AP Assassin mid
Alninio's full recommended build
Threats to Katarina with this build
|Karthus||Karthus has no way to cancel your ultimate and he has extremley low mobility while you have plenty. You can easily beat a Karthus, the only thing you need to be worried about is his ultimate when you're low health. Here is a cool tip - If you have a ward, put it down and shunpo to it. It will reduce 15% Of the damage recieved because that's what Shunpo does which is pretty awesome. In lane, side step his Q's and avoid them if possible.|
|Teemo||He's weak, very weak. Teemo can easily be beaten. You outburst him completley and Teemo is not a viable mid laner at all. Katarina basically wipes the smile of Teemo's face, sorry Teemo lovers.|
Edits and changes to the guide
7/9/2014 - Added chapter for masteries, runes, added videos, added mastery explanations.
9/9/2014 - Added more items and description in the chapter "Items" and went more indepth on what items should be considered to be bought and what items are weak and not viable on Katarina, ALL HAIL Deathfire Grasp
11/11/2014 - Added more champions for champion matchups and how to counter them, Fixed descriptions for each champion matchup, fixed type mistakes - Added in Fiddle, Heimerdinger, Galio and Jayce.
17/12/2014 - Added my very first Katarina montage! [It's at chapter 4]
28/1/2015 - HUGE changes in patch 5.2 that effect Katarina and this means huge changes to the guide, RIP Deathfire Grasp 2009 - 2015 :(
29/1/2015 - Added TON of useful information on the chapter Advice on: (Laning, Reaction time, Anticipation, Farming and team fights)
2/3/2015 - Added more information on Rylai's Crystal Scepter on the chapter "Items", could be a viable option in season 5 since Deathfire Grasp got removed. Rylai's Crystal Scepter shouldn't be a rush item, instead of Hextech Gunblade rush, you can go with Zhonya's Hourglass rush. More information on the chapter "Items."
26/2/2015 - Changed build order, added Rabadon's Deathcap as rush item, changed runes vs AD in the chapter "runes" AND I put up a new champion matchup - Malzahar!
27/2/2015 - Added champion threats Under the masteries! Added ALOT of detailed explanation and I plan to add more on there in the future with full detail on how to beat everyone of them and how to overcome the unique situations given to you by every champion.
2/3/2015 - Added MORE champion threats under masteries each with their notes and explanation - Added new video in the (MY VIDEOS) Chapter - the video is how Death Lotus can be used as aggresion/initiation - strictly speaking Katarina is a clean up champion but in some situations, you can allow your team to clean up while you be the engager, watch the video and you'll get what I mean.
I hope you all benefit from this guide, I plan to add more champion matchups and how to deal with them in the next following days! :)
Let us take this moment... to remember Deathfire Grasp
2009 - 2015 this item will forever remain as my favorite item in the game, this was THE core item on Katarina. A moment of silence..
Katarina ultimate guide - my experience.
Hello everyone! I am a Platinum player and I'm in EU west. this is my guide for my main champion Katarina .. tell me what you guys think about it! rate fairly if you don't mind!
Katarina. truly one of the most unique champions. She is the excellent assassin and the most lovable champion in the game for me. her job is to jump in, take out low or half health champions and destroy everyone with her passive and leave with style *puts on shades* and ofcourse, you can burst full hp champions like Caitlyn or Jinx or any standard AP carry depending on how you play. if you master Katarina you will shred you enemies to pieces.
I have my own Twitch Stream! I play Katarina like 90% of the time, tune in, ask me questions; I'm more than happy to explain things and help people out.
I've had her since 2009 which is when I fell in love with this champion. from that point, she had become my main champion. Each day I read more and more about her, with my first game I did so well, I couldn't stop playing her, she was truly one of the best champions I have ever played. I don't have a problem jumping into 5 people and destroying them when I'm super strong. It gives you an adreline rush, I feel so godlike, my heart pumping constanly because one mistake that you do will cause you to die but usually I get nervous when I'm the only one carrying the game and If I die, the fight is over and we lost. If you are new to Katarina you might want to buy health items, but I don't recommend them personally. items you can use are Rylai's Crystal Scepter or Liandry's Torment. I find them weak on Katarina and don't recommend health items.
I know when I can win a teamfight and when I can't. She can easily take out the whole team by herself if you are aware of the enemy's health and how much damage you can do.
My name is Hussain .. and this is my Katarina guide. I hope this helps! :)
Whenever an enemy champion dies within 3 seconds of Katarina dealing damage to them, her cooldowns will be reduced by 15 seconds
ACTIVE: Katarina throws a dagger that bounces from enemy to enemy, dealing magic damage and marking each enemy hit for 4 seconds. Bouncing Blades hits a total of 5 unique targets (4 bounces), each striking the closest next target. Each subsequent hit deals 10% less damage.
Striking a marked target with an ability or basic attack will consume the mark on the target and deal additional magic damage.
This skill Is the key for farming safely in laning phase and harrassing/poking your enemy.
ACTIVE: Katarina whirls her daggers, instantly dealing magic damage to all nearby enemies. If she damages an enemy champion, she gains movement speed for 1 second. This ability is super useful for detonating your Bouncing Blades - use it to gain speed and escape ganks, but mainly Shunpo is your main escape ability for running away from that Vi coming to gank you from that bush.
Shunpo is apparently going to recieve changes in the future due to the removal of Deathfire Grasp and so is Katarina entire kit, but currently it Teleports you to an enemy and deals damage. Use this ability as your main gap closer, this is your way of entering and escaping fights. Make sure to use it's full utility by placing a ward and using Shunpo on it to escape or get closer to enemies. I usually save my trinket on early levels so I can use this to escape a gank, it's very easy to do. Just make sure you don't use Shunpo recklessly as it is your ONLY escape ability, only use this in laning phase to dodge abilities or get closer, I like to shunpo to a minion, Sinister Steel on my enemy laner, Bouncing Blades then a basic attack. Just becareful using this ability.
Katarina rapidly spins in place and channels for 2.5 seconds, throwing a barrage of up to 30 daggers at the closest 3 enemy champions within range. Each dagger deals magic damage and applies Grievous Wounds for 3 seconds, reducing regeneration and incoming healing by 50%.
Death Lotus can hit a single enemy champion no more than 10 times. This skill has been nerfed recently by reducing it's damage on early levels and increasing it's cooldown, but it remains the same strength/cooldown at level 3 Ultimate. This skill is also your bread and butter, you jump in with your gap closer and unleash hell. Just watch out for crowd control, this is why Zhonya's Hourglass is great on Katarina so even if you make a mistake you can save yourself with it's active. Note that you won't always get a full channel on your Death Lotus as player are not completley brainless, they will try to stop you, as long as you get a reset it won't matter if they stopped your channel because your Voracity will help you clean up the fight despite not killing with your ultimate. Just make sure you never use Death Lotus when you don't know you're going to kill, the point of assassinating someone is to GO in and KNOW that you will get the kill. It won't always work out for you, so be ready to react after they use their crowd controls on you.
PATCH 4.15 - How this specific patch changed my playstyle on Katarina
I made this video when patch 4.15 was released, this patch changed runes stats so this is why I'm letting you all know about this.
