Katarina General Guide by
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Katarina has a hellacious amount of power in top and mid lanes. She's incredibly agile, can get tough to kill defensively, and true to her assassin nature, she can rack up kills as fast as you can roll her keys. Unfortunately, my experience playing her has yielded unexciting results playing bottom lane, but ey, go ahead and give it a stab, you just might come out on top with a good support or carry (Note: if you are playing with a carry, don't play Kat as a support, she needs the farm, too!).
Honestly, level up Q and W in whatever order you like, the utility for poking with Bouncing Blade and the great farming tool of W can help clear lanes to get to the pesky enemy champ, plus hitting them will open the opportunity to Shunpo onto their face and have a merry Dance of Blades on it, while they cry out for a nerf. Just make sure you level up E once for getting in and out of your lane quickly, and you should be fine, movement-wise. As for using her abilities effectively, it can get technical, but it's still fairly simple. What I've found to be a great combo is aiming for an enemy champ with Q, so it does the most damage and allows you to already have them focused, plus, even if you miss with the Bouncin' Blade, there is still the great chance a nearby minion will let the knife travel to your enemy, anyway. After Q has hit, Shunpo onto them directly, or any nearby object (friendly champ, minion, or ward, for example), and slice them with a Sinister Blade strike. The Q, E, W combo is great for harassment, and even without the instantaneous jump back to a minion for safety, you've usually done a significant amount of damage, enough to make your target run in fear to their turret and cry like a child. After whittling away sufficiently at your enemy's health, Q, E, then POP THAT ULT, MANNN!! DEATH LOTUS EVERYDAY, BOY! ERRADAY. Her keyroll can make even the toughest of tanks get shredded like paper, with late-game magic penetration from a V. Staff.
If you find enemy's wandering out of a good slice's range, throw an ignite or exhaust on them, ignite being good for her ult's added ability of reducing healing from their friends (FU, Soraka!), and giving Katarina an even harder push down her enemy's throat. Exhaust is FREAKING GRRRRREAT for making scrubs run like piss-ants from Kat's doom-bringing Death Lotus, plus Exhaust and her ult's duration are the same time, 2 seconds (seriously, these work together surprisingly well). Flash isn't a bad choice for a S. Spell, as she gets even more mobile with it, and closing in clutch kills can be easily achieved by using Shunpo and Flash effectively. Mostly during teamfights you are losing or mean assassinations will you really require Flash, however.
Katarina is squishy, even when building the Hourglass or Rylai's. The health and armor is almost completely essential, but it's still quite easy to get picked off during an engagement. Make sure to stick with a friendly, preferably your tank, and be ready to back up your carry or jungler if they're having trouble getting away from an enemy. Katarina benefits highly from even assists, as you can build a Mejai's Soulstealer along with the Hextech Revolver (before you sell the revolver for a later-build item), and the stacks quickly make her killing power escalate.
The reasoning behind my build item choices is based on this: Katarina is a fast, mobile AP carry/assassin, and needs just enough survivability along with power to make her a scary opponent on the field. So, grab boots and health pots or an amplifying tome and 1 pot, and set out to your lane; very often mid, lesser often top, and hardly ever bot.
>If you don't buy boots first, pick Shunpo for your second ability, not Sinister Blade, as you'll need the jump to get you around.
After you get Sorcerer's Shoes or Merc's Treads (almost every situation calls for Sorcerer's Shoes, but you never know), buy the Hex. Revolver for some much needed power and sp. vamp, then either grab a Giant's Belt for health or straight rush a Rabadon's D.C. Remember:
>Giant's belt for longer lasting in your lane, or,
>Needlessly L.R. if you're already beating the enemy down, or you have a good laning buddy and want to push harder.
After you get Rabadon's, work toward Rylai's. After you get the nice health boost from it, get some sweet, sweet penetration ;) from a Void Staff. Usually, this is my end-game, after this, I have enough power to carve through enemies without stopping to even farm minions... BUT.
>If you are still having trouble after having built your: boots, Deathcap, Scepter, Void Staff, and your revolver, get yourself a nice, last blast of power and armor with Zhonya's Hourglass. The 100 AP fits right in with your now-unstoppable redheaded killing machine.
HOLD UP THOUGH. If you bought Mejai's Soulstealer, sell your Hextech Gunblade, the spell vamp's kind of null in late-game, and THEN replace it with Zhonya's HG. A properly stacked Mejai's, along with the rest of Katarina's build can give her upwards of..... 700-800 AP.
Plus, more than 60% magic penetration, and a good amount of health and armor.
>A fully stacked and build Katarina is practically a demi-god. Seriously, feed Kat and see how it works out for you. Only really annoying tanks like Mundo or someone with a lot of slow and stunning power can take her, and it almost HAS to be with one or two buddies. And the thing is, Katarina's ult can easily land you triple kills in the worst of ganks. Ask a seasoned Kat player if it's a good idea to towerdive while Katatat's standing under her turret. Go ahead, see if it's a good idea. You'd be massively surprised at how many people think Katarina is easily pushed away from her tower when she's under half health. NOPE.avi, she'll turn a gank into a slaughter, and come out with more health than when she started.
Okay, maybe I'm a little ranty. But it's only because I love this Noxian meat grinder so much. Her movement, power, and slight edge of survivability make her one of the most versatile and scary champs to go against, and an experiened player can easily leave you starting at a grey screen, mouth wide open, wondering what the HELL THEY JUST DID, THERE'S NO FRIGGIN' WAY SHE SURVIVEDMYFULLKEYROLLANDSTILLWALKEDAWAYFINE,WTFMANKATOPOPOPOPOP OPPPPPPP.
Yeah, reactions are kinda like that, most of the time. Try Kat out, man, she's a blast.