revive to try again.

Teleport-Why teleport? All you need to do is hide in the brush and at the right moment...Killer Instincts + Shunpo + Death Lotus.

My masteries are 21-9-0. Always make sure to take magic penetration. Every other point is in pure damage (ex. Sunder, Brute Force). It's the typical build for an AD Katarina. You want to put the remaining 9 points in defense since you need all the survivability you can get with her.

Now on to her skills...

After a kill or an assist, Katarina gains 25 gold and her cooldowns are reduced by 15 seconds.

Voracity is an amazing passive for someone like Katarina. Get a kill or an assist, recharge all your skills by 15 seconds(plus gain 25 gold), and jump to the next guy. Voracity helps amazingly reduce the cooldown of Death Lotus so you can use it as much as possible for ganks. It hits up to 3 enemy champions and hits hard. In a team fight, Death Lotus is guaranteed to get you one kill or an assist. Right after using it, chase after the running champions with shunpo and bouncing blade.

Katarina throws a dagger that bounces from one enemy to another a number of times, dealing magic damage equal to her attack damage plus bonus damage to the primary target. Each subsequent hit deals 10% less damage. Once maxed, its possible for the bounces to hit the first target originally clicked on a second time.

Cooldown: 9 / 8.5 / 8 / 7.5 / 7 seconds
Maximum Bounces: 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6

Bonus Damage: 20 / 40 / 60 / 80 / 100

Bouncing Blade is your main damage skill (besides Death Lotus). Use it whenever as possible to harass enemy champions early game. Trust me, they'll be annoyed. And if used with Killer instincts, it reduces healing and health regen, yay to stopping support characters.

(Passive): Katarina's melee attacks and abilities deal increased damage.
(Active): Katarina's next basic ability has a bonus effect; Bouncing Blade deals full damage to every target it hits and applies 50% healing reduction for 10 seconds. Shunpo reduces incoming damage for 3 seconds.

Cooldown: 20 / 18 / 16 / 14 / 12 seconds
Damage Increase: 8 / 12 / 16 / 20 / 24

Damage reduction after Shunpo: 15 / 20 / 25 / 30 / 35 %

Killer Instincts...that last skill you should max. It helps support BB and shunpo but it's worthless to max first or second if both of BB and Shunpo are not at least lvl 4. Great skill to use with Shunpo then Death Lotus to reduce any incoming damage since you're right next to the enemy.

Katarina moves to her target's location. If the target is an enemy, she deals magic damage to the target.

Cooldown: 10 / 9 / 8 / 7 / 6 seconds
Magic Damage: 90 / 120 / 150 / 180 / 210 (+0.75 per ability power)

Since you're playing AD, this skill will not do much for you since it only does what? 200 damage? You're better off using this to chase off enemies.

Katarina goes into a state of extreme focus, throwing daggers with unrivaled speed at three enemy champions. Each dagger deals magic damage plus the higher value between 55% of her bonus attack damage or 30% of her ability power. (Note: She channels for 2.7 seconds, and sends out 30 daggers. Only 10 daggers max per enemy.)
Cooldown: 60 seconds

Magic Damage: 50 / 65 / 80

Death Lotus is where most of your damage is coming from. Jump in with Shunpo and unleash Death Lotus. Katarina's ult has very short cooldown, less than a minute, so feel free to gank as much as possible while it is ready. It only turns on if an enemy champion is in range so you can take a few steps to the side to check the brush. It also stacks more damage than AP Katarina IF you have your bloodthirsters. If not, it won't do so much.

Take mid whenever you can. As I said in my AP guide, take it whenever possible and avoid the champions I listed in my other guide.

First item to get Boots of Speed and three health potions. You can take Doran's Shield and a health potion but personally, I do like boots and three health pots more. can stay quite long in mid (or side) with either set. Once you have the money, time to go shopping for boots!! Yay!

Sorcerer's Boots are what I like to run because it gives magic penetration which is what Katarina needs for her skills, badly!!! If there is an Annie, Anivia, anyone with a CC, take mercury's treads if you really need it. All the other boots, I do not recommend getting.

Next item to get, B.F. Sword pl0x!!!!! Then change it to a BloodThirster. This item will show significant improvement to your damage output.

However, even though this is an AD build, you should build Rylais because...
A) It's the only health source from any great item for Katarina.
B) Makes your shunpo and ultimate slow enemies.
C) Gives some AP (which scales with Death Lotus)

Also, Hextech Gunblade is not a bad item for Katarina anymore due to her ultimate scaling both AD and AP.

Need some Magic resistance? Banshee's Veil will reduce incoming magic damage and protect you from it in the first place.
Need armor? Maybe Guardian Angel will help.
Want to go for magic penetration? Haunting Guise works great because it's pretty cheap, instead of the expensive Void Staff way.
Need some extra cooldown? Nashor's Tooth is great since it increases attack speed, adds AP and has CD reduction.
A bit of everything? Hextech Gunblade

Tips and Notes to take:
-Always use Killer Instincts + Shunpo + Death Lotus as a combo. Do this to ensure survivability during Death Lotus.
-Try to hide during a teamfight. DO NOT initiate but when one of your teammates do, jump in there and unleash Death Lotus, it's helped every teamfight I've been in with Katarina.
-None of the buffs EXTREMELY help but they do because obviously they're buffs. It's not really important to have the opportunity to take them because most of the time you'll receive them by killing someone who had the buff.
-Katarina cannot tower dive well. Do not try to unless you're in range for a quick shunpo and you have high enough health. Sometimes you'll save your life if you leave the opponent to be.
-Take the lizard buff whenever you can before starting a team fight or ganking.

If you have any questions, ask below. Vote up, comment, and point out any changes I can make to improve my guide. Thanks for reading.