Alot of things have changed in patch 4.5, I know this is a while back but this patch specifically was the main change We are curently far away from patch 4.5 and a big part of the changes on patch 4.5 are the runes which changed how I play Katarina. flat armor seals have been nerfed, health of scaling has been buffed, my item order in choices has also differed. now let's go in depth with how I use my runes and items, and how I adapted to the new changes introduced in 4.5
MARKS -- Straight forward, majic penetration 9x marks for better poke potential in lane and just straight up majic pen to compensate for not having it early on in items. you can increase this majic pen with sorcerer's shoes and void staff in game.
SEALS -- Seals of Scaling health is now more viable than ever. I have been always using these runes when I'm matched up with an enemy I am confident in beating. someone like ahri for example, a champion I can stomp, now the use of these runes has increased and it actually is alot better than having armor seals if you're not matched up against AD.
VS AD? -- Exactly the same, you don't need to go armor seals; I mean you can if you want. I highly recommend sticking with health per level seals even against AD champions because the health will help you scale well through late game and survive many situations. Armor seals are good early on, even armor scaling is good late game but I found myself always feeling low on health simply because I don't have health per level.
So where does your armor come from in lane? Cloth Armor! grab this and 5 health pots, that way you have plenty of sustain and good early armor to help keep you alive. Remember to go AP per lv glyphs and not MR glyphs since it will be useless to grab Magic resist vs an AD champion. Make two rune pages.
GLYPHS -- this really depends on the matchup. If I'm up against an AD, I go ap per lv simply because I don't need to go MR glyphs against someone who is AD. If I'm facing someone like LeBlanc or Kayle, I'll go MR glyphs to give me maximum survivability in lane.
QUINTENCES -- Straight up movement speed in every match up. this IS the best quints for Kat, and there is a reason for that.
1- Your roam potential is increased SIGNIFICANTLY
2- You are able to get back in lane faster, and not miss CS.
3- I now start with boots instead of doran shield, meaning at lv 1 I have good amount of speed, add sorcerer's shoes into this and your escape and chase potential and guranteeing resets is increased significantly.
We have explained runes, now I will explain what items I buy in ORDER from top to bottom. my items remain the same, but I buy them in different orders now and it also really depends on the situation. I will explain in depth why I go for these items.
Boots of Speed + 4 hp pots --- This gives me good roam potential early on, getting back in lane quickly and increases my chase and escape potential from ganks. synchronizes with my rune setup.
Sorcerer's Shoes --- Simple, the majic penetration is great and works well with the rune setup I use. the mobility is good aswell for roaming and catching up or escaping.
Deathfire Grasp --- So deathfire grasp is.. Oh, wait.. ;(
Zhonya's Hourglass --- This allows me to freeze in one spot, incase I get caught, lowers my amount of deaths as it is truly a life saver and can be really good to make more agressive and risky plays.
Mejai's Soulstealer (OPTIONAL --- This is your bread and butter for low elo around bronze/silver. You stack this up and you become a crazy murderous assassin. replace this with Hextech Gunblade but DON'T buy it as a rush item, buy Zhonya's Hourglass first.
Rabadon's Deathcap --- Press tab, see if they bought any MR. If they haven't go for this as your next item after zhonya. this literally will stomp people.
Void Staff --- Buy this if they are buying MR, huge power spike item.
Hextech Gunblade --- Gunblade is great. I suggest you buy Hextech Revolver first then Bilgewater Cutlass this is a pretty decent item late game.
Guardian Angel --- this is your final item, and is a must in every situation, why? It revives you upon death, gurantees you can have a chance for another reset, synchronizes well with your zhonya's hourglass in late game so you don't get stomped.
Summoner spells -- Ignite and Flash
Wards -- Buy wards whenever you can, the ward shunpo technique is very helpful for escaping anything, literally. You can also make some serious plays by hopping over walls or dodge an ashe ultimate, or whatever comes at you.
There it is guys, My full rune setup and item choices! :)
Advice on: (Laning, Reaction time, Anticipation, Farming and team fights)
Let me tell you something.
People think Katarina is easy to counter or simply underplayed and not a good champion, you are highly mistaken. If you can play Katarina effectivley you can destroy anyone you face in lane, you just need to be clever. I can beat Ahri Diana Kassadin Fizz Cho'Gath and these are all labeled as "Counters" by the LoL community. - If you play your champion well, you can win your game. Enough said.
Timing flashes and abilities/ultimates
I can't stress how important it is to time flashes, abilities and ultimates, ESPECIALLY when you're playing Katarina. You need to be aware, you need to know the enemies cooldown on their abilities, you need to have high knowledge. In time and practice, you can beat any champion simply because you have the knowledge. Alright so:
Flash ---> 5 minutes cooldown
Ignite ---> 3 minutes cooldown
Exhaust ---> 3 minutes cooldown
These you have to keep in mind, it's very easy to time summoner spells, just look at the in game time. So let's say Brand used flash at minute 12:30, so his flash will be up at 17:30. Give this information to your jungler so he can land a good gank for you. It's very simple and I don't know why people are SO lazy that they don't even bother timing flashes. It can help you win, it can help you take a turret, it can help you take a dragon with one of their team member down, the possibilities are endless. I also HIGHLY recommend when you are in the game, press escape, go to interface and set the ability cooldowns to show up as "Minutes and seconds" instead of seconds. So it doesn't show cooldown 300 seconds or whatever, It shows like 2:30 or 3:40. I find it much better personally, just a tip.
Now timing abilities is super important. Let's say Fizz used his Playful / Trickster on a minion wave, what would you do? Will you just look at him as he's taking your minions or will you punish him for his mistake? What you need to do is jump him with Shunpo, basic attack, Bouncing Blades and Sinister Steel. VERY easy harrass damage and he can't dodge it because he already used his only escape/dodge ability. See what I mean? This one move can force him to use health potions and if he doesn't have any potions at all, it can be a future kill for you, he might also have to back and you can damage his turret or take dragon or roam. See what one move can do? This is why you need to have this type of knowledge so you can evolve on a situation that is given to you, the chance is given to you right infront of your eyes and people don't take the opportunity when they can! Just go for it, don't be hesitant. A mindless Fizz does NOT counter a good Katarina. Same applies with other champions, not just Fizz. Brand misses Pillar of Flame and Sear? Pressure him and punish his mistake. Zed doesn't have his Death Mark up and he just used his shadow ability? go on him and damage him. Make opportunities, you are the one who decides what needs to be done, so make it happen.
Reaction time and anticipation
I can't stress how important it is to be quick and have a good reaction time. This is what you need with Katarina and in laning phase, you have to be able to use Shunpo as your reactionary ability. Let me ask you something. What does LeBlanc do when she lands Sigil of Malice on you? Obviously, she will try to proc her Q with her Distortion so what you do is ANTICIPATE (Yes I'll be using this word quite a bit) and realise that this is exactly what she will do and dodge her Distortion damage completley by simply using Shunpo on a nearby minion. SIMPLE. This is what I like to call ANTICIPATION/PREDCTION as you know something is coming, you know how to react to it.
Now here's what Reaction timing is, It's when you DON'T know something is coming but you are quick and you quickly react to it successfully. An example is let's say Jarvan IV is in a bush in middle lane on the left side and you are pushed up far, you don't know he's in the bush because you didn't ward (If you're ever that deep in lane by the way, you should not be close to the enemy turret without wards) Now Jarvan IV comes out of the bush, the enemy mid laner Orianna is ready to use her Command: Shockwave on you, BUT you quickly put down a ward and Shunpo to it; completley avoiding the Orianna Command: Shockwave as you escape to the right side of the lane, Jarvan IV tried to use his Demacian Standard and Dragon Strike on you but he missed. Now Jarvan IV used Flash and used his Cataclysm and your Flash is up, you can simply escape it. If you don't have Flash in that situation try to go for a reset if either Orianna or Jarvan IV are low health. Don't struggle, be patient, be collective and know what you are capable of. That is the point here of this little short story I'm trying to make. improving your reaction timing IMPROVES your playstyle and gameplay.
Laning and Farming
Now, with Katarina, your job is to kill instantly and go for another kill if possible. if you can't get another kill, Shunpo out with ward or on one of your allies. You should only use your ultimate when you can confirm a kill 100%, for early laning phase, you can still use your ult to force the enemy to use health potions or to drop them low enough. as I explained before, you can do so when the enemy makes a mistake like the example I gave before with Fizz using Playful / Trickster on a minion wave. If they stay in lane with low health, suprise them with Flash --> Shunpo and you have to do it in an instant so they don't see it coming. Remember the key is to be fast. Don't use Death Lotus against champions that can react to your ultimate like LeBlanc or Zed since they can both escape your range just by pressing W. Make sure you wait till Zed uses his Shadow on a minion wave, wait till it's gone then go onto Zed. This is just an example, you have to pay attention to the enemy's abilities and turn it into your situation. Fizz used his Playful / Trickster? Jump on him with Shunpo and damage him. Brand missed his Pillar of Flame and Sear? Punish him. punish any mistake the enemy does. I know I said this before but I can't stress how important it is for you to do this, this is what makes you a better player. This is how to win your laning phase is by evolving on a situation given to you or make your own opportunities, don't hesitate.
In laning phase you start with either Cloth Armor and 5 hp potions, or Boots of Speed and 4 hp pots. Go armor against AD, go for Boots of Speed start against any non-AD. I find Kha'Zix in lane very weak and with his nerfs he shouldn't be a big deal, so you can go for these runes against him - 9x magic pen marks, 9x health per lv seals, 9 AP per lv glyphs and 3 movespeed quints, start with Cloth Armor and you're good to go. you don't need armor scaling seals against a Kha'Zix due to his weak laning phase potential and might as well go for the health which will be useful for surviving anything in general. avoid skillshots with Shunpo and try to get the Needlessly Large Rod asap to be built to a Zhonya's Hourglass and you should go for Sorcerer's Shoes aswell. when Farming, use your Bouncing Blades to last hit and then use your Sinister Steel. This can be used to harrass after level 6 when you are confident, but make sure you don't get too close to a minion when your enemy has an ability that is up to punish you for getting too close.
ANTICIPATE, PREDICT, ANALYZE, OBSERVE, REACT. These are key words for Katarina.
Now, with teamfights.. you need the perfect timing to enter the fight. go in too early and you'll get focused down and killed, go in too late and your team will fall without you. look for that perfect moment, secure it, and kill everyone. I recommend putting Zhonya's Hourglass as number 2 (I prefer it there anyway) but you can put it where ever you want, I just feel it's very easy to keep in my mind because number 2 is close to my Sinister Steel ability.
Your job is to kill half health champions and their main carries and as you're spinning there in the middle of the fight, you need to get a reset from your Voracity. this is why you should kill someone with half health to get that reset or getting an assist works aswell. If you get a kill you can jump to another person and finish them off aswell, look for other half health champions and kill them too. and then continue doing that till the entire team is dead. the enemy has no time to react when they are half health because you have already killed them by the time they try to react. this is how you're supposed to play Katarina, go for those half health champions and finish them off. I once used Flash into Shunpo into 3 people because the enemy team had a very low health Tristana, so I had my Zhonya's Hourglass active up and my team was right behind me. I was strong enough to finish her off, then quickly use full combo on the other two and my team follows up on that. With Katarina, you can also be the one to start a fight, just make sure you know how to or your team will crumble. If you are extremley fed, you can literally jump in 1v5 and take out their entire team, try to go for a suprise attack or try to get your teammates to distract the enemy so they won't even expect you. your time to attack is when your allies are receiving damage and when you find half health champions. that is your time to kill them all. sometimes, they don't need to be half health because Katarina is so powerful with the build I go for and this is especially if you are ahead. Mejai's Soulstealer also really helps in these type of situations where you can kill a full health enemy.
As Katarina you are EXTREMLEY mobile. you easily run around the map and gank other lanes without a problem. This is why I highly prefer movement speed quintences. It just makes her so mobile and enter teamfights quicker and jump in there when your team needs you despartley to kill everyone. Movespeed quints allow you to escape ganks effectivley, chase, escape and roam effectivley on other lanes. People might say this isn't perfect on Katarina but I highly prefer the movespeed because it fits my playstyle, I can escape ganks and chase enemies very easily.
She can avoid skillshots with Shunpo, you can always Shunpo to allies or minions which make the skillshots mid champions pretty hard to target you since they can't land their skillshots on you easily as you're shunpoing all over the place. this minimizes the amount of harrass you receive. You should make very minimum mistakes to come out on top. Use Shunpo to your advantage. You can always ward and Shunpo, it's like a free flash over a wall, a nice way to escape or catch someone recalling on the other side. whenever you have a ward, you should attempt that technique depending on the situation, don't be hesitant. it's just like Lee Sin but with Shunpo. You can even Shunpo to your minion wave to get back to your turret and that is something I always do, I keep an eye on my minion wave then I follow it so incase I get ganked I already have a planned safe route.
How to Outplay your opponents (MY VIDEOS)
Outplaying Zed in a 1v1
Here is me outplaying Zed in a 1v1 as he decides to dive me under turret, Zed is an extremley good turret diver but you can outplay him with Katarina. Zed has good single targetting, Katarina has AMAZING AOE damage + Single target burst. Watch how I save my Shunpo with the anticipation that he will dive me. Always plan and anticipate, don't rush things. You can expect a mindless Katarina to use Shunpo and Sinister Steel on the minion wave while Zed is that close to turret, that Katarina would be dead and ripped to pieces. PATIENCE and ANTICPATION are key when playing Katarina. Take it easy, don't rush yourself, you'll be just fine.
Enemy Inhibitor Fight
Here is my outplay at enemy inhibitor as I successfully get a good clean up on kills and go for the enemy inhibitor
Fast reactions, fast reflexes. This is what seperates the good Katarina's from the bad ones. this video shows exactly how to surpass a situation where I would've completley died had I not reacted in time. I survive this by depending on my Passive Voracity and fast reaction timing. I escape death TWICE if you continue watching till the end.
I started laughing alot because, come on. that was Pretty funny.
Death Lotus Aggresion
Katarina isn't all about cleaning up in some situations, but in general cleaning up a fight is what she does best. However in this situation, Death Lotus is used to stop the enemy team from doing dragon AND allowing my team to clean up instead since I jump in with Bouncing Blades into Sinister Steel into Shunpo > Death Lotus - as you can see I focused everything on Nami since she was the one with the least amount of health, If I had Zhonya's Hourglass I would've survived but I didn't have enough money. if I did end up killing Nami quickly enough, I would've got a reset on my Voracity and would've been able to do some more damage to someone else or ward > Shunpo over the red camp wall to escape their range and allow my team to clean up. With Katarina you can be the aggressor, try suprising the enemies when they least expect you so your plan works out.
Runes and it's importance (How to COUNTER your COUNTER)
I will now show you the 3 ESSENTIAL type of runes you should have as Katarina against every certain type of match up you come across. You can beat your counters, just use your game knowledge and champions knowledge to beat them. Runes are more important than you might think. The change of runes can guarantee your lane succession and late game domination. Let's get started.
Laning against AD champions
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
Greater Seal of Scaling Health
Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power
Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed
This will overall keep you safe in lane against high AD burst champions. Start with a Cloth Armor vs AD champions and 5 health pots to sustain. The AP per level glyphs will help you deal good damage as you progress through the game. the health per level seals will do the rest of the job to keep you healthy and alive throughout late game. The reason I don't go armor seals vs AD's is because I already start with a Cloth Armor and I have plenty of sustain with 5 health pots. I consider hp per level very important in many situations, it can keep your health high throughout the game. Zed has the potential to burst at lv 6, you can use your mobility to outplay him. Make sure to save Shunpo as it is your outplay tool. This also depends on how much health you have and how well you use Shunpo. You HAVE to Shunpo to escape easily. Bait Zed into a trap where you jungler can gank. The same applies to Talon, you can just easily outplay him with shunpo, I have personally beaten AD champions including Yasuo aswell, sure he looks really strong but he is beatable. Save these runes as one rune page and make sure to use it vs AD champions at mid lane, this applies for ranked competitive play as you can see who the enemy will pick. you can even first pick Katarina and see what they pick and play correctly against them. However, in some cases it's not wise to first pick Katarina but if you know how to play her, it wouldn't matter.
Laning against AP champions
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
Greater Seal of Scaling Health
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed
Laning against AP champions is not as frustrating as it might sound to you. Alot of people think 'Ooh no, it's a Ziggs and I'm playing kat. GG' when in reality you can perfectly beat high AP champions. you need to think - Okay, so Ziggs has his Q which he can use to poke and clear waves. what's a good stating item against that? Boots of Speed and health pots! This allows me to dodge Ziggs Q's. And the runes I have put up are perfect, the health per lv seals are still worth placing in there because Ziggs can poke and you need good amount of health to stay in the lane. That seal has also been buffed so it's worth going for, you don't need armor vs an AP champion anyway. Gragas also uses basic attacks, Diana, Fizz - these champions will run out of mana eventually. You don't use mana. you're Katarina. staying safe and not poking alot on these champions is the best way. you can rely on items for AP but it's mostly important to survive laning phase and take farm. you can begin poking with Bouncing Blades at lv 5 or 6 when you have made Bouncing Blades at level 3 where the damage is higher. Ask your jungler for ganking, make sure to roam when it's possible to get a kill. Fiddlesticks and LeBlanc are probably the most annoying to handle but they are beatable. Your jungler plays a big role in this too so consider him aswell. I also like to mention Orianna and Lux both of them have shields and most people pick barrier on them to increase their shield further. these are champions that can be annoying to burst but they are beatable with these runes. just make sure to fight with your jungler and let the enemy waste barrier.
MAN MODE, NO FEAR, GO HAM Runes
Lastly, I will talk about the greedy runes if you just wanna destroy people, take note that you will not have defensive runes if you go for this. This is if you are super confident against your matchup, you have to be skilled with Katarina to go for this, so give yourself time. I use:
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
Greater Seal of Scaling Health
Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power
Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed
These runes are if you are comfortable laning against a champion - for example: Twisted Fate, Teemo, Ahri these are skill matchups and requires you to be skilled with the champion to use these runes. Don't use them until you're ready, stick with the MR glyphs if you're not ready. AP per level glyphs just allows that extra stomping power you'll have late game but MR is always a good choice anyway.
The masteries you use on Katarina are simple and basic. You're going for a standard AP type of masteries that will be effective in every type of matchup, I will explain why I spend my points on each mastery point so you can have a better understanding of my choices.
Double-Edged Sword - Typically with this mastery point, you're dealing an additional 2% damage and receive an additional 1.5% damage. With Katarina, you shouldn't receive as much damage so picking a point in this will help boost your kill potential by 2%.
Sorcery - Now, I'm sure some of you might be wondering.. "why 3 points in this?" well typically cooldown is good on Katarina and everything, but this amount of cooldown is already enough. you also need a point in Dangerous Game which is very important on Katarina so might aswell not spend the entire 4 points on cooldown since Katarina already should depend on her passive Voracity to get resets.
Expose Weakness - It increases allied champions' damage by 1% for the next 3 seconds, Katarina has AOE (area of effect) damage from her Death Lotus and Sinister Steel and her Bouncing Blades can bounce. So definatley worth picking up for that ad carry to get that extra damage in. Believe me, it can make a little difference.
Executioner - This allows Katarina to get resets more effectivley making her a strong burst assasssin. I spend all 3 points on this because you NEED to burst those half HP champions and get those resets rolling from your passive Voracity. this Mastery is made for Katarina.
Archmage - Self explanatory, gives you AP.
Dangerous Game - This is literally my favourite mastery, it gives you HP and mana upon killing a champion. We don't benefit from the mana but the health is definatley benefitial. I have been put in situations where I popped Zhonya's Hourglass and I was super low health and the enemy were all half hp surrounding me for the kill. I get the first reset by shunpoing on one of them and killing them and that will give me more health to kill the rest. So yes, I ended up with a penta kill. This mastery can make these type of situations happen.
Devastating Strikes - Armor and magic penetration, definatley needed.
Arcane Blade - This helps you last hit better as you build AP on Katarina and it's still considered useful early game where you have to last hit some minions under your turret. worth grabbing a point in this mastery.
Havoc - 3% increased damage, I'll take it.
Now onto defense Masteries
Block - This helps from any champion really, even mages can basic attack. worth grabbing.
Recovery - Helps you regen your health and this is espeically useful during laning phase where Katarina can get poked alot and it basically increases the amount of hp you receive from health potions.
Unyielding - Reduces damage by 2, it helps not just with basic attack but all incoming damage. Yes I got away with 5 hp once thanks to this mastery.
Veteran Scars - This is a very important mastery because it helps you survive better, the health is needed on Katarina, plain and simple. if you go for utility masteries instead of defense masteries, it is just not as useful on Katarina. I cannot stress how important it is to survive during fights. this mastery is DEFINATLEY worth grabbing and compliments your health per level seals if you use what I use. this just suits my type of playstyle.
Juggernaut - Another important mastery. more health, more survivability. definatley put a point in this mastery.
These masteries should be use in pretty much every type of matchup. these are the perfect Masteries for Katarina. It's not even worth going for any Utility points, Go straight up defense and focus on your survivability. Good Katarina players don't go for utility simply because it is NOT needed. Utility points give you speed? I use movespeed quints. Utility gives you increased health pot duration? I have 4 health pots when I start the game and that is enough to sustain throughout laning phase. Biscuits? No, just no.
Champion Matchups - How to win against all different types of Champions
I will list the colours Green, Yellow and Red as which champions are difficult to lane against, and what you can do to win against them.
Red is Hard match up
Yellow is Normal match up
Green is Easy match up
Aatrox is probably one of the hardest lanes if you're playing Katarina, he is incredibly annoying due to his Blood Well meaning you will not get your reset from your passive Voracity, He will jump on you with his Q, slash you away and soon enough force you out of lane. However, he is beatable, and there is a way to stop him, but it won't be easy.
You have to constantly poke at him with your Q, remember to max your Q, and always avoid being knocked up by his Q. he has amazing sustain, so watch out. You have your 5 health potions start with 4 wards, use that to always remain in lane and get as much farm as you can. Keep last hitting minions but remember not to get too close to him. He will wreck you, it is what he wants. he wants you to get closer to the minions so he can literally take away half your health with his Q and basic attacks. he could kill you. You can go Cloth Armor and 5 Health Potion which gives you good odds against a champion like Aatrox. this way, you have atleast some decent armour to defend yourself and last hit as normal with Q. Ask your jungler for help early on, put some pressure into him. if you see Aatrox out of lane, shove your minion wave and look to roam and gank other lanes. If that's not possible, take wraiths or wolves to keep your xp ahead of Aatrox and so you can gain extra gold.
Ahri is a very playable and popular champion. her kit is very powerful and provides lots of mobility and decent amount of damage. same as Katarina. Ahri is a skill-shot based champion, Katarina is not, meaning if you outplay her by dodging her Charm and Orb of Deception you can come out on top against her in lane. She uses mana, you don't. With your 5 health potions and Boots of Speed early on, you can stay in lane longer by dodging her abilities. pop health potions when you take damage. This is why I use movement speed quintences on every matchup since you can dodge skillshots and run around faster than your lane opponent. stay behind your minions at early stage of the game and ask your jungler for help to pressure the Ahri, your main goal here is to collect as much farm as you can to buy Needlessly Large Rod and that is where you will shine against her. she isn't hard, Ahri is NOT a counter to Katarina.
Play Katarina the correct way and you will come out on top in that match up. Make sure that every time Ahri leaves her lane, you watch out for top lane and bot lane, see which lane is most pushed and which you think Ahri will most likley go to. She is a mobile champion, she can gank very effectivley with her ultimate Spirit Rush - Don't allow her to gank effectivley against your allies, see if you can help them out!
There is nothing threatning about Akali when you are Katarina, you can simply destroy her in lane, however don't get too greedy and underestimate her so easily. her Q and E hurts, and is a good way to burst you down. Just remember to play it safe early on like in every lane, get your farm, and ask help from your jungler. you can easily destroy her, even when she is in stealth mode you can still Use Death Lotus in the area and you can execute her. Once she gets level 6, this is where she becomes a bit stronger and will most likley start jumping on you if you get too close, If she does, use Bouncing Blades and Sinister Steel this will give you decent damage on her and get away from her with the Sinister Steel movement speed. If you can kill her as she ults on you, use Q,W,R instantly. if she decides to back off, jump on her with shunpo to secure the kill or Ignite. she is not hard, but don't underestimate her. If she lands her Q, good akali's will wait a few seconds until their Q is back up. once it is, they can Shadow Dance, E, throw another Q, Shadow Dance and it will hurt like crazy. Make sure you build the correct Items and you'll be just fine.
Ah, Anivia. She is pretty annoying when it comes with her passive. You can't secure a kill on her early on unless you get help from your jungler. she is easy, but also not easy. She's pretty weak when it comes to dueling against Katarina but never underestimate the damage output. make sure you always stay away from her stun and the AOE effect she puts on the ground. Most Anivia's will just stay behind their minions at early stage and keep on farming. They will attempt to harrass whenever the chance is given, so you do the same and just focus on getting your Needlessly Large Rod and you'll be fine. Avoid deaths from her, a fed Anivia can be irritating. Use your roaming abilities whenever she is away from lane. shove your minion wave and look for ways to help your team or collect jungle wraiths or wolves. Overall, she is beatable. just remember, your passive will not trigger if you kill her when she is on egg form, so watch out! always left click on Anivia to see if her passive is up or not, this is INCREDIBLY important when facing Anivia as you have to know when you can kill her and when you can't.
Here comes Annie, a champion that is labelled one of the toughest counters against Katarina, but in reality, that is INCREDIBLY untrue. If you outplay Annie, you can destroy her. Here is a tip if you are playing against her. You can tell when her stun is up when you see a whirlwind around the character Annie herself, it shows a constant whirlwind around her indicating her next ability will stun. Simply put, don't be silly and get in range of her abilities so you don't get stunned and don't attempt to kill her when she has the stun. It's that simple really, besides that you can destroy her, if she gets a few kills on you it will be hard to come back, don't underestimate the demon child. There are much more threatning champions than Annie when you are playing Katarina.
Brand is one tough champion, seriously. Even without AP, he does some incredibly good damage and can burst so hard. With Katarina, you can dodge Brand's Pillar of Flame and Sear. You can shunpo on minions in lane to dodge these abilities. these abilities cost TONS of mana if he decides to harrass you early on, meaning he will have to recall at some point. even if he has flask or Mana Potion, he will run out, and when he does, keep on farming since you have 5 health potions and 4 wards, this will keep you safe from ganks and stay in lane MUCH longer than he will. Get your items ASAP and destroy him, get help from your jungler. use your roaming abilities and see if you can help other lanes out whenever possible, it's always important that when you are playing Katarina, you don't just focus on your lane. it's important to look around the map and see where Brand might roam or where he might gank, and assist your team. Brand is not hard, but don't underestimate him one bit, he is one tough fire man, seriously.
Cassiopeia is beatable, and you can win against her when playing Katarina pretty easily actually. She is not a champion that can take alot of damage, and you can dodge her poison pretty easily with Shunpo, although remember she has it often so only go for farm when you know you can't be poked with Noxious Blast. Early on, she will poke like crazy and it will be annoying for a while, but later on you just completley demolish her if you farmed well and have decent items. Overall, not a big deal. definatley beatable if you play it right.
This is an annoying lane match up you can ever have when you are Katarina. He is just so annoying to face, and he can sustain in lane more than you and constantly harrass you while taking damage without a problem. If he goes Abyssal Scepter with lots of tankiness, and he gets a few early kills on you.. you're gonna have a REALLY bad time. Don't give him kills, don't try to 1v1 him, it's that simple. Only go all in when your jungler is around. However, to every champion, there is a weakness you can overcome, and Cho'Gath weakness is early game pressure. Besides, you can completley outplay a cho'gath with shunpoing around minions. if your jungler and you add some early pressure on Cho'gath and hopefully get first blood, you're gonna have a good lead against him early on, you should instantly get your Needlessly Large Rod for maximum damage and keep farming safely. DON'T buy MR against him, go for your damage items because he isn't a threat to you, it's annoying only throughout laning phase. Keep farming safely and always avoid his Rupture. Never try to execute him when he's full health, he has his Feral Scream which silences you and he will end up using Feast on you, killing you instantly. Only initiate if he has already used Feral Scream on minion wave or if you believe you have enough damage to kill him. other than that, not the biggest counters, you can roam better than him and have better assassination potential than him.
Diana is not a scary champion. If you see on lolcounter, she is listed as one of the top counters to Katarina and I am here to tell you this is completley and utterly FALSE, it's ridiculous how people agree to it, because smart Katarina players can overcome Diana. Only the bad Katarina players can lose against A Diana. Against Diana, you want to constanly avoid her Crescent Strike, once you do, you can go ahead and harrass with her Q,E,W. she will do very weak damage on you as all she has is her basic attacks, Pale Cascade, and her Moonfall, be sure to do this combo as soon as she missed her Q, the Q cooldown is pretty short so make sure you avoid it at all cost. she uses mana, you don't. You will stay in lane longer than her and you will get to roam and collect farm more than her if you begin with 5 health potions and 4 wards. Overall, her shield avoids some of your damage, so again don't underestimate her completley. she is still a good pick. Make sure you don't let her hit you with her Crescent Strike as she can use her Lunar Rush and it will be annoying as hell.. she will do her full combo on you and it will possibly kill you or drop you very low. Becareful! your main goal here is to collect farm safely, and always avoid her Crescent Strike as she needs this ability to hit for her full combo.
So Fizz is definatley a strong champion, he can be strong without necessarily having to rush a Rabadon's Deathcap into massive amount of AP due to his high base damage. In laning phase, you can poke Fizz here and there with your Bouncing Blades but once he activates Seastone Trident you know he is planning to charge at you with Urchin Strike and you need to avoid this by using Shunpo on a minion or place a ward and Shunpo to it. It's very important you always look at your Shunpo cooldown because if you don't have it up when you need it, it could be certain death if their jungler pops out of nowhere and you have no real escape. you can alternatively escape using Sinister Steel to give you the movement speed bonus but it's better to get out of range with your Shunpo.
The important thing to do vs a Fizz is don't try to all in him with all your abilities because he has Playful / Trickster and he can completely dodge everything you throw at him. The best thing to do is wait till he uses the ability to clear a wave, or perhaps you threw a Bouncing Blades and he dodged it with his Playful / Trickster, use your full combo when he lands on the ground Shunpo - Sinister Steel and then Death Lotus and only Ignite him if necessary. Remember that if Fizz uses Urchin Strike on you, you have to have Shunpo ready otherwise you will get stomped with his continuous basic attacks from his Seastone Trident and eventually he will pop Chum the Waters to swallow you whole. You know what's cool about Katarina? You can completely dodge his ultimate, with a press of a button. Shunpo. I can't stress enough how important this ability is in laning phase because you can poke fizz with your Bouncing Blades but eventually he will try to play aggresive and you need that Shunpo ready for a proper escape. Don't underestimate his damage because he can hurt. the key to this match up is based on skill, he isn't a hard match up, all it needs is precision, timing and quick reactions and very efficient use of Shunpo and you will master this match up every time.
Alright, number one key if you're up against this guy is to know that he is a complete annoying lil poop head. Now that we have acknowledged that, let us move on. This guy is super annoying in lane, he will poke you with Dark Wind constantly and silence you when you try to go for minions, when you try to all in, pretty much anything you do this guy, he will CAW-CAW-CAW-CAW out of nowhere and make your life a living hell. This guy is definatley someone to be FEARED (see what I did there, cuz he fears with Terrify-okay).
Guess what though, he really isn't that scary if you know what you're doing and you know what you're up against. You can definatley expect a completley mindless Katarina to get stomped by this guy, this seperates the good Katarina's and the bad ones. Fiddlesticks can also be a scary jungler, so what you need to do if you're up vs an enemy fiddle jungler is put up wards all over the sides of the jungle, that is where he can easily strike through a wall and Crowstorm all over your face and nothing can be done about it. Vs a Fiddle, wards are your friends. You cannot allow him to CAW-CAW-CAW-CAW over a wall and get to you, it's just too much. Thankfully since you're kat, you have Shunpo to escape him before he engages, use ward + shunpo to escape his range. During lane, Fiddle can still Crowstorm across walls, you might think "Oh, he's gone back to base or went to pressure another lane, I'll keep pushing my lane." Until it's too late and all he was doing is hiding in his wraith camp, waiting for you to be reckless. What some fiddlesticks will do is wait till you have 2 or 3 minions at turret and jump at you so the turret agro can hit you, his Crowstorm will kill a full wave either way if he has enough AP, so watch out! play smart! His Terrify is super annoying which leaves you open for ganks, try to keep your distance and farm during laning phase. He is very squishy, the faster you suprise him the less he can do about it. For example, let's say he's walking towards bot from mid lane, hide in the dragon pit when there is no vision on that area, he will have his eyes on bot lane because he doesn't expect anyone to be in the dragon pit. That's where you suprise him. Be a little creative with how you play vs him, the faster you are mechanically the better you will do against him. Take my advice, I've went against so many fiddlesticks with a lot of success. His Drain is scary if he has alot of damage, try avoiding getting feared as much as possible. At a later stage of the game, every fiddlesticks buys a Zhonya's Hourglass which is used when a fiddle uses Crowstorm. They jump over a wall, then pop zhonya. Never stay in his ult range, you take hella ton damage. Only engage a fiddlesticks when his zhonya is down and you have teammates nearby. don't try to 1v1 a fiddlesticks who is strong unless you can completley surprise him as I suggested in my example with the dragon pit.
Oh Galio, the under rated dragon no one cares about anymore, this guy is a monster if played right. His Runic Skin allows him to collect magic resistance yet still remain strong, something you should worry about. What most Galio's do is that they buy Null-Magic Mantle as their first item when they go vs AP. It's not something that big to worry about, I'm more worried about his ult and late game, he is much stronger in teamfights. In laning phase, he's not even that much of a big deal. Your damage will definatley be neglected but you can still destroy him with his Idol of Durand being down. In early laning phase, dodging Resolute Smite is the first thing you should do, this is his main damage output. Galio only uses this ability and Righteous Gust as his damage abilities, his Ultimate is also considered damage ofcourse. Righteous Gust does nothing early on, even if he hits level 6 it won't be a big factor to be worried about. His Resolute Smite hurts once he starts leveling up, something you need to watch out for. If he misses Resolute Smite, go in for a quick Q,E,basic attack,W to put in as much damage as possible without receiving damage back. He can't do anything except use his Bulwark and once that goes on cooldown and he misses the next Resolute Smite, go in for another q,e, basic attack W. He will eventually drop low enough and will be forced to back. He uses ALOT of mana for his abilities it's kinda silly, so force him to use these abilities and you will come out on top. Watch out when he hits level 6, his Idol of Durand allows the enemy jungler to hop in and kill you. Never engage Galio with his ult up, that's the last thing you want to do.
Drop that hammer and raise your blades, for I shall explain how you beat this mad scientist. This guy is NOTHING at a late stage of the game vs Katarina. Here is how the game will go vs Heimerdinger. He will put down his turrets, pew pew pew all day on your minions and shove your lane like crazy. once he gets level 6, he will have better protection if he gets ganked and he has the chance to sniper you under turret if you're low health. So number 1 rule vs a heimerdinger is to ALWAYS dodge his abilities, you can't afford to get dropped low hp and be forced out of lane, that's the last thing you want. dodge his Hextech Micro-Rockets as much as possible. These things are really annoying, when you get put up vs a heimerdinger just know that you will get your lane shoved the entire time. What you need to do is farm safely under your turret and get as much gold as possible. If he doesn't have a Zhonya's Hourglass poke him here and there, then go for the kill with deathfire and full combo. don't be scared and don't hesitate, he will piss his pants so much because he won't even know how much damage you actually deal with a deathfire, you can completely suprise him. Play it smart and you won't have to worry about anything. So things to watch out for are his skill shots. Oh, and don't let your jungler gank your lane when heimerdinger is level 6, chances are he will kill you and your jungler because his turrets will zone you out of range and it's not worth the risk, he can pop his UPGRADE!!! and chances are you won't even be full health to help your jungler. If heimerdinger is half health or low mana, then that is a good time for a gank since he can't do anything about it except flash. Always make sure you time the enemy flashes, It' a 5 minute cooldown, let your jungler know how long till the enemy flash is back up and that will improve the ganks you recieve by ALOT.
*Cough* I sense someone I hate *Cough*
Where do I start with this guy, As you see I listed Jayce in red font to show how annoying/hard he can be in lane. Man, this guy is a poke god, he will poke the living poop out of you until you die and that is something you need to watch out for, BIG time. You can't afford to get poked by his To The Skies! because once he gets damage and Tear of the Goddess, his poke damage will just be silly during lane and the amount of mana he can keep is insane. The range of his poke is also extremley high so he can poke you through a wall or bush easily while you are under your turret. I'll tell you how to dig out this pile of dirt.
to play vs Jayce, you need reaction timing, quick fingers and anticipation. Anticipation is the knowledge of the enemy's abilities and knowing when he will use it and when he won't. That is what we call "Anticipation" and it will play a key role vs jayce. Sometimes anticipation is more important then your reaction timing, because if you know something is coming and you know when he will pop it, you can easily dodge it. reaction timing is not having the knowledge that an ability is coming, but you simply react to it. BOTH are going to be important vs Jayce. Let's go in detail.
If you are under turret, chances of Jayce poking you is very high. INFACT, he will go in the left or right bush in mid lane and throw down his Thundering Blow / Acceleration Gate and To the Skies! / Shock Blast so you wouldn't see it coming. Things like that you should keep in mind, know when you are safe and when you are not. How to avoid his EQ is also to stay behind your minions. His Q can't pass through minions and that is a safe way to grab some farm here and there. Make sure you don't get too close or he will use his melee combo on you, if he does pop his To the skies directly on you, pop a ward and Shunpo to it or use a minion and shunpo to it so he doesn't lay down full combo. The main key vs this guy is to always dodge his poke. I can't stress how important it is to dodge and side step his abilities. Use Shunpo as your main ability to dodge, i use movement speed quinences so I'm able to dodge even better with my mobility. You don't have to if you don't want to, I just prefer the speed on Katarina because mobility is my number one factor.
Your jungler can help you out aswell, just remember that if you get poked way too much, your jungler can't help. Since you're too low, the jayce will put his focus on you and you can easily die and Jayce could easily survive. Always remain cautious, Always keep your eyes open. laning phase won't be the easiest thing in the world vs Jayce but you can deal with him. A mindless Katarina will definatley lose vs Jayce. Don't try to 1v1 him early on, Don't try to get too close to him. Watch out for his Thundering Blow As it can cancel your Death Lotus
Here's the thing with Malzahar, he is a great lane shover and can use his Nether Grasp to cancel your Death Lotus completley. Only a good Katarina will know how to play vs a Malzahar. The question is - Can you beat Malzahar as a Katarina? Yes, hell yes.
You need to know if his Nether Grasp is up or down, make sure to tell your team if it's up or down so they know if you can go in the fight or not. Basically, you don't want to 1v1 a Malzahar under any circumstances when his ultimate is up. This is exactly how you get yourself killed. to add further more, if you decide to Shunpo to a Malzahar, that's it. You have to put yourself in a position of combat and turning back at this point is dangerous and not guranteed for you to survive. NEVER use Shunpo like that, especially against someone like Malzahar. Durning laning phase, focus on getting as many minion as possible. Keep in mind your lane will be shoved alot and you need to learn how to last hit minion under your turret. Malzahar will constantly use his Malefic Visions to shove lane, avoid your own minions so they don't transfer to you. Positioning here is important, keep in mind that Malzahar can flash and ult you and if their jungler follows up on that, it's gonna hurt man. This is a nightmare for you and it's really not a favorable match up if the Malzahar is a good player. Make sure to dodge his Call of the Void with Shunpo. As soon as you see it, use Shunpo on your minion and stay away from it.
If your jungler ganks before Malzahar is level 6, that is the best thing that can happen and it will give you an early lead. If your jungler says he will gank when Malzahar is level 6, notify him that Malzahar ult is up or down, your jungler NEEDS to know this information, so give it to him. If your jungler ganks and manages to get to Malzahar, Malzahar could put all his focus on you as you try to go at him. The best thing to do here is tell your jungler to save a crowd control ability to cancel the Malzahar ultimate and you're good to go! Make sure you don't use Death Lotus when his Nether Grasp is up, only use it after he uses ult OR if Malzahar is half health or low health you can finish him off before he uses ult. if your jungler does not have CC, someone like Kha'Zix, it's still fine, you are still 2v1 and you can beat Malzahar as he is very immobile and only focuses on shoving his lane leaving him completley open for ganks.
If their enemy ganks, make sure to quickly avoid the Malzahar Nether Grasp with Shunpo, if you can't do that you're most likley going to die, in other words keep your area warded and watch out for enemy ganks because it hurts Katarina big time, you want to avoid these type of situations.
More champion matchups coming in - I'll put up Kayle, Ziggs, Karthus, Kassadin, malphite, Malzahar, Lux, Leblanc, Lissandra, Veigar, Twisted Fate, Morgana, Orianna and many more to come! In the mean time, I hope you all learn something from this and hope it helps you in your future games.
STILL IN PROCESS, MORE CHAMPION MATCH UPS COMING SOON. Please comment and say what champion you'd like me to mention, I am already covering up the main mid champions, AD and AP. Thank you! Please give me good feedback, I will continue this guide and improve it!*
Item Choices and my opinions
Alright, Here we go! Hextech Gunblade. Trading Deathfire Grasp for Hextech Gunblade means exchanging:
High Damage + 10% CDR + 750 Range active
Single Target Slow + Sustain + Reliable 700 Range Active (Gunblade CDR is a lot shorter)
Gunblade has really good sustain and allows you to lifesteal + spell vamp after a fight so you don't ALWAYS have to back. Once you have a decent amount of AP the spell vamp become useful as it heals up ALOT. Buying Hextech Gunblade means that you're using the full capability of Katarina and making full use of her kit as she is originally a Hybird AP carry, AP is however ALWAYS better, the patch for the Katarina changes are currently not out, supposedly they are planning on changing her kit some time in the future so we could see some interesting changes to Katarina that make Hextech Gunblade completley benefit her. The slow active on Hextech Gunblade is nice as it helps you pick off stragglers, chase and escape easily. Hextech Gunblade and it's low CDR active means you don't have to worry about it not being up, it also deals 300+ damage by late game once you have your items, really good for finishing off people aswell! always make sure you use the active before a fight to maximize your damage, you don't want someone flashing away and getting out of range. With Sinister Steel scaling by total AD, Gunblade will be a better reason to pick up as your core item since it will completley benefit Katarina's Kit, HOWEVER the Katarina changes are not confirmed to have more AD scaling as it's still on PBE testing, Riot felt they still need to make some changes. So the total AD could be completley changed, riot stated that they didn't want to go on that direction. This item still does NOT give you the burst Deathfire Grasp had. atleast riot decided to buff the Hextech Gunblade by increasing AP so it's reliable. I suggest buying this later on in the game once you have your main damage items, go for Hextech Revolver first, then Bilgewater Cutlass. I tested out Rylai's Crystal Scepter as an exchange to Deathfire Grasp but for some reason I was not satisfied, it didn't give me the feel of high burst damage, so I decided to give Hextech Gunblade another try and late game it's a very good item when you have alot of AP on you.
So Abyssal Scepter is an okay item, but it still isn't the best to use. You can use this if you're scared of being bursted by an Annie but it still doesn't cut it because as an assassin your job is to BURST and not be BURSTED so you have to go all in and show Annie who's the boss. not just Annie the same applies for Malzahar who I have won against countless times without buying Abyssal Scepter. so basically, don't buy this if you're looking to kill people, this is for protection purposes which doesn't suit Katarina's playstyle at all.
Mejai's Soulstealer is really good especially since it recieved the changes where it gives you 5 stacks as soon as you buy it, this item is your bread and butter if you're carrying so hard and you feel very confident. This item is very good for people around bronze/silver because people are most likley going to make mistakes at that elo. Use this item to your advantage, rush Zhonya's Hourglass and then buy Mejai's Soulstealer. Basically the less mistakes you do, the stronger you'll get. Try to stay alive and clean up fights to keep your stacks up throughout the game.
Rylai's Crystal Scepter is starting to become a little better in season 5. A couples of patches ago, this item went from 80 AP to 100 AP, Zhonya's Hourglass and Rabadon's Deathcap both give you 120 AP, so honestly grabbing a Rylai's Crystal Scepter is not all that bad of an idea, especially since I personally go health per level seals, it means I can scale really well through late game and have a ton of health to survive. This could be a decent replacement for Deathfire Grasp as it got removed from the game, this item seems to be pretty good. I'm doing further testing on this item, it really seems to be quite good and could become part of my main build. You want to build first off Zhonya's Hourglass into a Rabadon's Deathcap. After that, buy Void Staff to give you the magic penetration, then buy a Rylai's Crystal Scepter and finish it off with a Guardian Angel. This really isn't bad, with Rabadon's Deathcap increasing AP by 30%, once you buy Rylai's Crystal Scepter it will actually give 130 AP and not 100 AP.
I still need to have further testing in this item. Should you grab this item? Yes. Definatley yes, try it out instead of getting a Hextech Gunblade and go for a Zhonya's Hourglass rush so you can make aggresive and risky plays.
UPDATE: - So after some further testing, I can honestly say the item isn't bad. HOWEVER, I really like the Hextech Gunblade active and the damage it provides by late game, the spell vamp can be super useful late game. If you want to buy this item it's totally up to you, I won't say it's bad, it's definatley great. I just personally feel Hextech Gunblade is better for many reasons as explained in the Hextech Gunblade item section.
Okay so here is the thing with Haunting Guise. the amount of health it gives is good to survive fights, but 25 AP on someone like Katarina is a laughable matter compared to other items. Sure it has magic pen but Void Staff is a better item than this by a long shot. this item is just not worth getting. So you want to build a Liandry's Torment? Still extremley weak for such a high price item which offer very low AP for someone like Katarina. a Needlessly large rod costs 1600G, a Haunting Guise is 1485G and offers little AP compared to needlessly large rod. It's just not worth the pick, but you can still get it if you'd like. You don't have to listen to me, I just personally don't find this item amusing or overwhelming compared to other items that Katarina is alot better fit for such as Zhonya's Hourglass or Void Staff.
Deathfire Grasp is the key to everything! it has 10% cooldown and.. and.. ah, I miss this item already, doesn't feel the same anymore ;_;
An important item for all AP carries, definatley grab this for maximum damage, this is a self explanatory item and is a must on Katarina.
Ah, Void Staff - this is an excellent item to get mainly because it ignores 35% of the enemy's magic resist dealing significant damage. this is a must get, it synchronizes really well with sorcerer shoes's magic penetration.
Guardian Angel is a really decent item and I prefer getting it pretty much all the time, mainly because if I make a mistake I can still get back in there and deal some more damage. Since my kit and playstyle is super aggresive, you should still add some survivability in your playstyle so you don't get completely stomped. Guardian Angel would help me accomplish exactly just that, it gives me a second chance that I need after dying, this item is great for late game specially. Decent item, must get. it allows you to have a chance to get your resets if you make a mistake and die. this is a good item if you get caught and you see someone low health, you can kill him and if your team is with you, you can even finish off their entire team. the magic resist and armour is incredible, increasing your survivability chance significantly, the enemy team will find you VERY annoying to deal with.
A great item to have for those crazy AD damage assassins like Zed or Yasuo but let's be honest, that's not always the reason we get this item. Zhonya's Hourglass active is what makes it what it is. Annie flashed in your range to throw her tibbers? pop Zhonya. Zed uses Death Mark on you? Pop Zhonya. Syndra uses her ult? Pop Zhonya. Zhonya's Hourglass just adds so much more flexibility to your kit allowing you to make risky plays worth it and saving yourself from that last tick of ignite. you'll have a decent amount of armour and a great amount of AP, definatley grab this item.
That concludes the items and my opinions on them! (:
PROS and CONS
One of the strongest assassins in the game.
Excellent damage output
No MANA! :D
Can escape scary situations with shunpo, can be used on minions or allies
Has the most amazing skins<3
Verocity passive is amazing, a kill or assist reduces all cooldowns by 15
When she is not focused and she enters a fight, she can wipe out the entire team
If focused, she will drop low, but you can always use shunpo or flash to escape
Needs skill to master (Yes, she does; you can definatley expect a mindless Katarina to not focus on grabbing resets and not timing flashes/ults]]
I honestly don't find anything bad about Katarina other than this, she is amazing if you play her well. enough said.
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